By Alex Richards & Jozef Raczka

Stop number two on the New Japan road tour features Shingo Takagi defending the NEVER title against Tomohiro Ishii and Roppongi 3K defending their junior tag titles against Rocky Romero and Ryusuke Taguchi. It also featured a lot of tag matches building to other matches that let’s face it, we don’t need to talk about beyond acknowledging their existence. This is what went down:

Undercard Results

Yota Tsuji Def. Gabriel Kidd // Kidd tapped out to a Boston Crab

Suzuki-Gun (Despy, Kanemaru, Taichi & Suzuki) Def. YOSHI HASHI, Goto, Ospreay & Uemura// Kanemaru beat Uemura with a Deep Impact second rope DDT

CHAOS (Okada, Yano & Cabana) Def. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare// Cabana beat Honma with a Superman Pin

Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask, Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan Def. LIJ (Naito, Takahashi, BUSHI, EVIL & SANADA)// Kojima beat EVIL with a Lariat

Bullet Club (Fale, White & GOD) Def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson//  Tanga Loa beat Juice with a rollup

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match: Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh) (C) vs Mega Coaches (Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi)

This was great, then it kept going, and kept going, and kept going.  There was absolutely no reason for this match to go 26 minutes and the length took a great match down to just being a good match.  Like most junior matches this was both teams running through spots but occasionally Taguchi or Romero would get some momentum and the crowd would perk up at the chance of seeing the well like vets pull out the win.  At times this was definitely a great match but the length just caused it to drag on too long until R3K finally pinned Romero to end the match.

Winner: Roppongi 3K Retain  Rating: 4 out of 10

NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (C) vs Tomohiro Ishii

If you like two guys soullessly trading strikes for an absurdly long time then this is the match for you.  They didn’t play to Takagi’s strengths at all and instead had him stand and trade with Ishii as they followed the same formula of every Tomohiro Ishii match of the past decade.  Shingo hit two pumping bombers and that’s a cool move at least.  Takagi won with the Last Of The Dragon.

Winner: Shingo Takagi Retains Rating: 2 out of 10

I purposely chose this show with the hopes that the top two matches would deliver.  What I got instead is a reminder that watching NJPW means being ok with matches going absurdly long and while the Junior tag match overcame that slightly, the main event couldn’t. Less is more, people. I mean look at this review, you’ve got all the information you need in just over 450 words. Now that’s economy.

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