A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: August 23rd, 2014
Location: Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
Announced Attendance: 7,035
The Inoki Genome Federation is Antonio Inoki’s promotion, created after he left New Japan. It is really what he was trying to turn New Japan into – a mixture of MMA and professional wrestling matches. This event was literally a mixture of both, as half the event was MMA and half was professional wrestling (many in a MMA style). Obviously I will be reviewing only the pro wrestling matches, which are:
- Keisuke Okuda vs. Super Tiger
- Daichi Hashimoto vs. Shogun Okamoto
- Atsushi Sawada vs. Wang Bin
- Kazuyuki Fujita and Crusher Kawaguchi vs. Naoya Ogawa and Jerome Le Banner
No Bob Sapp makes me sad. Let’s get to it.
Keisuke Okuda vs. Super Tiger
They circle each other to start, kicks by Super Tiger but Okuda takes him down. Super Tiger lands in the ropes so the referee forces a break, high kick attempt by Okuda but Super Tiger blocks it. They jockey for position, Okuda pushes Super Tiger into the ropes and hits a belly to belly suplex. Super Tiger gets a headscissors applied on the mat and applies a surfboard. He releases the hold after a moment as Okuda returns to his feet, waistlock by Okuda but Super Tiger rolls out of it and applies an armbar. Okuda gets into the ropes to force a break, Super Tiger avoids Okuda’s rolling kick but Okuda takes Super Tiger to the mat. Super Tiger gets the top position and goes for Okuda’s leg, but Okuda gets to the ropes again. They exchange kick attempts, and Super Tiger delivers a spinning heel kick. The referee counts Okuda but Okuda gets back up in time, knees and more kicks by Super Tiger and the referee calls for the stoppage. Your winner: Super Tiger
Match Thoughts: No this is not the original Tiger Mask, just in case you were wondering. As far as fake MMA this wasn’t bad, Okuda did a good job of selling he was knocked really loopy and kept selling it after the match so that was a plus. Their strikes were on point and nothing looked awkward. Really short but not bad. Score: 5.5
Daichi Hashimoto vs. Shogun Okamoto
Waistlock by Hashimoto to start, reversed by Okamoto and he applies a side headlock, takedown by Okamoto but Sawada gets out of it and they get back up. Okamoto quickly tackles Hashimoto and applies a headscissors, but Hashimoto gets out of it and applies a side headlock. Okamoto picks up Hashimoto and throws him to the mat to get out of it, and Hashimoto rolls out of the ring. Hashimoto returns after a moment, he returns and Okamoto gets Hashimoto back to the mat. Okamoto goes for Hashimoto’s ankle and applies an ankle lock, but Hashimoto gets a hand on the ropes to force a break. Okamoto grabs Hashimoto’s leg again and this time applies a single leg crab hold, and then he applies a STF. Hashimoto gets a hand in the ropes to force another break, and he crawls into the corner. Okamoto chokes Hashimoto with his boot before picking him up, Irish whip by Okamoto but Hashimoto moves when he charges in and he kicks Okamoto in the back of the head. Spinning heel kick by Hashimoto and he follows up with a running knee. Scoop slam by Hashimoto, cover, but it gets a one count. Hashimoto picks up Okamoto but Okamoto slaps him in the chest. Hashimoto fires back with slaps, Okamoto pushes Hashimoto into the corner and delivers a couple chops. Irish whip by Okamoto, he charges Hashimoto and hits a body avalanche. Okamoto picks up Hashimoto and hits a scoop slam. Cover, but it gets a two count. Back up they trade strikes, club to the back by Okamoto, Irish whip, and Okamoto hits a hard chop to the chest. Okamoto picks up Hashimoto and hits a behind the back slam, cover, but Hashimoto barely gets a shoulder up. Okamoto picks up Hashimoto but Hashimoto slides off his back and hits a backdrop suplex. Okamoto goes for a lariat but Hashimoto ducks it and applies a crucifix hold for the three count. Your winner: Daichi Hashimoto
Match Thoughts: This was more of a pro-wrestling style which I am certainly not complaining about. I had not seen Okamoto before but he carried himself really well and felt like the better wrestler of the two, so it made sense that Hashimoto had to win with a flash pin. I wish it could have gone longer since they really worked together well, but for a short match it was a pretty good one. Score: 6.0
Atsushi Sawada vs. Wang Bin
They both go for kicks unsuccessfully to start the match, Bin gets Sawada into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Judo throw by Bin and he gets the side mount into the full mount, elbows by Bin and he goes for the cross armbreaker, he lets go and goes for a cover but it gets a two count. Both men return to their feet, mid kick by Sawada, Bin pushes Sawada into the corner and hits chops as well as punches. Snapmare by Bin and he kicks Sawada in the back. Bin applies a sleeper but releases it after a moment and throws Sawada out of the ring. Bin goes out after him and clubs Sawada in the back before chopping him against the apron. Bin Irish whips Sawada into the guard rail before elbowing him in the chest. Bin tries to throw Sawada into the railing again but Sawada reverses it and punches Bin in the head. Sawada slides Bin back into the ring and joins him, stomps by Sawada and he kicks Bin in the chest. More kicks by Sawada and he knocks Bin to the mat, cover, but it gets a two count. Sawada picks up Bin and hits a backdrop suplex. Cover, but again it gets a two. Sawada picks up Bin and kicks him in the chest, he goes for a slam but Bin blocks it. Headbutts by Bin and he hits a spinebuster. Cover, but it gets a two count. Bin gets Sawada’s back and applies a sleeper, Sawada goes out and the referee calls for the bell. Your winner: Wang Bin
Match Thoughts: I wasn't as impressed with this match's blend of MMA and pro wrestling styles. It’s a fine line, for example at one point Bin was raining elbows down on Sawada, successfully, but then stopped to go for a submission which isn't logical. Oddly when they switched to a more pro wrestling style I thought it got a lot better, Sawada hits suplexes very well and it felt like a real competition. I’d like to see Sawada in a longer match as he seems to have a lot of potential, but overall this match was a bit too all over the place and short. Score: 5.0
Kazuyuki Fujita and Crusher Kawaguchi vs. Naoya Ogawa and Jerome Le Banner
Fujita and Kawaguchi attack their opponents to start the match, with Kawaguchi ending up in the ring with Le Banner. They circle each other and trade leg kicks, knees and a high kick by Le Banner but Kawaguchi gets away. Punches by Le Banner and he gets Kawaguchi into the corner, but he tags in Fujita. Snapmare by Le Banner but Fujita reverses it into a hammerlock. Le Banner tags in Ogawa, Ogawa gets Fujita into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Waistlock by Fujita and he school boys Ogawa for a two count, Ogawa gets a headscissors applied but Fujita quickly gets out of it. Waistlock by Fujita, snapmare by Ogawa but Fujita applies a hammerlock. Fujita tags in Kawaguchi, knees by Fujita and he powerslams Ogawa. Fujita and Kawaguchi hit elbow drops onto Ogawa, Kawaguchi picks up Ogawa and knees him in the stomach. Kick by Fujita and he punches Ogawa into the corner, but Ogawa grabs him and tags in Le Banner. Le Banner holds Kawaguchi in the corner so that Ogawa can hit a series of chops. Ogawa tags in Le Banner, and Le Banner kicks Kawaguchi in the corner. Ogawa comes back in and chokes Kawaguchi in the corner with his boot. Ogawa kicks Kawaguchi down in the corner, Le Banner comes in the ring and they hit a double vertical suplex. Le Banner knocks Fujita off the apron and Ogawa applies the figure four to Kawaguchi. Kawaguchi slowly inches to the ropes but Fujita runs in and breaks up the hold. Fujita picks up Kawaguchi, Ogawa elbows Fujita but Kawaguchi grabs him. Ogawa elbows Kawaguchi down to the mat and knocks Fujita off the apron again. Le Banner comes in the ring, Ogawa holds Kawaguchi and Le Banner punches Kawaguchi in the stomach. Ogawa holds Kawaguchi again, Le Banner goes for a high kick but Kawaguchi ducks, and he hits Ogawa by accident. Fujita is tagged in and he shoulderblocks Le Banner out of the ring. He goes off the ropes again and hits a lariat onto Ogawa, he picks him up and hits an over the shoulder suplex. Fujita tags in Kawaguchi, Fujita picks up Ogawa, double Irish whip and they hit a double shoulderblock. They pick up Ogawa again and hit a double backdrop suplex. Fujita picks up Ogawa and goes for the powerbomb, but Le Banner gets past Kawaguchi and breaks it up. Kick to the leg by Le Banner and Ogawa hits a running STO onto Fujita. Ogawa holds Kawaguchi for Le Banner, and Le Banner kicks Kawaguchi in the stomach. Running STO by Ogawa, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Naoya Ogawa and Jerome Le Banner
Match Thoughts: This was a solid match and fit well into what all of their strengths are. In the TV version of this match it was clipped down to under 3 minutes, which obviously made the match much more exciting as it definitely had its good moments. I thought they blended the MMA and pro wrestling action pretty well here and all were comfortable with what they were doing. Lots of team work from both sides and they really worked as teams instead of four individuals like you sometimes see in these matches. As with the other matches I wish that it was longer, but there was nothing wrong with what they did. Score: 7.0
Best Match: Kazuyuki Fujita and Crusher Kawaguchi vs. Naoya Ogawa and Jerome Le Banner. I'm generally not a big fan of these types of matches but I thought it worked really well. Fujita does have a bit of an aura around him, he comes across as a tough guy that can dominate anyone at any time. Le Banner and Kawaguchi I am not as familiar with but they were fine here and by keeping the match short it helped them keep the pace off. A solid match for the event.
MVP: Kazuyuki Fujita. Like I mentioned above, of all the wrestlers in the main tag match he came off as the best. I never really liked him in New Japan but in this type of setting he really does shine. He just came across as the star in the match, he was bigger and stronger than everyone else and his team only lost because he was too stunned to break up the pin attempt. A good showing by the old MMA star.
Overall: Over half of the event was MMA matches and not professional wrestling matches, so it is hard to judge the event as a whole when reviewing only part of it. For whatever it matters I thought the MMA matches were pretty entertaining, not high level fighters at all but none were really boring and it was nice to see Cro Cop again. None of the wrestling matches were bad, although a few were a little bland, and the tag match was pretty entertaining. As an overall show I would recommend it if you enjoy both MMA and MMA-style professional wrestling matches.
review completed 10/8/14