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NJPW Dominion 6.4 Review & Results

1 year ago

NJPW Dominion 6.4 Review & Results

By: Damian Gibson

Some of the best professional wrestlers on earth gathered Sunday evening to compete in New Japan Pro Wrestling’s big mid-year event Dominion at 6.4 at Osaka-jo Hall in Osaka. This was the fifteenth time New Japan had held an event and tonight’s event was the ninth at the venue.

Dominion comes on the back of a hot Best of the Super Juniors tournament and an action-packed Resurgence PPV, where the stakes were high, as the winner would secure a future shot at the prestigious IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. We had some incredible competitors in the mix, including Lance Archer, Will Ospreay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Juice Robinson (who was replaced by Fred Rosser). The tournament progressed with Archer defeating Rosser, setting up an epic finale between Lance Archer who seemed to be looked over by AEW as a major talent but has reinvigorated his status in pro wrestling and setting up a number one contenders match with Will Ospreay.

We started with the IWGP US title number one contender match to decide who takes on Kenny Omega at a later date. Lance Archer took out a couple of NJPW ring attendants on the way to the ring. The buzz in the arena became electric when Will Ospreay appeared at the top of the ramp. Archer attempted to take out Osprey as the bell rang with an elbow to the back of the head. Osprey regained composure and hit an os-cutter for a two count. Ospreay had come into this match under an injury cloud due to a shoulder injury that forced him to pull out of the Best of the Super Juniours tournament, Archer tested this by targeting Ospreay’s shoulder repeatedly. Archer tried to end the match with his Black Out finisher but could only keep Ospreay down for a two-count. Archer then hit a huge choke slam but the Englishman kicked out again at two. Ospreay found a second win, and after hitting the Hidden Blade he pinned Archer for three the count and the win in eight minutes. Ospreay asked for a mic and announces he will challenge Kenny Omega at the AEW pay-per-view Forbidden Door.

The second match on the card was next. The team of Titan, BUSHI, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito took on TAKA Michinoku, DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi from the Just Five Guys Faction. Los Ingobernables de Japón were in control for the first part of this match. After a fairly uneventful match, Titan got the win with a Llave Inmortal continuing his good form from the best of the Super Juniors tournament. This is the latest somewhat lacklustre chapter in the story between Just Five Guys and Los Ingobernables de Japón.

The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match was the third match on the card. Catch 2/2 (TJP and Francesco Akira) from the United Empire Team went up against the champions Intergalactic Jet Setters (KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight). This match raised the tempo of the night from the get-go with men flying everywhere, Kevin Knight hit a backflip for the top rope which took out Catch 2/2 and set the tone for the early part of the match. Catch 2/2 have come a long way as a tag team in the last six months, which showed through their synchronicity this evening.

Kushida put Akira in an arm bar that looked like clinching the match for the champs until Francesco found the rope with his boot. TJP put Kushida in a Pinoy Stretch which looked promising for the challengers, but Kushida dug deep and found the bottom rope by a fingernail. Catch 2/2 were not down yet they disposed of Kushida from the ring and hit the 2×2 on Knight, with Akira getting the pin and a huge celebration. Catch 2/2 are IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions. Clark Connors comes down the ramp, he points to Catch 2/2 to signal a challenge from him and Dan Moloney who attacked Catch 2/2 from behind. Maloney had been at ringside as part of the United Empire but appears to have betrayed the group whose leader Ospreay had pulled a lot of strings to get Moloney into New Japan initially. This was a fantastic match, and I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of the Moloney jumping to Bullet Club fallout.

Jeff Cobb of United Empire faction took on the NJPW World Television Champion Zack Sabre Jr., leader of the TMDK unit,in a championship match, in the fourth instalment of the proceedings. Cobb got the better of the champion early on in this match using his strength to his advantage, with power bombs and side slams galore. Sabre Jr. tried to claw his way back into the match by doing what he does best mat grappling, which ended with an incredible German Suplex on Cobb to get the match to parity at the seven and half minute mark of the fifteen-minute time limit stipulation. Cobb hit a spin cycle and German suplex of his own and looked t be heading to a championship when Sabre Jr. counted a third spin cycle and rolled the move into an arm bar shoulder press that kept Cobb on the mat for a three count and a tenth title defence for Zack Sabre Jr. since winning the belt.

The fifth match was a three-way tag match for IWPG Tag Team and Strong Openweight Tag Team belts that were vacated by Aussie Open due to a long-term injury to Mark Davis. The three teams vying for the championships were Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi) vs. House of Torture (EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. United Empire (Great-O-Khan and Aaron Henare). House of Tourture gets the jump on the more honourable teams before the bell rings. United Empire dictated terms, House of Tourte was the next team in control. Evil exposed the blue corner turnbuckle, which the House of Tourte used to great effect against Great O’Khan.

Dick Taigo took out the ref which let the House of Torture take advantage. There was a lot of back and forth until Yuijiro got the closest two counts with a Pin Drop. After a late run from the Great O Khan, Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi get the three count setting up a match with FTR at Forbidden Door. A video appears on the jumbotron showing a logo for Bullet Club War Dogs. Appearing at the top are the ramp are Gabriel Kidd and Alex Coughlin who come down to the ring and beat down Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi. We have more new members of David Finlay Bullet Club.

Coming into the sixth match on the card the Bullet Club story continued as the Headbanger El Phantasmo who has declared a one-man war on Bullet Club after leaving the faction, takes on the leader of Bullet Club David Finlay for the NEVER Openweight Championship. All the new members of Bullet Club walk down the ramp with Finaly as a show of strength. Finlay rushes the ring but ELP is ready for him. El Phantasmo jumped from the top rope over the first ringside fence to take out Finlay. ELP went for a suicide dive and was stopped by Bullet Club, Finlay knocks ELP down from behind with a flying elbow. Finlay takes the fight outside the ring and throws ELP into the ringside gate, ELP’s head is then rammed into the ring post by the champ. The match moves back into the ring and Finlay continues with his domination.

ELP managed to get some sort of a comeback happening from a superkick and a couple of Irish whips. However, the challenger was distracted when Connors and Maloney got up on the apron. It wasn’t for long however as ELP managed to get Finlay wrapped up in the corner and get wrestle back the momentum in the match. Finlay hit a German Suplex which ELP got straight back up from. Finlay visibly angry hit two backbreakers that both led to a two-count. ELP gets back up and takes out all of Bullet Club with high-flying moves, he bit off more than he could chew though, as Finlay throws ELP off the top rope puts ELP through a table at ringside and then his finisher Into Oblivion. Is this the end of ELP’s war against Bullet Club? Only time will tell, but tonight he definitely lost the battle.

The third last match of the night was for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship between the champion Hiromu Takahashi vs. Master Wato. The crowd is split with their support in this match. Takahashi is on top at the opening of this match. Takahashi Firman carries Wato up the ramp and then hits a German suplex on the challenger. Wato rolls down the ramp to bet the twenty count. Wato with a newfound momentum began going after Takahashi’s neck. With some masterful mat grappling. Wato decided to go to the top rope for a tornado but there was no water in the pool.

After some back and forth Wato again managed to lock in a neck lock, Takahashi looked to have passed out on two occasions but found the bottom rope with his foot. Wato hit a huge German Suplex that got a two-count from the ref and a huge gasp from the crowd. Takahashi after a second wind hit a time bomb but only drew a two-count. The champ hit a time bomb two and get the win and retained the Junior Heavyweight championship, which was met by a muted response from the Osaka audience.

The penultimate match is for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship, between Shota Umino, Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli vs Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Talk about a star-studded match. The match even going ahead looked like it was in the balance as Castagnoi was held up travelling from the US. Castagnoli and Tanahashi faced off first with Castagnoli getting the better of the Ace, he tagged in Shota and Tanahashi brought The Rainmaker Okada into the match. Shota threw Okada into the gate and then threw a table, that’s right, a table in Okada’s face.

Team Shota spent the next five minutes taking turns beating down Okada. Okada finally gets Tanahashi and then Ishii in the ring which swings things back the megastars way. Moxley and Ishii went toe to toe, with Moxley coming out on top even though Mox was split open by a stone pitbull headbutt. After an all-in brawl that left Shota and Okada in the ring Shota went for a death rider that led to a two count. Shota and his two friends from AEW seemed to have all the momentum. But as always The Rainmaker from almost out of nowhere found the fortitude to hit the Rainmaker on Shota and get the win to retain the six-man belt. A fantastic match that ended with Mox saying he had a message from someone, Bryan Danielson appears on the jumbotron and challenges Okada to a match, accompanied by “Yes!” chants in Osaka! Okada accepts the challenge for a match at Forbidden Door.

In the words of the great poet Mark Henry, it’s time for the main event! SANADA, the IWGP World Heavyweight champion, takes on the Gene Beast Yota Tsuji who returned from an excursion in Mexico two days ago, no one has shot to prominence in the main event in New Japan Pro-Wrestling history as quickly as Tsuji.

SANADA as the IWGP World Heavyweight champion. c/o @taigaPhoto_pw

Yota chants start after the bell rings. Tsuji is in complete control initially. SANADA finally gets a reversal and puts Yota in a leg roll clutch. Tsuji looks so cool, calm and collected, he seemed to be totally in control until he went for a moonsault, Sanada rolled out of the way at the last second, and nobody was home.

The young lion kept control though and in a battle of chops, Tsuji appeared to have no reaction when chopped by SANADA. The challenger hit a Spanish Fly and gots a two-and-a-half count. SANADA had three finishing moves reversed Yota then hit a curb stomp for another two-and-a-half count. Out of nowhere, SANADA hits a shining wizard and a skull end to get the three count and retain his title. The crowd seemed a little stunned that Tsuji didn’t win as there was quiet across the crowd.

Overall this was a very enjoyable special event that shone more light on David Finlay’s Bullet Club, more gold for the United Empire, and the birth of two future main event stars Master Wato and Yota Tsuji, and the retention of the IWGP Heavyweight belt by Sanada, if only just.