New Japan Road February 21 Preview

NEVER 6-Man, IWGP Tag Championship Matches headline Korakuen Hall card


The third night of a four day stretch in Korakuen Hall sees more hot action, including matches for the IWGP Tag Team and NEVER 6-Man Championships!


Main event- IWGP Tag Team Championships: Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)

First Tag Team meeting

Our main event sees the IWGP Tag Team Championships on the line for the second time this month, as new champions GoD go head to head with Ibushi & Tanahashi. 

The alliance between The Ace and The Golden Star has been long in the works, as for years Tanahashi has helped to advise and motivate Ibushi. Yet it was at new year Dash that the two finally seemed to be making waves as a tag team. Then, FinJuice were the IWGP tag Team Champions, and a future title match seemed to be in the works. Still, former champions GoD rightfully had a claim to the titles they had held for close to a year and had just lost in the Tokyo Dome. Ibushi and Tanahashi would face GoD in Miami during New Beginning USA to prove their worth, while GoD would have a rematch with FinJuice in Atlanta.

As it happened, illness prevented Ibushi from making it to the US tour, and GoD would end up winning back the titles and starting their sixth reign in controversial form in Atlanta. After Tanahashi scored a pinfall victory over Loa in Osaka on February 9, he and Ibushi put themselves at the head of the line, and now our main event on February 21 is set. Ibushi and Tanahashi will go down as two of the greatest individual competitors in NJPW history when all is said and done, but can they surpass the franchise tag team of New Japan, especially after taking two belt shots from GoD last night?


6th Match- NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships: Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano & Colt Cabana vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, EVIL & Shingo Takagi)

It’s been quite a ride for BUSHI EVIL and Shingo Takagi as NEVER Openweight 6-Man Champions already. Since winning the titles on January 5, the 20th champions have teamed together almost every night, all on the way to retaining the titles in a memorable Korakuen main event on February 6. Despite emerging victorious from an amazing bout against Robbie Eagles, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto however, their satisfaction was short lived. Seemingly from nowhere, and with Ryusuke Taguchi in tow, Toru Yano showed up to steal the trios gold. Possession may be nine tenths of the law, but backstage Yano declared that he would be bringing Colt cabana to make the other ten percent official here tonight. 

For Cabana then, the chance for his first championship in NJPW, and for Taguchi the chance to turn disappointment from last night and narrowly missing out on Junior tag gold into openweight success. In the opposite corner, a man who has already defended one NEVER title successfully, against Tomohiro Ishii in a war last night, but could the damage be done, and will there be enough of a dent in the LIJ armour?


5th Match: CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)

Our fifth match sees old enemies CHAOS and LIJ collide. Okada and Naito once again face off after their Wrestle Kingdom 14 epic, while Ospreay, Romero and Hiromu are all combustible elements with a lot to prove. Then there’s a SANADA hungry to make a statement after his Osaka defeat to Jay White. An unpredictable environment indeed. 


4th Match: Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs BULLET CLUB (Jado, Gedo, Bad Luck Fale & Jay White)

Manabu Nakanishi wrestles his penultimate match tonight. In a four match run, he and his Third Generation running buddies will have faced Suzuki-Gun, LIJ and now BULLET CLUB: a demanding series indeed. Fale is an intriguing element here though; once upon a time, Fale was a part of Nagata’s Justice Army, and learned much from Nagata and Nakanishi. Will their history soften Fale’s usually harsh demeanour? Or will he feel it necessary to act even more violently against his former mentors tonight?


3rd Match: Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii)

For the CHAOS side here, a potentially strong trio combination indeed. Ishii is reuniting with his tag partner for much of 2019 in YOSHI-HASHI, and he and Goto always being a fearsome team. Ishii might be walking into this without the NEVER Openweight title, but still makes for an attractive target, especially to Henare.


2nd Match: SHO, YOH, David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, Taichi & Minoru Suzuki)

Just 12 days after Roppongi 3K barely defended their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against Desperado & Kanemaru, and just one day after they have a grueling title match against the Mega Coaches, they clash with Suzuki-Gun in Korakuen Hall again. They still have gold going into this eight man bout, but will ‘Despe and Nobu’ move to assert themselves as challengers again? 


1st Match: Gabriel Kidd & Tiger Mask vs Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji

Kicking off the action tonight in Korakuen Hall, Tiger Mask teams with Gabriel Kidd against the Noge Dojo’s Tsuji and Uemura. Tiger Mask is usually the mentor and partner of Uemura, but this time, they’re on opposite sides as he tags with the promising British Young Lion. It might be another lesson in tough love for Uemura, who Tiger Mask seeks to bring the best out of.