Sakura Genesis was a show filled with an average to good undercard. The show featured the continuation of the Elite saga, a great Jr. Heavyweight title match and a IWGP title match that was a technical gem. And Okada is now tied for the record having the most successful title defenses (11) with the man who issued him a challenge afterwards Hiroshi Tanahashi. So now, Okada will have to beat Tanahashi to break the record, New Japan’s greatest in-ring rivalry will be renewed.
Young Bucks defeated Yujiro & Chase Owens
Fun opener. Story of the match was Matt Jackson’s back injury. Matt as always was a second behind Nick on all their double team maneuvers and was wincing in pain after delivering every move. Yujiro & Owens worked well as a team and the finish was Matt Jackson submitting Owens with the sharpshooter.
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Taichi & Takashi Lizuka
Not a very good match the heat was mostly on Ishii and Ishii selling for Taichi just didn’t look right. Yano did very little comedy and when he was in there with Lizuka it was bad. Finish came when Ishii hit Lizuka with a clothesline and Yano rolled him for the pin. Skip this match if you’re having time constraints in watching this event.
Bad Luck Fale & G.O.D defeated Michael Elgin, Togi Makabe, & Ryusuke Taguchi to retain the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Titles
Match started off super slow with the heat spot on Elgin lasting forever but once he tagged in Makabe the match picked up. Once Taguchi got in the match it turned into an entertaining match. The finish came when Taguchi missed the flying hip attack and Tama Tonga hit the stun gun. Overall, the last few minutes of this match were really fun and I was shocked there wasn’t a title change. Maybe Gedo forgot who the champions are.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, & Juice Robinson defeated Hirooki Goto, Jay White, & YOSHI-HASHI
This match was less than ten minutes, really quick but it did its job. It got me excited to see David Finlay vs Jay White and Hirooki Goto vs Juice Robinson. The interaction between these four made me believe that we are going to get two really good singles matches in the near future. The finish was Hiroshi Tanahashi hitting the High Fly Flow on YOSHI-HASHI.
Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad defeated Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, & SANADA
This was a really good match. SANADA is an athletic marvel and he shined in this match with his leap frogs over the 6’7 Lance Archer and spring board drop kicks. Story of the match was Minoru Suzuki wanting to kill Naito and Naito being as non-chalant as ever. Their interactions makes me excited for their singles match. The finish was the Killer Bomb by KES on EVIL for the pin.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado defeated Roppongi 3K, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi to retain the IWGP Jr Tag Titles
This was a fast paced match with tons of moves, they struggled to get the crowd into it but they eventually did. Even though this match was good the crowd not caring for the first half of this match hurt it . It reminded me a lot of a 205 Live match. This division will be in trouble if they can’t find a team for the fans to care about. The finish was Deperado hitting the Pinche Loco on Sho after Kanemaru spit whiskey in Sho’s eyes.
Will Ospreay defeated Marty Scurll to retain the IWGP JR title
This was such an awesome match. It featured one of the scariest spots I’ve seen in a long time. Will Ospreay attempted a one man Spanish fly off the apron to floor but Ospreay didn’t fully rotate so he landed on top of his head and busted himself open. Prior to that, Scurll was working over Ospreay’s neck so even though the spot was an accident and scary, Scurll’s prior work on the neck added to the suspense. These guys work so well together that their chain wrestling and counters look so crisp and with Ospreay’s insane aerial maneuvers this match lived up to expectations. The finish of the match was Ospreay hitting the OsCutter on Scurll. I highly recommend you go out of your way to watch this classic match. Post match Ospreay challenged KUSHIDA.
Cody & Hangman Page defeated The Golden Lovers
This match was great considering the spot it was put in following the great match prior and before the Okada/ZSJ match. This match was more of continuation of the story of Kenny/Cody and set up Hangman Page vs Ibushi. The Young Bucks come out just as Cody was about to splash on Kenny who was prone on a table. They distracted Cody enough to allow Kenny to recover. Kenny busted Cody open with a spinning heel kick. Page gave Kenny a big boot that put Kenny through a table. The finish of the match was Page distracting Ibushi so Cody could get a schoolboy for the pin.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Zack Sabre Jr to retain the IWGP Championship
If you’re not a fan of Zack Sabre Jr. you probably won’t enjoy this match. This was your classic Sabre Jr match . Submission after submission twisting Okada in every possible way he wanted. Okada had counters with his Lucha Libre submissions he learned from Ultimo Dragon and at times he was effective but Sabre would quickly counter . The crowd was into the submissions of Sabre Jr and at how crisp he looked executing them which in turn added to the match. Sabre started working over the Rainmaker arm with various submissions to add a dimension to the match. That was when the crowd started to believe that Okada might be in trouble. Okada kept trying to go for the rainmaker and each time Sabre Jr. had a counter. To the point that the fans bought a couple of near falls by Sabre Jr. The finish was Okada hitting three Rainmakers to pin Sabre Jr, absolutely incredible match. Zack Sabre Jr. was a made man after this match. New Japan made a main eventer in a span of three weeks. Okada’s historic title reign continues. Post-match Hiroshi Tanahashi entered the ring to challenge Okada! And just like that, the greatest in-ring rivalry in New Japan history is renewed!
What did you think of the Sakura Genesis show? Let us know in the comments below?