Their fandom is on the rise worldwide thanks to the AXS television series airing classic matches of the last few years as well as the far more significant (IMHO) New Japan World. The streaming service is cheaper than WWE Network, but offers almost every New Japan show in history. Much like WWE, it also includes live streaming of all its current fare. This will be thoroughly impressive later this month as the G1 Climax tournament starts (more in the future), but it also makes shows like the epic Dominion 7.5 well worth watching.
Much like January's Wrestle Kingdom event, Dominion 7.5 was built to be a supercard in a company already known for great pay-per-views. While Jim Ross and Matt Striker did not call the action in English for this event, the wonderful thing about NJPW is that so much of the action speaks for itself.
I talked about the undercard in my preview last week, but the likes of Kenny Omega, KUSHIDA, the Young Bucks and RPG Vice put on some amazing action. The Bullet Club (Anderson & Gallows) and The Kingdom tore each other apart. KUSHIDA stole one title from the collected Bullet Club, but Anderson & Gallows retrieved the Heavyweight tag belt.
The battle between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano proved to be a great start to the main event portion of the show. Tanahashi can be best described as the Japanese John Cena, but unlike Cena his constant victories do not turn off nearly as many fans. He can best be compared to the current US champion Cena. He's a guy you can depend on for great matches, but don't expect him to lose much. He didn't here either, but the number of false finishes between Tanahashi and Yano was impressive.
|Japanese artist Kyobashi+ did this amazing |
illustration of red ninja Nakamura.
The main event featured AJ Styles defending the aforementioned heavyweight belt against Kazuchika Okada. Every time these to men face off, a lot is made out of Okada's time as Okato in TNA, where he was barely a jobber to guys like Styles. But as "The Rainmaker", Okada is now an amazing star. Everything about this fight was designed to keep fans on the edge of their seats, starting with the Bullet Club's ejection from ringside about five minutes in.
|While Styles vs. Okada isn't a new encounter, this was easily their best match. Copyright: NJPW.|
New Japan put on an amazing show on Sunday, but they are not a company that rests on their laurels. Their biggest tournament of the year, the round robin G1 Climax, kicks off in less than two weeks. I will have a rundown of the competitors in what should be an amazing three weeks in the days ahead.