New double champion Naito in action, first matches of junior tag league
After a non-televised live event in Saitama kicks off the New Japan Road tour this Thrsday September 3, live action returns to NJPW World on Septemeber 5. Chiba’s Makuhari Messe will see the start of the four team IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team League, and double champion Tetsuya Naito will be in action as wrestlers jockey for position before G1 Climax 30.
Main event: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs BULLET CLUB (Gedo & Taiji Ishimori)
Headlining in Chiba, the new and former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions will meet in tag team action as the league to crown new champions gets underway. BUSHI and Hiromu have long been vocal about wanting to capture junior heavyweight tag team gold together. Certainly Hiromu’s wild abandon in the ring, paired with BUSHI’s ability for tactical thought and effective combination, should make for a winning combination, but questions must still circle around the Time Bomb’s shoulder.
The injured shoulder was the key factor in Ishimori wrestling his second IWGP Junior Heavyweight title this weekend in Jingu, and will certainly be a target in Chiba. Which team will dictate the pace in the league to come Saturday?
5th Match: Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
The team of youth and experience in Wato and Taguchi will be facing league favourites in Kanemaru and Desperado in the fifth match of the night. In Jingu this weekend, Kanemaru showed a clear experience edge over Wato, baiting the younger man into a roll-up victory. It was a frustrating day for the newcomer who desperately needed a win in a spotlight position, the question will be whether he can reset and team effectively with Taguchi tonight. Suzuki-Gun have to be brimming with confidence heading into this bout; will that be a pitfall for the former champion team?
4th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs BULLET CLUB (Jado, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL)
Trios action will see new IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion Tetsuya Naito in action before the NJPW World audience for the first time since Jingu’s spectacular firework celebration. For the first time, Naito will now head into a G1 Climax as the champion, and as such will be the man every other competitor in the tournament will be gunning for.
Even SANADA and Shingo will be doubtless looking to take down Naito when wrestling’s greatest tournament gets underway on September 19, and will doubtless be hoping to be in the same block as the champion. EVIL will of course want to make his own case for a rematch, if not at Wrestle Kingdom, then before, by beating Naito in the tournament, but he himself will be a target. SANADA scored a bullseye on EVIL in Jingu Saturday when he disrupted BULLET CLUB interference during the main event and dropkicked a steel chair into his former partner’s face in the process. Is a receipt in store for Cold Skull this weekend?
3rd Match: Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Zack Sabre Junior, Taichi & Minoru Suzuki)
After Golden☆Ace lost their IWGP Tag Team Championship rematch with Dangerous Tekkers in Jingu Stadium, Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi made the difficult decision to step back from tag title contention. For the Ace and the Golden Star, singles competition looms, specifically in the environment of G1 Climax 30, where it will be every man for themselves. The two are still on strong terms however, and will team together on the New Japan Road against their very familiar opposition. The Suzuki-Gun team will be led meanwhile, by the new NEVER Openweight Champion. What mark will Minoru Suzuki, spurned in the G1 Climax 29 lineup, make on the New Japan Road?
2nd Match: Yuya Uemura, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs Gabriel Kidd, SHO, Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada
New never 6-Man Tag Team Champions YOSHI-HASHI, Goto & Ishii are on their way to their first defence of the trios belts in a September 11 rematch of their August tournament victory, against SHO, Yano and Okada. Here each team adopts a Young Lion on their side for an eight man tag preview.
1st match: Satoshi Kojima vs Yota Tsuji
The night kicks off with singles action as Yota Tsuji takes on Satoshi Kojima. After picking up a victory over Yuya Uemura last week, Tsuji was full of confidence, even calling out former Young Lions who had gone on excursion. Can he continue to impress against a Kojima motivated to bounce back in KOPW2020 contention?