Hiromu, Naito get last pre-Dontaku word in

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LIJ victorious in Beppu tag main

May 1 saw the final event on the Road to Dontaku, the main event pitting Yoshinobu Kanemaru and SANADA against Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito ahead of Wednesday’s main event pitting Hiromu against SANADA for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

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Takahashi would start with SANADA, the ‘Hiromu’ chants drowning out those for the champion as the two tied up. A tense start would be interrupted by Kanemaru, who jumped Hiromu, but the challenger would defuse the situation, sending the Heel Master into an involuntary tijeras on SANADA before taking over with Naito. El Ingobernable went right to the neck of the champion, but Kanemaru was persistent as an outside force, and a tug of the ankles would allow two of Just 5 Guys to take control on the floor.

Naito would be rooted in the wrong corner, and even as Hiromu tagged in, SANADA cut his challenger off with a dropkick before a plancha, turning the initially pro- Hiromu crowd to his side. Takahashi would try to get back into the bout with some stinging chops, but was brought down; SANADA tried for the Moonsault but Hiromu escaped and caught a Skull End attempt with an inside cradle for two. Still, a Magic Screw from the world champion meant that the Time Bomb was unable make a tag before a Dragon Screw to Kanemaru finally bought him enough time to bring Naito back inside.

Naito landed a corner combination to Kanemaru and looked to follow with a Frankensteiner, but Kanemaru would escape, allowing the Heel master to target the knee along with his partner. Naito laboured under a figure four, just barely making the ropes, but when Kanemaru went for Deep Impact, El Ingobernable was able to escape and bury elbows to the neck to work himself free at the fifteen minute mark.

Esperanza would follow for Naito, and the pace quickened as both men looked for a finish; that finish almost came with Hiromu’s aid into a Naito jackknife, but Kanemaru escaped. Hiromu nonetheless served his partner up for a spike DDT, and the Destino followed for an emphatic three. As Hiromu promised to live his dreams in two days, Naito offered his full support in Fukuoka at Dontaku.


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