Puroresu Reviews

HEAT-UP Powerful Tag Tournament Day 1 Review (2/6/16)

Tokyo, Japan
BASEMENT MON STAR
115 Fans

My goodness. Another HEAT-UP show! I reviewed the January show and now we get the February show! We are the most blessed people on the universe to be able to view HEAT-UP in the year of our lord and savior Isami Kodaka. But for real this is so awesome that I get to not only watch but review a show like this! Only 115 fans attended this show and some 16 year old dude from Australia is reviewing it for the world’s best wrestling review site! I know it’s been controversial as of late to use the word sleaze but I guarantee in the opening contest there will be some sleaze. There are 3 matches on this card that could be excellent, the main match I’m looking most forward to is the main event which features ZERO-1’s Mineo Fujita and WRESTLE-1’s Minoru Tanaka. I love Tanaka not only as an in-ring performer but as a dude. He is literally working as many places as he can and teaching the younger wrestlers in Japan a thing or two. He is even working FREEDOMS next big show at Korakuen Hall as well as participating in the 2016 Powerful Tag Tournament. On this card are 4 matches that are all in the tournament and the winners advance to face the other winners in March. Cool concept for indies and should be a ton of fun.

(Powerful Tag Tournament 2016 First Round Match) Mushuku (CHANGO & PSYCHO) vs. Amigo Suzuki & Hiroshi Kondo***

This was a super fun opening tag match! Not sleazy at all. Hiroshi Kondo played the babyface in peril for most of the match getting the tar beat out of him from the get go from CHANGO and PSYCHO who are a very well oiled tag team. Kondo was isolated as soon as the bell rang and team Mushunku would not let him make the tag to crowd favorite Amigo Suzuki. The crowd really got behind Kondo and wanted him to make the tag. There were some really awesome double team maneuvers from Mushunku, like stuff I have never seen before. PSYCHO especially impressed me in this contest, he is a skinny older fella but is very athletic and was flying around everywhere during the match. When Suzuki tagged in he ran wild for a bit but Kondo tagged himself back into the match and that’s what cost the team of Suzuki and Kondo to lose. Kondo actually at one point looked to have CHANGO beat with a sharpshooter but PSYCHO broke that up and soon after team Mushunku hit an awesome double team move I have never seen before and pinned Kondo.

(Powerful Tag Tournament 2016 First Round Match) Hiroshi Watanabe & Takashi Sasaki vs. Kenji Takeshima & Taro Yamada***

Another solid match although not as crisp and as smoothly flowing as the previous tag match. Although, it was solid and the work was equal to the prior match. Goddamn; Takashi Sasaki comes out in front out 115 people at HEAT-UP and makes sure he puts over his home promotion FREEDOMS. He had a FREEDOMS banner with him. Early in the match we get what some circles of wrestling fans would call ‘grapple fuck’. It was quite enjoyable actually and probably the best thing Watanabe is can do because he did get sloppy throughout this match with certain spots. He looks exactly like Hideki Suzuki minus hair, height, and handsomeness. Yamada is the guy that stood out to me the most during this match, just like PSYCHO he was flying around everywhere and making sure he made Sasaki and Watanabe look good. He even did the La Sombra top rope split legged moonsault. Watanabe just seemed a step slower than everyone else and I feel bad saying that because I know he’s trying he’s best. Takashi Sasaki’s strikes are very snug so they look really great. I would love to see Sasaki in BJW against Shuji Ishikawa or Daichi Hashimoto. Sasaki made Takeshima tap out with a version of a double wrist-lock/kimura. Not bad at all.

Masa Takanashi vs. Yukihiro Abe***1/2

My god. The man who is regularly a main event guy in DDT is wrestling in the midcard of HEAT-UP! Wrestling is the best man. Yukihiro Abe looks like a very young Kohei Sato. Masa Takanashi is very superb with his ground game and Abe was great getting stretched. Abe is very explosive with his offence, mainly his strikes looked great. Masa was focused on attacking Abe’s legs and would continue to work them the entire bout. Masa Takanashi is a guy you should watch, crazy underrated guy as he rarely disappoints. The combination of Masa making everybody look good and Abe having natural skill turned this into a crazy good match. The last 5 minutes especially were fire! The highlights of the closing sequence were Abe hitting an Okada like dropkick and kicking Mr. Takanashi in the chest so hard that he nearly pinned him. Masa Takanashi won with a superkick followed by the Code Red (sunset flip powerbomb). Like I said the last few minutes were great and I wish they got more time.

(Powerful Tag Tournament 2016 First Round Match) Kotaro Nasu & Ryo Kawamura vs .Mushuku (Kenichiro Arai & SHINYA ISHIDA)***1/4

Good match. It had moments of greatness and moments of death because it was so boring. Arai wasn’t being Arai to begin with as he was actually grappling with Kawamura! So weird to see that in 2016. Really neat spot where Kawamura no sold a leg lock from Arai and applied his own that Arai sold like he was being lit on fire. Arai wrestled like an 80s heel with all the old school heel tactics. He even used a claw hold that put Nasu to sleep for 2 minutes–that had to be a rib. Kotaro Nasu is very good at his kicks. He would work perfectly in Big Japan. ISHIDA used a Cross Rhodes out of nowhere. The match picked up in the last 5 minutes. Kotaro Nasu made ISHIDA submit to a cross-legged leg lock.

(Powerful Tag Tournament 2016 First Round Match) Kazuhiro Tamura & Mineo Fujita vs. Koji Iwamoto & Minoru Tanaka****

The array of performers in this match is so cool, HEAT-UP is awesome. This match was awesome as well. I am not just saying that at all, I loved this match from beginning to end and is one of my favorite tag matches of 2016. Tamura and Tanaka grapple early on which warmed my soul. Fujita tags in and teases that he is going to grapple but of course of attacks the genitals as soon as he could. Once Iwamoto fought off the penis attacks he and Tanaka controlled Fujita. They work awesomely as a team surprisingly because they have never teamed up before. Mineo Fujita did a goddamn tope con hilo! He rarely uses that and it’s so cool he decides to do it in HEAT-UP of all places. Real good action from everyone, you would think Fujita and Tanaka would take it easy but no they left it all in the ring. Real great last 5 minutes, so many close near falls and moments where you expected someone to tap out. That’s why the finish worked so well: Iwamoto did a Judo throw and got Tamura up in the Dr. Bomb but Tamura slipped out and rolled up Iwamoto for the win! Awesome finish to an awesome match.

Not a Show of the Year contender or anything like that but this was easily one of the most fun-filled and most enjoyable pro wrestling shows of 2016. Such an easy to watch show from beginning to end, not one match under ***. The entire atmosphere of being in a tiny building with 115 fans makes me so happy. It must make the wrestlers happy as well because every performer on this card worked their butt off. I would recommend you watch the Masa Takanashi singles match and the main event if you’re pressed for time. Thank you Kazuhiro Tamura for blessing us with HEAT-UP.

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