Welcome to PWInsider.com’s official coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s WrestleKingdom 2016 from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
The show is being streamed live at www.NJPWWorld.com with announcing in both English and Japan. The English announce team will be Kevin Kelly, Matt Striker & Yoshi Tatsu.
I am told there will be at least one ROH-centric surprise performer in the Rumble tonight.
ROH’s Delirious and Jeff Jones are at the Dome Show. For those of you who caught her on an EVOLVE iPPV a few months ago, Trent Baretta’s mother is on the scene and is at the Tokyo Dome.
A number of American talents brought their family members in for the show.
For those of you who want to travel to next year’s Dome, our old friend George Mayfield will be running one of his legendary tours to the January 2017 Dome show as well as lots of other events in Tokyo. For details, email [email protected]
The first man out is the legendary Jushin “Thunder” Liger. The second competitor was the equally legendary Yoshiaki Fujiwara, the creator of the Fujiwara armbar. They went back and forth on the mat. Tiger Mask IV was the next man out as he and Liger worked over Fujiwara as they put on stereo leglocks on him. Fujiwara reversed it with stereo heel hooks.
The fourth man out was a surprise entrant, Ring of Honor’s Cheeseburger!!!! He tossed out plush burgers as he came to the ring. The look on Fujiwara’s face for this was brilliant. Burger and his idol Liger, began working over Fujiwara. Just like that, Burger has the highlight of his career. Unfortunately for him, Liger and Tiger then decided it was smarter to let Burger work on Fujiwara, leaving him to be beaten down by Fujiwara.
For those wondering Cheeseburger was requested by NJPW as a surprise for the show.
Next out was another surprise, Hiro Saito. Cheeseburger continued to be beaten down. Tiger Mask and Saito battled. Liger got involved but was nailed with a back senton splash. Next man out was YOSHI-HASHI as Burger teamed with Fujiwara and Saito to battle Liger and Mask. Everyone battled each other.
Next out was Mascara Dorada from CMLL in Mexico, a regular here. Dorada began attacking everyone from behind. Liger got the better of him and tied him up on the floor with a sitting abdominal stretch. Captain New Japan, clad in a black and white ensemble, was out next. He was taken right down in a Fujiwara armbar and tapped out. Everyone jumped on Fujiwara and pinned him.
Captain New Japan and Fujiwara have been eliminated.
Everyone continued to battle as Manabu Nakanishi hit the ring. He went to the top and dove off with a chop to YOSHI-HASHI. He tried to do it again but Liger shook the ropes. Out next was the always awesome Yuji Nagata. Saito and Mask battled on the top. Cheeseburger tried to break it up but was kicked in the face. Saito came off the top on Mask and pinned him. Saito began beating the hell out of Burger. Everyone pounced on Saito and pinned him.
Tiger Mask and Saito were eliminated.
Out next was Satoshi Kojima. Everyone battled. Cheeseburger began chopping away on Kojima. Out next was Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Despite being partners, he and Kojima began going right after each other. Next out is Rysuke Taguchi. Dorado attacked Taguchi from behind and he went down. Smelling blood, everyone put the boots to him and began nailing big shots and stomped away at him.
Shiro Koshinaka was next out. Lots of cool NJPW legends showing up. He began laying kicks and shots on everyone. Next out was former WWE and WCW star King Haku (the father of Tama Tonga) coming out wearing a Bullet Club. He began unloading with punches and chops. He charged a number of talents fighting on the apron, knocking Nagata and Kojima down the floor, eliminating them each.
Next out was the one and only GREAT KABUKI. This is freaking awesome. He spewed the green mist as he came to the ring. Tenzan locked Haku in an Anaconda Vice and forced him to submit. Kabuki swent right after Cheeseburger, who tried to hide outside the ropes. Taguchi went after Kabuki as the next man, Kazuhi Sakuraba, came to the ring. What an awesome, eclectic mix this Rumble is. It’s not like the action is amazing, but the unique appearances and combinations are mind-boggling cool.
Sakuraba and Kabuki immediately faced off. This is completely insane moment. They exchanged kicks and punches. Kabuki finally said the hell with you and sprayed mist in his face, getting DQ’d. The other pounced on Sakuraba and pinned him.
Cheeseburger was pinned and eliminated after. There were a number of eliminations in a flurry, leaving Taguchi and Koshinaka left. The final competitor out is Jado who came out with Japanese female singer Momoka, who was clad in a mask. The announcers said she is a big star. She wanted to get in the ring and battle but the referee would not allow it. Jado was worked over. Kohinaka went for a pinfall but Taguchi broke it up and they had words. Jado was able to toss Koshinaka out.
It’s down to Jado and Taguchi. He ducked a charge and Taguchi crashed over the ropes to the floor. Momoka charged into the ring to raise Jado’s hand and celebrate.
Your winner, Jado!
Pretty damn fun spectacle.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions RedDragon vs. The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal.
The Bucks had some cool Randy Savage inspired leather jackets. They were accompanied by Cody Hall. The Bucks attacked before the bell. Matt Jackson tried to pin Bobby Fish immediately and the team worked him over with a double hiptoss and double dropkick. They tagged in and out, working over Fish’s shoulder and left arm. He was able to send Matt to the apron outside, where Kyle O’Reilly dropkicked him. ReDragon worked over Nick Jackson, who avoided them and tagged in Sydal.
Sydal nailed a rana on Fish and exchaned kicks with Kyle. O’Reilly went to rebound off the ropes but was caught and nailed. Roppongi Vice tagged in and doubleteamed Sydal. They gave a “Suck it” to the Bucks. Baretta nailed a big flip dive to the floor on everyone. He tossed Matt Jackson into the ring and went to the top but Nick snapped his legs, causing him to crash into the ring. The Bucks took control of the ring and began nailing kicks on everyone they could.
The Bucks tagged in and out as they maintained control of the ring, working over Baretta. He tried to mount a comeback but was kept off balance. Nick Jackson was grabbed by Bobby Fish on the outside but the Bucks took ReDragon off the apron. Nick cinched in a side headlock to wear down Baretta, then drilled him with a dropkick. Baretta finally scored with a tornado DDT. Ricochet tagged in and nailed a gorgeous springboard clothesline. He and Sydal worked over Nick Jackson, including stereo standing moonsaults in the ring.
All sorts of insane dives started until Scott Hall tripped Ricochet. The referee was distracted by Matt Jackson faking an injury, allowing Hall to nail a running Razor’s Edge over the top onto everyone. He then tossed Ricochet back into the ring. Jackson nailed the running powerbomb/kick in the corner. The Bucks nailed a swanton off the ropes as Jackson held him against the ropes. Ricochet kicked up and tried to fight his way back, allowing Yoshi Tatsu to clumsily explain fighting spirit. Ricochet came back with a big suplex. He and Sydal did some sweet big spots including a springboard dive to the outside to wipe out Hall.
ReDragon returned to the fray and began kicking all sorts of ass with combination moves. Hall pulled Fish out and sent him into the ring barrier. O’Reilly came off the corner with a big flying knee. Everyone battled over a suplex attempt in the center of the ring. Romero nailed a big double clothesline on the Bucks, then on Ricochet and Sydal. Athletically, this is nuts. The Bucks blindtagged in and nearly stole the win but Romero kicked out at the last second. The Bucks nailed More Bang for Your Buck and scored the win.
Your winners and new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team champions, for the fourth time, The Young Bucks!
A HELL of an opener with some ridiculously fun athletic stuff and lots of flips and all out physical mayhem. If you like this style, you’ll enjoy this a lot. A great spectacle.
Bullet Club’s Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale vs. Toru Yano & The Briscoes
to crown the first NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team championship.
Everyone brawled at the bell. You knew that was going to happen. The Briscoes double teamed Tama Tonga and peppered Takahashi with punches. Briscoe nailed the Cactus Elbow off the apron on Takahashi on the floor. Fale tagged in and took control on Yano. This allowed the Bullet Club to tag in and out and work over Yano with stomps and kicks for a near fall.
Fale continued to crush Yano and worked him over with shams and stomps. The Bullet Club put the boots to him as the Briscoes tried to enter the ring to help but were stopped by referee Tiger Hatori. They exposed the buckle but Yano escaped and sent Fale into the corner. Yano took down Takahasi and Tonga but celebrated, allowing himself to be wiped out by Fale.
Mark Briscoe finally tagged in and went back and forth with Takahashi. He escaped a backdrop and landed on his feet to unleash some Redneck Kung Fu. Takahashi grabbed a waistlock and nailed a hard German suplex on Mark. Jay finally tags in and nails a DVDR on Tonga for a two count. Briscoe nailed a hangman’s neckbreaker for another two count.
Fale caught Briscoe and went for an Alabama Slam and nailed it. Yano broke up the pinfall attempt. Fale drilled him. Tonga went after Jay as Mark and Takahashi brawled on the floor. He went for a double underhook suplex but was drilled into the corner. Briscoe set him up on the top rope and set up for a Electric Chair. Yano nailed him with a chair, setting up The Briscoes to nail the Doomsday Device for the pin.
Your winners and first NEVER Open Weight Six Man Tag Team champions, The Briscoes & Toru Yano!
ROH champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) vs. Michael Elgin.
Elgin was all power early, slapping Lethal to show he wasn’t messing around and even doing a one-handed powerslam. They battled to the apron, where Lethal escaped a powerbomb attempt and caught him with a springboard kick after Martini distracted Elgin. Lethal hit a pair of tope suicidas to the floor, the first of which he almost killed himself with.
Lethal tried to get the win via countout. Lethal tried to make the cover but Elgin kicked out at one to showcase he power. Lethal continued to work him over and even grandstanded over his body. Jay snapped him into the buckles and nailed him with some stiff chops in the corner. Elgin was whipped into the opposite corner but backdropped Jay over the ropes to the apron. Lethal fought back but Elgin nailed him with a sick tornado forearm. Lethal somehow aborbed that and was able to nail a cartwheel elbow. Lethal cinched in a chinlock but Elgin powered back to his feet and ran Lethal backwards into the buckles.
Lethal went for a tornado DDT but Elgin was sent flying out of the corner. Lethal charged him but was caught and nailed with an exploder. Elgin nailed a series of splashes into the ropes then nailed a slingshot splash into the ring. He charged Jay in the corner but was kicked away. Lethal charged but was nailed with a powerslam. He grabbed Lethal for a big German suplex with a bridge for a two count.
Jay fired back with the Lethal Combination. He went to the top for the flying elbow and nailed it for a two count. He went for the Lethal Injection again but Elgin avoided it and nailed a series of German suplexes. Lethal fired back with elbows to prevent a third but was caught with a big clothesline that sent him inside out. Lethal rolled out to the apron but Elgin went to the ropes and used his power to pick Lethal up into a deadift into a Falcon’s Arrow for a CLOSE two count.
Elgin went for a powerbomb but Martini tossed the Book of Truth into the ring and Jay nailed Elgin in the face with it. Lethal nailed the Lethal Injection and scored the pin.
Your winner and still ROH champion, Jay Lethal!
A good match but nowhere near what you might have expected. Elgin got to showcase his power for most of the match but Lethal didn’t get to do as much. With the win, Lethal did get to continue to build his series of title defenses. That said, I didn’t care for the finish as I think that on this show, using a foreign object to set up the win didn’t do as much to help cement ROH or the Lethal title run as a clean finish might have in my opinion.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Kenny Omega (with The Young Bucks) vs. KUSHIDA
KUSHIDA came out with Taguchi dressed as Doc Brown from “Back to the Future” while Omega had a Terminator-inspired entrance of sorts. The Club attacked, allowing Omega to work over KUSHIDA early and control the ring. He missed a hip attack in the corner, allowing KUSHIDA to nail a dropkick. KUSHIDA showed a lot of fire early. Omega went under the ring and sprayed himself with the bodyspray but KUSHIDA nailed him with a sliding dropkick.
Matt Jacksion distracted the referee, allowing Omega to nail KUSHIDA with a trash can and then hit a moonsault off the guard rail with a trash can on him. Back in the ring, he drilled KUSHIDA with a rude backbreaker, sending him to the floor. Omega set up for a dive as the Bucks beat on the trash cans to rally him. Omega hit a BIG tope con hilo over the top to the floor on KUSHIDA.
Back in the ring, KUSHIDA was beaten down but fired back with chops. Omega drilled him across the face with a big slap. Omega went for a suplex but KUSHIDA drilled him with a knee in the middle of the attempt while upside down. KUSHIDA nailed a big kick and a springboard kick into the ring. KUSHIDA nailed a springboard elbow and locked in a Kimura. Omega made it to the ropes to escape but was kicked in the arm.
KUSHIDA began working over the arm, making that the extremity he was working over. Omega caught him in the throat with a strike and began ripping away at his back. KUSHIDA caught him rebounding off the ropes with a rolling kick then went to the top with a big flip dive to the floor.
KUSHIDA nailed a big moonsault and went right into an armbreaker attempt. Omega rolled through but was caught with an suplex that snapped his arm. KUSHIDA and Omega battled to the top where KUSHIDA hit a divorce court variation, causing further damage to the arm. KUSHIDA nailed several kicks to the arm. Omega went for a suplex but KUSHIDA avoided. Kenny went for a kick but KUSHIDA nailed him with a STIFF right punch. He went to the top but missed a corkscrew twisting dive when Omega rolled out of the way.
KUSHIDA nailed a series of kicks and went for a springboard elbow. Omega caught him with a reverse back suplex but KUSHIDA caught him in a Kimura. The Young Bucks tried to pull Omega to the ropes but Taguchi charged and attacked them with a trash can. Omega went for the One Winged Angel but KUSHIDA escaped. Omega nailed a big knee strike and KUSHIDA was out on the mat.
Omega nailed a big powerbomb but KUSHIDA kicked out at the last second. Omega drilled him with a running knee strike in the ropes. He went for the One Winged Angel but KUSHIDA nailed a small package and scored the pin.
Your winner and new IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, KUSHIDA!
Excellent back and forth match with lots of great exchanges and near falls. The best thing on the show at this point.
IWGP Tag Team champions Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (with the Bullet Babe Amber Gallows) vs. World Tag League winners Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe.
Our own Matt Macklin got a shout out by Kevin Kelly before the bell. Hey Kevin, it’s OK to mention the site too!
Anderson and Honma start out. Makabe tags in and clobbers him with a big clothesline in the corner and peppers him with right hands. The Bullet Club were able to overtake Makabe. They scored several near falls on him before Makabe was able to catch Anderson with a clothesline and tag in Honma.
Honma slammed Anderson and then Doc to a big pop. He dropped a big headbutt on Anderson and worked him over in the corner with right hands. He whipped Anderson into the corner but was kicked off. They went face to face but was nailed. Gallows caught him with a big side slam. The champions double teamed Honma, but Makabe broke up the pinfall.
Makabe was able to clothesline Doc over the top to the floor. Honma was sent into the ropes and nailed a diving headbutt that shocked Anderson. He slammed him and went to the top, which the crowd was really into, but was nailed by Gallows. Anderson followed him to the top for a move but Honma dropped to the apron and battled with Anderson. Anderson nailed a running powerbomb for a close two count.
Anderson and Honma battled and it ended with each man out on the mat. Doc and Makabe tagged in. They exchanged big clotheslines but Doc nailed a kick and the Gallows Pole but Makabe kicked out at a two count. Makabe ducked and rebounded off the ropes, nailing a double clothesline on the champions.
Gallows was knocked off his feet. Honma was slapped into awareness by his partner and nailed a diving headbutt on Anderson. They double teamed Anderson with a top rope maneuver. Honma went to the top and hit the flying headbutt followed by Makabe doing the Bruiser Brody knee off the top for the pin.
Your winners and new IWGP Tag Team champions, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe!
Great stuff here with a good come from behind story. The crowd was so into Honma, it was nutty.
New Japan announced 2/19 and 2/20 ROH dates in Japan They ran down the dates for all their major events in 215 as well. The G1 Cimax is back at Sumo Hall.
Hirooki Goto vs. Tetsuya Naito
EVIL and Naito attack Goto before the bell. Jeez, that has happened about 10000 times tonight. Goto was able to come back with a hard kick to the chest of Naito, sending him to the floor. They go to the floor where EVIL placed a chair over Goto’s head then nailed him with another chair like he was swinging a bat. They brought a table into the ringside area. Naito nailed a neckbreaker off the apron through the table.
Naito controlled Goto on the mat with head scissors. Naito controlled him for a long time, working over his neck. Goto finally came back with a big clothesline on Naito. Goto came alive with offense including a bulldog out of the corner for a two count. He nailed a big side suplex for another two count.
Goto went for a DVDR attempt but Naito slipped out and nailed an inverted atomic drop. He went to the top and nailed a big missile dropkick, then went after the leg and knees of Goto. Naito placed Goto on the top but was battled as he went for a superplex. They exchanged blows on the top before Goto scored with a headbutt. Goto nailed a Code Red off the top for a close two count. Nice sequence.
Goto tried to follow up with additional pinfalls but was unable to get the three count. Naito escaped a DVDR attempt and nailed a leaping enziguiri but Goto sucked it up. Goto was nailed again and snapped off the ropes with a top rope rana for a two count. They battered each other back and forth with forearms and punches.
Goto finally caught Naito with a DVDR, dropping him across the knee as he came down but was too tired to capitalize. Goto nailed a big right hand and went for a kick but it was shoved off into the referee, who went down. Goto laid waste to Naito with a kick but EVIL attacked him. A masked man went to spray mist but Goto ducked and EVIL was blinded. Naito nailed him with a low blow and rolled him up but Goto kicked up at the last second.
Goto pulled him into a headbutt and pulled up Naito. He went for a suplex into a DDT and scored the pin.
Your winner, Hirooki Goto!
Something of a surprising ending given the push Naito has received. A really good back and forth match.
NEVER Openweight champion Tomohiro Ishii vs. Katsuyori Shibata.
They started striking and smacking the hell out of each other. They began beating the hell out of each other with back and forth forearms and punches. Shibata nailed a big knee and began stomping the hell out of Ishii. Ishii had enough and got back up in his face, snapmared him over and kicked him in the back. Shibata responded by doing the same and then daring Ishii to do the same. They really kicked the hell out of each other until finally Ishii went down hurting. This is some brutal stuff.
Ishii began chopping the hell out of Shibata, who went down and leapt back to his feet with a big forearm that took down Ishii. Shibata grabbed him but was caught with a big back suplex. Ishii kicked him in the face several times, backling Shibata up into a corner. He unloaded with chops and punches in the face as Shibata collapsed in the corner.
Ishii nailed a big running clothesline in the corner but Shibata fired up and nailed a series of big forearms and a huge running kick to the chest as Ishii charged him. Shibata locked him in an abdominal stretch, then turned it into an Octopus submission. Ishii began driving his boot across Ishii’s face in the corner.
Ishii pulled himself up in the corner but Ishii pulled himself up. Shibata kept laying in the big bombs. Ishii dated him to keep bringing it and finally snapped him back with a hard shot. Now it was Ishii’s turn to use the boot scrapes in the corner. Shibata and Ishii went face to face with Shibata taking him back down in the corner. He nailed a big dropkick in the corner. Ishii went back to his feet and went for a clothesline but Shibata snapped him with a dropkick and they both went down.
Shibata locked in an attempted short arm scissors but Ishii made it to the ropes. Shibata began unloaded with kicks to the chest and head. Ishii fired back but his right arm was hurting. They exchanged clotheslines and kicks. Ishii was getting the worst of the exchange but refused to go down. They kept getting up from all sorts of nutty big moves before they both collapsed from the exhaustion.
Ishii nailed a chop to the throat and a big powerbomb for a two count. This is insane. Ishii placed Shibata on the top but was caught in an armbar on the ropes. The referee implored them to return to the ring. Shibata came off the ropes and snapped his arm. Ishii came back with a hard clothesline. Shibata nailed a back drop driver for another two count.
Shibata went for a chinlock. Ishii tried to snapmare him over but Shibata held on and held him on the mat. Ishii looked as if he was going to go out but Ishii made it to the ropes. Shibata immediately began kicking the hell out of him but Ishii caught the leg and nailed a vicious headbutt. They began exchanging hard headbutts. Ishii charged and Shibata dropkicked his head off. Ishii came back with a nasty lariat for a two count and then another. Shibata finally scored the pin.
Your winner and new NEVER Openweight champion, Katsuyori Shibata!
Just an insane, insane, brutal back and forth fight. God bless these guys because they had no regard for their own well being. It was nuts. The headbutts were completely unnecessary as everything else they did was crazy enough.
IWGP Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles.
Some nice back and forth wrestling early as they felt the other out. Styles finally scored with a big dropkick to the face. Styles went to the ropes but was pulled off leg first by Nakamura. Nakamura turned his back, allowing Styles to nail him with a running elbow.
Styles worked over Nakamura in the corner. Styles nailed a big kneedrop. Styles locked in the MutaLock. Nakamura made it to the ropes. Styles tossed Nakamura into the corner and nailed a leaping clothesline. He drillled Nakamura with an elbow at the base of the neck and drilled him with a forearm. Nakamura fired back with several of his own and Styles was nailed with a rude backbreaker.
Styles went to the floor, holding his bad back but was driven into the barricade by Nakamura. Nakamura cleaned house on him and choked him against the ropes with his boot. He nailed a number of knee strikes then picked up Styles for. suplex and slammed him down rudely on the mat. Styles avoided a running kick in the corner but was caught and drilled after being placed across the top turnbuckles.
Styles avoided a charged in the corner, nailed Nakamura and scored with a springboard forearm smash. Styles went for a suplex but his back wouldn’t allow it. Nakamura went for one but Styles blocked and snap suplexed the champion into the buckles. Styles locked on the Calf Killer but Nakamura immediately grabbed the ropes.
Nakamura drilled Styles and nailed a back cracker followed by a big suplex that turned Styles inside out. They each avoided moves but Styles rolled through and caught him in the Calf Killer in the center of the ring. Nakamura fought out and rolled through into an armbreaker. Nakamura nailed a Whirly Bird for a two count.
Styles came back with an attempted Styles Clash but Nakamura was able to backdrop him. Styles rolled through with a sunset flip attempt but Nakamura avoided him and came off the ropes with a Bombaye kick to the chest. Styles and Nakamura exchanged strikes and kicks. Styles nailed the Pele Kick but Nakamura drilled him with the running knee strike for another two count. Great stuff.
Styles scored with the 450 splash and nearly got the three count. They went back and forth until Styles hit a one armed Styles Clash for another two count. Nakamura grabbed at his neck. Styles nailed Bloody Sunday on the champion and went for another Styles Clash. Styles stomped him in the head when Nakamura blocked the move. Styles went for another but changed his mind and grabbed Nakamura, dragging him to the corner. Styles pulled him up, wanting to hit the Clash off the top. Nakamura battled back and placed Styles on his shoulder, then drove him down to the mat with a Michinoku Driver variation, only to see Styles kick out at the very last second.
Nakamura came back with a pair of Bombaye Kicks and scored the pin.
Your winner and still IWGP Intercontinental champion, Shinsuke Nakamura!
Absolutely brilliant back and forth match. The rare dream match billing that lives up to the hype.
IWGP champion Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi looked ripped. They went face to face early. Okada slapped him. Some really nice back and forth stuff on the mat early on. Tanahashi worked on Okada’s shoulder and kept him at bay with a side headlock. He then focused his attack on Okada’s knee and leg.
Okada mounted a comeback but was nailed with a back elbow and a reverse bodypress off the ropes. Okada held on and dropped him to the apron outside, then nailed a springboard dropkick to him, sending the challenger to the floor. Okada sent him into the barricade. Okada nailed a big flying bodypress over the guard rail to the floor.
Okada nailed a slingshot senton splash on Tanahashi for a two count. Tanahashi came back with a senton splash off the ropes. Okada sent him into the corner and nailed a leaping hip attack. Okada nailed a DDT and a leaping back elbow for a two count.
Tanahashi made a comeback and nailed a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Okada went to the floor to recover. Tanahashi ascended to the top but Okada met him there with a series of uppercuts. They battled on the top but Tanahashi slipped off his shoulders. He pulled Okada’s leg through then buckles and then nailed a Dragon Screw Legwhip on it, hurting Okada’s knee. Tanahashi then nailed another on the leg. Tanahashi then followed up with Sling Blade on the apron.
Tanahashi then went to the top again and hit a frog splash onto Okada, who was in a standing position. Okada was almost counted out after he had problems standing on his bad knee, but made it in at the 18 count. Tanahashi slammed him and went to the ropes, nailing a frog splash with authority. He set up for the Texas Cloverleaf and fought to turn the champion over. Okada was able to prevent the move but was stomped into the corner.
Tanahashi placed Okada’s leg in the rope and dropkicked it. Okada nailed White Noise on Tanahashi but his knee was killing him after and he laid there grabbing at it. They returned to their feet and exchanged forearms. Okada drilled him with a series of dropkicks to the face and covered him for a two count. Okada scored with a massive missile dropkick but Tanahashi was able to break the pin with the ropes
Okada slammed him with authority and came off with a leaping elbow. He called for the Rainmaker. Tanahashi ducked it and Okada grabbed him for a tombstone. Tanahashi rolled through for a two count. He then nailed a dropkick to the knees and scored with another Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Tanahashi avoided a dropkick and nailed a Dragon Screw Leg Whip on the ankle. He locked in a variation of the Texas Cloverleaf but didn’t have the champion turned all the way over.
Okada fought for the ropes but found himself trapped in the hold. He finally dragged himself to the ropes to force a break. Tanahashi caught him with a neckbreaker and The Slingblade before rushing to the top and going for a frog splash. Okada rolled out of the way, so there was no water in the pool. Okada muscled Tanahashi up for a tombstone but he slipped out and nailed a rolling neckbreaker, but Okada held on and spiked him with a tombstone.
Okada nailed the Rainmaker clothesline but the challenger kicked out at two. Okada nailed a frog splash, Tanahashi’s finisher but only scored a two count. Tanahashi came back to nail the Rainmaker, Okada’s finisher. Okada gets to his feet first but is kicked in the bad knee. Tanahashi kept kicking Okada away. He went for another kick but was caught for a tombstone. Tanahashi escaped and nailed the Sling Blade followed by a Dragon Suplex for a two count.
Tanahashi went to the top for another Frog splash and nailed it on Okada’s back. He went to the top again and nailed one more but Okada still kicked out. The crowd popped huge for that. He went back for another but this time, Okada dropkicked him in mid-air. Tanahashi went down and grabbed at his shoulder and ribs.
Okada went for a back suplex but Tanahashi tried to fight his way out. He nailed a hard slap but was caught with a big dropkick by Okada. Okada nailed a German suplex but was struck with a hard slap by Tanahashi. Okada held onto him and nailed a pair of Rainmaker clotheslines. He scored with a third and made the cover for the pin.
Okada FINALLY beats Tanahashi in the Dome!
Your winner and still IWGP champion, Kazuchika Okada!
A HELL of a main event.
There was a ton of great wrestling on this show. This was far superior to last year’s Dome show.