Dominion – the perfect place to start your New Japan journey. Whether you’re interested in Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, or Okada vs. Omega IV, with a card as incredibly stacked as this, you’ve picked a great first show to sit down and be amazed by.
As somebody that only got into New Japan a few years ago and believes it to be the best promotion in the world today, I adore helping curious fans get into NJPW in any way that I can. Previously, I’ve written a Guide to Wrestle Kingdom (New Japan’s equivalent of WrestleMania), a Beginner’s Guide to New Japan, a Guide to Using Their Streaming Service, and several other NJPW related guides, which seemed to help a lot of people begin their viewing experience with the company, as well as learn more about it.
As a lot of you will be tuning in for the first time on June 9th, I thought I would put together a quick bullet point guide taking you through all of the vital information you need to know about how to watch the big event, what time it’s on, how to get around streaming issues, what to watch before and after the show, and a brief look through the match card and how each bout has come about. But let’s start things off with the most important part.
Why You Should Watch It
In my opinion, when it comes to in-ring action, no promotion in the world can rival New Japan Pro Wrestling right now. NJPW has some of the best wrestlers in the world signed to its roster, and with fewer restrictions and more time for matches and builds than WWE, the quality of their matches is the best in the world. If you love professional wrestling, you owe it to yourself to at least attempt to watch this promotion once or twice, and Dominion is a perfect place to start.
Not only will you be able to see some genuine legends of this industry in Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio wrestling in an enviroment totally different to WWE in front of a huge, hot crowd, you are practically guaranteed to witness one of the greatest main events in pro wrestling history. But Dominion isn’t just a show with three matches on, you’ll have plenty of other fantastic bouts to keep you entertained. You’ll see most of the company’s championships defended, some indie favourites like those Bullet Club boys will be making appearances, and you may even discover a new favourite wrestler. If you haven’t already, find out what everybody has been talking about.
How to Watch
- The only way to watch Dominion live is through the company’s streaming service – NJPW World.
- NJPW World can be accessed through an official app on Amazon Fire Sticks, as well as through njpwworld.com on laptops, phones and tablets with Chromecast support.
- Not only does it work out at slightly cheaper than WWE Network every month, it offers regular live shows, as well as access to previous events from decades past, matches from select indie promotions such as Ring of Honor and RevPro, and exclusive documentaries that follow the lives of both their Japanese and English speaking roster members.
- Dominion is available with English commentary on NJPW World, provided by former WWF announcer Kevin Kelly, and the extremely entertaining Don Callis, formerly known as Cyrus in ECW.
- Please note that there is no free trial period available, so you will need to purchase the service in order to watch the show live.
- Regardless of when you sign up, the billing date for NJPW World is the first day of every month for every user (so you could be charged 2 days in a row if you signed up on the last day of a month) – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON SIGNING UP, DO IT AS CLOSE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH AS POSSIBLE
- Once you cancel your subscription, you immediately cannot use your account, even if you have weeks left until your next billing date – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON CANCELLING, DO IT AS CLOSE TO THE END OF THE MONTH AS POSSIBLE
- Live shows are available to watch in full usually within fifteen minutes after they’ve been broadcast, so don’t worry if you can’t watch Dominion as it happens.
- IF YOU HAVE AXS TV - The channel will be showing a selection of matches from Dominion in the coming weeks following the event, so if you’re unsure of whether you want to subscribe or not, watching on AXS TV first could be a good way of testing the waters first.
- Personally I’d recommend watching on NJPW World in order to enjoy the excitement of the full show without having to wait or watching edited versions of matches (editing is bound to happen with the main event of this show).
- Also, the NJPW World English commentary team is almost universally considered to be superior to AXS TV’s, and will provide new fans with far more information to explain wrestler and story line backgrounds, so it could be a far better way to introduce yourself to the product.
When and What Time is it On?
- Dominion takes place in June every year. It’s essentially the second biggest show New Japan have, behind Wrestle Kingdom.
- This year, it takes place on June 9th.
- UK Time: 8am main show
- Eastern: 3am main show
- Pacific: 12am main show
- Other Time Zones: The show starts at 4pm JST, so use a converter to calculate when it will be on in your time zone.
Full show will be available on demand within 15 minutes after the live broadcast finishes
How to Avoid Streaming Issues
- Although not many users experience these anymore, NJPW World has been known in the past for having some streaming issues
- Streaming issues are very unlikely to take place during major shows, especially one as big as Dominion
- BEST WAY TO AVOID ISSUES: NJPW World has two different servers for streaming – one for Fire TV and browsers, and one for mobile and tablet devices. The Fire TV and browser stream is the one that’s known to experience issues, so if you are having troubles, I would recommend switching to watching on a mobile or tablet device
List of Matches and Why They’re Taking Place
- David Finlay and Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI and Jay White: Your standard New Japan show features many tag team matches with no real story line motivation behind them. Bigger shows like Dominion usually don’t have them, yet considering how long the final three matches on this show could go on for, it’s not surprising they decided not to have a card full of title matches. This match will most likely just set up a Jay White vs. Juice Robinson US Title match at Kizuna Road or the G1 Special.
- Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki: Again, another match with no specific build up, but considering who is involved, it should be a good one. It could also potentially decide who will challenge for IWGP Tag Team Championships yet, or could put Yano and Ishii in with a shot against Sabre and Suzuki’s RevPro Tag Team Titles on the upcoming NJPW UK tour.
- Rey Mysterio, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, and Cody: Now, this one should be interesting. This match came about when Marty Scurll disrespected Rey Mysterio back in March by stealing his mask and wearing it on top of his head. All throughout the Best of Super Juniors tournament, Scurll taunted the iconic Jushin Thunder Liger, culminating in calling him out at the finals, claiming he was going to beat every legend in New Japan, from Liger, to Tanahashi, to Mysterio. So, the three legends accepted the challenge. A six-man tag involving three of the most legendary active wrestlers in the world today, against three members of the hottest faction in the world today – this one should be interesting.
- IWGP JUNIOR TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) vs. SHO and YOH: New Japan is separated into two weight divisions – junior and heavyweight. These restrictions apply for tag teams also, hence why there are two separate pairs of tag title belts. After they defeated the champions at the Best of Super Juniors tournament finals, former champs Roppongi 3K earned the right to try and recapture the belts at Dominion. RECOMMENDED VIEWING – El Desperado & Kanemaru (c) vs RPG3K vs BUSHI & Hiromu
- IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – EVIL and SANADA (c) vs. The Young Bucks – Matt and Nick Jackson begged to move up to the heavyweight division in NJPW for 3 years. After winning the junior tag titles a record seven times, their wish was finally granted, and they are now getting their first shot at the big boy belts. The Young Bucks are one of the most polished teams in wrestling today, so expect some fantastic tag team action in this one. RECOMMENDED VIEWING – The Young Bucks vs. The Golden Lovers
- NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP – Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi – Triple threat matches in New Japan are extremely rare, but after both Elgin and Taichi made a claim for challenging Goto for his title, a three-way was made for Dominion. This will be the first NJPW triple threat match in over five years, so it will be interesting to see what the competitors do with it, and how the fans in attendance will react to it. RECOMMENDED VIEWING – Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki
- IWGP JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP – Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi: After winning the finals of this year’s Best of Super Juniors tournament in one of the best matches of 2018, Hiromu Takahashi earned the right to face Ospreay at Dominion. These two have had some fantastic matches in the past, with Ospreay holding two victories over Hiromu, so expect another classic from these two at Dominion. Oh, and expect Hiromu to meow several times. RECOMMENDED VIEWING – Hiromu Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay, and Hiromu Takahashi vs. Taiji Ishimori
- IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP – Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Chris Jericho: It’s Chris Freakin’ Jericho, what more reason do you need to watch? Well, if you do need more reason, here it is – New Japan Jericho is far different to WWE Jericho. In NJPW, Jericho is much more aggressive, far more bloodthirsty, and more controversial. His match at Wrestle Kingdom against Kenny Omega was one of the best showings in his entire career, and with an opponent as brilliant and charismatic as Tetsuya Natio, this is bound to be another GOAT-worthy bout for Jericho. RECOMMENDED VIEWING – Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega
- IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (2 OUT OF 3 FALLS, NO TIME LIMIT) – Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega: And now, for the main reason to watch Dominion this year. Many believe that the series of three matches Okada and Omega had together in 2018 are three of the greatest matches of all time. They received universal acclaim, a combined 18.25 stars from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and have had fans watering at the mouth for a rematch, and here it is. Each man has a victory a piece, with their second encounter ending in a draw, so in order to once and for all decide who is the better competitor, Okada and Omega will go head-to-head again in a two out of three falls match without a time limit. This match will go over an hour in length, it will blow everyone’s mind who watches it, and there is a chance pro wrestling will have to start all over again because of how good it will be – that’s how much you need to watch it. If you haven’t seen any of their previous matches, I highly recommend you watch all of them immediately. MATCH 1; MATCH 2; MATCH 3 – THEIR MATCH AT DOMINION LAST YEAR IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR FREE ON YOUTUBE. IT IS ONE OF THE BEST MATCHES I HAVE EVER SEEN AND IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST-WATCH
Where Do I Go From After Dominion?
- New Japan does not have weekly television shows like WWE and Impact. They only have PPVs, tournament shows, cross-promotional shows with CMLL and Ring of Honor, and occasionally “Road to…” shows to promote PPVS, which are all available on NJPW World.
- AXS TV has an NJPW highlight show which shows major matches from the promotion weeks/months after they happened live.
- The next shows after Dominion take place just eight days after the show, three days in a row of shows called Kizuna Road, that will feature title matches.
- New Japan has at least one major show every month. Several times a year, NJPW holds tournaments, including the epic G1 Climax tournament in the summer, which offer fans amazing wrestling on an almost daily basis for weeks.
What if I Want to Sample New Japan Without Subscribing to NJPW World?
- Check out New Japan’s English language YouTube channel. They regularly upload past matches featuring full English commentary, including world title matches and past Dominion matches. Also, they now upload press conferences and interviews with English subtitles.
- If you have AXS TV, you can watch their New Japan highlight show every Friday night.
Essential Preparation Viewing (With NJPW World Links)
- If you haven’t already, you need to watch the Okada vs. Omega trilogy from 2017 – they’re three of the greatest pro wrestling matches in history: MATCH 1; MATCH 2; MATCH 3
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. Taiji Ishimori – BOSJ Finals 2018
- Will Ospreay vs. KUSHIDA – Dontaku 2018
- Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll – Sakura Genesis 2018
- El Desperado & Kanemaru (c) vs RPG3K vs BUSHI & Hiromu – Sakura Genesis 2018
- Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega vs. The Young Bucks – Strong Style Evolved 2018
- Kenny Omega vs. Jay White – New Beginning in Sapporo 2018
- Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega – Wrestle Kingdom 12
- Marty Scurll vs. KUSHIDA vs. Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi – Wrestle Kingdom 12
- Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto – Wrestle Kingdom 12
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega – G1 Climax Finals 2017
I hope this guide has helped, and if you do watch the show, please let me know over on Twitter @HairyWrestling where I will be live-tweeting Dominion (and regularly live-tweet NJPW shows), and please tell me what you thought of it and whether you will continue to watch New Japan or not.
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