First off, not to get too out of this stratosphere, but it's been 10 years today since the horrific 9/11 tragedy, so to all the people who lost their lives that day, we pray for your families and will never forget your sacrifice. okay onto the rasslin
1) Gedo/ Jado/ Killer Rabbit v. Tiger Mask IV/ Jushin Liger/ Kushida- 3
Funny Liger's been in the industry for 20 years, has seen and done it all and now he's selling bunny hops? He's red hair looks so bad even Pennywise would reject the look, and he turned out to be a giant ugly fucking spider. Jado has never honked my personal horn and i don't see how he does for anyone else here either. Finish was fast paced and well done, for as much flack as TM gets, in any incarnation.
2) Manabu Nakanishi/ Koji Kanemoto v. Tomoaki Honma/ Tama Tonga- 4
Tama looking identical to Superfly Snuka from 1984 (sans badass goatee) is something I would def. click "Like" on. He's doing Snuka's whole act too and has a really high, awesome dropkick, dig his progress. Nakanishi could have been one of those barrel chested 1950's bodybuilders. Koji has hair like a WB series star but likes to kick people's faces off. This went about 10 mins, maybe, but was enjoyable.
3) Takashi Iizuka/ Tomohiro Ishii v. Giant Bernard/ Karl Anderson- 4
This is a listing that I immediately would scoff at, but Bad Intentions, as they're known around Japanese watering holes, are able to make this watchable. Ishii elicits as much of a reaction from me as a brick; Iizuka is a fun guy to watch get beat up which they have fun with. The heat spots were really done well for a throwaway kind of match too. Watch Anderson when they do their double team finish; what's his role there? He just spins a guy's legs around and falls on his back, doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
4) Yuji Nagata v. Toru Yano - 3
I really dug Yano's tights; looked like Genndy Tartaskovy designed them. This had one of those pointless sojourns into the crowd and also didn't show off Nagata's truly stoic facials. The leglock into rollup was quite clever though.
5) Shinsuke Nakamura v. Togi Makabe- 6
Nak is just about my favorite performer to watch these days and the best big match guy in Japan right now, my opinion. Togi's offense is really stale, relying on stuff Liger was doing in '89 as his base. Loved when Nakamura attacked Togi on the ground with vicious knees over and over again, with his crazy hair looking like a Sex Pistols roadie or something. Like the improvised finish, as in you could see Nakamura improvising in his head and he relied that perfectly to the crowd.
6) Masato Tanaka/ yujiro/ Naito v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/ Wataru Inoue/ King Fale - 4
This was a fun way to pull the middle of the show together. We got to see Team No Limit live years back and the thing I've always noticed about them is great timing as a team and it was on display here. I also really enjoyed watching Tenzan do his thing; you wonder how a guy on top for so long keeps himself motivated in throwaway stuff like this but he seemed to have no problem. Fale looked as uncoordinated as an African Elephant on roller skates. Naito and Inoue had some fun playing with counters to the spear later on even if the end result looked like 2 kids tackling each other inside a bouncy castle.
7) Prince Devitt/ Rysuke Taguchi v. Taka Michinoku/ Taichi- 6
Speaking of timing, Apollo 55 is even better. Damn, let me play matchmaker, i'd love to see them v. the Briscoes. Taka gets a shit eating grin on his face as he tags in against Devitt. This match is real interesting though because it focuses on Taichi as the threat; he and Devitt's ground work is really good, Devitt is portraying all the pain of his own countrymen chopping down all the trees in their land during his armlock. This got some time too and I think was perfectly rationed out.
8) Satoshi Kojima/ MVP v. Hiroshi Tanahashi/ Hirooki Goto- 5
Goto and Tanahashi were playing the "warring partners" gimmick, which was fun at first with really hard tags that were in reality backslaps. MVP and Kojima, I guess were the Breath Right Strip Brigade, as that's all they have in common. MVP is really bulky in New Japan and he and Tanahashi seemed to have heat. Goto was just brutally stiff here, not even as if playing a role but in every strike he did looked nasty. Surprising finish too but lost some steam getting there.
9) Yuji Nagata v. Shinsuke Nakamura (Finals)- 7
This review almost writes itself. I mean this is a layup shot if I've ever seen it for a good time. As basically as i can describe it, this was these two doing what they both do best; beat the hell out of people and sell so majestically, you can't help but be sucked in. Nak with his knees and Nagata with kicks just dominate the major portion of this battle. Love Nakamura's face at one point, he's spinning like a dervish, with this manical smile on his face, he looks like James Franco on helium. As usual, Nagata gets his money shot in; pulls on the crowbar armlock and his eyes roll into the back of his head like he's possessed. Nakamura does some subtle arm selling but I really think it should have been played up more. Like how he doesn't have to break out his Bom Ya knee in every match, which you can point to RVD as having to break out his whole ludicrous move set in every match. Sick suplexes from Nagata and he's on his way back to the top.