Nowadays, Chris Jericho is making friends wherever he goes including NJPW where The Ace has him in his sights now.

At Dominion, Jericho wanted to rip the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from around The Rainmaker’s waist but instead he left Osaka-Jo Hall without the gold and the enduring wrath of both Hiroshi Tanahashi and Okada.

The show itself showcased several rejuvenated, former WWE stars in Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Kenta, known as Hideo Itami in NXT and on 205 Live. Jericho’s match against Okada though was very reminiscent of his match against Tetsuya Naito at last year’s Dominion recycling much of the flow and even the high spots.

Trying to get under the Rainmaker’s skin, Jericho was introduced as “The Painmaker”. He is painted as the Sad Clown. Okada currency rains down from the ceiling of Osaka-Jo Hall. Kazuchika Okada is greeted with cheers. Jericho looks on seemingly amused by all the pomp and circumstance.

An Y2J chant breaks out while both men remove their entrance attire. Okada throws his robe at Jericho laughing. Jericho hurls it over the top rope. He doesn’t seem intimidated at all by Y2J.

“Shut your mouths!” screams Jericho as fans chant Okada’s name. Okada shrugs in his corner baiting the fans to cheer even louder.

Okada backs Jericho in the ropes. He breaks cleanly except that he pats Y2J’s chest condescendingly. A furious Jericho pokes Okada in the eye.

“If you jack around with Jericho that is what you get,” says commentator Don Callis.

“What do you say about that?” Jericho asks the crowd chopping, punching Okada to the mat.

Jericho slaps Okada on the head. Y2J ducks out of the ring avoiding Okada’s drop kick.

Jericho slaps away an Okada missile drop kick. A Walls of Jericho threatens to break Okada in half.

A drop kick sends Okada over the ringside barrier and announce desk. Jericho pitches steel chairs left, right and centre almost braining some cameramen. He smashes Okada’s head off an announce table, DDTs him through it. Jericho bangs the ring bell in celebration.

Jericho slides a table out from under the ring and sets it up. Red Shoes gets in Jericho’s face about what he plans to do. Y2J shoves Red Shoes to the floor.

Jericho snatches one of the video cameras, flipping off everyone in the arena and Okada.

In the ring, Jericho steps on Okada and poses. He chews out Red Shoes for a slow count pushing him to the mat.

“Come on, Okada,” snarls Jericho dropping elbows on the top of his head, slapping him in the face.

Jericho continues to dominate with a hanging suplex. A flapjack from Okada stalls Jericho’s roll though. Okada kips up carrying the fight to Jericho. A DDT sends Jericho out to the floor where he is whipped into a barricade and clotheslined over it. Okada dives over the barricade but instead of tackling Jericho he is greeted by a weak Code Breaker on the concrete floor.

Jericho chokes out Okada. Photo: NJPW.

Jericho hobbles back to the ring leaving Okada in a heap on the floor. Hde raises his arms in jubilation once the crowd starts cheering his name again. It seems the crowd cannot make up their minds about who they want to win or why.

A Rainmaker becomes a powerbomb of sorts and Okada doesn’t rise up.

“Come on, Okada. Get up!” yells Jericho lunging for another Code Breaker.

Jericho receives a neck breaker.

Okada twists his way out of a Lion Tamer, spinning Jericho into the air. Okada takes an exposed turnbuckle to the jaw. Okada reverses a Code Breaker into roll-up to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

Jericho heaves Red Shoes out of the ring.

“Cut the music!” screamed Jericho warning the producers to switch off Okada’s theme song.

Jericho hits Okada with a steel chair and a Judas Effect in the face. Jericho yanks Okada out of the ring, wraps a chair around his head ramming him and the chair into a steel post. Okada lays clutching his throat.

Unable to stand by and watch the devastation, Hiroshi Tanahashi leaves the announce team, jumps the barricade nailing Jericho with forearms. Jericho flees the scene of the crime.

Tanahashi has had enough of Jericho. Photo: NJPW.

“You want to cause s–t with me? You see what happened to your little buddy, Okada? The Painmaker never loses. The Painmaker always wins. Chris Jericho is the greatest of all time even here in this bulls—t country of Japan. I will see you later, Okada. Happy Championship, bitch!” spat Jericho as Young Boys worked to hold Tanahashi back.

At the event, another former WWE wrestler made his presence felt in NJPW as Katsuyori Shibata’s music played. He came out introducing Kenta. Kenta wore a shirt with the words “Takeover” scrawled across it. Hmmm. I wonder what that message behind that is?

“Kenta is here!” announced Shibata in the ring handing the microphone to Kenta who thanked him for the opportunity.

Kenta has arrived in NJPW. Photo: NJPW.

“I wanted to come out here to tell you how I really feel. I want to show you Kenta’s professional wrestling and I will do that in the G1 Climax!” said Kenta.

The G1 Climax tournament begins in July. The winner is rewarded with a IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom.

Jon Moxley versus Shota Umino


Moxley checks on Umino’s cavities. Photo: NJPW.

The crowd just loves Moxley. This is a different man, for sure. If he keeps burning this way he could very well be a hardcore legend very soon. Umino wastes no time. He takes it to Moxley first leaping from onto the floor while he poses for the fans at ringside…and the bell hasn’t even rung yet. Moxley is driven into a corner by a shotgun drop kick. A nasty clothesline snuffs Umino’s fire really quick. Moxley beats the Young Lion from pillar to post. Moxley dares Umino to get up and punch him. Umino does but there is no mustard on that hot dog. Moxley laughs and head butts him. As expected Moxley beats Umino. “I bring a message from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jon Moxley, the international purveyor of violence, gentleman and all around sick son of a bitch, wants in the G1,” said Moxley before heading to the dressing room. “Let him in!” says Kevin Kelly. “We don’t have a choice do we?” replies Chris Charlton. Moxley returns to the ring and to the surprise of the crowd actually helps Umino to the back.

Winner: Jon Moxley at 7:17.

Match Rating: 6 / 10

Satoshi Kojima versus Shingo Takagi

Kevin Kelley makes a good point. Kojima may not be the man he once was but he is who he is, a Japanese legend. Kojima and Shingo punch and chop the hell all of each other on the floor returning to the ring at the 18 count. Shingo punches, chops Kojima in a corner, Kojima turns things around with his trademarked machine gun chops. Shingo slays Kojima with a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron. Kojima retaliates with a DDT on the ring apron. Both men are weary as they continue their brawl in the ring. A Koji Cutter from the top rope comes close to winning the bout for Kojimi. Shingo loses a battle of the clotheslines and is spiked with a brainbuster. He still kicks out. Kojimi stands firm against two Pumping Bombers. A Pumping Bomber finally drops Kojima and a Last of the Dragon pins him. Shingo tells everyone he wants to be in the G1 too.

Winner: Shingo Takagi at 11:49

Match Rating: 7.5 / 10

Yoshi-Hashi and Jyushin Thunder Liger versus Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.)

Liger and Suzuki continue their bad blood here. Liger is attacked from behind. Suzuki laughs at Liger’s chops dropping a steel barricade on him. Yoshi-Hashi peppers Suzuki with chops. Suzuki chuckles putting him down with a single forearm to the jaw. Don Callis thinks Yoshi would benefit from an excursion to Siberia. Liger jumps into the ring slapping Yoshi in the face signalling that he wants to be tagged in. Liger square off in the center of the ring. Suzuki uses Liger as a punching bag. One head butt from Liger and a brainbuster has both men making tags to their allies in the corner. Suzuki takes Liger to the floor to keep him from saving Yoshi. It is Yoshi who rolls up ZSJ though. Yoshi shuts ZSJ up with a clothesline. He rubs the victory in ZSJ’s face by carrying around his Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship. ZSJ throws a fit.

Winners: Yoshi-Hashi and Jyushin Thunder Liger at 9:40.

Match Rating: 6 / 10

Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi versus Buller Club (Taiji Ishimori, Chase Owens and Jay White)

Taguchi takes a lot of damage. The crowd wants Tanahashi to enter the fray. Tanahashi and White continue where they left off. The crowd chants…Go Ace! White takes the starch out of The Ace though focusing his energy on Tanahashi’s taped arm. Tanahashi blocks Bladerunner with a slap to the face. Owens drags White over to the corner so he can tag himself in. The Jewel Heist flattens Tanahashi. Robinson shouts “Eat s—t!” knocking White out with one of the loudest, strongest Left Hands of God he has ever thrown. Tanahashi pins Owens hurting his arm in the process.

Winners: Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi at 10:32.

Match Rating: 6 / 10

Tomohiro Ishii (challenger) versus Taichi (champion) – Never Openweight Championship match

Miho Abe is back accompanying Taichi to the ring as he lip synchs the nonsense that he does. Taichi throws the Never Openweight Championship belt into the ring as he continues to “sing” on the apron. Taichi takes a powder and Ishii lies down in the middle of the ring begging him to return. He stays on his back so Taichi kicks him over and over. Ishii stands up knocks Taichi on his butt with one forearm to the face. Ishii picks up Taichi’s microphone stand and bag containing the Iron Glove. Ishii tells Taichi: “Look at all of this stuff. You don’t need any of it.” He throws it all out of the ring and onto the floor. Taichi throws the official into Ishii. Ishii head butts Taichi into next winter. With the crowd cheering him on, Ishii will not submit to the Stretch Plum and will not be pinned with a Last Ride powerbomb. For the fifth time Ishii wins the Never Openweight Championship with a brainbuster.

Winner: …and new Never Openweight Champion, Tomohiro Ishii at 16:55.

Match Rating: 7.5 / 10

Los Ingobernables de Japón (Sanada and Evil) (challengers) Versus Bullet Club (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga) (champions) – IWGP Tag Team Championship match


Jado is not looking so good after an encounter with Bushi. Photo: NJPW.

A great rivalry is renewed. Jado swats the ring announcer with his kendo stick. Tonga and Sanada have a cheer-off each posing on the top rope. Sanada is the winner in that regard. Evil and Loa take turns trying to knock each other down with shoulder tackles. “Evil, I am f—–g champion! You have to bring it, bro!” shouts Loa. Sanada argues with the official. Jado belts Evil in the back with the kendo stick. Tonga rams Evil into the ringside barricade as Jado drives the stick into his ribs. As Tonga holds Evil on the mat, Loa lands a springboard on his exposed back. “F—k you, Sanada!” yells Tonga whipping Sanada in. Sanada answers with a springboard missile drop kick. Evil and Sanada call for the Magic Killer. Loa breaks it up. Evil locks Tonga in the Scorpion Death Lock. Sanada puts Loa into Skull End. Jado yanks the official out of the ring. Jado belts Evil and Sanada with his kendo stick. Bushi arrives spitting mist into Jado’s face, hitting him with the stick and a suicide dive. Tonga wiggles out of the Magic Killer, pinning Evil by holding his tights.

Winners: …and still IWGP Tag Team Champions, Bullet Club (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga) at 18:54.

Match Rating: 8 / 10

Dragon Lee (champion) versus Will Ospreay (challenger) – IWGP Intercontinental Championship match

Two of the best grapplers in the world today collide. Dragon Lee and Ospreay shake hands as the bell rings. A 619 knocks Lee out of the ring. Ospreay flies diving right onto Lee on the floor. Ospreay misses a running shotgun drop kick. Lee cracks Ospreay with one instead. Ospreay flips over the ropes landing on the floor on his feet. In an astounding and horrific move, Lee hangs Ospreay over the ringside barrier. He dives out of the ring and right through Ospreay sending them over the announce desk and into a concrete barrier. Ospreay appears to have banged his head on that barrier. Ospreay delivers a corkscrew moonsault from the top rope to the floor and Dragon Lee. Lee gives Ospreay a hurricanrana off the ring apron. Ospreay lands on his feet. Dragon double stomps Ospreay from the top rope, lands on the floor very awkwardly. Ospreay twists out of Desnucadora, Hidden Blade, top rope OsCutter and Storm Breaker…and Will Ospreay is your new champion. In a show of respect, Dragon Lee puts the title around Ospreay’s waist. Ospreay challenges Robbie Eagles to be the first challenger to his title.

Winner: …and new IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Will Ospreay at 21:20.

Match Rating: 9 / 10

Kota Ibushi (champion) versus Tetsuya Naito (challenger) – IWGP Intercontinental Title Championship match

The Osaka fans boo and heckle Naito. They are throwing their support behind Ibushi. They really get on his case when he refuses to break a submission hold on Ibushi spits in his face and the face of Red Shoes. Naito German Suplexs Ibushi off the ring apron. Ibushi’s head bounces violently off the side of the ring on the way down. Ibushi transforms a Destino into a piledriver but cannot follow up for a pin attempt. On their knees, Ibushi challenges Natio to hit him. Ibushi shrugs off a succession of head butts clotheslining Naito head over heels. Once again, he cannot follow up. Ibushi kicks out of a Destino, however, a second one minutes later ends Ibushi’s reign.

Winner: …and new IWGP Intercontinental Title Champion, Tetsuya Naito at 22:08.

Match Rating: 8 / 10

Kazuchika Okada (champion) versus Chris Jericho (challenger) – IWGP Heavyweight Championship match

Winner: …and still IWGP Heavyweight Champion at 25:43…Kazuchika Okada.

Match Rating: 8 / 10

Overall Event Rating: 8 / 10