New Japan and Diamond Ring house show reports



By Ryan Clingman

NJPW 40th Anniversary Road To Power Struggle Toyohashi October 25th 2012

Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan

Overall Thoughts

This was a standard New Japan house show. There was nothing bad on the show, but nothing really spectacular either. The crowd wasn’t all that big with roughly one thousand people in attendance, but they were hot for everything so it really didn’t matter all too much. There were some empty seats, but I would say that 80% of the visible seats were full.

I would recommend the show if there is nothing else going on and if you are interested in some fun pro wrestling, but there was nothing on here that was worth going out of your way for; except for the awesome finish to the Suzuki-gun match, but that is more of a personal fascination more than anything else. The show ran just under two hours, but you get easily get through it in one and a half, as there were a lot of breaks and commercials.


1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Takaaki Watanabe

They started out in a lock up, but Ishii quickly overpowered Watanabe. Watanabe looked to engage Ishii in a battle of strength and landed a couple of elbows. Ishii blocked a powerslam and Watanabe landed a shoulder block knocking Ishii off of his feet. He got Ishii up for a bodyslam and this time landed it. He landed some chops, but Ishii no sold. Ishii responded with chops of his own, which Watanabe sold really strong. Watanabe fired back with strikes of his own, but was knocked back down to the mat with a forearm. Watanabe slapped Ishii and followed it with a few shops and shoves. Ishii proceeded to take Watanabe down with a forearm and bodyslam. Watanabe landed a flurry of forearms with Ishii letting him take shots, but he was hastily knocked back down. Ishii landed a few more shots in the corner, but couldn’t get Watanabe down for the three count. Watanabe fired back with shots once again, but was caught with a big forearm; sending him back to the mat. Watanabe went for a lariat, but was caught with a shoulderblock. Watanabe fired back with a couple of dropkicks. He landed a backsplash in the corner followed by a bulldog and landed a release double underhook suplex for two. Ishii landed a vertical suplex and landed a huge lariat in the corner for two. Ishii landed a flurry of elbows, but Watanabe was able stay on his feet and connected with a flying forearm knocking Ishii to the mat. A heated elbow exchange ensued, but Ishii cut Watanabe off with a slap. Watanabe kicked out just before the three count and was caught with more elbows upon making his way back up, but still he kicked out at two. Ishii went for a forearm, but was caught with one by Watanabe. Watanabe grabbed a nearfall, but Ishii kicked out and landed a huge lariat for the win in 09:02.

This was a fun match. Watanabe showed his young lion fire and Ishii played the part of the veteran trying to stop the young babyface at every turn. This formula worked fine here; although it really was one being elbow exchange – something that I really didn’t mind.

** ¾

2. Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) & Gedo vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & Tiger Mask

KUSHIDA locked in a wristlock on Romero and went after the arm. He rolled through on the up and over and landed a few shots. He got a quick combination of armdrags and a dropkick before Romero scurried to Koslov for the tag. KUSHIDA tagged Tiger Mask in. Koslov bowed to Tiger Mask, but when Tiger Mask was distracted with Romero Koslov landed a cheap shot. Koslov proceeded to shout “we’re the f****** champs baby”. Tiger Mask landed a kick or two, Koslov lifted his hand, but Tiger Mask noticed Koslov’s shtick and landed a kick. Koslov slid over to Gedo who met Shelley. Shelley landed a flying head scissors, knocked Forever Hooligans off the apron and he and KSUHIDA landed some quick double teams. Shelley went for something, but Gedo threw him to the outside where he was picked apart by Koslov and Romero. Romero and Koslov tagged in and out on Shelley. Koslov threw around a few more expletives and tagged Gedo in. He superkicked Shelley in the stomach, taunted KUSHIDA and raked at the face of Shelley in the ropes. Koslov was tagged back in and he landed his lariats in the corner. Gedo and Koslov were upset that he wouldn’t let them in and this led to an argument and subsequent hug between the three. Koslov landed the Kazatzka kicks and tagged Romero back in. Shelley finally landed an enzuigiri and made the tag to Tiger Mask. He landed a couple of dropkicks and a few kicks in the corner followed by the Tiger Driver for two. Tiger Mask went for the tombstone, but it was broken up by Koslov. Tiger Mask landed a mule kick and made the tag to KUSHIDA who ran wild until Romero got the knees up on a standing moonsault. Romero landed his assisted lariat and knee in the corner, and Gedo landed a superkick for two. Shelley yelled out “f*** you” and landed a missile dropkick and tandem superkick with KUSHIDA. Tiger Mask landed a topé and KUSHIDA and Shelley landed double highkicks on Gedo and the sliced bread doomsday device for the win in 12:18. This was pretty much your typical junior six man tag.

***

3. Jushin Thunder Liger, BUSHI, & Negro Casas vs. Low Ki, Jado & Brian Kendrick 

Jado and BUSHI started off. Jado landed some chops; wooing. He moved out of the way of a BUSHI dropkick and wooed some more. BUSHI executed a rolling cradle for two and Jado sold his dizziness by doing the Flair flop. Liger and Kendrick were tagged in. Kendrick locked in a front facelock, but Liger countered and locked in a guillotine. Kendrick made it to the ropes and Liger was forced to break. Liger locked in an inverted surfboard and choke combination. Casas and Ki were tagged in. Casas locked in a leg lock, Ki countered and went for an armbar, but they then transitioned to their feet. Ki landed a kick to the gut and basement dropkick to the back of the head for two. Casas unloaded with kicks and did his strut. Ki was not impressed and landed a big dropkick. Jado was tagged in. Jado landed some chops and raked the eyes of Casas. This was followed by the tag to Kendrick after all three men had strangled Casas in the corner; Kendrick locked in a sleeper with a body scissors. Kendrick landed a big lariat in the corner for the count of two; this led to Kendrick yelling expletives. Casas landed duel chops on Jado and Kendrick followed by a double dropkick. This led to the tag to Liger who went after Kendrick, he was cut off by Jado, but cut both men off with a double clothesline. He landed a backbreaker on Ki and a powerbomb for two. Kendrick landed a leg lariat and BUSHI was tagged in with Ki. He landed a flying head scissors and Ki landed some stiff chops. BUSHI cut Ki off with a highkick and a missile dropkick. The heel team was knocked off of the apron and Casas, Liger and BUSHI landed lariats in the corner. Jado ran back in. Ki landed the liger kick on BUSHI and Jado and Kendrick landed a dropkick leg sweep combo. A light brawl broke out. Ki went for the Ki Krush, but was head scissored into the turnbuckle. BUSHI went for a 450 splash, Ki moved and landed a running dropkick and the double foot stomp for the win in 13:06.

***

4. Shinsuke Nakamura, Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano vs. Karl Anderson, Wataru Inoue & Captain New Japan

Anderson and Nakamura started off. Anderson took Nakamura down with an armdrag and went after the arm. They had an athletic exchange, Nakamura missed a stomp and they had a faceoff. Nakamura mocked Anderson’s machine gun taunt while strangling him in the corner. Anderson landed a back senton yelling “gomen nasai” or “I’m sorry” in midair.  Inoue was tagged in and he went after Yano. He landed a flying forearm and some kicks. He followed it with an elbow and reverse over the shoulder piledriver for two. Inoue was thrown to the mat and then to the outside. He was destroyed by Iizuka and Yano knocked his partners off of the apron and down to the floor. Inoue was thrown into an exposed turnbuckle and Iizuka followed it with an Irish whip into the same post. Iizuka then grabbed Anderson and he suffered the same fate. Iizuka chocked Inoue with the buckle rope and covered him for two. Nakamura was tagged in and he landed his big running knee in the corner. Iizuka unloaded with stomps on Inoue, went for an Irish-whip, but Inoue landed one of his own. He almost made the tag, but Yano ran in and knocked his partners off of the apron. Finally Inoue landed a double spear and made the tag to Anderson. He landed a leg lariat on Nakamura and neckbreaker on Yano. Iizuka went for the pedigree, but Anderson countered. Iizuka landed an atomic drop and made the tag to Nakamura. He landed kicks and an enzuigiri. Anderson fought out of something, but was caught with another enzuigiri. Nakamura missed the knee in the ropes and was caught with a knee and spinebuster from Anderson. New Japan was tagged in and he landed a big shoulder block on Nakamura. Nakamura blocked a suplex and landed a knee, but was caught with an exploder. Nakamura’s team was knocked off of the apron and all three members of team Anderson landed lariats/knees in the corner. New Japan landed a chokeslam and taunted for what felt like years. He locked in the Caribbean death grip, it was broken up, but he landed a bodyslam. He went to the top rope, but missed the headbutt. This led to Yano landed a chair shot from through the ropes and Nakamura landing the Boma Ye for the win in 13:08.

This was a fun house show tag, but as always there were wacky shenanigans with Iizuka, Captain New Japan and Yano. It doesn’t detract from the match, but it is certainly limiting, because for all intense and purposes this was the same match as we always see – make of that what you will.

** ½

5. Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer & Taichi vs. Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi

Devitt and Michinoku started off. Devitt locked in a hold on the arm, but Michinoku made it out with an eye poke. Taichi came in and was caught with an Apollo 55 double team. A brawl broke out on the outside and Taguchi and Devitt feigned some dives. Tenzan and Smith were tagged in. Tenzan landed some Mongolian chops and a shoulderblock. The tag was made to Kojima and they landed their slingshot elbow legdrop combo. Kojima landed the machine gun chops, which brought a delightful smile to Kojima’s face. It was short lived however as Suzuki-gun ran in and knocked his teammates off of the apron. Smith and Archer landed their backbreaker legdrop combo and Archer was tagged in. They landed double shoulderblocks and a splash/legdrop combo. Archer landed a bodyslam and covered Kojima with one foot across the chest. Taichi was tagged in. He landed Mongolian chops mocking Tenzan and even did some light machine gun chops mocking Kojima. Michinoku landed a knee and Taichi a lariat in the corner. Suzuki was tagged in and he landed some chops in the corner. He locked in a kimura and landed a few knees. He went for a boot, but was caught with an ace crusher from Kojima. Nagata was tagged in and he really did run wild. He landed a big boot and exploder on Suzuki. Suzuki landed a knee, Nagata sat up, he landed another, but Nagata sat up again. Suzuki teased another knee, but instead like a great member of Suzuki-gun he landed a very short, very brief kick. Taichi was tagged in and he saluted Nagata, but he was caught with a knee. Suzuki-gun took the other team to the outside while Taguchi, no the legal man, was doubleteamed. Taichi was a victim of the inverse. Taichi tore the pants off, but Taguchi ducked the highkick and landed the underhook facebuster. Suzuki ran in with the Gotch piledriver and threw Taichi half way across the ring for the win in 12:51.

The match really wasn’t anything special apart from the Suzuki and Nagata stuff, but the finish was just so incredibly awesome. Suzuki runs in and hits a piledriver for Taichi, but instead of letting him crawl to the pin he threw him through the air onto Taguchi. If nothing else the Suzuki-gun antics were fun as always.

***

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto & Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada, Yujiro Takahashi & YOSHI-HASHI

For one reason or another HASHI came out with a Dragon Ball/Journey to the West style red extending pole. Before the match Takahashi cut a promo on Tanahashi. Tanahashi’s hair was a lot lighter than usual.

Takahashi and Tanahashi started off. They had a battle of strength, but Yujiro bit the hand of Tanahashi. Tanahashi landed a springboard bodypress and made the tag to Goto. Okada was tagged in by Yujiro. Okada was taken down with a headlock, Okada fought out, but was knocked down with a shoulder block. They had an athletic exchange, which culminated in Goto going for the rainmaker which the crowd popped for. HASHI was tagged in and he landed some chops and boots. Goto fired back with a hip toss and kick to the midsection. The tag was made to Makabe who landed some lariats in the corner and unloaded on HASHI. Makabe landed a double underhook bridging suplex for two and knocked Okada off of the apron. However, the distraction allowed HASHI to throw Makabe to the outside and a brawl broke out. Okada went after Goto, Tanahashi after Yujiro and HASHI after Goto (strangling him with his Dragon Ball pole). I liked the idea of this brawl, because it helped build to Power Struggle. HASHI strangled Makabe in the corner and tagged in Okada. Okada locked in a headlock and made the tag to Takahashi. Takahashi took a cheap shot on Tanahashi and booted him off of the apron. HASHI, the now legal man, landed some boots on Makabe back in the ring. Okada was tagged in and he landed a basement dropkick. Makabe landed a powerslam on Okada and made the tag to Goto. Goto landed a couple of kicks, was caught with a boot from Okada, but fired back with a big lariat. Okada’s partners were knocked off of the apron and Goto landed a backdrop driver. Okada got off of the shoulders of Goto and landed the belly to back over the shoulder over the knee neckbreaker. Their partners brawled on the outside and Okada landed an elbow drop. He wet for the rainmaker, but Goto countered with a big German suplex. Goto went for a suplex, Okada went for the rainmaker, Goto countered, but Okada landed one of his huge dropkicks. Takahashi and Tanahashi were tagged in. Tanahashi landed a sling blade and landed a senton for two. Both men exchanged elbows, but Takahashi gained the better of Tanahashi with a belly to belly suplex. He landed a fisherman’s buster and went for Tokyo Pimps, Tanahashi countered, but he landed a backbreaker for two. He went for the deadlift German, but Tanahashi countered with a sling blade. Tanahashi went for the tag, but HASHI was tagged in and he broke it up. Tanahashi fought back with an elbow, but was cut off with a clothesline. Okada, Takahashi and HASHI landed shots in the corner with HASHI landing a suplex and a neckbreaker for two. HASHI set up for a senton, but Tanahashi moved out of the way. He was cut off by Goto, he was in turn cut off by Okada, but Makabe ran in with lariats clearing the ring. Finally Tanahashi landed the sling blade and highfly flow for the win in 16:31.

*** ¼

NJPW 40th Anniversary Road To Power Struggle Niigata October 27th 2012

Niigata, Japan

Overall Thoughts

In many ways this was just a revised version of the October 25th card. Most of the matchups were similar and the opener even had some of the similar spots. Still, it was a better show. This was in part due to some of the unique matches on the show. I found the Suzuki-gun versus Iizuka/Yano tag match phenomenally entertaining; with both teams trying to one-up each other when it comes to heelish tactics.

The mainevent was also better on this night and I think that was due to no YOSHI-HASHI in the match; instead he was relegated to a match with Captain New Japan and even that was fun in its own way.

Although the “only watch this if you have nothing else” philosophy reigns true for this card, it does to a far lesser extent, because there really were some quality matchups and moments on the show. It wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, there were no great matches much like the show on the 25th, but it really was fun.


1. Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) & Gedo vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & Negro Casas

Casas and Gedo started off with some mat work after a battle of words between both teams. Both men exchanged quick pins and this led to a fiery chop battle. Gedo landed a few elbows thinking he got the better of Casas, but Casas landed a big flying elbow and sent Gedo to his partners’ corner. Koslov and Shelley were tagged in. They exchanged a few forearms and Shelley landed a head scissors. KUSHIDA was tagged in and he landed a back elbow into Koslov’s teammates, this allowed for Shelley and him to land a double team. KUSHIDA was distracted with Romero and this allowed for Koslov to take advantage. Romero and Koslov wore KUSHIDA down on the outside and Koslov tagged Romero in for their atomic drop clothesline combo. The tag was made to Gedo and he raked his boot over the face of KUSHIDA. Romero did his usual lariat shtick in the corner and this led to a shoving contest and of course, a hug. Romero made the tag to Koslov who came in with a springboard splash. He then grabbed his hat and did the Kazatzka kicks. Koslov locked in a front facelock and made the tag to Romero. KUSHIDA fought back with an enzuigiri and handspring back elbow. The tag was made to Casas and he no sold the chops of Romero, who got the better of the exchange with a front kick. This didn’t stop Casas for long however, he landed a flying head scissors and got a rollup for two. Shelley was tagged back in and he landed a big enzuigiri on Romero. He went for sliced bread, Romero countered with an enzuigiri and made the tag to Gedo. He landed a superkick to a grounded Shelley for the count of two and Gedo was sent into Koslov by Shelley. KUSHIDA flew in with a standing moonsault on Gedo and he and Shelley double teamed Koslov. They landed their front facelock dropkick combo and followed it with dual highkicks. They then landed the sliced bread doomsday on Gedo for the win in 11:39.

This was a very similar match to the junior tag on the October 25th show. However, I enjoyed this one more only to a slight extent; mainly due to Casas.

***

2. YOSHI-HASHI vs. Captain New Japan  

HASHI strangled New Japan in the corner. New Japan fought back with a shoulderblock, but was taken back down with a suplex from HASHI. HASHI took New Japan to the outside, grabbed his pole and proceeded to beat New Japan with it! He landed a basement dropkick to the gut of New Japan and locked in an abdominal stretch. HASHI landed a few chops and knocked New Japan to the mat with an axefist for two. New Japan fought back with a big suplex and proceeded to take HASHI down with a shoulderblock. New Japan landed a splash in the corner and an exploder. He then signalled for the Caribbean choke hold, but HASHI got the better of New Japan with strikes. New Japan cut HASHI off with a body slam and went to the top rope. He missed the headbutt and HASHI landed a lariat for two. HASHI then landed the swanton bomb for the win in 08:19. It was what you would expect.

**

3. TAKA Michinoku, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs. Jado, Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano

Iizuka came out rampaging as usual and Yano was hawking his new best of DVD; pointing to hit with his water bottle. Archer and Iizuka had a great faceoff before the match, with Archer wearing a wacky helmet with one horn and Iizuka holding a chair. Iizuka and Yano ambushed Suzuki-gun before the match – standard fair. Jado was in control of Michinoku in the ring, throwing him face first into the exposed turnbuckle. The tag was made to Yano and Michinoku was bumping all over the place. Iizuka strangled Michinoku with the rope and Michinoku sold it like Justin Roberts would a necktie. Jado landed a few chops and Michinoku snuck behind him poking his back and making him dizzy. Jado Flair flopped for the tag, but landed just short. This resulted in Suzuki-gun knocking his partners off of the apron and a brawl broke out on the outside. Michinoku choked Jado with his foot in the ropes and did the peace sign into the camera. Archer walked towards a lady with a child and they cowered. Smith was tagged in and he and Archer double teamed Jado. They landed their splash/legdrop combo and rammed the referee into the turnbuckle. Archer landed a splash in the corner and Michinoku landed a high knee in the corner for two. Michinoku locked in a sleeper hold and Jado rolled Michinoku up for two. Michinoku made the tag to Archer and he and Smith knocked Yano and Iizuka off of the apron once again. Jado somehow outsmarted Archer and Smith and sent them crashing into each other making the tag to Yano. He tried to move Archer, but couldn’t. Yano offered him a handshake and locked on a hard grip. Yano got this loock on his face like he had outsmarted Archer, but Archer locked on a stronger grip. However Yano pulled Archer down by his air and rammed Archer into exposed turnbuckle for two. Iizuka grabbed a cheap shot and Yano landed a low blow. However, Archer fought back with a double clothesline and it was time for Michinoku/Jado part two. Jado landed a knee and a neckbreaker/legsweep combo into a crossface. Archer broke it up and this led to a brawl between Yano, Iizuka, Archer and Smith once again. Finally after a heated exchange Michinoku grabbed the win with an eye poke and shove on Jado in 12:08.

This match was tons of fun. The match was basically about who was dirtier, Suzuki-gun or Iizuka and Yano. This resulted in a really entertaining game of one-upmanship. It was filled with your usual antics, but because you had two heel teams in there it didn’t feel stale at all.

** ¾

4. Minoru Suzuki & Taichi vs. Manabu Nakanishi & BUSHI

Suzuki and Nakanishi started off. Suzuki called for a test of strength, but soon crumbled down in a heap. Suzuki landed a few chops and shots and Nakanishi responded with a bodyslam. He landed some chops of his own and took Suzuki down with a lariat. BUSHI was tagged in, but Suzuki shot in with a boot on Nakanishi and a brawl ensued on the outside. BUSHI landed a flying head scissors on Taichi followed by a corkscrew plancha. Suzuki locked in a guillotine in the second rope on Nakanishi, but even though neither man was legal the referee forced for a break. Taichi grabbed a chair and landed shots on BUSHI on the outside while Suzuki went after Nakanishi. BUSHI was thrown into a wall and Suzuki detached the entire barricade. Taichi began to undo BUSHI’s mask on the top rope and was eventually pushed off. Suzuki came in with a big kick on BUSHI and stood on his face. Taichi was tagged in and he landed a kick to the gut for the count of two. Suzuki landed some shots in the corner, but BUSHI responded with a big missile dropkick. Nakanishi thought that BUSHI had made the tag, so he got ready to dash through the ropes, when the referee informed him that the tag was not made; he had to go back to the apron and get tagged back in. Nakanishi landed a flurry of chops and ran wild with a big suplex regardless. Nakanishi landed a kneedrop and landed his big lariat. He went for the torture rack, but Taichi ran in to break it up. However, Nakanishi fought him off and locked it in anyway. Suzuki countered into a sleeper and went for the Gotch piledriver, but BUSHI broke it up. BUSHI caught him with a running dropkick and was tagged in along with Taichi. BUSHI landed a highkick and missile dropkick. He grabbed a rolling cradle for two, because Suzuki was there to break it up. Once again he went at it with Nakanishi on the outside. Taichi ripped the tights off and was caught with a dropkick to the knee. He went for a suplex, but BUSHI landed a DDT and bodypress for two. The referee was pulled out of the ring by Michinoku and Suzuki locked in the sleeper hold. Nakanishi broke it up, but Suzuki caught him with a sleeper. Taichi then grabbed the Taichi Clutch for the win in 11:48. After the match BUSHI was unmasked and covered his face with a town. Taichi wore the BUSHI mask after the match. I assume this will lead to something down the line.

** ½

5. Prince Devitt, Ryusuke Taguchi & Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Low Ki & Brian Kendrick

There was a pull apart and shoving contest between Devitt and Low Ki before the match and as soon as the bell rang they went at it. Devitt landed a dropkick on Ki, but was cut off by Kendrick. He and Taguchi took Kendrick to the outside and both feigned dives. Kendrick and Taguchi were tagged in and Kendrick offered him a handshake. Finally, Taguchi accepted but was kicked in the gut for his trouble. Taguchi grabbed him by the hair and they and they had a brief exchange. Taguchi landed an armdrag and both men landed dropkicks. Nakamura and Anderson were tagged in. They too had an athletic exchange and Anderson grabbed an armhold. Anderson landed a leg lariats, a few shots and tagged Taguchi in. Taguchi landed a springboard bulldog and landed a few chops. Taguchi did some wacky Shawn Michaels, sweet chin music style taunts, but was cut off by Nakamura who landed his knee in the corner. Nakamura landed a knee on Taguchi and tagged in Ki. Taguchi fought back with a flurry of elbows, but Ki landed a mule kick for two. Kendrick was tagged in and he locked in a camel clutch, Anderson ran in to break it up and Nakamura was tagged in. Nakamura landed an enzuigiri and tagged in Low Ki who locked in an abdominal stretch. Taguchi landed a missile dropkick and finally made the tag to Devitt who sprung off of Ki’s back into Kendrick with a dropkick. He ran wild on both men. He landed a topé con giro onto both men and dragged Ki back into the ring. He went for a double foot stomp, Ki moved, Kendrick ran in, but was taken out by Taguchi. Devitt went for a pelé, but couldn’t get the height and it looked sloppy. Anderson and Nakamura were tagged in. Nakamura landed a facebuster and missed his knee in the corner allowing for Anderson to land a powerbomb for two. He went for the fireman’s carry gunstun, but Nakamura got out, landed a kick and made the tag to Kendrick. Kendrick landed a big tornado DDT and a superkick. He then landed the sliced bread, but Devitt and Taguchi broke it up. Anderson landed a running dropkick and went for the gunstun, but Kendrick grabbed a backslide for two. Anderson finally landed the gunstun out of nowhere for the win in 14:32.

*** ¼

6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, & Togi Makabe vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Yujiro Takahashi

Tanahashi and Takahashi had another faceoff before the match. Tanahashi locked in a kimura on Yujiro and they fought in and out of holds. Takahashi pulled Tanahashi’s hair and bit the hand of Tanahashi. Takahashi landed a jumping knee, but Tanahashi responded with a dropkick to the knee of Takahashi. The tags were made to Makabe and Ishii. They had an elbow exchange and went at it nonstop for about a minute and a half. Makabe landed a bodyslam and Ishii made the tag to Okada. Goto was tagged in. Goto landed a flurry of kicks and Okada responded with an uppercut and flapjack. Ishii and Yujiro knocked Makabe and Tanahashi off of the apron. This led to a brawl on the outside. Okada locked a chinlock, but Goto made it to the ropes. Takahashi was tagged in and he landed a few shots on Goto. Tanahashi had the audacity to be on the apron and he was forcefully booted off. Ishii chopped Goto in the corner, but Goto fought back with slaps. Once again his partners were knocked off of the apron and he too was knocked down with an elbow. Okada was tagged in and he landed a really quick basement dropkick. Goto landed some elbows and a slap, he went for his neckbreaker, but Okada fought out and landed his belly to back over the shoulder over the knee neckbreaker. Okada was caught with a German suplex and the tags were made to Tanahashi and Yujiro. Tanahashi landed a bodyslam and followed it with a top rope senton. Tanahashi landed a dragon screw on Ishii and Yujiro. Yujiro landed a couple of elbows, Tanahashi responded with some of his own, but Yujiro landed a belly to belly suplex and Olympic slam for two. Yujiro went for the deadlift German, but Tanahashi fought out and landed a sling blade. He went to the top, but was caught by Okada and a belly to belly suplex from Yujiro. Ishii was tagged in and landed jabs and elbows on Tanahashi, but Tanahashi was able to land a springboard splash. Tanahashi made the tag to Makabe and he knocked Ishii’s teammates off of the apron and started landing some shots in the corner. He landed a northern lights suplex, but Ishii kicked out at two. Ishii landed a snap powerslam, Tanahashi broke it up, but he, together with Goto, were taken to the outside by Takahashi and Okada. Ishii landed a superplex, but Makabe kicked out. Ishii went for a lariat was intercepted by Goto, who was caught by Yujiro, Tanahashi came in with a sling blade and Makabe landed a couple of lariats. Ishii landed a big lariat of his own for two, but Makabe set up for the King Kong knee for the win in 16:11.

*** ½

After the match there was another faceoff between the six.

Diamond Ring Osaka Tournament October 7th 2012

Osaka, Japan

Overall Thoughts

I really wasn’t expecting much out of this show and pretty much got what I was expecting. My main problem with the show was the fact that the undercard was so lacklustre and the top two matches weren’t all that strong. However, the Nakajima match still delivered as I suspected it would have, considering it was Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masato Tanaka. The tag match really wasn’t on the same level as their singles match from a while back, but then again that wasn’t what I was expecting.

This is probably the third Diamond Ring show that has surfaced that I know of and only the second that I have seen and considering that I haven’t really seen much of guys like Namazu Man and Kikutaro, I wasn’t fond of their act. I have nothing against them, but that kind of comedy simply isn’t for me; although I assume some people enjoy it.

The mainevent was good; although it really wasn’t anything spectacular. As a whole the show was completely missable apart from the Nakajima match, which isn’t must see by any stretch, but was still very good.

1. Hide Kubota & Yasu Kubota vs. Kikutaro & Namazu Man

Namazu man and Kikutaro did some comedy. Hide and Kikutaro faced off. There was some stalling on Kikutaro’s part, but he was proud of himself landing a shoulderblock. Both men posed and Hide knocked Kikutaro down with an actual shoulderblock. Hide went to make the tag, but was pulled back by his shirt. He landed the people’s elbow style elbow and made a very light tag to Namazu. Namazu landed some slaps to the chest and was caught with a low blow. Hide pulled Namazu’s legs apart to reveal a hole in his pants. What is this? Yasu came in and he landed a body slam. Hide was tagged back in landing a double foot stomp. Namazu took a break on the outside, but was eventually kicked and thrown back in. Hide locked in a Boston crab, Kikutaro taunted some interference, but decided against it. Namazu landed a couple of slaps to the chest of Yasu, which the fans clapped along with. Namazu walked the tight rope, was hung up, but sprung right back up with an armdrag. Kikutaro was back in and he landed a few lariats. They were no sold and he knocked Hide to the outside and landed a Death Valley Driver on Yasu for two. Kikutaro yelled something that the fans found amusing, but was caught with a suplex from Yasu. Hide landed a couple of atomic drops and a chinbreaker. He stayed on his feet however and landed a dragonscrew. Namazu flew in after a tag and landed a leapfrog and tiger kick. Namazu landed a bodypress and followed it with some slaps. He went for something, but was hung up by Yasu who landed a couple of back splashes with Hide and a guillotine legdrop for two. Hide and Yasu sent Namazu and Kikutaro into each other and Hide landed the angels’ wings for the win. I have absolutely no idea what to make of this.

* ¼

2. CHANGO & Satoshi Kajiwara vs. K-ness & Kenichiro Arai

K-ness and Arai jumped CHANGO and Kajiwara before the match. K-ness was caught with a flying head scissors by Kajiwara. He blocked an Asai moonsault from Kajiwara and a brawl broke out. They brawled over the arena. They eventually landed up on the balcony and K-ness attempted to throw Arai over, but they were counted out. K-ness and Arai seemed incredibly happy with this. CHANGO and Kajiwara eventually got the match restarted. K-ness and Arai were in control of CHANGO wearing him down. Arai landed a suplex and grabbed a two count. CHANGO landed a missile dropkick and went to tag in Kajiwara, but he was kicked off of the apron. CHANGO landed a flurry of elbows on K-ness and almost made the tag, but Arai was once again thrown to the outside. They continued to wear CHANGO down Kajiwara was finally tagged in and he landed an Asai moonsault onto both men. Kajiwara landed a missile dropkick on Arai for two and exchanged chops with K-ness. K-ness lowblowed Kajiwara and rolled him up for two. Kajiwara landed a facebuster and front kick for two. K-ness went for another low blow, but Kajiwara blocked and locked in an abdominal stretch. CHANGO went after Arai and landed a big dropkick on K-ness. Kajiwara then landed a Death Valley Driver for two. Kajiwara went to the top rope, but Arai hit him with a bucket! K-ness and Arai initiated another brawl. K-ness locked in a figure four on the outside and Kajiwara almost made it back in, but was cut off with a bucket shot for the double count out.

**

3. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya vs. Ryouji Sai


Kitamiya locked in a hold on the arm. Sai locked in a headlock and Kitamiya respond with a dropkick. He went for a slam, but Sai blocked it and landed a bodyslam of his own. Sai slammed the chest of Kitamiya and this led to a battle of slaps and elbows. Sai got the better of the exchange and locked in a chinlock and then transitioned to a camel clutch. Kitamiya made his way to the ropes and was kicked in the back for the count of two. Sai locked in a Boston crab and then went to a single leg Boston crab wrenching back on the knee. Sai landed a couple of stiff kicks in the corner, but was caught with an elbow from Kitamiya. Kitamiya landed a missile dropkick. Sai responded with some kicks to the chest, Kitamiya landed a flurry of elbows and knocked Sai down with a big strike. He teed off with running forearms and finally knocked Sai down after the third try. Kitamiya went to the top rope, but was caught with a stiff vertical suplex for two. Sai landed another suplex, but Kitamiya kicked out at two. Sai then landed a double knee gutbuster for the win. This was the first legitimate, serious match of the night. There were no holds in either man’s tights and certainly no buckets.

***


4. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Tsurugi vs. Masato Tanaka & Magnitude Kishiwada

Tsurugi and Kishiwada started off. They exchanged shoulderblocks, neither man would budge, but finally Kishiwada knocked Tsurugi off of his feet. They exchanged chops and Tsurugi got the better of that exchange. Nakajima and Tanaka were tagged in. They continued from where they left off in their previous match with a huge elbow exchange. Nakajima landed some big kicks, Tanaka blocked one, but was caught with one big kick to the chest. They exchanged some holds on the mat and worked back up to their feet. Tsurugi was tagged in and he wore Tanaka down further. Tanaka knocked Nakajima off of the apron and tagged Kishiwada in. He went after the mask of Tsurugi and landed a bodyslam and back senton. Kishiwada and Tanaka stomped Tsurugi in the corner. Tanaka landed a few elbows and followed it with a flying forearm. Tsurugi blocked a suplex and landed one of his own. The tag was made to Nakajima and he knocked Kishiwada off of the apron. Nakajima landed a few kicks, these fired Tanaka up and they had an elbow exchange. Nakajima landed a yakuza kick, Tanaka a lariat and Nakajima took Tanaka down with a big boot. Nakajima landed a kick to the chest of Tanaka and hung him up allowing for a boot to the outside. Nakajima landed a kick on the apron and they slapped and chopped each other on the outside. Nakajima landed a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring Nakajima landed a missile dropkick for two. Nakajima pulled back on the arms of Tanaka and locked in a headlock. Tsurugi was tagged back in and he locked in a single leg Boston crab. Tsurugi and Nakajima strangled Tanaka and landed a scoopslam. Nakajima landed a few more kicks for two. Tsurugi was tagged back in and he landed a suplex. Tanaka cut him off with a lariat and tagged Kishiwada in. Nakajima ran in, Kishiwada went for a suplex, Tsurugi broke it up and Kishiwada landed a double lariat. Kishiwada landed a moonsault and he and Tsurugi went at it. Tsurugi landed a lariat and a suplex for two. Nakajima was tagged in. He landed kicks to the back and chest of Kishiwada and a dropkick to the knee. Nakajima locked in a crossface, Kishiwada made it out, Nakajima landed a flurry of strikes, but Kishiwada landed a German and tagged in Tanaka. Tanaka landed a couple of lariats and Kishiwada landed a top rope powerbomb. Both men went to the top rope and landed dual splashes for two. Nakajima landed a boot on Tanaka and he and Tsurugi landed  a lariat boot combo on Tanaka. Nakajima landed a suplex for two and a back suplex. Tsurugi landed an elbow and Nakajima a kick. Nakajima got a brainbuster, but Kishiwada broke it up. Nakajima landed a flurry of superkicks, Nakajima missed a spinkick, but Nakajima landed a big boot. He was cut off by Kishiwada who landed a powerbomb and Tanaka landed a sliding-D for two. He landed another for the win. This was a very good match; although it did go long.

*** ½


5. Kensuke Sasaki & Kento Miyahara vs. Kohei Sato & Yoshikazu Yokoyama

Miyahara and Yokoyama started off. They had an athletic exchange and transitioned into a chop exchange. They exchanged some elbows and Miyahara got the better of the exchange. Sato and Sasaki were tagged in. They engaged in a battle of strength and exchange some chops. Yokoyama was tagged in and he landed a flurry of chops. Yokoyama landed some strong chops, but they were no match for Sasaki’s. He made the tag to Miyahara. He landed some elbows to the back of Yokoyama and Sasaki landed a suplex. Yokoyama landed some chops, but he was knocked to the mat by Sasaki. Miyahara was tagged back in and he went after Sato who was not the legal man. Sato fought back with some kicks on the outside and landed a shot with the chair. They exchange elbows and Sasaki and Yokoyama went at it in the ring. Sato got the better of Miyahara and threw him back into the ring. Yokoyama was in control of Miyahara in the ring. Sato and Miyahara exchanged elbows in the ring. Sato made the tag to Yokoyama. Yokoyama locked in a single leg Boston crab on Miyahara. Sato and Yokoyama continued the heat. Sasaki was finally tagged in and he unloaded on Sato with chops. Sasaki landed a lariat, a knee and a DDT and knocked Sato down with a big lariat. Sasaki and was knocked down by Sato and Yokoyama was tagged in. He landed a flying forearm on Sasaki for two, Yokoyama was caught with a chop and Miyahara was tagged in. They exchanged elbows; Miyahara landed an elbow for the count of two. Yokoyama landed a backsuplex again for two. Sasaki was knocked off of the apron. Miyahara was caught with a top rope kneedrop from Sato and senton from Yokoyama for two. Miyahara landed a superkick and powerbomb for two. Miyahara fought away from a double team attempt and made the tag to Sasaki and he landed a huge lariat on Yokoyama for the win.

*** ¼

Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who is the strongest Hall of Fame candidate from this list?

 

Who should get the next featherweight title shot?