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NJPW ‘Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2019’ (4.22.19) Results & Review

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The first of a three night run at Korakuen Hall sees 1,619 fans in attendance on the Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2019. An official statement is made, Kota Ibushi is now full time with the company and as such, a change to the card has been made. He’ll now be teaming alongside Chaos as they battle with LIJ in a 10-man tag. The NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships are also on the line. Let’s get started!

Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma def. Ren Narita, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura @ 10:30 via Kojima Lariat on Tsuji – ***
The match starts off with Honma and Tsuji. The young lion is able to overpowerthe veteran with relative ease and brings in Uemura. This young lion however, struggles. He takes a beating from the veterans until Tsuji comes in to help. Tsuji chops Kojima to break Uemura free of the Boston Crab. Next in is Narita who is able to string together both a brainbuster and belly-to-belly suplex on Nagata. The veteran is quick to return the favor and Narita is in trouble. Kojima is once again dominating a young lion until Tsuji makes his way in or the save, cutting off Kojima’s elbow drop. Kojima shrugs off a dropkick from Tsuji and Uemura but all three young lions come together and drop him with a dropkick. Tsuji locks in a Boston Crab on Kojima and Honma attempts to make the save but Tsuji lets go of the hold to catch him with a spear. The veterans are done playing. They pull Narita and Uemura to the floor to allow Kojima a one-on-one shot at Tsuji. With a Kojicutter and a lariat, Tsuji is down and the veterans take the win.

Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado def. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Shota Umino @ 9:41 via Suzuki Gotch-Style Piledriver on Umino – **3/4
Suzuki-Gun jump before the bell. They throw out Tiger and Umino, isolating Liger in the ring. Suzuki takes care of the two outside and allows the juniors to focus on Liger. A double dose of Shoteis give Liger the edge so Suzuki comes and dumps Liger out and everyone brawls. After a few chair shots, Suzuki brings Liger back in where Desperado tries to unmask him. Kanemaru looks for Deep Impact but Liger cuts him off for a brainbuster and tags Tiger. A diving crossbody and Tiger Driver equal the playing field for Umino to get a shot at finishing. Unfortunately, Suzuki is back in. Umino tries a few flash pins but Suzuki escapes them all and applies the sleeper. Liger breaks Umino free and both Liger and Suzuki trade strikes. The trio isolate Suzuki for a flurry in the corner but when the veterans leave to take care of the juniors, Umino is not enough for Suzuki and is taken down with the piledriver. After the match Suzuki waves Liger back in the ring. When Liger makes his way in, Suzuki is quick to bail.

Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & TAKA Michinoku def. YOSHI-HASHI, Toa Henare & Rocky Romero @ 11:53 via Taichi Holy Emperor’s Crucifix Tomb on Henare – **1/4
Taichi shoves the referee into Henare twice before the bell. Suzuki-Gun try jumping Rocky from behind but he knows all the tricks. He puts a stop to the shenanigans, unloads a rana on both TAKA and Taichi, Sabre puts the breaks on one but Rocky floats through and connects on Sabre. Suzuki-Gun evade the forever clotheslines and hit a combo variation of their own. They brawl to the outside and leave Rocky out, struggling to break the count. He finds his way in, gets YOSHI-HASHI in the match but he’s taken down by various submissions by Sabre, focused on the bandaged arm. Henare receives his time to shine but Suzuki-Gun use the numbers to keep him down. Taichi can’t keep him down with a pin so he opts for a submission instead. The rest of Suzuki-Gun locks in submissions to prohibit the save and Taichi picks up the win.

Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI def. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Kota Ibushi, YOH & SHO @ 15:09 via SANADA Skull End on YOH – ***1/4
Ishii chops EVIL before the bell and shoves his team to the side. The two start and they both duck and block lariats. Ishii’s brainbuster is blocked, EVIL’s STO is blocked so they settle for a test of strength. EVIL wins that exchange but Ishii is quick to floor him with a shoulder tackle. Not to be outdone, EVIL takes Ishii down with a chop and they tag out. SHO and Shingo are in next and they trade forearms. Shingo catches SHO running in and dishes out a backelbow and lariat but SHO responds with a dropkick and YOH comes in to help deliver another. Naito and SANADA come in for dropkicks of their own on SHO and a brawl breaks out.

BUSHI picks apart SHO back in the ring with overhand chops and tags in SANADA who’s quick to apply the Paradise Lock. Naito gets in at the fun and BUSHI cuts off YOH’s attempt to come make the save. SHO is able to drop Shingo and brings in Ibushi who flurries on everyone. Naito gets his knees up on a moonsault and goes on the attack. Ibushi catches a flying forearm and turns it into a suplex but Naito is quickly back up to take Ibushi down with a dropkick. Okada and SANADA are in and they trade strikes, first forearms, then uppercuts. Okada stops the springboard dropkick and turns it into a reverse neckbreaker. SANADA escapes the tombstone and ducks the Rainmaker, turning it into a high-angle backdrop suplex.

YOH is in and gives out a flurry of dragon screws to LIJ. They run train on SANADA in the corner and YOH connects with a Falcon Arrow. Everything continues to break down in the ring. YOH turns a dragon sleeper into a cradle, SANADA escapes and BUSHI lands a codebreaker on YOH, allowing SANADA to recover and finish YOH with Skull End. Everyone stares each other down after the match except for SANADA who stands aloof in the corner. Ishii and EVIL trade headbutts. SANADA throws his shirt into the crowd.

Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens def. Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls @ 8:24 via Owens Package Piledriver on Nicholls – **
Bullet Club attack before the bell and dump Juice. He rebounds quickly and joins Nicholls in a double shoulder tackle on Fale. He follows with a leg lariat on Owens and takes a headlock. Owens pulls the hair to get free and connects with a backbreaker while Fale deals with Nicholls outside. Fale comes in and stands on Juice’s back. When Juice makes it back to his feet, Owens is there to mock the Juice punches before he winds up being the one to take them and is dropped. Fale uses his size to ground Nicholls and Owens follows with a running knee. Juice breaks the pin and Nicholls helps with a flurry of offense ending in a Mikey Bomb, broken up by Fale. Double shoulder tackle and Grenade from Fale to Nicholls, followed by the package piledriver from Owens for the win.

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Ryusuke Taguchi (c) def. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Hikuleo @ 14:17 via Makabe King Kong Knee Drop on Hikuleo – **1/2

Bullet Club jump and brawl before the bell. They bring Yano in, he ducks their attack and gives out a pair of eye gouges. He unties the turnbuckle pad that Tama goes flying into but Jado makes the save by using the cane on Yano. Hikuleo sends Yano into the exposed buckle and delivers a series of chops. Tama pulls Yano by the ears and drops him with a suplex. Loa does the same and drops Makabe off the apron. Bullet Club flurry on Yano but Makabe is in for the save. Yano pulls Loa down by the hair, sends Tama into the exposed buckle and tags in Taguchi.

The coach sends Makabe in for corner lariats and Loa is brought down with a series of hip attack. Tama eats the corner punches and northern lights from Makabe but spears his way out of danger and Bullet Club follow with a triple team suplex. Jado comes in with the cane intended for Makabe but hits Tama and Makabe is quick to hit the King Kong Knee Drop but Tama kicks out at two. Loa wraps his arm in Makabe’s chain and hits a lariat, Taguchi breaks the count. Hikuleo catches Taguchi’s hip attack, turns it into a backdrop suplex and hits Makabe with a flatliner. Makabe trips Hikuleo, Yano nails him with a chair, Taguchi a springboard hip attack and a lariat from Makabe but they only get two. Makabe climbs the ropes and finishes the match with the King Kong Knee Drop. G.O.D. continue the attack after the match but Yano hits a pair of low blows and Makabe drops them with lariats. Yano runs out with the tag titles.

Jay White & Taiji Ishimori def. Hirooki Goto & Dragon Lee @ 18:33 via White Blade Runner on Goto – ***1/4
Goto wants to start the match with White but White refuses. Lee and Ishimori trade wristlocks, arm drags and leg sweeps before both nipping up for a stalemate. Goto tags in, Ishimori ants to stay in but White calls him back. White acts as if he’s going to lock up but bails out. Goto goes on the chase only to get caught in a headlock. He sends White off, doesn’t budge on shoulder tackles, hip tosses White and kicks him in the back. White refuses the irish whip so Goto beats him down. White ducks a lariat and sends Goto over the top to the floor and Ishimori goes on the attack, sending Lee into the rails and untying his mask.

White waits for Goto to make his way back in and finally does at nineteen only for White to dump him back out and drive him into the apron and rails before sending him back in the ring. Ishimori hammers at Goto’s back, knocks Ishimori off the apron and tags White back in. Goto fires off overhands, White cuts him back down with an elbow and grinds Goto down with a headlock. The crowd rallies, Goto makes it to his feet, lands a couple of boots and drops White with a suplex. Ishimori again knocks Lee off the apron and jumps Goto but Goto is able to take care of both and tag in Lee. Dropkick and backbreaker from Lee, White tries to save but Lee sends him out and Lee continues on Ishimori with forearms and a dropkick in the corner. Ishimori counters Lee into a rana for a nearfall, both make it to their feet and trade forearms. A headscissors slam from Ishimori is followed by a Spanish Fly from Lee. They trade forearms again, Lee gets a German but Ishimori fires back with a lariat.

Goto flurries on White, kicks him into the corner, lands the spin kick and Saito suplex. White fights off the Ushigorishi, evades a corner lariat and drops Goto with a Saito suplex. Goto blocks a sleeper suplex but White still tkes him down with a lariat. Ishimori drops Lee with a handspring enziguri, Goto lariats both Ishimori and White. White ducks a second lariat and connects with a Flatliner + German on Goto. Goto blocks a Kiwi Crusher, eats a forearm, headbutts a second and hits the reverse GTR. He sets up for the GTR but Gedo hits the apron. White tries the Blade Runner but Goto turns it into an Ushigoroshi, using it on Ishimori as well. Lee follows Ishimori out with a tope, Gedo hits the ring again and this time Goto puts him on his shoulders for Ushigorishi. White sneaks behind and low blows Goto, followed by Blade Runner for the win.

White says he understands why Goto wants to be in the ring with him. He says Goto wants White to make him a star. He claims to have made Okada a star again and he’s not the one who needs the title.

Standard Korakuen house show. The matches you expected to be good were good and the others were fine. Nothing bad, a nice and breezy Korakuen Hall show as you’ve come to expect. If you want to watch something outside of the obvious, the young lions had a nice match in the opener.

Recommended Matches
White & Ishimori vs Goto & Lee
LIJ vs Chaos & Ibushi

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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