Ibushi vs. Sabre to kick off New Japan’s next month of shows

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The Once in a Century Ace is taking a little break.

As is tradition following a big show (for match recommendations for G1 Supercard, check here), New Japan Pro Wrestling have announced cards for the next several shows, including their annual May extravaganza Wrestling Dontaku, so without further ado let’s list ‘em out and break ‘em down, folks!

Sengoku Lord in Nagoya (April 20, 5AM Eastern / 2AM Pacific)

  1. Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
  2. Jushin Liger, Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuji Nagata vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  3. Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) vs. Dragon Lee & Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano)
  4. Chase Owens vs. Mikey Nicholls
  5. Bullet Club (HIKULEO & “Switchblade” Jay White) vs. Hirooki Goto & Ryusuke Taguchi
  6. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, SHO, Tomohiro Ishii, YOH, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito)
  7. Bad Luck Fale vs. Juice Robinson (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)
  8. Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (IWGP Intercontinental Championship)

Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2019 – Aki no Kuni Sengoku Emaki (April 26, 5:30AM Eastern / 2:30AM Pacific)

  1. Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
  2. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Tiger Mask IV, Toa Henare, & YOSHI-HASHI
  3. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Jado, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) vs. Chaos (Mikey Nicholls & Toru Yano), Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), & Juice Robinson
  4. Jeff Cobb & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi & TAKA Michinoku)
  5. Bullet Club (HIKULEO, “Switchblade” Jay White, & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Chaos (Hirooki Goto & Will Ospreay) & Dragon Lee
  6. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Rocky Romero, & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito)
  7. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)

Wrestling Hi no Kuni 2019 (April 29, 2AM Eastern / 11PM Pacific)

  1. Ren Narita, Shota Umino, & Tomoaki Honma vs. Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji, & Yuya Uemura
  2. Jeff Cobb, Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask IV, & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  3. Bullet Club (HIKULEO & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Dragon Lee & Will Ospreay
  4. Bad Luck Fale vs. Mikey Nicholls
  5. Chase Owens vs. Juice Robinson
  6. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Rocky Romero, SHO, Tomohiro Ishii, & YOH) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito)
  7. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
  8. Hirooki Goto vs. “Switchblade” Jay White

Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Night One (May 3, 5AM Eastern / 2AM Pacific)

  1. Ren Narita, Shota Umino, & Tomoaki Honma vs. Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji, & Yuya Uemura
  2. Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask IV, & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  3. Bullet Club (HIKULEO, Tama Tonga, & Tonga Loa) vs. Chaos (Toru Yano & Will Ospreay) & Togi Makabe
  4. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH)
  5. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, & “Switchblade” Jay White) vs. Chaos (Hirooki Goto & Mikey Nicholls) & Juice Robinson
  6. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA)
  7. Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Taichi (NEVER Openweight Championship)
  8. Dragon Lee (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)

Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Night Two (May 4, 2AM Eastern / 11PM Pacific)

  1. Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
  2. Jeff Cobb, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask IV, Toa Henare, & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  3. Bullet Club (Jado, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) vs. Jushin Liger & Most Violent Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano)
  4. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, HIKULEO, & “Switchblade” Jay White) vs. Chaos (Hirooki Goto & Mikey Nicholls), Juice Robinson, & Tomoaki Honma
  5. Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & ???) vs. Dragon Lee & Will Ospreay
  6. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH)
  7. EVIL vs. Tomohiro Ishii
  8. Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. SANADA (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)

Holy hell, that’s a lot of matches!

…and not a one of them features Hiroshi Tanahashi, the beating heart and soul of the company for the last decade, as he’s being forced to take time off due to an unspecified injury to the left elbow. It’s the second time he’s been put on the shelf in the last two years, as he missed a month last February from a nagging knee injury, which has to sting given that the stubborn Ace worked through a torn bicep during most of 2017. Whether this round is simple wear and tear or something worse is unclear from New Japan’s announcement, however.

Also missing this round of shows is Hiroyoshi Tenzan, who is dealing with a knee injury.

As far as what’s actually on the cards, this is more of what has been New Japan’s modus operandi for a long time now. They’ve taken one or two shows’ worth of title matches and smeared them out across five, such that there’s not one obvious killer show of the bunch here, but there’s a lot of stuff to get excited for.

Like, say, another Ibushi/Sabre match, with the IWGP Intercontinental Championship on the line? Or Dragon Lee defending. his newly won IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against former champ Taiji Ishimori? Or LIJ getting their obligatory-but-still-fun rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against RPG3K? Or even a somewhat-random-feeling-but-I’ll-take-it IWGP Heavyweight Championship title defense for Okada against the man he beat in the New Japan Cup finals, SANADA?

Plus some interesting special challenge matches— Goto taking on Jay White, and EVIL taking on Tomohiro Ishii. The former especially will be interesting to see how New Japan treats the Switchblade now that he’s no longer IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and the latter, well… big boys a-clubberin’ never hurt anybody!

There’s also a nearly-complete round robin series between Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Juice Robinson, and Mikey Nicholls, spinning out of the events of the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship match back at New Japan Cup Finals. Which, totally honestly isn’t very exciting, but I like that they’re doing more to build the undercard titles instead of just the usual tag team matches.

And last but not least, look at those enticing question marks tagging up with Ishimori there! Yes, much like Shingo for LIJ last fall, Bullet Club have a mystery junior heavyweight member! Now, given that they’ve been running vignettes for Canada’s El Phantasmo joining the ol’ Biz Cliz, it may not be that much of a mystery, but who doesn’t like a reveal, right?

There you have it, folks

Excited for your next batch of butt o’clock wakeup calls or are you going to hit the snooze button with no Ace in sight, Cagesiders?




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