First round of NEVER 6-Man tournament complete, Yuji Nagata in more singles action
With the first night of the NEVER 6-Man Championship tournament in the books, we now move to night six of Summer Struggle, with the semi-finalists set in our two main events of the evening.
Main event: Master Wato, Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Junior, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
The main event sees a lot at stake for the Golden☆Ace team of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi; more even than the chance to seize NEVER 6-Man gold at the end of the weekend. After weeks of harassment at the hands of Dangerous Tekkers, Tanahashi’s spirits have never been lower. Taichi has rubbed salt into gaping wounds in the teamwork of Golden☆Ace at every opportunity, with he and Zack Sabre Junior holding Tanahashi back for a Kamigoye Ibushi refused to deliver last night in Korakuen.
This tournament, and this match in particular may be the very last chance for a badly damaged relationship between the former IWGP Tag Team Champions. If Tanahashi can finally deliver, with the young Master Wato at their side, this may be a championship worthy trio. A lot of questions will be answered in tonight’s main event.
5th Match: Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto)
The other tournament match of the evening sees CHAOS take on the hontai trio of Taguchi, Makabe and Honma. GBH and Taguchi have a history of strong teamwork, and Taguchi is always the master coach to bring everything together. On the other hand though, Ishii, Goto and YOSHI-HASHI proved to be an incredibly effective combination in their tune-up match last night in Korakuen. Combinations of the three have traditionally gelled very well in tag team competition, and add in the motivation for YOSHI-HASHI to finally get his very first championship in NJPW, and this might be a tough team to deny.
4th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI) vs BULLET CLUB (EVIL, Taiji Ishimori, Dick Togo & Gedo)
After one night apart, LIJ and BULLET CLUB clash once more on the fourth match of the night. Tetsuya Naito has certainly brought a lot of anger toward EVIL ahead of their August 29 double IWGP Championship matchup in Jingu stadium, but hasn’t yet produced results. Can the tide turn, and can El Ingobernable get some much needed steam behind his challenge at the close of Summer Struggle?
Meanwhile, Shingo Takagi, SANADA and BUSHI each have their own issues; BUSHI with being the glue behind their NEVER 6-Man team ahead of their semifinal matchup tomorrow, while Shingo Takagi has Minoru Suzuki in his future, and SANADA mulls a potential matchup with SHO. Before that can happen though, Cold Skull again needs to face his former tag team partner in the ring tonight. How will their interactions play out?
3rd Match: CHAOS (SHO, Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada) vs Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki)
The third match of the evening sees NEVER 6-Man semi finalists Okada, SHO and Yano take on a Suzuki-Gun team looking to deal more damage and disorder after last night’s main event loss. Suzuki’s next target seems clear, as he looks to send a message to Shingo Takagi, with a NEVER Openweight Championship match at Jingu on August 29 all but made, but Okada has his own message to send. Last night, he suggested that he could take on Yujiro Takahashi Jado and Gedo all at once for their KOPW2020 matchup; certainly facing Minoru Suzuki is a test of one’s toughness.
2nd Match: Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji
Gabriel Kidd and Yota Tsuji have both been showing their Young Lion worth individually as late, but in the second match of the evening they will team up to try and show what they can do as a tandem. Tencozy represents a baptism of fire, though. The record setting tag team will show just how much they still have to offer, and how much damage they can deal.
1st Match: Yuji Nagata vs Yuya Uemura
The night’s action kicks off with the third singles matchup in as many events for Yuji Nagata. After a crushing defeat to Minoru Suzuki last week, Nagata bounced back somewhat with a submission victory over Gabriel Kidd last night. Now he faces another promising Young Lion one on one. Uemura has been determined to garner a singles matchup with Minoru Suzuki of late; a strong performance against Nagata may send a message that reaches the King’s ears…