Have you ever known someone intent on self-destruction? No matter how much you try to help them or attempt to point them in the right direction, they’re going to keep driving straight towards that cliff. Everyone has different reasons, but most often, they think what they’re doing is right. Regardless of that, they’re barreling straight into a complete implosion of their life. Now, let’s all commiserate together as we watch Naoto continue to make wrong choices. If you need to catch up on his mistakes, 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.

Tiger Mask W Episode 29 Recap: The Solitary Tiger

The episode opens with a Yuji Nagata led New Japan press conference to get us up to speed on the events of last week. After the appearance of Miracle IV, the stage is set for five-on-five elimination match between New Japan and their invaders. Nagata promises to build the strongest team possible, mixing the units to do so (more on this later). Miss X and Lady watch from the Max Dome and I still can’t believe that New Japan doesn’t realize that they’re under attack by GWM. Seriously, how dense can you be?

Speaking of dense idiots, Naoto has been training an absurd amount up at Mt. Fuji so that he can be strong enough to beat The Third. This is the training regimen of a stupid kid that doesn’t know any better. Kentaro tells him that he has to strengthen his technique if he ever wants to win, but Naoto would rather win tests of strength with workout robots. Kentaro may as well save his breath because Naoto isn’t listening to anyone else.

So he can train without people talking sense at him, Naoto goes (as Tiger Mask) to the Max Dome. Tiger decides to go for a run in the decompression chamber. What could go wrong? Kevin angrily watches Tiger Mask from the control room and then decides that he should kind of try to kill him as revenge for what he did to Tiger the Dark. Kevin should really talk to Takuma about this because this is probably the last thing he wants. Tiger Mask starts to feel faint when Kevin suddenly turns off the air in the room. Thankfully for Naoto, Mike Rodriguez walks in and foils Kevin’s plot. Kevin plays it off like it was a joke, but Mike knows better. I guess he could chalk it up to the bully culture of GWM. All I know is that no one better be mean to the super positive GWM announcer. Love that guy.

Naoto’s brush with unconsciousness sends him to the GMW doctor’s office. It’s there that he discovers that Ruriko has left behind her job as the GWM nurse to go help a patient with their physiotherapy. Takuma’s therapy is going very well, by the way. Ruriko has completely dedicated herself to getting Takuma back in the ring. After a bit of moping around, Naoto gives Ruriko a call. Their conversation is quick, but it doesn’t take Naoto long to see that he probably doesn’t have a chance with her anymore.

Sellout at Sumo Hall

The day of the big elimination match comes and Sumo Hall is totally sold out. Okada and Nagata are confident in their team, while the Miracles show a little unease over Tiger Mask not sharing their locker room with them. Miracle I is a bit upset that Tiger doesn’t want to spend time with them, but he also doesn’t know that Miracle II tried to suffocate him.

The show opens with a singles match between Tomohiro Ishii and Ryu Wakamatsu, a match which Ishii easily wins. Here is where Yuji Nagata messed up. If you’re making a five man team of New Japan’s best (excluding Los Ingobernables and Bullet Club), how can you not include Ishii on that team? I want to rip cartoon Nagata out of the screen and scream at him about how ridiculous it is to team up with YOSHI-HASHI over TOMOHIRO FUCKING ISHII. Look, I enjoy a good YOSHI-HASHI match as much as anyone, but there’s a reason why I often say “don’t bring a YOSHI-HASHI to a fight you want to win.” In a battle against strong invaders, I’d much rather have a Stone Pitbull on my side instead of depending on a Loose Explosion.

While I’ve been yelling, they showed a promo package for the elimination match, which was actually a really nice touch.

5-on-5 Elimination Match: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata, Togi Makabe, and YOSHI-HASHI vs. Miracle I, Miracle II, Miracle III, Miracle IV, and Tiger Mask

As Red Shoes checks the Miracles for foreign objects, the New Japan team jumps the gun and attacks the invaders before the bell. When the match is officially underway, Nagata and Miracle I start things off. Nagata makes pretty short work of Miracle I, kicking his ass and putting him in the Nagata Lock in the opening minute of the match. Miracle I is in trouble until Tiger Mask jumps in the ring and breaks Nagata’s hold with a brutal strike. As Ruriko watches the match with Takuma and his dad, she couldn’t be more disappointed in her old friend.

After being knocked loopy by Tiger Mask, Nagata finds himself on the wrong end on a Miracle Rana. Miracle II hits him with a chair assisted frog splash and Yuji Nagata is the first man eliminated from the match after Miracle I scores the pinfall. Okada steps up for his team, but quickly is double teamed and laid out with a chair assisted spike piledriver. Things start to turn around for New Japan when Okada ducks a lariat from Miracle II, who hits Miracle III on accident. Okada acts fast and decapitates Miracle II with a Rainmaker, putting both sides at four men each.

Tiger Mask jumps into the ring to take on Okada next, but eats a dropkick for his troubles, knocking him over the top rope and to the apron. Okada and Tiger Mask exchange forearms until Miracle I interferes. Miracle I dropkicks Okada in the back, knocking him over the top rope. Both Okada and Tiger Mask tumble to the floor, eliminating them from the match.

Back in the ring, Tanahashi hits Miracle III with a dragon suplex and holds the bridge for the three count. YOSHI-HASHI gets in the ring and slams Miracle I onto the mat to set him up for a High Fly Flow. Miracle IV attempts to put a stop to this, but Makabe tackles him, sending both of them over the top rope and to the floor. Tanahashi nails the High Fly Flow, but can’t score the pin because he’s not the legal man. Before YOSHI-HASHI can win the match for his team, an unexpected face appears.

The crowd is in complete shock as The Third walks down the entrance ramp. Makabe tries to stop him, but The Third swats him aside with ease. Before he can hit the killing blow on Miracle I, YOSHI-HASHI is hit with a Devil’s Tornado by The Third, slicing his chest wide open. That wouldn’t have happened if Ishii had been in the match… The referee calls for the bell and things descend into utter chaos. A huge brawl between the Miracles and New Japan breaks out while Tiger Mask watches from the outside. Miracle I hands him a chair, beckoning him to join the fray.

After a brief moment of deliberation, Tiger leaps into the ring to smash the chair over The Third’s head. The blow doesn’t connect though as The Third punches Tiger Mask square in the jaw, knocking him into the guardrail outside. Miss X steps into the ring to finally make it clear to the New Japan idiots that this has been a GWM invasion all along. As the episode ends, things aren’t finished between these two groups at all.

Where will Tiger Mask fall in this war now? He’s contracted to GWM, but after he tried to attack The Third, will they want him anymore? And if GWM does cut him loose, will New Japan take him back? I have so many questions and Tiger Mask W has been so good that I can’t wait for next week! Talk to you all then!