NJPW Sakura Genesis Review

Young Bucks vs Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi

This was a solid way to kick off the show but it never really found its stride. They story of Matt's increasing back issues continues. The win helps to establish the Bucks in the heavyweight division. **1/2

Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Takashi Iizuka & Taichi

Well, this was shit. *

Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa vs Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Titles)

This was decent enough. Both teams put in good showings without it ever really getting to a better level. The Tongans won, which is the right decision as the belts could do with some stability. ***

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

Good match. This did a really good job of putting the attention on the Juice vs Goto and Finlay vs White feuds, building the anticipation for them while not giving anything away. ***1/2

Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & SANADA

This was great fun, but what may have been the best part was Archer scaring the life out of a kid in the front row. Top notch heel work. This was another match that did a good job at setting up future title matches. I am very interested in the upcoming Naito vs Suzuki match. ***1/2

Yoshinobu Kanemura & El Desperado vs Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI vs Roppongi 3K (IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Titles)

On paper this looked like it should be really good but for some reason it wasn't. I can't really put my finger on why, but it felt lackluster. **1/2

Will Ospreay vs Marty Scurll (IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title)

Jesus fucking Christ Will, you only have one neck you soft bastard. In all seriousness the Spanish Fly on the apron looked evil and I hope he is okay. On to the rest of the match, it was fucking spectacular. For me this was easily the best match that Scurll has ever had, and possibly the best match I've ever seen from Ospreay. Scurll plays exactly to his Villain persona here, coming across like he is genuinely trying to break Ospreay's neck. The moment when he just starts stomping on the back of Ospreay's neck is pure dickishness. The story that they told was excellent and the in ring work was some next level stuff, with incredibly smooth exchanges throughout. The highest of recommendations. *****

Golden Lovers vs Cody & Hangman Page

This was great fun. It's lovely to have the Golden Lovers back but the efforts put in by Cody and Hangman Page cannot be ignored. Cody's heel gimmick is the best in the world and Page is getting better everytime he goes out there, and he has had a great week. Cody gets accidentally busted open here and it adds to the story, which is convenient. The heels picked up the win with underhanded methods. ****1/4

Kazuchika Okada vs Zack Sabre Jr (IWGP Title)

TAKA Michinoku is officially the Japanese Paul Heyman, best hype man in the business. This match was excellent, which is to be expected really. What is great about this Okada title reign is how varied his title matches are, as he can adapt to any opponent with ease. He gets in to a hold for hold submission war here, before realising that he will get ruined if he keeps doing that. Both men looked superb here and I really hope that Sabre Jr can stay in the main event picture in New Japan as he has been incredible over the last month. Okada won to tie Tanahashi's record for title defenses. ****3/4

Overall Grade - A-

You can comfortably ignore a large portion of the undercard but the last three matches are far too good to ignore. It is a fantastic run of both in ring prowess and storytelling. You should definitely go out of your way to check them out.