Starts off with Nanae Takahashi and her mom taking a stroll and talking about Nanae’s career. We then jump to Korakuen Hall for the opening ceremony of the show, first with a few dancing girls in the ring (I think they danced for Magnum TOKYO?) before the introduction of the wrestlers. Wow. SUN has all of FOUR wrestlers on the permanent roster? Nanae thanks the fans and the show kicks off.
~Sun*Shine~: Natsuki Taiyo VS Ayumi Kurihara
This was heavily clipped down from the ten minutes it ran. Doesn’t look like they did a lot cause they started off trading cradles and near falls, and it cut to the end with them still trading cradles and near falls before Natsuki hit the Yoshi Tonic for the win.
Natsuki Taiyo used to be called Natsuki Head because of her rather large cranium that she wasn’t afraid to use as a weapon, and I’ve heard some good things about Kurihara, too bad they clipped out so much and left us nothing here.
Match Rating: 1/4*
Japan VS America ~Mixed Wars~: Saki Maemura & Yoshihito Sasaki VS Panther Claw & Steve Corino
Cut down a lot also, but more watchable than the previous match. Corino did his usual comedy antics with the women, but still put Saki over by letting the way smaller girl give him a German suplex-hold for a near fall as well as a cool double-team frankensteiner off the top rope with an assist from Sasaki. Corino got his heat back by almost taking Saki’s head off with a Corino-kick before Panther finished her off with a double-arm chokeslam. Panther is a rather tall black woman, though I’m not too sure about her ring skills since she didn’t get to do much other than her finisher and a rather nice looking split leg pin attempt on Maemura.
Match Rating: *
EWA Women’s Title – TLC Match: Wesna Busic [C] VS Ayako Hamada
Clipped down by about half, but what they showed was all action! Wesna Busic is from the EWA, which is a hardcore promotion if I’m not mistaken, and she also holds the NSG women’s title she won off Hikaru. I liked that they had a promo video to both show a bit of background on Wesna as well as what a TLC match actually is.
I was rather surprised at some of the crazy stunts Ayako was willing to put herself through in this one, like an insane moonsault off the top to the outside to put Busic through a table, as well as a suicide dive through the rope into a waiting chair shot from Busic! She even took a powerbomb off the ladder through a table before Busic finished her off with the Wesna Killer (modified reverse piledriver) on a chair and placing the ladder over her to pin her down so she could grab her belt off the cable to retain.
I would really love to see this one in full to give it a higher rating!
Match Rating: **1/2
WORLD-1 Women’s Title: Amazing Kong [C] VS Hikaru
This match was built around Kong’s anger at Hikaru for supposedly laughing at her during her match at the WRESTLE EXPO show, and it continued when she infiltrated the SUN press conference as a member of the press for “Weekly Kong” magazine to confront Hikaru.
I guess you could say this one was clipped in all the right places to keep the action going. It was rather surprising some of the things Kong was willing to do despite her size, like a missile dropkick off the apron to the floor! Hikaru battled back giving the bigger Kong a back cracker on the apron and was able to muscle her up for a Samoan drop, but the bigger Kong rallied back hitting a big diving guillotine leg drop off the second rope and an Amazing Press off the top rope to retain her title.
The match looked good and had good heat from the crowd.
Match Rating: **
AWA Women’s Title: Nanae Takahashi VS Africa 55 Overall: A one hour time slot and all those match clippings did nothing to help the show unless the matches were really that bad? They could have showed more match footage by cutting out some of the intros and cutting down the build up videos a bit. Definitely would have been better with a one and a half hour Puroresu King timeslot.
Africa 55 is Amazing Kong’s assassin to take out Nanae Takahashi. She calls herself Africa 55 cause she supposedly put 55 people in the hospital and has a 200-0 win loss record. She also claims she’ll beat Nanae in just 2 minutes cause nobody else has ever gone past 2 minutes in a match with her. I just hope the woman has some skill to go with her buff physique.
So what does Nanae do to prepare for her foreign challenge? She seeks out the legendary Animal Hamaguchi to train her!
The best part about this match was probably the heel antics of Steve Corino as the referee (It’s an AWA Women’s Title match and he represents AWA?). As I thought, Africa 55 is really green in the ring, her strikes lack any impact and she doesn’t know how to bump properly. Nanae was still able to weather the storm and capitalized on a mistake from the gaijin heel camp when Amazing Kong accidentally clotheslined Corino, taking him out of the match, and Africa accidentally took out Kong with a lariat, giving Nanae the opening to hit the Falcon Arrow and the regular referee to make the three count for the win.
Match Rating: **1/2
Starts off with an interview with Ultimo Dragon, who’s wearing an interesting half-dragon, half-tiger mask, and is referred to as Tiger Dragon as he does commentary for the show. They run down the card before going to the intro talking about the history of T2P and the six-sided ring and how it’s being brought back for one night tonight.
Give them extra points for using the SpineShank song “Smothered” as the opening theme.
We than get an old school in ring introduction of the original T2P workers as they come out to the ring to thank the fans, which leads to the retirement ceremonies of Philip J. Fukumasa of the Royal Brothers and Gallardo of Los Carros Exoticos, who even unmasks to thank the fans before a 10-bell count is sounded to end their careers.
A quick rundown of the card again, and we’re on to our first match of the evening.Lucha Preliminar En Clasica: Milanito Collection a.t. VS Jorge Rivera
Interesting rules for this match also, as you get penalized for using rope breaks, with a disqualification given if you use a maximum of five, kinda like Pancrase rules. There was even a yellow card-red card penalty rule in effect.
The match was billed as veteran vs. youngster, and Jorge totally schooled Milanito here as he carried him every step of the match! You could even catch him giving instructions here and there. It was interesting watching an aged veteran like Jorge move and flip around like he hasn’t lost a step, and the man was able to transition into some really interesting submission hold, forcing four rope breaks from Milanito!
I never really liked Milanito or any of the Toryumon minis as the gimmicks just screamed lack of originality. Like a cover band in the music business, it doesn’t matter how much you sound like the original, ‘cause you’re still just an imitation. Milanito really didn’t do anything outstanding, and it didn’t help for him to think he could finish off Jorge every time he was able to successfully counter a move without working over him some more. The guy never even thought to try and force Jorge to into a rope break with a submission or two. Milanito loss in the end when Jorge pinned him with a nice high-angle cradle.
I like this match just to see Jorge’s impressive submission hold and chain wrestling arsenal.Match Rating: *1/2
Paradise for Maximo: Maximo & Mototsugu Shimizu VS Gamma & Kagetora
Maximo is a luchador from CMLL and uses a homosexual gimmick much like Dansyoku Dino of DDT. The guy also has a surprising big fan base in Dragondoor. It’s just too bad we didn’t get to see him do much in the ring other than some comedy spots. Most of the work for his team was done by Mototsugu Shimizu who took a lot of punishment from the heel team and didn’t get to show much offense of his own other than a good looking fisherman’s knee buster and countering a brainbuster from Kagetora into a sweet DDT.
Gamma was good at playing along to Maximo’s comedy spots, and works well with the powerhouse Kagetora, who won the match with a sick looking Emerald Frosion out of a fireman’s carry on Shimizu.Match Rating: *
Keep on Grope: Syachihoko Machines III & IV VS Taiji Ishimori & Little Dragon
The Syachihoko Machines diss Ishimori and his musical exploits with the Sailor Boys earlier in his career, and proceed to stomp on a pair of CD singles before Ishimori jumps them. The Machines quickly unmask to reveal themselves as Ishimori’s ex-Sailor Boy partners, Kei Sato and Shu Sato!
The Sato brothers may have changed up their style to a more heelish, brawling style, but they still have some really good double team combination moves, with their target being Ishimori for most of the bout. Little Dragon looks like a blue colored Dragon Kid wearing a K-ness mask, and does a lot of the quick high-flying offense.
Other than the opening brawl into the audience, the crowd was really dead for this one. The Satos tandem offense kept things interesting for me, but there wasn’t much else, and it took interference from Kagetora hitting his Emerald Frosion move on Ishimori behind the referee’s back to bring this one to an end. Thankfully.Match Rating: *
Another in ring segment with Livedoor blog representative thanking the fans for their support, and this leads to the dramatic return of Kinya Oyanegai (hope I spelled the name right?), who comes out in a tattered and torn suit as he’s fallen on hard times since leaving the business, but is now set on making a comeback to get back in the green financially. All I can say is I’ve only seen him work one match in the old Toryumon days, and it was an amazing display from him the way he balanced his mat prowness with reading a book in the ring! Can’t wait to see what he can do in there again.Touru Owashi VS Toshiaki Kawada
I really liked the build up video for this one, as we’ve always seen Owashi dominate everyone smaller than him, but now he’s standing toe-to-toe with someone just as tough as he is, and he likes the challenge of it! Kawada himself is no stranger to Owashi after facing him in a tag match from a previous show, and adapted well to the style when he surprised everyone with a big plancha on Owashi then! They really built this up as something special, which is what it should be.
This was a really physical match! Both men laid it into each other without holding back and if they traded anymore chops their chests would have ended up like the Kobashi/Sasaki match at the Tokyo Dome in 2005! I also liked that they managed to keep the physicality up without resorting to make a big move spot fest like what we’d see in the bigger promotions.
Owashi had a plan going in, attacking Kawada’s eternal bad leg which helped the ex-sumo student get out of a jam every now and then, but it was still weird seeing Owashi get dominated like he did after seeing him being the dominant one after so many years. Come to think of it, I don’t think there was a clear moment in the match where Kawada looked like he was in any real danger as he was able to escape most of Owashi’s big moves, and managed to kick out of Owashi’s chokeslam. To Owashi’s credit, he managed to kick out Kawada’s trademark brainbuster before a stiff PK to the head put him out.Match Rating: ***1/2
Former WWE superstar TAJIRI comes out and takes a seat at ringside for the main event.
They than show an interesting video on what happened to the top guys of T2P, with Shuji Kondo & “brother” YASSHI making it big in AJPW, and Milano making a name for himself in America working the independents like Ring of Honor.Lucha Libre Clasica Best&Next: Milano Collection AT, Berlinetta Boxer & Iifushino (Ifushi Kota) VS Shuji Kondo, “brother” YASSHI & Takuya Sugawara
A reunion of Aagan Iisou and the Italian Connection, with Kota stepping for YOSHINO. The Italian Connection even did an old school group dance intro with the Milano girls and Milanito joined in as well. Good times.
Surprisingly this one didn’t start out with a wild brawl considering the history between the two sides. The Aagan team actually warranted 2 yellow cards (for YASSHI ripping off Boxer’s mask and Sugawara hitting Milano with the Black Box) and 3 rope breaks, meaning another infraction would have caused the match to be ruled a TKO in the ItaCon’s favor. The match eventually spilled out into a multi-man spotfest, with tons of counters and big moves all over the place, and Milano eventually getting the win over YASSHI with the IRII.
Personally, I didn’t think much of this one and Shogo “Jet” Takagi still sucks.Match Rating: ***
The show ends with a really long in ring segment that I guess means Kenzo Suzuki and TAJIRI will be on the next show or something.Overall:
Definitely worth watching just for the Owashi/Kawada match.
Labels: Dragon Gate, Dragondoor, El Dorado
This is a special show featuring a series of mixed tag matches at the Shin Kiba 1st Ring, with teams representing the districts they came from. Saitama VS Wakayama: Yoshihito Sasaki & Hikaru VS Masato Tanaka & Ariya
I think someone played a rib on Tanaka & Ariya since their graphic on the big screen features a very young looking picture of the two when they were schoolmates in secondary school!
The one thing I love about mixed tag matches in Japan is that the guys don’t hold back (much) when mixing it up with the girls and the girls give it everything they got when mixing it up with the guys. Good example being Hikaru turning Tanaka inside out with a big spear, and Tanaka hitting Hikaru full force with the Superfly Splash. Tanaka even found it in him to pull a few comedy spots, like grabbing Sasaki by the hair and tossing him joshi style! Fun match overall, with Hikaru getting the win pinning Ariya with a modified Ki Krusher, hooking the inner leg for the move.
Match Rating: **1/2 USA VS Tokyo: Steve Corino & Amazing Kong VS Kohei Sato & Ayumi Kurihara
Haven’t much of Kong’s work in a while, but she’s wearing a great new gladiator type gear which really matches her. This match was entertaining just to see mannerisms of the guys involved when they got in there with the girls. Corino heeled it up like only he can, and Sato wasn’t rather hesitant to get it on with Kong, but that all changed by the end of it when Sato pinned Kong with a great dead-lift German suplex-hold.
Match Rating: *1/2 Shimada VS Yamaguchi: Ikuto Hidaka & Toyota Manami VS Minoru Fujita & Saki Maemura
This was a lot of fun as everyone worked well together here. There was a bit of hesitation for the then GHC Jr. tag champions to mix it up, but once they got past that it was all good. The girls even did a great job, with Maemura’s flip-floppy offense being believable as a good way to take down the guys, and the legendary Toyota Manami even managed to power up Fujita for the Queen’s Ocean Cyclone Suplex! Toyota won it for her team hitting Maemura with the Japanese Cyclone Bomb, a wrist-clutch Northern Lights Bomb variation, to end a great match.
Match Rating: *** Overall: A really fun (but short) show, which I think served a dual purpose of also advertising the districts the wrestlers are from since they also did a quick background check on the towns and such in each district before the wrestlers came out for their match.
Labels: Joshi, Zero-1 MAX