review by Kevin Wilson
Date: June 9th, 2005
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Announced Attendance: 1,628
Now this is fun. Real Japan is a small independent Japanese promotion started by Super Tiger, aka Tiger Mask I, aka Satoru Sayama. It has had a few shows since June and like most independent promotions uses a lot of wrestlers from other smaller promotions. Since Sayama is hardcore into karate and other forms of martial arts, there were other matches on the show that were not professional wrestling. On this show there were four professional wrestling and three karate fights as well. Here are the professional wrestling matches on the card:
- Kagetora vs. Rasse
- Alexander Otsuka and Kei Sato vs. Masao Orihara and Junji Tanaka
- Mango Fukuda, Pineapple Hanai, and Minaminno vs. The Tiger II, Taiji Ishimori, and Shu Sato
- Super Tiger vs. Shinjiro Ohtani
Since most of these names will be new to many of you, I'll list what promotions they normally wrestle in so that if you enjoy their work you can find more events with their participation.
Kagetora vs. Rasse
Both of these masked wrestlers are a part of Michinoku Pro. They struggle for position to start the match, with neither man giving in. Waistlock by Kagetora, reversed by Rasse, but Kagetora reverses it back into a waistlock. Takedown by Kagetora, but Rasse applies a reverse headlock. Kagetora struggles to his feet, but Rasse maintains an armbar. Arm wringer by Rasse, but Kagetora reverses it into an arm wringer of his own. Kagetora reverses that into a hammerlock, Rasse tries to elbow out of it, but Kagetora pushes him to the mat. Kagetora applies an arm submission on the mat and then changes it into a side headlock. Rasse reverses it with a headscissors, Kagetora springs out of it, and both men are back on their feet again. Tie-up, Kagetora pushes Rasse into the corner and gives a clean break. Tie-up again, side headlock by Kagetora, Rasse Irish whips out of it, but Kagetora shoulderblocks him down. Kagetora goes off the ropes again, but this time Rasse trips him up. Rasse runs to the ropes now, leapfrog by Kagetora, Rasse avoids the monkey flip and hurricanranas Kagetora out of the ring. Rasse goes to take a dive, but Kagetora moves so Rasse flips himself back into the ring before going over the top rope. Kagetora eventually returns to the ring, knee to the gut by Rasse and he hits a chop. Kagetora chops him back and the two exchange blows. They start trading forearm shots, Kagetora goes off the ropes and floors Rasse with a flying forearm smash. Kick by Kagetora and he applies a reverse chinlock on the mat. Kagetora applies a stretch hold on Rasse, cover, but Rasse kicks out at one. Kagetora picks up Rasse, snapmare, and he dropkicks Rasse right in the face. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kagetora picks up Rasse, goes for a vertical suplex, Rasse lands on his feet and goes off the ropes, but Kagetora catches him with a spinebuster. Cover, but again it gets two. Kagetora throws Rasse into the corner and hits a series of chops. Irish whip, reversed, Rasse charges Kagetora, but Kagetora moves and Rasse lands on the apron. From the apron, Rasse slingshots himself into the ring, springboards off the second rope in the corner and hits a moonsault on Kagetora. Rasse dropkicks Kagetora out of the ring and sails out himself onto Kagetora with a corkscrew plancha suicida. Rasse gets up first, throws Kagetora into the ring, and hits a springboard missile dropkick from the apron. Rasse goes for a body scissors, but Kagetora catches him and throws him off. Now Kagetora goes off the ropes, but Rasse catches him with a back kick to the stomach. Off the ropes again, Rasse goes for another body scissors, and this time hits a facebuster. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Rasse picks up Kagetora in a back suplex position and drops him on his head. Cover by Rasse, but again it gets two. Rasse signals he is going for the finish, he scoop slams Kagetora in front of the corner and goes up top, but Kagetora rolls out of the way of the 450 Splash. Slap by Kagetora, Irish whip from the corner and he hits a jumping back elbow. Flying clothesline by Kagetora, he waits for Rasse to get back up, goes off the ropes, and hits a running enzigieri followed by a modified Simonizer (dropping him in front of his body instead of to the side). Cover by Kagetora, but Rasse kicks out at two. Kagetora drags Rasse to his feet, dumps him in front of the corner, goes up top, and hits the big elbow drop. Cover, but again it only gets a two count. Again Kagetora picks up Rasse, goes off the ropes, Rasse ducks the attack and goes for a backslide, but Kagetora rolls through and clotheslines Rasse hard to the mat. Kagetora gets Rasse up and delivers his Ikkitousen. Cover, and Kagetora picks up the three count! Your winner: Kagetora
Match Thoughts: A nice opener. Both are popular wrestlers from Michinoku Pro and they have worked together many times before, thus they clicked very well. Rasse and Kagetora hit their spots almost flawlessly, but naturally they couldn't go "all out" since they were at the beginning of the card. Kagetora's finisher is impressive looking, and overall I was pleasantly surprised with the match. With small independent promotions you don't always know what you will get, but this match was perfectly watchable although not spectacular. Score: 6.0
Alexander Otsuka and Kei Sato vs. Masao Orihara and Junji Tanaka
Tanaka charges Otsuka to start the match and throws him out of the ring while Orihara knocks Sato to the mat. Sato regains the advantage inside the ring and dropkicks Orihara in the face. Irish whip, but Orihara blocks the hiptoss and flings him to the mat. Sato is double teamed, double Irish whip, and he is knocked down with a double chop. Tanaka hits a senton, but Otsuka comes back in the ring to try to help. He gets beat down as well, double Irish whip, but he ducks the double clothesline and clotheslines both men down. Otsuka goes over to Tanaka and press slams him out of the ring while Sato Irish whips Orihara into the corner and hits a kick. Otsuka follows with a belly to belly overhead suplex on Orihara, he picks Orihara back up, holds him for Sato, and Sato hits a double springboard kick from the corner. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Sato throws Orihara into the corner and tags in Otsuka. Club to the back by Otsuka, he applies a waistlock, but Orihara grabs the top rope and kicks him low. Orihara tags in Tanaka, who clubs Otsuka in the back. Snapmare, and he kicks Otsuka in the back and then hits a kneedrop. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Headbutt by Otsuka, and he tags in Sato. Double Irish whip by Otsuka and Sato, and they hit a double elbow. Cover, but it gets another two. Sato hits a series of kicks to Tanaka's head, another cover, but Tanaka kicks out. A stretch submission is applied by Sato, but Tanaka makes it to the ropes and Sato breaks the hold. Sato tags Otsuka back in, and he forearms Tanaka in the back. Snap suplex by Otsuka, cover, but it gets a two count. Otsuka chops Tanaka in the chest, but Tanaka returns fire. Eye rake by Tanaka, he goes off the ropes and kicks Otsuka in the head. Tanaka hits a knee strike, cover, but it gets a two count. Clubs to the back by Tanaka and he throws Otsuka into the corner. Irish whip by Tanaka, reversed, but Tanaka gets his foot up when Otsuka charges and hits a bulldog from the top turnbuckle. Tanaka picks up Otsuka, hits a Rock Bottom, cover, but it gets a two count. Samoan Drop by Tanaka, and he tags in Orihara, who comes in the ring off the top turnbuckle with a missile dropkick. Cover by Orihara, but Otsuka kicks out. Waistlock by Orihara, but Otsuka reverses it and tags in Sato. Kicks by Sato to the stomach and he hits a flurry of strikes on Orihara. Orihara absorbs the blows though and slaps Sato hard in the face. Orihara drops an elbow on Tanaka's leg, cover, but it gets a two count. Orihara tags in Tanaka, and Tanaka kicks Sato in the stomach. Cover, but Sato kicks out. Tanaka picks up Sato, scoop slam, and he drops the leg across Sato's neck. Cover, but it gets a two count. Tanaka scoop slams Sato in front of the corner and Orihara comes off the top with a double stomp. Tanaka hen goes up top and hits the same thing, cover by Orihara, but again it gets a two count. Orihara kicks Sato repeatedly in the head and knocks him down with a clothesline. Cover, but Otsuka breaks it up. Orihara slams Sato into three turnbuckles, Tanaka comes off the top turnbuckle with a dropkick, cover by Orihara, but it gets a two count.
Leg drop by Orihara, another cover, but Otsuka breaks it up. Orihara picks up Sato in a piledriver position and holds him for a good 30 seconds before finally driving him to the mat. Cover, but Sato barely kicks out. Orihara elbows Otsuka off the apron, Tanaka comes in the ring, double Irish whip to the corner, Orihara hits a clothesline, but when Orihara gets on all fours for Tanaka to catapult off his back, Sato charges out of the corner and dropkicks the charging Tanaka. Neckbreaker by Sato on Orihara and he hits a series of kicks on Tanaka. He is too tired to make the tag though, and Orihara kicks Sato in the head. Headbutt by Orihara, cocky cover, and it gets a two count. Orihara picks up Sato, and with Tanaka on the top turnbuckle they hit a spike piledriver. Cover, but Otsuka breaks it up. Tanaka kicks Otsuka out of the ring, Irish whip by Orihara to the corner, and he hits a running clothesline. Orihara puts Sato on the top turnbuckle, hits a spider suplex and then nails a moonsault. Cover, but Otsuka breaks it up. Tanaka again comes in the throw Otsuka out of the ring while Orihara Irish whips Sato in the ring and hits the Complete Shot. Cover by Orihara, but Sato barely kicks out. Orihara drags Sato to his feet and hits a running powerbomb. Cover, but Otsuka breaks it up. Otsuka hits a German suplex on Orihara and then hits one on Tanaka as well. Otsuka picks up Orihara, headbutts him, and nails a deadweight release German suplex. Tanaka hits Otsuka low though, goes to his corner, and Orihara tags him in. Tanaka kicks Sato in the back, Irish whip by Tanaka, but Sato kicks him in the stomach. Sato goes for a Tornado DDT from the corner, but Tanaka throws him off. Irish whip by Tanaka to the corner, but Sato jumps up on the second rope and this time delivers the Tornado DDT. This gives him time to make the hot tag to Otsuka, Irish whip by Otsuka on Tanaka, reversed, but Otsuka ducks the clothesline and hits a savate kick. Reverse chinlock by Otsuka, but Tanaka hits a jawbreaker to get out of it. Knee to the gut by Tanaka and he kicks Otsuka against the ropes. Irish whip, Tanaka hits a few more kicks, but Otsuka finally catches one and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Otsuka gives Tanaka the 'ol Giant Swing and then sits down with a single leg crab hold. Orihara breaks it up with a kick to the head, but Sato comes in and dropkicks him out of the ring. Sato then bounces off the far ropes and goes over the top rope with a somersault tope suicida on Orihara. In the ring, Otsuka has a modified Camel Clutch applied, but Tanaka makes it to the ropes. Otsuka drags Tanaka to his feet, nails the SSD, and covers him for the three count pinfall. Your winners: Alexander Otsuka and Kei Sato
Match Thoughts: The match wasn't bad, but I didn't particularly like the layout. My main problem was that after working up to the hot tag for most of the match, the hot tag ended up meaningless as within 20 seconds of getting in the ring Otsuka applied a reverse chinlock and was knocked out with a jawbreaker, thus shifting momentum back. I occasionally complain about the Tag Team Formula, but there are times that it makes sense. If the story of the match is Sato trying to get to the corner to tag Otsuka, you would think that Otsuka would kick some ass once he finally got in the ring, but that didn't happen here. Yes, he eventually got the pinfall, but only after another change in momentum. Besides that the action was crisp, but Orihara is one weird looking dude. The SSD is a cool finisher, not sure if I have seen that move done before. So it wasn't unwatchable, but it just came up flat to me with the non-hot hot tag at the end of the match. Score: 4.5
Mango Fukuda, Pineapple Hanai, and Takeshi Minaminno vs The Tiger II, Taiji Ishimori, and Shu Sato
Minaminno and Ishimori start things off. They jockey for position to start with neither man getting the advantage. Finally Ishimori gets a waistlock on Minaminno, but Minaminno reverses it and goes for the leg of Ishimori. Ishimori goes for a front facelock, but Minaminno reverses it with an arm wringer. Ishimori applies an arm wringer of his own, but Minaminno makes it to the ropes and Ishimori gives a clean break. Kick to the stomach by Minaminno, he goes for a snapmare, but Ishimori lands on his feet. Minaminno goes for a big boot, Ishimori slides under it, Ishimori goes off the ropes and does a quebrada, Minaminno moves, but Ishimori lands on his feet. Now Minaminno goes off the ropes and he hits a shoulderblock. From the mat, Ishimori does a kip-up hurricanrana and dropkicks Minaminno out of the ring. Ishimori goes for a dive, but Minaminno moves, so Ishimori swings himself back in the ring and tags in Sato. Fukuda is tagged in as well by Minaminno Sato goes for a front waistlock, but Fukuda flings him to the mat. Now Sato goes for the leg, but Fukuda clubs him in the back and applies a side headlock. Irish whip by Sato, but Fukuda shoulderblocks him down. Fukuda goes off the ropes, leapfrog by Sato, and he catches him with a quick hurricanrana before kicking him out of the ring. Sato goes to do a dive, but instead tags in Tiger. Hanai comes in as well, Test of Strength, and Hanai gets Tiger to his knees. Tiger rolls backwards to reverse the hold however and hits a spinning headscissors. A second spinning headscissors gets Hanai to stay down and Hanai has to get a foot on the rope to break the hold. Tiger hits a series of kicks, Irish whip, and he nails a dropkick. Tiger tosses Hanai in the corner, but Hanai collapses on impact. Snapmare by Tiger and he stomps Hanai in the head before applying a leg submission hold. Tiger tags in Sato, who comes off the top rope with an ax handle. Kicks by Sato, Irish whip, but Hanai holds onto the ropes to avoid the dropkick and tags in Minaminno Minaminno hits a series of kicks and punches Sato down to the mat. Snapmare by Minaminno and he kicks Sato in the back. Minaminno tags in Fukuda, who hits a dropkick on Sato. Club to the back by Fukuda and he chops Sato down. Cover, but it gets a two count. Fukuda drags Sato back to his own corner and makes the tag to Hanai. Chops by Hanai against the ropes, Irish whip, and hits a side slam while Fukuda runs in and helps drive Sato to the mat. Cover by Hanai, but it only gets a two count. Fireman's carry slam by Hanai and he applies a single leg crab hold while his teammates hold back The Tiger and Ishimori. Hanai eventually releases the hold and goes for a back suplex, Sato lands on his feet and lunges for the corner, but Hanai tackles him before he can get there.
Hanai picks up Sato and chops him back down before tagging in Minaminno Kick to the gut by Minaminno and he throws Sato into the corner. Irish whip by Minaminno from the corner, but Sato reverses it and hits a diving forearm smash. Minaminno comes charging out of the corner though with a strike of his own, goes off the ropes, but Sato catches his clothesline attempt and kicks him in the back of the head. This gives Sato time to tag in Ishimori, how comes in the ring with a springboard dropkick. Hanai comes in, but Ishimori nails a handstand springboard elbow strike before giving Fukuda a nice overhead kick (this is how you do a hot tag). Ishimori tags in Tiger, Irish whip by Tiger on Minaminno, and he hits a spinning backbreaker. Hanai runs over to Tiger, so he gets a spinning backbreaker as well. It's Fukuda's turn now, but Tiger can't get Fukuda over so he hits a combination of kicks instead, knocking Fukuda to the mat. Tiger picks up Fukuda and goes for the Tiger Suplex, but it is broken up and all six men come in the ring. Tiger gives Fukuda a back bodydrop, Irish whip, but Fukuda knees Tiger in the stomach. Fukuda goes for a piledriver, but Tiger reverses it with a hurricanrana for a two count. Tiger ducks a clothesline and goes for Fukuda's neck, but Hanai and Minaminno run in to break it up. Sato comes in and knees Minaminno, while in the ring Hanai delivers a hurricanrana to Ishimori for a close two count. Hanai hits the Nameless on Ishimori, cover, but again it gets a two count. Hanai calls for the finish, picks up Ishimori, Irish whip to the corner, but Ishimori gets a boot up when he charges and Sato adds a kick of his own. 619 by Ishimori to Hanai and he nails the Superstar Elbow. Cover, but the pin attempt is broken up. Another brawl breaks out, with Sato and Minaminno trading blows in the ring. Sato kicks Minaminno to the mat before picking him up and hitting more kicks. Sato hits an Unprettier, cover, but Minaminno kicks out. Sato goes for another kick, but finally Minaminno catches his leg and delivers a German suplex hold that gets a two count before it is broken up. Tiger and Ishimori are tossed from the ring, leaving Sato to be triple teamed. A Fukuda lariat gets a two count, he picks Sato back up and nails a brainbuster. Cover, but it is broken up. Tiger throws Minaminno out of the ring and hits a man-sized Asai Moonsault, slightly over-shooting Minaminno and landing in the crowd. In the ring, Sato ducks a Fukuda clothesline and rolls him up for two, but Fukuda quickly fires back with another clothesline. Fukuda goes to the top turnbuckle, comes off with the Final Flash!, and gets the three count pinfall. Your winners: Mango Fukuda, Pineapple Hanai, and Takeshi Minaminno
Match Thoughts: Mango Fukuda, Pineapple Hanai, and Takeshi Minaminno were all a part of Toryumon X and still wrestle around independent promotions. Sato is the twin brother of the Sato that wrestled in the last match. The Tiger 2 is better known as Ultimo Dragon, and Ishimori has wrestled this year (2005) in All Japan. Now that I have that out of the way, this match was a real cluster, but a fun cluster. As I playfully pointed out, Ishimori's "hot tag" was far superior to Otsuka's hot tag in the last match, and even more surprisingly Ishimori did not botch a single move in the entire match. Actually he looked pretty good, as did all the wrestlers. And I must admit to slightly marking out at watching The Tiger do the Asai Moonsault, even if he did attempt to kill himself in the process. Los Salseros Japoneses looked good as well and function great as a team since they have tagged so much together in the past. The end really broke down though, and after the hot tag there wasn't any real rhyme or reason to the match. It was just a series of spots until the final move. Still it was fun to watch, even if it was lacking substance at times. Score: 6.5
Super Tiger vs. Shinjiro Ohtani
Super Tiger sneaks in a few slaps to start the match, but Ohtani takes him down and applies an armbar on the mat. Ohtani goes for a cross armbreaker, but Super Tiger links his arms and rolls out of it. Both men are back on their feet, Super Tiger hits a series of kicks and then a beautiful (especially considering his age and weight) twisting leg scissors takedown. Super Tiger applies a leg submission hold, but Ohtani gets a hand on the ropes and Super Tiger releases the hold. Ohtani gets back to his feet, but eats more kicks from Super Tiger. Super Tiger punches Ohtani in the corner and hits a spinning heel kick. Ohtani rolls out of the ring, Super Tiger goes for a dive, but sees Ohtani might move and swings back inside before sailing out with a pescado. Super Tiger gets back in the ring first and Ohtani eventually follows him in. Kicks to the leg by Super Tiger, but Ohtani catches one of the kicks and fires back with kicks of his own. Ohtani stomps Super Tiger down in the corner and gives Super Tiger some boot scrapes followed by a running boot scrape to the head. Ohtani picks up Super Tiger and charges him, but Super Tiger avoids the kick and goes off the ropes. Super Tiger flips out of an attempted back bodydrop and kicks Ohtani stiffly in the shoulder followed by a kick straight to the head. Knee drop by Super Tiger and he applies an inverted cross armbreaker. After a minute Ohtani makes it to the ropes and Super Tiger gives a break. Stomps and kicks by Super Tiger and he drops an elbow on Ohtani's head. Super Tiger applies a key lock while pinning Ohtani, but Ohtani reverses it with a headscissors. Ohtani reverts the move into a cross armbreaker, but Super Tiger quickly makes it to the ropes. Ohtani is reluctant to let go, but eventually does so. Stomps by Ohtani, he picks up Super Tiger and throws him into the corner. Ohtani slaps Super Tiger in the corner, but Super Tiger returns fire and kicks Ohtani against the ropes. Irish whip by Super Tiger and he delivers a diving double chop to Ohtani's chest. Super Tiger picks up Ohtani and nails a tombstone piledriver. Cover, but Ohtani barely kicks out. Super Tiger goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers a diving headbutt to Ohtani. Cover, but again Ohtani kicks out. Super Tiger goes up top again, but Ohtani rolls out of the way of the moonsault, goes up top himself, and hits a missile dropkick to Super Tiger's back. Ohtani goes off the ropes, but Super Tiger catches him with a back kick and hits a DDT. Super Tiger kicks Ohtani in the head while he is on one knee and hits a double kneedrop. Cover, but it only gets a two count. Super Tiger drags Ohtani to his feet, but Ohtani drives him back into the corner and hits a spinning heel kick. Slap by Ohtani, but Super Tiger grabs him and applies a cross armbreaker. Ohtani manages to get a foot on the bottom rope, and both men slowly struggle to their feet. Slap by Ohtani, he applies a cobra hold, and Super Tiger quickly taps out! Your winner: Shinjiro Ohtani
Match Thoughts: I wanted to enjoy this match, considering I have a lot of respect for both wrestlers, but it came off flat in a lot of ways and didn't come across as the main event for the debut show. As I mentioned above, Super Tiger was formally known as the original Tiger Mask, and Ohtani is one of the leaders of Zero-One MAX. Super Tiger looked pretty good at what he did, even though he has put on weight since his glory years, but not a lot happened in this match. The trading of submission holds was fine, but the ending seemed to come out of nowhere and the earlier submissions did not seem to play much of a part in the ending. Super Tiger had been in control, had just applied a cross armbreaker, but Ohtani sneaks in a submission.... and Super Tiger is tapping out almost before the hold is even locked in. The match was also quite short, clocking in at 10 minutes and it was actually the shortest professional wrestling match on the show. It wasn't a bad match, but it lacked the punch that we have seen in the other matches on the card. Score: 5.5
With only four professional wrestling matches on the card and none of them great, it is hard to recommend this show. I will admit that it was fun seeing Super Tiger and The Tiger 2, since they are old favorites of mine and don't work the main promotions much (if at all), but that alone doesn't make the event worth purchasing. The Michinoku Pro guys were all solid though, and no one on this event seemed out of place. If you like MMA/karate and can get the full show, then it would probably be worth the purchase. If you are only a fan of professional wrestling though, I'd suggest picking up a Michinoku Pro or Zero-One MAX show if you are in the mood for something different instead of this event.
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