By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
45th Anniversary Pt. II
– The Eight-Man Tag between Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Satoshi Kojima/Jyushin Thunder Liger/Tomoyuki Oka and Manabu Nakanishi/Ryusuke Taguchi/David Finlay/Hirai Kawato was another mix of up-and-comers with the Young Lions, seemingly an opening tradition. We expected fast, stiff action in only the way trusty New Japan can deliver it. Kawato was apparently roughed up earlier in the day at the press conference by Minoru Suzuki. He threw a dropkick at Liger before the ring introductions could even happen. Damn, the kid’s not even 20 years old yet. The Young Lions unleashed chops at each other, because they always do? Interesting note that Kawato also had to put the ring together earlier, even after he was beaten up. Taguchi “hotly” tagged in with about nine hip attacks to spare. Nakanishi/Oka had another showdown, which followed up their match the previous night. Nakanishi made Oka tap out to the Torture Rack to get the win. We also liked how Commentator Kevin Kelly covered other aspects of Young Lion life, like receiving a limited offensive moveset and black trunks/boots. Post-match, Kawato continued to intimidate Liger. Guess that’s a new heel and feud on the rise. Yay.
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– It’s 2017 and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s all the rage these days, so we figured why not put them in the same review family? Granted, we can only cover the English commentary shows, but by the looks of 2017, there’s quite a few shows already. Where we last left off, we saw the sudden onset of the Suzuki-gun faction, with a fierce return not seen since the days of Nexus. A moment of silence please for that ill-fated group. For an exclamation point, they laid out IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, as the group’s leader, Minoru Suzuki, laid claim that every Title would soon be theirs. How nice. Now, no matter what they say in it, it’ll still be incredibly difficult to understand the video packages per se, but damn, their production skills are sleek AF and a little extra on the side. So flashy and easy to follow. Everything looks damn near epic. Plus, that voiceover guy? Forget about it. We’re hooked. Also liked the onscreen broadcast presentation graphics of all the matches for this show laid out, as it felt quite sports-like. To the first contest – Kushida/Hirai Kawato against El Desperado/Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Obviously, Kushida will stand out off the bat here, but this was a story all about Suzuki-gun’s return momentum and the Chaos representatives with a goal to shut that down immediately. Also oddly enough, Don Callis fits right in with Kevin Kelly on commentary, though he’s got a big chair in Steve Corino’s absence to fill. A lot of attention was paid to Kushida getting in Kanemaru’s face, conveying that it was purely about Championship gold. The heels began aggressively, with Kawato selling like a Champion, undergoing such punishment. They pulled out this cool spot where Kushida German suplexed one opponent while he held the other in a bridge. They certainly established Kawato’s fighting spirit well here. ED’s single-leg half crab was thwarted when he got to the ropes. Close near-falls towards the end on both sides. All you could ask for here. In the end, ED pinned Kawato with a move similar to a spinning blue thunder bomb. Good for an opener and to continue Suzuki-gun’s momentum. Post-match, they attacked the winners outside. Well, damn.