After a weekend featuring EVIL’s shocking break away from Los Ingobernables de Japon to join Bullet Club and his subsequent victory over double champ Tetsuya Naito with a little help from Dick Togo, it was only a matter of time before we found out what our next step is, and boy is it a doozy. Let’s list Sengoku Lord in Nagoya out and break it down together, folks!
Sengoku Lord in Nagoya (July 25, 5AM Eastern / 2AM Pacific)
- Taiji Ishimori vs. Yuya Uemura
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano), Gabriel Kidd, & Yota Tsuji vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), Ryusuke Taguchi, & Satoshi Kojima
- Chaos (Hirooki Goto, SHO, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kota Ibushi, Master Wato, & Yuji Nagata vs. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- El Desperado vs. Shingo Takagi (c) (NEVER Openweight Championship)
- EVIL (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Heavyweight Championship / IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
Hoo boy we are not wasting any time here!
Starting at the top, we have the big obvious hot feud coming out of Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall as Hiromu Takahashi gets his wish to challenge EVIL for both titles! It should be a hell of a violent grudge match, and it’s entirely possible it ends up bordering on the ultraviolent with EVIL’s penchant for chairs and hardware.
The match should be great, but the timing... We’re left with two choices, here— either EVIL becomes a zero-defense champ (of which the IWGP Heavyweight Championship has had too many for my taste), or Hiromu gets firmly kicked back to the junior heavyweight division without getting a chance to get any kind of upper hand in this feud. Of the two, I’d reckon the latter more likely, but I’m not a huge fan of either, and find myself wishing that this was a non-title grudge match that’d set up a match for one or both titles later, roundabouts King of Pro-Wrestling time.
Moving down the card, El Desperado’s challenge to Shingo is getting paid off immediately, and I love that the NEVER is finally getting treated like a true openweight title. I expect this to be a fun, hard-hitting match, and for Shingo to keep hold of the title for some time, fending off challenges from all ends of the roster.
Our last big singles match in our triple main event here is also unfortunately the weakest, as Okada gets a chance to have his revenge against Yujiro for handing the New Japan Cup finals to EVIL on a silver platter. This... will be fine. The Rainmaker’s gonna have to put his carrying pants on just to get it to “this is a match that happened” status but he’ll do it, lickety-split. To advance the plot, under the circumstances with this limited roster, it’s fine.
Notable by his absence in all this is EVIL’s new pareja, Dick Togo, but he’ll be making his presence feel known at a Korakuen Hall card on July 20. I’m not gonna break the whole card down here because it’s all tags and no titles, but EVIL and Dick will team up with Taiji Ishimori against a LIJ squad of BUSHI, Naito, and Hiromu in trios action, so that should be fun.
As for the rest of Sengoku Lord, it’s the usual tag matches, with one interesting singles in the mix as young lion Uemura squares up against Bullet Club junior ace Ishimori. It won’t be a classic, but as young lion matches tend to, it should be a real fun way to spend ten minutes and change.
There you have it, folks
Hoping against hope for a Hiromu win or are you settled in for six more weeks of EVIL, Cagesiders?