NEVER Openweight 6-Man tag titles headline in Korakuen
The Road to Power Struggle gets underway on Friday from Korakuen Hall, with the NEVER 6-Man tag titles on the line in the main event, and much more action besides!
Main event: NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto) vs Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Zack Sabre Junior & Taichi)
The main event of the evening sees YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii defend their NEVER 6-Man titles for the second time as they take on a Suzuki-Gun trio of DOUKI, ZSJ and Taichi.
Heading into the final night of G1 Climax 30, YOSHI-HASHI was in high spirits, finishing his campaign with a win over Toru Yano, and declaring he had a taste for more gold. On the final match card, his position in eight man tag team action opposite the IWGP Tag Team Champions Dangerous Tekkers certainly presented an opportunity, but it all went against him when DOUKI scored a surprise victory.
Suzuki-Gun weren’t finished there, as the side launched into a brutal attack with Tomohiro Ishii prime victim. Attacking Ishii’s injured knee in the ring, the violence didn’t end there, as an angry Ishii pursued the group backstage, only to get his knee worked over again with the aid of DOUKI’s steel pipe. Opposite a weakened champion side, could DOUKI be on his way to his first NJPW title, and could Zack Sabre Junior and Taichi be leaving Korakuen as double champs?
5th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) vs BULLET CLUB (Dick Togo & EVIL)
In the semi-main event, Tetsuya Naito finds himself opposite his double IWGP title challenger EVIL in tag team action, as EVIL brings Dick Togo, and Naito enlists SANADA as his partner.
In an eventful final night of G1 action, it was with Dick Togo’s help that EVIL laid out double IWGP Champion Naito and allowed EVIL the chance to grandstand in Ryogoku, making his championship intentions known. EVIL defeated Naito over the course of the G1 Climax, and although he didn’t make the finals of the tournament, beating the champion, and the benefit of good timing, can change your fortunes on the road to Wrestle Kingdom.
SANADA claims wins over both EVIL and Naito in the G1, but ultimately fell short in the record length 35 minute 12 second final against Kota Ibushi Sunday. Seeking a more honourable path to glory than the one his former partner has chosen, SANADA will do battle alongside Naito in the semi main event, but without a match at Power Struggle on November 7, will be looking for a way to carve his own narrative for Wrestle Kingdom 15.
4th Match: Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs BULLET CLUB (Gedo, KENTA & Jay White)
Future opponents for Power Struggle collide in six man action at Korakuen Hall. Not 15 minutes after winning the G1 Climax in a classic battle, Jay White intruded on his post match press conference with a challenge to the Golden Star. While Ibushi’s achievements as back to back winner are not to be denied, neither is the fact that White beat Ibushi on the road to the G1 Climax 30 final, and now the Switchblade wants his chance at G1 glory once more.
Then there’s Hiroshi Tanahashi looking to challenge for a different briefcase. With a win over KENTA with two G1 points at stake as inspiration, the Ace now seeks to have the more material IWGP United States Championship Right to Challenge on the line when the two face off at Power Struggle. Which team emerges with the upper hand as the road to Osaka gets underway?
3rd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki)
On a night that didn’t go all LIJ’s way at the G1 Climax finals, a blow was struck for Shingo Takagi and Hiromu Takahashi when they defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Minoru Suzuki. With Takagi 1-1 against Suzuki this year after a defeat to the King at Summer Struggle followed by a win on the last group night of the G1, Shingo now heads towards a rubber match at Power Struggle. Meanwhile, Hiromu was very vocal after his tag win Sunday that he and BUSHI want another chance at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships that El Desperado and Kanemaru won against them in the finals of the tag championship tournament last month. When that title match might take place, we don’t know, but if LIJ can get the win tonight, they might be able to pick their spot.
2nd Match: Gabriel Kidd & Kazuchika Okada vs The Empire (Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan)
The second match of the evening sees Gabriel Kidd team up with Kazuchika Okada to take on two members of what is now officially recognised as The Empire: Will Ospreay and Great-O-Khan.
Okada is still furious at Ospreay’s betrayal last week in their final G1 Block match, which saw Bea Priestly and O-Khan intervene to hand The Assassin an ill-gotten victory. Victorious in tag action the next night, Ospreay refused to grant Okada his revenge, saying instead that the Rainmaker must go through ‘The Dominator’ O-Khan at Power Struggle first. Does Okada have an answer for the fearsome Empire?
1st Match: Yota Tsuji vs Yuya Uemura
Singles record: 11-7-22 Tsuji
The night kicks off with Yota Tsuji facing Yuya Uemura in singles competition for the 41st time in their young careers. Many of those confrontations have come during the G1 CLimax 30 tour, where Tsuji eventually emerged on top of Young Lion competition through the series. Now the question of which Young Lion will break free from the pack and graduate to the next stage of their careers; an important step is taken in Korakuen Friday.