Itabashi Pro Wrestling on 1/18/15
a review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  January 18th, 2015
Location:  Itabashi Green Hall in Itabashi, Japan
Announced Attendance:  Unknown

This is what I am sure is the first ever review of this event, probably worldwide but certainly in the United States.  None of the puroresu event sellers in the United States had this one so I had to order it from Japan, and most people aren’t silly enough to spend $30 on an obscure Indy event.  But I am so here we are. Itabashi Pro Wrestling is a small promotion run by HAYATE that uses freelancers that live local to Itabashi, Japan.  That is about all the intro that I have.  Here is the full card:

- Masaya Takahashi vs. Shin Suzuki
- Kaho Kobayashi vs. Maki Narumiya
- Golden Pine vs. Mitsunobu Kikuzawa
- Mitoshichi Shinose and Kotaro Nasu vs. Wolf Tomoya and SAGAT
- HAYATE, Komachi, Itabashi Mask, and Great Pika-chan vs. Tetsuya Nakazato, Madoka, Nobutaka Moribe, and The Winger

All matches are shown in full at least so for better or worse, here is Itabashi Pro!

Masaya Takahashi vs. Shin Suzuki
Wristlocks to start and they trade holds until Takahashi hits a shoulderblock.  Dropkick by Suzuki and he stomps on Takahashi.  Scoop slam by Takahashi and he hits a second one.  A third slam by Takahashi and he covers Suzuki for a two count.  Takahashi applies a reverse chinlock, kick by Takahashi but Suzuki hits another dropkick.  Jumping kick by Suzuki in the corner and he hits another elbow.  Lariat by Takahashi in the corner but Suzuki rolls him up for a two count.  Takahashi slaps Suzuki in a single leg crab hold and Suzuki submits!  I am assuming that Suzuki is a rookie-level wrestler since Takahashi treated him like one.  A really basic opener, nothing really wrong with it but not particularly exciting.  Score:  3.5

Kaho Kobayashi vs. Maki Narumiya
Kobayashi is my favorite little underdog wrestler, in case you didn’t know.  They trade wristlocks and then headlocks, armdrag by Kobayashi and they trade trips.  Scoop slam by Narumiya and she kicks Kobayashi into the corner.  Narumiya throws Kobayashi down by her hair, she puts Kobayashi on the top turnbuckle and Narumiya dropkicks Kobayashi in the back.  Scoop slam by Narumiya and she applies a crab hold.  Kobayashi gets to the ropes to force a break, but Narumiya applies a stretch hold.  Rocking Horse by Narumiya and she covers Kobayashi for a two count.  Vertical suplex by Narumiya but Kobayashi avoids her in the corner and hits an elbow.  Dropkick by Kobayashi and they trade elbows, scoop slam by Kobayashi and he hits a senton.  Another senton by Kobayashi and she applies a short armbar.  Narumiya gets to the ropes, Kobayashi goes up top and she hits a missile dropkick.  Kobayashi goes up again but Narumiya elbows her and hits a superplex.  Back up they trade elbows but Kobayashi hits another dropkick.  Fisherman suplex hold by Kobayashi, but it gets a two count.  Kobayashi goes off the ropes but Narumiya applies a sleeper hold.  Narumiya kicks Kobayashi in the head, cover, but it gets a two count.  Narumiya puts Kobayashi on her shoulders but Kobayashi hits a crucifix pin for a two count.  They trade pin attempts back and forth but neither can get the three count and the time expires.  The match is a Draw.  A solid match, it never felt like it went to the next gear as the time expired before they really got going but what they did was fine.  Plus I like Kobayashi a lot which always helps.  Score:  6.0

Golden Pine vs. Mitsunobu Kikuzawa
Kikuzawa is Kikutaro/Ebessan, not sure why he was billed under his real name since he is in his normal attire.  They lock knuckles to start and bounce off each other with neither having any luck.  Flashing Elbow by Kikuzawa and Golden Pine rolls out of the ring.  The referee goes out after him, Kikuzawa pretends to do a dive but instead hits Golden Pine in the back.  Golden Pine argues with the referee as they get back in the ring, and Kikuzawa kicks at Golden Pine.  Kikuzawa throws Golden Pine in the corner but Golden Pine pushes him off when he goes for a bulldog.  Golden Pine goes off the ropes and he distracts Kikuzawa so he can apply the testicular claw.  Golden Pine puts his foot on Kikuzawa’s groin and pulls on his legs.  Golden Pine goes up top but Kikuzawa avoids the moonsault.  Shining Wizard by Kikuzawa, but it only gets a two count.  Kikuzawa picks up Golden Pine and goes for a vertical suplex, but Golden Pine reverses it.  Waistlock by Golden Pine but Kikuzawa distracts the referee and kicks Golden Pine low.  Golden Pine kicks Kikuzawa low in return but the referee sees him do it.  Kikuzawa thinks Golden Pine is behind him and kicks the referee low, and they trade slaps as they are feeling the effects from the low blows.  Inside cradle by Kikuzawa but the referee is too hurt to finish the count.  Kikuzawa kicks Golden Pine in the corner but Golden Pine ends up kissing the referee by accident.  This allows Kikuzawa to roll up Golden Pine and the referee does a fast count for three.  This was a kinda low level Kikuzawa comedy match as Golden Pine isn't on Kikutaro's level.  It got a few chuckles out of me but not really enough to justify the length of the match.  Score:  3.5

Mitoshichi Shinose and Kotaro Nasu vs. Wolf Tomoya and SAGAT
Shinose and SAGAT begin the match, SAGAT pushes Shinose in the ropes but he gives a mostly clean break.  Shinose tags in Nasu and Nasu kicks SAGAT in the leg.  SAGAT tags in Tomoya, Nasu and Tomoya trade holds on the mat before Nasu tags in Shinose.  Shinose stomps Tomoya down in the corner and he hits a scoop slam.  Shinose clubs down Tomoya and he tags in Nasu.  Nasu and Tomoya trade elbows and Nasu kicks Tomoya in the chest.  Chinlock by Nasu and he tags in Shinose.  Shinose picks up Tomoya and he hits a neckbreaker.  Shinose puts Tomoya in a single leg crab hold but Tomoya makes it to the ropes.  Shinose tags Nasu back in and Nasu punches Tomoya to the mat.  Nasu kicks Tomoya in the chest and he hits an elbow.  Cover by Nasu but it gets two.  Nasu tags in Shinose as the assault on poor Tomoya continues but Tomoya hits a jumping elbow and makes the hot tag to SAGAT.  SAGAT hits Mongolian Chops on Shinose followed by a body avalanche.  Senton by SAGAT, cover, but it gets a two count.  SAGAT elbows Shinose as they trade blows back and forth.  Heel kick by Shinose to SAGAT and he tags in Nasu.  Tomoya is tagged in and he elbows Nasu in the corner.  Nasu connects with a jumping kick, he picks up Tomoya but Tomoya snaps off a backdrop suplex.  Tomoya goes up top and he hits a missile dropkick.  SAGAT comes in and Nasu is double teamed in the corner.  Tomoya goes up again and he hits a diving elbow drop on Nasu for a two count.  Tomoya tags in SAGAT, and SAGAT spears Nasu for a near fall.  SAGAT puts Nasu in a full nelson but Shinose breaks it up.  Nasu connects with a high kick but Tomoya breaks up the cover.  Nasu goes off the ropes and he hits a PK on SAGAT for a two count.  Nasu puts SAGAT in the Stretch Plum, and SAGAT has to submit!   This was fine I guess.  It is one of those matches that there is nothing wrong with it, it just never grips you.  They all looked pretty solid, I hadn’t seen Tomoya nor Shinose before but they seem to be well trained anyway.  Above average but nothing special.  Score:  5.5

HAYATE, Komachi, Itabashi Mask, and Great Pika-chan vs. Nakazato, Madoka, Moribe, and Winger
They brawl to start the match and take it outside the ring.  Nakazato and company are getting the better of things until Madoka returns to the ring with Great Pika-chan.  Madoka elbows Great Pika-chan, Irish whip but Great Pika-chan fights back and hits a springboard armdrag.  Great Pika-chan tags in HAYATE while Nakazato is also tagged in, and Nakazato chops HAYATE in the throat.  HAYATE hits a headscissors followed by an armdrag before hitting a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Nakazato.  Nakazato falls out of the ring and HAYATE tags in Itabashi Mask as Winger comes in the ring.  Itabashi Mask and Winger trade chops to the chest and Itabashi Mask hits an armdrag followed by a dropkick.  Itabashi Mask tags in Komachi as Moribe comes in also but Winger attacks Komachi from behind.  Komachi fights them both off and they do the hop!  Well most of them.  Stupid Itabashi Mask forgot.  Komachi battles out of the corner and trips Moribe for a two count.  They do a cute spot where Komachi gets all his opponents to attack each other, Nakazato and friends fall out of the ring and the masked quartet do a fake dive before posing.  Moribe gets back in the ring with Itabashi Mask as does Winger, and they tie up Itabashi Mask in a submission.  Komachi and HAYATE come in the ring to help, which brings Nakazato and Madoka in.  As everyone is tied up, Great Pika-chan comes in and covers all his opponents for a two count. 

Everyone runs into each other with their arms and legs overlapping,  creating a massive two count on everyone.  This is basically an early Michinoku Pro match, if you haven’t picked up on that.  Moribe stays in with Great Pika-chan and Moribe hits an elbow before tagging in Winger.  Winger knocks Great Pika-chan in the corner and he tags in Madoka, Madoka slams Great Pika-chan to the mat and applies a cross legged submission.  Everyone takes turns beating on Great Pika-chan until he finally dropkicks Moribe and tags in Itabashi Mask.  Itabashi Mask hits a crossbody on Winger followed by a dropkick, then HAYATE hits a diving hurricanrana on HAYATE.  HAYATE sails out of the ring with a tope suicida, somersault senton by Komachi, then Great Pika-chan and Itabashi Mask both dive out of the ring with plancha suicidas.  Komachi and Madoka get in the ring and Komachi kicks Madoka in the head before hitting a Tiger Feint Kick.  Komachi goes up top but Madoka gets his knees up on the diving body press.  Gutbuster by Madoka, cover, but Itabashi Mask breaks it up.  Winger Irish whips Itabashi Mask and Itabashi Mask hits La Mistica for a two count.  Winger kicks back Itabashi Mask and he hits a side Russian leg sweep.  HAYATE runs in to help as Moribe also comes in, knee by Moribe to HAYATE and he applies a stretch hold.  Misteriorana by HAYATE to Moribe and he delivers a heel kick.  Spinning backbreaker by Moribe and he applies a backbreaker.  Great Pika-chan comes in to break it up and he puts Moribe in the Gory Special. 

Nakazato comes in but Great Pika-chan rolls over his back and hits a side headlock takedown.  Irish whip by Nakazato and he levels Great Pika-chan with a jumping shoulderblock.  Jackhammer by Nakazato but the cover is broken up.  Great Pika-chan is attacked by everyone in the corner and Nakazato hits a diving body press on Great Pika-chan.  So does Moribe, and he covers Great Pika-chan for two when it is broken up.  Winger, Nakazato, and Moribe all go up to different corners but Great Pika-chan throws Madoka into the ropes, shaking them off.  Komachi then headscissors Moribe and HAYATE hits a Frankensteiner on Nakazato.  While his teammates hit pescados, Great Pika-chan goes up top and hits the Great Pika-chan Attack (diving crossbody) on Nakazato for the three count!   I have to first say that wrestlers in masks flying around and doing cool spots is one of my biggest enjoyments in wrestling.  That being said, this match was thoroughly entertaining.  It was Lucha tag rules which added to the chaos, as aside from the brief beatdown segment on Great Pika-chan they were basically just taking turns doing stuff to each other.  But it was really smooth as there weren’t any noticeable miscommunications, everyone seemed to know what they were doing and when to do it.  Not all of these guys are top tier wrestlers (although I think HAYATE looked fantastic) but they played their roles well.  Just an entertaining match bell to bell and hard not to enjoy even though it was definitely more style than substance.  Score:  8.0

Final Thoughts:

I try to be realistic when I watch an Indy show.  These types of events cater more to the live crowd because without television their exposure is obviously limited.  That being said this was a fun show and there was definitely some positive here which is more than I can say for some Indy promotions I watch (looking at you, Triplesix).  The main event was just a really fun Michinoku Pro-style match that would be hard for anyone to hate, and the women’s match was a bit basic but still entertaining.  Everything else was as you’d expect so nothing to get excited about, but at least it delivered on some level so I don’t regret purchasing it.  Is it worth paying $30 to get it imported?  Probably not, but the show definitely has some redeemable qualities and was worth watching.

Grade:  C-

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