The NJPW Thread


I’m here @skgosyne!! I can’t wait to follow for the first time as a World subscriber. Loved having G1 matches to throw on last summer and looking forward to these shows to have matches to catch when free time presents itself as well. Will try to be as current as possible as my new thing is to go the gym and walk on the treadmill while watching


Watching #NJPW - #njbosj LIVE (June 3rd), unsure exactly how far “Dragon Lee Vs El Desperado” mask tearing was suppose to go but have a feeling that it went to far for a NON Mask-Vs-Mask match.

El Desperado first tore at Dragon Lee’s mask in the corner making a slight tear over the left eye. Then Dragon Lee tore at El Desperado’s mask causing a large tare on the right side from about the eye to the mouth, which caused El Desperado to pull his hair thru the hole to try to hide his face.

Eventually El Desperado’s mask was just hanging on around his neck, wrestling the last third of the match “Mask-Less”. During the post-match a Young Lion pass El Desperado a second mask from the back putting it on to cover his face. Then El Desperado tore a large piece of Dragon Lee’s mask off holding it up with the Young Lion’s rushing in to help cover Dragon Lee’s face.

Now if both these wrestlers were contracted to NJPW I could see a possible Mask-Vs-Mask match being set up but given how solid NJPW seems to be with their booking & the fact Dragon Lee is contracted to Mexico’s CMLL just left me questioning what just happened.


I thought after the match was hilarious, when 3 of the young boys all felt like they had to take their shirts off, to cover up Dragon Lee.


This match was a standout in that I felt it went off script and Desperado really did a great job selling covering his face as well as executing the finishing stretch. Props to Dragon Lee who I enjoyed all tournament long. Desperado seemed annoyed at the end and I interpreted the tearing of Dragon Lee’s match as shoot. I agree with the above post that whilethis would set up an Incredible match maybe next week for Dominion, it does seem difficult given the cross promotional aspect.


Don’t get me wrong I loved the match, I simply found it odd given NJPW books like 6months in advance.

If they were to do a mask vs mask or mask vs hair match in either NJPW or CMLL I would not be opposed.


“New Japan Pro Wrestling - Best Of The Super Juniors 25 - Final (June 4th 2018 @ Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan)”

“Bone Solider” Taiji Ishimori Vs. “Ticking Time Bomb” Hiromu Takahashi



The extent to which Desperado’s mask was ripped certainly seemed accidental, but added a great dimension to the match. Perfect example of how random chance in pro wrestling can pay off extra dividends if the performers are confident and creative enough to roll with the punches (or tears).


Yes, accidental and yes, added incredible intrigue and I credit Despy a lot for gutting out the match under what I’m sure was anxious circumstances. I always had heard guys who wrestle under mask are more protective over their mask than the gimmick may call for. That is, his gimmick of wearing a mask isn’t as important as wearing the mask is to him.

I also thought his attempt to go rip Dragon Lee’s mask after was a shoot. Unless Dragon Lee is going to be sticking around to have a rematch which I would have liked to see at Dominion or maybe even the Cow Palace.


Dominion is in 13 hours!!! In the infamous words of Bart Scott: CANT WAIT


I believe the time difference for north America is like 3am eastern.

Will many people be watching live??


I’m going to try to watch the first half live, then catch some Z’s and get through everything else in the morning before I accidentally check Twitter or FB out of habit. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyone else wanna share their predictions?

*Roppongi 3K vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Going with R3K because I want a solo Desperado run to get back to that Dragon Lee match.

*Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Jay White & YOSHI-HASHI
I guess Robinson/Finlay if only because Yoshi-Hashi is the only guy there who can eat a pin with no consequence, and a Robinson/White feud could help both guys.

*Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
I’d like to see Ishii win this to kickstart a solo feud with Suzuki, as the Pitbull’s been kept very much in check of late.

*Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi vs. Michael Elgin
Taichi, because we live in an imperfect world and the NEVER belt means squat right now.

*EVIL & SANADA vs. The Young Bucks
LIJ. Like John said a couple of days ago, you can put the Bucks anywhere right now; they don’t need the belts.

*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll
No clue here, as I don’t see any clear path to Rey’s solo stuff on the marquee. I guess good guys win then one of his possible challengers comes out post-match?

*Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi
I think they’re gonna play the hot hand and go with Takahashi. Ishimori feuding with Kushida could be really excellent and give the latter the impetus to move up to heavyweight after feeling pretty aimless in the division in BoSJ.

*Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho
Yeah, smart money of course says Naito, but Jericho’s ability to navigate the stormy inter-promotional waters more smoothly than anyone is hypnotic.

*Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega
I’d be happy with pretty much any result at this point, but if Okada retains things could be building towards Ibushi winning the G1 and finally defeating Okada at the Dome, sowing the seeds for envy and friction within the Golden Lovers. But really, whoever loses, we all win.


Going to try to catch it live


For the title matches:

No way Elgin wins and if they really want to make Taichi a thing and will be giving him a spot in the G1 then they should go over.

Bucks get the heavyweight titles and are a huge draw at the Cow Palace holding both ROH and NJPW gold

Osprey wins in a classic that matches his Richochette matches - it will be better

Naito wins because I just don’t see Jericho working New Japan again soon.

Kenny ends Okada’s reign because he can carry the Cow Palace show as champ and because Okada already has the record. If not Kenny - who?

BTE and fall out prediction - Kenny and the Bucks have a reunion / reconciliation as they now hold New Japan gold together…and Ibushi sees this…and Ibushi has fuel to win G1 and take Kenny’s belt



  1. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) def. Suzuki-gun © /// IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.

  2. Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson and David Finlay def. Chaos (Jay White and Yoshi-Hashi).

  3. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.) def. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano).

  4. Taichi def. Hitooki Goto © and Michael Elgin /// NEVER Openweight Championship.

  5. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) def. Los Ingobernables da Japon (Sanada and Evil) © /// IWGP Tag Team Championship.

  6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger and Rey Mysterio Jr. def. Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page and Marty Scurll).

  7. Hiromi Takahashi def. Will Ospreay © /// IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

  8. Tetsuya Naito © def. Chris Jericho /// IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

  9. Kazuchika Okada © def. Kenny Omega, 2-1 /// IWGP Heavyweight Championship.


Got home just in time to watch “Evil & Sanada vs Young Bucks”, a good match.


Watching Okada Vs Omega IV for a third time, twice English & now Japanese.


I watched the final fall in Japanese again last night. The sequence of V Triggers that Okada then catches the last one and hits a rainmaker but has no power on it after 3 straight triggers is pure. There is no Super Omega or Super Okada. They are positioned as the best wrestlers in the company but when they are beaten they have ways to show it. Not just magically regain all strength


I don’t know if this was noted on the podcast by John & WH, but during the third fall Okada hits a “rainmaker” that turns Omega inside-out, if not for Don’t Callis & a great angle replay I would have totally missed that Kenny actually had hit Okada on the head/neck with his boot while being turned inside out adding to the fact he could not make the cover right away.

These little things add so much to the match, along with rest breaks of 2mins just enough time for some water, catch your breath, and corner men advice.

I’m going to have to re-watch Okada-Omega I to IV to see where this truly stacks up, amazed I got to see a preview of this during the Australia Tour (Just remember Festival Hall losing their minds when Okada & Omega were both legal in the match), but still thinking “That was the greatest pro-wrestling match I’ve ever seen”.


@Chris_Thunder I also thought there was so many incredible little things that made this match so compelling, as well as Don Callis adding tremendous storytelling about Ibushi’s contribution to training and their game planning. Loved the breaks also and thought it made this feel even more of a competition.

I always wonder how much of the match is mesmerized in the sense they know exactly what moves or sequences they want to hit when to maximize the story. There is SO much built in to add to an in ring story and going 60+ minutes in that setting it’s hard to fathom these guys remember to hit every note. Particularly with no prolonged rest spots as we get in lenthier WWE matches. It is why I call these guys the best wrestlers in the world - they perform these matches that it’s hard to imagine many other can.

An example of a pre-planned spot has to be the Phoenix Splash sequence. In like minute 50 it’s amazing that was coreographed and what it did to add another layer to the story: did Kota’s advice cost Kenny? Will Kota throw in the towel?

I’d be really curious to hear Kenny and Okada discuss the matches in a sit down form while rewatching them. How much did they get as designed and how much did they miss or not go as planned.


Cow palace matches were announced during today’s press conference, excited for Okada & Ospreay vs Naito & Bushi…should be interesting to see where both Okada & Naito go from here.