New Japan Pro Wrestling “Southern Showdown” June 29th 2019 Review

Added by Zack Monday

From Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia

1)   Six Man Tag match: Fale Dojo (Michael Richards, Andrew Villalobos & Mark Tui) vs Shota Umino, Nick Barry & Toa Henare

Winners: Henare, Barry & Umino after Villalobos nailed Henare with a hard Chop, Toa fired up in his face, leading to Andrew connecting with a series of Forearms, rocking Henare against the ropes. Andrew sent him across and scored with a Back Elbow, knocking Henare in the corner, where he followed up with a Jumping Back Elbow and pulled Toa out and scored with a Butterfly Suplex to get a 2. Villalobos fired up and pulled Toa in Suplex position, only Henare powered Andrew up, but he dropped down and hit the ropes, leading to Toa annihilating him with a Lariat. Toa blasted Tui & Richards off the apron, before running through Andrew with The Rugby Tackle and covering for a 2. Toa and Andrew traded elbow strikes, until Toa rocked him with a Thrusting Headbutt and followed with a One Arm Slam to get the 3. (Alright.)

2)  Aaron Solow vs “The Business” Slex

Winner: Slex after Solow scored with a Flying Double Stomp and covered for a 2, he took too long following up, allowing Slex to counter and hit The Disaster Kick. Slex readied for the end and when Solow got to his feet, Slex connected with The Slexecution (Trouble in Paradise) and covered for the 3. (Pretty Good. Solow is solid. Slex is awesome. Great look, awesome charisma and really fucking good inside those ropes. Slex’s home promotion, Melbourne City Wrestling, is in Melbourne, of course, so the crowd was all Slex.)

3) CHAOS (YOH & Toru Yano) vs Bullet Club (IWGP Junior Tag Team Champion “Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori & “Mr. Juicy” Gino Gambino)

Winners: CHAOS after Gino crushed Yano with a Splash and held on, YOH dove in to break it up at 2, brining in Taiji to throw YOH out of the ring. Gino pulled Yano up and dropped him with a Headbutt, but Yano fired rack back with a Low Blow, which Gino caught! Gino pulled Yano to his feet, where Yano used an Eye Poke and then a Shoulder Tackle in the corner, before sending him in, only for big Gino to knock Yano down with a Shoulder Tackle. Gino went for an Irish Whip into the exposed turnbuckle, but he reversed and Gino his the exposed corner, Yano then distracted the Referee, before nailing Gino with a Low Blow, allowing YOH to score with a Superkick and Yano used a School Boy for the 3. (Not bad.)

4)  CHAOS (NEVER Openweight Champion “The Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-TATSU vs Bullet Club (“The Crown Jewel” Chase Owens & “Tokyo Pimp” Yujiro Takahashi)

Winners: CHAOS after Chase blasted Tomohiro with a V-Trigger against the ropes, he quickly followed up with Jewel Heist and hooked the cover, for a 2, as Yujiro held YOSHI on the floor. Chase signaled for the end and hooked Ishii for a Package Piledriver, only for YOSHI to get in the ring and break it up, quickly followed in by Yujiro. Takahashi hit the ropes, only for YOSHI to take him out with The Axe Bomber, Chase quickly entered and put YOSHI down with a Reverse DDT. Chase charged at Ishii with a Pump Kick, followed by a V-Trigger and pulled him in for The Package Piledriver, but Ishii back-dropped his way out of it, only for Chase to quickly get back on him with strikes and then a Superkick, before hitting the ropes, where Ishii leveled him with a Lariat and covered, getting a 2. Ishii quickly pulled Chase up and planted him with a Vertical Drop Brainbuster to get the win. (Chase Owens is fun to watch. The finishing stretch of this was pretty good.)

5)  Revolution Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship match: “The Headbanger” El Phantasmo © vs Rocky Romero

Winner and STILL Champion: Phantasmo after Romero took Phantasmo down with a Running Shiranui and covered for a 2, Romero fired up, still recovering from the hard match, and pulled Phantasmo in for Sliced Bread, only for Phantasmo to counter into Tombstone position, but Romero fought back and used a Snap Headscissor Driver to pick up a close 2. Romero pulled Phantasmo back up for Sliced Bread, but as Phantasmo sprung off the turnbuckles, he propelled towards the Referee and took him out! Phantasmo looked to follow up with CR2, but Romero countered into a Rolling Cross Arm Breaker, forcing Phantasmo to Tap Out, but the Referee was down! Romero released the hold, thinking he had won, only to see the Referee down, Rocky checked on the Ref, allowing Phantasmo to grab his Title and swing, but Rocky dodged and used a School Boy, getting a 2 when Phantasmo kicked out and Romero landed on the Ref. Phantasmo popped up and leveled Romero with a shot to the head with the Title, quickly following with CR2 and covering, as the Ref came to and counted the fall. (Really good. Phantasmo continues to deliver and is so hated, that Romero’s spurts of offense brought so much energy. These guys flow so well together.)

6)  IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: The Guerillas of Destiny (“The Bad Boy” Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa)© w/”Master Heater” Jado vs “The Flamboyant” Juice Robinson & Mikey Nicholls

Winners and STILL Champions: G.O.D after Mikey nailed Tama with a Running Clothesline in the corner, as Juice blasted Tonga with a Cannonball in the corner, Mikey pulled Tama out and lifted him for a Powerslam, before falling down with a Facebuster. Juice got in Tama’s face, before jumping up for a Senton, as Mikey dropped a Fist to Tama’s head, Mikey then pulled Tama in Powerslam position, as Juice grabbed his head for a DDT and then fell down, busting Tama’s face again, allowing Mikey to cover for a 2, when Loa broke it up. Juice threw Loa out of the ring and made his way to the top, as Mikey pulled Tama back into Powerslam position, but Jado got on the apron and caused Juice to jump down and knock him off, but Tama had escaped Mikey, Juice threw The Right Hand at Tama, who countered it with The Gun Stun. Tama went for The Gun Stun on Mikey, but he blocked and hooked for a Back Suplex, as Loa got on the apron, with a Tag Title. Tama pushed Mikey towards Tonga, but Nicholls knocked him off the apron, only for Tama to push the Referee into Nicholls and quickly use a School Boy, while pulling the tights, to get the 3.

7)  IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match: “The Aerial Assassin” Will Ospreay© vs “The Sniper of the Skies” Robbie Eagles w/El Phantasmo

Just as the bell rang, Eagles argued with Phantasmo and sent him to the back. To the delight of the crowd, which sang “Goodbye.” Phantasmo came back to the ring later in the match.

Winner and STILL IWGP Junior Champion: Ospreay after Eagles held the IWGP Jr Title, with Ospreay pulling himself up on the ropes, Eagles thought better of it and threw the Title to Referee Red Shoes, before going face to face with Will. The two warriors traded hard strikes in the middle of the ring, which Robbie got the best of and rocked Will into the corner, staying on him with strikes and kicks to the head. Eagles fired up and pulled Will up for Turbo Backpack, but Will quickly countered with a snap Dragon Suplex and followed with a big Lariat, before pulling himself into the corner and charging out with The Essex Destroyer, holding on to get a 2. Will called for the end and pulled Robbie in for The Storm Breaker, but Robbie escaped and grabbed Will’s hand, following with multiple kicks to Will’s face, only for Ospreay to fire back with a Superkick and then use a NASTY Rip Cord Hook Kick to set up The Storm Breaker, but Eagles countered with a Frankensteiner and held on, for a CLOSE 2! They popped up, Eagles scored with a series of kicks, before using a Reverse Sliced Bread into a GOD DAMN Spike DDT to get another 2 on the champ. Eagles, looking exasperated, made his way to the top and flew off with a 450 Splash to Will’s left leg, before grabbing the leg in position, but Will used a quick Inside Cradle for a 2. They got back up and Robbie went for a leg, but Ospreay countered around and lifted to a Liger Bomb, which Eagles escaped, but landed hard on his butt, Ospreay went for the ropes, but Eagles popped up and followed him in with a Pumping Knee against the ropes and hit the ropes, only for Will to counter with a Spanish Fly for a 2. Will went to the top and flew off with a Shooting Star Press, holding on for the cover, but Eagles kicked out at 1, Ospreay murdered Robbie with The Hidden Blade and followed with The Storm Breaker to finally put Eagles down. (Great match. Great storytelling mixed into a wonderful display of professional wrestling. Could’ve done without the Phantasmo stuff, but it plays into the overlying story of Eagles so it works. Robbie is a god damn treat and will be the heartbeat of Australian Wrestling in the next couple years, this stuff with Ospreay is must-see and this was amongst their best. Ospreay is on another level and when he lets the aggression fly, it’s really brutal, mixed with the most beautiful array of offense in wrestling. Watch this match.)

Phantasmo was in the ring, helping Eagles to his feet and holding him back from embracing Ospreay. Eagles had enough and dropped Phantasmo with a big Forearm strike and then shook hands with Ospreay, to the JOY of the crowd.

8)   IWGP Heavyweight Champion “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada & “The Ace of the Universe” Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bullet Club (“The Rogue General” Bad Luck Fale & “Switchblade” Jay White)

Winners: Okada & Tanahashi after Tanahashi took out White with a Slingshot Cross Body to the floor, Okada flew off the top with a big Elbow Drop to Fale and then called for the end, hitting The Rainmaker Pose, before pulling Fale in for The Rainmaker, only Fale countered with a Karate Strike to the throat and hooked for Grenade, which Okada countered into a Spinning Rainmaker. Okada rolled Fale over and pulled him up to hit The Rainmaker and cover for the win. (Good. Big NJPW main event tag, playing all of the good tunes, with Fale being a force and over like rover in his home country. Tanahashi & Okada teaming up is always fun.)