This Sunday it's NJPW Dominion 2022, boasting one of the more loaded cards in recent memory, though still not the kind of can't-miss lineup we saw from 2015-2018.
It's a weird time in NJPW, with numerous injuries and illnesses derailing plans and title reigns (and NJPW isn't alone in this regard), and a normally huge show like Dominion kinda taking a backseat to Forbidden Door in terms of buzz. Many of the matches on this show are there to help set up bouts two weeks later, which may be a first for Dominion. Nonetheless, this show actually kinda feels like a Dominion card, the top half anyway. Let's take a look.....
Six or Nine & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. United Empire
Before we get to the good stuff we have to talk about the throwaway undercard matches, starting with Ryusuke Taguchi and friends against United Empire's B-team. This will be short and sweet, and I imagine United Empire goes over. Not much more to say.
Pick: United Empire
LIJ vs. Bullet Club
It's weird to see Naito and Takahashi this early on a major show. Kinda seems wrong. Bullet Club just introduced Ace Austin as their newest member so I think they probably win here, likely pinning Bushi. Lotta talent in this match though, so it should be fun.
Pick: Bullet Club
Toru Yano vs. Doc Gallows
Gallows and Anderson make their NJPW return on this PPV - hey maybe we'll see them face Guerrillas of Destiny at some point. To that end, Gallows should probably win here; Yano can handle losing. This won't go long.
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Championship: House of Torture vs. Suzuki-Gun
This is gonna be a shit show, as it's the worst heel stable in wrestling in a chaotic six-man tag. House of Torture is maybe the most unintentionally apropos moniker in wrestling history; the nonstop outside interference is truly agonizing to watch. These belts don't mean anything so the result matters very little, but I think HOT likely retains.
Pick: House of Poop
IWGP Tag Team Championship: Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan
Okay, now we get to the bouts that matter. The Heavyweight Tag belts are on the line, and I reeeeeally hope United Empire regains them so we can see them face FTR in two weeks. Cobb & O-Khan vs. Harwood & Wheeler is a helluva contest. Fale & Owens, not so much. Cobb vs. Fale is an intriguing power vs. power matchup though.
Pick: Cobb & O-Khan
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto
Welp, AEW Champion CM Punk has to take some time off for foot surgery, thus the company will crown an interim champion. Sadly Punk vs. Tanahashi can't happen yet. Instead Tana will face the winner of Jon Moxley vs. whoever wins the Dynamite Battle Royal. We're likely getting at long last Tanahashi vs. Moxley at Forbidden Door. Putting Goto in this match is an odd move indeed, but I guess in the interest of a) not giving away an extra big money match in the middle of a PPV and b) not having Tana go over someone they're trying to protect, it makes some sense. Goto is a midcard guy and loses nothing by jobbing to the Ace.
Pick: Tanahashi punches his ticket to Chicago
KOPW Championship: Shingo Takagi vs. Taichi
The stipulation for this match is still TBD, but this championship is stupid and should go away. On paper Shingo vs. Taichi is a solid bout, so hopefully the gimmick will lend itself to that end. Shingo kinda has to win here, as I assume he'll be involved at Forbidden Door. 'Twould be a waste not to book him there.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Tama Tonga vs. Karl Anderson
This one could be a sleeper hit. The workhorses from both former Bullet Club flagship teams facing off for the workhorse title. Tama's never really had a defining singles match and this could be exactly that. It'll be nice to see Anderson back in a NJPW ring. I think Tama probably retains, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a title change either.
Pick: Tama retains
IWGP US Championship: Juice Robinson vs. Sanada vs. Will Ospreay
This should be pretty awesome, barring too much Bullet Club nonsense. Sanada and Ospreay have thankfully recovered from their respective issues. As far as setting up a Forbidden Door match Ospreay kinda makes the most sense to win here; he's the biggest name in the match. Then again either Juice or Sanada could take the pinfall to protect Ospreay. Regardless, Ospreay needs a match in Chicago.
Pick: Juice did just win this title so I guess he'll hold onto it for now
IWGP World Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
Here's a match we haven't seen in three years. Their last outing at Madison Square Garden was pretty great and this should be too. As of now I think the plan for Chicago is Okada vs. Hangman Page for the title, so Okada almost certainly will keep the belt here. I'm curious where White fits into Forbidden Door, maybe a multi-man match with Cole and the Bucks?
Pick: Okada retains
Not a bad lineup at all, and were I on the west coast I'd almost certainly stay up to watch it live (it's airing at 10pm PT). Sadly I'll have to settle for a Sunday morning viewing.
Thanks for reading - subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Facebook and YouTube!