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Giant Baba memorial show results: Tanahashi, Miyahara face off


Here are some quick results and notes from this morning’s Giant Baba Memorial show, which took place at Sumo Hall.

Antonio Inoki came out and said some words to start the show, ending with his catch phrase.

Mitsuo Momota won the Giant Baba Memorial battle royal

This was largely a comedy match as I think most of the people in this match can’t really take anything that would be considered a bump. Stalker Ichikawa came in at one point but eliminated himself after falling off the ropes. It ended up boiling down to Masao Inoue and Mitsuo Momota, the son of Giant Baba’s trainer Rikidozan, with Momota reversing a roll-up for the win.

Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Okabayashi, Naoya Nomura and Ren Narita defeated Daichi Hashimoto, Kazushi Miyamoto, Tomohiko Hashimoto and Takuya Nomura

Just kind of a match, nothing more. Daichi came out to his father's theme song. Okabayashi submitted Nomura with a torture rack.

Atsushi Onita, Hideki Hosaka, Kendo Kashin and Hideki Suzuki defeated Great Kojika, Mitsuya Nagai, Shuji Ishikawa and Hikaru Sato

Onita’s team was seconded by Freddy Kruger, which if you remember used to be Doug Gilbert under a mask. Don't know who was under the mask here. He helped set up a table for his team at one point. Onita went into a barbed wire board set up in the corner. Hideki Suzuki picked up the win with a suplex, pinning Hikaru Sato.

The retirement ceremony of Abdullah the Butcher followed. He came to the ring wheelchair-bound, assisted by Joel Deaton. People came out and shared photos from his career and gave him flowers. Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras, Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama), Jun Akiyama, Keiji Mutoh, Seiji Sakaguchi, Stan Hansen and Dory Funk Jr, all came out and took pictures.There were also messages from the Destroyer (who said his doctors would not allow him to travel to Japan) and Minoru Suzuki.

Butcher said he wished Giant Baba was here, and mentioned how one of his friends passed away recently. He says he wants all the young kids out there to not put their parents in homes because someday they'll get old themselves. They then did the ten bell salute. 

Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taka Michinoku defeated Masa Fuchi, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Yuma Aoyagi

This was a fun match, not anything special technically but the crowd got super into it when Fuchi was tagged in. Aogi looked really good when he was in. Taichi distracted the referee, low blowed Fuchi then cradled him for the win.

SANADA and BUSHI defeated Jake Lee and Koji Iwamoto and Ayato Yoshida and Shota Umino

This was a good sprint, with everyone looking good. Kinda short, though. BUSHI misted Iwamoto and SANADA put Lee in the paradise lock, then pinned Umino with the moonsault.

Naomichi Marufuji and Jinsei Shinzaki defeated Masaaki Mochizuki and Shun Skywalker

This was good. Marufuji was great, Shinzaki held his own and the Dragon Gate guys picked up the pace big time. Skywalker looked really athletic in spots, which was probably the goal.  Marufuji and Mochizuki had a really great exchange towards the end, with Marufuji picking up the win with a cradle.

Jun Akiyama, Taiyo Kea and Takao Omori defeated Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata and Omasu Nishimura

A good match, with everyone looking pretty good and a hot crowd. Akiyama pinned Nishimura with the exploder suplex.

Mil Mascaras and Dos Caras defeated NOSAWA and Kaz Hayashi

Mil Mascaras (76) was not moving good at all and rarely left his feet. Dos Caras (67) actually moved real well and did some good grappling at the start with Hayashi. Mascaras did, in fact, go to the top rope slowly and hit what would be considered a crossbody press for the win.

Kento Miyahara and Daisuke Sekimoto defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yoshitatsu

Miyahara came out wearing the original three Triple Crown titles. This was definitely a pro-Miyahara crowd, so Yoshitatsu and Tanahashi worked as the heels, preventing Miyahara from tagging in Sekimoto. He eventually did run wild. Miyahara got the win over Yoshitatsu with a German suplex into a bridge. This was a pretty good main event; the interactions between Miyahara and Tanahashi were really good and the work by Sekimoto and Yoshitatsu were well done too. Not blowaway great, but a fun match.

Miyahara cut a promo after the match as Tanahashi got up and they both said their catchphrases. All four raised each other’s hands as the rest of the card came out for the Giant Baba memorial ceremony. Johnny Ace, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair sent videotaped messages. They then rang the bell ten times as the show ended.

I’d say this was a fun event. Some of the wrestling wasn’t that great, but most of it was solid. Seeing the older faces live was fun, and the idea of everyone coming together for a show like this was really cool.