NJPW Wrestling Dontaku Review: Kenny Omega vs. Hangman Page
Below is my review and star ratings from night one of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku. The main event featured Kenny Omega facing Hangman Page and the co-main event featured Cody facing Kota Ibushi.
NJPW Wrestling Dontaku Review
Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi def. Shota Umino & Yota Tsuji
- Rating: *3/4
Umino and Tsuji delivered dropkicks to Owens and Takahashi as the bell rang. Takahashi delivered strikes but Tsuji delivered a big scoop slam. Takahashi quickly recovered and delivered a running big boot in the corner. Owens tagged in and delivered a backbreaker for a near fall. Umino tagged in and delivered a rolling elbow and followed up with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Umino applied a Boston Crab but Takahashi quickly broke it up. Owens delivered the Jewel Heist for a near fall. Owens then delivered a jumping double knee gut buster and then planted Umino with a package pile driver for the win.
- Just a normal tag team match to open the show.
Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger def. Ran Narita, Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata.
- Rating: *2/4
Oka with shoulder tackles but Liger with a Shotei. Tiger Mask applied an arm bar but Narita made the save.. Tiger Mask then applied an abdominal stretch but Nagata made the save. Nagata kicked away at his parter and told him to “Get his A** up” Oka tagged Nagata in who delivered an running big boot and an exploder to Tiger Mask for a near fall. Tiger Mask battled back and delivered a Tiger Bomb to Nagata as Taguchi tagged in. Narita asked for the tag as Nagata obliged. Narita delivered a belly-to-belly suplex to Taguchi for a near fall. Narita applied a Boston Crab but Tiger Mask made the save. Finish came when Taguchi delivered the Dodon to Narita for the win.
- Just another tag team match on the show.
SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero def. Takahashi Iizuka, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.
- Rating: 0
A brawl broke out as the match began. Back inside the ring, SHO rolled up Iizuka for the win. Roppongi 3K and Rocky scooted away as soon as they won the match.
IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano def. Toa Henare, Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe
- Rating: **3/4
Elgin and Goto exchanged strikes. Ishii and Makabe had a nice back-and-forth strikes exchange. Makabe delivered a power slam to Ishii as Finley tagged in and delivered running elbows in the corner. White tagged in and delivered a back suplex to Finlay for a near fall. Finlay delivered a back breaker to YOSHI as Juice tagged in. Juice delivered a back suplex to Ishii and a spine buster to Yano. Juice then delivered a running cannonball to YOSHI in the corner for a near fall. Henare delivered a flying shoulder tackle and a Samoan drop White for a couple of near falls. Finlay delivered a plancha to YOSHI on the floor. White delivered a face buster and straight German suplex to Henare. White got the win after delivering the Blade Runner to Henare.
- A fine tag team match.
The Young Bucks & Marty Scurll def. Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale to win the NEVER Six-Man Tag Team Titles.
- Rating: ***1/4
Everyone shook hands before the match. Scurll attacked Fale as the match began. Fale delivered a shoulder tackle. Scurll went to The Bucks in who jumped off the ring apron. Matt launched Nick who delivered a dropkick to Loa and Tonga. Nick delivered a springboard kick to Loa. The Bucks delivered a plancha to Fale and Loa on the floor. Tonga delivered a splash to Scurll in the corner for a near fall. The Bucks applied a double sharpshooter to Loa and Tonga for a cool spot but Fale broke it up. Scurll snapped the fingers of Fale. Loa and Tonga delivered a double team modified version of the Magic Killer to Scurll and Fale followed up with a big splash for near fall. Nick delivered a crazy looking springboard 450 to Fale and Tonga on the floor. The Bucks and Scurll delivered a triple super kick to Loa. Nick delivered a rolling senton and followed up with 450 splash from the top turnbuckle. Matt delivered a reverse moonsault to Loa for the win.
- A pretty fun match as The Bucks worked really hard and always put on a good show. After the match, Fale, Loa and Tonga handed the titles to The Bucks and Scurll.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito,Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) def. Suzuki Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. Taka Michinoku, & El Desperado)
- Rating: ***
A brawl broke out as Suzuki attacked Naito on the floor with a barricade and a chair. Sabre and Suzuki applied a combination armbar and knee bar to Naito. Sabre and Suzuki applied a double team knee bar on Naito. Suzuki applied a knee bar but Takahashi broke it up. Suzuki delivered a big boot but Naito delivered a tornado DDT as SANADA tagged in. SANADA applied the Paradise Lock on El Desperado. Sabre applied an Octopus but SANADA broke free. Sabre applied a guillotine but SANADA transitioned and applied a dragon sleeper. Sabre escaped by delivering an overhead kick. Suzuki Gun quadruple teamed BUSHI in the corner but Takahashi made the save. Finish came when EVIL delivered an STO to Kanemaru for the win.
- A fine match. The Bucks came out after and challenged EVIL and SANADA for an IWGP Tag Team Title match. The Bucks then gave then a double super kick. EVIL then cut a promo and accepted the challenge.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada & IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay def. KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Rating: ***2/4
A really fun match which had some great storytelling as well. Tanahashi delivered a plancha to Okada on the floor. Okada attempted a Rainmaker but Tanahashi slithered way. Ospreay and KUSHIDA tagged in as they worked at a super fast pace. On the floor, Okada sent Tanahashi into the barricade and delivered a running big boot. Ospreay delivered a sliding dropkick to KUSHIDA for a near fall. KUSHIDA delivered a handstand back elbow to both Okada and Ospreay. Tanahashi tagged in and delivered a flip dive from the middle rope to Okada for a near fall. Tanahashi attempted a sling blade but Okada with a flap jack. Okada attempted a tombstone on the floor but Tanahashi countered with a dragon screw leg whip. There was a cool spot as Tanahashi applied a Cloverleaf to Okada and KUSHIDA applied a Kimura to Ospreay at the same time. Tanahashi escaped another Rainmaker attempt but Okada delivered a DVD. KUSHIDA and Ospreay tagged back in and once again worked as super fast pace. KUSHIDA applied cravat but Ospreay with a thrust kick and grabbed a handful of tights for a near fall. Ospreay attempted a high risk move but KUSHIDA caught him with a cross arm breaker. KUSHIDA delivered an overhead kick but Ospreay quickly recovered and delivered a great looking one-handed Spanish Fly. Okada tagged in and knocked Tanahashi off the ring apron and delivered a flying elbow drop to KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA almost pinned Okada with a springboard frankenstiner and delivered a great looking rolling DDT to Ospreay who was sitting on the middle rope. KUSHIDA went for an Octopus but Okada countered and delivered a jumping tombstone. Okada then delivered a dropkick to Tanahashi and got the win after delivering a Rainmaker to KUSHIDA.
- A really fun tag team match as everyone worked really especially KUSHIDA and Ospreay. The story was Okada kept getting the better of Tanahashi heading into their championship match. Okada taunted Tanahashi after the match.
Cody def. Kota Ibushi
- Rating: ***3/4
Another good match as Cody was great playing possum and using underhanded tactics to get the advantage throughout the match. Early on Ibushi delivered a snap suplex but Cody delivered a reverse vertical. Cody played possum by selling a neck injury as he suckered Ibushi in and dropped him on the ring apron. Cody delivered a nice looking springboard top rope forearm to Ibushi on the floor. Cody also spit water in the face of Ibushi. Cody applied the Figure-4-Leg lock but Ibushi grabbed the bottom rope. Ibushi battled back by delivering a series of KENTA strikes and followed up with a snap rana. Ibushi delivered a beautiful looking Golden Triangle (springboard reverse moonsault) to Cody on the floor. Ibushi attempted springboard but Cody moved out of the way and delivered a disaster kick for near fall. Cody and Ibushi had a great back-and-forth slap exchange which the crowd popped for. Cody accidentally ran into Red Shoes and then brought out a table from underneath the ring. Cody attempted to superplex Ibushi through the table but didn’t happen. Ibushi laid Cody onto the table and delivered a double foot stomp but it didn’t break (this looked nuts) So, Ibushi delivered another double foot stomp as Cody went through the table as the crowd popped. Cody’s back was bleeding. Ibushi delivered a sit-out power bomb for a near fall. Cody tried to bail but Ibushi delivered a great looking springboard cross body to Cody over the barricade for a nice reaction. Cody quickly recovered and delivered a Cross Rhodes to Ibushi for a close near fall as the crowd chanted for Ibushi. Cody then hoisted Ibushi up and delivered a Vertebreaker called (Din’s Fire) for the clean win.
- The crowd was pretty quite for most part of the match but popped when Ibushi made his comeback. This was a slow but a very good professional wrestling match as both Cody and Ibushi worked hard and well together. Cody is just great with his facial reaction and plays a great heel.
Kenny Omega def. Hangman Page
- Rating: ***3/4
This was a good hard hitting wrestling match but didn’t click due to a lack of crowd reaction. Cody and Page attacked Omega before the match started. Omega battled back and delivered a snap rana followed up with a slingshot plancha to the floor. Omega took out Cody with a Terminator dive. Page delivered a German suplex and great looking reverse moonsault from the top turnbuckle to Omega on the floor. Page then dropped Omega on his head after delivering Rights of Passage right on top a flat table. (This looked nuts) Omega was bleeding and cut above the head. Page delivered a DDT to Omega onto a chair. Omega battled back and back dropped Page onto the ring apron. Page delivered a slingshot lariat on the floor and a power bomb in the ring for a near fall. Page delivered a fallaway slam for a near fall. Omega delivered a flying DDT for a near fall. Omega delivered a rolling senton and a middle rope reverse moonsault for a near fall. Omega with a V-Trigger but Page bounced back as he delivered a rolling elbow and followed up with a package pile driver for a near fall. Page delivered a nice looking top rope neck breaker but Omega placed his foot on the bottom rope to stop Red Shoes count. Omega made a comeback as he delivered back-to-back V-Triggers. Page escaped a One Winged Angle attempt but Omega with a snap dragon suplex. The big spot of the match came when Page went for a slingshot lariat but Omega caught him flush with a V-Trigger for a near fall. Omega delivered a Tiger Driver but Page barely kicked out. Omega then delivered a V-Trigger and followed up with a One Winged Angle for the win.
- Omega and Page worked hard and there were some cool spots as this was a good wrestling match but didn’t reach that next level. Something was just missing and the crowd reaction didn’t help either as the fans likely knew heading into the match that Page wasn’t going to win. After the match, Omega thanked the crowd.
The first night of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku was a good but not a standout show. The main and co-main event matches were very good professional wrestling match but it won’t standout come year’s end.