Night four of the Summer Struggle tour was highlighted by the continued fracturing of the Hiroshi Tanahashi and the Kota Ibushi partnership and two NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship tournament matches.
Ever since losing the IWGP Tag Team Championships to Suzuki-gun’s Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr., Ibushi has become more and more frustrated with Tanahashi. Ibushi exhibited more of that disappointment when he and Tanahashi lost to Suzuki-gun last week. In a backstage interview, Tanahashi tried to apologize to Ibushi. Ibushi just walked away.
Following another loss tonight Ibushi looked dejected as he sat on the arena floor. Taichi and Sabre Jr. continued to stomp at Tanahashi inside the ring. When Ibushi finally made a move to save Tanahashi, Taichi and Sabre Jr. held Tanahashi up imploring him to take out his anger on The Ace. Ibushi refused and was given his beatdown accordingly. Amazingly, Suzuki-gun asked him to join them as they headed to the back. Ibushi didn’t take them up on their offer. He walked away without helping Tanahashi in any way.
Chaos obliterated a downsized Bullet Club in the first NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship tournament match. Not in their prime any longer Gedo and Jado resorted to every dirty trick in the book to somehow gain some kind of advantage over the Chaos team. This included whipping their rivals with a leather belt and a kendo stick.
A furious Sho disarmed Gedo, speared him gingerly and made him submit to a agonizing arm bar to move Chaos into the next round.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI) beat Suzuki-gun ( Douki, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki) in the second NEVER Openweight tournament match. Sanada won the bout for his team with a Skull End submission on Douki.
Suzuki walked away with the NEVER Openweight Championship before turning around laying it on the floor in a challenge to champ Shingo Takagi.
Chaos will face Los Ingobernables de Japon in the semi-finals on August 8th.
The other side of the bracket will begin on August 7th.
Yuji Nagata versus Gabriel Kidd
Gabriel Kidd continues to impress as he progresses in NJPW. He definitely has a bright future ahead of him. Nagata is just too experienced and too resilient. Nagata puts away the Young Lion with one of his savage kicks, an exploder suplex and his Nagata Lock III submission hold.
Winner: Yuji Nagata
Ryusuke Taguchi and Yota Tsuji versus Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Master Wato
Taguchi does his best but he is teamed with a Young Lion in Tsuji so you know how this is going to turn out. Taguchi gives young Wato a workout, teaches him a few lessons in their back and forth. Wato pins the bigger Tsuji with his Dreamcast Kick and RPP (corkscrew senton bomb) from the top rope.
Winners: Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Master Wato
Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI) versus Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima and Tomoaki Honma
Like Kidd, Honma has been looking better and better as well, especially after all that happened to him. Makabe gets triple-teamed by Chaos and has to roll out of the ring to recover. Kojima responds with his machine gun chops on Ishii. Goto dodges a double clothesline so that Honma and Makabe hit each other. Goto rolls up a surprised Makabe for the 1-2-3.
Winners: Chaos (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI)
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi and Yuya Uemura versus Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. and Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Suzuki-gun continues to abuse Tanahashi’s fragile knee. If it is in such bad shape, why is he wrestling? This angle is getting old. Zack Sabre Jr., the Most Electrifying Wrester in the World Today, botches a sliding drop kick on Tanahashi. He doesn’t even come close to any kind of contact. Kanemaru puts out Uemura’s lights with Deep Impact. Taichi and Most Electrifying Wrester in Wrestling Today beat on Tanahashi as per usual.
Winners: Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. and Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano and SHO) versus Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Gedo and Jado) – NEVER Openweight 6-Man Championship Tournament match
Winners: Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano and SHO)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Sanada and Shingo Takagi) versus Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Douki and Minoru Suzuki
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Sanada and Shingo Takagi)
NJPW Summer Struggle - Night Four
Decent bouts but mediocre, predictable results. Except for tournament matches and the Ibushi, Tanahashi angle, a lackluster event.