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By Matthew Macklin on 2017-04-27 17:27:00

Road to Wrestling Dontaku, April 27th: 

Tomoyuki Oka, Hirai Kawato & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Shota Umino, Tiger Mask IV & Katsuya Kitamura.  This was a very entertaining opener with all the focus on the young lions. This new batch of young lions have been showing lots of potential and there is a huge amount of variety in the group. Umino showed lots of fire here, which is great for someone that has only had a few matches. Kitamura looks like a ready made star. Kawato played the underdog and sold really well. Oka is extremely powerful and is someone that NJPW seem to be focusing on. He got the win here via Boston Crab submission on Umino. 

Will Ospreay & Toru Yano defeated TAKA Michinoku & El Desperado.  This was a basic tag match. Ospreay & Desperado have very good chemistry together. Ospreay was worked over until Yano came in and did his usual thing. Ospreay got the pin on TAKA after an OsCutter. Ospreay is being built up ahead of the Best of the Super Juniors.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & David Finlay defeated Chase Owens, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa.   This saw Bullet Club mock Kojima by using his chops and taunts on Finlay. Kojima didn't take kindly, so he chopped the hell out of all three guys when he got into the match.  Tama Tonga's new gear makes a huge difference to his presentation. Owens is always as solid and doesn't get enough credit. This saw Finlay make Owens submit to the Anaconda Vise.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Rocky Romero & Beretta defeated Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru.  This is a match that over-delivered in a big way. The first part of this saw RPG Vice mount offence only to cut off by interference from El Desperado.  This continued until Jado & Gedo chased him to the back. Beretta fought back into the contest and got the tag to Rocky. We got some excellent false finishes and great tag work in the final portion of this.  RPG hit the Contract Killer, but the ref was pulled out of the ring. Kanemaru hit a moonsault for the longest of two counts on Beretta. Taichi attacked with a hammer and then taped it to his boot before nailing Beretta with it.  We saw a big tower of doom spot that involved a powerbomb and belly to back suplex from the top. This left Beretta vs Kanemaru. Kanemaru hit a German and a huge satellite DDT for yet another big near fall. His attempt at a diving DDT was cut off when Romero appeared to catch him with a rana from the top. RPG then hit Strong Zero to regain the Jr Tag titles. After the match they called out The Young Bucks to come and prove themselves.

Juice Robinson, Ricochet, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoshitatsu defeated SANADA, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI.  This was great! There was so much going on that it was almost impossible to recap.  There was wild brawling early on. Comedy from Taguchi, ending with him having to face all 5 LIJ members on his own. Ricochet had the hottest of hot tags that got a huge ovation from the crowd. Tanahashi and EVIL battled. Juice & Naito had a great back and forth ahead of their title match on the 29th.  This was just nonstop action and fun. It ended after an excellent series of reversals between SANADA & Juice when Juice finally scored with the Pulp Friction.  After the match Juice taunted Naito by holding up the IC title. Juice needed this win ahead of his title match, which is by far the biggest match of his whole career. 

Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada.  This was nothing out of the ordinary, but did its job in building to the Omega/Ishii and Fale/Okada matches. Fale was made to look like an unstoppable monster again. Ishii & Omega had some really hard hitting exchanges. Omega was dropped on his head at one point when Ishii countered a hurricanrana into a powerbomb. The finish saw Galw dominate YOSHI, toss Okada off the apron and then finish YOSHI with a Tombstone. After the match Fale continued to toss Okada around ringside. Fale has no chance of beating Okada for the title, but at least they're doing their best to make him a credible challenger. 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Minoru Suzuki defeated Hirooki Goto.   We have a new NEVER Openweight champion and unbelievably, this is Minoru Suzuki's first ever singles title in New Japan. This was one hell of a wrestling match. Aside from some brawling in the crowd, and a small bit of interference from El Desperado at the end, this was pure wrestling. Suzuki pulled out so many submission holds and went from one to the other like only he can. Goto was forced to play that game and locked on a guillotine choke, which I've never seen from him before. Suzuki was on his game. Even at his age, his speed at moving around the ring and getting into holds is absolutely incredible and sometimes mesmerising to watch. Goto brought the heavy hitting. He hit all his big power moves, but Suzuki was always one step ahead. The finish saw Desperado get involved and hit Goto with an exposed chair shot to the head. This led to Suzuki slapping Goto over and over again before he finished him with the Gotch Style Piledriver. This is well worth going out of your way to see.  Suzuki is the perfect man to hold the NEVER title. It gives him some much needed direction, and there are so many fresh challengers for him, all of which he can have great matches with. 

Overall this isn't a must see show, but the two title matches are definitely worth checking out. It's available now at

Wrestling Toyonokuni takes place on April 29th live on with three big main events, including two title matches:

1. Jushin Thunder Liger, Hirai Kawato & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Tiger Mask, Katsuya Kitamura & Shota Umino 
2. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & El Desperado vs. Rocky Romero, Beretta & Jado 
3. SANADA & BUSHI vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Yoshitatsu 
4. Hiroyoshi Tanzan, Satoshi Kojima & David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi 
5. Minoru Suzki, Takashi Iizuka & TAKA Michinoku  vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Will Ospreay 
6. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega & Chase Owens 
7. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Ricochet 
8. Special Singles Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL 
9. IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Juice Robinson

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