Hirooki Goto VS Akiya Anzawa
I’m officially impressed by these two as this was the first Young Lion match I’ve watched that didn’t bore me to fast forward past it. For one thing, these two showed personality, something usually lacking in rookies, and they actually made it more than just a green horn match as they match to get the crowd drawn into it with some standard big moves and close near falls. The only thing I would say actually spoiled this was the lame Young Lion Boston Crab of Doom finisher. Really takes away from what was being built into a really good match.Match Rating: *1/2Takashi Iizuka VS Lizmark Jr
Lizmark put on a ton of tattoos since I last saw him in WCW.
I think the only reason NJPW brought him in is because he’s bigger and can be considered a heavyweight, cause he looked a bit sloppy here. He almost kissed the concrete big time when his feet caught the second rope while trying a suicide dive through the ropes and barely touched Iizuka.
I used to like Iizuka cause he was similar in style to Osamu Nishimura, but he kinda boring here also, not sure if it was his opponent or whatever.
The ending of the match came out of nowhere and looked really weak too.Match Rating: ½*Hiro Saito VS Hangman
Hangman’s gimmick is supposed to be that of an insane asylum escapee who hears voices, but he looks like a really poor version of Abyss, and doesn’t even work anywhere near as good as TNA’s resident monster. He has a nice pump-handle powerbomb finisher, but still seriously looks out of place here.
The match was what you’d call a styles clash as both guys looked rather out of place against each other, but still managed to put on an ok match, with Hiro hitting all his senton spots to pop the crowd.Match Rating: ½*G-1 CLIMAX 2005 Semi Final: Masahiro Chono VS Shinsuke Nakamura
I wasn’t expecting a lot from this one going into to, so I wasn’t really disappointed when it was finally over. Things just moved too slowly for my liking here, and there were a few holes like having Nakamura injure his knee missing the ill nino knee drop, only to no sell the pain minutes later by doing shining enzuguiris and German suplexes.
The ending spot would have also been better if Chono didn’t pause for so long while trying to figure out which leg to put the STF on after reversing the Shining Triangle, and Chono ended up locking it on the wrong leg! But hey, I’m sure no one else noticed.Match Rating: *G-1 CLIMAX 2005 Semi Final: Toshiaki Kawada VS Kazuyuki Fujita
Kawada always has a blank look on his face, but it so looked like he had “lamb being led to slaughter” written on his face this time.
I really hope there are a lot of zeros on that pay check Kawada is getting from this match cause he made Fujita look like a million bucks despite how really awkward all of Fujita’s knee spots were. And what was Fujita waiting for when he turned around and saw Kawada all groggy on his feet? Fujita’s knee strikes just really look weak when compared to Yoshihiro Takayama’s though. Fujita is also probably the first person I’ve seen not go down from Kawada’s desperation closed fist punch.
Kawada did look to give Fujita a lot of trouble here as he was constantly able to pop up to his feet after taking Fujita’s elbow and knee strikes (which was about all Fujita did in the match aside from a front sleeper), but the closing spot was just really weak even if Kawada did sell it like the pro he is, and got his nose busted for it.
This was anything but a dream match as there was next to nothing to live up to that build.Match Rating: *1/2Jushin Thunder Liger, Minoru, Jado & Gedo VS Koji Kanemoto, Tiger Mask, El Samurai & Masahito Kakihara
Wow. Kakihara had his hands on the ropes while the CTU had him in a Cobra Twist, but instead of breaking the hold, the referee walks over to the other side to get Kanemoto back to his corner? Despite the wealth of New Japan junior heavyweight talent in this one, I ended up fast forwarding past it as it was just full of things they’ve done a thousand times in the past already, proving that more isn’t always better.Match Rating: *Minoru Suzuki & Toru Yano VS Osamu Nishimura & Tatsutoshi Goto
So Yano has bad ribs going into this one, and no one thinks of attacking them? Guess only the heels attack weak spots on their opponents, and since Goto doesn’t have the beach blonde hair anymore, he’s not a heel anymore either.
But God bless the backslide at least, as the ending was the only good part since I thought the rest of it was downright boring.Match Rating: 1/2*Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi & Kendo KaShin VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie
I thought this was pretty average also, but seeing Nagata get big Yoshie up in an Exploder and a backdrop-hold was sweet. Everything else was easily forgettable.
Tanahashi is broken goods, Tenzan was boring no matter how hard he tried, and I didn’t find Nakanishi & KaShin’s bickering funny or entertaining. Only Yoshie and Nagata were worth watching here.Match Rating: *G-1 CLIMAX 2005 Finals: Kazuyuki Fujita VS Masahiro Chono
So Chono ripping his tights open to reveal his knee brace is supposed to make his kicks stronger? Maybe it added something to his lame attempt at ground knee strikes, if he didn’t MISS them. And again Chono attacked Fujita’s knee only to end up locking on the STF on the wrong knee!
I hate to say it, but I actually would have preferred Fujita winning since he actually looked more convincing here. Basically, this was your typical New Japan big match main event, which of course doesn’t add up to much. But hey, at least Chono did it for Hashimoto.Match Rating: *Overall:
What does it say about one of the biggest shows of the year for the company when the opener featuring two ROOKIES is actually the best overall match on the ENTIRE show? It just makes no sense that the biggest matches on the card would just whiz by, but the boring filler matches takes so long to sit through. All I can say is at least I didn’t PAY to watch this.