Decided to vary from my typical review style. Instead, I’m going to basically write…well…whatever comes in my head as I watch it.
Match # 1 – Bullet Club (Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga) vs. Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi, & Tomoaki Honma – The only real question leading into this match is whether Tonga or Honma takes the fall. Big brawl to start…you know, like every other Bullet Club match ever. Guns & Gallows sets Nagata up for the Magic Killer 20 seconds in, but he’s saved. Corner whip and Nagata dodges and fights off the tag champs. Nagata blocks a Gun Stun and locks in the Eye Roll Arm Bar. Gallows breaks it up before the eye roll, though. He eats an Exploder for his troubles. In comes Honma and they unleash chops and kicks on Anderson. A double shoulder block follows. Honma hits some chops in the corner. Flying Forearm and a bulldog. HERE IT COMES!! Honma…..MISSES the Smiling Headbutt off the ropes. Camera shows Fale walking around the ring, earning his pay check. Fallows with a body slam and three insanely entertaining elbow drops. He follows with a big splash for a two count. I hope he tags in Fale and Fale would do a Big Splash, too. IN COMES FALE. I am sure hopeful now. Fale tosses Honma straight up and he lands face first. A brawl breaks up the pin. Fale goes for the Bad Luck Fall. Honma escapes and hits a big clothesline. He winds up for another one, but Fale hits a 360 clothesline. Honma dodges the charge and Makabe tags in. Makabe fights off a Grenade and hits a corner clothesline. 10 mounted corner punches on Fale follows. Fale blocks a Northern Lights Suplex and they stagger each other with a couple double clotheslines. Makabe charges right into a Samoan Drop.
5:00 – Anderson tags back in and hits a corner kick. Makabe comes right back with a lariat and they sell death. In comes Ibushi and Tonga. Guess we know the finish. Ibushi dodges a whole bunch of charges and ends up hitting a springboard corner moonsault to the floor on the tag champs. Ibushi then hits a Springboard Dropkick for a two count. Ibushi unloads with shots but gets killed with a Spear, landing on the back of his head. Tonga hits a Stinger Splash and a Flap Jack. Big Brawl breaks up the pin. Fighting everywhere. Tonga goes for his finish. Ibushi dodges and hits a roundhouse kick. Phoenix Splash finishes. (Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata, Tomoaki Honma, & Togi Makabe d. Bullet Club at 7:50 when Ibushi pinned Tonga with the Phoenix Splash – Rating: 4/10 – The eight men went in and hit their signature spots as fast as possible and called it a tag team match. Ibushi seems like he’s got big things heading his way as a Heavyweight. I can’t wait to see what happens.)
Match # 2 – NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title Match – Champion Chase Owens (w/ R. Bruce Tharpe) vs. BUSHI – The ONLY reason that I am watching this match, I stress the word ONLY, is because I want to see Bruce Tharpe and his amazing coat that he chose for tonight. He went with a sparkling red coat and MATCHING red rimmed glasses. Holy crap. That just took his act to another level. Bruce Tharpe is what is missing from the Bullet Club. Now that his entrance is finished, I don’t want to watch this anymore. Having never seen Owens before, I hope he isn’t another generic flipping guy.
Hand shake to start. BUSHI turns his back and Owens attacks. Owen hits a dropkick off an Irish Whip and an elbow tot he back of the head. BUSHI comes back with a head scissors take over. Owens goes to the floor and BUSHI hits a suicide dive. BUSHI goes up top and hits a high cross body the was as great as Ric Flair’s on Harley Race at Starrcade 1983. Owens fights back and hits an elbow to the back of the head for a two count. Owens with a bodyslam for a two count. Owens lay in a bunch of sloppy side elbows to the head. Does he not know how to throw a forearm? Owens then does a corner whip. He covers for a two count. It’s interesting the New Japan decided that they needed another Junior Heavyweight Title around as soon as Ryusuke Taguchi became their champ. Owens rolls through a cross body and turns it into a Fireman’s Carry into a gut buster for a two count. Crowd was impressed. BUSHI fights right back and hits a top rope dropkick and a Spinarooni. Sunset Flip with six rotations follows for a two count.
5:00 – Feels like 45. BUSHI with a school boy rollup. Owens dodges an enzigiri. And again but BUSHI hits a back kick. BUSHI with a Code Breaker for a two count and he heads up top. Queue Bruce Tharpe who stands on the table. BUSHi jumps over Owens. Owens hits kick off the top and hits a wacky top rope Diamond Cutter with BUSHI flipping for a two count. Owens hits a slingshot backbreaker and another backbreaker. He follows with a Package Piledriver and gets the clean win. (Chase Owens pinned BUSHI at 6:55 with a Package Piledriver – Rating: 3/10 – Dull. Didn’t care. But it appears Chase Owens is going to be around for a while. I assume this will follow the Conway vs. Kojima plan until Jushin Liger wins the belt.)
Match # 3 – NWA World Tag Team Title Match – Champions Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer) – Sadly, no Bruce Tharpe for this one. Archer was a sweet skull mask. I’ve always appreciated that KES always reverts to matching ring gear when they team up together. Well, this HAS to be the night TenCozy loses the belts, right? I think I’ve said that for their last 5 defenses against KES.
KES attacks at the bell. Corner whip and clotheslines on Tenzan. Smith then hits a running knee and Archer with a big splash. Cover by Smith for a two. Smith with an uppercut but gets spun around as he gets nailed with a spinwheel kick from Tenzan. Kojima tags in and that dirty cheater Tenzan hits three illegal Mongolian Chops. They continue to illegally double team Smith as THEY CUT TO BRUCE THARPE WITH THE BELTS. He still looks amazing, by the way. Archer spits in Tenzan’s face and continues to work on Kojima. Archer steals Smith’s delayed vertical suplex and holds him up for 19 seconds!!!! That gets two. Please, please, please tag in Smith and do the same thing!!!! Ah man. Smith tags in and they hit a double team move for a two count. Man, they passed up on such an amazing spot there. Smith locks in a sleeper hold and Kojima gets to the ropes. Smith hits a gutwrench suplex and gets a two count. The challengers continue to work on Kojima in the corner. Archer gets back in and hits a bodyslam and a running shoulder block. He then taunts Tenzan’s mullet. Archer goes up top for OLD SCHOOL! Crowd (and announcers) loved that one. He hits it and covers for two.
5:00. Smith tags back in and hits a delayed bodyslam. Smith goes to the middle rope and breaks his tailbone in half on a missed legdrop from the middle rope. Ouch. Kojima hits a DDT and tags in Tenzan. Running shoulderblock. Then he illegally hits Archer on the apron. Tenzan hits another illegal Mongolian Chop in the corner. He climbs up top and hits his horribly inefficient drive the head into the ground move for a two count. Tenzan bust out his inner Kurt Angle with a back suplex/Olympic slam combo. Smith finally catches Tenxan not cheating, which allows him to his a powerslam. He tags in Archer. Archer nails Mongolian Chops and Bruce Tharpe is SO HAPPY. Archer holds the ropes and Tenzan whiffs on a spinwheel kick. That was so great. Tenxan comes back and with a falling back body drop. Kojima in and he hits 29 Kojima Chops. Forearm and top rope elbow for a two count. Archer comes right back with forearms. Kojima blocks a clothesline and hits a rolling elbow. Archer comes right back and hits an F4 (it wasn’t an F5) and gets a two count. Tenzan, even the cheater runs in and they hit a 3D on Archer. Smith saves his partner from the cheating at two. Tenzan holds up Archer, illegally and KOJIMA GOES FOR THE LARIAT, BUT ARCHER DUCKS AND HE HITS TENZAN (who shouldn’t have been in the ring anyways. Horrible refereeing)! That was great!
10:00 – Smith with a Tiger Suplex. Archer with a Chokeslam. The challengers go for the Killer Bomb. Kojima kicks out and clotheslines Smith over the top rope. He gets Archer up and hits a Brainbuster. Archer gets a shoulder up at two. Off comes the elbow pad. Archer ducks the lariat and Smith jumps in just in time for KES to hit the Killer Bomb and the world famous NWA World Tag Team Titles. (Killer Elite Squad d. TenCozy at 11:22 when Archer pinned Kojima after the Killer Bomb. Rating: 7/10 – I loved that match. It played to each wrestler’s strengths and told a beautiful story (if you keep cheating, eventually your friend will lariat you.)) After the match, TenCozy starts shoving each other! Interesting!!!
Match # 4 – SPECIAL TAG TEAM MATCH (I stress the Special) – Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka – Last night on the Twitter, I put a comment on there about how bad I felt for Minoru Suzuki every time he post a photograph of his new haircut on Twitter, knowing that he had to get it specifically for another Toru Yano tag team match. Iizuka continues to totally destroy Suzuki’s entrance by his walking through the crowd shenanigans. Okay, I know people are going to hate this match, but remember, this potentially could be the second to the last time they ever do it. Then you’ll feel bad when they don’t do it anymore. Iizuka teases attacking Shinpei Nogami, but he doesn’t. That’s the best part of his act, too…his failure to do that anymore, while it doesn’t fit with Suzuki-Gun, sucks. Suzuki totally ignores Yano. Another sign their feud is almost over.
0:00 – Suzuki and Sakuraba start. They grapple for hand position. I am actually looking forward to their Tokyo Dome match. Suzuki gets Sakuraba in the ropes and slaps him across the face. Suzuki dodges a shot and unloads on Sakuraba with slaps and kicks and stomps away…laughing all the time. Suzuki throws the referee away. I have a feeling there is going to be a quick finish tonight. Suzuki pulls the referee away again as Sakuraba is down. He finally lets him get back up. Sakuraba gets back control. Suzuki reverses and goes for an arm bar. Sakuraba goes for the Kimura and transitions into a Fujiwara armbar. Suzuki gets to his feet but Sakuraba locks it in. Iizuka breaks it up and Yano throws him to the floor. Suzuki hits some slaps with his good arm, but Sakuraba comes fighting back. He goes for the Kimura again. Yano tags in. Sakuraba unloads with slaps and kicks in the corner. Yano tries pulling Sakuraba away. Suzuki gets up and punts Sakuraba. Awesome. Suzuki kills Yano with a slap and tags in Iizuka. Out comes the rope and he chokes Yano with it. Suzuki locks in a Kimura on the floor and chokes Sakuraba with a cord. Back in, Yano removes the corner pad and Iizuka gently runs into it.
5:00 – Yano does his pose, so Iizuka kicks him. Suzuki locks on a front face choke on the floor. Yano low blows Iizuka and gets the pin. (Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba d. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka at 5;27 when Yano cradles Iizuka for the pin – Rating: 3/10 – The stuff with Sakuraba & Suzuki was a lot of fun. The continued war of submissions on the floor is so much fun.) After the match, the bell rings repeatedly to try to keep Sakuraba & Suzuki away from each other.
Match # 5 – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match – Champions Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) – The three way match these teams had at the ROH/NJPW shows was the best three way match I’ve seen in years, so I actually expect this to be good, despite my hatred for three way professional wrestling matches. Koslov still has his shoulder taped up from his dislocation back on May 31st. Time Splitters get the full on Back to the Future entrance. Love the KUSHIDA training highlights as well.
0:00 – This is going to be nuts. Thankfully this is not an everyone in the ring at once match…yet. Matt Jackson and Shelley start out. They grapple over an arm bar. More chain wrestling takes us through the first minute. Shelley is sent in and runs into Nick Jackson’s knee. Shelley fights off the Bucks and hits a dropkick to Matt. KUSHIDA tags in. Shelley tags in. KUSHIDA tags in. Shelley tags in. KUSHIDA tags in. All these tags were just arm wringers then another tag. Matt knocks KUSHIDA off and tags in Romero, who looks like he’s dropped some weight. May be wrong. KUSHIDA shoulderblocks Romero down and he taunts the Bucks. KUSHIDA gets a hip toss but Romero puts on the breaks from the second one. KUSHIDA fights out of the Hooligans corner and tags in Shelley. They fight off the Hooligans and Matt Jackson runs in and eats some double team moves. The Champs double team Romero. Koslov pulls Shelley to the floor and Romero hits a running knee from the apron. Koslov forgets what corner he is in and goes to the Bucks corner. The referee actually points that out to him. Nice. Romero tags in Koslov. Arm wringer and tag to Romero.
5:00 – Romero hits a snap mare and a kick to the back for a one count. Tag back to Koslov. Koslov gets a full nelson on Shelley and waits for Romero to hit him. So Romero runs off the ropes over and over and over and over (in one of my favorite spots in wrestling) until Koslov gets frustrated and drops the hold. They shove and then hug. The crowd loves that spot. Koslov with a snap mare into a rear chin lock. He puts a knee in the back and pulls back for a side Camel Clutch. Shelley fights out and runs into a back elbow. Koslov covers for a two count. Out comes THE HAT! Dance. Kick. Dance. Kick. Dance. Kick. Running double stomp to the head. Nick Jackson just runs in and throws Koslov out of the ring and goes for the cover. Referee counts, rendering the last 7 minutes of rules obsolete. Perhaps he got a tag in there? Matt Jackson mocked THE DANCE. Shelley fights off the Bucks for a second, but they quickly his 1,984 double team moves in succession for a two count. The Bucks must have made a tag during the dance. Nick tags in and hits a spinning enzigiri on Shelley. Nick accidentally back flips into the Hooligans corner and Romero tags in. Nice way for a tag in this sort of match. Koslov knocks KUSHIDA off the apron to keep Shelley from making a tag.
10:00 – Shelley fights off the Hooligans and hits a combo DDT on Koslov and Downward Spiral on Romero. Matt Jackson tags a Hooligan and Shelley ends up reversing and suplexing him on Koslov. Nick Jackson runs in and ends up accidently hitting a running knee to Matt, allowing Shelley to finally tag. KUSHIDA runs wild on the Bucks and hits the Ibushi Special (the handspring kick that concussed Kota Ibushi). He hits the Ibushi Special on both Hoolidans in the corner. Shelley taks out a Buck on the floor. KUSHIDA hits a backbreaker on Matt Jackson. He goes up top and hits a high cross body on the other three opponents on the floor! Nice! They hit a double team move on Matt for a two count. Matt counters KUSHIDA and they go for the Springboard Tombstone. Shelley makes the save. Koslov catches a tag when he pushes Shelley to the floor (from the wrong corner) and Koslov & Romero run wild on Matt. Romero hits a springboard dropkick on a draped Jackson for a two count when Nick makes the save. Koslov hits a Stunner on Nick. The Hooligans hit the Springbaord Doomsday Device on Nick, but KUSHIDA makes the save. Romero counters the Ibushi Special and Nick Jackson hits a Super Kick on Romero. A bunch of counters between Nick and Koslov. Romero and the Splitters are in there, leading to the Splitters hitting their double team moves.
15:00 – The Splitters both miss dives and the Bucks wipe them out with dives. Romero holds them all in place and Koslov goes for a dive and slips!!!! oh my. His foot was tied in the top rope and he crashed hard. That cannot be good. Matt Jackson hits a moonsault off the top on both Hooligans and his partner once they get Koslov out. Man…Koslov…I can’t get over that. Koslov battles back on Matt in the ring. Corner whip by Matt. Koslov dodges the charge and Romero hits his repeated clotheslines and finally hits a 360 clothesline on Matt. Romero springboards into a superkick. Koslov runs into a spear and superkick and another spear. Nick hits a running knee and Matt covers for a two count. The Bucks hit a Buckle Bomb kick combo and then plant Koslov with the More Bang For Your Buck. Matt held off Shelley, but Romero charges all of them over, breaking up the pin at 2.9. Romero now fights off the Bucks. He does his spider move and the Bucks both kick him off. The Bucks then get derailed by everyone. Bodies are just flying everywhere. Koslov and KUSHIDA are in and KUSHIDA eventually rolls Koslov into a cradle and bridges for the pin. (Time Splitters d. Young Bucks & Forever Hooligans at 19:55 when KUSHIDA pinned Koslov with a Bridging Cradle – Rating: 7/10 – I was going to go all Jesse “the Body” and complain about the finish, but I rewatched the end and KUSHIDA did in fact tag in right before the finish as Matt Jackson was hung up in the Tree of Woe in the Splitter’s corner. That being said, this was a really hard match to follow. Way too much going on. Koslov’s slip on the top rope was really scary. Hope he’s okay…he’s had a really bad run of bad luck in New Japan shows this year. Anyways…I am trying to think of things to type to explain why I didn’t give this my equivilent of four stars and it comes down to the fact that I can’t remember a single thing that happened in that match only one minute after I finished watching it. My review was useless, because all it said was “double team move” over and over and over again. —- However, I am looking forward to the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Tournament that usually comes up on the next tour. That should be a lot of fun.)
Match # 6 – IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match – Ryusuke Taguchi vs. El Desperado – I’ll take “Wrestlers I never want to watch another match in my life for $800, Alex.” In all the strange booking decisions of 2014 in New Japan, I think putting a title on the black hole of suckitude that is Ryusuke Taguchi tops even the year and a half Yano v. Suzuki feud for the most stupid idea ever.
0:00 – There are two El Desperado’s! They attack Taguchi along with TAKA Michinoku. The one, of course, is Taichi. Desperado hits him with the belt and the referee, in the interest of fairness, rings the bell. Desperado hits a stacking powerbomb and Taguchi kicks out at two. A belt shot and a powerbomb isn’t enough to put away Ryusuke Taguchi, kids. TAKA and Taichi double team Taguchi with a chair. Desperado spanks Taguchi. So…three men, a belt, a chair, and a spanking isn’t enough to stop Ryusuke Taguchi. He’s whipped into the guard rail and gets in at 16. Camera cuts to Desperado picking his nose…Taguchi is draped on the ropes and is actually holding the ropes to hold himself in an INCONCEIVABLE position and Desperado hits a move from the middle rope. I can’t even remember what it was because I hate everything about this match so much. Desperado fish hooks Taguchi’s nose (with the finger he was using to pick his nose earlier)…so we can add boogers to the list of things that can’t stop Super Taguchi. He is crotched over the top rope and Taichi pulls his legs. We can add balls to things that can’t stop Super Taguchi. He is again illogically hooks in the corner and Desperado kicks Taguchi repeatedly in his glutial area. That gets a two count. We can add being humbled to the list of things that can’t stop Super Taguchi.
5:00 – Oh God. Only 5 minutes. Desperado plays bongo’s on Taguchi’s backside and then hits a dropkick to his gluts. I wish I was making this up….then Taguchi does a butt bump the get advantage and then hits him with repeated butt shots to the face. Next, Jacque Rougeau will come out to teach Taguchi all of his famous crotch to the face maneuvers. (Seriously, look back to the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers matches. 90% of Jacque’s moves were of that variety.) Tauchi locks on an Ankle Lock for a second. Eventually he trips Desperado and dropkicks him to the floor. Taguchi then hits a flip dive to the floor. The camera continues to focus in on Taguchi’s butt. I wish I was dead. Taguchi twist an ankle on a missed dive, but quickly locks in a Indian Death Lock for no good reason. Desperado hits a punch and Taguchi reverses moves at a pace only appreciated by Rey Mysterio fans. He hits a sit down slam for a two count. Can we just get to the part with the Dodon Cradle and get to the finish already? Desperado hits a flip dive into the corner for a two count. Desperado goes for his finisher. Taguchi reverses and eventually locks in the ankle lock and Desperado gets the ropes.
10:00 – Dodon Cradle time. They keep reversing. Taichi blacks Taguchi with a chair and Desperado hits his finisher and…Taguchi kicks out, of course. He tries it again, and Taguchi reverses for the 10,000th time and hits the Dodon. Apparently reversing everything is too much work, as he can’t make the cover. He dropkicks TAKA off the apron and locks in the Ankle Lock. Desperado grabs Taichi The referee breaks that up and he throws Desperado into Taichi. He hits a Dodon Codebreaker and then Ankle Lock submits him (Ryusuke Taguchi submitted El Desperado at 12:21 with the Ankle Lock – Rating: 0/10 – That is my lease favorite professional wrestling match of all time. Three men, a belt, a chair, a finisher, balls, humblings, and spankings all weren’t enough to stop Taguchi. He countered more moves than Rey Mysterio in 1996 (basically everything) and it made for one of the worst things I’ve ever watched in my life. Ryusuke Taguchi is a worse professional wrestler than either Daniel or Rolles Gracie. He has less charisma than Nailz. His goatee is worse than Andre the Giant’s right sideburn. His green trunks scream “LOSER.” I loathe the thought of having to see him beat Taichi (who his next match is against) who is everything that Taguchi is not.)
Match # 7 – NEVER Openweight Title Match – Yujiro Takahashi v. Tomohiro Ishii – One man…one man has managed to have a less than four star match vs. Tomohiro Ishii in 2014. One man. Let’s see if it is possible for it can happen again. I hope not, as for whatever reason, people always tend to let Ishii slip to the back of the pack for wrestler of the year, when he’s been far and away THE Wrestler of the Year. Yujiro got a tattoo, eh? Now looking like a low rent MMA fighter, just like Karl Anderson.
0:00 – Ishi take middle of the ring and they lock up, like any good Ishii match. Yujiro gets position on the ropes and Ishii dodges a shot. DUELING FOREARMS….quickly won by Ishii. Yujiro comes back with an eye rake. I should note that Ishii’s shoulder is still taped up. Yujiro probably injured him practicing the match (yes, I know what happened.) Yujiro with a slap and Ishii shoulderblocks him down. They roll to the floor. Ishii rolls Yujiro back in and bodyslams him. Ishii with a chop and another and another…they lack authority because Yujiro isn’t man enough to take them. Yujiro dives to the floor again. He catches Ishii on a charge. Ishii reverses a whip into the guard rail and Yujiro continues his run away strategy. He gets in and boots Ishii as he enters and them rams him into the post. Yujiro then hits a running Big Boot, sending Ishii flying to the the guard rail. Yujiro goes to work on the floor. He then bodyslams him rib first onto the guard rail. Ishii sells it AMAZINGLY, as always…or Yujiro just hurt him, AGAIN. I type with all caps a lot in Ishii matches…Back in, Yujiro hits eight of the wimpiest looking punches ever and then hits a couple more, proving the referees are incompetent. He lighting taunts Ishii as Ishii jaws back and hits two headbutts to the gut.
5:00 – Yujiro with a kick to the face. He hits a snap mare and locks in a rear chin lock with a knee in the back. He then hits a running low sliding boot for a two count. Yujiro wins another exchange. Ishii no sells a boot. He dodges a second. Yujiro elbows out of a German Suplex and Ishii eventually hits it as Ishii landed very nastilly (Yujiro’s fault.) Ishii with repeated shots. Yujiro reverses a corner whip and Ishii shoulder blocks him. Ishii hits a powerslam and covers for a two count. Ishii now taunts Yujiro. He runs into another boot from Yujiro but comes back with a forearm so Yujiro comes back with a Stun Gun. I figured out the problem with Yujiro vs. Ishii. I’ll get into it at the end. Yujiro hits a Yakuza Kick into the corner. He puts Ishii up top and hits a scary belly to belly suplex off the top for a two count. Ishii blocks a Fisherman’s Suplex. Yujiro comes right back with a Buckle German Suplex. Poor Ishii. He follows with the Fisherman’s Suplex for a two count. Ishii continues to sell his bad shoulder. Yujiro taunts Ishii and grinds his boot into his head. Ishii is not getting up, so Yujiro stomps away.
10:00 – Ishii finally works back to his feet and he looks mad. He eats some forearms and looks more mad. Veins are popping out of his forehead. He clocks Yujiro with a forearm and a corner clothesline. He puts Yujiro up top and hits the deadlift superplex for a two count. Yujiro blocks a lariat and an enzigiri, but runs into a lariat. Ishii is on fire now! Ishii hits a stacking Last Ride Powerbomb and the entire arena thought he won. Brainbuster is blocked … by both men. Ishii floats over and Yujiro grabs the referee. Ishii blocks a low blow but runs into a Yujiro lariat. Both men are down. DUELING FOREARM time. Ishii asks for more shots. Ishii responds and unloads he gets caught and no sells a German Suplex. Yujiro then hits the Intercollege Slam for a two count. Yujiro pulls Ishii up. He goes for Tokyo Pimps. Ishii blocks it by backbodydropping out. He catches a boot and goes for a headbutt, but Yujiro downs him with a forearm. He dropped like a bug on a windshield. Tokyo Pimps gets a two count for Yujiro.
15:00 – Yujiro then hits the Buckle Bomb (thankfully not killing him this time). He picks Ishii up and Ishii avoids the Miami Shine. Ishii finally hits the headbutt. ISHII BUCKLE BOMBS YUJIRO! Well, Ishii’s done it again. Against all odds…following a Taguchi match. Wrestling Yujiro freaking Takahashi. Double clotheslines. Ishii absorbs one and hits another headbutt. HE NAILS THE RUNNING SLIDING CLOTHESLINE (which should be his finisher) and Yujiro kicks out at two. Yujiro floats over for the Brainbuster. He pushes Ishii into the referee. Ishii blocks the low blow and hits another lariat to the kneeling Yujiro. He turns him inside out with a lariat and that gets a two count. Ishii nails the Brainbuster and we have a new champion. (Tomohiro Ishii pinned Yujiro Takahashi at 17:46 with the Brainbuster – Rating: 9/10 – Okay…first my problem with Yujiro vs. Ishii. For the first 10 minutes, we had to sit through another dull Yujiro match. Those aren’t good. Once Ishii starts wrestling an Ishii match, it was a five star match for the rest of the match. It’s sort of like Ric Flair. You go in the ring and wrestle a Ric Flair match, it is guaranteed to me amazing. If you go in to a Ric Flair match and not let Flair take the lead, it can be very much not good. Same thing. Ishii has one style, but if you just run with it, it’ll be great. This match was so good for the last seven minutes, it bumped the match up about four or five rating points. Had they just kept that pace for all 17, it would have been very special.)
Match # 8 – Shinsuke Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto – I promise I did not capitalize the name of the man that is taking the fall just to spoil who is taking the fall in this match. Nakamura pulled out his insanely awesome red pants for this match. YOSHI-HASHI has his designer walking stick. Goto, well, I have nothing to say about him. And Shibata just stares down Nakamura.
0:00 – Nakamura and Shibata start. The are very cautious to start. Very very cautious. They finally start grappling 50 seconds in. They work into the ropes. Shibata with a clean break. Nakamura wasn’t expecting that. They grapple again. Nakamura goes for a leg trip. Into the ropes. Nakamura does the head in chest break so Shibata kicks him. Shibata goes for a double leg. Shibata sprawls and Shibata dodges a roundhouse kick. Loved that exchange (and so did the crowd.) Shibata tags out, so Nakamura decides he’s not interested in wrestling a person who isn’t Shibata and tags YOSHI-HASHI. YOSHI gets an arm drag. He then shoulder blocks Goto down. Shibata dodges an attempted shot, clearly not in the mood to wrestle anyone not named Nakamura. YOSHI blocks a German Suplex and Goto follows him into the ropes and hits a clothesline. Goto hits some shots in the corner. Corner whip and a spinwheel kick and a belly to back suplex follows for a two count. Goto then locks on a Boston Crab. Shibata runs in and boots Nakamura off the apron, just for fun. Shibata clocks Nakamura from getting in to break the hold. YOSHI claws and reaches the ropes.
5:00 – Goto stomps YOSHI and pulls him back to his feet. YOSHI blocks a suplex. Goto blocks one, too. YOSHI floats over on another attempt and walks into a Fireman’s Carry. YOSHI slips out and hits the Blockbuster off the ropes. In comes Shibata and Nakamura off tags. DUELING FOREARMS!!! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Sorry…just chanting along with the crowd. They hit around 15,435 consecutive forearms (each one more entertaining that the previous one) and Nakamura downs Shibata and hits the Nakamura Jiggle in the corner. He puts Shibata up top and hits the running double knees for at two count. Shibata blocks the reverse slam and locks in the sleeper. He then hits a German Suplex. Shibata hits forearms in the corner, downing Nakamura. Uh oh………………………………….SHIBATA DROPKICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never accept any imitations, folks. Shibata with a suplex and a cover for a two count. Nakamura hits the roundhouse kick and the reverse slam. YOSHI attacks Goto and they fight on the floor. Nakamura signals for the Boma Ye. Shibata sidesteps and locks in the Sleeper Hold. Nakamura fades to the ground. He fights back to his feet. Shibata locks in a double arm Octopus Stretch. INSANE! YOSHI with the save. Goto breaks up a Cross Armbreaker.
10:00 – And….Nakamura concedes the match by tagging in (SPOILERS) YOSHI HASHI. YOSHI hits all of his trademarks moves that he hits in tag team matches prior to him getting pinned. Do I really need to type it at this point? He hits a really sloppy slam or piledriver or something. Goto and Shibata fight on the floor. YOSHI with a powerbomb and a cradle for a two count. YOSHI goes up and Goto stops him from hitting a move. Goto and Shibata hits their double neckbreaker to their knees off the top. Shibata with the save. Goto takes out Nakamura and Shibata follows with the Penalty Kick. YOSHI hits Shibata with a lariat for a nearfall as he went for another PK. YOSHI runs into a SHIBATA DROPKICK (standing variety…) Shibata locks in a sleeper hold. YOSHI fades and Penalty Kick! GOAL!!!!! (Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto d. Shinsuke Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI at 13:42 when Shibata pinned YOSHI with the Penalty Kick – Rating: 7/10 – Perfectly fine tag team match. I just had a tough time getting into it with how obvious the finish is…and the fact that I still haven’t gotten into YOSHI-HASHI despite his mini push last month.)
Match # 9 – No. 1 Contender’s Contract “Title?” Match – Kazuchika Okada v. Tetsuya Naito – My question is what would happen if Okada lost by countout? Is it like the Million Dollar Championship in that it can change hands by countout or disqualification? Okada, minus the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Buster Sword comes out. Nothing of note, I just want to point out that he’s missing two really awesome props that he only used once to promote a trading card game.
0:00 – I must point out that I watched their G1 match last night again. I gave that a 9/10. I expect nothing less from this, considering I expect them to get about ten more minutes. They lock up and exchange hammerlocks. Okada has a strange streak of gray-blue in the front of his hair tonight. Now I know how I should dye my hair for work tomorrow. Naito slaps Okada and the crowd comes unglued. I know people think Naito has no chance in this match, but there is not a better guy on the roster to be in this spot at this show. Look at last year when Naito got to wrestle Yujiro Takahashi in this spot. Don’t complain about this match. Okada with a snap mare and a sliding dropkick. Naito with another slap and Okada crumples to the ground. Referee is checking on Okada. Wow…he’s either selling well or he really got clocked. Naito get’s bored and stomps him as a trainer comes over. Naito tries an Irish Whip and Okada crumples down. The trainer and Gedo check on him some more as Naito stomps him to the floor. Really smart move by Naito there. It give Okada some time to figure things out. But yeah, if he’s this bad, the match should be stopped. Naito jumps out at 15 and rolls Okada back in the ring. Naito with a safe snap mare and a running Senton and Okada kicked out at 2.9.
5:00 – Okada locks in a head scissors. He’s doing what he can to give Okada his time, even as he cinches the hold in deep. He releases and covers for a two count. Okada still looks loopy. He stumbles to his feet into the corner. Naito kicks him in the chest. Okada finally fires back with some forearms and Naito hits some nasty forearms and kicks to the chin. Corner whip by Naito as Okada lightly goes into the corner. Definitely legit. I’ve never seen Okada be that soft going into a corner. Naito hits a Draping Neckbreaker in the corner for a two count. He locks in a rear chinlock. I mean, there really is nothing wrong with stopping this match. They have another PPV for Okada to win it back… But anyways, Okada seems to have his bearings now and hits a flap jack. He hits some shots on Naito and boots him in the mouth. Corner whip and a back elbow. Okada puts Naito up top and hits his always impressive dropkick that sends Naito flying to the floor. On the floor, Okada whips Naito into the guard rail and boots him over. Still don’t agree with guys wrestling with concussions, but he’s not as bad off now as Ibushi was in July. Okada then hits a Draping DDT on the floor. Naito goes straight down onto the top of his head.
10:00 – Okada rolls Naito back in the ring. Naito floats over on a bodyslam and hits a slick Tornado DDT using the top rope as the pivot point. Naito springs up and hits the top rope dropkick. Corner trip Slingshot Dropkick follows. Naito holds the ropes and Okada whiffs on a dropkick. Naito hits a low dropkick to the head. He puts Okada up top and goes up. Okada slides under and gets the Over the Shoulder Neckbreaker. Okada hits a dropkick to the gut that sends Naito launching across the ring like my brother did to his best friend in his only professional wrestling match of his life. Okada hits another slam and get a two count. Okada goes for the Tombstone. Naito slides out but runs right into a DDT. Okada kips up. Bodyslam and Okada goes up. He hits the top rope elbowdrop. RAIN MAKER POSE!!!!!! Rain Maker is blocked. Naito runs into some uppercuts. Okada sends him in for the dropkick, but Naito catches him with the Flying Forearm. Naito puts Okada on the top and hits the top rope hurricannranna. Naito with a German Suplex Hold for a two count.
15:00 – Dragon Suplex is block by Okada. Naito hits an enzigiri. Okada reverses a whip and dodges the forearm. Naito dodges the Rain Maker and hits a Shining Wizard. Overhead Head and Arm Suplex gets two. Naito hits the slam and then misses the Stardust Press. Fans really thought he was going to win it right then. Both men are down, drained, and at least one of them is concussed. Naito runs into a boot in the corner. Naito charges again right into the Tombstone position. He tries repeatedly to slip out. He finally does and escapes with elbows. He leaps at Okada into the Tombstone again. He slides over and hits a rolling front kick and gets a Dragon Suplex Hold for a two count. Okada slides behind and hits the Okada Dropkick to the back of the head. Okada then hits the Tombstone Piledriver and screams in delight. Rain Maker is countered twice. Naito ends up on Okada’s shoulders and slides over into a German Suplex hold for a two count. Okada keeps him wrapped and pulls him up and hits the Rain Maker for the pin. (Kazuchika Okada pinned Tetsuya Naito at 19:18 with the Rain Maker – Rating: 9/10 – Concussion be darned, Okada is the man. Excellent match. Naito continues to be one of the best wrestlers in 2014, despite flying totally under the radar. His handling of the concussion in the minutes that followed was excellent.)
Match # 10 – IWGP Heavyweight Title Match – A.J. Styles vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi – In case the doubt was ever in question, Jeff Jarrett accompanied Styles to the ring. Still can’t believe I am typing Jeff Jarrett’s name in 2014…20 years after watching him as an 11 year old in WWF. I feel sick watching this, because this is not the kind of thing I want in my professional wrestling…which is why I avoid WWE now and watch only New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The referee tries to eject Jarrett right away and they somehow talk him out of it, proving once again that how incompetent New Japan referees are.
0:00 – Tanahashi gets back control. They reverse a bunch and Styles grabs the ropes. Clean break. They lock up again. Tanahashi gets a hammerlock. Styles reverses. Tanahashi with a drop toe hold and grabs a face lock. Styles works to his feet and gets into the ropes. Clean break. Tanahashi smiles at that. They cautiously grapple for position. Styles grabs a headlock. Tanahashi tries sending Styles in, but Styles holds the headlock. Tanahashi tries rolling to a cradle but Styles kicks right back out and holds the headlock. Tanahashi works to his feet and rolls through reversing straight into a headlock of his own. Styles works to his feet. He tries sending Tanahashi in, but Tanahashi holds that headlock. You ever wonder how difficult it is to write a near move for move review when one of the men is named “Tanahashi”? His matches vs. Nakamura are brutal. Tanahashi hits a reverse cross body from the middle rope and grabs another headlock. This has the pacing of a 60 minute broadway (is that the term they still use?), which I’d be fine with. I’ll go with 32 minutes right now as my prediction.
5:00 – Styles escapes to the headlock and they get back to their feet and circle. Tanahashi with an arm bar. Styles reverses into one of his own. Tanahashi reverses back . He works Styles down to his knees. Styles gets back up and tries rolling through, but Tanahashi holds the arm bar still. Crowd politely chants for that. Styles pressures Tanahashi into the ropes. Styles teases a clean break, but quickly pulls Tanahashi, who hits throat first on the bottom of the top rope (he was sort of laying on the middle rope.) Styles stomps away and hits a big backbreaker. Jeff Jarrett claps in agreement, waiting for the 31st minute of the match to interfere. Styles hits some chops. He goes into the ropes and Tanahashi follows, clotheslining Styles over the top. Tanahashi goes for a plancha, but Styles sidesteps him. Tanahashi dodges a baseball slide and rams Styles back first into the guard rail. Tanahashi whips Styles at the guard rail. Styles jumps over. He tries the Superman Foerarm off the guard rail, but Tanahashi sidesteps and hits a Northern Lights Suplex (released) on the floor. Tanahashi rolls Styles back in the ring and Styles begs off. Styles rolls to the floor again. Tanahashi follows and Styles catches him and rams him back first into the ring and then the guard rail.
10:00 – Tanahashi gets back in at 14. Styles stomps away. He gets Tanahashi up and hits a bodyslam. Styles hits a jumping knee drop off the ropes. I really hope Minoru Suzuki comes out after this match and challenges Styles. Just wanted to throw that in there while Styles has a chinlock on. Tanahashi escapes and runs into the Styles Dropkick, which even got a replay from the fancy New Japan production truck. Styles slams Tanahashi into the corner and hits some shoulders to the gut. Tanahashi comes firing back with kicks, so Styles chops Tanahashi back into the corner. Corner whip and a jumping clothesline follow from Styles. Corner whip again. Tanahashi gets the feet up and hits a Double Axehandle from the middle rope. Never expected to see that move in this match. That move and a Bear Hug. If I see a Bear Hug though, I may never watch pro wrestling again. Tanahashi with a flying Forearm and then hits the front flip off the middle rope for a two count. Styles floats over on a bodyslam and hits an enzigiri. There have been so many of those tonight. Styles ends up on the apron and tries the Superman Forearm, but Tanahashi catches him on the Springboard and pushes him to the floor. The leads to the High Fly Flow from the top to the floor (the cross body version, anyway.)
15:00 – Jeff Jarrett claps for Styles, looking at his watch, knowing he has to clap for 16 more minutes before his time to do anything. Back in at 16. Tanahashi goes for the High Fly Flow, but Styles pops up and knocks him down. He goes for the Styles Clash, but Tanahashi blocks by holding his arms out. Smart. Styles responds with a Buckle Suplex. Springboard Superman Forearm gets a two count. Styles signals for the Styles lash. Tanahashi blocks it. He ends up landing on his feet in a powerbomb and then sends Styles in a 360 on a Power Bomb throw type move. Styles dodges a clothesline (well…kind of). They exchange shots and Tanahashi hits the Straight Jacket Suplex Hold for a two count. Tanahashi hits an ugly Sling Blade as Styles seemed like he was supposed to do a 360 on a lariat. Styles dodges a clothesline and hits a German Suplex into a Dodon style move and covers for a two count. Crowd just isn’t as into this as I’d expect them to be. Styles goes for the Bloody Sunday. Tanahashi blocks twice. Tanahashi escapes and hits a snap Dragon Suplex.
20:00 – Tanahashi goes up top and hits the High Fly Flow to the back. He goes up again (like an idiot) and he actually hits the High Fly Flow. And Jeff Jarrett is 11 minute early. He pulls the referee out and uncuffs his shirt. and unbuttons his tie. They show a guitar at ringside. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Jarrett grabs the guitar and Styles hits a Pele Kick. Bloody Sunday. Jarrett throws the referee in and Tanahashi kicks out at two. Styles Clash but Tanahashi fights out. Styles throws Tanahashi into the referee. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Jarrett in with the guitar. Some dude saves Tanahashi and chases Jarrett off. Checking stuff out because I heard WWE alot…Hang on. Okay…Yoshi Tatsu. Well, I’m indifferent to that, I guess. Hopefully that is the end of the shenanigans. I’m thoroughly annoyed by now. DUELING FOREARM time. They sell extreme exhaustion. Referee is still down, by the way…being attended to by Captain New Japan. Styles then hits a low blow and Tanahashi summons his inner Curt Hennig on that sell job. Styles hits a kneeling Piledriver.
25:00 – Styles goes for a Springboard 450. Tanahashi gets his knees up. Tanahashi goes up and eats knees on the High Fly Flow. Crowd doesn’t know what to think for all of this wackiness. They chant for Tanahashi. Styles pulls Tanahashi to the corner. He goes up and pulls Tanahashi up, too. He’s gets him up and goes for teh Clash off the top. Tanahashi escapes and tosses Styles off Ric Flair style. Tanahashi goes up and hits the Cross Body High Fly Flow. Tanahashi goes up and HITS THE HIGH FLY FLOW!!! Holy crap! Tanahashi won the title!!! Tanahashi is the champion again. Tanahashi wins the belt for a record 7th time and with that win he ties Great Muta for the most days holding the title in history (1,238). Wow. I really did not expect him to win that, but made for a cool finish. (Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned A.J. Styles at 27:08 to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title with the High Fly Flow – Rating: 8/10 – Very good match, held back by the 20 minute build to Jeff Jarrett. Once they finally got rid of that distraction, it really allowed the performers (not the side shows) to shine. Story wise, it doesn’t make sense, but NJPW clearly had no confidence in Styles’ Japanese drawing power and with the Tokyo Dome looming, this is the best money match they have.)