It’s the show after the weekend before, and not only do we say farewell to a legend but we see what is next for New Japan.
Jushin Thunder Liger Retirement Ceremony
Honestly, I don’t know how you wouldn’t get a little teary watching this. It was incredible. The show opened with a great video package highlighting some of Liger’s milestones. Liger entered, followed by the non-factioned roster members. Hiroshi Tanahashi gave Liger a bouquet of flowers, as is custom and they all posed for a photo with him.
CHAOS then entered to Okada’s music. Okada presented Liger with flowers, then the CHAOS squad posed for photos. Okada pulled out his phone for a group selfie, which was funny.
The NJPW chairman, Naoki Sugabayashi and NJPW President Harold Meij entered and presented flowers. presented flowers. Chikage, Liger’s wife, then entered and presented flowers, as did his son, Takamitsu. We got a shot of Tanahashi in tears, which if we’re honest, broke me.
We saw a video message from Antonio Inoki played, wishing Liger good health.
Liger said he debuted as Liger in Tokyo Dome, and yesterday had his last match there and thanked Hiromu Takahashi, saying he was glad to be retired at his hand. He thanked the fans for supporting him for 31 years. He said Liger the wrestler is no more, but NJPW will continue to thrive thanks to everyone you see around the ring. He said his mother is at an advanced age and in poor health, but she was at the Dome and made it here tonight. He thanked her for raising him and being there. Finally, he thanked his wife and son. He said he’s made them lonely living this life, but he’s coming home, so they’ll have to put up with him.
We got a ten bell salute. Liger posed in the ring as his music played. The roster climbed back into the ring and tossed Liger in the air, followed by handshakes all round. Tanahashi asked the crowd to sing Liger’s entrance song. The crowd sang and clapped along. Tana held a mic and sang with Liger. Liger then left the ring for the last time, made his way to the stage, bowed, then made his exit.
Karl Fredricks, Alex Coughlin & Clark Connors defeated Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji & Yuys Uemura via submission
This was a really fun opener between some of New Japan’s bright young stars. Fredricks picked up the win after locking Uemura in a single-leg boston crab and forcing him to submit.
Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) defeated Roppongi 3K, L.I.J (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) and Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) via pinfall
Desperado and Kanemaru likely made themselves number one contenders for the junior heavyweight tag titles by pinning the champs, thanks to a miscued black mist from BUSHI, which aimed for Desperado but got SHO. Desperado capitalised by rolling him up for the win.
Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Bullet Club (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) via pinfall
Kota Ibushi picked up the win for his team when he got out of a package piledriver and hit a bombaye, followed up by a Tanahashi slingblade and a Kamagoye for the win.
After the match, Tanahashi and Ibushi pointed at Juice and Finlay’s IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles. That could be interesting.
EVIL & Shingo Takagi defeated Tomohiro Iishi & Hirooki Goto via pinfall
Shingo pinned the new NEVER Openweight Champion (to the shock of nowhere) after a back-and-forth affair with the Last of The Dragon. This is one to scope out, it was really good.
Shingo cut a promo after the match. He said Goto was a tough bastard, but he beat him. He said they’re 1-1 in singles matches, so challenged him to a rubber match. He put over Naito’s double title win and said he wants to taste a championship as well, challenging Goto to defend the NEVER title against him. It’s not as if we expected his reign to be long, did we?
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, YOSHI-HASHI & Robbie Eagles) defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Lance Archer) via disqualification
This was all to set up a whole bunch of angles going forward. This broke down into a big brawl which ended with Taichi pulling out Iizuka’s iron glove and hitting Okada for the DQ. So Okada and Taichi is set to be a thing.
Also, it appears that Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr. will be a thing, as they brawled in the aisle. Taichi teased a piledriver to Okada, but Jon Moxley’s music hit and Moxley came through the crowd and chased Taichi off. Suzuki jumped in the ring and the two faced off. They traded slaps but Moxley dropped Suzuki with the Death Rider and stood tall. After this, Suzuki laid on the mat and laughed.
Tetsuya Naito & SANADA defeated KENTA & Jay White via pinfall
The heat on KENTA is insane, the New Japan crowd really hate him after his antics on night two. KENTA and Jay White keep beating down the L.I.J pair and cutting off any tags, which riled up the crowd even more. SANADA picked up a huge win he rolled out of a Blade Runner and pinned White with the European Clutch.
Post-match, White low blowed SANADA and the Bullet Club pair wore out Okada and SANADA with steel chairs. White then cut a promo saying SANADA has been believing in himself too much lately, and like everyone else, he’s not better than Jay.
KENTA then took the mic and mocked the crowd and Tetsuya Naito. He promised to take both of Naito’s titles away from him. SANADA’s music started playing, but KENTA demanded that his music be played. Naito and SANADA were helped to the back to close the show with KENTA’s music playing.