Hampered by some COVID absences, injuries and cancelled events due to the pandemic, NJPW soldiered on with their Road to Wrestle Grand Slam tour today. Although the card wasn’t a muddled mess it was lackluster simply because the promotion has had to juggle around its talent and cut feuds short. Their biggest headache is the injury which forced Will Ospreay to surrender the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. There has been no word yet on how NJPW plans to crown a new champion.
The main event of night one was the NJPW eternal, go-to feud of Chaos (YOSHI-HASHI, Hiroshi Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto) versus Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and BUSHI) with Hiroshi Tanahashi giving Chaos a helping hand.
A small but interesting change as the match begins is that Red Shoes is wearing a mask. It is red, of course. Naito refuses to wrestle Ishii. He tags out to Sanada. Sanada teases locking up but he tags out too to Naito. Ishii complains to the official. Naito tells Ishii to just relax.
Naito ducks out of a lock-up so Ishii pummels him. Bushi distracts Red Shoes as Sanada and Naito double-team Ishii. Ishii handles all three members of LIJ on his own.
LIJ targets Tanahashi’s perpetually injured knee cutting him off from his pals. The Ace finally rolls out of Sanada’s clutches tagging Goto in. Later on, Bushi lands in a world of trouble. Hashi has him in the Butterfly Lock. Sanada saves him from having to tap out. Bushi escapes a suplex to give Hashi a Code Breaker. Bushi tags in Takagi who cleans Hashi’s clock putting him away with Last of the Dragon. Naito and Sanada swarm Ishii on the floor. They beat the crap out of him and leave him laying…or so they think. Ishii rises, rolling back in the ring punching Naito. Ishii’s comeback is short-lived. LIJ put him down again. Naito scrapes his boot across Ishii’s face for good measure.
NJPW Road to Wrestle Grand Slam – Night One
Yujiro Takahashi versus Yota Tsuji
Yujiro pins Tsuji with a clothesline and a Pimp Juice DDT.
Winner: Yujiro Takahashi
Bullet Club (Gedo and Chase Owens) versus Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and DOUKI)
Sabre Jr. flips Gedo’s roll-up into a submission hold.
Winners: Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and DOUKI)
Bullet Club (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga) versus Tomoaki Honma and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Tonga gives Tenzan some Mongolian Chops but they don’t have the same effect. Jado interferes and gets some proper Mongolian Chops for his troubles. Honma lands a flying Kokeshi and a diving Kokeshi on Loa. As Honma bounces off the ropes, Jado whacks him with his kendo stick across the back. Loa makes Honma tap out to his Operation Jado Killer crossface.
Winners: Bullet Club (Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga)
United Empire (Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan) versus Master Wato and Kota Ibushi
Wato runs off the ropes. Cobb catches him and throws him up into the stratosphere. Cobb taunts Ibushi by giving Wato a Kamigoye and a Tour of the Islands for the win. Cobb and Ibushi get in each other’s faces.
Winners: United Empire (Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and BUSHI) versus YOSHI-HASHI, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and BUSHI)