A Review by Kevin Wilson
The Date: July 13th, 2015
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Announced Attendance: 1,000
As a non-Japanese speaker, this will be an incredibly short review but I still wanted to cover it. To honor Shinya Hashimoto ten years after his death, his son Daichi Hashimoto (with help of course) put on this show with participation not only from New Japan but with appearances from Chono and Mutoh also. They did not wrestle however, but had a Talk Show of sorts. There was also a live band there as well, so it was almost more of a celebration than a normal wrestling event. There were three matches however, which were:
- Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask vs. Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Captain New Japan
- Daichi Hashimoto vs. Yuji Nagata
I will not cover the non-wrestling parts since I can't understand a word of it, but the (somewhat small) crowd definitely seemed to enjoy it and it is always nice to see Mutoh and Chono doing something together. Let's get to the matches.
Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask vs. Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka
Liger and Tanaka start off, Tanaka gets Liger in the ropes and chops him in the chest. Side headlock by Liger, Tanaka Irish whips out of it and starts chopping Liger in the chest again. Running elbow by Tanaka and he tags in Komatsu. Komatsu applies a single leg crab hold but Tiger Mask quickly breaks it up. Tiger Mask is tagged in, Komatsu elbows Tiger Mask and hits a shoulderblock. Vertical suplex by Komatsu and he dropkicks Tiger Mask for a two count. Tanaka comes in but Tiger Mask kicks him out of the ring before hitting a jumping back kick on Komatsu. Knee drop off the second turnbuckle by Tiger Mask and he kicks Komatsu in the back. Tiger Mask tags in Liger and Liger dumps Komatsu out of the ring. Baseball slide by Liger, he exits the ring and throws Komatsu into the railing. Liger rolls Komatsu back in and stomps on his back before applying the Romero Special. Liger throws Komatsu into the corner and tags in Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask stomps on Komatsu's back and he delivers a dropkick. Crab hold by Komatsu but Tanaka breaks it up, Liger is tagged in and he applies a camel clutch. Tanaka breaks that up too, Tiger Mask comes back into the ring and he kicks Komatsu to the mat. Komatsu fights back with elbows and dropkicks Tiger Mask, giving him time to tag in Tanaka. Tanaka elbows Tiger Mask, Irish whip by Tanaka and he hits a jumping elbow. Jumping elbow by Tanaka and he goes for a suplex but Tiger Mask elbows him off. Dropkick by Tanaka and he hits a powerslam for a two count. Back kick by Tiger Mask but Tanaka slams him and applies a single leg crab hold. Tiger Mask crawls to the ropes to force a break, Tanaka picks up Tiger Mask but Tiger Mask applies a double armbar. Komatsu breaks it up, Tiger Mask goes for a tiger driver but Tanaka blocks it. Tiger Mask finally hits the tiger driver and he tags in Liger while Tanaka tags in Komatsu. Irish whip by Komatsu and he hits a jumping elbow. Half hatch suplex hold by Komatsu, but Liger gets a shoulder up. Komatsu goes up top but Liger throws him off, single leg crab hold by Komatsu to Liger while Tanaka puts Tiger Mask in a regular crab hold. Liger gets to the ropes, Komatsu picks up Liger but Liger blocks the suplex and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Single leg crab hold by Liger but Tanaka breaks it up. Tiger Mask takes care of him, Liger picks up Komatsu but Komatsu rolls him up for two. Komatsu charges Liger but Liger hits a Shotei, Liger Bomb by Liger but it gets a two count. Liger drags Komatsu up and drills him with a brainbuster, and he picks up the three count! This would have been a decent opener on a regular show, although maybe a bit underwhelming on an event with only three matches. The young lions (hate still calling them that) were full of fire and the veterans held their own, it was just a bit basic. A fine opener but nothing special.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Captain New Japan
Tenzan and Nakanishi begin the match, what an odd match to have on a Hashimoto Memorial Show. Tenzan tries shoulderblocks and chops with no impact, Nakanishi chops him back and they trade blows. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan and he rakes Nakanishi in the eyes. Nakanishi chops Tenzan in the throat and Tenzan tags in Kojima while Captain New Japan also tags in. Captain New Japan pushes Kojima into the ropes but Kojima fires back with a shoulderblock. Mongolian Chops by Captain New Japan, Tenzan comes in to protest and he kicks Captain New Japan. Captain New Japan hits Tenzan with Mongolian Chops also until Kojima attacks him from behind.
Kojima and Tenzan take turns chopping Captain New Japan and they hit a slingshot elbow drop/headbutt combination. Double Irish whip to Captain New Japan, he goes for a double jumping shoulderblock but TenKoji move. Kojima elbows Captain New Japan and he tags in Tenzan. Tenzan beats up Captain New Japan some and tags Kojima back in, Kojima chops Captain New Japan in the corner and he hits the jumping elbow/diving elbow drop for a two count. Captain New Japan finally fights back and he hits a jumping shoulderblock. Captain New Japan tags in Nakanishi and Nakanishi elbows Kojima. Lariat by Nakanishi, he waits for Kojima to get up and he hits another lariat for a two count. Nakanishi puts Kojima in the Argentine Backbreaker, but Tenzan breaks it up with a headbutt. Nakanishi grabs Kojima but Kojima elbows him off and hits a Koji Cutter. Kojima goes off the ropes but Nakanishi hits a spear and tags in Captain New Japan. Nakanishi stays in to help but Kojima avoids Captain New Japan's diving headbutt. Chops by Kojima to Captain New Japan and he tags in Tenzan. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan and he hits a lariat in the corner. Vertical suplex by Tenzan but Nakanishi breaks up the pin. Hirai End by Captain New Japan, cover, but Tenzan gets a shoulder up. Kojima comes back in and attacks Captain New Japan from behind, but Captain New Japan fights them both off. Captain New Japan goes off the ropes but Tenzan hits a heel kick. Tenzan puts Captain New Japan in the Anaconda Vice, and Captain New Japan has to submit! I came into this one with low expectations and it just about met them. Nothing was bad, no miscommunications anything like that, it was just very predictable. This is just a fairly common New Japan mid-card pairing and probably a match they've done many times. Not unwatchable but definitely skippable.
Daichi Hashimoto vs. Yuji Nagata
Now it is time for the reason I am watching this show to begin with. Nagata and Hashimoto grapple to start, Nagata takes Hashimoto to the mat and applies a side headlock but Hashimoto gets out of it. Nagata throws Hashimoto back down and goes for Hashimoto's arm but Hashimoto slides away and applies a front headlock. Nagata returns to his feet but Hashimoto slaps him and they trade strikes. Hashimoto applies a chinlock and he kicks Nagata in the back. Nagata elbows Hashimoto and they exchange elbows, Nagata knocks Hashimoto into the corner and he snapmares Hashimoto before kicking him in the back. Nagata knees Hashimoto down near the ropes and kicks him in the chest before applying the Nagata Lock II. Hashimoto gets into the ropes to force a break, knees by Nagata but Hashimoto comes back with elbows. Kicks by Nagata and they trade slaps, with Nagata winning the exchange. Knee by Nagata and he kicks Hashimoto in the chest. More kicks by Nagata, he goes off the ropes but Hashimoto delivers a dropkick. Hashimoto kicks Nagata into the corner, Irish whip, and Hashimoto hits a jumping knee. PK by Hashimoto, Nagata sits back up but Hashimoto hits another PK for a two count cover. Hashimoto picks up Nagata, kicks to the chest by Hashimoto but Nagata kicks him in the leg. Hashimoto comes back with a heel kick, he picks up Nagata but Nagata hits a back bodydrop.
Leg sweep by Hashimoto and he nails a Shining Wizard for a two count cover. Hashimoto picks up Nagata and he hits a DDT. Hashimoto applies an armtrap headscissors, but Nagata gets a foot on the ropes. Hashimoto picks up Nagata, he charges him and he delivers the jumping DDT. Cover, but again it gets only two. Hashimoto hits a heel kick, he drags Nagata to his feet but Nagata applies a seated armbar. Cross armbreaker by Nagata but Hashimoto gets to the ropes. Nagata picks up Hashimoto, Hashimoto punches him off but Nagata hits a jumping knee in the corner followed by a brainbuster. Cover by Nagata but it gets a two count. Backdrop suplex by Nagata, cover, but Hashimoto barely gets a shoulder up. He goes for another one but Hashimoto elbows him off and hits a backdrop suplex of his own. Nagata picks up Hashimoto and they trade elbows, inside cradle by Hashimoto but it gets two. Hashimoto kicks and chops Nagata but Nagata hits an armbreaker followed by a heel kick. Nagata picks up Hashimoto and he nails a backdrop hold, picking up the three count pinfall! When considering the emotions behind the match it is tempting to say this is a great must-see match, but in reality it was just really solid but not spectacular. Needless to say it was very strike and submission based since that fits the style of both wrestlers, but while some of the strikes were snug not all of the exchanges felt heated since there was no real animosity between the two. On the positive side, there was nothing bad about the match I can think of and if you are a fan of either you will definitely enjoy it, it had a good pace and never felt slow or rushed from bell to bell. For a show like this it was a fitting ending, with Hashimoto taking on an opponent that had battled and teamed with his father, and from an emotional stand-point I think it achieved its goal. Recommended
I can't really rate this event the same way I do other shows. I mean there was a live orchestra, a talk show segment, and other things going on that enhanced the performance. If this was only about the wrestling matches it is not a show I would be able to recommend as the first two matches were just your standard opening/mid-card New Japan matches that I generally avoid. The main event was good but didn't go beyond that for me personally. Fans of strike based matches will probably enjoy it a touch more than I did and its worth watching, it just never really made it to the next level to where I can say everyone needs to see it. As a whole it was a very nice tribute to Shinya Hashimoto and it clearly meant a lot to Daichi Hashimoto and to the fans in attendance.
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event reviewed on 7/20/15