After Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall (for full results, check here), EVIL is a double ch— no, wait... (checks notes) ...triple champion?!
What is happening?!
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Bullet Club were ejected before the match even began, the match spilled to the floor and got wacky almost immediately, with struggle over a table turning into Milano Collection AT jumping up from the commentary desk and attacking the King of Darkness. He got beat down and whipped into the corner for his trouble, and then the match settled down into a more normal NJPW main event pattern, all mat grappling and limb work as both men tried to gain the advantage, EVIL working Naito’s legs and the Stardust Genius going after the King of Darkness’s neck.
Escalations on the floor and back inside, most notably a shinbreaker through a table, back and forth it builds although honestly they took a little too long in the grappling section and the match drags as a result, until finally we get a ref bump and Bullet Club make themselves known. Jado and Taiji Ishimori came down to assist EVIL, but Hiromu Takahashi evened the odds, leading to Red Shoes Unno waking back up as the match entered its final stretch.
A dressed as BUSHI ran in, but not to save Naito, and rather to choke him out! EVIL hit a wicked low blow to set up EVIL, and that was all she wrote. Triple champ.
Post-match, “BUSHI” unmasked himself as Michinoku Pro legend and Kaientai DX mainstay Dick Togo, and I just... I... what?
I don’t know about this one, folks.
EVIL cosplaying as Death from Castlevania is super fun and all but he’s been real hit and miss for me when he gets the spotlight, and I don’t think putting him in the main event and adding Bullet Club shenanigans to all of his matches is gonna help at all. Plus let’s be honest, it sucks to see what was supposed to be Naito’s definitive crowning title reign get cut off after two defenses and months of plague-enforced inactivity just to establish the new Bullet Club guy.
But on the flip side, Dick Togo rules, and anything that gets me more Dick Togo is awesome, so...
Plus now it feels a lot more like Hiromu’s chase for a title match might actually end in victory, so overall I’m cautiously optimistic, just hoping that this is the last time, at least for a long while, that we use the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as a prop to establish the hot new heel.
There you have it, folks
How do y’all feel now that everything up to and including Dick Togo actually is EVIL, Cagesiders?