NJPW‘s first ever non-co-promoted event in the United Kingdom takes place today at the Copper Box Arena in London: it’s Royal Quest!
This event cannot be watched live on NJPW World. Rather, it is streaming live exclusively on Fite TV for $24.99 USD. English and Japanese commentary streams are available. Start times: 9:30AM Pacific, 12:30PM Eastern, 5:30PM UK, 2:30AM East Australia
Royal Quest Match Card
Roppongi 3K (SHO, YOH & Rocky Romero) defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino & Ren Narita
The crowd was hot for everyone in this opener, especially Shota Umino, who received repeated “Shooter!” chants. Unfortunately, preduction issues caused this match to lack commentary in either language as well as cut out intermittently. SHO pinned Ren Narita after a powerbomb lungblower.
Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson defeated Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Hikuleo)
Hikuleo is currently undergoing something of a learning excursion in England and looks faster than he did when he was in Japan. Kota Ibushi pinned Hikuleo after a Boma Ye followed by the Kamigoye.
CHAOS (Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles) defeated Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo)
Will Ospreay pinned Taiji Ishimori after a double-team top rope Spanish fly with Robbie Eagles. Ospreay got on the microphone, dubbed himself and Eagles as “The Birds of Prey” and said they want to challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) defeated Bullet Club (Jay White & Chase Owens)
Jay White got the loudest boos of the night so far, while Naito got arguably the loudest cheers. SANADA submitted Chase Owens with the Skull End. After the match, Jay White continued attacking LIJ and was given a chair by Gedo. White hit SANADA with the chair, but Naito evaded it and hit White with a Destino, then tapping his own three-count on the mat.
IWGP Tag Team Championship Match: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) defeated Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
There were dueling G.o.D. and Aussie Open chants which lasted for multiple minutes long, rather impressive for a match that no build besides Aussie Open winning a number one contenders tournament. Tama Tonga pinned Kyle Fletcher after a top rope powerbomb from Tanga Loa. Guerrillas of Destiny make their fifth consecutive defense of the IWGP Tag Team Championships. Their reign is currently 189 days long.
NEVER Openweight Championship Match: KENTA defeated Tomohiro Ishii (c)
KENTA was roundly booed by the audience due to his new association with Bullet Club. Starting off, KENTA was reluctant to face Ishii head-on, stalling on the outside for a prolonged period. When KENTA mimicked Katsuyori Shibata’s running front kick followed by the corner dropkick, he was booed once again. Ishii took everything KENTA had and asked for more. KENTA went for the diving double foot stomp followed by the Go 2 Sleep but Ishii powered out. Then, Ishii attempted the vertical brainbuster but KENTA stuffed it. The Guerrillas of Destiny interfered in the match but Ishii fought them both off, only for them to pull the referee out when Ishii went for a pin. G.o.D. hit Ishii with the Magic Killer, but couldn’t finish Ishii off. KENTA pinned Ishii with the Go 2 Sleep and became the 27th NEVER Openweight Champion. Tomohiro Ishii’s reign lasted 89 days with 0 successful defenses.
British Heavyweight Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr. (c)
Despite Zack having the home field advantage, the crowd response seemed fairly evenly split for him and Tanahashi. This was a ground-based fight with submissions and pin attempts as each of them worked to immobilize the other with joint attacks. In particular, Zack targeted Tanahashi’s arms, but he was still able to block multiple attempts at the Zack Driver. Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow but Sabre got the knees up. Following a bridging dragon suplex and sling blade, Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow once more. Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned Zack Sabre Jr. and became the 22nd RevPro British Heavyweight Champion. Zack Sabre Jr.’s reign lasted 235 days.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada (c) defeated Minoru Suzuki
Okada and Suzuki were both wildly over before the bell rang. The match began with wrestling on the mat, then transitioned into standing up fighting as Suzuki lost his patience. Suzuki took a steel chair from under the ring but the referee told him not to, and Suzuki threatened to hit him with the chair. Suzuki laughed at Okada’s strikes and began to dominate the match, working over Okada’s right arm. Okada put his hands behind his back and beckoned Suzuki to hit him, but forearms to the face sent Okada crashing down. Suzuki headbutted Okada multiple times and looked to follow up but Okada stopped him with a dropkick and then put him in a sleeper hold, which the crowd didn’t like. Okada hit the Rainmaker followed by another, but Suzuki stopped his rampage with many slaps to the face and body. Suzuki went for the Gotch-style piledriver, but Okada struggled out of it. Kazuchika Okada hit the Rainmaker once again and defeated Minoru Suzuki by pinfall. Okada makes his third defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
After the match, Okada cut a promo that was partially in English, thanking Suzuki and the fans. SANADA came out and made it clear that he would be next to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and said he would be the Champion by the time he returned to London.