NJPW Invasion Attack 2016 – Results and Review

NJPW INVASION ATTACK 2016

April 10th, 2016

Ryogoku Sumo Hall – Tokyo, Japan

April 10th saw a lot of changes in the New Japan landscape. A new heel stable put themselves at the top of the card, an old heel stable re-established relevance, veterans showed they still got it, and one of the UK’s brightest stars showed that he has a long career left in Japan.

Time to go over the results of the great show, and take a look at where NJPW can go from here.

The opening sequence of the show starts, in Japanese. Although I do not speak the language, these opening credits are so well done and do a great job of making every match look important. The video goes over how Naito won the New Japan Cup to get his title shot against Okada.

The English commentary starts at the beginning, with Kevin Kelly and ECW/ROH/Indie alum Steve Corino on commentary. A great combination.

Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)

The former anti-fracker of NXT continues his slow rise up the card in New Japan, but he hit a huge roadblock against Takahashi and “The Underboss” Bad Luck Fale.

Seeing as this match was only about four minutes long, there’s not much to go over. The Bullet Club attacked Juice Robinson before the bell rang. Juice Robinson hit Dusty-like jabs to Takahashi, before yelling “F*** Yeah” to the audience. Better watch it, Juice.

Taguchi gets taken out of the match, before Fale hits a Bad Luck Fall crucifix on Juice, before finishing him off with his Choke Lariat Slam (a spike in mid-air, which I’ve never seen before Fale). Juice gets easily pinned by Fale.

WINNERS: Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club) [Pin, 3:45]

Bad Luck Fale looked dominate in this match, while “Mr. Rated R” looked as sleazy as ever. I guess my previous prediction about Bullet Club being about over was completely wrong. This show was all about the new rise of the Bullet Club, albeit with a very obvious pecking order established. This match was the first to re-establish BC, showing the audience that Fale is not willing to sit on the sidelines anymore.

Jushin Thunder Liger, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano (Chaos)

This match was labelled as the old guys looking for a resurgence. Kelly and Corino focused multiple times on the experience of Liger, Nagata, and Kojima. They talk about Liger’s 6 reigns as Junior Tag Team champion, all with different partners. Kelly mentions Liger’s record-breaking eleven Junior Heavyweight titles. Nagata’s Heavyweight reigns were mentioned, and the commentary team say that all three men have a combined 81 years of professional wrestling experience.

There’s not much to this match, other than the end came when Nagata pinned YOSHI-HASHI, perhaps the most disposable of the team.

WINNERS: Jushin Thunder Liger, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima [Pin, 7:06]

Nagata’s win seemed out of nowhere at first, but comes into play later in the program. Yano took the turnbuckle cover off almost immediately, and I may never get over how great that spot is.

Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii (Chaos) vs. BUSHI & EVIL (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

This match was a slobberknocker. EVIL & BUSHI take Ishii out early in order to pick Goto apart, who they clearly see as the weaker piece of the team. Goto goes for his savage headbutt, but EVIL forecasts that and blocks it with a forearm. I never thought a blocking a headbutt with a simple headbutt would look so cool.

Goto takes out EVIL with a headbutt, before getting a VERY hot tag on Ishii. BUSHI uses lucha libre tag rules to replace a stunned EVIL, as the pudgy guy with eyeliner rolls out of the ring. Ishii IMMEDIATELY knocks BUSHI’s head off with a stiff lariat.

EVIL attempts to stop Ishii, but Goto headbutts EVIL for his trouble. EVIL rolls out as Goto clubs the living hell out of the slimy BUSHI. BUSHI slithers out of his grasp and goes for one last enziguri kick to Goto. The crowd is actually cheering Los Ingobernables over Chaos in this match, and they go absolutely insane when BUSHI hits that kick to Goto’s head.

Goto grabs BUSHI and hits him with his finisher, as Ishii, the legal man, follows up with a lethal rebound lariat to knock BUSHI to the floor. Ishii shows just how much of a badass he is by pinning his prey and scoring the win for Chaos. The crowd went insane for the finish, as they should.

WINNERS: Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii (Chaos) [Pin, 10:36]

This match was perhaps the most hard-hitting of the night, and maybe my favorite of the night. I can’t get over Los Ingobernables entrance, and the power of Ishii. Everything about this match was great, and they only needed ten minutes to set it up.

This was a good way to build Ishii’s title reign with more prestige, while still making LIJ look strong by having the smaller BUSHI take the pin. This also told a great story of Ishii getting revenge on BUSHI for his mist attack at the NJC Finals, and also has Goto get a small level of revenge by having him take his rival’s henchmen out.

EVIL & Goto fight post-match, and it looks nasty. Goto and EVIL absolutely tear through the Young Lions who are trying to keep the two men separated. This kind of post-match feel is something we don’t often get in WWE. I assume Goto and EVIL will fight soon, perhaps on the road to the next PPV. Goto may earn a title shot at the Heavyweight title, and EVIL might try and get another shot at Ishii’s ROH TV title.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. Beretta & Rocky Romero (Roppongi Vice)

Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. Beretta & Rocky Romero (Roppongi Vice) - NJPW Invasion

The commentator team plugs Rocky Romero’s new album, “Six Trees Vice” on RV’s way to the ring. Apparently, Roppongi literally translates to Six Trees. How smart. Apparently Rocky and Beretta are two Grand Theft Auto: Vice City characters, with Trent (?) being the sleazy white crime lord, and Romero being his stereotypical Hispanic drug dealer friend. Beretta has taped ribs, with Corino talking about how Beretta has floating cartilage, but is too much of a boss to care.

Sydal and Ricochet get a huge babyface reaction, and Sydal shows how much of a white-meat babyface he is with very generic pandering to the crowd, and that peace sing thing he does. Corino talks about Romero’s tag team experience, and how he’s a ring general. This starts to forecast the match early.

The match is perhaps one of the fastest of the night. Ricochet is on fire this night, as the commentary team talk about his singles tournament wins at Best of the Super Juniors and Battle of Los Angeles. He does a lot of the Rock’s mannerisms, and let me tell you, he can pull them off. Hopefully he shows up in WWE this Fall.

Something that’s interesting is that Sydal speaks Japanese to the audience, which most English wrestlers in the company don’t bother with. Rocky, on the other hand, prefers Spanish, like when he calls Sydal ‘stupid’ over and over again in order to get Sydal to chase him.

Sydal and Ricochet hit all their tag team maneuvers, including their double shooting star press finisher, but it all doesn’t work. Romero hits his VICTORY! Clotheslines, which literally consists of him yelling “VICTORY!” before every clothesline. After one last chance at offense, Ricochet gets cocky and ends up getting hit with double knees from Rocky and Beretta. Beretta’s kneepad has a picture of Bill Murray on it, so his most have hurt a little more. Roppongi Vice hits their finisher, Strong Zero (a springboard double stomp into Beretta’s Dudebuster, AKA the greatest finisher ever) and Rocky pins Ricochet to grab the titles once more from the babyfaces.

WINNERS: Beretta & Rocky Romero (Roppongi Vice) [Pin, 15:48]

This is a top contender for my favorite match of the night. However, Sydal is still a little too bland for me. I thought the team of Sydal and Ricochet would keep the straps due to the fact that they have more charisma than the Vice, but Beretta and Rocky proved me wrong by showing charisma and tenacity aplenty.

All the talk of Matt Sydal’s and Ricochet’s singles success, paired with the story of Romero being the tag team veteran, gave away the match in hindsight. It seems like my prediction of Sydal and Ricochet splitting up will come to fruition a little sooner than I thought. Ricochet put the WWE and Global Cruiserweight Series rumors to bed with a tweet this weekend sayiung that he’ll win the Best of the Super Juniors again.

It looks like Roppongi Vice will hold the titles while Sydal and Ricochet show off in the summer tournament. ReDragon and the Young Bucks will surely be looking for their titles back.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay (Chaos)

KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay (Chaos) - NJPW Invasion

Another fantastic match. This time, Ospreay is the young, hungry rookie, and KUSHIDA is the New Japan veteran. They tell this story right away, by including BABY PICTURES in KUSHIDA’s titantron. Taguchi comes back down to the ring with KUSHIDA following his earlier tag team lost, but unfortunately, he’s not dressed as Doc Brown (sad face).

Ospreay is wearing pink and gold tights as a tribute to Kris Travis, a recently deceased UK wrestler who lost a hard-fought battle with stomach cancer. This is a huge night for Ospreay.

KUSHIDA spends the entire match targeting Ospreay’s left arm. The commentators put this over, saying that KUSHIDA is taking out Ospreay’s handspring cutter by taking out Ospreay’s hand. I love that Japan still focuses on the dissection of a body part, which makes wrestling seem like a completely genuine sporting contest. Who woulda thought?

Ospreay overcomes KUSHIDA’s plan by hitting him with a HANDLESS springboard elbow. Ospreay smacks KUSHIDA after a sign of disrespect, and calls KUSHIDA a “F***ing D*ckhead”. It seems that Ospreay is looking to be more aggressive in New Japan, instead of his usual happy-go-lucky, half-airplane, kid-on-too-much-Monster-Energy-Drink character he usually plays. This ends in an absolute hockey fight (thanks Corino for the reference), and it all ends with KUSHIDA knocking Will to the ground with ONE straight right punch. Brutal.

More fast-paced action happens, as KUSHIDA gets to the top rope. Ospreay tucks KUSHIDA’s head into the turnbuckle, and shotgun kicks the champion’s head between his legs. I love that spot. KUSHIDA falls to the mat as Ospreay goes up to the top rope for his 630 Senton. He executes it, but KUSHIDA blocks it with his knees. He then locks the Hoverboard Lock on Will’s weak arm for the win.

WINNER: KUSHIDA [Submission, 15:07]

A great story was told all match. Will Ospreay had a great debut against KUSHIDA, fighting his first match in a new country for his departed friend. However, KUSHIDA’s childhood dream of becoming a New Japan wrestler gave him just a little more experience in this match. He picked apart Ospreay all night, and even though Ospreay got a second wind, it was the champion’s ring awareness that got him the win.

Now Ospreay can move onto bigger things, perhaps the Super Juniors tournaments this summer. He will eventually hold the Junior Heavyweight belt, but he’ll probably have to win a trophy first in order to do so.

After the match, Jushin Thunder Liger comes out to challenge KUSHIDA! He says he wants to become a twelve time Junior Heavyweight champion. KUSHIDA tells Liger that he is one of his heroes, and would love to fight him. This will be a great match, as Liger still has a ton of energy. The story of the Old vs. the New will be a great one as well.

They show a commercial in Japanese about the 26th Annual G1 Climax Tournament, which will be in July and August.

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship

YOSHI TATSU, Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Nick & Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks) & Kenny Omega (The Elite/Bullet Club)

YOSHI TATSU, Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Nick & Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks) & Kenny Omega (The Elite) - NJPW Invasion

Before the match, a video is shown chronicling YOSHI-TATSU’s injury at the hands of AJ Styles and the Bullet Club. I forgot that Jeff Jarrett hit Yoshi with a guitar, or that Jarrett was even in the Bullet Club at all. You guys remember Global Force Wrestling? Oh, that’s still a thing? Okay.

Yoshi gets a huge face reaction on his return, and gets his own entrance, which is strange for six-man matches. Elgin and Tanahashi come out together, as the commentary team talk about Elgin’s quest to become a fan favorite in Japan, and how Tanahashi and YOSHI-TATSU planned on teaming together before Tatsu’s neck injury. This paints all three men as underdogs and hungry heroes.

The Elite come out with Cody Hall. The Young Bucks spray that hair (?) spray as Omega carries a broom (because he’s ‘”The Cleaner”, get it?). Hall carries a long Swifter duster across his shoulders, which is hilarious. The Elite are champions, but also janitors.

Corino mentions how the NEVER Six-Man titles haven’t had a chance to sit with one team for too long, which kind of devalues the belts a bit.

Omega looks fantastic as ever, and tells the cameraman to “F***ing get over here”, before he calls out WWE fans for “wasting their time and money watching something, perhaps last Sunday” and that he was going to show them what they should be watching. Bold move, Omega. The Young Bucks then tell an in-ring cameraman that they are the best trio ever, and call out the New Day. Boy, I wish.

The match starts, and the Young Bucks clear out Elgin and Tanahashi. Omega immediately goes for a Styles Clash on Yoshi, the move that broke his neck. Vicious. Tanahashi saves his buddy.

Corino talks about how he wanted to be the YB’s personal color commentator, and says that he wouldn’t be the worst member of Bullet Club. Kelly tongue-in-cheek tells Corino that he would only be the third worst member of Bullet Club. I assume he’s pointing fingers at Cody Hall. Corino then mentions how he got very hurt by Cody Hall in a match, and compares him to a crowbar. Hilarious, and sad.

Omega, Matt Jackson, and Cody Hall lead Elgin down the entrance way, as Nick Jackson appears on top of the balcony and hits a Swanton. Amazing spot, but this is where Cody Hall seemed to have gotten badly injured. Dirtsheets and Bullet Club members both seemed concerned, but a report was released that said the Hall was doing fine after all. This match turned into the unexpected, odd downfall of Cody Hall.

Omega puts Elgin on a cart in the entrance way. He puts a trash can covered in Elite stickers over Elgin’s head. He then pushes the cart into Matt Jackson, who superkicks the can off of Elgin’s head. Corino double checks to make sure Elgin’s head is still intact. Great spot.

The Elite do some sort of War Dance in the ring, before hitting three over the top flips onto the babyfaces. Omega then tells the camera that he is always thinking, because he is SO smart. Excellent.

One of the Young Bucks tell Yoshi that “He’s dead” before giving him a superkick. Omega then sprays Elgin’s and Tanahashi’s faces with his hair spray, before spraying Matt’s leg with it. This somehow heals Matt’s leg into superkicking status. Apparently the spray is only dangerous on other people.

The Elite isolate Yoshi, going for another Styles Clash. Elgin and Tanahashi come in with the spray and take out the Elite, saving Yoshi. Elgin grabs one of the Jackson’s who then grabs his brother for leverage. Elgin turns this in to a double German suplex, which is always amazing.

More action follows, as the Young Bucks go for the Indytaker. Elgin saves Yoshi and hits a top rope Falcon Arrow on a Young Buck for the pin. Omega saves his teammate, continuing the match. The ring gets cleared, as Elgin hits a Super Elgin Bomb on Nick Jackson for the pin.

WINNERS: YOSHI TATSU, Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi [Pin, 14:46]

Great match, with a great story of the heroes conquering the villains to protect their friend. The ending would have had a lot more impact, though, if YOSHI-TATSU had gotten the pin.

The important part, however, is the post-match shenanigans. Elgin and Omega come face to face, as Omega tells Big Mike that he’s stronger than him, which is laughable. Elgin sets his new belt down on the mat, as Omega puts his IC belt down next to it, basically drawing the battle lines, if you will.

Elgin challenges Omega for the belt, and Omega accepts by shooting a finger gun at Elgin. Omega is a straight-up manga villain, and it’s so entertaining. Two things will happen: either Omega loses and The Elite regains the NEVER Openweight Six-Man titles to maintain trio dominance, or Omega keeps the singles belt. There’s no need for a team member to hold the Intercontinental Championship and the trios belts, as it cheapens the lineage of the singles title. Omega is hitting his stride as the leader of Bullet Club, so I think he deserves to keep the strap.

As Elgin and Yoshi leave, Fale sneaks into the ring to take out Tanahashi. The commentators explain how the Bullet Club isn’t dead (fooled me), and how Fale wants to prove his dominance by taking out ‘the Ace’.  I assume their will be a singles match on the road to the next PPV, with Fale, Takahashi, and maybe Hall challenging for the Six-Man titles.

With the Young Bucks perhaps going for the Junior Heavyweight tag titles, this would give BC most of the titles, establishing their true dominance once more.

NEVER Openweight Championship

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan - NJPW Invasion

This match is all about the Third Generation, the older stars, testing their will against the cocky, unprofessional youngster Shibata, for the hardest-hitting title in the company: the NEVER Openweight Championship.

The match is prefaced with a lengthy video package going over Tenzan’s previous accomplishments. Tenzan was once the top star in the company in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

The match itself isn’t anything to write to the Internet about (how ironic). While the Ishii/Shibata match from WK 10 was five-stars, and truly painted the NEVER division as the toughest division in the sport, this match was much slower and much less hard-hitting.

It may be because of Tenzan’s age, but there was a lot of dead space in this match. And although all the usual Shibata and Tenzan spots were there (the Shibata forearm contest, the Tenzan Mongolian chops, etc.), they seemed to just be dropped into the match randomly.

The match began to pick up towards the end, with Tenzan landing a Cobra Clutch on Shibata for an absurd amount of time. When the ref held Shibata’s hand up to test for consciousness, however, Shibata persevered. He then got Tenzan in a sleeper hold long enough to get him on his knees. Shibata then hit the legend with a PK for the win.

WINNER: Katsuyori Shibata [Pin, 10:47]

Like I said above, this was a little bit of a cool down matches before the end of the card.

Nagata and Kojima come to tend to Tenzan, when Shibata shoves Nagata down to the ground. Nagata challenges Shibata to the title next.

It looks like Shibata will have to go through each and every Third Generation member to show his worth on the roster. A simple, intriguing story.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe (Great Bash Heel) vs. Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga (Guerrillas of Destiny/Bullet Club)

Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe (Great Bash Heel) vs. Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga (Guerrillas of Destiny) - NJPW Invasion

The champs come out and are on fire, looking intense as can be. The Guerrillas of Destiny come out in matching face paint, which is genuinely terrifying, and SHIELD-like flak jackets.

This match is kind of clunky, again. It’s great that Tonga Roa is getting a second wind after failing as Camacho in WWE, but the brothers do not seem to be quite coordinating yet. This is what happens when you put a new star in the semi-final event of the card.

The match consists of standard tag team action, with the heels picking apart the faces (even though ‘heel’ is in their name, Great Bash Heel are the good guys here). The GoD also like to slither around like snakes and use the Usos entrance chant.

GBH comes back and send the brothers out of the ring, and mock the traditional Somoan war dance. The commentators go over how Honma set a record for most straight losses in the G1 Climax, but still gets cheered by the fans for his tenacity. That’s the difference between the ‘jobbers’ of WWE and the true ‘carpenters’ of New Japan.

Honma gets picked apart by the BC Guerrillas before Makabe slaps his partner awake. Honma gets fired up and hits a headbutt on Roa, followed by a running headbutt, followed by an avalanche headbutt that he misses.

This allows Tonga to come in, and the two brothers have trouble coordinating their finisher, a modified version of Anderson’s and Gallows’s Magic Killer, but they manage to hit it on Honma. They re-do the finisher and get all of it this time, pinning the champ and winning the titles.

WINNERS: Tanga Roa & Tama Tonga (Guerrillas of Destiny/Bullet Club) [Pin, 16:54]

The crowd falls completely silent for the first time in a long time this night, and even the commentators point it out. The Japanese fans love tough, tenacious fighters, and love being entertained. That’s why they love Honma and Makabe. They hit foreigners with a lack of respect, which is why they aren’t clicking with the Guerrillas of Destiny.

With so many more entertaining splinter groups coming out of Bullet Club, such as the Elite, the new tag champs will really have to step up their game if they want to keep their push. Being the sons of Haku, the most legitimate tough guy in wrestling, won’t be enough.

Corino and Kelly talk about how the brothers easily took the tag team-shaped hole that Anderson and Gallows left, but they still have some growing to do in order to fill those gigantic shoes.

MAIN EVENT

IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Kazuchika Okada (Chaos) vs. Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

Kazuchika Okada (Chaos) vs. Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) - NJPW Invasion

The match is prefaced by a video package showing Naito’s four previous attempts at the IWGP Heavyweight title. The commentators go over how Naito got voted OUT of the Wrestle Kingdom 8 main event, and how that most hold heavy on his conscious.

Naito comes out with EVIL & BUSHI, who now has a new, casual red mask on. Okada comes out with his big coat, gold chains, and you know, his usual personal dollar bills printed with his face on them, raining from the sky! I wonder where Shane got the idea last Sunday…

This match starts very slow, as Okada gets cocky in the beginning, and Naito leaves the ring after every move, just to piss Okada off. He even rolls in the ring, just to immediately roll out, which garners a huge pop from the crowd. All this running around lures Okada in, who is then sent out of the ring by Naito, who then does a barrel roll into his signature pose.

BUSHI trips Okada when Red Shoes (the best ref in New Japan) is distracted by Naito.

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 1

Naito gets upset and takes Gedo, Okada’s manager and one of the bookers of New Japan, out of the outside of the ring. This distracts Red Shoes, which allows EVIL to put a chair around Okada’s neck. EVIL then smacks the chair off of Okada’s head with ANOTHER CHAIR!

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 2

Okada is then put into the Tree of Woe, where BUSHI promptly chokes the champ with a cloth of some kind.

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 3

Okada gains a head of steam and sends all the Los Ingobernables de Japon out of the ring. Naito comes back in and stops Okada’s momentum by spitting in the champ’s face.

 

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 4

Okada gets upset, and starts picking up the pace, which is good, as the match was very slow and methodical up to this point. Gedo comes form behind to take out BUSHI. This allows Naito the distraction so he can low blow Okada.

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 5

Naito then rolls Okada into a modified Koji Cluth, similar to Samoa Joe’s finisher. Okada is in the hold for a very long time, but uses momentum to get to the ropes.

The commentators mention how only three men (AJ Styles, Tanahashi, and Okada) have held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the last five years. This was amazing, as it shows how much of an elite club the title is, and how record-breaking it will be with a new champion.

Naito hits a series of moves on Okada, and the crowd goes nuts for him. The commentary team mention how odd it is, even in Japan, for the obvious heel to get cheered over the face of the company.

Okada hits a big series of moves, before going for the Rainmaker. Naito uses his ring awareness to escape the ripline portion of the move and to shove Red Shoes into the Rainmaker elbow. RIP, Red Shoes.

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 6

EVIL comes in and tries to hit his STO on Okada. Okada reverses it. BUSHI comes in and sprays mist, but Okada apparently ducks to avoid it, but the camera was blocked by BUSHI, and didn’t catch it. BUSHI hits Naito as a result of missing Okada, and Okada hits a tombstone on Naito to capitalize.

Out comes a mysterious man from the audience, with a Los Ingobernables shirt and LIJ’s trademark, terrifying metal skull mask. The man takes his mask off and the commentary team reveals that it is Sanada. I’ve never seen him wrestle, but apparently he was not even part of the company before this. Upon looking him up, I learned that this interference was his re-debut into New Japan, and that he is now an official member of Los Ingobernables.

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 7

 

Sanada hits Okada, and Naito goes for the Destino finisher. Okada turns the finish attempt into German suplexes. He then goes into the Rainmaker, which Naito reverses into the Destino just as Red Shoes gets back into the ring. He counts the three to crown the 4th man in the last half-decade to hold the heavyweight belt.

WINNER: Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) [Pin, 28:50]

Gedo comes in to fight off the heel stable, but gets hit with BUSHI’s mist, followed by EVIL’s STO, as the crowd cheers for LIJ and their new champion. Okada gets up to save his manager, but gets hit with BUSHI’s mist too, and then falls into Sanada’s front-face submission.

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 8 & 9

Goto and Ishii come to save their Chaos team member, but Naito rolls out and takes a seat outside the ring. He waves the Chaos members off, signalling that he doesn’t care about anyone else. Naito is SO heel.

Ishii refuses to leave, so Naito gets in his face as Naito tells him to leave his ring. It looks like Naito’s first title defense will be against Ishii. Although I LOVE Ishii, I don’t think the title should be traded so fast, especially since Ishii also has the ROH TV title. I believe this will lead to a Goto/Ishii vs. EVIL/BUSHI tag series, and perhaps another title match to EVIL.

Naito is presented with a small trophy and the belt, and then promptly drops the belt and dropkicks Red Shoes!

NAITO CHEAT COUNTER: 10

What. A. Heel.

He gets on the mic and addresses the crowd, and the commentators translate it for the English crowd, saying the Naito mentions a “New Era” for New Japan.

Naito is really put over as a complete cheater from the commentators, which really paints him as the Darkest Timeline as far as NJPW champions go. And the fact that fans cheer for him still can be used to paint a propaganda picture with Los Ingobernables.

This title reign should both be infuriating and entertaining. I cannot wait.


 

Twitter: @WeWriteWrestlin

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