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NJPW Sengoku Lord in Nagoya match recommendations: Bent out of shape

New Japan Pro Wrestling

For full results for Sengoku Lord in Nagoya you can check here, but otherwise, let’s get 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.

Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura (2): Umino and Tsuji hitting hard early, shifting to Narita on Uemura, and the younger Young Lions make a good showing of it but the more experienced guys have control of the match and it’s up to Yota and Yuya to fight from underneath. This is your standard Young Lion tag-- not essential but fun to see how these kids are progressing and to watch them get as much as they can out of the fundamentals they’re allowed.

Jushin Liger, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuji Nagata vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (2): Chaos to start, Suzuki-gun doing their usual brawl-on-the-floor routine before things settled down into Honma on Michinoku but quickly on to Suzuki, who wants Liger and gets him. All hell breaks loose again, the veterans battering each other on the floor, they settle down again, cycling through, back and forth and this isn’t bad as such but it’s really standard undercard tag fare with only the Liger/Suzuki stuff feeling fresh at all.

Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) vs. Dragon Lee & Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) (1): Dragon Lee in peril early, some really fun stuff with him and Ishimori but eventually Makabe tags in and clears house a bit before Yano comes in and tries his schtick only to get cut off and the match heads to kind of an abrupt finish. There’s fun stuff here, nothing bad per se, but you don’t need to spend time on this.

Chase Owens vs. Mikey Nicholls (3): Jado kicks things off by attacking Nicholls with a kendo stick and is escorted to the back! Owens takes full advantage, taking Mikey to the floor and working him over at length but Nicholls refuses to give up and fights against the tide and that’s the whole match. So this starts off really strong but it never quite develops or escalates. Still a solid performance from two guys I’ve often found wanting, but not a strong recommendation.

Bullet Club (HIKULEO & “Switchblade” Jay White) vs. Hirooki Goto & Ryusuke Taguchi (2): Switchblade bails out on Goto to start and leaves HIKULEO for him to deal with. Hirooki gets worked over for a beat but with Taguchi’s help he gets White where he wants him and we finally get a nice little preview of the special challenge match between the two established heavyweights before heading more or less directly to the finish. This is pleasant enough but there’s just not much here.

Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, SHO, Tomohiro Ishii, YOH, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito) (4): Juniors to start but Ishii comes in and he wants EVIL! He gets him and they beat the holy hell out of each other, and they continue beating the hell out of each other even as they tag out and the focus of the match shifts back to the ring. Action back and forth, eventually we get a little SANADA/Okada action ahead of their title match, LIJ are in charge on the juniors, which feeds into a cool exchange where Chaos seem to have Naito alone and beaten, and the match breaks down on our way to the finish.

This was really significantly more fun than your average undercard tag and is worth tossing on, for sure.

Bad Luck Fale vs. Juice Robinson (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship) (5): Fale going hard from before the bell, taking Robinson to the floor but Juice fights back and goes for the slam, Hogan/Andre style. That only gets him rammed into the post a few times and slammed in the seating, and the tenor of the match is well established. Bad Luck works the back, Juice refuses to say die, it’s a classic formula executed really well, and definitely worth your time!

Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (IWGP Intercontinental Championship) (5): Sabre in control through his grappling early but Ibushi goes to striking to try and create his opening. Which, that works for a while but then ZSJ goes for the neck with gusto after some sick innovative spots targeting it on the floor and that sets the story of the match up, centering it around the very simple question of “can Kota hit Zack hard enough to keep him down for three before his surgically repaired neck gives out?”

And the result is, and I know this is shocking from me, but the result is an excellent, excellent match. Go watch it!

There you have it, folks

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to toss in your two cents below, Cagesiders.

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