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NJPW ‘SENGOKU LORD in NAGOYA’ (4.20.19) Results & Review

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling presents SENGOKU LORD in front of 4,731 fans at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium. Two championships are on the line as Bad Luck Fale challenges Juice Robinson for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship and the main event featuring Kota Ibushi in his defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Zack Sabre Jr. Let’s get started!

Shota Umino & Ren Narita def. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura @ 7:38 via Narita Bridging Belly-to-Belly Suplex on Uemura – **3/4
Tsuji and Uemura focus on isolating Narita and keeping Umino off the apron. They double Narita by having Tsuji deliver a corner forearm followed by a corner dropkick by Uemura. He’s quick to follow up with a belly-to-belly suplex but Narita responds by showing Uemura how it’s really done, hitting him with a bridging belly-to-belly for the win.

Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Deperado & TAKA Michinoku def. Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma, Toa Henare & Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger @ 12:15 via Taichi Seitei Jujiro on Henare – **1/4
Suzuki starts by asking for Liger. This quickly turns into a brawl as Suzuki-Gun take turns working over Liger until he cuts off Deep Impact with a Shotei followed by a brainbuster off the second. They try doing the same to Nagata but he isn’t having it either, hitting an Exploder and applying the Nagata Lock. Desperado breaks the hold but Kojima is there to give Machine Gun chops to all the juniors. Suzuki-Gun take out their frustrations on Henare who is finished with Seitei Jujiro from Taichi.

Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Dragon Lee def. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Taiji Ishimori @ 8:13 via Yano Schoolboy on Loa – *1/2
Dragon Lee lands a flurry of dropkick variations to start the match off hot. Jado cuts him off with the cane and Bullet Club take control. Makabe finally manages to fire up, lands a double lariat on G.O.D. and Yano rolls Loa up for the win. G.O.D. run off with Makabe and Yano’s belts.

Mikey Nicholls def. Chase Owens @ 8:56 via Mikey Bomb – *3/4
Jado attacks Nicholls with the cane from behind before the bell and Owens stays on the attack while the referee escorts Jado to the back. He applies the abdominal stretch, using the ropes for assisted leverage until the referee forcibly breaks the hold. This gives Nicholls the chance to fire back some forearms, elbows out of a wasitlock and lands a DDT. Owens ducks the sliding lariat, can’t avoid a DVD but manages a flurry of strikes and looks for the Package Piledriver. Nicholls escapes, sets up for a Mikey Bomb, Owens avoids it but winds up running right into a follow up attempt and Nicholls takes the win.

Hirooki Goto & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Jay White @ Hikuleo @ 10:57 via Goto GTR on Hikuleo – **
White teases a start with Goto but is quick to tag out and helps distract Goto to give Hikuleo the edge. Edge or not, Goto takes care of them both and brings Taguchi in and takes the part of the coach, sending Taguchi to the corner for repeated attacks. White tries to put an end to Taguchi by cutting off two hip attacks but the persistent Taguchi keeps trying and finally manages to land one. Hikuleo sidesteps a springboard variety but Goto tales him down with a lariat. Goto sets up for GTR, Gedo hops on the apron, Goto shoves White into Gedo and gives both White and Hikuleo an ushigoroshi before picking up the win with the GTR.

Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI def. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, YOH & SHO @ 16:31 via Naito Destino on Y-H – ***
The match starts with YOH and Shingo but EVIL and Ishii are quick to demand they be tagged in. The two had an extended forearm exchange that broke into one of shoulder tackles. Ishii won the battle and tagged out but EVIL wasn’t done. He kept on the attack and the two continued their exchange on the floor. SANADA is still unable to trap Okada in the Paradise Lock and Chaos manage to isolate Naito. He takes a shot from the entire team but Shingo stops Y-H from hitting the Kumagoroshi, gets dropped by a lariat from SHO, BUSHI lands a codebreaker on Y-H and Naito finishes it with Destino. After the match Ishii and EVIL trade slaps.

IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship
Juice Robinson (c) def. Bad Luck Fale @ 17:25 via Pulp Friction – **1/2

Fale makes sense to get the jump before the bell. Juice attempts a slam but is unable and takes one from Fale instead. They go to the floor where Fale looks to continue the attack but Juice sidesteps and tries the slam once again. He’s unable and Fale picks him up and drives Juice into the post before slamming him on the floor. Fale isn’t done there, he throws Juice into the crowd and slams him onto a row of chairs. Juice breaks the count at 18 but Fale quickly applies the bear hug. The crowd rallies as Juice breaks free, again trying for the slam and coming up short. Fale attacks the back with forearms, Juice avoids a fourth blow, ducks a lariat and starts getting in shots on his own.

Juice sets up for Pulp Friction, Fale blocks but Juice fires off a lariat that drops Fale in the corner and follows with a cannonball. Fale catches Juice by the throat coming off the top but Juice blocks the Grenade, looks for the slam but again can’t so he decides to go for a chop block. He fights off another Grenade and yet again goes for a slam, gets him up, but Fale lands on top of him. Both a corner and running splash from Fale. Juice lands desperation punches, ducks a lariat and lands a dropkick. He looks to lariat Fale over the top rope but is cut off with a spear. Fale hits the Grenade, Juice kicks out, fight off the Bad Luck Fall, connects with the Left Hand of God, a top rope crossbody, another Left Hand of God, a slam and puts Fale down for good with Pulp Friction for his third title defense.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Kota Ibushi (c) def. Zack Sabre Jr. @ 28:58 via Kamigoye – ****

TAKA surveys the crowd who are heavily in favor of Ibushi. Sabre starts off by backing Ibushi to the ropes and pie facing him. Ibushi responds with a kick to the leg. Sabre pulls Ibushi into a quick pin and looks to apply a double armbar when Ibushi kicks out but Ibushi is a step ahead of him and applies the move himself. Sabre breaks free of the hold but Ibushi gives him another kick which prompts Sabre to bail. He comes back in and they again lock up. Sabre takes the arm and applies the kimura but Ibushi is quickly to the ropes. Sabre looks for a wristlock, Ibushi flips through and kicks Sabre’s leg, slides through an attempted bow & arrow and ranas Sabre out of the ring.

Ibushi goes for a plancha but Sabre side steps and takes Ibushi to the rails where he applies an abdominal stretch tied up in between the rails. Sabre then puts Ibushi on the apron and drives him down to the floor where Ibushi stays until the count reaches fourteen. Sabre takes the arm, stomps Ibushi’s head and Ibushi responds with a punch to the gut that puts Sabre down only for a second as he’s quick to respond with a suplex. He applies an Indian Death Lock and traps the arm to pin Ibushi while in the hold. Ibushi escapes and fires forearms until he’s caught in a cravat but manages to slam his way free and dishes out a kick to the back.

Sabre catches Ibushi running in and grounds him with an abdominal stretch. Ibushi gets the ropes but Sabre is quick to follow with a half crab. He gets free, the crowd rallies and Ibushi dropkicks Sabre out of the ring, quickly following up with a plancha. He sends Sabre back in, hits a springboard dropkick and catches Sabre running in with a powerslam. His follow up moonsault is caught and transitioned into a triangle choke and the crowd again rallies for Ibushi. He makes it to the ropes, breaks free of a full nelson and lands a flurry of strikes. Sabre ducks a kick, they trade pin attempts and Ibushi pulls Sabre in for a Straightjacket German, looks to follow with Kamigoye but Sabre transitions that from a pin into a hold.

Ibushi is in the ropes but Sabre refuses to let go of the hold beyond the count to the disapproval of the crowd. Sabre finally lets go, catches a kick and turns it into a suplex and kick of his own. Ibushi begins channeling Katsuyori Shibata. He eats the kicks and shows them no effect, stands and puts Sabre down with a palm thrust. Ibushi stomps Sabre into the mat even when the referee tries to seperate the two. They trade slaps that rock Ibushi but he takes back control with a lariat. Last Ride is turned into a guillotine and triangle but Ibushi pulls Sabre back up into a Last Ride. Ibushi tries for Last Ride again but Sabre transitions into Zack Driver yet doesn’t have the energy to make the pin.

They trade forearms on their knees, make their way to their feet and Ibushi catches an uppercut into a suplex. He takes Sabre to the ropes for a draping German suplex but Sabre breaks free and applies a guillotine in the ropes. The referee forces the break and while Sabre is still caught up in the ropes, Ibushi is free and lands an overhead kick to Sabre. Ibushi loads up for Boma Ye, Sabre ducks and transitions to a bridging jackknife for a near fall. He tries to follow with a Japanese Leg Clutch but Ibushi pushes him off, lands a headkick followed by Last Ride. Ibushi removes his kneepad, sets up for Kamigoye but Sabre turns it into a Cobra Twist. Ibushi pulls Sabre up out of the hold and drops him with a Go 2 Sleep and finishes Sabre with a Kamigoye.

Tetsuya Naito makes his way to the ring after the match. He says if you don’t speak your mind, nothing gets done. He asks if anyone else wants to challenge Ibushi but no one comes out so he declares himself the next challenger. Ibushi accepts the challenge and thanks the crowd for their support.

As expected, this was a one match show but that one match is one to remember. Ibushi has his first defense and Naito coming out to issue the next challenge was a great way to end the show. There’s not much to say about the rest of the show other than Ishii and EVIL went hard. A really great main event. A certified classic in the story of Kota Ibushi.

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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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