Taiji Ishimori VS Atsushi Aoki
Aoki was acting all tough getting into Ishimori’s face off the bat, but the rookie kid who favored armbar submissions found himself being schooled on the mat by Ishimori who worked his leg with several impressive leglocks and holds. It was impressive the way Aoki just barely managed to keep his balance while catching Ishimori out of the Superstar Elbow and giving him a German suplex-hold for a near fall. Aoki also tried for the rolling Northern Lights suplex, but Ishimori spiked him with a DDT to counter before hitting a 619 and an impressive modified piledriver to pick up the win.
I gotta find out what Ishimori calls that piledriver he uses where he crosses his opponents arms on their back before spiking them with the piledriver.Match Rating: *1/2
KENTA VS Ippei Ota
You could almost see KENTA enjoying stiffing and stretching Ota all over the ring in this one, but at least give him credit for selling the after effects of a 32-rotation airplane spin! Ota was barely able to put two moves together before KENTA was able to rebound every time. After putting up a spirited fight, KENTA was able to put away Ota with a tiger suplex-holdMatch Rating: *
Takeshi Morishima VS Mammoth Sasaki
Damn, I knew Sasaki was big, but I didn’t think he could actually match size with Morishima! He didn’t have any problems matching power either! They could have had this match at the Budokan if Sasaki was a bigger name in the industry. Morishima actually tried to wrestle Sasaki with mat work, but Sasaki only needs one big lariat to rebound! Sasaki even managed to chokeslam big Morishima! The referee actually got bumped in this one, which gave Sasaki the chance to hit the Mammoth Homerun chair attack, but there was no referee to make the count! He even muscled up big Morishima for a brainbuster, but again no referee! Morishima makes the comeback and hits a hip attack smashing a chair into Sasaki’s face, and follows with a big backdrop suplex before locking on a cobra-clutch backbreaker stretch for the abrupt referee stop.
I’m really not a big fan of Referee Stop finishes and felt it killed the momentum of the match here. I would have preferred if Morishima did a second backdrop or ended it with a big lariat.Match Rating: ***
Mohammed Yone VS Go Shiozaki
Go put on the best fight out of all the rookies tonight, probably due to him having months more experience than them. He took it straight to Yone and didn’t back down for a minute. I don’t know why, but Yone on the other hand looked a little lost in there more than once. He seemed hesitant and like he was off his timing at some points, something I’ve noticed from him for a while now. This was still a great back and forth contest though, with Yone picking the win after slamming Go with the muscle buster.Match Rating: **1/2
Naomichi Marufuji & Mushiking Terry VS SUWA & Mushiking Joker
Interestingly enough, before the show started they had a one of those mushiking beetle arcade game contests in the middle of the ring, with the eight participating kids getting VIP seats on the stage to watch the match as well as being part of Terry’s entrance. SUWA and Marufuji were the mystery partners in the match, and it was sort of odd to see SUWA coming out carrying a ladder and wearing a tool belt!
This was a great junior style tag match with a ton of near falls and some really fun spots, like Marufuji countering the John Woo with one of his own, and he managed to connect with SUWA’s feet at the right time for both men to push off each other! I probably would have preferred if Joker & SUWA didn’t heel the kids so much, but Joker & Terry worked each other to the point of near exhaustion before Terry finally scored the win with a high-speed crucifix-hold. They sort of teased a feud between Marufuji & SUWA also, since they brawled a lot during the closing moments of the match and even brawled to the backstage area after the match!Match Rating: **1/2
The SEM DVD bonus for this episode was Ricky Marvin giving the rookies a Spanish language lesson, and Ippei Ota got scolded by Abismo Negro when he tried to communicate with him in Spanish while Marvin and the others ran for it!
And finally we had Tsutomu Hirayanagi walking through the woods when he suddenly looks up and sees Mushiking Terry up in the trees, and gets an impromptu training session!
Labels: NOAH, SEM