Road to Sakura Genesis night 2 (April 2) Preview

KOPW main event, Boltin Oleg’s official debut and more



After the Road to Sakura Genesis gets underway in Hiratsuka on April 1 at a non televised event, the tour heads into two loaded nights in Korakuen before the big event in Ryogoku April 8. 

Watch Road to Sakura Genesis LIVE, or in English on demand on NJPW World!

Main event: KOPW 2023- Ultimate Triad Match Shingo Takagi vs Aaron Henare

Singles record: 1-1

The main event of the evening will see Shingo Takagi’s position as KOPW holder on the line as he defends against Aaron Henare. After the Ultimate Weapon scored an impressive victory over the Dragon in the first round of the New Japan Cup, his claim to Takagi’s belt was clear, and solidified later in the tour with a victory in tag team action. Henare would take the microphone to directly appeal to Shingo, demanding not just to have his shot, but to decide the rules for their title meeting. Takagi accepted, passing the responsibility to Henare, who proposed a unique Ultimate Triad Match.

In this bout, there will be no countouts and no disqualifications. The only way to win will be to score a pinfall, a submission and a ten count knockout on your opponent in any order you see fit. The winner then, will be able to claim clear superiority over their opposition, and will certainly be rightful holder of the KOPW crown.

6th Match: Master Wato, YOH, Tiger Mask, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada vs Just Five Guys (TAKA Michinoku, DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & SANADA)

The New Japan Cup winner SANADA will be opposite his April 8 Ryogoku opponent Kazuchika Okada tonight in this ten man preview of Sakura Genesis. With just one week of previews ahead of their title match, SANADA and Okada may have to rely on past knowledge of one another. Yet champion and challenger both have undergone dramatic change this year alone, and will be finding that out tonight. With Just Five Guys as a full unit together for the very first time, will they be too much for the CHAOS and Hontai combination opposite?

5th Match: Boltin Oleg Debut- Boltin Oleg, Ryusuke Taguchi & Shota Umino vs TMDK (Kosei Fujita, Robbie Eagles & Zack Sabre Jr.)

After a pre debut exhibition match in the Tokyo Dome January 4, Boltin Oleg makes his official debut on April 2 in Korakuen Hall. The huge, intimidating Kazakh amateur great will certainly be turning heads here, but his partners and opponents have their own agendas. Shota Umino is just a week away from challenging Zack Sabre Jr. for the NJPW World TV Championship, and is eager to show that not only can he best ZSJ, but he can do it in under the stipulated 15 minute time limit for TV title defences. Meanwhile Robbie Eagles is wrestling under TMDK colours for the first time tonight, and has much to show the world, and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi who will doubtless be keeping a keen eye. 

4th Match: CHAOS (Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)


In both singles and team competition, Aussie Open have been nothing short of spectacular in recent weeks, and have more than cemented their challenge to the IWGP Tag Team Championships April 8 at Sakura Genesis. This preview bout sees them combine with Great-O-Khan, who is always happy to assert his dominance over the ever tricky Yano.

3rd Match: Ryohei Oiwa, Ren Narita, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo)

24 hours before HOUSE OF TORTURE and Strong Style meet for the NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championships, an eight man preview will see high tensions and a champion team hungry for revenge. After El Desperado was unmasked, and Ren Narita forcibly spray painted in Nagaoka Tuesday, will H.O.T only seek to anger the champions even more?

2nd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito) vs BULLET CLUB (Gedo, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo)

There has been plenty of disruption in the factions of New Japan Pro-Wrestling in recent weeks, with much of it surrounding the transitions of the recent New Japan Cup finalists. While LIJ have been accepting, if only complimentary in a back handed sense, toward SANADA as he moved to Just Five Guys however, David Finlay’s position in BULLET CLUB has been accepted with anything but open arms by El Phantasmo. With ELP set to team with Bloody hands Gedo tonight and Finlay himself in Ryogoku at Sakura Genesis April 8, the ghope is that some of these troubles may be smoothed over by the Club. 

1st Match: Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe) vs Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima

Kicking off the night’s action, the Great Bash Heel tag combination of Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe reform to teach a few things about tag wrestling to Dojo ‘frenemies’ Yuto Nakashima and Oskar Leube. Will the young prospects be able to impress themselves on veteran opposition?