Jordan’s Road to Sakura Genesis 4/4/17 Review
NJPW Road to Sakura Genesis 4/4/17 Review
Suzuki-Gun (Takashi Iizuka, El Desperado, and TAKA Michinoku) vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, and Hirai Kawato
No shock that Suzuki-Gun attacks before the bell rings. Lots of crowd and ringside brawling to begin. Liger actually grabs a chair but the insane Iizuka starts launching chairs. We start with Desperado and Kawato and it looks like we’re gonna jump right into Kawato getting beat down for a while. Kawato tried to fight back against TAKA but was quickly stopped. Poor men is going to have to take another beating. Liger actually gets in the ring and yells at Kawato and stomps on him to maybe knock some sense into the young lion. Kawato finally begins to fight back and lands a big dropkick on Iizuka and makes the tag to Nakanishi which may be the worst hot tag of all time. Nakanishi runs in and hits some of the only moves he can hit and then a sluggish spear. Nakanishi knocks down Iizuka with a lariat for a near fall. TAKA comes in to try and take down Nakanishi but he gets knocked out. Liger tagged in now which will help this match and he is going wild on Desperado. Liger has the Surfboard in on Desperado while Nakanishi has the Torture Rack in on TAKA. Kawato runs in to try and stop Iizuka but is desposed. Poor guy. Liger launches Desperado out of the ring and then hits a baseball slide. We are seeing an intense side of Liger tonight as he smacks Desperado with a chair! Liger has Desperado back in the ring and he wants to bring in Kawato. Sounds like a bad idea Liger. Liger tags in Kawato by smacking him and Kawato tries to fight but is stopped quickly by Iizuka on the outside of the ring. Finally Kawato is fighting back and he hits a springboard dropkick on TAKA for 2! Kawato is caught by Iizuka but moves and TAKA knocks Iizuka off the apron and Kawato rolls up TAKA for a very close near fall. Liger hits the Shotei and Kawato with a backslide for another near fall. TAKA locks in a crossface and the young lion has no choice but to submit.
My Thoughts: This was solid and another chance for Kawato as the underdog to shine. The fans are really behind him in his losing efforts. They kept Nakanishi out of most of this which was good. Not a bad way to get this show started.
Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens) vs. Yuji Nagata and Tomoyuki Oka
The last time we saw Oka in action on a live show he quickly jobbed to Bad Luck Fale. I think he’ll have more of a chance to shine here. Oka and Takahashi start with some back and forth. Takahashi gets complete control after hitting him with his cane. Owens in now and they hit a double team move. Owens hits some strikes and Oka wants more before firing away. Owens quickly stops him with a gorgeous dropkick. Nagata doing the same thing Liger did in the previous match by giving his young lion tag partner tough love and slapping him. Oka with a spinebuster to Takahashi and here comes Yuji who is on fire with kicks and and an exploder for a near fall. Takahashi with a brainbuster and tag to Owens. Nagata ends up locking in his trademark armbar on Owens. Takahashi stops him but Nagata disposes of him quickly. Nagata and Oka now working together. Oka with a belly to belly for a near fall. Oka locks in the Boston Crab but Yujiro is back in and dumped right back out by Oka. Oka turns around into a niiiiice Superkick from Chase Owens for a near fall but Owens follows up with the Package Piledriver for the win!
My Thoughts: This was a perfectly fine, inoffensive tag match, it just wasn’t anything out of the box which is why it wasn’t higher. Chase Owens put on a great showing here and Oka didn’t look bad at all. Not bad but far from great.
War Machine and David Finlay vs. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Tiger Mask IV
I liked the partnership of War Machine and Finlay on the last Road To show that was on World so I’m looking forward to this. We start with a shoving match between Rowe and Kojima before Hanson and Tenzan step in for a bigger shoving match and now both teams are brawling with TenCozy getting the best of War Machine. Double suplex for TenCozy on Rowe and Rowe tags in Finlay and Tiger Mask is in now as well. Enjoyable back and forth from both men which included a gutwrench from Finlay reversed into an arm drag. Finlay and War Machine take total control now and have Tiger Mask cornered. Tenzan gets the tag now and runs wild on Finlay. Finlay cuts him off with an uppercut and tags in Rowe. Rowe looked like he was about to headbutt Tenzan but he’s learned his lesson from last time. He still eats a spinning heel kick and in comes Kojima with his series of chops and he heads to the top with an elbow drop for 2. Kojima and Rowe trade strikes and Rowe and Hanson hit an impressive double team move where Rowe had Kojima in a German Suplex position and Hanson sprung off the ropes and landed a clothesline. Hanson has both members of TenCozy in opposite corners and hits multiple lariats on both men. Tiger Mask tries a cross body on Hanson but gets caught. He slips out and dropkicks Hanson out and now it’s breaking down into chaos with action from everyone. Kojima hits a cutter on Rowe and looks to end this but Rowe hits a knee strike and War Machine hit Fallout on Kojima for 3. War Machine beat down TenCozy and Tiger Mask after the match. I guess they’re trying to establish them as heels against TenCozy but War Machine are loved in Japan.
My Thoughts: That was a very fun match! Action from start to finish with every man getting some shine. War Machine are actually starting to make a fan out of me with their continued impressive performances. Good shit.
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Gedo, and Jado)
Suzuki-Gun attacks before the bell. What a fucking shock. We start in the ring with Jado and Kanemaru. Gedo and Jado challenge Kanemaru and Taichi for the Jr. Tag Titles on April 9th. Vicious strikes and kicks from Gedo and Jado. Chaos breaks out again with ringside brawling and Taichi using the mic stand as a weapon. Sabre and Goto continue to go at it. Suzuki-Gun now has Gedo cornered. Suzuki locks in the knee bar on both Gedo and Yano after Yano tried to stop Suzuki which is a personal favorite spot of mine out of Suzuki. The referee is distracted and as usual Taichi uses that hammer to his advantage against Gedo. Ugh. Gedo hits a huge uppercut shot that knocks Taichi down and almost makes the tag but Kanemaru in to stop him. Gedo low blows Kanemaru now and then tags in Goto while Sabre is in on the Suzuki-Gun side. Goto is taking it to Zacky. Sabre begins to fight back and now they’re trading strikes. Sabre ends up locking in an Octopus Stretch of sorts on Goto but he escapes and hits the firemans carry neckbreaker. Sabre tags Suzuki and here comes Yano as well to begin his usual shenanigans. Suzuki is having none of it but Yano is actually getting the better of him. Yano tries to send him into the exposed turnbuckles multiple times but Suzuki thwarts it each time and kicks Yano in the back. Suzuki makes the tag to Taichi and now Suzuki-Gun are working together as a unit against Yano. Taichi hits a head kick on Yano but his teammates are in to break things up. CHAOS and Suzuki-Gun are brawling on the outside leaving Taichi and Yano in the ring. Yano hits an atomic drop but in comes Suzuki to go for the Gotch Style Piledriver on Yano however Jado stops him. Kanemaru has the referee distracted and Taichi tries to hit Yano with the mic stand but Yano ducks and runs into a kick from Gedo and they use the mic stand. Yano rolls up Taichi for the win.
My Thoughts: Pretty good action here, your standard New Japan tag match. Not bad in the slightest but, and I know I say this a lot but it’s true, it was nothing you haven’t seen before. Goto and Sabre going at it was nice to see though and gets me more excited for their match on the 9th.
Kenny Omega and Bad Luck Fale vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Baretta
We start with Trent and Fale and I do not envy Trent here. He’ll probably bump super well for the much larger Fale. Trent smacks Fale and that angers the big man but Trent isn’t backing down. He continues to fight until he’s knocked down by a shoulder block from Fale. Kenny in now with a double axe handle to the back of Trent and now the Biz Cliz have control. It looks like they will be focusing on Trent’s back in this one. Kenny goes for his moonsault from the second rope but Trent moves and tags Ishii. Ishii knocks down Kenny and tries to knock down Fale but just gets wiped out. Ishii outsmarts them though and dodges Fale who goes right into Kenny. Ishii then throws Kenny into Fale and clotheslines Fale out of the ring and now we’re getting a bit of a NJ Cup rematch here. Trent hits Fale with a nice suicide dive. Saito Suplex from Ishii for a near fall. More back and forth and Ishii hits a powerslam and tags in Trent who heads to the top rope with a missile dropkick! Big knee strike from Kenny to Baretta that made spit fly and a superkick to knock Ishii off the apron. Kenny and Fale attempt a double team move but Trent escapes and hits the Dudebuster DDT on Kenny and used Fale to propel himself! Trent tries a sunset flip on Fale and Ishii clotheslines him to get him down, but only a 2 count. Trent tries the Dudebuster DDT but Fale shoves him off and hits a big splash for 2. Fale finally hits the Grenade for the win as Kenny held Ishii back on the outside.
My Thoughts: This was an enjoyable tag match that could’ve been better with more time as it was pretty short. There was constant action the whole way through. All 4 men did their part and did a very good job. Nice stuff.
KUSHIDA and Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi
Well the faces actually attacked before the bell in this one as KUSHIDA dove onto Takahashi on the outside. KUSHIDA then set up Takahashi in a chair and ran at him with an insane dropkick as Naito and Juice go it at. Naito and Juice in the ring now as Naito pulls at Juice’s disgusting dreads. Naito tags in Takahashi and LIJ have total control early on. Juice ends up punching Naito in the face which created a LOUD smack that made my jaw drop. Juice tried to tag KUSHIDA but Takahashi made the tag and stopped him. Juice ends up taking out Takahashi with a big lariat. In comes KUSHIDA who propels off Takahashi’s back and takes out Naito. KUSHIDA is getting the best of both members of LIJ. He had Hiromu in an armbar but he made it to the ropes. KUSHIDA with some vicious kicks to his opponent at Sakura Genesis. So much fast paced action going on right now between the two juniors. Superkick from Takahashi but a Pele from KUSHIDA and both men are down. Naito and Robinson in now and Juice and Juice is destroying him. Takahashi grabbed Juice from the outside and now LIJ has control over Juice. Naito puts Juice on the top rope but Juice reverses, goes for a Powerbomb, Naito reverses, goes for a Tornado DDT, Juice reverses but Naito nails an enzuigiri and goes for Destino. However, Naito is cut off by KUSHIDA who comes in and starts taking it to his rival Takahashi. Takahashi and KUSHIDA out now leaving it to Juice and Naito. Naito tries Destino again but Juice counters and hits a Powerbomb for a close near fall. Juice goes for Pulp Friction but in comes Takahashi with a Superkick, Naito low blows Juice and nails Destino for the victory.
My Thoughts: I thought that match was very good and I’m glad they switched it up and had a standard 2 on 2 rather than LIJ vs. Tana and his buddies. I thought the flurry in the last 5 minutes was super well executed and each man put forth great effort. I’m not a fan of Juice but he did really well in this match as did the other 3 as expected. I enjoyed this and it was a nice change of pace on an otherwise average Road To show.
Katsuyori Shibata and Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI
We start with Okada and Shibata and they immediately go at it with Shibata easily getting the better of the Rainmaker. They trade strikes now and Shibata is getting the better of him here too as he lands a HUGE kick to the chest. The crowd is firmly behind Shibata. HASHI in now as it looks like the CHAOS members are going to take control early. Shibata ends up kicking Okada off the apron and HASHI tries to take him down but Shibata, being the badass he is, takes HASHI down easy and tags Makabe in. Makabe and HASHI go at it for a little while as Shibata and Okada brawl on the outside. Okada and HASHI have complete control over Makabe in their corner now. Okada decides to go after Shibata on the floor while he has Makabe down which I love. This feud has been really well done. It’s simple, but effective. Makabe finally fights back with a lariat to HASHI and he makes the tag to Shibata who immediately takes out Okada and then targets the legal man HASHI. Shibata hits a supplex for a 2 count and then again takes out Okada. HASHI hits a neck breaker and then tags in Okada who is clearly vengeful as he DDT’s Shibata but that doesn’t phase him as he instantly gets up and hits a German Suplex. Both men striking away at each other and while Shibata is getting the best of him Okada is trying to fight through. Makabe tags in and hits a couple clotheslines on Okada. Okada hits a neck breaker and HASHI runs in to knock Shibata off the apron. The CHAOS members now go to work on Makabe who is all alone at the moment. Launch into an Okada DDT for 2. Okada goes up top and hits his signature diving elbow drop but Shiata runs in, tries the Sleeper but Okada reverses with a vicious neckbreaker variation. Makabe hits another lariat on Okada and then a Death Valley Driver for a close near fall. German Suplex from Makabe for yet another near fall. HASHI runs in and hits a double knee face breaker and Okada hits a dropkick followed by the Rainmaker for the win.
My Thoughts: This was another very good tag team match. The rivalry between Okada and Shibata has been really well done like I said and the intensity they both showed here and them going after each other was excellent. Makabe wasn’t all that exciting but he didn’t drag the match down at all and HASHI continues to impress. Far from dull action here, just a pretty fun match the whole way through.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, EVIL, and BUSHI) (C) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Ricochet for the NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championship
Well I had a whole fucking recap typed out after watching a match I really enjoyed but for whatever reason by MacBook decided to close out of notes randomly, forced me to quit out of them, and lose everything I’d typed about this match since I just watched this today. I’m pretty fucking mad considering I put a lot of effort into a good recap of this awesome match. I apologize and will give you my thoughts.
My Thoughts: This was a really fucking fun match. Although the Taguchi ass shenanigans played its part, I still found some of those spots amusing and everyone worked their asses off for a constant sprint of a match. The action was almost hard for me to keep up with especially near the tail end. Ricochet looked really good in this match and all the members of LIJ looked strong even in defeat. I may not agree with the outcome but the match was awesome. Great way to close the show.
Overall this was one of the better Road To events I’ve watched in recent memory and a much stronger effort than the other Road to Sakura Genesis event that went up on World. There were a couple good tag matches in the middle of the show and three really strong efforts to close the show, most notably the main event.
Overall Rating: 7/10
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