After B-block delivered the best show of the tour so far, we unfortunately now have to return to the constant disappointment that is Block A. However, my confidence is up, and there is every chance that they can deliver a decent show… isn’t there? Let’s dish out some stars.
The Bullet Club (Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi) (6) defeated Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (4)
This was classic pro-wrestling. The heels were dastardly and the babyfaces were pure. It’s simple, and yet, there is something to be said for it.
And I think it worked here because of the men involved. Page and Takahashi have their issues, but they’re born heels. You can almost smell the grease on them. On the other side of the ring, Tencozy are the New Japan legends. They’ve earned their place in the hall of heroes.
Sadly, much like in real life, wrestling doesn’t always reward the good guys. Hangman and Yujiro’s willingness to break the rules saw them pick up a victory. Page snuck in with the Buckshot Lariat which set up Takahashi for Pimp Juice and the win. Still, this was a good performance from all involved.
Verdict: Three Stars
Los Ingobernables De Japon (Evil and Sanada) (6) defeated Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (2)
I question having these matches back to back. The story is a little bit too similar as once again we have two dads come up against a cocky young heel team. The one upside this had is that Sanada and Evil are significantly better than The Bullet Club pairing.
A fact which showed. Even in there with Nakanishi, these two did a good job. They provided all the movement and yet managed to not make it too obvious that that’s what they were doing. It’s when Nagata comes in that things picked up, though. The guy is having a sneaky great year, and the fact he moves as well as he does at his age is a testament to his brilliance.
Despite that, I don’t think this ever quite got up to the level of the opener. Even more so than Tenzan, Nakanishi is too significant a barrier to get around. The second he enters the action it hits a brick wall. The guy tries (he hit another crossbody in this one), you can just tell his body can’t do it anymore. Throw in a dodgy finish with Evil using a chair to floor the big man, and this failed to overcome its limitations.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka) (6) defeated Death Juice (Juice Robinson and Sami Callihan) (6)
The crowd woke up for the first time with the combination of Iizuka barrelling through them and Kaze ni Nare. You can see the basketball hoops in this gym hall when the camera zooms out by the way. It’s not a great venue.
I’m talking about all that stuff because this was shit. It was all the usual Suzuki-gun rubbish with added Callihan which is not my idea of fun.
Juice is better than this crap. Suzuki is better than this crap. I resent wasting time on it, so I shall waste it no more.
Verdict: One Star
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI) (6) defeated The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens) (4)
Goto and YOSHI-HASHI are turning into a pretty decent tag-team. They’ve started building up a repertoire of moves and New Japan obviously likes them together. So, why don’t I care? Why am I consistently put to sleep by their matches?
This one was no different. There were plenty of little bits that worked; it just didn’t add up to a coherent whole. Even the presence of Chase Owens couldn’t instal any passion in me.
I think half the problem comes from the motivation of the wrestlers. They’re trying, but they’re working in a gym hall and who can blame that if they’re giving 75% rather than 100%. If this had that little extra, it might have done it for me. As it is, it left me feeling profoundly unimpressed.
Verdict: Two Stars
If you took Suzuki-gun out of this, I don’t think I’d hate it as much as I do. The rest of B Block is average as hell, but the dads are having a decent tournament and everyone else has at least have something going for them. It’s Suzuki and Iizuka stinking the place up that is ruining it for me. Anyway, this show was average with one awful match. Watch it if you must, skip it if you don’t care.