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Found 22 results

  1. I understand the sentiment from other commentators that this is sort of dumb wrestling and the Otani/Kanemoto tags are points are tough to distinguish from one another. However, like Strong BJ in 2017, when they are in a tag match, I am also completely engaged and the stiffness and hatefulness that is conveyed allows me to pay attention. Here, everyone was going after each other and Kashin handles himself well. Liger being mixed in with these guys and not being super junior squashing everyone is a much better and enjoyable role and he has kind of quietly been having a great year even though he has some standout moments for sure. The finish here was great as an upset against the ultimate pricks and Kashin/Liger getting the win. ***3/4 (7.6)
  2. Just looking at the lineups had me salivating and this didn’t disappoint at all. Fuji and CIMA fit like a glove vs Kanemoto and Otani that it is a shame we didn’t get a long form series between them. Everyone had a chance to deliver here though. Taikawa and Fuji especially had a brutal exchange in the middle and prick Liger being the mentor to Crazy Max warmed my heart. I know he has been stuck in multi-mans but Kashin continues to be not atrocious at all and learning where to pick his spots to attack. Otani is getting a nice push and picks up the win here. Give this a couple of more minutes and a molten Korakuen crowd and you might could have had a MOTYC. Still a great match. ****
  3. Six grumpy men beating the shit out of each other and flying around. This just kept getting better and better and climaxes in an amazing finish with Otani kicking the shit out of Casas and picking up the win. I was happy to see both Wagner and Kashin fit in here. In the case of Kashin, I didn’t think he was the weak line at all here and was really impressed at his sequences overall. Kanemoto has some weird low blows that he does directly in front of the referee which is odd. We have seen a lot of these guys so far paired up and this was another great entry with Casas bringing some freshness. ****
  4. The team of both Aguyao’s, Kanemoto, Otani, and Casas may literally be my favorite five person unit in wrestling history. We get about half of this and it is a ton of fun and something well worth seeking out. Each fall built to a big spot that was the finish which I appreciated. This really felt like the type of matches you see at FantasticaMania nowadays. Would love to see this in full. ***1/4
  5. Liger is continuing his squash tour of juniors and here he faces one of his biggest rivals throughout the years in Otani. We cut to Liger dominating with about 10 slaps rapid fire across the face of Otani and a brainbuster with Otani gaining some fighting spirit in firing back. Otani goes for a dragon suplex from the apron to the floor in a panic movie. He ends up getting a German on the apron that looks awkward. Otani hits his dropkick and is feeling cocky now. A palm strike from Liger stunts all offense from Otani. A flurry of those and a powerbomb and the hits keep on coming with Liger demolishing the junior division one by one although this did get 9 minutes in full. NR
  6. Another awesome outing from these guys. This may have been the best bit yet as the one side of Liger, Usuda, Kashin really felt like a whipping boy, an up and comer and the legend in Liger for all three of Koji, Otani and Fujita to disrespect. Fujita fit right in perfectly with the Koji, Shinjiro team and the match never let up for the sixteen minutes it lasted. Usuda was the key cog throughout everything both getting her ass kicked and also fighting back when appropriate. Finish was pretty abrupt but again shows how well they are putting Kashin over as a bad ass with the flash cross armbreaker. The guy isn’t as good as Otani and Koji but he has been fine so far and I don’t discount him based on his heavy push. ****
  7. A sick tease of a match. Come on New Japan World, put these in full. We get around two minutes of great action and it culminates in Otani pinning Liger. Tracking the 90's that is about as rare as seeing Hailey's Comet. NR.
  8. Tanahashi is teaming with Kanemoto today. What a turncoat. Makabe has beef with Koji and they start the match out. That doesn’t last long before Tana tags in and again we have a spirited exchange between him and Shinya. I will continue to be amazed at how much sharper Makabe’s striking is now than in current day. Otani and Tanahashi also fire off against each other. From there the match is the typical Otani/Kanemoto hate fest with stiff strikes and taunting along the way. I appreciate this development for the juniors and think that in current day, they spend too much time paired up with each other or clear past their prime veterans. I also appreciate how strong Otani and Kanemoto go after each other in these mostly meaningless tags. The finale of this match had Makabe being the main whipping boy and Otani hitting a missile dropkick to help Makabe out. Makabe then hits two Germans and we have a huge upset with Otani celebrating with him. Damn good match and showing from the young lions. ***1/4 (6.5)
  9. It is bizarre to see Tana and Shibata in young boys gear. They each had a good showing here especially Shibata. The opening matwork between the two was basic but engaging. Things really open up when Shibata does the face wash to Otani and also slaps him really hard. Otani doesn’t take that very well and lays a beating on the rookie culminating in a victory. Otani and Tanahashi had some nifty tags and continunity. Kashin mostly stayed out of this one but I didn’t think he was actively bad again. Good opener to start the show. *** (6.2)
  10. Kanemoto/Otani/Takiawa are barely able to co exist before the match and the masked trio take the opportunity to gain a quick start with dives. Overall, the Otani/Kanemoto dynamic is intriguing in that they can come together for these six mans and tags but are such pricks and competitors that they like testing their meddle against each other too. It is a neat dynamic not emphasized as much as it should be. When the Otani trio works together, they were successful in this match but when they tried to do it on their own, they were taken over. Otani is presented as the weaker member which is an interesting caveat. I think all six men being in a prominent position as the bridge match from the G1 semis to the G1 finals were amped up. Liger looked happy to be back with the juniors and was really dishing it out. Samurai in the middle of the match hits a reverse DDT from the second rope and then a Liger assisted tope onto Kanemoto. Samurai follows that up with a rana but misses the diving headbutt and now Takaiwa and company gain the most substantial advantage in the match working over Samurai. Again Otaini is the one where a hope spot is given against him after he does the face wash kicks. Samurai is able to make the hot tag to Kashin. I have saved thoughts for Kashin to last but I think I’m ready to declare him a good worker which I know goes against any conventional thoughts on him. He may get worse and he certainly is in there with all timers but he is able to add some stuff of his own including some nice punches in this match. Finish has Otani in trouble again with a cross armbreaker from Kashin and samurai hitting a missile dropkick followed by a Liger palm strike for the pin. Very good match with some story elements to look for watching these guys throughout the year. ***1/2 (7.2)
  11. Unique pairing here with some Team 2000 members we don’t see much of against our junior pricks. Goto and Kanemoto face off right away. The first fall is really all action and at a breakneck pace. I like the mentality of both teams and how similar they are. In parity from the opening stanza, Goto picks up the win on Kanemoto. Saito is still getting after it in this match in 2000 which warms my heart. Second fall is more of the same this time with Takiawa pinning Saito in a nice surprise. Like with these previous junior heavy matches the action is certainly top notch. Third fall is more of the same with the finale resulting in Ohara and Otani in there. In a surprise for me, Ohara picks up the win. I have really soured on the NJ booking April as they have went out of their way to make the juniors look insignificant. ***1/4
  12. Another strong outing for the Otani/Kanemoto tag folder for 2000. This has Makabe involved which has been rare in tag matches and him and Kashin did pretty well together in their sequences. I don’t know how Makabe can have so much better strikes here so early in his career than now in current day. I guess we he bulked up and became a powerhouse heavyweight, that meant less proficiency. The Kanemoto vs Otani sequences like usual are heated and this should have gotten the crowd hot for the start of the show. ***1/4 (6.7)
  13. 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
  14. Wagner and Koji are a boss team. Tons of angst in this one with intense staredowns and hatred throughout. I will really miss Otani rising up to heavyweight because he provides a punkish spark that I assume will be missed. In particular the Kanemoto and Otani segments here were just brutal. I enjoyed Takiawa catching Kanemoto in mid air and changing the trajectory to a powerslam. Tell me if you have heard this before but Otani gets overconfident in his abilities. This allowed Wagner to hit the tombstone finisher and pick up the win. I was a little down on the junior tag on the Dome show compared to Charles but I thought this was a complete blast and kicks February off with a bang. ****
  15. Venue looks cool here with the last rays of daylight creeping in through the windows at the top. We only get about half of the match but what we see is really good. Otani is firmly the leader of this division currently and bullies Tanaka around while still giving credibility to his arm work and trying his best to avoid those arm submissions. The finish to this was really exciting and set me up for perhaps a BOSJ but I didn’t think the back half of the highlights quite matched that level. Still what we saw was very good stuff and this was a nice win for Otani. NR
  16. Big spot for Makabe vs Liger to start things off. I think I will end up liking Shinya more than Togi. Kanemoto and Tanaka have a showcase sequence too that was really engaging. What a flush juniors division NJ has right now. I can see watching this match how frustration would result in regards to Kashin as he was the worst person in here. Taikawa is able to use his power spots against Tanaka. This is a showcase match for sure and a placeholder but everyone gets to do impressive things and the match really chugs along quickly. Finale ends up being Samurai against Makabe/Kanemoto. Samurai is able to get a bit of distance and tags in Kashin. Match breaks down with all eight flying and Makabe ends up getting caught in a flash armbreaker and tapping out. ***1/2
  17. I guess this was at Samurai's hometown but that made the match molten and raised that above some of the entries we have seen from these guys. Liger, Kashin and Samurai were not above being pricks and taking short cuts here against the pricks and that attitude was something I also appreciated. The final stages with Samurai working for the nearfall had some of the best heat we have seen in Japan and I bit on quite a few of the nearfalls while thinking they wouldn't pull the trigger on Samurai actually winning. Another great entry for these guys in 2000. **** (7.8)
  18. I am ready for Kashin to start sucking at any time now. His offense on the arm of Otani here was varied and well done mixing it up with submissions and even slamming a chair on it when the action goes to the outside. He even does the face wash to Otani in a dickish move. The match really escalates nicely with Otani breathing a bit of a comeback and Kashin going right back to the armbar to regain the advantage. Finish was probably the worst part overall in how abrupt it was as Otani fires off a German and then gets a cross armbreaker of his own to which Kashin taps out immediately. I think this was a few more minutes away from being a great match. I understand the notion that Kashin isn’t as good as a lot of his peers but I still thought he was very good here. Maybe he gets awful the later in his career he gets but between the 1999 and 2000 stuff, he doesn’t deserve the reputation he has as a performer. ***1/4
  19. Another good BOSJ match although this one didn’t seem to really get off the ground unlike others we have seen throughout the tournament. With any tournament setting like this, taking some nights off is a necessity and it felt like that is what we got here. Usuda still seems to be a fun worker mixed in with these guys. **1/2
  20. I can always take another dose of these guys dishing out punishment to each other. I did think while watching this that if I see this match iteration around 7-8 times a month like the ECW fancam stuff, it would seem grating. Jumping in around 2-3 times a month is much more agreeable to my palate. I compare these matches to the Seikmoto/Okabayashi tags we see in modern times. Beefy and not enriched with psychology but it can be there at certain points if you go searching for it. I think Tanaka again looks much better and spirited here than in BattlARTS. Kashin kind of brings this match down a bit with some weird low blow spots that seem out of place. Kashin ends up tapping out Otani which is odd and feels underserved too. Overall, some good stuff still but this one had more flaws than their other matches this year up to this point. **3/4
  21. Well what do you know, the last half of a hot looking NJPW juniors match. Kanemoto is able to get some revenge by beating up Liger and Otani is always good for dishing out the punishment. The clips we see here look really strong and we do get enough in the back half for me to rank. Finish was a bit perplexing as Kashin pins Otani. **3/4
  22. We cut to one of the best superplexes I have ever seen with Takiawa taking a great bump bouncing off the mat. Ka Shin much like Suzuki before him may be a whipping boy for the decade to come but he looks actively good here and crisp. Takiawa makes his own comeback and has no problems dropping Wagner on his dome with a DVD, powerbomb and brainbuster. Ohtani comes in a house of fire and here responds Wagner. Everyone is just killing each other with bombs in this match. Ohtaini is able to get the win on Wagner with a big bomb. Nothing really significant from a storyline perspective but a big bomb fest that was fun to watch. ***