|Image credit: NJPW.|
Toru Yano is one of the least interesting wrestlers on the NJPW roster to me and not even the resident ape-man Togi Makabe could save their bout. Thankfully they went a blissfully short six minutes and change before Bousou King Kong took down Yano for the win.
|Naito debuted an interesting new look for his entrance, but|
he couldn't save his match against Bad Luck Fale.
Image credit: NJPW
But the action seriously picked up as AJ Styles took on Katsuyori Shibata. While Shibata is still rather lacking in personality, he's a capable ring tactician despite still dressing like a young boy. He put on a hell of a match with Styles, easily the best battle of the night in my humble opinion. A few folks seemed surprised that the veteran Shibata lost to the gaijin, but I expect Styles to go deep in the tournament.
Former New Japan ace and consummate winner Hiroshi Tanahashi took on Kota Ibushi in another superb match for the main event. In a twenty minute battle, the two men threw everything at each other. Sadly though Ibushi hurt some of the fight when he failed to sell any damage from the massive number of leg attacks with which Tanahashi hit him. But though Ibushi looked like he might win a few times, never forget how rarely Tanahashi takes a loss. He scored the two points after over twenty minutes of great in-ring action.
|Tanahashi won a great main event. Image credit: NJPW.|
A Block returns to action on Friday with probably the weakest card of the tournament, main evented by Tanahashi and Tenzan, but Shibata and Naito should put on a hell of a semi-main event.