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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Monday, June 28, 2004

 

New Japan King of IWGP 2/15/2004

A little background in case you all didn't know. "Supernova" Shinsuke Nakamura was forced to surrender the IWGP heavyweight title soon after unifying it with the NWF title when he beat Yoshihiro Takayama in the main event at Wrestling World 2004. Nakamura was fighting Takayama on injury as he hadn't completely recovered from the K-1 fight with Alexay Ignashov, and Takayama being the big striker he is spent most of that match rearranging Nakamura's looks and injuring his face, leading to Nakamura surrendering the title to take time off to heal his injuries.
New Japan officials originally organised a 6-man tournament comprising former IWGP champions Tenzan, Nagata, Takayama, Chono, Yasuda and Tenryu before turning it to an 8-man tournament after alot of whinning and complaining from Hiroshi Tanahashi, resulting in him and Kensuke Sasaki being added to the mix. On to the show!

Ryusuke Taguchi VS Hirooki Gotoh
You all know what I think of watching rookies, so I'll pass on this.
Match Rating: PASS

Yuji Nagata VS Tadao Yasuda - IWGP Tournament Match
This started off really SLOW due to Nagata overselling a leg injury when one of the Makais kicked his leg out. Yasuda lumbers around a hobbling Nagata and even puts a Nagata Lock 1 on him at one point. Suddenly Nagata just shrugs off his bad leg, revealing that he was playing possum and whooped Yasuda BIG TIME with several hard kicks and tapping out the big man with the Nagata Lock III.
Match Rating: *

Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Kensuke Sasako - IWGP Tournament Match
Joined in progress. Sasaki looked more powerful than Tenzan here, even kicking out of the TTD at just a one count at one point! Too bad they cut off how Tenzan got busted open. And Tenzan probably wouldn't have won if Makabe hadn't had distracted Sasaki.
Match Rating: **1/2

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Yoshihiro Takayama - IWGP Tournament Match
Joined in progress. Tanahashi actually hit an impressive German suplex on the bigger Takayama at one point, but Takayama dominated most of the match before one lucky break gave Tanahashi the big upset win. This was the longest of the quarter final matches, probably due to the slow pace.
Match Rating: **

Masahiro Chono VS Genichiro Tenryu
They slug it out for most of the match, traded strikes and chops before Tenryu hits the soccer kick into Chono's face as he was getting up, which knocked him senseless leading to the referee stop giving the win to Tenryu by TKO.
Match Rating: **

Koji Kanemoto, American Dragon & Curry Man VS Heat, Tiger Mask & Masayuki Naruse
This started out slow until American Dragon hooked it up with Heat. He might be AMERICAN Dragon, but he sure looks alot and wrestles like William Regal, but with some diving moves thrown in. It was interesting watching Christopher Daniels in his Curry Man gimmick too. Probably the best match up to this point in the show.
Match Rating: ***

Yuji Nagata VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan - IWGP Tournament Semi Final
The medic did a lousy job on Tenzan's bandage as it popped off on the opening lock-up! This was a fun match, up until Tenzan landed his knee on Nagata's face when he botched his moonsault. I'm guessing this match was suppose to go longer. The fans were all over the referee for stopping the count at two, claiming Nagata pulled a shoulder when Nagata clearly didn't move a muscle and was out cold. You could even tell Tenzan was expecting Nagata to kick out from the second pin attempt, but the referee counted 3 and the cornermen rushed the ring to attend to Nagata.
Match Rating: ***

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Genichiro Tenryu
Tanahashi was dominated through out most of the match. Taking about THREE of Tenryu's 53Yr-Old Brainbusters and the 54Yr-Old Powerbomb, before the grumpy old man finally put away the youngster.
Match Rating: **1/2

Shinya Makabe, Yutaka Yoshie & Blue Wolf VS Makai #1, Mitsuya Nagai & Katsuyori Shibata
Makabe took every chance he got to cheapshot Shibata. Mostly the standard tag fare in this one. I like watching Yoshie and Wolf. And the Makais just bore me. Their lucky they have someone like Shibata on their team.
Match Rating: *1/2

NOAH GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Mitsuo Momota VS Jushin Thunder Liger

If all you know about Momota is that he worked comedy and old timer's matches in NOAH and AJPW, Then you NEED to see THIS match! The fans were heavilly behind Momota here and popped for just about everything he did. Great stuff, though I would have preferred a better ending.
Match Rating: ***

Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Genichiro Tenryu - IWGP Tournament Finals
This was good, but felt a bit anti-climatic at the end. Maybe they told them to hold back a bit to prevent further injuries? Still, it was good that they put the belt on the right man at the end of this.
Match Rating: ***

Overall: This is a fun show, though of course it would have been preferable if none of the matches were clipped. Why they never aired an IWGP Championship tournament on pay per view is beyond me.

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