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NJPW ‘Dominion 2018’ 6.9.18 Results & Review

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This year’s Dominion turned out to be a game-changing event from New Japan Pro-Wrestling. The company is headed towards a new direction as new champions are crowned up and down the card. There are eight championships in New Japan and six of them are now held by western wrestlers. The company finds themselves in uncharted waters as they expand their way westward, lead by new IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kenny Omega.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado (c) def. Roppongi 3K @ 9:30 via Desperado El Es Claro on SHO – ***

All four men are coming off strong BOSJ performances, each coming into the night feeling as if they are wearing a fresh coat of paint. 3K were up to the task early, evading the Suzuki-Gun tactics. YOH took it to the outside and looked to give Kanemaru a taste of his own medicine while SHO looked unstoppable, delivering a trifecta of German suplexes to Desperado. Ultimately, Suzuki-Gun did what they do best and found a new way to cheat. Desperado gets out of an attempted Shock Arrow by running SHO into the referee, allowing Kanemaru to rush in and attack SHO with the bottle of whiskey and a wacky Desperado pin to come out with the win. Despite 3K’s best efforts, Suzuki-Gun is always s step ahead of them so they must go back to the drawing board. Both YOH and SHO came out feeling like stars after their great BOSJ performances.

Juice Robinson & David Finlay def. Jay White & YOSHI-HASHI @ 7:27 via Juice Pulp Friction on White – **1/4
This went how everyone likely expected it to go. The crowd rallied behind Juice and even got behind Finlay more than usual. Juice was on fire, landing a two for one cannonball and a huge top rope crossbody. White was as vicious as always, drilling Finlay with repeated Saito suplexes throughout the match. His blinding rage for Finlay cost him though as Juice connected with a straight right to the jaw when White got up off the mat after hitting yet another suplex. Juice followed up with Pulp Friction to score the win.

Post-match, Juice poses with the US title while literally walking on top White and dropping the title on White’s groin before heading to the back.

Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano @ 8:44 via Sabre Modified Jim Breaks Armbar on Yano – **1/2
Anytime we get Suzuki and Ishii standing across from each other we’re in for something special. They started the match off with a slugfest and didn’t take their focus off one another. If they were matched up against Sabre or Yano, they’d still charge the other on the apron. Yano attempted to low blow Sabre but Sabre squeezed Yano’s hand between his thighs and transitioned into a wrist clutch. Yano had no answer and was forced to give up. Creative finish amongst a wild display of strength between Ishii and Suzuki.

The battle didn’t stop after the bell. Ishii rushed Suzuki on his way up the ramp and the two continued trading forearms before swinging chairs in the middle of the ring. The young lions managed to pull them apart but Suzuki charged after Ishii backstage, not yet done with him.

NEVER Openweight Championship
Michael Elgin def. Taichi & Hirooki Goto (c) @ 13:46 via Elgin Bomb on Taichi – ***1/4

Despite saying that he wanted to be in the match, Taichi looked anything but interested. He would spend most the match on the outside and try to cut off Goto and Elgin when the time felt right. Elgin looked fantastic. He was lean and mean, laying in huge strikes and showing off his unbelievable athleticism. Taichi would throw Miho Abe into the ring to distract the referee and give him time to lay out Goto and Elgin with his mic stand. There was a huge maniacal laugh from Taichi before landing his patented Tensho Jujihou and Taichi Cluth but Elgin lifted him out of the hold into powerbomb position. Elgin gave Taichi a solo buckle bomb, a buckle bomb onto Goto and finished with an Elgin bomb. Surprise win for Elgin but he’s the exact champion this belt needs. No one in New Japan embodies the big man style better than Elgin. Strong match with everyone working well together.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks def. EVIL & SANADA (c) @ 15:04 via More Bang for Your Buck on SANADA – ***3/4

The big question coming in was would the Bucks style be different in the heavyweight division? The answer is no. They still are the most exciting tag team on the planet and gave the heavyweight tag titles their best match in years. Nick was on fire early on but wound up missing EVIL and kicking the post so the remainder of the match focused around Nick’s leg. When the Bucks seemed to have the match won, Nick when to the top, looking to hit the Indytaker. His leg buckled and caused him to crash down hard on the mat. EVIL and SANADA responded by hitting an Indytaker of their own and following with a Magic Killer. SANADA got Matt in position for Skull End but Matt transitions into a Sliced Bread #2 that doesn’t keep SANADA down, transitioning into Skull End again before coming up empty on a Moonsault. That miss signaled the end for the champions. SANADA ate a superkick before taking More Bang for Your Buck. Excellent tag title match and the most exciting heavyweight tag match in a long, long time. The Bucks are a welcome addition to the division and beat EVIL and SANADA without any shenanigans, just better tag team strategy.

Post-match, Matt goes to the commentary booth and invites Don Callis to announce All In.

Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger & Rey Mysterio @ 11:36 via Cody Cross Rhodes on Liger – **
I was really excited for this so maybe my expectations were too high. They spent the first three minutes tagging in and out as Scurll was afraid to mix it up with Mysterio. Then Cody and Tanahashi had a pushup contest before an extra long beat down on Liger. The faces got their comeback, Mysterio hit the 619 on both Scurll and Page. Liger had Cody eat a Shotei and top rope Hurricanrana but Cody regrouped and hit a Cross Rhodes out of nowhere. Fine but ultimately a pretty disappointing match. The beatdown would have been fine if the faces won but it was a lot of nothing to result in a lot of nothing.

Cody continues beating down Liger until Mysterio chases him out of the ring.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi def. Will Ospreay (c) @ 20:22 via Time Bomb – ***3/4

My two favorite wrestlers of 2018 having a match that only they could have together. You won’t find anyone more innovative than these two. This was their first meeting since each had established new finishers so once again they managed to provide new sequences we had never seen before. Hiromu countered the Stormbreaker three times, once with a Code Red, another into a Destroyer and the third time by an armdrag into a triangle choke. Ospreay also attempted the Oscutter on multiple occasions but Hiromu again had an answer. On the third attempt, Hiromu pushed Ospreay over the top rope and followed with the sunset bomb to the floor. Ospreay didn’t have the same luck against Hiromu’s finishers. He battled out of the triangle once but on the second try, was dropped with D Driver, followed by a Death Valley Driver to the corner and finished with Time Bomb. Extremely physical and exciting as always. These guys are putting the junior title on the map and becoming one of the most talked about feuds in all of wrestling. The innovation is next level and the matches are unlike what anyone else can deliver.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Chris Jericho def. Tetsuya Naito (c) @ 17:17 via Codebreaker – ****

One of the most chaotic and engaging brawls you’ll see this year. Jericho is completely unhinged, attacking Naito outside the ring before the bell. He spends at least seven minutes beating Naito down, powerbombing him through a table and bouncing his head off another table with a DDT. Jericho snatches a camera away from a cameraman and films Naito’s beaten down on the floor. He finally brings Naito in the ring and the match officially begins. He rips Naito’s suit off and stomps him repeatedly before putting him in the Walls. The ever defiant Naito fights out and spits at Jericho before taking him to the outside and giving Jericho a taste of his own medicine by cracking him in the head with pieces of the broken table. Naito contiues paying Jericho back with a piledriver onto the same table he took the DDT earlier in the match. They start a slap exchange in the ring which Naito wins and takes Jericho to the top for a Hurricanrana but Jericho counters into a piledriver and directly back to the Walls. Naito fights out again and they trade strikes once more before Naito lands Destino but Jericho grabs the ropes. This was excellent. They continue trading shots and just when Naito seems to have overcome, Jericho shoves the referee, hits Naito low and ends him with a Codebreaker. Crazy, crazy match and so much fun.

The win wasn’t enough for Jericho. He continued the attack on Naito and laid him out with the belt, forcing EVIL to come and make the save.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega def. Kazuchika Okada (c) @ 65:02 via One-Winged Angel – *****

The 720 day reign has officially come to an end. The new era has begun and it’s led by Kenny Omega. This is the moment everyone has been waiting for and it feels surreal that it’s finally happened. The history between Okada and Omega is one for the ages. They showed their experience with each other throughout the match by having an answer for everything. This was about wearing each other down because they couldn’t surprise each other, they knew what was coming. Okada got the first fall by simply transitioning Omega’s Rainmaker counter into a roll up @ 28:47. It was the first unexpected exchange of the match. Something Omega couldn’t have seen coming.

They had a two minute rest period before the next fall and Okada grinned cockily as Omega seemed shocked over the outcome. Omega tried to hit his big signature moonsault off the guardrail but Okada had seen that before and shoved Omega into the crowd. Omega needed to be physical rather than theatrical. He regrouped and hit a suplex onto the apron before a double stomp through a table on the outside but again fell to the theatrics. Twice, Okada fought out of the You Can’t Escape combination as he signals towards the belt. Omega struggles to gain the advantage on the outside and winds up doing so by landing a Poison Rana. When Okada breaks the count at nineteen, Omega is ready for a V-Trigger and begins chopping away at Okada before hitting an Okada-style dropkick. Okada rolls Omega up again but he gets out, hit another V-Trigger, into a piledriver, two more V-Triggers and lands a One-Winged Angel to pick up his first fall @ 48:08

Okada is unable to make it back to his feet after the two-minute break so Omega tries for another One-Winged Angel but Okada lands a desperation Rainmaker. The Rainmaker buys Okada time to regroup but Omega is soon after attacking Okada’s damaged neck and lifts him for a powerbomb. Okada tries fighting out but finds himself taking a Style Clash as the crowd erupts into an AJ Style chant. Omega doesn’t have the strength for another Angel attempt so he uses the ropes for leverage but Okada transitions into Tombstone position. Omega counters back and is the one to hit the Tombstone. Ibushi hops to the apron and tells Omega to try the Phoenix Splash but he comes up empty. Omega catches Okada running in with a V-Trigger, follows with two more but Okada catches the third. On a Rainmaker attempt, it’s Okada who collapses before he can follow through. With both men down, the ten count begins. They struggle to their knees and start trading forearms. Omega headbutts Okada hard and runs in for a V-Trigger but Okada counters with a Rainmaker, maintains wrist control, hit another but Omega ducks the third and drops Okada with a German suplex and maintains waist control. Omega ducks a Rainmaker into another German suplex and follows with a Poison Rana. Okada counters one more V-Trigger by landing a dropkick and Omega counters one more Rainmaker into a One-Winged Angel but can’t follow up with a pin. Both men lean up against the ropes and with one last burst, Omega runs in with a V-Trigger and gets Okada with a One-Winged Angel @ 65:02.

Omega, Ibushi and The Young Bucks all embrace in the middle of the ring. Cody comes halfway down the ramp but decides against ruining the moment. Omega gives a speech saying that together, anything is possible. The Bucks and Ibushi raise Omega up to their shoulders and they head to the back. The final shot is one of Okada’s dollars left laying on the entrance ramp.

Backstage, Omega admits that Okada may be the best in the world but he’s done all he can for the company domestically. Now is the time for him to take the company to new heights internationally. He admits he has big shoes to fill but he’ll try his best and that he and The Golden Elite plan on changing wrestling. He wants to make New Japan more than the King of Sports and declares that wrestling can be so much more.

This was an excellent, game-changing event for New Japan. Other than the opener, every title changed hands. Not only were there five title changes, but four of the five newly crowned champions are first time winners their respective title. Everything outside of the junior division is completely fresh and the only domestic champions right now are the juniors while all the heavyweights are westerners. This is a huge turn of events moving forward. A new era is on its way and is lead by Kenny Omega. He is the one who ended Okada’s record-breaking reign as New Japan travels into uncharted waters, expanding towards the west. Other than the disappointing six-man tag, everything tonight was a hit. A monumental show and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Recommended Matches
Omega vs Okada
Jericho vs Naito
Bucks vs EVIL & SANADA
Hiromu vs Ospreay
Elgin vs Goto vs Taichi

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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