NEW JAPAN ROAD: Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER title

New Japan Pro Wrestling its second of four straight shows at Korakuen Hall this week featuring a main event for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

New Japan Pro Wrestling its second of four straight shows at Korakuen Hall this week featuring a main event for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

Shingo Takagi made the first defense of his champion, defeating Tomohiro Ishii with the Last of the Dragon after twenty-seven minutes of action.

The match was the hard-hitting affair you would expect with great storytelling from the in-ring talent and the English commentary of Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton. On commentary, they explained that fourteen NEVER champions failed in their first title defense to put the outcome in doubt. Charlton explained the influence Genichiro Tenryu had on each with Ishii’s time with WAR early in his career and Takagi looking at him as a mentor when Tenryu was a consultant at Dragon Gate.

Ishii attacked with the brutal chops to the throat and Takagi came back with a Death Valley Driver on the apron but refused to win by count-out. They had a big sequence of repeated suplexes from each one. Takagi hit Ishii with everything from Made in Japan, the Pumping Bomber, and eventually, won following a huge Pumping Bomber and Last of the Dragon at 27:04.

Ishii attacked Takagi after the match indicating there may be a rematch. The announcers sold it like a fighter being knocked out and going after the referee not realizing what has happened.

Takagi ended the show with a promo and challenged anyone to come after him for the belt.

In the other title match on the show, Roppongi 3K defeated the ‘Mega Coaches’ of Ryusuke Taguchi & Rocky Romero to retain the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles.

It was a well-worked match, but I think it could have been tighter. After the match exceeded the twenty-minute mark, there was that feeling of the four in an endless rotating of moves that were just tacking unnecessary time to the match.

Taguchi and Romero did a lot of double-team spots, including stereo hip attacks, a double submission spot with the simultaneous ankle lock and armbar, and a Dodon into the codebreaker.

One of the key spots saw YOH bounce off the rope and fire off a superkick that accidentally nailed SHO and led to a near-fall.

Romero kicked out of the Shock Arrow to big applause and then fell to Shock X, which is 3K’s package piledriver and foot stomp combo to win the match at 26:47.

Here are the results from the show:
*Yota Tsuji over Gabriel Kidd
*Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru over Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi & Yuya Uemura
*Kazuchika Okada, Colt Cabana & Toru Yano over Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare
*Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tiger Mask & Yuji Nagata over Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, EVIL, Bushi & Sanada
*Jay White, Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale over Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Juice Robinson & David Finlay
*Roppongi 3K over Ryusuke Taguchi & Rocky Romero to retain the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles
*Shingo Takagi over Tomohiro Ishii to retain the NEVER Openweight title

About John Pollock 5663 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.