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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Sunday, October 25, 2009



Wrestle Kingdom Grand Opening VIENTO DORADO: Mistico, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince DeVitt VS Averno, Jado & Gedo
More of a showcase match to introduce Mistico to the Japanese fans. I thought the New Japan guys were more impressive than the CMLL crew since they didn’t really do anything that we haven’t seen before by other junior heavyweights in other promotions. And since it was the lucha style, there were more than a few awkward moments that broke the pace of the match since they would just stand around to play to the crowd before continuing the match.
Match Rating: *

Jushin Thunder Liger 20th Anniversary Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Takuma Sano VS Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue

Sano was really out of place in the match, and they teased how Liger & Sano couldn’t seem to function as a team since there were a few miss-timed spots that ended with them hitting each other. It was an ok match, but Liger’s 20th anniversary match deserved better than to be buried on the undercard of a big show like this.
Match Rating: *

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles: NO LIMIT (Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito) [C] VS The Motor City Machineguns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley)

Note to NJPW: If TNA are ever stupid enough to release the ‘Guns, you guys better sign them to contract! Seriously! The ‘Guns totally overshadowed NO LIMIT here as they wowed the crowd with their tandem offense and flashy speed based offense. I just hope the fact that they actually won the titles here and have been back to Japan several times since is a sign of New Japan’s interest in the duo as great workers, as compared to TNA who really have no idea what to do with them.
Match Rating: ***1/2

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Low Ki [C] VS Tiger Mask

I liked that Tiger kicked out of the Ki Krusher at the beginning of the match since he was still fresh, but I hated how after taking all the punishment from Ki that he did throughout the match that he only suddenly needed THREE moves to put him away and win the belt! A release half tiger suplex, followed by a tiger suplex-hold for a near fall and a bizarre half tiger, wrist clutch between the legs suplex hold for the win.
I think Ki deserved better, and it’s no wonder many of the IWC are hating on Tiger.
Match Rating: **

Fighting Holdings Competition: Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono, Kurt Angle & Kevin Nash VS Karl “Machinegun” Anderson, Tomohiro Ishii, Takashi Izuka & Giant Bernard

I know Nash is broken down and his move set is down to just 2 moves now (not counting punches & kicks), but I was actually expecting to see more Nash VS Bernard action. Nothing riles up the crowd more than 2 big men going at it. The whole match was probably more about setting up the aftermath where Bernard laid out Angle with the Bernard Driver after Angle took the win with the ankle lock.
Long story short, this was the match on the card that was thrown together to get the rest of the roster onto the card, plus two TNA guys who don’t really need the exposure. It served it’s purpose in that regard.
Match Rating: *1/2

Zero-One World Heavyweight Title – Crusade for Justice: Yuji Nagata [C] VS Masato Tanaka

Take two rival promotions, put a belt on the line, and throw in a lot of HATE, and you get an awesome match! This is how you make a blood feud! Both men bleeding and still tearing into each other with all they got. I think my only complaint was that it was a bit on the short side, and maybe they could have let Tanaka kick out of a few more near falls during the ending sequence to build up even more drama, but other than that, still a fantastic match and the first one of the night to really bring the crowd alive.
Match Rating: ****
Click Here to watch highlights from this match.

New Japan VS NOAH Battle Tendencies – The Invasion: Manabu Nakanishi VS Jun Akiyama
Nakanishi’s power VS Akiyama’s cunning, and they put on a passable match based around the amateur backgrounds of both men, though amateur wrestling didn’t play into the match itself. Best spot of the match was when Nakanishi lifted Akiyama off the mat while he had him in a front neck lock and slammed him down on the mat. Akiyama escapes the Argentine Backbreaker and lays in a barrage of Exploders before taking down the big gorilla with a wrist-clutch Exploder.
Match Rating: **
Click Here to watch highlights from this match.

IWGP Tag Team Titles – Hardcore Rules: Most Violence Players (Togi Makabe & Toru Yano) [C] VS Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon)
The match that featured the infamous "bouncing" diving headbutt, where Devon does a diving headbutt and comes short by about a foot, but his impact bounces him off the mat to reach his target! It's pretty obvious that without the hardcore gimmick, Team 3D would be pulling off the worst tag matches in Japan. How these two got so lazy is beyond me, and it doesn't help that Ray likes doing comedy spots while working in Japan. Makabe & Yano really should have won this one, but then again NJPW have shown almost zero interest in getting their belts back from TNA Team 3D won the belts here.
And what is up with those kindergaren tables they used here? Did New Japan have to slash the budget to save on expenses that they couldn't afford adult sized tables to be used in the match???
Match Rating: **

New Japan VS NOAH Battle Tendencies – The Encounter: Shinsuke Nakamura & Hirooki Goto VS Mitsuharu Misawa & Takashi Sugiura

Unfortunately this would be the last time we hear Misawa's name chanted in the Tokyo Dome. But it was a heck of a match! Even though limited, you could see Misawa was doing all he could for the match. But the star of the match was easilly Sugiura who carried most of the work load for his team. And it still amazes me how Nakamura does that flying cross-armbreker of his, though he probably over did his post match celebration when he won it for his team.
Match Rating: ****1/4
*Match Highlight clip coming soon*

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Keiji Mutoh [C] VS Hiroshi Tanahashi
If you like the dragon screw leg whip, you'll just LOVE this match, as at least 80% of the offense in the match consisted of that one move from various angles and positions. People might complain about Kobashi and his use of the chops, but this was downright ridiculous! At least Tanahashi remembered to sell the knee throughout the match, but Muto really needs to find some other structure to his matches other than countless dragon screws and Shining Wizards with a figure four tossed in here and there.
Match Rating: **

Overall: It was a great show from top to bottom with more good than bad. Definitely worth checking out.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009



Mohammed Yone & Akihiko Ito VS Takashi Okita & Kento Miyahara
I know Yone is coming off challenging Sasaki for the GHC title and all, but it didn’t look right seeing him no selling and single handedly handling two guys here! I wouldn’t mind if he was someone the size of Rikioh or Morishima, or a senior like Taue, but he is neither so it sort of buried the Kensuke Office guys for me.
Match Rating: ½*

Yoshinari Ogawa, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki VS Doug Williams, Bryan Danielson & Atsushi Aoki

I find it funny that despite the rivalry between Ogawa and Williams, that they never decided to throw them together to form a tag team, even for short term. Their styles match up well and it would have made for an interesting tandem. It was funny seeing Ogawa not wanting any part of the cheating tactics of his partners, and even took out Genba with a backdrop on the floor! It got to the point Kanemaru & Suzuki attacked Ogawa! They still ended up winning when Kotaro pinned Aoki with the Blue Destiny, but that just lead to Williams & Danielson assisting Ogawa to lay out the junior tag champions.
Match Rating: **

Akira Taue & Makoto Hashi VS Yoshihiro Takayama & Takuma Sano

Despite being the newly crowned hardcore openweight champion, Hashi was still the job guy here. I really hated that he connected with TWO of his finishers on Sano, but it still wasn’t enough to put him away! He added a nice spinning backfist to his arsenal at least, but after being with the company for so long, it wouldn’t hurt to give the guy a decent push, and being hardcore openweight champion doesn’t count.
Match Rating: *1/2

Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura VS Nigel McGuinness & Superstar Steve

The ROH rivalry between Morishima and McGuinness, the man that beat him for the ROH title, are brought to the Budokan, and two go right at it! It was a good tag match, with a solid showing for Superstar Steve, who looked more than just enhancement talent. Maybe one day he will be a superstar? It was still determined that he’s pretty low in the rank and file though, since it took Sugiura to catching him in mid-air with a German suplex-hold to be enough to put him away. And at least we got to see Morishima give McGuinness a wicked looking backdrop suplex.
Match Rating: **

Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kota Ibushi VS Mitsuharu Misawa, Taiji Ishimori & Ricky Marvin

I actually had high hopes for this one, since there’s a good deal of talent involved. But it seemed by the end of it a lot of them messed up their timing and botched quite a few moves! I liked seeing Ibushi changed things up with his offense when instead of doing a double moonsault when his opponent rolled away, he did a moonsault followed by a standing shooting star press when his opponent rolled inward instead! I will admit though, it was a bit hard seeing Misawa take big bumps here, like Sasaki tornado-bomb, when you knew that fate that awaited him just eight months later.
Match Rating: **1/2

GHC Tag Team Titles: Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith [C] VS Jun Akiyama & Takeshi Rikioh

They tried to make it look like the deck was stacked against the champions since Bison was working with a heavily taped upper body, which I hate to say resembled a bra. But he fought through the pain the champions were able to pull out a victory. I know Akiyama is more than willing to put people over, but it just damages himself when we’ve seen him take so much more in previous matches, but here it just takes a Bisontenial followed by a lariat and a Sickle of Death to put him away. I thought they could have done a better job with the near falls to build up some suspense, but you know they had the match go shorter than the usual half-hour blockbuster tag title match since they were going for the 60-minute match next.
Match Rating: **1/2

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title & AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Title – Double Title Match: KENTA [GHC] VS Naomichi Marufuji [AJPW]

Kyohei Wada is the referee for the match. Bell rings and both men stare each other down rather than charge into each other like they have in the past. Collar and elbow tie-up, and KENTA backs Marufuji into the ropes before breaking clean. Lock up again, and Marufuji backs KENTA into the ropes. Marufuji tries a cheap shot high kick, but KENTA ducks and responds with one of his own that Marufuji blocks. Lock up again and they trade elbow strikes. KENTA hits a sobat kick and runs the ropes. Marufuji follows him and they avoid each other before KENTA tries a kick which is caught by Marufuji, who also ducks an attempt at an enzuguiri. Marufuji tries for a sliding dropkick but KENTA avoids it and they stare off. They trade positions trying to get each other’s back before trading arm-wringers back and forth. Marufuji uses a hammerlock to get KENTA onto the mat, and starts driving his knee in to work the arm. KENTA tries to get to his feet, but is grounded as Marufuji transitions from a kimura to a headscissors. KENTA teases going for the old Muga hand-stand to escape, but instead pops his head out and tries to take off Marufuji’s with a quick kick, but the AJPW Jr. champion is quick enough to avoid it.
They trade strikes and Marufuji forces KENTA into a corner with a sobat kick. He charges him but KENTA kicks him off. KENTA runs the ropes, Marufuji tries a leapfrog, but KENTA meets him in mid-air with a big jumping kick! KENTA with a double knee drop and a cover for the first 2 count of the match. Marufuji sitting in the corner as KENTA lays in several kicks and stomps. Irish whip and KENTA turns Marufuji inside out with a kitchen sink knee to the gut. He pins him for a 2 count before locking on a body scissors. Marufuji drags them to the ropes, but Referee Wada kicks the ropes away when Marufuji touches them! Seems Wada wants full contact with the ropes rather than a light touch. Marufuji is able to grip the rope with both hands to get the hold released. KENTA works the mid-section with knee strikes and body shots in the corner. Whip into the corner and KENTA follows in, catches Marufuji as he tries to kick him, ducks and head kick, but gets caught with a headscissors and Marufuji pulls him face first into the 2nd turnbuckle. Marufuji charges in and hits a big jumping elbow. Off the ropes and Marufuji runs into a big boot, but catches KENTA with a dropkick as he comes of the ropes, sending him to the outside. Marufuji tries an Asai moonsault, but KENTA kicks his legs out and both collapse out on the floor. KENTA tries to bring Marufuji back into the ring with a suplex, but Marufuji escapes by slapping him in the nose and follows with a triple jump moonsault attack for a 2 count!
KENTA flips out of a backdrop attempt and catchess Marufuji with a zero-sweep kick off the ropes. KENTA tries a running high-kick in the corner, but Marufuji ducks it and kicks out his other leg while he caught on the ropes. Marufuji seems to botch a springboard move so he ends up just kicking out KENTA’s leg again before going back to work on it. Marufuji locks on a figure four and KENTA manages to get to the ropes after struggling for a bit. Marufuji stomps and stands on KENTA’s leg in the corner. Marufuji straddles KENTA on the top rope and dropkicks his knee before bringing him back in the ring with a dragon screw. Rolling leglock by Marufuji and KENTA has to struggle to the ropes to break the hold again. KENTA tries to fire back, but Marufuji with a low dropkick to the knee to cut him off. Marufuji out on the apron and tries to dragon screw KENTA through the ropes, but KENTA fights it off with elbow strikes, and takes him down with a kick to the leg of his own followed by a kick to the body that knocks him off the apron to the floor.
KENTA rests up Marufuji climbs back into the ring. Marufuji catches KENTA with a low dropkick off the ropes, but KENTA recovers in time to drop Marufuji as he comes off the ropes with a big lariat. KENTA now with a barrage of kicks and flings Marufuji into the corner turnbuckle with a double-underhook suplex! Strike combo followed by the Busaiku Knee! Cover, but only a 2 count! KENTA tries for a powerbomb, but Marufuji escapes and drives the back of his head into the corner buckle, and follows with a kick to the back of the head. Marufuji off the ropes, but KENTA trips him into the 619 position. KENTA follows up with a springboard out of the ring driving his knees into Marufuji’s face! Both men out on the floor now. Marufuji reverses an Irish whip into the guardrail and follows in, but KENTA trips him and he crashes chest first into the steel. KENTA picks him up on his shoulders and drops him chest first on the guardrail! KENTA follows with a neckbreaker, dropping Marufuji’s back across the rail! Back into the ring and KENTA covers for a 2. KENTA starts to work on Marufuji’s neck with a pair of elbow drops and one off the second rope. Pinfall attempt gets another 2, and KENTA locks on a figure-four headlock. Marufuji struggles to the ropes to break the hold.
Neckbreaker by KENTA for another near fall. Marufuji flips out of a neckbreaker kicks KENTA as he charges him in the corner. KENTA tries to suplex him off the second rope, but Marufuji lands on his feet and kicks him in the head before driving him into the opposite corner with a knee to the back of the head for added measure. Marufuji grounds KENTA with a modified headlock, which ends up as a crossface. KENTA struggles to the ropes to break the hold. KENTA struggles to his feet and is met with a superkick followed by a kick to the back of the head, and a Shiranui! Marufuji covers for a 2 count. Marufuji tries for a second Shiranui, but KENTA pushes him off. KENTA charges in but is met with a kick to the face. Marufuji tries a springboard move out of the corner, but KENTA catches him with a stunner! KENTA places Marufuji on the ropes and goes up top, but Marufuji recovers and knocks him off the top to the floor with a springboard dropkick! Marufuji sends KENTA into the corner post before driving him into the guardrail. Back in the ring and Marufuji covers for 2 count before clamping on a sleeper. Back to their feet and Marufuji uses a cravate.
Marufuji with a snapmare before giving him a neck snapper. Marufuji off the ropes with a double stomp on KENTA’s face! KENTA rolls out of the ring in pain, but eats a dropkick in the face when he tries to get back in and the back of his head smacks the guardrail. Marufuji next with a sick brainbuster dropping KENTA’s back on the standing guardrail! KENTA struggles back into the ring to beat the count, but Marufuji then places his neck across the ropes and stands on his face! KENTA is able to struggle to his feet and trade slaps with the AJPW Jr. champion, but Marufuji takes a cheap shot at his neck. With KENTA down on his back, Marufuji gives him a swift soccer kick to the side of his head! Piledriver by Marufuji for a near fall, and Marufuji uses a sleeper hold with a body scissors to continue his work on KENTA’s neck. KENTA eventually gets to the ropes to break the hold
Marufuji props KENTA in the corner and continues his assault with a knuckle punch to the back of KENTA’s neck. KENTA reverses an Irish whip and hits Marufuji with a lariat in the corner followed by a big running kick. KENTA tries for another running move, but Marufuji follows him into the corner and hits a lariat of his own! Marufuji with an Irish whip into the ropes, but KENTA comes out with a running forearm smash and follows up with a pair of lariats. Whip into the corner again, and KENTA launches Marufuji with a big back body drop. KENTA goes up top and connect with a diving lariat for a near fall. Fisherman’s buster for another near fall. KENTA tries for the STF, but Marufuji quickly scrambles to the ropes. Marufuji trips KENTA off the ropes, and KENTA trips him right back before locking on the STF! Marufuji is able to struggle to the ropes to break the hold. KENTA tries for a tiger suplex, but Marufuji holds on to the ropes. KENTA tries a charging attack, but Marufuji ducks and KENTA flies over the top rope out to the floor. Marufuji tries a plancha, but KENTA dodges and kicks him into the guardrail. KENTA charges in, but Marufuji flips him over the guardrail into the audience. Marufuji then hits a HUGE springboard moonsault off the top rope over the guardrail out on KENTA! Shades of the GHC title match 2 years prior, but Marufuji didn’t almost kill himself again by landing throat first on the railing this time. KENTA barely beats the 10 count back into the ring as the ring announcer signals the 35 minute mark!
Marufuji with a big jumping knee in the corner, followed by a German suplex for a near fall. KENTA fights off a second German attempt, and tries a lariat but ends up in a cross-armed German position! KENTA gets to the ropes to break the hold, so Marufji changes it to a cobra clutch, and flips the GHC Jr. champion down to the mat with a triangle cobra clutch! KENTA struggles to his feet, but Marufuji brings him right back down with a back cracker while maintaining the cobra! Marufuji wraps his legs around KENTA’s head for added pressure! KENTA struggles and eventually makes it to the ropes to break the hold, but Marufuji instead modifies the hold into a cobra & wrist-clutch backdrop suplex-hold for a near fall! KENTA is dazed and bleeding from the mouth as Marufuji sets him up in the Tree of Woe. Marufuji springboards from corner to corner, but KENTA avoids the move by pulling himself up the corner! KENTA gets to a seating position up top, but eats a big jumping superkick!
Marufuji tries for a hurricanrana, but KENTA counters by tossing him off with a powerbomb! While Marufuji is on all fours, KENTA dives off the top with a double stomp on the back of Marufuji’s neck! KENTA covers for a 2 count. KENTA sets up Marufuji on the top rope and hits a big diving knee to his back, following with a kick off the ropes while Marufuji is in a sitting position for a near fall. Marufuji catches KENTA with a thrust kick, but gets sent over the top to the apron. KENTA hits the strike combo followed by a Busaiku Knee, knocking Marufuji off the apron onto the guardrail and almost knocking the announce table! Marufuji beats the 10 count back into the ring, but is met by a springboard missile dropkick and a barrage of high impact running kicks in the corner. Sit-out powerbomb by KENTA for a 2 count. KENTA tries for the Go 2 Sleep, but Marufuji flips out and tries for a Shiranui, but KENTA counters that wrapping him in an Octopus Stretch! Marufuji actually carries KENTA’s weight to try to get to the ropes, but loses his balance and falls down. KENTA maintains the hold and gets a pinning combination out of it for a 2 count. Strike combo by KENTA, but Marufuji follows him off the ropes and hits a Busaiku Knee of his own!
Referee counts both men down, but Marufuji to his feet first. He goes up top, but KENTA recovers as well and cuts him off. KENTA tries to superplex Marufuji out of the ring to the floor, but Marufuji is able to fight out of it. With KENTA dangling on the top rope, Marufuji makes a mad dash down the isle and hits KENTA with a dropkick! Marufuji then slams KENTA off the top down to the floor! KENTA is hurt and barely gets back in the ring in time, but Marufuji is waiting for him and hits him with the springboard dropkick from one corner of the ring to the other! High angle spinning powerbomb by Marufuji gets a 2 count! KENTA struggles to his feet and is met by a superkick followed by a Shiranui for a near fall. They trade strikes, but Marufuji drops KENTA with a lariat off the ropes for another near fall.
Marufuji sets up for another Shiranui, but KENTA blocks it, so Marufuji turns it into a flipping neckbreaker! Cover and another near fall! Frustrated, Marufuji sets up KENTA for a super Shiranui! KENTA fights it off and tries for a super tiger suplex, but Marufuji flips over and lands on his feet! He charges at KENTA with a lariat, but KENTA counters into a tiger suplex-hold for a very close 2.9! KENTA with a running knee to the back of Marufuji followed by a Busaiku Knee for another 2.9! KENTA with 3 hard kicks to the head and covers him for another near fall! KENTA tries for the Go 2 Sleep, but it’s Marufuji who catches him with a knee to the face out of the move! Both men struggle to their feet. Marufuji with a thrust kick! KENTA with a lariat! KENTA with a high kick! Marufuji with a spinning back kick to the head! Both men down again! Both men struggle to their feet again and trade strikes. KENTA with two high kicks to the head, and Marufuji responds with a spinning back kick knocking KENTA to one knee!
Marufuji with another kick to the face and a cover for a near fall. Marufuji sets up KENTA and hits the Pole Shift! But he’s too hurt to make the cover! He eventually gets over for the pinfall, and KENTA barely lifts a shoulder for the 2 count! Marufuji tries for the Pole Shift again, but KENTA pick him up for the Go 2 Sleep! Marufuji tries to fight out with a barrage of elbow strikes, but KENTA connects with the move! KENTA crawls over for the cover, but only gets a big near fall!
Both men are exhausted and are fighting just to get to their feet. They both charge and take down each other with lariats, but KENTA is able to crawl over and pin Marufuji for another near fall!
Marufuji with another big spin kick to the head and a cover, but KENTA gets his foot on the ropes! They get to their feet again and start throwing serious elbow strikes at each other! KENTA picks up Marufuji out of nowhere and hits another Go 2 Sleep! Cover! 1-2-2.9!
59 MINUTES!!!!
They struggle to their feet and trade strikes again! Sobat kick by Marufuji! POLE SHIFT! Marufuji with a deep cover, but only gets a 2.9 with 10 seconds left on the clock! Both men are on their knees trading strikes as the time limit comes to an end, signaling the bout as a DRAW!

Wow. They worked kind of a smart match here, and not the all out spot fest you’d expect. If you didn’t know the match ended in a draw, you could pretty much tell that was the direction it was headed since they hadn’t really busted out any of the big spots by the half way mark. All the body work from the first half of the match seemed to go out the window by the third quarter though. It was still a solid effort by both though, and a great match overall.
Match Rating: ****1/2

Overall: From top to bottom, this was another entertaining show. Maybe it had to do with the undercard matches being so short? The main event didn’t really break any new ground, but it was definitely a spectacle.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009



Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards VS Akihiko Ito & Ippei Ota
This was a great opener, and a good way to warm up the crowd for the show. Both teams looked really good here, and the way they went at it, you’d think the junior titles were on the line or something! Also didn’t hurt that the match was a sprint and didn’t go too long. Marvin & Edwards work well together and showed a few great tandem moves, like the springboard Shining Impact and the old Orient Express superkick/German suplex finisher. Ota showed a lot more fire here than I can remember from any of his previous matches, which is a good thing, and I can’t wait for Ito to break out as he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.
Match Rating: **1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yxPg6-glvI

Kishin Kawabata, Kentaro Shiga & Genba Hirayanagi VS Junji Izumuda, Makoto Hashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Hirayanagi stole Shiga’s sunglasses and came out with them! Shiga snatched them back though. There was a funny spot where everyone in the match gave Genba an atomic wedgie! Finish was Kikuchi fighting off all 3 men and scoring a flash pin on Genba with a school boy.
Match Rating: 1/2*

NTV Cup Jr. Tag League: Bryan Danielson & Davey Richards VS Naomichi Marufuji & Kento Miyahara

Story of the match was young lion Miyahara trying to step up with his veteran partner Marufuji against the ROH team. I really didn’t see anything from Miyahara that stood out, other than taking a page from Marufuji and using the superkick a lot. He still fell to Richards and his double-arm brainbuster finisher.
Good work from all 4 men making it a fun match still.
Match Rating: **

Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda VS Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue

The highlight of this match was the comedic antics of Inoue whenever he was in there with Kobashi. The poor guy got chopped all over the ring from just about every angle! But the crowd was clearly behind him though. There were also some hot exchanges between Honda and Saito, giving off a hint of a mini-feud, but unfortunately didn’t really go anywhere. Honda wins with the Dead End on Inoue.
Match Rating: **

Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Takashi Sugiura VS Jun Akiyama, Takeshi Rikioh & Atsushi Aoki

Hage Akiyama starts the assault by attacking Misawa’s team as they are making the ring introductions, but it takes ONE elbow shot from Misawa to break their momentum! Back and forth action for a bit as the heavyweights take turns beating up the juniors of the other team, with some good time given to Sugiura and Aoki. They had some good exchanges against each other, and I love the spot where Sugiura boosts Aoki up and spins him in mid-air to catch him with a German suplex! Aoki kicks out, but falls to the Olympic Slam. There wasn’t really much of note from the others in the match, but it was still watchable.
Match Rating: **

Akira Taue & Mohammed Yone VS Yoshihiro Takayama & Takuma Sano

It was Akiyama in the previous match, and now it’s Yone here making a preemptive strike by attacking Takayama & Sano during the ring introductions! Another fun tag match with the added surprise of Yone getting the win over Sano with the Muscle Buster.
Match Rating: **

NTV Cup Jr. Tag League: Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kota Ibushi VS Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe

Considering who was involved in the match, it’s not surprising that it broke down into a big spot fest, which was a lot of fun to watch! One fun spot was Ibushi hitting a moonsault to the outside on Jay, also taking out the camera crew on the process! The live crowd was really into the match and you could feel the dread in them when the Briscoes went for their springboard Doomsday Device and hit it for the win on Kota.
Match Rating: ***1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjpwPABqe64

NTV Cup Jr. Tag League: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki

Genba comes out to distract the defending tag league champions, leading to the third surprise attack during the introductions of the night! It was really something different watching Genba constantly interfere to help Kanemaru & Suzuki, though it was not as bad as the levels usually done by the likes of Dragon Gate. But KENTA & Ishimori were able to weather the storm and Ishimori steals the win from Suzuki with a modified cradle to tie up the score, forcing an immediate tie-breaker to determine a winner!
Match Rating: ***1/2

NTV Cup Jr. Tag League Decision Match: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki

The heels pulled out all the stops to try and topple KENTA & Ishimori, Kanemaru giving KENTA a brainbuster out on the ramp way early to keep him out of the match, and when that didn’t work, Genba tried interference again and even brought a chair in when the referee got bumped! He didn’t get a chance to use it though, as KENTA intercepted him and took him out of the match for good with the Go2Sleep shortly before taking out Kanemaru with one to win the match and take the NTV Cup for the second year straight!
Match Rating: ***1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcHyB_fm-M

GHC Heavyweight Championship: Takeshi Morishima [C] VS Kensuke Sasaki

A hard hitting match as expected, and both men pulled moves out of their hat that you wouldn’t normally see, like Sasaki doing a top rope hurricanrana, and Morishima going for the moonsault! At one point Sasaki even hit four consecutive backdrops on Morishima’s huge frame! Morishima kicked out of the Northern Lights Bomb, and Sasaki kicked out of the backdrop, but it was a second Northern Lights Bomb after a barrage of lariats that finally put away Morishima, making Sasaki the first man to win the heavyweight title of all 3 major promotions in Japan.
Match Rating: ***1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtJ7iWB9K2E

Overall: Honestly, from top to bottom, this was a very watchable and entertaining show, mostly thanks to all the junior heavyweight tag matches I guess. Highly recommended watching.

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Monday, July 27, 2009


NOAH "Great Voyage in Osaka" 9/27/2008

Akihiko Ito VS Takashi Okita
A good showing for both youngsters. Okita looks a lot like Tomohiro Ishii, and he has a nice spear tackle and a Jackhammer which he should be finishing people off with soon. He'll definitely be a good heavyweight prospect after a few years of work. I'm also still a big fan of Ito and love seeing his progression.
I thought it was a nice touch by the referee to not count the 3 when Okita didn't land properly from Ito's full-nelson suplex, and Ito had to do the move again to get it right for the 3 count.
Match Rating: *1/2

Masao Inoue & Genba Hirayanagi VS Mitsuo Momota & Masashi Aoyagi
Momota is wearing red tonight, matching Aoyagi. The usual comedy antics and slapfests ensue, and Inoue pulls out the win with a very weak looking pin on Momota. Would have been better if they gave Genba the rub of scoring the pin.
Match Rating: 1/2*

Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Aoki VS Yoshihiro Takayama, Takuma Sano & Takashi Sugiura
Standard six-man warfare, with emphasis on Aoki getting to show what he's got. I liked the spot where Takayama blocked Ogawa's eye-poke and gave him one of his own! Everybody now seems weary to avoid Sano sobat kick, and Misawa didn't do much in this one. There was a good pop for Aoki when he kicked out of a big powerbomb by Sano, but fell to the Northern Lights Bomb seconds later.
Match Rating: *

Akira Taue & Akitoshi Saito VS Jun Akiyama & Takeshi Rikioh
This was an entertaining match, with good work from all four men, but I thought Taue deserved better the way Rikioh pinned him with a rather sloppy Muso.
Match Rating: **1/2

Takeshi Morishima VS Katsuhiko Nakajima
The match only went nine minutes, but I still feel Morishima gave Nakajima too much offense here. Sure Nakajima was smaller and faster, but even he shouldn't be recovering so quickly from a DDT on the concrete floor to take back control! Seeing Nakajima German suplex Morishima is always impressive though. Two big lariats and a backdrop suplex later, and Morishima gets the win.
Match Rating: **

2/3 Falls: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori VS Naomichi Marufuji & Ricky Marvin
Marufuji & KENTA did the more high-impact stuff, while Marvin & Ishimori did the speedy flippy stuff. It was surprising that Marufuji scored the first fall over KENTA, followed by KENTA scoring the second fall over Marufuji. And the final fall was Ishimori going over Marvin with a modified cradle.
I liked Marvin heeling the crowd of fangirls was cheering for the pretty boys in the match. Definitely a few missed spots in this one, but all 4 men put in good work here for an entertaining match.
Match Rating: ***

GHC Jr. Tag Team Titles: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki [C] VS Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito
Yujiro & Naito look like heavyweights compared to the NOAH champions! They weren't even treated as heel outsiders as there was a loud group of fangirls cheering for them throughout the match! Too bad Kanemaru or Suzuki didn't heel it up a bit by yelling at the fangirls like Marvin did in the 2/3 falls match. Having the champions be the face team against an outsider team that was getting cheered more than them just didn't work.
With that said, I actually had a hard time watching this match. For some reason NO LIMIT just weren't as interesting to watch here compared to seeing them in NJPW. I guess it didn't help that they didn't do anything to stand out and be considered a threat to the champions. Being the outsider team, even they didn't try to heel things up to get some heat. Things picked up by the end, with the champions retaining after Kanemaru pinned Naito with the Touch Out, but overall I didn't think the match was anything special.
Match Rating: ***

GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kensuke Sasaki [C] VS Mohammed Yone
Give them credit for starting this off different from other title matches, as Yone attacked Sasaki backstage and dragged him out to the arena! Sasaki was able to regain control though, and it took a while to convince Joe Higuchi to start the match without the official title match declaration and introductions!
One of the major complaints I have about this match was that they went overkill having Kensuke kick out of TWO Muscle Busters! And this was after Yone had already given him one out on the floor earlier in the match! Sure it might have built up a big hope spot for Yone, but kicking out of the move twice just cheapens the effectiveness of the finisher, like what they do all the time in Dragon Gate. Yone also seemed to have lousy facial expressions to sell the shock of Sasaki kicking out of his finisher, and some points he even did a lousy job of selling Sasaki's lariats! Heck, Sasaki did a better version of the Muscle Buster than Yone, making it look more like a fisherman's brainbuster before putting him away with the Northern Lights Bomb to retain.
Yone put up a good fight, but he looked nowhere near being a main event challenger. The overkill of his finisher not working didn't help either.
Match Rating: **1/2

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Monday, May 25, 2009


El Dorado "The Wonder Years" 8/15/2008

Golden Great League Semi Final: Magnitude Kishiwada VS KAGETORA
- I was surprised how one sided this match was with Kishiwada almost squashing KAGETORA here, save for a few hope spots. Kishiwada even pinned him arrogantly by standing over him with his hands on his chest for the win after a Last Ride. They were building up Kishiwada as a true monster as he got passed his block undefeated, even if he did cheat to beat Owashi, but seeing him give him a Last Ride was impressive.
Match Rating: *1/2

Golden Great League Semi Final: Touru Owashi VS Shuji Kondo
- Both of them have a score to settle with Kishiwada, and they went at it as almost equals, save for Owashi's size advantage. Kondo almost managed to pick up Owashi for The Original, but did manage to Jackhammer the big man for a near fall. Kondo survived a pair or running chokeslams and kicked out after two diving body presses, and finally put down the big man after a barrage of King Kong Lariats. The match was OK, but Kondo's lariats at the end didn't look like they had much impact.
Match Rating: **1/2

Ladder Match
- I don't know most of the people in this match, so I'm not even going to try to name them. This was one of the most bizzare matches I've ever seen. Right at the beginning of the match, one of the guys pulled down whatever it was they were supposed to be aiming for that was hanging above the ring, but the match continued anyway since everyone hadn't entered yet. Danshoku Dino comes out later and announces they are going to put whatever that is back up on the cable and the match and all it's whackiness continues until everyone was in and one of the Brahmans retrieve whatever it was on the cable. This match was very much like what you'd see in DDT with all the weird gimmicks and comedy spots.
Match Rating: **

Aagan Iisou VS Tokyo Gurentai: "brother" YASSHI, Sugawara & Shogo "Jet" Takagi VS NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKEMURA
- Your standard Dragon Gate style six-man tag with a lot going on all at once. Jet makes his big return only to be pinned by a quick school-boy roll-up after hitting his trade mark Jet Punches. Why fans care so much for this guy is beyond me.
Match Rating: *

Golden Great League Finals: Magnitude Kishiwada VS Shuji Kondo
- I really hated that they had to make Kishiwada so dominant over Kondo, even with all the cheating he did. Kondo took a heck of a beating, being put through a table, sprayed with mist in the eyes, kicked out of a Last Ride, but was able to win with a pair of King Kong Lariats after Kishiwada accidentally gets black mist sprayed in his eyes by the one of the Brahmans. Really could have been a lot better.
Match Rating: **1/2

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Saturday, April 18, 2009


AJPW Battle Banquet #190

Taken from the 6/28/09 “CROSSOVER ‘08” tour closer at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Masanobu Fuchi, Nobukazu Hirai & Akira Raijin VS NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKEMURA- I haven’t watched any AJPW in a while, but DAMN has Raijin completely changed his image! He seems to have dropped a ton of weight and looks almost slimmer than the Gurentai members! He’s also a lot faster and doesn’t just rely on headbutts like when he was a rookie. I wouldn’t mind if he kept the Raijin Buster though, as the Lighting Flash (fireman’s carry into a back slam) looks really weak, even if it is the set up for his moonsault finisher.

T28 & Seiya Sanada VS KAI & Antonio Thomas
Antonio Thomas is formerly one half of ex-WWE tag team, The Heartthrobs. They didn’t show a lot of him here, other then a German suplex with a superkick assist from KAI and a plancha to the outside before KAI finished off T28 with a diving body press.

Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaz Hayashi & Manabu Soya VS TARU, Shuji Kondo, “brother” YASSHI & Rene Dupree
I REALLY like the way Dupree was pushed here! He played the part of a heel with a great physique, but at the same time the same ruthless aggression the Voodoo Murders were know for! He had a rather interesting exchange with Sasaki, which could have been built into a mini-feud to push him further towards possibly being a Triple Crown contender if they had played their cards right. Sure he still did the French Tickler, but he was a lot more serious about it and it didn’t seem like much of a comedy spot when he did it. Fun match overall, with Sasaki taking YASSHI’s head off with a sick lariat to take the win.

AJPW Triple Crown: Suwama [C] VS Osamu Nishimura
Anytime you put Nishimura in a championship match, you know your guaranteed something different than usual. Suwama has a major vendetta to settle here as Nishimura has pinned him countless times in tag matches since he won the Triple Crown. They start off with a feeling out process and some mat work where Suwama surprises Nishimura being doing the headstand to escape from a head scissors! This sort of pisses off Nishimura who eventually does the move himself, but when the match gets taken out to the floor, Nishimura whacks Suwama in the leg with the title belt and a ringside chair! This leads to Nishimura working over Suwama with the figure-four, which Suwama is able to escape and himself starts to attack Nishimura’s leg with a knee-breaker followed by the ankle-lock! I loved the spot near the end where Suwama turned the ankle-lock into a release German when Nishimura was about to escape the hold. Suwama should go back to using the Alligator Lock version of the ankle-lock. The pace picks up here as Nishimura reminds us how deadly an octopus-hold, the figure-four headlock and a cobra-twist can be! The crowd is popping here, really believing there’s a chance Suwama would submit, or a referee stoppage could be called! The crowd continues to go wild as Nishimura scored multiple near falls with quick backslides and cradles. Suwama is able to weather the storm and rally back with a barrage of suplexes followed by the Last Ride to make a successful V1.
I’m not sure how much they cut out from the original match, but it seemed to flow rather nicely from start to finish. One of Suwama’s better matches thanks to Nishimura.
Match Rating: ***1/2


Thursday, March 19, 2009


SEMex "Take The Dream Vol.6" 8/17/2008

Genba Hirayanagi VS KAGETORA
Clipped down quite a bit and we see the continued heel growth of Genba, matching up against the more experienced KAGETORA. Genba tries to steal the win, but the Shoryu-Genba and a straight up low blow both fail to get the job done. Genba has also added a nice version of a T-bone suplex to his arsenal. KAGETORA back with a big brainbuster followed by the John Woo and his Ikkitousen (fireman’s carry into an Emerald Frosion) finisher for the win.
Match Rating: *

Kikutaro & Akira Taue VS Namazu Man & Kuishinbo Kamen
A great injustice was done to this match since they clipped it down a lot! The first meeting of Kikutaro and Kuishinbo since their Osaka Pro days together, and the two clowns haven’t missed a step of their chemistry together! Didn’t get to see much of the newly beefed up Catfish Man, but Taue was fun and adapted to well to the comedy spots. Taue chokeslams his own partner and Catfish man pins him for the win.
Really would have preferred if they didn’t cut out so much.
Match Rating: *

Naomichi Marufuji, Taiji Ishimori & Ippei Ota VS Ultimo Dragon, Amigo Suzuki & Takeshi Minaminao

Part of the hype of this match was Marufuji and Ultimo having similar finishers, the Shiranui and the Asai DDT respectively, and the two had some good exchanges in there together which they could build for a future singles encounter between the two. The other story of the match was Taiji Ishimori going up against his mentor and he some solid exchanges with Minaminao as well before putting away Amigo with the Superstar Elbow. A match like this should lead to something down the line for the participants involved, but as per NOAH's booking style, NOTHING came of it.
Match Rating: *1/2

4 X 4 Survival Tag: Kenta Kobashi, KENTA, Akihiko Ito & Atsushi Aoki VS Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Takashi Okita & Kento Miyahara
Match #1: Takashi Okita & Kento Miyahara VS KENTA & Atsushi Aoki

- A hot start to the series with the NOAH team using some rather heelish tactics on the KO rookies. Okita has potential to be a good powerhouse grappler like Sugiura, but he'll be stuck in the junior heavyweight division since he lacks height! KENTA was taller than him! Miyahara had his arm brutalized by Aoki throughout the match, and that lead to him finally being eliminated by a keylock cross-armbreaker by the future NOAH Jr. star.
Match #2: Takashi Okita & Kensuke Sasaki VS KENTA & Atsushi Aoki
- Match two and KO send in it's biggest gun in Kensuke! KENTA gets right in his face and is actually able to stand toe-to-toe with the former IWGP/Triple Crown champion! Aoki even seems to get in some good shots on the big man, including hitting his Assault Point finisher for a near fall before Kensuke regains control slamming down with a powerbomb to counter an armbreaker, and making the rookie submit to the Boston Crab!
Match #3: Takashi Okita & Kensuke Sasaki VS KENTA & Akihiko Ito
- Ito got in a good amount of offense on Sasaki, including hitting a big Death Valley Driver and a frog splash for a near fall, but then Sasaki took his head off with a big lariat and pinned him!
Match #4: Takashi Okita & Kensuke Sasaki VS KENTA & Kenta Kobashi
- Okita now gets a chance to shine against a veteran as he takes it to Kobashi and even manages to hit a big Jackhammer for a 1 count! Kobashi quickly battles back with a superplex and a barrage of chops before putting Okita's lights out with a sleeper-hold! Very convincing sell of the sleeper by Okita!
Match #5: Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima VS KENTA & Kenta Kobashi
- This is where the awesomeness of the match goes into serious overdrive! All four men put in one heck of an effort to pull out one Hell of a back and forth battle where you know the first team to give in inch to the other could lose it all! This confrontation was also leagues better than the tag match at the Budokan that ended in a draw, and the shocking ending of Nakajima scoring the win over KENTA adds fuel to the fire of what would be one of the best feuds of the year!
- Nominated by many as a Match of the Year contender, I would whole-heartedly agree, and the final round could easily have been a MOTY in itself!
Match Rating: ****1/2

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Monday, February 23, 2009


NOAH Great Voyage in Yokohama 6/14/2008

Junji Izumuda & Taiji Ishimori VS Kento Miyahara & Takashi Okita
- Skip this unless you want to see how the KO students are coming along.

Kishin Kawabata, Kentaro Shiga & Masao Inoue VS Tamon Honda, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuo Momota
- Skip this too as we've seen it a million times before.

Akira Taue & Mohammed Yone VS Akitoshi Saito & Kazushi Miyamoto
- A tryout match for Miyamoto? He got to show off some good offense and Yone sold well for him, but in the end he did the job and hasn't been seen back in NOAH since if I'm not mistaken.

Naomichi Marufuji & Kotaro Suzuki VS Mitsuharu Misawa & Ippei Ota
Watching this, I wonder if Ota did anything to piss off anyone in NOAH since he was picked on by almost everyone, including his partner Misawa! We had retired wrestler Satoru Asako as the referee in this one, and he did an OK job. I don't get why he didn't complain when Marufuji used his as a tag partner by ramming him into Ota in the corner. Good match with a bit of comedy to it. One great spot was Kotaro catching Ota in mid-air off the top in a vertical suplex position before flipping him an dropping him in a tombstone piledriver! Suzuki finished off Ota with the Blue Destiny. Ota managed to get his airplane spin spot in, but I still can't see him as a serious contender in NOAH, but maybe more along the lines of a Makoto Hashi-like jobber for life run.
Match Rating: **

Atsushi Aoki Shining Magic 10-Match Trial Series - Match 5: Atsushi Aoki VS Yoshinari Ogawa
- As you can expect, this was a very technical mat based match, with Aoki constantly attacking Ogawa's arm and trying for submissions every chance he got. Felt a bit dull to me though.
Match Rating: *1/2

Jun Akiyama, Takeshi Rikioh & Yoshibobu Kanemaru VS Yoshihiro Takayama, Takuma Sano & Genba Hirayanagi
- The fun thing about this match was watching Genba being a total pain in Akiyama's back with him constantly taking cheap shots at the former GHC champion every chance he got. He even got in a low blow on both Akiyama and Rikioh at one point! Of course Genba lost the match for his team, and took a low blow from Akiyama after the match, but that didn't stop him from getting on the microphone to provoke Akiyama again! Akiyama ran out from the locker room and Genba ran off in the other the direction, which was rather hilarious.

Kenta Kobashi & KENTA VS Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
- As good as this match was, I don't think it was as good as the tag match from 2005 with Go Shiozaki in KENTA's place. While Kobashi and Sasaki had some good exchanges here, the story of the match focused heavilly on KENTA and Nakajima by the end. Nakajima most probably could have beaten KENTA here if not for the time limit, but it just stirs up the hatred between the two even more when KENTA becomes a spoil sport after the match and attacks Nakajima leading to a big pull-apart brawl!
Match Rating: ***1/2

GHC Heavyweight Championship: Takeshi Morishima [C] VS Takashi Sugiura
- I'm not sure if the point of this match was to show that Sugiura could hang with the heavyweights in the main event scene. He can obviously hang with the heavyweights, but looked like they put him over Morishima a little too much, just short of actually winning the title. The ending of the match sort of soured me a bit, as Sugiura controlled a lot of it and seemed to have the match in the bag, hitting the Olympic Slam on big Morishima twice to get a near fall. He had previously pinned Morishima that same way during the Global Tag League. Unfortunately, Morishima than pops up and all effects of the beating he took througout the match are out the door as he proceeds to destroy Sugiura enroute to retaining his title. Rather than have Morishima just get up like nothing happened, it would have made more sense for Sugiura to miss a big move, or Mori to counter something before getting his breath back for the comeback. Credit to Morishima for reaching down in his bag of tricks and pulling out a moonsault before ending the match with the backdrop driver. And the spot where Sugiura tried to German suplex big Morishima but buckling and Morishima's weight collapsing on top of him was a spot I've always wanted to see in wrestling. Pulling out something different now and then shows growth, but I still can't forgive that little booking blunder of Morishima's comeback.
Match Rating: ***3/4

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Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dragon Gate "Dead or Alive" PPV 5/05/2008

I would like to point out that I am dropping Dragon Gate from my Japanese puroresu watching as I’m rather getting fed up with the repeated overkill of the big matches. After this, I only have the annual Kobe World show to watch and I’ll be done.

Anthony W. Mori, PAC & Syachihoko Machine VS Cyber Kong, Akira Tozawa & Super Shenlong- Fast paced match with everyone getting to show their stuff. Cyber Kong seems to be putting on some weight, and not in a good way, but it’s still tough to beat his power game, which made for some comedic spots with Syachihoko Machine.
Match Rating: *

Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa Busou 10-Match Series – Match 3: Stalker Ichikawa VS Shinobu Kandori
- Stalker matches are only funny when he can get some offense in, not when they are instant squash matches where the only move done wins the match.
Match Rating: DUD

Hardcore Match: Naoki Tanisaki VS Shingo Takagi
- Short match, but fun since you don’t see many matches in Dragon Gate that involve barb-wire boards and bats! Short match, but they pulled out some fun spots like Shingo slamming Naoki off the apron through a table! Shingo wins dropping Naoki on his head on a pile of chairs with the Made In Japan.
Match Rating: ***

Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & El Blazer VS Gamma, Genki Horiguchi & NOSAWA Rongai

- Your standard face team versus heel team six-man tag. NOSAWA seemed barely a factor here and could easily have been replaced by any of the other Muscle Outlawz members.
Match Rating: *

Special Singles Match: Naruki Doi VS KENTA
- KENTA gave a lot to put over Doi in the beginning, and they had a rather OK match here. I kind of surprised they didn’t do the usual “hit-a-hundred finishers” finish to end the match here, as KENTA hit the Go 2 Sleep rather out of nowhere to win the match to a rather flat response. Could have been better, but I don’t think KENTA really cared all that much for this one.
Match Rating: **1/2

Open the Twin Gate Unified Tag Team Titles: Taku Iwase & Kenichiro Arai [C] VS Ryo Saito & Susumu Yokosuka
- Saito & Yokosuka win the tag titles, but what I HATED about the match is how Yokosuka started the match barely able to walk with his heavily bandaged leg, but by the end of the match he’s throwing lariats like nobody’s business! Which was how he won the match! Having a straight forward competitive match without the bad leg wouldn’t have hurt, and it makes Iwase & Arai look bad for losing to an injured guy.
Match Rating: **1/2

Mask VS Hair Six-Way Escape Cage Match: BxB Hulk VS YAMATO VS Yasushi Kanda VS Masato Yoshino VS Dragon Kid VS CIMA

- If there is one thing I HATE about Dragon Gate above the overkill in their big matches, it’s CIMA’s overkill of being the underdog when he really isn’t. How many times already have we seen CIMA go into a match with an “injury”, and feigns certain death throughout the whole match only to make a super-human recovery at the end the likes of Hulk Hogan to win the match? Same case here! When CIMA was the last babyface in the ring against THREE Muscle Outlawz members, I just knew he would defy the odds and his “bad” arm to win the match. Three on one and the heels still couldn’t pull it off? Sure they played up the Outlawz turning on Yoshino which gave CIMA a breather/excuse to win the match, but you also had CIMA playing up how bad his arm was that he couldn’t even lift it or get any grip on the cage with it! Suddenly his Typhoon buddies hand him a pair of gloves to help with his grip, no big deal right? NO! CIMA not only climbs the corner of the cage, but he jumps up to grab a conveniently placed corner bar with BOTH his hands, and has the strength to skin the cat and pull his whole body weight up! He could have just climbed up the cage directly, but NO again! Had to be flashy, which totally spoiled the match for me! Having CIMA escape with the final 2 being Kanda and Yoshino for the drama of Outlawz kicking out Yoshino would have been more dramatic rather than CIMA being a glory-hog yet again.
The way the match was built up was that the focal point was YAMATO for pissing off 4 of the other 5 competitors in the match, which would logically make him be the man everyone sees gets his head shaved, but instead he was the first of the Outlawz to escape. Yoshino gets by as they built up the rest of the group turning on him, with only Doi backing him up and helping him to escape with his hair, which left Kanda as the sacrificial lamb to get his head shaved.
The match overall was OK up to ‘till CIMA was the last man left with the Outlawz as you just knew what was coming from that point on, which spoiled it for me and can’t look past it to give this match a better rating.
Match Rating: **

I’m rather glad I only have one Dragon Gate show left to watch before I completely wipe my hands clean of this promotion. Unless Genki wins the Dream Gate, I don’t expect to continue watching any time soon.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Kensuke Office "1st Anniversary ~ Take The Dream Vol.3" 2/11/2008

Kento Miyahara Debut Match ~ A New Dream: Kento Miyahara vs Seiya Sanada
Kensuke Office rookie vs All Japan rookie. Good new blood match, but I felt it went a little too long. Sanada wins with a high-angle Boston crab after hitting a high-angle backbreaker.

Takashi Okita Debut Match ~ A New Dream: Takashi Okita VS Takeshi Minaminao
Minaminao is an Ultimo Dragon student, and Okita is an ex-American football player. This one also felt like it went longer than necessary with Minaminao finally putting away the rookie with a Swanton bomb.

Catfish Yume no Holy Land: Catfishman, Catfishman & Catfishman VS Kikutaro, Magnitude Kishiwada & Boso Boy Raito
Fun little comedy match with these bizzare Catfishmen. Nothing much really stood out for me in this one.

Katsuhiko Nakajima Return Match ~ Future Dream First Confrontation: Katsuhiko Nakajima VS Ryuji Yamaguchi
Fun cometitive match between the returning Nakajima and rookie Yamaguchi. These two folded each other in half several times with backdrops and Germans before Nakajima hit a moonsault press to take the match.
Match Rating: *1/2

Under the Name of Dream: Kensuke Sasaki, Genichiro Tenryu, Yoshihiro Takayama & Minoru Suzuki VS Shinjiro Ohtani, Yutaka Yoshie, Akitoshi Saito & Toshiaki Kawada
A fun all star main event where everyone got to hit their spots. They even teased Suzuki heeling Kensuke when he broke up a cover Kensuke had on Ohtani! There were a lot of fun strike exchanges too and I really loved Tenryu acting like he broke his hand when he smacked Kawada on the cheek with a guh punch! Finish came with Tenryu hitting the 53-Years Old on Saito, followed by a Northern Lights Bomb from Kensuke and the Everast German Suplex-hold by Takayama for the win.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Michiyoshi Ohara and Tatsutoshi Gotoh attacked Kensuke after the match. Where were all of Kensuke's friends then?

Overall: Fun show and worth a look for the two main events.

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