Friday’s broadcast showed matches from Korakuen Hall during the Super Juniors Tournament, specifically from May 22nd, 2015. Gedo introduced the program and Jim Ross and Josh Barnett were on commentary. Yohei Komatsu kicked off the broadcast, taking on the masked Jyushin Thunder Liger in singles action. As Liger is playing to the crowd, Komatsu just jumps in with dropkicks and the match is underway. Liger gets thrown outside the ring. Komatsu is out to prove something early. Liger hits a strong powerbomb and gets a chance to catch his breath. The crowd is noticeably loud with their cheering. They head outside the ring and Liger hits a brain buster on Komatsu on the bare floor in the crowd. Liger slides back in the ring and the ref starts the 20 count. Komatsu barely breaks the count, rolling back into the ring. Liger immediately goes to work putting him in a surfboard submission move, then turning it into a reverse front sleeper. Komatsu fights out but then takes a Liger Bomb powerbomb. He manages to kick out at two. The technical ability from Liger is incredible. He is a submission master, twisting Komatsu into pretzel shapes. These two are very comfortable with each other in the ring and it shows. The match is smooth as fluid, showing clean move sets and great storytelling. Many applause breaks from the crowd in this one. Liger hits a brain buster in the ring and after 8 minutes and 36 seconds, he gets the pinfall victory and advances.
Another masked wrestler up next. Mascara Dorada set to take on Kushida in singles competition. Red Shoes as the referee in this one. Speaking on previous wrestlers that have gone through the tournament over the years, Barnett mentions Chris Benoit. Totally awesome. Two smaller guys moving quick and fast, both Dorada and Kushida are dangerous in the ring. This one is full of snappy chain wrestling. Lots of flips and jumps. Kushida is wearing some cool Back to the Future themed ring gear. Crowd not as vocal in this one, but the action is no less spectacular. Kushida slows down the match and focuses on Dorada’s left arm. Dorada gets a huge reaction from the crowd pulling off some high spots on the ropes, leaping out of the ring to take down Kushida. Later in the match it’s Kushida’s turn to flip out of the ring, hitting Dorada with a moonsault. Red Shoes starts the 20 count. Kushida makes it back to the ring only to receive a vicious kick. Kushida bends Dorada’s arm behind his back and the Luchador taps at 8 minutes, 56 seconds. Kushida advances. Fun, fast paced match.
The main event is Gedo vs Ryusuke “The Funky Weapon” Taguchi. Gedo looks intent on doing harm while Taguchi is goofing around at the start of the match. Gedo goes to work quickly, beating down Taguchi. Gedo throws his opponent out of the ring and starts hitting him multiple times with a wooden mallet. Red Shoes lets it go. Gedo gets back in the ring and removes the corner padding, exposing the turnbuckles. Ref starts a 20 count. Taguchi has very little offense at all, taking a whooping from Gedo, who isn’t showboating or playing to the crowd. He’s sticking to business, looking dominant. Gedo is hands down carrying this match. Gedo hits a lowblow while the ref’s back is turned and gets the pinfall victory much to the crowd’s chagrin. Entertaining episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker