NJPW Sakura Genesis 2018 Results and Review


After a brief buildup, it’s time to review Sakura Genesis. This show was held on Sunday, at Ryogoku Kokugikan. After the cool show intro video package, we went to the live crowd. The crowd looked absolutely packed. I love this venue because the small entrance stage makes it look like a total packed house.


Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter & Chase Owens (BULLET CLUB) vs. The Young Bucks (BULLET CLUB)


Our first match continues the issues within the Bullet Club. Takahashi and Owens face The Young Bucks. When Matt and Nick came out, they were selling their injuries from their Strong Style Evolved match from last week. The two teams mutually did a handshake before the match. Owens and Takahashi followed the handshakes up with an attack, starting the match. Honestly, these two guys were amazing at selling during the whole match. Matt got the hot tag late in the match, double teaming against Owens and Yujiro. The crowd was very behind Matt. Matt put Owens into a Sharpshooter, but Yujiro broke it up.


Matt was thrown against the ropes, but reversed with a Double Spear. Matt did a Standing Reverse 450 onto Owens while Nick did a Frogsplash off the ropes onto Yujiro. After a Superkick to owens, Nick did a Tope to Yujiro. They tried for a Piledriver double team move, but Yujiro stopped them. Owens hit a Jewel Heist onto Matt, but he kicked out. Yujiro did a Fisherman Buster, then Owens did a Shining Wizard for a 2 count onto Matt. After a series of Superkicks, Matt did a Sharpshooter. Chase eventually tapped, as Nick did a DDT to Yujiro outside the ring.


This match was a great opener, but I don’t know how I feel about this match. It felt like Yujiro and Owens put up no fight, to opponents who were already hurt beforehand. I can’t complain too much, but this match felt like it buried Owens and Takahashi, even if it’s not a big deal. The two parties shook hands after the match.


Taichi & Takashi Iizuka (Suzuki-Gun) vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS)


When Taichi and Iizuka did their entrance before the next match, there was an interesting mash-up between both of their themes. As usual, Takashi came through the crowd and caused mayhem. When Iizuka came near the English commentary team, there was a shriek from Don Callis which was hilarious. Kevin Kelly described it as “a few octaves higher”. Early in the match Iizuka was using chairs. Of course, the ref did not care. Yano got a hot tag and did his gimmick spots. Iizuka tried to use his Iron Glove, but Yano reversed it into a Backslide that Taichi stopped. Iizuka tried once again, and Yano reversed into a Low Blow then a roll-up after a move from Ishii.

This match was very fast, and not that bad. I might come off as an idiot from this, but I have no clue what Iizuka’s iron glove is. This match was surprisingly shorter than I expected it to, but since it was mostly a comedy match, it was as long as it should be.


Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Michael Elgin (CHAOS) vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa (BULLET CLUB) (NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Title Match)


The next match is the first one for gold on the card tonight. The NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Titles are on the line against CHAOS members. Makabe tried to take down Fale for a long time in this match, but could never slam him. Taguchi got the hot tag against GoD. He was able to dodge their attacks, then used his Funky Weapon. Taguchi tried for a Hip Attack off the top rope, but Tama reversed it into a Stun Gun for the win. I enjoyed this match. The Stun Gun is such a satisfying move. I also feel that it was the right move to keep the Bullet Club duo as the champs.


David Finlay, Juice Robinson & Hiroshi Tanahashi (CHAOS) vs. Jay White, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto (CHAOS)


As we gets days and days closer to White versus Finlay, we have this match to further the drama. Before the match, White waited for his teammates to get in the ring before he did. White and Finlay tee’d off on each other at the start of the match. Finlay stayed in for a long time, until he eventually tagged in Robinson. Juice hit a Crossbody off the top rope onto Goto for a close two count. Yoshi-Hash got a hot tag against Tanahashi. Juice hit Pulp Friction on Goto, and Finlay hit a Stunner on White. Tanahashi hit a Swingblade then a Frogsplash for the win. The final moves in this match were very enjoyable.


EVIL, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-gun)


We had a Ingobernables versus Suzuki-gun match on the card next. Naito came to the ring in his fancy suit that he wears for big shows. Instead of starting down Naito, this time Suzuki got in the ring and just attacked him before the bell rang. Later on in the match, Naito and Suzuki brawled throughout the venue. Up the ramp, in the first row, and around the ring. KES did a double team move onto EVIL late in the match, but got broken up by SANADA. They hit a Killer Bomb onto SANADA, then tried it on EVIL. EVIL fought out of it, but fell for it upon second attempt. KES got the pin on EVIL for the win.


I have to repeat myself often, when I say that my recap does not do this match justice. It was fast, all over the place chaos, and was very enjoyable. During this match at one point Lance Archer made a child in the front row cry, who was wearing a Los Ingobernables shirt.


After the match, Naito and Suzuki traded promos. Suzuki hoisted his belt in the air, while Naito layed in the ring, doing his relaxed pose. Since I don’t speak Japanese, I can’t translate anything said, but after Naito cut his promo, Suzuki started throwing chairs and tables out of anger. He attacked a Young Boy by throwing a chair at him. As Suzuki left, Naito did his pose on the ring mat once again. After this match, we had the dates and locations announced for the G1 Climax this year.


Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. RPG3K (Sho & Yoh w/ Rocky Romero) (CHAOS) vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Suzuki-gun) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match)


Our next match was a three way match, where the Suzuki-gun members defend their gold against RPG3K and the Takahashi/BUSHI duo. Takahashi attacked manager Rocky Romero during this match, despite him not being a competitor in the fight. BUSHI did a Sunset Flip, causing three others to do a German Suplex. BUSHI did a Tope to the outside, then Takahashi tried to finish the match in the middle of the ring but Yoh kicked out. Takahashi hit the Timebomb and almost won the match, but Kanemaru snatched the ref out of the ring before the three count.


While the ref was down, Desperado used his belt as a weapon. Desperado hit his finishing move despite not being the legal man, and won the match. If we are going by the logic that a ref needs to see a tag to validate it (how its always been done in the past), then this match finish made no sense. I liked the majority of the match, just the finish did not sit well with me.


Marty Scurll (BULLET CLUB) vs. Will Ospreay (CHAOS) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match)


Marty Scurll versus Will Ospreay is our first singles match tonight. Five minutes into the match, Ospreay did his flipping dive over the ropes onto Scurll. Ospreay did a Springboard off the top rope later, then followed it up with a Shooting Star for a two count. This match slowed down halfway through, but pertained its energy. Ospreay did his Cheeky Nandos kick, which was cool. Scurll hit a Tombstone on the floor outside the ring, which was deadly. Ospreay gave a Powerbomb in the ring which looked good because Scurll went so high into the air. Ospreay did a Spanish Fly on the apron onto the floor. On the way down, you can see Ospreay’s head hit the apron hard. He was bleeding heavily from this. Ospreay hit a spinny move off the top rope, but Scurll kicked out! The crowd was very loud for this spot.


Ospreay got put in the Chicken Wing, but Ospreay got out. He hit an Os-Cutter moments later. Scurll hit another Piledriver, this time in the ring. Ospreay kicked out. Scurll started to senselessly stomp Ospreay’s head, then put him in the Chicken Wing. Ospreay later hit another Os-Cutter for the win.


Wow, just wow. This match was absolutely thrilling. Sure, I thought that Scurll should have won, but that did not take away a ton from the match. It was still crazy entertaining and fun. So far, my match of the night.


After the match, Ospreay cut a promo. He called out KUSHIDA, who was sitting ringside on Japanese commentary for this match. He says that he wants to prove that it wasn’t a fluke that he beat him once. KUSHIDA nodded in approval at ringside.


Hangman Page & Cody (BULLET CLUB) vs. Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi)


The final match before our main event was The Golden Lovers versus Page and Cody from the Bullet Club. This match was enjoyable. Kenny did a Suplex onto Cody outside the ring. Adam Page then Bodyslammed both kenny and Ibushi onto a grounded table. As Cody was about to do a table spot onto Kenny, The Young Bucks showed up at ringside. This distracted Cody, making him give up the spot. One of them said “Come on what are you doing?”. They walked away in disgust.


Cody got cut open during the match. He sported quite the crimson mask, bleeding down the face. Omega and Ibushi did a Triple Shooting Star combo, which Cody gave a two count to. The team of Cody and Adam hit a Doomsday device move onto Ibushi, but Kota kicked out. Cody hit Kenny with a Disaster Kick on the ring apron, then a Big Boot from Page made him go through the table outside the ring. Shortly after, Kota hit a Powerbomb for a two count.


Ibushi reversed a Cross Rhodes into a German Suplex. A little later on Cody won with a roll-up onto Kota, pulling the tights. The match honestly felt like a letdown. This match, just like Cody’s at Strong Style Evolved did not deliver in my opinion. This had good spots, but it felt like a lame finish. After the match, Cody and Adam tried to hit Kota with a chair. Kenny got them to flee from the scene.


Zack Sabre Jr. w/ Taka Michinoku vs. Kazuchika Okada w/ Gedo (IWGP Heavyweight Title Match)


Well, it’s finally time for the main event of the evening. The main event, which was earned via the New Japan Cup, is Zack Sabre Jr. facing Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title Match. Zack Sabre came to the ring with his New Japan Cup. Before Okada came out, Taka cut a promo. This match was a slow paced very technical match. Early on, Okada was tied up (literally) with many submission moves. Okada slowly made it out of the submission game and started getting more strike based. My favourite spots in this match were when ZSJ would reverse a high impact move into a submission move.


Okada hit ZSJ with two dropkicks, then did a Tombstone. When he did the Rainmaker pose, ZSJ reverse it by grabbing an arm with his legs. Later on, with both men sitting, they did a kick to the chest battle. ZSJ prevailed. Okada attempted a Rainmaker, but ZSJ reversed it into an Armbar. Okada eventually got out of it, then hit a Clothesline (not a full Rainmaker). Okada picked him up and hit a Rainmaker. He tried for a third one, which ZSJ escaped and reversed with a submission move.


Okada reversed that into a Piledriver. A final Rainmaker finished off ZSJ in what was a fantastic match. I absolutely loved this match. The crowd was on the edge of their seats at all times, as if Okada might have not retained. Okada just capped off what was a great night of wrestling.


After the match, Gedo cut a promo on behalf of Okada. Hiroshi Tanahashi came out to the ring during this. He grabbed a mic too. They both cut promos. Of course, I don’t know what they said. But, I assume that they will have a match at a big event. That’s it for here, see you on the 10th for Lion’s Gate.


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