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Cafe Puro (11/9/15): The Post-Power Struggle Edition


This is a very good time to be excited as puroresu fans.

Power Struggle 2015 has come and gone and the road to the Tokyo Dome has begun, with the annual World Tag League stacked in between. If that ain't enough to excite you up until Wrestle Kingdom 10, I don't know what will!

So without any further adieu, here are the results for the recently concluded Power Struggle PPV:

NJPW Power Struggle 2015 (11/7/15)
Osaka, Japan

1. The team of Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Mascara Dorara defeated the team of David Finlay, Jay White, Sho Tanaka, and Yohei Komtasu

2. Bullet Club (Cody Hall, Doc Gallows, and Tama Tonga) defeated the team of Captain New Japan, Juice Robinson (the former CJ Parker in NXT), and Togi Makabe

3. Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL (the former Takaaki Watanabe) via DQ when Tetsuya Nato interfered

4. The team of reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) and the Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA) defeated Bullet Club (The Young Bucks, Chase Owens, and Kenny Omega)

5. The Dream Team/Dream Tag (Matt Sydal and Ricochet) defeated Roppongi Vice (Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero) to win the 2015 Super Jr. Tag Tournament

6. Bullet Club (AJ Styles and Bad Luck Fale) defeated CHAOS (Toru Yano and YOSHI-HASHI)

7. Tomohiro Ishii (c) defeated Tomoaki Honma to retain the NEVER Openweight Championship

8. The team of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata defeated CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada and Kazushi Sakuraba)

9. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) defeated Karl Anderson to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Championship

Notes:

- Like what was said previously, when Anderson gets the chance to shine as a singles star, he delivers in a huge way. And his match with Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship proves it yet again. For a man who is known as a tag team supremo, he knows how to work main event-level championship bouts, and it is more of a bonus that his opponent was the incomparable King of Strong Style, who can adapt to any style and any opponent.

- And as rumored, post-match, AJ Styles went in to challenge Nakamura to a huge championship match at Wrestle Kingdom 10, and it is on! NJPW is obviously saving the one big singles match they had in their sleeve, and it will now happen in the company's biggest show. Funny enough, while this is the first time they're facing each other in singles action, they actually faced each other only one other time: in 2008 when it was Kurt Angle and Shinsuke Nakamura VS AJ Styles and Hiroshi Tanahashi in a mixed TNA-NJPW tag bout. And nearly a decade later, we will now see the one match fans all over the world have anticipated, and it will be for the highly coveted IC Championship.

- We might be looking at a new dynamic between Tanahashi and Okada at WK10 if their match was of any indication, with Tanahashi taking on the cocky role and Okada wanting revenge for his bad luck in past WK events. And for those who have followed Tanahashi over the years, they know what to expect when he dials in a more heelish role, as we have seen previously in encounters involving the likes of Tomohiro Ishii and, much recently, DDR Pro Wrestling's HARASHIMA. So in a bizarre twist of fate, we may see Okada as the new sentimental face over the over-his-head Tanahashi.

- There was never any doubt that Ishii VS Honma would tear the house down, and it did! Seriously, their brutality deserves to be witnessed than be told (A.K.A. NJPW World). But you have to wonder how Honma would feel at this point. It is only a matter of time before he finally gets h ishuge moment, and it could very well be at WK10.

- Sydal and Ricochet winning this year's Super Jr. Tag Tournament was elementary at this point, but that does not take away the fact that this year's tournament is one of the hottest in recent memory. The unique tandem will take the Jr. Division to new heights, as both of them will make their Tokyo Dome debuts very soon.

- EVIL, at first glance, seems to be the product of Gedo's machinations, the booker who is directly influenced by the American style of wrestling. And seriously, look at him!! He's Japanese Undertaker  with a scythe! But despite the look, his re-debut against Goto was impressive. He has definitely improved in many ways since aligning himself with Naito and Los Ingobernables, his look and workrate already showing shines of potential. As ridiculous as it may be, EVIL is in for a pretty good ride, and his affiliation with Naito, who is on fire himself, will bring the former Watanabe to new heights. Where the Meiyu Tag/Los Ingobernables rivalry will go, who knows?

And with that, here is the current line up for Wrestle Kingdom 10 at the Tokyo Dome:

- Four Way for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: reDRagon (c) VS Roppongi Vice VS The Young Bucks VS The Dream Team

- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega (c) VS KUSHIDA

- IWGP Tag Team Championship: Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson (c) VS Winners of the 2015 World Tag League

- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) VS AJ Styles

- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) VS Hiroshi Tanahashi (G1 Climax 25 Winner / Tokyo Dome Rightsholder)

But before the big event itself, we will have the annual World Tag League, which is the tag equivalent of the G1 Climax Tournament. And as usual, the winners of this year's League will have the chance to face the tag champs at WK10. And if you love ROH, you are definitely going to love this year's line up.

BLOCK A:

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin (NJPW-ROH)
Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (3rd Generation Tag)
Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma (GBH)
Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS Ride the Lightning)
Toru Yano and Kazushi Sakuraba (CHAOS)
Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian (ROH - The Addiction)

BLOCK B:

Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata (Meiyu Tag - 2014 World Tag League Winners)
Tetsuya Naito and EVIL (Los Ingobernables)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima (TenKoji)
Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS Invincible)
AJ Styles and Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)
Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows (Bullet Club - 2013 World Tag League Winners)
Michael Bennett and Matt Taven (ROH - The Kingdom)

So not only are we seeing the surprise star of the G1 Climax in Michael Elgin return to NJPW (considering the ongoing rumors that he has not signed a contract with ROH), but we will finally get the see the former Bad Influence, now The Addiction, make a splash in New Japan as a tag team! And with the future tour of ROH with NJPW on the horizon, this could be the start of something really big happening between the two companies.

What do you think of NJPW's last few weeks of 2014? What WK10 match are you most excited for? Sound off in the comments!



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Lance Tan Ong has been a banking guy for the past few years but a wrestling guy for most of his life. And after checking out matches of Mitsuharu Misawa and Shinya Hashimoto at an early age, he's also pretty much a puro guy as well. Currently checking out WWE (mostly NXT), NJPW, DDT, and other promotions that catch and demand attention. He currently handles NJPW news and coverage for Smark Henry.            

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