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Csonka’s NJPW Lion’s Gate Project6 Review 6.15.17

June 16, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW Lion’s Gate Project6 Review 6.15.17  

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Csonka’s NJPW Lion’s Gate Project6 Review 6.15.17

– El Desperado defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi @ 7:46 via submission [**]
– Jado & Gedo defeated Hirai Kawato & Shota Umino @ 10:55 via submission [**¾]
– Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV defeated Takuya Nomura & Dinosaur Takuma @ 11:15 via submission [***]
– Manabu Nakanishi defeated Katsuya Kitamura @ 6:55 via submission [**]
– YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yuma Aoyagi @ 11:33 via submission [***¼]
– Satoshi Kojima & Ayato Yoshida defeated Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka @ 15:40 via pin [***¾]

El Desperado vs. Tetsuhiro Yagi: I love Desperado working these shows, he’s a good worker and a great douchey heel for young babyfaces to work against. Yagi is one of the newer lions but got a lot of work in during the junior’s tournament. They worked a basic and straightforward match, focused on grappling. Desperado dominated, but wasn’t using any of his bag of Suzuki-gun tricks. He was simply the more experienced worker, dominating a rookie with ease. Many forget that Desperado is a talented guy due to his matches breaking down into the Suzuki-gun formula so often, so it’s nice to see him remind people that he doesn’t need it. he was a spectacular dick here, dropping Yagi with these little kicks to the knee, sidestepping dropkicks and mocking the youngster. Yagi fired up, and ran wild with dropkicks, neck breakers and the single leg crab. He even slapped the shit out of Desperado at one point. Desperado then cut him off with a spinebuster, worked an inverted Indian death lock, but Yagi got the ropes. The stretch muffler ended Yagi’s night after a good fight. El Desperado defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi @ 7:46 via [**] This was a rock solid opener, with Yagi showing good improvement in the short time he’s been working, and that’s the goal. His fundamentals are really sound, but he lacks the fire that say, Kawato brings to the table.

– Post match, Desperado faked a handshake and laid out Yagi.

Hirai Kawato & Shota Umino vs. Jado & Gedo: Umino is the son of referee Red Shoes, and another of the more junior lions. Gedo and Jado played the bully role early, taking control and generally being dicks. It’s a perfect formula on a show like this, because the lions show great fire and do a great job of getting the crowd behind them. Gedo and Jado used some basic underhanded heel tactics to maintain control, working the heat on Umino and just beating him down with ease. Kawato was all fired up and kept trying to help, but that allowed Jado to work over Umino on the floor with chair shots. The veterans kept the heat, giving Umino some valuable lessons until he cut off Gedo with a dropkick and Kawato got the hot tag. He showed great fire, working over Gedo and hitting a missile dropkick and a roll up for 2. The dropkick followed, and Unimo tagged in. He worked over Jado, hitting corner elbow strikes and a flying forearm for 2. He tried for the crab, and it broke down as Kawato and Gedo brawled to the floor. Jado escaped the crab, hit a clothesline and covered for 2. Jado continued his assault, but Kawato made the save but was tossed back to the floor; Jado finished Umino with the crossface. Jado & Gedo defeated Hirai Kawato & Shota Umino @ 10:55 via submission [**¾] Pretty good match, with the two teams playing their roles well. Jado even seemed motivated here, which is nice to see. Umino, like Yagi, is showing good progression, but Kawato is still the standout of the junior lions at this point.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV vs. Takuya Nomura & Dinosaur Takuma: Dinosaur Takuma has been wrestling for Kaientai Dojo since 2015 and is not only AWESOME, but is my spirit anima! Nomura is from Big Japan Pro Wrestling, and has been working a little over a year. Life is good as we get to hear parts of both Tenzan’s & Tiger Mask’s entrance music. Tenzan and Takuma start things off. Tenzan works the arm early, but Takuma uses his tail for a rope break. Takuma then avoids the chops and lays in some of his own. Tenzan tries to grab the tail to cut him off, but Takuma hits a shoulder block and we have Nomura and Tiger Mask tag in. They do some grappling, but Tiger Mask takes control with a shoulder block. Nomura tags out to Takuma, but Tiger Mask takes control and lay in leg kicks. Tenzan back in and he works over Takuma in the corner. Takuma fires up, but Tenzan lays in head butts and chops, covering for 2. Tenzan tries to keep control, but Takuma bites him to escape. Tiger Mask tags back in and lays in kicks to Takuma, and then works a figure four to ground the dinosaur. Takuma makes the ropes, tries to land chops and does, but Tiger Mask no sells and bitch slaps him. I love angry New Japan Dads. Takuma hits a sling blade variation off the criss cross and tags in Nomura. He then locks in an arm bar on Tiger Mask, but the veteran makes the ropes. Nomura keeps attacking the arm, lays in kicks but that fires up Tiger Mask, who hits kicks and the tiger bomb until Takuma makes the save. Tenzan back in and lays in the Mongolian chops, and then follows with head butts on Nomura in the corner. The suplex follows and Tenzan covers for 2. They trade strikes center ring now, but Nomura hits the desperation dropkick and tags in Takuma, who runs wild. Tenzan and Tiger Mask take control, tossing Nomura and working over Takuma. Nomura makes it back in to make the save, Takuma hits a double spear on the dads and then a DVD into a powerslam for a near fall on Tenzan. Tenzan quickly cuts him off, clearly having enough of that shit, and connects with the anaconda buster into the anaconda vice for the win. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV defeated Takuya Nomura & Dinosaur Takuma @ 11:15 via submission [***] I love Dinosaur Takuma so much and would love him to get a US indie run, he’s a good wrestler, is fun and gets over with the crowd; the bad news is that he’ll never get a NJPW run with the gimmick. The match was good, smartly laid out, and everyone played their roles well.

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Katsuya Kitamura: Kitamura is the big jacked to the gills junior who debuted back in March; NJPW management loves him. Kitamura has great natural charisma, has been improving and looks like a million bucks. Kitamura tried to overpower Nakanishi early, which led to the bulls colliding repeatedly spot center ring. The crowd ate this up as they yelled and made mean faces each time they collided. They then traded strikes and chops, lighting each other up and Nakanishi finally taking Kitamura down. Nakanishi then beat on Kitamura, delivering chops to the throat. Nakanishi then slowly (as if he had another speed) stalked Kitamura, continuing to beat him down. Kitamura fired up and hit chops, which only angered Nakanishi. Kitamura fought off a suplex and then hit one of his own on Nakanishi. He then hit elbows and shoulder block, covering for 2. The spear followed, and he looked for the back breaker to insult Nakanishi by beating him with his own move. Nakanishi escaped, laid in chops but Kitamura hit a dropkick to cut him off. Nakanishi followed with a lariat, did his little fire up dance and hit another lariat, covering for 2. Nakanishi then locked in the back breaker and Kitamura tapped out. Manabu Nakanishi defeated Katsuya Kitamura @ 6:55 via submission [**] Solid stuff here, this felt like more of an exercise of teaching Kitamura to play to the crowd more than putting on a basic hold for hold match. This is not a bad thing. One thing that I came away thinking here is that NJPW is in a rough place with Kitamura. He has a great look and potential, but they are really high on him and want him to be a star. One thing to worry about is that even though he isn’t old, he isn’t getting any younger and won’t keep that freak physique forever. He also has a history of steroid use (he was banned from amateur wrestling for two years after testing positive for anabolic steroids in 2011), and if he used them for a long time and or still does, we all know the kind of muscle tear issues he could run into. They may want to consider expediting his rise to the main roster, I’d place him in a Juice Robinson like role; put him in a group of guys he can work with in tags (maybe have him replace Nakanishi in the unofficial Tanahashi & Friends stable) and then as he improves, move him up from there and give him the opportunities he earns.

YOSHI-HASHI vs. Yuma Aoyagi: Aoyagi is a junior from AJPW. They worked a solid and basic back and forth. They picked up the pace, and Aoyagi hit a dropkick and then laid in the boots on HASHI. Aoyagi started to take control, but HASHI had enough of his young boy shit and took him to the floor where they laid in some big time chops, leading to HASHI posting Aoyagi. This worked well because it was different than anything else on the show, and both guys worked with great aggression. Back in and HASHI took the heat, working a camel clutch to weaken up Aoyagi for a possible butterfly lock later on. Aoyagi would make the ropes and escape, fire up and start putting offense together. The crowd got into his comeback well, and he then hit a high cross for a near fall. HASHI fought off the fisherman’s suplex, hit a superkick and covered for 2. The suplex followed, and HASHI then locked in the single leg crab. Aoyagi had a good fight spot, make the ropes and the crowd loved that. They traded strikes, but Aoyagi hit a dropkick and fisherman’s suplex for the near fall. Aoyagi followed with uppercuts and a delayed German for a good near fall that the crowd was into. HASHI then hit a big lariat, covering for two and then locked in the butterfly lock and Aoyagi had to tap. YOSHI-HASHI defeated Yuma Aoyagi @ 11:33 via submission [***¼] This was a good mach and the best thing on the show so far. I love HASHI on these shows, he works hard because he actually gets to have singles matches as opposed to the long line of tags he works on the main shows. Aoyagi did well for himself, keeping up with HASHI the whole time and winning over the crowd. Good stuff.

Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Satoshi Kojima & Ayato Yoshida: Yoshida is from Kaientai Dojo and has been working since 2015. Oka is one of the young lions, like Kitamura, that NJPW management loves. He’s been Nagata’s protégé. Oka and Yoshida start things off; they work some basic back and forth with Oka overpowering him. They trade strikes, with Yoshida laying in some wicked chops. Oka puts a stop to that, and Nagata and Kojima tag themselves in. NEW JAPAN DAD TIME! They do some back and forth grappling, and work to the ropes. Nagata lays in some kicks and they then trade forearms. More kicks by Nagata, but Kojima hits the shoulder block. Yoshida tags in and lays the boots to Nagata in his corner. He and Kojima then work double teams, and Yoshida then lays in knee strikes. Nagata starts to shake off his forearms, they trade strikes and Nagata is in a bad mood now. Nagata lights him up with strikes and kicks, grounding the youngster. Nagata then works the arm of Yoshida, sends Kojima to he floor and tags in Oka. Oka and Nagata work quick tags, with Nagata looking for an arm bar, Yoshida escapes and lays in strikes, but Nagata cuts him off, attacking the arm and laying in more kicks. Oka in and works an arm bar as Nagata holds off Kojima. Yoshida manages to take Oka down and tags in Kojima, who sends Nagata to the floor; machinegun chops by Kojima on Oka follow, as does the corner forearm and top rope elbow drop. Oka kicks out at 2. Yoshida sends Nagata to the floor, while he and Kojima continue to wok over Oka. Kojima hits the neck breaker and then sends Nagata to the floor again. The double teams of Oka continue, Yoshida hits a running knee strike and again attacks Nagata; he hits a PK on Oka for a near fall as Nagata is PISSED and brings in a chair, but the ref stops him. Oka hits a desperation spinebuster and tags in Nagata. Nagata sends Kojima to the floor for some payback, and then beats on Yoshida, making him pay for his sins. Nagata hits the big boot, lays in the strikes and then follows with the XPLODER for 2. Nagata then kicks the shit out of Yoshida, but Yoshida hits a desperation kick and tags in Kojima. Kojima and Nagata beat on each other, Kojima fires up and looks for the lariat, but Nagata counters into the arm bar! Oka and Yoshida brawl on the floor, and then Yoshida saves Kojima. Nagata dispatches him to the floor, and Oka is tagged in. he runs wild with shoulder blocks as Nagata beats on Yoshida on the floor; a powerslam gets 2 for Oka. He locks in the crab, but Yoshida returns to make the save. Nagata works him over and tosses him. Nagata and Oka work over Kojima, with Oka getting the near fall. Kojima battles back, hitting a DDT for 2. It breaks down, and Yoshida and Nagata spill to the floor. Koji cutter for Oka, but he kicks out! Kojima then kills him with the lariat and picks up the win. Satoshi Kojima & Ayato Yoshida defeated Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka @ 15:40 via pin [***¾] This was a very good main event, with a level of intensity that most of the card lacked. The Nagata/Kojima interactions were great, get these two in the same G1 block so they can try to kill each other. Good stuff from all involved, and a fitting main event for the show.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was another fun Lion’s Gate adventure, you can see the improvement of the NJPW young lions, the NJPW dads seem to always have fun and bring the right intensity to these matches, and it more than serves its purpose. I always enjoy seeing the non-NJPW talents as well. I wish WWE could run some network specials (90-minutes max), using underutilized main roster talents working with not quite ready for NXT stars similar to the layout of these shows.