wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s NJPW Road to Power Struggle Review 10.30.16

October 30, 2016 | Posted by Larry Csonka
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Csonka’s NJPW Road to Power Struggle Review 10.30.16  

Csonka’s NJPW Road to Power Struggle Review 10.30.16

– Teruaki Kanemitsu defeated Hirai Kawato @ 6:07 via submission [**]
– Yoshitatsu & Juice Robinson defeated Yujiro Takahashi & BONE SOLDIER @ 7:17 via DQ [DUD]
– Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Angel De Oro & Titan @ 8:45 via pin [***]
– CHAOS defeated Bullet Club @ 10:25 via pin [**½]
– The ELITE defeated CHAOS @ 14:15 via pin [***½]
– Los Ingobernables defeated Tanahashi and Friends @ 11:25 via pin [**¾]
Super Jr Tag Team Tournament Opening Semifinal Match: Roppongi Vice defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Fuego @ 15:30 via pin [***]
Super Jr Tag Team Tournament Opening Semifinal Match: ACH & Taiji Ishimori defeated Ricochet & David Finlay @ 16:05 via pin [***¾]

Teruaki Kanemitsu vs. Hirai Kawato: The lions did a lot of back and forth grappling here, which was rather solid. Some back and forth followed, and then Kawato started to take control and worked more aggressively. He scored with the young lion crab, but Kanemitsu made the ropes. They traded forearms and then Kanemitsu made his comeback, hitting a dropkick and then a corner dropkick. The powerslam got 2. They then traded small packages and cradles, Kanemitsu then locked in the crab and Kawato had to tap. Teruaki Kanemitsu defeated Hirai Kawato @ 6:07 via submission [**] This was solid, but unspectacular. These two are still developing and are far away from Tanaka vs. Komatsu or Finlay vs. White

Yoshitatsu & Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi & BONE SOLDIER: They all brawled right away, Takahashi posted Juice and then he and BONE worked over Yoshitatsu. BONE then proceeded to try and bully the ref as he worked a slow and very heel 101 offense. He comes across as a guy paying a wrestler instead of an actual wrestler. The Bullet Club scrub team kept control for a bit until Yoshitatsu got a tag to Juice, who ran wild with punched and chops. Also, yelling “come here mother fucker” seems to really pop the Japanese crowd. Juice kept rolling, and the crowd kept getting more excited as he hit the cannonball on Takahashi. The jackhammer followed for 2 as BONE made the save. Juice took him out, he and Takahashi messed up a float over spot two times and then Juice hit a spinebuster. Yoshitatsu tagged back in and worked over BONE with some bad leg kicks and strikes. Yoshitatsu landed a bunch of kicks to the chest of BONE, it then broke down and Juice and Takahashi went to the floor. Low blow by BONE and that was that. Yoshitatsu & Juice Robinson defeated Yujiro Takahashi & BONE SOLDIER @ 7:17 via DQ [DUD] This was a bit better than the last match featuring most of these guys (BONE, Yoshitatsu and Takahashi) but stop asking me to invest my time in shitty wrestling only to do another low blow finish. Nothing they did here, including Yoshitatsu’s shitty Triple H cosplay, is worth it. Juice tried really hard to make this good.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Angel De Oro & Titan: NEW JAPAN DADS… and some CMLL guys. Liger and De Oro kicked things off here, with De Oro quickly sending Liger to the floor and busting out a Sasuke special. Tenzan and Nakanishi then tagged in and they did angry drunk uncle at your graduation party spots. Tenzan took control with a series of chops, Nakanishi then very slowly battled back and hit a walking splash for a near fall. Titan tagged in and hit a high cross on Tenzan, followed by a basement dropkick for 2. he then worked an ankle lock, De Oro tagged in and beat n Tenzan, it did nothing so he went to the dropkick to take him down. Nagata then tagged in and worked over Tenzan with kicks, Tenzan managed to hit the backdrop and tag in Kojima. Rapid fire corner chops to Nagata followed, and then forearm strikes. They then traded big forearm strikes center ring and then Kojima scored with the cutter for the double down. Tiger Mask and Titan got the hot tags, they worked back and forth and then De Oro rushed in so that they could double team him. De Oro hit a Michinoku driver; Titan then ate knees on the moonsault. It broke down from there, Tiger Mask and Titan were left in the ring. Tiger Mask hit a butterfly superplex and then the Tiger suplex for the win. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask IV & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Angel De Oro & Titan @ 8:45 via pin [***] This was a good multi-man tag, a little slow in parts, but the work was good, the crowd was engaged and it had a fun vibe to it. De Oro & Titan could have used a win here after bowing out in the first round of the tournament. Instead, Titan takes another loss. It’s hard to take them seriously when they are booked like the job squad. It’s not going to hurt Tiger Mask to lose in this situation.

Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens: HASHI had on his big boy pants and demanded he start things against Loa. He got bullied a bit, Ishii then came in to even the odds when Tonga rushed in and it broke down with CHAOS taking control early. Goto worked over Loa a bit, but Tonga got involved and then Goto was sent to the floor. Bullet Club took control, Tonga worked over Ishii with the bell hammer n the floor as Loa and Owens continued the heat on Goto. The Guerrillas send HASHI and Ishii to the floor as they worked bland double teams. Come on boys, put some pep in your step it’s 6:25AM here. Goto eventually escaped a double team, leading to Tonga sending Loa to the floor. HASHI got the tag to no reaction, he ran wild on Tonga for a bit and got a near fall but there were next to no fucks given by this crowd. HASHI hit a neck breaker and Ishii got the tag, and even he got very little reaction. He tossed Tonga around, it broke down, Tonga did his rope run confusion spot and then ate a double powerbomb from HASHI and Ishii; Loa ran in and Ishii tossed him around. Chase Owens tagged in, Bullet Club worked over Ishii, including Owens getting a near fall off the code breaker. Goto made the save, Owens kept hitting Ishii, which is just a bad idea. HASHI and Ishii worked him over and Ishii then hit the brainbuster for the win. CHAOS defeated Bullet Club @ 10:25 via pin [**½] This was solid, but the middle had some major drag factor that nearly killed all momentum.

– We got the post match brawl to set up more tension for the WTL.

– Atlantis, Dragon Lee, Mistico, Titan, Maximo Sexy, Stuka Jr, Volador Jr, Blue Panther Jr, Soberano Jr, Ultimo Guerrero, Euforia, Ephesto, Barbaro Cavernario, Hechicero, Okamura, and Raziel will all be part of the NJPW/CMLL FantasticaMania tour in January.

– We get another Time Bomb teaser. I don’t give a shit who it is, but they must retain that pimp ass 70’s jazz flute music.

Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & Gedo vs. Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks: And we go back to back with the CHOAS vs. Bullet Club battles, this time with the ELITE vs. CHOAS. Matt and Kenny dressed as the Ghostbusters, while Nick played the ghost. Hilarity ensued. Kenny and the Bucks, still in consume, attacked before the bell and isolated Gedo, using their inflatable proton packs as weapons. Okada and Ospreay made the save, and then Ospreay put on Nick’s ghost costume and hit a dive to the floor. Back in the ring, Gedo got some payback but then the ELITE cleared the ring. They hit triple suicide dives and celebrated. Omega had issues getting his costume off, so Nick and Matt ripped it off of him. Back in the ring, Nick took the heat on Gedo by attacking his beard. They did comedy spots like doing a beard ringer and then having Matt come off the ropes with a double sledge like he was attacking an arm. We even got a double stomp to the beard. Gedo eventually avoided a triple team, but when he went for the tag, Ospreay and Okada were pulled to the floor. The Bucks worked double teams, but Gedo avoided a superkick and Ospreay flew in to take out Omega and then Okada tagged in. Okada ran wild until Omega cut him off, but Okada slammed him into Nick. DDT n Nick and then a running uppercut got 2. Okada went up top, but Omega blinded him with the cold spray. Okada came back after miscommunication by the Bucks, it broke down and Gedo planted Omega on his head with a flatliner. It looked bad, but he was ok and it broke down. Ospreay hit a reverse RANA on Omega, and then a double RANA off the ropes onto the Bucks. Omega looked to take out Okada, but ran into a Spanish fly from Ospreay. We got superkicks by the Bucks, Okada the cut off Nick with the dropkick. Ospreay tagged in and went one on one wit Omega. They had some really fun back and forth, with Ospreay getting a near fall off of a corkscrew moonsault. Matt accidentally superkicked Omega, Ospreay tossed Nick to the floor and Ospreay went for a Sasuke special, but got caught and ate an Indytaker on the floor. The ELITE isolated Ospreay, triple superkicks followed and Omega Gedo and Okada made the save. They got tossed, and Omega hit the one winged angel on Ospreay for the win. The ELITE defeated CHAOS @ 14:15 via pin [***½] Some will love this and some will hate it. The comedy section felt a bit too long, but once they got serious and then hit the homestretch, it was a ton of fun. I can hear the complaints about Omega doing so much comedy when he’s about to main event WK, but on the other hand, it’s a Road to show, the crowd loved it and we got some Omega vs. Okada interaction

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI: Tanahashi and Friends vs. Los Ingobernables here. Tanahashi and SANADA started, Honma tagged in and immediately missed the kokeshi. This led to Shibata and EVIL going back and forth, with Los Ingobernables clearing the ring and the floor brawl following. Shibata was thrown to the post, on the tape dup shoulder and then EVIL wrapped the chair around his arm and posted him again. Naito then took the heat on Shibata, focusing on the arm. BUSHI tagged in and used his shirt to choke him out. Shibata made the comeback and tagged in Makabe. He attacked everyone and then worked over BUSHI in the corner. BUSHI used the ref for a distraction, but then ran into a lariat for 2. Naito got in a cheap shot, allowing BUSHI to take down Makabe and tag in SANADA. Tanahashi tagged in, he and SANADA traded strikes until SANADA scored with the cutter for 2. Tanahashi avoided the moonsault, both men tried for the dragon sleeper, and then traded dragon screw leg whips. Naito and Honma tagged in, Honma ran wild and hit a falling kokeshi and then followed with forearm strikes. Naito fired back with the dropkick combo, BUSHI and EVIL cleared the ring and but Honma came back with a spike DDT on Naito. He went up top, EVIL cut him off and slammed him in the ring. Naito hit Gloria for a near fall, it broke down and as the others brawled on the floor Honma turned Naito inside out with a lariat. BUSHI MISTED Honma, and Naito low blowed him and EVIL hit the STO and Naito got the pin. Los Ingobernables defeated Tanahashi and Friends @ 11:25 via pin [**¾] This was here to help further the Tanahashi vs. SANADA and Shibata vs. EVIL matches for November 5th. It also likely serves as a tease for Los Ingobernables vs. Honma and Makabe in the WTL. In that regard, it succeeded. The match was a pretty good, Road to style match, which was fine but far from must see. It was very paint by numbers.

– Post match, EVIL laid out Shibata with the belt shot and STO to stand tall.

Ryusuke Taguchi & Fuego vs. Roppongi Vice: Romero and Fuego started thing off. Fuego did some comedy and then took down, Romero, he tried to crawl to Barreta for a hug but got shoved away as they continue to tease their issues. Barreta and Taguchi in, Taguchi went right to the ass based offense and worked over both Barreta and Romero. Barreta finally cut him off and sent him to the floor. After the floor brawl, Roppongi got on the same page took the heat on Taguchi. They did double teams and even high fived they were so happy. Fuego then cut off strong zero, but Barreta kept control, but was visibly annoyed at Romero. Taguchi made the comeback on Romero, got the got tag to Fuego and he ran wild and took out Roppongi with a step up dive to the floor. Back in the ring, Fuego covered Romero for 2. They then went back and forth, Fuego tripped up Romero and hit the frog splash for 2. Taguchi tagged back in and they double teamed Romero with ass attacks for a near fall. Barreta then ran in to make the save, pulled Romero to the corner and told Romero to tag him. Romero said “FUCK YOU” and hit forever clotheslines, but then Taguchi and Fuego double teamed him. Taguchi then hit him with forever ass attacks, and hit his bome ye ass attack for 2. Romero then countered the do don into a roll up for 2. Barreta returned to make the save again, and hit a sweet dive onto Taguchi and Fuego. Back in Barreta wanted the tag and got it. he missed the double stomp and favored his ankle, Taguchi got the ankle lock but Barreta made the ropes. Taguchi hit the gut buster suplex, went up top and Barreta tried to run up but slipped, he then got the suplex, but Taguchi countered the knee strike into the ankle lock again. Barreta countered into a roll up for 2. Taguchi fought back and hit the do don for a near fall. Fuego then tagged in, set Barreta up top and hit a RANA. The moonsault off the second rope connected for 2. Romero returned and they double kneed Fuego and then Romero called for strong zero, Taguchi tried to stop him, but they hit it and scored the win. Roppongi Vice defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Fuego @ 15:30 via pin [***] The match felt off early, but got better as it went on. Where the match excelled was in the storytelling in regards to the Roppongi Vice angle, as they had to fight through their issues and overcome Barreta being banged up to overcome. They have also done a good job of changing the narrative to where you thought Barreta was the obvious one to turn to now it could be either man turning when and if it happens.

Ricochet & David Finlay vs. ACH & Taiji Ishimori: Finlay and Ishimori stared things off. They did some nice back and forth and then Ishimori and ACH took things to the floor for a short brawl. back in, ACH tagged in and they double teamed Finlay, with ACH mocking Ricochet. Finlay tried to battle back, but ACH did some flippy doos and hit a dropkick to cut off Finlay. Ishimori tagged back in to continue working over Finlay, hitting a code breaker off the ropes for a near fall. Ishimori laid in a series of chops, but Finlay finally hit a dropkick and tagged in Ricochet. He worked over both Ishimori and ACH, hitting some fun offense on both and taking control as the crowd got into it. A big dive from Ricochet followed, he and Ishimori then did a really fun back and forth, and he hit a lariat for a near fall. Ishimori connected with a forearm strike, and then a back handspring kick for the double down. Ricochet got to his feet and sent ACH to the floor, countered the Ishimori RANA only for Ishimori to hit a reverse RANA. Finlay and ACH tagged back in, ACH sent Finlay to the floor and scored with the dive. ACH then ran wild on Finlay with lariats and strikes. ACH worked a series of kicks, but Finlay then cut him off with a lariat. He and Ricochet then worked over ACH, which Finlay then covering for as Ricochet sent Ishimori to the floor. They hit a double team back stabber on ACH, but made the save. Ricochet went for the benadryller on Ach, he countered and then Ishimori returned and that led to ACH hitting a slingshot cutter for 2. ACH and Ishimori worked over Ricochet, hitting corner dropkicks and then ACH covering for 2. Ricochet fought off Ishimori with forearm strikes, and then laid him out with a kick and tagged in Finlay. Ishimori escaped the Finlay roll, Ricochet returned with a springboard lariat and then Finlay hit an Irish curse for 2 as ACH made the save. Ishimori fought off a cutter, hit a superkick to Finlay and then ACH took out Ricochet. Finlay speared the hell out of ACH, and then traded strikes with Ishimori. ACH hit a bicycle kick, and then Ishimori scored with a standing sliced bread for the near fall. ACH bit a Michinoku driver as Ishimori took out Ricochet, and then he and Ishimori hot the stereo 450s for the win. ACH & Taiji Ishimori defeated Ricochet & David Finlay @ 16:05 via pin [***¾] This was an overall very good main event, but it wasn’t great. There was a ton of athletic spots and they all came off well, but when you do a match like that and break from the more traditional structures, you have to make it great, other wise the lack of flow hurts the match and I felt that’s what happened here. It’s a ton of fun, and I liked it a lot, but it just never felt like I was watching something great, and slightly disappointed as the main event. If you’re going to go wild, go wild all the way and make it count; it felt as if it was missing something.

– ACH then said WE GOIN SIZZLER.

– Post match, Roppongi Vice arrived for the big standoff to hype the finals. Roppongi Vice vowed to win the tournament, the titles and to send ACH & Taiji Ishimori back to NOAH. Roppongi then played to the crowd, Ishimori grabbed the mic and my Japanese is rough (non-existent) but I am pretty sure he said, “fuck off, we’re going to win.”

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Average
The 411
This was a rock solid, but ultimately skippable “Road to” show. It helped add to the build for next weekend’s show, and locked in the Super Jr Tag finals, but there was nothing must see here.