New Japan WrestleKings V show
Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Dome
Report by reader Nick
I don’t know the exact attendance figure, but the whole first tier was filled along with the ground level seating. My friend and I speculated there were about 10,000-12,000 people there. We paid 3,000 yen (approximately 35 US dollars) for a seat in the first tier, with a nice view of the action.
As is expected in Japan, the Japanese wrestlers received the biggest pops and heat. Notable mention must go to Kenny Omega and Prince Devitt though – they seem to have created a pretty nice following in Japan.
From TNA, Jeremy Borash was doing the ring introductions, and Beer Money, RVD and Jeff Hardy were in action. Quite a few people seemed to be familiar with Beer Money as they have been to Japan
before, but unfortunately Jeff Hardy and RVD received little to no reaction. It was quite funny with RVD, as the Japanese wrestler he faced received a way bigger pop when he mockingly did the RVD gesture with his name than RVD did himself.
Props go to Jeff Hardy for making the trip to Japan with all the personal issues he has going on right now, but he was far from top form today, and put on arguably the worst match of the night. He faced Tetsuya Naitoh (part of No Limit who were in TNA briefly), but the match never got going, had a couple of botched spots, and there was a “was that it?” feeling in the crowd after it ended.
The match may have finished early for some reason as Naitoh didn’t even take his t-shirt off (he usually takes it off during one his signature moves), and Jeff did look noticeably exhausted a couple of minutes into the match. Like I say though, props to Jeff for coming to Japan and putting on the show with everything he has going on at the moment.
All TNA wrestlers used their TNA music and entrance videos.
There was also an announcement during the show that New Japan will be putting on 3 shows under the “Strong Style” slogan in the U.S. in May this year. I think it was May 13 in New Jersey, May 14 in New York, and May 15 in Philadelphia. You may want to confirm those dates, but it was definitely in those cities.
1. Wataru Inoue, Tiger Mask, Tama Tonga and Tomoaki Honma defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Tomohiro Ishi, Gedo and Jado in an 8-man tag match. Short 8-man tag match, was disappointing to see Tiger Mask relegated to dark match status.
2. Giant Bernard (A-Train/Prince Albert) and Machine Gun Anderson defeated Beer Money and the team of Nakanishi Manabu and Strongman in a three way tag match. I liked Machine Gun Anderson – he and Bernard got a nice reaction. Beer Money did the Beer Money suplex, DWI, and James Storm did the beer spitting spot which backfired. Fun match which ended with Bernard telling TNA that “NJPW is No. 1!”
3. La Sombra and Mascara Dorada (from CMLL) defeated Jushin Thunder Liger and Hector Garza. Lucha libre style tag match with lots of high risk athletic spots. La Sombra performed an inwards somersault dive to the outside and Mascara Dorada did a tightrope walk moonsault to the outside. Really impressive stuff from all 4 guys.
4. Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Takashi Iizuka in a “Deep Sleep” (first person unconscious) match. Finally a singles match! Very physical grudge match – Iizuka is an awesome heel. Tenzan finished with an move similar to the Anaconda Vice to put Iizuka away. The crowd loved Tenzan – he was out for a long time with an injured neck and seems to be somewhat of a crowd favourite.
5. Rob Van Dam defeated Toru Yano in a hardcore match. Poor RVD. He put on a good effort here, but received little to no love from the crowd. Japanese crowds are tough to win over. Standard hardcore rules match with chairs, trash cans, ladders, etc involved. RVD did the Van Daminator a couple of times (to no reaction) and hit the Five Star Frog Splash to Yano holding a chair (to no reaction) for the win.
6. Yuji Nagata defeated Minoru Suzuki. Grudge match – apparently there is legit heat between these two guys going back over 20 years. Nagata hit some mega stiff kicks, very much a Japanese strong style match.
7. Prince Devitt defeated Kouta Ibushi to retain the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title. Easily the best match of the night. Both these guys are so impressive in the ring, and shook hands at the end after a very high paced match. I urge you all to check this out on YouTube if it gets uploaded.
8. Sugiura and Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada. Takayama was as stiff as ever, everyone was “oooh”-ing every time he hit a knee. They did a Go To Sleep style move where Sugiura threw Goto off his shoulders and onto Takayama’s oncoming knee. Looked nasty. Takayama got the win for his team with a bridging german suplex.
9. Jeff Hardy defeated Tetsuya Naitoh to retain the TNA Title. As I mentioned, a disappointing match. Never got going. Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind, Twist of Hate, and finished with the Swanton Bomb. Naitoh did all the heavy lifting before that, and did his best to create some movement, but Jeff didn’t have a great day at the office.
10. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Go Shiozaki. Great match, Nakamura has some nasty looking chops. He was even chopping Shiozaki’s knee at one point.
11. Tougi Makabe defeated Masato Tanaka.
12. Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Satoshi Kojima to become the 56th IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Tanahashi, who was in TNA for a while, had the crowd behind him in an entertaining title match, and sent everyone home happy with a title win.