Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, and SHO vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, and BUSHI
Result: SANADA submits SHO
The in-ring return for both SANADA the long time tag partner of EVIL and Tetsuya Naito the man who he beat for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships. The match opened with BUSHI taking on Yoshi-Hashi. Their styles compliment each other as Yoshi-Hashi was able to use his hard-hitting and punishing style in contrast with BUSHI’s quick-moving slap and dash style to put together a few very impressive moments.
Naito and SANADA went to quick work beating down the two men who were not active in the match throwing them both into the barricades before SANADA tagged himself into the match as Goto entered as well quickly tying him into a Paradise Lock before tagging in his leader and mentor, Tetsuya Naito.
Naito seems very unlike his tranquilo self choosing to bypass his typical lackadaisical style, instead choosing to enter into a hard-hitting contest with both Goto and Yoshi-Hashi. He seemed determined to dish out at least as much punishment as he was taking out trading high impact moves with Yoshi-Hashi and Goto eventually leaving himself and Yoshi-Hashi laid out in the center of the ring before both men were able to tag out for BUSHI and SHO respectively.
The end of the match came when SANADA secured SHO in a reversed headlock and swung him in a circle by his neck for a moment before resecuring a cross face hold and forcing him to tap out.
Following the match, Naito called the referee back into the ring to raise the hands of the members of LIJ who were successful in the match. The referee did so before being attacked by SANADA and Naito as BUSHI watched on leaving him cowering in the blue corner while LIJ left the arena.
Also following the match we were shown a vignette which announced that for only the second time in New Japan’s history they would be running a show in the home of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, Jingu Stadium on August 28th.
The company last ran the arena in the summer of 1999 with a show that saw a No Rope Explosive Barb Wire Explosive Land Mine Double Hell Deathmatch (yes that was the full name on the card.) between The Great Muta and Atsushi Onita.
While I would not expect a return to deathmatches to be in the cards for New Japan’s return to the stadium the show should prove to be “explosive” in its own right.