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NJPW Dominion 2019 recap, review and grades: Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho and KENTA all appear at huge wrestling event

NJPW Dominion 2019 recap
Chris Jericho battles Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Dominion 2019. Pic credit: NJPW

While all eyes were on the debut of AEW and the current state of WWE, the second biggest wrestling promotion in the world was preparing for their second biggest event of the year — NJPW Dominion 2019.

To put it in terms for American wrestling fans to understand, this is NJPW’s version of SummerSlam and this show had it all, including Chris Jericho challenging for a title, Jon Moxley defending his newly won title, and the arrival of KENTA back to Japan.

Here is the NJPW Dominion 2019 recap, review and grades.

NJPW US Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Shota Umino

For those who didn’t hear, the first thing Jon Moxley did after making his surprising debut at AEW Double or Nothing was to go to Japan and win their NJPW US Championship from Juice Robinson at the BOSJ event.

This is his first title defense.

The match started with Umino just blasting Moxley 100 miles an hour but the champ fired back and took the fight to his challenger. The match was short at just over four minutes but it was non-stop action and Moxley won with his Death Rider finisher.

After the match, Moxley said he wants in the G1 Tournament.

Winner: Jon Moxley (** 1/2)

Shingo vs. Satoshi Kojima

Shingo lost to Will O’Spreay in the BOSJ Finals and he is trying to rebound here and get back on track. Satoshi Kojima is a long-time Japanese veteran that should help Shingo rebound.

With Satoshi as a heavyweight, this is a match that pushed Shingo to the limit and the two battled in a hard-hitting 11-minute match with Shingo picking up the win.

Winner: Shingo (*** 1/2)

Jushin Thunder Liger and YOSHI-HASHI vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.

With the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger and one of today’s top stars Zack Sabre Jr. in the match, this should be something special. This should be leading to Liger vs. Suzuki in the future.

The ending was what it needed to be with YOSHI-HASHI shockingly pinning Sabre, which should set up a future match between them when NJPW heads to Sabre’s home in the U.K. in August.

Winners: Jushin Thunder Liger and YOSHI-HASHI (**)

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Taguchi, & Juice Robinson vs. Jay White, Chase Owens, & Taiji Ishimori

Up next is a trios match and it includes the man that Jon Moxley beat for the NJPW U.S. Championship, Juice Robinson. On the other side was The Bullet Club, with their new leader Jay White.

As expected with a trios match like this (especially one including Jay White), things broke down and everyone but Ishimori, who is nursing injuries, pulled out their stuff. The Bullet Club took the loss when Chase Owens took the pin.

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Taguchi, & Juice Robinson (** 1/2)

NEVER Openweight Championship: Taichi vs. Big Tom Ishii

Taichi is the NEVER Openweight Champion, winning the title from ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb.

This is not the first time that Taichi and Ishii battled and Big Tom always seems to bring out the best in Taichi. This match was no different.

The two men battled for 16 minutes and it was a hard-hitting, great match that ended when Big Tom hit the brainbuster of Taichi and won the title.

Winner: Big Tom Ishii (****)

IWGP Tag Team Championship: The Guerrillas of Destiny vs. EVIL and SANADA

EVIL and SANADA (LIJ) have been on a roll and are now attempting to regain their tag titles from Bullet Club members Guerrillas of Destiny (who are the sons of former WWE superstar Haku, if you didn’t know).

Jado is at ringside for the Bullet Club.

The match was decent but nothing special and the end came with a ton of outside interference, including BUSHI with the mist!  The end was a lackluster one with Loa cradling EVIL and holding the tights for a cheap victory.

Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny (**)

In a surprising moment, Shibata comes to the ring. While the fans love this, it is who he is out to introduce that blows up the crowd — KENTA (who is wearing a Takeover shirt — a dig at WWE?). Kenta wants in the G1.

IWGP Junior Championship: Dragon Lee vs. Will Ospreay

When Will Ospreay rejected the chance to sign with AEW or WWE and said that he was going to make his name in NJPW, it was clear they were going to push him hard — maybe making him the next Kenny Omega.

This could be the best match at NJPW Dominion 2019.

The match delivered. Two of the best Super Juniors in the world fought for 20 minutes and both men looked like stars — pulling out all the stops in the match.

Ospreay ended up winning with the Storm Breaker in a MOTY candidate and is the new IWPG Junior Champion.

Winner: Will Ospreay (*****)

IWGP IC Championship: Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito

This is a match between two of the best Japanese superstars in NJPW history. Kota Ibushi chose to stay in Japan and not join his Golden Lovers partner Kenny Omega in AEW. Naito is just spectacular in every way.

Kota Ibushi beat Tetsuya Naito twice in 2019 already (including beating Naito to win this title) and both matches were MOTY candidates. Can they strike magic a third time, and can Naito finally beat the champion?

The match went just over 20 minutes and both Ibushi and Naito pulled out all the stops and maybe topped their previous two matches. The end came when Naito hit Destino and finally beat Ibushi for the first time in 2019 and won his title back.

Winner: Tetsuya Naito (*****)

IWGP Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs. Chris Jericho

With Kenny Omega gone, Kazuchika Okada, the Rainmaker, is now the best pure wrestling talent in NJPW. Chris Jericho is Chris Jericho and thanks to his change in style, he is still capable of turning in quality matches.

So, will Jericho beat Okada for the title that Okada just won from Kenny Omega?

Much like the other major matches on NJPW Dominion, this one did not go too long and checked in at just over 20 minutes. Jericho can still pull out a main event quality match and against a superstar as talented as Okada, this was bound to be incredible.

The end came when Okada smashed into the exposed turnbuckle, and just when fans thought Jericho was going to cheat to win, Okada countered the Judas Effect and rolled up Jericho with a cradle for the win.

Fans might not be happy to see a cradle end the main event instead of a Rainmaker finisher, but it looks like this will lead to another Jericho match as he attacked Okada with a chair after the match and Tanahashi ran in for the save.

Winner: Chris Jericho (***)

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