We’re digging into random-ness here, as TAKA Michinoku and Taichi produced a show. Yes, it’s a thing, and New Japan World aired it.
TAKA and Taichi have had several of these shows before, with their last one being at the end of last year. We’re at ShinjukuFACE – a venue perhaps better known here for the Lion’s Gate series of shows – and we open up with tag team action featuring two characters that I really ought to go out of my way and see more. It’s Dinosaur Takuma and Kaji Tomato!
RoS (GO Asakawa, Kaji Tomato & Taishi Takizawa) vs. Dino Stones (Dinosaur Takuma & Kotaro Yoshino) & Marines Mask
Tomato and Takizawa are the KAIENTAI-Dojo’s STRONGEST K tag team champs, and they’re not exactly fazed by their opponents, including Marines Mask – paying homage to the Chiba Lotte Marines, whose mascot (according to Chris Charlton) is a fish vomiting its own skeleton. Charming! OHMYGOD Kotaro Yoshino is a real life wrestling Fred Flintstone, complete with a club!
We start with Tomato and Marines, the latter taking down Kaji with a lucha armdrag and a dropkick, before Kaji has to deal with Dino Stones’ double team offence of staggering headbutts… and dancing?! Yoshino misses a big splash and takes a dropkick as Takizawa comes in to work with his tag partner for a wacky push-down stomp from Kaji that turned into a splash by Taishi.
Asakawa comes in next to drop Yoshino for a near-fall, before getting his leg swept ahead of a splash to the back as Takuma gets the tag back in. Asakawa and Tomati come back in, but eat a spear from the Dinosaur, who unloads on GO with Mongolian chops ahead of another spear! A cannonball keeps GO down for a near-fall, but he avoids a flip senton and takes Takuma down with a judo throw as Kaji returned to the mix. Takuma charges him down easily though, then brings in Marines Mask… who promptly runs into a boot before catching a springboard dropkick for a near-fall. A very BUSHI-like dropkick, if you get my drift…
Takizawa flies in as all three members of RoS have a go at Marines Mask, ending with a cool assisted elevated senton/legdrop combo from the STRONGEST K champs for a near-fall. Mask nearly snatches it with a schoolboy, and a sunset flip, but in the end, Kaji’s Octopus Driver was enough to get the win. A fun, but brief trios match… and I need more Dino Stones in my life! ***
ERINA vs. Bambi
The K-Dojo specials continue, and there’s about a 15-year difference in these two, with the more experienced Bambi having had more than 10x the matches of ERINA. That difference told as well, although Bambi didn’t quite have to use her whip…
ERINA starts by unloading with forearms, but Bambi resists an Irish whip, only to fall to a crossbody. However, ERINA can’t get her up for a slam, so it’s back to the forearms, before she falls back in a slam attempt, nearly costing herself the match in the process. A hair-assisted snapmare gets Bambi on top, as do some chokes, before a grounded camel clutch forces the relative rookie into the ropes for a break.
Bambi keeps up with chops and chokes, before she obliterates poor ERINA with a hip attack for a solid two-count. ERINA’s lifted onto the top rope, and gets in a tornado DDT to start her fightback, before a second DDT spikes Bambi ahead of a flying crossbody.
ERINA tries to snatch the win with a schoolboy and a small package, but she’s quickly met in the ropes as two big boots nearly get Bambi the win, before a scoop slam into a front suplex continued that run of near-falls. A shining wizard from Bambi keeps it up, before an STO that segued into a modified Rings of Saturn forced the submission. Another short one, but this was a fun one – both got their stuff in, but I’d have liked them to have had more than five minutes. **¾
Kyu Mogami vs. Yuma Aoyagi
Aoyagi’s replacing Jun Kasai, who injured himself over the weekend… this was the second match in as many days for Aoyagi, which isn’t rare. However, the first one was: it was a loss to Taichi in what many felt was a good match… for Taichi. It’s on the All Japan 45th Anniversary special for those who have access to such archives…
Yuma lands an early dropkick , before Mogami wiped him out with a dropkick as the pair headed outside for a spot of nothing-happening brawling at ringside. When they return to the ring, Aoyagi throws a few forearms, before his dropkick gets nothing but thin air at the first attempt… as the second one meets its mark. A crossbody out of the corner keeps Kyu on the back foot, as does a splash and another flying crossbody… but it’s not enough.
Mogami blocks a Fisherman’s suplex, and manages to nearly decapitate Yuma with a series of thrust kicks… but his Fisherman’s suplex is reversed as Aoyagi scores a near-fall. More dropkicks lead to a bridging German suplex for another two-count, before a stalling brainbuster gets Yuma the win. Decent, but way too short to be anything. **½
Jun Kasai heads out next for a segment that I’ll sum up thanks to Chris Charlton’s tweets – he’s got his right arm bandaged up, so yeah… there was no way he was working here. He apologised for not being able to wrestle, and instead challenged Takashi Iizuka following a no-contest after their match on the last TAKA & Taichi produce show.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Minoru Suzuki
Apparently this was a “gift” to mark Kanemaru’s 21 years in wrestling. If that’s the gift your friends are giving you… get better friends! If you’re wondering what mood Suzuki is in today… he kicks the ref in the shin as he’s being given the pre-match checks.
Suzuki grabs a hammerlock, but Kanemaru reverses it… then twists into a wristlock, only for Suzuki to escape and pull him down into a headlock. A Kimura follows, but Suzuki’s just taking pleasure in brutalising his stablemate, who manages to force a break by reaching for the ropes. Except there is no break as he can’t keep hold, and so he’s forced to escape a headscissors before he puts the boots to Minoru. Who slaps back. Hard.
They quickly spill outside where Suzuki lays waste to him with a chair. Remember: They. Are. Stablemates. Imagine if they were actually enemies! Sadly, the hard camera-only show struggles to capture this, but we do get to hear screams of agony from Kanemaru instead, as he’s dragged deeper into the crowd so Minoru can choke him with a chair.
The ref tries to stop it, but that just makes him a target, before Suzuki wanders over to Kanemaru’s bottle of expensive whisky. Thankfully, he doesn’t do anything with it… and when Kanemaru returns, the beatings just continue. I wonder if his morale improved afterwards? Another Kimura attempt follows, but instead it turns into a wacky, Zack Sabre Jr-ish submission, which morphs into a Figure Four, then an ankle lock, and finally a Tequila Sunrise as Kanemaru forced his way towards the ropes.
Suzuki peppers Kanemaru with kicks and forearms… and gets them back too, before trapping Kanemaru in a front facelock. That’s speedily countered into a suplex as Kanemaru tried to mount a comeback, hitting a split-legged moonsault for a near-fall, before absorbing more slaps. A PK from Suzuki gets a near-fall, but Kanemaru keeps fighting back, only to get decked with a series of wind-up forearms. Each sounding more brutal than the last. Kanemaru makes his way to his whisky and sprays Suzuki with it… and that allows him to head up top for the Deep Impact top rope DDT! I guess Minoru shouldn’t have distracted the ref, eh? Regardless, Suzuki kicked out at two, before going back to those shots… only for a basement dropkick to nearly end things for Minoru.
Another attempt at Deep Impact’s caught though, as Suzuki grabs Kanemaru in a rear naked choke before switching to a Gotch Piledriver for the win. Take out the crowd brawling, and we’ve got a hidden gem on our hands. Regardless, it was a really good match, one which earned Suzuki a bottle of whisky in his trunks as Kanemaru’s left wondering why he picked these friends. Or maybe not, since Suzuki poured the bottle of whisky down his neck afterwards… ***¾
Best two-of-three falls: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) vs. Suzuki-gun (TAKA Michinoku & Taichi)
Daryl wasn’t coming out to play… as he’s apparently stuck in the UK. I blame WCPW… Hiromu rolled back the months to his old Kamaitachi days. Or at least, he wore the mask. A Taichi main event introduction means I’ve got enough time to take a leak without pausing this… and genuinely, it was still going on when I came back!
Once the bell goes, its Hiromu and TAKA trying to out-weird each other on the mat. BUSHI wants to go after Taichi, and we get a lot of tags with no action. It’s almost like they’re padding for time… and Hiromu falls to the mat out of boredom. I can relate. It becomes comedic as Hiromu and Taichi roll on the mat like they’ve got belly ache.
When they have stopped dicking about, we get rope running, drop downs and missed moves, but still nobody’s connected with a shot. Taichi low bridges BUSHI to the outside, then charges to the outside before pulling his valet Miho Abe in to stop BUSHI from diving. To rib everyone, the very first move in the match – a low blow and a Gedo clutch – gets the first fall as Taichi pinned BUSHI.
The second fall opens with Takahashi laying into TAKA with forearms, then dropkicks before Taichi tripped him on the way to a dive as we had our mandated spot of crowd brawling. Back in the ring, TAKA works over Hiromu’s face, before a poke to the eyes prevented a fightback. Heck, the Suzuki-gun tandem freely double-teamed Hiromu, and even did the low blow/fast count spot as the referee had his back turned… but of course, that didn’t count as the second fall.
Eventually Hiromu gets free with an armdrag, before BUSHI tags in and wiped out the Suzuku-gun pair with a missile dropkick. TAKA pokes BUSHI in the eyes and kicks him low as he tried to get a flipping backslide on Taichi, but that’s still not enough for the cover… but BUSHI gets revenge when he kicks TAKA, then Taichi low before nailing the flipping backslide to tie up the match at 1-1!
Our deciding fall opens with BUSHI choking Taichi… before the favour’s returned with BUSHI’s own shirt. Everyone ends up outside for a faked out dive by TAKA… who’s pulled to the floor, and that swings things back in the Ingobernables’ direction. A double team hiptoss turned into a facebuster for a near-fall on TAKA, who then got taken down into a double crossface with BUSHI and Takahashi wrenching away… but TAKA’s tapping was masked by Taichi distracting the ref.
TAKA swings things back around with a knee in the corner as he staggered into a tag from Taichi, who exchanged kicks with Hiromu, before BUSHI came in and hit a swinging Fisherman’s neckbreaker as the war of attrition for the final fall continued. BUSHI signalled for the MX, but Taichi walked away and instead clocks him with an enziguiri in the corner, then a head kick for a near-fall… but it’s nowhere near time as Taichi’s still got his trousers on… and there you go, they’re ripped off now!
Taichi gets the BUSHI mask he stole earlier in the year and puts it on to become… TUSHI? I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! A superkick levels BUSHI for a near-fall, before the Ingobernable hit back with a Destroyer out of nowhere. We move forward to Hiromu quickly escaping TAKA’s Bully Choke in the ropes, but Michinoku quickly reapplies it… and has Taichi actually doing a good job of keeping guard from the outside too! Eventually though, Takahashi makes the ropes to force the break, and then plants TAKA in the middle of the ring with a Time Bomb… but Taichi pulls out the ref just in time.
Of course, more gubbins from Taichi follows as he drills Takahashi wildly with the mic stand… BUSHI gets it too, before he sprays Taichi from the ground with the Mist of Death! Another Time Bomb attempt follows, but it’s escaped as Hiromu takes a superkick for yet another near-fall. Hiromu escapes a Michinoku Driver before BUSHI comes in to help with double superkicks and double lungblowers for a near-fall, as the Ingobernables are in the ascendancy and…
DOOMSDAY CODEBREAKER!?! The MX Driver absolutely plants TAKA… and that’s enough to win the match! A fun main event, but that opening fall was ROUGH. It picked up by the end, and my word, that finisher is going to stick in the mind. Hopefully BUSHI and Takahashi are a pairing in this year’s New Japan Junior Tag League – especially with a finish like that. ***¼
On paper, this show was quite the bizarre thing… but in execution, it was a fairly decent offering. The first half matches were good, but too short to even to come close to crossing the proverbial line into the upper tier – and that Kanemaru/Suzuki match was perhaps on the way to being in the discussions for match of the year… until they threw in the Suzuki-gun bollocks. Still, not a bad show considering it was an otherwise throwaway card in the great scheme of things!