Wrestling Dontaku 2015 will take place on May 3rd in Fukuoka, Japan with a stacked card. While I chose only the major 6 matches to break down, there will be a total of 9 at Wrestling Dontaku. New Japan Pro Wrestling’s signature strong style will be present in several matches on the card, and the stars of the promotion will surely be bringing their A game to Kokusai Center. Headlined by Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, Wrestling Dontaku will not be a show you want to skip. Pick up New Japan World here to catch all the action.
Roppongi Vice (Baretta and Rocky Romero) vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)
After the departure of Alex Koslov, Rocky Romero was left partner-less in the New Japan Jr. tag team division. Enter Trent Barretta, Chosen by Romero to form the new tag team by the name of Roppongi Vice, an interesting name choice that is repeated inssently throughout their ring entrance music. Despite the short amount of time the team has been together, they were able to stop Matt and Nick Jackson of the Bullet Club, capturing the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championships at the Invasion Attack event in Tokyo earlier this month. New Japan appears to love the triple threat tag match formula involving reDRagon and the Young Bucks, but the new team of Roppongi Vice serves to freshen up the space that was previously filled by the Time Splitters. These matches are always non-stop and this triple threat tag will surely attempt to raise the bar even higher for the division’s championship bouts.
Kenny Omega vs. Alex Shelley
Omega has become one of my personal favorite wrestlers, and after a so-so match at Invasion Attack against Mascara Dorado, it will be great to see a synergistic pairing in his match with Alex Shelley at Dontaku. Per usual, the feud began simply by Omega calling out Shelley as his next opponent in his post match promo. Then, almost as if he had been waiting by the curtain all along, Shelley quickly appeared, initiating a stare down with the Cleaner, Kenny Omega. I look forward to Omega cleaning up Alex Shelley like he’s done with the rest of the IWGP junior division, but I also equally look forward to a return to singles action by Shelley, as well. This has every chance of being the match of the night.
Bullet Club (Amber Gallows, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. The Kingdom (Maria Kanellis, Matt Taven and Michael Bennett)
Another match, another Bullet Club representative, and another Gaijin dominated card from NJPW. The Bullet Club has rarely showed any form of dissention amongst their ranks, but Karl Anderson’s lust for Kingdom’s-queen, Maria seem to be rocking the boat amongst the good brothers. Another interesting thing to note about this match is that it is the first time women have competed at a New Japan event since October 2002; a great honor for Amber Gallows and Maria Kanellis, but I can’t help but wish Adam Cole was a part of this equation. The Kingdom has done great work as of late, and they will certainly give the good brothers a dirty fight at Wrestling Dontaku.
Chaos (Kazushi Sakuraba, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata and Togi Makabe
To be frank, these types of tag matches tend not to interest me much. I would prefer to see singles action involving these participants, but unfortunately there are only so many spots on the card. I love the chemistry and shoot wrestling feel that the matchup between Shibata and Sakuraba yields. Tanahashi, who seemed vanilla to me for the longest time, has really grown within his ongoing feud with Toru Yano. Their feud stems all the way back to a match during the New Japan Cup in which Yano cheated, and defeated Tanahashi–shocking Tanahashi and the NJPW audience. As a result, Tanahashi spiraled into tailspin, which then leads to several instances involving some questionable morality choices by the baby face of all baby faces. Ishii and Makabe are not to be forgotten; their match at Wrestle Kingdom 9 at the Tokyo Dome was a major highlight of the show, and their presence will certainly be felt in this tag match.
Bullet Club (A.J. Styles and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi)
Another tag match I would love replaced with a singles match; but A.J and Okada will have their inevitable meeting down the road. Watching these two stars interact is a joy, and while I’ve seen several incredible bouts between the two, I am thoroughly excited to see another. Okada is walking a path of redemption, attempting to avenge his championship goals after a heart-breaking loss at Wrestle Kingdom 9 to the veteran Hiroshi Tanahashi. Okada has successfully reached the top of the mountain again, and now looks to attain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Dontaku once more. A.J and Rainmaker Okada have undeniable in ring chemistry, and I will be glued to this match to find out if Okada can once again win the big one.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto
You got to love a major wrestling show being headline by what could be called a subsidiary title. Shinsuke Nakamura has been an incredible champion for NJPW– possessing every quality of a main event star, and able to headline for the promotion while the IWGP Heavyweight Championship feuds have room to breathe and grow to a more satisfying crescendo. Goto vowed to win the New Japan Cup and attain a match for the Heavyweight Championship, but was subsequently upset by Kota Ibushi in the final match of the tournament. As a result, Goto refocused his aspirations towards the Intercontinental Championship, and towards Nakamura, a familiar opponent of his for many years. Can Goto dethrone the King of Strong Style? We’ll only know once we reach the other side of what is certain to be a brutal fight.