This show had ten matches that featured some late changes and teased a big surprise to begin the show. But this isn’t the only show with stakes; NJPW is a partner to AEW, who also made an announcement at the last minute as this affected one of their matches. What happened? Read on.
This is a condensed, opinionated narrative of some matches where I provide my own star-rating scale. If you want more in-depth reviews of particular matches, check out my 5-star/Almost 5-star match review series. In those reviews, I go into extensive detail on in-ring action and storytelling.
Taguchi and Tenzan were defeated by Taguchi and Henare from the United Empire:
The United Empire’s Junta and Henare fought to a double count-out in the opening match. TJP and Wato acted as stand-outs for their respective sides, displaying great athleticism and speed. However, these words mean less now since these types of cruiserweight acrobatics seem to be present on almost any show in companies such as Dragon Gate. The only real story here came when heavyweight Tenzan forced a tap-out from aging veteran Henare using a full nelson. This was a surprising turn of events that solidified the victory for the United Empire over Tencozy here.
Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, and Ace Austin) defeated Los Ignoble de Japón: Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, and Bushi:
Once Hiromu took over the match, an electric excitement boiled inside the AAA Arena. Ishimori and Hiromu were furious with Naito, who they made look like a rookie even though he was still recovering from injury. LIJ closed the gap between them by using their speed and craftiness and dominating BC until Bushi stepped in. Bushi couldn’t keep up with his overweight compatriots, and couldn’t receive enough punishment to emerge as the victor against Hiromu or Ishimori.
Yano defeats Gallows to win the match:
In a match that had little to laugh about, Yano managed to come out on top yet again by pulling off the same old tricks. He offered Gallows a turnbuckle pad and distracted the referee to sneak in a low blow from behind and win. This makes one wonder why they are still doing this; Yano’s antics as Toru never seem to get any better and he has already peaked creatively.