The NEVER Openweight Six-Man Championships are back on the line as Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI look to end the year-long reign of Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI.

Quick Results
Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru pinned Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato in 10:24 (**¾)
Chase Owens, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori pinned Tiger Mask, Robbie Eagles & Toru Yano in 10:08 (**¾)
EVIL, Dick Togo & Gedo submitted YOH, SHO & Togi Makabe in 10:48 (***)
Shingo Takagi defeated Yujiro Takahashi via disqualification in 15:07 (***)
Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI pinned BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA in 36:58 to retain the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship (***½)

After a bunch of streamed shows at Korakuen, New Japan’s upped sticks to the Yokohama Budokan for this one.

Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato
We’ve already had the Super Junior Tag League match out of this – back on the opening night – but let’s see if Taguchi and Wato can build on their win last night.

Yep, there’s a jump start to get us going, but the Suzuki-gun lads are thwarted early as Kanemaru’s kept in the ring and triple-teamed. There’s a quick turnaround as Kanemaru threw Master Wato into Taguchi’s arse, before Taguchi… got thrown outside by Suzuki and into the wairing Kanemaru and Desperado, who were more than happy to put the boots to him.

Back inside, they keep working over Taguchi, before we saw Honma and Suzuki trading strikes. Yep, we got the clonking elbow from Suzuki, who then went back to wearing down Taguchi by the ropes. A slam from Desperado gets a two-count, before Kanemaru tagged in and side-stepped a hopeful hip attack.

Eventually Taguchi lands a leaping arse attack and tagged out to Master Wato, who knocked Suzuki off the apron. He’s gonna pay for that, I reckon. A springboard uppercut takes down Desperado, but Wato returned with a tiltawhirl backbreaker and a kick for a two-count. Desperado’s spinebuster stops Wato in his tracks, and here’s Suzuki, looking for payback.

CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. Wato’s leaping leg lariat took Suzuki down, with Honma coming in for a bulldog and a Kokeshi. Which misses. Honma found more luck with chops in the corner, before Suzuki was thrown into a hip attack ahead of a Kokeshi for a near-fall. Honma throws away a rear naked choke, but just gets elbowed some more until he landed a leaping Kokeshi for a near-fall.

Another Kokeshi’s escaped as Suzuki traps Honma in a rear naked choke, leading to the Gotch piledriver to end a decent opener that went the way of the form books. **¾

Toru Yano, Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo)
Toru Yano seems more agitated than usual today…

Phantasmo and Eagles start out the skirmish, with a lot of rolling and counters out of stuff before duelling dropkicks lead to a stand-off. Tiger Mask and Taiji Ishimori come in… Phantasmo tries to run in, but just gets back body dropped before Eagles returned to help batter ELP with kicks.

A pair of low dropkicks sandwich Ishimori for a two-count, but some distractions allowed Eagles to get hung up in the ropes as Ishimori took over. Back rakes were next on the menu for the Aussie, while a knee drop from Ishimori drew a solid two-count. Owens keeps it going with an elbow drop and a neckbreaker for another two-count.

Phantasmo’s back to stomp on Eagles’ foot, then his knee, before he shoved out of a Turbo Backpack, only to get caught with a roundhouse kick. Tags get us to Owens and Yano, who remove turnbuckle pads for a spot of jousting. I kid, they just yell at each other. Owens fakes out throwing his away, as they then hot potato the remaining pad before passing it to the referee.

Evading exposed corners, Yano ends up getting elbowed by Owens, before pulling him down by the hair. We get a big ol’ Parade of Moves from there, with ELP getting lifted to the outside for an Eagles plancha, before a Tiger Driver almost got the win. A press slam off the top from Owens turns it around though, only for Tiger Mask to come close with a crucifix… before a Jewel Heist lariat gets Owens another near-fall.

From there, Chase measures up Tiger Mask for the knee strike, before a package piledriver got the win. **¾

Post-match, Owens low blows Toru Yano, then pulled a strap out. To whip Yano with. So I guess the poll for next month is a Texas strap match vs. I Quit match?

Bullet Club (EVIL, Dick Togo & Gedo) vs. Togi Makabe & Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH)
We’ve got two teams who are already out of the Super Junior Tag League – and an incredibly out-of-sorts YOH here…

SHO and Gedo start us off, but it’s the help of Dick Togo that looked to forge an early lead, before YOH ran in to neutralise things. Stomps from SHO lead to him working the arm of Gedo… but EVIL just pulls SHO outside as the guard rails come into play. Back inside, EVIL’s working over SHO, throwing him into a conveniently-exposed corner before Gedo pulled SHO to the mat in a hammerlock.

Dick Togo’s in to poke SHO in the eyes as the Bullet Club’s veteran hands were more than happy to toy with the down-on-their-luck duo. YOH ran in to elbow Togo away, but stayed in the ring too long and got thrown by Gedo as the isolating remained. A double spear from SHO finally got him enough space to tag out, with Togi Makabe doing the corner clotheslines and mounted punches.

A Northern Lights suplex gets Makabe a two-count, while EVIL came in and whipped Makabe into the exposed corner. My feed drops here, and returns with YOH’s forearm taking EVIL to the corner, with a neckbreaker following before YOH went up top for a missile dropkick.

Double leaping knees from SHO and YOH take down EVIL, as does a backcracker and a diving boot, but the 3K’s escaped as EVIL fought back. We’ve a Parade of Moves next, leading to a lariat dumping YOH for a nonchalant two-count, while a Darkness Scorpion from EVIL eventually forced the meek submission. We had some flashes of the “old” Roppongi 3K here, but as soon as things went south, YOH couldn’t turn it around and ended up tapping rather quickly. ***

Yujiro Takahashi vs. Shingo Takagi
An odd choice for a singles match, but this was painted as Shingo “taking Yujiro out of the picture” ahead of his title defence against EVIL next month. It’s the third time these two have met in the last 12 months – with Shingo winning in the G1, and also in another special singles match during the Castle Attack tour earlier this year.

Yujiro jumps Shingo before the bell, but the early jump’s quickly quelled as Shingo took Shingo into the ropes for some knees. A slam’s next, then an elbow drop, before some Danielson elbows wore down Yujiro to the point where he was on jelly legs. Shingo tries to suplex Yujiro to the floor, but Yujiro bites back and booted him outside, following up with trips to the guard rails and a DDT. Shingo beats the count, but Yujiro stayed on top, landing a backdrop suplex for a two-count, only for Shingo to blast back with some biting of his own. At least the mouth guard took the edge off it.

A shoulder block takes Yujiro back down, as did a suplex, landing for a near-fall, before a leg sweep and a low kick from Yujiro evened things up. The Fisherman suplex gets Yujiro a two-count, before Shingo fired back with rapid-fire elbows, only to get caught with a clothesline. The Miami Shine followed as Yujiro teased the upset, but Pimp Juice gets pushed away as Shingo eventually took Yujiro into the Noshigami.

Shingo adds a wheelbarrow German suplex to the mix, then a sliding lariat, before Yujiro bit his way free of Last of the Dragon. There’s a ref bump as Marty Asami tries to separate the pair, but Shingo overcomes it with a clothesline, only to get pushed back into the ref by Yujiro. There’s the cue for Dick Togo and EVIL to hit the ring, putting the boots to Shingo… but Shingo avoids a cane shot and clotheslines his way free.

A Pumping Bomber quickly followed on Yujiro, and from there the Last of the Dragon hits… only for EVIL to stomp the referee to prevent the three-count from being made. Shingo tries for a Last of the Dragon on EVIL, but Dick Togo hits a low blow, and somewhere in there we get the disqualification. It was a match with an angle in at the end – not quite the New Japan MO, but it is what it is. ***

Post-match, EVIL lays out Shingo with the belt and stood over him…

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI) vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (c)
It’s the start of year-two of the CHAOS lads’ reign, having won these belts on August 9, 2020 – and recording a record-shattering eight defences thus far. With Tomohiro Ishii heading to America this weekend for the Resurgence show (and subsequent NJPW Strong tapings), you do have to wonder if time is running out?

We’ve a jump start as BUSHI went after Tomohiro Ishii, taking him outside for a baseball slide dropkick before the champions swarmed the ring. The early going sees YOSHI-HASHI hang Naito up in the ropes for a dropkick to the back, which gets him a near-fall, before LIJ returned the favour, swarming Ishii as he gets taken to the corner and choked by a t-shirt, which the ref eventually spotted and broke up.

Having gotten back to his feet, Ishii’s sent into the ropes, but elbowed down for a standing SANADA moonsault for a two-count, while some headscissors from Naito drew an unsuccessful attempt at breaking them up from Goto. BUSHI’s in, but gets charged through by Ishii, before Goto tagged in and pushed on as my feed was loving to buffer. A dropkick from BUSHI took Goto into the ropes, giving BUSHI time to tag out to Naito, but he’s quickly caught with a back elbow as YOSHI-HASHI returned to the match, hitting a neckbreaker for a near-fall.

A DDT from Naito turns it around, but YOSHI-HASHI’s ‘rana and some help from Goto evens things up as a Head Hunter-assisted side Russian legsweep left Naito laying. YOSHI-HASHI comes close with a Ligerbomb, while a lariat gets another near-fall, before Naito countered a Bunker Buster into a nasty DDT.

YOSHI-HASHI is back to his feet, exchanging strikes, but ends up getting knocked into the ropes before Esperanza looked to lead to a Destino… but YOSHI-HASHI hits first, only to have to block Destino anyway. A knife-edge chop and a back cracker drops Naito in response, before tags bring in SANADA and Ishii to turn up the pace, ahead of an eventual shoulder block from Ishii.

We pass the 20-minute mark as Ishii’s going for a Saito suplex, then a German suplex, only for SANADA to escape both and return with a dropkick. That takes Ishii outside for an obligatory plancha, before a springboard back into the ring from SANADA took him into a rear naked choke from Goto.

LIJ swarm the ring again, ending with a backdrop suplex from SANADA for a near-fall. A Skull End followed, but SANADA relents so he can go for a moonsault… which misses, as YOSHI-HASHI and Goto’s attempt to double-team was stopped by SANADA briefly, only for a double-team neckbreaker to take him down. Planchas await BUSHI and Naito on the outside, as we reset with Ishii pulling himself up by the ropes, ahead of an enziguiri as he looked to counter another Skull End.

Ishii comes close with a lariat as again my feed buffers. Clearly, NJPW World is struggling with the demand for this Yokohama main event! BUSHI’s in with a DDT on Ishii for a near-fall, before Naito and BUSHI combine for a sunset flip/see-saw into a low dropkick on Ishii.

Ishii gets cornered before a running Codebreaker from BUSHI landed for a near-fall. A big ol’ Parade of Moves breaks out, mostly in the form of various dropkicks, leading to a tope suicida from BUSHI to Goto on the outside, while Naito’s swinging elbow led to him getting pulled into a back suplex by Ishii as we sailed by the half-hour mark. Told you!

A Codebreaker to Ishii’s arm from BUSHI just earns him a lariat. He’s back with some uppercuts, only to get headbutted down by Ishii. BUSHI wriggles out of a brainbuster, but needs a dropkick from SANADA to help on a crucifix for a near-fall, before Naito ran in to hit Ishii with a Destino for good measure. BUSHI gets back to his feet, then went up top for the MX, planting Ishii as Goto dove in just in time to break up the cover. Naito gets rid of him as you sensed that maybe we were getting to the home stretch, with BUSHI busting out the Terrible for another oh-so-near fall.

Back up top, BUSHI goes for another MX, but Ishii ducks away as Goto came in… and gets dispatched, only to return for a superkick-assisted ushigoroshi with YOSHI-HASH as we get yet another Parade of Moves to help clear out the ring. In the end, BUSHI eats a GYR, then a sliding lariat from Ishii, but still the pins are broken as the champions get fired up… but a sheer drop brainbuster from Ishii finally puts things over the line to make sure the champions didn’t drop the belts on day two of year two.

I was distracted for the first ten minutes of this, and honestly didn’t feel like I missed anything of note. I’m not against long matches, but if you’re going the distance – especially in multi-man tags – you’ve got to have something happen other than the typical “we do moves to kill time.” Halve the time and you’d have had a certified banger here, rather than perhaps automated praise for New Japan mains. ***½

So, with Ishii off to the States, we don’t get any next challengers walking out – as the focus now turns to Goto and YOSHI-HASHI looking to one-up Naito and SANADA again next month in that three-way tag for Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi’s IWGP tag titles…

New Japan’s got a brief break – returning on Friday night for the latest episode of NJPW Strong, ahead of their Resurgence event from Los Angeles on Saturday night, before the Japanese crew return to (you guessed it) Korakuen Hall on Monday for more from the Super Junior Tag League.

Like a lot of these extended tours, this was the proverbial one-match card with a lot of filler. Yet again though, the main event’s made to run long, which isn’t going to any favours to those who are unsure – but by this point, the house style’s clearly won or chased off fans for these run-of-the-mill outings.