Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tomoaki Honma, Captain New Japan & BUSHI over Manabu Nakanishi, Super Strong Machine, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask
*I bought the IPPV from ustream.tv as opposed to the Japanese website, so my commentary will be in Spanish.
Sweet opening video to start the show.
Show opens with a musical performance to give a big show type atmosphere.
The Spanish commentary broadcast has English ring announcing.
1) 4 Way For the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Titles: The Young Bucks(c) vs. Time Splitters (KUSHIDA and Alex Shelley) vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov) vs. Suzuki-Gun (TAKA Michinoku and Taichi)
Shelley and KUSHIDA came out in the Delorean from Back to the Future and KUSHIDA is wearing the Marty McFly vest. Â Suzuki-Gun spent the first 1/4th of the match on commentary. Â No tags were made. Â Fun, creative spots involving all eight guys at the same time. Â Had a slight CHIKRA influence with a pinch of old-school TNA X-Division. Â Young Bucks retain by More Bang For Your Buck on Taichi.
Winners: The Young Bucks
2) IWGP Tag Team Titles: Â Killer Elite Squad of Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer(c) vs. Bullet Club (Karl Anderson and Doc Gollows)
Bullet Club come out dressed as soldiers with camo and paint. Â Killer Elite Squad come out on bikes again like last year. Â Good heavyweight style, big man match. Â Lots of big slams and suplexes. Â There were some good false finishes down the stretch with attempted interference from Tama Tonga, but Tonga ended up getting Killer Bombed. Â After some more back and forth after that, Bullet Club hit the Magic Killer for the win to become the NEW IWGP Tag Team Champions.
Winners: Bullet Club
3) NWA World Heavyweight Title: Rob Conway(c) vs. Satoshi Kojima
Harley Race punched Bruce Tharpe before the match. Â This was better than their first match and better than I thought it would be. Not a great title match, but a fun one. Â It’s cool to see Kojima with the NWA World Heavyweight Title and hopefully that means he’ll visit the states this year and defend the title around the country. Â Kojima was really over and didn’t have to take any big bumps. Â Conway was a typical American heel. Â Kojima eventually won with the lariat.
Winner: Satoshi Kojima
4) Kazushi Sakuraba and Yuji Nagata vs. The Gracies
This was bad. Â The Gracies looked weak and really green. Â There was almost no psychology. Â Match ended with on a DQ when one of the Gracies (I couldn’t even tell which one) choked out Nagata with his gi. Â There was a promo afterward. Â It sounded like a singles challenge for Nagata.
Winners: Kazushi Sakuraba and Yuji Nagata
5) Minoru Suzkui and Shelton Benjamin vs. Toru Yano and The Great Muta
Muta and Yano had a sweet entrance. Â Great Muta’s music was played live and costume dragons danced on the stage. Â Muta had barbed wire on the shoulder pads of his ring jacket. Â This was such a badass entrance as it made it seem like Yano was leading this crazy monster to the ring. Â Yano had this great evil grin too. Â This a really entertaining match. Â When Muta was involved, it was more of a brawl. Â Taichi attempted to interfere, but he got the mist from Muta. Â Yano exposed a turnbuckle as well. Â Finish came when Muta gave the mist to Suzuki and Yano rolled him up for the win. Â Fun to watch and it protected Muta from taking any bumps.
Winners: Toru Yano and The Great Muta
6) King of Destroyer Match (KO, TKO or SUBMISSIONS ONLY): Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale
This match some good moments, but it went too long for what it was. Â Some of the early parts where Fale was playing big man heel were not really exciting. Â Makabe made his babyface comeback after taking a huge powerbomb from Fale and getting up at 9. Â Makabe ended up power bombing Fale through a table outside and then nailed two King Kong knee drops for the ten count winning via TKO. Â This had some good moments, but it went too long and the pacing suffered.
Winner: Togi Makabe
7) Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
This match was what you’d expect. Â Tons of stiff shots and suplexes. Â Of course they played off the double KO spot from their first match, but it wasn’t as believable as the first time. Â It also had the kickout at 1 spots. Â Some crazy stiff head butts from both as usual. Â Goto finally got his win over Shibata with the Shoten Kai. Â The crowd was really into and responded well. Â Excellent match but not the best in the series.
Winner: Hirooki Goto
8) IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Prince Devitt(c) vs. Kota Ibushi
And yet another awesome entrance as Devitt comes out in a coffin carried by masked, caped people that looked they were from Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut”. Â Also, Devitt has face and body makeup depicting a crazy looking zombie. Â I made none of that up. Â There must be a contest backstage to see who can come up with the best entrance of the night. Â Match started off good then Bullet Club started to interfere. Â Ibushi dived on all them but they kept interfering. Â Then the Bullet Club members where banned from ringside and became fair and square. Â The matched finished hot too. Â Towards the end, they played off last year’s spot where Devitt did the Avalanche Bloody Sunday but Ibushi reversed it into a smooth top rope hurricanrana. Â Match ended with Ibushi hitting the Phoenix Splash to become the NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. Â Great match, and that’s the fourth new champion tonight. Â As Rowdy Roddy Piper from Summer Slam 91′ would say, “What a night!”.
Winner: Kota IbushiÂ
9) IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs. Tetsuya Naito
The first ten minutes were okay and then the next ten or so were fantastic. Â Great back and forth action, with unexpected counters and extremely close near falls. Â If this were to have gone on last, I wouldn’t have minded. Â Naito looked like he earned his spot and took Okada to the limit. Â Both guys worked their submissions in as well, both getting near tap out finishes. Â Naito showed slight shades of aggressive heel but still playing the underdog babyface. Â The finishing stretch was very exciting and the tombstone counter at the end was creative and very well done. Â Okada breaks the streak of crowning new champions.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
10) IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura(c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Tanahashi had live entrance music as Marty Freeman from Megadeth played guitar following Tanahashi to the ring. Â Nakamura topped that with pole dancers in his entrance. Â Nakamura was also wearing a red jacket that either Freddie Mercury or Michael Jackson would where in 1988. Â The entrances tonight have been outstanding. Â If anybody from WWE is watching tonight, they better take notes. Â I doubt Wrestlemania XXX will have as many creative entrances as tonight. Â As you’d expect, these two had a great match. Â They both kicked out of each other’s finishers but after the second High Fly Flow, Nakamura was done. Â Hopefully this means we can now slowly build to Okada/Nakamura down the line. Â Usual Tanahashi victory title speech afterwards to send the crowd home happy.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi
I liked last year’s Wrestle Kingdom more as I felt it had a better flow to it. Â The first half was good and the second half was excellent. Â Still, this was a great show from top to bottom. Â The entrances tonight were off the charts and I hope people from WWE were watching to get them inspired. Â Awesome show, as you’d expect at this point from NJPW. Â With Tanahashi as IC champ, it opens up the door for a whole new set of title matches. Â I think Naito will bounce back and build his way to another title shot possibly in the summer before the G1. Â I’d expect Goto/Okada pretty soon too based on the booking.
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