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By Mike Johnson on 2017-01-05 10:41:00
New Japan Juniors at New Year's Dash.  Photo by Jon Hal.

New Japan ran its "New Year's Dash" event earlier today in Tokyo, Japan at Korakuen Hall, traditionally the event that sets the tone for the year that follows Wrestle Kingdom.  Think of it as Raw the day after Wrestlemania:

The big angle on the show was the return of the Suzuki-gun faction led by Minoru Suzuki showing up unannounced in the wake of a ten man tag bout.  The group, consisting of Davey Boy Smith Jr, TAKA Michinoku, Lance Archer, Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, and Takashi Iizuka attacked the CHAOS faction with Kazuchika Okada being beaten down by Suzuki himself.  Suzuki-gun had been sent by New Japan to work for Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2015 to help that promotion sustain itself.  The relationship between the two sides turned extremely sour towards the end of last year and that's led to all those talents being brought back to NJPW.  So, they are already in a feud with the CHAOS faction.

Results from the show saw:

*Ricochet & Kyle O’Reilly & David Finlay defeated Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Liger & Henare.  Henare is a young talent out of New Zealand who debuted last year.  Finlay went into the crowd to embrace his mother after the bout as she was there for the Dome show and aftermath alongside his father, WWE's Dave Finlay.  Was told this was really good.

*Bullet Club's Yujiro Takahashi & Adam "Hangman" Page defeated Yoshitatsu & Billy Gunn.  Told this was OK.

*IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions Roppongi Vice & YOSHI-HASHI defeated The Young Bucks & Adam Cole.  The Bucks beat the hell out of HASHI after the bout.

*Scott Norton & Cheeseburger & Hiro Saito & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated The Bullet Club's Kenny Omega & Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale & Bone Soldier.    Lots of silly spots with Cheesburger with Norton tossing him around including pressing him over the ropes to the floor, only to have him caught and tossed back in by Bullet Club.   Big reactions for Norton, who was seen as the returning Legend.

*Michael Elgin and KUSHIDA defeated Tetsuya Naito and IWGP Junior Heavyyweight champion Hiromu Takahashi.  During the match, CMLL's Dragon Lee made a surprise appearance, laying out Hiromu Takahashi with a dive.  They obviously have had a rivalry from Takahashi's time as Kamaitachi in ROH and CMLL.  Lee and KUSHIDA had a brief staredown after the match.

*Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe & Yuji Nagata defeated CHAOS' IWGP champion Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii & Will Ospreay.  This was the bout prior to the big Suzuki-Gun angle.  Was told Robinson's work was one of the cornerstones here and that if "WWE saw what he was doing, they'd call him to bring him back immediately."

*Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated EVIL & SANADA & BUSHI to win the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team championships, so those belts switched yet again.  Was told this was a lot of fun. 

Additional NJPW Notes:

The show aired live on New Japan World with English language commentary from Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino.  Corino stated during the broadcast that New Japan World signed up 10,0000 new subscribers for Wrestle Kingdom with over half being from the United States.

The 7/1 and 7/2 events in Los Angeles are being billed as "G1 Specials" so it appears the original plan of having them be G1 Climax tournament dates has changed.

There was a lot of talk over the last few days that KUSHIDA is going to very featured in Ring of Honor in 2017.

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