New Japan Pro Wrestling heads to the PayPay Dome in Fukuoka for Wrestling Dontaku on Sunday. The huge supercard had been marred by two positive PCR tests on the NJPW roster. Both Tatsumi Fujinami and Will Ospreay have tested positive and will miss Sunday’s show. WrestleZone wishes a safe, easy, and speedy recovery for both men.
Fujinami was set to team with Shingo Takagi & BUSHI against Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & TAKA Michinoku of Suzuki-gun, but will now be replaced by a mystery partner. Both Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito are busy on the show, so unless its SANADA’s return from injury, its likely to be a complete surprise.
Ospreay’s positive test creates an ever bigger shift in the card. The United Empire leader was originally set to face Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP United States Championship that was vacated by SANADA’s aforementioned injury. With Ospreay out, Tomohiro Ishii will step up to challenge The Ace for the vacant US Title. After a well-received tour of America, Ishii would make a viable US Titleholder.
Five more titles will be defended at the huge show. Master Wato and Ryusuke Taguchi look to continue their winning ways against Suzuki-gun’s Kanemaru and DOUKI. DOUKI has become something of an underdog favorite amongst the NJPW fanbase, and this tag title match is a big step for the luchador.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champions Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb are taking on the former champions YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto, as well as a tandem of misfits from Bullet Club. Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale present something of a wild card in Sunday’s tag title three way dance.
Elsewhere on the card, EVIL defends his NEVER Openweight Title against a bloodthirsty Tama Tonga. Tama has been seeking vengeance since losing to EVIL in the New Japan Cup, and being forcibly removed from Bullet Club in the aftermath. EVIL and his House of Torture buddies were able to sneak away with their 6-Man Tag Titles over the Golden Fight Series, but their luck might run out come Sunday.
El Desperado looks to make a huge statement ahead of next month’s Best of Super Juniors tournament, and defend the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship against Taiji Ishimori. A 21st-century junior heavyweight legend, Ishimori would be a big scalp for Desperado to claim in his dominant title run.
In the main event, Tetsuya Naito looks to finally put Kazuchika Okada down for good. The two men have been blood rivals for much of the 2010s, and now find themselves wrestling their third singles match and second title match since January. Okada and Naito are both looking to finally put the other in their rearview mirror.
Plus Tanga Loa tangles with the Tokyo Pimp Yujiro Takahashi and Hiromu Takahashi battles YOH.
READ MORE: NJPW Golden Fight Series Results
Here’s the full card:
NJPW Wrestling Dontaku
4am ET on NJPWWorld.com
- Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & TAKA Michinoku) vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & X
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. YOH
- Tanga Loa vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: Six or Nine (Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi) (c) vs. Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI)
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) (c) vs. CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale)
- NEVER Openweight Championship Match: EVIL (c) vs. Tama Tonga
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match: El Desperado (c) vs. Taiji Ishimori
- IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
6⃣titles at stake!
❓❓A mystery partner for LIJ?
LIVE English coverage on @njpwworld!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) April 29, 2022