NJPW returned to Korakuen Hall today for their annual Wrestle Kingdom fallout show, New Year Dash, which was filled with memorable moments that will set the tone going forward in 2018.
For those news to the NJPW product, New Year Dash takes place every year on January 5th, one night after the Tokyo Dome. The show is similar to WWE’s “Raw After WrestleMania” with matches playing off the drama of Wrestle Kingdom, lots of story-driven segments to set up future main events, and generally a few major surprises.
This year’s show pulled no punches, with plenty of fuel added to the fire as we look towards a brand new year for NJPW. Tetsuya Naito and Los Ingobernables were able to get a measure of revenge over Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes nearly came to blows over the safety of Kota Ibushi, and Chris Jericho returned to strike at the heart of another top star. Full results are below, and you can watch a full replay of the show now completely free on New Japan World, including English commentary.
NJPW New Year Dash
January 5, 2017
Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
(1) Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi def. Tomoyuki Oka, Shota Umino, Tetsuhiro Yagi & Ren Narita. Standard opener with the Young Lions facing all their third gen trainers. Oka was the powerhouse for the rookie team and they got a fair amount of offense, in particular Umino who had a great comeback spot at the end like he always does. Kojima hit him with a Kozy Lariat to end things.
(2) Taka Michinoku, Desperado, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Iizuka def. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe, Hirai Kawato & Henare. Suzuki-Gun attacked before the bell and kept up an all-out assault for several minutes with no semblance of order. Taichi blasted people with his hammer while Iizuka ran around biting and chasing after everyone; it was pure chaos. Makabe finally tagged in and cleaned house giving the third gen guys a chance to hit all their signature moves, but eventually Kawato fell to a 5-on-1 mugging.
– Suzuki-Gun continued to attack Kawato after the match, and Iizuka nailed him with the iron claw. It’s possible they’re writing him off to send him on excursion.
(3) Jay White def. Katsuya Kitamura. Interesting dynamic here as White used to be the top prospect of his Young Lions class before going on excursion to Ring of Honor and re-debuting in a big way at Wrestle Kingdom last last. Kitamura is the top prospect of the current Young Lions class, just won the Young Lion Cup undefeated, and will be going on an excursion very soon. White got the win with Blade Runner after countering a Jackhammer attempt into a nice series of submissions.
(4) Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks def. Roppongi 3K & Cheeseburger. The Elite came out all bandaged up after the wars they were in last night. Cheeseburger is always ridiculously over in Japan for some reason. The Bucks won it with an Indytaker on Cheeseburger after a good match, primarily between the former tag team champions and the new 7-time champions.
(5) Cody Rhodes, Marty Scurll, Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Leo Tonga def. Ryusuke Taguchi, Kushida, Kota Ibushi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson. Lots of great action between Scurll and Kushida after last night’s excellent four-way. It all built to a brawl between Cody and Ibushi who went at each other with crazy strikes and wild punches. Cody almost stole it with a small package, missed the Disaster Kick and Ibushi hit a standing shooting star press. Brandi Rhodes caused a distraction which let Cody get Finlay in the Indian Deathlock to pick up the submission win.
– Bullet Club attacked the babyfaces after the match and Cody really focussed his efforts on Kota Ibushi. He went to get a chair to finish the job but Kenny Omega ran out to make the save and the two got into it. Omega was screaming that he’s the leader of Bullet Club and to back off, then said he had an idea to unify the group. He brought out “Switchblade” Jay White and offered him a Bullet Club shirt, and he originally put the shirt on, until laying out Omega with the Blade Runner and leaving the shirt lying in the ring.
(6) The Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale def. Tomohiro Ishii, Beretta & Toru Yano (c) to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. Good back and forth match with the Underboss continuing to look like a complete monster, shaking off offense from everyone. At one point Ishii tried to knock him off the apron with a running lariat and just bounced off. Tama Tonga hit the Gun Stun on Beretta to score the pinfall and regain the titles after about 24 hours.
(7) Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. & Killer Elite Squad vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin & War Machine. Minoru revealed his completely shaven head after losing to Goto last night, and went on a war path to murder Tanahashi throughout the match. There was a really good exchange where Elgin and Sabre were trading counters and big moves for several minutes. It came down to the two tag teams going at it. War Machine went for Fallout but Davey Boy fought out of it and they caught Rowe with a Killer Bomb for the win.
– Minoru literally broke a chair against the injured knee of Hiroshi Tanahashi at the end of the match. He put him in a Figure Four on the outside and held it for several minutes while the entire Suzuki-Gun faction beat down everyone else including the Young Lions at ringside. Tanahashi had to be helped to the back after they finally left.
(8) Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Taahashi, EVIL, Sanada & Bushi def. Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Will Ospreay & Gedo. It was Ospreay and Hiromu that went right after each other, picking up where they left off last night. Solid main event match with tons of back and forth offense, Okada working very little until the end as he’s visibly banged up after last night’s incredible title defense. Naito hit Yoshi-Hashi with a Destino after a wild brawl broke out to score the pinfall.
– The brawl continued after the match with the more cohesive Los Ingobernables de Japon taking the advantage. They cleared the ring all except for the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Naito picked up Okada by the hair and directed Sanada to hit him with a TKO and the Skull End.
– Naito cut the post show promo to send everyone home, as people came out to check on Okada and help him to the back. LIJ eventually left and their leader was alone with the people, until Chris Jericho ran out of nowhere and the two began throwing wild lefts and rights. A group of Young Lions got between them and the rest of LIJ returned to chase Jericho off, who destroyed the commentary tables and was throwing things everywhere. Naito took a chair and threatened Y2J, before placing it in the ring and turning his back on the WWE star to end the show.