We reviewed Part 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 10 earlier this week. Last night, AXSTV and New Japan Pro Wrestling brought us Part 2 of the January 4, 2016 matches from the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The first broadcast was amazing and so this one is expected to be just as good.
The first bout is the first ever Never Openweight 6-Man Tag Championship featuring Toru Yano, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe against Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, and Tama Tonga. Before the match starts Yano spits and throws water on his opponents and all six men start brawling with each other. It’s chaos in the early going as The Briscoes double team Takahashi outside the ring. Yano and Tonga finally slow things down as the legal men fighting in the ring with their respective teammates on the apron. Yano is isolated in the corner and Bad Luck Fale is tagged in. He sits on Yano’s chest to try and get the pin, but he kicks out at two. All three Bullet Club members get in the ring and triple-team Yano after taking out The Briscoes. Fale squashes him in the corner and Yano desperately needs to make a tag.
Mark Briscoe gets the tag against Takahashi and puts on a nice series of offense. Takahashi counters with a fisherman’s buster and then tags Tonga in. Jay Briscoe gets the tag and plants Tonga, cover but kick out. Huge neckbreaker by Jay but Tonga again kicks out. Jim Ross and Josh Barnett question the slow count by the ref. Tonga takes control for a moment but Jay battles back. Jay gets Tonga up on his shoulder trying to slam him down, but Tonga holds on to the top rope for dear life. Yano runs over with a steel chair and smashes it down on Tonga’s hands, forcing him to let go. Mark leaps off the top rope and hits Doomsday Device with his brother, planting Tonga. Jay covers for the three count and the team of Jay and Mark Briscoe and Yano are the first ever Never Openweight 6-Man Tag Champions!
The second match of the night is Los Ingobernables de Japon member and villainous heel Tetsuya Naito taking on Hirooki Goto. His fellow Los Ingobernables members, Bushi and EVIL, accompany Naito to the ring which is not good news for his opponent, Goto, who comes out all alone. Naito attacks a camera man before the match for getting too close to him. Before the match starts EVIL and Bushi attack Goto from behind. Naito rolls in and starts fighting Goto as the bell rings. But Goto isn’t staying down for long, he forces Naito to roll out of the ring with his attack. As Goto starts fighting Naito, EVIL attacks from behind and viciously throws Goto into the steel guard rail. Ouch.
EVIL puts a chair on Gotos neck and then whacks it with another chair. Naito sets up a table and gets Goto up on the apron. Naito hits a neckbreaker into the table on Goto. Back in the ring, Goto hits a sunset flip powerbomb off the top rope which is really amazing. He covers, but Naito miraculously kicks out at two and we head to commercial. When we return, Naito and Goto battle in the center of the ring. Naito hits a hurricanrana off the top rope and gets a near fall on Goto. The two trade forearms in the middle and work the crowd into a frenzy. Goto picks up Naito and hits a neckbreaker, driving Naito down onto his knee. Goto tries to kick Naito, but Naito grabs his foot and swings it into the ref, knocking him to the mat. Doesn’t take long for EVIL to come in and hold Goto as Bushi spits mist at him.
But Goto moves and the mist hits EVIL. Goto plants Bushi and turns to face Naito. Naito kicks Goto in the groan and covers. The ref has recovered, he counts but only a two count. Goto lifts Naito and hits his Shouten Kai suplex finisher. He covers and that’s the ball game. Goto wins an incredible match! Nice final couple of minutes at the end of that one with lovely back and forth with everyone setting up a strong finish. Really enjoyed that one. Goto stands alone and overcomes incredible odds. After the match, he is interviewed backstage and asked about his victory. He says it was sort of a hollow victory because he was fighting Naito and it wasn’t for a title. He also says he has never wrestled in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. He says this year he will become the face of New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The final match of the night was for the IWGP Tag Team Championship with champs Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows being challenged by Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma. Anderson and Honma start things off. Anderson rakes the eyes of Honma and then moves out of the way of Honma’s falling headbutt. Gallows tagged in and he punches Honma in the corner. Anderson gets back in and misses with a running senton. Honma tags in Makabe. He makes easy work of Anderson, forcing him to roll out of the ring and regroup. Honma and Makabe double team Gallows, knocking him outside the ring as well. All four men fight out on the floor. Gallows throws Makabe into the guard rail and then clocks him with a chain, as Anderson distracts the ref.
Back in the ring, Anderson clobbers Makabe with strikes. Gallows tags in and continues attacking Makabe. Honma is outside the ring with blood on the back of his head. Hasn’t stirred much for a few moments. Gallows and Anderson double team Makabe. Anderson covers three times, but Makabe kicks out each time. Makabe with a hard clothesline on Anderson and finally Honma has recovered. Makabe tags him in and he slams Gallows then drops a headbutt on Anderson. Honma chops Anderson in the corner, whips him to the other but Anderson recovers and kicks him away. Gallows trips Honma up and then gets in the ring to help Anderson hit a couple of moves into a cover. Makabe interrupts the count and keeps his team alive.
Gallows and Anderson set up Honma for the Magic Killer but Makabe breaks it up and knocks Gallows out of the ring. Headbutt on Anderson by Honma. He slams Anderson and then hits the top rope. Unfortunately, Gallows runs in and punches him, stunning Honma. Anderson tries to get a Gun Stun off the top rope, but Honma jumps down onto the apron. Back in the ring, Anderson hits a brutal running powerbomb on Honma but the small man kicks out at two and three-quarters. Honma counters two Gun Stuns in the ring and then headbutts Anderson. Both men are down. Both Gallows and Makabe are tagged in. Nelson Powerslam on Makabe and Gallows covers, but only a near fall. Anderson and Gallows try to tag team Makabe, but he knocks them both down with a double clothesline.
Makebe and Gallows collide with each other and Makabe wins that exchange with a clothesline. Makabe and Honma set up Anderson for a Headbutt Doomsday Device off the top rope. Honma slams Gallows and then hits a falling headbutt. Makabe climbs the top rope and hits a King Kong Knee Drop and covers. One. Two. Three! Honma and Makabe win! This is the 39-year-old Honma’s first ever championship in the company! What a moment. Wow, fantastic match. After the match, Honma says it is a dream come true. He thanks Makabe and says this is all because of him. The DVR shows another new episode next Friday so you know we’ll be here with coverage. Maybe some Wrestle Kingdom 10 Part 3?? We can only hope. Just a wonderful program with three great matches.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker
This week’s episode is from Osaka-Jo Hall, July 5th 2015. Jim Ross and Josh Barnett run commentary. First on the card is a three-way tag match between Matt and Nick Jackson (The Young Bucks), Rocky Romero and Beretta, and Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship. The Jacksons are the current champs at the time of the recording. Rules are only two men can wrestle at a time but you can tag in anybody.
This one goes fast and aggressive with all competitors taking turns with offense. After a few minutes, The Young Bucks try to leave, but get attacked by Romero and Beretta. It’s a ploy and they drop both men on the ramp. Ref starts a twenty count and they barely make it back to the ring. Clever trick by the Bucks. They then flip over the top rope and take down their four opponents. High intensity action throughout, with the crowd cheering on the excitement.
Romero and Beretta team up outside the ring and take down one of the Bucks with a running knee off the apron. The Young Bucks are good throughout, but they just remind me of glorified Usos with their moveset. They just spend the entire match setting up spots for themselves and there doesn’t have any feel of spontaneity. They are a good team. They just don’t do much in the way of helping their competitors. Imagine if Tyler Breeze was way more arrogant and had a twin. Bobby Fish is really great in this one, and works well with O’Reilly. Romero and Beretta fire off some very strong offense as well. The Young Bucks get the pinfall and retain their titles. The only problem with this match is it involved all foreigners. There’s no local teams. Shame. After the match, The Young Bucks give a backstage promo that is painful to watch. Shouldn’t be champion with that much weakness on a mic.
More tag action up next with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson representing the Bullet Club, taking on the Matt Taven and Michael Bennett for their IWGP Tag Team Championship. Again, all foreigners. Sloppy ring work to start this one. Anderson spends a lot of the match giving the eye to Maria Kanellis, telling a story nobody wants to see. Amber Gallows attacks her and throws Maria in the ring. This leads to Doc punching Anderson and the two females having a cat fight. Keep this sort of WWE storyline out of NJPW, please. We don’t need to see this. Graciously this one is over in ten minutes. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson win via pinfall to become the 68th IWGP Tag Team Champions.
The main event is thankfully local boys. Hiroshi Tanahashi set to take on Toru Yano, in what should be a classic. Before the match, Tanahashi discusses how insanely strong Yano is. Jim Ross describes Tanahashi as a man with “the in-ring ability of Ricky Steamboat and the popularity of John Cena.” Antics abound at the start of this, garnering laughs from the crowd. Yano removes the corner padding and hits Tanahashi over the head with it. Yano comes across as a goof, but he is very skilled in the ring.
Both men spill out to the floor and spread the fight into the crowd. Ref starts a twenty count and both men make it back at 19. It’s clear Tanahashi is desperate for the win and that all Yano wants to do is embarrass his opponent. Good story told throughout. The ref gets knocked out and Yano starts beating Tanahashi with a chair. Tanahashi narrowly pulls off the win, getting payback against rival Yano.
After the match, Tanahashi recalls the luxury of wrestling in Osaka-Jo Hall and how talented Yano is. Not the best outing from New Japan Pro Wrestling. The main event was good, but the two tag matches were unappealing.
Article by Jamie Curtis Baker