Destiny 1.12.08: New Japan's Wrestle Kingdom II Thoughts
Posted by Matt Adamson on 01.12.2008
One of the best TNA shows of the year.
Welcome readers to the first Destiny of my second year with 411mania. It's going to be an interesting one as I have made the move to Saturday's and will be changing my column. Not to worry for you Destiny readers, you will get a semi-regular dose of Destiny, but next week I'll be debuting my new column titled, "The Best of Times". It'll be focused on old school wrestling where I will be taking a month in time and comparing the major promotions or wrestlers during that time. It should be an interesting trip into wrestling's past. Also make sure to check out "Going Old School" for some old school reviews.
Most of us know that last week was the big Tokyo Dome show for New Japan, and this time they took TNA along for the ride. So as always when these big shows come, I'm here to offer my opinion of the show, match by match.
Christan, AJ Styles, & Petey Williams def. Minoru, Milano Collection AT, & Prince Devitt
I'm please with the result of this match and quite happy to see AJ Styles be the one to get the pin (which was on Milano Collection AT). I didn't think there was much doubt about who was going to win this going in with Christian involved, but it turned out to be a solid match and everybody brought their working boots. The Japanese were said to be very impressed with how all the TNA representatives performed in the ring, and I'm sure that this one was a huge part of that feeling. Let's hope that AJ gets something out of this, but I'm not counting on it.
Wataru Inoue def. Christopher Daniels to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title
I truly wanted to believe that the title was going to end up in the hands of Christopher Daniels and we were going to be blessed with the return of Curry Man. This wasn't to be and thus I shed a salty tear. I should never have expected something that good to happen in life. Meanwhile Wataru continues to tear it up in New Japan, and for this I am thankful to the almighty Inoki family for finally going the hell away.
Manabu Nakanishi def. Abyss
Jim Ross would have had a fit with this one. HOSS HOSS HOSS! Oh man was it a barn burner, and strangely I really thought Abyss was going to come out on top here. I'm starting to think that maybe I should try some good old fashioned shutting the hell up when it comes to predicting Abyss matches. I think I'm about 0-15 over the course of the last 12 months. Neither Nakanishi or Abyss really needed a win here, but the fans were entertained.
This is the usual mess at the Tokyo Dome for the younger generation to show their stuff along side and against Oldsville. I can't imagine thinking this match would be bad, but how can a match that isn't elimination rules with so many people with standard tag rules be any good? Gasp! That was a mouthful. I'd have to say that the shining star of this match was Taguchi, but I'm a bit biased considering he is my favorite wrestler in New Japan by some distance. So take anything I say about him…. as gospel of course.
The Dudley Boys def. Togi Makabe & Toru Yano
Can Togi Makabe tug the Dudley's to a good match? The answer is not really, but it's not to say he didn't try. The Dudley's are built for guys like Makabe and Yano, and while the match wasn't particularly great, it certainly did it's job of entertaining the fans. I really hope Makabe gets the big push he deserves this year. It's not like he wasn't pushed last year, but he's just so different from anybody else in New Japan right now. With all the changes going on, you'd think a guy like Makabe would be perfect at the top.
Alright, I'm going to swallow my pride and admit I was wrong about Oldsville in this match. I can't tell you the total age of Team Choshnoligernami, but I can certainly believe it's over 200 years. The sad part is that they were twice as good in the ring as everybody on the opposite side except Kondo (who always rules). The old men showed that you can indeed wait until rigor mortis to retire from wrestling. I gotta give it to these five though, they made the younger guys look like a bunch of chumps.
The Great Muta def. Hirooki Goto
I have no pride to swallow this time around. Not only was this match painful to endure, but it was also the result that I said would happen and the result that would piss me off. Seriously, I don't care if Muta is a legend, I don't care if Mutoh runs All Japan, he should not have gone over here. If anything was good about this match it was the shenanigans that may help Goto branch out a little, which is something he needs to do. If anybody has a good reason for Muta to come in and roll over Goto, please tell me. I'm not convinced this match should have ever even happened.
Travis Tomko & Giant Bernard def. The Steiner Brothers to retain the IWGP Tag Team Titles
Yes, here it is, my favorite tag team in 2008 vs. my favorite tag team in 1992. Yeah, that doesn't sound too great does it. Well, thankfully in a matter of days the likes of YOU will be able to see this match on Global Impact and see exactly why Bernard is the man. It's interesting to see him go up against two guys that work the style Bernard works, but you can clearly see just how much he is grown. I mean, back during 2002 and 2003, A-Train was quite similar to A Rick or Scott Steiner, but he has grown so much. I'm ecstatic that New Japan didn't do the familiar and give the titles to the wildly popular Steiners. Instead we get to see Tomko and Bernard continue to grow yet go unrecognized by most American fans.
Kurt Angle def. Yuji Nagata to retain IWGP 3rd Belt
I know I've said it a dozen times, but I still think that the IWGP 3rd Belt is the dumbest shit I've seen happen in Japan's big 3 in a long, long time. This match was great, but the premise was awful. If there were any justice, Nagata would have won the title and took a big greasy crap right on top of it in the ring. However, what we are faced with now is quite possibly going to be great. Some rumors are floating around that Angle and Nakamura are going to have a sort of unification match. That should be great. I have a feeling that will be awesome and I'm looking forward to it. So if New Japan is going to avoid pleasing those who love to see lame as ideas shit upon, this is how you do it.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the real IWGP Title
THANK YOU NEW JAPAN! Not to say I don't like Tanahashi, but Shinsuke Nakamura is the past present and future of New Japan and he's still so young. He's got a good 10 years left till I start building his home is Oldsville. It was a tremendous match with the greatest possible result. I knew he was due and made the pick that he'd win, but I honestly felt as though I was shooting in the dark. However, I'm convinced now that there is a Lou Thesz. It really should be a great year in New Japan with Nakamura on top. He reminds me of those days when Inoki thought it would be a great idea for New Japan to have a bunch of terrible staged MMA fights at New Japan shows. I know this seems bad but he was just about the best thing going during those dark times, and now he is here to save us all again.
Well, it's 2008 and the times are changing for yours truly. I hope you had as good a 2007 as I had. I'm glad it's 2008. We get WrestleMania 24, Euro Cup 2008, The Summer Olympics, what might be the final CONCACAF Champion's Cup and of course the 2008 seasons of MLS and USL First Division, home to my beloved Portland Timbers. Don't forget to check out my new column next week called "The Best of Times" as I mentioned before. The title was a big hit with Larry Csonka, who became a groupie for the band Styx when the name was mentioned. I have to admit, I never even knew it was a Styx song until he pointed it out to me.