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NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling - 8 октомври 2012


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New Japan presents one of its strongest lineups in a while at “KING OF PRO-WRESTLING”, the new name of New Japan’s October show at Sumo Hall. From top to bottom this is a loaded card with all five IWGP titles being defended, and will be topped by the Tokyo Dome rematch of Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Tanahashi successfully defended the title against Suzuki in January in his previous reign as Okada has of course had a memorable first reign since then, but Suzuki hit back in the G1 Climax by beating Tanahashi. Speaking of Okada, he is willing to risk his number one contendership for the belt which he is contractually entitled to and will put it on the line against the on-fire “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson in a rematch of the 2012 G1 Climax final which Okada won.

Hirooki Goto is given chance to win back the IWGP Intercontinental Title against the man who took it from him, Shinsuke Nakamura, in the semi final while Sakuraba & Shibata face a tougher level of opposition this time with no young lion to bully as Makabe leads Wataru Inoue into war against the duo. NO LIMIT collide again as the former tag partners continue their endless grudge after Yujiro attacked Naito’s injured knee yesterday, leading to a big singles match between them at Sumo Hall. TenKoji finally make their V1 defense of the IWGP Tag Team Title after regaining them in July, taking on Suzuki Gun’s Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr., the latter being Harry Smith who has decided to rename himself in tribute of his late father.

And of course the juniors can’t be forgotten as the junior dream match is repeated, Kota Ibushi making his V3 defense of the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title against the man he won the belt from Low Ki. Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov make their V2 defense of the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title against the Japan-USA alliance of KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley. And what better way to start the show than with the return of the hugely popular Manabu Nakanishi? Nakanishi finally returns to action and teams with old friend Yuji Nagata and 2010 Tokyo Sports Tag Team of the Year partner Strong Man, who of course formed Muscle Orchestra with Nakanishi.


October 8th, 2012

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

1. Manabu Nakanishi Return Match: Muscle Orchestra (Manabu Nakanishi & Strong Man) and Yuji Nagata vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii)

2. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) © vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA)

3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kota Ibushi © vs. Low Ki

4. IWGP Tag Team Title: TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) © vs. Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.)

5. Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi

6. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue vs. Laughter7 (Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata)

7. IWGP Heavyweight Title #1 Contendership in Tokyo Dome: Kazuchika Okada © vs. Karl Anderson

8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Hirooki Goto

9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi © vs. Minoru Suzuki

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^ Току-що беше обявено, че това аадски добре изглеждащо на хартия шоу ще бъде излъчено като iPPV. Това ще е второто iPPV в историята на NJPW, като предишното iPPV беше достъпно само в Япония, имаше само няколко дена интернет реклама и въпреки това постави рекорд за най-купуваното iPPV в историята на кеча. Този път, iPPV-то ще е достъпно в целия свят. Цената е $25.

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Очертава се страхотен турнир.

Ето и моите прогнози :

1. Manabu Nakanishi Return Match: Muscle Orchestra (Manabu Nakanishi & Strong Man) and Yuji Nagata vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii) - Победители :Muscle Orchestra (Manabu Nakanishi & Strong ManІ

2. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) © vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) - Победители:Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA)

3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kota Ibushi © vs. Low Ki - Победител:Low Ki

4. IWGP Tag Team Title: TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) © vs. Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) - Победители:Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.)

5. Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro Takahashi - Победител:Tetsuya Naito

6. Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata

7. IWGP Heavyweight Title #1 Contendership in Tokyo Dome: Kazuchika Okada © vs. Karl Anderson - Победител:Karl Anderson

8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Hirooki Goto - Победител:Hirooki Goto

9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi © vs. Minoru Suzuki - Победител:Minoru Suzuki

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  • 2 weeks later...


October 8th, 2012

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

9,000 Fans – No Vacancy

1. Manabu Nakanishi Return Match: Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii beat Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata & Strong Man (11:29) when Yano used the Uragasumi on Nakanishi.

2. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov © beat KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley (14:55) when Romero used a cradle on KUSHIDA (3rd defense).

3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Low Ki beat Kota Ibushi © (17:05) with an avalanche-style Ki Krusher to become the 65th champion.

4. IWGP Tag Team Title: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima © (12:47) when Smith Jr. used the Killer bomb on Kojima to become 61st champions.

5. Yujiro Takahashi beat Tetsuya Naito (5:41) by referee stop.

6. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata beat Togi Makabe & Wataru Inoue (7:10) when Shibata used a PK on Inoue.

7. Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Title #1 Contender Match: Kazuchika Okada beat Karl Anderson (16:26) with the Rainmaker.

8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura © beat Hirooki Goto (15:12) with the Boma Ye (2nd defense).

9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi © beat Minoru Suzuki (29:22) with the High Fly Flow (4th defense).

* New Japan presented it’s big October show at Sumo Hall today and for the first time ever us foreign fans were able to see it live courtesy of internet PPV (still available on video-on-demand until 10/11 16:59 JST). Based on the stats around 550 foreign fans bought the PPV, which at $25 a pop means $13,750 (minus USTREAM’s cut) of previously unobtainable revenue for New Japan, before any VOD orders. Over 50,000 people bought the Japanese iPPV version despite the show also airing on regular TV PPV in Japan. 9,000 fans turned up which is up from 6,500 this time last year, so a good crowd even if not a complete sell out.

* I can post some personal thoughts on the matches unlike ever in the past. Firstly, this was an absolutely incredible show that I highly recommend everyone see. With many good to great matches and lasting 4 hours, it is well worth the US$25 which finally gives us the chance to support New Japan without having to resort to bootleg footage. I would say this was the best top to bottom New Japan show of the year and there have been some tremendous shows so that is heavy praise. If you’ve fallen out of love with or just gotten bored of pro wrestling I would say give this show a try as it may remind you of how great it can be.

* The show started with Nakanishi’s emotional return match after 1+ year out of action with a serious injury. This was a fun match even if the weakest of the show, Nakanishi is always entertaining in his own goofy way and to see him again after so long was nice. He also looked in very good shape. It looked like everything was heading to a happy ending and Nakanishi win until Iizuka struck with the iron fingers from hell, sending Nakanishi into Yano’s Uragasumi cradle for the 3 count. Thus began a very fruitful event for New Japan’s heels.

* Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) successfully defending their IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title for the third time against Time Splitters (KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley). This was a very good tag match that was truly tag team wrestling with loads of nice combination moves and sequences. It was very fast paced for the bulk of the 15 minutes it lasted and looked like it could go either way, with KUSHIDA’s first IWGP title win looking a near certainty at times. In the end though Romero used a nice counter into a cradle to make sure the CHAOS tandem retained.

* Low Ki won back the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title from the man who took it from him, DDT’s Kota Ibushi, to begin his third reign as champion. Both of these men are big league wrestlers and one can only hope Ibushi’s latest spell in New Japan isn’t over. This was a terrific match although I would say not up to the level they are capable of. There were some amazing sequences and counters with the two showing great chemistry. The finish was slightly awkward as it took a while to set up but when it did come it was spectacular, Low Ki hitting his Ki Krusher from the top rope to end Ibushi’s title reign. After a fairly long excursion to Europe and Mexico, New Japan junior ace Prince Devitt appeared in a suit and tie afterwards and grabbed a microphone, saying: “I’ve been to Europe, I’ve been to Mexico. But now I’m HOME in New Japan!”. He went on to challenge Low Ki who responded saying last year was Devitt’s year and this is Low Ki’s year. Their rivalry looks set to be renewed.

* The big surprise of the show for me was the IWGP Tag Team Title match which looked nothing too special on paper but delivered in a big way. TenKoji’s first defense in their fourth reign as champions took about 2 1/2 months to happen and came against the sort of team you’d normally expect them to defeat, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (Harry Smith), given that the latter are a new team. Harry Smith’s name change coincided with a breakout performance for the son of the legendary British Bulldog as he stood out with an impressive showing. The match was very entertaining and almost the perfect length at 13 minutes. The ending was impactful as the foreign team didn’t just win the belts from Tenzan & Kojima, they won them in a very dominant and convincing way, hitting both opponents with the Killer bomb before Smith pinned Kojima to complete a major upset.

* The battle of NO LIMIT was much shorter than expected but in a way that made sense. Naito has long been struggling with a knee injury and as soon as it flared up in this very fast paced match, Yujiro was on to it like a hound dog. Naito fought bravely but once Yujiro got him in a leglock was in big trouble. With the doctor at ringside the referee decided to stop the match but that wasn’t enough for Yujiro. Having seen his former tag partner grab the spotlight ahead of him, he wrapped a chair around Naito’s knee and smashed it with another chair. Naito was stretchered out and sent to the hospital with his immediate future in doubt. But Yujiro finally seemed to step out of Naito’s shadow and would continue that trend later on.

* On a night of many good to great long matches, the 7 minute tag match pitting Laughter7 (Sakuraba & Shibata) against Makabe & Inoue did not pale in comparison to any of them. This match excited me so much and the best way I could describe it is a modern reincarnation of the old New Japan vs. UWF or New Japan vs. UWF-I matches. A white hot brawl with a feeling of chaos and unpredictability, the feeling that got me hooked on New Japan in the 1990s and that you don’t get so much anymore. This was the first time I have seen Shibata in many years, having not yet seen his Kobe return match and having not followed his MMA career. He looked exactly the same as he did when he left New Japan years ago with a youthful face and slender build. He isn’t as punkish now, carrying himself with a sort of dignity but once the match starts he is still an aggressive warrior. The New Japan team fought very well against Saku & Shibata but Laughter7 never seem to be in serious danger except when Makabe went up top for a King Kong kneedrop only for Sakuraba to shake the ropes to stop him hitting it. The impressive Shibata who, despite his failure as a MMA fighter, still exhudes a big league presence in the pro wrestling ring, PK’d former young lion rival and tag partner Inoue to win the match. I hope Shibata is here to stay as he has New Japan in his blood and offers something very different. Sakuraba is of course an iconic legend too and it’s good to see him but Shibata is the true center of attention in this storyline I think.

* Okada risked his 1/4 Tokyo Dome title match against Anderson in a re-run of the G1 Climax final. It’s very hard to say which match was the best of the show but I think many would give it to this blockbuster. Kazuchika Okada is amazing to put it simply. He came back to New Japan with a dud of a return match on 1/4 against YOSHI-HASHI that almost made it seem like this promising talent had learned nothing abroad. Then suddenly he blew the roof off in his title win over Tanahashi and has just gone from strength to strength since then. The sense of awkwardness that he had early in his title reign seems to be completely gone now. He is a superstar in every sense of the word. And the man he was up against Karl Anderson has also had a breakout year and is probably the most underrated and underappreciated American pro wrestler in the world. This was just an incredible match and the last few minutes need to be seen by all with great counters, teases, and big moves before Okada finally hit the Rainmaker to retain his 1/4 title shot. And really, this man already looks ready to headline the Tokyo Dome.

* The old rivalry between Nakamura and Goto was put in the difficult position of bridging Okada vs. Anderson and the main event but did not deflate the crowd or disappoint. In what was Nakamura’s V2 defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Title against the man he took it from, Nakamura enter with his usual swagger that makes him impossible to hate. For a man once criticised for lack of charisma, he just oozes it now and with him not being in the main title picture at the moment, he has managed to elevate the secondary IWGP IC Title with his reign and matches like this. As always these two put on a great show although I don’t think any of their matches has yet to surpass their IWGP Heavyweight Title match from April ’10. As usual these two excited the crowd and there are few better wrestlers at hot closing sequences than Goto, who seemed to have won the match with something like a reverse Shouten only for Nakamura to kick out. Nakamura eventually won with the Boma Ye to retain the title.

* After about 3 1/2 hours of action, the main event had a lot to live up to as it saw a rematch from January’s Tokyo Dome show between Tanahashi and Suzuki for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. This was Tanahashi’s fourth defense in his latest reign, his last one having broken several records. They came into the match 1-1 this year though as Suzuki had beaten Tanahashi in a G1 Climax main event. While very good their Tokyo Dome main event wasn’t great so if they didn’t improve this threatened to be somewhat of a tepid finish to a red hot show. But boy, did they improve on that match with what I would call the very definition of a “world title” match. It built up at a slower pace than all of the other matches but with two such strong personalities, both of whom are loaded with ability, it never once got boring for it’s 30 minute duration. Some people are tired of Tanahashi holding the title so often but this match showed again why New Japan has unending faith in him as their leader and champion, as he just never seems to let them down. The match centered around Tanahashi’s knee work (with some brutal dragon screw leg whips and an immense figure-four leglock spot) and Suzuki’s arm work and later his sleeper hold. Later on the focus became Tanahashi surviving Suzuki’s deadly sleeper leading to many exciting moments where you were just convinced Suzuki was taking the title. When Suzuki countered a dragon screw into a back-mounted sleeper it seemed curtains for Tana and he appeared to pass out before summoning a burst of strength and finding the ropes. Tanahashi eventually landed his High Fly Flow to win a match that I would guess meets all the criteria of a Tokyo Sports Best Bout award and should be nominated at the end.

* After Suzuki hobbled to the back, Tanahashi was about to begin his post-match interview when a cocky and smug looking Yujiro appeared. Having sent Naito to hospital this was his time to really force himself into the spotlight and he challenged Tanahashi to a title match which looks set to happen on the 11/11 Osaka show. Tanahashi, looking very tired and hurt, sent the fans home with his air guitar routine but it lacked the same energy it often does, showing just how much the main event took out of him.

* Of all nine matches Tanahashi was the only babyface to win after CHAOS, Suzuki Gun, and the invading Laughter7 won every other match. But because the babyface/heel system is different in Japan to America, there was no feeling of disappointment from the fans as the likes of Nakamura, Okada, and Low Ki are very well liked.

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В сферата на любопитното:

Without a question, this was THE best show of the year. Up until the main event it was a VERY good show but once I saw that main event there was no question about it. Tanahashi/Suzuki was one of the greatest matches I've ever seen in my life. I was sitting there watching it and thinking "This is better than Flair/Steamboat". It completely blew Richards/Elgin, Tanahashi/Okada and Okada/Naito out of the water, and I didn't think anything could do that. It was just freakin' unbelievable. The selling that those two guys did was outstanding. Tanahashi is far and away the best performer in the business.
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Nagata/Nakanishi/Strongman vs. Yano/Iizuka/Ishii - **

Koslov/Romero vs. Shelley/KUSHIDA - ***1/2

Ki vs. Ibushi - ****1/4

Kojima/Tenzan vs. Smith/Archer - ***1/2

Naito vs. Takahashi - **1/4

Sakuraba/Shibata vs. Makabe/Inoue - ***1/2

Okada vs. Anderson - ****

Nakamura vs. Goto - ***3/4

Tanahashi vs. Suzuki - *****

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