NJPW Royal Quest Report: Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki

John Pollock's coverage of the NJPW Royal Quest card from the Copper Box Arena with Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP title against Minoru Suzuki.

Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Royal Quest card from the Copper Box Arena in London, England.

Tonight, Wai Ting and I will be live immediately after the AEW All Out show with a complete review of the show, as well as the big notes from this show, the CM Punk interview at Starrcast, and the NXT UK TakeOver card in Wales.

Royal Quest is only available through Fite TV today and will be added to New Japan World sometime in September.

Kevin Kelly and Gino Gambino are calling the show, although there was no audio for their first appearance on camera.

RESULTS:
*Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero over Ryusuke Taguchi, Ren Narita & Shota Umino
*Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson over Yujiro & Hikuleo in 8:10
*Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles over Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo in 10:42
*Tetsuya Naito & Sanada over Jay White & Chase Owens in 12:12
*Guerrillas of Destiny over Aussie Open in 12:54 to retain the IWGP tag titles
*KENTA over Tomohiro Ishii in 20:17 to win the NEVER Openweight title
*Hiroshi Tanahashi over Zack Sabre Jr. in 17:39 to win the British heavyweight title
*Kazuchika Okada over Minoru Suzuki to retain the IWGP heavyweight title

ROPPONGI 3K & ROCKY ROMERO VS RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, SHOTA UMINO & REN NARITA

The audience was red hot from the second the show began. The stream has intermittent lag and therefore, the time of the match is going to be approximate.

There was a big chant of “Let’s Go, Shooter” for Umino. They started singing for Rocky Romero.

Taguchi came in and landed hip attacks to all and a pescado to the floor.

Narita rolled SHO into his version of the sharpshooter and SHO reached the bottom rope.

SHO hit the Shock Arrow onto Narita for the win.

WINNERS: Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero

The match went for approximately ten minutes but I experienced a lot of lag in the stream, so I don’t have the exact length.

The crowd is excellent and hopefully, the stream is stable there were frequent pauses and cutaways.

KOTA IBUSHI & JUICE ROBINSON VS YUJIRO & HIKULEO

The reception for Ibushi and Robinson was enormous when they came out.

Kevin Kelly and Gino Gambino were back on commentary at the start of the match.

Kelly stated that approximately 7,500 were in attendance and nearly sold out.

Ibushi received the tag and was hit with a big powerslam from Hikuelo, who has improved a lot.

Hikuleo stopped the Kamigoye and led to all four inside the ring. Ibushi hit Hikuleo with the Bom a Ye and Kamigoye for the victory.

WINNERS: Kota Ibushi (pinned Hikuelo) & Juice Robinson at 8:10

This was a fun tag match where the audience loved the babyfaces and Hikuelo received a spotlight role while in with Ibushi.

It was a showcase for two of the big stars that didn’t have prominent placement on the show.

WILL OSPREAY & ROBBIE EAGLES VS EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI

El Phantasmo came out wearing the jacket after winning the Super J-Cup last weekend. Ospreay received a mega star reaction.

Eagles hit a tope con giro through the ropes to the floor.

The buffering throughout the match has significantly hurt the flow for me.

Ishimori hit a sliding German suplex to Eagles off the middle rope as the Bullet Club had the advantage. The crowd began to chant for Ishimori during this period.

Ospreay and Eagles came back and hit a Double Spanish Fly on Ishimori to win the match.

WINNERS: Will Ospreay (pinned Taiji Ishimori) & Robbie Eagles at 10:42

This seemed like a strong match with Ospreay and Eagles looking like a tremendous team with plenty of double-team spots and a hot finish with the double Spanish Fly.

The stream hurt my ability to fully get into the match as there were so many starts and stops with the buffering.

Ospreay and Eagles challenged them for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles. Ospreay called themselves “The Birds of Prey”.

JAY WHITE & CHASE OWENS VS TETSUYA NAITO & SANADA

Gino Gambino’s audio is dead again, so Kelly is calling this alone.

White and Owens took Naito to the floor and worked over Sanada inside the ring. Naito grabbed hold of White by the legs and fought back attacking White’s neck.

White hit the Blade Buster on Naito for a two-count.

Sanada applied the Paradise Lock onto Owens after another round of buffering where they cut away from the match to the technical difficulties screen.

Owens got a near fall with a small package after blocking the TKO. Sanada blocked the package piledriver and hit a back-body drop. Sanada executed a beautiful backflip to apply Skull End, Owens tapped, and the place went nuts.

WINNERS: Sanada (submitted Chase Owens) & Tetsuya Naito at 12:12

Sanada refused to release the hold when the bell signaled the end of the match. White came in and attacked both Sanada and Naito and laid them out. This generated a fair amount of heat from the crowd. Gedo gave White a chair and he attacked them with it.

Naito fired back on White and hit the Destino while covering him as the crowd counted to three. The place was completely behind Naito. He sat in a chair and relaxed as the audience cheered him. This was more about everything after the match than during.

GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY VS AUSSIE OPEN FOR THE IWGP TAG TITLES

Gino Gambino is back!

The audience spent the first few minutes chanting for both teams until G.O.D. jumped Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher. It was clear from the start, Aussie Open was seen on this level and treated like big stars.

Jado attacked Fletcher with the kendo stick from the floor. This allowed the Guerrillas to beat down Fletcher, including a spear from Tanga Loa and a jackhammer.

Davis finally received the tag and they made their comeback together. Fletcher hit a suicide dive and they double-teamed Tama Tonga. Davis lifted Tonga with a double underhook into an Alabama Slam by Fletcher that looked great.

The Guerrillas came back with a pair of top rope splashes on top of Fletcher for a near fall. Davis fired back with a seated Spanish Fly from the top.

They went for the Fidget Spinner and Tonga countered with a Gun Stun. Loa hit Davis with Ape Shit and sent him to the floor. They were alone with Fletcher and hit a super powerbomb to pin Fletcher.

WINNERS: Guerrillas of Destiny at 12:54 to retain the IWGP tag titles

This was a strong tag match, greatly enhanced by the lack of technical issues.

Aussie Open worked great and probably earned a spot in their tag division with this outing. The chemistry was there among the four men and Aussie Open had a great showing.

TOMOHIRO ISHII VS KENTA FOR THE NEVER OPENWEIGHT TITLE

KENTA came out to enormous heat. The announcers remained quiet so the boos could be amplified.

It started with striking exchanges and the crowd backing Ishii and booing KENTA. They started to chant, “Fuck you, KENTA” and he responded, “Shut up”.

The heel mannerisms from KENTA were great, he began blasting Ishii with kicks and he just stood up and roared.

They trade huge strikes with Ishii staggering as only he can. Both men went down. KENTA hit his sliding dropkick into the corner and came off the top missing the double stomp.

They traded release German suplexes, Ishii landed a head butt and KENTA collapsed. Ishii continued with more.

At this point, the audience is chanting back-and-forth for both men. Ishii went for a brainbuster, which KENTA was going to counter and just crashed down to the mat and took the air out of the place.

They sat down in the center of the ring and traded slaps, KENTA gets up and the PK is caught.

The Guerrillas of Destiny ran down and went after Ishii. He fought them off and hit KENTA with the brainbuster, but the Guerrillas pulled Marty Asami to the floor.

Tanga Loa hit a powerslam onto Ishii and then hit the Magic Killer. They placed KENTA on top and Ishii got his shoulder up for a big pop.

KENTA continued his attack and hit the Go to Sleep and pinned Ishii.

WINNER: KENTA at 20:17 to win the NEVER Openweight title

It was the logical ending for KENTA’s first match since the big turn earlier this month.

KENTA got his bell rung in the middle of this and it created a bunch of issues for him.

When the Guerrillas ran down and Ishii was outnumbered, I felt the audience was expecting a run-in from Katsuyori Shibata and the place would have exploded. Instead, KENTA got the near fall from the interference and then won anyway with the Go to Sleep.

It was a hard-hitting match and KENTA displayed lots of aggression. From the audience’s perspective, it peaked earlier and while they hated KENTA at the start, they got into the match and got behind both guys.

ZACK SABRE JR. VS HIROSHI TANAHASHI FOR THE BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

Andy Boy Simmonz joined the English commentary team for this match.

They chanted for Red Shoes while Tanahashi had control of Sabre’s leg. Red Shoes took a bow. Tanahashi tied up the legs and leaned back into a bridge.

Zack got out and stomped the previously injured left arm. Sabre got out of the way and twisted Tanahashi’s neck with his feet. Tanahashi used a dragon screw leg whip to injure Sabre’s knee.

Zack went back to the arm and landed the PK. The Zack Driver was countered with the Twist & Shout followed by a sling blade. Tanahashi climbed and landed on Zack’s knees and was caught in his triangle. Zack moved to an omaplata and hyper-extended the left arm but Tanahashi rolled out and hit an Inverted dragon screw.

Tanahashi attacked with uppercuts, came off a backslide with a sling blade and a Dragon suplex for a two-count. With Zack down, he climbed back up and hit the High Fly Flow for the win.

WINNER: Hiroshi Tanahashi at 17:39 to win the British heavyweight title

The pop for Tanahashi’s win was the loudest of the show, so far.

It was unlike a lot of Tanahashi’s closing sequences as there was a failed High Fly Flow, moments earlier, but used the Dragon suplex as the set up for the crescendo.

They had a stellar match and not the outcome I expected.

KAZUCHIKA OKADA VS MINORU SUZUKI FOR THE IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

This was among the loudest renditions of “Kaze Ni Nare” you will ever hear. Then, they went insane when Okada’s music played. The atmosphere was electric when the bell rang.

There was a lot more grappling from Suzuki in the early stages of the match and they remained inside the ring.

When they did go to the floor, Suzuki grabbed a chair but was attacked by Okada prior to using it. Suzuki avoided a tombstone and hit a running PK from the ramp.

Suzuki hit another big PK inside the ring several minutes later.

The stream died for several minutes and I missed a chunk of the match.

Okada stopped the Gotch piledriver and hit the belly-to-back neck breaker. They were on their knees trading as the audience was completely absorbed by everything. Okada hit the dropkick as Suzuki came off the ropes.

The audience booed as Okada applied a rear-naked choke and went back to forearm strikes. Okada ran the ropes and got nailed by Suzuki’s insane dropkick. Suzuki applied the rear-naked choke, took him to the mat and mounted the back with the submission applied.

Suzuki released and Okada spun around land the Rainmaker and held onto the wrist. He lifted Suzuki to land a short Rainmaker, went for the full version and Suzuki dropped him with a right hand. Suzuki fired up with brutal slaps and dropped him, the audience went crazy for Suzuki.

The Gotch piledriver was blocked, Okada lifted Suzuki’s leg and proceeded to dropkick the back of his head after absorbing more slaps. Suzuki stopped another Rainmaker, the Gotch piledriver was countered and then Okada caught him with the tombstone.

Okada hit the Rainmaker and pinned Suzuki.

WINNER: Kazuchika Okada to retain the IWGP heavyweight title

This was a fantastic match and the audience was among the best crowds for a major show in 2019.

If Suzuki had won, my speakers would have been blown out.

I missed a few minutes in the middle but didn’t affect my enjoyment of the match. This was Suzuki’s best singles match in a long time and was the perfect challenger for this show and the story of being snubbed in the G1.

While the audience was anti-Okada for most of the match, they all applauded him after the win as they put the title around his waist.

Okada addressed the audience, asked them how they enjoyed New Japan and the IWGP title match.

Sanada came out, they have a face-off and set up the next IWGP title defense following Sanada’s victory over Okada in the G1 Climax. They did not state when the match would occur.

The biggest negative to the show was the technical issues on Fite TV. The crowd was phenomenal, and this was a solid show from top-to-bottom. All four title matches delivered in their regard and I’d highly recommend the show once it’s up on New Japan World and you can watch it without all the problems the audience endured today.

About John Pollock 1268 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.