Welcome to our coverage of New Japan’s Dominion card from Osaka-jo Hall.
Wai Ting and I will have a review of the show tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café.
Kevin Kelly, Don Callis, and Chris Charlton are calling the show on New Japan World.
*Jon Moxley over Shota Umino in 3:53
*Shingo Takagi over Satoshi Kojima in 11:15
*Yoshi-Hashi & Jushin Thunder Liger over Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. in 9:40
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi over Jay White, Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens in 9:50
*Tomohiro Ishii over Taichi in 16:11 to win the NEVER Openweight title
*Guerrillas of Destiny over EVIL & Sanada in 16:40 to retain the IWGP tag titles
*Will Ospreay over Dragon Lee in 20:08 to win the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Tetsuya Naito over Kota Ibushi in 22:07 to win the Intercontinental title
*Kazuchika Okada over Chris Jericho in 25:45 to retain the IWGP heavyweight title
JON MOXLEY VS SHOTA UMINO
It was very short but still intense for a sub-four-minute match. Umino dove onto Moxley as he was making his way ringside and followed with a missile dropkick as the audience was hot. Moxley cut him off with a lariat and would goad Umino into striking him. After a brief attempt by Umino to fight back, he was hit with the Death Rider and Moxley won.
WINNER: Jon Moxley at 3:53
Moxley announced he wants to be in the G1 Climax and helped Umino to the back.
SHINGO TAKAGI VS SATOSHI KOJIMA
It was brought up that Kojima hasn’t won a singles match in the promotion since December 2017.
It was a great outing by Kojima playing the legend who was in the gatekeeper role for Takagi to move into the heavyweight ranks.
They brawled on the floor and made it in at the count of 19. The audience reacted loudly to Kojima’s chops in the corner but the elbow off of the top was stopped. Takagi hit the Death Valley Driver onto the edge of the apron.
Kojima got his moments, eating a Pumping Bomber and not going down. He was dropped by one and kicked out at one. Then, Kojima kicked out of Made in Japan before being hit with another Pumping Bomber and Last of the Dragon as Takagi won.
WINNER: Shingo Takagi at 11:15
Takagi announced that he also wants to be in the G1.
New Japan handles their legends with respect, even if they don’t push them and Kojima got a lot in this match. It was booked effectively as a showcase for Takagi and got the most you could out of a Kojima loss.
MINORU SUZUKI & ZACK SABRE JR. VS JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER & YOSHI-HASHI
Suzuki-gun jumped Liger and Yoshi-Hashi before the bell rang and fought on the floor. They beat down Yoshi-Hashi when they returned until Liger was tagged in and the audience cheered.
Suzuki-gun executed a double submission spot before the pairings split up, leaving Sabre in the ring with Yoshi-Hashi. Sabre countered a Karma attempt but was caught with a rolling cradle for the cover as Liger held Suzuki from the floor.
WINNERS: Yoshi-Hashi & Jushin Thunder Liger at 9:40
They fought after the match with Yoshi-Hashi getting the better of Sabre and holding up his British heavyweight title to set up their future title match. Suzuki was held back by the young lions as Liger stared him down from inside the ring.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI, JUICE ROBINSON & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI VS JAY WHITE, TAIJI ISHIMORI & CHASE OWENS
Tanahashi pinned Owens using a new maneuver that looked like an inverted sling blade or side effect.
They kept Tanahashi and White’s interaction to a minimum and feels like a match they will revisit in the G1.
Owens attacked Robinson’s injured eye from the Jon Moxley match by using elbows and punches in the beginning. Taguchi was in and started dancing but was cut off by Ishimori and they fought on the floor. The match culminated with Tanahashi being tagged in with White and then splintering off with Owens. Robinson yanked White to the floor and hit him with the Left Hand of God prior to Tanahashi pinning Owens with the new move.
WINNERS: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi at 9:50
Taichi vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight title
“For a title that has changed eight times in the past 12 months…” – Kevin Kelly
The idea was that Ishii wanted to bring out the serious side of Taichi, taking the microphone stand and Takashi Iizuka’s bag and tossing them away.
The final few minutes were strong with Ishii among the best in the industry at timing, selling, and knowing when best to go to the next level as his matches peak so well.
Taichi got a near fall with the Gedo clutch, then worked with a Dragon Sleeper and attempted Black Mephisto, which Ishii blocked. Ishii roared after taking an enzuigiri and it took him two attempts before hitting his brainbuster to win the title for the fifth time.
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii at 16:11
For Taichi, it was a very good match but not among the top-level Ishii style matches. The result got over to the crowd, although it’s Ishii’s fifth reign with a title no one cares much about and Ishii is above the title, so it didn’t mean much other than Ishii remaining in his role.
There was an announcement that New Japan will run Osaka-jo Hall twice in 2020. They will host New Beginning in Osaka on February 9th and Dominion on June 14th in the building next year.
GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY VS EVIL & SANADA FOR THE IWGP TAG TITLES
This was a good match, albeit not a fresh one and there seems to be fatigue within the heavyweight tag division.
The Guerrillas had the advantage of Evil and worked on his back. Sanada received the tag and had a hot sequence, ending with pescados to Tama Tonga and Jado on the floor.
Evil & Sanada went for the Magic Killer and were stopped. They did double submissions with Tanga Loa in the Skull End and Tama Tonga in the Scorpion Death Lock and was stopped when Jado got involved with the kendo stick. He was eliminated by Bushi, doing a run-in and hitting his insane suicide dive.
They tried for the Magic Killer again, but Tonga blocked it, rolled up Evil and grabbed the tights to win the match.
WINNERS: Guerrillas of Destiny at 16:40
Katsuyori Shibata came out in a suit and pointed to the entrance for a very long time until KENTA walked out wearing a shirt that read “Takeover”.
KENTA said he wants to show them KENTA’s professional wrestling and is adding his name to the list for the G1 Climax. It’s clear the field is going to feature a lot of new blood this year and fresh matches.
DRAGON LEE VS WILL OSPREAY FOR THE IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
This was off the charts, a phenomenal match and the latest classic from Will Ospreay’s 2019 run.
One of the crazier moments saw Ospreay seated on the guardrail as Lee hit a suicide dive and they flew into the Japanese announcers, including Milano Collection being hit and going down.
There were numerous counters to each guy’s big moves. Ospreay landed a corkscrew dive to the floor and sold his ribs upon impact.
There was a sequence of Ospreay landing on his feet from a snap German, Lee hit a reverse ‘rana and Ospreay came back with a standing Spanish Fly as both went down.
Moments later, Ospreay took Lee’s running ‘rana off the apron and landed on his feet on the floor and the place exploded.
The end saw Ospreay avoid the Desnucadora, he hit several head kicks, the Robinson Special and the Hidden Blade. Ospreay finished with the top rope OsCutter and Storm Breaker to win the title for the third time.
WINNER: Will Ospreay at 20:08 to win the IWGP junior heavyweight title
Lee wrapped the title around Ospreay’s waist.
Ospreay challenges Robbie Eagles to a match on the card in Melbourne, Australia on June 29th.
KOTA IBUSHI VS TETSUYA NAITO FOR THE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE
This match was too much for my liking. The level of risk and injury incurred was far beyond what I need out of a professional wrestling match.
The two were on the edge of the apron, which has become their trademark spot of their matches with something insane in store. They each countered suplexes before Naito got hold of Ibushi and hit a German suplex with Ibushi crashing his head and neck on the apron before landing on the floor. The replay was brutal with Ibushi’s neck twisting in horrifying fashion. Don Callis went so far to say he hoped the referee would stop the match.
Ibushi made it back in before the count of 19 and Naito hit him with head butts. The first one appeared to hit Ibushi right on the head and there was a hematoma forming throughout the match over Ibushi’s left eye. Ibushi was also hit with a reverse ‘rana from off the turnbuckle.
Ibushi fought back with a power lariat, the Last Ride powerbomb that Naito survived and then missed with a Bom a Ye, which led to the Destino kick out. Naito also hit his new move, Valentia, that Ibushi kicked out from.
Ibushi blocked another Destino and had Naito on his shoulders, which led to a reverse ‘rana, the Valentia kick out and then a final Destino to win.
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito at 22:07 to win the Intercontinental title
Naito stood on top of the fallen Ibushi with the title.
This was too dangerous and I was genuinely worried for Ibushi’s health for most of it. It was positioned at the start as the last meeting between the two for the time being and Ibushi ahead 2-1 in their 2019 series of matches.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA VS CHRIS JERICHO FOR THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE
The main event went just over 25 minutes with Okada winning but leaving things open-ended for a rematch as Okada didn’t win with the Rainmaker nor was Jericho able to hit the Judas Effect during the match. The finish came as Jericho called for the Judas Effect, Okada ducked and attempted the Rainmaker, Jericho went for the codebreaker and could not hit it followed by a sunset flip where Okada hooked his legs and got the cover.
The post-match featured Jericho attacking Okada with a chair on the floor and led to Hiroshi Tanahashi leaving the broadcast booth to save Okada and chase off Jericho. Jericho cut a promo on Tanahashi and called Japan a ‘bullshit country’ and Okada was a ‘bitch’. It seemed clear Jericho will be in line for a singles match with Tanahashi or a tag match against the two of them in the future.
They worked a strong match, it wasn’t at the top-tier of Okada’s title matches and it was tough with the crowd chanting ‘Y2J’ at various points in the match that Jericho had to combat. Jericho constantly avoided the Rainmaker and wasn’t a definitive win for Okada.