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New Japan 5/14 Results

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Courtesy of PuroPower:


New Japan ran their May 14th Tokyo Dome show, claiming 35,000 paid for the event. Results:


1. Toru Yano & Shin'ya Makabe defeated Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie in 5 minutes, 36 seconds when Yano used a brainbuster (called the Night cap) on Nishimura for the win.


2. Minoru Suzuki defeated Alexander Otsuka in 4 minutes, 46 seconds with a Gotch-style Pile Driver.


3. IWGP Jr. Tag Titles Match: Minoru (Tanaka) & Hirooki Goto defeated Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue in 14 minutes, 42 seconds when Goto used the Yoshitaniku finisher (rotating pinning manuever) on Kanemoto for the win.


4. IWGP Jr. Title Match: Tiger Mask IV defeated Black Tiger IV in 9 minutes, 28 seconds with a Tiger Suplex Hold. After the match, BT IV started doing an English promo on the microphone and then a mask-ripping angle was done.


5. Yuji Nagata defeated Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in 8 minutes, 35 seconds with a back-drop suplex hold. Before the match, Katsuyori Shibata along with Kazunari Murakami & Fumihiko Uei (of Big Mouth) came down to ringside to watch the match. Takashi Iizuka saw this and got angry. After the match, Yoshihisa Yamamoto made an appearance and got into a confrontation with Nagata, which led to Masayuki Naruse coming out for an appearance.


6. Keiji Mutoh defeated Ron Waterman in 11 minutes, 16 seconds with a moonsault press. They played it as a straight-up pro-wrestling match. Mutoh was solidly over with the crowd.


7. IWGP Tag titles Match: Shinsuke Nakamura & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kendo Ka Shin & Manabu Nakanishi (Team Japan/Wild Soldiers) in 17 minutes, 59 seconds when Nakamura used a cross-arm scissors hold on Ka Shin for the win. Kazuyuki Fujita showed up as Nakanishi's ring second.


8. Mitsuharu Misawa & Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Masa Chono & Jushin Liger in 14 minutes, 49 seconds when Fujinami used a Ground Cobra Twist on Liger for the win. Fujinami worked the match with a lot of babyface energy.


9. IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Satoshi Kojima in 19 minutes, 34 seconds with the TTD (Tenzan Tombstone Driver) for the win.


Kojima's United title run makes Jericho's botched Unified title run look like one of Bruno Sammartino's title reigns. No one should be surprised with how the Dome was half-filled for this show. Kojima's run with New Japan's belt was a joke. In his one title defense, Kojima was unable to beat Nakamura within 60 minutes and the match was a draw. New Japan and All Japan should have let Kojima run wild over NJ and AJ talent like Muto got to do when he was the AJ champ in '01. Getting wins non-screw job wins over Nakamura, Tanahashi, Chono, Nagata, Sasaki, Muto, Kea, Omori, and even Hase could have done wonders for Kojima and Tenzan drawing well here.

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You know, for someone who accomplished something that was rather unprecedented (holding IWGP & Sankan simultaneously), it sure was treated rather low on the NJ totem pole. Not only does it make Kojima look weak (for being unable to beat Nakamura, and for losing the IWGP to Tenzan, notable title scene choker), but it makes AJPW look like shit too because it made their title holder look bad.


I figured the double title angle, while unique and historic, had no happy ending because in the end, one of the companies was going to look bad.


This show looks uninteresting to the max. The only match I have interest in watching is the Super Dream tag, because that was most likely fun as hell. The rest is bleh.


One of the good points of the show is the return of Shibata & Murakami. Hopefully that kickstarts some life into the boring NJ landscape.

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I look forward to the IWGP title being devalued even further when Tenzan drops the belt in his first title defense to Nakamura. Or Tanahashi. Or someone. But I'm pretty sure they'll job him out the first time around, unless they want him to do a couple time limit draws, because no one in New Japan seems to really care about giving Tenzan a credible title run.

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Give Tenzan a token defense against someone like Makabe on a tour before July, feed him Fujita in July (which is planned), let him do well in the Climax (but don't let him win), feed him Nakamura after the G-1 (set it up with Nakamura getting a flash win over him, build up the match by saying that Nakamura has almost always had Tenzan's number), token fall title defense, then get to December and finally do the winner of G-1 (hopefully Tanahashi) v. Tenzan so the G-1 winner goes over for the "surprise" December title switch.


I just hope they don't shoot it to Fujita.

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Tenzan getting a nice long title reign, plus beating Chono, Hashimoto and Muto, would be a good way to help build up new champ cred, which he's severly lacking right now. Then Tenzan can move onto beating Nagata, Fujita, Nakanishi, etc. until he drops the belt to someone like Tanahashi or Nakamura.


Both NJ and AJ need to give their respective champs, Tenzan and Kojima, long and healthy title reigns. It did wonders for Kenta Kobashi in NOAH. People actually paid to see the champ wrestle in that company, which has been a foreign idea within NJ and AJ for a while.

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As a corollary, Inoki wants the IWGP to be the "only" title in Japan, looking to get a championship committee together to be at ringside to watch future title matches. Sounds somewhat like a boxing mentality in this decision, which is giving a unification type look, yet when it comes to actual representation, it's New Japan all the way. Here's the problem. The booking for the title over the last 3 years has been so atrocious that trying to do that is just gonna get you laughed at. I like looking at the booking from Tenzan's first title win on, mainly because he's got to be the fastest to get four IWGP reigns ever, doing it in just over 18 months time.


33. (11/3/03 @ Yokohama Arena) Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Yoshihiro Takayama (27:26) with a moonsault press.


-Tenzan finally gets his reign after winning the G-1 and the G-1 tag tourney..


34. (12/9/03 @ Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium) Shinsuke Nakamura beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan (12:03) with a cross armbreaker.


-...and then jobs to Nakamura in the "Surprise" drop that totally killed any and all momentum Tenzan built over the previos year. This was were the screwiness really started.


-- Nakamura vacates on 2/5/04 due to various injuries.


-Injuries were sustained at the New Year's Eve K-1 show (with the controversial conclusion to the match), and then Tak busted him up really good at the Dome 5 days later. Many things can be attributed to the stupidity of these 2 months, mainly Inoki's claim to make wrestling better than MMA by putting a shoot-style wrestler on top, even though he was too young to really be given a shot, and even though MMA had killed him competition wise. Not one of the smartest things Inoki did.


35. (2/15/04 @ Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan) Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2) beat Genichiro Tenryu (13:01) with a diving headbutt (tournament final).


-This was actually pretty smart, as they booked Tenzan to gut out a hellacious beating that he took and get back at old adversaries, and then get put over a former IWGP champ and a puroresu legend in the process. This should have really put Tenzan on the right track again...


36. (3/14/04 @ Yoyogi National Stadium Gymnasium #2) Kensuke Sasaki (4) beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan (15:45) with the Volcano Eruption.


-But for the second straight reign, Tenzan chokes. Sure he had a token defense over MiSuzuki, but in this setting, he should have really gone over Sasaki. And THEN this leads to...


37. (3/28/04 @ Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan) Bob Sapp beat Kensuke Sasaki (8:24) with a Beast bomb.

-- Sapp vacates on 6/2/04 after refusing to face his next challenger.


-This is an atrocity right here. Sapp was definitely at his peak, popularity wise. After his cross-over into wrestling against Mutoh and his victory over Tak at the Bom-Ba-Ye in 2002, New Japan used his cross-over appeal smartly by booking him on big shows, but by having him side with Inoki and making him a heel, instead of what might have been the Greatest Spectacle in Sport (a la Vader in the 90s), Sapp just didn't care too much. He made his defense against Nak at the Dome, and then got tired of wrestling and vacates it, leading to...


38. (6/5/04 @ Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium) Kazuyuki Fujita (2) beat Hiroshi Tanahashi (11:45) by KO (decision match).


-Fujita's dumb ass reign. One defense against Shibata, and then he doesn't defend the belt for three months, and THEN when he gets picky about dropping the belt, they pull a decision right out of the Kevin Nash "Booking for Dummies" book.


39. (10/9/04 @ Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan) Kensuke Sasaki (5) beat Kazuyuki Fujita (2:29) by pinfall.


-Fujita drops the belt in the most humiliating way possible, by laying down on a sleeper and getting pinned. This is yet another in the stupid line of decision making that has fallen upon New Japan this year. And because of Tenzan winning the G-1 again...


40. (12/12/04 @ Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium) Hiroyoshi Tenzan (3) beat Kensuke Sasaki (31:38) with a moonsault press.


-They put the belt back on him by letting him get his win back over Sasaki. And THEN with the 4-crown proposed after the Dome show, New Japan, in all their glory...


41. (2/20/05 @ Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan) Satoshi Kojima beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan (59:49) by KO.


-Put the belt on an outsider, again, and do it via a stupid decision, with Tenzan "getting dehydrated" 15 seconds from the end of the match.


42. (5/14/05 @ Tokyo Dome) Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4) beat Satoshi Kojima (19:34) with the TTD.


Two times the title was vacted in 2004. Tenzan won the belt 3 times in a 13 month span, and then lost and won it back in a 3 month span with the man who beat him drawing with a wrestler who's no higher than 5th or so in the promotion 6 weeks beforehand. Read Sass' first post for how I feel on the 4-crown "reign." Title switched hands twice in a 6 week period. The booking for the "biggest title in puroresu" has been so scatterbrained and idiotic that I'm surprised the Dome was half-full, because the end of the main even was NEVER in doubt. New Japan really has a long way to go on that road to credibility.

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