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NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling - 14 октомври 2013


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October 14th, 2013

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

0. Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Takashi Iizuka, YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo & Jado

1. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) © vs. TAKA Michinoku & Taichi

2. Minoru Suzuki vs. Toru Yano

3. Tenzan Return and Watanabe Send-Off Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Takaaki Watanabe vs. Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.)

4. Special 6 Man Tag Team Match: Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Kota Ibushi vs. Bullet Club (Prince Devitt, Karl Anderson & Bad Luck Fale)

5. Special Singles Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii

6. Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

7. IWGP Heavyweight Title shot and NEVER Openweight Title: Tetsuya Naito © vs. Yujiro Takahashi

8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Naomichi Marufuji

9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada © vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

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  • 2 weeks later...


October 14th, 2013

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

9,000 Fans – Super No Vacancy Full House

0. Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask beat Takashi Iizuka, YOSHI-HASHI, Jado & Gedo (8:28) when Nakanishi used the Ue kara Don on Jado.

1. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: TAKA Michinoku & Taichi beat Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov © (7:27) when Taichi used a Taichi-style Gedo clutch on Romero to become the 36th champions.

2. Minoru Suzuki beat Toru Yano (7:09) with a Gotch-style piledriver.

3. Hiroyoshi Tenzan Return & Takaaki Watanabe Farewell Match: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Takaaki Watanabe (11:48) when Archer used the Killer bomb on Watanabe.

4. Special 6 Man Tag Match – Kota Ibushi’s New Japan Affiliation 1st Match: Prince Devitt, Karl Anderson & Bad Luck Fale beat Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Kota Ibushi (10:37) when Anderson used the Gun Stun on Honma.

5. Special Singles Match: Katsuyori Shibata beat Tomohiro Ishii (15:47) with a PK.

6. Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata beat Kazushi Sakuraba (10:25) with a backdrop hold.

7. NEVER Openweight Title (& IWGP Heavyweight Title shot): Tetsuya Naito © beat Yujiro Takahashi (16:35) with the Pluma Blanca (1st defense).

8. IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura © beat Naomichi Marufuji (16:18) with the Boma Ye (2nd defense).

9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada © beat Hiroshi Tanahashi (35:17) with the Rainmaker (5th defense).

Leading into today’s Sumo Hall show, the big question was whether it could top last year’s “KING OF PRO-WRESTLING” show at Sumo Hall, New Japan’s first internet PPV for international viewers and one of the best New Japan shows ever. Tanahashi vs. Suzuki was an incredible main event and the first since 1997 given a ***** rating by Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer. Since then he has given two more New Japan matches (Tanahashi vs. Okada from this April, Ishii vs. Shibata from the G1 Climax) the same rating and I suspect another will be on the list after today, because this did indeed top last year’s show thanks largely to one match, but not entirely.

After the dark match which I missed on the iPPV, the show kicked off with Forever Hooligans’ V4 defense of the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title against TAKA Michinoku & Taichi. This was supposed to be the one year anniversary of KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley becoming the “Time Splitters”, but Shelley has suffered a fairly serious injury and a late change was forced. They probably would have won the title today but their loss was Suzuki-gun’s gain as TAKA & Taichi won a decent opener out of nowhere when Taichi used his version of the Gedo clutch on Romero. This is Taichi’s first reign with an IWGP title, while TAKA held this title with Dick Togo in 2007. It also breaks up the long-running Forever Hooligans/Time Splitters duopoly of the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title.

Minoru Suzuki beat Toru Yano in their latest singles match. These two have had a number of singles matches this year, all entertaining since it is two heels trying to outdo each other. Handcuffs played a big part in this with Suzuki handcuffing Yano to the steel rail at ringside, making a countout finish seem inevitable. But Yano somehow conjured the key and unlocked it… only to end up handcuffed again once inside the ring, which ended any hope he had of winning the match, and he soon fell to a delayed Gotch-style piledriver.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan returned from an injury suffered in the G1, teaming with young lion Takaaki Watanabe who was to head overseas after this match for a traditional learning excursion. They faced the returning Killer Elite Squad in what seemed a mismatch due to the young lion’s involvement. Watanabe did take a beating but showed some fire and had some offense towards the end, before falling to the Killer bomb. Kojima, out injured himself right now, had accompanied Tenzan but was attacked after the match with the KES savagely assaulting his taped shoulder. It has been almost three months since TenKoji were last able to defend the IWGP Tag Team Title, but it looks like Archer & Smith (who are still NWA World Tag Team Champions) are set to renew their rivalry against the famous New Japan tandem.

Kota Ibushi made his first appearance since becoming a New Japan affiliated wrestler, entering along first in a signed New Japan t-shirt. He teamed with Makabe and Honma against the Bullet Club in what was the best match of the show up to this point – a fun sprint. As expected, a fair bit of emphasis was placed on Ibushi vs. Devitt, a rivalry that could be rekindled now that Ibushi is going to be in New Japan regularly. Devitt has neglected defending his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title for over 3 months now, concentrating on the heavyweight division, but may now have someone he deems worthy of challenging him in the form of Ibushi.

In a rematch of their unforgettable G1 Climax slugfest, Katsuyori Shibata and Tomohiro Ishii went at it in a ridiculously stiff and brutal match. This was longer than the G1 match, though I’m not sure it quite reached the heated heights of that one which benefited from a molten Osaka crowd. The crowd was hot for this though as they just beat each other senseless with legit strikes, a bloody mouthed Ishii continuing to shine in what has been a hugely impressive year for him. Shibata wanted revenge from the G1 though and got it, hitting a GTS then a PK for the win. Excellent match, one of the stiffest I can remember seeing in a long time.

After intermission (part of which was used to promote the upcoming Tiger Mask live-action movie, with the star of the movie Sho Aikawa making an apperance), there was a big surprise as the ring announcer introduced two men who would appear at “WRESTLE KINGDOM 8″ in January. Two latino looking men appeared and it didn’t take long to realise they were both members of the legendary Gracie fighting family! The most recognizable was Daniel Gracie because he beat both Shinsuke Nakamura and Takashi Sugiura in MMA fights over a decade ago. The second was Rolles Gracie, a lesser known member of the family but one who has an impressive 8-2 win record in MMA and defeated Bob Sapp in Indonesia last year. The two spoke in English and issued an open challenge to anyone, which wasn’t answered… for a while.

Yuji Nagata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba concluded their feud in what may turn out to be their final singles match. This was better than their other battles, although no one has still come close to Nakamura in getting a great match out of Sakuraba. It was a good match though, thanks in big part to a nice closing stretch with some very nice counters and reversals as both frantically sought a victory. Nagata ended this series by countering Saku’s sleeper with a backdrop hold for the big win. Nagata took the microphone and called the Gracies into the ring, speaking English and challenging them to a match and saying New Japan Pro-Wrestling is the King of Sports to a big pop. Sakuraba, once known as the “Gracie Killer” when he was a national hero in the PRIDE promotion, managed to pick himself up and spoke, forming a union with his rival and reissuing the challenge to the Gracies! We appear to have our first 1/4 Tokyo Dome match as the veteran team of Nagata & Sakuraba look to ward off the Gracie invasion of New Japan!

Next up for Naito vs. Yujiro for both Naito’s NEVER Openweight Title and his contract to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title on 1/4 at the Tokyo Dome. These two formed the exciting NO LIMIT team that had the potential to be one of New Japan’s best in a long time, but was prematurely dissolved when Yujiro betrayed Naito and turned heel. Since then they have had a series of singles matches, but none of them have really hit any great heights. Today’s was their best yet however, a really good match that clicked well. The crowd was quiet at first but got into it as the two went back and forth with good exchanges, such as Yujiro catching Naito in mid-air and hitting him with a German suplex. Naito landed his Gloria slam then hit the Stardust press but botched it slightly, hitting the legs. It didn’t really matter because he didn’t cover, instead transitioning into his Pluma Blanca submission hold that he used to beat Anderson on the last day of the G1. After a brief struggle Yujiro tapped out and G1 Climax winner Naito continued his march to the Tokyo Dome.

In something of a modern dream match, Shinsuke Nakamura faced NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji in what was Nakamura’s second defense in his latest reign as IWGP Intercontinental Champion. Both had showy entrances with Nakamura getting a huge pop as usual and looking more eccentric than ever. This was an awesome and very creative match that you would expect from two such unique wrestlers. There was an incredible spot on the outside where Marufuji took a long run-up from the crowd to dropkick Nakamura who was hunched over the ropes, but Nakamura lifted himself, missed a face kick, then saw Marufuji springboard over and behind him and hit something like a Code Breaker to the back. Nakamura kicked out of the Shiranui and avoided the Tiger Flowsion before hitting the Boma Ye twice to end a very exciting and high quality match. Suzuki-gun appeared after the match with Minoru Suzuki issuing a challenge to Nakamura for a title shot… that one should be good.

And then it was time for the big one, the latest and most likely final Tanahashi vs. Okada match for a while. This will go down as the defining in-ring feud of the modern era and the two have never had anything less than an exceptional match, with April’s hitting a new level of greatness. I had my fears that this could fail to live up to that as there has to be a limit to the quality of match these two can put on. Okada entered to his Tokyo Dome remix theme, telling you this match was super-important if you hadn’t already figured it out. I’m not sure how to review this match as nothing could really do it justice. Even the early moments were amazing. In the early minutes of the match, Tanahashi jumped off the turnbuckles and landed on his knee, going down instantly and screaming in agony. The match was ruined, his knee had blown out… there were worried calls and something of a hush in the building as Tanahashi couldn’t stand up and the ring doctor checked on him. I was convinced and if you were watching the show, you would have been. And then he jumped up and attacked Okada… it had all been a ruse! The fans booed Tanahashi, but Tanahashi being Tanahashi he was soon being cheered again. Tanahashi was ruthless, absolutely ruthless in attacking Okada’s “Rainmaker” arm and that was the theme of the match, one that was never forgotten and was still playing its part in the post-match ceremony. Every time Okada tried to do something involving that arm, he struggled, such as not being able to apply his Red Ink submission since he couldn’t extend the arm to do the second part of the move. Then he hit the Rainmaker, but his arm was so damaged he was also down in agony and by the time he did cover, Tanahashi was able to kick out with a fraction of a second to spare. Tanahashi hit his crossbody version of the High Fly Flow and Okada rolled out to avoid the inevitable follow up, but Tanahashi was persistent and hit an incredible High Fly Flow plancha on which he got great height. Soon after, Okada came back with a tombstone on the floor and Tanahashi was nearly counted out. The match was so exciting that it seemed it could end at any point, but on it went past the 30 minute mark. Tanahashi countered a second Rainmaker and hit one of his own, covering instantly for a heart-stopping 2.9 count spot. Tanahashi hit his version of the Styles Clash and went up for the High Fly Flow… it just seemed 100% guaranteed that he would win here, everything had flowed seamlessly to this moment, but Okada got his knees up. These two were on another level by now and were reversing and countering everything… and then finally, Okada landed a second Rainmaker and was able to cover quicker this time despite his ravaged arm, to retain the title. The fans applauded what they had just seen, a match I have no hesitation in calling one of the greatest in pro wrestling history. These two went to another level with their April match in the same building, but this about as genuine a “five star match” as you’ll see. Nothing the 3 Musketeers (Muto/Chono/Hashimoto), Hase, Inoki, Fujinami, or Choshu were able to put on could match the consistency and greatness of these matches. It’s a big statement as we tend to refer to such legends in a hushed and worshipful tones, but I have watched New Japan for many years and have seen every era on tape, and this is as good as it has gotten from the heavyweights. That Okada is doing this at the age of 25 is quite amazing, he is still a young boy in the world of Japanese pro wrestling where some rookies have been in their late 20s. Tanahashi has been doing this for a long time and has cemented his place as one of the greatest workers ever at the age of 36, with no sign of him slowing down… in fact I would say he is better than he has ever been right now.

Tanahashi had said leading in that he would not challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title again if he lost today. This seemed like a spoiler of the main event, yet he lost… and said farewell to the title in his post-match interview. I doubt he will stay away from the title scene forever (he is one reign away from having the most ever), but this seems like the moment where he will step back for a while and perhaps focus on something else… maybe Nakamura’s IWGP Intercontinental Title? Okada (only able to do his Rainmaker pose with one arm as the other had an ice pack against it) showed his “evolution” in a different way after the match by giving a full promo… usually, Gedo steps in and speaks for Okada who seems quite uneasy with the whole promo thing, but today Okada spoke for himself. Never afraid to ruin everyone’s day, the Bullet Club appeared, with Devitt stepping on the apron. This seemed strange as Devitt only challenged Okada for the title a few months ago, but this was a red herring as Karl Anderson attacked Okada from behind and beat him up. Anderson went crazy on the microphone, bringing up the G1 Climax 2012 final when Okada beat him in a very close match. Anderson said that result had taken everything from him and he would in turn take the IWGP Heavyweight Title from Okada. And so this appears to be the last title match before the Tokyo Dome when Naito will face the winner.

KOPW 2013 managed to surpass KOPW 2012. Both shows had strong supporting matches and both shows had amazing main events featuring Tanahashi, but this main event was something else altogether and to have sat through this and all of the other recent Tanahashi vs. Okada matches live has been an incredible experience. Sometimes a wrestler or rivalry isn’t appreciated until years later, but I think Tanahashi and Tanahashi vs. Okada should both be recognized and appreciated right now as being among the all-time best. Watch this show or if you’re short on time, the last half of it.

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В сферата на любопитното/за любителите на звездните му оценки:

Журналистът Dave Meltzer оцени Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi мачът от това шоу с пет звезди. Това е вторият Okada/Tanahashi мач от 2013, който получава максималната оценка и четвъртият петзвезден мач (според Meltzer) от NJPW за последната година. Освен това Meltzer нарече серията от мачове между Tanahashi и Okada една от най-добрите серии от мачове в историята на кеча - по-добра от легендарни серии като Flair/Steamboat и Brisco/Funk Jr., но все пак не чак толкова добра колкото серията от мачове между Kobashi & Misawa.

П.С. И интернет дискусиите започват отново... :)

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Tози взима рушвет от японците поне няколко телевизора на месец. ;) Напоследък обаче много ларж е станал , сигурно са му пратили някоя гейша да му... носи дистанционното.


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