New Japan TV Taping 1/26/05
review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 26th, 2005
- Akiya Anzawa vs. Yujiro
Every match is clipped to some degree, since they had to squeeze the show into a two hour block. That is generally the case when the show is not on PPV but rather on television in Japan. If it is an obvious clip that changes the scenario of the match, then I will note the clip. Otherwise I won't.
Akiya Anzawa vs. Yujiro
Match Thoughts: All clipped to hell as you probably figured, but that is to be expected. I am surprised the match aired at all, to be honest. The point is merely to show New Japan fans two of the (hopefully) rising stars of the company, although two and a half minutes is not enough time to show them much. I don't score matches that are cut in half or more, but it wasn't offensive and is basic New Japan opening match material. Score: N/A
Hirooki Goto vs. Hiroshi Nagao
Match Thoughts: Another seven minute match cut down to under three minutes, and again not enough is really shown to pass judgment. But I have enjoyed what I have seen from Goto in the past and I think that he has a bright future in New Japan. Score: N/A
Naofumi Yamamoto vs. Tatsutoshi Goto
Match Thoughts: This was actually over half the match, as the match was less then four minutes even without the clippings. Really still not much to say about the two minutes we saw, although it was fun to watch Yamamoto slap Goto and then get assaulted by a chair for it. Nice backdrop suplex by Goto as well, but that's just about it. Score: 3.0
Ryusuke Taguchi and Taiji Ishimori vs. Tiger Mask and El Samurai
Match Thoughts: Only a minute or so was clipped here. This was Ryusuke Taguchi's last match before heading to Mexico, which he just recently returned from this month (October, 2005). I was surprised since they clipped that area of the match anyway that they didn't just go ahead and clip the obviously botched move.... if you are going to clip a match, why not clip out the mistakes? Actually the entire match seemed off a step, although the ending sequence from the hot tag onward was very well done. The psychology was all over the place, and it was hard to really get into the match since there really didn't seem to be any direction. Tiger Mask looked very crisp though, and I am shocked to say that Ishimori went an entire match without missing a single move, which is impressive for him. So most the action was well executed, Taguchi looked fine except for the botched springboard, but the match itself seemed disjointed and without focus. Score: 6.0
Katsushi Takemura vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Match Thoughts: Well darn, they clipped more of this match then I was expecting, around six minutes or so. I don't know about most people, but I have a lot of trouble getting into a match that is butchered in such a manner. I knew when I got the event it had clipped matches, but I was hoping it would be the opening matches and the last three matches would be kept mostly complete. Anyway, even what we saw was far from mind-blowing, and who the hell is Takemura to kick out of a Liger Bomb and an avalanche-style Fishermans Brainbuster? This wasn't a dome match for the IWGP Championship, so I don't really understand the kicking out of big moves unless Liger really wanted to put over his new finisher. I can't really say how Takemura looked, since I think that most of his offense was clipped. While Liger does a convincing beating and he has molded well into his evil character (the second low blow in particular was cute), overall this match was a let down. Score: 5.5
Koji Kanemoto and Wataru Inoue vs. Jado and Gedo
Match Thoughts: A good match, although I was a little surprised to see Jado and Gedo lose since at the time they were the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. I have always enjoyed Kanemoto's heelish tactics (even if he wasn't a heel here), and Inoue shows a lot of fire whenever he wrestles. They didn't do anything complicated, but they kept the crowd into the match by having a few teases and a number of near falls towards the end of the match. Solid work between these four junior heavyweights. Score: 6.5
Nagata, Nishimura, Makabe, Nakamura, and Tanahashi vs. Chono, Nakanishi, Nagai, Tanaka, and Harry Smith
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Minoru Tanaka - Tanaka attacks Nakamura in the entrance way and drags him around to ringside. Tanaka twists on Nakamura's arm around the ring post and tosses him into the ring. Stomps by Tanaka to Nakamura's arm and he forearms him in the face. Arm wrench by Tanaka, but Nakamura handstands out of it. Stiff kick by Tanaka to Nakamura's arm and he hits a snap suplex. Knee drop to Nakamura's injured arm, Tanaka goes for another suplex, but Nakamura blocks it. An armbar is applied by Tanaka, but Nakamura gets his foot on the bottom rope. Kick by Tanaka, he picks up Nakamura and throws him into the corner. Tanaka wraps Nakamura's arm around the bottom rope and stands on it, putting all his weight down on the arm. Back in the middle of the ring, Tanaka punches Nakamura, but Nakamura returns fire. They exchange shots, but Tanaka pokes Nakamura in the eyes. Headbutt by Tanaka, and he applies an arm wrench. Tanaka goes for another armbar, Nakamura tries to roll through it, but Tanaka reverts the move into a key lock. Back to an armbar by Tanaka, but Nakamura gets a foot on the ropes. Back up, Nakamura ducks a punch by Tanaka and hits an enzigieri. Irish whip by Nakamura into the corner and he hits a jumping knee. Nakamura nails a spear, goes off the ropes and hits a knee drop. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Forearm shots by Nakamura, he goes off the ropes, but Tanaka hits a rolling knee to the stomach. Irish whip by Tanaka, but Nakamura reverses it into the Shining Triangle. Tanaka eventually manages to get a foot on the ropes, Nakamura picks the deadweight Tanaka off the mat, but as soon as Nakamura goes for another Shining Triangle it is reversed by Tanaka into a cross armbreaker. Nakamura keeps his hands locked though to block the move, he catches a kick by Tanaka and hits a powerbomb. Cover, but it only gets a two count. They trade forearm shots, Nakamura tries to roll up Tanaka and apply a cross armbreaker, but Tanaka lands on top and gets a two count cover. Nakamura goes for a kick, but Tanaka ducks it and rolls up Nakamura again for two. Slap by Tanaka and he kicks Nakamura hard in the head. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Tanaka slaps on the cross armbreaker, but Nakamura is too close to the ropes and gets a foot on them. Kick to the arm by Tanaka, Nakamura applies a waistlock, reversed, reversed again, and Nakamura nails a release German suplex. Nakamura picks up Tanaka, delivers a German suplex hold, but it gets a two count. Nakamura goes for El Nino, but Tanaka grabs his tights as he runs by and rolls him up for a two count. Back to their feet, Nakamura charges Tanaka, applies the Shining Triangle, and Tanaka submits! Minoru Tanaka is eliminated.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Mitsuya Nagai - Nagai charges the ring before Nakamura can recover and kicks him into the corner. Irish whip, and he hits the high knee in the corner. Butterfly suplex by Nagai, cover, but he gets a two count. Nagai stands on Nakamura's face, picks him up, and clubs him in the back. Nakamura comes back with forearm shots, but Nagai knees him in the arm. Another knee to the arm by Nagai and he kicks Nakamura while he kneels on the mat. Kick to the chest by Nagai, he picks up Nakamura and chokes him against the ropes with his boot. Nagai elbows Nakamura twice in the arm and clubs him in the face, Nakamura forearms him back, and the two trade blows. Eye rake by Nagai, Irish whip, but Nakamura rolls past the kick and hits an enzigieri. Nakamura applies the cross armbreaker, but Nagai makes it to the ropes and rolls out of the ring. Nakamura goes for a pescado, but Nagai moves out of the way. Nagai kicks Nakamura in the chest while he is against the guardrail and goes to get back in the ring, but Nakamura pulls him back out. Nagai clubs Nakamura down though and both men get back into the ring. Tie-up, Nakamura applies a waistlock, but Nakamura hits a low blow. Eye rake by Nagai and he throws Nakamura out of the ring. Nakamura slowly gets to his feet outside the ring, but Nagai comes flying off the apron with a jumping knee strike. Nagai throws Nakamura arm-first into the ring post and kicks him hard in the face. Nakamura gives Nagai a forearm and a kick, but Nagai grabs him before he can get back in the ring. They both struggle as they try to get back in the ring (count is around 18), Nagai drives Nakamura back into the guardrail, and he barely makes it back into the ring. Nakamura does not make it in time however, and he is counted out! Shinsuke Nakamura is eliminated.
Togi Makabe vs. Mitsuya Nagai - Nagai greets Makabe with a kick when he comes in the ring and tosses him out to the floor. Nagai goes out as well and forearms Makabe around the ring. Nagai takes Makabe all the way into the crowd and slams him into a back wall. Makabe reverses the momentum with a forearm shot however and brings Nagai back to the ring. Nagai rolls in first, and as Makabe gets on the apron he eats a boot to the face, knocking him back off. Makabe eventually rolls back in, and Nagai kicks him hard in the corner. Nagai knees Makabe in the chest and hits a scoop slam. Reverse chinlock by Nagai, but Makabe makes it to the ropes in time. Slap to the face by Nagai and he kicks Makabe in the chest again. Nagai picks up Makabe and goes for a suplex, Makabe tries to reverse it, but Nagai eventually delivers a vertical suplex. Texas Cloverleaf by Nagai, but Makabe makes it to the bottom rope. Nagai slaps Makabe in the face, which just seems to get him angry. The two trade blows, which Makabe gets the better of with a hard forearm to the face. Nagai still manages to get up first, Irish whip from the corner, but Makabe comes charging back at him and hits a spear. Makabe throws Nagai into the corner and hits a running shoulder tackle followed by a Northern Lights Suplex hold for a two count. Makabe shoulderblocks Nagai to the mat, puts Nagai up on his shoulders and delivers a Death Valley Bomb. Cover, but Nagai barely kicks out. Makabe goes off the ropes, but Nagai knees him in the stomach. Irish whip by Nagai and he hits Makabe with a back heel kick. Nagai picks up Makabe and he nails the capture suplex. Cover, but he gets two. Nagai applies an arm arrangement front sleeper, cover, but Makabe kicks out. Nagai picks up Makabe and slaps him repeatedly in the face. Big boot by Nagai, he then goes off the ropes and forearms Makabe. He goes off the ropes again, but Makabe nails him with a lariat. The two collide again, Makabe runs off the ropes and hits another lariat, cover, but Nagai kicks out. Makabe goes off the ropes, delivers another lariat, cover, and he gets the three count pinfall. Mitsuya Nagai is eliminated.
Togi Makabe vs. Masahiro Chono - Makabe charges Chono when he gets in the ring and quickly hits a scoop slam. Makabe tosses Chono out of the ring and on the outside slams him into the ring post. Grabbing a chair, Makabe hits Chono in the chest with it before throwing him shoulder-first into the ring post again. Kick to the face by Makabe and he gets back into the ring. Chono gets back in the ring as well, and Makabe throws him into the corner. Stomps by Makabe and he rakes Chono in the eyes. Choke by Makabe and he throws Chono into another corner. Makabe unties the top of the post cover and slams Chono twice shoulder-first into the exposed steel. Knee to the chest by Makabe and he chokes Chono with his knee. Vertical suplex by Makabe, cover, but he gets a two count. Makabe throws Chono back outside the ring and again throws him into the ring post. After rolling Chono back in the ring, Makabe goes for an Irish whip, reversed, and Chono hits an atomic drop. Yakuza kick by Chono followed by the shining Yakuza kick, cover, but he only gets two. Chono rolls out to the apron, but Makabe gets up quickly and lariats him off the apron down to the floor. Makabe follows Chono out and stomps him while he lays on the floor. Eye rake by Makabe and he hits a scoop slam. Makabe gets back in the ring to wait for Chono, who barely makes it back in the ring in time. Makabe suplexes him back in when Chono gets on the apron, he goes for the Death Valley Bomb, but Chono counters it into a front cradle and he gets the three count pinfall! Togi Makabe has been eliminated.
Osamu Nishimura vs. Masahiro Chono - They tie-up to start, Nishimura gets Chono into the corner and hits a series of uppercuts. Blows to the stomach by Chono and he kicks Nishimura to the mat. Chono goes for the STF, Nishimura fights it for a moment, but Chono locks it on. We get our first blatant clip of the match, as Nishimura now has Chono in an armbar. Chono gets back to his feet and pushes Nishimura into the corner, but Nishimura kicks him back. Tie-up, kick to the gut by Chono and he applies a side headlock. Nishimura Irish whips out of it, and the two criss-cross the ropes. Nishimura stops in the middle and applies the Octopus Hold, but Chono makes it to the top rope and hiptosses Nishimura up and over down to the floor. Chono goes outside as well and slams Nishimura into the guardrail. Club to the chest by Chono, but Nishimura grabs him and hits a European uppercut. Chono hits him back, and the two trade shots. They both get back in before the 20 count expires, another criss-cross, and this time Chono hits an elbow strike and Nishimura falls out of the ring. Chono goes out as well and slams Nishimura shoulder-first into the ring post. Headbutts to the shoulder by Chono and he clubs Nishimura in the back. Another elbow to the back by Chono and he knees Nishimura in the stomach. Chono takes Nishimura a little ways up the entrance way and goes for a piledriver, but Nishimura back bodydrops out of it. As Nishimura gets up he is hit with a Yakuza kick, but Nishimura applies the figure four. Time expires as Nishimura has Chono in the hold, and both wrestlers are eliminated.
Yuji Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi - The winner of this round wins the match for his team. Tie-up to start, waistlock by Nagata, reversed into an arm wrench by Nakanishi, but Nagata applies a side headlock. Nakanishi Irish whips out of it and the two collide in the middle of the ring with neither man going down. Kicks by Nagata to the legs of Nakanishi, but Nakanishi catches one of his kicks and chops him in the chest. Nagata ducks a chop and hits more kicks, but Nakanishi ducks a kick and backs off away from Nagata. Tie-up, they have a Test of Strength, and Nakanishi pushes Nagata into the ropes. Takedown by Nakanishi and he applies a hammerlock, but the match *clips* and now Nagata has Nakanishi in a reverse chinlock. Nagata applies a body scissors to enhance the move, but he eventually releases it and both men get back to their feet. Nagata catches a kick attempt by Nakanishi and applies a leg submission hold. Kick to the leg by Nagata and he re-applies a submission hold before Nakanishi makes it to the ropes. Back up, Nagata catches another kick and pushes Nakanishi down. Nakanishi gets back up quickly and the two exchange strikes. Nakanishi gets the better of it and gets Nagata against the ropes, Irish whip, but Nagata ducks a clothesline and hits a dropkick. Nagata gets Nakanishi up to the top turnbuckle and goes for an exploder, but Nakanishi rakes his eyes and pushes him off. Nakanishi hits a diving lariat from the top turnbuckle, cover, but it only gets a two count. Back up, Nakanishi Irish whips Nagata and he hits a back bodydrop. Spear by Nakanishi, he calls for the lariat, and nails it on Nagata. Cover, but Nagata kicks out. Nakanishi picks up Nagata and goes for the Hercules Cutter, but Nagata reverses it into a sleeper hold. Nakanishi quickly tosses Nagata off of him, but Nagata ducks a clothesline and the two struggle for position. Nakanishi gets Nagata up in an Argentine Backbreaker, but Nagata makes it to the ropes. Lariat by Nakanishi, but Nagata hits an overhead suplex when Nakanishi charges him again. Enzigieri by Nagata and he hits a brainbuster. Cover, but Nakanishi kicks out at two. Nagata applies the Nagata Lock III, rolls Nakanishi over into a pinning situation and gets the three count fall! Your winners of the match: Yuji Nagata, Osamu Nishimura, Togi Makabe, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Hiroshi Tanahashi
Match Thoughts: It started and ended strong, but the middle was illogical and poorly constructed which hurt the match as a whole. First I would have to question the decision to not have any wrestler win two falls in a row... basically the teams just took turns sending in fresh wrestlers, and neither team was ever really in an "underdog" position. The Tanaka/Nakamura pairing was great bordering on excellent, as the two worked really well together and put on a good match. Nagai/Nakamura was very good as well, but things went downhill from there. Chono getting dominated by Makabe seemed strange, and all the arm-work on Chono ended up meaning nothing as he was eventually counted out while being in a figure four. Why Nishimura would sacrifice himself by applying a figure four outside the ring with the count already above 15 is beyond me, and it left for the final pairing two fresh wrestlers against each other. If the match was going to end with two fresh wrestlers, why have the elimination match at all? Nagata and Nakanishi put on a decent final match, but it was clipped almost in half. Overall it wasn't bad since the first half had a lot of solid wrestling in it, but overall I don't think the match used the elimination style very effectively. Score: 6.0
The good news is that of the seven matches, I thought that over half were above average. This should come as no surprise, because New Japan has one of the deepest rosters in the world that can put on quality matches from the opening match to the final match. This event does show why I usually avoid TV tapings though, as the clippings always get on my nerves. Even the final match, with over 40 minutes shown, had a good 20 minutes overall clipped from it. It makes it more difficult to get into the match when a significant part of it is cut out. So while I can barely recommend it since it can be found for under five dollars and does have some quality wrestling it it, it is in no way a must-see event.