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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Saturday, March 18, 2006


NJPW “New Year’s Gold Series” 1/26/2005

I guess it really shows my devotion to NJPW when it takes me this long to get around to watching one of the first shows of 2005?

Yujiro VS Akiya Anzawa
Quick match, started with a lot of amateur mat grappling before some stand-up, and Yujiro wins with a bizarre spinning Reality Check-like slam. What the heck is up with Yujiro’s porn type entrance music?
Match Rating: ½*

Hiroshi Nagao VS Hirooki Goto
Clipped down. Nagao dominates with his size and power, but Goto sneaks in a quick Minoru Special for the submission win.
Match Rating: ½*

Naofumi Yamamoto VS Tatsutoshi Goto
This was before Yamamoto became a Shibata wannabe, but the attitude was definitely there as he took it straight to Goto, and paid the price when Goto showed his “original heel style” and brutalized the kid with chair attacks outside the ring before ending it with a sweet backdrop for the win..
Match Rating: ½*

Taiji Ishimori & Ryusuke Taguchi VS Tiger Mask & El Samurai
Fun Jr. tag match with a good quick pace to it. The fans were way into the underdog rookie team, and their support paid off when Taguchi scored a big upset pinning Samurai with a hurricanrana. Gotta give NJPW credit for booking Taguchi to get over more than the already established Ishimori, but it’s kind of sad they don’t book Ishimori anymore since he’s a great talent also.
Match Rating: **

Jushin Thunder Liger VS Katsushi Takemura
A lot of animosity between these two, and rightfully so since Liger stole Takemura’s role as leader of CTU and kicked him out of the faction he started! Despite some bursts of offense from Takemura, this was a really one-sided match as he got brutalized by Liger with a piledriver out on the floor that busted him open, taking a Liger-bomb, a top-rope fisherman’s buster, and a standard brainbuster before Liger finally put him away with his new Crash Thunder Buster finisher, which is a atomic-drop facebuster. Give Takemura credit for the strong showing, but it really degrades him back to young-lion status when the only offensive move he got in the match was a Dragon-sleeper.
Match Rating: *1/2

Jado & Gedo VS Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue
A good junior tag title match, though I don’t think it was as good as the one earlier in the show. Inoue pulled off the upset making Gedo tap to the Triangle Lancer, and this set up the Jr. tag title match later down the line where Kanemoto & Inoue won the titles.
Match Rating: *1/2

New Japan VS Black New Japan 5X5 Elimination Single Match Series:
Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shinsuke Nakamura, Osamu Nishimura & Togi Makabe VS Masahiro Chono, Manabu Nakanishi, Mitsuya Nagai, Minoru & Harry Smith

Match #1: Harry “Bulldog” Smith VS Hiroshi Tanahashi
The match was heavily clipped down, and rightfully so from what I saw. The thing that bothers me with the booking for these single match series challenges is why the heck the wrestlers would want to take their time to wear down their opponent when they know if they win they have another match coming up next? They should be looking to end the match as soon as possible and not drag it out like they did here. They only decided to pick up the pace in the last 3 minutes, but even then Tanahashi just seemed like he couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in. Smith was ok, but obviously green.
Match Rating: ½*

Match #2: Minoru VS Shinsuke Nakamura
Minoru had the right idea at the beginning going right after Nakamura, and attacking his arm constantly throughout the match hoping to make the former IWGP champion tap to the Minoru Special. But Nakamura was able to fight through the pain and get the win with the Shining Triangle.
Match Rating: *

Match #3: Shinsuke Nakamura VS Mitsuya Nagai
The last time they had one of these Series, these two had the best match of the night. And it seemed to be heading in that direction again here as Nagai went straight at it with Nakamura again. Unfortunately after some good exchanges, they decided to battle it out on the outside, leading to Nagai winning by count out.
Match Rating: ½*

Match #4: Mitsuya Nagai VS Togi Makabe
You gotta give it to these two here, as the two most under-rated guys in the company put on the best match of the night to this point. After a quick brawl out into the audience, they brought it back in the ring where they laid into each other with heavy stiff strikes and tried to wear each other out. Makabe was able to survive a Stretch Plum from Nagai and rallied back with a big King Bomber lariat for the win.
Match Rating: **

Match #5: Togi Makabe VS Masahiro Chono
Smart move by Makabe to go after Chono right at the start before Chono could even disrobe! Makabe battered Chono for a good portion of the match, attacking his back and shoulder, unfortunately it only took Chono FOUR MOVES to beat Makabe! An atomic drop, a Yakuza Kick, a Shining Yakuza kick, and the UGLIEST small-package hold ever!
Match Rating: ½*

Match #6: Masahiro Chono VS Osamu Nishimura
This was also rather entertaining as Nishimura was running circles around Chono for the most part, hitting hard with European uppercuts and submission locks like the cobra twist. They even did an old-school criss-cross ropes run where Nishimura caught Chono with the cobra twist the first time, but the second time Chono was able to shoulder block down Nishimura. They than brawl to the outside where Nishimura locks on a figure four and both men get counted out!
Match Rating: **

Nishimura asks for a restart, and the fans agree. The referee says no, but for some reason gives a 2 count when Chono & Nishimura brawl, and Chono gets a backslide on Nishimura! They finally clear the ring and we’re down to our last match in the series.

Match #7: Manabu Nakanishi VS Yuji Nagata
Two guys who know each other very well, which is lucky for us since they put on the best match of the show to close it out! Great back and forth action first with Nakanishi in control, hitting a huge lariat off the top followed by a big spear and a lariat for a near fall. Nagata battled back with strikes and an Exploder, before scoring the flash pin with a reverse-Nagata-Lock III to win one for NJPW and send the fans home happy.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Overall: Not really anything outstanding, but still a lot of good wrestling to watch in this one. Now I’m going to go take a nap.


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