IWGP Jr. Tag Team and NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship matches headline last Japanese card before G1 Climax
The full card is now set for Friday’s New Japan Road tour closer, with two title matches highlighting the night’s proceedings. Plus, big news is also on the agenda, as the full cards for G1 Climax 30 will be revealed after the third match of the night!
Main event: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
After an intense four team league, Suzuki-Gun and LIJ duos will battle it out in Friday’s main event for the right to become the 62nd IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
It will be an uphill climb for Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI to take the tag titles they’ve never held together, as they face a team they’ve never beaten, including in this very league. Wednesday in Sendai, a low blow from Desperado followed by El Es Clero gave Desperado the pinfall victory over BUSHI in a match that the Suzuki-Gun team claims was a triumph of teamwork and tag team experience. They have the edge in tag team championship experience as well, ranking as one of the most successful championship teams in the titles’ 22 year history. Can they maintain that edge tonight?
4th Match: NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano)
On August 9, an all CHAOS affair saw YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii beat out their teammates in Okada SHO and Yano. It was an intensely competitive and exciting match, but one that ended in a feel good moment and positive vibes all around, all six men ending the night by posing for photos as YOSHI-HASHI celebrated his first career championship after 12 years of trying. Yet the road to this rematch has been filled with anything but good vibes.
All through the New Japan Road, eight man tag team action has lit up undercards, and ill feeling has grown, particularly coming from SHO. With new submissions added to his arsenal, SHO has been wrestling with a chip on his shoulder, and renewed aggression, particularly to Ishii, whom he assaulted post match in Sendai Wednesday. Junior heavyweight status notwithstanding, SHO stands out in this six man match as the only competitor not entered into this year’s G1 Climax field, and there is no doubt he will seek to unleash his frustration Friday and become a champion in the process.
3rd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & SANADA) vs BULLET CLUB (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo)
BULLET CLUB and LIJ will collide in a match that has added dimensions in the wake of G1 Climax 30 announcements. Shingo Takagi and Yujiro Takahashi will share A Block, while Naito, SANADA and EVIL are all a part of B Block. Their interactions should tell the story of this match here in an intriguing six man tag where deep personal history resonates, and big future conflicts are to come.
2nd match: Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & DOUKI)
Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi’s ongoing issues with Suzuki-Gun will continue into the G1, where Ibushi will contend with Suzuki and Taichi in hotly anticipated A Block matches and Tanahashi will resume a singles rivalry with ZSJ in B block. Before all that though, a chance for either hontai or Suzuki-Gun to assert dominance in advance of opening night on September 19.
1st Match: Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima vs Gabriel Kidd, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
Despite individual appeals, including from Yuji Nagata to come out of G1 retirement, Honma, Kojima and Nagata were unfortunately unable to make the G1 Climax 30 cut in one of the most competitive fields in recent memory. Perhaps now their G1 Climax time might be over, but the night’s action will begin with this trio of elder statesmen taking on three stars who will doubtless be a big part of the G1 Climaxes to come in the hungry Kidd, Tsuji and Uemura. Who starts the night off with the upper hand?