Spirit of Puroresu News 12.13.13
Posted by Aaron Frame on 12.13.2013
Formerly the World Wrestling News Report, Aaron Frame now focuses on bringing you news from the far east.
Welcome one and all to what was the World Wrestling News Report. My name is Aaron Frame and this is the Spirit of Puroresu News.
I have to admit that I am a far worse writer than I wanted to be when I took on the WWNR. I thought I could manage it no problem. However, with what time I had to dedicate it and my already admitted lack of skill it just was not meant to be. So, I will bring forth wrestling from Japan because I love wrestling from Japan and it happens to be the only foreign market I understand and have some experience with, though sometimes a lot kind of goes over my head because my Japanese is basic to non-existent. In the three years I spent there, I learned how to ask for a light, an ashtray, and a beer. Yes, I spent a lot of time in bars. Anyhow, time to transition in to the news.
So, the guy (or gal?) running the website I used to get news from Japanese promotions not named New Japan is on a hiatus. What does that mean for you? Well, it means that you are going to get news from New Japan and that is about it. New Japan is the WWE of Japanese wrestling anyhow, so who cares?
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Well, Sunday, 12/8 saw the finals of the World Tag League Tournament. From what I saw, the shows were pretty good. I actually do have video footage of the finals that I will post with the results. Video is, of course, in Japanese, no subtitles. I will post the results from the World Tag League finals and then follow up with the card for the huge Wrestle Kingdom 8 card at the Tokyo Dome as well as results from the shows that are part of the Road to Tokyo Dome tour, a low key tour that has no foreigners wrestling.
World Tag League Finals, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, 7,500 fans in attendance:
Katsuyori Shibata defeated Yohei Komatsu in 3:28 with a crab hold.
TAKA Michinoku and Taichi defeated KUSHIDA & BUSHI in 5:52 when TAKA pinned BUSHI after the Michinoku Mephisto.
Rob Conway and Jax Dane defeated Manabu Nakanishi and Strong Man in 7:06 when Conway used the Ego Trip on Nakanishi.
World Tag League – Semi Final: Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows defeated Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in 8:38 when Gallows pinned Honma after the Magic Killer.
World Tag League – Semi Final: Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima defeated Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. in 12:54 when Tenzan used a moonsault press on Smith.
Prince Devitt and Bad Luck Fale defeated Kota Ibushi and Captain New Japan in 10:12 by referee stop (Fale beat Captain).
Special Tag Match: Yuji Nagata and Kazushi Sakuraba defeated Takashi Iizuka and YOSHI-HASHI in 8:28 when Sakuraba used the Sakuraba Lock on YOSHI-HASHI.
Special Tag Match: Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Minoru Suzuki and Shelton Benjamin in 13:02 when Suzuki was DQ'd.
Special 10 Man Tag Match: Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask and La Sombra defeated Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, Masato Tanaka, Yujiro Takahashi and Gedo in 13:07 when Sombra used the Shadow Driver on Gedo.
World Tag League – Final: Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima in 18:57 when Anderson pinned Tenzan after the Magic Killer.
NOTES: This is Gallows' first tour in Japan. This is Karl Andersons third time, with a different partner each time, to win the World Tag League. Interestingly enough, all three were by pinning Tenzan after the Magic Killer. Anderson and Gallows challenged the current IWGP Tag Team champions Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. to a match at Wrestle Kingdom 8. Watch their promo at the end of the video above, quite entertaining.
Hirooki Goto, who was injured during the G1 Climax, announced he will be returning to action soon during the show. He stated that he wants his return match to be against Katsuyori Shibata, the two had a great series of matches before Goto was taken out of action.
WRESTLE KINGDOM 8 CARD
With the World Tag League Tournament in the books, the Wrestle Kingdom 8 card has been established. For those of you who do not know, this is the January 4th show that has been the new year kick off for NJPW since 1992 and it always takes place in the Tokyo Dome. In other words, this is NJPWs WrestleMania. Wrestle Kingdom 8 will be the 23rd Jan. 4 Tokyo Dome show. The show will feature a double main event.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title – 4WAY Match: Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson (c) vs. KUSHIDA and Alex Shelley vs. TAKA Michinoku and Taichi vs. Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov
IWGP Tag Team Title: Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. (c) vs. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows NOTE: As stated above, Anderson and Gallows received this match after challenging KES after winning the World Tag League.
NWA World Heavyweight Title: Rob Conway (c) vs. Satoshi Kojima NOTE: This is the first time in 20 years the NWA World Heavyweight Title has been defended at the event. Kojima challenged Conway after pinning him during the World Tag League tournament. These two have a history, Kojima challenged Conway for the NWA title back in April, which saw Conway make his NJPW debut, leading to Conway retaining the title.
Special Tag Match: Yuji Nagata and Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Daniel Gracie and Rolles Gracie NOTE: Where to start? Yes, both the Gracies are related to the Gracie family of jiu-jitsu fame, Daniel being a cousin to Charles, Renzo, Ralph, and Ryan Gracie. Rolles Gracie is the son of Rolls Gracie. This match came about when the Gracies issued an open challenged at the King of Pro Wrestling pay-per-view which was answered by Nagata and Sakuraba. Interesting tid-bit, Sakuraba is known as "Gracie Hunter" for his MMA bouts with the Gracie family which saw him win over Royler, Renzo, Ryan, and Royce. His initial match with Royce went 90 minutes.
Special Tag Match: Minoru Suzuki and Shelton Benjamin vs. Toru Yano and Mystery Partner NOTE: Yano will reveal his partner at the Dome. Suzuki and Yano have been feuding since G1 Climax where Yano cost Suzuki a spot in the finals. The team of Yano and Takashi Iizuka also cost the team of Suzuki and Benjamin a spot in the World Tag League semi-finals.
King of Destroyer Match: Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale NOTE: King of Destroyer match is one with no pinfall or submission, only KO or TKO. I believe this match came about after Fale interfered in the World Tag League final helping Anderson and Gallows get the win.
Special Singles Match – Hirooki Goto Return Match: Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata NOTE: Goto announced his return match against Shibata at the World Tag League finals.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Prince Devitt (c) vs. Kota Ibushi (My personal pick for match of the night.) NOTE: These two have been battling for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title on and off since 2011. In October, Ibushi announced he signed a dual contract with both DDT and NJPW which led to his first match which was a 6-man tag match against the Bullet Club (Devitt, Fale, and Anderson) in which he lost. This transitioned in to Ibushi chasing Devitt once again for the title.
Double Main Event I – IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito NOTE: Naito obtained a shot at the title by winning the 2013 G1 Climax.
Double Main Event II – IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi NOTE: Nakamura and Tanahashi are long time rivals but have not faced in over two years. Nakamura nominated Tanahashi as his next challenger after Tanahashi failed to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title and announced he will no longer pursue the that title after losing to Kazuchika Okada.
The Road to Tokyo Dome tour started Wednesday, here are the results for 12/11 (Yamagata Sports Center #2, 1,200 fans):
Sho Tanaka vs. Yohei Komatsu went to a draw at 10:00.
KUSHIDA defeated Takashi Iizuka in 7:42 by DQ.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Tiger Mask defeated Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi and BUSHI in 10:53 when Kojima used a lariat on BUSHI.
Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Minoru Suzuki and Taichi in 8:51 when Ishii used a brainbuster on Taichi.
Togi Makabe and Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Yujiro Takahashi and Jado in 10:18 when Makabe used a King Kong kneedrop on Jado.
Elimination Match: Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura, YOSHI-HASHI and Gedo defeated Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomoaki Honma and Captain New Japan in 21:25 when Okada used the Rainmaker on Captain.
Here are the results for 12/12 (Yamagata Sports Center #2, 1,200 fans (yes, same place, same amount of fans)):
Sho Tanaka vs. Yohei Komatsu went to a draw at 10:00.
Tiger Mask defeated Takashi Iizuka in 7:52 by DQ.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Tiger Mask defeated Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi and BUSHI in 10:02 when Tenzan used the Anaconda Vice on BUSHI.
Togi Makabe and KUSHIDA defeated Yujiro Takahashi and Jado in 10:52 when KUSHIDA used a moonsault press on Jado.
Toru Yano and YOSHI-HASHI vs. Minoru Suzuki and Taichi went to a double countout.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Captain New Japan in 12:57 when Ishii used a brainbuster on Captain.
Tetsuya Naito and Tomoaki Honma defeated Kazuchika Okada and Gedo in 15:33 when Naito used a Stardust press on Gedo.
There will be four more shows on 12/14, 12/15, 12/21, and 12/23 leading up to the Dome show.
Last bits of news here, NJPW is actually getting ready to debut a new wrestler. El Desperado. Yes, you read that correctly. He will debut a day after the Tokyo Dome show where we will also see Rob Conway and Jax Dane defend the NWA Tag Team Titles against Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima.
Tokyo Sports has announced, for the second year in a row, that Kazuchika Okada is their MVP. He joins only three men who have ever accomplished this, Antonio Inoki, Jumbo Tsuruta, and Genichiro Tenryu. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kota Ibushi from the G1 Climax was also announced as the Match of the Year marking the second year in a row that a NJPW match was named thus.
With that, I will end this revamped column. I hope you enjoyed it as I actually enjoyed writing it and I hope to bring you more news from the land of the rising sun.