Every January NJPW’s New Year Dash signals what the promotion has looming on the horizon. Fans got a peek at what feuds are coming up at Dash but the question that remained unanswered was the status of one ‘Switchblade’ Jay White.
Following night two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 and his loss to Kota Ibushi, White fell apart during his post-match interview vowing to show up at New Year Dash but that would be it for him as far as NJPW was concerned.
White teamed with his Bullet Club pals Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Evil, Jay White and Yujiro Takahashi against Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi. White continued his downward spiral though as he was pinned by Tomohiro Ishii costing his team the match. White himself made no comment about his status during the match. As White was led away, Kevin Kelly wondered what was next for him adding to the speculation.
“The real story here is that Jay White has been pinned by Tomohiro Ishii and what does this mean for Jay White’s future? Have we seen Switchblade compete for the final time? This had led to more questions and we will wait for some answers,” said Kelly.
What was clear though is that Sho will challenge Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship next, Hiroshi Tanahashi wants a shot at Shingo Takagi’s Never Openweight Championship while El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori want a crack at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships held by El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
Fans also saw Empire declare war as the entire faction fought Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Yota Tsuji.
Will Ospreay was not a happy camper entering the ring. His mug looked like he sucked on a bag of lemons. Tenzan and Khan engaged in a battle of the Mongolian Chops which perhaps signals a feud between the two powerhouses.
Khan and Cobb held up Tsuji so that Ospreay could hit an OsCutter from the top rope for the victory. Tsuji was in for more punishment though as Ospreay and Khan punched and stomped him into oblivion. Tenzan came to the aid of the defenceless Young Lion but he couldn’t survive the numbers that were lined up against him.
Khan’s Mongolian Chops drove Tenzan down to the canvass. Khan then gave him a devastating Tombstone Piledriver.
It was then time for Tenzan to receive a helping hand as his partner Kojima fell on top of him shielding him from further damage. Empire swarmed Kojima kicking, stomping and punching him.
Ospreay threw the official out of the ring then he hit Kojima with a Hidden Blade to the back of the head.
“You thought I was mad before Wrestle Kingdom. Now, I am really pissed off because you think we are going to be defined by what happened at Wrestle Kingdom. What is going to happen from this point on is we are going to be united going forward. 2021 is the year we take over. We are the united Empire!” snarled Ospreay while Tenzan, Kojima and Tsuji all laid motionless on the mat.
Once Empire left the ring the medical staff attended to Tenzan who hadn’t gotten back up after the Tombstone from Khan. A concerned Kojima knelt over his friend and partner. Tenzan was fitted with a neck brace, loaded onto a stretcher and carried to the backstage area as the crowd cheered for him. The commentators gave an update on Tenzan later in the show saying he had regained feeling in his extremities and might not have to go to the hospital to be evaluated.
NJPW takes a well-deserved break for the next few weeks returning to action for the Road to The New Beginning tour which begins on January 17th. The New Beginning in Nagoya event itself is set for Saturday, January 30th.
New Year Dash 2021 Results
Yuji Nagata versus Gabriel Kidd
Kidd kicks out of the Exploder Suplex but submits to the Nagata Lock 2. The crowd gives Kidd a big round of applause for the great effort he gave.
Winner: Yuji Nagata.
Match Rating: 5 / 10
Tiger Mask and Yuya Uemura versus Minoru Suzuki and Douki
Uemura knocks Suzuki off the apron twice and boy is Suzuki pissed off about it. He smashes the Young Lion’s head into the ring apron and beats him within an inch of his life. Uemura lays in some chops but Suzuki floors him with one, stiff head butt. As Douki chokes out Tiger Mask with his steel pipe Suzuki pins Uemura with a Gotch-Style Piledriver.
Winners: Minoru Suzuki and Douki.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Yota Tsuji versus Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan and Will Ospreay)
Winners: Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan and Will Ospreay).
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) versus Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
A nasty and fun bout with both teams bending the rules any way that they can. Taichi demands to know what Tonga has done with his Iron Glove. Tonga claims innocence but we all know the truth.
Goodnight iron fingers. Sweet dreams 💭 😘 pic.twitter.com/VIOw4YzjFE
— Tama Tonga (@Tama_Tonga) January 5, 2021
Jado gets involved choking out Desperado with his kendo stick. With his steel pipe in hand Douki intervenes but Jado whacks him too. Working the angle that Phantasmo has a loaded boot he pins Kanemaru with one, solitary thrust kick. Ishimori and El Phantasmo lay Desperado and Kanemaru out then stand over them with the tag belts mocking them. Kanemaru is helped to the back selling that aching jaw.
Winners: Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa).
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Evil, Jay White and Yujiro Takahashi) versus Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi)
Jay White’s back is heavily taped up. Chase Owens slips out of the ring and goes right after Yano’s KPOW trophy. Yano follows him only to be mugged by Owens and Fale together. All of Chaos pulls Dick Togo into the ring for a Demolition style pounding in the middle of the ring. Evil hits his solo Conchairto on Okada on the floor. White suffers another defeat as Ishii pins him with a Brainbuster.
Winners: Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi).
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Sanada, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi) versus Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rocky Romero, Sho and Master Wato
Bushi puts away Master Wato with a MX.
Winners: Bushi, Sanada, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
New Year Dash 2021
Really disappointed more didn’t come out about the Jay White situation. It seems to be leading up to something but we aren’t any wiser following New Year Dash. NJPW set the table for some interesting angles although the matches were above average tonight and not much more than that.