For full results of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s 47th Anniversary Show, you can check our dedicated post out here, but otherwise, on with the show!
As always, I’ve got a very simple five point scale laid out where a 1 is total skip, 2 you can probably skip unless you love one of the folks in it, 3 is a match that’s worth watching but not necessarily worth making time for, a 4 is a solid recommendation to make time for if you can, and a 5 is a must-watch.
Mind you, these are not star ratings. They’re not meant to be absolute ratings in any sense, but rather a simple (and hopefully sensible) way to determine if a match is worth your time. A one is not necessarily a bad match, but rather just one I feel like you’re best off skipping. I have my biases, of course, but hopefully I can make it easy for you to adjust for them.
Ayato Yoshida, Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano), Ren Narita, & Shota Umino vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, HIKULEO, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) (1): Young lions feisty to start, getting right into a shoving match with the Bullet Club men, triple-teaming Owens at the bell but inevitably the tide turns against Narita. Worked over at length, he tags Makabe in and the match breaks down shortly before we head to the finish. Really standard undercard fare here with a few too many men in the match for the time allotted, and that’ll be a pass unless you’re a diehard for the young lions, folks.
Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Toa Henare & Yuji Nagata (2): Ishii and Nagata to start in a preview of their New Japan Cup match, cycling through to Henare and Tacos in short order before the Chaos men take the match to the floor and break things down a bit. YOSHI-HASHI in control when things settle down, tags back to the vets and they give each other a hiding before things go back to the younger guys again. Tom and Yuji brawling on the floor as we head to the finish.
This was solid but unspectacular and I feel like let down a little by the way it almost exclusively cycled back and forth between the two pairings.
Dragon Lee, Ryusuke Taguchi, Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask IV, & Tomoaki Honma vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (3): All-out chaos to start with the Suzuki-gun guys attacking, but when the action settles down grumpy ol’ Tiger Dad is in charge for a beat before again SZKG break it down. Rallying against Kanemaru, he snaps off the Tiger Driver and we’re able to move on to Taichi vs. Honma. Thence to Suzuki and Kojima beating the dadly hell out of each other before Taguchi relieves the Captain of Bread Club and Suzuki-gun all wail on him at once and the match breaks down again.
Dragon Lee doing Dragon Lee things in the chaos, Annoying Butt Man fired up and we head to the finish. This is pretty standard stuff in its own right but it’s got a certain energy to it that made it a really easy watch and leads me to want to go a little high on it.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship) (4): RPG3K hot early, stereo dives and whatnot, but soon enough the champions take them outside and work them over. SHO isolated, LIJ running double-teams at length but YOH is able to rally. Stereo submissions, YOH working Takagi over while SHO takes care of BUSHI on the floor. Shingo tags out, BUSHI and SHO go at it, the action fast and furious and eventually we get to a finish.
The action here is very enjoyable but I feel like the match was just barely missing something. Still worth your time, one for the pile for sure.
Jushin Liger vs. Taiji Ishimori (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship) (5): Mat wrestling early, the old man showing that his bag of tricks is still very full and leading a frustrated Ishimori to take him to the floor to beat him down. 54-year-old Liger running hot in return, cannonball off the apron and a brainbuster on the floor and hitting the avalanche Frankensteiner back in the ring! Indeed, Jushin busts out all the greatest hits but Taiji takes everything he’s got and gives it right back to him.
The passion of Liger, the story of the old man who’s got plenty of fight left in him against the cocky young champ who’s got a bottomless capacity to take what he’s dishing out... this match rules, folks. Watch it!
Chaos (Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada) & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) (3): Okada and Naito to start, from grinding it out in a lockup to lucha libre in a flash, cycling to Goto and SANADA and the dream team comes together to isolate Cold Skull. EVIL in, LIJ work to isolate Tanahashi, working the bum knee over but the 1/100 Ace is able to grit it out and makes the tag to the Rainmaker to clear house. Again the King of Darkness comes to be the man to turn the tide but Kazuchika has SANADA scouted and keeps it from being a rout, tagging a fresh Hirooki in.
Jockeying for position, the match breaks down and we head to our finish. Like all these Tanahashi/Okada dream team matches, this is fun stuff, but it never quite reaches a level to where I want to give it a strong recommendation.
”Switchblade” Jay White vs. Will Ospreay (5): Switchblade bails immediately, but no extended stalling as he returns to the ring and they feel it out. Ospreay turns the heat up and puts the “aerial” back in Aerial Assassin but White keeps his wits about him and starts slinging Will around at ringside. Targeting the back and the ribs, Jay cuts him off at every turn but Ospreay’s spirit is strong and he finds every opening he can.
Back and forth, hard strikes and slick exchanges, adrenaline getting Will past his injured ribs and at one point he has the match won only for Gedo to get involved! Into the finishing stretch, the deficit re-established, and it’s all a question of if Ospreay can overcome the injury before Switchblade hits a blow hard enough to keep him down for three.
Great match, watch it posthaste!
There you have it, folks
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to toss in your two cents below, Cagesiders.