Disturbio & Puma beat Drone & Star Jr.
(9:21, Puma casita Drone, ok)
Fuego, Ryusuke Taguchi, Soberano Jr. beat Okumura, SHO, YOH
(11:07, Soberano tornillo Okumura, good)
Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, Tetsuya Naito beat Atlantis, Hirai Kawato, Kushida, Satoshi Kojima
(11:47, Rush Driver on Kawato, ok)
Ángel de Oro & Niebla Roja beat Gran Guerrero & Último Guerrero in a CMLL Hermanos semifinal
(11:18, Gran Guerrero top rope toss Niebla Roja, good)
Dragón Lee & Mistico beat Cuatrero & Sansón in a CMLL Hermanos semifinal match
(10:24, Mistico La Mistica Sansón, good)
Volador Jr. © beat Bárbaro Cavernario for the NWA World Welterweight Championship
(22:01, Canadian Destroyer, excellent)
Sofia Alonso talked to the crowd to start the show, thanking NJPW for their partnership on these shows.
It’s really the main event as the only match you need to see from this show. And that’s Volador as his most Volador, which sparks some wildly diverse opinions. The rest of the show wasn’t bad, but it was definitely worse than the first show and there were under delivering matches.
The main event surpassed their own match from Arena Mexico last year, which might have been the best match singles match there. They’re both really good at what they do. This was Volador’s high spot match turned up to the once a year max, with Cavernario matching him move for move. Both men looked sharp and were thorough; the Japanese commentators were trying to figure out what they both had left by the end of it. The superkick versus slap fight at the end felt like a Japanese twist to the usual style. It’s going to be hard for them to go back to this match, because they did everything they could do and their only story is to do everything they can, but this was as good as they could do that story. Cavernario remains super popular in Japan despite hardly ever winning a big match; if tomorrow’s show included an announcement that NJPW was getting to keep him for the year, the crowd would go nuts.
This NGD/Munoz tag match was good but disappointing. The Dinamtias brothers came of as stronger singles wrestlers in their matches on the previous show than they came off as tag wrestlers here, and that’s not at all the way it seemed like it should go. They left their team offense back in Mexico for some reason, seemingly trying to wrestle as singles guys instead of what made them interesting in the first place. It wasn’t like they were just avoiding the springboard moves because of the ropes, there’s wasn’t much of anything else they normally do in a trio, even when Forastero isn’t around. There were still some good spots here, with Dragon Lee having the best night and the start of the match being really fun, but this should’ve stolen the show with a better rudo performance and instead was just alright. I’ve got it good because Dragon Lee was so good but can see people having it lower.
The Guerreros/Angels tag match had some nice moments. Both the Oro/Roja dive combination and the Guerreros own version got over well. The crowd reacted well for the tapatia spot, though the rest of the Angel de Oro/Utlimo Guerrero open dragged a bit. The Niebla Roja/Gran Guerrero finishing sequence felt a little bit too much like the same order of things as the previous match and didn’t get quite as over as last time. Still, there was enough good to be worth watching.
The LIJ match wanted to build up Kojima/Rush for tomorrow and do one last LIJ send off for Kawato. They got so much mileage out of Kawato surviving and surviving and then being killed dead. It’s something in favor for the NJPW way of doing things, though Kawato’s own ability to show fire and fight back strong helped too. The Kojima beat down segment didn’t do much for me. The brawl with Rush afterward too. Atlantis relying on La Parka like rudo stooging and an armdrag doesn’t seem a great sign for him. Hopefully it’ll get better.
The second match was a simple fun trios match, heavy with Taguchi comedy. Soberano still got to show off a lot. Soberano never got to work with Sho & Yoh much in Mexico in front of the cameras. They worked well together here, and I wonder if they might have met much more often as training partners given their similar experience levels. The early Soberano/YOH sequence was really clean despite Soberano doing some tricky headscissors escapes. Soberano getting the pinfall again was a good sign for him. Fuego was way in the background for most of it, just getting in his signature stuff.
The difference between Drone & Disturbio’s drowsy opening and Star Jr. & Puma’s fast pace start was immense. It told the story of the whole match quick: Star Jr. & Puma were wrestling on a much higher sharper level than their the partners Drone was acting erratic throughout the match and seemed to realize he had an bad performance by the end. Disturbio looked like he was trying to get his way thru a segunda. It made Puma & Star Jr. stand out even more, but this match should’ve been much better. The super press powerbomb spot went a lot better for Star Jr. & Puma this time around and the crowd really got into Puma around the time of his delayed suplex. I was surprised he got the pinfall win, though it clearly was the right call the way the match played out.