New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s 47th anniversary celebration sees both junior titles on the line with a special main event non-tile singles match between NEVER Openweight Champion and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger makes his first challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in almost three years and Roppongi 3K are looking to regain the junior tag titles for the first time since losing them at the 46th anniversary. The show is highlighted by a special singles attraction that sees Will Ospreay take on Jay White. Let’s get started!
Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Chase Owens & HIKULEO def. Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, Shota Umino, Ren Narita & Ayato Yoshida @ 9:13 via Owens Package Piledriver on Yoshida – **1/2
Bullet Club bully the young lions before the bell but Narita isn’t having any of their shenanigans. He starts off the match by hitting Jado with a dropkick on the outside. The young lions join him with a triple dropkick on Owens. This leads to a Bullet Club brawl and the team take turns on Narita for the majority of the match until Makabe comes in to even the score. The young lions knock Owens down with another double team dropkick and Yoshida rolls him up but Owens kicks out, quickly delivers a knee and wins with the piledriver.
Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI def. Yuji Nagata & Toa Henare @ 12:09 via Y-H KUMAGOROSHI on Henare – ***1/4
The Nagata and Ishii interaction was as great as expected. The surprise was the one between Henare and Y-H. Both guys were extra motivated and brought the fire in a big way. They had multiple heated strike exchanges and Y-H was determined to not be outshined by someone fully capable of leapfrogging him in this year’s G1 Climax. He finished Henare with his newly named Fisherman Driver, called the KUMAGOROSHI. This is well worth the watch. Henare and Y-H showed up in a big way.
Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV, Ryusuke Taguchi & Dragon Lee def. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku @ 11:05 vi Taguchi Dodon on TAKA – ***
A couple of New Japan Cup previews along with an appearance from Dragon Lee. Taichi revealed the Iizuka satchel but no use of the iron fingers just yet. Suzuki and Kojima had the highlight exchange of the match. When laying in the machine gun chops, Suzuki smiled and asked for more. He wound up receiving three flurries of chops to the point that he chest was ripped open. Suzuki-Gun used numbers on Taguchi but Lee helped even the score with a German suplex followed by a dive. Taguchi escapes the Michinoku Driver, lands an enziguri and finishes TAKA with a Dodon. Suzuki flips out as per usual and has to be dragged to the back. Kojima bring a chair to the ring and sits down to taunt Suzuki.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Roppongi 3K def. Shingo Takagi & BUSHI (c) @ 16:51 via 3K on BUSHI – ***1/4
The anniversary show marks a year to the day when 3K lost the titles to Kanemaru & Desperado. One year later, they were able to reclaim the titles. There was determination in the eyes of SHO. He charged at Shingo with brute force and once he managed to get him down, YOH worked on the knee in an effort to keep him down. BUSHI helped Shingo even the numbers, allowed Shingo the time to power up but YOH was quick to bring him down with a dragon screw into a figure four. SHO locked in an armbreaker to keep BUSHI from making the save but Shingo worked his way to the ropes.
Shingo lands a pop-up DVD, BUSHI a dropkick off the top, YOH swings through the swinging neckbreaker, hits a backbreaker + neckbreaker combo and SHO follows with a brainbuster. BUSHI is quick to fire back with an enziguri + lungblower and set up for Rebellion. YOH cuts it off, sets up for 3K but BUSHI lands a double rana and follows YOH out with a dive. SHO ducks Shingo’s lariat, goes for a German suplex but eats BUSHI’s mist instead. Pumping Bomber and Rebellion has SHO laid out but YOH once again is able to make the save. SHO avoids MX and catches BUSHI’s codebreaker, keeps him up in position for YOH to deliver 3K to win the titles.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Taiji Ishimori (c) def. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger @ 15:51 via Yes Lock – ***1/2
Liger makes his first challenge in nearly three years to hold a title he hasn’t had in nearly nineteen years. The legend dominated the majority of the match. He played all of his hits: bow & arrow, surfboard, Romero Special, apron senton, brainbuster to the floor, shotei, top tope frankensteiner and a Liger Bomb. Every move you want to see in a Liger match was on display.
Ishimori kneed himself free from a brainbuster in the middle of the ring but Liger caught him running in with the rolling crucifix pin that won Liger the match on the previous tour. Ishimori manages to kick out this time but Liger again catches him running in, this time with Thex Press. Ishimori again kicks out, rolls Liger into the Yes Lock and rolls further into the middle of the ring where the legend is forced to tap. The match was dominated by Liger. Ishimori’s Bloddy Cross was scouted so Ishimori had to grind him down with a submission to retain the title.
Post-match, Ishimori calls out someone from ROH. Dragon Lee comes out and says he’s CMLL, not ROH, but will gladly challenge him for the title at Madison Square Garden.
G1 Dates are announced. The nineteen day tour will start on July 6th in Texas and end on August 12th in Tokyo.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto def. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & SANADA @ 12:58 via Goto Shiki on SANADA – ***
Okada and Naito start off this high profile tag match with neither man landing a significant blow until an Okada boot followed by a low dropkick. SANADA catches Tanahashi in a Cobra Twist, Naito dropkicks Tanahashi’s knee while he’s caught in the hold and the whole team begins focusing on the knee of Tanahashi. Okada cuts off a SANADA dropkick, SANADA flips through a Goto suplex, Goto reverses the TKO to a GTR to a Skull End from SANADA. Tanahashi breaks it up, EVIL suplexes Tanahashi from behind, Okada dropkicks EVIL, Naito single-leg dropkicks Okada and Goto reverses Naito’s slingshot DDT to an Ushigoroshi. Goto tries the same on SANADA but gets countered into Skull End but Goto responds with a leg clutch roll up for the win.
Post-match, Goto takes the microphone and declares himself the winner of the New Japan Cup. Tanahashi and Okada do the same and all three take turns pointing at themselves. Naito stares at Ibushi on commentary before making his way to the back.
Anniversary Day Special Singles Match
Jay White def. Will Ospreay @ 29:08 via Blade Runner – ***3/4
The traditional non-title champion versus champion anniversary show main event sees NEVER Openweight Champion, Will Ospreay, take on IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Jay White. White continues to display his cunning nature by refusing to give Ospreay the hot start he wants. Ospreay is determined to show his strength but he’s no match for White early on. He’s forced to use his speed as a way to give him more power. White is shouldered and bails. Ospreay fakes out a dive, delivers a dropkick and then follows with the dive. White catches Ospreay’s forearm off the rail into a Saito suplex to the floor. He throws Ospreay into the post ribs first and White’s focus becomes clear. Ospreay can’t mount a comeback and is suplexed into the corner.
It takes a huge forearm from Ospreay to rock White for a second but he’s quick to cut off the handspring enzguri and top rope forearm. White attempts a Saito suplex over the top to the apron but Ospreay slides out, hooks White’s arms and takes him over the top. Sasuke Special, springboard forearm, handspring enziguri, but Ospreay can’t muscle White up for the Storm Breaker. He sends White back out and goes for another dive but White sidesteps and drives Ospreay into the rails. White drives knees in the corner, Ospreay grabs the boot and positions White for cheeky nandos, puts him in the tree of woe, sits down and mocks White before peppering him with slaps across the face.
A distraction from Gedo allows White to hit a flatliner but he can’t follow up. Ospreay gets in a Spanish fly, they trade forearms and White crumbles. He takes White to the second rope for an electric chair off the second but still can’t muscle him up for the Storm Breaker. White catches the Oscutter into repeated elbow strikes to the neck, brings Ospreay up for Blade Runner but Ospreay counters to a posion rana. He removes his elbow bad for Hidden Blade but Gedo runs in to distract the referee, allowing White to hit Ospreay low. White sets up for Blade Runner again, this time Ospreay countering into a powerbomb and follows with an imploding 450 but White grabs the ropes at the count of two.
Ospreay’s finally able to get White up for Storm Breaker but White slides out, looks for Blade Runner but Ospreay escapes. White ducks the hook kick, locks in the sleeper suplex, Ospreay flips through, lands a high kick and hook kick, followed by a Robinson Special. Ospreay springs off the second for an Oscutter, White catches it into a Blade Runner and gives another Blade Runner to secure the win.
Post-match, Gedo gives White a chair to continue the attack but Ibushi makes his way in from commentary and chases White off. Bullet Club run in and attack Ibushi, prompting Tanahashi, Okada and Goto to make the save. White poses with the title on the apron before making his way to the back. Tanahashi, Okada, Goto, Ibushi and Ospreay all point to themselves as the winners of the New Japan Cup. The crowd calls for Ospreay as he makes his exit, he points to himself as the man to win the Cup and that’s how we end the night.
Very strong show with a handful of highlights. Henare and Y-H tore it up in the second match, 3K regained the titles by showing a new found determination and Liger played all of his hits. You never know when it’s going to be the last title match from Liger so these are special moments. The main event continued the narrative of White having his opponents scouted by turning their finishers into his own. The crowd was behind Ospreay but he fought with a chip on his shoulder as opposed to the logical and methodical pace of White. There’s a lot to like from the 47th Anniversary. White comes out on top looking strong and all of the top stars are gearing up for the New Japan Cup and an opportunity to shut him down at MSG.
White vs Ospreay
Ishimori vs Liger
3K vs LIJ
Ishii & Y-H vs Nagata & Henare
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