Prelude to Dominion
June 8, 2018
By: Lou Pickney
This year's Best of the Super Juniors 25 tournament turned out to be a success on several levels for New Japan Pro Wrestling. The matches on the Korakuen Hall shows lived up to their lofty expectations, including a thriller of a final that Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter rated *****1/2 (5.5 stars) in this week's issue.
If you have some time before tonight's Dominion show and want to catch up on the very top BOTSJ 25 matches that you might have missed (especially new/returning New Japan World subscribers), here you go. Note that the Korakuen links are to complete shows, as they don't have those matches available individually as of yet.
The star rating is from the Wrestling Observer; the numeric rating is from cagematch.net at last check.
5/18 ACH vs. Flip Gordon (****1/4) (7.61)
5/18 Taiji Ishimori vs. Will Ospreay (****1/2) (7.74)
5/19 Dragon Lee vs. SHO (****1/2) (8.20)
5/25 Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu Takahashi (****1/2) (8.30)
Nat only: https://njpwworld.com/p/s_archive_92_3_08
6/3 (Final night of round robin) (Six ****+ matches including ****3/4 for Will Ospreay vs. Flip Gordon)
6/4 Hiromu Takahashi vs. Taiji Ishimori (*****1/2) (9.68)
You really should watch the Hiromu vs. Ishimori match before Dominion if at all possible if you haven't already.
The second-biggest show of the year for New Japan, Dominion, takes place tonight/early this morning USA time. Midnight PDT, 3:00 a.m. EDT, 8:00 a.m. BST. Some quick thoughts:
Okada and Omega in the main event are in a unique spot, going into a 2/3 falls match with no time limit and carrying the burden of near-impossible expectations after their trilogy of unbelievably great matches in 2017. Hey, no pressure.
It's a stacked lineup tonight, and while the top three matches are gaining the bulk of the attention going in, don't sleep on that SANADA & EVIL vs. Young Bucks match for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
• Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Title match, 2/3 falls no time limit)
• Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho (IWGP Intercontinental Title match)
• Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title match)
• Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rey Mysterio Jr. & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Cody & Marty Scurll & Hangman Page
• EVIL & SANADA vs. Young Bucks (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title match)
• Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi (NEVER Openweight Title match with the terrible "first fall wins the match" stip)
• Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.
• David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Jay White & YOSHI-HASHI
• El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Roppongi 3K (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title match)
It will be interesting to see what this show does to set up the card for Fighting Spirit Unleashed at the World Famous Cow Palace in San Francisco on 7/7.
See any mistakes, omissions, or needed corrections? Please let me know: @LouPickney