KAGEKI “Mask Meeting DX”
review by Jason Manning

Date: November 10th, 2002
Location: Fukuoka Club BA-COO

KAGEKI is quite the unknown lil’ indy promotion. Liger seemed to take a liking to them after they participated in a somewhat fun 6-man with him on a G1 show - so much that he worked this show. Our sometimes own HAVOK! wants this dubbed and I’m bored so I’ll review it.

They kick the show off with a video package and interviews and stuff and the lighting is reaaalllyyy bad for this. Yes this is an indy.

Nasty Black Panther vs. TAIRA
TAIRA is a skinny guy with orange MMA-esque pants and Nasty Black Panther has a really cool name. He wears a mask and all of his attire is black which makes sense. Panther stalls for a while with the mic and then they have a match. It isn’t very much to talk about; both guys don’t actively suck at least. The brief matwork section is actually pretty OK but once they leave the mat the match is just kinda’ there. TAIRA has a couple impressive spots, Panther does stuff, yadda yadda. If anything it shouldn’t have gone as long as it did. Nope. But at least they didn’t get lost. Nope. Panther actually builds up his Sweet Chin Music finisher somewhat and it eventually gets the win (13:13). Not bad, not good, I’ll move on.

Battle Ranger vs. KAZE
KAZE has got a really neat mask which makes me want to like him. I think it’s the eyes. It’s kind of... Eagle-ish. Battle Ranger has got even cooler stuff on with a full bodysuit and whatnot. Fuck, it’s pretty much Liger’s gear without the horns and long hair. Both guys do a lil’ OK matwork and then hit each other with a DDT before Ranger slaps on a rear chinlock. Then Ranger starts disciplining KAZE and he no-sells all of his offense and what the fuck. Don’t wear attire that reminds me of Liger if you’re going to suck. Actually he eventually starts selling and he’s OK again. TAIRA gets dropped on his head with a backdrop suplex and a Tiger suplex hold ends it (9:45). Eh.

Cosmo*Soldier vs. Nobuyuki Kurashima
Holy fuck! Soldier was on the G1 show and impressed some people with his spots (*looks*... yeah, he kinda’ impressed me too) and Kurashima is from Fujinami’s MUGA promotion. This is gonna’ be interesting. Actually the match isn’t all that interesting. Soldier gets to control on the mat a little bit which is kinda’ cool. The match is just kinda’ there for a while though. It’s alright. Nothing offensive but nothing good. Kinda’ like the first match. Yep. The finish is weird as Kurashima delivers a German suplex hold and Soldier kicks out, and then Kurashima covers and wins (10:46). Yeah.

Asian Cougar vs. Diablo
Sweet Jesus did this suck. Come on, guys. Diablo’s the big brawler. Cougar’s the small high-flyer. UNDERDOG STORY! UNDERDOG. STORY. But the match is quite the boring brawl with Cougar controlling most of it. Cougar does a couple nifty things but not enough to make me like it. Diablo’s got a real good lariat. He does. They eventually get an idea of what to do 10 minutes in as Diablo starts laying in an assbeating but a minute later he rips off Cougar’s mask and gets DQ’d (11:29). Bleeeeeggghhhh!

Azteca vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
A little kid in the crowd has got an Azteca mask on. That is fucking awesome. I want me one. Both guy’s head to the mat to start and Azteca is able to GO with Liger. Then Liger asks Azteca to knock him down with shoulderblocks and after a couple attempts Liger tries to trick him with a shotei, but Azteca ducks and manages the knockdown. Liger rolls outside in anger and back in he takes things to the mat again, bringing out the always-cool Romero Special and then he is fucking great as he pulls Azteca back into a Dragon sleeper. Azteca rolls outside and gets back in to find more stretching hell from Liger. Liger fires of a rolling koppou kick in the corner and is already the man here. I love Liger. You love Liger. We all love Liger. Azteca avoids getting thrown into the corner and manages to throw Liger outside and then he seems to not know what he wants to do and eventually hits a sloppy baseball slide. Then he hits a plancha to the floor and all is well. Back inside Liger heads up top but Azteca catches him with a superplex and begins controlling the match with his lovely low grade offense. A real gem about this match is Liger subtly showing that he wants to hit the shotei, and after putting his knees up for a frog splash he finally does hit his shotei and then hits another in the corner for good measure. The running Liger bomb gets a near fall and Azteca avoids a brainbuster with a la magistral cradle for two. He goes for a backslide but gets two again and now he’s the fiery underdog and shit and it’s great. He hits an enzuigiri and Liger sells it before mowing Azteca down with another shotei. Shoulda’ just let him hit them earlier, Azteca brotha’. Azteca tries to go for the kill with a backdrop from the top but Liger lands on top and delivers a nasty powerbomb for just ONE! Liger hits another shotei and then spikes Azteca with a brainbuster for the win (17:55). That was pretty fucking great. Liger is fucking great. He carried the entire thing and was the MAN with all his simple psychology and whatnot. Ilovedit!

Diablo attacks Liger and Azteca post-match. Then Liger and Azteca say things on the mic. WHOO HOO!

Final Analysis: The undercard here really kinda’ stinks but the reason you want this tape is Liger vs. Azteca and for that you just may want to get it. Maybe comp Liger/Azteca or something. I dunno. I say get it somehow. YES!

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