Pro Wrestling NOAH and their YouTube channel provide gifts again! This time, in the form of the RATEL’S produced show!
So for those unfamiliar, it’s not unusual for stables or wrestlers to have their own one off shows. TAKATaichimania some may have heard of, Riki Choshu’s Power Hall and Kenta Kobashi’s Fortune Dream, just to name a couple.
This is slightly different where it’s more like Marufuji’s Flight last year, since NOAH still has some involvement and it’s not purely an independent venture.
Either way, this is RATEL’S show, with mostly matches against the rival faction Stinger. So let’s see if RATEL’S stands tall at the end of their own show, or if Stinger plays spoiler.
- Masao Inoue vs Shuhei Taniguhi vs Mohammed Yone: Taniguchi wins via Maybach Press @8:20 – **
- YO-HEY vs Yoshinari Ogawa: Ogawa wins via Figure Four ref stoppage @11:55 – *** 3/4
- Kotaro Suzuki vs Daisuke Harada: Harada wins via German Suplex Hold @8:15 – ***
- Chris Ridgeway vs Tadasuke: Ridgeway wins via Straightjacket Suplex Hold @12:30 – *** 1/4
- Atsushi Kotoge vs HAYATA: Time Limit Draw @20:00 – *** 1/2
- Hi69 & Junta Miyawaki vs Hajime Ohara & Kinya Okada: Ohara wins via Muy Bien @8:25 – ** 1/2
- 8 Man Tag Elimination Match: Stinger (Atsushi Kotoge, Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Chris Ridgeway) vs RATEL’S (HAYATA, YO-HEY, Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke): Kotoge wins via Killswitch @28:40 – ****
Masao Inoue vs Shuhei Taniguhi vs Mohammed Yone – Since Inoue was involved, we knows there’s a comedy aspect…but this is probably his best comedy match I’ve seen. Taniguchi and Yone ignored him until he tried to steal a pin, and then it was more just “beat up Masao”. Inoue got a small moment where he held the ring and tried to get them to help him, but alas, he wasn’t getting any help. The match became a handicap match to the point where they weren’t even breaking the pinfalls. Inoue yelled at the other person a few times that it’s a Triple Threat, but it ended with Yone Scoop Slamming Inoue for the Maybach Press and just posing with Taniguchi during the pinfall. Good comedy.
YO-HEY vs Yoshinari Ogawa – This was a tremendous but simple match. YO-HEY used his speed early against the veteran, but had a big miss on the outside and landed on his left knee. From that point forward, the technical genius that is Ogawa, focused on the knee. Knee Bars, Heel Cranks, Indian Deathlocks, Figure Four Leglocks, Driving the Knee into the mat to jam it…just great. Ogawa wrapped YO-HEY’s leg around the ring post a few times, went for a chair, HAYATA stopped that, but distracted the referee, so Ogawa hit the bad knee with the ring bell. YO-HEY tried to fight back, but his knee was worthless, but he kept fighting. HAYATA showing up played a big part since the finish is HAYATA throws in the purple RATEL’S shirt as the symbolic towel, forfeiting for his stubborn friend. I wonder if this leads to more of a fracture between them. Great old school simple match, just awesome to watch.
Kotaro Suzuki vs Daisuke Harada – Harada and Suzuki have a lot of recent history, since when Suzuki came back last year, he tried to make an example of what he thought was a weak Junior Division. So there’s that, plus the very recent tag division heat, this should be great.
It starts off simple with Harada selling the sternum shots like he got hit with a bowling ball, but the deliberate pacing is great to show that both know what one another are capable of. Once things pick up we get both men hitting signatures. Tiger Feint, Blue Destiny tease and Endless Waltz were the big spots from Suzuki. Harada tried his Cradle Capture, but couldn’t quite get that finished, Knee Upper and German Suplex Hold for a rather abrupt win. Good match, but it was shorter than I expected. I’m also bias because I like both of these guys a lot, so I’d always prefer 20 minutes over 8.
Chris Ridgeway vs Tadasuke – Tadasuke finally earned his first belt in NOAH with the Junior Tag Team title, and he’s been on a little bit of a high. Ridgeway however, is the next contender for HAYATA’s GHC Junior Heavyweight title, so it’s hard to imagine the number one contender losing. Aside from the lack of believability for Tadasuke to win the match, this was a really hard hitting and solid affair. Tadasuke had plenty of shining moments, even doing the Jumbo Tsuruta “OH” to hype the crowd. Ridgeway though has read from the same books as Zack Sabre Jr, since he had Tadasuke all twisted up at different points. Great submission attempts, but Ridgeway manages to slow down Tadasuke enough to hook in the Straightjacket Suplex Hold.
Atsushi Kotoge vs HAYATA – This was an odd match. Odd in the respect that Kotoge really seemed indifferent about his involvement in the match. The Marshawn Lynch line of “I’m just here so I don’t get fined”, really encompassed his attitude for the first half of this match.
Kotoge stalled on occasion, and didn’t really pick up his pace until after they brawled out through the crowd. After then we saw a lot of top rope attempts and signature moves. Some were too slow, like when HAYATA intercepted Kotoge and tossed him off the top rope, but other things like the dueling missed Moonsaults and flurry at the end were really fun. Once they heard the time limit was drawing near, HAYATA went for 2 Michinoku Drivers to no avail and Kotoge hit an Air Raid Crash, right as time expired. So it took a while to get going, but ended very fun.
-Intermission at this point, which feels a lot like a reset since we’re getting an undercard style match followed by the main event of the two factions we saw in singles competition; RATEL’S vs Stinger.
Hi69 & Junta Miyawaki vs Hajime Ohara & Kinya Okada – This was a nice post intermission match since it gave the main eventers a little more time to rest, highlighted the younger wrestlers of Okada and Miyawaki and gave the fans time to settle in for the big match. Much like Japanese fans have grown to understand with younger wrestlers, it was a solid match and more of a learning on the job kind of training. Miyawaki showed great fire, Okada however got a bit overshadowed by everyone else. But it’s always fun to watch Ohara lock in the Muy Bien.
8 Man Tag Elimination Match: Stinger (Atsushi Kotoge, Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Chris Ridgeway) vs RATEL’S (HAYATA, YO-HEY, Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke) – Everyone pairs off into their singles match opponents, but Ogawa makes sure to keep YO-HEY in the middle of the ring and working that left knee. Ogawa and Suzuki take turns torturing YO-HEY with a variety of knee focused offense, and then we get a big melee. When the dust settles, Ogawa tries to go back to YO-HEY but he hits a desperation Headlock Takeover into Head and Leg cradle for the first elimination. Suzuki comes in and hits a Tiger Driver to finish off YO-HEY. Tadasuke then has a decent back and forth with Suzuki before catching him in a back hand spring and transitioning into a Gedo Clutch for a surprise victory. Ridgeway’s turn to try and take someone out, which provokes HAYATA. HAYATA and Ridgeway get one another over the top rope and fight on the apron. HAYATA Superkicks Rideway off the apron for the elimination, but Ridgeway grabs HAYATA’s foot and pulls him off the apron with an ankle lock, so they eliminate each other technically. Kotoge is left to fight both members of GHC Junior Tag champs and the man who took the IPW Junior belt off him a little more than a week ago. Kotoge manages to dump Tadasuke onto the apron over the top rope and Dropkicks Harada into him, eliminating Tadasuke. Last 8 minutes are a grudge rematch. Harada goes to try and finish this the same way he won the IPW title with the Avalanche German Suplex Hold, Kotoge fights back, two Killswitches later, Kotoge wins! So Stinger ruins the RATEL’S party by edging them out in the main event.
Overall Score: 7/10
All in all, this was a damn entertaining show. Being a one off RATEL’S produced show, it’s a little self contained, but still played very well into current storylines. Ridgeway and HAYATA seem like equals, Kotoge came out looking great beating or drawing with all of the Junior champions and even the opening comedy match was pretty fun.
Nothing was really intended to blow you away, but I still had a lot of fun with this show and probably enjoyed Ogawa versus YO-HEY match more than most people. Deliberate technical yet simple wrestling has a beauty to it. Plus YO-HEY sold his ass off and never did too much to make you question the damage.
A good show to have on YouTube for free, also great since it highlights a bunch of guys with a bright future.