By Ryan Clark on October 23, 2016
Road To Power Struggle is a series of live events that lead to New Japan’s last big event before the dome show on January 4th. Power Struggle on November 5th is NJPW’s last major event before their biggest show of the entire year, WrestleKingdom on January 4th.
This year’s Road To Power Struggle tour kicked off on Friday. There are 9 events in total. The Super Jr. Tag Tourney started this past Friday. The upcoming tournament matches will be on the shows periodically leading into The finals on November 5th. This particular show is a tribute show to Yuji Nagata and his famous faction, “Blue Justice”. An annual show that honors him and his notorious faction. Just a basic live event with a twist. Similar to when The WWE has had tribute themed nights to Ric Flair and others at Madison Square Garden.
Here are the results from today’s show;
* Hirai Kawato defeated Bone Soldier by disqualification in 6:46
Bone Soldier is the newest member of Bullet Club and this is now a theme for him. Getting intentionally disqualified. Bone Soldier for those who don’t know is portrayed by the former, “Captain New Japan”. Mitsuhide Hirasawa has been through several gimmicks and in several factions in his career. Even at one point being unmasked and billed as Hideo Saito. A tribute to Hideo Nomo and Masa Saito. Recently, Captain New Japan was part of The Hunter Club. A faction created by Yoshi Tatsu to oppose The Bullet Club. Tatsu actually had fans vote The Captain out of his faction. So The Captain turned on him and joined The Bullet Club and his latest gimmick was born.
* Super ACH & Taiji Ishimori defeated Jushin Thunder Liger & Titan in 8:38
ROH’s Super ACH gets the win for his team with “The Midnight Star” on Titan. ACH and Ishimori are a very impressive tag team. They have already advanced to the next round of The Super Junior tournament.
* Fuego & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Angel De Oro & Tiger Mask IV in 9:59
Fuego pins Angel with The La Magistral cradle. Two CMLL/Japan tandems. Fuego and Taguchi are a charismatic duo and have looked good in these first 2 events.
* Will Ospreay, Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI defeat Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens in 11:33
The Bullet Club loses this 8 man tag match when Tomohiro Ishii hits a vertical brainbuster on Owens. Good match. Ospreay debuted a new look at The 1st Road To Power Struggle show on Friday. Bleached blonde hair and new gear. Kind of looks like Okada. He was impressive in this match as always. Super over with the crowd.
* Yoshi Tatsu & Juice Robinson defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay in 10:21
Big upset for The two former WWE employed talents. The former CJ Parker of NXT fame, Juice Robinson gets the victory with his Pulp Friction finish on Fit Finlay’s son, David. Finlay is scheduled to team with Ricochet in The Super Jr. Tag Tournament this Tuesday. That’s the next first round match. Where they will face Will Ospreay and Gedo.
* Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks defeat Kazuchika Okada & Roppongi Vice in 12:55
Best match on the show ends when The Bucks hit The Indy Taker on Romero and Matt Jackson pins him. The two main event competitors for WrestleKingdom 11 in Omega and Okada involved in yet another multi man tag on this tour. 3 months before they compete for The IWGP title. Romero and Barreta have been teasing dissension in recent weeks, despite the fact that they were able to advance to the semi-finals of The Super Junior tourney on Friday.
* Los Ingobernables De Japon defeats Blue Justice in 16:27
Surprising booking and result. The heel unit going over the legendary fan favorite faction. In a show that is designed to honor Yuji Nagata and his group. They lose the main event match. It would be the equivalent of an NWO tribute night where Hogan, Hall and Nash lose to AJ Styles, Gallows and Anderson. You could argue for it or against it…. The Blue Justice team in this match consisted of Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Manabu Nakanishi. All 3rd generation veterans. LIJ got the win in 16 minutes when Tetsuya Naito hit his “Destino” finisher on Nakanishi. Naito’s team consisted of the usual LIJ suspects in Evil, Sanada and Bushi.
After the match. Yuji Nagata got on the mic and addressed the crowd. He promised to avenge their defeat to LIJ in the future. Kind of like a, Sorry we lost but we will get them next time statement to appease the disappointed audience.
There was a ceremony on the event that honored the 25 year anniversary of “TenCozy”. The Hiroyoshi Tenzan-Satoshi Kojima tag team. It was a last second surprise celebration for them with Yuji Nagata playing the emcee. Some of the top babyfaces like Hiroshi Tanahashi took part in the celebration.
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