This Saturday, New Japan Pro Wrestling presents Dominion from Osaka Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan. The main event is scheduled to be a best 2-of-3 falls match between Omega and IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada. Chris Jericho also returns to NJPW to face Tetsuya Naito.
NJPW Dominion 2018 Preview
1. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh)
All 4 members of this match managed a 3-4 record in the Best of the Super Juniors. While Kanemaru and Desperado are likely not pleased to have gone under .500, it was a great showing in the tourney for the members of Roppongi 3K. It was Sho’s first BOSJ tournament and Yoh’s second. Yoh wrestled a few years ago as a young lion in the tournament and went winless.
Kanemaru and Desperado defeated Roppongi 3K for the titles on the NJPW anniversary show on March 6th, 2018.
2. David Finlay and Juice Robinson vs Yoshi-Hashi and Jay White
The feud between David Finlay and Jay White will never end. This has sort of been insinuated by each guy. Either Finlay or Robinson would move into position for a shot at the IWGP United States Championship by scoring the pin for their team here. This possibility would increase tenfold if they score the pin on White.
3. Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii vs Zack Sabre Junior and Minoru Suzuki
Ishii and Yano are former tag champs and would seemingly love to move back into the title picture. ZSJ has risen up the NJPW rankings considerably this year with his victory in the New Japan Cup.
As for Minoru Suzuki, as he approaches 50 years of age he still believes he’s better than others on the roster. He’s lost both the Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight Championships in 2018, however. Suzuki is without a title belt for the first time in a long time.
4. NEVER Openweight Championship
Hirooki Goto (c) vs Michael Elgin vs Taichi
In a match that has gone slightly under the radar, Goto will defend his NEVER Openweight title in a 3-way match. Former IWGP IC Champ, Michael Elgin, and Taichi will look to take the title from him.
If Taichi were to be victorious, it would be his first single’s title in NJPW. He’s previously held the jr tag-team titles with Taka Michinoku.
5. IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
Evil and Sanada (c) vs the Young Bucks
According to the Young Bucks, they’ve been asking NJPW to move to the heavyweight division for 3 years. In NJPW, anyone under 220lbs is a junior heavyweight, making the cut off 15lbs heavier than for cruiserweights. Whether the Bucks actually have bulked up to over 220lbs or not is currently unknown. Their only match in the division so far was a loss to the Golden Lovers at Strong Style Evolved.
The Bucks’ unmatched record in the junior heavyweight tag division is likely what earned them the title match here (in storyline).
Evil and Sanada won the titles at WrestleKingdom this year after having won the 2017 World Tag League. They haven’t defended the titles much this year as Evil broke his orbital bone on a tour of Australia in February.
6. Rey Mysterio Jr, Jushin Liger, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, and Cody
On the final night of the BOSJ, Marty Scurll continued his attack on Hiroshi Tanahashi after the bell. Liger came in to make the save and then a Japanese language promo seemed to indicate a 3-way dance had been organized. Turns out something was actually lost in translation and what Liger was really challenging Scurll for was a 6-person tag match. Liger and Tanahashi would team up with Rey Mysterio and they would face Scurll and two Bullet Club members of his choosing.
Rey originally challenged Jushin Liger for Strong Style Evolved but an injury kept him out of action. Now it appears Rey and Liger will be teammates instead.
7. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Will Ospreay (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi
Takahashi earned the right to challenge Ospreay for the title by winning the most recent BOSJ tournament. Ospreay failed to reach the finals for the 4th straight year despite going 5-2 in the round-robin. He lost to group A block winner, Taiji Ishimori, on night 1 and that prevented him from going through.
As for Takahashi, winning the tournament after going 4-3 the year before in his first ever BOSJ is a significant accomplishment. The popular member of LIJ has his hands full in Ospreay, however, who has held the title since WrestleKingdom.
8. IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Tetsuya Naito (c) vs Chris Jericho
Jericho seems to be enjoying the loose vocabulary restrictions available in NJPW. He used the term “F***face” to refer to Naito on the final night of the BOSJ.
During Jericho’s pre-recorded message to Naito on the show, Naito pretended to fall asleep in the ring as it was playing.
These two have been at each other since before WrestleKingdom when Jericho referred to his match with Omega as the real main event. Naito continues to claim he does not know who Jericho is.
9. IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Best 2-of-3 Falls
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega recently sat down with New Japan World to discuss his motivation for this match. His comments were pretty interesting.
“You (Okada) may be the best wrestler on the planet. I’ll admit it, you are,” Omega said “It’s not even an opinion thing anymore, this is something that you’ve proven. But you can’t say you are the best performer. That goes to me. If we’re going to move this thing forward – if we’re going to cause this revolution of professional wrestling and make it worldwide and something cool, we can’t just have the best natural wrestler steering the ship. We need someone who captures the imagination, who captures the heart. We need a professional wrestler and a showman. Which is why I’m doing everything in my power, to overtake your natural wrestling ability.”
As for Okada, even though he’s already broken all the records for a single title reign, he still has more to accomplish. Tanahashi has defended the title 28 times across all his reigns with the belt. Okada still trails this number by 3.