RISE UP TOUR 5/21/2006
Starts off with a quick look back to the 4/20/06 show where Shuji Kondo successfully defended the AJPW Jr. title against MAZADA, leading to all the junior heavyweights in All Japan arguing amongst themselves as to who would get the next shot at the champion. Masanobu Fuchi agreed to hold a Junior Heavyweight League to crown the number 1 contender, and amongst the competitors will be the returning TAKA Michinoku, and new Tokyo Gurentai member Katsushi Takemura, who will be stepping back into the AJPW ring for the first time in 2 years since challenging Kaz Hayashi for the junior title.Katsushi Takemura & NOSAWA Rongai VS Kaz Hayashi & TAKA Michinoku
NOSAWA & Kaz start off with some quick and fun mat work before tagging TAKA & Takemura. Takemura has a distinct size and power advantage, as he was quickly able catch TAKA off the ropes with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. They trade chops and Takemura misses a corner splash, leading Kaz to tag in and take control with some speedy aerial offense, tripping up Takemura before quickly hitting a springboard Arabian press for a near fall. Kaz than hits a rather dangerous move where he goes for a backdrop, but flip Takemura over in mid-air to drop him on his stomach to chain it into a Crippler Crossface, but he almost drops Takemura on his head! Kaz really needs to be careful if he’s going to do that move more as there’s only a small margin of error when doing it.
Takemura is able to battle back and hit a big lariat followed by a German suplex-hold for a near fall. He picks up Kaz and hits the M9 (F5/Verdict) for another near fall as TAKA makes the save. NOSAWA goes after TAKA and gives him a Michinoku Driver II as Takemura rolls up Kaz with a Gedo-Clutch to get the win!
Rather short match and it was clipped a bit, but they showed some great work despite a few missed timed spots. Definitely great seeing Takemura in action again since he was seriously overlooked by NJPW when they had him.Match Rating: *
All four men mouth off at each other after the match, promising victory in the upcoming Jr. league, even Kondo & YASSHI come out to bad mouth them saying they have no chance of winning. Kikutaro than comes out and everyone just ignores him and leaves! Just as Kikutaro is about to speak, his music kicks up again signaling for him to leave! He just drops the microphone and walks off shaking his head. Funny stuff.
We than get a look at how the Voodoo Murders have rampaging through All Japan, and how four people specifically have had enough of them and are out for revenge tonight: Akira Raijin, who had his head shaved by Suwama, Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima, for VM brutally attacking Nakajima and enraging Sasaki to the point that he got disqualified against Suwama during the Champion Carnival, and of course Triple Crown champion Satoshi Kojima, who’s had a well documented ongoing feud with Suwama and the rest of VM for months now. It’s all out war in an 8-man, 2/3 falls match next!2/3 Falls Match: Satoshi Kojima, Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Akira Raijin VS TARU, Suwama, Shuji Kondo & “brother” YASSHI
Match starts off as a wild brawl out into the crowd as VM make their entrance through the audience and the babyfaces decide to go out after them. Action all over the place until Kojima & YASSHI are in the ring and Kojima scores a near fall on YASSHI with a brainbuster, leading to the rest of VM heading back into the ring to help their little buddy. They beat down on Kojima till YASSHI tags in again, but he walks one circle around the Triple Crown champion and bad mouths him before tagging back out! Suwama hits a big tilt-a-whirl slam on the champion before tagging YASSHI back in again, and the little bastard again bad mouths the champ while slapping him and pointing the finger in his face. Big mistake as YASSHI rebounds off the ropes and Kojima takes his head off with a VICIOUS lariat as the rest of the team cuts off VM for Kojima to pin YASSHI to take the first fall!Second Fall
You have to feel sorry for YASSHI as he got chopped to high heaven by Kojima & Sasaki at the start of the second fall, to the point his chest turned purple! Referee Wada Kyohei even asked him if he wanted to give up when not keeping the rest of VM at bay while Sasaki & Kojima continued to tenderize YASSHI’s chest! The little bastard finally managed to escape the ring and run half-way back up to the dressing room in pain! You could see Kondo & Suwama actually laughing as they dragged him back and tossed him back in the ring! Raijin works over him for a bit with a hard slam and a falling headbutt, before tagging Kojima who slams him with a hard backdrop and puts on YASSHI’s bandana before pinning him for a near fall. Nakajima tags in now and hits a sweet dropkick, but YASSHI is able to rebound with the testicular claw! Now it’s YASSHI’s turn for revenge as he corners Nakajima and unloads machine-gun chops on the youngster! The members of VM also tag in and take turns chopping away at him.
They continue to work over Nakajima, Suwama using his power and TARU using his heel tactics attacking Nakajima with a chair outside the ring and gauging his eyes in a camel clutch position. Nakajima is finally able to fight off YASSHI & Kondo and makes to hot tag to Sasaki who cleans house with powerslams on Kondo & Yasshi, and big armdrag on TARU, and just pummels Suwama with clubbing forearm shots. Sasaki hits the Tornado-bomb on YASSHI for a near fall. All four babyfaces in the ring take turns charging at YASSHI in the corner, and Raijin hits a big diving head butt for a near fall. Raijin attacks with more headbutts, but the rest of VM get involved to take back the advantage. Raijin manages to kick out of a really cool cannonball double team move by Kondo & YASSHI, and manages to kick out of a German suplex-hold by Suwama, but he finally got put out by a big lariat from Suwama, pulling his shoulders up just microseconds short of the 3-count. That pinfall looked REALLY close, and even the fans were confused, but referee Wada Kyohei called it a 3 giving VM the second fall.Third Fall
Looks like there might have been a valid reason for Wada Kyohei calling the 3, as the medic jumps in the ring to check on Raijin along with the rest of the team as YASSHI grabs the mike and talks thrash on the other team (ie. He’s stalling). They finally get the OK to continue the match and we’re off with the third fall!
Raijin gets beat down, but puts up a spirited fight hitting headbutts whenever he could. He’s finally able to get a break after hitting Suwama with a spinning heel kick, and makes the tag to Kojima who goes to work on hitting a barrage of elbow drops for a near fall. Suwama manages to catch a boot by Kojima and counter it into a capture buster. He powers up Kojima in a neck-hanging tree, and chains it into a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Suwama tries for a lariat, but Kojima blocks it and gives him a Kojikoji Cutter.
Kojima tosses his elbow pad and goes for the big lariat, but TARU kicks him in the back and Kondo hits him with a spear. Sasaki runs in and gives Kondo a dropkick! TARU comes in and gives Sasaki a neck-hanging-bomb! Nakajima comes in with a dropkick on TARU! YASSHI runs in and ducks a high-kick and connects with a zero-sweep kick! And Raijin comes in and takes down YASSHI with an elbow strike before Suwama takes him down with a boot to the face. Kojima & Suwama trade strikes, and Kojima wins with a rolling elbow smash ala Misawa. Kojima tries for the lariat, but Kondo ducks it and tosses the Triple Crown champion with a release German suplex. Kojima rolls right to his feet and connects with the lariat anyway! Sasaki tags in and chops away at Suwama. Suwama tries a low-blow, but doesn’t work as Sasaki clubs away at him before dropping him with a lariat. TARU & Kondo prevent Sasaki from hitting the Northern Lights Bomb, but he takes them out with a double lariat. Sasaki gives Suwama a superplex for a near fall and tags in Nakajima who hits a missile dropkick.
Nakajima drops Suwama again with a barrage of kicks. Nakajima rebounds off the ropes and gets caught in an overhead front suplex, but pops right back up on his feet to deliver a big jumping spin kick for a near fall! Nakajima off the ropes again, but TARU hits him in the back with the pipe! Suwama hits him with a lariat for a near fall. The rest of VM than take out the rest of Nakajima’s team as Suwama finishes him off with the Last Ride to win the match for the Voodoo Murders!
This match was definitely a lot of fun from start to finish, and shows that VM can actually work well in the ring without resorting to insane cheating tactics. A good showing from everyone, but only Raijin stands out as not being very impressive and still needs to work on his offense. VM’s win of course furthers the ongoing war with AJPW, as well as building up Suwama for his upcoming Triple Crown challenge.Match Rating: ***
Post match TARU talks some smack about Sasaki and the VM try to attack the babyfaces again, but are unsuccessful as they get run out of the ring by Kojima & crew. VM brag some more about how Suwama will be the next Triple Crown champion before finally leaving.Masanobu Fuchi VS Kikutaro
Just a few quick highlights from earlier in the evening. Kikutaro hits a barrage of butt pokes on Fuchi, till he falls out of the ring. The referee steps over the middle rope to check on Fuchi, and Kikutaro yanks the ropes intentionally giving the ref a low blow! Kikutaro than goes to check on Fuchi, and the referee crotches him in the same way! Jump to Kikutaro setting up Fuchi for a moonsault, but takes too long doing the Mutoh Puroresu Love hand gesture, giving Fuchi the chance to backdrop him off the second rope than score the win with a pair of small package-holds.Match Rating: -Overall:
The 2/3 Falls match alone is reason enough to check out this one.