New Japan on AXS results: Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Part 3 of our look back Wrestling Dontaku 2015, which took place on July 5, 2015, features two big title matches.
IWGP Jr. Champion Kushida vs. Kenny Omega
I forgot just how great this match was. Omega’s work on Kushida’s leg was great. Kushida made such a great comeback. Both of these guys are just simply phenomenal and showed that here. It’s worth going back and watching these title matches again as NJPW title matches are ALWAYS a big deal and this match came off as something important. Crowd heat was awesome towards the end too. Omega went for the One Winged Angel but Kushida went for the hoverboard lock and eventually got it, securing the submission.
Omega says that Kushida has now made the title garbage. Omega says he’ll clean him up. Kushida says lots of things have changed in the last year. He used to think the title was too far away for him, but now he wants to make sure it never leaves his grasp.
Hirooki Goto is interviewed this week. He mentions that before, he only went to Osaka Jo Hall for concerts. He doesn’t want to comment on the match but he would have loved to be in the main event.
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Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Jim Ross made a good comparison at the start of this bout, comparing Nakamura and Goto to Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. It doesn’t fit perfectly, but there are some aspects here that work. This was a really great match. Everything just seamlessly clicked and these two were on a roll. Nakamura did everything well and got some cool nearfalls, including one where he straight up hit the boma ye and Goto kicked out. Finishes are so protected here that when people actually kick out of them, it’s a surprise. Goto powered back, hit his neckbreaker and walloped Nakamura with the shouten kai to retain the Intercontinental title. Another one of those matches where if you rewatch again, you kind of forget just how awesome it actually was.
Nakamura in the post match interview said you should be interviewing the champion. He says there is magic to that belt. Goto cuts a rather short promo to the fans after winning, simply saying “cheers”. Backstage, he feels things have calmed down. He destroyed his path, and that’s something to take pride in. There’s only one thing left, and that’s the G1. He’ll take it with his own hands.
Reflective interview: Goto says in the end, he broke Nakamura’s pattern, but there was still G1. He wants to fight in that tournament like they are all title matches.
Great show this week. If you’ve been missing out and want to check out just one show, check this one out. It’s really strong in two great title matches.