This week on Wrestling Omakase it’s our first 5 Matches episode on the free feed in a very long time, as John & Jon discuss the ROH vs. CZW feud, Goto vs. Tanahashi from 2009, IRON HEAD FUJITA vs. Shibata from 2004 and more! If you haven’t listened to a 5 Matches episode yet, each episode John and the guest each choose 2 matches to watch and talk about. Then we each choose a third match, which is put up to a vote on our Twitter, letting the listeners choose our fifth and final match to discuss. It’s a fun retro format featuring all sorts of different wrestling!

The Wrestling Omakase Patreon is your best source for coverage of Japanese wrestling, from yesterday and today. Right now on the Patreon we’re currently reliving the Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi rivalry, watching every singles match between the two of them that made tape. We’re still right at the start but doing 2 per week, so it’s a great time to jump onboard and follow along with this legendary feud (with plenty of historical notes and talk about the periods as well!). Coming up in a couple weeks, before the end of May, we’ll be doing our Best of the Super Juniors Final Retro Roulette, as we discuss five randomly selected finals of NJPW’s late spring classic! On top of all of this recent and upcoming stuff, you always get instant access to all of our archived content, including our many 1 Match episodes covering everything from Omakase patron requests, early Dome main events and famous rivalries, our exclusive Retro Roulette & 5 Matches episodes (if you enjoy this format there’s MANY more on the Patreon!), ANIME OMAKASE, and more! You can get all of this right now for only $5 at

NOTE: As mentioned during this episode, after this episode we’ll now be taking a bit of a break on the free feed (about 3 weeks in fact, returning the weekend of 6/6). If you would like to keep up with Omakase during that time, including an exclusive full Retro Roulette episode on Best of the Super Juniors finals, please sign up for the Patreon!

John is joined by returning guest & VOW contributor Jon Hernandez (@OldJonHernandez), and they start things off with 26 minutes (!) of completely off topic banter. So if that’s your sort of thing, feel free to endulge as we talk indoor dining awkwardness, Atlantic City (and gambling in general), the start of the NHL playoffs and the end of the NHL on NBC era, and much more. Or, you can just skip ahead to get to this week’s five matches, which are as follows:

1. Daisuke Masaoka v. Violento Jack, FREEDOMS 11/13/17 (IWTV, match starts around 1:41:25)
2. Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Katsuyori Shibata, NJPW 7/19/04 (Dailymotion)
3. Chris Hero, Necro Butcher & Super Dragon vs. Samoa Joe, Adam Pearce & BJ Whitmer, ROH 4/22/06 (BilliBilli)
4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto, NJPW 5/3/09 (NJPW World)
5. Bret Hart vs. Jean-Pierre LaFitte, WWF 9/24/95 (Peacock, match starts around 1:09:45)

Topics that come up along the way include: two deathmatch guys you should know if you don’t already, HEEL DON’T PLAY, matches just on wood look weird but also awesome, Shibata’s departure from NJPW (and then soon after from wrestling in general), Iron Head Fujita’s IWGP title reigns and their inauspicious endings, an awesome match between two bad-asses, ROH vs. CZW, That Super Dragon vs. John Story Again, shoot monkey-flips, having to look at yourself from fifteen years ago, a brief history of Hirooki Goto IWGP Heavyweight Title challenges, how Goto & Tanahashi work differently (and how they work the same) now vs. twelve years ago, PCO the Pirate, Bret Hart’s wonderful 1995 feuds (and promo lines), and a match that was probably too good for the WWF in 1995.

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Missed any of the 5 Matches episodes or just want to revisit one of the matches discussed previously but aren’t sure what episode it took place on? Here’s a handy Google Doc with links to every single match we’ve discussed on this series so far, which will continue to be updated every time!