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From The Shelf- NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2012

June 22, 2013 | Posted by Dylan Diot
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From The Shelf- NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2012  

NJPW King of Pro Wrestling
Tokyo, Japan

Key Points:
-Minoru Suzuki gets a rematch from Wrestlekingdom, challenging Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
-After winning the G1 Climax, Kazuchika Okada puts his Wrestlekingdom title shot on the line against the man he beat in the finals, Karl Anderson.
-Shibata and Sakuraba look for a successful cross over back into professional wrestling.

Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, and Strong Man
Crowd LOVES Nakanishi. Nakanishi and Yano look like they’re going to start but the heels attack him from behind and triple team him. Nakanishi blocks a double suplex attempt and hits one of his own. Tag to Strong Man and he hits a leaping shoulderblock to Ishii. Chops in the corner by Strong Man but Ishii fights back with forearms. Powerslam by Strong Man and he hits a press slam. Tag to Nakanishi and they trade chops. He goes for the Torture Rack but Yano nails him in the back with a chair to break and he dumps him to the floor. Iizuka works him over on the floor and nails him a few times with a chair. He chokes Nakanishi with the open end of the chair and he makes it back in the ring before the 20 count. Iizuka hammers the back of Nakanishi and he grabs the Camel Clutch. Nakanishi makes the ropes to break and Ishii tags in. Elbows to the back of the head by Ishii but Nakanishi fights back with forearms. Forearms by Ishii but Nakanishi knocks him down with a sledgehammer. Tag to Nagata and he hits Ishii with some kicks to the chest, Ukuza kick in the corner by Nagata and he hits an exploder suplex for 2. He goes for a suplex but Ishii blocks and they trade forearms. They trade slaps and Ishii ends it with a headbutt. Spinning heel kick by Nagata but walks into a clothesline from Ishii. Another exploder by Nagata and both men are down. Tag to Yano and Nagata catches him with an enzuigiri. Tag to Nakanishi and he hits some forearms. Lariat by Nakanishi gets 2. Ukuza kick by Nagata and they pile Yano and Ishii in the corner for an Avalanche from Strong Man. Lariats by Strong Man and Nakanishi gets 2. Torture Racks by Nakanishi and Strong Man and a Fujiwara arm bar by Nagata but Ishii rakes the eyes to break it up. Yano drop toe holds him into the corner and rolls him up for 2. Release German suplex by Nakanishi and he goes for it again but Yano goes low. Iizuka nails him with a chain allowing Yano to catch him with a small package for 3!!!
Winners- Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, and Tomohiro Ishii **3/4 ( Really fun opening contest, as the crowd was into everything and everyone seemed motivated. Some of these guys were clearly limited in what they could do but they put up a great effort anyway. Yuji Nagata looked awesome. )

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship- Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov) © vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA)
Shelley and Koslov start. Feeling out process to start and Shelley hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Koslov rakes the eyes and works over the back of Shelley. Blind tag by KUSHIDA and they hit a double backdrop to Koslov. They hiptoss a charging Romero into a double fist drop and KUSHIDA works over Romero’s arm. Shelley and KUSHIDA take turns working over the arm of Romero Double chop to Romero gets 2 as Koslov saves. The Hooligans are backdropped to the apron by Shelley and KUSHIDA knocks him off with a double Capo kick. Stereo slingshot pescados to the floor by the Splitters and back in, Shelley goes up. Crossbody off the top by Shelley gets 2. Koslov pulls Shelley to the floor and he chases Koslov around ring side. Back in, Romero catches him with a clothesline to take over. Slam by Romero and he tags Koslov. Slingshot splash by Koslov gets 2. He hammers Shelley on the mat and Romero tags in. Reverse atomic drop into a neckbreaker combo by the Hooligans gets 2 as KUSHIDA saves. Chinlock by Romero and Shelley starts to fight out so Romero takes him down by the hair. Tag to Koslov who slams Shelley and grabs his hat. RUSSIAN DANCE TIME~!!!! Double stomp TO THE FACE by Koslov gets 2. Chinlock by Koslov and he sends Shelely to the corner. Corner clotheslines by Romero and he goes out of control and can’t stop himself. Koslov finally stops him and they argue before finally hugging it out in a funny moment. Snapmare into a basement dropkick by Romero gets 2 as KUSHIDA saves. Tag to Koslov and he grabs a front facelock. Shelley fights out so Koslov knocks KUSHIDA off the apron before walking into a reverse atomic drop. Shelley looks for the tag but no one is there and he hits an enzuigiri to Koslov. Tag to KUSHIDA and he cleans house. Enzuigiri to Romero and he hits a handspring back elbow to Koslov. Standing moonsault by KUSHIDA gets 2. He puts Koslov on top and follows up but Romero stops him and follows up. FRANKENSTEINER OFF OF KOSLOV’S SHOULDERS BY ROMERO!!! Flying splash off the top by Koslov gets 2!!! Koslov rams Romero’s knee into KUSHIDA in the corner and Koslov hits a superkick for 2!!! Romero looks to springboard in but Shelley spears him to block. Missile dropkick/flatliner combo to Koslov by the Splitters. Stereo dives to the floor by the Splitters!!!! Back in, Shelley leaps off KUSHIDA’S back with a corner forearm to Romero and Shelley hits a brainbuster. KUSHIDA goes up and hits a moonsault for 2 as Koslov breaks. Enzuigiri to Shelley but KUSHIDA drop toe holds him into a cartwheel basement dropkick. Corner kneestrike/enzuigiri combo in the corner and they go for Super Sliced Bread but Koslov shoves Shelley off the top and to the floor. He rolls KUSHIDA up for 3!!!
Winners and Still IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions- Forever Hooligans ***3/4 ( Crazy tag team match featuring a lot of exciting action and wacky antics from the champs. The finish fell flat but everything else was some quality wrestling. )

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship- Kota Ibushi © vs. Low Ki
Feeling out process to start and Ki looks for a cross armbreaker but Ibushi goes to the ropes to block. Palm strikes by Ibushi but Ki comes back with a shoulderblock. Kick to the chest by Ki and Ibushi comes back with a hurricanrana sending Ki to the floor. Ibushi goes for the slingshot Asai Moonsault but Ki shoves him to the floor to block!!! Slam on the floor by Ki and back in, Ki hits some uppercuts in the corner. Snapmare and Ki hits a kick to the back for 2. Bodyscissors by Ki but Ibushi makes the ropes to break. Ki stomps away in the corner and they trade forearms. Spin kick to the gut followed by an axe kick to the back of the head by Ki. Chops by Ki but Ibushi answers back with kicks to the chest. Snapmare by Ki and he goes back to the body scissors. He starts to fight out so Ki grabs an abdominal stretch instead. Ibushi hiptosses out so Ki kicks him in the chest. Ki charges but gets backdropped to the apron and Ibushi hits a cartwheel Pele kick to knock him off. Slingshot Asai Moonsault to the floor by Ibushi!!!! Back in, Ibushi goes for the springboard dropkick but misses and comes back with a kick to the chest. Standing SSP by Ibushi gets 2. He goes for a powerbomb but Ki blocks and hits a kick to the chest. He charges in the corner but Ibushi catches him with a German suplex for 2. Ibushi goes up but Ki moves out of the way of a moonsault. Running dropkick by Ki KILLS Ibushi for 2!!! He goes for the Ki Krusher but Ibushi blocks and goes for the Half Nelson suplex but Ki escapes and hits the Double Stomp for 2!!! Chops by Ki and he charges in the corner but misses. Standing corkscrew press by Ibushi gets 2. Powerbomb into the corner by Ibushi gets 2. He goes up but Ki stops him and follows up. They slip up a bit on the top rope but regroup and Ki hits a SUPER KI KRUSHER FOR 3!!!!
Winner and NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion- Low Ki ***3/4 . (Another damn good match. Low Ki murdered poor Ibushi in different fashions and basically kicked his ass the entire match but Ibushi showed a ton of heart and the finish sequence up until the slightly botched finish was spectacular. )

After the match, Prince Devitt makes his return after touring Europe for a few months. He says he wants one thing, and that the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. Ki says as long as he has the belt, it doesn’t matter who else is in NJPW, he’s the #1 man. He says something in Japanese to Devitt and they have a stare down.

IWGP Tag Team Championship- TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) © vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) w/Taka Michinoku
KES attack to start and they knock Kojima down with a double shoulderblock. Legdrop/big splash combo on Kojima gets 2 and Archer hits a delayed suplex for 2. Tag to Smith Jr. and he hits a slam. Tag to Archer and he charges in the corner but misses. Ace Crusher by Kojima and he tags Tenzan. Double chops to the shoulder by Tenzan and TenKoji hit a dropping headbutt/slingshot splash cvombo. Tenzan stomps away in the corner and hits a corner clothesline. He goes up and drives Archer to the mat using his knee for 2. Suplex by Tenzan gets 2. Blind tag by Smith Jr. and Tenzan attacks both Taka and Smith Jre. Smith Jr. nails him from behind to come back and he hits a side Russian leg sweep. Hart Attack by KES gets 2. Boston Crab by Smith Jr. but Kojima makes the ropes to break. Spinning heel kick by Tenzan and goes for the tag but Archer takes Kojima off the apron. Legdrop by Smith Jr. gets 2. Tag to Archer he goes OLD SCHOOL~!!! Archer charges in the corner but eats boot and Tenzan hits some double chops to the shoulder. Archer comes back with a spinebuster for 2. Samoan drop by Tenzan and both men are down. Tag to Kojima and he chops away on Smith Jr. in the corner. Corner forearm by Kojima and he goes up. Elbow drop off the top by Kojima gets 2. Forearms by Kojima but Smith Jr. comes back with a high knee. Saito suplex by Smith Jr. gets 2 as Tenzan saves. 3D by TenKoji and they connect with one on Archer. Northern Lariat by Kojima and he hits a lariat on Taka as he was coming in. He goes for another lariat but Smith Jr. blocks and hits a sit-out powerbomb for 2 as Tenzan saves!!! Chokeslam by Archer and he hammers Kojima with forearms. Kojima returns the favor and hits a roaring elbow. Boot to the head by Smith Jr. and Archer hits the Blackout. Killer Bomb to Tenzan followed by a Killer Bomb to Kojima gets 3!!!
Winners and NEW IWGP Tag Team Champions- Killer Elite Squad ***1/4 ( The Killer Elite Squad came in and kicked some ass. The champs put them over huge and this was the best I’ve seen Smith and Archer look in a long time. Hope these two have a great run as a tag team as they showed tons of promise here. )

Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
Yujiro attacks as Naito was entering the ring to start. Dropkick by Naito and Yujiro bails. Back in, Yujiro charges in the corner but eats elbow and Naito goes up but Yujiro runs the ropes and arm drags him off. Naito lands on his bad leg on the fall and Yujiro stomps away on the bad leg. Yujiro with some elbow drops to the bad leg but Naito fires back with forearms. Yujiro mocks him and throws a cheap kick at the leg. Standing splash on the leg by Yujiro and he stomps away in the corner. Ukuza kick in the corner by Yujiro and he covers for 1 as he pulls Naito off the mat. Dropkick to the leg by Yujiro and he goes for a kneebreaker but Naito counters into a sunset flip for 2. Wheelbarrow roll-up by Naito gets 2 and he goes for a small package but Yujiro blocks with a Gordbuster. Lariat by Yujiro gets 2!!! Gutwrench Gordbuster by Yujiro and he grabs the Indian Deathlock. Naito gives!!!
Winner- Yujiro Takahashi **1/4 ( This was more of an angle to take Naito out for a few months but this still ended up being a fun little match that helped make Yujiro look good and kept Naito strong. )

After the match Yujiro grabs a chair and puts it on the leg of Naito. He smashes that chair with another chair, further damaging the leg of Naito. He says something in Japanese to Naito and leaves as officials take Naito out on a stretcher.

Video package on Sakuraba and Shibata airs.

Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Togi Makabe and Wataru Inoue
Crowd is HOT for this one. Inoue hits some shoulders to the gut of Shibata in the corner to start and he hits a corner dropkick. Snapmare and a kick to the back by Shibata and he dumps Inoue to the floor. Shibata follows out and he sends Inoue into the post. Makabe attacks on the floor leading to all four men fighting on the floor. Back in, Inoue goes for a suplex but Shibata blocks and hits some uppercuts. Kick to the back from the apron by Sakuraba and Shibata hits a big boot. Tag to Sakuraba and he slaps away. Front facelock by Sakuraba but Inoue goes to the ropes to break. Sakuraba goes for the cross armbreaker but Inoue goes to the ropes to block that as well. Rear Naked Choke attempt by Sakuraba but Makabe quickly breaks it up. Tag to Shibata and he slaps away but Inoue catches him with a forearm. Tag to Makabe and he hits some headbutts. Corner clothesline by Makabe but Sakuraba takes him over and grabs the Kimura. The ref forces him to break and they hit stereo kicks on Makabe. Makabe comes back with a lariat on Shibata and Inoue tags in. Sleeper by Shibata but Inoue takes him over to block and he hits a knee to the gut. Double suplex to Shibata and Inoue slams him. He hammers Shibata on the mat and Makabe goes up. Sakuraba kicks him off the top and Inoue spears Shibata. He goes for a German suplex but Sakuraba catches him in a sleeper. Running kick to the chest by Shibata gets 3.
Winners- Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata *** ( This was a solid brawl that made Sakuraba and Shibata look like two of the biggest bas asses on the planet. They beat the hell out of Makabe and Inoue and came out looking like massive stars. This could not have gone any better. )

Video package for Okada/Anderson airs.

Tokyo Dome Title Shot Match- Kazuchika Okada © vs. Karl Anderson
Okada slaps Anderson to start and Anderson hits some forearms. Hiptoss by Okada but Anderson rolls him over into a side headlock. Okada backs him to the corner to break and he charges but misses. Back elbows in the corner by Anderson follows by a big boot to the shoulder. Anderson works over the arm of Okada but he misses a kneedrop. He charges but eats elbow and Okada comes back with a flapjack forcing Anderson to bail. He follows out and sends Anderson into the railings. Ukuza kick by Okada knocks Anderson into the crowd and Okada HITS A HANGING DDT ON THE FLOOR!!!! Back in, Okada hits a snapmare into a sliding kick to the side of the head. Bowtie neckbreaker by Okada gets 2. He grabs a chinlock but Anderson starts to fight out so Okada hits a DDT for 2. Back to the chinlock goes Okada and Anderson fights out again so Okada hits a back elbow for 2. Knee to the gut by Okada but Anderson comes back with a Sick Kick. Uppercuts by Anderson and he hits a slam. Back senton by Anderson gets 2. Whip to the corner and Okada charges but eats boot. Leg lariat by Anderson and Okada bails to the floor. Anderson follows out and he gets sent into the railings. Okada misses the Ukuza kick this time and he hits a boot to the head. Sick Kick by Anderson knocks Okada into the crowd. Anderson HITS A HANGING NECKBREAKER ON THE FLOOR!!! Back in, Okada knocks Anderson down with a forearm and goes up but Anderson catches him with a Sick Kick. Anderson follows up and hits a superplex for 2!!! He goes for a powerbomb but Okada escapes and hits the Air Raid Crash Backbreaker for 2. DVD by Okada gets 2. Slam by Okada and he goes up. Flying elbow drop off the top by Okada. Anderson blocks the Rainmaker attempt and charges in the corner but Okada puts him on top. Anderson leaps off the top and hits a neckbreaker from the top for 2!!! TKO by Anderson gets 2!!! Anderson goes for a Tombstone but Okada escapes and hits a dropkick. They trade forearms and Okada misses a dropkick. Ace Crusher blocked by Okada and he dropkicks Anderson in the back. Anderson counters the Tombstone into the Screwdriver for 2!!! They trade counters and Okada hits the Tombstone!!!! Rainmaker by Okada gets 3!!!
Winner- Kazuchika Okada ****1/4 ( This match was amazing. The wrestling was crisp and the counter wrestling toward the end had me on the edge of my seat. These guys improved so much in 2012 it’s scary, they’re going to be top players in NJPW for the next few years. )

IWGP Intercontinental Championship- Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Hirooki Goto
Feeling out process to start and they reach a standstill. Knee to the gut by Nakamura but Goto comes back with a shoulderblock. Hiptoss by Goto and Nakamura bails. He follows out and Nakamura is reversed into the railings. Lariat by Goto knocks Nakamura into the crowd. He sends Nakamura into the post and they head back in. Snapmare by Goto and he hits a kick to the back. Elbow drops to the back by Goto gets 2. Chinlock by Goto but Nakamura escapes and bails. Goto rolls him back in and covers for 2. He goes for a suplex but Nakamura blocks and Goto catches him in a cross arm breaker. He converts that into the Anaconda Vice but Nakamura makes the ropes to break. Goto goes after him on the apron but Nakamura catches him with a kick to the head and hits a kneelift on the floor. Kneedrop off the apron onto a hanging Goto by Nakamura and back in, Nakamura hits some kicks to the chest. Enzuigiri by Nakamura and he hits a knee to the gut. Spinning heel kick by Nakamura gets 2. Knees to the gut in the corner by Nakamura and he charges in the corner but misses. Spinning heel kick in the corner by Goto and he hits a Saito suplex. Kicks to the chest by Goto and he goes for a German suplex but Nakamura blocks. Sick Kick by Nakamura and they trade forarms. Goto hammers away in the corner and he goes up. Nakamura kicks him in the head and he hits a kneelift to the midsection in the corner for 2. Sleeper by Nakamura and he converts it into the Lungblower. Regal Plex by Nakamura and he hits a DVD backbreaker. He goes for the Shining Wizard but Goto blocks and hits a DVD backbreaker of his own. Discus lariat by Goto gets 2. He charges in the corner but eats knee and he comes back with a corner clothesline. He puts Nakamura on top and follows up. DVD BACKBREAKER OFF THE TOP BY GOTO gets 2!!! Nakamura blocks a Brainbuster attempt and Goto catches him with Ura Shouten for 2!!! Hard right by Nakamaura and he hits a high knee strike. Shining Wizard by Nakamura gets 3!!
Winner and Still IWGP Intercontinental Champion- Shinsuke Nakamura ***3/4 ( Crowd was a little burned out from the previous match so this didn’t have the heat it probably should have had. However, this was still an awesome match with some stiff shots and some quality wrestling. )

Video package for Tanahashi/Suzuki airs.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship- Hiroshi Tanahashi © vs. Minoru Suzuki
Both men look for control of the arm to start and Tanahashi misses a dropkick. Knees to the gut by Suzuki but Tanahashi comes back with the abdominal stretch. He releases and hammers away on Suzuki with forearms. Suzuki catches him with a cross arm breaker in the ropes and they go to the floor. Suzuki sends Tanahashi into the railings and then wraps Tanahashi’s arm around the railings. Suzuki wraps Tanahashi’s arm around the post and back in, he throws some kicks at the bad arm. Standing arm bar by Suzuki and he applies a head scissors along with it. Tanahashi goes to the ropes to break and Suzuki throws more knees at Tanahashi. Forearms by Tanahashi but Suzuki knocks him down with a headbutt. Hammerlock by Suzuki but Tanahashi makes the ropes again to break. Fujiwara arm bar by Suzuki and Tanahashi goes to the ropes again. Kicks to the arm by Suzuki and he snapmares Tanahashi. He goes for a kick to the chest but Tanahashi blocks and hits a Dragon Screw leg sweep. He charges in the corner eats boot and comes right back with forearms to Suzuki. Another Dragon Screw leg sweep by Tanahashi and he hits a dropkick to the leg. Basement dropkicks to the leg by Tanahashi and he hits a flying forearm. Kick to the arm by Suzuki and he throws some kicks to the arm. Kimura by Suzuki but Tanahashi gets his foot on the ropes to break. Chops by Suzuki and he hits a big boot. Sleeper by Suzuki but Tanahashi arm drags out and Suzuki catches him in the Cross Arm Breaker. Tanahashi gets his foot on the ropes to break. Sleeper by Tanahashi and he converts it into the Final Cut. Kick to the leg by Tanahashi and he chop blocks the leg. Frog splash off the second rope onto the leg by Tanahashi!!! He goes for the Cloverlead but Suzuki blocks so Tanahashi grabs the Figure-4!!! Suzuki tries to turn it over but Tanahashi holds on!!! Suzuki makes the ropes to break!!! Dragon screw leg sweep by Tanahashi but Suzuki comes back with a dropkick. They trade slaps and Suzuki hits some kicks to the chest. More slaps by Suzuki and he grabs a sleeper. Judo takeover by Suzuki and he maintains hold of the Sleeper!!!! Tanahashi makes the ropes to break!!! Slaps by Suzuki and Tanahashi collapses. Dragon screw leg sweep by Tanahashi but Suzuki catches him in the sleeper!!!! He releases and goes for the Gotch Piledriver but Tanahashi blocks. Knee to the midsection by Suzuki and he tries the Gotch Piledriver again but Tanahashi blocks into another Dragon screw leg sweep!!! Kicks to the chest by Suzuki but Tanahashi comes back with a dropkick to the leg. Slingblade by Tanahashi and he goes up. He goes for the Frog Splash but eats knees!!! Slaps by Suzuki but Tanahashi catches him with a Dragon Screw leg sweep in the ropes. He goes up and hits a Frog Splash crossbody. He goes back up and hits the regular Frog Splash for 3!!!
Winner and Still IWP Heavyweight Champion- Hiroshi Tanahashi ***** ) ( When you can go over thirty minutes with only ONE near fall the entire match while working over the arm and leg the entire match and still have people on the edge of their seats, you did something special. It’s a battle of arm vs. leg with Suzuki goal being to tire the champ out and finish him off with the sleeper. However, he never got the job done, Tanahashi held on and waited for his one big move to finish Suzuki off and he got it. This is one the best matches psychology-wise that I have ever seen. This was incredible. )

After the match, they hold the celebration for Tanahashi and give him a trophy. Yujiro Takahashi comes out and challenges him to a match for the title.

The 411: New Japan Pro Wrestling's debut on iPPV was more than successful. They put one of the best booked, best wrestled, and most exciting cards in their history. The main event was one of if not the best match of 2012 and everything else was just the cherry on top. You need to see this show, it shows New Japan is one of the best promotions in the world right now and they're a force to be reckoned with in the pro wrestling iPPV world now.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  10.0   [ Virtually Perfect ]  legend

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