NEVER 6-Man semi-finals to highlight Korakuen card
As Summer Struggle continues in Korakuen Hall, we are one step closer to crowning new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. Who moves toward Sunday’s final? We find out tonight.
Main event: Master Wato, Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI)
After tonight’s main event, one man will walk out one step closer to his potential first ever championship in NJPW; the newcomer Master Wato, or the ever valiant veteran YOSHI-HASHI. More decorated and experienced than Wato of course are his two team mates, and while Kota Ibushi’s commitment to Hiroshi Tanahashi was redoubled last night, questions still have to circle around The Ace’s physical and mental condition.
After being brutally punished by Suzuki-Gun in Friday’s main event, Tanahashi was just barely able to catch the win with a roll-up after Ibushi’s assistance. Insisting that the win made no difference when it came to pulling Tanahashi from his current slump, Taichi again invited Ibushi ‘one last time; ditch (Tanahashi) and come and join us’. Saying that he’d ‘already decided’, Ibushi left with Tanahashi, but even the Ace himself asserted backstage the man the Golden Star has revered as a deity was likely long gone, saying ‘you have to become god now’.
Long ago, Tanahashi would question whether Ibushi’s close relationships with his partners would cost him career wise in the long run, but Ibushi is insistent that Tanahashi will not weigh him down; or that if he does, he will be able to pull them both up. Can they make one more step to the six man gold?
In the opposite corner, the CHAOS trio of Ishii, Goto and YOSHI-HASHI has proven themselves extremely effective with impressive double teams and wrestling ability seeign them through their first round matchup last night. Can they keep their own momentum going?
5th Match: CHAOS (SHO, Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI)
Two of the most impressive teams on paper in the NEVER tournament face off in the semi-main event tonight, but with plenty of other factors at play for many involved, the difference maker in this bout may be one of focus. Kazuchika Okada has already declared stipulations for a match with Yujiro Takahashi in the first round of KOPW 2020, while Shingo Takagi has his sights set potentially on Minoru Suzuki at Jingu Stadium on August 29.
For SHO meanwhile, a driven focus on SANADA, and the chance to prove himself worthy of taking on Cold Skull one on one once more after SANADA’s New Japan Cup victory some weeks ago. Takagi knows how dangerous a motivated SHO can be, and certainly putting out the tournament favourites would be the ‘extra something’ SANADA said he needed to see in the RPG3K member to grant him what he desires.
4th Match: Ryusuke Taguchi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado, DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki)
Taguchi may be out of the NEVER tournament, but now he directs TenCozy as the Taguchi Japan squad makes some substitutions. While all three like to have fun in the ring, their opponents tonight will be keen not to let that happen. Just three weeks away from his proposed NEVER Openweight Championship match with Shingo Takagi, Suzuki will be creating havoc tonight in Korakuen.
3rd Match: Yuji Nagata, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Junior & Taichi)
Now out of the NEVER six man hunt, the Dangerous Tekkers team now look to find new IWGP Tag Team Championship challengers. Insistent that Golden☆Ace are anything but worthy of the challenge, could they find new opponents in former champions GBH, teaming with Yuji Nagata tonight?
2nd Match: Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji vs BULLET CLUB (Gedo & Yujiro Takahashi)
One day removed from a learning loss against TenCozy, Gabriel Kidd and Yota Tsuji team up again to face another tough test with rule breaking tag team masters in Gedo and Yujiro. With Yujiro suggesting a lumberjack belt match against Kazuchika Okada during KOPW2020, could some physical lessons be taught with a leather strap tonight?
1st Match: Yuya Uemura vs Taiji Ishimori
We’ll get started with singles action as Yuya Uemura faces Taiji Ishimori. The Bone Soldier will be treating this as a warm-up match for Hiromu Takahashi at Jingu on August 29, but Uemura will be keen to improve in a major way in this rematch from Sengoku Lord.