NJPW Southern Showdown was held June 29 in Melboune, Australia and featured 3 championship matches as well as a special tag match between the dream team of Okada & Tanahashi and White & Fale.
Match 8: Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated BULLET CLUB (Jay White & Bad Luck Fale) when Okada pinned Fale
Okada and Fale started the match and after some success from Okada, Jay and Tanahashi stepped into the ring, where Jay picked-up from where he left off on the Dontaku tour, dominating Tanahashi. The match continued in a similar fashion with the wily White taking every opportunity to cause pain to the Ace. Fale came in to capitalize on White’s success, but Tanahashi managed to escape and tag in Okada. The rainmaker lead the crowd in an “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” chant, bodyslammed Fale and delivered a devastating neck-breaker to White, swinging the match back into his team’s favor. Tanahashi seemed to get a new lease on life, but White was able turn the match after a short period of Tanahashi offense. From there, the dream team of Tanahashi and Okada were finally able to click. The two being able to pull off a series of manoeuvers, including a fantastic double-team suplex to Bad Luck Fale to gain the victory.
After the match, Okada addressed the crowd in English, thanking the crowd and sending them home happy.
Match 7: Will Ospreay retained against Robbie Eagles
The match started in energetic fashion with frentic exchanges between the two former friends. Whilst Robbie showed some amazing dexterity, Ospreay’s time wrestling with the heavyweights had been effective able to stop a lot of Eagles’s offensive with some powerful chops. From there Ospreay had the clear upper-hand over his opponent, throwing him about the ring as much as he liked. However, the sniper of the skies was able to work his way back into the match, using his speed and precision to evade a great deal of Ospreay’s offense before he started dominating the match.
Once Ospreay had managed to catch his breath he had seen enough. His flashy modern style had not turned the Australian fans to cheer him, having almost universally rallied around their fellow countryman, Eagles. Having assaulted him in the tree of woe and with Eagles sprawled on the floor, the Aerial Assassin exhorted the referee to count faster. Eagles too had seen enough and entered into a new level of viciousness. El Phantasmo, who had been lurking ringside all night, having been banished by Eagles earlier in the night, started to interfere in the match, accidentally catching a Suicide Dive from Eagles. Later in the match he pulled Red Shoes from the ring and attempted to assault Ospreay with the championship belt before being stopped by Eagles. Eagles further endeared himself to the local fans by returning the belt. The two warriors kept fighting with every ounce of strength in their bodies, but in the end a Storm breaker from Ospreay ended an epic bout.
Frustrated that Phantasmo had distracted the pair during the match, and his overall behavior, Eagles punched Phantasmo in the face and accepted the handshake offered by Ospreay.
Match 6: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) retained their titles against Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls
Nicholls and Juice start on top, once brawling started GoD able to gain the upper hand. Juice in particular took a brutal beating from Tama Tonga. GoD masterfully isolated Mikey Nicholls, but Juice was able to get in and even the odds. From there, GOD were able to take the fight to Nicholls and Juice, with Juice bearing the brunt of their assault, but being able to to get into range of the ropes more often than not, to force a ropebreak to any of G.O.D’s pinfall attempts. Juice survived the onslaught and G.o.D’s efforts were thwarted. GoD were able to sneak a victory though a roll-up with a bit of assistance from Nicholls’ tights.
Match 5: El Phantasmo retained against Rocky Romero
Romero started off the match being in a position of advantage, having beaten his opponent during the best of the Super Jrs. 26. Phantasmo was able to effectively counter Romeo’s sneaky style, but Romero had plenty of offense up his sleeve, as Phantasmo found out to his detriment. Whilst Rocky’s offense proved effective, the headbanger had learned a lot from their earlier encounters in the Best of Super Juniors 26 and was able to counter a lot of his techniques effectively. At one point a vicious looking arm-bar was countered into a leg-lock and one roll-up was countered into another. The match was decided when the referee was sent careening out of the ring, so that when Romero managed to submit his opponent, there was nobody around to register the victory. After Phantasmo hit Romero with his belt, the referee had managed to recover enough to witness Phantasmo’s CR2 and pin fall victory
Match 4: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) defeated BULLET CLUB (Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens)
BULLET CLUB started the match by jumping CHAOS before the bell, targeting YOSHI-HASHI, who was still reeling from seeing his dreams of a G1 Climax 29 entry dashed by Zack Sabre Jr. earlier in the week. Having had his fill of the headhunter, Owens decided to invite Ishii to the ring, perhaps hoping to leverage a strong performance into a last minute G1 challenge. Owens, however was outclassed by Ishii and it was only when he brought Takahashi in to help him that he managed to overpower his opponent. Ishii’s status as the only G1 Climax entrant in the ring was justified however as he managed to take out Owens with a Vertical Drop brainbuster.
Match 3: CHAOS (Toru Yano & YOH) defeated BULLET CLUB (Gino Gambino, Taiji Ishimori)
The match started with Gambino being somewhat reluctant to fight and quickly became fed-up with yano’s antics, taking the fight to him immediately, enraging the crowd who were firmly behind the production genius. Yano was eventually able to get the better of his larger opponent and Ishimori and YOH stepped into the ring. The two engaged in a tough fight, with YOH aiming to get the better of the man who had stolen his championship earlier in the month. After a thrust kick from YOH, Yano got the win with a schoolboy.
Match 2: Slex defeated Aaron Solow
Local hometown hero, Slex, took on arrogant veteran, Aaron Solow, in in the second match. Whilst Solow proved dominant in the opening portions of the match, Slex was able to pull off some ingenious and imaginative power bombs and moves. As the match drew on, Slex started coming more and more into the math. Solow, however appeared to have been playing possum and was almost able to secure the victory, but ultimately it was Slex who emerged victorious.
Match 1: Toa Henare, Shota Umino & Nick Bury defeated Michael Richards, Andrew Villalobos & Mark Tui when Henare pinned Villalobos
Whilst the match started in a sportsmanlike manner it didn’t take time for the wrestlers from the Fale Dojo to show the malign influence their owner has inspired in them. Taking inspiration from the rogue general himself, they targeted the new stand-in for Ren Narita (who had been unable to make the match due to travel issues), Nick Bury. Once Toa Henare came into the ring, it was clear just how much his time in New Japan and took the Fale Dojo wrestlers to task, finishing the match with his signature Toa Bottom.