Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Charles (Loss)

[2000-06-25-NJPW-Summer Struggle] Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Recommended Posts

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Champions Shinjiro Ohtani & Tatsuhito Takiwa vs. Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka - New Japan Summer Struggle 6/25/00


The next time a hot chick asks me in a club the two guys I would least want to wrestle I have my answer "Shinjiro Ohtanu and Tatsuhito Takaiwa". Holy shit were their strikes gnarly. That is how you fuckin heel yourself with stiff offense. I was feeling bad for Kanemoto & Minoru just because these ornery hombres were trying to fuckin kill them. I very rarely root for wrestlers in puroresu, but I was pulling for Kanemoto & Minoru big time.


Early on the game plan for Ohtani and Takaiwa was trap their opponent in a corner and just slap, claw and punch the shit out of them. It was a violent mugging in those corner.s When Ohtani first came in and he just started punching Kanemoto in the head, it just set the tone: Kanemoto and Minoru were going to have survive. Minoru & Kanemoto has faces these bad muthafuckas before they knew they had to use movement and submissions. When they got a chance, Kanemoto yanked their noses, but they just incited them further Takaiwa yanked on his. Takaiwa gives the biggest slap I have ever seen to Kanemoto. It has to be seen. Ohtani says you thought that was a slap and slaps him even harder. Kanemoto somehow fires up and hits a true axe kick on Ohtani to tag in Minoru. Minoru goes for his bread and butter: the cross armbreaker, but Ohtani makes the ropes. I love the part where Kanemoto has a slight advantage and tells Minoru to get his ass in because it shows how much in survival mode they are. Usually, tag rules are loose enough that people make saves at will, but rarely does a team double team when on offense just really puts over the story of this match. Minoru goes for a cross armbreaker again, but Takaiwa is NOT HUMAN and powerbombs him onto the ropes. It really felt like a scene out of a slasher flick. They can't keep these psychopaths down. Ohtani dropkicks Minoru in the head twice while hanging in the tree of woe and makes sure to taunt Kanemoto each time. Minoru & Kanemoto return the favor on Ohtani only they dropkick him in the balls while in the tree of woe. I friggin love this match. The finish stretch is one of the hottest I have ever seen.


Ohtani regains controls with a wicked eyerake and then low and high facewashes in the corner on Kanemoto. Kanemoto no-sells hits his weird flippy move and goes for his moonsault, but no one home. Takaiwa hits a lariat and Ohtani with a springboard dropkick on Minoru. However, it is overhead belly to bellys for everyone courtesy of Kanemoto. Kanemoto goes for a top rope frankensteiner and Ohtani holds on and he takes a nasty spill. They tease the Doomsday Device, but Minoru breaks up with dropkick. Takaiwa hits his death valley driver, but Kanemoto hits a dragon leg screw and Ohtani saves his partner. Minoru is a little quicker than the older Ohtani and applies a heel hook. Kanemoto and Takaiwa eye each other while Ohtani is squirming for the ropes. After all the punishment Ohtani has dished out to see him doing his temper tantrum selling makes you want to see Minoru kick his bratty ass even more. Ohtani is on jelly legs, but hits his Dragon Suplex for two. Ohtani blocks Minoru's superkick and hits two massive powerbombs one of each of his opponents. He threw them down! Ohtani hits a massive palm strike and goes for it again, but Kanemoto pushed Minoru out of the way and hits an overhead belly to belly on Ohtani. Minoru hits a springboard dropkick to back of Ohtani's head then follows up with the Dragon suplex and the cross armbreaker for the immediate submission.


This match is for stiffness marks everywhere. The beginning of the match is almost uncomfortable to watch with how badly they are kicking the shit out of each other. Then not to be outdone the last 5 minutes or so is absolutely crazy action with bodies flying everywhere. Ohtani & Takaiwa are trying to get the Doomsday Device going and stiffing the shit out of their opponents. Kanemoto and Minoru are trying to survive with movement and flash submissions. Best juniors match of 2000-2002 ****1/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A gentleman whose name escapes me got a Best of Kanemoto DVD set from Japan, which is where this comes from. It aired JIP on TV, and seemed perfectly fine but not special. Lots of JIP juniors matches fail to hold up when seen in full; this not only held up but became markedly more enjoyable. These teams delivered a dandy at the October 1999 Tokyo Dome show, and continued with a mix of attitude and action here. A last hurrah for Ohtani in the juniors division and a true hidden gem.

 

LOCK for my ballot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Narrative is pretty simple for the first 12 minutes. Ohtani/Takaiwa are dicks. And they like slapping the piss out of Kanemoto. Kanemoto takes the challenge and feels he is dickish enough to trump both of them and outslap both of them. Tanaka joins the slapping party and it turns into a beat the shit out of each other contest. Finishing run is really hot, if a bit of a departure from early match stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not wild about Takaiwa but his team with Ohtani has had a few tags I've really liked. They actually make for a pretty good bruiser tag team. Kanemoto and Minoru can definitely hold their own in a fight and that's just what most of this match is. The finishing stretch is more of a big moves and nearfalls kind of affair and a well paced one at that. It feels like a rarity to get a junior tag like this with a compelling beginning and middle to compliment the neat finishing stretch at the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohtani's jacket really is something special. Put it high on the list of bedazzled pro wrestling jackets and robes. Polite handshakes start the match but the niceties don't last long. Tanaka shows off a few kicks before Takaiwa absolutely lays into him with chops. Ohtani joins the stiffing party and brings a big bowl of punch. Kanemoto tries to take this to the mat with a cross armbreaker but Ohtani isn't having it. More hard punches once he backs Kanemoto into his corner.

 

Takaiwa works a single leg crab, maybe he's tired of chopping the hel lotu of everyone, but Kanemoto reverse that into a heel hook. Tanaka fish hooks or face rakes Takaiwa only for the veteran to return the favor. Ohtani lays on some brutally hard slaps to Tanaka's jaw. Tanaka gets down and dirty, returning the hard slaps while Kanemoto keeps trying to actually wrestle. That doesn't go so well. He's better off slapping the shit out of everyone.

 

Takaiwa eats the brunt of Kanemoto and Tanaka's offense. He gets to show his power by hoisting Kanemoto up for a powerbomb into the ropes while Kanemoto tries another arm bar. Ohtani taunts Tanaka while the ref keeps him out. Kanemoto puts Ohtani in the tree of woe while Tanaka and him hit a couple of dropkicks, echoing the pain Kanemoto dealt with moments before when he was in the same spot. Ohtani CRUSHES poor Tanaka with face washes. Stiff, stiff stuff, you'd think his face is going to rip off. Just as Ohtani gets going, Tanaka cuts him off with a trip.

 

Tanaka's getting cocky as he stands up to Ohtani and Takaiwa. he lands on his feet after Ohtani dodges a moonsault. Let the high spots begin! Lariats, dropkicks, belly to bellies, the pace explodes from where it's been all match until only Tanaka is standing. Tanaka tries a super frankensteiner and I'm not sure if he botched it or if Ohtani shoved him off. Either way, Ohtani acts like he shoved him off, so good cover. The crowd goes nuts when Takiwa hits a death valley driver. Tanaka bounces back with a dragon screw and a moonsault, makes the cover, and Ohtani is in like a flash to make the save. That's some serious hustle, journalists everywhere take note.

 

Kanemoto and Ohtani tag in. It's a dazzling sequence of dodges and counters til Kanemoto pulls Ohtani into an ankle lock. Ohtani desperately grabs the ropes. Kanemoto lays in kicks until Ohtani cuts him off with a simple leg sweep trip. Him and Takaiwa try to finish Kanemoto off, but Kanemoto evades his doom yet again. Slippery bastard.

 

Ohtani blocks a spinning heel kick from kanemoto and lays him out with a hard powerbomb. Tanaka tries to make the save and eats one himself. Ohtani covers Kanemoto but it's been too long and he only gets a nearfall. Kanemoto and Tanaka clean house. Kanemoto dragon suplexes Ohtani to end the madness. Ohtani kicks out; Kanemoto rolls him straight into an armlock and Ohtani has to tap.

 

Interesting tale of two matches. Early on it's all stiffness, mostly while Ohtani and Takaiwa try to kill Tanaka with chops. Tanaka and Kanemoto try to wrestle but have to say screw it, we're fighting back. The last third tones down the stiffness, at least in quantity, but accelerates into bigger spots and lots of counters. Good counters, not choreographed two-steps. **** match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still love this match. Holy fuck, were they hitting each other hard for the first 15 minutes, damn. This match is not much in the way of selling, but I loved the ferocity and intensity of the fighting. I thought the finish stretch was tons of fun and made Minoru Tanaka into a big star in his new promotion. I loved him using Ohtani's moves against. Holy hell, those Ohtani powerbombs. I love Kanemoto saving Tanaka and hitting an overhead belly to belly on Ohtani. One of the best high-octane thrill rides of the decade, I liked this better than all of the NOAH vs New Japan tags. I know I am in the minority, but I found this more entertaining. They are definitely close, but I thought this was more fun. ****1/2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty fucking stupid match, but probably the best stupid match in this project. They trade these ultra-stiff beatings that ultimately mean nothing because there was very little selling or transitions. Ohtani spin kicking Tanaka directly in the face meant nothing as he would just make a comeback hitting strikes of his own seconds later. Just completely random. Stiffness kept this interesting, but it never reached the level of transcendental violence you see in BattlARTS or WAR tags, not because they didn't hit hard enough, but because they didn't emphasize the punishment being dished out. Finishing run was neatly put together and didn't go overly long. Good match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree the selling sucked in this match, but I didn't think the story was too badly affected by it. Ohtani and Takaiwa were vicious badasses out for blood and they were always moving forward. It created a tension and anxiety for Kanemoto and Minoru that would be overwhelmed, but then you get moments like Kanemoto's axe kick and Minoru's cross arm breaker. These hope spots seem larger than life because how unstoppable Ohtani and Takaiwa seem. Then there is great payback spot with Ohtani and telling him to eat shit basically. The finish run is a departure because they go into juniors flying around mode, but it is still some violent shit like the Ohtani powerbomb.

I liked that dynamic even if the match was low on selling they told a compelling story with a great conclusion of Minoru using Ohtani's moves against him to win the match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Liked the stiffness, loved it when they hit turbo late and when into the spots and counters. Did not love how aimless much of the stiffness and early portions of the match felt, as this just didn't connect with me as anything more than juniors going hard for the sake of showing they could, as opposed to having any real focus. Solid, but unspectacular

 

***1/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This had some MOTY hype and it held up for me. I have enjoyed the feud and these guys interactions up to this point but this felt like a level beyond in brutality. From the opening with Otani using some brutal closed fist punches, the match was one and everyone just brought the hate against one another. Tanaka really proved himself here in my eyes as an absolute equal and was splendid taking a beating and then coming back looking for his flash submissions. Koji and Otani going after each other is always magical and the whole match is just relentless with its pace and brutality. I loved the finish and it felt like a big moment for Minoru making Otani tap. It is also refreshing seeing how molten and packed korakuen was for a NJ show with the maligned crowds that we have seen for New Japan in that building in 2017. This felt like a classic Korakuen match that is up there with the incredibly Jumbo vs Misawa six mans of 1990. ****1/2 (9.2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was pretty hard-hitting for a juniors match. Ohtani and Takaiwa beat the crap out of Kanemoto who seemed to lap it up. It's been fascinating to watch the evolution of Ohtani from crybaby to ass-kicker. It feels like he's finally out from under the shadow of Liger and has taken on a senior role in the juniors division. It's too bad that this period of his career is glossed over when discussing his worth as a worker but I guess people were burnt out on New Japan juniors at the time plus there was a lot of clipping going on in the television broadcasts. I'm not a Tanaka fan by any means (his fans being mostly ladies) but they did a nice job putting him over as the rising star of the division and his performance fit the bill on this occasion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This had some pretty great moments, especially from Ohtani and his interactions with Kanemoto but I thought Takaiwa probably sold the stiffness better than anyone and Minoru got in a few good licks, as well. Ohtani punching Kanemoto in the corner and the ref not doing shit about it was pretty funny, and then him just laying into Koji with the hard slaps. And then later, taunting Kanemoto on the apron as he hits a couple basement dropkicks to Minoru. Of course, we get the face washes, including a high kick version. At one point, Minoru cracks Takaiwa with a real nasty kick to the face in the corner, which Takaiwa sold pretty well. Then we get the merry-go-round with all four men before they hit the fial stretch, which is full of very frantic exchanges that add to the overall excitement. The fans were losing their shit by the end of it, and Minoru's dragon suplex > cross armbreaker was a cool way for him to get the nod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought this was fantastic.  Some very stiff shots in this one.  I thought Otani especially stuck out in this one with his reactions to Kanemoto's strikes before slapping the piss out of him.  Great job from all performers here with a nuts finishing stretch that really fooled me with the false finishers.  Minoru Tanaka seems like a guy that really fell off the radar even though he has looked excellent in a lot of his matches that I've seen.

****1/2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×