Ahead of Wrestle Kingdom 15, Kazuchika Okada still hasn’t learned his lesson. You never, ever turn your back on The Empire.
In night one of Road to Tokyo Dome, NJPW stoked their rivalries leading into Wrestle Kingdom. The night consisted of tag team matches main evented by Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada versus Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan and Will Ospreay) and Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Sanada and Tetsuya Naito) versus Bullet Club (Evil, Dick Togo and Jay White).
Empire notched another win as a faction when Jeff Cobb pinned Tomoaki Honma with Tour of the Islands. Cobb kicked, rolled a defeated Honma out of the ring. Determined to cripple Hiroshi Tanahashi, the Great-O-Khan gave him a knee breaker on a steel chair. Jeff Cobb and Will Ospreay held The Ace down as Khan then smashed the chair four times over his knee. Okada made the save rescuing his friend and rival.
While Okada was kneeing over Tanahashi, Ospreay ran back into the ring nailing him with a Hidden Blade.
“You don’t turn your back on me! You never turn your back on the Empire!” shouted Ospreay as he and Bea Priestley stood over him and kissed.
The collision between Los Ingobernables de Japón and Bullet Club began with some odd behavior from Evil. He was very hesitant when it came to participating in the group “Too Sweet”. One wonders what that was about.
At one point Jay White became angry at referee Red Shoes who couldn’t get Naito to break a submission hold in the ropes, stop pulling White’s hair and stomping him in a corner beyond the usual count.
“What the f–k is your problem?” yelled White grabbing Red Shoes by the shirt.
White’s Blade Runner on Bushi was interrupted by Sanada’s Skull End which was interrupted by Togo’s garrote which was interrupted by Sanada shoving Goto into Gado and a TKO on Goto.
Evil hit Everything is Evil on Sanada. Evil pushed Naito into White who spiked him with a Blade Runner. Darkness Falls and a Blade Runner pinned Bushi.
Evil and Togo stood over Sanada talking trash to him.
White posed with Naito’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship which are on the line at Wrestle Kingdom.
“That’s the future right there!” said White grinning.
Today and tomorrow’s events are free to stream and watch on New Japan World.
Road to Tokyo Dome Night One Event Results
Satoshi Kojima, Togi Makabe and Tiger Mask versus Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji
The Young Lions battle hard but they are not on the level of the veterans. Kojima pins Tsuji with his Lariat.
Winners: Satoshi Kojima, Togi Makabe and Tiger Mask
Toa Henare and Juice Robinson versus Yujiro Takahashi and Kenta
Henare is being portrayed as more of a powerhouse. Shots to the head and Kenta’s kicks to his legs do nothing. Perhaps there is a big push in the works for him? If so, it is about time. Henare has really grown leaps and bounds in NJPW. Juice gets a measure of revenge against Kenta. He pins Yujiro with the Left Hand of God and Pulp Friction. Kenta tries a sneak attack with his Wrestle Kingdom briefcase. Juice wrestles the case away from Kenta. He takes a swing but Kenta rolls out of the ring. Robinson threatens to throw the case into the crowd unless Kenta comes to get it in the ring. Kenta refuses. Robinson sits down waiting for Kenta. Kenta motions that Robinson is crazy and walks away. Robinson takes the briefcase with him to the back saying Kenta cost him the tag championship so he is costing him his United States Championship opportunity.
Winners: Toa Henare and Juice Robinson
Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi and Hiroyoshi Tenzan versus Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki)
There is some friction between Taguchi and Suzuki. It seems as if Suzuki doesn’t appreciate Taguchi using his “Funky Weapon”. Wato pulls off a sneaky roll-up on Kanemaru. Kanemaru goes nuts on Wato stomping him into the mat.
Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Suzuki-gun (Douki, Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi) versus Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga)
In a preview of sorts before the Guerrillas of Destiny face the Dangerous Tekkers at Wrestle Kingdom for the IWGP Tag Team Championships, Tonga gets the pin on Douki. Douki leaps over the ropes right into Tonga’s Gun Stun. Tonga thinks about putting Douki in the Scorpion Deathlock but the Dangerous Tekkers chase him out of the ring.
Winners: Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga)
Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada versus Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan and Will Ospreay)
Winners: Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan and Will Ospreay)
Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Sanada and Tetsuya Naito) versus Bullet Club (Evil, Dick Togo and Jay White)
Winners: Bullet Club (Evil, Dick Togo and Jay White)