NJPW Dominion 2020 Results and Grades: An unforgettable ending

NJPW, Tetsuya Naito (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
NJPW, Tetsuya Naito (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images) /
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IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: EVIL vs. Tetsuya Naito (C)

Result: EVIL pins Tetsuya Naito – TITLE CHANGE

The match got off to a slow start as both men seemed apprehensive to engage for several moments. Naito used his slow and plodding style to poke at and infuriate EVIL causing him to make mistakes and leave himself open to be picked apart slowly and in a torturous fashion. Naito tied EVIL up in the ropes at one point and wrenched his neck back into the ring via his hair before releasing the hold and turning his back to the competitor as an ultimate show of disrespect.

Following the spot, both men worked outside the ring with EVIL wrapping Naito’s leg in the barrier and manipulating his knee and ankle. At one point color commentator Milano Collection AT and EVIL began a verbal confrontation causing EVIL to grab an item off of the commentary table and snap it in his hands which led Milano to leap across the commentary table before being flung into the barricade himself. Milano prior to EVIL’s defection from LIJ was a vocal and unabashed supporter of both the wrestler and the faction.

From there EVIL controlled much of the match slowly and methodically targeting Naito’s right knee and ankle taunting him all the while and attempting to goad him into getting into a strike for strike confrontation with the much larger man.

The momentum shifted back and forth several times with each man poking and prodding at one another defense willing their competitor to make a mistake and leave an opening that they could capitalize on. Naito’s knee became a major focal point for EVIL throughout the course of the match. He drove Naito through a table knee first at one point before attempting to wrap his knee in a steel chair before being waved off by Red Shoes Unno who held up a piece of the shattered table to defend the incapacitated man.

Naito was able to beat Red Shoes Unno’s count at 19 to continue the match following the table spot. Both men spent the remainder of the match in the ring moving between high-intensity offensive maneuvers and trading blows in feats of strength and toughness.

Bullet Club made their presence felt when as both men were incapacitated in the ring both Gedo and Bone Soldier Ishimori came down to the ring after being banned and attempted to beat on Naito in order to weaken him for EVIL. Naito was saved though when his stablemate and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi ran off the members of Bullet Club leaving just Naito and EVIL to solve their feud.

The run-ins did not end there though as BUSHI also a member of LIJ came down to the ring to encourage Naito before turning on him and choking him out with a length of wire seemingly aligning himself with Bullet Club as well.

Utilizing the assist from BUSHI, EVIL was able to pin Naito in the center of the ring to become the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion. Following the match, BUSHI removed his mask to reveal that it wasn’t BUSHI at all but was instead former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Dick Togo.

An incredibly compelling match that left me guessing from start to finish. I am truly excited to see what NJPW looks like in a world where EVIL is a dual champion.

Grade: A

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After the conclusion of the match Hiromu took the mic and per NJPWGlobal on Twitter said “I have a favor to ask of you, EVIL. Let me challenge for those belts you just took! If you’re too scared to put them both up, one or the other is fine!”

In his post-match comments, EVIL formally introduced us to Dick Togo who will act in a managerial role and accepted Hiromu’s challenge, per Chris Charlton.