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Csonka’s NJPW Wrestling Festival Review 1.02.17

January 3, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW Wrestling Festival Review 1.02.17  

Csonka’s NJPW Festival Review 1.02.17

– Yuji Nagata defeated Tomoyuki Oka @ 9:10 via submission [**½]
– Manabu Nakanishi defeated Henare @ 7:10 via pin [**]
– Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV defeated Hirai Kawato & Ryuske Taguchi @ 10:30 via pin [***]

– This is from NJPW’s pre-WrestleKingdom event, in a way it is sort of like a WWE AXXESS. We get promos for the matches on the big show, and then some matches. Despite the fact that I do not speak Japanese, it’s a cool presentation; everyone is dressed in suits and it feels really important. – You can read by full WrestleKingdom 11 preview at this link. Also, make sure to join 411 at 2AM ET on January 4th for my live coverage of NJPW WrestleKingdom 11.

Yuji Nagata vs. Tomoyuki Oka: Tomoyuki Oka is making his debut; he’s a young lion, heavyweight trainee, that NJPW is reportedly very high on. With that being the case, pairing him with Nagata is a smart call. Nagata got a takedown right away, but Oka looked to work the arm and escaped. He continued to attack the arm, they them worked some basic standing switches. They worked to the ropes and we got a clean break, until Nagata landed leg kicks. Oka grounded Nagata, who quickly tied up the arm, and got an arm bar, but Oka got the ropes. Both men looked to attack the arm, with Oka working a kimura. Nagata cut him off with a kick, but Oka hit the hip toss and slam. Clubbing blows by Oka followed, and then forearm strikes. Nagata slapped the shit out of him; they traded strikes, with Nagata getting the advantage with his kicks. Oka hit the belly to belly and locked in the young lion crab. Nagata got the ropes, and Oka laid in the boots. More kicks from Nagata, forearms as well. They traded again center ring, Nagata is down and Oka covered for 2. Nagata fired up, because he’s a salty old man and is too old for this shit. Nagata lands a series of body kicks and covers for 2. XPLODER by Nagata and he rolls into the crossface, Oka fights, but has to tap. Yuji Nagata defeated Tomoyuki Oka @ 9:10 via submission [**½] That was a rock solid debut for Oka, Nagata gave him a lot and he showed some promise. It was far from a break out performance, but Oka came across well in his debut

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Henare: Henare is a young lion that Nakanishi took under his wing and partnered with in the World Tag League. He’s basically mini-Nakanishi. Nakanishi took control right away, hitting a shoulder block. He out powered Henare early, frustrating the youngster. Nakanishi then chopped him down, clubbing blows and kicks followed. Head butts by Nakanishi now, Henare tried to fire up but got cut off immediately. More chops by Nakanishi, he then hit a corner clothesline and missed a knee drop. Henare attacked the knee, kept attacking, but Nakanishi wouldn’t go down. Nakanishi fought off the suplex, but Henare finally hit it. Henare took him down with the shoulder block, locked in the young lion crab but Nakanishi escaped. More chops by Nakanishi, the lariat followed but Henare kicked out. Henare escaped the torture rack into a roll up for 2. Nakanishi then hit the double ax handle smash for a near fall. Torture Rack into the Hercules cutter by Nakanishi, and young Henare is done. Manabu Nakanishi defeated Henare @ 7:10 via pin [**] Solid stuff, Henare is improving, but Nakanishi was in his slow orbit tonight.

Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Hirai Kawato & Ryuske Taguchi: Consider this your official RAMBO preview match. Liger and Kawato started things off. He worked over Liger with chops and kicks in the corner, picked up the pace but Liger fought off the slam and ate a sick palm strike. Liger then laid the boots to the little punk. Taguchi tagged in, Tiger Mask in as well, they did some back and forth with Tiger Mask avoiding the ass attack. Taguchi quickly went to the ass attack playbook, but got cut off with a back breaker. Liger tossed him to the floor, hit the baseball slide and then worked the Romero special. Liger also worked the neck crank, and then released Taguchi before tagging Tiger Mask back in. They took the heat, double teaming Taguchi, but his ass was too much for Tiger Mask. Kawato tagged back in, but ate kicks from Tiger Mask. Liger in, sent Kawato to the floor and sent him to the barricade. Liger then beat on him with a chair. GRUMPY JUNIOR NEW JAPAN DAD MODE! Liger and Tiger Mask were not impressed with this young man as they nonchalantly beat on him. Kawato countered the palm strike, Taguchi in and it’s asses for all! Liger cut him off by kicking him in the ass and powerbombing him for 2. Jumping ass attack to Liger, dropkicks from Kawato and then a slam on Tiger Mask for 2. Young lion crab on Tiger Mask, Liger makes the save and it breaks down. Missile dropkick by Kawato on Tiger Mask for 2. Kawato accidentally hit Taguchi as Tiger Mask moved. Taguchi survived the tiger driver, but a tiger suplex but Kawato away after some good near falls and saves. Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV defeated Hirai Kawato & Ryuske Taguchi @ 10:30 via pin [***] Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV as the grumpy junior New Japan dads are a great act. There was no doubt that they would win, but the home stretch was excellent and they created some great near falls and I almost bought that Kawato and Taguchi may win, which was important to the success of the match. Taguchi’s ass attack offense can be annoying, but in a setting like this, it works because the crowd loves it.

– Tiger Mask, Liger and Taguchi danced together after the match.

– You can read by full WrestleKingdom 11 preview at this link. Also, make sure to join 411 at 2AM ET on January 4th for my live coverage of NJPW WrestleKingdom 11.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
I dig the overall presentation of the festival, and find it to be an enjoyable final little build for WrestleKingdom. The matches were all solid to good, with the young lions working really hard tonight. There’s a lot of potential there.