NOAH: Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Shelton X Benjamin, Killer Elite Squad & Taichi) vs. Naomichi Marufuji, Muhammed Yone, Taiji Ishimori & TMDK – [1/24/15]
The build to Minoru Suzuki challenging Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC Heavyweight Championship continues. Also the build to “Killer Elite Squad” Davey Boy Smith & Lance Archer challenging TMDK for the titles, as that appears to be the hottest tag program going in Japan right now. Plus there’s something supremely wacky about watching Shelton Benjamin taking on the likes of world class Jr. Heavyweight Taiji Ishimori. That could actually prove to be a great singles match eventually, with Benjamin playing the base to Ishimori’s high flying offense. Survivor Series style 5-on-5, with over-the-top-rope eliminations counting as well, as is the custom in Japan.
Maybe the best Jr. division in the world. A rematch from December’s instant classic where Kotoge finally grabbed the brass ring. These two have incredible chemistry, and with both being in their mid-20’s, the future of the GHC Jr. division is looking as strong as any.
UNION: Isami Kodaka & FUMA vs. Shuji Ishikawa & Masato Shibata – [1/24/15]An entire Union Pro show here, courtesy of the homeboy and all around good dude Gaijin Eric (the guy Jim Ross referred to during Wrestle Kingdom as that “guy from Philly going to all the shows”). One thing I love about Union is that they treat the tag champs, little as they may be, as a main event attraction and this show is no different as the straps are on the line in the night cap. Isami Kodaka is on an incredible year-plus run of good matches, and here he teams up with fellow Union Tag champ FUMA, taking on current BJW World Champion Shuji Ishikawa & Masato (“not Katsuyori”) Shibata. Everything after they restart the bullshit no-contest at the 1:49:00 mark is really strong. There’s also a big angle about halfway through the show. Good stuff.