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NJPW ‘Kizuna Road 2019’ (6.25.19) Results & Review

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The last stop for Kizuna Road 2019 takes places in front of 1,763 fans at the Sendai Sun Plaza Hall. The featured matches see two RevPro titles on the line as El Phantasmo puts his cruiserweight title on the line against Ryusuke Taguchi. The main event sees both the RPW Heavyweight and a G1 Climax 29 entry up for grabs as Zack Sabre Jr. puts it all on the line against YOSHI-HASHI. Let’s get started!

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima def. Yuji Nagata & Yota Tsuji @ 8:46 via Tenzan Anaconda Vice on Tsuji – **1/2
Always nice to have the legends start off the show with positive energy in the opening matches. Nagata encouraged Tsuji to get the jump on their opponents before the bell. Kojima quickly took care of them both after a pair of DDTs. Tsuji finally hit his comeback by landing a dropkick and brought in Nagata who got the armbar but was cut off. Kojima and Nagata brawled outside while Tenzan finished Tsuji with the Anaconda Vice. Completely fine opener, nice to have the legends back.

Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI def. Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Shota Umino & Ren Narita @ 11:06 via Shingo Noshigami on Narita – ***1/2
Very low on the card for an LIJ tag. EVIL once again refuses to join in on the fist bump before the match. Umino gets the jump on Naito who evens the score by spitting in the young lion’s face. Umino returns fire by spitting in Naito’s face and the two brawl outside. In the ring, LIJ isolate Honma until Makabe makes the save with a lariat that takes Shingo down. Ibushi comes in next and has an exchange with EVIL that includes a standing shooting star press, a lariat that turns Ibushi inside out and a double overhead kick on both EVIL and Shingo. Narita is the last to get the tag.

Narita surprises everyone with his heart, managing to drop Shingo with a vertical suplex, backslides out of a Noshigami and turns a second into a yoshi tonic. Narita is eventually finished off but had a hell of a showcase with Shingo who wasn’t afraid to help make the young lion look great. After the match, Naito went after Honma and Umino, Ibushi tried breaking it up but LIJ swarmed him until he backed off. EVIL again refused to engage in the fist bump.

Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls def. Guerrillas of Destiny @ 8:22 via Nicholls Backslide on Tama – **3/4
The Guerrillas get the jump before the bell and they brawl on the outside. Juice and Nicholls take advantage back in the ring until Tama turns a powerslam into a Tongan Twist. G.O.D. follow with a pair of slingshot sentons and hit a top rope headbutt/splash combination. Juice and Nicholls look to rally back, Jado comes in to try and put an end to it but Juice catches the cane and delivers punches to all three members of Bullet Club. Tama winds up turning a punch into a Gun Stun, looks to do the same to Nicholls but Nicholls catches him and turns Tama into a backslide for the win. Tama charges at Nicholls after the match but gets dropped in a Mikey Bomb. Juice and Nicholls take the IWGP Tag Team Championships and declare themselves the next challengers.

Jay White, Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toa Henare, YOH & SHO @ 11:09 via White Blade Runner on Henare – **
Bullet Club use the numbers early, creating a brawl to the outside wher White dumps Tanahashi into the crowd. They isolate SHO, targeting his knee until he makes his comeback. Tanahashi gets the tag, looks to flurry on White but gets dropped with a Saito suplex. Both he and YOH catch a pair of boots and hit simultaious dragon screw leg whips and get the tag to Henare. Henare manages to land a vertical suplex on White, followed up with a spear for a two count. White elbows free of a TOA Bottom, turns it into a sleeper suplex and finished Henare with Blade Runner.

White takes the mic and says Goto should retire just like his friend Shibata. Goto makes his way out from the back and attacks both White and Gedo while wearing an LA Dojo shirt.

Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger & Tiger Mask IV def. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Lance Archer, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI @ 11:51 via Ishii Brainbuster on DOUKI – ***
Liger traps DOUKI in the Romero Special early but Kanemaru breaks it up and there’s a brawl to the outside. They isolate Tiger for a while until he manages to avoid a Kanemaru moonsault and drop him in a Tiger Driver. Archer tries to wrap his hand around Okada’s head for the iron claw, Okada escapes it and dropkicks his way out of a chokeslam. Ishii and Taichi are the highlight of the match. They lay into each other with strikes before Taichi traps him in the Holy Emperor’s Crucifix Tomb. The hold is broken up and DOUKI is brought in. DOUKI finds a way to land Daybreak for a two count on Ishii but is quickly taken down with the brainbuster.

RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship
El Phantasmo (c) def. Ryusuke Taguchi @ 24:04 via CR II – *

Very goofy match that went far too long. They start off with the referee requesting ELP fist bump Taguchi. Of course he doesn’t, instead giving Taguchi the double bird. They take turn posing in the corner. Sendai cheers for their hometown hero and boo ELP. Offended, ELP demands the referee pose. The referee does and receives a warm applause. They do this pose battle several times, ELP admits defeat and offers up a handshake. Taguchi is hesitant so ELP shakes with the referee to show good will but gives Taguchi a boot on their shake. Taguchi fires back and walks the ropes, ELP breaks his hand free causing Taguchi to crotch himself.

ELP looks to walk the ropes, Taguchi wants to break free to crotch ELP but takes taken down by a hurrianrana instead. Taguchi puts the brakes on a sunset flip so ELP pulls his pants down to get the roll through, puts Taguchi in a reverse tree of woe and gives him a wedgie before stomping the butt and spanking the funky weapon. The referee pulls Taguchi’s pants back up and Taguchi gains control by biting his way out of a chinlock. He misses two hip attacks, fakes out a third and instead hits an enziguri. ELP avoids a springboard hip attack, takes a reverse headscissors take down, bails and Taguchi follows him out with a top rope springboard hip attack to the floor.

They take each other down with lariats, fight back up while trading forearms and ELP grabs both of Taguchi’s nipples. The referee breaks the hold and Taguchi urns ELP inside out with a lariat. ELP cuts off a hip attack with a thrust kick, follows with a spinning neckbreaker for a two count. Taguchi flurries, hits three suplexes, a DDT, Ohyai pose and Bummer Ye for two. ELP crotches Taguchi on the top, pulls him down with a frankensteiner, follows with a splash but Taguchi gets his knees up and drops ELP with Dodon for two, immediately going into Oh My & Garankle. ELP grabs the referee to finally break the hold, lands a diving destroyer onto his knee and finishes Taguchi with CR II.

RPW Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship & G1 Climax 29 Entry
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. YOSHI-HASHI @ 23:04 via Jim Breaks Armbar – ***

They start off even, Sabre winds up catches Y-H in a cravat, Y-H sends him off and shoulders Sabre down twice followed by a scoop slam. He sets up for the draping dropkick, Sabre scoots off the ropes and ties Y-H’s legs into the ropes, pulls him outside and ties him into the rails. Y-H manages to break the count out but Sabre stays on the knees, pulls him into a figure four, transitions to a reverse figure four and an ankle lock before Y-H finds the ropes. Y-H fires up, lands a chop but Sabre dropkicks the knee and lays in more kicks, one winds up getting caught and Y-H hoists Sabre up for a vertical suplex. He flurries with strikes and headbutts, draping dropkick and neckbreaker but misses the swanton.

Sabre positions Y-H into a cross armbreaker who gets to the ropes but Sabre stays on the arm. Y-H catches another kick, wants a powerbomb but Sabre turns it into a triangle. Y-H manages to lift Sabre up and lands a sitout powerbomb and heads to the top. Sabre cuts him off into a kimura, Y-H fights him off to the mat and hops off the top with a headhunter. Y-H wants the butterfly lock but Sabre laughs it off and transitions to an octopus which Y-H is able to counter into one of his own, lifts Sabre up and drops him shoulder first onto the knee before reapplying the butterfly lock. He pulls Sabre away from the ropes but he still manages to find them and they trade uppercuts for chops with the chops coming out on top.

Sabre kicks free on a fisherman’s buster, eats a headbutt but turns Y-H double knees into an STF. Y-H gets to the ropes, turns the Zack Driver into a lungblower followed by double knee for a two count. Sabre fights through Karma, lands two PKs and stomps the arm. Y-H fights up, lands a chop but Sabre catches the second and again stomps the arm. Sabre picks Y-H up, slaps him, Y-H turns him to a backslide and rolls him up for two. Sabre fights out of Karma again and pulls Y-H into the Jim Breaks Armbar, figure fours the legs and Y-H is forced to submit. Sabre takes the mic and laughs off Y-H’s challenge. He says he’ll win the G1 and that strong style is dead, long live Sabreism.

The show peaked early with the LIJ tag. The interactions between Naito and Umino were great and Shingo allowed Narita to steal the show. Juice and Nicholls are the next challengers for G.O.D. Their match was good but the title match will likely be longer, this was probably the perfect length for those two teams. Goto and White are heating up for their G1 opening day main event. I’m not sure if this angle is because of low ticket sales but it’s something that’ll definitely help their match. Taichi and Ishii continue to have nice chemistry.

The cruiserweight match sucked. If you’re RevPro I’m not sure why you’d want this match to be for your title. Taguchi’s comedy wrestling is fine and comedy wrestling as a whole is good. The problem is when you’re in a title match and both guys are doing comedy, what’s the point? If they have neither competitor has sense of urgency in a title match, what’s the point? The match would be entertaining if there weren’t any stakes you’re supposed to take seriously. The main event suffered from no one believing Y-H had an honest chance. Both guys are solid wrestlers but at 23 minutes you don’t need to be wasting time watching this match. Watch Umino and Narita tear into LIJ. That was the show’s highlight.

Recommended Match
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Along with being FightBoothPW's editor for NJPW, Robert McCauley also covers show reviews for the key promotions across Japan.

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