Sunday, July 21, 2013

NJPW Kizuna Road 7/20/2013 Results and Review

NJPW Kizuna Road 7/20/2013 Results and Review

Manabu Nakanishi, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask & KUSHIDA vs. Yujiro Takahashi, YOSHI-HASHI, Jado & Gedo

Nakanishi won with a 180 spinning chop off the middle rope. The finish was dumb and the opener wasn't anything special at all as there were too many guys and it was too hard to squeeze everything in.

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov (c) vs. TAKA Michinoku Kaientai Dojo & Taichi

Romero and Koslov sang the Russian National Anthem.

The Hooliganz won with a Burning Hammer/Springboard Knee combo. This went too long and switched a lot between comedy and serious wrestling. They did too much here but I did like it at points. This should have been cut in half.

Special Singles Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki

Minoru Suzuki won with the Gotch-Style Piledriver. Good match. This had tons of fire and they slapped each other silly. This was all striking and both doing good selling with good facials. There wasn't much more than that though and it was only a midcard match so it had its limits, but this was really good. I want to see these two do this again on a bigger stage down the line because it will be even better. Rating:***1/2
"We hate Okada." - Karl Anderson

The Bullet Club acted like goofs and pretty much accomplished nothing in a promo. The only thing of note was Devitt and Anderson showing that they had a plan to counter the Rainmaker. I wouldn't let any of these guys near a mic again.

IWGP Tag Team Title: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (c) vs. Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka
Iizuka stripped the announcer of his shirt as usual.

Tenzan got the win with a moonsault. This was all brawling and I didn't really enjoy it one bit, but the crowd did. I thought this was boring.

NEVER Openweight Title: Masato Tanaka ZERO1 (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito   

Masato Tanaka won with a Sliding D. This had a good pace to it and it was exciting but there was very little of this thing called "selling" in it. Both men took multiple suplexes on their necks only to jump right back up and go to the next move. There was just no time for anything to sink in and it was all go go go.

Special Singles Match: La Sombra vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura gets a giant bowl from Yoshinoya which I'd do anything for.

Shinsuke Nakamura won with a Boma-Ye. Good match. These two match up well together and basically collected a lot of the good stuff they have been doing in house shows for this one. Nakamura busted out some new flying and lucha stuff but did botch a springboard near the end when he slipped trying to do a forearm. Sombra hit some of the nastiest slaps I've seen in a while to Nak's chest and those were definitely highlights. I would have liked to have seen Sombra get a little more in and seen Nakamura do a little bit more striking though. Rating:***1/2

Special 8 Man Tag Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, Jushin Thunder Liger & Captain New Japan vs. Karl Anderson, El Terrible, Tama Tonga & Bad Luck Fale

Tanahashi got the win with a High Fly Flow. I didn't get into this one as it was like a lesser version of all the similar house show matches they had been doing lately. It went way too long and this was just a waste of Tanahashi. Tanahashi is one of the best in the world and he's here doing throwaway multi-man tags.

Special Singles Match: Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata

This one went to a draw after the headbutt shown above. This was a good match that kind of fell off near the end. All of Shibata's strikes were really nasty and these two really potatoed each other good. They also made really good facials and sold well at times, but the finish was kind of lame. I think these two could do a really epic one somewhere down the line as long as they stick with the striking and skip the no-selling of backdrops. Rating:***1/2

Kazushi Sakuraba Return Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

Kazushi Sakuraba won with an armbar. This was a mess. It seemed like they were trying to do some thing where it switched from wrestling to a shoot mid match and it was a disaster. This was insanely boring and short and they did absolutely nothing. We got few kicks and strikes and really, the only move of the match besides the finish was the Nagata throw. This was a total turd and a candidate for the Worst Match of the Year. I was extremely disappointed by this as I love Wrestler vs Different Style Fighters matches.

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Prince Devitt

 Kazuchika Okada beat Prince Devitt with the Rainmaker. This was a good match but certainly not as good or as bad as it could have been. They never took this to the next level and took shortcuts with interference, ref bumps and weapons. The match wasn't really memorable and below expectations. It really didn't even feel like a PPV main. The interference and ref bumps soured this one for me. Only in 2013 would the WWE have cleaner and better main events than NJPW. I liked that they stuck with neck submissions here though as they are easy to follow up on and not a hinderance to the match like working a leg is. The highlights here were Okada's big dive to the outside and Devitt foot stomping a bridged Okada on the apron. Rating:***

Overall thoughts:
It was a good but overly long show. I think they could have cut half of a few matches and minutes off others to make this one better. Ishii/Suzuki, Shibata/Goto and Nakamura/Sombra were the matches of the night but on the other hand, Sakuraba/Nagata was one of the worst matches of the year and Tanahashi was completely wasted in his role. This is definitely worth a look for the matches I mentioned above but for the others, there were honestly better house show matches.

1 comment :

  1. I thought the main was great, beautiful wrestling from both and different from any other title defense we have seen in a while. The interference is to be expected with Devitts gimmick, at least it is not up and down the card. Your difference of opinion is respected though.