NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2017
Undercard matches included:
Chaos defeats Bullet Club, Tiger Mask W/4/Makabe defeat Liger/Nagata/Nakanishi, Chaos defeats Suzuki-Gun
Cody vs David Finlay
Man, I have some real issues starting this show with Cody, but out of hespect to the fruit of friend Fit's loins, I'll go for it. Finlay Jr. still has an all time worst look, and he's actually making it worse by adding make up. Not even facepaint, but eye shadow and mascara. His dad needs to bequeath the spiked vest. Fuck Cody Rhodes. Bird legged fuck. Do some squats. Finlay vs Dusty would have been something. What's funny here is that Cody seems way more basic than Finlay, who is just out of the young lion phase. I feel bad for Finlay having to kill himself to make Cody seem like a threat as opposed to a dude who should be in one of those opening 10 man tags opposite Yano or Yoshi-Hashi. Very bland match that Cody won with the Cross Rhodes. If Cody is such a heel that hates the fans, why does he keep trying to soak in the adulation?
Juice Robinson/KUSHIDA vs Tetsuya Naito/Hiromu Takahashi
I'd love an ongoing story where Juice can pin Naito in tag matches but never in singles matches. And Naito is like wtf why does this keep happening and is unable to stay tranquilo around Juice. I'd also love to see Kushida replaced with Dragon Lee or Ricochet. This very quickly heads out into the crowd, which certainly was not what I was expecting. I don't know what the hell happened to Juice, but he doesn't come back to the ring when the other 3 do, so Kushida is stuck in a handicap match for the time being. Oh wait, there's Juice. Weird. He gives Naito that WORK until Naito goes back to the still injured knee from their singles match. Kushida out here having no issues kicking dudes right in the fucking head. Kushida does a pretty good job of avoiding Takahashi's offense that he's been repeatedly hit with since the start of the year, but he still goes down to the Time Bomb. You ain't shit, Kushida.
War Machine vs Guerillas of Destiny vs TenCozy IWGP Tag Team Championships
I have no idea why GOD don't just go by Sons of Haku, because that sounds way more bad ass than "Guerillas of Destiny". Seed of Haku. War Machine have some really dumb double teams. They're like HOSS versions of the Young Bucks, which kind of sounds awesome if they were doing HOSS spots, but they do junior type moves. Whatever. This is a pretty standard triple threat of dudes just running through their spots. War Machine wins with one of Harlem Heat's finishers on Tenzan. Titles retained. Seeds of Haku attacked the champs after the match with the title belts. The bigger War Machine is out here taking the Jannetty Bump from a belt shot. Protect your gimmick, dude.
Los Ingobernables de Japon vs Taguchi Japan NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Team Championships
Fucking Taguchi. Why is he a thing? Tanahashi has a nice loose French braid. Very stylish. Tanahashi starts out and Taguchi comes in doing stupid comedy shit. So sick of his shit. Get Ricochet and Tanahashi away from him as quickly as possible. Even worse, Taguchi is the focus of most of the match, as usual, for whatever fucking reason Gedo has against quality programming. All of these matches are almost exactly the same. Bushi pinned Taguchi with the flying Codebreaker. New champions.
Kenny Omega vs Tomohiro Ishii
Big match Kenny pants. Ishii looks extra pissed coming out for some reason. He starts out by immediately blasting Kenny with lariats and German suplexes. Trying to end this shit early. Kenny tries to roll to the floor to avoid this ass beating, but it just gets worse out there. An apron powerbomb is essentially Kenny's first move and what gives him a breather. And it doesn't last too long, as after a short burst of offense, Kenny gets laid out with another lariat to the face. I have no idea how Ishii's DDT sells work. Somehow it ends up breaking his neck, shoulder, and back. After the DDT, Ishii's neck/shoulders become Kenny's main focus. Kenny makes a big mistake of spitting on Ishii. Kenny does a dive that goes over the first guard rail and ends up hitting the second one. Ishii really out here throwing headbutts after the Shibata thing. The fuck. They just throw HEAVY bombs going forward, trying to kill each other with everything, but neither staying down. Kenny finally hit the One Winged Angel to end the war.
Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Omega IWGP Championship
Fale's once a year title shot that no one asked for. I guess Okada did need a cool down match after his year so far. As soon as I say that, he's getting body slammed on the floor. The hang time on this back body drop, what the fuck. Insane. So, Okada's back is the focus of the match, and it's fine. Nothing blow away. At least back work means Okada won't go from a half hour of leg locks to jumping over Suzuki's head. But it does mean that Okada is going to hit a body slam just because. Okada rarely even body slams people smaller than him, so of course he'd body slam the bigger dude after getting his back worked for 10 minutes. I guess I have to stop expecting logic in wrestling. Like, what the fuck am I watching and how spoiled am I that I'm expecting this stuff to make sense? None of that back work leads to anything, as Okada hits all of his spots, including needlessly showy power spots like that goofy over the shoulder neckbreaker and a tombstone to Fale, which completely kills any aura of Fale being a truly big and imposing dude even if Okada hadn't had his back worked over for most of the match. Okada hits two Rainmakers, a German suplex, and another Rainmaker in succession to retain his title.
Pretty so-so. Omega/Ishii again stole the show by a large margin. Okada's insistence on getting his spots in regardless of the story being told in the match, even if it makes his opponents look bad is really beginning to hinder my ability to enjoy his matches. Doing your standard spots that become power spots against a guy billed at 344 pounds who worked over your back the whole match doesn't make you look strong, it makes the big man look weak. Being in leg locks for a half hour from a guy noted for his MMA and shoot style skills and leg locks in particular, then doing dropkicks and missile dropkicks and flying elbow drops does not make you look strong, it makes the shooter look weak. If you're going to shrug off all the work and the meat of the story to get your shit in anyway, why even bother? Just do your spots and go to the finish. Going through the motions to pretend there is a story just to kill time until you hit your spots is more insulting than being an open spot monkey type.
I don't know why everyone is so stuck to the rigid formula of having to hit your signatures and finishers every match. Challenge yourself and your audience. If the match has you unable to walk 15 minutes in, you shouldn't be doing dropkicks at 35 minutes in. If you're too injured to hit your finisher at 20 minutes, don't hit it at 25 and sell after the move. Just do something else. There are at least 1004 documented professional moves. Why guys feel like they HAVE to stick to their set of 5-10 at the expense of the stories they're trying to tell is beyond me. It's uncreative, it's stale, it's boring. If you're in the gym and blow your knee or back out doing squats, you aren't going to slap that hurt part a few times and go back to do another couple of sets. A fighter with a leg injury isn't going to keep throwing head kicks and going for triangles. I don't need hyper realistic shoot style type of wrestling, I just want some basic logic and freedom to change things up by not having to hit your famous moves every match or win with your finisher if you've been in a match that is focused on making it hard or impossible to hit.