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New Japan bridges the gap between Dominion and the G1 Climax with RevPro title defenses

Well folks, Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall (for match recommendations, check here) is in our rear-view mirror and that means New Japan Pro Wrestling is steaming down the tracks full-speed towards this year’s G1 Climax, but this train has a few more stops before we get to the annual round robin tournament extravaganza.

There are more shows on the Kizuna Road tour than I’ve highlighted here, but these are the big ones that got the title matches, so let’s list ‘em out and break ‘em down, shall we?

Kizuna Road 2019 (June 16, 5:30AM Eastern / 2:30AM Pacific)

  1. Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura
  2. Ren Narita, Tomoaki Honma, & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  3. Bullet Club (Jado, Tama Tonga, & Tonga Loa) vs. Juice Robinson, Mikey Nicholls, & Ryusuke Taguchi
  4. Jushin Liger, Kota Ibushi, Shota Umino, Tiger Mask IV, & Yuji Nagata vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito)
  5. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, “Switchblade” Jay White, & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano)
  6. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) & Toa Henare vs. Suzuki-gun (Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
  7. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)

Kizuna Road 2019 (June 17, 5:30AM Eastern / 2:30AM Pacific)

  1. Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura
  2. Shota Umino & Yuji Nagata vs. Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma
  3. Jushin Liger, Kota Ibushi, TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima), & Tiger Mask IV vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito)
  4. Bullet Club (“Switchblade” Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, Mikey Nicholls, & Ren Narita
  5. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, El Phantasmo, & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) & Ryusuke Taguchi (c) (NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship)
  6. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, SHO, Tomohiro Ishii, YOH, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre, Jr.) (Elimination Match)

Kizuna Road 2019 (June 25, 5:30AM Eastern / 2:30AM Pacific)

  1. TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
  2. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), Kota Ibushi, Ren Narita, & Shota Umino vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito)
  3. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls
  4. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, “Switchblade” Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH), & Toa Henare
  5. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, & Toru Yano), Jushin Liger, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  6. El Phantasmo (c) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (RPW British Cruiserweight Championship)
  7. YOSHI-HASHI vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (c) (RPW British Heavyweight Championship)

Southern Showdown in Melbourne (June 29, 5AM Eastern / 2AM Pacific)

  1. Andrew Villalobos, Mark Tui, & Michael Richards vs. Ren Narita, Shota Umino, & Toa Henare
  2. Aaron Solow vs. Slex
  3. Bullet Club (Gedo, Gino Gambino, & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Chaos (SHO, Toru Yano, & YOH)
  4. Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI)
  5. El Phantasmo vs. Rocky Romero
  6. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls
  7. Robbie Eagles vs. Will Ospreay (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)
  8. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & “Switchblade” Jay White) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada

Southern Showdown in Sydney (June 30, 5AM Eastern / 2 AM Pacific)

  1. Andrew Villalobos & Michael Richards vs. Stevie & Tome Filip
  2. Rocky Romero vs. Tony Kozina
  3. Jack Bonza vs. Mick Moretti
  4. Aaron Solow vs. Chase Owens
  5. Bullet Club (Gino Gambino, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) vs. Chaos (Mikey Nicholls & Toru Yano) & Juice Robinson
  6. Toa Henare vs. Tomohiro Ishii
  7. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, “Switchblade” Jay White, & Robbie Eagles) vs. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay) & Hiroshi Tanahashi

That’s a lot of cards!

So let’s start with the title matches then, shall we? NJPW’s UK affiliate RevPro is well-represented on these shows, with both of their men’s singles titles being defended on June 25 in Miyagi. YOSHI-HASHI earned a shot at Zack Sabre, Jr.’s heavyweight title by pinning him in their tag match at Dominion 6.9, and Ryusuke Taguchi’s shot at El Phantasmo’s cruiserweight title came about as a result of his victory over ELP during Best of the Super Jr. 26. Both matches should deliver pretty big— Tacos is always at his best when he’s trying to prove he’s worthy of a featured singles match, and Taguchi’s title shots are always highlights of the junior heavyweight calendar.

Plus a new Bullet Club junior combo of Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori looks to take the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship from RPG3K, and if that fails, ELP is ready to swap right over to teaming with Chase and Yujiro for the NEVER trios belts. The straight-up junior tag title match is definitely the more interesting of the two, and absent a total failure of chemistry should be a lot of fun.

Last but not least for title matches, freshly-crowned IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay has nominated Robbie Eagles his first challenger, and it’s happening in Eagles’ native Australia where the two have had several classics, so the heat will be on for that bad boy!

Other interesting matches spread across these shows include Hiroyoshi Tenzan’s return from injury after having knee surgery back in April, a ten-man eliminator between Chaos and LIJ, the mega powers of Okada and Tanahashi against Bullet Club Down Under, and, the highlight of an otherwise kinda underwhelming Sydney show, local boys Bonza and Moretti getting a chance to shine. If you read our coverage of Beyond Wrestling’s Uncharted Territory, you know that Mick is the business, but Jack is also a hell of a wrestler and the two should be ready to make the most of a featured opportunity on a show like this.

Plus, Sunday’s Kizuna Road show will feature the announcement of all the entrants and block assignments for this year’s G1 Climax, and the Monday after will see the announcement of key matches for each date of the tournament tour. And with Jon Moxley, Shingo Takagi, KENTA, and Will Ospreay all declaring interest in being in the tournament, the hype is building!

There you have it, folks

Excited to check this batch of butt o’clock shows out or are you ready to skip ahead to the G1, Cagesiders?

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