New Japan Pro Wrestling have returned to Fukuoka for their annual May holiday event – Wrestling Dontaku!
Fukuoka Dome played host to Wrestling Dontaku for the first time since 2000 and this year’s event boasted no less than six title matches across New Japan’s Heavyweight, Junior Heavyweight, Tag Team and NEVER Openweight divisions.
In the main event, Kazuchika Okada successfully defended his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito in a hard-fought, 34-minute encounter. Jay White, making his first appearance in New Japan since last year’s Wrestling Dontaku, confronted Okada post-match, attacking him following a distraction from Gedo.
Following a late replacement of Will Ospreay due to COVID-19, Hiroshi Tanahashi triumphed over Tomohiro Ishii to capture the vacant IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship for the third time. After the match, a returning Juice Robinson attacked Tanahashi with the help of Chase Owens and joined Bullet Club.
It was an evening of title changes in Fukuoka with Taiji Ishimori submitting El Desperado to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and Tama Tonga overcoming EVIL for his first NEVER Openweight Championship.
In the opening match, Shiro Koshinaka replaced Japanese legend Tatsumi Fujinami to join forces with Los Ingobernables de Japon members Shingo Takagi and Bushi in a defeat to Suzuki-gun, after Fujinami tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
The entrants for this year’s Best of Super Juniors tournament were also announced during the event. The tournament showcases the best cruiserweight wrestling from around the world with the winner of the tournament earning a title shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. This year’s lineup includes Wheeler Yuta, who will become the first AEW wrestler to compete in the tournament.
Full NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2022 results
- Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., and Taka Michinoku) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi and Bushi) and Shiro Koshinaka by pinfall
- Hiromu Takahashi defeated Yoh by pinfall
- Tanga Loa defeated Yujiro Takahashi by pinfall
- Six or Nine (Ryusuke Taguchi and Master Wato) defeated Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Douki) by pinfall to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens) defeated United Empire (Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb) and Bishamon (Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championships
- Tama Tonga defeated EVIL by pinfall to win the NEVER Openweight Championship
- Taiji Ishimori defeated El Desperado by submission to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
- Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Tomohiro Ishii by pinfall to win the vacant IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
- Kazuchika Okada defeated Tetsuya Naito by pinfall to retain IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
How to watch NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2022
Wrestling Dontaku streamed live at 9am in UK and 4am ET on May 1st through NJPW World and will be available on-demand shortly after.