NJPW Power Struggle 2017 Review
NJPW Power Struggle 2017 Review
The Young Bucks vs. Dragon Lee and Titan
My Thoughts: This wasn’t as fun as I was expecting it to be, it was mainly a showcase for the Bucks in their return. This was still cleanly worked and enjoyable all throughout and it did its job, which was make the Bucks look good. This was a solid outing but nothing we haven’t seen before. The Bucks did introduce their new move, which is a Sharpshooter/Crossface combo. It’s nice to see the Bucks add a double team submission move to their arsenal.
Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Taichi, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA, and Hirai Kawato
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this! It wasn’t a long outing but it was a fun one. It was all action and no real bullshit from Suzuki-Gun. We didn’t have to deal with any stupid weapon shenanigans with Taichi and we got a lot of lightning quick and impressive offense from the faces. My personal favorite part of this match was when Juice said “Wake the fuck up!” to Kawato and Kawato then hit a Tope. It’s always a joy to see Kawato, he’s getting so over. Nice win for the faces as well.
Bullet Club (Cody, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens) vs. Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
My Thoughts: This was decent at best. It never really picked up and everyone with the exception of Chase Owens seemed to put in minimal effort. Makabe was in irrelevant tag mode, Kojima and Tenzan just hit their normal spots, and Takahashi and Cody did nothing of note. This wasn’t bad, it was just kind of boring. I really liked Chase hitting the Mongolian chops to mock Tenzan and the chops in the corner to mock Kojima. The finish was really flat, Kojima hit his signature lariat out of nowhere and I honestly didn’t expect it to be it but it was and I literally said “Oh okay”.
Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) (C) vs. Super 69 (Ryusuke Taguchi and ACH) for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
My Thoughts: This was a pretty good match. I liked that both ACH and Yoh’s injuries were targeted. Taguchi kicked it up a notch and put in great effort and ACH put on a good performance. This didn’t hold the crowd super well which was odd. The finishing stretch also felt weird and disjointed. The finish didn’t look that great which made it anticlimactic but overall I enjoyed this match and thought the two teams worked well together.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI, and Hiromu Takahashi) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, and Gedo)
My Thoughts: These matches between LIJ and CHAOS are always good, but this was one of the great ones. This was awesome wrestlers doing awesome things and having an awesome match. Gedo stayed out of it for the most part, only hitting one offensive maneuver I believe, which was a good thing. The sequence between SANADA and Goto was really fucking fun. It was great to see Okada and Naito interact here and just beat each other up. The Tombstone Okada hit on Naito was brutal. I really enjoyed this encounter, these guys brought their A game and killed it on a big show.
Minoru Suzuki (C) vs. Toru Yano for the NEVER Openweight Championship in a Bull Rope Match
My Thoughts: This was another Minoru Suzuki NEVER Openweight Title defense that’s filled with bullshit, shenanigans, and a cheap finish. Suzuki is a badass, he shouldn’t need FUCKING TAICHI to pull out a referee because Suzuki wasn’t kicking out. Toru Yano is a joke, I rarely find him entertaining and I hate seeing him in big matches like this. He got absolutely mauled for the first half of the match, then fought back, then Suzuki-Gun showed up just like in every Suzuki match. Suzuki is still a great wrestler and a legitimate badass, why he needs his stable of goons to help him every time makes no sense to me and it ruins the match every time. Granted this probably wasn’t going to be anything to write home about regardless, but it made this match even worse for me. This was shit.
Will Ospreay (C) vs. Marty Scurll for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
My Thoughts: This was a great match. These two work ridiculously well together and I’ve never seen a bad match between them. Ultra competitive and they did some shit that made my jaw drop even with having seen these two wrestle numerous times before. Scurll at one point hit a Alpamare Waterslide into a knee and it was fucking awesome. Ospreay also set up the superkick in the corner really well at one point where he scooped his head, then put him up in the corner and kicked him which looked real nice. The finish out of nowhere with the roll-up pin was something I actually really liked here. They had already been having a great match so having it end like that didn’t damage the match in any way. It was shocking, not anti-climactic. The fact that we’re getting a four way between Scurll, Ospreay, KUSHIDA, and Takahashi makes me so fucking pumped too.
Kenny Omega (C) vs. Berreta for the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship
My Thoughts: I’ve really wanted to see this match for a while, it was actually the main match I was looking forward to seeing when Berreta became a heavyweight. They did not fall flat on the big expectations I had. Kenny motherfucking Omega is such an incredibly crisp performer and does everything to perfection. He, like Okada, Naito, and Tanahashi, brings that big time feel to every match they’re in. You can’t help but be invested no matter who they’re wrestling. Trent is no slouch whatsoever, he is incredibly underrated and he proved his worth here. He didn’t win but he was put over here. He went toe to toe with one of the top guys in New Japan and took him to limit. He didn’t back down, and he fought until he couldn’t fight anymore. It was also crazy here how the Dr. Wiley Bomb actually had me sold that was the finish and I was actually shocked that it wasn’t. That NEVER happens. The table stuff was so brutal yet so awesome at the same time. I hope Trent gets a big match at Wrestle Kingdom. I don’t know what considering he did lose a US Heavyweight Title match so he has no real claim to another title but after this performance I’d love to see him keep going up rather than drop off. Omega is one of the best wrestlers on the planet undeniably, this was another fantastic match out of him this year. The Chris Jericho reveal was absolutely insane. I started this show about 10 hours after it aired and didn’t get spoiled about that and I honestly was so floored. It takes a lot to shock me in this day and age of wrestling, so much gets leaked and things get spoiled for me because I don’t really watch stuff live much anymore because I’m either working or out with friends. Jericho challenging Omega though was so damn shocking, I lost my mind. I can’t fucking wait for that match, it’s so damn crazy that it’s happening.
Hiroshi Tanahashi (C) vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
My Thoughts: This was unbelievable! What an amazing match. I had high expectations and they 100% backed up my expectations and had a ridiculously good match. This felt like a main event, these two are fantastic big match peformers. I really liked the leg work from Tana and Ibushi sold it consitently (though I did think I noticed him sell the wrong leg at one point). There were so many incredible spots. The lawn dart into the corner, the German from the outside of the ring in, the Golden Star Bomb kickout. This was so smartly worked and although I really wanted to see Ibushi win it here, Tanahashi had a hell of a performance too so I can’t help but give it up for him. The Jay White re-debut was really interesting. I expected him to be Switchblade but it was still a cool moment, he got a hell of a pop, and laid out Tanahashi to close the show. How wild!
Overall Thoughts: Overall I thought this was a great show that had two matches that weren’t worth watching but the last 3 matches were really worth watching.
Overall Rating: 8/10
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