The first event since the official inception of NJPW of America, Showdown hit the San Jose Civic on November 9 2019.
Main event: CHAOS (Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada) defeated Amazing Red & Kota Ibushi when Okada pinned Red.
Okada and Ibushi faced off at the start of the match as the audience buzzed in anticipation. After both men felt each other out, Ibushi got control early with a mid kick before tags were made on both sides, and San Jose exploded at the prospect of Ospreay and Red meeting once more.
Both men were evenly matched early, but a 619 around the top rope took Red to the floor and an Ospreay plancha gave the CHAOS duo control. A mammoth Satellite DDT from Red though, brought fans to their feet and Ibushi in the ring. January 4’s IWGP Heavyweight Champion and challenger traded the biggest blows they could bring, from hard elbows to big crunching dropkicks. Red took control on Okada, and looked for Code Red, but got cut off by a flying Ospreay; a second Code Red connected, but again Ospreay flew in to break up the pin as bodies flew everywhere.
As the match reached its conclusion, Red attempted a quebrada but was caught into an Okada Tombstone. A flying elbow followed, as did a Rainmaker for the win.
Post match, Ibushi teased attacking Okada, but left with a wry smile instead. Okada and Ospreay sent the fans home happy. Okada asked the fans if they enjoyed themselves, before taking the temperature of the room when it came to the main events on January 4 and 5, vowing that he would be back in San Jose as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, keeping the only title that matters.
8th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi) defeated BULLET CLUB (Jay White & Chase Owens) when Naito pinned Owens.
Owens started the action proper, and was quickly taken over by Takagi and Naito, who shot White cold glances between every offensive move. When he tried for the Combination Cabron however, Gedo caught Naito’s boot, and White brought his Intercontinental challenger on January 4 crashing down onto the apron.
Owens and White took firm control of Naito for an extended period, but a tierjas from Naito brought a much needed tag to Shingo. Takagi cleaned house of both BULLET CLUB members, but Owens stayed persistent, hitting a Jewel Heist and jab combo, only to be leveled by a lariat from the Dragon.
At last, Naito was in ring on an even footing with White, and charged with renewed grace and confidence, but a canny DDT put the Switchblade back in charge. Heavy elbow shots seemed to swing the momentum back to El Ingobernable, but the Saito suplex stopped Naito in his tracks as Owens came back in.
Owens attempted the Package Piledriver, but was denied, as Naito and Takagi teamed up to floor both members of BULLET CLUB. Destino to Owens followed, as Naito gained a valuable win.
7th Match: Lance Archer defeated David Finlay via pinfall to retain the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship.
Finlay got off to an explosive start, hitting huge dropkicks and a dive to Archer, but the US Champion quickly took his challengers feet from him before powerbombing Finlay into a pile of laid out Young Lions on the floor. Archer dove to the pile, before keeping up the punishement in ring.
As powerful and athletic offense continued to punish Finlay, it seemed as if the challenger had no answer. A desperation spear found the mark, but Finlay used his injured shoulder to do so. The shoulder held up to an impressive slam from challenger to champion however, as Finlay fired up. A Prima Nocta didn’t connect while an Archer Derailer did however; a follow-up chokeslam nearly led to the three.
A Blackout from Archer would have meant three, but Archer pulled Finlay up in order to use the EBD Claw. That was a huge mistake, as Finlay cradled Archer for a nearfall, and then countered a Chokeslam with the Prima Nocta. Finlay tried to follow with an Acid Drop, however, and Archer countered into the EBD Claw for the victory.
As Juice Robinson tended to Finlay post match, Archer yelled that Robinson ‘isn’t worthy’ as he made his exit with head and belt held high.
6th Match: El Phantasmo defeated SHO via pinfall to retain the British Cruiserweight Championship.
After ELP riled up the crowd with pre-match theatrics, SHO exploded out the gate with a spear, and took the champion outside and into the guardrails. Power offense followed in ring, but Phantasmo caught a kick down the apron line and delivered a powerbomb to the hurt the lower back of SHO on the apron.
Typically effective offense and typically offensive attitude from the champion followed, but when ELP tried to stand on the challengers crotch in the corner, he was caught with a Spider German, and more brutal suplexes in the middle of the ring, the challenger gutting through lower back pain to put Phantasmo through German suplex hell.
A Powerbreaker attempt would be countered into a Boston Crab however, and the lower back was tortured by the British Cruiserweight Champion. Phantasmo showed his own power with a Styles Clash, but SHO’s heart didn’t allow for the three to go down. The challenger couldn’t hit Shock Arrow, but tried for a spear, only for the referee to be taken out as Phantasmo pulled the official in his path.
Ishimori tried to intervene on ELP’s path but was met by YOH and 3K. The cross arm piledriver found the mark for a clear visual 17 count, as the crowd counted along, but substitute official Kenta Sato was justy too late to count the finish. A German suplex off the top followed, but Phantasmo landed on his feet; with the referee momentarily distracted a low blow connected, as did CR2 for the tainted victory.
5th Match: CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, YOH & Rocky Romero) defeated BULLET CLUB (KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Jado) when Romero pinned Jado.
Aware that Goto wanted revenge on him after his main event interference in Osaka, KENTA bailed to the floor early, and then tagged in Ishimori. BULLET CLUB took control of the match on the floor as YOH struggled, but a double dropkick and Dragon Screw to KENTA let him tag in Goto.
Goto unleashed some vicious offense on KENTA, but was cut off looking for Ushigoroshi. As KENTA looked for a Busaiku knee though, a Goto lariat knocked the NEVER Champion down and brought in Romero, who went forever on KENTA and Ishimori. BULLET CLUB played the numbers game on Romero, leading to the match breaking down as CHAOS made the save. With Romero left in the ring with Jado, the wrestling master grabbed a kendo stick, but Goto made the save. Moments later an inside cradle for Romero gave the CHAOS trio the win.
4th Match: Tomohiro Ishii, Juice Robinson & TJP defeated Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA) when Robinson pinned BUSHI.
SANADA and Juice started things off with an exchange of holds and counters that thrilled the crowd. SANADA attempted a Paradise Lock, but was kicked off by Robinson, who brought in the athletic TJP; some masterful non-verbal communication led to a trip on TJP before he could build momentum however, and LIJ took control.
Stereo Paradise Locks would come for THJP and Juice as SANADA retained control, but the Fil-Am Flash was able to respond with a huge swinging DDT to bring Ishii into the mix. The Stone Pitbull and EVIL traded hard forearm shots; but with leg taped from his encounter with KENTA last week it appeared as if Ishii didn’t have the vertical base to stay up, but a massive suplex brought enough time for Ishii to tag Juice. As the match grew more chaotic, Robinson tried Pulp Friction on BUSHI, but was caught by SANADA. As TJP flew to the floor, BUSHI was left to take a Cannonball, the Left Hand of God and Pulp Friction for the eventual win.
3rd Match: Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado) defeated LA Dojo (Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors) when Suzuki pinned Fredericks.
Suzuki instantly took Fredericks to school, a vicious neck crank opening a tag to El Desperado. Fredericks had better luck with the masked man, hitting an athletic high cross as he and Connors took control. He poked the bear in the process when knocking Suzuki off the apron, and a receipt was swift as both he and Desperado took control outside the ring.
Fredericks gave Suzuki all he had in ring with forearm shots, but The King responded in (un)kind, before continuing to punish the Young Lion Cup winner’s arm. Fredericks did get separation enough to tag in Connors, who landed an incredible powerslam to Desperado, and Fredericks would come in for a huge dropkick to Suzuki as the Young Lions took surprising control. A momentary lack of judgement led to Fredericks releasing a half crab however, and Suzuki would catch the younger man with a Gotch Style Piledriver as Desperado held Connors at bay with Numero Dos.
2nd Match: Colt Cabana & Toru Yano defeated Jyushin Thunder Liger & Aaron Solow when Cabana pinned Solow.
Yano feigned respect for Liger to start, but a handhsake quickly turned into a classic betrayal. Liger had some classic offense for Yano in return however, with a basement dropkick and senton off the apron before Solow and Cabana came in. Solow had the veteran in trouble, but some clever play calling from Yano meant Solow crashed and burned on a cross body.
After a hot tag, Liger cleaned house on both Cabana and Yano, before Solow showed educated feet and good ring presence with a sunset flip into the Yano exposed turnbuckle. Moments later though, it was Solow tasting the steel, and a Superman Pin followed to put he and Liger away.
1st Match: Ren Narita defeated Alex Coughlin via pinfall.
The two men started with some classic mat wrestling that showed the strong fundamentals being taught in the LA Dojo before a tackle from Coughlin put him in control. A hard open right hand stung Narita, but caused the Japanese transfer to fire up, and an overhead release suplex brought him some space and time.
Narita couldn’t hit the Narita Special #4 however, with Coughlin making Narita pay for his over eagerness with a massive gutwrench. Ren managed to get a big dropkick though, and followed with Narita Special #4 for the win.