An Enhanced Review by Kevin Wilson
Dates: August 30th, September 1st, and September 2nd
Attendance: Varied (last show had 3,150 announced)
Formally called the Mask Tournament or Mask League, the 2007 Fukumen World League was the fourth installment of the summer tournament for Michinoku Pro Wrestling. The winner of the Fukumen World League in 2003 was Atlantis, and he returns to defend his victory. The winner of the 1999 installment is also present, as some of the top stars from around the world invade Michinoku Pro to try to take home the tournament crown. You can click on the wrestler's name to go to their profile on Puroresu Central. Here are the 16 wrestlers in the tournament:
Billy Ken Kid (Osaka Pro) - Two time Osaka Pro Heavyweight Champion
Jushin Thunder Liger (New Japan) - Legendary wrestler, eleven time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
Shibaten (Michinoku Pro) - An unknown and mysterious wrestler
Yoshitsune (Michinoku Pro) - Rising star, trained in Toryumon Wrestling School
Mecha Mummy (Union Pro) - Robotic wrestler with a rocket punch
El Samurai (New Japan) - Two time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
Super Delfin (Osaka Pro) - Leader of Osaka Pro, four time Osaka Pro Wrestling Champion
Atlantis (CMLL) - 2003 Winner, two time CMLL World Light Heavyweight Champion
Tiger Mask (New Japan) - 1999 Winner, four time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
Kikutaro (Freelancer) - Formally Ebessan in Osaka Pro, a highly rated comedy wrestler
Olimpico (CMLL) - Two time CMLL World Welterweight Champion
Super Shisa (Dragon Gate) - Trained by Ultimo Dragon, former Open the Triangle Gate Champion
Tigers Mask (Osaka Pro) - Ace of Osaka Pro, holds the Osaka Pro Singles Championship
Rasse (Michinoku Pro) - One half of the Osaka Pro Tag Team Champions
Ultimo Dragon (Toryumon) - Held championships in New Japan, WCW, CMLL, and Michinoku Pro
Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro) - Leader of Michinoku Pro, created the J-Crown
I re-ordered the matches to put it in the order given in the bracket. Single elimination, and while there were other matches on the cards I will only be reviewing the tournament matches themselves. Let's get started!
Billy Ken Kid vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Tie-up to start, side headlock by Ken Kid, Liger Irish whips out of it but the two collide with no result. Poke to the eye by Ken Kid, Irish whip, and Ken Kid hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Liger falls out of the ring is thrown back in, and Ken Kid slams Liger into the corner. Ken Kid kicks Liger down in the corner and then jumps down on top of him. Ken Kid picks up Liger and throws him into the other corner before doing the same thing. Back up, snapmare by Ken Kid and he kicks Liger in the back. Cover, but it gets a one count. Ken Kid applies a reverse chinlock, Liger struggles to his feet, picks up Ken Kid and puts him onto the top turnbuckle before hitting a shotei. Ken Kid falls to the outside of the ring, and Liger goes out after him. Brainbuster by Liger on the exposed floor as Michinoku Pro doesn't use mats (Liger isn't messing around today), and Liger gets back in the ring to wait for Ken Kid. Ken Kid makes it back in the ring at 19, Liger picks him up, Irish whip, and he hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He keeps Ken Kid across his knee and pushes him down to apply pressure before finally releasing him. Romero Special by Liger but he releases the hold after a moment, Liger picks up Ken Kid and nails a powerbomb. He tells the referee to count him down, so he does, but Ken Kid gets to his feet at 9. Chops by Liger, he goes off the ropes, but Ken Kid back bodydrops him over the top rope. Liger lands on the apron, elbow by Ken Kid, he goes off the far ropes and slides through Liger's legs to the floor before pulling Liger out to the floor also. Ken Kid does a sliding kick to Liger's face while Liger is leaning on the apron, Ken Kid gets back up on the apron and hits a running tope con hilo using the ring post as a springboard. Ken Kid slides Liger back into the ring and goes up to the top turnbuckle before hitting a missile dropkick.
Ken Kid calls for the Liger Bomb, he picks up Liger but Liger blocks it and back bodydrops out of the move. Liger goes off the ropes but Ken Kid catches him with an atomic drop and nails a Liger Bomb. Cover, but Liger kicks out. Ken Kid picks up Liger, waistlock, and he hits a short-armed lariat for a two count cover. Ken Kid goes off the ropes, ducks one shotei, but Liger nails the second one. Liger picks up Ken Kid, Irish whip to the corner, and he hits another shotei. Liger picks up Ken Kid and hits a running Liger Bomb, cover, but Ken Kid gets a shoulder up. Liger gets Ken Kid to his feet and goes for a Liger Bomb, but Ken Kid blocks it and nails the Koumori Tsuri Otoshi! Ken Kid is too hurt to capitalize and the referee begins counting both of them. Ken Kid is up first, he picks up Liger, Irish whip from the corner but Liger kicks him when he charges in. Liger goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ken Kid quickly joins him and hits a DDT down to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ken Kid picks up Liger, Irish whip to the corner and Ken Kid hits a lariat. Ken Kid puts Liger onto the top turnbuckle and hangs him down from it, with his back to the ring. Ken Kid then gets a running start and dropkicks Liger in the back of the head. Ken Kid goes for another Koumori Tsuri Otoshi and delivers, cover, but Liger kicks out at two. Ken Kid picks up Liger and throws him on the mat, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Liger rolls out of the way of the Firebird Splash. Liger goes off the ropes and hits a shotei, he then picks up Ken Kid and delivers a brainbuster. Cover, but it picks up a two count. Liger picks up Ken Kid and goes for the CTB, but Ken Kid rolls him up for a two count. Backslide by Ken Kid, but again Liger gets out of it. Ken Kid goes off the ropes but Liger catches him with a kick and hits a Fisherman Buster. Cover, but Ken Kid kicks out at one and jumps back to his feet. Ken Kid goes off the ropes but Liger catches him with a shotei, he picks up Ken Kid and nails the CTB. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Jushin Thunder Liger
Match Thoughts: Dude, this match was awesome. There are very few wrestlers that can convey emotion and turn the crowd whichever way they like as Liger can, and the fact he wears a mask makes it all the more unreal. He was certainly heeling it up in this match as the crowd was solidly behind Ken Kid. They started quiet, but by the end they were about as loud as I have heard a crowd in Michinoku Pro. The brainbuster on the floor set the early tone, but Ken Kid was certainly at the top of his game. No-sell spots are hit and miss but it really worked here as the crowd popped hard for it but Liger immediately knocked Ken Kid out with a shotei. From Ken Kid's Liger Bomb onward was just really well done and the ending was fast but not in a way that it felted rushed but in the way that you could tell that Liger wanted to end the match while he had the chance. Ken Kid is a wrestler to watch if he can stay healthy, and pairing him against Liger was a great decision as they played off against each other perfectly. Score: 8.0
Shibaten vs. Yoshitsune
Tilt-a-whirl side slam by Yoshitsune to start, Irish whip to Shibaten, reversed, but Yoshitsune does a few flips and hits a multiple rotation headscissors. Shibaten rolls out of the ring but Yoshitsune quickly follows him out with a Suicide Moonsault. Shibaten tries to escape through the crowd by Yoshitsune follows him and throws him back into the ring. Yoshitsune picks up Shibaten and knees him in the face to toy with him, but Shibaten chops him back. They trade blows but Shibaten rakes Yoshitsune in the eyes. Palm thrusts by Shibaten into the corner and he hits a jumping splash followed by a roll-up and a leg submission hold. Elbow drop to the leg by Shibaten and he applies a leg lock, but Yoshitsune makes it to the ropes. Dropkick by Shibaten, he pulls Yoshitsune to the middle of the ring and covers him, but it gets a two count. Kick to the chest by Shibaten and he kicks Yoshitsune back into the corner. Snapmare by Shibaten and he applies a modified headlock. Argentine Backbreaker by Shibaten and he dropkicks Yoshitsune to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Shibaten applies a reverse chinlock but Yoshitsune gets a foot on the ropes. Shibaten throws Yoshitsune into the corner, Irish whip by Shibaten but Yoshitsune kicks him as he charges in. Yoshitsune avoids Shibaten and hits the 619 over the top rope, but he is too injured to capitalize. Shibaten charges Yoshitsune but Yoshitsune hits a hurricanrana and Shibaten falls out of the ring. Yoshitsune rolls out after him and slams him onto the floor. Towards the back of the arena, Yoshitsune goes up onto the balcony and hits a moonsault down onto Shibaten! Yoshitsune makes his way back to the ring but goes back to get Shibaten, sliding him into the ring. Yoshitsune goes for a swandive move but Shibaten catches him with a dropkick. Irish whip by Shibaten, reversed, but Shibaten applies a submission hold in the ropes before the referee forces a break. Roll-up by Shibaten but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Shibaten but Yoshitsune hits a handstand springboard sunset flip followed by a 619 to the back of the head and a standing Shooting Star Press. Cover, but it gets a two count. Back up, Yoshitsune goes for a kick by Shibaten catches it and slams him to the mat. Cover, but it only gets two. Irish whip by Shibaten and he hits a backslide, cover, but Yoshitsune kicks out. School Boy by Shibaten but it also gets a two. Yoshitsune kicks Shibaten to the mat to finally slow him down and follows with the 619. Yoshitsune goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a Shooting Star Press, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Yoshitsune
Match Thoughts: The final result was never really in doubt here as no one knew who/what Shibaten was and Yoshitsune was one of the most promising young stars in the promotion. Still, Shibaten got the bulk of the offense in, which was a shame as no one was really buying it and it was pretty plodding. The crowd did get into the quick pins at the end though as if Shibaten had any chance of winning that was it, but the match ended very quickly as Shibaten had been in control until the third 619 of the match managed to knock out Shibaten and Yoshitsune took his time hitting the SSP. The Balcony Moonsault was cool but every Yoshitsune match has awesome spots so that really wasn't enough to save this match from being sub-par. Score: 4.0
Mecha Mummy vs. El Samurai
Oh boy. Serious veteran vs. goofy comedy wrestler matches are always fun. Mecha Mummy beats down El Samurai as the match starts by El Samurai takes his fake hand off and throws it to the mat. Mecha Mummy gets his drill, El Samurai blocks the first shot but Mecha Mummy connects with the second. He goes for it again, but El Samurai moves out of the way and hits a DDT. El Samurai then picks up the drill and hits Mecha Mummy in the head with it, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving headbutt. Mecha Mummy begins shaking so the professor comes in and gets El Samurai to stop attacking him. Turns out that wasn't the only Mecha Mummy, as another one comes out dressed as Jushin Thunder Liger! Liger Kick by Mecha Mummy in the corner and he connects with series of palm thrusts. El Samurai regains control with a shotei, he puts Mecha Mummy onto the top turnbuckle and goes for the Frankensteiner, but Mecha Mummy holds onto the top rope and El Samurai falls to the mat. Mecha Mummy gets a Shotei Hand from his assistant, Irish whip by Mecha Mummy and he nails him with a shotei! Rocket Shotei by Mecha Mummy, cover, but it gets a two count. Mecha Mummy picks up El Samurai and hits a vertical suplex, cover, but again it gets a two count. Mecha Mummy waits for El Samurai to get up but El Samurai ducks the shotei attempt and hits a reverse DDT. Diving Headbutt by El Samurai, he goes outside the ring and gets a water from a fan at ringside. He spits some at Mecha Mummy's professor and goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Mecha Mummy recovers. Mecha Mummy gets up top with El Samurai but El Samurai pours water onto Mecha Mummy, causing him to malfunction. Mission dropkick by El Samurai, he puts on the robotic Shotei Hand while Mecha Mummy continues malfunctioning, cover, and El Samurai picks up the three count! Your winner: El Samurai
Match Thoughts: There is nothing in life more amusing then watching a grumpy old veteran having to do a comedy match with a ridiculous indy sleeze wrestler. Mecha Mummy coming out in a Liger costume cracked me up the first time I saw it, along with the way that Mecha Mummy "malfunctioned." They kept the time right, as if this had lasted any longer it would have gotten old, but it certainly gave me a chuckle and it was fun to watch El Samurai in such an indy sleeze match. Score: 6.0
Super Delfin vs. Atlantis
Super Delfin avoids an Atlantis dropkick to start the match, Irish whip by Atlantis but Super Delfin shoulderblocks him down. Irish whip by Atlantis but Super Delfin delivers a lariat. Super Delfin goes off the ropes and hits a multiple rotation headscissors followed by a dropkick. Atlantis rolls out of the ring to recover but returns after a moment. Elbow by Atlantis, Irish whip and he hits a spinebuster followed by a pair of elbow drops. Cover, but it gets a two count. Atlantis picks up Super Delfin and kicks him in the head before hitting a lariat. Cover, but again it gets two. Knee to the head by Atlantis and he begins working over Super Delfin's left leg. Atlantis picks up Super Delfin, Irish whip to the corner, and he hits a lariat. Irish whip by Atlantis and he forearms Super Delfin out of the ring. Atlantis then goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a plancha down onto Super Delfin. Atlantis slides Super Delfin back into the ring, scoop slam by Atlantis and he puts Super Delfin into the Mexican Surfboard. Super Delfin manages to slide out of it, Atlantis throws Super Delfin into the corner and chokes him with his boot. Cover by Atlantis but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Atlantis to the corner, reversed, and Super Delfin hits a crossbody. Super Delfin drags Atlantis out of the corner and delivers a DDT. Super Delfin picks up Atlantis and hits a delayed vertical suplex. Cover, but Atlantis kicks out. Super Delfin waits for Atlantis to get up and hits a Victory Roll for a two count. Super Delfin gets up onto the top turnbuckle and nails a Tornado DDT. Delfin Clutch, but Atlantis kicks out. Super Delfin waits for Atlantis to get up and he levels him with the shotei, cover, but Atlantis gets a shoulder up. Super Delfin waits for Atlantis to get up again but this time Atlantis ducks the shotei and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Atlantis waits for Super Delfin to get up and delivers a second one, cover, but Super Delfin kicks out. Atlantis picks up Super Delfin, Irish whip, and he puts him in the La Atlántida! Super Delfin has no choice but to submit. Your winner: Atlantis
Match Thoughts: Even though Delfin was made to look a bit weak, I actually enjoyed this match. Atlantis was game and even though he was in his mid-40s he still got around pretty well and even did a dive out of the ring. Delfin gave Atlantis pretty much everything he had though, and Atlantis won with three moves, which doesn't say much for Delfin. At least the three moves were connected (two moves to weaken the back and then a submission to the back for the win), I hate it when a wrestler will hit a few lariats and then win a match with a submission totally unrelated. Nothing great but entertaining, I haven't seen Atlantis before and its always a treat to see new wrestlers. Score: 6.5
Tiger Mask vs. Kikutaro
Another grumpy veteran vs. comedy wrestler match. They circle each other to start, tie-up, Tiger Mask pushes Kikutaro into the ropes and Kikutaro is happy that he got a clean break. Tie-up again, Tiger Mask pushes Kikutaro into the ropes again, they switch positions, and this time Kikutaro slaps him instead of giving a clean break. Tiger Mask immediately pushes Kikutaro into the ropes but Kikutaro acts so defenseless that Tiger Mask gives a clean break. Kikutaro argues with the referee, and while he does this Tiger Mask nails him with a high kick to the head. Kikutaro gets out of the ring and grabs a chair, but at 18 runs back into the ring when Tiger Mask didn't come out after him. Irish whip by Tiger Mask and the two collide with no result. Kikutaro goes off the ropes again, but with the same result. He goes off the ropes a third time, dropdown by Tiger Mask, but Kikutaro kicks him in the head. Flash Elbow by Kikutaro, he picks up Tiger Mask and hits a body slam followed by a leg drop. Cover, but Tiger Mask kicks out at two. Neck nerve hold by Kikutaro, he picks up Tiger Mask and applies an arm wringer into a stretch hold. Tiger Mask back flip kicks his way out of it though, Kikutaro falls out of the ring and Tiger Mask goes to do a dive, but Kikutaro moves so Kikutaro swings himself back into the ring. Kikutaro returns after a moment, and Tiger Mask kicks Kikutaro in the knees. Single leg crab hold by Tiger Mask but Kikutaro makes it to the ropes to force a break. Tiger Mask picks up Kikutaro and gives him a slap followed by a pair of kicks to the head. The referee counts Kikutaro down, but he gets up at 8. Tiger Mask dropkicks Kikutaro into the corner, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. He reverts it into a modified armbar, but Kikutaro gets a foot on the bottom rope. Tiger Mask picks up Kikutaro but Kikutaro chops him back. Punches by Kikutaro in the corner and goes for a bulldog, but Tiger Mask pushes him off. Kick by Tiger Mask in the corner and he puts Kikutaro onto the top turnbuckle. He then joins him and goes for a butterfly suplex, but Kikutaro pushes him off. Kikutaro grabs Tiger Mask's arm and goes for the Praying Walk Flying Chop, but after he gets to the other turnbuckle Tiger Mask lets go and Kikutaro falls into the ring. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes but Kikutaro catches him with a TKO. Kikutaro goes up to the top turnbuckle but Tiger Mask moves out of the way of the moonsault attempt. Tiger Driver attempt by Tiger Mask, blocked, but Tiger Mask hits a backslide for a two count. Roll-up by Kikutaro, but he also gets a two count. Kick to the stomach and chest by Tiger Mask but Kikutaro catches one and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Shining Wizard by Kikutaro, cover, but Tiger Mask gets a shoulder up. Kikutaro picks up Tiger Mask and talks to the crowd before he does the move, but he talks too long and Tiger Mask recovers and hits a vertical suplex. Backflip Double Knee Drop by Tiger Mask, cover, but it gets a two count. Back up, kicks to the chest by Tiger Mask, Kikutaro gets to his feet and takes off his shirt, but Kikutaro nails a high kick to the head. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Tiger Mask
Match Thoughts: About what you'd expect. Tiger Mask wasn't really up for the comedy spots, which fits his character, but he did give Kikutaro quite a bit including a close nearfall. Kikutaro was his usual entertaining self but the comedy was really only the first minute and then a bit in the last 30 seconds... the rest was pretty much a straight wrestling match. The first round matches were pretty easy to predict as you knew none of the big wrestlers from other promotions were losing that quickly, so the match result was never in doubt, but it wasn't bad and it was interesting watching Tiger Mask in there with a comedy wrestler. Score: 5.0
Olimpico vs. Super Shisa
Tie-up to start and Olimpico throws Super Shisa to the mat. Super Shisa kip ups and hits an armdrag, and both wrestlers return to their feet. Armdrag again by Super Shisa, hammerlock by Olimpico but Super Shisa snapmares out of it. Swinging headscissors by Super Shisa, and Olimpico flies out of the ring. Super Shisa goes off the far ropes but Olimpico moves so Super Shisa flips himself back into the ring. Olimpico returns after a moment, kick to the stomach by Olimpico and he hits a back elbow followed by a big boot. Irish whip by Olimpico to the corner and he hits a lariat followed by a face crusher. Olimpico gets Super Shisa up onto his shoulders and throws Super Shisa to the mat. Cover, but Olimpico pulls him up before the three count. Olimpico goes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock, back up, and Super Shisa hits an armdrag. Spear by Olimpico and he chops Super Shisa into the corner. Irish whip by Olimpico, but Super Shisa does a handstand in the corner. Headscissors by Super Shisa, Olimpico rolls out of the ring, and Super Shisa sails out onto him with a tope suicida. Super Shisa returns to the ring and Olimpico follows, Super Shisa hits Olimpico when he gets on the apron, Olimpico goes for a sunset flip but Super Shisa rolls through it and connects with a dropkick for a two count. Super Shisa picks up Olimpico, Irish whip, but Olimpico hits a lariat. Olimpico charges Super Shisa, Super Shisa throws him over the top rope but Olimpico hangs on and skins the cat to get back into the ring. Dropkick by Olimpico, and Super Shisa rolls outside the ring. With Super Shisa standing outside the ring, Olimpico goes out to the apron and delivers a diving lariat to the floor. Olimpico gets in the ring with Super Shisa returning as well, and Olimpico hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Olimpico picks up Super Shisa but Super Shisa hits a School Boy for a two count. Victory Roll by Super Shisa, that also gets a two count, he then tries a hurricanrana but that also fails to get the three. Olimpico goes off the ropes but Super Shisa catches him and applies a modified STF. Olimpico is too close to the ropes however and he forces the break. Super Shisa goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody, but Olimpico rolls through it and picks up the two count. Irish whip by Super Shisa from the corner and Super Shisa hits a back elbow. Super Shisa puts Olimpico onto the top turnbuckle and hits a few chops, he then joins him, but Olimpico catches him when he goes for a Frankensteiner and powerbombs Super Shisa to the mat. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Olimpico
Match Thoughts: First, it should be pointed out that Olimpico is double Super Shisa's size. Luchawiki has him at 182 pounds, but that would make Super Shisa about 80 pounds, so I think he weighs a little more then that. Anyway, due to the size difference Super Shisa didn't have much of a chance which is why he was trying roll-ups and quick submissions to try to pick up the win. Olimpico was a bit plodding, but that might have been more noticeable just because who he was wrestling. It was logical that Olimpico would win with a big powerbomb, when dealing with an Avalanche Powerbomb your opponent doesn't have to be too hurt for it to work. Pretty average, but nothing offensive. Score: 4.5
Tigers Mask vs. Rasse
Waistlock by Tigers Mask to start the match, reversed by Rasse but Tigers Mask applies a wristlock. Rasse rolls out of it and applies a hammerlock, reversed into a full nelson by Tigers Mask, snapmare by Tigers Mask and he applies a reverse chinlock. Rasse quickly gets out of it and applies a hammerlock on the mat. Tigers Mask reverses the hold and then goes for the arm, but Rasse gets out of it and both men are back on their feet. Rasse knocks down Tigers Mask and goes off the ropes, dropkick by Tigers Mask but Rasse returns with a dropkick of his own. Rasse picks up Tigers Mask, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Rasse picks up Tigers Mask and the two trade chops until Tigers Mask kicks Rasse in the stomach. Tigers Mask picks up Rasse and applies a leglock, but Rasse makes it to the ropes so Tigers Mask slams his knee down before releasing the hold. Tigers Mask picks up Rasse and goes back to the leg, but Rasse eventually makes it to the ropes to break the leglock. Tigers Mask picks up Rasse and goes for a back suplex, Rasse lands on his feet, but his knee can't hold him and he falls to the mat. Irish whip by Tigers Mask, Rasse goes for a handstand springboard attack but Tigers Mask dropkicks him in the back. Tigers Mask goes off the ropes but Rasse hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Rasse goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover, but it gets a two count. Rasse picks up Tigers Mask and hits a fisherman buster, cover, but it gets a two count. Rasse goes off the ropes but Tigers Mask catches him with a uranage. Tigers Mask picks up Rasse and throws him into the corner, he hits a running knee followed by a snap backdrop suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tigers Mask picks up Rasse and goes for the Tiger Suplex, but Rasse grabs the ropes. Tigers Mask goes off the ropes but Rasse hits a step-up enzigieri. Slam by Rasse in front of the corner and he goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Tigers Mask recovers and punches him before he can jump off. Tigers Mask then joins Rasse on the top turnbuckle, Rasse pushes him off, but Tigers Mask lands on his feet and dropkicks Rasse when he jumps off the top turnbuckle. Snap German suplex by Tigers Mask, but Rasse pops back up to his feet. German suplex by Rasse, but Tigers Mask returns the favor and the two trade slaps. Spinning back kick by Tigers Mask but Rasse catches his second one and rolls him up for a two count. Slaps by Tigers Mask and he connects with another high kick before nailing a brainbuster. Cover, but Rasse kicks out. Tigers Mask picks up Rasse and delivers the Tiger Suplex Hold, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Tigers Mask
Match Thoughts: A perfectly fine match, but nothing overly exciting. I am so glad that Tigers Mask ditched his old costume... it worked fine when he was more of a comedy wrestler, but he had to upgrade his gear if he wanted to be taken seriously. Rasse had the support of the crowd but never really mounted a serious enough offense to take down the Osaka Pro ace. They kept the pace up and the match was entertaining, but it lacked excitement and Rasse never seemed to have a chance. Score: 5.5
Ultimo Dragon vs. Great Sasuke
Final match of the 1st Round. This was Great Sasuke's first match in several months, so the crowd is really pumped. Ultimo Dragon nicely holds the ropes for Sasuke, but Sasuke tackles him once he has gone through the ropes and the two start slugging it out. Sasuke punches Ultimo Dragon against the ropes and hits a back kick, sending Ultimo Dragon out of the ring. Sasuke goes out to the apron but Ultimo Dragon pulls him out to the floor. Ultimo Dragon then gets on the apron but Sasuke grabs his leg and pulls him back down. Sasuke picks up Ultimo Dragon and kicks him near the crowd. Sasuke chops Ultimo Dragon in the chairs at ringside before finally sliding him back into the ring. Ultimo Dragon goes off the far ropes and kicks Sasuke in the face when Sasuke goes for a monkey flip. Knee drop by Ultimo Dragon, he picks up Sasuke, snapmare, and Ultimo Dragon kicks Sasuke in the back. Stomp to the face by Ultimo Dragon and he drops an elbow onto Sasuke's back. Muta Lock by Ultimo Dragon and he grabs Sasuke's arms to apply extra pressure. Ultimo Dragon releases the hold after a moment and kicks Sasuke in the legs. Ultimo Dragon drags Sasuke back to the middle of the ring and applies a leglock. Back up, arm wringer by Ultimo Dragon into a hammerlock, and Ultimo Dragon slams Sasuke to the mat hard, dropping him on his head and neck. Cover by Ultimo Dragon but it gets a two count. Kicks to the leg and chest by Ultimo Dragon and Sasuke falls to the mat after a double chop to the chest. Sasuke eventually gets up but Ultimo Dragon knees him hard in the stomach. Ultimo Dragon asks the referee to count Sasuke down again, but Ultimo Dragon grabs Sasuke and chops him into the corner. Arm wringer by Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip, but Sasuke hits Ultimo Dragon when he charges in. Sasuke goes out to the apron but Ultimo Dragon hits a dropkick off the side ropes, knocking Sasuke out of the ring. Ultimo Dragon goes for a pescado, Sasuke moves, but Ultimo Dragon lands on his feet outside the ring. Sasuke goes off the far ropes and hits a dropkick through the ropes onto Ultimo Dragon, himself plopping hard onto the floor. Sasuke gets back in the ring, he goes off the far ropes again and this time sails out onto Ultimo Dragon with a tope con hilo. Sasuke picks up Ultimo Dragon and throws him into the ring, Sasuke goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a jumping neckbreaker. Cover, but it gets a two count.
Sasuke applies an armbar, but Ultimo Dragon gets a foot on the bottom rope. Elbows to the ribs by Sasuke and he elbows Ultimo Dragon in the back of the head. Sasuke goes back to the arm but Ultimo Dragon is in the ropes. Sasuke picks up Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip, but Ultimo Dragon lands on his feet when Sasuke goes for a back bodydrop and delivers a kick combination. Sasuke rolls out of the ring, Ultimo Dragon goes out to the apron and nails the Asai Moonsault! Ultimo Dragon picks up Sasuke, takes him over near the crowd and suplexes him into the chairs. Knees to the midsection by Ultimo Dragon and he carries Sasuke into the crowd. Ultimo Dragon tries to throw Sasuke into the ring post but Sasuke reverses it, sending Ultimo Dragon into the post instead. Sasuke gets back in the ring, goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a somersault plancha down onto Ultimo Dragon! Sasuke is up first, he gets into the ring, goes up top again and this time hits the Rider Kick! And he is insane. Sasuke finally throws Ultimo Dragon back into the ring, scoop slam by Sasuke, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a senton atomico! Cover, but Ultimo Dragon kicks out at two. Kicks to the back by Sasuke and he punches Ultimo Dragon in the ribs. Sasuke kicks Ultimo Dragon hard in the back of the head and punches him again in the ribs. Sasuke waits for Ultimo Dragon to get up and elbows him in the top of the head before delivering an enzigieri. Sasuke grabs Ultimo Dragon and goes for the powerbomb, but Ultimo Dragon slides down his back and hits a hurricanrana. They trade pin attempts, kick to the chest by Ultimo Dragon and he applies a submission hold. Sasuke gets out of it with a pin attempt, but Ultimo Dragon kicks out. Jumping elbow strike by Sasuke, he picks up Ultimo Dragon and slams him to the mat. Sasuke goes off the ropes and attempts a quebrada, but Ultimo Dragon dropkicks him in midair. Ultimo Dragon waits for Sasuke to get up but Sasuke hits a backslide for a two count. German suplex hold by Sasuke, but that also gets a two. Back up, waistlock by Sasuke but Ultimo Dragon elbows out of it. They jockey for position, Ultimo Dragon goes for an Asai DDT but he is unable to hit it. Ultimo Dragon picks up Sasuke and delivers the Asai DDT, he quickly picks up Sasuke and hits it a second time. Ultimo Dragon picks up Sasuke, delivers a kick combination and nails a final Asai DDT. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Ultimo Dragon
Match Thoughts: First of all, both of these guys are insane. After all of their injuries and surgeries, and both being at or near their 40s, they are still doing dropkicks off the top turnbuckle to the floor and sailing out onto each other like they are still 20 years old. Just unreal. I am an admitted Ultimo Dragon mark, and people bitch about him constantly, but while he might not give it 100% all the time, here in the spotlight he worked as hard if not harder then every other wrestler on the card. It really was like a flashback to the mid-90s... they are obviously a little slower but the fight and desire was still there. The pacing was great, as both of them have been around long enough to know how to put together a match, and it was a fitting main event. The ending was a little off since one of the Asai DDTs didn't connect very well which made the end drag a bit, but overall from start to finish the match was very entertaining. Worth going out of your way to see, these two held nothing back. Score: 7.5
That is the end of the Opening Round.
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yoshitsune
Yoshitsune charges down the ring at Liger, jumping over the top rope and hitting him with a dropkick. Liger falls out of the ring and Yoshitsune sails out onto him with a tope con hilo. Yoshitsune then quickly gets back in the ring, goes off the far ropes and hits a Suicide Moonsault. Yoshitsune gets back in and waits for Liger, who returns to the ring at 16. Yoshitsune waits for Liger to get up and hits a superkick followed by a 619. Swandive Firebird Splash by Yoshitsune, cover, but Liger kicks out at two. Yoshitsune picks up Liger, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Liger is up and throws Yoshitsune off the top turnbuckle. Shotei by Liger, he picks up Yoshitsune, Irish whip to the corner and he hits another shotei. Liger tells the referee to count Yoshitsune down, but Liger picks up Yoshitsune at 7 and nails a running Liger Bomb. Cover, but Yoshitsune gets a shoulder up. Liger calls for the end and hits a brainbuster, cover, but again Yoshitsune kicks out. Liger picks up Yoshitsune and puts him on the top turnbuckle, but Yoshitsune flips off when Liger climbs up to join him and Yoshitsune hits the 619 to knock Liger off the top turnbuckle to the mat. Yoshitsune quickly applies the Koromogawa and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Yoshitsune
Match Thoughts: If you think about it, this really isn't as shocking as it seems on paper. With two New Japan wrestlers, you knew that they both wouldn't make the finals, so one had to leave early in an upset. Well if Liger or Tiger Mask was going to put over a young star, which one would you have guessed? Still though, it was a great moment as afterwards Sasuke came in the ring to congratulate Yoshitsune and Yoshitsune spoke on the mic before celebrating some more. Liger was perfect with this, as he seemed overwhelmed by Yoshitsune's quick offense and then turned into a cocky prick again as he thought he would quickly be able to put Yoshitsune away. Just another reason why Liger is the greatest Jr. Heavyweight of all time, the loss did nothing to hurt him but it thrilled the crowd and helped put over Yoshitsune as a legitimate threat to beat anyone. Score: 7.0
El Samurai vs. Atlantis
Tie-up to start, hammerlock by Atlantis but El Samurai reverses it into a wrist lock. Leg lock by Atlantis, El Samurai reverses it, but Atlantis gets back to his feet and drops an elbow onto El Samurai's leg. El Samurai manages to lock in the cross armbreaker but Atlantis quickly grabs the bottom rope. Back up, single leg takedown by El Samurai and he applies a modified stretch hold. Atlantis gets out of it and applies an armlock, but El Samurai gets a foot on the ropes. Atlantis picks up El Samurai and hits an armbreaker, Irish whip by El Samurai but Atlantis shoulderblocks him down. Atlantis goes off the ropes but El Samurai hits a lariat followed by a dropkick. Atlantis falls out of the ring, and El Samurai hits a baseball slide before exiting the ring as well. On the outside El Samurai tries to throw Atlantis into the ring post but Atlantis reverses it and hits a vertical suplex onto the exposed floor. Atlantis gets back in the ring and waits for El Samurai, who returns at 17. Atlantis knees him as he comes in the ring, Irish whip by Atlantis and he hits a lariat. Elbow drop by Atlantis, cover, but it gets a two count. Atlantis picks up El Samurai and hits a scoop slam, he then rolls El Samurai over and knees him in the back. Elbow drop by Atlantis and he applies a single leg crab hold. El Samurai makes it to the ropes so Atlantis breaks the hold, stomp to the back by Atlantis and he chokes El Samurai while he is in the corner. Knee to the midsection by Atlantis and he knees El Samurai in the ribs. Atlantis picks up El Samurai, Irish whip, and Atlantis hits a spinebuster. Cover, but it gets a two count. Running splash by Atlantis but that also gets a two count. Another cover, but it gets a two as well. Club to the ribs by Atlantis and he applies a Camel Clutch. Atlantis goes for the cross armbreaker but El Samurai quickly gets a foot on the bottom rope.
Knee to the arm by Atlantis and he then drops a knee onto El Samurai's leg. Atlantis grabs El Samurai's leg and jumps down on it while it is draped over the bottom rope. With El Samurai's legs hanging over the apron, Atlantis goes outside the ring and twists on his ankles until the referee forces him to break. Atlantis then gets back in the ring and twists El Samurai's legs in the bottom rope again. Atlantis applies a stretch submission but El Samurai makes it to the ropes and he breaks the hold. Leg drop to the leg by Atlantis, El Samurai crawls out to the apron so Atlantis takes him outside the ring and rams his leg into the ring post. Atlantis then grabs a chair and slams El Samurai's leg into it before rolling him back into the ring. Atlantis picks up El Samurai, Irish whip, reversed, and El Samurai hits a lariat in the corner followed by the tornado DDT. Cover, but Atlantis kicks out. El Samurai picks up Atlantis, Irish whip, but Atlantis ducks the lariat. El Samurai still manages to hit a reverse DDT however, El Samurai goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving headbutt. Cover, but again it gets a two count. Chickenwing Armlock by El Samurai but Atlantis gets to the bottom rope. El Samurai picks up Atlantis and hits the side Russian leg sweep followed by a stretch hold. El Samurai releases it after a moment, he picks up Atlantis and puts him onto the top turnbuckle. El Samurai joins him and goes for the Frankensteiner, but Atlantis hangs onto the ropes and El Samurai falls by himself (0 for 2 on the Frankensteiner for poor El Samurai in this tournament). Lariat by Atlantis, cover, but it gets a two count. Atlantis picks up El Samurai, Irish whip, but El Samurai kicks him when he goes for a back bodydrop and hits a lariat for a two count. El Samurai picks up Atlantis, Irish whip, but Atlantis catches him when he puts his head down and applies the Gory Special. El Samurai can't get out of it and submits! Your winner: Atlantis
Match Thoughts: This was old school, so you are either going to love it or hate it. I was leaning towards the "love it" side, but El Samurai did such a poor job that I can't love it but so much. As I mentioned Atlantis went completely old school on us, as he wasn't focusing on one bottom part but was destroying different parts of El Samurai's body one part at a time. He went from lower back, to ribs, to arm, and spent the last few minutes on the leg. He used a variety of interesting methods to attack El Samurai to keep the crowd into the match. But while El Samurai sold it fine while it was happening, once he was on offense he completely blew it off. Submission work being blown off is common and I normally don't mind too much, but Atlantis had spent such a long time wearing El Samurai down that I think it deserved a little extra mention by El Samurai. The match ending with a submission to El Samurai fit the match structure, so while the beginning and the end of the match were great, El Samurai's stint on offense really hurt the overall quality of the match as it caused Atlantis's submission work to go from smart to meaningless as El Samurai bounced around the ring. Score: 6.0
Tiger Mask vs. Olimpico
Waistlock by Olimpico to start into a full nelson, Tiger Mask reverses it, but Olimpico gets him to the mat. Armdrag by Tiger Mask, and both men face off again. Side headlock by Olimpico, reversed by Tiger Mask but Olimpico applies a hammerlock. Olimpico picks up Tiger Mask but Tiger Mask flips out of the move. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes, Olimpico goes for a back bodydrop but Tiger Mask again flips out of it. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes again but this time Atlantis trips him up from ringside. Snapmare by Olimpico and he dropkicks Tiger Mask in the head. Olimpico picks up Tiger Mask, he places his head over the top rope and then dropkicks him from the apron. Back in the ring, Irish whip by Olimpico and he hits a lariat. Olimpico places Tiger Mask's head over the second rope and chokes him, he then yanks Tiger Mask neck-first onto the top rope. Irish whip by Olimpico and he connects with a jumping forearm shot. Back up, they trade strikes with a kick to the leg by Tiger Mask winning the battle. Olimpico gets back up though and goes off the ropes, but Tiger Mask hits a monkey flip. Dropkick by Tiger Mask, and Olimpico falls out of the ring. Fake dive by Olimpico but he then hits a pescado. The move doesn't take Olimpico off his feet however, and with Atlantis' help hey press slam him onto the floor. Olimpico and Atlantis then pick up Tiger Mask and ram him midsection-first into the ring post. Olimpico gets back in the ring but Tiger Mask returns at 14. Olimpico grabs Tiger Mask while he is still on the apron but Tiger Mask sneaks in an inside cradle for a two count. Punches by Tiger Mask, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Atlantis gets on the apron and holds Tiger Mask. This gives Olimpico time to recover and he throws Tiger Mask off the top turnbuckle. Scoop slam by Olimpico, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Tiger Mask rolls out of the way of the senton. Tiger Mask goes up top and delivers a missile dropkick, cover, but it gets a two count. Clubs to the chest by Olimpico, Irish whip from the corner and he delivers lariat followed by a face crusher. Olimpico picks up Tiger Mask and goes off the ropes, Tiger Mask hits a back kick and goes off the ropes, but Atlantis grabs him from the apron. Atlantis holds Tiger Mask for Olimpico, but when Olimpico charges him Tiger Mask moves and Olimpico accidentally dropkicks Atlantis. Tiger Mask quickly puts Olimpico in a crucifix hold and picks up the three count! Your winner: Tiger Mask
Match Thoughts: Real disappointing as both of these wrestlers are capable of more then this. With Olimpico's size advantage there was no need for so much outside interference... Olimpico didn't need any help against Super Shisa, why would he need constant help for another smaller (although more talented) wrestler? It set up a decent story with Atlantis' constant interfering backfiring, but Olimpico shouldn't have needed so much help to begin with so it wasn't necessarily an intelligent story. It wasn't a theme up to this point of the CMLL wrestlers helping each other (although it would be later), as Atlantis didn't get any help against El Samurai or Super Delfin. Just a bit odd and it didn't make for an entertaining match at all as the match was short and was constantly disjointed by the interference. Score: 3.5
Tigers Mask vs. Ultimo Dragon
Tie-up to start, waistlock by Tigers Mask but Ultimo Dragon grabs the ropes and the referee breaks the hold. Tie-up again, waistlock by Ultimo Dragon and he tosses Tigers Mask to the mat. Headscissors by Tigers Mask but Ultimo Dragon gets out of it and applies a side headlock. Tigers Mask rolls out of it and applies an armlock, Ultimo Dragon gets out of it and he grabs Tigers Mask when he tries to scurry away. Wristlock by Tigers Mask but Ultimo Dragon flips out of it and shows off his speed with a quick armdrag. Tie-up, headstand headscissors by Ultimo Dragon and he does a second one. Tigers Mask gets in the ropes however and both wrestlers are back on their feet. Knee by Ultimo Dragon and he throws Tigers Mask in the corner. Kicks by Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip, reversed, and Tigers Mask hits a lariat. Ultimo Dragon blocks Tigers Mask's Wind Up punch however and hits a headscissors. Kick Combination by Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip, and he hits a drop toehold followed by an elbow to the back. Leg submission by Ultimo Dragon, he picks up Tigers Mask and hits a hammerlock roll-through into a submission. Elbow drop by Ultimo Dragon, he picks up Tigers Mask and hits a snapmare before applying a reverse chinlock. Headscissors by Ultimo Dragon but Tigers Mask gets a foot on the ropes. Knee to the ribs by Ultimo Dragon and he kicks Tigers Mask in the chest. Back up, chops by Tigers Mask but Ultimo Dragon kicks him in the chest and connects with a knee drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ultimo Dragon picks up Tigers Mask, Irish whip, but Tigers Mask kicks Ultimo Dragon in the face and chest. Scoop slam by Tigers Mask, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ultimo Dragon is up and dropkicks him off the top turnbuckle to the floor.
Ultimo Dragon then goes for a pescado, but Tigers Mask moves out of the way. Tigers Mask gets back in the ring and kicks Ultimo Dragon away as he approaches the apron, Tigers Mask then goes off the far ropes and delivers a tope con hilo. Tigers Mask is up first and throws Ultimo Dragon into the ring, Tigers Mask goes up onto the top turnbuckle and delivers a missile dropkick. Brainbuster by Tigers Mask, cover, but it only gets a one count. Irish whip by Tigers Mask but Ultimo Dragon avoids the back bodydrop and delivers a back kick. Tigers Mask goes out to the apron but Ultimo Dragon dropkicks him as he goes for a springboard move, sending Tigers Mask out to the floor. Ultimo Dragon then goes out to the apron and hits the Asai Moonsault. Ultimo Dragon quickly brings Tigers Mask back into the ring, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon, Tigers Mask goes for a sunset flip but Ultimo Dragon rolls through and kicks Tigers Mask in the chest. Ultimo Dragon applies another Lucha Libre inspired submission hold which I recognize but don't know the name of, but releases it after a moment. Ultimo Dragon picks up Tigers Mask, scoop slam, Ultimo Dragon goes up to the top turnbuckle but Tigers Mask is up and joins him. Tigers Mask goes for a superplex but Ultimo Dragon blocks it and slides over his back to hit a powerbomb. Cover, but Tigers Mask gets a shoulder up. Ultimo Dragon goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a crossbody, but Tigers Mask rolls though and gets a two count. Back kick by Ultimo Dragon and he hits a Kick Combination, but Tigers Mask pushes him off when he goes for an Asai DDT. German suplex by Tigers Mask, he goes for the Japanese Leg Clutch Hold but Ultimo Dragon rolls through it and goes for a pin. Tigers Mask reverses it into a cradle of his own however and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Tigers Mask
Match Thoughts: Another legend putting over a younger indy wrestler, which really is part of what these tournaments are all about. Ultimo Dragon showed here that even though he is older he still has the quickness as the early armdrag sequence was well done and after the Asai Moonsault he quickly threw Tigers Mask in the ring so that he can get a quick pinfall. Tigers Mask didn't have a lot of time on offense but he made the most of it when he did, but this was mostly about Ultimo Dragon controlling the match while Tigers Mask looked for chances to sneak in a quick win. I hadn't seen Ultimo Dragon in a Jr. Heavyweight match in years so this was a real treat for me personally, and I was glad to see him put on two very entertaining matches. Score: 7.0
That is the end of the Quarterfinals Round.
Yoshitsune vs. Atlantis
Yoshitsune dropkicks Atlantis as soon as the bell rings, Irish whip by Atlantis but Yoshitsune flips around and hits a rotating headscissors. Atlantis falls out of the ring, Yoshitsune goes out to the apron but Atlantis moves out of the way of the Asai Moonsault. Atlantis stomps on Yoshitsune's back at ringside, picks him up and rams him back-first into the ring post. Atlantis picks up Yoshitsune and throws him back into the ring before following him in. Atlantis picks up Yoshitsune again and slams him hard to the mat. After slamming him into the corner, Atlantis hits a backbreaker and elbows Yoshitsune in the back. Atlantis puts Yoshitsune in the Tree of Woe, he then exits the ring and chokes Yoshitsune against the bottom rope. Atlantis hops back into the ring and knees Yoshitsune in the back. Atlantis drags Yoshitsune back to the middle of the ring and drops another knee into his lower back. Atlantis applies a modified single leg crab hold and releases it so that he can drive his knee into Yoshitsune's back again. Kicks to the ribs by Atlantis, he picks up Yoshitsune and throws him out of the ring. Atlantis goes out as well, he picks up Yoshitsune and slams him back-first into the apron. He then grabs Yoshitsune and Irish whips him into the apron before returning to the ring. Atlantis kicks Yoshitsune through the ropes as soon as he gets up but finally lets him get back in and drops both knees into his back before standing on it. Atlantis then twists Yoshitsune's leg under the bottom rope and yanks back on it. Atlantis stands on Yoshitsune's back again, scoop slam and a cover but it only gets a two count. Atlantis picks up Yoshitsune and hits a backbreaker, cover, but again it gets a two. Yoshitsune gets back to his feet but Atlantis knees him in the back before twisting him over his shoulder before slamming him down. Cover, but Yoshitsune kicks out. Elbow drops to the back by Atlantis and he applies a reverse chinlock. He releases after a moment to yell at the referee before stomping Yoshitsune in the back a few more times.
Atlantis picks up Yoshitsune and places him in the ropes so he can stretch him out some more. With Yoshitsune tied up in the ropes, Atlantis goes out to the apron and and applies a type of modified Gory Special. He has to release it since it is an illegal move, but Atlantis throws Yoshitsune out of the ring. Atlantis goes out after him and scoop slams him into a few chairs at ringside. I don't think Yoshitsune has had an offensive move in about ten minutes. Atlantis gets back in the ring and high-fives Olimpico, but Yoshitsune makes it back into the ring at 18. Atlantis immediately kicks Yoshitsune in the back, Irish whip to the corner but Yoshitsune flips himself out to the apron. Yoshitsune punches Atlantis when he runs towards him, he then bounces up onto the top turnbuckle and hits a diving hurricanrana. 619 by Yoshitsune, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a dropkick to a downed Atlantis. Swandive Firebird Splash, but Olimpico has the referee distracted. The referee eventually turns around and makes the count, but it only gets a two. Yoshitsune charges Atlantis as he finally remembers his back is hurt, but Atlantis catches him in La Atlántida. Yoshitsune grabs the ropes to get out of it but Atlantis levels him with a lariat. Cover, but Yoshitsune gets a foot on the bottom rope. Atlantis picks up Yoshitsune and nails a powerbomb, cover, but it gets a two count. Atlantis drags Yoshitsune to his feet and throws Yoshitsune over his shoulder. Elbow drop to the back, cover, but again Yoshitsune kicks out. Cover again, but it gets the same result. Back up, Irish whip by Atlantis and he goes for La Atlántida, but Yoshitsune reverses it with a hurricanrana for a two count. Both wrestlers slowly get up, Atlantis ducks a Yoshitsune heel kick and rolls him up for a two. Atlantis is up first, Yoshitsune charges him but Atlantis catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Atlantis finally gets Yoshitsune in La Atlántida in the middle of the ring and Yoshitsune has no choice but to submit! Your winner: Atlantis
Match Thoughts: I am starting to like Atlantis, which is the opposite reaction I was expecting from the tournament. He is very methodical in his destruction but he mixes it up with a variety of moves (some I have never seen before) and he keeps the crowd emotionally invested in the match. For a minute I thought that Yoshitsune had forgotten about the back but after a few seconds he was selling it again, implying that it was more a "second wind" situation then him pretending like he was healed. Yoshitsune is so easy to twist around and Atlantis likes to twist people, so it almost had to be fun. Like his match with AKIRA, I sometimes like to see a Yoshitsune match where he is more grounded, and Atlantis was really at the top of his game. I hate to say it, but the right man won here. Yoshitsune isn't in Atlantis' league, not yet, and the win over Liger was enough to call the tournament a success for him. Very solid and entertaining match. Score: 6.5
Tiger Mask vs. Tigers Mask
They circle each other to start, kick to the leg by Tiger Mask and Tigers Mask backs off. Waistlock by Tigers Mask and he gets Tiger Mask to the mat, but Tiger Mask applies a hammerlock. Tigers Mask gets back to his feet and reverses the hold, headscissors by Tigers Mask but Tiger Mask gets a foot on the bottom rope. Back up they go into a Test of Strength, but Tigers Mask dropkicks Tiger Mask out of the ring. Tiger Mask returns after a moment, tie-up, side headlock by Tiger Mask, Tigers Mask Irish whips out of it but Tiger Mask shoulderblocks him down. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes, avoids a Tigers Mask dropkick attempt and kicks him out of the ring. Tigers Mask returns, kick to the chest by Tiger Mask and he elbows Tigers Mask in the back. Tiger Mask applies a headscissors and goes for the cross armbreaker, but Tigers Mask quickly gets a foot on the bottom rope. Kicks to the chest by Tiger Mask, he picks up Tigers Mask, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Tiger Mask applies the chickenwing but Tigers Mask gets a foot on the bottom rope and Tiger Mask is forced to break. Tiger Mask applies an ankle lock but Tigers Mask punches his way out of it. High kick to the back by Tiger Mask but Tigers Mask returns fire with chops to the chest. Tigers Mask goes for the arm of Tiger Mask and attempts to lock in the cross armbreaker, but Tiger Mask quickly gets a foot on the bottom rope. Tigers Mask picks up Tiger Mask and hits an armbreaker, snapmare by Tigers Mask and he applies a sleeper hold. Tiger Mask struggles to his feet and punches his way out of it, sending Tigers Mask to the mat with a hard slap. Kick to the chest by Tiger Mask, Irish whip from the corner but Tigers Mask avoids a high kick and delivers a brainbuster. Tigers Mask picks up Tiger Mask and throws him into the corner before connecting with a run-up elbow followed by a snap backdrop suplex. Tigers Mask goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover, but it gets a two count. Kick to the stomach by Tigers Mask and he goes for the Tiger Driver, Tiger Mask blocks it, but Tigers Mask gives him a hard slap and hits the move anyway. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tigers Mask goes off the ropes but Tiger Mask catches him with a back kick. Tiger Mask goes for a German suplex, Tigers Mask lands on his feet and goes for a German suplex of his own, but Tiger Mask lands on his feet as well and delivers a kick to Tigers Mask's head. Cover by Tiger Mask but it gets a two count. Tiger Mask drags Tigers Mask to his feet and kicks him in the chest, but Tigers Mask ducks a kick and delivers a spinning kick to the back of Tiger Mask. Brainbuster by Tigers Mask, cover, but Tiger Mask kicks out. Tigers Mask picks up Tiger Mask and goes for the Tiger Suplex, but Tiger Mask blocks it. High kick by Tigers Mask and he goes for it again, but again Tiger Mask blocks the move. Another high kick by Tigers Mask, cover, but Tiger Mask gets a shoulder up. Tigers Mask goes off the ropes but Tiger Mask catches him with a tombstone piledriver. Tiger Mask picks up Tigers Mask and goes for the Tiger Suplex, but Tigers Mask pushes him back into the corner. High kick by Tiger Mask, cover, but it gets a two count. Tiger Mask applies the cross face chicken wing to Tigers Mask, Tigers Mask reaches for the ropes but Tiger Mask nails the Millennium Suplex! Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Tiger Mask
Match Thoughts: Disappointing like Tiger Mask's last match, but for a different reason. This one had enough time and the focus stayed on the wrestlers in the ring, but it was just so repetitive. How many high kicks can one have in one match? I am not a complete "moves" guy but if wrestlers keep repeating the same move over and over it does tend to get old as it shows an utter lack of creativity and makes the match seem as if it never progresses. I liked Tiger Mask reaching into his old bag of tricks by hitting the Millennium Suplex, but there was little build to is as the last few minutes beforehand they had just gone back and forth with no clear victor. It didn't appear as though they were slacking off, it just seemed as if they had no time to talk about the match so they just laid out the most basic one possible. I was hoping for more since it was their first encounter, hopefully they will get another chance down the road. Score: 5.0
That is the end of the Semifinals Round.
Atlantis vs. Tiger Mask
This is the Finals of the 2007 Fukumen League. Atlantis attacks Tiger Mask to start the match, throwing him into Olimpico who hits him with a flower bouquet. Irish whip by Atlantis to the corner and he slams Tiger Mask to the mat. Stomps to the ribs by Atlantis and he knees Tiger Mask in the ribs while he is against the ropes. Gutbuster by Atlantis and he throws Tiger Mask into the corner to choke him. Punches by Atlantis and he delivers a lariat. Atlantis applies a reverse chinlock, but Tiger Mask elbows out of it and delivers a back kick. Tiger Mask goes to go off the rope but Olimpico grabs his feet and pulls him to the outside. Olimpico then picks up Tiger Mask and press slams him into a row of chairs. Atlantis slides out of the ring and with Olimpico he hits a vertical suplex onto Tiger Mask on the floor. They then pick up Tiger Mask and ram him mid-section first into the ring post. Atlantis gets back into the ring with Tiger Mask eventually following him, Atlantis grabs Tiger Mask when he is on the apron and twists him around inside the ropes in some kind of illegal stretch hold. Atlantis releases it when the referee forces the break and Atlantis elbows Tiger Mask in the ribs. Atlantis starts ripping at Tiger Mask's mask but throws him back to the mat. Atlantis applies a Camel Clutch and starts untying Tiger Mask's mask, he starts making happy noises as he almost gets it off, but Tiger Mask pushes him away. Tiger Mask then kicks Atlantis, gets him to the mat and starts taking off his mask, but Olimpico runs in and dropkicks Tiger Mask. Stomps by Atlantis onto Tiger Mask and he kicks him in the groin. Punch to the ribs and he knees Tiger Mask in the back. Atlantis argues with the referee before going back to Tiger Mask, he goes off the ropes but Tiger Mask moves when he goes for a spear and Atlantis falls out of the ring. Tiger Mask then goes off the far ropes and sails out onto Atlantis with a tope suicida. Tiger Mask kicks Atlantis when he goes to get back in the ring, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and sails out onto Atlantis with a plancha. Olimpico comes over though and kicks Tiger Mask into a row of chairs before sliding Atlantis back into the ring. Tiger Mask gets back to the apron, shoulder tackles Atlantis through the ropes and then hits a missile dropkick off the top turnbuckle. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes but Atlantis hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Atlantis calls for La Atlántida, he waits for Tiger Mask to get up and hits a second backbreaker. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Atlantis and he goes for a third, but Tiger Mask kicks out of it. Tiger Mask goes off the ropes but Atlantis delivers a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, cover, but Tiger Mask gets a shoulder up. Tiger Mask ducks an Atlantis lariat but Atlantis kicks him low and hits the lariat anyway for a two count cover. Atlantis waits for Tiger Mask to get up and goes for a suplex, but Tiger Mask reverses it into a school boy for a two count. Tiger Mask applies the Octopus Hold, but Olimpico runs in and breaks it up. Olimpico holds Tiger Mask for Atlantis, but Tiger Mask ducks and Atlantis accidentally knocks Olimpico out of the ring. Tiger Mask quickly applies the cross armbreaker, and Atlantis has no choice but to submit! Your winner: Tiger Mask
Match Thoughts: It should be noted that if this match had been anything but the final it would have been perfectly fine, but as a final it was just a bit anti-climatic. The story was solid, with Atlantis getting help from Olimpico any time Tiger Mask got the advantage so in order to win Tiger Mask had to do a quick move while Olimpico was knocked out. The problem was that the end was so sudden (since no arm work had been done there was no hint that Tiger Mask might win with a cross armbreaker) the crowd was even slow to "pop" and the match seemed to end too soon. The constant interference also got old and the match seemed a bit short for the finals of a major tournament. To his credit Tiger Mask seemed pretty fired up and the section where both wrestlers tried to take the others mask off was well done, but overall it just fell a bit flat as the final of such an entertaining tournament. Score: 5.5
Best Match: Ultimo Dragon vs. Great Sasuke. I know I rated Liger/Ken Kid slightly higher, but Ultimo Dragon and Great Sasuke had such a great match for two wrestlers that have been through so many injuries in their long careers that I have to give them the nod. They really let it all fly, I was amazed that instead of just coasting through a match that the crowd would have still liked they would go all out to put on a match that rivaled their matches from over a decade earlier. It also helps that these are two of my favorite wrestlers from yesteryear. A must see.
MVP: Yoshitsune. This was a bit of a "coming out" party for him as while he was already successful in Japan this was his start to being the top star of Michinoku Pro. Yoshitsune would win Michinoku Pro's Jr. Heavyweight Championship only two months after this tournament and would hold it for almost a year as of the time of this review. His match with Shibaten was average, but his match with Liger was a huge upset and he had a very solid match with the veteran Olimpico. It would have been too much for him to have won the tournament as it would have seemed a bit forced considering the skill and experience level of the other wrestlers in the tournament, but it worked out very well for him as he defeated a legend and gave Atlantis a few scares before he went down.
Overall: The full uncut show has no commentary, which was actually fine as it allowed me to focus more on the action. This event was better then I thought it would be, as my initial disappoint that my man Yoshitsune lost to some guy I had never heard of (my mistake) clouded my opinion of the tournament. While there were a few fillers (which is normally the case in large tournaments), the bulk of the wrestlers worked really hard and put on some great matches. For every wrestler that didn't seem to be trying as hard (such as Olimpico and Tiger Mask), there were others such as Great Sasuke, Yoshitsune, Tigers Mask, Billy Ken Kid, Ultimo Dragon, and Atlantis that were more then willing to pick up the slack. The veterans were selfless in getting over the younger stars, and there were a lot of fresh matches that either had never happened before or hadn't happened in a long time. Honestly, this event is better then both the 2000 and 2004 Super J Cups and is the best single elimination tournament I have seen in years. I only had 3 of 15 matches below average, and I gave at least a 7.0 to four matches. The only real downside was the anti-climatic final, but the great work done prior was enough to keep the tournament positive. Between the explosion of Yoshitsune to Great Sasuke and Ultimo Dragon thinking it was 1996, this is an event I would definitely recommend for any fan of puroresu.
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event reviewed on 10/11/08