Stuff of Dreams in Anniversary Main

Bishamon best Dream Team in Ota

The main event of NJPW’s 51st Anniversary card March 6 would see the IWGP Tag Team Champions on the line as Bishamon, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI sought their second defence of the IWGP Tag Team Championships against the Dream Team of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Hirooki Goto.

Watch the replay now!

It was a tale of two of the best singles wrestlers of all time against the current world’s best tag team, and the difference in levels when it came to team work was evident from the off. While Okada and Tanahashi would get early knockdowns on YOSHI-HASHI, it wouldn’t be long before Tanahashi was in trouble, and in the wrong corner after damaging double teams.

The Ace would rally in the face of YOSHI-HASHI’s chops, and caught a kick into a Dragon Screw to bring Okada in. The IWGP World Heavyweight Champion would use a dropkick to bring the Headhunter outside, and drilled both tag champions with a pair of DDT’s on the floor. As Okada fought well to keep first YOSHI-HASHI and then Hirooki Goto away from their partner, Tanahashi would be effective in the support role, several times ensuring YOSHI-HASHI was off the apron as Okada wrenched the Money Clip on Goto. 

Okada would start to walk the dog on Goto with short arm lariats, but before he could uncork the Rainmaker, YOSHI-HASHI was finally there to make the save. As Bishamon battled back, it was a flapjack that scored for Okada, Tanahashi tagging in, but tasting an Ushigoroshi before stinging chops from YOSHI-HASHI. The Ace proved too much for the Headhunter at this time, a straightjacket German scoring, but Goto would prevent a High Fly Flow, and the champions again rallied at the 15 minute mark. 

YOSHI-HASHI would get on the move toward Tanahashi, but found Okada suddenly stepping in with a dropkick. The Dream Team would set for a dream combination of top rope Okada elbow and High Fly Flow, but only the first move connected, Tanahashi finding YOSHI-HASHI’s knees buried in his ribs as the match continued to the roaring delight of the crowd. Bishamon hit the Violent Flash on Tanahashi, and set the Ace for Shoto, but Okada would break up the fall at 2.9.

Goto and YOSHI-HASHI used a reverse Shoto to send Okada out of the equation, and primed for Neraku, but Tanahashi escaped with a near fall cradle, before dropkicking the knee out from under Goto. It was on YOSHI-HASHI and the Ace, but the Headhunter had expert tag team awareness until the bitter end, bringing Tanahashi in short to the ropes and holding him in the knowledge that Goto would be there for support with a lariat to the back. Neraku followed and the champs had retained in a classic.