Live Report: New Japan Pro Wrestling in Sydney, Australia

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Submitted by: Matthew Winter

The show was almost sold out, with only two small empty sections. People were still entering during the first match’s entrances. A lot of casual fans, I noticed, who only knew of the Bullet Club, who sold a lot of tickets by brand name alone.

Rocky Romero vs Kushida

The crowd was hot for both men. Started with the one-up-manship spots we’ve all seen before but the crowd was heavily into it. A bit of comedy with a bit of referee hugging and handshaking. A few times Kushida attempted the Hoverboard Lock, including on the floor. Near fall with a Shiranui by Rocky. A great Frankensteiner reversal by Kushida into a sunset flip, before they countered some small packages towards the end. Kushida got the win with the armbar.

Yuji Nagata vs Jack J. Bonza

Not much of a reaction for Bonza initially, but the crowd gave some love for Nagata. Short match ending with the Backdrop Hold for the win.

Evil and Sanada vs Robbie Eagles and Mick Moretti

Great hometown pop for the local Rivalry duo but didn’t compare to the tag team champions’ reaction. However, Evil and Sanada played the heels throughout the match, with Eagles and Moretti showing some teamwork. Moretti got “tied up” by the wrists by Sanada, and when Eagles went for the same, he got the similar treatment, Sanada nailed them both with a dropkick to a huge pop. Eagles got the hot tag, taking out the champions, before falling victim to a Magic Killer. Moretti made the save, but Eagles fell victim to an Evil STO for the finish.

Damien Slater, Slex, Marcius Pitt, Elliot Sexton and Jonah Rock vs Kenny Omega, Guerrillas of Destiny, Bad Luck Fale, and Chase Owens

TMDK got a decent reaction, but not as big as expected, and Bullet Club received a great response. Omega’s reaction was the biggest of the night. Match started off with a brawl between all 10 men. TMDK worked over Owens much of the match but ended up getting the tag after a nice slingshot back suplex backbreaker. Omega’s clearing the ring and getting the tag got the crowd hot. “This is awesome” chants for a much better 10-man than I’ve seen on NJPW TV recently. Omega got the win with the V-Trigger and the One-Winged Angel. Props to TMDK for being great fools for the obviously popular Club.

Juice Robinson and Toa Henare vs Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki

Archer went around the ring spitting water and throwing bottles during his entrance, a nice heelish touch. The crowd wasn’t quite as into the match after the intermission. Archer and Suzuki controlled most of the match before Juice got the hot tag. “Juice” chants were prevalent, the crowd was extremely behind him. A “you fucked up” chant broke out after a Toa elbow to Suzuki. Suzuki got the win with the Gotch-Style Piledriver.

Tomohiro Ishii vs Gino Gambino

A shoulder block war began the match, which Gino won in the end. Gambino is known for his comedy, leading to a few moments of regret after striking Ishii. Strikes filled this match with an occasional German here and there. The crowd fell flat for most of the match. Ishii finished the match with a vertical drop brainbuster. Gino has had some great matches for Melbourne City Wrestling and other promotions, but he didn’t feel as big of a star tonight, despite being attached to the Bullet Club name.

Cody and The Young Bucks vs Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, and Will Ospreay

All six men felt like stars, with Cody only getting booed right after his entrance. A “fuck you, Cody” chant led to him flipping the bird on fans. It was followed by a “Cody’s a wanker” chant, which led to Cody going into the crowd and receiving a “Stardust” chant. The beginning of the match was filled with crowd interactions, building to Cody grabbing the mic after a “We Want Brandi” chant, offering to bring her out, only to shut down the fans.

Great reaction for White, to my surprise. The crowd was behind both teams when they had the advantage. Cody attempted to steal Omega’s signature pose before the outside dived, getting booed in the process before the Bucks joined into a pop. Bullet Club worked over White before the Ospreay tag. A number of Goldust spots including a shut-down Shattered Dreams, which Okada ended up delivering right back to him.

A triple sharpshooter spot by Cody and the Bucks for a great reaction. Cody teased the One-Winged Angel at one point but was reversed by Okada, who ended up getting the pin on Matt with the Rainmaker.

Post-match, Ospreay, White, and Okada all had time on the mic, promising they’ll be back.