Suzuki-gun Produce "We are SUZUKI-GUN"
a review by Kevin Wilson

Date: June 9th, 2015
Location:  Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  1,298

Sometimes we get these little oddball shows that no one can really explain.  This is one of those shows.  Suzuki-gun has been in NOAH for the year of 2015, basically terrorizing the promotion and taking all of their titles.  So I guess they decided to have their own event, using wrestlers from NOAH and New Japan to help promote (in theory) how awesome the group is.  Let’s see how that works out.  Here is the full card: 

- Naomichi Marufuji vs. Yuji Nagata
- Genba Hirayanagi and Hitoshi Kumano vs. Jon Webb and Jack Gamble
- Captain Noah and Captain New Japan vs. Gedo and Zack Sabre Jr.
- El Desperado and Taichi vs. Yoshinari Ogawa and Jushin Thunder Liger
- Shelton Benjamin and TAKA Michinoku vs. Takashi Sugiura and Daisuke Harada
- NWA World Tag Team Championship: Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima
- Maybach Taniguchi and Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka

Most of these matches are just the same matches you’d see at a NOAH event, it is almost like when nWo put on a PPV and they just wrestled the same WCW wrestlers they always do.  So don’t expect anything special.  Onto the matches!

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Yuji Nagata
Not sure how this match fits the theme but here we are.  They start with a well-done choreographed number before trading holds, with Marufuji hitting a dropkick at the end.  They start trading chops, which Marufuji gets the better of and Nagata goes outside of the ring.  Marufuji goes out after him but Nagata regains the advantage out on the floor.  Nagata slides Marufuji back in and Nagata applies a sleeper, but Marufuji kicks out of it.  Nagata knees Marufuji but Marufuji kicks him back and they trade elbows.  Elbows by Nagata in the corner, scoop slam by Nagata and he applies a crab hold.  Marufuji gets to the ropes to break the hold, elbows to the back by Nagata and he applies an abdominal stretch.  Marufuji gets out of it, kicks to the chest by Nagata, he goes off the ropes but Nagata hits a big boot.  Irish whip by Nagata but Marufuji boots him back and hits a lariat.  Marufuji picks up Nagata, Irish whip by Nagata but Marufuji cartwheels and hits a dropkick.  Nagata falls out of the ring, Marufuji goes off the ropes and he hits a pescado.  Back in the ring and Marufuji hits a jumping elbow in the corner.  Exploder by Nagata, cover, but Marufuji kicks out.  Nagata applies a crossface but Marufuji gets a boot on the ropes.  Nagata grabs Marufuji but Marufuji slips out to the apron.  Nagata pulls Marufuji back over the top rope and he hits a dragon screw neck whip back into the ring.  Nagata picks up Marufuji and he nails the brainbuster, cover, but it gets two.  Nagata knees Marufuji in the corner, he puts Marufuji on the top turnbuckle and joins him but Marufuji knees him back to the mat.  Kick and strike combination by Marufuji, superkick by Marufuji and he covers Nagata for two.  Marufuji picks up Nagata and he goes for the Shiranui but Nagata blocks it, he goes for a suplex but Marufuji lands on his feet.  Superkick by Marufuji but Nagata gets him to the mat and applies the seated armbar.  Marufuji gets a foot on the ropes, and back up they trade strikes.  Heel kick by Nagata, he picks up Marufuji and he goes for a wrist-clutch exploder but Marufuji blocks it.  Hard knee to the face by Nagata, he picks up Marufuji but Marufuji blocks the backdrop suplex and hits a jumping knee.  Both wrestlers slowly get up, kick by Marufuji but Nagata hits a back bodydrop.  Another knee by Marufuji but the bell rings as he does so, signifying the match is a Draw.  I understand them going with the draw since it wouldn’t make sense for one of these two to lose on a Suzuki Produced event, but it still made it feel a bit flat.  The action up to that point was solid but Marufuji in particular never felt like he was on the cusp of winning.  Nagata was a few times but Marufuji was more on defense than offense here.  These two have good chemistry and there was no lack of effort, so it was still enjoyable, but not as good as they can do with a more prominent role.  Mildly Recommended

Genba Hirayanagi and Hitoshi Kumano vs. Jon Webb and Jack Gamble
Webb and Gamble attack before the match starts but we immediately get the message that Webb and Gamble don’t get along as they can’t keep track of who should attack Kumano first.  Kumano and Webb are the first two legal wrestlers but Kumano tags in Hirayanagi.  Hirayanagi and Webb trade elbows, kicks by Webb but Hirayanagi throws him in the corner and tags in Kumano.  Kumano scoop slams Webb, and Kumano applies a reverse chinlock.  Kumano elbows Webb and tags Hirayanagi as the beatdown on Webb continues.  Webb eventually kicks Hirayanagi and elbows him into the corner, Irish whip by Webb but Hirayanagi drops him onto the apron.  Webb goes up top but Hirayanagi avoids his dive and he hits a lariat.  Hirayanagi goes up top and he hits a missile dropkick.  Cover, but it gets two.  Hirayanagi tags in Kumano but Webb dropkicks both of them.  Irish whip by Webb but Kumano hits a back elbow and he hits a vertical suplex.  Fisherman suplex hold by Kumano but it gets two.  Enziguri by Webb and he goes off the ropes, but Gamble tags himself in.  They argue until Webb leaves the ring, and Gamble lariats Kumano in the corner.  Gamble hits a cutter on Kumano, cover, but Webb breaks up his own teammates cover.  Webb and Gamble trade elbows but calm down, but Gamble knocks out Webb with a head kick.  Gamble kicks Kumano but Hirayanagi slides in the ring and levels him with a Shoryu Genba.  Jackknife Hold by Kumano and he gets the three count!  They over-did the thing with Webb and Gamble not getting along, teammates can not like each other and still at least pretend to cooperate.  These two weren’t even pretending.  So that negatively impacted the match, besides the fact they aren’t the best wrestlers anyway.  Skippable match.

Captain Noah and Captain New Japan vs. Gedo and Zack Sabre Jr.
Captain Noah and Gedo start off, Captain Noah pushes Gedo into the ropes and he gives a clean break.  Gedo knees Captain Noah, shoulderblock by Gedo but Captain Noah slaps him.  Captain Noah chops Gedo in the corner, lariat by Captain Noah but Gedo punches him.  Captain New Japan and Sabre are tagged in and they trade holds on the mat.  Sabre hits a few uppercuts but Captain New Japan shoulderblocks him down.  Gedo comes in, Captain New Japan goes for a double shoulderblock but both Gedo and Sabre move out of the way.  Gedo and Sabre take turns on Captain New Japan for a bit but Captain New Japan finally hits the double shoulderblock and he tags in Captain Noah.  Captain Noah lariats both and hits chops, and he puts Gedo in the Crossface of Captain Noah! Gedo gets to the ropes, DDT by Captain Noah and he gets two.  Gedo pops up and hits Captain Noah, and they both flop to the mat.  Captain New Japan and Sabre are both tagged in and Captain New Japan hits a shoulderblock.  Captain New Japan goes up top but Sabre avoids the dive and hits a running uppercut in the corner.  Kick to the back of the head by Sabre but Captain New Japan punches him and hits the Hirai End for a two count.  Gedo and Captain Noah come in, Captain Noah holds Gedo for Captain New Japan but Captain New Japan hits Captain Noah by accident.  Captain New Japan then holds Gedo for Captain Noah but Captain Noah hits Captain New Japan intentionally before slapping hands with Gedo.  All three hit running strikes on Captain New Japan in the corner, Captain Noah goes up to the second turnbuckle and is fed Captain New Japan, so he can hit a super powerbomb.  Cross armbreaker by Sabre to Captain New Japan and he gets the submission victory!  This wasn’t good but it was amusing.  Captain Noah is Jado, Gedo’s best friend for many years, which is why the double cross wasn’t the most shocking thing in the world.  But it was well done, it just didn’t need a 12 minute match to get there as before that it was pretty dull.  A cute ending but not much else.

El Desperado and Taichi vs. Yoshinari Ogawa and Jushin Thunder Liger
They go right into a brawl to start things off as the action spills outside the ring. Taichi and Liger return to the ring, Taichi goes for Liger’s mask but Ogawa comes in to help.  Desperado comes in too as they both rip at the hair of their opponents.  Desperado stomps on Liger but Liger hits a double lariat on Taichi and Desperado.  Shotei by Liger to Desperado, he puts Desperado on the top turnbuckle and he goes for Desperado’s mask.  Taichi comes in with a chair and hits Liger with it, and Taichi throws Liger out of the ring.  Taichi attacks Liger on the floor before rolling him back in, Desperado puts Liger up top and he goes for the mask while Taichi throws Ogawa out of the ring.  Taichi puts Liger against the ropes and chokes him, Taichi kicks Liger in the groin and Desperado makes a fake three count on the cover.  Taichi throws Liger into the corner but Liger kicks him back and he hits a jumping lariat.  Liger tags in Ogawa and Ogawa clears the ring in his own comedic way.  Irish whip by Ogawa to Taichi but Taichi kicks him in the head. Taichi superkicks Ogawa, Desperado is tagged in and they hit a double superkick on Ogawa.  Desperado grabs Ogawa and he hits the Guitarra de Angel, but Ogawa kicks out of the cover.  Liger comes in to help, they throw Taichi and Desperado into each other and Ogawa sneaks in a schoolboy for the three count!  Post match Liger takes Desperado’s mask off of him and throws it into the crowd, so a complete loss by Suzuki-gun.  This was clearly more about storyline than anything else since the match wasn’t good.  Just really basic brawling, nothing of interest happened between the bells at all.  I’m not a fan of Ogawa anyway but this wasn’t his fault, it was just a meaningless match likely just done to set up Liger/El Desperado down the road.  So far not overly amused by this event.

Shelton Benjamin and TAKA Michinoku vs. Takashi Sugiura and Daisuke Harada
Benjamin and Sugiura start off the match, Irish whip by Benjamin but Sugiura hits a boot.  Lariat by Benjamin, he picks up Sugiura but Sugiura hits a vertical suplex.  Michinoku and Harada are tagged in and they trade strikes, shoulderblock by Harada and he elbows Michinoku some more.  He goes off the ropes but Benjamin knees him from the apron and Michinoku hits a big boot.  They clear the ring and brawl on the floor with Michinoku and Harada eventually returning and Michinoku tags in Benjamin.  Benjamin elbows Harada around the ring and he applies a backbreaker.  Benjamin tags Michinoku back in and Michinoku applies a chinlock.  Harada gets to the ropes to get the break, Michinoku stretches Harada over his knee and he stands on Harada in the corner.  Michinoku tags in Benjamin, Harada tries to elbow and chop Benjamin but Benjamin shrugs it off and elbows Harada to the mat.  Benjamin goes for the Stinger Splash but Harada moves and hits a hurricanrana.  Harada tags in Sugiura and Sugiura spears Benjamin.  Irish whip by Sugiura, he boots Michinoku off the apron and knees Benjamin in the stomach.  Big boot by Sugiura in the corner and he hits a running knee.  Sugiura charges Benjamin, Benjamin applies an ankle hold but Sugiura quickly reverses it.  Knee by Sugiura, cover, but Benjamin kicks out.  Sugiura goes up top but Benjamin jumps up there and suplexes Sugiura down to the mat.  Both wrestlers tag out, as Harada elbows Michinoku.  Michinoku throws Harada into the corner and Michinoku hits a lariat.  Another lariat by Michinoku and he hits a jumping knee.  Just Facelock by Michinoku while Benjamin puts Sugiura in an ankle hold, but Harada  makes it to the ropes.  Harada elbows Michinoku, cover, but Benjamin breaks it up.  Jumping kick by Michinoku but Harada catches him with the Henkei Knee Upper.  Katayama German Suplex Hold by Harada on Michinoku and he gets the three count!  This was better than the last match, but I still wish the beatdown segment on Harada was a bit more inspired.  The match got good again once Sugiura was tagged back in and I liked Harada getting the win, it just could have been more interesting before that.  Still an above average match overall.

(c) Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima
This match is for the NWA World Tag Team Championship.  TenKoji attack before the match and the brawl is taken out to the floor.  They return to the ring with Archer and Smith in control, but Kojima and Tenzan throw the teammates into each other.  Double vertical to Archer and they double team Smith.  Thing settle down with Kojima paired off with Smith, and Smith gets the upper hand with some help from Archer.  Kojima is controlled for several minutes by Smith and Archer, until he finally knocks Archer away and makes the hot tag to Tenzan.  Tenzan headbutts Archer and hits some Mongolian Chops.  Lariat by Tenzan in the corner but Archer elbows him.  Heel kick by Tenzan, cover, but it gets two.  Archer chops Tenzan and he hits a big lariat, giving him time to tag in Smith.  Knees by Smith and a high kick to Tenzan, cover, but Tenzan kicks out.  Elbow by Smith and he hits a backdrop suplex.  More chops by Tenzan, he goes off the ropes but he is caught by a jumping knee for a two count.  Kojima and Archer are both tagged in, Archer does the rapid fire chops in the corner but Kojima naturally switches positions with him and returns the favor.  Irish whip by Kojima and he hits a jumping elbow in the corner followed by the diving elbow drop for a two count.  Elbows by Kojima but Archer knees him, DDT by Kojima and he covers Archer for two.  Kojima picks up Archer and punches him a bunch of times but Smith comes in and Archer hits an assisted lariat for a two count.  Koji Cutter by Kojima on Archer and he lariats Smith out of the ring.  They hit the 3D on Archer, cover by Kojima but Archer barely gets a shoulder up.  Kojima goes off the ropes but Archer ducks the lariat and hits a full nelson bomb.  Smith comes in and they double team Kojima, cover, but Tenzan breaks it up.  Smith elbows Tenzan, Kojima tries to fight back but Smith powerbombs him.  Archer picks up Kojima and delivers the chokeslam, but Kojima barely kicks out.  Killer Bomb by Archer and Smith, and they get the three count!  Archer and Smith are still your champions.  In a vacuum this would have been a better match, but since it followed a similar formula as the last several matches that hurt things a bit.  The teams have good chemistry since they wrestle a lot though and the match flowed very well.  I enjoyed it, I just wish it had differed a bit from the rest of the card.  Mildly Recommended

Maybach Taniguchi and Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka
The the shock of no one Suzuki-gun attacks before the bell rings, and Iizuka stays in the ring with Takayama. Takayama goes for a boot but Iizuka catches it and bites Takayama's foot. No idea how that would be effective. Takayama chokes Iizuka while Taniguchi and Suzuki brawl around the floor (apparently they do have a second camera they just really don't want to use). Takayama mauls Iizuka in the ring and he tags in Taniguchi. Taniguchi elbows Iizuka and stomps on him before tagging Takayama back in, and Takayama rakes Iizuka in the eyes. Takayama applies a sleeper and tags in Taniguchi, kicks by Taniguchi and he hits a scoop slam. Taniguchi goes off the ropes but Suzuki kicks him from the apron and applies an armbar over the top rope. The referee gets him to let go but Suzuki pulls Taniguchi out of the ring to continue the brawl as all four are on the floor. Iizuka attacks Takayama with a chair on the outside as the ants battle around (from the far camera it is almost impossible to see what is going on). Iizuka and Taniguchi return to the ring and Iizuka tags in Suzuki. Suzuki and Taniguchi trade chops and elbows, and Suzuki kicks Taniguchi to the mat. Suzuki throws Taniguchi into the corner so that Iizuka can rake his face, and Suzuki tags in Iizuka. Iizuka stomps on Taniguchi and he chokes him, Suzuki walks in and he stomps on Taniguchi as well. Neck nerve hold by Iizuka and he stomps Taniguchi before tagging Suzuki back in. Snapmare by Suzuki and he unties Taniguchi's mask, kicks by Suzuki and he hits a hard elbow. Taniguchi fights back, Irish whip by Suzuki, reversed, and Taniguchi hits a powerslam. Taniguchi tags in Takayama and Takayama kicks Iizuka off the apron before kneeing Suzuki in the corner. Single arm suplex by Takayama and he covers Suzuki for two. Takayama goes off the ropes and hits a PK, cover, but Suzuki gets up and kicks Takayama before spitting in his face. Takayama grabs Suzuki and hits a backdrop suplex, and he tags in Taniguchi. Taniguchi lariats Suzuki in the corner and hits a second one before a third sends Suzuki to the mat. Cover, but it gets two. Iizuka isn't on the apron all this time, I guess preferring the view from the floor.

Taniguchi and Suzuki trade strikes, Suzuki throws Taniguchi into the corner and he hits a big boot. PK by Suzuki and he applies the sleeper, he spins Taniguchi around but Taniguchi hits a back bodydrop. Suzuki goes for the choke but Taniguchi hits a backdrop suplex. Taniguchi picks up Suzuki and goes for the chokeslam, but Suzuki pushes him away. Knee to the stomach by Suzuki and he tags in Iizuka. Takayama is also tagged in, boot by Takayama but Iizuka grabs the referee to prevent the German suplex. Suzuki comes back in as does Taniguchi, punches by Suzuki to Taniguchi and Iizuka brings a chair into the ring. Iizuka rocks Taniguchi with the chair, Suzuki then grabs the chair and hits Takayama in the back with it. Suzuki holds Takayama while Iizuka gets the Iron Fist, but Taniguchi comes in the ring and hits Iizuka with the trident. Suzuki snapmares Taniguchi and he goes for the mask again, and this time he successfully rips it off! Maybach Taniguchi is Shuhei Taniguchi (I'm kidding of course, this wasn't a secret)! Taniguchi is pissed as he spits mist into Suzuki's face, and then spits mist into Iizuka's face as well. He chokes Suzuki while Takayama hits a belly to belly suplex on Iizuka. Everest German Suplex by Takayama, and he gets the three count! This wasn't as bad as I had heard but it wasn't great. The camera was an issue as there was quite a bit of outside brawling but you couldn't see it. The first beatdown section on Taniguchi wasn't great, but the match did get better from the hot tag to Takayama onward. I liked the character progression of Taniguchi, I don't want him to suddenly start wrestling like Shuhei Taniguchi again but giving someone an extra edge/reason to be angry is never a bad thing. Overall it was definitely a decent match but lacking as a main event, and it didn't have enough Suzuki action.

Final Thoughts:

I probably went into this event with too high of expectations. I was instantly annoyed by the camera set up, not a big fan of having the worst seat in the house and seeing the action outside the ring is almost impossible. Then the event was mostly formulaic tag team matches with the opener being the only exception. The action was decent throughout but wasn't memorable, aside from the last minute or so of the main event. The opener is worth watching and maybe the last third of the main event, but everything else was just NOAH-lite. Overall as an event I think you can safely skip this one unless you just really need to see Taniguchi's character take a new turn.

Grade: D+

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event reviewed on 6/13/15