The show starts off with the ~let me talk~
talk show in the ring featuring Makoto Hashi, Kotaro Suzuki and I think one of the rookies. I skipped this whole thing since I had no idea what they were talking about, and the segment went 30-minutes!Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue VS Akitoshi Kawabata & Kishin Saito
In case you didn’t get it, Saito and Kawabata swapped gimmicks and first names for this one! Kishin added some fakes tattoos, whereas Akitoshi had fake thick eyebrows on! They even stole each other’s mannerisms and a few moves! Needless to say, this was one big comedy match, mostly due to Kawabata & Saito’s antic. There was one fun spot where they did stereo delayed vertical suplexes on their opponents, all the more impressive when it was Kishin who muscled up big Honda and held him up there! More fun ensued when the referee got bumped and Satoru Asako, who was at ringside in referee gear took over the match, which lead to Asako hitting Kishin with a Stone Cold Stunner when Kishin tried to rough him up a bit! From there Asako constantly fast counted Kishin whenever Inoue tried to pin him, but gave Kishin a slow count when he had a pinfall! This went back and forth several times till the 15-minute time limit expired and the match ended in a draw.
Definitely something different from what we usually see out of Saito and the Dark Agents, but Saito has been known to ham it up for shows like this, as well as the annual NOAH Christmas shows. Not a great match by any means and probably won’t be as funny the second time around, but it was different and entertaining.Match Rating: *1/2
Sarubin Kikin & Ricky Marvin VS Takuma Sano & Akihiko Ito
Kikin is actually Tsuyoshi Kikuchi mimicking Ricky Marvin, and he’s even wearing matching red tights with black kick pads! It was rather funny seeing Kikuchi try to match kicks with Sano, even though he’s pretty lousy at them. Kikuchi even pulled off a pretty good 619! Sano is so not into the comedy stuff, but you could see he was actually holding back from laughing out at one of the spots they did where he had Marvin in a leg lock, and Kikuchi tried to help, but only ended up hurting Marvin even more!
Ito had a strong showing in this one too, as he got to show some new moves in his arsenal, including dropping Marvin with a Vertebreaker! Good to see the kid finally try to stand out from the pack. Marvin was his usual fun to watch self, and he pulled out a rather interesting variation of the Crippler Crossface where he actually sat on Ito’s arm while scissoring it, locking it in place so he couldn’t move, and Marvin scored the pin with a cool modified brainbuster, which almost looked like a gordbuster version of it.
Entertaining match overall.Match Rating: *1/2
Jun Akiyama, SUWA & Atsushi Aoki VS Junji Izumuda, Kentaro Shiga & Ippei Ota
Another match that had comical spots due to the theme of the night. Izumuda, Shiga & Ota probably stole the show coming out as the “Punch Gundan”, which is a yakuza type gimmick! All 3 of them came out sporting black suits, shades, fake tattoos, and iron perms! They even did a special “Punch Gundan” pose, all which actually cracked up Akiyama and even SUWA couldn’t help but smile at them! Akiyama wasn’t laughing a while later though, when they managed to trap him in their corner and with the help of Makoto Hashi in their corner, who was also in Gundan gear, was able to put an iron perm wig on his head! It probably should also be pointed out that Akiyama had a flowery design on his signature white trunks tonight too.
It wasn’t all fun and games though, as we still had SUWA to stiff things up as well as a strong showing by both rookies. Ota managed to muscle up Akiyama into his airplane spin, and almost scored the win with his swinging DDT on Aoki. But Aoki managed to pull out the win against the Yakuza team pinning Ota with an impressive double rolling northern lights suplex-hold! Something I’ve never seen before! These kids are going to be great once they develop in a year or two.Match Rating: **Captain’s Fall Elimination Match:
Takeshi Rikioh [C], Takeshi Morishima, Mohammed Yone & Go Shiozaki VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru [C], Takashi Sugiura, Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA
The over the top rope elimination rule is in effect, in addition to the standard pinfalls and submissions. It would be a bigger uphill battle against the junior heavyweight team without that stipulation. I also wonder how KENTA feels teaming with Sugiura just days after losing the junior title to him?
Shiozaki & KENTA kicks things off, and Shiozaki takes it straight to the former junior champion. They exchange elbow strikes and KENTA resorts to kicks when he can’t down Shiozaki, but ends up running into a big dropkick. Yone tags in and slams KENTA hard before landing a big legdrop off the ropes and taunting the junior team. Rikioh tags in, and KENTA takes the opportunity to tag out to Marufuji.
Marufuji uses his agility to roll, flip and reverse an arm-wringer on Rikioh, and rolls with Rikioh when the big man attempts to roll out of the move to make sure he doesn’t escape it! Rikioh resorts to raw power to escape the move and drops Marufuji with a back elbow off the ropes. Morishima tags in and uses his girth to stand right on top of Marufuji in the corner! And while Yone distracts the referee, Rikioh & Shiozaki pile on top of Morishima to add more weight! After the referee breaks up the pile up, Morishima tosses Marufuji to his corner and team captain Kanemaru tags in.
Morishima might have the size advantage, but Kanemaru was still able to take him down with a dropkick and a Japanese armdrag! Morishima backs Kanemaru into his corner and Shiozaki tags in and the two lay chops into Kanemaru’s chest in the corner. Shiozaki catches Kanemaru with a dropkick and gets a 1 count. Sugiura tags in and he holds Shiozaki open for the other three to chop his stomach?!? KENTA tags in and lays the kicks into Shiozaki, but the youngster battles back and knocks KENTA’s partners off the apron before giving KENTA a big dropkick. KENTA rolls to the outside, but that’s a big mistake as all Hell breaks loose and a big brawl between both teams erupts. Yone gets a big running start from the entrance way and hits a big jumping knee on KENTA, followed by Morishima getting the same momentum to hit a big hip attack while the rest of the juniors are getting tossed into the barricades left and right! Back in the ring, and Shiozaki hits a short knee drop for a 2 count. Rikioh tags in and flattens KENTA in the corner with a lariat before hitting a big drop kick that sends KENTA all the way to the other side! Shades of SUWA’s John Woo! He goes for the cover, but KENTA’s team mates make the save. Morishima tags in and himself hits a big dropkick, which leads to the juniors again making the save when he tries to cover him! Shiozaki tags in and hits a dropkick of his own for a 2 count. Shiozaki stares at the junior team wondering why they didn’t break up his pin like the other two. Big mistake as it gives KENTA time to recover and land several big kicks. Go rolls out of the ring in enemy territory and instantly gets pounced on by KENTA’s team mates who whip him into the guard rail and Sugiura drags him all the way up the stands into the cheap seats! Sugiura suplexes Shiozaki out on the concrete and grabs a quick drink from a fan before dragging Go back to the ring.
All 4 men whip him into the ropes and attempt a quadruple dropkick, but Sugiura fakes it while the other 3 connect! KENTA & Marufuji argue with Sugiura for a bit while Kanemaru continues the attack. Shiozaki takes a beating for a bit, including a comedic moment where Sugiura & KENTA argue over who gets to give him middle kicks! Sugiura hits a big backdrop for a near fall. Shiozaki tries to fight back against all 4 opponents, but is out-numbered of course. Shiozaki flips out of a backdrop from Marufuji, but gets caught by a drop toe-hold. Shiozaki is able to dodge a sliding dropkick and hits an enzuguiri, before tagging out to Rikioh!
Rikioh goes right to work taking down Marufuji and dropping all 3 of his partners off the apron with a big double lariat! Rikioh fight to suplex Marufuji, and Marufuji tries to get the big man up himself. Rikioh finally manages to suplex Marufuji over the top rope, but he lands on the apron. Marufuji tries a big springboard sunset flip, but Rikioh picks him up by the neck into a bear hug! Marufuji quickly escapes and hits a pair of lariats but can’t budge the former GHC champion. He hits a quick dropkick to the knee followed by a cool sliding lariat to finally take down the big man. Sugiura tags in and quickly hits a big spear followed by another one in the corner, and picking up and flipping over big Rikioh, almost dropping him on his head! In show of raw strength, Sugiura is able to dead lift Rikioh off the mat for a Greco-Roman slam! Rikioh is able to knock down Sugiura long enough with a big shoulder block to tag in Yone.
Yone hits two big jumping knee attacks in the corner for a 2 count followed by a big running face kick for another 2 count. Sugiura flips out of a backdrop and slams Yone with a big release German suplex before tagging in Kanemaru, who quickly hits a big dropkick in the corner on Yone followed by a split-legged moonsault for a near fall. Yone comes back with a Rolling Thunder (spinning heel kick) before tagging in Morishima, who enters hitting a big Scud Missile Dropkick off the top rope! Morishima goes after Kanemaru’s partners, but that was a big mistake as his momentum almost sends him over the top rope! His partners are barely able to save him from being pulled out of the ring. The heavies hit a barrage of corner attacks on Kanemaru, ending with Morishima hitting his cartwheel corner splash and an Amazing Impact reverse chokeslam for a near fall. Morishima hits a big lariat for another near fall and tries for a backdrop, but Sugiura makes the save. Rikioh takes out Sugiura and WILD II try to double team Kanemaru. Morishima holds up Kanemaru and Rikioh charges in with a lariat, but Kanemaru ducks it and Rikioh clotheslines Morishima over the top rope to eliminate him!Takeshi Morishima is eliminated!
Marufuji & Shiozaki tag in, and Marufuji downs Shiozaki quickly and rakes away at his eyes with his boots. Marufuji almost puts Shiozaki to sleep with a variation of Misawa’s facelock. Sugiura tags in and clamps on a camel clutch and KENTA gets in a few kicks on Go’s exposed chest. Rikioh breaks the hold, and KENTA tags in and drops Go with a back elbow off the ropes. Shiozaki flips out of a suplex, and catches KENTA off the ropes and hits him with a swinging scrapbuster. Rikioh & Yone rush in to knock KENTA’s partners off the apron. The pound KENTA in the corner and whip him into a superkick from Go, who follows it with a Kobashi Orange Crush for a near fall! KENTA connects with a sobat kick, but Shiozaki ducks a big head kick and hits a German suplex-hold for a near fall! Go slams KENTA and goes up for the moonsault, but KENTA rolls out of the way as Go crashes to the mat! KENTA hits a kick to the head and goes for the cover, but Yone & Rikioh break the pin. KENTA hits the strike combo and tries for the Busaikuu Knee, but Go catches him with a hurricanrana-pin and gets a really close 2.9! It looked a lot more like a phantom 3, but before Go could react, KENTA is quickly back on his feet and hits a big discus lariat followed by the Go 2 Sleep to eliminate Shiozaki from the match!Go Shiozaki is eliminated!
2 against 4, and Kanemaru tags in but is met by a barrage of kicks from Yone. Kanemaru catches one of Yone’s kicks and spins him around with a dragon screw. Sugiura tags in and they trade elbow strikes, which leads to them trading face kicks, and Sugiura wins the confrontation with a spear attack. Yone fights off a German suplex attempt and drops Sugiura with a lariat, followed by a legdrop off the second rope for a near fall. Rikioh brawls on the outside while Yone sets up Sugiura for the Muscle Buster, but Yone clamps his legs around Yone’s head and tries to pull him over the top rope. Yone fights it, but KENTA comes out from behind and shoves Yone over the top to the floor to eliminate him!Mohammed Yone is eliminated!
KENTA than does the unthinkable as he kicks Sugiura off the apron and Sugiura is eliminated! Looks like KENTA does have some bad blood with losing his belt to Sugiura a few days back!Takashi Sugiura is eliminated!
Rikioh is triple-teamed, but is able to come back taking down KENTA with a lariat and launching himself at Marufuji & Kanemaru with a cross body block! He slams Marufuji with a chokeslam, and tries to powerbomb Kanemaru, but KENTA makes the save with a springboard dropkick. KENTA hits a big kick in the corner and tries for a tornado DDT, but Rikioh uses the momentum to launch KENTA over the top rope out to the floor to eliminate him!KENTA is eliminated!
KENTA is in shock as Kanemaru & Marufuji double team Rikioh by crotching him in the corner and hitting a big double baseball slide. Marufuji hits a superkick followed by a Shiranui, and Kanemaru actually muscles up Rikioh for a brainbuster! But he only gets a near fall! Rikioh hits a lariat on Marufuji, and Kanemaru school-boys him for a near fall!
Suddenly, the show RUNS OUT OF TIME and they cut to Rikioh pinning Kanemaru, skipping Marufuji’s elimination! WTF?!?Match Rating: ***
OK, I was as surprised as everyone else that the show ended the way it did. I’m not sure if it aired like that since there was a disclaimer during the closing seconds of the main event to catch the match on NOAH’s Di Colosseo show, or maybe it was just the source I got it from? Either way, the show was a lot of fun due to the light hearted comedy throughout the show. I recommend getting this show if you can find one that has the main event in full.