The big Hustle show that almost didn’t happen due to DSE losing it’s TV deal, but was able to go on as a PPV.
They actually kick off the show with a video promo for the next Hustle House Show, which will be a Shinya Hashimoto tribute show by the looks of it. Back live to the arena and they run down the card for tonight’s big show.
We than get a GREAT opening video of the show, showing the history of the promotion and all it’s ups and downs for both the Hustle and Monster armies, leading up to this big night.
RGM comes out and does his usual boring banter, saying something about the recent DSE scandal that was in the papers, than a Generalissimo Takada imposter comes out and says a few words before dropping the red Takada uniform to reveal a PRIDE FC shirt. He enters the ring and says a few things of the recent scandal. He than says something about the puroresu love, which brings out “Captain Hustle” Naoya Ogawa, and the rest of the Hustle Army to welcome the crowd and kick off the show with a song and dance number much like the Hustle-Mania show last year. They sing the official Hustle-Aid song and throw some gift-balls out into the audience to officially kick off the show.
Next up we get a video montage of the rivalry between the Hustle Kamens and the Monster Kamens. This is the long awaited rematch between the two teams, as the Monster Kamens won the rather dominantly the first time out, and this is the Hustlers chance at revenge, with each team debuting a new member.First Hustle: Monster Kamen Black, White, Purple & Brown VS Hustle Kamen Red, Blue, Yellow & Orange
The usual great fast paced spot fest we’ve come to expect from the Hustle Rangers. The Monster Kamens were dominant for most of the match, much like their last encounter, but fan favorite Hustle Yellow was able to turn the tide after getting the hot tag. Both teams pulled off some fun quadruple team moves, but there was some really bad camera work when the Hustle Rangers did a four man aerial assault out of the ring onto the Monsters, as they missed two of the dives. The Rangers are finally able to avenge their loss after Hustle Kamen Red pinned Monster Kamen Purple with a shooting star press, after Hustle Kamen Yellow hit a frog splash and after Orange & Blue gave him a doomsday missile dropkick! Great stuff to kick off the show.Match Rating: **1/2
Back in team Hustle’s dressing room, and Ogawa & Ohtani are guarding their Hustle Egg and at the same time discussing if TAJIRI can get the job done. They get an intern to keep an eye on the egg while they go check on TAJIRI.
Video package next for the upcoming Hustle Super Tag Titles match, billed as a battle of the sexes instigated by Wataru Sakata with he pissed of Erica, to which she and Margaret reminded him and everyone else why exactly the two of them also happen to be the biggest and toughest women in joshi puroresu today when they attacked his bad leg (given to him by multiple attacks from the Takada Monster Army) at Hustle House Vol. 16.Second Hustle – Hustle Super Tag Titles Match: Wataru Sakata & Ryouji Sai (C) VS Erica & Margaret
Rather funny start to this one as the Hustle ring announcer continued to casually do the ring introductions while Sakata attacked both tag challengers!
Once you get past the comedic antics, you’ll notice how both teams are really stiffing each other here! I’m not sure how bad Sakata’s knee is, but it looked like it was really giving him trouble here and affecting his mobility. But he could still throw chops like no one’s business, and once he got fired up enough, he even powerbombed Erica onto Margaret! Sai did a lot of the work for his team due to Sakata’s injury, and he’s definitely a trooper for taking a double stink-face from both of the large ladies!
I think it was only disappointing that we didn’t see more of Margaret in the match, as she mostly only did comedy spots. The main focus of the match was between Erica & Sakata, and just when Sakata thought he had things going his way, he gets tripped by Margaret and Erica pulls out a rolling leg-lock for the shocker submission win!
Sakata is more or less humbled after the loss, and gives the two ladies their props. And a bit of a funny scene after when they can’t wear the belts around their rather wide-waists!
Hate to say it, but a fun match like this is how you mix the sport with the entertainment!Match Rating: ***
Video package of Carolyn “Caiya” Kawasaki and how she got involved in Hustle; apparently she was a huge WWE fan and was really interested to work Hustle after watching stage actor Motoya Izumi take part in the Hustle-Mania show last year. So that lead to her actually getting into Hustle and training with Naoya Ogawa to develop her finishers: The Caiya Bomber, The Caiya Clutch and the Space Tornado Caiya. But she has a tough task ahead of her as the Takada Monster Army decided to throw their biggest gun at her for her debut: Giant Silva!Third Hustle: “Captain Hustle” Naoya Ogawa & “Fighting Santa Maria” Caiya VS Giant Silva & Giant Vabo
They call her the “Fighting Santa Maria”, I’d call her the “Hustle MILF” (I’m not responsible for what might turn up should you search out it’s meaning on the internet!)!
To get under her skin, An Jo wheels out Caiya’s car to the arena, then Vabo & Silva promptly bust it up with a pair of sledge hammers! The tactic works as Caiya can’t wait to get her hands on Silva now!
Despite all the hype, Caiya really came off as ordinary and really couldn’t do anything to hurt either of the two giants! And I’d say that’s a good thing as it seems they can play her up as the rookie just getting her start in the business. She really didn’t get to do anything other than throw a few weak punches, and a dive off the top even resulted in her getting caught in mid-air by Silva to be saved by Ogawa hitting an STO to take down the giant with Caiya on top for a near fall! Most of the match was worked by Ogawa & Vabo, probably a good thing, but I enjoyed watching Silva playing the old-school giant role. And Silva ended up scoring the win for his team with the Giant Press on Caiya.
The match wasn’t anything special, but there was a ton of heat for Caiya as the crowd were really behind her.Match Rating: *
After the intermission, Izumi Motoya comes out to cut a promo, something to do with training the crowd in how to do the Hustle pose in theater dramatic fashion. Waste of time since I had no idea what was going on. He takes a seat at the VIP ringside area after.
Back in the Hustle locker room and one of Takada’s right hand men sneaks in and tries to steal the Hustle Egg from the intern. The intern manages to trap him in a triangle choke, but he sprays him with something that puts him to sleep and manages to run off with the egg!
Next up we get a video package of Team 3D’s rampage through Hustle, and how they plan on continuing kicking ass and putting people through tables tonight.Fourth Hustle: Team 3D (Bubba Ray, D-Von & Spike) VS Kintaro Kanemura, Masato Tanaka & Tomoaki Honma
Except for the one bit where they all brawled out into the arena and there was too many things to follow at once, this match was a TON of FUN! The match did seem a bit one sided, but I guess that really didn’t matter since the were SUPER OVER with the Japanese crowd!
You had all the usual garbage spots with chairs, ladders, tables and barb-wire bats, and Bubba Ray probably became the first person to take a cheese grater to the groin! Bubba was rather vocal throughtout the whole match actually. D-Von showed great mobility for his size and it was great seeing Spike in a position where he’s not the smallest guy getting tossed around all the time. The announcers even acknowledged Spike’s finisher as the Acid Drop!
The Japanese Hardcore Dream Team (Kanemura – W*ING, Honma – BJW & Tanaka – FMW) had a good showing too, despite some uneasiness between Tanaka & Honma not getting along. Kanemura bladed and bumped his ass off for the Americans, Tanaka looked like the only one that could go toe-to-toe with them, and Honma looked great in there as well, despite dropping the fall after taking 3D.
Just a whole lot of fun from start to finish and probably the best match of the night up to this point.Match Rating: ***1/2
Post match, Team 3D do the ultimate bit of fan service when they brought in a kid from the crowd, gave him a Team 3D T-shirt, as well as a piece of table from the match and autographed it too! Everyone obviously had a whole lot of fun in this one.
Video package next of the arrival of New Yin Ling-sama, and how she took down HG at Hustle-16, leading to her unleashing Sodom & Gomorrah on HG for Hustle-Aid, and HG is without a tag partner since Ogawa teamed with Caiya earlier and Ohtani & TAJIRI already have a match later as well, so HG looked outside and brought in All Japan Triple Crown Champion Satoshi Kojima!Fifth Hustle: Sodom & Gomorrah VS HG & Satoshi Kojima
You got to wonder why the heck when WWE had him, all they could do with Matt Morgan was give him a dumb stuttering gimmick and end up releasing him cause they didn’t have anything for him, where as he goes to Japan and Hustle gives a pair of leather pants and some face paint and he instantly becomes a monster?
Now the match itself was seriously a ton of fun from start to finish also, and HG has improved his ring work considerably since the last time I saw him. His movements and timing were all spot on this time around, and the crowd cheered for everything he did.
It was weird when the one missed spot of the match actually came from Kojima when he lost his footing and slipped off the top rope while going for his elbow drop! He managed to rebound from it though, and he also gave a great showing like the Triple Crown champion he is.
Fun finish of the match was HG hit a diving body press after Kojima dropped Gomorrah with the lariat to pick up the win. HG just needs to work on his stamina I think as Kojima worked most of the match and seemed to hardly break a sweat, whereas HG was rather run down for the short sprints he did. Short match, but a ton of fun.Match Rating: ***
Quick video package looking back at the debut of New Yin-sama, followed by how TAJIRI has been getting under her skin in recent weeks, first by trying to hit on her only to spray the green mist in her face, and than making fun of her mask and promising to unmask her at Hustle-Aid tonight!
Back in the Takada Monster Army lair and Monster-K is warming up for his big match tonight when Yin Ling steps in and wishes him good luck. The Takada Monster Army lackey then runs in to inform them that Sodom & Gomorrah were defeated by HG & Kojima, he rushes off to inform New Yin-Sama, who screams something at him off camera and begins whipping him as Kawada & Yin Ling look on before Kawada goes to fetch New Yin-sama for their main event match, which is next!Main Hustle: “Monster-K” Toshiaki Kawada & New Yin-sama VS “Hustle Achichi” Shinjiro Ohtani & TAJIRI
This match was rather fun, but the one thing I didn’t like about it was TAJIRI playing more of a comedy role, resulting in him getting beat up more Kawada cause he kept getting distracted by wanting to get at New Yin-sama. And when Yin-sama was in there, she didn’t look half as good as when she made her return against HG at Hustle-16, resorting back to using her whip and weak kicks and just lacking the fire and intensity she had.
There were some good exchanges between Ohtani & Kawada at least, and the finishing sequence was rather cool as both TAJIRI & New Yin-sama received hot tags, and Yin-sama ducked a high kick from TAJIRI followed by TAJIRI ducking a whip slash from Yin, followed by Yin ducking a green mist attack by TAJIRI and TAJIRI ducking another whip slash from Yin before connecting with a low kick, dropping Yin to her knees and giving TAJIRI the opportunity to unmask her, revealing a huge scar on her face! Yin-sama was in shock leaving herself open to TAJIRI to quickly roll her up for the pin! Yin-sama is still in shock at being unmasked that she runs off screaming, covering her face.
The match wasn’t quite as good as I expected, but was OK for what they did.Match Rating: *1/2
Ogawa & HG join Ohtani & TAJIRI in the ring as TAJIRI jokes about unmasking New Yin-sama. Yin Ling shows up on the monitor and says she herself was coming out for revenge for Yin-sama, but is stopped by Generalissimo Takada, who assures her he’ll handle it. He addresses the Hustle Army and brings out the Hustle Egg they stole earlier and infuse his Monster energy into it.
Back to arena and a giant egg is lowered from the ceiling as the Hustle Army looks on stunned. The egg lands on the entrance ramp and opens up revealing a hooded figure who slowly walks to the ring. TAJIRI is left alone in the ring as the figure reaches the ropes, and unmasks to reveal The Esperanza (Being played by Takada himself!)! He steps into the ring and we got us an impromptu match!TAJIRI VS the Esperanza
Well, it’s not really a match as it was worse than a squash match even with both of them moving slower than slow motion. I really didn’t need to see TAJIRI whimper like a little girl when his kicks didn’t work and Esperanza’s were totally decimating him. Even the Tarantula had no effect and Esperanza won the match with a sick sounding kick right into TAJIRI’s head for the KO win.Match Rating: DUD
Esperanza turns to leave, but Ogawa confronts him only to be blown away by an energy blast than sends Ogawa, HG & Ohtani flying! Paranaza walks off as the Hustle Army looks on in shock!
Generalissimo Takada than appears on the big screen and says they just had their asses whooped by the Esperanza! And he bad mouths them some more before signing off, leaving the Hustle Army in the ring to rethink their strategy to beat the Monster Army. HG is actually still cheerful and even calls out Esperanza, leading to the big finally of HG leading the Hustle Army and the live crowd in attendance in doing the 3-2-1 Hustle! Hustle! Fooo! pose to close out the show.Overall:
OK, I’ll admit the much anticipated return of Takada to the ring was a real big disappointment, but the overall show was a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out. Everyone was bummed by the attendance of this show, so you could probably guess how much better it would have been if they had actually advertised the in-ring return of Takada.