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

With
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.
Komatsu
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
power
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
of
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

áximo

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

Jushin
“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,
but
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
gets
yanked out the ring by Suzuki-gun, and it’s Bonzohashi Gonzoyashi.
TAKA rocking the Ushanka. Desperado in, as Kozlov plays Mikhail Morton.
Taichi
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
for
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
fire
should and makes the hot tag to Romero. Wacky corner clotheslines
abound. More Iizuka, more cord, but the ever noble Yano yanks Iizuka by
the
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

Hiroshi
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.

CNJ’s
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)

 

CHAOS vs. BULLET CLUB, One Fall
Kazuchika
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
Kick.
Tags Gedo in, crowd approves. He makes the mistake of picking a fight
with
Gallows however, and almost catches a Magic Killer but Ishii makes the
save.
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
job.
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
requisite
chorus of “Too Sweet” bombs. Meanwhile, Okada & YOSHI-HASHI also
have words for CHAOS, backstage. This time next week YOSHI could be a
double
champion. 

WINNER: Bullet Club

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

Main
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
year
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
than
anybody they have on the roster, but I digress. This is non-title, as
TenKoji
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
show.

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.
Tenzan
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
it,
Maggle. Spin kick from Tenzan turns the tide, and Kojima back in with
13,487
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,
and
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 ?).
Off
comes the elbow pad for the Kozy Lariat, but it’s a bad idea as he walks
right
into a Nagata lock. Nagataker Eyes~! All 4 in the ring now, and we get
some
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

Standard
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 Ustream.tv 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.