The full card for NJPW Dominion in Osaka has been announced, and it’s going to be one for the ages. The show is set to be one of the biggest of the year and will host three rematches from WrestleKingdom 11, which were three of the best matches of 2017 so far. Littered in star power from top to bottom, Dominion will Stream Live on New Japan World and will be available in both Japanese & English.
The card is as follows:
Pre-show: David Finlay, Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino vs. Hirai Kawato, Katsuya Kitamura & Tetsuhiro Yagi
Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Tiger Mask W & Tiger Mask IV vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Thunder Liger
NEVER Openweight Trios Championship – Gauntlet Match: Los Ingobernables (SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI) (c) vs. Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson & Ricochet) vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Bulletclub (Bad Luck Fale, Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Suzuki Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi)
IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship Match: RPG Vice (Rocky Romero & Barreta) (c) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match: War Machine (Raymond Rowe & Hanson) (c) vs. Bulletclub G.O.D (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
Michael Elgin vs. Cody Rhodes
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship Match: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. KUSHIDA (Recent Best of the Super Juniors 24 Winner)
NEVER Openweight Championship – Lumberjack Death Match: Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Hirooki Goto
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega
Both the IWGP Heavyweight & Jr Tag Team Championship Matches featuring War Machine vs G.O.D and RPG Vice vs The Young Bucks respectively are matches that may surprise and steal the show if given the opportunity. These matches include perhaps the four best tag teams in the world today who will no doubt provide an abundance of highlights.
Michael Elgin faces Cody Rhodes in a Special Singles Match. The Wrestling Observer has noted that due to their relatively high place on the card, the winner of this match could be in line for a big push; perhaps for the IWGP or Intercontinental Championships. This creates a very interesting dynamic depending on the results of other matches on the card. It’s incredibly likely that Naito will retain his title; Elgin & Naito put on one of the best matches of 2017 at New Beginning in February while Cody vs Naito is reaching dream match status given both men’s recent form; it would be heel vs heel however, despite both men’s popularity. Okada vs Elgin would be face vs face which can certainly be done. Okada vs Cody is another Dream match; you could tell the story of Cody trying to achieve what Omega couldn’t (obviously assuming Okada retains). Elgin vs Omega would be fantastic and obviously Omega vs Cody would be a clash in the Bullet Club and while it may create an interesting dynamic sometime in the future, it almost certainly isn’t happening this soon.
Best of the Super Juniors Winner KUSHIDA gets one more shot at the Jr Heavyweight Title against Hiromu Takahashi. Fresh from his BOSJ victory, KUSHIDA will look to make amends for his loss at WrestleKingdom and his stunning two-minute squash like defeat at Sakura Genesis in April. With both competitors in the form they are in, this match is absolutely a must see.
Minoru Suzuki and Hirooki Goto are sure to put on a match as hard hitting as ever in a Lumberjack Death Match for the NEVER Openweight Championship.
Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi meet in a rematch from WrestleKingdom to decide the IWGP Intercontinental Champion. Naito has become an even greater star since the Tokyo Dome; main eventing as mentioned New Beginning in Osaka in February with Michael Elgin in a classic championship match. He has the chance to break through and become a star of the very highest level, and another victory over Tanahashi will only bring him closer. Hopefully the bicep injury suffered by Tanahashi doesn’t affect the match at all; Tanahashi has been injured before and never fails to deliver on the biggest stage. This rivalry has been near perfect, mixing storyline with real life, and this match should be fascinating.
Finally, the rematch the wrestling world has been waiting for. Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega II for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Not much can be said about this that hasn’t been said already. It would almost be impossible for these men to better what they did at WrestleKingdom, so don’t expect them to try. Expect a very different match to what was produced in the Tokyo Dome. Expect a more story driven match. Okada’s title reign has been as good as arguably any in history in terms of match quality; since winning the title from Naito in June 2016 his title defences against Omega, Suzuki, and Shibata have been four of the best championship matches in the Titles prestigious history. Will he retain the title in another instant classic here? Perhaps the men battle it out to a time limit draw? Or as this writer predicts, perhaps Kenny Omega finally gets the job done and wins the big one, putting Bullet Club back on top of the wrestling world, and furthering a story that could lead to a third and final instalment, one year after it all began, at WrestleKingdom 12. Either way this match is as highly anticipated as any match in recent history.