Dory Funk Jr. & Katsuhiko Nakajima VS Abdullah the Butcher & Giant Kimala
It’s about 25 minutes into the show before the first match even starts! This was mostly a big out of ring brawl, cause that’s all Butcher knows how to do anymore and all Dory can do is throw forearm shots. Lumbering Kimala at least showed he can still wow the crowd when he did a great flying lariat/elbow type attack on Nakajima. There wasn’t much they youngster could do here either other than throw kicks, and get beat down by his bigger opponents. This is easily a match you can fast forward past, cause you won’t miss much.Match Rating: ½*Jan “the Giant” Nortje & Sam Greco VS The Predator & Giant Bernard
Nortje & Greco did a really fun promo before the match. Aside from being hyped as a super-heavyweight tag match, the main focus was Bernard VS Nortje to see who the true giant is. Former WCW prospect Sam Greco actually looked really good here. He showed some good offense, and was really good as selling a beating. I only got annoyed at all the times he yelled “Hey” when throwing strikes. Nortje wasn’t spectacular and looked out of place at times, but he did get some good offense in himself. Nortje moves really well when he wants to. Predator had some good exchanges with Greco, but I noticed for someone who’s making waves in Japan, Giant Bernard really didn’t look all that impressive here. Not sure if it was because of who he was working with, but I thought he could have done a lot better. But overall, this was an enjoyable super-heavyweight match.Match Rating: *Chuck Palumbo & Johnny Stamboli VS Bubba Ray & D-Von
I found it funny that despite representing the Voodoo Murders, Palumbo & Stamboli are still referred to as the FBI. I also liked how the commentator referred to Team 3D’s style not as “hardcore”, but “table-core”! These two teams put on a good American style tag match. They did a good job actually building up the match to the sprint climax where they got all their spots in. I also found it really funny hearing Bubba shout “lariato!” everytime he did one! You also gotta give YASSHI credit for taking the table-bomb despite his injured foot and still selling being put through a table just days before.Match Rating: *1/2WRESTLE-1 Grand Prix Round 2 Match: Kohei Suwama VS Minoru Suzuki
Well, if you heard this match went too long for it’s own good, than you heard right! There just seemed to be too much mat work from Suzuki (like he usually does) in this one, and it was up to Suwama to make things interesting with his barrage of suplexes, like the very good half-nelson he delivered, and a triple German, with each suplex being a different variation! Also note that Suwama is beginning to look like Hirotaka Yokoi for some reason. Something that took away from the match was Suzuki confronting referee Kyohei Wada, and give Wada credit cause he didn’t back down from Suzuki’s intimidation! That right there is why he’s the best referee in Japan, and he even earned Suzuki’s respect it seemed as Suzuki raised his hand after the match! Overall, this match would have benefited from being only 10 minutes instead of 17, with more of a fast paced sprint than what they did here, but still ok.Match Rating: *1/2WRESTLE-1 Grand Prix Round 2 Match: Don Frye VS Jamal
Good to say Frye wasn’t totally out of shape as the pictures of the match would depict. His muscles are just starting to go flabby, but he can still work a match at least. I noticed Jamal is also wearing padded boots since he added that kick combo to his arsenal. We’ll probably never see it now that he’s back with WWE though. The match itself was mostly Frye keeping Jamal grounded with submission attempts, but Jamal would snatch Frye up out of nowhere and drop him on his head with a Samoan Driver! This spot looked really SICK since Frye didn’t look like he tucked his head in.Match Rating: *Akebono & Scorpio VS Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa
This was the first match of the night that the crowd really got into. My first time seeing Akebono in action and he was impressive to say the least, though you could hear Scorpio giving him instructions at times. The crowd loved seeing Akebono and Misawa go at it, and Misawa did his best sell job in awhile as he actually looked like he was in trouble when ‘Bono was in charge. Of course there was the awkward ending bit where Misawa hit the big elbow shots again which led to the finish and Akebono kicked out after the three, making it look like a bit of a fluke. It protects ‘Bono I guess.
Scorpio carried most of the work for his team, which isn’t really bad since he was entertaining and hit some good offense, and Ogawa did good too getting as good as he was giving. Probably the best match on the show so far.Match Rating: **WRESTLE-1 Grand Prix Round 2 Match: Kensuke Sasaki VS Great Muta
Hate to say it, but there is nothing more redundant than watching a Great Muta match as everything is just so routine. Other than the look and spraying the mist, there really isn’t any difference from Keiji Mutoh himself. Even against the likes of Kensuke Sasaki it doesn’t look much different from any other recent Muta match, even if Sasaki did bleed for him. You gotta hate it when guys like Muta take a big move like getting slammed on a steel chair and just pop up like nothing happened. Match Rating: ½*WRESTLE-1 Grand Prix Round 2 Match: Bob Sapp VS Jun Akiyama
Trust Akiyama to be the man to carry Bob Sapp to the best match of his career, but even that isn’t saying much about this. I don’t think it was as bad as most people made it out to be, since Akiyama gave Sapp a heck of a beating. Akiyama even managed to toss Sapp in an Exploder! Akiyama of course bumped for Sapp, including taking a big chokeslam through an announce table and the big Beast-bomb at the end. Not the best main event in the world, but still watchable.Match Rating: **Overall:
Ok, this might actually be the worst overall puroresu show I’ve watched this year. Sure the matches had potential, but there was nothing here you’ll remember, unlike the first show that had a MOTY candidate in Akiyama/Shibata and the excellent Kaz Hayashi VS AJ Styles match. I say only watch this show if you can get it for free somewhere.
Labels: Misc Indies