This week on Random Reviews, we’re going to pick a couple of matches that New Japan recently added to their service, following a show in Taiwan on October 15.
Taiwan’s National Gymnasium saw a six-match card, but we’re only going to pick three of those matches, with our first one having some historical background to it.
BONE SOLDIER vs. Yoshitatsu
At Destruction in Kobe, Yoshitatsu kicked out Captain New Japan from the Hunter Club, following a public vote. The Captain turned on him after that, and joined the Bullet Club, under the moniker of BONE SOLDIER. We’ll just be calling him the Boner, since everyone else is…
The Boner’s ring gear is hideously bad. Black trousers, a Bullet Club t-shirt, and a bad Hallowe’en mask. A mask over a black hood… that’s just begging for a malfunction.
They’re using a single fixed camera for this show, which is bringing back flashbacks of the Best of Super Juniors shows…
The referee has to hold back Yoshitatsu from the Boner, and he’s attacked from behind at the bell. Boner clubs down Yoshitatsu with some forearms and double axehandle blocks, before Yoshitatsu fires back with some slaps and uppercuts. Yoshitatsu almost slaps off the Boners mask before he throws him to the outside, and in position for a baseball slide dropkick.
Boner takes the ringpost, and some more kicks from Yoshitatsu on the floor, but the Boner reverses an Irish whip and sends Yoshitatsu into the guard railings. They finally return to the ring, where Boner picks up where he left off… going shot-for-shot with his former partner. After being choked by the Boner, Yoshitatsu tries to fight back, only to be taken down in a rear chinlock.
The Boner takes Yoshitatsu into the corner for more stomps, with the ref again pulling him off. Yoshi slumps to the mat as the Boner tried to powerbomb him, but he mounts another comeback with a series of kicks that sends the Boner’s mask flying up and over, revealing his black-hooded face.
After a reversed waistlock, the Boner mule-kicks Yoshitatsu in front of the referee, and there’s your disqualification. Tama Tonga, who’d been at ringside throughout the match, throws in a strap as they threatened to choke Yoshitatsu some more, but instead Tonga just whips him with the belt. Boner joins in, and that’s the match. Absolutely horrid, and for Yoshitatsu to be getting that little offence against a guy part of whose gimmick is “he has no gear” just shows how far his stock’s fallen. DUD
If Yoshitatsu were a company, he’d be in worse state than TNA.
Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi & Juice Robinson vs. Naomichi Marufuji, Toru Yano & Will Ospreay
Ospreay received a good reaction in Taiwan, and we started off with Will and Taguchi. Will seemed genuinely surprised at the “Ospreay” chants he got as he was taken into the ropes (seemingly from a group of PROGRESS fans, according to Will’s own Facebook).
Taguchi worked a wristlock early on, before Ospreay’s see-saw kipups got him out of it. A rana took Taguchi to the outside, and that led to… some gaga as both men ended up teasing dives, ending only in poses. Some tags led to Marufuji and Honma coming in, with the two men trading shots, as Honma dished out some elbows before missing a Kokeshi.
Honma and Marufji take some chops from each other, with Marufuji winning that battle until he took a back elbow in the ropes. Juice Robinson came in and took some punishment, as Toru Yano got as far away from making a tag as he humanly could. It was for the best, really.
Ospreay tagged back in and got a near-fall on Robinson before he went for an Octopus hold… with only the presence of Honma forcing Will to break it up. Yano came in for his usual shtick, including almost taking a turnbuckle after removing the padding. A spinebuster from Robinson took down CHAOS’ answer to Santino Marella, before Honma finally nailed a Kokeshi!
We got our Toru Yano spot with the “Break!” chants, but Honma didn’t care… and for going after Yano in the ropes, Honma took an inverted atomic drop, before giving back a leaping Kokeshi. More tags took us back to Ospreay and Taguchi, with Will taking a jumping hip attack to the face, then some more of those.
After a springboard forearm and a standing corkscrew back senton, Ospreay could only get a near-fall, before Taguchi caught an OsCutter. A Dodon was turned into a roll-up for a near-fall, with Ospreay’s one-man Spanish Fly getting him a tag out to Marufuji. More blistering chops from Marufuji sent Taguchi reeling, as did a dropkick.
Juice Robinson came in and got some offence on Marufuji, including a cannonball in the corner and a hanging vertical suplex, before the ring quickly filled and cleared. Robinson took a mid-air dropkick from Marufuji as the CHAOS team laid into Juice win the corner, before a slingshot into a superkick got Marufuji a two-count.
Ospreay went flying again with a springboard body press to the outside, which left Robinson all alone with Marufuji for some more chops. A Fireman’s carry into a gutbuster almost won it for Juice, before Marufuji countered an Unprettier into a brutal knee-lift for another near-fall. Another superkick followed by a Shiranui proved to be enough, as the CHAOS team (plus Marufuji) won an entertaining, but otherwise run-of-the-mill undercard match. ***
Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & SANADA vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
We started off with SANADA and Tanahashi, with the latter pushing SANADA into the ropes from the off. EVIL pulls at Tanahashi’s hair in the ropes for some cheap heat, but Hiroshi makes a comeback with a springboard crossbody, then an armdrag to SANADA.
Kojima tags in, but demands EVIL – and you can probably guess how this is going to work. Naito runs in and attacks Kojima from behind, but eventually he overcomes both Naito and EVIL, before Tenzan comes in for some Mongolian chops. Tenzan suplexes EVIL for a two-count, before some Ingobernable distractions turn the tables.
SANADA tags back in and scores a near-fall from a back suplex, before Naito gets the outside-in slingshot DDT in the corner on Tenzan. EVIL tags in to take some Mongolian chops, raking the eye of Tenzan to break it up and get a near-fall from a back senton. Tenzan takes out EVIL with a spinning heel kick, but can’t make a tag out… fortunately, he’s able to take down SANADA with a Mountain Bomb.
After tagging out to Tanahashi, the babyfaces get a brief comeback, sustained when a pair of Dragon screws take down EVIL and SANADA, before Tanahashi grabs a Texas Cloverleaf on SANADA. We get a rope break, which allows SANADA the chance to hit his pair of leapfrogs then a dropkick, before a springboard dropkick knocks down Tanahashi.
Kojima gets the tag back in to clean house, with Naito getting the rapid-fire chops in the corner that seem to go on forever. BUSHI gets involved to stop Kojima’s top rope elbow, and EVIL eventually throws him off the top rope as the heels gradually triple-team him. Naito’s attempt at a Gloria is blocked, before a Koji Cutter takes down the current Intercontinental champion.
Naito kicks out at two after a brainbuster, before we get a parade of moves – Slingblade, spinebuster bomb, lariat and finally the Ten-Cozy Cutter! Naito ducks a lariat from Kojima, who takes a spraying of mist from BUSHI, as Naito eventually rolls him him for a near-fall. Nevertheless, one Destino later, Naito took the win as the show wrapped up with a victory for Los Ingobernables. An entertaining match, but one that’s firmly slotted under “unremarkable house show fodder”. ***¼
Well, that was an interesting trio of matches from New Japan’s recent trip to Taiwan. Now I’ve actually seen the BONE SOLDIER, I don’t think I ever need to see him again. Ever.
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