wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s NJPW Lion’s Gate 4 Review 4.13.17

April 13, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Csonka’s NJPW Lion’s Gate 4 Review 4.13.17  

Csonka’s NJPW Lion’s Gate 4 Review 4.13.17

– TAKA Michinoku defeated Shota Umino @ 6:22 via submission [**¼]
– El Desperado defeated Hirai Kawato @ 9:30 via pin [**¾]
– Jado & Gedo defeated Yuma Aoyagi & Koji Iwamoto @ 13:30 via submission []
– YOSHI-HASHI defeated Toru Sugiura @ 9:40 via submission [***¼]
– Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Ayato Yoshida & Dinosaur Takuma @ 11:40 via pin [***¼]
– Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata defeated Manabu Nakanishi & Katsuya Kitamura @ 14:40 via pin [**¾]

The Lion’s Gate project is a series of shows for the young lions of NJPW to gain experience. NJPW previously worked with NOAH on these shows, but with that relationship ending, they will work with AJPW, K-Dojo and other promotions; it’s a very bare bones set up.

Shota Umino vs. TAKA Michinoku: Shota Umino (making his debut I believe) is the son of referee red shoes, and red shoes is the official here. Umino has some decent size to him, and works a nice back and forth with TAKA to begin. TAKA cuts him off, works a standing choke and then takes him to the mat, working a head scissors. TAKA continues to grind on the youngster with headlocks and head scissors before rolling into a guillotine. Umino made the ropes for the break, and then fired up with forearms. TAKA avoided the dropkick the first time, but Umino kept trying and hi tit on the second try. He then followed with a slam and elbow off the top before locking in a single leg crab. TAKA made the ropes, hit the bicycle kick and then dropped down into the crossface, TAKA rolled him center ring, pulled back and Umino had to tap. TAKA Michinoku defeated Shota Umino @ 6:22 via submission [**¼] Umino got in a lot for a debut match, with TAKA being very giving and trying to do more give and take than just a quick take all match. Umino had solid presence, and I will be curious to see more from him in the coming months; good first showing for Umino.

Hirai Kawato vs. El Desperado: Kawato has been really great as of late, working with fire and confidence, and winning over the crowds. He’s the runt of the litter as far as the lions go, but he fights like the biggest dog in the yard. Kawato took the fight to Desperado right away, Desperado tricked him into going to the floor, and cut him off with a knee strike and then did the old Suzuki-gun beat down on the floor. Desperado kept things on the floor too long and in area where it was hard to see. He finally brought Kawato back ringside and crotched him on the post and attacked the leg. Back in the ring and Desperado slowly beat down Kawato, attacking the knee. Kawato looked to fight back, hopped onto the ropes by Desperado quickly yanked him off and to the mat. Desperado looked to maintain his attack, but ran into a desperation dropkick from Kawato and then the missile dropkick followed for 2. Kawato locked in the crab, Desperado fought and made the ropes. Desperado then hit a spinebuster for 2, and worked a single leg crab and then stump puller, bending Kawato in half. The youngster managed to escape, and countered a German into a roll up for a near fall. Kawato kept going for cradles and roll ups, but ate a version of the pedigree and then a code red for the Desperado win. El Desperado defeated Hirai Kawato @ 9:30 via pin [**¾] Pretty good stuff overall with Kawato continuing to be a ton of fun, and connecting with the audience the best out of the current crop of lions.

Jado & Gedo vs. Yuma Aoyagi & Koji Iwamoto: Yuma Aoyagi & Koji Iwamoto are from AJPW. Jado started out and had a lot of attitude, being largely dismissing of the youngsters. But that led to them fighting back and a frustrated Gedo tagging in. While still his playful self, Gedo was more serious than Jado, tricking his opponents to the floor where he and Jado, with the help of a chair took control. Back in the ring, Jado took the heat on Aoyagi, working his bargain basement flair tribute spots. Jado worked a really bland heat before tagging in Gedo. Aoyagi managed to fight back with uppercuts and then a dropkick. Iwamoto finally got the hot tag; he worked over Gedo with forearms and a knee drop for 2. The abdominal stretch follows, and it breaks down as Jado strolls into the ring. Gedo worked over Iwamoto until they did a double down and we got tags to Jado and Aoyagi, which led to Jado literal standing still while Aoyagi ran around him and, and hit a dropkick and high cross for 2 as it broke down. The youngsters isolated Jado; hit rapid-fire corner elbows and a fisherman’s suplex for the near fall. Gedo stunned Aoyagi off the ropes, allowing Jado to hit the draping DDT for the near fall. Jado finally locked in the crossface for the win. Jado & Gedo defeated Yuma Aoyagi & Koji Iwamoto @ 13:30 via submission [*½] I thought that Yuma Aoyagi & Koji Iwamoto came across as very solid with a ton of potential, but Jado booking himself to work the majority of a 13-minute match, where he strolls around like he’s 80 years old was a poor plan and dragged the match down for me and led to the match being an overall poor one. A lot of people want to sugarcoat it and say, “Jado’s just banged up” but the truth is that he’s shot as a performer and drastically hurts the quality of just about every match he’s in.

YOSHI-HASHI vs. Toru Sugiura: Sugiura regularly works FREEDOMS. Sugiura looks like Yano a bit, but is way more athletic. They worked a fun, and fat paced opening stretch, with Sugiura taking the action to the floor and showing some great aggression here. He slammed HASHI around on the floor and then beat on him with a chair before hitting a running senton. HASHI managed to fight back, hitting a suplex on the floor and then both men beat the count back in. They then traded chops back in the ring as HASHI fired up, but Sugiura wouldn’t give up as he kept fighting and hit a run up high cross for 2. They traded strikes enter ring, Sugiura then started to light up HASHI with repeated forearm strikes. HASHI fought off the fisherman’s buster, and hit a neck breaker to slow Sugiura’s role. HASHI then hit the powerbomb into the jackknife pin for 2. HASHI missed the swanton attempt, allowing Sugiura to hit a sliding lariat for 2. The missile dropkick followed for 2. Sugiura laid in a series of strikes, but ran into the lariat and then HASHI secured the butterfly lock for the victory. YOSHI-HASHI defeated Toru Sugiura @ 9:40 via submission [***¼] Good match with Sugiura really coming across as impressive and more than holding his own against the New Japan regular. I’d love to see more from Sugiura in the future, his work was clean, largely crisp and on point; he looked as if he belonged in there with HASHI.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Ayato Yoshida & Dinosaur Takuma: Ayato Yoshida & Dinosaur Takuma are from K-Dojo. TenKoji are just coming off losing the tag team titles, and are likely in a surly New Japan Dad mood tonight. Dinosaur Takuma is in fact a dinosaur man (well a man wearing a dinosaur themed singlet with tail). Kojima and Yoshida started off, they did some basic back and forth until Kojima used his power to sent Yoshida to the floor. Takuma and Tenzan tagged in, and Takuma tried to eat Tenzan, which was not appreciated; they went back and forth, Takuma tried to eat Tenzan again but ate some head butts for his troubles. Kojima tagged back in and the New Japan Dads ware in fact surly as they kicked the shit out of the dinosaur man. Takuma bit Kojima, which was a bad idea because he was already pissed and partly took it out on Yoshida. Takuma then tried to head butt Tenzan, but quickly realized it was not a good plan. Takuma finally used some misdirection to hit a shoulder block and tag in Yoshida. Yoshida worked his Shibata light offense, using a sleeper and PK for the near fall. Tenzan avoided a head kick, hit the spin kick and tagged in Kojima. Kojima lit up Yoshida with corner chops, and followed with the top rope elbow drop for 2. Yoshida then it into Kojima with chops, which fired him up ad they traded center ring. Yoshida hit knee strikes and tagged in Takuma, who hit a running senton and DVD for the near fall. It broke down, Takuma speared both dads, but walked into a Koji cutter; Yoshida made the save and he ate the TenKoji cutter. Brainbuster to Takuma, but he managed to kick out. LARIOTOOOOOOO by Kojima and the dinosaur is extinct. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Ayato Yoshida & Dinosaur Takuma @ 11:40 via pin [***¼] This was another good match, a very different TenKoji match, with a more light hearted feel as they did the comedy with Dinosaur Takuma. It all worked, the dads got pissed off and fired up and dispatched the lads from K-Dojo, after they put up a good fight. With a hotter crowd this is even better.

Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Katsuya Kitamura: Oka and Kitamura started things off as the dads watched on, nodding in approval. Its take your kids to Thunder Dome day. After some back and forth grappling, they lit into each other big time with chops and forearm strikes. The dads eventually had enough of this and tagged themselves in. They worked a more deliberate, les energetic back and forth before firing up with the strikes, leading to Nakanishi hitting a running splash for 2. Kitamura tagged in and took control, working the heat on Nagata for a bit. Nagata then laid in the kicks to the knees to break him down, tagged in Oka who softened up Kitamura, allowing Nagata to tag back in and work the arm. Oka then sent Nakanishi to the floor, leading to he and Kitamura doing a double down. Nakanishi returned, strolled wildly on Oka and then Nagata. Oka fought off the torture rack, and hit a belly to belle before tagging in Nagata. Nagata lit up Nakanishi with kicks, but Nakanishi fought off the XPLODER and hit the spear. Kitamura tagged in and hit the dropkick on Nagata and then followed with forearms and strikes, it broke down, Nagata locked in the arm bar but Nakanishi made the save. He and Kitamura worked over Nagata, took out Oka and then did the wacky Nakanishi dance together. They then worked stereo torture racks, but Nagata escaped and slammed Kitamura into Nakanishi. Nagata worked a crossface on Kitamura, but Nakanishi saved him again, only for Nagata to hit the backdrop driver to pick up the win. Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata defeated Manabu Nakanishi & Katsuya Kitamura @ 14:40 via pin [**¾] It was a bit lethargic in parts, and occasionally rough, but overall I felt that it was a pretty good match. Nagata and Nakanishi work well together, and Oka and Kitamura are constantly improving and showing more in each outing.

– Post match, Nagata showed Kitamura respect by shaking his hand.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
The NJPW Lion's Gate 4 was just about what I expected, nothing must see, but a night of solid action with a few standouts (Kawato, Sugiura, Yoshida & Dinosaur Takuma) to take note of. I love watching the young lions grow from near nothingness to complete performers, so I find these shows very interesting.

article topics :

NJPW, NJPW Lion's Gate 4, Larry Csonka