Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom II

Billy Gunn and Big Mike are out first for the Rumble. Bone Soldier and Cheeseburger are in, with Burger eliminating Soldier. Billy bullies Cheeseburger, SO HERE COMES LIGER! He saves his buddy, they get tossed down and Mike and Billy fight. Big Mike tells Billy to suck it and lariats him out. Kobayashi comes out and does a few things with Tiger Mask IV. Nakanishi came in and slowed the pace down. He clubbed everyone and speared Mike. Everyone ran into his lariat for a bit. YoshiTatsu does his HHH cosplay and double teams Mike with Taguchi. Nagata armbars Taguchi before Yoshi interferes. Tenzan comes down and Taguchi hits weak ass attacks. Hiro Saito comes down, as does Norton, who powerbombs Taguchi out of this thing. Mike takes Saito out with a lariat. Elgin and Cheeseburger close things out, with Mike winning with a spiral bomb.
The card is run down and Tiger the Dark comes down to face Tiger Mask W. ACH's mask is just as bad as Ibushi's - so this could be a tough one. Digging W's theme. W hits the triangle moonsault, and this role really is a nice way for Ibushi to work a greatest hits tour in his prime. That gets an 18 count on the floor and a 2 mid-ring. SNAP GERMAN HITS! Tiger suplex gets 2. Tiger Dark's tombstone gets 2, but a Tiger driver wins.
RPG Vice is out ti face the Bucks. Seeing MELTZER DRIVER in giant '60s Batman text amuses me. The Bucks show off all their titles - hey, now's the time. Trent takes a nasty bump on his tailbone for a double backdrop. Flair flip leads to a superkick. Rocky runs wild with corner lariats and sends them flipping with a one-man double lariat! Rocky gets cornered, lets out an "oh fuck" and double ranas them! Young buckle bomb and a high kick hit! SUPERKICK PARTY hits and gets 2.9 - amazing bump for it from Romero. More Bang for Your Buck is countered with a crucifix to win - well, that came out of nowhere.

NEVER 6 man tag gauntlet is up. Takahashi's hotties are extra hot tonight - including one in a thong. Liger is a HUGE FAN of hers. Ospreay shined nicely here - but the match as a whole wasn't anything special or memorable. Fale is sub-Braun in terms of skill, even by "big man worker" levels. SANADA gets a tap and allows LIJ to move on. Finlay, Kojima, and Ricochet came out. Finlay and Ricochet hit a nice pair of flip dives before a Kojima lariat gets 2. Ricochet looked amazing hitting his moves so crisply. Machine gun chops by Kojima! Bushi's super codebreaker gets messed up a bit off a toss, but SANADA's missile dropkick hits Finlay perfectly. 3D hits, but Kojima is dragon sleepered - only to countered that into a suplex. Mist hits before Kojima eats a modified DVD for 2 before his finish hits and wins it.
Juicy is out first, followed by Cody. Cody looks motivated, but he's begging for a knee injury with all the random jumping off the top he does during his intro. Superstars match here. Big lariat gets 2 for Juice, but his Unprettier is countered into the Cross Rhodes for the win. Kyle O'Reilly is out to face Adam Cole BAYBAY! Kyle's deal with ROH is apparently up too - so this could be an NXT qualifier. Kyle beats the fuck out of Cole, who attacks the arm and gets 2. Cole eats a snap German, but pops up and gets a kick for 2. Sliding kick hits hard, but an ankle lock takes him out for a bit. Cole hits a sick kneeling superkick after a variety of superkicks and wins it after landing a neckbreaker off a brainbuster setup.
Yano and Ishii are out to face the Guerrillas of Destiny and GBH for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles.Yano and Ishii are such a bizarre team - but fun. KOKESHI TO LOA gets 2. Yano double low blows Haku's sons so Ishiii can lariat them and he get a schoolboy win to win the titles! Yano has double gold! Hiromu Takahashi is out to face KUSHIDA for the Jr. title. Boy is this show not feeling like Wrestle Kingdom yet, but with KUSHIDA, the workrate should at least improve a ton.
Takahashi's coat and jacket of many colors rules. No Delorean for KUSHIDA here, sadly. KUSHIDA plays a mighty fine face in peril, especially with the taped up shoulder. They try a triangle rana that turns into something...not that. Triangle standing senton to the floor hits and looks far better. KUSHIDA locks a cross armbreaker on for a while on the floor. A nice corner lariat hits, but KUSHIDA responds with a standing Kimura up top. That gets countered for 2. Buckle DVD hits before he hits some kind of wacky DVD/Emerald Frosion combo for the win!
Goto and his amazing theme are out to face Shibata for the NEVER title. Shibata carries both that and another title to the ring. They exchange many stiff exchanges - including a great kneeling forearm and chop battle. Shibata gets an RNC, but Goto's sitout Hellevator gets 2.9! KICKS. HEADBUTTS! A billion headbutts lead to a variety of final cut variants for the win. GOTO FINALLY WINS A BIG ONE! Shibata gets pissed and throws his wrapping down.
Tana's new theme is okay, but nothing great. The peak is the beginning, when it's a remix of his existing theme.Naito's wacky eye gimmick being used for his tron is amusing. Tana goes for a tieup, but Naito avoids him until he is ready. Naito works over the leg in the ropes and hits an outside-in basement dropkick. Tana goes for a dropkick to the knee, but Naito avoids it and kicks his head. A rana off the top hits and a big German gets 2 for Naito. Tana avoids a mid-ring tornado DDT, but can't avoid a dropkick to the knee. A Naito kneebar gets the crowd into a frenzy. Tana counters that into a Liontamer-style cloverleaf.

The ref ALMOST stops it, but Naito shows life and makes it to the rope. High Fly Flow misses. DESTINO HITS! A second one leads to a counter into a snap neckbreaker! Tana has hope! Back and forth forearms! They trade knee kicks and Tana hits a dragon suplex. High Fly flow to the back hits. KNEES TO THE GUT! Naito hits a tornado reverse DDT for 2.5! A SECOND DESTINO WINS. What took Okada many tries only took Naito one - he beats Tana in their first Dome encounter, and can now lay a claim to being better than Okda just by doing that.
He gets a ton of cheers in victory, and even though this wasn't his best match ever, it was still a huge deal and made him come off like the modern-day Okada of two or so years ago. Tana's future is interesting, because this seems to be the end of him as The Ace on even a surface level with the IC Title. The Okada-Omega hype video shows Okada as "the man" defending his company. Omega says that he will take New Japan worldwide and do it all in New Japan - he can't fail.
Omega gets a terminator intro - complete with him being bare-assed and wanting clothes. He dons a Teminator mask complete with wacky prop gun. Okay. Okada gets a stunning starlight intro with a pretty damn epic song for it. I love Omega being a chickenshit during a rope break, cowering in fear of a slap only to get a slap on the shoulder. They go for finishers early, but get countered. Omega goes mini-HBK for an Okada big boot. They go back and forth on the floor, but Okada hits a draping DDT on the floor!

Mid-ring, they exchange strikes and a fameasser-style facebuster gets 2. Okada hits the over the knee Schwein, but the soaring elbow meets knees. They fight on the floor and Omega hits a flip dive over the top over the guardrail! Omega avoids a countout by DOUBLE STOMPING A TABLE ON OKADA! Omega gets 2.5 off a kneeling powerbomb!
Sitout bomb gets 2. OMEGA GETS HOISTED UP TOP AND DROPKICKED! Okada avoids a One Winged Angel off the apron through a table, but eats cops before being backdropped over the top through the table! Omega eats a giant springboard coast to coast-style dropkick for 2! Rainmaker pose! Omega avoids a rainmaker and goes for a super German suplex that drops Okada right on his head!

Omega hits the modified Death Valley Driver on the knee. Omega gets the pump knee, but eats a bit dropkick. Okada counters a bulldog into a tombstone! RAINMAKER HITS AND GETS 2! Omega turns a tombstone into a knee-grabbing variant for 2.5! Back and forth forearms lead to a SNAPDRAGON SUPLEX AND THE PUMP KNEE FOR 2.9! Okada avoids another One Winged Angel, but Omega boots his way out of a chain of Rainmakers! RAINMAKER! Rainmaker attempt by Omega. COUNTERED!. HITS! HE GETS KICKED! Angel turned into a tombstone! RAINMAKER HITS AND IT'S OVER! Okada retains! This was incredible!
The show as a whole was the worst of the past three Wrestle Kingdom shows - but the main matches delivered. Nothing was quite on par with the past two main or even semi-main events, but the final two matches came very close. Omega was made as a main eventer with this - and his eventual IWGP Title win will be huge.


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