Friday, September 19, 2014

The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW's "Blue Justice V" (9/7/14)

The Beer & Coffee Rant for NJPW's "Blue Justice V" (9/7/14)
Live from Togane, Chiba, Japan - 9/7/14

With this weekend's big 9/21/14 pay-per-view "NJPW Destruction in Kobe" standing right now as the very last Ustream show before their PPV division folds, let's hit these shows leading up to it. The PPV itself is stacked, which we'll cover along the way.

Quick note, the 9/13/14 NJPW show that aired after this one actually has *No Commentary*, just the crowd and the ring mics. For those who can't get passed the language barrier, it's available in its entirety by CLICKING HERE. I tried reviewing it, but without the announcers telling me what I was looking at, I had no idea what was going on, tbh.

Sho Tanaka vs. Yohei Komatsu

With the taped nature of this show, we skip intros and join the match in progress. Tanaka gets a body slam, and a lateral press for two. And a second, and a third, also for two. He locks in the Boston crab, usually the finisher of choice for both guys. Komatsu finally reaches the ropes to a nice pop, eventually hitting a nice drop kick and gaining the full advantage. Off the ropes and he drills Tanaka with a forearm and a Boston crab of his own. Come on Sho, you can power out brother. They keep fighting for that crab, until Sho finally makes the ropes. Komatsu with a big forearm again, but gets dropped with a Tanak Bottom. They trade roll-ups for two counts and Sho, in a display of strength (Sho of Strength?), catches Komatsu in some strange slam into a single leg crab and pulls him back to the middle of ring to make Komatsu tap @ 5:40 aired (officially 8:35 according to the graphic). **¾
WINNER: Sho Tanaka


Taichi vs. M
áximo

A rematch of a classic, from back in the day. Taichi looks scared to death, as M
áximo prances around the ring. Greco Roman nipple grab sends Taichi back to his corner. Taichi attempts a go-around, only to realize that his attempts at offense are actually quite welcomed. Máximo does some lucha-esq handstands into a kiss, but Taichi avoids it and tosses this sick, sexual predator out of the ring. He whips him into the guard rail, tosses the ref and jabs Máximo down with a chair.

He goes all in, grabbing Máximo’s junk, in attempt to neutralize Máximo’s most explosive weapon. Seriously, he just grabbed a handful of dick like it was a side head lock or something. What part of the game is THIS? Back in the ring, and Taichi locks in an eye rake, milking it for every last second until the ref finally breaks it. More choking in the corner, more milking. Finally the referee (the young one, not Red Shoes or Hitori) puts the boots to Taichi in a fun spot. Fans getting behind Máximo now which I have to assume he enjoys quite a bit. He sends Taichi out to the aisle and hits a nice bullet-like tope. Back in the ring that gets two. Evil Taichi goes back to the eyes again but gets nailed by a springboard butt-butt. A quick roll-up almost gives Máximo the victory, but just a two. Taichi fires back with a super kick and they’re both down. Máximo rips Taichi’s pants off before Taichi can do it himself (Taichi yanks his rip-a-ways off late in matches). Shocked, Taichi loses his focus and gets drilled with a… big wet kiss from Máximo. Fruit roll-up attempt on Taichi but he hangs on to the ref yanking him down to the mat. With the ref down, Taichi grabs the karaoke mic stand. The ref recovers in time to see this and somehow in the fracas Taichi pushes the ref into another big wet kiss attempt. As the ref goes to scrap his tongue off in the corner, Taichi gets the mic stand, drills Máximo and rolls him up in the Gedo Clutch (the “courtesy flush” to CHIKARA fans, I believe) @ 7:29 ** Fun, perverted little match.
WINNER: Taichi



Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask & “The Funky Weapon” RyusukeTaguchi vs. BUSHI & The Timesplitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA)
 
Good to see the Splitters back together here, as KUSHIDA has been focusing more on his IWGP Jr. championship, despite the fact that he’s also half of the Jr. Tag champs with Shelley. Next singles defense is against The Funky Weapon later this month, so we begin with those two. KUSHIDA, a former MMA fighter who went undefeated in 8 fights, attempts his Hoverboard Lock finisher early on, but Weapon makes the ropes.

They both tag out and we get BUSHI vs. Tiger Mask. These two actually had a rare singles match back in May at “NJPW Pro-Wrestling War in Thailand”, one of the hidden gems of the year. They run through a bunch of lucha, ending in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and Shelley tags in. TM4 targets Shelley’s bad arm, Weapon & Masks play subtle heel. Liger in with the surfboard. Shelley hulks up, shakes off a Funky Weapon enzuigiri and nails a super kick. He finally makes the tag to KUSHIDA, who’s throwing heel kicks to everyone. He’s going at it with Weapon, who attempts to hit his finisher, the Dodon, while KUSHIDA tries to get a Hoverboard lock out of that, and now everybody's in the ring.

Splitters taking it to Liger with their trademark double team combinations, and now Shelley over the top onto Mask. BUSHI drills Weapon with missile dropkick. Lucharoonie, lucharoonie, lucharoonie! That needed Mark Madden. All six in there now and it’s mask-on-mask violence ending with a flying headbutt from TM4 onto BUSHI. Weapon sets up the Dodon on BUSHI, but that gets countered into a roll-up for two. Weapon gets the ankle lock out of that for another submission win @ 10:00 exactly, on the way to his title shot September 21st. **¾  KUSHIDA lets him know after the match who the champ is, and we get a mini pull-apart. Shelley even gets some English promo time during the presser.
WINNERS: Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Tiger Mask IV & "The Funky Weapon" Ryusuke Taguchi


TAKA Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka & El Desperado vs. Toru Yano &Forever Hooligans (Alex Kozlov & Rocky Romero)

JIP, and I can’t complain. We’re already rocking here with the Hooligans doing their revolving door double-team combos. Kozlov gets the Ushanka sequence, and Taka rolls out. Kozlov drops back to set up a tope but gets yanked out the ring by Suzuki-gun, and it’s Bonzohashi Gonzoyashi. TAKA rocking the Ushanka. Desperado in, as Kozlov plays Mikhail Morton. Taichi rocking the Ushanka at ringside now. Awesome. Iizuka chokes Kozlov with a cord and hangs him off the ropes, until the ref finally breaks it up. Iizuka goes for the pin, but the ref will not dignify nefarious means.

We get the old everybody hits a move in the corner bit (including Taichi, in the Ushanka). Kozlov fights back like any communist babyface full of fire should and makes the hot tag to Romero. Wacky corner clotheslines abound. More Iizuka, more cord, but the ever noble Yano yanks Iizuka by the beard and Taka by the hair. He undoes the corner padding and whips Iizuka in. Yano gloats in self-appreciation, but Iizuka comes back from behind and chokes away, tosses the ref, and nails a chairshot for a DQ @ 8:44 aired (9:27 officially). *¾  The stuff with the Hooligans and Desperado was fine, as is anything involving the Ushanka. The rest was nothing to write home about. Suzuki-gun nails Yano with Iizuka’s iron fingers after the match. Par for the course. 

WINNERS: Forever Hooligans & Toru Yano via DQ


Hiroshi Tanahashi & Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) vs. Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito & Captain New Japan

Tanahashi is in complete Von Erich mode on his way to the ring. Makabe & Goto give it a go before CNJ tags in. Tanahashi comes in looking for a fight, perhaps still mad CNJ caused their team to go 1-5 in last year’s G1 Tag League. Or even worse, 0-6 the year before that. Tana gets the advantage and mocks the superhero pose. Honma and Naito in now. Big chops middle of the ring, and Honma goes for the falling headbutt, missing of course. Rolling senton from Naito gets two. Honma rocking one hell of a Thizz Face, writhing in pain. Tanahashi makes the tag. Dude is full of beans tonight. Gets all of his trademark shit off (forearm, dragon screw, 2nd rope rolling senton, etc.), but Naito sweeps the leg from the apron and nails the springboard dropkick.

CNJ’s in to take everybody out, which may have been comedy that the crowd isn’t cluing themselves into. In the midst of the madness Honma nails the GNARLY DART on Naito, while Makabe gets a 2 count on CNJ. Clotheslines him down, to the top, and hits the King Kong Knee Drop for the win @ 12:28 *** Honma is a winner, and therefore we all are. Goto attacks Makabe after the match and we get a nice heated pull apart. This of course is another one-on-one match booked for the big shows next week. Goto gives a smooth promo backstage post-match. Makabe walks right in shortly after and talks some shit of his own. That was so old school Bob Caudle should have been holding the mic.
WINNERS: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)

 
CHAOS vs. BULLET CLUB, One Fall
Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Gedo & YOSHI-HASHIvs.Karl Anderson, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, Doc Gallows & Tama Tonga 

A rematch of the Survivor Series 5-on-5 from two nights before. Yujiro licks his NEVER title at ringside. Creepy little fuck! To balance this out, bad ass YOSHI-HASHI pushes the rest of CHAOS out to the apron because he wants Yujiro right now. Hair pulling to start, because let's be honest, no mere mortal could win a fair fight against YOSHI without cheating. We get some of Yujiro's average looking offense before he walks right into a Frankenhashi. Yujiro, now a beaten and broken man after taking that last move, tags out to Tama Tonga. Ishii tags in and we have a hell of a fight on paper: The man that inspired George Thorogood to write "Bad to the Bone", Tomohiro Ishii… going head to head with a guy who was raised by King Haku.

Big forearms mid-ring, but years of Ishii falling on his bean have erased some vital information, like never headbutt a Pacific Islander! This goes about as bad as you'd expect, but Ishii comes back, shaking off an athletic dropkick and rocking Tama with a shoulderblock. He knocks Yujiro off the apron but turns around into a spear and Bullet Club takes the advantage. All 10 men start going at it now, and it's Breaking Loose in Chiba. Order resumes, and BC is dissecting the left arm of Ishii. Okada comes in to help, but gets sent packing. Fale in with Ishii, and they fight over a waistlock. He nails Fale with a headbutt to the chest and gets a big vertical suplex.

Shinsuke in and he gets the wacky 80's hair metal gyrations in the corner. Inverted powerslam, but Fale's too big. They trade blows in the middle, but a Samoan Drop (Tongan?) leaves Nakamura laid out, until he can make the tag to YOSHI-HASHI, who's in there with crisp offense as always, hitting a big lariat that keeps Yujiro down. Okada in now with his full repertoire, but Anderson blocks the flying elbow and hits a big boot. Fuck that, Okada drills him with the Too Awesome Drop Kick. Tags Gedo in, crowd approves. He makes the mistake of picking a fight with Gallows however, and almost catches a Magic Killer but Ishii makes the save. Gedo with a jawbreaker but falls into a Gun Stun out of thin air from Anderson for the duke @ 14:23 ***¼ Once again this week, Gedo the booker, does the job. Nakamura & Okada are hesitant to leave though, talking shit to their respective opponents. And YES, we get an Anderson promo! Maybe the best mouthpiece in the business today (that actually wrestles). We get the requisite chorus of "Too Sweet" bombs. Meanwhile, Okada & YOSHI-HASHI also have words for CHAOS, backstage. This time next week YOSHI could be a double champion.
 
WINNER: Bullet Club


TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi


Main event time, as we pay honor to the great Yuji Nagata. This Blue Justice event is the annual "All Praise be to Nagata" show held in his hometown, so he gets his one big main event for the year, although this year he's had a bunch coming off the really strong GHC heavyweight title reign. In retrospect, they should have kept the strap on him. He's a bigger star than anybody they have on the roster, but I digress. This is non-title, as TenKoji are poised to hold the NWA tag titles forever and a day. It is however a prelude to an actual title match between the two teams on the 9/23 show.
Tons of Nagata signs in the crowd. The chick who gives Nagata the flowers, does the Nagata Dance. That’s money. He locks up with Kojima to begin, and they’re tearing it up with forearms. They both tag out, and Nakanishi wants a test of strength. This proves rather even until Tenzan busts out the Mongolian chops. Yuji back in, kicks Kojima off the apron and focuses on Tenzan mid-ring, until Kojima gives him a receipt, into the guard rail on the outside. Standard slingshot double team from TenKoji gets two. “So desu ne” after “so desu ne” on commentary, my liver can’t take it, I only have two hollow legs. Tenzan to the top for the bulldog variation. That gets two, but the fans are behind Nagata.

TenKoji in full control of Nagata, who’s fighting from underneath here. Tenzan to the top but he misses a flying headbutt, giving Nagata a chance to make the hot tag to Nakanishi. The uncoordinated offense of Nakanishi is running wild. To the top rope, and he gets a missile dropkick for two, cracking up commentary in the process. You gotta love it, Maggle. Spin kick from Tenzan turns the tide, and Kojima back in with 13,487 chops in the corner “Ichauzo Bakarayo”. He even says it himself this time. Top rope elbow gets two, and a recovered Nagata is back in. Exploder to Kojima gets two. Big kicks to the back just piss Kojima off, and they slug it out mid-ring. Vintage Nagata, as he feigns the dropkick, but instead of taking out the knee like usual, slaps Kojima across the face. Then he takes out the knee. Tenzan in though, and they get the 3-D (10-D ?). Off comes the elbow pad for the Kozy Lariat, but it’s a bad idea as he walks right into a Nagata lock. Nagataker Eyes~! All 4 in the ring now, and we get some Nakanishi-related sloppiness. He’s falling all over the place. Kojima in to fix that, gets a close two on Nagata, but the kick out wakes up the crowd.

Big German and a brainbuster from Nagata but Kojima won’t stay down. Nakanishi, having taken care of Tenzan on the outside, climbs to the top, and we get that awesome flying chop/enzuigiri combo. Yuji gets the big Backdrop Hold on Kojima for the three @ 18:02.
**¾ Pretty sloppy at times, but it had Nagata and Kojima and it almost went 20. Yuji cuts a promo after the match, letting TenKoji know that they're coming for the straps on the 23rd.
WINNERS: Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

Standard show, middle of the road. I don't think I'd ever ask for Nakanishi in a main event, but to pay honor to Nagata it was fine. The one thing these NJPW shows in September have done a really effective job of so far is building to the big events next week. They've given me every reason to give a shit about the BC/CHAOS matches, and the KUSHIDA title defenses.

The 9/21 show is the very last Ustream.tv pay-per-view, as Ustream's PPV division is folding before the end of the month. Granted NJPW will land on it's feet and find another strong provider to the PPV market, but it is the end of an era. A fantastic era in professional wrestling; that goes for Ring Of Honor and Dragon Gate as well. Ustream had a hell of a run. Here goes the top matches for Saturday night:

- The Young Bucks & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Forever Hooligans (Kozlov & Romero)
- KUSHIDA (c) vs. "The Funky Weapon" Ryusuke Taguchi - for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
- AJ Styles & Tama Tonga vs. Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito - (have Styles & Ibushi ever wrestled?)
- Gallows & Gun (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI - for the IWGP Tag Team Championship
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata - in a rematch of their classic from this year's G1 Climax
- Bad Luck Fale (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura -for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship

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