With Sakura Genesis firmly in our rear view mirror, we’re moving on to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s spring double shot spectacular, Wrestling Hi no Kuni and Wrestling Dontaku.
This year, we have three such shows on our plate, with Dontaku doubled up into a two-night affair later in the week. All three shows, naturally, will air live and in full on NJPW World, so why not watch along with the best pro wrestling community on the internet?
Today’s action takes place in Fukuoka's Fukuoka Convention Center, kicking off at a brisk 4AM Eastern / 1AM Pacific, and is headlined by two title matches with long histories. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada have had arguably the defining feud of the modern era of New Japan, and here they meet for the eleventh time, with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the record for most defenses of it on the line.
Younger still but on their fifth match, Will Ospreay looks to even the score against KUSHIDA, who has beaten him three times to young Will’s one victory, a victory that earned him his first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship reign last fall.
Plus, the Bullet Club civil war rolls on in ten man action pitting the former NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions and Golden Lovers against the current champs and the pairing of Hangman Page and Cody.
Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Tiger Mask IV over Ren Narita, Shota Umino, & Yuya Uemura by submission with Oh My & Garankle from Taguchi on Narita.
Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) over Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata by pinfall with the package piledriver from Owens on Oka.
Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH) over Suzuki-gun (Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Takashi Iizuka) by pinfall with 3K from SHO & YOH on Michinoku.
Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) over Toa Henare & Togi Makabe by pinfall with the vertical drop brainbuster from Ishii on Henare.
Chaos (Hirooki Goto, “Switchblade” Jay White, & YOSHI-HASHI) over David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Michael Elgin by pinfall with Karma from YOSHI-HASHI on Finlay.
Taichi attacks Goto post-match, choking him out with his microphone stand and dragging him to the back.
Switchblade tries to sneak attack Juice, he gets run off in short order but plays it off like he’s in Robinson’s head.
A video plays announcing that next year’s Wrestling Dontaku will also be a two-night affair.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) over Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith, Jr., El Desperado, Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) by pinfall with Destino from Naito on Kanemaru.
Post-match, Naito lingers before leaving and a man in a BUSHI mask jumps the rail and attacks him! He drags him in the ring and unmasks... IT’S CHRIS JERICHO! CODEBREAKER! The beatdown continues as young lions and referees flood the ring, and Y2J heads to the floor and gets the ring bell, cracking Naito open with it!
Jericho heads back for one more round of beatdown as blood flows down the Stardust Genius’ face! Naito refuses to be stretchered out and throws the board out of the ring!
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) & Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) over Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, Marty Scurll, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson) by pinfall when Fale reverses a bodyslam attempt from Scurll into a crossbody pin.
Omega chases Rhodes to the back and Yujiro and Owens come out, leaving the rest of Bullet Club in the ring together. They have a momentary stand up before throwing Too Sweets up all around and standing in unison.
Will Ospreay (c) over KUSHIDA by pinfall with Stormbreaker to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
This is followed by another one of the Bone Soldier return videos the kids love so much. Tama Tonga comes down to the ring where Ospreay is still kneeling and gets on the mic... BONE SOLDIER IS BEHIND HIM BUT HE’S GOT ABS NOW! The new Boner beats Ospreay down and hits a suplex lift dropped into a Codebreaker before Tama continues, telling him he’s had a run of luck running through challengers but not anymore.
There was an idea, he says, to take coal and turn it to diamond, and he unmasks the Boner... IT’S TAIJI ISHIMORI!
Kazuchika Okada (c) over Hiroshi Tanahashi by pinfall with the Rainmaker to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and set a new record for number of defenses at 12 total.
After the match, Okada got on the mic, put Tanahashi over, and called out Kenny Omega as his next challenger! But there’s more, he wants no time limit. Omega offers one better and wants 2/3 falls, and Okada accepts!
Enjoy the show!