Tokyo Gurentai delivers again with an insane professional wrestling card. They do this every show they run, most matches are for comedy and nostalgia but there is also a great looking main event featuring two of the greatest junior heavyweights of all time that can still go. Dory Funk Jr. at age 75 is still wrestling and he won’t be stopping anytime soon. It’s hilarious that Kaz Hayashi and CIMA are tagging against Chikara and Momota because Chikara and Momota are a comedy team and Hayashi and CIMA are so amazing. The shoot bros of Kawamura and Sato are wrestling Kikutaro and Stalker in another comedy vs. amazing workers match. Crazy card on paper and I am so pumped to watch.
If you like the shoot style of wrestling then this match is for you. It had everything a shoot style fan would want. A hot crowd, powerful kicks and impactful moves when necessary. Ikeda is pretty old now but he can still throw a few really good looking kicks and got monstrous crowd reactions. The crowd popped huge whenever there was a big time move since the rest of the match was just tons of grappling and kicks. Nasu is seemingly dominating the Japanese independents in 2016. Not by winning every title but putting on world class performances in HEAT-UP, FMW, RJPW and everywhere else. Nasu was the best worker in this match, the flexibility for a man his size is very impressive. His head kicks and jumping kicks are so awesome. Ikeda at 48 is still doing them goddamn shoot headbutts! He used the shoot headbutt numerous times during the bout including one where he just ran full speed at Nasu with his head. Ikeda pins Nasu after the running shoot headbutt and a HUGE lariat. Tokyo
Kikutaro is cos playing Stan Hansen who just four nights prior was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. This match was tons of fun, basically Kikutaro and Stalker would just do the ‘yoooooooouth’ taunt before any move. They would adjust their elbow pads as if they were going for a lariat but they would never use a lariat just other moves. Some of you would find this silly and even disrespectful but it was all done with love. Stalker used his normal offence which attacks the ass of his opponents. Kawamura is a mixed martial artist but he was fully decked out in his MMA gear. He was throwing shoot punches and everything. Kikutaro and Stalker lariated one another on purpose but both men were knocked down and then Kawamura covered Kikutaro and pinned him! New champions! Hilarious.
Tomohiko Hashimoto looks like he is about to rob a corner store in Brooklyn. His in ring gear is not great and he has put on a lot of weight since I last saw him. This wasn’t all that great really. The only reason I am giving it the star rating I am is because of Yuji Hino and Hideki Suzuki being amazing. Hideki is a former WRESTLE-1 Heavyweight Champion, the belt that Hino holds now, and you could tell there was seem beef between the two men. The strike exchanges were oh so glorious. Murakami pinned Hashimoto with a punt kick.
Well, this was a thing that actually happened, and wasn’t all that bad. Mostly comedy but it didn’t feel forced. It felt organic. Chikara at this point is just doing a tribute act to his grandfather. For those that don’t know Momota is the son of Rikidozan and Chikara is the son of Momota. It’s cool to see Hayashi and CIMA out of their home promotions and competing on a show like this. Chikara did tons of chops just like his grandfather. Momota moves decently for someone who turns 67 this year and he still wears his trunks; god bless him. CIMA and Kaz didn’t really get to do all their flashy moves but they adapted very well to who they were wrestling and it made for a fine match considering those involved. CIMA pinned Chikara after the meteora knee drop.
So this is probably the most odd match on paper of 2016 thus far! This is literally bonkers and I am going to love every second of it. This is the first of MANY Dory Funk Jr. matches in Japan in the year 2016! I think in April alone Dory Funk Jr. has worked more matches then Hiroshi Tanahashi and that is no lie. Fujiwara is in the match god bless him! I told y’all at the start of the year that every Fujiwara match that makes tape Izzac will review. I am legit afraid that Tokyo Gurentai is building to a NOSAWA vs. Dory singles match. Dory and Fujiwara continuously tag in and out applying a headlock on KIKUZAWA. Gurentai is bumping like crazy for the old dudes and it’s beautiful. NOSAWA was actually being cheered over the now LOS INGOBERNABLES member Sanada. Sanada did Sanada things which is now includes him getting his pants pulled down and his ass subsequently showing! That’s a regular occurrence now. Of all people Dory Funk Jr. helped Sanada pull his pants up! Sanada did a big time dive with his pants down yet again! Dory Funk Jr.’s wife was filming on her personal camera like she does with all of his matches. She’s a sweetheart, as she runs Dory’s Facebook page and they post really heart warming stuff. Fujiwara was slapping the shit out of NOSAWA which was so cool and I like NOSAWA! Just 67-year-old Yoshiaki Fujiwara slapping folk is a hoot. WOW! Sanshiro Takagi lifted both MAZADA and FUJITA in a fireman’s carry position just like Cena does sometimes! Serious strength from the 45-year-old. So NOSAWA decided it was a smart idea to put his boots to Dory’s ‘Texas Bronco’ jacket… Well Mr. NOSAWA YOU FUCKED UP BIG TIME! Dory took none of NOSAWA’S shit and beat the life out of him with his Texas whip! He destroyed the entire Gurentai team with his whip! Hilarious. I love when Dory uses his whip. Dory could go another 15 years and all he would have to do is whip folk. Dory Funk Jr. makes FUJITA submit to the spinning toe hold. This was awesome and Dory is a top 5000 worker in the world without a doubt.
I love this about Tokyo Gurentai! There undercards are usually just fun matchups, but the main event is always serious and usually features two great workers. This was a super good match but didn’t reach that next level; but still very awesome. Very fast paced opening sequences but Mochizuki focused his attention on Minoru’s left leg using kicks and submissions to wear the leg down. Minoru fought back and started weakening the left arm of Mochizuki. All of Tanaka’s normal kicks were directed to the arms of Mochizuki. Mochizuki hit a great helluva kick. Lots of really neat sequences that had Alan4L jumping up and down in the crowd. Minoru’s leaping enzuigiri is a thing of beauty. 45-year-old Masaaki Mochizuki took a wrist clutch superplex. Mochizuki kicked out of a diving foot stomp but immediately Tanaka applied an arm bar. But Mochi rolled out of it right into an ankle lock which was so beautiful. Huge kicks. Lots of near falls in the closing minutes. Mochizuki retained his championship with the Sankakugeri kick to this face of Tanaka. EVERYTHING was smooth and flowed excellently.
Tokyo Gurentai is one of my favorite promotions in the world not because of the match quality but just because of the talent and random matches they (NOSAWA) books. Like that eight man tag is one of the weirdest matches I have ever seen on paper. It wasn’t just a nostalgia show because the opener and main event were both really good. The comedy stuff worked well and the crowd loved it. Shinjuku is one of the coolest little arenas in Japan as it’s real pretty and the atmosphere is great. Love Tokyo Gurentai! Hope they hold another show soon featuring an Atsushi Onita vs. Dory Funk Jr. Current Blast Deathmatch.