NJPW New Year Dash 2019 Report from Korakuen Hall

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/05/njpw-new-year-dash-2019-report-from-korakuen-hall/

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of New Year Dash from the “beyond” sold out Korakuen Hall.

Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton are providing English commentary.

The main event will be Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and the returning Yoshi-Hashi facing Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, and Gedo. The announcement got a big reaction.

Killer Elite Squad and Takashi Iizuka vs. Roppongi 3K and Rocky Romero

They brawled around the arena before settling in the ring. Archer caught Romero and choke slammed him onto the edge of the apron.

The three took turns attacking Yoh leading to a powerslam by Smith off the second turnbuckle and Sho made the save. Smith hit a double Northern Lights suplex to Sho and Yoh. They explained Sho was feeling the effects of the Pumping Bombers from Shingo Takagi at Wrestle Kingdom.

Iizuka was in the ring biting his opponents before Yoh got the surprise roll up and pinned Iizuka.

WINNERS: Roppongi 3K and Rocky Romero at 8:54

Davey Boy Smith Jr. looked strong in the match and powerslammed one of the young lions on the floor after the match. A fine match with an excitable crowd.

Yujiro and Chase Owens vs. Tomoaki Honma and Toa Henare

They got the advantage on Henare and attacked his left leg. Owens mocked Honma by delivering a kokeshi off the ropes to Henare.

Honma was tagged in and his own version onto Yujiro. Owens executed a nice transition on Henare into an ankle lock and was broken up by Honma.

Owens hit Henare with the package piledriver and pinned him.

WINNER: Chase Owens and Yujiro at 9:24

Owens is very talented and always does the little things effectively that doesn’t get a lot of praise. I see a lot of big things for Henare as an eventual breakout star and see him taking a big step forward in 2019.

Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs. Beretta and Chuckie T.

Chuckie and Beretta were insisting they have figured out their problems. Beretta’s mother was shown on camera in the crowd.

Finlay was draped on the guardrail and Beretta came off the apron with a foot stomp.

Robinson was landing jabs on Beretta, missed with the left and was hit with a half-nelson suplex. Robinson countered the Dude Buster and finally connected wit the left hand of God but had the Pulp Friction blocked.

Finlay was tagged in and fired up on Beretta, which ended with Chuckie attacking him with a chair and another disqualification by the Best Friends.

WINNERS: Juice Robinson and David Finlay by disqualification at 9:04

After the match, Chuckie blasted Robinson in the face with a chair and upset Beretta. Chuckie returned to the ring and hit Finlay with a piledriver onto the chair.

Robinson has potential title matches set up with both Best Friends, the interaction between Robinson and Beretta was a high point of the match. The immediate direction seems to be Chuckie challenging Robinson and continuing his dissension with Beretta.

Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii vs. KUSHIDA, Yuji Nagata and Jeff Cobb

They had the advantage on KUSHIDA for the first portion of the match until tagging Nagata, who entered with Ishii.

Nagata delivered big strikes, which Ishii stood up from and attacked with his own. Nagata kicked Ishii in the back repeatedly and lit him up with forearm strikes on top. Nagata applied the Fujiwara armbar and was stopped by Ospreay, who was playing a complete heel to the audience.

Cobb and Goto were tagged in, Cobb avoided the GTR and they went down with double clotheslines. KUSHIDA entered and fired up on Ospreay, knocking Goto and Ishii off the apron with a handspring into the corner.

Cobb shoved KUSHIDA out of the way of an OsCutter, caught Ospreay and threw him. Ospreay took a DDT but then countered Back to the Future with a stunner and allowed Ishii to hit KUSHIDA with a Sliding D.

With the others on the floor, Ospreay hit KUSHIDA with a head kick and Storm Breaker to win the match.

WINNERS: Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii at 14:08

This was an excellent six-man tag, easily the best match of the show so far.

Nagata and Ishii were exchanging slaps after the match and Cobb and Goto were getting into it as teases for future programs.

KUSHIDA was out from the Storm Breaker. After coming to, Ospreay did give him a fist bump and bowed.

Guerrillas of Destiny and Taiji Ishimori vs. Togi Makabe, Toru Yano and Ryusuke Taguchi

The Guerrillas introduced new theme music at Wrestle Kingdom and it’s an upgrade from their previous theme.

Rocky Romero’s theory is that Tama Tonga is being nice to everyone in order to sell tickets to the Bullet Club’s block party in New Jersey over WrestleMania weekend. The test will be whether Tonga unblocks WH Park.

Taguchi did his Nakamura spots while he was in the ring with Ishimori. Jado hit Taguchi with a kendo stick from the floor, which didn’t stop him from immediately applying an ankle lock onto Ishimori.

Makabe had the match won but Ishimori pulled the referee to the floor. Jado snuck up on Makabe from behind but was stopped with a low blow by Yano. Makabe proceeded with a double clothesline to Tonga and Loa.

Makabe went for the King Kong knee drop but was shoved off by Yujiro with Chase Owens hitting Makabe with the package piledriver. Loa hit Makabe with Apeshit and pinned Makabe.

WINNERS: Guerrillas of Destiny and Taiji Ishimori at 11:34

The angle aligned Yujiro and Chase Owens with the Bullet Club and they did the too sweet sign while the other three were down on the mat.

Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Sanada, Bushi and Shingo Takagi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado

Taichi broke a chair over Naito’s head at the start of the match and the announcers reacted with horror.

There was a big brawl involving the ten men around the arena. Suzuki and Sanada went outside to the hallway and Suzuki choked him with a guardrail while Taichi used a chair around the neck of Naito.

They explained how Suzuki conveyed being on the pre-show was the biggest embarrassment of his life while Kanemaru and Desperado are reeling from losing their titles and Taichi wasn’t even booked at Wrestle Kingdom.

Suzuki was faking out Sanada and caught him with the rear-naked choke after a vertical leap.

Naito is still reeling from the opening attack when he is tagged in with Taichi, who is attacking Naito’s injured neck. Taichi grabbed the Intercontinental title while Taka Michinoku distracted the referee and blasted Naito with it. Taichi hit the Black Mephisto and pinned the IC champion.

WINNER: Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado at 14:46

So, this was the most obvious set up for a title match with Taichi going for the Intercontinental title. He cut a promo on Naito after the match as LIJ was laid out and he held up Naito’s title.

The chaotic nature of the opening minutes was very strong and designed as a rehabilitation match for Suzuki-gun.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Jay White, Bad Luck Fale and Gedo

Yoshi-Hashi came out with new tights and a new haircut. When he was tagged in, the place cheered wildly. They eventually got the advantage on Yoshi-Hashi and kept it away from his corner.

Yoshi-Hashi knocked down Gedo and tagged in Okada, who went after his former ally.

Okada delivered a dragon screw leg whip to Fale and Tanahashi gave a thumbs up, Tanahashi did the same to White and Okada provided his own thumbs up.

White went for the Blade Runner onto Yoshi-Hashi and was stopped by Okada, he tried one on Tanahashi and was countered with the Twist and Shout. Yoshi-Hashi connected with a lariat and a new maneuver on White that led to a big near fall. Karma was blocked and White suplexed him and hit the Blade Runner for the win.

WINNERS: Jay White, Bad Luck Fale and Gedo at 15:15

White stared down Tanahashi from inside the ring after the pin. He said he wants that belt and is better than Tanahashi. He called him an old man that can barely walk. Tanahashi returned to the ring and was jumped from behind by Gedo and beaten down by the three. Okada ran in and was hit with the Grenade while White hit Tanahashi with the Blade Runner.

White held up the IWGP title and called it his era.

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That Osprey/Ishiii/Goto v KUSHIDA/Cobb/Nagata 6-man was friggen awesome, and already a better match than I expected to see tonight!


It was fantastic, highly recommend if you’re cherry picking matches to watch from the show.


The LIJ/Suzuki-gun match was another excellent match/war. I hope it’s a sign that Suzuki-gun are going to be the dominant stable this year, cos I felt NJPW kind of screwed it up 2 years ago when they returned. They look like believable killers tonight.

Jay White is so meh

I couldn’t disagree with you more at the moment - I was watching his 2 promos, one in the ring and one backstage, thinking how good he’s gotten over the last year. He’ll win the belt next January, if not before, and it’ll be an excellent move IMO.

The show tonight seemed much more match-heavy than the angle-heavy shows of the last 2 years. We’ve got a couple of really great matches tonight, and we immediate programs like Tana/White, Naito/Taichi, Ishii/Nagata and Osprey/Kushida, but it didn’t feel like it’d set up anything beyond those immediate matches like other NY Dash shows have.

I didn’t expect to see the Bucks, Cody or Page - they probably don’t know if they’ll be able to come back to New Japan, and so there was no real benefit to having them on the show. I’m surprised we didn’t get Kenny though. It suggests to me that he hasn’t made a call on what his next move is. If he’s definitely leaving, he deserved to be written out; if he’s staying, he needed a new angle.

I was less surprised that we didn’t get Jericho, but still a little surprised. I guess it’s what Jericho wants to be and do at the moment though - you won’t know what he’s doing until he wants us to know.

I hope New Japan is considering Cobb an upgrade on Elgin, he’s better, he’s more interesting, and he’s not a piece of shit. I hope he becomes a regular.

This was the most underhwelming Dash show in years. No surprises, no major reveals, no run ins and Taichi challenging Naito.

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