Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The IWGP Tag Team Championship Match

Did you watch Wrestle Kingdom 9? Did you see the IWGP Tag Team Championship match between The Bullet Club and Meiyu Tag? That is, for all intents and purposes, the same match we’re getting at Wrestle Kingdom 10, except Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata (Meiyu Tag) are being replaced by two balding, ageing men with blonde dye jobs, also known as Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma (G.B.H.), near identical backstory and all.


 

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SPOILERS: The 2015 New Japan Cup Winner Is

Kota Ibushi!

Kota Ibushi defeated Tetsuya Naito in the semifinals and Hirooki Goto in the finals to win the 2015 New Japan Cup. This is easily Ibushi’s biggest win and achievement since joining the New Japan heavyweight division.   

And Ibushi DIDN’T challenge Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental title in a Wrestle Kingdom 9 rematch. Instead, Ibushi is aiming straight for the top as he’s challenged IWGP Heavyweight champion A.J. Styles.

Thats a match I am very, very much looking forward to. 

Congratulations Kota Ibushi!

Toru Yano: King Of Pins – And Other Things I Liked About The First Round Of The New Japan Cup

Hey there, puropals! No big, detailed New Japan Cup report here. There’s a million places you can go to read one of those. I just want to talk about a couple of few things I liked from the first round of the New Japan Cup.

All videos courtesy of SenorLARIATO, who is, as they say, the man!


Toru Yano: King of Pins

In one of the biggest surprises of the night, Toru Yano defeated former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Ace of the world Hiroshi Tanahashi in under five minutes. Even more surprising is that my prediction from last week’s J-Shoot came true. Well, the first part anyway. I predicted Yano would defeat Tanahashi and go on to win the Cup. So far so good. While it was a surprise, upset win, it shouldn’t come as total shock. Yano does have a pretty good track record in tournaments. In last year’s G1 he defeated quite a few tope names. Still, defeating Tanahashi with relative ease (and some great Yano cheating) is a pretty big deal. It wasn’t just the win that I enjoyed. I loved Yano pinning prowess during this match. He turned almost every Tanahashi maneuver into a pin attempt. All that marathon running must be paying off.

Tetsuya Naito: King of Unnecessary Bumps

Tetsuya Naito took one heck of a beating from Anderson in one of the more enjoyable matches of the night. Naito’s selling made Anderson look like a monster. In fact, Naito sold almost too well at one point when he landed right on the back of his head after running dropkick from Anderson.

You can see Naito expertly getting his arms into position just in time to cushion the impact. But even so, how he did not break his neck I do not know.

Another great spot in this match, and one of my favourite moves of the night, was when Anderson countered a top rope frankensteiner into the world’s biggest powerbomb.

In the end, Naito won the match, but my lord did he take some punishment to do so.

Bad Luck Fall

Honestly, I barely paid attention to this match. Okada is great, and Fale is incrementally improving as the monster of New Japan, but I just had very little interest in seeing these two go at it again. I’m only including this match here because I love Bad Luck Fale’s finisher.

KOKESHI!


I want this shirt right now!!!

Honma of course lost his first round match against Togi Makabe because losing matches is what Honma is here to do. That doesn’t stop him from always putting on an excellent performance and getting some of the best crowd reactions of the night. My favourite Honma moment of the match was his successive running Kokeshis into Makabe, and his joy when he successfully hits the move.

In true Honma fashion, he also missed his fair share of Kokeshi attempts. The most interesting being a crazy running corner Kokeshi. I like that he’s always trying Kokeshi variations, whether they work out or not.

All The Way Ibushi

The last thing I’d like to mention is Ibushi’s win over Gallows. I was worried going into the Cup that we’d have another strong Bullet Club showing. Thinks to Naito and Ibushi (BUT NOT YOU, OKADA!), both Anderson and Gallows are out. With two of the favourites, Okada and Tanahashi also out, the next round of the Cup just got very interesting. I know I jokingly said on J-Shoot that Yano’s going all the way, I’m actually putting my hat in with Ibushi, who I actually really want to see win the Cup and get a IWGP Heavyweight title shot against AJ Styles. I am not one of those who say Ibushi needs a long, slow push. I wanted him to go over Nakamura at WK9. A New Japan Cup win and a title shot would be a great accomplishment for the former super jr. Also, I just want to see Styles vs Ibushi really bad.

The Real Reason Sweets Makabe Missed NJPW New Beginnings

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Photo courtesy of NJPW

As you may have noted, Togi Makabe failed to defend his Never title at New Japan’s New Beginning in Sendai, and as a result was stripped of the belt. Tomohiro Ishii and Tomoaki Honma went on to have a potential MOTY for the vacant title. The reason given for Makabe missing the match was that he had what must have been a severe case of the flu.

However, due to a recently leaked photo, the truth has been revealed. Togi Makabe didn’t have the flu, he had a tummy ache!

It’s no secret Makabe has a major sweet tooth, hence the nickname “Sweets” Makabe. Unfortunately, Makabe over indulged and had one custard filled puff pastry too many. “Sweets” was diagnosed by New Japan’s medical staff as having “a severe tummy boo boo.”

Apparently it’s not the first “sweets” related incident involving Makabe. Makabe has had documented issues with his jaw, stemming from years of jawbreakers abuse.

New Japan bookers Jado and Gedo are reportedly planning to stage an intercandyvention for Makabe, in the hopes of preventing further sweets based injuries.

Oh “Sweets” Makabe, when will you learn?

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NJPW Road to The New Beginning, January 30, Tokorozawa City Gym: Results

1. Alex Shelley vs. Jay White
Jay White is all right! Alex Shelly defeated White with a move that most likely has a name which I will find out shortly.
UPDATE: It’s called the Air Raid Crash. There’s a super annoying yelling guy in the crowd whom I hope Alex Shelley Air Raids too!

2. Yohei Komatsu vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Komatsu had a cool moment where he started firing up after O’Reilly kicks and made a comeback. I love how hot the crowd gets for Komatsu. He’s a young lion! He shouldn’t be so great! O’Reilly’s strikes are fantastic. He pinned Komatsu with a bridging something. I’m not good at moves names tonight. Oh, it was a bridging fisherman driver. Pretty sick too!

3. Mascara Dorada & KUSHIDA vs. Young Bucks
Very excited about the pairing of Dorada and KUSHIDA. “Come on, Rey Mysterio! Get up!” by one of the Bucks is very funny, if not a little racist. KUSHIDA did a very Devitt Pele kick. Dorada is awesome. Very fast and crisp. Can’t wait to see more of him in the future. The Young Bucks pinned Dorada with a non-450 Meltzer Driver, or the Indy Taker. Fun stuff.

4. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Jushin Liger vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan
Nakanishi and Tenzan in the same match. I don’t know if I have the patience.
Funny moment where Tiger Mask and Nakanishi convinced the Captain to go for a diving head it. He missed. Tenzan submitted the Captain with the Anaconda Vice. Not awful. About as good as it could have been.

5. Yuji Nagata & Togi Makabe & Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi
Great Ishii/Makabe interaction, obviously. Nakamura and Nagata had a few good moments. Nakamura took a Nagata overhead belly to belly very awkwardly.
Nagata pinned YOSHI-HASHI with his bridging back drop. It was only a matter of time. Poor YOSHI.

6. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs. Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi
Decent match. The finish when Takahashi pinned Gedo with Miami Shine while Fale was keeping Okada busy on the outside.

7. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga & Kenny Omega
A funny moment when Taguchi tried his hip (arse) attack on Gallows who no sold it. Taguchi did his dance and pose while Gallows waited for him to turn around and walk into a throat thrust. Kenny Omega and Tanahashi had a short spot together that makes me really excited about a future Heavyweight division run for Omega. They did the exact same thing as they did in match 5 where everyone takes everyone out. It’s a fun spot, but twice on the same card is a little repetitive.
Tanahashi made a statement by hitting the Styles Clash on Tonga, followed by the High Fly Flow for the win.