After a decent, if unspectacular, Super Junior Tag League, New Japan rolled into their final major show of the year, Power Struggle. They’ve put together one hell of a card too, as it’s one of the strongest collections of matches you’re likely to see without the Heavyweight Title being defended. With a section of the NJPW fanbase in a bit of a grump recently, this might be what they need to turn the mood around.
It might surprise you to know that New Japan ran a show in America recently. Has anyone made that joke yet? Yes, it’s true, New Japan’s latest trip to the US didn’t quite have the hype their previous journeys did. I’m not necessarily sure that’s a disaster, though. The more they come, the less exciting it will be, that’s only natural. They did recently sell out Maddison Square Gardens (let’s not pretend ROH had anything to do with that), so it can’t be going that badly. Anyway, I’m not actually that bothered by how big New Japan’s crowds are. I’m more interested in good wrestling. Time to find out if they delivered.
Destruction in Hiroshima, an event name that will always make me cringe. I assume NJPW know what they’re doing with it, but from the outside looking in? Yea, I might change that one. Anyway, that’s not the important part. The important part is that it’s headlined by Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii. That is never going to be a bad thing. Go murder him, Wide Tom!
It’s a busy time for New Japan. When the New Japan Cup came to an end, they headed straight to America for Strong Style Evolved and now they’re back in Japan for Sakura Genesis. There is no rest for the wrestlers. Let’s not complain, because Sakura Genesis sees Zack Sabre Jr step into the main event and the latest chapter in the Scurll vs Ospreay feud. The Brits are taking over! Let’s dish out some stars.
While there were three New Beginning shows (and a few more if you include the Road To… events), it was clear right from the start that one reigned supreme over the others. The Osaka card was the chosen one. Christ, it has six singles matches on it, find me another New Japan show that has that? It was the show NJPW was building to, and it had the potential to be special. Let’s dish out some stars.
When you get down to it, the final taped Road To show for New Beginning was a remix of the one from the day before. However, it’s topped off with a big main event as Goto and Okada go after the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles. This was what Sanada and Evil had to put up to get a shot at their belts, and it creates an exciting dynamic a few days before those matches. Let’s dish out some stars.
Sadly, New Beginning doesn’t feature flying cavemen or drunk drones. It’s the New Japan equivalent of the Bat Signal. It’s time to put that silliness behind us and get back to business. Which we’re doing by having a battle of the legends as Tanahashi takes on Suzuki. Not a bad way to start the year by anyone’s measure. Let’s dish out some stars.
It’s the night after Wrestle Kingdom and all through Korakeun Hall, new stories are stirring and I’ve got nothing more.
That will be my last Christmas themed intro I promise.
If you’re getting into New Japan for the first time, look at New Year Dash as being their Raw after WrestleMania. It’s when NJPW hit the reset button and set up the storylines that are going to take them into the New Year. Which makes it pretty damn exciting. Let’s dish out some stars.
It’s time. I’m not going to bother with a preamble. It’s January 4th and New Japan are in the Tokyo Dome. We all know what that means. Let’s dish out some stars.
With the New Japan roster all rested up post-G1 (although a lot of them headed off around the world so they might not be as rested as they want to be), they are now heading back to work for the Destruction tour. Three B Shows and a host of Road To events don’t exactly scream unmissable, but there are a few gems hidden away over the next couple of weeks. Sadly, they aren’t on this show, but we trudge into the dark anyway. Let’s hand out those stars.