Boring Wrestling, Brilliant Wrestling, HADOUKENS and Dislocations!
TAKA Michinoku vs. Mascara Dorada
Talk about misused talent. Mascara Dorada has been on the past few New Japan shows, but you’d hardly know it with the amount of time he’s been given in his matches. New Japan should know a thing or two about talent being misused after Okada’s experience in TNA. It’s sad to see them doing basically the same thing with Dorada. Hopefully this tournament will put an end to that.
Awesome parkour style dive by Dorada onto TAKA early in the match. That’s is more like it! Dorada’s lucha style is a lot of fun to watch.
Welp! TAKA pinned Dorada with the Michinoku driver in 05’31”. Way to go, New Japan! What a waste of talent. Awful start to the night (for me anyway).
Rocky Romero vs. Tiger Mask
Rocky came out in very Rocky version the Tiger Mask mask, eye-patch and all. And he kept it on for the match.
Rocky tombstoned Tiger Mask on the outside which got a 19-count. Rocky went for the mask after Tiger Mask got back in but couldn’t quite get it off. Tiger Mask eventually got the advantage and removed Rocky’s faux Tiger mask. The ref took a bump and missed Tiger Mask’s crucifix pin attempt. Rocky hit a brutal stomp on a draping Tiger Mask off the top rope. Tiger Mask reversed a tombstone attempt into a tombstone of his own and hit a double underhook top rope suplex for a nearfall. Tiger Mask landed a throw and a tiger suplex with bridge for the pin in 08’45”
Pretty good match. Didn’t have a lot of intrigue, mostly just felt like a sequence of moves and a finish. Rocky’s mask was cool though.
Not really happy I spent $15 so far. It’s not looking much better with Taichi coming up next.
Taichi vs. El Desperado
Taichi came out with a mic and was saying something but I heard nothing. I think it was a toy mic. That was weird. Taichi instantly beat up Desperado with a chair before the bell rang. He then tried ripping off Desperado’s mask because of course he did. More chair attacks by Taichi on the outside. Taichi gave a massive slap to one of the Young Lions, I think it was Sho Tanaka. Typical Taichi match so far. Which means garbage. Desperado finally got in a bit of offense and hit a nice flipping tope suicida on Taichi. Taichi pulled the ref down, causing him to miss the pin after Desperado hit Guitarra de la Muerta. Taichi hit Desperado with his toy mic and rolled him up for the pin. Match went 05’33”, but felt like an eternity.
Hot garbage. I feel like I’m watching the worst of TNA Impact.
BUSHI vs. Jushin Liger Thunder
BUSHI has an awesome BUSHI doll which I want more than anything ever in my whole life. He threw it to the luckiest person in the world in the crowd.
I really love Liger’s music. Feels like I’m playing Sonic the Hedgehog.
Good match with some good back and forth. Better than the first two anyway. Liger is has been looking great since his match with Adam Cole. Bushi picked up the win with a Bushi roll (?) pin at 08’51”
Special Tag Match: Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI and Jado) vs. The Bullet Club (Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi and Tama Tonga)
Jado was isolated early on and took a lot of punishment. Albeit fairly boring punishment. Jado finally tagged in Okada to a big reaction. Big elbow from the top on Anderson. Anderson blocked a rainmaker attempt and hit a brogue kick with Galllow’s assist. Fale came in and ate a dropkick by Okada. Okada tagged in Nakamura. Fale and Naka went at it for a while. Fale crushed Naka in the corner and hit a Samoan drop. Ishii came in to a good reaction. He tried picking up Fale but Fale reversed him. The second time Ishii got him up for a nice vertical suplex for a two count. Yujiro came in. Ishii ate a big Yakuza kick by Yujiro but just shrugged it off. He then walked through a bunch of Yujiro punches. Ishii is great!
YOSHI-HASHI in with the hot tag. Haven’t seen YOSHI for a while. He looks good. No shoulder tape. Fale tried and failed to clothesline Nakamura out of the ring. Pretty sloppy.
With all the CHAOS guys occupied on the outside. Anderson and Gallows hit their finisher on YOSHI, followed by Yujiro finishing him off with Miami Shine in 18’17”. You can always rely on YOSHI-HASHI to take the pinfall. Yujiro needed the pin since he’ll be challenging Ishii for the Never championship next.
Alright match. Nothing special though. Ishii shrugging off Yujiro’s yakuza kick was probably the highlight. Considering the amount of talent involved, this should have been much better.
Alex Koslov vs. Ricochet
Surely this match will be good. Ricochet and Koslov has got to be a sure thing, right?
1 minute in and this is already more exciting than anything else we’ve seen so far.
Awesome middle rope springboard dive by Koslov. Unfortunately, it looked like he dislocated his shoulder in the process. The trainers came out and managed to pop it back into place. Koslov is channeling a bit of Riggs from Lethal Weapon. Looked extremely painful. Gotta hand it to the guy, he continued the match.
An understandably slower pace once they got back into the ring with Koslov in control. Ricochet came back with a big dive but Koslov cut him off and did his Russian dance kicks followed by a head stomp.
Ricochet went for a Phoenix splash but Koslov got his knees up. Nice inverted Death Valley Driver by Koslov for a nearfall.
Koslov went for a top rope maneuver but Ricochet got out of the way. Koslov landed on his feet but the impact knocked his shoulder out again. The ref stopped the match, giving the win to Ricochet.
That really sucks for Koslov. Hope he can heal up quick and get back to being his awesome self. This match was looking to be great until the injury, but still turned out pretty good nonetheless.
Nick Jackson vs. Alex Shelley
Nick’s hand spring into back rake is the best. These guys are so fluid when they work with each other.
Nick hit a very quick tornado DDT on the outside. Shelley ate a couple of super kicks when he got back in the ring. Out of nowhere Shelley rolled up Nick for the win at 10’38”. Easily the best match so far. Immediately after the match, Matt came out and attacked Shelley. Where’s KUSHIDA? Oh there he is. KUSHIDA McFly came out like any good time traveling partner would and saved Shelley. This led right into the next match.
KUSHIDA vs. Matt Jackson
Very quick action in the match, hard to keep up with. Awesome floating over DDT by KUSHIDA. Matt called for brainbuster but didn’t get it. That made the crowd happy. A better than Batista spear by Matt. Matt hit a powerbomb and held on, transitioning it into a Boston Crab variation. Surprising show of strength by Matt when he hit a bucklebomb, followed by a super kick for a nearfall. Spectacular standing top rope frankensteiner by KUSHIDA. Nick pulled ref away to break up the pinfall. Shelley and KUSHIDA both ate super kicks on the outside. The Bucks hit a spike tombstone piledriver to KUSHIDA on the outside. Back in the ring the Bucks went for but missed More Bang for your Buck. KUSHIDA locked in a kimura (?) and Matt tapped in 11’44”. Now that was the best match of the night so far. The Time Splitters and the Young Bucks saved this show from going down the toilet.
Main Event: Kenny Omega vs. Ryosuke Taguchi
Kenny Omega has some great facial expressions, and his Japanese language skills are great. Kenny hit a nice sliding leg kick on Taguchi. Kenny went for a suplex, Taguchi almost reversed it but Kenny held on pulled the move off. That spot looked really good. A lot of back and forth and reversals going on in this one. I haven’t been impressed with Taguchi in the past, and I still find him very bland, but he put on a great match here with Omega. Kenny hit a big dive to the outside and came down pretty hard. Taguchi reversed a running powerbomb into a hurricanrana which sent Omega face first into the middle turnbuckle. Kenny hit a very quick snap Dragon suplex followed up with a HADOUKEN! Taguchi with a reverse hurricanrana that spiked Kenny right on the top of his head. Awesome electric chair into a German suplex with bridge by Omega which put away Taguchi. Fantastic match.
Everything up until the last four matches can easily be skipped. The Young Bucks and Time Splitters really saved the show. Then Omega and Taguchi took it home with an awesome main event. Certainly the match of the night. Koslov and Ricochet was looking great until Kozlov’s injury. He did well to keep the match going, but it was definitely far from what it could have been. It’s a real shame for Koslov. I wish him the speediest of recoveries. In the end it turned out to be a good show. Everything pre-intermission was very disappointing. I don’t understand what they’re doing with Mascara Dorada. They’re really wasting his talent.