NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag titles headline in Korakuen
Tuesday June 22 sees the Kiuna Road continue in Korakuen Hall, with the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships on the line in the main event as Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura’s gauntlets continue.
Main Event: NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) vs BULLET CLUB (EVIL, Dick Togo & Yujiro Takahashi)
The CHAOS side of Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI look to extend their dominant five defence reign with the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag team Championships in our main event on June 22, as they take on BULLET CLUB. Having already defeated Jay White and G.o.D, as well as the combination of Yujiro, KENTA and Taiji Ishimori, this is the third defence for the champions against a BULLET CLUB side, and this time they arguably face the least honourable of all the possible trios combinations in the faction.
From the teeth of Yujiro to the low blows of EVIL, and the spoilers choker of Dick Togo, each members of the challenging team have their own particular way of turning the match illegally to their favour, and getting under the skin of the fans in the process. How can the champions overcome? Certainly in Ishii’s case, appealing to Togo’s competitive nature has been the strategy of choice. Familiar with Togo from both men’s times battling in the independents, Ishii has made a point of reminding Togo that behind the shortcuts lays a competitive individual who helped shape junior heavyweight wrestling during his heyday.
Will the comments inspire the ‘master of the senton’ to bring the fight, and set a positive example for EVIL and Yujiro? The reader would be forgiven for their skepticism, but either way Ishii and the CHAOS side will be keen to show their heart, ability and brute strength will be more than enough to overcome the dirtiest of tactics.
4th Match: Kota Ibushi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI)
The semi main event of the evening sees Kota Ibushi join the Third Generation of Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Yuji Nagata to take on Los Ingobernables De Japon, with Shingo Takagi front and center. After demanding the ‘biggest possible stage’ be prepared by NJPW for his bout with Ibushi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, Takagi got his wish when Wrestle Grand Slam in the Tokyo Dome was confirmed for July 25, with Shingo vs Ibushi right at the top of the card. Now Takagi moves toward his career first Tokyo Dome main event, and seeks to break a curse on first time main eventers in the building that stretches all the way back to 2005.
Now their match is official, how will the Dragon and the Golden Star begin this build to a hotly anticipated main event? We find out in eight man action tonight.
3rd Match: CHAOS (SHO, YOH, Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano) vs BULLET CLUB (Jado, Gedo, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori)
In the third match of the evening, an eight man clash will prove to be the final preview of June 23’s main event. There Roppongi 3K will put the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships on the line against a BULLET CLUB side in El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori that has shown characteristic lack of respect for their opponents. Phantasmo seems more intent on criticizing the musical stylings of the champion team’s entrance music than on proving the worth of himself and his partner, though in fairness, that worth is self evident.
At the end of June 16’s elimination main event, Ishimori scored a decisive pinfall victory over YOH, before deliverign a scathing post match address to the champions. Yet as Phantasmo’s jealousy builds over Ishimori’s singles aspirations to wrestle El Desperado as well, could the challengers’ biggest enemy be themselves?
2nd Match: Yota Tsuji vs Zack Sabre Jr.
Yota Tsuji’s penultimate match of his challenge gauntlet sees him take on Zack Sabre Jr. One week after Tsuji came close to upsetting Taichi, he’ll seek to do even better against the other half of the IWGP Tag Team Champions. Yet Tsuji is also coming off his hardest biting loss in the series so far, with Kazuchika Okada easily proving several steps beyond the Young Lion, and crucially out witting Tsuji with the kind of cradle one might expect out of ZSJ. Having gone back to the drawing board over the weekend, can Tsuji come up with an effective strategy tonight?
1st Match: Yuya Uemura vs Taichi
Uemura’s own gauntlet continues with Taichi in tonight’s opening bout. With Dangerous Tekkers and Hiroshi Tanahshi represent the three opponents in the Young Lions’ gauntlets that wrestle both prospects, and create an interesting comparison point. Tsuji to now has a slight upper hand, lasting 19 seconds longer at 13:36 than Uemura at 13:17. Tonight Uemura wants his 12:34 against ZSJ to stand, while trying to outlast an impressive 14:14 for Tsuji against the Holy Emperor.