Friday, July 3, 2009

New Japan - 02/17/2008

1) Tetsuya Naito/ Yujiro/ Taguchi/ ? v. Manabu Nakanishi/ Tiger Mask IV/ Koji Kanemoto/ ?- 3
2) Christopher Daniels v. Wataru Inoue- 3
3) Super Strong Machine/ Shiro Koshinaka/ Masahiro Chono/ Riki Choshu v. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/ Gedo/ Jado/ ?- 3
4) Minoru Tanaka/ Prince Devitt v. Jushin Liger/ AKIRA (IWGP Jr. Tag Titles)- 6
5) AJ Styles v. Hiroshi Tanahashi- 6
6) Tomko/ Giant Bernard v. Toru Yano/ Togi Makabe (IWGP Tag Team Titles) - 4
7) Shinsuke Nakamura v. Kurt Angle (IWGP Title Unification Match) - 5

Okay opening match only went about 10 minutes, so no one really got to show off, esp. Tiger Mask. A few kicks and his paycheck was earned. Taguchi stood out to me, think he could be really good in a few years, has a WWE 80's heel thing going on. Nothing of note really happened as brick wall Nakanishi got the win after not selling at all. 2nd match was a let down- Daniels overly sold a bunch of shit off the bat and i wasn't real impressed with his business on this night. Inoue looked like someone who needed carrying, but they worked his leg over the whole time, with not much good emotion being shown. Daniels put him away pretty easily in a forgettable encounter. Tenzan's back baby! with Horns and everything. Unfortunately he's up against the old guard who don't go down easily. Everyone on the face team has seen much better days, Machine needed new parts, Chono really shouldn't wear tight pants, Choshu still has a great lariat but that's it, and Koshinaka really befuddled me; he kept getting pissed because the heels were using his trademark "butt bump" move, so a one upmanship went on for the whole middle of this match. It's a butt strike!!!! Never liked the way he utilized it, so hated everything they did here with it. Tenzan didn't look good at all, physically he still seemed to have it together, but he was a background piece in this match.

Really suprised and overjoyed at this jrs. tag match. Devitt and Tanaka continue to impress after their showing at the Destruction PPV and then here, pulling fire out of Liger I haven't seen since the mid-90's. AKIRA is usually only fuctioning as a Junior not as good as Liger, therefore making him look better, but he kept up with the youngings throughout and had a really awesome armbar. Liger can still powerbomb with the best of them, he puts them on their neck every time. Awesome false finishes highlighted the last 7 minutes, and luckily we weren't treated to a dive spot. Tanaka looks ever improving since BattlArts days as well. AJ is doing his best Mark Briscoe here (with the Southern Drawl using as a heel mostly) but reminds me more of Marc Sommers, popular nerdy host of Nick's Double Dare show from the 80's. He takes a low blow recepit and rubs himself like the Masturbating Bear repeatedly saying "oh, my nuts!" This is a rematch from a TNA ppv a few years back that Internet fan boys didn't like too much; I did like it and this is even better. It's always a good sign when AJ hits his backflip DDT and the crowd pops. He was really on, stiff forearms, crazy pele kick, just all fun. Tanahashi takes a Dynamite Kid snap suplex on the apron in a cringe-worthy spot. All in all, these two just gel and I'd love to see a rubber match.

Not sure what the back story of this match was, but I'm guessing it had to do with the fact they were four ugly ass dudes. Tomko really looked bad, ripping power move after power move with in the first few seconds of his being in there, and nearly dropping the guys on their heads. Yano nor Makabe impressed me, i guess they're supposed to be hardcore, but Yano didn't look too tough when Bernard splashed him through a table on the outside. That was an annihilation, table blew up like a land mortar. Finish kind of sucked in a mostly brawling match that I really wasn't into. Main event I was looking forward to, really digging Nakamura more and more; he's not flashy but he can go. Angle punished him for the first half, like a mat clinic I'm sure he gave to some eager young wrestlers back in Pittsburgh, just trying to pass the time after school. Then the match went into fast forward, spots from really great matches were inserted into this one like a top rope Angle slam at around 10 minutes, didn't make sense. You could also hear and see Angle visually calling out the spots to the young Japanese wrestler. Finish was pretty awesome though, they were trading submission moves back and forth, awesome transitions from moves into the Anklelock, Nakamura doing about 3 flips in the air then somehow wrangling Angle into a cross arm breaker, just breathtaking ground work. I won't ruin the ending but overall, felt like the first Angle-Joe match, except instead of skipping the whole beginning stages like that match did, this one skipped the middle which is even more mind boggling from a pysch perspective.

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