Welcome to another fun filled recap and review of this week’s episode of Tiger Mask W. Before we get to the show, there’s some big Tiger related news to talk about. The Wrestle Kingdom 11 card has been officially announced and just as we had all hoped, Tiger Mask W is going to be on the show. He’ll be in a one-on-one match taking on Tiger the Dark, who will be making his New Japan debut here. This will be a super fun way to kick off the show and I’m legitimately very excited for this match. Hopefully they’ll both be able to see alright…
Poor Kota can't even see well enough for the promo shot. pic.twitter.com/6ePcf2pT7v
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) December 12, 2016
We have a couple of weeks left to wait for that match. In the meantime, let’s get to today’s episode. As always, you can watch every episode of Tiger Mask W over at Crunchyroll and if you want to find the rest of my recaps, you can do that here.
Episode 10 Recap: The Mysterious Mister Question
Last week kicked off GWM’s Masked World Tournament and we were about to see the second match, Tiger Mask vs. Wagner, but things were interrupted by Mister Question. The mystery man declared that he wanted to fight Tiger Mask and took out Tiger’s opponent to get a spot for himself in the tournament. Whoever this Mister Question is, he’s using the identity of an opponent of the original Tiger Mask and he’s here to see if Naoto is the real deal or not.
Match 1: Tiger Mask vs. Mister Question
As the match begins there are many interested eyes looking on. Tiger’s friends, and enemies when it comes to Tiger the Dark, watch with great anticipation. The bell rings and the two men charge towards each other with fire in their eyes. Tiger Mask launches a series of strikes at Mister Question, who dodges them all with ease. This is the first time that we’ve seen someone able to best Tiger in the speed department. TM changes up his strategy and attempts to out power Mister Question. Tiger wins a quick test of strength and then gets Question in a Camel Clutch. Instead of struggling to break the hold, Mister Question informs Tiger Mask that moves like these don’t work on him. Question flings TM back, revealing that he can fold himself in half.
— Kelly Harrass (@comicgeekelly) December 13, 2016
As the commentary team reacts with complete shock towards Mister Question’s nonsense body, Fukuwara Mask joins the table to drop some knowledge. Fukuwara Mask explains that Mister Question is from India and has become a master of yoga in his homeland. DDP needs to get on the phone with this guy ASAP. Look, DDP Yoga is great, but I haven’t seen Jake Roberts fold himself in half like this. There’s yoga for regular guys and then there’s yoga for magic men.
Rather than believe Mister Question when he says that submission moves won’t work on him, Tiger Mask decides to double down and places him in a Cobra Twist. Predictably, Question escapes the hold with ease, twisting his torso around 180 degrees to do it. I don’t want to say that Tiger Mask W is exactly grounded, but this is some real Kinnikuman shit. Tiger uncharastically goes back to the submission move well, but actually brings up water this time when he locks in a Figure Four. I guess yoga doesn’t work on your legs. Mister Question can’t quite reach the ropes so he does what any sane person would. He dislocates his elbow and wrist, allowing his arm to be long enough to reach the bottom rope. Tiger Mask breaks the hold and as Mister Question stands up, his arm dangles at his side. Don’t worry though, he just pops everything back into place good as new. Even though this is a cartoon, it’s actually super gross.
— Kelly Harrass (@comicgeekelly) December 13, 2016
Mister Question is done warming up now. He flings himself at Tiger Mask and throws him to the mat with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Tiger rolls out of the ring to escape further harm, but he finds himself booted into the guardrail and assaulted with stomps by Mister Question. Miss X offers Question a reward if he defeats TM, but Question declines and says that he’d rather die than take money from GWM. Mister Question rolls Tiger Mask back in the ring and then asks him if he’s strong enough to take on GWM by his own. Tiger reacts in anger, nailing Question with hard strikes. Mister Question returns the favor and then slams TM with a jackknife powerbomb for a two count.
Question gets Tiger Mask in a sleeper hold and almost puts him away. TM starts to lose consciousness, but he is shocked back awake when he sees Yellow Devil watching his match. With the bloody defeat of his trainer in his mind, Tiger Mask breaks out of the hold. He has to win this match if he ever wants to get revenge on Yellow Devil. Tiger is fired up! He takes some of Mister Question’s best shots, but doesn’t back down. Question struggles to get Tiger Mask up for another powerbomb, which allows Tiger to turn the tide of the match in his favor. Following some hard kicks, Tiger Mask hits a German suplex. He holds onto the waist lock and hits a second German. Finally on the third suplex, Tiger Mask holds the bridge and scores the three count. Tiger really had a Hulk Hogan comeback here. If Mister Question hadn’t gotten so gassed, we might have had a different winner. ***1/2
Match 2: It’s-The-Ace vs. Poseidon
Poseidon gets a little too into the banter and nails It’s-The-Ace with a forearm to the face before the bell rings. After that cheap shot, our attention is taken from the match at hands to a meeting backstage between Tiger Mask and Mister Question. The mystery man praises Tiger’s abilities and then reveal his identity as an older man that trained under the original Mister Question. He tells Tiger that he came to test his strength to see if he would be able to take down GWM, who destroyed the wrestling scene of India. While Tiger Mask might be strong now, Question tells him that in order to win his war, Tiger will have to come up with his own “signature killer move.” The original Tiger Mask had a killer move called the Ultra Tiger Drop and Naoto has to come up with something like that for himself in order to win big matches in the future.
As Tiger Mask is left with a lot to think about, we head back to the ring for the conclusion of the match. It’s-The-Ace and Poseidon charge at and slam into each other like the big bulls that they are. It’s-The-Ace hits a sling blade and puts up the Tanahashi hand signal because he is clearly not Hiroshi Tanahashi. Ace leaps to the top rope and hits what looks like it’s going to be a High Fly Flow, but instead turns it into an elbow drop. Tana-Ace goes for the pin and gets the three count. It’s-The-Ace celebrates his victory and Dragon Young (Ryu Wakamatsu) wonders how his identity hasn’t been exposed yet. What we saw of this hard hitting affair was fun, but actual character development for Tiger Mask got in the way. **1/2
In an odd scene, Poseidon take off his mask and slams it on the ground in anger when he gets to the back. I honestly don’t know what the point of this was, but maybe we’ll see this dude again and it’ll all pay off? Or they just had an extra couple of seconds that needed filling.
Match 3: Yellow Devil vs. Dragon Young
Oh man, poor Ryu. This is going to go so poorly for you.
It’s not really worth going into detail about this match. Dragon Young gets wrecked. Real bad. Like, does a 450 because he got hit so hard with a lariat bad. Yellow Devil puts away Ryu with an inverted DVD. Just a brutal squash. **
Following the beating, the semi-final matches are announced. Yellow Devil will take on It’s-The-Ace and then in a clash of tigers, just like the one mentioned in the beginning of this piece, Tiger Mask faces off against Tiger the Dark. I’ll be curious to see if the real life match will come before or after the cartoon fight. The announcer says that the Marked World League finals take place in a week and judging from the teaser for next week, it appears that the week is in story time, not in real time. I wouldn’t be shocked if it came out that the skip week a couple weeks ago was the result of scheduling to make the two Tiger vs. Tiger matches happen closer together.
Next week we take a week off from match reviews and watch as Tiger Mask visits the New Japan dojo to work on his finishing move. See you all then!