Chris Jericho made a surprise appearance at Wrestling Dontaku when he attacked IWGP Intercontinental champion Tetsuya Naito after his match while walking down the aisle to return to the locker room. Jericho was dressed as a fan with a mask on. After he blooded Naito and attacked the young boys he gave a profanity-laced speech on the fans and staff of New Japan.
On January 5, earlier this year Jericho attacked Naito during the New Year Dash show at Korakuen Hall. There was no mention of a match between the two after that day. Some people thought it was a build-up with no payoff. Although there wasn’t an official challenge from either of the two wrestlers, it looks like there may be an IWGP Intercontinental championship match between Naito and Jericho.
Wrestling Dontaku took place in Fukuoka Japan at the Fukuoka Convention Center.
Yuya Uemura & Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask & Jyushin Thunder Liger
Uemura is the newest young lion and started the match off in an aggressive style. Liger whipped Uemura into the guard rail and then threw him into the ring and put him in a submission hold. Umino got the tag and Liger clotheslined him.
Taguchi applied an ankle lock for the win via submission.
Winners: Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask & Jyushin Thunder Liger
Match Rating: 5/10
Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi
Oka started the match off and Bullet Club attacked him from behind. They double-teamed Oka and Nagata attempted to save Oka but the Bullet Club attacked Nagata. Oka made a comeback on Yujiro and tagged in Nagata who kicked and suplexed Yujiro.
Nagata locked in an armbar on Owens. Oka got tagged in and Owens went for the package piledriver but Oka backdropped Owens. Owens hit the package piledriver and got the three-count on Oka.
Winners: Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi
Match Rating: 6/10
Sho & Yoh & Rocky Romero vs. Taichi & Taka Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka
The match started on the outside with Iizuka hitting Sho and Yoh with a chair. Iizuka repetitively bit Romero, Sho, and Yoh. Taichi worked over Sho, then Taka came into the ring to double team Sho. Yoh was thrown into the referee and Taichi was able to use his microphone as a weapon.
Iizuka took out his iron glove to use on Roppongi 3K. Sho and Yoh hit a double team move and won via pinfall.
Winners: Sho & Yoh & Rocky Romero
Match Rating: 6/10
Togi Makabe & Toa Henare vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
Henare challenged Ishii before the bell. After the bell rang Ishii and Henare exchanged strikes and headbutts. Yano removed the turnbuckle cover and whipped Henare into the exposed metal. Makabe tagged in and worked over Yano and put him into the corner to deliver a series of punches.
Henare hit a shoulder block off the top rope on Yano. Ishii was tagged back in and the match got very stiff with both men exchanging strikes and headbutts. Henare delivered a clothesline for a near fall. Ishii hit a brainbuster on Henare to win via pinfall.
Winners: Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
Match Rating: 7/10
Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Michael Elgin vs. Hirooki Goto & Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi
Goto and Elgin started off the match and delivered stiff shots to each other. White was tagged in and Elgin gave him stiff chops. Juice hit his series of punches on Yoshi-Hashi. White took Juice to the outside of the ring and crotched him on the post.
Both returned to the ring and White side-suplexed Juice for a near fall. Elgin hit a version of a death valley driver to get a near fall on White. Yoshi-Hashi hit Karma on Finlay for the win via pinfall.
White snuck up behind Juice after the match and attempted to attack him. White said, “I’m in your mind.”
Winners: Hirooki Goto & Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi
Match Rating: 6.5/10
Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer & El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Naito and Suzuki started the match outside in the crowd with Suzuki wrapping chairs around Naito’s leg. Archer choke slammed Hiromu from the inside of the ring to the outside of the ring. Suzuki-gun each took their turn to work over Bushi.
Naito returned to the ring and spit on Suzuki. Suzuki locked in a leg lock on Naito. Hiromu got the hot tag and cleaned house on Suzuki-gun. Naito got tagged in and hit the Distino on Kanemaru for the win via pinfall.
Someone with a hoodie and a mask attacked Naito after the match. He beat Naito back into the ring. He took off his mask to reveal that it was Chris Jericho. The crowd was chanting, “holy s**t.” Jericho hit young boys then grabbed a ring bell and hit Naito in the head. Naito was pouring blood. There isn’t much blood in New Japan but when there is, it usually enhances the story. Los Ingobernables de Japon saved Naito and Jericho ran out of the ring and threw a chair at everyone inside the ring. Naito threw the stretcher out of the ring since he wanted to walk out on his own. Jericho was screaming profanity as he walked to the back.
Winners: Tetsuya Naito & Evil & Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi & Bushi
Match Rating: 7/10
Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa vs. Cody & Hangman Page & Marty Scurll & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson
Omega threw his shirt into the crowd for a fan. Cody ran out of the ring and pulled the shirt out of the fan’s hand. Cody eventually threw it back at the fan. The Young Bucks and the Guerrillas of Destiny had a fast pace exchange among the four men. Ibushi delivered a standing corkscrew moonsault on Cody.
Scurll worked over Ibushi and challenges Fale. Fale almost ran into the ring and Scurll ran to his corner. The Golden Lovers tried to go for the cross slash but the Young Bucks ran in to cut them off. Scurll attempted to slam Fale but Scurll couldn’t hold the weight and fell backwards to be crushed by Fale. Fale won via pinfall. The Bullet Club all too sweeted each other after the match.
Winners: Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi & Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa
Match Rating: 6.5/10
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Kushida
Both wrestlers engaged in chain wrestling. The pace of the chain wrestling picked up and Kushida shot Ospreay into the ropes and both men exchanged fancy moves. Ospreay went for a dropkick from the outside of the ring but Kushida caught Ospreay in mid-air and locked in an armbar. Ospreay tapped out but it occurred outside of the ring so it did not matter.
The match returned to the ring and Kushida continued to work over Ospreay’s arm. Kushida switched to working over Ospreay’s neck, which was taped up and injured in the past. Ospreay attempted to make a comeback but was unable to use his arm.
Ospreay said that he “can’t feel his fingers.” Kushida hit a scary looking DDT from the ring apron to the floor on Ospreay. Ospreay hit an inverted 450 and Kushida grabbed the bottom rope to break the pinfall. Ospreay hit the Storm Breaker for the win. This was a great match that was at times uncomfortable to watch since Ospreay does have legitimate neck injuries.
A graphic on the screen appeared with the text “Bone Soldier returning” while Ospreay was celebrating. Tama Tonga came down to introduce Bone Soldier who attacked Ospreay and revealed himself as Taiji Ishimori.
Winner: Will Ospreay
Match Rating: 8.5/10
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi got a loud reaction when the bell rang. Both men displayed great chain wrestling early in the match. Okada tried to tombstone Tanahashi but he escaped. Okada whipped Tanahashi into the guard rail and the crowd was not happy. Okada followed up with a DDT on the floor and the crowd cheered for Tanahashi to beat the referee’s 20 count.
Tanahashi rolled back into the ring with Okada waiting to take advantage. Okada put Tanahashi in various submission holds cranking his neck. Tanahashi made a comeback and delivered two dropkicks, one to Okada’s chest and the other to his leg.
Tanahashi used the dragon screw leg whip on Okada’s bad leg and followed up with the high fly flow on the outside of the ring. Okada tombstoned Tanahashi on the floor and the camera showed a woman in the crowd crying looking on at the match.
The match returned to the ring while a loud Tanahashi chant broke out. Both men exchanged forearm shots and Okada eventually dropped to the mat. Tanahashi went for the high fly flow but Okada moved out of the way.
Okada dropkicked Tanahashi out of mid-air. Okada went for the Rainmaker but Tanahashi reversed it into a Rainmaker of his own for a near fall. Okada hit the Rainmaker for the win and to retain his championship.
After the match, Okada challenged Omega to a match that will be 2 out of 3 falls with no time limit. Omega came out to accept the challenge that will occur at New Japan’s Dominion on June 9 at Osaka Jo Hall.
Backstage Rocky Romero toasted to Okada’s victory with a beer and said “I love you bro.”
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
Match Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Event Rating: 8.5/10