Wednesday, June 6, 2018

NJPW Dominion 2018 Preview & Predictions

Holy jumpin' shitballs this show looks good.  Like, "the most fun you can have with your clothes on" good.  Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself - welcome to another round of PPV Predictions here at

As I was saying, Dominion has all the markings of an all-time classic PPV.  Epic main event?  Check.  Awesome special attraction match?  Check.  Wildly athletic Jr. Heavyweight match?  Check.  Guest stars?  Check.  Potentially division-altering Tag Title match?  Check.  Literally the only thing missing from this show is Kota Ibushi (where the hell is he??).  There's no reason this can't be the PPV of the Year.

So let's get to the predictions....

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Roppongi 3K

This'll be the hot opener to kick things off.  Now that the Super Juniors tourney is over, RPG3K needs to regain the straps and go back to being the division's new featured team.  I'm not expecting an incredible match here, but this should be fun.

Justin: RPG
Landon: Let's get these straps on RPG so that Desperado can challenge for the Junior Heavyweight title.

Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi

This is one of the few New Japan shows where even the throwaway tag matches early on the card hold some intrigue for me.  I often skip these types of matches, but this and the next match could both be quite entertaining.  I like that White and Finlay are feuding over a championship, now that they're all growns up.  White is still looking for his career-defining match, but I have no doubt he'll find it.  I have a feeling this is to set up White vs. Juice over the next couple months.

Justin: I guess I'll go with Juice and Dave
Landon: Juice and Dave.  Sorry Yoshi.

Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano

Again, this could just be a filler match but I'm actually interested in it; anytime Ishii mixes it up with Suzuki or Sabre I'm on board.  I'd like to see a real feud between Ishii and Sabre.  This should have some nice brutality mixed with Yano's comedy antics.

Justin: Suzuki-Gun
Landon: SZGN

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi

I'm not sure what Taichi is doing in this one but I've enjoyed his recent work to a certain extent - he's a good asshole heel and his in-ring skills are improving.  That said, this match is really about watching Goto and Elgin beat the piss out of each other.  Is this the first-ever heavyweight triple threat for New Japan?

Justin: I think Elgin wins his first singles belt in two years
Landon: I'm already preparing the Suzuki-Gun NEVER win Celebration Dance.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Evil & Sanada vs. The Young Bucks

On any other show this could actually steal the show.  The Bucks are always incredible and Evil & Sanada have deservedly become the faces of the heavyweight tag division.  I've been saying for a while they should just merge the tag divisions and they'd have one stacked roster.  Either this is the first step to doing that or the Bucks have simply outgrown the limitations of the Jr. division and being stuck in the opening match.  Either way the Bucks need to win here to move them to the next level.  They're the best damn team in the world.

Justin: Matt & Nick
Landon: EvilNada

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rey Mysterio & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll

This reminds me of the Keiji Mutoh special attraction matches on some of the earlier WrestleKingdom shows.  It won't be a MOTYC or anything but it'll be a ton of fun.  Rey is finally making his NJPW debut after an injury derailed his scheduled match earlier in the year.  I'm looking forward to some Rey vs. Scurll action, and I'm guessing we'll see Tanahashi feud with Cody after this.  Should be quite a lark.

Justin: The good guys
Landon: Team White Meat Babyface

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi

I love that this is going on third from the top.  I love that Takahashi won the BOSJ.  I love that this is almost certainly going to be the second-best match on the show, much like last year's Jr. match at Dominion (one of the best Junior matches I've ever seen).  Not much else to say, I'm just gonna watch the fireworks and hope Ospreay doesn't murder himself.

Justin: Gotta think Takahashi regains it here - that guy's awesome.
Landon: Timebomb

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho's new catchphrase is "fuckface," and that delights me to no end.  It's a great insult and without WWE's language restrictions it's fair game.  Jericho and Naito are basically a perfect match for each other.  Both are obnoxious nihilist characters who love to screw with people, and both are super creative both in and out of the ring.  This is gonna be great.

Justin: Naito retains
Landon: Naito retains

IWGP Heavyweight Championship - No Time Limit 2/3 Falls Match: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega

Part 4 of one of the greatest feuds of all time is finally upon us.  We knew it was only a matter of time before these two got a chance to top themselves again, and this time they are bound by nothing.  No time limit, 2 out of 3 falls.  First of all I'm a sucker for 2/3 Falls matches.  They just naturally have an epic, legit sports feel when done right (i.e. not in WWE).  Second, Okada and Omega are known for defying expectations, particularly against each other.  Their first bout was a masterful three-act structure that almost felt like three matches in one.  Their second was the greatest Broadway ever executed, where they somehow managed to not run out of ideas before the clock ran out.  Their third was an incredible 25-minute sprint that felt like 15.  I think they're gonna show us something really special here and more or less render all other 2/3 Falls matches obsolete.  Is that setting too high an expectation?  I don't care.  Get ready for the first-ever ******* match.

Justin: I have to think this is when Kenny finally does it.  It's time.  And I might cry a little at seeing one of the greatest title runs ever come to an end.
Landon: (Harley Race intensifies) Omega wins.

I mean, if this show doesn't annihilate everything else this calendar year I'll be flabbergasted.  This lineup is that strong.  Just enjoy it.

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