The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s “Road To Destruction 2014: Kōrakuen Night 2” (9/15/14)

Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s “Road To Destruction 2014: Kōrakuen
(Night 2)”
Live from Tokyo, Japan – 9/15/14

[ Click HERE to see the show in it’s entirety without spoilers ]

With the final NJPW pay-per-view of the Ustream era coming on the air in
a couple hours, here goes the most recent Kōrakuen show leading up
to it. There’s also another NJPW show that aired after this one
(available HERE), once again with no commentary, just crowd noise and
ring mics. Of course, with no commentary, I had no idea what was going
on, so you may have to fill in the blanks for me.

Also quick note, if you didn’t check out last night’s Atlantis vs.
Ultimo Guerrero mask vs. mask match, don’t sleep on it. Believe the
hype, it was an incredible way to spend a late Friday night. Plus, the
ROH show with Styles vs. O’Reilly, and Bucks vs. Briscoes is the single
best hour of U.S. wrestling you’ll find on TV this year. Again, don’t
sleep on that one; proof that these wacky North Americans can do this
wrestling s--- as well as anybody in the world. Ok, moving on now……

Taichi & El Desperado vs. Yohei Komatsu & Maximo

I’m watching Taichi & Desperado performing a song in the ring before
the match, but I have it on mute for the moment; Rakim blaring in the
background. For about 2 or 3 seconds there, Taichi’s lip-synching and
body language matched perfectly with the song. You haven’t lived until
you’ve seen Taichi spitting a Rakim verse while Despy plays the Eric B
role (or in this case guitar) in the background. This 3MB gimmick
they’re doing is a welcomed addition that’s effective in livening up
Taichi’s karaoke act.

Taichi begins on his back (ala Low-Ki or KUSHIDA). Komatsu, reigning WON Rookie of the Year, thinks
about it, lunges in, but decides against it. So Taichi switches to the
old Kurt Angle amateur wrestling position… and right on cue Maximo runs
in, in excitement. Taichi is appalled. As Taichi hides in the ropes,
Maximo gently strokes his back like a creepy uncle. A game of mercy
turns to a bridge, Taichi hops on, but Maximo humps him until he’s off,
and then Taichi gets unceremoniously depantsed without permission. No,
the Japanese don’t mind the homophobic overtones, they don’t even mind
Hitler that much.

Maximo gets his lucha flippy-doo wackiness off, and the crowd pops huge.
Komatsu & Desperado in now, and this match picks up quick in terms
of the fight. Komatsu hits a Frankenyohei. Taichi de-skirts him, a
receipt for earlier, but then decides against the results. It’s up and
down with the blouse in between chops. They choke him out on a double
team, but when they won’t break on 5, they get roughed up by the young
referee in a new spot I don’t remember this guy doing before this week.

Nearfalls for Komatsu near the end, which the crowd eats up cuz that’s
really the strength of these Komatsu matches. Taichi then gets met with a
kiss from Maximo and a bridging rollup from Komatsu for 2.9, and the
crowd is losing their s---. That might be the best near-fall of the
night, when we’re done here. You don’t expect the #1 contenders to lose,
but right there you actually believed it! Suzuki-Gun regains control
however, kicks Maximo out of the ring, and hits Komatsu with the assisted
Gory Special looking thing that’s gonna kill somebody one day, for a
definitive three @ 9:22 *** Komatsu is the dude, the #1 contenders are a
fresh act that feels fun, and Maximo is so good at the gay gimmick that
he just got signed to the Cowboys practice squad.
WINNERS: Taichi & El Desperado

Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask IV & “The Funky Weapon” Ryusuke
Taguchi vs.
The Timesplitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & BUSHI

“The Funky Weapon” is out first and the crowd is rocking tonight,
clapping along at will.
Timesplitters come out to the Outatime Orchestra joint as always.
KUSHIDA and the #1 contender start with some wrestling, but when the
Weapon goes for an ankle lock, KUSHIDA knows it’s time to scoot. They run
some ropes ending in Weapon eating a big kick to the face from KUSHIDA.
Don’t Ibushi him, bro. Shelley and Mask tag in. Mask attempts a dive to
the floor, but Shelley evades. Mask may have not known that going in,
but they adlib accordingly. Liger off the top onto Shelley’s taped up
left shoulder, pounding it hard with a chair on the outside as they
brawl through the crowd. Liger in full bad-ass, ain’t-f-------around
mode tonight.

Weapon back in off the top onto the shoulder and locks in a sub, and
then throws KUSHIDA out and tags in TM4 who starts kicking the s--- of
Shelley’s wing. Every time he tries to fight back they just keep
pounding him down until finally Liger eats some knees on a top rope
attempt. Hot tag BUSHI. He cleans house and absolutely IMPALES Liger
with topes. GIF that immediately. BUSHI will not be denied! KUSHIDA
comes in and gets caught with that trademark, textbook Liger
tilt-a-whirl suplex.

Weapon in, to take advantage. KUSHIDA roars back with kicks to the left
arm, and almost gets the Hoverboard lock, but Weapon gets that anklelock
he’s been rocking. Shelley breaks it. Now the action really picks up as
we get 100 moves at a 100 mph and it’s too much to call. The anklelock
battle gets crucial as they reverse reversals of reversals in a spot-on
sequence that ends in a great KUSHIDA bridging roll-up for the three @ 12:16
*** ¼ A little showmanship between champ and contender after the match,
as we’re two matches in and the feel of the hard sell is in full effect.
The KUSHIDA/Weapon thing is clicking way better than it was two weeks
WINNERS: Timesplitters & BUSHI

Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Tama Tonga

Big Ishii chant. He locks up with Tama Tonga. No, he doesn’t. Yujiro
attacks from behind. Boots to Ishii, but he will have none of this
fuckery and fights back with forearms and a big shoulderblock. He grinds
in a headlock but Yujiro bites the thumb like a punk. F--- that, Ishii
drops him with a suplex and tags in Gedo. Yujiro grinds in a headlock
but Gedo bites the thumb like the master of the scientific style that he
is. Kudos. Big Gedo chant for that one, rightfully so. Yuj sends Gedo
to the outside for Tonga to prey upon him. Yujiro on the floor, sends
Ishii into the post and Tiger Hatori starts the 20 count.

Tonga deadlifts Gedo into a Tong Bottom and puts an elbow to the dome.
Gedo chants again. Tonga in control but misses the most athletic
avalanche in the business. Gedo tags out and Ishii is in, no sells a
dropkick, powerslam and a bunch of strong strikes. Killer lariat, but
Tonga fights through the loopiness to nail a nice dropkick and finally
hits that huge Stinger Splash, not realizing Ishii is numb to that s---.
Tag to Yujiro. He starts slapping Ishii in the face. Who in their right
mind would do that? He actually maintains the advantage until Ishii
headbutts this f-----, and Gedo is in there with fists of fury. Some
CHAOS double teaming gets two. Gedo Clutch but Tonga breaks. Ishii
breaks him in half with a lariat, but Yujiro hits Gedo with Tokyo Pimps
for three @……. BUT NO, he pulls him up off the canvas at 2.99
Seriously, eat s--- Yuj. He hits the Miami Shine for the win, which is
Sean O’Haire’s Widowmaker as I get all misty and Bullet Club stands tall
as the victors @ 9:38 *** Gedo put over everybody this month on the way to
the big shows, like a real booker should.
WINNERS: Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi

Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka vs. Forever Hooligans
(Alex Kozlov & Rocky Romero) & Toru Yano

I feel like I’ve seen a billion versions of this match this week. My
money is on Kozlov taking the beating. We start with TAKA & Romero
in the middle with a manly exchange of forearms. Springboard cross body
from Romero and a Frankenrocky lead to a Kozlov tag and we get the wacky
ass spots in the corner that the Hooligans are so goddamned good at.
Kozlov makes TAKA rake his own eyes, but gets triangled in the ropes by a
wide awake Suzuki. He kicks the piss out of Kozlov from the apron and
all hell breaks loose outside the ring. It’s Iizuka, run fuckers!

Now for the spot that we will all remember this show for later on: They
BLOW THE 20 COUNT SPOT, and Kozlov gets rolled in at what would be 23 or
24. They literally didn’t make it in the ring nearly in time and Hatori
had to just stop at 19. Crowd dying in laughter and can’t handle the
hilarity! TAKA is ready to kick Hatori’s ass for not declaring them
the victors. Suzuki with the incredulous facials. With Kozlov back in,
TAKA gets the Ushanka kicks of not so subtle irony on Kozlov. Suzuki
tags in and manages to lock in a double sub on the Hooligans but breaks
on 4 and then lets Hatori know how counts work. Two counts via lateral
presses now, and the joke is still running wild as Suzuki is livid.

Such limited Yano/Iizuka-ness and more of a Suzuki/TAKA vs. Hooligans
match, making for a good bout. As I type that, Iizuka in now to choke
Kozlov to the mat. Suzuki tosses Iizuka the cord and now he’s really
choking away. Crowd in unison behind Kozlov to make the tag, he gets an
enzuigiri and it’s finally hot tag Yano. Crowd loves that, and he takes
the corner apart. Beard Yank! Hatori breaks it physically, and Iizuka
loses hair. He’s about to murder Hatori for that, and this match is
absolutely clicking. They trade Irish whips into the exposed turnbuckle.
Yano goes for the RVD but gets choked from behind with the cord. Suzuki
in finally to break up the one-star nature of Yano vs. Iizuka, and he
locks in an armbar on old nemesis Yano but breaks for TAKA to showboat
and attempt an RVD pose of his own in a mocking fashion. Before he can
finish however, Yano blasts him with the Hackenschmidt Memorial Punch To
The Nuts and gets a roll up for three @ 10:11 *** Very fun match that had
the crowd rocking the whole time.
WINNERS: Forever Hooligans & Toru Yano

Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma vs.
Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi, Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan

Oh lord, it’s the NWA tag titles. Tenzan & Nakanishi start us off
with chops, leading to Mongolian chops, leading to a spin kick from
Tenzan. The most well timed TenKoji combo I’ve seen in a while has
Nakanishi in trouble but he will not sell your b------- double suplex
attempt. He plexes TenKoji both at the same time, and we end up with
Ibushi and Honma in the ring facing off. Honma and Naito get off their
clean little double team sequence on Ibushi, but he pops up leaving
Honma falling headfirst and then he moonsaults Naito. That was dope!
Good to have Kota back and healthy between the ears.

Nagata tags, but Kojima in with 17,342 chops on Nagata in the corner and
of course “Ichauzo Bakarayo”. Nagata with a Nagata Lock, Nakanishi with
a back breaker, and the Yuji-taker face of doom. Ibushi and Naito in,
and it’s as good in the ring as it is on paper. Crazy duel has Naito
ahead with the basement dropkick and rolling senton. Is that a Naito
chant? He goes German (again, the Japanese don’t mind), but Ibushi
almost eats a wicked DDT. Only God knows how, but he kips up and
headstands out of it on some serious 1984 Bruce Leroy s---. Huge lariat
puts Naito down.

Crowd Going Banana. We get the old everybody-run-at-Naito-in-the-corner
spot, highlighted by the uber-athletic Ibushi. CNJ thinks he can finish
Naito but eats a flying burrito, one of my favorite spots when it’s
coming from Naito. Everybody brawls out, but we’re left with Naito and
CNJ. Honma outta nowhere to drill him with the Kokeshi and Naito
finishes with the stardust press to home the duke @ 12:40 Honma’s team wins again!
***¼ Everybody looked good here, in particular Ibushi. Tenzan and Kojima
hold their NWA tag titles with incredible pride, as if they mean
something. Nagata & Nakanishi take exception to the bravado and the
build to that tag title match is at the very least ambitious. We’re
talking about the 13th most important match of the upcoming 2-day event,
and they’re giving it a story. I’m totally cool with that. It beats the
meaningless tags they throw out there in the undercard all the time.
WINNERS: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma

Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Karl Anderson,
Doc Gallows & Bad Luck Fale

Shinsuke looking mad inspired tonight. YOSHI out with Okada, despite the
graphics having him coming out with Nak. This makes way more sense with
the tag title match coming up. Bullet Club comes out waving the flag,
while the tag champs come out in camo vests. Sadly we can’t really make
out the s--- they’re talking down the aisle. Anderson immediately
disrespects YOSHI before the bell, and YOSHI is in full
f----you-bring-it mode, starting off with Anderson. Crowd chants his
name and the Machine Gun attacks before the bell.

CHAOS thrown to the outside as BC puts the boots to YOSHI mid-ring.
HASHIcanrana and that wicked Headhunter neckbreaker give YOSHI the
control, and now Okada and Nakamura in, but Anderson manages to foil all
three. Brawl on the outside and its Breaking Down In The Prefecture Of
Tokyo. “So desu ne” on commentary and I take another drink. Anderson
goes all Rainmakah Pose-u on the outside, and the ref finally implements
a 20 count. Anderson talking s--- to the fans at ringside; so great. We
tag out to Nakamura & Fale. Amazing 80’s Hair Metal gyrations in
the corner from Nakamura as he goes all Dial MTV on us. The running knee
in the corner gets two.

Crowd behind Shinsuke but he gets slammed and splashed for a two. Tongan
Drop gets a “So Desu Ne” on commentary, but sadly I’m down to my last
one. We get Anderson mocking Nakamura’s gyrations, complete with gun
gestures, but he misses a senton. Hot tag to Okada, to a huge pop. He
hits some offense and kips up. The YOSHIkada tandem gets all their
double team s--- off, but BC gains the advantage eventually, culminating
in Okada catching a superplex from Anderson. They trade moves as Okada
tries the Too Awesome Drop Kick, but Anderson holds out. All three from
BC in there now and they are really breaking off a beating to Okada.
Modified 3D gets a 2.9999, and everybody hits a move on everybody else
as we near our conclusion.

YOSHI lays out Gallows with a lariat, and Okada gets the Flying Elbow
and Rainmakah Pose-u. Shades of the tag title match to come. Okada gets
the Too Awesome Drop Kick on Anderson and Rainmaker on Gallows for the
three @ 11:56 *** ½ We get the 2 requisite stare downs,
YOSHIkada/GallowsAndGun & Nakamura/Fale. The Okada & YOSHI
pairing is on fire right now. It’ll be interesting to see if NJ is
cashing in on it, or if they keep BC the champs until Tokyo Dome for a
rematch with KES.

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki

Shiboto (or Gobata, whatever) makes their way to the ring, and I can’t
help but think we’re gonna have a good one right here. Shibata’s music
never fails to signify “go time”. Tanahashi down the aisle now, and
after looking all loveable Von Erich-like a couple nights earlier, he
has this frustrated look of “Really, I have to placate this asshole
again?” This match has multi-feud implications, and so we start with
Goto & Makabe, building to that singles match. They’re gonna try to
steal the show when they get there, but as for tonight, Goto backs
Makabe onto the ropes when Makabe turns him around and grants a clean

Tanahashi & Shibata tag in. Sounds like a lot of Shibata fans,
though I’m sure Tanahashi has his Cena section of hot babes and little
dudes. These guys won’t give each other an inch, and Tana finally hits a
big slap to the face of Shibata. Forearms and a big kick from Shibata,
as I can’t help but think he’s gonna hold onto that receipt for a
minute. Tanahashi, ready to rock, goes to knock him off the apron but
Shibata catches him in a choke. Nice. Goto goes to brawl with Makabe on
the outside. Back in, he nails a kick to the back for a one. Crowd
behind Tanahashi now. Shibata absolutely lays the forearms in real
stiff, drags Tanahashi to the middle of the ring and hits him with his
own dragon screw. Tana rolls out but Shibata brings him back in. Hits
another dragon screw and locks in the figure four. Makabe comes in to
break it.

Goto now, single leg crab to that right leg of Tanahashi while Shibata
taunts from the corner but Tanhashi makes the tag. Gunshot kicks to the
chest of Tanahashi. Double team kicks laying Tanahashi out. Red shoes
won’t count it though, due to nefarious means. Finally after this
lengthy ass whooping, Tanahashi hits a dropkick on each and makes the
hot tag. It should be noted: Not a 730 degree barbed wire corkscrew
twisting flippy-doo to peak the crowd before the hot tag, but just drop
kicks because that’s what makes the tag hot; the build. It’s science.

Makabe in and he’s a house of fire. Big lariato gets two. “So Desu Ne”,
but I’m already out of beer. Ushikoroshi from Goto to Makabe, but they
only stay laid out for about 10 seconds before Shibata comes in and gets
cut down with a lariat. Tanahashi back in, and he hits his horizontal
cross body in the corner. 2nd rope rolling senton gets two. Crowd
chants, but they sound divided. Tana hitting Shibata with his own move,
forearms in the corner, goes to top it off with the dropkick but Shibata
won’t have it. He beats Tana to the punch and gets the big running
boot, followed by the forearms and finally the dropkick. All of which is
just incredibly stiff. Shibata sets up the PK, but Tana meets him first
with a Slingblade-o, and to the top but gets drilled with a boot to the
face from Shibata.

Double Ushikoroshi from Goto & Shibata off the top. Tana fights back
eventually with a slingbalde-o but before he can even make it to his
feet, Shibata hits him with a nice German. He however walks into a huge
lariat from Makabe. All four down. Great sequence. Miscommunication
leads to a Shibata-Goto double team going wrong, and Makabe turns Goto
inside out with a clothesline, complete with Jannetty sell from Goto.
Makabe to the top for the King Kong knee drop, but Goto meets him there
first. Shibata in to help, and Goto gets the Ushikoroshi to Makabe and
follows with a Shoten Kai for the win @ 16:59 **** These two singles matches should be guaranteed fire on the 21st.
WINNERS: Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto

Fun show, but nothing special. Dragon Gate had a much better showing at
Kōrakuen earlier in the week, with the Flamita defense and the T-Hawk
& Eita tag match. That said, this was an enjoyable 2 hours of
wrestling, with a really good crowd, and the build to the big shows on
9/21 & 9/23 is at its peak. Once again the card for the very last
NJPW pay-per-view on stacks up like this:

– The Young Bucks & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Forever Hooligans (Kozlov & Romero)
– KUSHIDA (c) vs. The Funky Weapon – for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
– Togi Makabe vs. Hirooki Goto – grudge match
– AJ Styles & Tama Tonga vs. Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito – (Styles vs. Ibushi~!!)
– Gallows & Gun (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI – for the IWGP Tag Team Championship
– Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata – in a rematch of their classic from this year’s G1 Climax
– Bad Luck Fale (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura -for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship

The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s “Blue Justice V” (9/7/14)

The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s “Blue Justice V” (9/7/14)
Live from Togane, Chiba, Japan – 9/7/14

this weekend’s big 9/21/14 pay-per-view “NJPW Destruction in Kobe
standing right now as the very last Ustream show before their PPV
division folds, let’s hit these shows leading up to it. The PPV itself
is stacked, which we’ll cover along the way.

Quick note, the
9/13/14 NJPW show that aired after this one actually has *No
Commentary*, just the crowd and the ring mics. For those who can’t get
passed the language barrier, it’s available in its entirety by CLICKING HERE. I tried reviewing it, but without the announcers telling me what I
was looking at, I had no idea what was going on, tbh.

Sho Tanaka vs. Yohei Komatsu

With the taped nature of this show,
we skip intros and join the match in progress. Tanaka gets a body
slam, and a lateral press for two. And a second, and a third, also for
two. He
locks in the Boston crab, usually the finisher of choice for both guys.
finally reaches the ropes to a nice pop, eventually hitting a nice drop
kick and gaining the full advantage. Off the ropes and he drills
Tanaka with a forearm and a Boston crab of his own. Come on Sho, you can
out brother. They keep fighting for that crab, until Sho finally makes
the ropes. Komatsu with a big forearm again, but gets dropped with a
Tanak Bottom. They trade roll-ups for two counts and Sho, in a display
strength (Sho of Strength?), catches Komatsu in some strange slam
into a single leg crab and pulls him back to the middle of ring to make
Komatsu tap @ 5:40 aired (officially 8:35 according to the graphic). **¾

WINNER: Sho Tanaka

Taichi vs. M


A rematch of a classic, from back in the day. Taichi looks scared to death, as
Máximo prances around the ring. Greco Roman nipple grab sends Taichi back to
his corner. Taichi attempts a go-around, only to realize that his attempts at
offense are actually quite welcomed. Máximo does some lucha-esq handstands into
a kiss, but Taichi avoids it and tosses this sick, sexual predator out of the
ring. He whips him into the guard rail, tosses the ref and jabs Máximo down
with a chair.

He goes all in, grabbing Máximo’s
junk, in attempt to neutralize Máximo’s most explosive weapon. Seriously, he just grabbed
a handful of dick like it was a side head lock or something. What part of the
game is THIS? Back in the ring, and Taichi locks in an eye rake, milking it for
every last second until the ref finally breaks it. More choking in the corner,
more milking. Finally the referee (the young one, not Red Shoes or Hitori) puts
the boots to Taichi in a fun spot. Fans getting behind Máximo now which I have
to assume he enjoys quite a bit. He sends Taichi out to the aisle and hits a
nice bullet-like tope. Back in the ring that gets two. Evil Taichi goes back to
the eyes again but gets nailed by a springboard butt-butt. A quick roll-up almost
gives Máximo the victory, but just a two. Taichi fires back with a super kick
and they’re both down. Máximo rips Taichi’s pants off before Taichi can do it
himself (Taichi yanks his rip-a-ways off late in matches). Shocked, Taichi
loses his focus and gets drilled with a… big wet kiss from Máximo. Fruit roll-up
attempt on Taichi but he hangs on to the ref yanking him down to the mat. With
the ref down, Taichi grabs the karaoke mic stand. The ref recovers in time to
see this and somehow in the fracas Taichi pushes the ref into another big wet
kiss attempt. As the ref goes to scrap his tongue off in the corner, Taichi gets
the mic stand, drills Máximo and rolls him up in the Gedo Clutch (the “courtesy
flush” to CHIKARA fans, I believe) @ 7:29 ** Fun, perverted little match.
WINNER: Taichi

“Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask & “The Funky Weapon” RyusukeTaguchi vs.
BUSHI & The Timesplitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA)


Good to see the Splitters back together here, as KUSHIDA has been
focusing more on his IWGP Jr. championship, despite the fact that he’s also
half of the Jr. Tag champs with Shelley. Next singles defense is against The
Funky Weapon later this month, so we begin with those two. KUSHIDA, a former
MMA fighter who went undefeated in 8 fights, attempts his Hoverboard Lock
finisher early on, but Weapon makes the ropes.

They both tag out and we get BUSHI vs. Tiger Mask. These two actually had a
rare singles match back in May at “NJPW Pro-Wrestling War in Thailand”, one of
the hidden gems of the year. They run through a bunch of lucha, ending in a
tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Shelley tags in. TM4 targets Shelley’s bad arm, Weapon & Masks play subtle heel. Liger in
with the surfboard. Shelley hulks up, shakes off a Funky Weapon enzuigiri and
nails a super kick. He finally makes the tag to KUSHIDA, who’s throwing heel
kicks to everyone. He’s going at it with Weapon, who attempts to hit his
finisher, the Dodon, while KUSHIDA tries to get a Hoverboard lock out of that,
and now everybody’s in the ring.

Splitters taking it to Liger with their trademark double team
combinations, and
now Shelley over the top onto Mask. BUSHI drills Weapon with missile
dropkick. Lucharoonie, lucharoonie, lucharoonie! That needed Mark
Madden. All six in there now and it’s mask-on-mask violence ending with a
flying headbutt from TM4 onto BUSHI. Weapon sets up the Dodon on BUSHI,
that gets countered into a roll-up for two. Weapon gets the ankle lock
out of
that for another submission win @ 10:00 exactly, on the way to his title
shot September 21st. **¾  KUSHIDA lets him know after
the match who the champ is, and we get a mini pull-apart. Shelley even gets
some English promo time during the presser.

WINNERS: Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask IV & “The Funky Weapon” Ryusuke Taguchi

TAKA Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka & El Desperado vs. Toru Yano &Forever Hooligans (Alex Kozlov & Rocky Romero)

JIP, and I can’t complain. We’re already
rocking here with the Hooligans doing their revolving door double-team
combos. Kozlov gets the Ushanka
sequence, and Taka rolls out. Kozlov drops back to set up a tope but
yanked out the ring by Suzuki-gun, and it’s Bonzohashi Gonzoyashi.
TAKA rocking the Ushanka. Desperado in, as Kozlov plays Mikhail Morton.
rocking the Ushanka at ringside now. Awesome. Iizuka chokes Kozlov with a
cord and
hangs him off the ropes, until the ref finally breaks it up. Iizuka goes
the pin, but the ref will not dignify nefarious means.

We get the old everybody hits a move in the corner bit (including
Taichi, in
the Ushanka). Kozlov fights back like any communist babyface full of
should and makes the hot tag to Romero. Wacky corner clotheslines
abound. More Iizuka, more cord, but the ever noble Yano yanks Iizuka by
beard and Taka by the hair. He undoes the corner padding and whips
Iizuka in. Yano gloats in self-appreciation, but Iizuka comes back from
behind and chokes
away, tosses the ref, and nails a chairshot for a DQ @ 8:44 aired (9:27
officially). *¾  The stuff with the
Hooligans and Desperado was fine, as is anything involving the Ushanka. The
rest was nothing to write home about. Suzuki-gun nails Yano with Iizuka’s iron
fingers after the match. Par for the course. 
WINNERS: Forever Hooligans & Toru Yano via DQ

Tanahashi & Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) vs.
Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito & Captain New Japan

Tanahashi is in complete Von Erich
mode on his way to the ring. Makabe & Goto give it a go before CNJ tags in. Tanahashi comes in looking for a fight, perhaps
still mad CNJ caused their team to go 1-5 in last year’s G1 Tag League. Or even
worse, 0-6 the year before that. Tana gets the advantage and mocks the superhero pose. Honma and
Naito in now. Big chops middle of the ring, and Honma goes for the falling
headbutt, missing of course. Rolling senton from Naito gets two. Honma rocking
one hell of a Thizz Face, writhing in pain. Tanahashi makes the tag. Dude is
full of beans tonight. Gets all of his trademark s--- off (forearm, dragon
screw, 2nd rope rolling senton, etc.), but Naito sweeps the leg from
the apron and nails the springboard dropkick.

in to take everybody out, which may have been comedy that the crowd isn’t
cluing themselves into. In the midst of the madness Honma nails the GNARLY
DART on Naito, while Makabe gets a 2 count on CNJ. Clotheslines him down, to
the top, and hits the King Kong Knee Drop for the win @ 12:28 *** Honma is a winner,
and therefore we all are. Goto attacks Makabe after the match and we get a nice
heated pull apart. This of course is another one-on-one match booked
for the big shows next week. Goto gives a smooth promo backstage post-match. Makabe walks right in shortly after and talks some s--- of his
own. That was so old school Bob Caudle should have been holding the mic.

WINNERS: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)


Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Gedo & YOSHI-HASHIvs.Karl
Anderson, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga

A rematch of the Survivor Series 5-on-5 from two nights before. Yujiro licks his NEVER
title at ringside. Creepy
little f---! To balance this out, bad ass YOSHI-HASHI pushes the rest of CHAOS out to the apron
because he wants Yujiro right now. Hair pulling to start, because let’s be
honest, no mere mortal could win a fair fight against YOSHI without cheating.
We get some of Yujiro’s average looking offense before he walks right into a
Frankenhashi. Yujiro, now a beaten and broken man after taking that last move,
tags out to Tama Tonga. Ishii tags in and we have a hell of a fight on paper:
The man that inspired George Thorogood to write “Bad to the Bone”,
Tomohiro Ishii… going head to head with a guy who was raised by King Haku.

Big forearms mid-ring, but years of Ishii
falling on his bean have erased some vital information, like never headbutt a
Pacific Islander! This goes about as bad as you’d expect, but Ishii comes back,
shaking off an athletic dropkick and rocking Tama with a shoulderblock. He
knocks Yujiro off the apron but turns around into a spear and Bullet Club takes
the advantage. All 10 men start going at it now, and it’s Breaking Loose in
Chiba. Order resumes, and BC is dissecting the left arm of Ishii. Okada comes in to
help, but gets sent packing. Fale in with Ishii, and they fight over a
waistlock. He nails Fale with a headbutt to the chest and
gets a big vertical suplex.

Shinsuke in and he gets the wacky 80’s hair metal gyrations in the
corner. Inverted powerslam, but Fale’s too big. They trade blows in the
middle, but a
Samoan Drop (Tongan?) leaves Nakamura laid out, until he can make the
tag to YOSHI-HASHI, who’s in there with crisp offense as always, hitting
a big lariat that keeps Yujiro down.
Okada in now with his full repertoire, but Anderson blocks the flying
elbow and
hits a big boot. F--- that, Okada drills him with the Too Awesome Drop
Tags Gedo in, crowd approves. He makes the mistake of picking a fight
Gallows however, and almost catches a Magic Killer but Ishii makes the
Gedo with a jawbreaker but falls into a Gun Stun out of thin air from
Anderson for
the duke @ 14:23 ***¼ Once again this week, Gedo the booker, does the
Nakamura & Okada are hesitant to leave though, talking s--- to their
respective opponents. And YES, we get an Anderson promo! Maybe the best
mouthpiece in the business today (that actually wrestles). We get the
chorus of “Too Sweet” bombs. Meanwhile, Okada & YOSHI-HASHI also
have words for CHAOS, backstage. This time next week YOSHI could be a

WINNER: Bullet Club

TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

event time, as we pay honor to the great Yuji Nagata. This Blue Justice
event is the annual “All Praise be to Nagata” show held in his
hometown, so he gets his one big main event for the year, although this
he’s had a bunch coming off the really strong GHC heavyweight title
reign. In
retrospect, they should have kept the strap on him. He’s a bigger star
anybody they have on the roster, but I digress. This is non-title, as
are poised to hold the NWA tag titles forever and a day. It is however a
prelude to an actual title match between the two teams on the 9/23

Tons of Nagata signs in the crowd. The chick who gives Nagata the flowers, does
the Nagata Dance. That’s money. He locks up with Kojima to begin, and they’re
tearing it up with forearms. They both tag out, and Nakanishi
wants a test of strength. This proves rather even until Tenzan busts out the
Mongolian chops. Yuji back in, kicks Kojima off the apron and focuses on Tenzan
mid-ring, until Kojima gives him a receipt, into the guard rail on the outside.
Standard slingshot double team from TenKoji gets two. “So desu ne” after “so
desu ne” on commentary, my liver can’t take it, I only have two hollow legs.
Tenzan to the top for the bulldog variation. That gets two, but the fans are
behind Nagata.

TenKoji in full control of Nagata, who’s fighting from underneath here.
to the top but he misses a flying headbutt, giving Nagata a chance to
make the
hot tag to Nakanishi. The uncoordinated offense of
Nakanishi is running wild. To the top rope, and he gets a missile
dropkick for two, cracking up commentary in the process. You gotta love
Maggle. Spin kick from Tenzan turns the tide, and Kojima back in with
chops in the corner “Ichauzo Bakarayo”. He even says it himself this
time. Top
rope elbow gets two, and a recovered Nagata is back in.
Exploder to Kojima gets two. Big kicks to the back just piss Kojima off,
they slug it out mid-ring. Vintage Nagata, as he feigns the dropkick,
but instead of taking out the knee like usual, slaps Kojima across the
face. Then
he takes out the knee. Tenzan in though, and they get the 3-D (10-D ?).
comes the elbow pad for the Kozy Lariat, but it’s a bad idea as he walks
into a Nagata lock. Nagataker Eyes~! All 4 in the ring now, and we get
Nakanishi-related sloppiness. He’s falling all over the place. Kojima in
to fix
that, gets a close two on Nagata, but the kick out wakes up the crowd.

Big German
and a brainbuster from Nagata but Kojima won’t stay down. Nakanishi, having
taken care of Tenzan on the outside, climbs to the top, and we get that awesome
flying chop/enzuigiri combo. Yuji gets the big Backdrop Hold on Kojima for the three @ 18:02. **¾ Pretty sloppy at
times, but it had Nagata and Kojima and it almost went 20. Yuji cuts a promo
after the match, letting TenKoji know that they’re coming for the straps on the 23rd.
WINNERS: Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

show, middle of the road. I don’t think I’d ever ask for Nakanishi in a
main event, but to pay honor to Nagata it was fine. The one thing these
NJPW shows in September have done a really effective job of so far is
building to the big events next week. They’ve given me every reason to give a s---
about the BC/CHAOS matches, and the KUSHIDA title defenses.

The 9/21 show is the very last pay-per-view, as Ustream’s PPV division is folding before the end of the
month. Granted NJPW will land on it’s feet and find another strong
provider to the PPV market, but it is the end of an era. A fantastic era
in professional wrestling; that goes for Ring Of Honor and Dragon Gate
as well. Ustream had a hell of a run. Here goes the top matches for Saturday night:

– The Young Bucks & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Forever Hooligans (Kozlov & Romero)
– KUSHIDA (c) vs. “The Funky Weapon” Ryusuke Taguchi – for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
– AJ Styles & Tama Tonga vs. Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito – (have Styles & Ibushi ever wrestled?)
– Gallows & Gun (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI – for the IWGP Tag Team Championship

– Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata – in a rematch of their classic from this year’s G1 Climax

– Bad Luck Fale (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura -for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship

The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s “Road To Destruction 2014: Kōrakuen” (9/5/14)

The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW’s “Road To Destruction 2014: Kōrakuen”
Live from Tokyo, Japan – 9/5/14
[ Click HERE to see the show in it’s entirety without spoilers ]

New Japan’s first show back, after the tremendous success of the G1 Climax. No huge matches on this card, but it features a bunch of returns and should provide some perfectly acceptable entertainment.

Alex Shelley & Sho Tanaka vs. Taichi & El Desperado

Ah, it so good to have Shin Nihon Pro Wres back in the fold. I have truly missed the wacky half-dissolves used by the production truck. Taichi and his fresh new haircut lip synch their way down the aisle. Desperado looks far more comfortable in this new heel persona since joining Suzuki Gun. Taichi has a microphone stand and Desperado has a guitar. They’re a band. I get it now. Keep these guys as a team forever. With the G1 featuring the same 22 guys night after night, it feels like I haven’t seen these guys in months. Shelley’s regular partner KUSHIDA has bigger fish to fry tonight in the semi-main. This match also marks the glorious return of Taichi, fresh off a two month suspension for cheating on his wife on the road (that’s a shoot, brother). Sho Tanaka, who hasn’t had a match since early July, comes out with a brand new body. Nothing fishy there. It is fun though watching these young guys come of age though, as Sho looks much more grown in comparison to when he debuted not too long ago.

Taichi and Desperado are already doing miscommunication for comedy, before the bell. Sho starts with Desperado, who backs off and heels on the crowd. They trade wristlocks and Desperado escapes by weaving through the ropes, leaving Sho’s arm all tied up. Before he can tag to Shelley he gets whipped into the opposing corner and Taichi tags in. Sho gets the tag to Shelley, and it’s a battle of Vanilla Swirl haircuts. Taichi off the ropes but Shelley returns fire with a drop kick. Desperado in and he gets a big back body drop. Shelley sets up a tope but gets yanked out of the ring by Despy. Taichi goes to set one up but gets caught by a big Tanaka forearm. The kid’s got timing. Taichi friggin’ drills him with a savate kick however. Commentary: “Oh Shiiit!” Taichi’s been on fire since the scandal. All four brawling on the outside, and it’s Bonzosuke Gonzosuke. Really strong first couple of minutes.

Taichi clocks Shelley with a couple chairshots. They double team Shelley in the corner, effectively cutting off the ring. Shelley trying to fight back, goes to make the tag, but Sho has been yanked from the apron. More double teaming abounds. Shelley remains resilient, nails a couple strikes and tags in Sho. He’s all full of spunk taking it to the heels. Drop kicks Taichi out of the ring. Gut wrench suplex for two, and he syncs in a Boston crab on Desperado, but gets cracked with a big kick to the chest from Taichi. Taichi de-pants himself, a sorely missed spot since he disappeared after the BOSJ. Some miscommunication results in a small package from Sho for two. He gets another roll up for two. Kōrakuen digging the kid. Desperado catches him with a big front face drop. Big kick from Taichi and we get a Gory Special 3D looking neckbreaker variation for the win @ 8:27 ** ¾ Taichi goes to work on Shelley with a chair after the match. Desperado grabs the mic and (I assume) says he’s “coming for you N……… JPW Junior tag straps”. The heels go all 3MB and play themselves to the back. WINNERS: Taichi & El Desperado

Jushin “Thunder”Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. BUSHI & Maximo

We get another return in the second match as Maximo steps in a NJPW ring for the first time since January. He’s basically Rico, complete with kissing-his-way-out-of-headlocks and the whole nine. Ironically, one of the highlights for me during his last run here was when he teamed with Liger, leading to Liger adopting the gimmick for one night. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen Liger get light in the loafers. Liger & Tiger Mask are fresh off a tour of NOAH, where they competed in the Global Jr. Tag League, coming one DQ loss away from the finals. Mask in particular looked rejuvenated and was strong in the “heel from the rival company” role. We begin things with BUSHI and Tiger Mask. No, it’s Liger. They can’t decide. Liger & BUSHI trade headlocks, and take it to the mat. Some chain wrestling leads to BUSHI feigning a dive, resulting in applause. Maximo tags in, so Liger tags out. Tiger Mask in there now, and the excitement has Maximo twirling up a storm. Mask goes to tag out, but Liger isn’t having it.

Maximo rubs Mask down, to a less than enthusiastic reaction, and follows up with an attempt at a Greco Roman Lip Lock, but eats some kicks from TM4 instead. BUSHI back in now. They drill him with kicks and a classic Liger tilt-a-whirl suplex, as he syncs in the bow and arrow. Mask comes in and applies a camel clutch, really wrenching back on the spine of BUSHI, whose getting bent like a greeting card in there tonight. Tiger Mask hits the Tiger Driver, and Liger comes in but has to fight off another Maximo sexual advance. Mask flies in outta nowhere but so does BUSHI. Maximo back on his feet, as he and BUSHI hit Stereo Topes. Liger ducks another kiss attempt, and pulls down Maximo’s singlet (“exposing his girly breasts” is the theory I suppose), and Liger steals his thunder as HE PLANTS A KISS ON MAXIMO, and rolls him up for three @ 6:49 ** The Terry Garvin School of Self Defense~! Maximo is clearly not that bummed that he lost. Liger goes to celebrate with TM4 who barely gives him a halfhearted hand shake. Mask ain’t having none of that post-victory hugging stuff though. WINNERS: Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Tiger Mask IV

Yuji Nagata, Captain New Japan & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Satoshi Kojima,Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yohei Komatsu

Yes, TenKoji are STILL the NWA Tag Champions, reminding you by wearing their belts to the ring throughout the G1. What the f--- is CNJ wearing tonight? Moving along, we start with Nakanishi & Tenzan (who had a great G1, and the crowd is behind him right here). Shoulderblocks prove even and we switch to chops. Tenzan with the Mongolian chops now and Nakanishi goes down, but as he lays on his back he sweeps the leg. They tag out to CNJ and Komatsu (reigning WON Rookie of the Year); crowd firmly down with the latter. Stalemate for a nice pop. Komatsu off the ropes strong with a resounding shoulderblock.

Kojima in and he’s Flexin’ His Pecs! Captain would return the favor but he’s wearing a blue camouflage onesie. CNJ attempts a diving cross body but whiffs. TenKoji with the slingshot splash double team, and Komatsu’s back in. Say what you will, NJ doesn’t have a ton of youthful depth, but the two guys they really like (Tanaka & Komatsu) can straight up go. Komatsu stomps away, CNJ fights back and Komatsu slaps him like he’s Ray McDonald’s pregnant wife. Kojima with a million chops in the corner to the crowds delight. “Ichauzo Bakarayo”! Kojima to the top, gets the falling elbow for two, while the crowd chants his name in unison. CNJ with a shoulderblock out of nowhere though, and Nagata’s finally in there with big kicks. And more. He fakes the dropkick and takes out the knee. Kojima fighting back, but Nagata gets an exploder. Kojima however hits a diamond cutter to escape. It’s breaking down in Bunkyō!

CNJ now delivering Mongolian chops to Tenzan. Blasphemer. He ends up catching a rolling crescent kick, and Tenzan tags in Komatsu. TenKoji and Komatsu with the triple team, and now all 6 are in. We settle back in with Komatsu vs. CNJ, and CNJ hits the Rock Bottom but looks to be getting 3D’d by TenKoji when Nagata breaks it up and pounds Komatsu into the mat. Nagata & Nakanishi hit a sweet flying-chop-off-the-top-mixed-with-an-enzuigiri double team. CNJ comes in and hits a kinda choke thingy on Komatsu for the.. three count? @ 10:21 ** Geez Komatsu, talk about paying dues. Nobody should have to suffer the indignity of jobbing to CNJ. Must have been the omnipotent power of the Blue Camo PJ’s. WINNERS: Yuji Nagata, Captain New Japan & Manabu Nakanishi

Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka vs. Alex Kozlov, Rocky Romero & Toru Yano

Kaze Ni Nare blares throughout Kōrakuen as Suzuki-Gun makes their way to the ring. Iizuka rampages through the crowd on his way, throwing chairs and the like. Suzuki, it should be noted, is fresh off the Match of the Year with AJ Styles, and a killer main event with Okada that sent the latter to the finals. Kozlov gets a hug and a kiss from a beyotch on the way to the ring. Adorable. that said, he’s totally in PETA violation. Suzuki-Gun jump ‘em to start. In a great bit, ring announcer Kimihiko Ozaki gets dropped during the fracas, and referee Tiger Hatori  kicks his rolling carcass out of the ring. Ay, it’s the little things that count.

FH rock some double team stuff on TAKA to start, but get lost in the moment. They Hug It Out~! Ushanka kick sequence to TAKA. Springboard cross body from Romero and the clotheslines in the corner. Tope, but no, MiSu triangles the arm in the ropes. Former tag partners Yano & Iizuka begin to brawl to the back on the outside now. Suzuki whips Romero into the guard rail, and we get an “Oh S---” on commentary again. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, we don’t need English commentary anywhere near these shows. Keep whitey away from the product! Suzuki back in the ring with Romero, big kick to the back, and Suzuki-Gun destroys him on the outside while Tiger Hatori is focused elsewhere.

TAKA back in, and he’s doing Romero’s wacky clotheslines and a knee lift for two. Romero back on the outside getting murdered on the guard rail by MiSu. Romero taking an absolute killing right now. Big steel chair to the back from Suzuki on the outside. Romero gets back in the ring. Iizuka choking him out with a rope now. This is an absolute ass whooping Romero is taking in there; 0.8 on the Christy Mack scale. Chokes him out, but Hatori won’t count. Finally, a desperation enziguri connects for Romero. Hot tag to Yano and he’s tearing up the furniture. He whips Iizuka into the exposed steel of the turnbuckle, but misses a charge and eats steel. Iizuka does the same and Yano back in control. They trade forearms, but Yano GRABS BEARD. This s--- is sloppy as the f---. Finally Suzuki back in looking like a million bucks. A big killer kick gets two, but Yano yanks the hair. Kozlov in, gains an advantage on Suzuki and the Hooligans double team with the rotating clotheslines in the corner. Dropkick into the Russian leg sweep gets two. Assisted “Sliced Bread-o” (called on commentary) gets two. Face stomp from Kozlov but TAKA breaks it up. Commentary expounds the virtues of the Sliced Bread-o. Closest thing we got these days to the wisdom of Monsoon, I tell ya. Hooligans double up on Suzuki but Taichi interferes, Kozlov says f--- it, gets a roll up and that almost gets three. Suzuki sleepers him out and hits the Delayed Gotch for the pin @ 13:18 Suzuki is great. The Hooligans are great. That Yano vs. Iizuka stuff was junky. *** WINNERS: Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka

Kota Ibushi & Hirooki Goto vs. Great BashHeel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)

Back from intermission. Another return as we get Kota Ibushi’s first NJPW match back since the ugly incident with KUSHIDA on July 5th. For those who don’t remember he was accidently knocked out legit early in the bout, and had to finish the match as it was a main event, and subsequently a title change in the making, no less. He did return on August 17th for DDT’s biggest show of the year, going **** against Shuji Kondo in a strong match full of brutal strikes. Homeboy looks legit thrilled to be back between those New Japan ropes. Mad bulkier. He cut a promo before the show saying he would not avenge his Jr. Heavyweight World title loss. He only has one goal now, to win the G1 and become the Heavyweight champ. Ok, two goals, whatever. Makabe did not make it to G1 Day 11 as he re-fractured his jaw at some point during the tournament. We’ll see how it holds up. Great to see Honma back, as always.

We start with Makabe and Goto, the latter being the man who broke Makabe’s jaw the first time earlier this year when he hit him with a vicious kick to the mouth. Makabe wins a tough guy fest to start, but gets hip tossed and shoulderblocked down by Goto. Ibushi in, crowd digs it. Honma in now. Ibushi against the guy who replaced him. OH THE IRONY! Ibushi goes to work with chops and kicks, but Honma gets a slam and misses the headbutt as always. Ibushi goes standing moonsault but catches knees to the gut. Ibushi to the outside, where he eats a SPIKE PILEDRIVER on the padded concrete. Back in the ring at the count of 16 though. He’s lucky he didn’t catch one from Col. DeBeers, there’d be blood everywhere. Makabe controlling, as Ibushi tried to throw a forearm or two to no avail. Honma with elbows and a neck crank. Makabe hooks a submission with the intent not to win, but to torture. We get a “So Desu Ne” on commentary and I take another drink.

Goto breaks up the Ibushi abuse again (the Ibuse?) and pounds the turnbuckle pad in support, but Ibushi continues to eat s--- until finally hitting a dropkick. Finally tags to Goto. He hits a shoulderblock and spin kicks Makabe in the corner. They slug it out like men until a series of clotheslines leaves Goto down. Makabe with 10 punches in the corner. I’m pretty sure Jim Ross stated he hates that spot. Makabe hits a bridging “Suplex Hold-o.. for two-desu”, as whitey freaks out at home trying to figure out what they’re saying on commentary. Makabe bullies him with a knee to the grill. Goto sneaks in a Ushikoroshi and they are both laid out. Both make tags, and Ibushi is on that Bruce Leroy s---. Standing mooney gets two. He goes all suplexish, but Honma will not allow. Plexes Kota and kills him with strikes, a bulldog, and finally the headbutt on the mat. Honma goes for something off the ropes but eats a Frankensteiner ’90. Out of this madness, Honma gets an absolutely killer lariat. Super Kokeshi of Doom misses unfortunately, but he nails the Gnarly Dart outta nowhere. Ok, I’m the only one who calls it the Gnarly Dart, but we all hope it catches on, right? As hot as this match is getting, it still feels like a foregone conclusion whose doing the job here. Headbutt from Goto into a German Suplex Hold-o from Ibushi for a good two. Ibushi goes for a Powerbomb but gets rolled up for a nearfall. Ya know, if the guy ever won a match every now and then, that would be an even better spot. Ibushi recovers, hits a big roundhouse kick to the dome of Honma, and finishes with a Phoenix Splash for the win @ 13:06 *** ¾ A world of talent in there. WINNERS: Kota Ibushi & Hirooki Goto

Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA vs. Tetsuya Naito & “The FunkyWeapon” Ryusuke Taguchi

Weapon hasn’t exactly been killing it since Devitt split from Apollo 55, but is apparently getting the first shot against KUSHIDA for the Jr. Heavyweight title. As to Tanahashi & Naito’s involvement in it, I have no idea, just random booking I suppose. They’re actually teaming up on the big 9/23 show. They were in different blocks last month for the G1 Climax, so it should make for a somewhat fresh match up.

KUSHIDA with the fresh mat-based MMA stuff to start. Another “So Desu Ne”, another drink. Maneuvers over to a headlock. Really good headlock sequence, and they tag out. Pretty decent Naito chant, and the Tanahashi fans (mostly female) respond. The try to whip each other off the ropes, but won’t budge. We finally get one but it results in miscommunication. Weapon in, and we get some chops, but Tana comes back with a cross body and they tag out. KUSHIDA catches a couple double teams and finds himself in a figure four from Taguchi. Naito working on the left leg as well now. KUSHIDA writhing in pain in the opposite corner, as Naito & Taguchi cut the ring in half. Belly-to-back shin breaker from Naito gets reversed to a DDT from KUSHIDA, who gets the hot tag (well, the ladies popped) and Tanahashi in. House of fire. Hits the somersault senton off the second rope for a two count. Naito comes back with a dropkick in a great sequence. He gets his flying somersault senton in, and now they’re trading forearms in the middle of the ring. Big slap right across Tanahashi’s face. He returns the favor. Naito down. Tana sinks a cloverleaf, but Taguchi is quick to hit him with a dropkick giving Naito time to recover. Both men down now and they tag out.

Taguchi and KUSHIDA back at it and Taguchi hits the “Three Amigos”. As if it the Japanese language wasn’t too much for some to overcome, now they’re speaking SPANISH on commentary. KUSHIDA escapes the last suplex and hits a “Handspring elbow”. Pick a language guys. He takes out Naito on the apron and hits Taguchi with a springboard dropkick. To the top and he nails a moonsault for a nearfall. We take a half minute to catch our breath. Taguchi makes an attempt at a Dodon, but Tanahashi swings by out of nowhere with a Slingblade-o. As he stands up and turns he gets hit immediately drilled with a big Naito dropkick from the top. All four down. KUSHIDA and Taguchi to their knees, forearms back and forth at each other. Now to their feet, and KUSHIDA hits the handspring heel kick that knocked Ibushi out for a month and a half. They wrestle for KUSHIDA’s Hoverboard Lock finisher, but Taguchi gets roll up for a good nearfall. Two or three more close ones as well, back and forth with the two counts, until Taguchi gets an ankle lock out of it for an eventual tapout victory over the champ @16:33 *** ½ Pretty good house show style tag match. Nothing to go crazy over, but you’d never be embarrassed watching it. Taguchi gets the win to build to the title shot, but I don’t know that he needs another one. KUSHIDA is the future. Naito looked smooth, as always. WINNERS: Tetsuya Naito & “The Funky Weapon” Ryusuke Taguchi

Ten-Man Tag Team CHAOS vs. BULLET CLUB Elimination Match:
Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Gedo & YOSHI-HASHI vs.
“Machine Gun” Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga &Yujiro Takahashi

The ways of elimination are Pinfall, Submission, DQ, Countout, Ref Stoppage, or Over-The-Top-Rope. In a 5-on-5 Survivor Series match, I especially prefer that last one, as an over-the-top elimination does two things: a) it provides a speedier way to accomplish an elimination, and B) it also allows a bigger name to be protected when eliminated. This of course being the first show back since the Finals of the G1, this is our first chance to see Okada & Nakamura back together as a unit after their MOTY-worthy classic in the finals. Gotta keep an eye on Ishii’s shoulder as well, which was violently murdered by Shibata on Day 9, brutally tortured by Nagata on Day 10, and completely fell apart against Anderson on Day 11. It was last seen lying prone on the mat as Ishii made his way back to the Seibu Dome locker room. No titles on the line obviously, but Fale defends the IWGP Intercontinental title on the 9/21 pay-per-view, “Destruction in Kobe” against the man he won it from, Shinsuke Nakamura (the same show with KUSHIDA/Taguchi for the title). Also of note, Yujiro defends the NEVER Openweight title, the one he defeated Ishii for with a ton of interference, against YOSHI-HASHI on the 9/23 show, “Destruction in Okayama”. I’m a big proponent of these 2-day pay-per-view events. Helps give every big match enough time without wearing out the crowd with a five and a half hour show.

Nakamura begins with Fale. Anderson tried to get a “Fale” chant going. Nakamura with the classic rope break, but bar fight breaks out 15 seconds. Referee Red Shoes restores order and we get more classic Nakamura poses. Fale overpowers him, and the tag out to Yujiro & Ishii. Yuj goes immediately to the bad arm of Ishii, but Ishii gives no fucks. Works against him though as Yujiro really working that shoulder over, while Ishii tries to use the injured body part. A headbutt proves to be a better result. YOSHI-HASHI in now, but the coward Yujiro tags out to Tonga. They lock up and YOSHI gets the best of him, until Tonga hits a spear out of the corner and pounds away with punches. Another bar fight breaks out as Tonga just stoically stands above the fallen YOSHI. Kicks away at him in the corner and now Anderson in with boots as well. “I’m stomping a mudhole in somebody’s ass!” Karl’s the best. Fale comes to get him some as they are just absolutely decimating YOSHI-HASHI. Crowd trying to get behind him, but Fale just slams him down and stands on him. Finally, the trader Yujiro has the balls to tag back in but YOSHI-HASHI gets a couple chops in He can’t maintain the momentum and gets suplexed by Gallows. Festus moves well, but he just looks so silly in there with the dorky facepaint and hankeys. He misses a buttdrop, eats a YOSHI-HASHI basement dropkick and YOSHI finally gets the tag. Okada’s a house of fire in there now as he knock BC off the apron, DDT’s Anderson and kips up to a nice pop. Okada chants as he hits baseball slide drop kick. Anderson eventually nails a kick of his own but Okada gets the neckbreaker on the knee. to the top and he hits the best flying elbow in wrestling today. Gedo, despite wrestling and not managing, still does the Rainmakah Pose-u in unison with the G1 winner. Gedo in now, to a huge pop, throwing punches. Crowd way behind him. this goes well until he catches a huge Tonga splash in the corner. “So Desu Ne”; the beer is disappearing quickly. Gedo small package almost gets two. And another. Crowd way into him, but he walks into a drop kick and a jumping, double underhook DDT for a 3-counto @ 12:28 Gedo eliminated. The booker books himself to lose first! Get that big ego s--- outta here. And I had no idea it was called the “Headshrinker”. Thank you commentary.

Nakamura in immediately to get his signature stuff in the corner. He hits the Reverse Power Slam and Boma Ye to send Tonga packing a minute later @ 13:42. Fale attacks, dropping the man he defends the title against in 2 weeks with a body slam and big splash for a two. Crowd trying to will Shinsuke to victory. Avalanche from Fale as we run through Bundy’s whole moveset. Samoan drop pin attempt gets broken up. Shinsuke evades the grenade, and locks in a rope assisted triangle armbar, but the both fall over the top and are eliminated @ 15:51 Nakamura & Fale eliminated. Ishii & Gallows fighting for a suplex now, mid-ring. Gallows turns that into a big slam, and hits a gut-wrench suplex, or as Bobby Heenan once dubbed Skinner’s version of it, “The Reverse Keister Buster From Behind”. Ishii connects a lariat with the good arm, and a headbutt. Picks Gallows up for a big suplex. Impressive. Lariat off the ropes gets to for Ishii and the crowd is firmly behind him. Big athletic kick from Gallows, but Ishii comes roaring back. Gallows gets him over the top rope, but Ishii’s hanging, not yet eliminated. He even hits a big headbutt, but another big boot from Gallows sends him to the floor @ 18:19. Ishii eliminated. Okada in, Gallows hits him with a big boot and The 12th Step for two, called the “Gallows Pole” on commentary. As far as move names go, that’s reaching groan-worthy levels of corny.  Thankfully, Okada drops the big man over the top rope with a strong lariat @ 18:59. Gallows eliminated. Anderson enters from behind, goes for the Gun Stun but Okada calmly places him on the apron and dropkicks him to the floor @ 19:11. Anderson eliminated. That was great. Yujiro in but he takes the best drop kick in the business to the face. Crowd sensing a victory for CHAOS, as Yujiro is the last member of BC left, and getting whooped by the #1 guy in the company. Rainmaker attempt for the win, but Yujiro tosses Okada over the top rope. He hangs on though and is still alive. Yujiro distracts Red Shoes Uno as Anderson hops on the apron and nails Okada with a big boot, sending him to the floor below @ 19:47 Okada eliminated!

It’s 1-on-1, and it’s down to Yujiro vs. YOSHI-HASHI. Crowd clues themselves into this and gets behind YOSHI as Yujiro slaps away, and tries to big boot him over the top rope but can’t. Yujiro whips him off the ropes, but YOSHI gets that awesome Head Hunter neckbreaker. Superfast clothesline in the corner. Bunker buster gets two. They fight over a suplex, but Yujiro gets the lariat. Fisherman buster for a super near fall. Crowd pops big. Really good stuff here. Their title match on the 23rd later this month should be heated. Incolle slam for another hot near fall and Kōrakuen is rocking. Yujiro looks to finish, setting up the Miami Shine but YOSHI escapes and Hulks up. Now Yujiro hulks up but gets absolutely murder with a lariat. Commentary is in awe. YOSHI powerbomb with the bridge almost gets three, as everybody in the building is coming unglued. He climbs to the top and splatters a prone Yujiro for the big three @ 24:07. Huge pop there. Awesome match. **** Commentary was so damn passionate here near the end it should win a friggin’ Oscar. WINNERS: CHAOS (SOLE SURVIVOR: YOSHI-HASHI)

Kōrakuen Hall roars in approval as the rest of CHAOS bum rush the ring to celebrate. All five raise their hands in unison. Total feel good stuff, with the big underdog survivor. YOSHI chants fill the building as he poses on the top rope. Gedo on the stick now, says some stuff and passes it to YOSH. The bitches are screaming like he’s Ricky Morton. YOSHI says he’s coming for the belto while Yujiro throws a fit. Okada on the mic now saying something to Anderson about their upcoming singles match. Gallows is wigging out at ringside. Funny. Gedo: “Machine Gun, Gallows.. Go home! Go home! Sayonara, chickenshit” Gallows insists that he’s being miscast. Gedo then goes to the formula, runs through his trademark lines, and sends the crowd home happy. YOSHI with one big back flip to the floor to pop the folks in attendance on the way out.

Press conference, Okada says some stuff about the #1 contender’s brief case, while YOSHI offers similar thoughts.

Something of a filler show, full of random tags, though never a chore to watch.The undercard didn’t drag, Ibushi looked refreshed upon his return, and the main event was as good as expected. Everything built nicely to the title matches, as they all look like killer singles matches coming up. Plus, it appears the G1 injuries aren’t too significant long term, though Ishii should take care of that shoulder. Good little show to get us to the bigger shows later in the month.

The Beer & Coffee Rant for AJPW Summer Impact (8/30/14)

The Beer & Coffee Rant for AJPW’s “Summer Impact”
Live from Nagoya, Japan – 8/30/14
[ Click HERE to see the show in it’s entirety without spoilers ]

It’s AJPW’s big show to close out the summer with 4 title matches, including Joe Doering’s first world title defense as the big, nasty American as champion. Plus, it’s LIVE on TV!

SUSHI vs. Yohei Nakajima

Yes, it’s SUSHI. To the Impact
Wrestling fans he’s Kiyoshi. He was actually the All Japan TV Champ as recently
as a couple months ago. Program guide says he’s taking on the 20-year old Naoya
Nomura who wrestled for about a month in April and disappeared after a back
injury. Instead we’re getting a rematch between SUSHI and his former tag
partner Menso-re Oyaji, who unmasked last month and now
goes under his real name Yohei Nakajima. Clean break from Nakajima to start,
but SUSHI goes to the eyes. The action spills to the outside and a tope suicida
from Nakajima sets up a two count. They trade snap mares and stiff kicks to the
back. Nakajima with some more stiff kicks across the chest. Once again to the
outside, and SUSHI gets off a wicked looking somersault plancha. Back in,
Nakajima manages to sink in an octopus variation that even Gorilla Monsoon
would endorse, but gets hip tossed out. He connects with a kick to the running
SUSHI. Vertical suplex and a Cousin Fergal footstomp gets two. SUSHI goes for
the Tekkamaki rollup and
they trade two counts, before he hits the Katsuo no Ipponzuri (fisherman brainbuster)
for three @ 8:27 ** ½ Just a little back-and-forth opener, though Nakajima
certainly had a few chances to pull it out. Would’ve liked to see him get off
to a win streak since ditching the old gimmick (as partners, SUSHI represented
sushi and Oyaji represented Ramen noodles and beer, true story) but this was
fine as an introduction to the character if it remains to be his positioning on
the card.

Winner: SUSHI

Fuchi is in his SIXTIES now and still comes down to Kenny
Loggins’ “Danger Zone”. Spectacular. For North American fans, he also holds the
distinction of pinning Reid Flair in the kid’s last match before his tragic death. For those who never saw Reid in Japan, he was coming along nicely. Think
Charlotte. Aoyagi’s not far behind at 57 and is rocking a sweet purple gi
tonight. Kanemaru & Hijikata start out with some clean chain sequences, and
Aoyagi comes in with some pretty decent strikes for someone who can get a
senior discount. Speaking of, Fuchi tags in and we’re watching two guys go at
it that are combined 117 years old. Kind of mind blowing how aesthetically well
the 55 year old Sting has held up in comparison, but I digress. Fuchi gets his
ass kicked literally, and heads up the aisle to let his buns rest. 57 year old Aoyagi
is really laying those kicks in there. He’s only on TV once or twice a year so
I’m not really familiar with the guy, but f---, he’s awesome. He takes the belt
off his gi and hangs Kanemaru over the top rope, before tagging out to
Hijikata. Fuchi comes back in and body slams him to a nice pop; the crowd knows
what’s coming. And again with a slam. And a third. And then he slams Aoyagi.
And a second one. Delayed body slam to Hijikata (a 6th one, all
together) as the crowd claps along. Old man Fuchi and his wacky slam fetish.
Kanemaru comes in and it’s time to fly, as he hits a Steamboat Cross Body,
followed up by a jumping DDT from the second rope. Tag in to Fuchi and he hits
a Dropkick (!), plants Hijikata with a belly-to-back, and gets a couple inside
cradles for two. All 4 men brawling in the ring now, and Hijikata gets the cross
armbar for the sub @ 12:15 ** Way more fun than it looked like on paper.

WINNERS: Masashi Aoyagi &
Ryuji Hijikata

DDT World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Shigehiro Irie, Keisuke Ishii & Soma Takao (c) vs. KENSO, Mitsuya Nagai & Kengo Mashimo

KENSO is the former Kenzo Suzuki. He’s actually pretty great here in AJPW with
the beanie and the sunglasses and his crew Dark Kingdom. He’s also fresh off a
bloody match with Zeus on the last show (not Tiny Lister). Irie, Takao, and Keisuke
(no relation to Tomohiro Ishii) are the DDT 6-Man Tag Team Champions having
just defeated my favorite 6-man tag team going today, Shuten Doji. KENSO and Dark
Kingdom come out in a stretch Hummer with a Dark Kingdom logo on the side.
Class! If KENSO had only played this character back in ’04, instead of the
whole samurai deal. KENSO slaps Irie before the bell, and it’s on. All six men
brawling on the floor. We finally settle in with Keisuke & Nakai back in
the ring. Tag to KENSO and he works in a nicely applied belt-assisted choke. He
follows by taking apart the turnbuckle. Who does he think he is, Toru Yano?
Takao gets rammed into the exposed steel and eats a lariat. Nagai back in and hooks
the Cloverhold-o, but Takao makes the ropes. Mashimo whips him into the buckle
again and tags in KENSO, who proceeds to slap the s--- outta b….. Dark Kingdom
really putting a strong whooping on Takao, but he’s full of fire and makes a
comeback finally making the tag to Irie, who’s a house of fire. He works in his
wacky head-based offense, but KENSO gets a lariat and the Kingdom is in control
again, looking strong. Keisuke in for some help, to no avail. The action spills
to the outside, and KENSO wipes everybody out with a dive to the floor. Crowd
very much into the Kingdom, and as I type that Mashimo turns on KENSO with a
lariat and a brainbuster. Crowd confused now. Irie finishes with a Superfly
Splash @ 11:59 to keep the titles. ** ½ Nagai demands an answer but Mashimo
ignores him, so Nagai launches a chair at him as he walks away. KENSO’s facials
of shock and defeat are Hollywood worthy.

WINNERS, and still Champions: Shigehiro
Irie, Keisuke Ishii & Soma Takao

Meanwhile, we bring out a bunch
of elementary school kids for a synchronized karate exhibition. Kinda cool.

It’s “brother” YASSHI’s first TV
match since leaving ZERO1 for AJPW. Really bummed about ZERO1, looking like it
could be out of here even before TNA, which is a shame because the ZERO1 shows
are really easy to follow, with great matches and maybe even better vignettes
(Daemon Ueda!). The former Triple Crown Champ Suwama starts out with Zeus (not
Tiny Lister), who has actually surprised me so far this year with some pretty
decent matches and a lot of character. He’s a big musclehead looking Japanese
dude, sort of a mid 80’s Luger/Batista hybrid with a touch of that Goldberg
“I-just-sacked-a-bitch” snap when posing after a move. They run through a bunch
of power-based spots with Zeus coming out on top before tagging out to YASSHI.
Suwama takes a bunch of YASSHI’s chops, shakes them off, and breaks him off one
of his own, sending YASSHI to the mat. A couple of slams and Sato tags in. He
throws YASSHI to the outside, where Suwama whips him hard into the guard rail. YASSHI
gets hit with a huge double chop over the guard rail, as both are back in now
and Suwama chucks him to the other side of the ring with a clean belly-to-belly
throw. Whips him around, hits another, but Zeus breaks a pin attempt at two.
YASSHI goes low with a Greco Roman Dick Grab, hits a sweet ass neckbreaker and
tags out. Zeus, bringing the goods with plexes, but then inexplicably goes to a
bear hug (cuz he muscles!). Before this takes long and bothers me, he turns it
into an even better looking suplex than the ones before. Pin attempt with
CHARISMA, dammit! This f------ guy. Him and Suwama are trading blows back and
forth, and it’s pretty damn great. Suwama with a lariat out of nowhere. Sato in
and he goes for a Rouseybar but Zeus hits the ropes. Working strength-related
offense against this dude seems pretty dumb. Strikes occur in duel fashion as
Suwama and Sato hit a couple of nice combinations. Suwama with a big German.
How the f--- do you throw a guy that big that far? Sato hits a “PK” (called on
commentary) for two. Zeus blocks a kick and hits a killer chop. This guy would
have the rocket strapped to him in the states by the end of next year if he
wasn’t a walking wellness violation. If WCW was still around, he’d be the Champ
by Starrcade. Holy s---, YASSHI absolutely drills Suwama in the dome with a
loud chair shot (they’re men, stop complaining), and yanks him to the outside.
That s--- hit like a crispy snare on a Wu track. Sato goes for another armbar
like a frigging idiot and Zeus, the manliest manly man on a planet of only
manly men, power bombs this moron for trying. He hits a lariat so loud that I
think we just woke the neighbors up popping for it. The sweat FLEW, brother!
Zeus hits the Jack Hammer for the win @ 13:17. Yes, his finisher is the Jack
Hammer. Trust, I’m not the only one who sees the comparisons. *** ¼ Badass tag
match. Zeus is the f------ dude. Where the hell did this guy from all of a
sudden? (according to the answer is Osaka Pro.. Well, ok then..) YASSHI
cuts a killer promo after the match. Zeus goes over to Kenta Kobashi on
commentary and shakes his hand. And then bows. Like at least 11 or 12 times.

WINNERS: Zeus & “brother”

AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Atsushi Aoki (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki

BURNING collides! These two were an amazing tag team,
former AJPW All-Asia Tag Team Champions. Their program against Junior Stars
(Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka) last year was nuts. GREAT MATCHES! Kotaro
is already the TV Champ AND ½ of the All-Asia Tag Champions, a title win
featured here on the BoD just a week ago. A win here makes him Lance Storm (3/8
Ultimo). A lock up, and Aoki grants him a clean break. We get next, what
literally might be the single nicest sequence of the year, I s--- you not. A
flawless stalemate; should be a GIF. Some picture perfect mat wrestling leaves
Kotaro on the outside, but he stuffs a tope suicida with a right hand from the
floor. Back in, he hits a big vertical and follows with a neckbreaker for a
barely two. Aoki takes a trip to the floor, suckers Kotaro in, and drills him
on the way back. Sweet. On the floor now, Aoki superplexes Kotaro off of the
skinny metal guard rail. I can dig it. Damn good five minutes, so far. Aoki
goes to work with kneedrops on the back. Boston Crab, which Kotaro struggles
out of for a rope break. Aoki goes for his arm-based offense off the ropes, but
Kotaro was playing possum. Hits the Bit Blaster, and evades Aoki’s attempt to
counter with a dropkick. Kotaro hits the running knee in the corner and jumping
shin to the throat for two. One of my top 5 favorite spots in wrestling. 619
from Kotaro gets two. They fight for a suplex and Aoki regains control, hitting
a frog splash for two in the process. Back up to the top, as they now fight for
a top rope superplex. Kotaro switches in mid air for another two. Aoki to the
outside and gets drilled with tope suicida. Back in the ring, Aoki goes for the
left arm but Kotaro gets to the ropes. Lariats, kicks and spirit-related no-selling
abounds. Head butts from Aoki but Kotaro rocks with a forearm and pounds away
with strikes. Ref gets in between them like he’s gonna wave it off but opts for
a 10-count instead. Aoki up at 8, gets forearmed down but kicks out at two.
Kotaro goes for a Tiger Driver but Aoki powers him up to the top rope and his a
dropkick to the seated Kotaro. Aoki to the top, setting up the flying armbar.
He hits and yanks a fighting Kotaro from the ropes but Kotaro turns it into the
three rolling majistrals for a series of two counts. They’re breaking out the
good s---. Gory Special but Aoki kicks out at 2.9.  Back to the Tiger Driver but Aoki reverses
that into an armbar, pulling back on the digits. Kotaro struggles to power out,
to no avail, as he finally submits @ 21:31 *** ¾ Really good stuff, right here.
After the match, Aoki walks over to commentary and refuses a handshake from
Kenta Kobashi. What a dickbag!

WINNER, and still Champion: Atsushi Aoki


No introduction can suffice,
gonna be a killer match. Before the bell we get a great non-shaking of the
hands bit. Referee Kyohei Wada nails it. Akiyama powers Shiozaki into the
ropes, and we get a clean break. Second one now and Akiyama’s on the other end
for another clean break. Back and forth we go, as they try to determine the better
man. Akiyama hits a shoulder block and evades a dropkick, but misses an elbow
drop and we end in a stalemate. Omori & Miyahara in now, Miyahara backs
Omori up but the vet is not impressed, they exchange chops and the action hits
the outside. On the apron now, Miyahara can’t hit the Tiger Driver but gets KILLED
with a piledriver in return. Hardest part of the ring. Could be considered a
bit much, to some. Omori absolutely chucks Shiozaki into the guard rail, and
Akiyama hits Shiozaki with a DDT on the hard concrete entrance way. Japanese
commentary: “DDT !!!” I’m telling you, we don’t need whitey touching this
product. Omori and Miyahara exchange blasts on the outside. Akiyama with a big
suplex to Shiozaki on the concrete aisle. Back on the mat, the champs hit a
great looking double team for two, while Omori holds off Shiozaki. Akiyama with
a guillotine choke into a pin attempt, for two. Double shoulder block again
from the champs. Akiyama hits an exploder and Omori hits a piledriver, as the champs are in full control. Miyahara gets backed into the opposite corner and
responds with some serious fire. Serious fire. Omori boots him down and they
double team him down. Akiyama with a huge knee to the seated Miyahara and the
champs have effectively cut the ring in half. They fight over a brainbuster and
Miyahara finally gets off a suplex. Big tag, Shiozaki finally in. Omori attacks
him, but Shiozaki suplexes him and nails Akiyama with the same. Omori kills the
mo with a flying spin kick and sets up an Axe Guillotine Driver, but can’t hit
it. To the top, and Omori hits a big superplex, and finally connects with the
Axe Guillotine Driver. Pinfall attempt is broken up by Miyahara at the last
millisecond. Akiyama throws him to the outside while Shiozaki blocks an Axe
Bomber from Omori and hits one of his own. Orange Crush is broken up at two by
Akiyama. Omori & Shiozaki Axe Bomber each other to a knee, and then flat on
the mat in a great bit of synchronicity. Hot tag, and Miyahara is a house of
kasai. He gets off all of his Tanahashi/Muta/Steamboat looking offense. He
climbs to the top but gets hit with an Akiyama superplex, BUT HULKS THE F--- UP~!
Unfortunately, he immediately gets drilled with an exploder from Akiyama. All
hell breaking loose in there as the match hits a fever pitch. Too much going on
to call it, but all four down now. Gigantic knee from Miyahara and he almost
gets a three count via powerbomb. “German Suplex Hold-o” on Akiyama gets two.
Miyahara sinks in his Heart Break pedigree-variation, but Akiyama kicks out of
the hold. Extra large Axe Bomber from Omori connects hard, but Shiozaki breaks
up the 3 count. Double-arm DDT from Akiyama and he absolutely drills Miyahara
in the back of the head with fkn’ knee. But Miyahara comes back and they hit
each other with some of the most vicious strikes you’ll see all week. Akiyama
gets 2 off an exploder. Miyahara is getting hit with everything here. Finally,
he eats Exploder ’98 from Akiyama for the clean 1-2-3 @ 24:44 Strong **** Great
stuff here as Miyahara builds his catalog. All four came to play. Worth going
out of your way to see if you’re interested in hopping on the Miyahara
bandwagon before he becomes the Ace of the company. The champs go shake hands
with Kobashi on commentary after the match.

WINNERS, and still Champions: Jun Akiyama & Takeo Omori

So the story here is that Doering
(the former Drake Brewer in WWE/FCW) just won the title on 7/27/14, a booking move
I never knew if they would ever pull the trigger on. While there are other guys
on the roster that would make for a better first defense in terms of match
quality, Akebono was never defeated for the Triple Crown title during his reign
earlier this year. He was sidelined with pneumonia in the spring, and AJPW got
tired of him missing defenses and stripped him of the title. Doering ended up
defeating long-time tag partner Suwama for the title later in the year. Before
he can move on in his title reign, hopefully a lengthy one, he has to defeat
the former champ who was never beaten. Doering is rocking the Stan Hansen
mustache even better than Silas Young these days. The t-shirt is pretty def as
well. Big staredown and test of strength to start, with huge shoulderblocks and
Doering finally goes down. He eats an elbowdrop from the big man and rolls to
the outside. Doering suckers him in for an Avalanche against the ring post and
ducks out of the way. Back in the ring they battle for position some more.
Doering gets backed into the corner and comes back with forearms but gets
powered down and stepped on. They exchange strikes and Akebono finally goes
down this time. He gathers himself, overpowers Doering, hits the avalanche this
time in the ring and follows with another elbow drop for two. Doering fighting
back hits a lariat for one. Attempts a fireman’s carry but can’t handle the
weight and crashes to the mat. Hogan-esq Big Man vs. Bigger Man stuff. Akebono
slams him to the mat and a big splash gets two. A second one misses, and
Doering flies off the ropes only to get caught and drilled with a World’s
Strongest Slam for another two count. Akebono attempts a powerbomb but Doering
back body drops him out of it. Doering goes for a powerbomb now resulting in a
similar fashion. Doering hits an FU/AA for one. Doering nails a piledriver for
the win @ 11:11 **1/4 Doering looks the part and definitely has a certain
gaijin hoss charisma, but I’m sure it’ll be the main event match quality of these
defenses that defines the title reign. Tough to get a good match out of
Akebono, but he’s not embarrassing out there. He’s Mark Henry, basically.
Doering cracks beers with his crew and cuts a little promo backstage at the
presser. “No one’s stronger, no one’s faster, no one’s a killer like Joe
Doering”. And we’re off the air.
WINNER, and still Champion: Joe Doering

A good little show. The two matches
that looked strong on paper delivered. Check it out if you haven’t seen Zeus or
Kento Miyahara, as they should provide some good times for wrestling fans over
the next couple of years and perhaps beyond.