NJPW Sakura Genesis 2017
David Finlay/Jushin Liger/Manabu Nakanishi vs Hirai Kawato/Katsuya Kitamura/Tomoyuki Oka
Holy fuck this jacked up young lion Kitamura. Banned from amateur wrestling for steroids, good thing NJ doesn't have a wellness policy. Oh shit, the Young Lions attack before the bell. Disrespectful shits. Hopefully Kitamura replaces Fale as the HOSS of the company. That dude's traps go to the middle of his back. Bronzed like the gods as well. Also a dick, putting Nakanishi in the torture rack. OH SHIT double torture racks! Lol at all 3 young lions being in significantly better shape than David Finlay. Finlay Jr. pins Kitamura with...a Stone Cold Stunner. Also, Finlay is wearing mascara for some reason.
Bullet Club vs Tiger Mask IV/Tiger Mask W/Togi Makabe/Yuji Nagata
Oh my god, Chase Owens and Yujiro. Fuck everything. "Imma rip that mask right in fuckin' half!" Tama out here looking like Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns double teamed a girl and had a miracle baby. He and W start out, and I feel like this should probably just be the whole match. Their 2 minute opening exchange will likely be the highlight of the match. Nagata spent most of the time in for his team. Just your normal undercard tag match. Tama pinned Tiger Mask IV with a Gun Stun....OUTTA NOWHERE!
Suzuki-Gun vs CHAOS
More GANG RULEZ. GANG WARZ. The entire Chaos team can get absolutely fricked. Roppongi Vice and Yoshi-Hashi. FRICK. At least the Suzuki team has Minoru and doesn't have Taichi. Luckily, this is very short. Like 5 minutes short. Yoshi pinned Taka with some goofy pumphandle driver. After the match, Minoru threw a fit and beat up some young lions.
Gedo/Jado vs Suzuki-Gun IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Frick. I don't know why I keep putting myself through the first half of NJ shows. Gedo and Jado are looking flabby and sick as hell. Especially Jado. Taichi has a fucking hammer, and the only part of it he uses is...the handle. To scrape across someone's face. Get the fuck out of here. Fuck this match. Everything about this match. For some reason, just a few weeks after PARALYZING a dude, Jado is still doing his sloppy ass hanging DDT. Kanemaru pins Jado with the flying DDT. Titles retained.
Bullet Club vs Chaos
Well, Kenny Omega is wearing his Young Bucks gear, so I don't expect much out of him, but maybe he and Ishii will have some nice sequences. On the other hand...Yano and Fale. FRICK. This stuff with Yano and Fale is HORRIBLE. So is the Kenny/Yano stuff. Because holy shit Yano is just the fucking worst. Since Kenny was in full blown comedy mode, the stuff with him and Ishii wasn't good, either. Kenny pinned Ishii with the one winged angel.
Taguchi Japan vs Los Ingobernables de Japon
Oh my god, 6 straight half assed tags. At least Naito is still dope even in ultra "not gonna work" mode. Tanahashi starts the match looking for revenge against EVIL. If you got rid of Taguchi, this could be a solid 6 man tag. I don't know who you'd cut from the LIJ team, but as long as we can get rid of Taguchi. Lmao at the announcer having the same reaction to Taguchi as me. Lol at Ricochet's jumping DDT to Sanada's anime hair. Also lol at Tanahashi's double dragon screw. This is the only match before intermission to actually have developments to it, as JUICE ROBINSON pinned Naito, then challenged him to an IC title match.
War Machine vs Tencozy IWGP Tag Team Championships
Oh boy, ROH dudes and dead armed Tenzan. Like the Ascension meets the Highlanders. Pretty sure this is WM's first match in NJ, so it seems weird that they'd be getting a title shot. Also LOL at how these dudes are supposed to be these giants in ROH, but bald one is basically the same size as Tenzan, who was short even before his body shriveled up. Why the hell is the BIGGER guy doing a cartwheel into a lariat? The fuck? I'm going to say frick these guys for doing needlessly flashy shit just to do it despite being big bruisers. They're also doing Quebecers spots. At least Kojima works most of the match. Okay, the fat one does moonsaults and Mickey James spots as well. And a suicide dive. Come on. You're like 300 pounds. Work like a 300 pounder, pls. The bald one is absurdly stiff. War Machine wins with a Harlem Heat move. New champions.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Hirooki Goto NEVER Championship
Lol at ZSJ coming out with title belts literally up to his neck. He's GOT to change that all white gear, though. Makes him look like a little baby in a diaper. Even worse is you can actually see either his jock strap or an ill fitting thong through his tights, which looks like he has a load in his diaper. A lot of mat grapples to start. Yo, wtf is that Ric Flair like lump on Goto's back? Actually, he has two of them. As always, ZSJ should have never tried to hit a dude 50 pounds thicker who likes to hit people hard on a regular basis. Zack stomps Goto's forearm and that's his focus. He's also being a real dick, or a right cunt, as it were. ZSJ really dominates the majority of this match, laying a beating onto Goto, twisting his arm off, and just being a shithead. I wish he could put on about 15 pounds of mass if he's going to be competing with heavyweights in NJ. Suzuki-Gun fuckery. Including Minoru himself trying to cost Goto the match like he did to Shibata. Instead, Goto fights him off and hits Zack with the GTR to win and retain his title. Good match. Suzuki and Goto brawl after the match.
KUSHIDA vs Hiromu Takahashi IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
You know how I always say FRICK Kushida, right? Luckily for me, he got fucking squashed in under 2 minutes. Lmao. I mean, he tried to jump start the match by diving on Takahashi during his entrance, and ended up getting smashed 90 second slater. Just murdered with a sunset flip powerbomb and two time bombs. Frick off, Kushida. Ya done, son. Title retained. Ricochet came out to protect Kushida from an attack after the match, then challenged him. That has potential to be the flippy shit/bump match of 2017.
Katsuyori Shibata vs Kazuchika Okada IWGP Championship
This is the culmination of a few different plot lines. After being pushed to be one of if not the next top star of NJ in the early 2000s (along with Tanahashi and Nakamura), Shibata famously left the company in 2005 to become a freelancer before leaving wrestling all together to pursue an unsuccessful MMA career in 2007. He would return to New Japan in 2012, and while able to defeat Tanahashi/Nakamura/Naito in the G1 or other matches, he was never granted entry to the main event, not even getting an IWGP championship shot since his return until this night, after having won the NJ Cup in March. At the same time, soon after Shibata left wrestling, Okada began working for New Japan, and by the time Shibata returned, Okada had fully usurped the position in the new Musketeers that originally was intended for Shibata. And now, 5 years later, with Shibata having the biggest run of his career, they finally meet for the title for the first time.
The crowd is fully behind Shibata from the jump. Some very tentative mat wrestling to start, with Shibata getting to full mount a few times pretty easily, but not throwing any strikes, instead opting to voluntarily work from his back just to be a dick to Okada. This was all a set up to get Okada into an armbar, which appears to tweak his elbow. Fans again chant for Shibata. Okada just can't compete with World of Sport fuckery. So the opening segment of the match lays out that Shibata has Okada's number, and the fans want Shibata to win. Grinding your wrist into the cheekbone while applying a headlock is rude as hell. Okada drops the cocky clean break to throw some cheap shots and immediately gets a beat down, much to the crowd's delight. Fucking lol at how weak Okada's elbows are. Shibata is just BLASTING the fuck out of him, and Okada looks like a little kid trying to hit his dad. It takes a while, but Okada finally gets his shit together after the corner dropkick. Okada seems miffed at the reaction he's getting. These strike exchanges are brutal. Shibata is throwing some of the hardest strikes I've ever seen him throw. LMAO when Shibata slaps Okada in the back of the head. It pissed Okada off, and that was the point, but Okada asking for ANOTHER strike battle was pretty ill advised. Things get fucking HEATED after this. Shibata DOESN'T EVEN GO DOWN FOR THE RAINMAKER. He follows that with a DISGUSTING headbutt which busted himself open and...well, we'll get to the rest of that later. Rainmaker SLAPU! Okada gets kicked about 700 times, but holds on to hit three more Rainmakers, the last one was enough to put Shibata away, but Shibata was throwing an elbow on the way into it. Title retained. Shibata collapses multiple times on his way to the back. Bad Luck Fale hits the ring and attacks Okada.
First off, going forward, the undercard tags can get fucked. I'm not watching them anymore. Secondly, Okada/Shibata is incredible. The best match of the year up to this point, for sure blowing Okada's previous title defenses in 2017, including the Omega match at WK. The best performance of Shibata's career, which is also the last performance of his career since he gave himself a fucking subdural hematoma on the headbutt, a spot I've been vocal about being absolutely terrible and pointless since he made it a regular thing in the Summer of 2016. A month later, he's had brain surgery, was blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear. Because he insisted on doing headbutts so hard in a fake fight that he'd need to have his skull cut into. Absolutely absurd.
Weirdly, no one seems to be worried about Okada, who got hit about 50 times in the head/neck/jaw, got dropped on his head twice, and was the recipient of that headbutt.