This show is a bit different since it doesn’t really follow any promotions and it’s one of those self produced shows by a veteran of the business and this one is the first produced show of AJPW legend, Toshiaki Kawada.
Toshiaki Kawada is known for his work in All Japan Pro Wrestling where he was one of the members of the Four Pillars of Heaven and had legendary battles against guys like Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa. Kawada would stay with the promotion after Misawa left AJPW to form Pro Wrestling NOAH and would stick with the company until 2005 before becoming a Freelancer throughout the rest of his career.
He wrestled his last match in 2010 and while people have considered him retired, he stated that while he is not officially retired, the death of Misawa has tarnished his passion for the sport and made him not wanna continue wrestling. Will he have his final match and proper farewell? I don’t know, but at least we got his first produced show here and looking forward to it, so let’s not waste anymore time and…dive right in.
Ikuto Hidaka vs. Junta Miyawaki
Review: This is the only singles match on the card with Ikuto Hidaka from Zero1 taking on NOAH”s Junta Miyawaki. It looks like they don’t come out to entrance music at all and not those streaming issues where they have no music rights, but just no music at all even when you hear the commentary talking, don’t know if the rest of the show will be like that, but kinda weird. I don’t follow Zero1, so I don’t know too much about Ikuto except that he’s a vet with over twenty years of experience in the ring while Junta is considered a young lion with less than a year of experience from him, so a nice little vet vs rookie type match to start us off.
Hidaka would play it smart and work on Junta’s legs throughout the match since it looks like he mostly does strikes and submissions, so good to focus on a specific body part in the match. Junta while a bit green wasn’t too bad either since he does have good ability in the ring and even hit a nice Three Amigos with his last Suplex being a Fisherman with a very nice bridge. The match isn’t terrible at all, but not great either since I see it as more of a learning experience for Junta which is fine with me. Solid match with Ikuto hitting his leg lock he calls Shawn Capture and forces Junta to tap out.
Recommended: Solid match, but up to you if you wanna watch.
Tag Team Match
Buffalo & Kuishinbo Kamen vs. Gabai Ji-chan & Masao Inoue
Review: Yeah, it looks like there won’t be no music at all and you just watch them come out to the ring, except for Buffalo and Kuishinbo for some reason as they both came out with music, this is odd. So Gabai Ji-chan is someone who dresses up and acts like an old man when he moves around while also wearing a mask looking like an old man and even has the cane with him in the ring.
Kamen would push Gabai down and get some heat from the crowd, respect your elders. There’s one funny spot that Kamen would take Gabai down with a Snapmare and hits an Elbow Drop and every time he does, Gabai would put his arm on top of him to pin him despite taking the move, it happens about three times and it gave me good laugh. Another spot is Masao would tell Gabai to help him out with a Double Suplex on Buffalo and Gabai would go over to the other side where Buffalo is and then Masao kept guiding him where to go despite him not listening until he eventually does and as they attempt it, Gabai would fall down ‘throwing his back’.
I know I’m writing mostly about Gabai, but he’s in the majority of the match and he’s actually really entertaining despite the match being so slow. He even went to go for an Old School while walking on the ropes with his cane, til Kamen pushed the cane away to knock him down. Both Kamen and Buffalo throw Gabai towards the ropes and proceeds to do his slow walk for a moment til he starts running out of nowhere, Dropkicking both of them to the outside and hitting a Plancha, where did this come from and why is this amazing!? His burst of energy would run out a moment after when he threw his back out while attempting a powerbomb and tags his partner, Masao in. The match picks up a little with Masao going full speed at Kamen until he went to roll Masao up twice and it failed, which eventually made him attempt to roll up the referee with Masao doing the pin for him and the ref kicks out, hitting Kamen in the head. Kamen would attempt to throw the ref at Masao and it eventually backfires with the ref hitting a Superkick on Kamen, leading to Masao to roll him up for the win.
Recommended: Very slow match, but entertaining with great comedy. Worth a view.
– We get out segment next with Naomichi Marufuji taking on Toshiaki Kawada in the ring and it’s not exactly what you think since I first thought it was going to be a match too, but this is instead a talk battle between the two men where they pretty much discuss various topics to each other for the duration of the thing which is a half hour. The bad side of this is that there’s no subtitles in here, so I have no idea what they talk about, but I do have some key points that was discussed thanks to Puroresuspirit.net
~ One with Kawada and his victory in the Champion Carnival, and Marufuji now heading to the finals of the very same tournament this year.
~ Then Marufuji’s days in the dojo, as he celebrates his 20th anniversary as a pro-wrestler this year and his time in the All Japan dojo in the late 1990’s.
~ Marufuji offered Kawada to compete at his 20th Anniversary show on September 1, as Kawada has not officially retired yet, but Kawada did not directly accept or deny the offer.
~ Kawada announced that the second show will be held on July 8 at the Shinkiba 1stRING.
~ Kawada, Marufuji, Tamon Honda, and Kyohei Wada (in the ring) took part in an honoring ceremony for Motoko Baba before the start of the show. While the rest of the wrestlers competing today stood around ringside.
Tag Team Match
Jun Kasai & Tomoya Hirata vs. Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto
Review: Well back to no music again as both teams didn’t come out to anything. We got one team with Jun and Tomoya from the promotions FREEDOMS as they take on BASARA’s Isami Kodaka and 666’s Yuko Miyamoto who are also known as Yankee Two Kenju.
Soon as the bell rings, the two would brawl to the outside of the ring with one of them fighting into the crowd until Kodaka would jump off the top of the bleachers landing on Jun Kasai. I don’t know exactly what happened, but next time I see Jun and Kodaka, their foreheads are busted open so I don’t know when or how it happened and must’ve been when the camera didn’t catch them. Aside from that, I felt like the match was very average with quality in the ring and I’m sure it would’ve been a bit better if it was a Death Match since that is what FREEDOMS is known for, but what’re you gonna do? The match ends with Yuko hitting the Fire Thunder on Tomoya to give him and Isami the win.
Recommended: This one is honestly kinda skippable.
Tag Team Match
Hideki Suzuki & Takatoshi Matsumoto vs. Minoru Tanaka & Mitsuya Nagai
Review: We have one half of the GHC Junior Tag Champions, Minoru Tanaka teaming up with DRADITION’s Mitsuya Nagai to take on Takatoshi Matsumoto and BJW Strong World Heavyweight Champion, Hideki Suzuki.
Tanaka and Matsumoto would start us off with Matsumoto pretty much rolling around the ring to try and corner Minoru for a submission grapple, but it just wouldn’t work and even got himself stuck one time while rolling, so not sure if that was on purpose or not since the crowd was laughing a little. Gonna be honest that I wasn’t too impressed with Hideki in this match since it felt like he really didn’t do anything in the match and when he did, it was with Nagai and the two just didn’t really click well together in the ring which is a shame really. Minoru Tanaka was the highlight of this match since he just out performed everyone else in that ring and if you haven’t seen this guy work, definitely recommended to see since he’s one of NOAH’s better juniors. The match also had nothing really special to talk about as it was slow and sometimes a bit sloppy, but still not horrible either. Magai would make Matsumoto tap out with Stretch Plum submission as he would wrench the hold about a good three times before making him finally tap out for the win.
Recommended: Skippable for me, but still not bad either. So up to you if you wanna watch it.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Go Shiozaki, Kaito Kiyomiya & Kazusada Higuchi vs. Shiro Koshinaka, Tamon Honda & Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Review: Here we are as we now have our main event with NOAH’s GHC Tag Team Champion Go Shiozaki teaming up with his tag partner, Kaito Kiyomiya, and DDT’s Kazusada Higuchi as they take on three legends in their craft, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Shiro Koshinaka, and Shiozaki’s mentor, Tamon Honda.
Say what you will about Fujiwara and Shiro being in their 50’s-60’s, they still move pretty well for themselves despite Fujiwara looking a bit frail at points. Kaito just impresses me more and more when I see him and I feel like he could be a big player in NOAH next to Nakajima once he finds more of his groove in the ring after returning from injury.
Shiro did plenty of strikes in the match and can show a bit of his quickness in the match and Fujiwara still applying his submissions to people pretty well for himself. I did enjoy the exchanges between Go and Honda in the match since it did have that mentor and student type of feeling when they shared the ring together and seeing how much Go Shiozaki has learned over the years and eventually, Go would just start getting momentum over his mentor and hits his Gowan Lariat to pin him in the middle of the ring, the younger generation goes over the vets to show that the future is looking bright for Japanese wrestling with these three and many others.
After the match, Shiozaki and Honda would show respect to one another in the ring to end the show. Kawada and the people that have participated would enter the ring as Kawada thanks everyone for coming out and will see them again for the next show on July 8th as they all take a picture together as the fans go home happy.
Recommended: It was a pretty solid match for what it was, worth a view.
Overall: Was this a great show? No, but it wasn’t terrible either and I like to think it was at least a success since the building was crowded and the fan had a good time, we’re also getting a second show in July so I think it tells you how it went. Despite none of the matches being great or memorable, it was all about them having a good time at least and can’t really knock them for that. Can’t wait to see what he books next time.
Favorite Match: Buffalo & Kuishinbo Kamen vs. Gabai Ji-chan & Masao Inoue
Least Favorite Match: Jun Kasai & Tomoya Hirata vs. Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto