New champions crowned at Dontaku; Umino and Moxley step up
Third of five championship matches at Wrestling Dontaku 2023 would see the NEVER Openweight 6 man Tag Team Championships at stake, the Strong Style champions, Ren Narita, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki facing Kazuchika Okada, and an uncomfortable pairing of Tomohiro Ishii and Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Although Tanahashi and Suzuki started the match, the intensity instantly surged once Okada and Narita were tagged in; Okada throwing Narita to the outside and hitting a mean bodyslam on the floor. Returning to the ring Okada locked in the Money Clip, but El Desperado and Suzuki were quickly into the ring to make the save. The pair then turned their attention to Tomohiro Ishii, but Tanahashi threw his body in the way to take the bullet. The focus returned to the legal men, Okada dropping Narita with a DDT for a two count.
Tags on both sides saw Suzuki and Tanahashi enter the ring, both men standing in the middle of the ring to exchange ferocious forearms in a battle of spirits until the King moved his target from the neck to the vulnerable ribs, ribs that Tanahashi had broken just weeks prior. Further grueling punishment was added with a manji-gatame, Tanahashi’s ribs taking a brutal beating. A dragonscrew leg whip gave Tanahashi the much needed space to tag in Tomohiro Ishii, and with El Desperado now on the opposite side the pair began to unleash all their rage.
An impressive suplex from El Desperado had him primed for more but instead the match broke down: Okada, Narita and Suzuki charging into the ring to land hits before Desperado found himself alone with Ishii again and able to hit a spinebuster. Tanahashi jumped into the fray to help Ishii but inadvertently slapped him instead, and a Guitarra de Angel from El Desperado almost earned the three count. Loco Mono put Ishii on the mat but the Stone Pitbull bit back with a hard headbutt, both men levelled on the mat.
Tags saw Narita and Okada the legal men once again, a half-hatch suplex with the bridge earned Narita a two count and a flying leg-lariat set Strong Style up for combination offence culminating in a t-bone suplex; but again Okada stayed alive. A third suplex and bridge only earned a two count again, but it allowed Narita to lock in a cruel Cobra Twist which forced Ishii to come to Okada’s aid.
Now it was time for the challengers to land combination offence, an onslaught ending with an Okada neckbreaker. As Narita looked to escape he was instead met by Okada’s always impressive dropkick, Okada quickly following up with Landslide before unleashing the Rainmaker to win the title NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships for his team.
Post-match, Shota Umino headed to the ring to reveal that Jon Moxley will be returning at Dominion to challenge the newly crowned champions, with a third man to be confirmed.
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