NJPW Together Project
June 15, 2020
- The commentators were sitting six feet away from each other and have little plexiglass screens up between them. They even set up an extra table just to put Jushin Thunder Liger on a television so he could fit in the shot!
- During the pre-show the wrestlers were interviewed as they started arriving at the building, all following proper social distancing practices. Tanahashi, Ibushi, Naito, Suzuki – most of the top names were shown.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi led a team of babyfaces to the ring and cut a promo welcoming everyone back to New Japan Pro-Wrestling! Let’s do this!
1) Yota Tsuji def. Gabriel Kidd. A battle between the Tokyo Dojo and the L.A. Dojo stand-outs. Tsuji controlled early, throwing around his size advantage with shoulder tackles, working the back. Kidd battled back with strikes and elbows, and slapped on a half crab. They continued to trade throughout, with Tsuji eventually getting the better of the exchange. He gets the win with a big spear and the Boston Crab in the middle of the ring.
2) Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Tomohiro Ishii & Yuya Uemura. It looks like Uemura has bulked up considerably since the last time we saw him. He’s also got a new chip on his shoulder, going right after Kanemaru before the bell. Suzuki-Gun ended up controlling most of the match by double-teaming him and keeping Ishii isolated on the outside. Ishii eventually got the hot tag and cleaned house, suplexing both guys. Kanemaru accidentally booted his partner, and got belly-to-belly’d across the ring. Uemura locked in a Boston Crab and took repeated kicks to the head until he finally broke the hold, and Kanemaru made him tap to a Stretch Muffler.
3) Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi, Gedo & Jado) def. Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Tomoaki Honma & YOSHI-HASHI in an 8-man tag team match. Goto went wild on Yujiro at the bell and stomped him into a pulp, but Bullet Club swarmed him. That was the repeating theme. Yano and Jado did some comedy having a square off with a turnbuckle pad and a kendo stick. YOSHI-HASHI got worked over until Honma came in and cleaned house, missing Kokeshi the first time but hitting it the second. He went to the top rope for the diving Kokeshi, but Yujiro rolls out of the way and he crashes and burns. Jado hit him in the back of the head with the kendo stick, Yujiro hit a Fisherman’s Buster and that’s all she wrote.
- A brief intermission while the ring crew changed the canvas, the ring ropes and turnbuckle pads, and wiped down every surface that a wrestler could have touched with disinfectant.
4) Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ryusuke Taguchi & Satoshi Kojima def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA) in a 6-man tag team match. Some funny stuff early on as SANADA was a bit too confident and got caught by Taguchi, and later battered by the veteran tag partners. It was not his night. LIJ eventually got control using their numbers game to isolate Tenzan, then Kojima. SANADA came in and got his revenge going after Taguchi’s legs and knees. The babyfaces got the win after Tencozy hit Shatter Machine on BUSHI, and Taguchi made him tap to the ankle lock.
5) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe & Yuji Nagata def. Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) in an 8-man tag team match. This was another wild brawl with the heel faction using underhanded tactics and the numbers game to swarm the babyfaces any time they got an advantage. It was really elevated by the level of the talent in the ring. DOUKI did what he could, but Makabe squashed him with a lariat in the corner, kicked out of everything and hit the King Kong Knee Drop.
6) Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH) in a 6-man tag team match. Great main event with Okada and Naito starting off to give us what we wanted right away. You could tell both were itching to get back in the ring – even the double champ, who is usually cool as a cucumber. Naito got the win himself with the Destino on SANADA.