Today marks the 45th Anniversary of New Japan Pro Wrestling, and in honor of the occasion the 45th Anniversary show was held in Tokyo’s Ota Ward Gymnasium, the same location of their very first show in 1972. Times have changed drastically since that era, but the promise of a great show was kept as this was headlined with a main event (non-title) match between Kazuchika Okada and Tiger Mask W.


Manabu Nakanishi defeats Tomoyuki Oka

Gedo, Gedo, Yoshi-Hashi & Goto (CHAOS) defeat TAKA Michinouku, El Desperado, Davey Boy Smith Jr and Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun)

Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, Yujiro, Bad Luck Fale & Kenny Omega (Bullet Club) defeat David Finlay, Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask and Jushin Liger.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
(Title Change!) Taichi & Kanemaru defeated Roppongi Vic

There was some interference in this match as El Desperado appeared to distract the referee in order to allow Taichi to hit Rocky Romero with a tag belt and Kanemaru to get the pin. Post-match the two continued to attack Roppongi Vice, setting their eyes on Trent, but were chased off as Gedo and Jado made the save, indicating they are next in line to challenge for the titles.

RevPro British Heavyweight Championship
(Title Change!) Zack Sabre Jr defeated Katsuyori Shibata

This was a very highly anticipated match as it was ZSJ’s debut in New Japan. Sabre came to the ring wearing both the EVOLVE and PWG World Titles which was exciting to see as well. The chemistry between these two is phenomenal and it started off as a highly technical match until Shibata decided to turn the tables with implementing some strikes as ZSJ tried to attack the arm of Shibata. At the end of the match, Minoru Suzuki appeared and distracted the ref as he and Davey Boy Smith Jr took out Shibata without there being a disqualification call. That left Shibata down and out in the middle of the ring and Zack was able to get the pin. Right after the finish, Suzuki took the microphone stating Zack Sabre Jr is now a member of Suzuki-Gun and they as a faction are going to pick New Japan apart piece by piece.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
(Title Change!) TenCozy defeat Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano

TenCozy were a replacement for Makabe and Honma, who was seriously injured in a match earlier this week. This was a bit unexpected as they were replacements for the title match, but how can anyone be upset with Kojima when he loves bread so very much?!

Los Ingobernables de Japon defeated KUSHIDA, Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi

As EVIL and Tanahashi are facing each other in round one of the New Japan Cup beginning Saturday, LOS spent a lot of time focusing on taking him down. Eventually this match just ended up being more of a brawl with everyone going after one another until Naito capitalized and pinned Juice Robinson after the Destino.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi defeated Rysuke Taguchi

A great match between Hiromu, who is incredible to watch and Taguchi, who people tend to merely view as a comedy wrestler. Taguchi was excellent in this and the chemistry the two have is really wonderful. Hiromu wisely targeted the lower back of Taguchi throughout, yet Taguchi kept fighting back. After the match, Hiromu asked who was next to challenge him and KUSHIDA answered the call, which is interesting seeing as how these two only just recently had a feud.

Kazuchika Okada defeats Tiger Mask W (non-title match)

An excellent match between two insanely gifted performers. There’s a lot of back and forth here with the crowd fully behind Tiger Mask W for a large portion. This is one of those matches where I cannot wait for there to be a rematch with the title on the line just to step this up another level. Okada finally gets the win here after a German Suplex and three Rainmakers.

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