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Found 10 results

  1. Probably my favorite Kojima match ever and Sasaki is really having a great start to the year. This featured some great limb work from Kojima in the early going where he looked aggressive and like a shark going after his prey. I really appreciated the factions hanging on the outside and threatening to intervene but never fully doing so. The back end of the match was a bomb fest but a highly dramatic one and I was in pure elation when Sasaki secured the victory. A great match that I would love for New Japan World to put in full. ****1/4
  2. It is comical that Dave has TenKoji on the WON HOF ballot as a tag team as here we are in the peak of their run as a team and they are fine to good but not even close to one of the best cohesive units we have seen in 2000 much less an all timer team. This match exemplifies that. Yoshie and Nakanishi are both limited workers but they can rise to the occasion based on their opponents. TenKoji raises them up to the level of this being a good match and nothing more with not a lot of tangible story to really grab hold too. The power moves and ebbs and flows are fine as standalones but they never really develop into a great match that reaches a fever pitch in the back third of the match. Tenzan and Kojima end up running through a lot of offense at the ending stretch and Tenzan puts Yoshie away at just shy of 16 minutes. *** (5.9)
  3. This took a bit to get going and had Tenzan and Kojima clowning around a bit with Kojima mimicking Nagata’s salute. When Takashi and Yuji take over, the match ramps up and they are much more violent and visceral in their attack. I actually thought Nagata and Iizuka looked pretty fantastic here and the big time prospects of NJPW going forward compared to Tenzan and Kojima who were their direct competition at the time. Nagata gets worked over for a bit and TenCozy up their game as we head into the final stretch. They hit their version of the 3D on Nagata for a nearfall but the Yuji team comes back and locks on a double submission which is a crowd pleaser for some near submissions. Tenzan is able to fight to the ropes. Tenzan goes to the eyes and then lands a spinning back kick and tombstone combo to stun Nagata and pick up the win. Surprise finish that worked for the crowd. A very good tag match to fill out a tag league overall. ***1/2 (7.1)
  4. We cut right to the action and Sasaki is getting worked over. The tag is made to Nishimura and the fight is on. This is structured like a combo between Jumbo vs Misawa 6 mans and the sprinty, more hate filled multi man matches of NJPW of yore. The match doesn’t reach the peaks of either of those templates but was pretty fun with T 2000 doing everything to gain the advantage and working well as a cohesive unit. Hot tag is made to Nakanishi and he predictably gets the sub on Saito with his torture rack into a variation. Fun match. *** (6.1)
  5. The first fall of this spends a lot of time grappling. The action is fine but not too inspiring. Super J (NOW Sting) mixing it up with the likes of Hash and Sasaki is an interesting look I suppose. Match breaks down and Sasaki is able to secure the first fall for his team. Hashimoto raises the intensity in the second fall by demanding that Chono get into the ring to face him. Second fall really features a big segment between Hashi and Tenzan which was exciting. Hash is able to tap him out for the second fall. A good match but it didn’t make me forget the multiman NJ classics we have seen before. That may be unfair but is kind of the expectations that are going to be present when I see these type of matches on paper. ***1/2
  6. A good match but also one that probably didn't reach the heights and opportunities they would have hoped for from these two upstarts. They start out brawling on the ramp and then Kojima starts going after the leg of Yoshie. This is the critical point of the match and Kojima's work is fine if uninspiring. Yoshie comes back with some power moves and ends up winning pretty abruptly. Good but not the showcase that could have happened. ***
  7. Kojima really pissed me off in this match because Otani was fantastic. He attacks the arm and then runs through all of his great closer offense with a combination of intensity and prickish that only he can pull off. Kojima tries with giving Otani a face wash and it fails miserable. Kojima on top throughout this match was completely uninteresting. Add to that his refusal to use anything but the arm that has been worked over and you really only get a very good match that should have been great and had the wrong guy going over. ***1/2
  8. I have tried to be fair to Nakanishi but there was 0 crowd heat here when he was on offense. Given that from the clips we see, he never legally tags out to Nagata, that didn’t make the match seem too exciting. Tenzan also didn’t have much of a reaction. Kojima did the best of the bunch mocking Nakanishi and getting a win off of a lariat. This is one match where it looked like it really suffered from being in a dome. NR
  9. Kojima and Saito amazingly just teamed up again with a Team 2000 reunion on the New Year’s Dash show. Koshinaka and Kojima feel cut from the same cloth to me at this point as I don’t exactly hate them but some people think they are really great and I have never gotten that sense. Koshinaka hasn’t won me over in the 80’s and 90’s stuff so we will see with Kojima here. That being said, this was a really good contest. Kojima is flying around more than I am used to and has a 1990 Misawa quality to him in the mix of high flying offense to strikes and bombs. Tenryu was grumpy and that results in him taking any stiff shot he can. Saito gets worked over for the bulk of the match and he is the weak link overall but Kosh and Tenryu did enough to keep things interesting. Saito getting the hot tag on a low blow was sort of annoying. Kojima is really strong once he gets the tag running through everyone. Saito comes in again and match drops in heat and intensity. Kosh gives him the butt butt and powerbomb to put him away. Would have liked to have seen Tenzan in there. ***1/4
  10. Another match I would like to see in full as what we saw here was a lot of fun with the young boy Yoshie getting beat down and Nakanishi and Nagata riling up the crowd. Team 2000 really gels well as a team as Kojima and Tenzan can push the pace with moves and Chono has the charisma down. They also are taking a lot of falls in these multimans but are able to retain the heat and make things seem important. NR.