New Japan Pro Wrestling
Road to Wrestling Dontaku
Oita Event Hall
I don’t get some of these broadcast decisions by New Japan. These hard camera shows are decent, but they aren’t that interesting and usually lead to me yawning a lot, like I did just now as I was typing this sentence. Meanwhile, the Best of the Super Juniors tournament will not be airing in full on the service most likely. Sometimes I wonder if they have their priorities in order.
Sho Tanaka vs. Jay White: Not sure if this is new or not, but Tanaka’s shoulder is taped up. Being a New Japan trainee isn’t all that it’s crack up to be. Mostly a back and forth match until White starts making a comeback. White has him locked up in a Boston crab but Tanaka manages to escape. Tanaka makes a comeback and sinks in a half Boston crab that secures him the victory. Pretty decent opener. **3/4
KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuji Nagata vs. Yohei Komatsu, Mascara Dorada & Manabu Nakanishi: I rolled my eyes the second I saw Taguchi come out. I pick on him so much, and I know it’s MEAN and all, but he has X-Pac heat with me. I don’t know if it’s his new pose or his new butt offense, but something about him makes me want to pull my hair out. And for the record, I thought X-Pac was just fine, even in 1998. KUSHIDA and Komatsu started things off, Nakanishi came in for a moment, then Dorada and Taguchi followed. Dorada looked excellent, dropkicking Taguchi to the outside and followed it with a huge plancha to the floor. A lot of the match was also focused on Taguchi’s butt and how everyone wanted to kick it, I guess. Nagata and Nakanishi went at it with Nakanishi getting the the upper hand, hitting the lariat and the torture rack. Boils down to Kushida and Komatsu. The latter eats a pele kick and is drilled with a shining wizard but manages to kick out. One more moonsault from Kushida, however, secures the win for his team in a good match. ***
Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan: Not much to this match at all. A lot of it was Tencozy, though here and there Hall and Yujiro had some offense. Hall is still pretty green, but he has a cool discus lariat that he hits fine every once in a while, including tonight. The heels made a comeback at the end, but Yujiro got wiped out with a 3D and Kojima followed with a lariat to Hall to win the match. Solid but nothing more. *1/2
Alex Shelley, Captain New Japan & Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega, Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson: Solid match. Anderson’s continuing his gimmick of calling out for Maria to the point that he’s getting the fans to chant her name, with Gallows getting irate. Shelley and Omega had their confrontations, and they looked good. Captain New Japan actually hit the Uranage on Anderson, but he kicked out. He was taking on both him and Gallows 2 on 1, but eventually they come back and hit the magic killer for the win. **1/2
Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger and & Togi Makabe vs. Beretta, Rocky Romero & Tomohiro Ishii: Wasn’t much to this one. I’m happy to see that after almost a year, Ishii has stopped taping up his bum shoulder. Everything was fine for the most part, but not that memorable at all. Beretta at one point had Tiger Mask ready for the Omori Driver/Dropkick combo but Liger ran in and helped Tiger Mask reverse it into a rollup. RPG Vice got rid of Liger, then after a distraction by Romero by grabbing his mask, Beretta pinned Tiger Mask with a rollup. There was a brawl after the match that resulted in Romero unmasking Tiger Mask. They immediately covered his face, but Tiger Mask was pissed, chasing Romero to the back. Seems like they were setting up something here. **1/4
Gedo & Kazuchika Okada vs. Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale: This was pretty match we saw last night, just with Gedo instead of YOSHI-HASHI. I find it very amusing almost 24 hours later they would virtually air the same exact match we saw the previous night. The heels ganged up on him a while, Okada made a comeback. Fale tried to interfere, but Okada took him out. Gedo wielded him off as Okada did his pose and hit the rainmaker on Tama Tonga for the win. *1/4
Tomoaki Honma, Katsuyori Shibata, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Kazushi Sakuraba, Toru Yano & Shinsuke Nakamura: Very structured main event, though the few final minutes of the match were pretty fun. Everyone you think would pair off with one another did (Honma/YH, Nakamura/Goto, Sakuraba/Shibata, Tanahashi/Yano). The end of the match had Nakamura going for the Boma Ye but Honma came back with a torpedo kokeshi. YOSHI-HASHI ran in and helped him hit the Boma Ye, but everyone came back in to interfere. CHAOS takes them out, and Nakamura follows with another Boma Ye for the win. ***
Final Thoughts: The show’s been over for maybe half an hour and I’ve already forgotten most of it. All I remember is Romero exposing the back of Tiger Mask IV’s head for all to see. Well, considering the last three Tiger Masks took off their mask eventually, I mean what makes him so special?