A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: August 31st, 2014
Location: Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 460
As far as indy promotions go, it doesn’t get a lot more ‘indy’ than Union. Most of their events don’t ever make it to air in full form, so this is a special day. This event has three title matches, I have no idea how important they are but it is still worth noting. I know eleven of the wrestlers on this card which is a pretty good ratio I think for a small event such as this one. Here is the card:
- Cherry vs. Kaho Kobayashi
- SAGAT vs. Shibata
- Daichi, El Hijo del Goro, and Goro Jr. vs. Daichi Kazato, Ryu Gouma, and Seiya Morohashi
- Madoka vs. Mitomi Masayuki
- Union Fly to Everywhere World Championship: Ladybeard vs. Mio Shirai
- UWA World Tag Team Championship: Hiroshi Fukuda and MEN's Teioh vs. FUMA and Isami Kodaka
- Union Pro MAX Championship: Hikaru Sato vs. Shuji Ishikawa
I really don't know what to expect here, let's see how this turned out.
Cherry vs. Kaho Kobayashi
They circle each other to start, tie-up, Kobayashi pushes Cherry into the ropes and hits a series of elbows but Cherry returns the favor. Irish whip by Kobayashi from the corner and she delivers a dropkick. Irish whip again and she hits a second dropkick, Irish whip, reversed, and Kobayashi hits a shoulderblock. Crucifix pin by Cherry but it gets a two count. Clubs to the back by Kobayashi and she hits a scoop slam. Kobayashi picks up Cherry and hits a second scoop slam. Back up, and Kobayashi hits a third scoop slam. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kobayashi picks up Cherry and goes for a suplex but Cherry blocks it and pulls out Kobayashi’s hair one by one. Cherry scratches Kobayashi on the back and hits a scoop slam followed by a second one and a third. Cherry picks up Kobayashi and hits another slam, back up, and a fifth. Holding her back Cherry picks up Kobayashi and she hits another scoop slam. Cherry slams Kobayashi’s head into the mat repeatedly, she picks up Kobayashi, Irish whip, reversed, and Kobayashi hits a dropkick. Kobayashi goes off the ropes and hits a senton followed by a second one. Standing moonsault by Kobayashi, cover, but it gets a two count. Kobayashi picks up Cherry but Cherry punches her in the stomach and trips her for a two count cover. Cherry picks up Kobayashi and applies a waistlock, reversed by Kobayashi but Cherry bumps her off. Northern Lights Suplex Hold by Cherry but Kobayashi kicks out. Cherry goes off the ropes but Kobayashi hits a school boy for a two count. Backslide by Kobayashi, but that gets a two count as well. Inside cradle by Kobayashi, but Cherry gets a shoulder up. Kobayashi goes off the ropes and delivers a dropkick, she goes off the ropes again and hits another dropkick. Kobayashi goes off the ropes and hits a third dropkick, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kobayashi picks up Cherry but Cherry shrugs her off, enzigieri by Kobayashi and she hits a fisherman suplex for a two count. Kobayashi picks up Cherry, Irish whip but Cherry kicks Kobayashi in the head. Dropkick by Cherry, she picks up Kobayashi but Kobayashi ducks the lariat, Kobayashi goes off the ropes but Cherry hits a capture suplex hold for a two count. Cherry picks up Kobayashi and hits a hammer shot to the face, cover, but again it gets a two count. Cherry positions Kobayashi near the corner, she goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the Cherry Bomb. Cover, and she picks up the three count. Your winner: Cherry
Match Thoughts: Normally when I see Kobayashi she is the eternal face in peril so it was nice to see her in a different role for a change. This was a solid opener, nothing blew me away and it was pretty short but the women worked together very well. Kobayashi dominated the match, but the combination of moves that Cherry hit at the end seemed sufficient for her to pick up the pinfall, so no complaints there. Joshi matches generally shine on these smaller Indy shows and this was no exception, just wish it was longer. Score: 6.0
SAGAT vs. Shibata
SAGAT and Shibata circle each other to start, kicks by Shibata but SAGAT goes for his leg. Shibata blocks it, SAGAT drives Shibata into the corner and he gives a clean break. Kick by Shibata to the leg but SAGAT catches one, SAGAT gets in the mount but Shibata goes for a submission from his back. They trade punches but they end up in the ropes and the referee forces a break. Back up, knees by Shibata but SAGAT takes him to the mat and applies a side headlock. Shibata reverses it into a modified headscissors but SAGAT gets into the ropes to get the break. Punches and kicks by Shibata but SAGAT swings wildly back at him, judo throw by SAGAT but both men return to their feet. They trade strikes again, spinning backfist by Shibata but SAGAT doesn’t go down. More punches by Shibata and he nails a rolling kick which sends SAGAT to the mat. Shibata picks up SAGAT and throws him to the mat but SAGAT recovers and hits a spear. SAGAT picks up Shibata and gets him on his shoulders, but Shibata slides off and applies an armbar. SAGAT tries to roll out of it but Shibata applies a cross armbreaker and SAGAT has to tap. Your winner: Shibata
Match Thoughts: Not much to it. Most of it was MMA-style but not really great MMA style, I don’t know if these two have any experience in MMA but neither one really showed it. Shibata wrestled in gloves which comes across as silly in a pro wrestling match as there is really no advantage to that. But it was too short to be offensive even though it didn’t really have much of a point. Score: 4.0
Daichi, El Hijo del Goro, and Goro Jr. vs. Daichi Kazato, Ryu Gouma, and Seiya Morohashi
Daichi and Gouma start things off, Gouma plays to the crowd and the two never lockup. Hijo del Goro tags himself in, Hijo del Goro and Gouma circle each other but then pose to the crowd instead of fighting. They do it a second time and then pose towards each other before shaking hands. Gouma tags in Morohashi and Daichi is tagged back in. Morohashi and Daichi circle each other, and Daichi throws Morohashi to the mat. Tie-up, and this time Morohashi hits an armdrag. Takedown by Daichi, he goes off the ropes and Morohashi hits an armdrag. Irish whip by Morohashi to the corner but Daichi avoids the charge and hits an armdrag. Morohashi tags in Kazato and Daichi tags in Goro Jr.. Kazato elbows Goro Jr. but Goro Jr. elbows him back and they trade shots. Side headlock by Kazato, Goro Jr. Irish whips out of it and Goro Jr. hits a shoulderblock. Goro Jr. goes off the ropes and Kazato hits an armdrag. Goro Jr. goes off the ropes and he hits an armdrag before applying a cross armbreaker. Kazato gets a foot on the ropes to force a break, stomp by Goro Jr. and he uppercuts Kazato. Eye rake by Goro Jr. and he stomps Kazato down to the mat. Goro Jr. picks up Kazato, snapmare, and Goro Jr. hits a kneedrop. Goro Jr. tags in Hijo del Goro, punches by Hijo del Goro and he hits a snapmare. Hijo del Goro stands on Kazato’s chest, cover, but it gets a two count. Hijo del Goro kicks Kazato and clubs him in the back. Hijo del Goro throws Kazato in the corner and tags in Daichi. Chops by Daichi in the corner and he applies an arm wringer, and Daichi hits a chop. Cover by Daichi but Kazato kicks out. Daichi picks up Kazato but Kazato elbows him back. Chop by Daichi and they trade strikes, Daichi goes off the ropes but Kazato delivers a dropkick.
Kazato tags in Morohashi, and Morohashi hits a lariat to Daichi, Goro Jr. and knocks Hijo del Goro off the apron. Daichi kicks Morohashi, Irish whip by Daichi, reversed, and Daichi hits an armdrag before posing. Morohashi stomps Daichi, and Morohashi hits mounted punches in the corner. Morohashi picks up Daichi and applies a facelock, but it is quickly broken up. Morohashi waits for Daichi to get up, but Gouma runs in and hits a lariat to Daichi. Morohashi throws Gouma out of the ring and he stomps Daichi. Irish whip by Morohashi to the corner, Daichi flips himself out to the apron but Morohashi brings him back in. Morohashi picks up Daichi, Irish whip, but Daichi jumps on the ropes and hits a dropkick. Daichi tags in Goro Jr. while Morohashi tags in Kazato. Goro Jr. hits a backstabber, he picks up Kazato, Irish whip to the corner and Goro Jr. hits an elbow on Kazato. Body avalanche by Hijo del Goro, Daichi comes in the ring and hits a handstand kick to Kazato. Goro Jr. goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a calf branding, and Hijo del Goro hits a diving body press. Daichi comes off the top turnbuckle with a diving body press as well, cover by Goro Jr. but Kazato kicks out. Goro Jr. picks up Kazato and hits a backdrop suplex, he picks him up again and hits a second one. Cover, but it gets another two count. Goro Jr. picks up Kazato and he hits a pump handle suplex. Cover, but it is broken up. Daichi picks up Kazato and then dives out of the ring onto Morohashi with a pescado. Spinning backfist by Goro Jr. to Kazato but Kazato elbows him when he goes for a second one. Complete Shot by Kazato, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Daichi Kazato , Ryu Gouma, and Seiya Morohashi
Match Thoughts: This is what I would call a typical indy mid-card match. Lots of wrestlers, but only one of which I had seen before (and I watch a LOT of wrestling), and some of which I could find no information on whatsoever. There was some mild comedy to start it off, a beat down segment, a hot tag, a botched dive, and then the end. In this case the end came suddenly as Kazato had been dominated but after two quick moves he had the easy pinfall. Like the last match, not really offensive or anything, just not inspired and mostly mid-card fodder. Score: 3.5
Madoka vs. Mitomi Masayuki
Madoka and Masayuki circle each other, tie-up, Masayuki pushes Madoka into the ropes, Madoka switches positions with him and he gives a clean break. Wristlock by Masayuki, but Madoka reverses it. Masayuki reverses it back, side headlock by Masayuki, Madoka pushes Masayuki into the ropes and he kicks Masayuki in the stomach. Side headlock by Madoka, Masayuki Irish whips out of it and they collide into each other. Masayuki and Madoka exchange chops and kicks. Shoulderblock by Masayuki, Masayuki goes off the ropes but Madoka drop toeholds him into the second rope. Madoka knees Masayuki in the back of the head, and Madoka kicks Masayuki in the head of the head. Elbow to the back of the head by Madoka and he stands on Masayuki’s head. Masayuki chops Madoka in the chest but Madoka boots Masayuki in the head. Knee drop by Madoka, cover, but it gets a two count. Masayuki goes for a body slam but Madoka blocks it, and Madoka elbows Masayuki in the back of the head. Madoka goes for a scoop slam but Masayuki gets away and hits a scoop slam. Hard chop by Masayuki, he charges Madoka but Madoka kicks him back. Lariat by Masayuki and he chops Madoka in the corner. Irish whip by Masayuki but Madoka boots him back. Madoka goes off the ropes but Masayuki hits an armdrag. Masayuki applies a modified cobra twist, but Madoka makes it into the ropes. Masayuki picks up Madoka but Madoka applies a grounded front facelock. Masayuki wiggles to the ropes and he gets there to force a break. Madoka jumps on the second turnbuckle and he knees Masayuki in the back of the head. Tornado DDT by Madoka, cover, but it gets a two count. Madoka gets the grounded front facelock re-applied, but Masayuki muscles out of it and hits a vertical suplex. Masayuki goes off the ropes but Madoka ducks the lariat, Madoka goes off the ropes but Masayuki hits a lariat for a two count cover. Masayuki kicks Madoka in the head, cover, but again it gets a two. Masayuki goes up to the top turnbuckle but Madoka rolls out of the way of the diving body press. Madoka goes up to the top turnbuckle and knees Masayuki in the back of the head, he goes up to the top turnbuckle again and hits a second diving knee drop. Cover, but Masayuki gets a shoulder up. Madoka picks up Masayuki and he nails the Ranhei. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Madoka
Match Thoughts: There was a time many many years ago that I thought Madoka had a lot of potential and may be one of those to ‘move on’ from the indies. I was incorrect. There wasn’t a lot to this one but it was fundamentally sound. Neither of them showed much of an ‘it’ factor to pull the crowd into it, and there were some slow parts which surprised me as these two could have gone full throttle the whole match if they wanted to as it wasn’t a long one. But there weren’t any miscues or anything like that and they were serious throughout, so it certainly wasn’t a complete waste. Score: 5.5
(c) Ladybeard vs. Mio Shirai
This match is for the Union Fly to Everywhere World Championship. They circle each other to start, waistlock by Shirai, reversed by Ladybeard and he takes Shirai to the mat. Shirai gets back up and applies a wristlock but Ladybeard quickly reverses it. Side headlock takedown by Shirai, Ladybeard reverses it into a headscissors but Shirai quickly gets out of it. Ladybeard knocks Shirai to the mat, she picks her up, Irish whip, Shirai ducks the leg kick and then avoids the dropkick. Kick to the ribs by Shirai and she stomps on Ladybeard. Shirai picks up Ladybeard, waistlock by Ladybeard, reversed by Shirai and Shirai throws Ladybeard to the mat by his hair. Shirai picks up Ladybeard and throws him down by the hair again. Shirai picks up Ladybeard and puts him in the ropes before raking his eyes. Shirai grabs Ladybeard and puts him into the side ropes and rakes him in the eyes again. Shirai kicks Ladybeard in the back of the head, cover, but it gets a two count. Shirai picks up Ladybeard, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, Shirai kicks Ladybeard back and applies a choke over the top rope, but Ladybeard brings her back into the ring. Roll-up by Shirai but it gets a two count. Shirai lariats Ladybeard in the corner and hits a series of chops. Ladybeard absorbs the blows but Shirai kicks him in the head, Shirai goes off the ropes but Ladybeard kicks her in the gut. Head kick by Ladybeard, cover, but it gets a two count. Ladybeard positions Shirai, he goes off the ropes but Shirai avoids the Nutcracker and kicks him in the side of the head. Shirai picks up Ladybeard but Ladybeard hits a spinning heel kick, cover, but Shirai gets a hand on the bottom rope. Ladybeard positions Shirai again but again Shirai avoids the Nutcracker, and she nails Ladybeard with a running kick to the head. Tsuchigumo by Shirai, cover, and she gets the three count. Your winner and new champion: Mio Shirai
Match Thoughts: To be clear, Ladybeard is not a lady. And also not a great wrestler, just judging him based on this match which may not be fair. They kept it really basic, I am not sure if they just didn’t have time to plan or what but for a title match there just wasn’t much to it. Ladybeard has been wrestling for years but this match could have been between two rookies with the same layout. Obviously this is not an important title but I’d still prefer it feel at least somewhat important, which it did not in this match. Hopefully Shirai will do better with the title down the road. Score: 3.0
(c) Hiroshi Fukuda and MEN's Teioh vs. FUMA and Isami Kodaka
This match is for the UWA World Tag Team Championship. Fukuda and FUMA start things off. Wristlock by Fukuda, FUMA rolls out of it and reverses the hold, but Fukuda reverses it back. Hammerlock by Fukuda into a side headlock, FUMA pushes Fukuda to the mat and he tags in Kodaka. Kodaka throws Fukuda into the corner and wants Teioh, so Teioh tags in. Kodaka and Teioh circle each other, tie-up, waistlock by Kodaka but Teioh applies a wristlock. Kodaka reverses it into his own wristlock, and then applies a hammerlock. They trade submissions on the mat but neither can get an advantage and they return to their feet. Knuckle lock by Teioh and he tags in Fukuda. Fukuda applies a wristlock to Kodaka but Kodaka reverses it and tags in FUMA. FUMA clubs Fukuda in the arm and then in the back. FUMA knees Fukuda in the arm but Fukuda gets into the ropes to force a break. Kicks by FUMA in the corner but Fukuda catches one and elbows FUMA in the knee. Fukuda tags in Teioh, double Irish whip to FUMA and they hit a double elbow. Kodaka comes in the ring, he also gets Irish whipped and eats a double elbow strike. Teioh picks up FUMA, he puts his leg in the ropes and knees him in the leg. Teioh drags FUMA to the middle of the ring and applies a leg submission followed by a surfboard stretch. Teioh releases him after a moment and tags in Fukuda. Fukuda stomps on FUMA’s leg, FUMA fights back but Fukuda stops him from making the tag. Fukuda slams FUMA’s knee into the mat and tags in Teioh. Teioh pulls back on FUMA’s leg and tags Fukuda back in, and Fukuda drops an elbow on FUMA’s leg. Fukuda tags in Teioh and Teioh yanks on FUMA’s leg again, he tags in Fukuda and Fukuda drops an elbow onto FUMA’s leg. Fukuda applies a kneelock but FUMA makes it to the ropes. Stomp to the leg by Fukuda and he tags in Teioh. Teioh applies a leg submission hold, FUMA punches Teioh but Teioh knocks him back to the mat. Elbow to the knee by Teioh and he hits a dragon screw leg whip. Teioh picks up FUMA and hits a kneebreaker.
Teioh punches FUMA into the corner, Irish whip, but FUMA falls to the mat clutching his knee. FUMA gets back up in the corner, punches by Teioh and he gets a running start, but FUMA moves out of the way. FUMA makes the hot tag to Kodaka, Kodaka knocks Fukuda off the apron and then hits a jumping elbow smash on Teioh. Kodaka goes for a suplex but Fukuda breaks it up, Irish whip by Kodaka to Fukuda and he delivers a dropkick. Arm breaker by Kodaka to Teioh and he hits a second one. He goes for a third but Teioh blocks it, he goes for the Octopus Hold and gets it locked in. Teioh’s arm is hurting so he tags in Fukuda, Fukuda goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a double axe handle. Irish whip by Kodaka and he hits a vertical suplex to Fukuda. Kodaka tags in FUMA, Irish whip by FUMA to the corner and he hits a jumping elbow smash. Kick combination by FUMA, he goes off the ropes and hits an STO. FUMA goes for a Buzzsaw Kick but Fukuda catches his leg and applies the Spinning Toe Hold. FUMA kicks Fukuda off, Fukuda goes off the ropes and hits a chop block. Fukuda applies the Spinning Toe Hold again while Teioh puts the Spinning Toe Hold onto Kodaka. FUMA sneaks in an inside cradle onto Fukuda but it gets a two count. Kodaka and FUMA both hit sidekicks to Fukuda, cover, but Teioh breaks it up. Kodaka throws Teioh out of the ring and then dives out onto him with a plancha. FUMA slams Fukuda to the mat, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Fukuda rolls out of the way of the diving headbutt. Fukuda goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Fukuda waits for FUMA to get up and hits a chokeslam, cover, but Kodaka breaks it up. Teioh and Fukuda pick up FUMA, stun gun by Teioh and Fukuda picks up FUMA, but Kodaka runs in and headbutts Fukuda in the groin. Sole Butt by FUMA, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners and new champions: FUMA and Isami Kodaka
Match Thoughts: Nothing that will excite you or blow you away, but not a bad match. The middle portion with the leg work was just not really interesting, they were doing the same moves over and over and it just got repetitive. I am all for limb work but there are so many different ways to work over the leg it just came across as boring. But at least FUMA did remember to sell it the rest of the match which I did appreciate, and there was a sense of urgency at the end between both teams that made the match seem like the title match that it was. Overall a mixed bag, but more good than bad here. Score: 6.0
(c) Hikaru Sato vs. Shuji Ishikawa
This match is for the Union MAX Championship. They circle each other to start, Ishikawa gets Sato into the corner but Sato gets away. Ishikawa gets Sato into the corner, Sato switches positions with him in the ropes and Sato gives a clean break. Ishikawa pushes Sato into the ropes again but Sato gets them back to the middle of the ring, single leg takedown by Sato and he gets Ishikawa's back. Ishikawa gets out of it, Sato gets on Ishikawa but Ishikawa gets a foot on the ropes to force a break. Back up, Ishikawa applies a sleeper as he gets Sato to the mat but Sato gets out of it and gets in the mount. Sato goes for a cross armbreaker but Ishikawa gets a foot on ropes. Ishikawa gets out to the apron, elbows by Sato but Ishikawa elbows him back. Ishikawa gets Sato out onto the apron with him and pulls Sato to the floor before dropping him on the apron. Ishikawa gets back on the apron and drops a knee onto Sato. Stomp by Ishikawa and he throws Sato into the crowd. Ishikawa punches Sato around the ring before sliding him back in, Ishikawa picks up Sato and he hits a scoop slam. Doublestomp by Ishikawa, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa applies a bodyscissors to Sato but Sato gets to the ropes. Sato rolls out of the ring, Ishikawa goes off the ropes but Sato kicks him in the head as he goes for a tope suicida. Sato applies a choke through the ropes before releasing due to the referee's protest, Sato gets back in the ring with Ishikawa and Sato stomps Ishikawa in the back of the head. Sato picks up Ishikawa, snapmare by Sato and he kicks Ishikawa in the back, cover, but it gets a one count. Sato applies a reverse chinlock and then applies a crossface, but Ishikawa gets a foot on the ropes. Elbow to the back of the head by Sato and he kicks Ishikawa into the corner. Cover by Sato but it gets a two count. Sato picks up Ishikawa and hits a kick combination, he goes for a suplex but Ishikawa blocks it. Back kick by Sato, he goes off the ropes but Ishikawa knees him in the stomach. Vertical suplex by Ishikawa and he chops Sato in the chest. Irish whip by Ishikawa from the corner and he hits a lariat. Sidewalk slam by Ishikawa, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa picks up Sato and applies a stretch hold, he lets him go after a moment and goes for a powerbomb, but Sato blocks it. Sato goes for Ishikawa's arm but Sato kicks him into the corner. Irish whip by Ishikawa and he charges Sato, but Sato kicks him back. Another Irish whip by Ishikawa but this time Sato moves and delivers a jumping kick. Kick combination by Sato in the corner, he goes off the ropes and hits a PK. Cover by Sato, but it gets a two count.
Sato picks up Ishikawa and kicks him in the leg, he applies a waistlock but Ishikawa elbows him off. Ishikawa throws Sato into the corner and he hits a lariat. Ishikawa goes for a backdrop suplex but Sato elbows out of it, Ishikawa drives Sato into the corner and is then able to hit the backdrop suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa waits for Sato to get up and charges him, but Sato bails out of the ring. The referee starts a count on Sato, Sato finally returns to the ring but immediately rolls back out with the fresh count. Ishikawa goes out after Sato but Sato rolls back into the ring, Ishikawa gets in as well and Sato punches him in the stomach. Ishikawa returns with an elbow and they trade strikes, with Ishikawa getting the better of it. High kick by Sato and he hits a jumping high kick, he goes for a second one but Ishikawa blocks it. Running knee to the face by Ishikawa, he waits for Sato to get up and hits a knee in the corner. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa picks up Sato and goes for Slash Mountain, but Sato slides off his back and applies a kimura, but Ishikawa gets out of it with a Fire Thunder Driver. Cover by Ishikawa, but Sato kicks out. Ishikawa picks up Sato and tosses him in the middle of the ring, he picks him up again and applies a full nelson, but Sato gets out of it and elbows Ishikawa. Ishikawa elbows Sato back and delivers a headbutt. Headbutt on the mat by Ishikawa, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa picks up Sato and goes for a headbutt but Sato ducks it and applies a grounded front facelock. Sato rolls over Ishikawa while keeping the hold applied, cover, but it only gets a two. Sato picks up Ishikawa and hits a release German suplex. Cover, but again it gets a two count. Sato quickly applies a cross armbreaker but Ishikawa slams Sato to the mat to get out of it. Both wrestlers trade strikes while on their knees and Ishikawa hits a headbutt. Sato headbutts Ishikawa back but Ishikawa hits a scoop slam. Dropkick by Ishikawa in the corner, he waits for Sato to get up and delivers a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa picks up Sato and applies a sleeper, he then clubs Sato in the back as he goes for Splash Mountain. Sato blocks it, hard elbow by Ishikawa and he picks up Sato but Sato fights back. Headbutt by Ishikawa and he finally gets Sato up, nailing the Splash Mountain. Cover, but the bell rings just as he makes a one count. The match is a 30 Minute Draw.
Match Thoughts: I thought this was a really good match once it got cooking, but it just took too long to get there. Obviously for booking reasons they opted for the draw, and that in of itself is fine, but the first half of the match just really dragged because of it. There were spells they appeared to just be wasting time, which unfortunately does happen in draws as not all wrestlers have the ability to keep the action interesting for 30 straight minutes. Once we got about halfway through however things picked up, and it got a lot more exciting. Sato always seemed to be on the verge of winning due to a submission while Ishikawa hit a number of power moves that could have led to the ending. He just hit the Splash Mountain a few minutes too late. I think if this was a non-title match where they could do their own thing without any time requirements it could have been great, but as it was it was still very solid. Score: 6.5
Best Match: Hikaru Sato vs. Shuji Ishikawa. Even though I think the requirement to get 30 minutes hurt the match, it was still a good one. Anytime you have a respected submission expert like Sato in a match it can end anytime, and both of their strikes looked really good throughout the match. Missed potential but still worth the watch.
MVP: Shuji Ishikawa. Between Ishikawa and Sato, I thought that Ishikawa was just a bit more... interesting. He was trying everything to win, either it be submission moves, strikes, or big power moves. He was also the aggressor for most of the match and came out of it looking like the better wrestler. Sato was solid on the match but can be a bit of a bore, and Ishikawa had to do more than his share to keep the match entertaining.
Overall: The only match that could have saved this show was the main event, and sadly it did not. Up to that point it was just middling indy matches with career-long indy wrestlers that know their ceiling and tend to wrestle within it. Shirai is awesome but being paired up with Ladybeard in a short match obviously doesn't play up her strong suits. The wrestlers I had not heard of going into this event I will likely forget within a few minutes as none really made a positive impression. Fans of Ishikawa and Sato may want to get the event just to see their match, but beyond that you can safely avoid this one.
review completed 10/9/14