New Japan Pro Wrestling Dominion,

Osaka Japan, June 6 2019



Jon Moxley is the latest westerner to ride into New Japan and he did so at the end of a lighting bolt. The former WWE champion is experiencing true freedom for the first time in years and he’s not hiding the intensity that’s returned as a result. Mox has a fresh start in a company that wants him to display every ounce of that intensity and he’s delivering much more than fans expected.

Shota Umino has the distinction of being Moxley’s second post-WWE opponent, but the popular Young Lion wasn’t looking for a handout. Shota is considered by many to be the top star of his class and every time he steps into the ring, he has the opportunity to take another step forward. He did just that against The Death Rider.

Mox gave Shota just enough offense to help his cause, but not so much that Jon looked weak. The match was relatively short and was a great way to kickoff the event. But it was what happened after the match that generated a buzz, though it was not altogether unexpected.

Jon announced his entry into the upcoming G1 Climax Tournament. The G1 begins in Dallas on July 6 and Mox will now be on the card. After his announcement, Moxley surprised the Osaka crowd by helping Umino up and walking him backstage. As New Japan lead commentator Kevin Kelly would say, “don’t put Moxley in any kind of box. Moxley does what he wants to do.”



Shingo Takagi continued to prove that while he’s been a tremendous asset to the juniors division, he belongs with the heavyweights. The Los Ingobernables member had one of the best first-year runs that NJPW has ever seen and he’s gaining momentum with every match. But if he’s to make an impact in the next division, Shingo must begin amassing a positive win/loss record against some of the company’s best.

A man that perfectly fits that description is Satoshi Kojima. The veteran star and former IWGP champion was a welcome addition to NJPW and Ring of Honor’s recent War of the Worlds tour, as well as the NWA Crockett Cup. But he’s in his element in Japan, where the fans are extremely familiar with his Hall of Fame career.

Kojima brought all of that credibility to this match with Takagi and Shingo gave everything he had. The Dragon has emerged as one of the best in the company, especially when it comes to adjusting his style to fit his opponent. Takagi can have a great match with anyone because of this and he had a very solid outing against Kojima. After the match ended, Shingo, like Moxley before him, also announced his entry into the G1.



2019 marks Jyushin Thunder Liger’s last year in professional wrestling. The insanely popular legend’s 35-year career has made a lasting mark on the industry, as he’s inspired countless stars that came after him. Even though the wrestling landscape continues to change around him, Liger is the one constant. He’s ageless, he’s selfless and his departure from New Japan will leave a hole that will not be filled.

But of all the men that could possibly step up to end Liger’s career, Minoru Suzuki’s name was perhaps the last on the list. No one is safe from The King of course and evidently that includes the living legend. Suzuki has targeted Liger and the two continue to have issues every time they’re under the same roof. This match was yet another chapter in that rivalry which could end in Liger’s final match at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in 2020.

Their participation in this match somewhat overshadowed Yoshi-Hashi and Zack Sabre Jr, who each brought something different to the bout. Yoshi-Hashi may not be the critics’ favorite, but he’s come a long way and he’s definitely improved. Of course when he squares off with Sabre, the differences between the two become evident. 

But this match was meant to further the heat between Liger and Suzuki, which it did perfectly. It was a good addition to the Dominion card and fans continue to look ahead to the war that’s brewing between two of New Japan’s most respected stars.



This match was little more than a filler to further the heat between The Ace and The Switchblade, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Tanahashi and White clashed on the final night of the Best of the Super Juniors and the leader of The Bullet Club was once again too much for the veteran star.

But the problems between them will likely take a backseat thanks to events that unfolded following the main event. However this particular match also featured Juice Robinson, who is now at something of a restart point. The former IWGP United States champion lost his title to Jon Moxley and now the two men will likely meet at some point in the G1 Climax.

Taguchi had a great showing during the BOSJ tournament, reminding everyone that he’s still one of the best junior heavyweights in the company. Ishimori would perhaps be a prime opponent for Taguchi in the future, thought it’s unknown how soon the two men will mix it up again. 

The only man in this match without a current direction is Chase Owens, whose last real run came against Juice for the U.S. title. Owens is a talented hand and as long as he’s in The Bullet Club, he continues to have a valuable spotlight. But what happens from this point on is anyone’s guess.



Ishii once again became the NEVER Openweight champion in a match that truly showcased his talent. The Stone Pitbull continues to be the most deserving star in New Japan that’s yet to be IWGP champion. But with this match, Ishii once again proves why he should have a run at the top.

Taichi, much like Yoshi-Hashi, is not exactly a critically acclaimed favorite. But when he really steps up, he’s a very capable hand in the ring. The fact that he worked Ishii only helped his cause of course. In fact many would say that Taichi looked like a top star in this match, thanks to Tomohiro Ishii.

Ishii is now the five-time NEVER Openweight champion. But what happens next is unknown. It seems that the feud between the two has wrapped up now, which means each man can move on to the next challenge. 



This match was not an instant classic and it wasn’t one of the best between The G.O.D and Los Ingobernables. But every time Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa clash with Evil and Sanada, it’s always a sold match. These two teams have great chemistry together and that was once again on display here.

The Guerrillas of Destiny have been preoccupied recently thanks to their heat with The Briscoes in Ring of Honor. Tama and Tanga are currently the IWGP and ROH World tag team champions, so their focus does indeed seem split at the moment, though that could change at any time. Evil and Sanada have gelled as a tag team, so it’s likely they will remain together for the foreseeable future.

However many NJPW fans are surely wondering when the tag team division in New Japan will get some new blood. Indeed, it’s obvious that both the heavyweight and junior heavyweight divisions have an ample amount of talent. But the tag team scene in New Japan does seem to be extremely thin right now.



In a truly shocking moment on the night, Katsuyori Shibata came down to the ring and introduced Kenta to the New Japan crowd. The audience immediately knew who he was of course, but they didn’t know what he was going to say. The last time pro wrestling fans saw him, he was known as Hideo Itami. But what came next had nothing to do with WWE.

Kenta told the Osaka crowd that he was entering the G1 Climax Tournament. The audience roared its approval, as the upcoming tournament gained yet another massive star. It’s interesting to note that Kenta was wearing a shirt with the word “Takeover” emblazoned on the front. Whether this was a not-so-subtle nod to his former NXT brand in WWE, is unknown.



Will Ospreay and Dragon Lee put on an amazing show at Dominion and it was a battle for the ages. Will delivered his usual high-flying barrage, while also balancing his attack with mat-based power offense. Lee proved once again why he’s one of the company’s top breakout stars and he surely has much more to come. 

But Ospreay s arguably the best pro wrestler in the game today. His work during the Best of the Super Juniors was some of the most impressive of his career and he’s showing no signs of slowing down now.

He’s added muscle to his physique, but he’s lost no speed in the ring. Ospreay has combined both power and quickness to gain the main event reputation he’s currently establishing. Ospreay has made it known he intends on rising to the top of the company and he’s recently announced that he’s moving to Japan. 

So it’s obvious that Will is in this for the long haul. But Dragon Lee’s status s unknown at the moment. Lee lost his title in this match but it’s entirely possible that he will remain in title contention. But if he doesn’t, what will New Japan do with him next? His run in The Land of the Rising Sun has only just begun, so there’s still plenty of time for NJPW to decide how to use him.



Natio and Ibushi have an undeniable connection in the ring and they also share many career similarities as well. But the most common trait that links them together is their willingness to take death-defying moves and it’s getting scarier every time.

Ibushi was dropped on his head several different times throughout the course of this match. Thankfully, Kota kept getting back up, though he seemed to slow down after each move. Ibushi’s matches have taken this tone more than once during his carer but it does to appear to be happening more frequently now.

Tetsuya’s body has gone through an incredible amount of punishment as well and it shows in the way he moves. But Naito has found his perfect opponent in Ibushi, which means these two could conceivably continue their rivalry well beyond Dominion.



The highly anticipated main event match between Okada and Jericho brought together the past and present of the pro wrestling business. On one side was the man that’s consistently been regarded as the best pro wrestler in the world. On the other side was the man that held that very moniker at one time.

Jericho brought his best to this one and surprisingly kept the match in the ring for the bulk of the time. Chris met Okada on his own terms: as a pro wrestler. The Rainmaker delivered his usual performance, carrying himself as the highly confident top guy that he is. It was a definite clash of personalities, as well as pro wrestling styles.

The match did spill outside of the ring of course, just as fans knew it would. Jericho was the holy terror he’s been since the day he first debuted in New Japan and Okada kept up with him as much as he could. It was much different match than what Okada has worked in the past, but he’s proven many times before that he can adapt his game to fit any style.

But this bout was less about the two men in the ring, as much as it was about setting up the future. Okada walked away with the IWGP Championship of course, but he did so thanks to a sudden three-count. The win was good for Okada, because he outsmarted Jericho. But it was also good for Jericho, because he didn’t lose a step. Chris is on his way to the top of AEW, which means his character must be protected along the way and that was more than satisfied at Dominion. 

However when Jericho snapped after the match and began to brutalize Okada outside of the ring, it was Tanahashi that made the save. This sets up heat between Tana and Chris, which will most likely lead to a match at some point in the near future. Jericho can continue to budget his time between New Japan and AEW, while Okada moves on to the next opponent. 


Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live


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