New Japan Pro Wrestling presented the first of two nights in Saitama’s MetLife Dome on Saturday. Night one of Wrestle Grand Slam was headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his newly won IWGP United States Championship against Kota Ibushi. It was a quick and crisp main event, as Ibushi was returning to action after a bout with aspirational pneumonia, but the main event was overshadowed by even bigger developments on the undercard.
The biggest news from the show was former-CHAOS member SHO joining Bullet Club, more specifically a new subgroup of the faction, House of Torture. After his brutal match with former-tag partner YOH, SHO was joined by Dick Togo, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL to form the new group. With a new look, and new compatriots, this new attitude could be the missing piece to SHO’s puzzle.
Welcome to the BULLET CLUB??
Sign up Now & Stay tuned to https://t.co/CcdQ1XrpWA
.@njpwShowT #njpwworld #njwgsDay1 pic.twitter.com/V8DtKrPtJK
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) September 4, 2021
While Bullet Club added a new member, they lost a major battle, when KOPW 2021 provisional trophy holder Chase Owens lost the trophy to long-time KOPW trophy holder Toru Yano. Challenged to a No-DQ I Quit Match, Yano brought out the nasty, violent persona that made him such a fearsome figure at the end of the last decade. With his Most Violent Players look, and plenty of weapons, Yano was finally able to get Owens to utter the words “I Quit” after threatening to gut the BC member with a pair of scissors.
Another shock of the evening was Jeff Cobb’s thrilling upset win over Kazuchika Okada. Cobb has shown a new aggression since joining the United Empire, and now he has defeated the franchise face of NJPW. A marathon match, that saw both men throw almost their entire arsenals at each other, Cobb came out victorious. It was a huge win for The United Empire, which has been scattered by travel restrictions and whatever you want to call Ospreay’s run through North America. Cobb definitely looks to be the next big monster, as G1 season approaches.
Plus IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Robbie Eagles got the win over LIJ in tag action, sending a message to his challenger Hiromu Takahashi. Also NJPW sibling promotion STARDOM had a showcase tag match before the show. Here are the full results.
NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam: Night 1
Available on NJPWWorld.com
- STARDOM Showcase Match: Queen’s Quest (Momo Watanabe & Saya Kamitani) def. Lady C & Maika by pinfall. (12:02)
Saya Kamitani pinned Lady C via Phoenix Splash.
- Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) by submission. (11:40)
Robbie Eagles submitted BUSHI via Ron Miller Special
- SHO def. YOH via ref stoppage. (24:41)
- KOPW 2021 Provisional Trophy No-DQ I Quit Match: Toru Yano def. Chase Owens by threatening him with a pair of scissors. (28:03)
- Jeff Cobb def. Kazuchika Okada by pinfall via Tour of the Islands. (27:41)
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) def. Kota Ibushi by pinfall via High Fly Flow. (17:47)
NJPW will return on Sept. 5th at 1:30am ET for Night 2 of Wrestle Grand Slam.