On June 15, 2020 New Japan Pro Wrestling returned post-coronavirus. The Japanese Pro Wrestling company would hold a special show to mark its return. This is my review of that special show. This show has Japanese commentary only.
A video package opened the show with clips of the Wrestle Kingdom show and lots of fans having a great time from earlier this year then an English subtitle of a Japanese man says “We thought it would be like this forever.” After a good video with lots of NJPW wrestlers involved, we open up to an empty arena. Tanahashi walked out with Kota Ibushi, and about 10-15 more wrestlers. Tanahashi thanks us for watching, I assume, then they all pose for the cameras. This is where the ring announcer announces the card.
Gabriel Kidd vs Yota Tsuji
- Gabriel Kidd is an English wrestler who has been training at the NJPW Dojo, hence why he is currently in Japan when other international wrestlers are not on the card. This is just a classic NJPW Young Lion match, but without fans. It’s hard hitting and very well worked. This type of wrestling does well in-front of a crowd or not. Kidd gets Tsuji in a half-crab and spits his gum shield out to scream as he wrenches back. Tsuji hits a spear on Kidd as Kidd comes off the ropes. Tsuji then gets Kidd in a crab. When Kidd gets close to the ropes, Tsuji pulls him back and Kidd taps out. Good opener. Winner: Yota Tsuji in 8:43.
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura
- This starts with Tomohiro Ishii and the Young Lion running into the ring and attacking Suzuki-gun before the bell. After about a minute, the Young Lion fought back against Kanemaru and Desperado, but shortly after that, Desperado rakes the eyes of Uemura as they get the heat of the young man. Ishii has seen enough and shoves past the ref to get in the ring, but Suzuki-gun take Uemura to ringside. The well-oiled team of Kanemaru and El Desperado work hard to get heat while Kanemaru beats down the Young Lion in the ring, Desperado jumps Ishii. Ishii finally gets a tag and he is a violent beast, but the two-on-one gets to him and Suzuki-gun get the better of The Stone Pitbull. They work over Ishii’s leg until he hits a back suplex and tags in the house of fire, Uemura. Yuya Uemura does well for a moment, but once again, it’s two-on-one. With the help of Ishii, Uemura rolled up Desperado for a good nearfall, only to tap out moments later to the stretch muffler. Ishii does squats to show he’s still ready to go. He’s great. Winners: El Desperado and Kanemaru in 13:00.
Tomoaki Honma, YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto vs Jado, Gedo, Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi
- Yujiro and Goto kick the match off and the noise from the other wrestlers, the ref, and the commentators makes a compelling environment. I’ve missed this. Jado and Yano tag in and all of a sudden, it’s insanity as Jado has a cane and Yano has a turnbuckle pad. YOSHI-HASHI is tagged in and does well for a bit. Bullet Club use the numbers to keep people off the opposite corner and work over YOSHI-HASHI. While the referee is distracted, YOSHI-HASHI is launched into the exposed buckle hard. YOSHI-HASHI makes a comeback and tags Goto who runs wild on Bullet Club. Honma tags in and looks good, then the whole Chaos team run wild on Yujiro Takahashi. Honma misses a middle rope headbutt. Yujiro hits a fisherman’s buster on the head on Honma, then Yujiro hits a DDT for a three count. Poor Honma. Winners: Bullet Club in 13:19.
Then a video package that was in English. someone is running through a jungle as we see close ups and ariel shots, not giving away who this is. The video said “The Way to The Grand Master” then “coming soon”.
A hiatus as staff members clean down the ring, and ringside area.
BUSHI, SANADA & EVIL vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Satoshi Kojima
- Taguchi and Sanada start the match and Sanada pretty much out wrestles Taguchi every step of the way. Taguchi thinks he has tied up Sanada but he hasn’t. Snada continues to out wrestle Taguchi, so Taguchi tags out. Tenzan and Kojima take over and Tenzan stays in the ring legally. This match was fine. Taguchi submitted BUSHI with an ankle lock to win. Winners: Taguchi, Tenzan and Kojima in 13:35.
Minoru Suzuki, DOUKI, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr vs Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Suzuki-gun get the jump start, which leads to Suzuki and Nagata fighting in the ring for the first few minutes, which is beautiful, then ZSJ tag in with Ibushi. Zack and Kota is also a wonderful feud that I need more of. They get the heat on Ibushi for a while but when Ibushi makes a comeback, he tags The Ace, Tanahashi. Hiroshi Tanahashi faces off with Taichi. Taichi holds his own with Tanahashi for a while, but when Tanahashi takes control, he tags Makabe. Eventually hits the King Kong Knee drop on Douki for the win. After the match, Suzuki and Nagata fight, Zack winds up Kota and Tanahashi faces off with Taichi. After the match, they played Makabe’s music on njpwworld for the first time. Winners: Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi and Tanahashi in 13:04.
SHO, YOH, Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi
- Naito, the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental champion, and Okada start this main event. They wrestle and when they break, Naito rolls into his tranquillo pose. SHO and YOH get the better of Shingo but when he fights back, Naito and Takahashi take out YOH and Okada on the apron. LIJ start to work over SHO. This was a very fun match that picked up in the final few minutes. In the end, Naito debuted a new move, the inverted Destino and followed up with a regular Destino on YOH for the win. Winners: Los Ingobernables De Japon in 14:18.
Naito cut a promo after the match, but I don’t know what he said. I know he mentioned the New Japan Cup. And that was the end of the first show back for New Japan Pro Wrestling. I fully enjoyed it.
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