|Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall (2018)|
Promotional poster for the event, featuring various NJPW wrestlers
|Promotion||New Japan Pro Wrestling|
|Sponsor(s)||Hoken Minaoshi Honpo|
|Date||June 9, 2018|
Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall (2018) was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on June 9, 2018, in Osaka, Osaka, at the Osaka-jō Hall and was the tenth event under the Dominion name and fourth in a row to take place at the Osaka-jō Hall. The event was headlined by Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kenny Omega in a two out three falls match with no time limit, featuring the rematch from the main event of Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall, that ended in a time limit draw.
The second match of the show's "double main event" was Tetsuya Naito defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Chris Jericho. The event also included the debut match Rey Mysterio Jr., who was supposed to debut on March 25 at Strong Style Evolved, but was forced to pull out due to an injury.
Production[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall (2018) was officially announced on January 4, 2018, during Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome. On April 23, NJPW announced that tickets would also be sold internationally through e-plus. The event is NJPW's biggest between Wrestle Kingdom 12 and July–August's G1 Climax. The event will air through NJPW's internet streaming site, New Japan Pro Wrestling World, and will feature English commentary. On May 17, it was announced that all tickets were sold out. This led to additional tickets being put on sale on May 22.
Storylines[edit | edit source]
Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall (2018) featured professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portray villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall was main evented by Kazuchika Okada making his thirteenth defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Kenny Omega. This will be a rematch from Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall, that ended in a time limit draw that earned critical acclaim, including a six and a quarter stars rating (on a scale of zero to five) and it was praised as one of the greatest pro wrestling matches of all-time, with an even better sequel from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Meltzer also praised them, being "the two best wrestlers in the world at this point in time, both in the best match of their lives" and went on to compare the program between Okada and Omega to the 1989 series of matches between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat. Following Dominion 6.11, Omega became the first IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, after winning a two-day eight-man tournament at G1 Special in USA in Long Beach, California. The two would face each other in a third time, during 2017 G1 Climax on August 12, where Omega defeated Okada to win his block in the 2017 G1 Climax, advancing to the finals of the tournament, where he would lose to Tetsuya Naito. Throughout 2017, Okada and Omega would focus on defending their respective championships. During this time, Okada would break the record of longest-reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion in history by breaking the previous record of 489 days, held by Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Tanahashi's record of 1,358 combined days as champion. Meanwhile, Omega lost his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to Jay White at The New Beginning in Sapporo on January 28, with Okada being on commentary for the match. Omega would then feud with Bullet Club stablemate Cody over the leadership of Bullet Club and reform the Golden☆Lovers with Kota Ibushi. On May 4, at Wrestling Dontaku, after Okada successfully defended the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi, breaking the record for most successful title defenses with twelve, he nominated Omega as his next challenger at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. Since the two are tied in singles matches, with one having a straight victory against each other and their match at Dominion 6.11 ending in a time-limit draw, the two agreed to face each other in a two-out-three falls with no time limit. The title match was officially announced on May 7. Okada stated in an interview with Tokyo Sports that stipulations of the match were on his advantage. In an interview, Omega stated that Okada's stipulation for a "no time limit" was an "insult" to him so he wanted a "fair match" against Okada.
In the IWGP Intercontinental Championship match, Tetsuya Naito will make his first title defense against Chris Jericho. On December 12, NJPW announced that Wrestle Kingdom 12 would feature a double main event with the IWGP Heavyweight and United States Heavyweight Championship matches, which Jericho faced Kenny Omega in the United States Heavyweight Championship match and Naito faced Kazuchika Okada in the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Tetsuya Naito stated that he was disappointed with the decision, adding that NJPW would never become the number one promotion in the world as long as they were humoring WWE. In an out-of-character interview, Jericho stated the [Tokyo Dome] ticket sales were not two and half times up from last year because of [him] and Okada that [he's] a real stupid idiot. [He] said that the match between him and Omega was a main event, but recognized that "world title match between Okada versus Naito the two Japanese guys fighting over New Japan's most prestigious title that's the main event, that is a double main event", saying that was the reason the ticket sales were selling well and "on a worldwide basis Jericho versus Omega was the main event". Jericho said that "if Naito was smart he would admit it was a double main event". Following Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 5 at "New Years Dash!", Jericho made a surprise attack to Naito. Afterwards, it was rumored that was his last appearance in NJPW, which Jericho later confirmed on Twitter on March 5. However the rumors were false, and at Wrestling Dontaku on May 4, Jericho made another surprise attack to Naito. The title match was officially announced on May 7. In weeks, leading to title match Naito suggested to be changed into a non-title match and also insisted that Jericho wasn't interested in a title match, also questioned NJPW for booking into a title match. On June 8, NJPW officially announced that Dominion would feature a double main event with the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship matches.
In the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Will Ospreay would make his fifth title defense against Hiromu Takahashi. During 2017 Best of the Super Juniors, Ospreay defeated Takahashi in their head-to-head match, ending Takahashi's chance to make in the finals, and Ospreay advanced to the finals losing to KUSHIDA. Prior to the BOSJ final, Takahashi stated that he had chosen Ospreay, who had eliminated him from the tournament, as his challenger to his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall. Despite this, NJPW elected to make KUSHIDA the number one contender, officially announcing the match between him and Takahashi for Dominion 6.11. Ospreay went on defeating KUSHIDA to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Both Ospreay and Takahashi took part in a four-way match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12, where Ospreay won the title for the second time. After Ospreay won the title, Hiromu aimed for revenge in a singles match. However, on February 10 at The New Beginning in Osaka, Ospreay defeated Takahashi in a rematch. From May 18 to June 4, Ospreay and Takahashi took part in the Best of the Super Juniors, wrestling in separate round-robin blocks. They both finished their blocks with a record of five wins and two losses. However, Ospreay wasn't able to advance to the finals of the tournament due to losing to Taiji Ishimori. Meanwhile, Takahashi won his block with a record of five wins and two losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament and defeating Taiji Ishimori in the finals to win the 2018 Best of the Super Juniors. After the match, Takahashi challenged Ospreay into a rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. The match was officially announced on June 5.
In the NEVER Openweight Championship, Hirooki Goto would make his fourth title defense against Taichi and Michael Elgin in a three-way match. On April 27, Hirooki Goto made his third title defense of the NEVER Openweight Championship against Juice Robinson. Following the match, Goto was challenged by Taichi and Michael Elgin. On May 4 at Wrestling Dontaku, Taichi attacked Goto into the backstage area, following a match, with Taichi targeting Goto's, only to Elgin make the save. The title match was officially announced on May 7.
In the IWGP Tag Team Championship match, Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) would make their third title defense against The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson). On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku, The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) challenged Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) into a title match for their IWGP Tag Team Championship. Before they could say anything The Young Bucks attacked them. Afterwards, EVIL and SANADA ended up accepting The Young Bucks challenge. This will be the second time that The Young Bucks receive a championship shot for the titles. Early that night, The Young Bucks and their Bullet Club stablemate Marty Scurll won the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. The title match was officially announced on May 7. The Young Bucks announced that they're moving to the heavyweight tag team division on February 24 at Honor Rising: Japan and made their heavyweight tag team debut losing to the Golden☆Lovers (Kota Ibushi and Kenny Omega).
The event will also feature another tag team title match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship where Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) would make their third title defense against Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh). On February 10, 2018 El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh). During the match, the two repeatedly attacked Sho's injured back. After the match, Kanemaru and Desperado made their intentions of challenging Sho and Yoh into a title match. This led on February 13, NJPW announcing that Sho and Yoh would defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Suzuki-gun (Desperado and Kanemaru) and also Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi). On March 6, Desperado and Kanemaru won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, after pinning Sho who was blind after being hit with poison mist by BUSHI. Sho and Yoh criticized the way Desperado and Kanemaru won the titles. During the New Japan Cup, L.I.J. and Suzuki-gun would attack each other until RPG 3K, laid out the two teams and made their intentions on receiving a rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, leading NJPW officially announced the rematch on March 22, which Suzuki-gun won after cheating to win the match. From May 18 to June 4, RPG3K and Suzuki-gun took part in the Best of the Super Juniors, with Kanemaru and Yoh in block A and Desperado and Sho in block B. Both Kanemaru and Desperado lost their round-robin matches to Yoh and Sho, respectively. On June 4 at finals of Best of the Super Juniors, Sho and Yoh challenged Desperado and Kanemaru into a rematch for the titles. The match was officially announced on June 5.
The full card of the event was announced on June 6. The event also included Rey Mysterio Jr., NJPW's debut match. On February 10, 2018, at The New Beginning in Osaka, Rey Mysterio appeared in a pre-taped vignette, calling him one of the greatest junior heavyweight wrestlers ever and challenging Jushin Thunder Liger to a match at Strong Style Evolved. Liger who was on commentary immediately accepted the challenged. However, Mysterio was forced to pull out due to suffering a bicep injury at a Northeast Wrestling event, leading to Mysterio being replaced by Will Ospreay. On March 25 at Strong Style Evolved, after Ospreay defeated Liger, Mysterio appeared to congratulate Ospreay for his victory. However, Mysterio was attacked by Marty Scurll, until Ospreay made the save. It was later announced that Mysterio would compete at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, although his opponent was not announced. On June 4 at finals of Best of the Super Juniors, liger and Hiroshi Tanahashi revealed that they would team up with Mysterio and challenged Scurll and partners of his choosing to a match. The following day, it was revealed that Liger, Tanahashi, and Mysterio would face Scurll, Cody and Hangman Page.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter wrote that Omega and Okada had "the best match of their lives" [...] he didn't think that he would "see a better match then this match" also "none of the Omega and Okada matches did [...] and a lot of people from the building were crying" he wished "he was there live in that atmosphere". Meltzer compared the Omega and Okada to a 1990 match between Mitsuharu Misawa and Jumbo Tsuruta as Kerry Von Erich and Ric Flair in 1984, "where it's like something happened in a fake wrestling match and when it was over i know it's not real, but it felt like it was". Meltzer thought that it was because of Okada's title reign, while also calling it "was an amazing reign", and the "greatest title reign in many decades". Meltzer also stated that "not even AJ Styles, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito could make this match at this level". Meltzer would award the match seven stars match.