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12/24/12 12:32 AM
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grizz632
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Dragon Gate held their final show of the year today, "The Final Gate 2012". Results courtesy of iheartdg.com


12/23/2012 Fukuoka, Fukuoka Kokusai Center ~THE FINAL GATE 2012~ - 7500 Attendance
0. Kotoka (4:01 Camel Clutch) Chihiro Tominaga
1. Gamma, HUB, Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa{W} (11:03 Ina Bauer German Suplex Hold) Scott Reed, Kzy, Mondai Ryu{L}
2. Jimmy Susumu{W}, Jimmy Kanda (11:37 Jumbo no Kachi!gatame) Super Shisa{L}, Shachihoko BOY
3. Open the Brave Gate Title Match: Dragon Kid (15:28 Ultra Hurricanrana) Jimmy Kagetora
*6th Defense for DK
4. Open the Twin Gate Title Match: Masaaki Mochizuki{W}, Don Fujii (15:34 Sankakugeri to the Face) Naoki Tanisaki, Cyber Kong{L}
*4th Defense for MochiFujii
5. YAMATO (20:10 Gallaria) Akira Tozawa
6. Open the Triangle Gate Title Match: Ryo "Jimmy" Saito, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!{W}, Mr. Quu Quu Toyonaka Dolphin (19:14 Backslide Times) Naruki Doi,{L} Masato Yoshino, Ricochet
*2nd Defense for the Jimmys
7. Open the Dream Gate 3 Way Title Match ~CIMA Royale Final Chapter~: CIMA vs. Shingo Takagi vs. BxB Hulk
-CIMA (17:15 Meteora) Hulk
-CIMA (25:10 Meteora) Takagi
*9th Defense for CIMA


Mondai Ryu blamed the MAD BLANKEY loss in the Twin Gate match on Cyber Kong, and thus Cyber Kong was expelled from MAD BLANKEY. Mochizuki taunted Mondai Ryu saying all the Kong stuff was pointless, which is probably true as MAD BLANKEY is generally terrible. CIMA closed out the year as it had began, with him as Dream Gate champion. Christmas Day will mark exactly one year since CIMA became champion. It should be interesting to see who will be the one to step forward in 2013 and finally dethrone CIMA. My money's on Tozawa
12/24/12 12:51 AM
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grizz632
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The final notable show from today was DDT's final show of the year from Korakuen Hall. They drew a "super no vacancy" full house of over 2,000 fans who saw a new KO-D Openweight Champion crowned


0. Tetsuya Endo beat DJ Nira (0:05) with a Horizontal Cradle.
1. Takao Soma & Shigehiro Irie beat Danshoku Dino & Makoto Oishi (10:36) Soma over Oishi with a Boma Ye.
2. 4 Way Match: MIKAMI & Gorgeous Matsuno beat Michael Nakazawa & Tomomitsu Matsunaga and Hikaru Sato & Masa Takanashi and Yukio Sakaguchi & Akito (8:32) Matsuno over Nakazawa with a Gorgeous*Superstar Cross Armbreaker.
3. HARASHIMA & Hiroo Tsumaki beat Kota Ibushi & Gota Ihashi (15:02) HARASHIMA over Ihashi with the Somato.
4. Handicap Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan , Satoshi Kojima & Sanshiro Takagi beat Yuji Hino, Antonio Honda, Hoshitango & Daisuke Sasaki (11:09) Takagi over Honda with a Sit-Down Sunflower Bomb.
5. DDT Extreme Title, 3 Way Match: Keisuke Ishii (c) beat Yasu Urano & Isami Kodaka (0:05) Ishii over Urano with a High-Angle Double-Arm DDT (1st defense).
6. KO-D Openweight Title: Kenny Omega beat El Generico (c) (24:17) with the One-Winged Angel - New Champion.

So after falling to Ibushi in his last KO-D title match at Budokan, Kenny Omega finally gets it done and knocks off El Generico to become the KO-D Openweight champion. Both Omega and Generico had outstanding 2012's, and 2013 should be even bigger for Omega as he enters as the top dog in DDT

12/24/12 1:51 AM
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grizz632
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Edited: 12/24/12 1:52 AM
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grizz632 - Fairly eventful weekend to close out 2012. Starting with New Japan, they held their last show going into the January 4th Wrestle Kingdom 7 show

1. Tiger Mask & BUSHI beat Hiromu Takahashi & Takaaki Watanabe (6:53) when BUSHI used a Firebird splash on Takahashi.
2. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Manabu Nakanishi, Wataru Inoue & Captain New Japan beat Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Yujiro Takahashi, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado (10:57) when Yano was DQ'd.
3. Road to TOKYO DOME 1: Hirooki Goto beat TAKA Michinoku (6:32) with the Shouten Kai.
4. Road to TOKYO DOME 2: Shinsuke Nakamura beat KUSHIDA (9:02) with the Boma Ye.
5. Road to TOKYO DOME 3: Togi Makabe beat Tomohiro Ishii (12:15) with a King Kong kneedrop.
6. Road to TOKYO DOME 4: Minoru Suzuki beat Jushin Thunder Liger (11:16) with a Gotch- piledriver.
7. Road to TOKYO DOME 5: Yuji Nagata beat Taichi (6:22) with a backdrop hold.
8. Road to TOKYO DOME 6: Kazuchika Okada beat Ryusuke Taguchi (9:51) with the Rainmaker.
9. Road to TOKYO DOME 7: Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Gedo (14:55) with the High Fly Flow.

No real surprises here, although Akebono did show up to assist Nakanishi's team in their tag match, so it looks like him and Sapp will be added to the match at the Dome. That show should be worth every penny of the $35 iPPV cost, looking forward to it

Also, this is how Liger came out for his match against Minoru Suzuki



Just like their Pancrase match many, many moons ago...Ready for fucking business! All these years and the man is still my hero. Amazing
12/24/12 12:57 PM
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Stryfe
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Liger is still great and its incredible when you think how long he has been on top even without all his medical issues.

I could enjoy Kenny Omegas matches more with a different finisher. Croyts Wrath is a lot of overkill for a belly to back suplex.
12/24/12 2:14 PM
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grizz632
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Croyt's wrath is a bit overly flashy, but so is a lot of what Omega does. I don't mind it too much mainly because it's a pretty sweet looking german when he does it right. Generico kicked out of the croyt's wrath apparently, so he had to go to the one-winged angel, which is a tremendous big match finisher, imo Phone Post
12/24/12 2:17 PM
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Tom Lawlor
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Yeah that one winged angel is brutal.

Omega is sooooo comic book super hero that he can do over the top shit and make it work. He is definitely an interesting character, his in-ring stuff is great and a joy to watch. Phone Post
12/24/12 3:35 PM
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Stryfe
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I believe i would take the one winged angel before his Avalanche Croyt's wrath
12/24/12 6:18 PM
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Tom Lawlor
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Stryfe - I believe i would take the one winged angel before his Avalanche Croyt's wrath
Ffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh dat Phone Post
12/24/12 9:23 PM
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Stryfe
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Tom Lawlor - 
Stryfe - I believe i would take the one winged angel before his Avalanche Croyt's wrath
Ffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh dat Phone Post

http://youtu.be/o_lxX589uIg

Blue name help please
12/24/12 11:39 PM
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grizz632
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Stryfe - 
Tom Lawlor - 
Stryfe - I believe i would take the one winged angel before his Avalanche Croyt's wrath
Ffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh dat Phone Post

http://youtu.be/o_lxX589uIg

Blue name help please



vs




Not sure I'd want to take either...
12/25/12 1:09 AM
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Stryfe
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Thank you Grizz and good points about not wanting to take either.
12/25/12 6:07 PM
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grizz632
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Here's the results from the final Noah show of 2012, translated from Purolove

NOAH "NOAHFUL GIFT IN DIFFER 2012 VOL. 2", 12/24/2012
Tokyo Differ Ariake
1,800 Fans - Super No Vacacy
1. Atsushi Aoki beat Mr. Christmas (Jun Akiyama) (7:22) with a Cross Armbreaker Cutback-Cradle.
2. Kotaro Suzuki beat Genba Hirayanagi (9:12) with a Tiger Driver.
3. Go Shiozaki beat Taiji Ishimori (11:44) with a Short-Range Lariat.
4. Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Ricky Marvin (9:45) with a Moonsault Press Cutback-Cradle.
5. KENTA, Mohammed Yone & Yoshinari Ogawa beat Maybach Taniguchi, Kento Miyahara & Atsushi Kotoge (21:28) KENTA over Kotoge with the go 2 sleep.
6. Takashi Sugiura & Naomichi Marufuji beat Akitoshi Saito & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (15:46) Sugiura over Kanemaru with a Frankensteiner.
7. Takeshi Morishima beat Satoshi Kajiwara (8:16) with a Backdrop driver.

So Kotaro, Aoki, and Go leave as winners. As expected, none of the 5 that are leaving to become freelancers were announced for the first Noah show of 2013, which will be at Korakuen Hall. There will be some involvement from All Japan and Diamond Ring at that show, but Noah is still severely lacking in talent, as evidenced by the inclusion of a battle royale to fill out the card, which will comprise of 8 wrestlers who are pulling double duty on the card and the debut of a new Noah dojo trainee, Hitoshi Kumano.


NOAH "NEW YEAR NAVIGATION 2013", 1/6/2013
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. 2013 Opening Match: Masao Inoue vs. Kento Miyahara
2. NOAH vs. DIAMOND RING: Yoshinari Ogawa & Ricky Marvin vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
3. NOAH vs. AJPW: Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Kotoge vs. Shuji Kondo & Hiroshi Yamato
4. 9 Man Battle Royal: Atsushi Kotoge vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Ricky Marvin vs. Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kento Miyahara vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya vs. Masao Inoue vs. Hitoshi Kumano*
5. BRAVE vs. NO MERCY 4 Match Singles Match Series 1st Round: Mohammed Yone vs. Genba Hirayanagi
6. BRAVE vs. NO MERCY 4 Match Singles Match Series 2nd Round: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
7. BRAVE vs. NO MERCY 4 Match Singles Match Series 3rd Round: Takashi Sugiura vs. Maybach Taniguchi
8. BRAVE vs. NO MERCY 4 Match Singles Match Series 4th Round: Takeshi Morishima vs. KENTA
12/28/12 7:45 PM
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grizz632
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A couple last minute changes to the card for New Japan's Dome Show next week. Bob Sapp and Akebono have officially been added to the opening tag match. Also, Daichi Hashimoto broke his forearm and had to withdraw from the match with TenKoji. His replacement is an interesting one though, as Shinjiro Otani makes his return to New Japan. So here's the card as it stands today:


NJPW "WRESTLE KINGDOM 7 ~EVOLUTION~ IN TOKYO DOME", 1/4/13 (WPW/PPV/iPPV)
Tokyo Dome

0-1. Wataru Inoue, Tama Tonga & Captain New Japan vs. Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado
0-2. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & BUSHI
1. Special 8 Man Tag Match: Manabu Nakanishi, MVP, Strong Man & Akebono vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Yujiro Takahashi & Bob Sapp
2. NEVER Openweight Title: Masato Tanaka (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin
3. IWGP Tag Team Title: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (c) vs. Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson
4. Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki
5. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title – 3WAY Match: Prince Devitt (c) vs. Low Ki vs. Kota Ibushi
6. Special Tag Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto & Shinjiro Otani
7. Special Singles Match: Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata
8. Double Main Event I – IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
9. Double Main Event II – IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada
12/28/12 8:33 PM
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Stryfe
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I'm much more looking forward to the match with Shinjaro than Daichi.

I'm also not sure how the 8 man with Sapp and Akebono gets a spot on the main card and Liger, Tiger Mask, takahachi vs taguchi, KUSHIDA, BUSHI are a dark match
12/28/12 8:35 PM
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grizz632
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Completely agree. I don't think Sapp and Akebono have the pull that New Japan thinks they do anymore, and that junior tag will be much, much more entertaining
12/29/12 5:38 PM
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grizz632
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Edited: 12/29/12 5:43 PM
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A couple interesting notes from All Japan going into the new year

- New Japan legend Masahiro Chono has requested a contract with All Japan, which was granted by AJP President Uchida. A contract signing is scheduled for the 1/3 show at Korakuen

- Reid Flair will be working for All Japan for a few months beginning at the end of January


Pair those with the speculation on which of the newly-released Noah wrestlers may be coming to All Japan, and the rumors that All Japan is looking to produce Kenta Kobashi's farewell show rather than Noah, then bring him on board to make non-wrestling appearances as the next PWF Chairman, this could be a really eventful year for All Japan


Edit: Here are the final cards for the opening two shows of the year for AJP, including Taiyo Kea's farewell matches before his hiatus begins

1/2/13 @ Korakuen Hall
1. KENSO vs. SUSHI
2. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto vs. Osamu Nishimura & Andy Wu
3. GAORA TV Title Skirmish: Seiya Sanada & Yasufumi Nakanoueno vs. Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto
4. Triple Crown #1 Contender Skirmish: Suwama & Joe Doering vs. Akebono & Ryota Hama
5. AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Title & GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Yamato © vs. Shuji Kondo ©
6. AJPW World Tag Team Title: Takao Omori & Manabu Soya © vs. Masakatsu Funaki & Masayuki Kono
7. Taiyo Kea Farewell: Taiyo Kea, Minoru Suzuki & MAZADA vs. Keiji Muto, Kaz Hayashi & Masanobu Fuchi
8. New Year's Heavyweight Battle Royal

1/3/13 @ Korakuen Hall
1. Osamu Nishimura vs. Yasufumi Nakanoueno
2. KENSO & MAZADA vs. SUSHI & Andy Wu
3. Masayuki Kono vs. Kazushi Miyamoto
4. Triple Crown #1 Contendership: Akebono vs. Joe Doering
5. All Asia Tag Team Title: Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto © vs. Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo
6. GAORA TV Title: Seiya Sanada © vs. Tomoaki Honma
7. New Year's Junior Heavyweight Battle Royal
8. Taiyo Kea Farewell: Taiyo Kea, Keiji Muto, Masakatsu Funaki, Masanobu Fuchi & TAKA Michinoku vs. Suwama, Takao Omori, Manabu Soya, Ryota Hama & Hiroshi Yamato
1/4/13 8:46 PM
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grizz632
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Results from Wrestle Kingdom 7 courtesy of puroresufan. I'll have more thoughts on it after I finish watching it

NJPW "WRESTLE KINGDOM 7 ~EVOLUTION~ IN TOKYO DOME", 1/4/13 (WPW/PPV/iPPV)
Tokyo Dome
29,000 Fans

0-1. Wataru Inoue, Tama Tonga & Captain New Japan beat Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado (5:58) when Tonga used the Headshrinker on Jado.
0-2. Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & BUSHI beat Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi (7:12) when BUSHI used a Firebird splash on Takahashi.
1. Special 8 Man Tag Match: Manabu Nakanishi, MVP, Strong Man & Akebono beat Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Yujiro Takahashi & Bob Sapp (7:53) when Nakanishi used an Argentine backbreaker on Iizuka.
2. NEVER Openweight Title: Masato Tanaka ZERO1 (c) beat Shelton Benjamin (6:41) with the Sliding D (1st defense).
3. IWGP Tag Team Title: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (c) beat Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson (10:52) when Smith used the Killer bomb on Goto (2nd defense).
4. Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata beat Minoru Suzuki (17:03) with a backdrop hold.
5. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title – 3WAY Match: Prince Devitt (c) beat Low Ki & Kota Ibushi Dramatic Dream Team (14:45) with an avalanche- Bloody Sunday on Ibushi (1st defense).
6. Special Tag Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima beat Keiji Muto All Japan & Shinjiro Otani ZERO1 (15:36) when Tenzan used a moonsault press on Otani.
7. Special Singles Match: Togi Makabe beat Katsuyori Shibata (8:37) with a King Kong kneedrop.
8. Double Main Event I – IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) beat Kazushi Sakuraba (11:12) with the Boma Ye (4th defense).
9. Double Main Event II – IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) beat Kazuchika Okada (33:34) with the High Fly Flow (6th defense).
1/4/13 8:53 PM
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grizz632
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Edited: 01/04/13 8:54 PM
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And a pretty big news story out of All Japan also. With the previous announcement that Reid Flair will be touring with All Japan for a few months starting at the end of January, it was announced yesterday that Ric Flair would be traveling to Japan along with his son and would be making an appearance on the first big All Japan show of the year January 26th. Turns out that not only would he be appearing, but he would be wrestling. Flair will team with Keiji Muto in a tag match against Tatsumi Fujinami and Seiya Sanada. I don't rightly remember the last time Flair wrestled in Japan, but it should be a pretty cool spectacle, especially teaming with Muto. So that makes two matches announced for the show thus far:


AJPW "NEW YEAR SHINING SERIES 2013", 26.01.2013 (GAORA TV)
Ota Ward Gymnsium

1. Special Tag Match: Keiji Muto & Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Seiya Sanada
2. Triple Crown: Masakatsu Funaki (c) vs. Akebono
1/5/13 1:35 PM
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Stryfe
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grizz632 - Results from Wrestle Kingdom 7 courtesy of puroresufan. I'll have more thoughts on it after I finish watching it

NJPW "WRESTLE KINGDOM 7 ~EVOLUTION~ IN TOKYO DOME", 1/4/13 (WPW/PPV/iPPV)
Tokyo Dome
29,000 Fans

0-1. Wataru Inoue, Tama Tonga & Captain New Japan beat Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado (5:58) when Tonga used the Headshrinker on Jado.
0-2. Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & BUSHI beat Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi (7:12) when BUSHI used a Firebird splash on Takahashi.
1. Special 8 Man Tag Match: Manabu Nakanishi, MVP, Strong Man & Akebono beat Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Yujiro Takahashi & Bob Sapp (7:53) when Nakanishi used an Argentine backbreaker on Iizuka.
2. NEVER Openweight Title: Masato Tanaka ZERO1 (c) beat Shelton Benjamin (6:41) with the Sliding D (1st defense).
3. IWGP Tag Team Title: Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (c) beat Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson (10:52) when Smith used the Killer bomb on Goto (2nd defense).
4. Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata beat Minoru Suzuki (17:03) with a backdrop hold.
5. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title – 3WAY Match: Prince Devitt (c) beat Low Ki & Kota Ibushi Dramatic Dream Team (14:45) with an avalanche- Bloody Sunday on Ibushi (1st defense).
6. Special Tag Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima beat Keiji Muto All Japan & Shinjiro Otani ZERO1 (15:36) when Tenzan used a moonsault press on Otani.
7. Special Singles Match: Togi Makabe beat Katsuyori Shibata (8:37) with a King Kong kneedrop.
8. Double Main Event I – IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) beat Kazushi Sakuraba (11:12) with the Boma Ye (4th defense).
9. Double Main Event II – IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) beat Kazuchika Okada (33:34) with the High Fly Flow (6th defense).

I just got done watching the NJPW Dome show and it was a great card.

-The 8 man lived up to my dissapointment for sure.

-The Masato/Benjamin match I was looking forward to seemed flat. I don't know if it was jetlag or what but it semed like Benjamin wasn't into it and the only thing they went over was the finish because the rest seemed hesitant and awkard to me. Shelton barely got off the ground for his splashes.

-Nagata and Suzuki put on a great match where they both left looking good in it.

-The 3X match was slow getting going but it picked up nice toward the end with some great spots. I think Low Ki double stomped Ibushi's face pretty hard in that one spot after he misjudged the distance. Hopefully they'll attempt more of these

-The Intercontental match was great. I wish it had been longer. In the begining it looked like Sakuraba's instincts were kicking in because the ground part he was passing guard and then pausing as if he wasn't suppose to. May not have been but looked like it. I don't like how they are making him look more like a striker just because he did MMA the same way that Brock suddenly became a submission guy because he fought MMA. The knee everyone is talking about to me, was Nakamura's fault.

-The main event was good too and had a lot of hype to live up to.

Of course all this is just my opinion
1/5/13 5:05 PM
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grizz632
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Not sure who's fault it was, but it was epic

1/5/13 5:31 PM
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Stryfe
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If you look about 16:40 it almost looks like the same spot. May have been a case of not working the spot before the match and adrenline.

http://www.veoh.com/watch/v19593533JKzPyF7P

I will say that I still think Nakamura is the love child of the villian from the Fifth Element and Jack Sparrow
1/6/13 3:23 PM
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grizz632
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Edited: 01/06/13 3:24 PM
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Ok, major FRAT warning, but here's what I thought of the Dome Show, along with some news from New Japan after the show

Overall, I thought it was a really solid show, for sure one of the best PPVs in the past year. As I thought it would be, the bottom of the card was just kind of there, nothing really notable. The only really positive thing I can say about the opening 8-man tag was that it was short.

- Tanaka/Benjamin never seemed to get out of first gear. It could of, and probably should have, been much better than it was.

- I enjoyed the IWGP tag match much more than I thought I would. Despite my being a huge fan of Goto and Anderson, Lance Archer usually ruins matches for me but this match was pretty good. KES seem to be filling the void left by the breakup of Bad Intentions when Giant Bernard left for WWE. If they can be half as good as Bad Intentions were then it will be a nice title run for them.

- Nagata/Suzuki was great. I was worried about it being repetitive since this was the 3rd time they've faced each other at the Dome Show, but it was just as enjoyable the third time around. All the way from the epic live performance of Minoru Suzuki's entrance theme to the intense exchanges to the finish it was a great match

- The greatness continued with the 3-way for the IWGP Jr title. Low-Ki made his entrance dressed as Agent 47 from "Hitman", then proceeded to work the match while wearing the full suit and tie. He did it surprisingly well, but it was still strange. Overall, it was a really fun match. Both Ki and Ibushi looked really good, which is great news for Ibushi coming off the long injury layoff, and Devitt looks primed for another long run as champ, which is fine by me

- I kept my expectations for the special tag match pretty low, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was a decent match. Muto and Otani are both still ridiculously over with the Mew Japan fans, and Otani coming out to Hashimoto's theme was a nice gesture with Daichi seconding him for the match. Afterwards, there was a bit of an exchange with Daichi and Tenzan, leading to Daichi slapping him and Muto having to step between them. So it appears New Japan has some long term plans for him and that this may be a big year for Daichi once his injury heals. I wouldn't mind seeing a feud with TenKoji at all if Daichi brings Otani or Muto back with him

- Makabe/Shibata was better than I expected also. I'm generally back and forth on Makabe. He can be excellent in the right feud, otherwise he's just kind of there. He had some nice matches during his feud with Suzuki-gun over the last year+, but he's seemed to be lost in the shuffle at the top of the card since he lost the IWGP title back in 2010. Maybe this will help reestablish him as a top contender. I was actually really surprised at the result as I figured Shibata would go over to keep Laugher7 strong since I didn't give Saku any chance of beating Nakamura, but I was wrong for reasons I'll get into in another post

- On to the double main event. Not much left to say about Nakamura/Sakuraba that other people haven't already, but it was absolutely fantastic and people need to watch it. It was everything strong pro wrestling could and should be. The submission exchanges were phenomenal, with Nakamura really selling the danger and pain of Saku's keylock and jujigatame attempts, and Saku blocking the BomaYe and turning it into a submission predicament. Saku showed really slick mat skills and transitions, and even pulled out his old leaping guard pass/stomp. It was really edge-of-your-seat engaging stuff at it's very best. Stryfe mentioned that he wished it had been longer, but I think it was absolutely perfect. Nakamura has done a spectacular job of elevating the IWGP Intercontinental title to more than just a mid-card title. Hopefully WWE can take some notes and use them to make their own Intercontinental title and/or the US title more relevant. Watch this match immediately if you haven't already, you'll be glad you did



- The main event was excellent as well. It was a complete departure from what we saw in the first half of the double main event, much more of a typical big show main event match, which Tanahashi is generally fantastic in and this was no exception. It was a great build with lots of back and forth, including Tanahashi hitting a beautiful High Fly Flow from the top to the floor on a standing Okada. The crowd was eating it up and it really created a fantastic big match atmosphere. I was a bit surprised at Tanahashi getting the win, but Okada came out looking like a million bucks regardless and he should be a massive star for New Japan if they can hold onto him.




There's been some major fallout from the show over the last few days also:

- Tokyo Sports is reporting that New Japan President Takaaki Kidani is stepping down due to a flurry of negative reaction backstage to his bringing in Shibata and Sakuraba. Allegedly, he brought them in completely on his own, not informing Jado or Gedo, who are New Japan's bookers, of the plan. There was also alleged opposition from Nakamura and Tanahashi, which seems odd to me considering Nakamura was probably the biggest beneficiary of the Laugher7 invasion. This would also explain Makabe going over Shibata on the show. That match probably was supposed to see Shibata go over to continue the angle, but if Kidani is really gone, then you kill the angle and put Makabe over. There was talk before the show that this year could see Kidani taking an on-screen roll as an Eric Bischoff- leader of an nWo-type invading group of shoot wrestlers including Shibata and Saku, so this could just be the start of that angle. I sincerely hope that's the case, because the Laugher7 angle has been great and Kidani has done a lot for New Japan since Bushiroad took over, including the iPPVs.

- Nakamura's next defense of the IWGP Intercontinental title will be during the annual "Fantasica Mania" shows with CMLL at Korakuen Hall this month against La Sombra

- Tomohiro Ishii will get next crack at Masato Tanaka for the NEVER Openweight title

- KUSHISA and Alex Shelley will defend the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag titles against Rocky Romero and Alex Kozlov on the February 10th iPPV

- TenKoji will get another shot at reclaiming the IWGP Tag Team titles from KES on that iPPV as well

- Prince Devitt's next defense of the IWGP Jr Heavyweight title will be on 2/10 against his Apollo 55 teammate Ryusuke Taguchi

- Tanahashi's next defense of the IWGP Heavyweight title will be against Karl Anderson on 2/10. Tana will be looking for a bit of revenge from the G1 Climax where Anderson beat him in a non-title match to advance to the final where he lost to Okada
1/6/13 9:02 PM
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grady
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grizz632 - Not sure who's fault it was, but it was epic


Nakamura has been using that spot for a few years now. this one looks a little stiffer than usual, though. lol
1/6/13 9:06 PM
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grizz632
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Yeah, Saku got him good there. I remember seeing it against Takayama also, and the one vs Sugiura that Stryfe posted
1/6/13 9:22 PM
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Stryfe
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I think Kidani is working an angle. They just come off a much talked about PPV, brought iPPV to the states and the last several shows have been great. It was odd when the next challenger didn't step up. I did hear Tanahashi and Nakamura were not fans on Laughter 7

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