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Hamilton’s New Japan Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni – Night One 04.28.2021 Review

April 28, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
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Hamilton’s New Japan Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni – Night One 04.28.2021 Review  

Quick Results
Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura submitted Gabriel Kidd & Tiger Mask in 8:48 (**¾)
Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado defeated Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI via disqualification in 7:53 (**½)
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi submitted Gedo, Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori in 9:36 (**¾)
Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan & Will Ospreay pinned BUSHI, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi in 12:17 (***)
Toru Yano pinned EVIL in 14:58 in a Creation of Darkness Blindfold Match to retain the Provisional KOPW 2021 Trophy (**)
SHO & YOH pinned Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado in 27:09 to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship (***½)

— If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling – and check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family.

We’re at the Nishihara Shokai Arena in Kagoshima for the first half of these “B+” shows that are nestled into the Wrestling Dontaku tour. Orange you glad to be here? I’ll quit with the satsuma and fruit puns before we get started…

Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. Tiger Mask & Gabriel Kidd
Did anyone ask for salt this morning?

We’ve some good early exchanges between Kidd and Tsuji, which laid the groundwork for Tiger Mask to come in to clobber Tsuji with a leaping spin kick. A half crab ends in the ropes, before a camel clutch kept Tsuji in trouble. Uemura’s in to stomp it apart, allowing Tsuji to respond with a slam as Uemura gets a tag in.

Armdrags and dropkicks for all! Tiger Mask escapes a Kanuki suplex, but gets caught with a backdrop suplex for a two-count, before a cross armbar looked to force an unlikely submission. Kidd stomped it apart, and gets a tag back in as he blasts Tsuji with a back senton for a two-count.

Kidd slaps away Tsuji ahead of a suplex for a two-count, before a double underhook suplex ended when Tsuji hooked the ropes. Another slap was the response, before Tsuji’s back body drop and spear created an opening… with a Boston crab being turned into a Giant swing by Tsuji… who then turned it back into a Boston crab for the quick submission. A simple, but effective twist on the traditional Young Lion finish gets us underway. **¾

Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI) vs. Bullet Club (Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) & Jado)
Life. Death. Taxes. This bloody match.

The Bullet Club trio jump their opponents in the aisle, before Taichi even had a chance to make it to the ring, as we cut straight to the “throw them into the guard rails” stuff. Can we just cut to the DQ now?

Taichi gets choked on the floor at ringside while DOUKI’s cracked with a Kendo stick by Jado. When they make it to the ring, Jado punches Taichi in a grounded headlock, before pushing away the referee for no DQ. Choking from Taichi forces a break, but he’s in the wrong corner as the Bullet Club trio mug him, leading to a senton atomico from Tama Tonga. Complete with vocalised machine gun fire.

A jumping enziguiri from Taichi’s caught as Tama Tonga stomps away some more, but he eventually gets free to tag in Sabre who plants Tanga Loa with a tornado DDT. Tama’s restrained with a Cobra twist, before Sabre bust out neck twists for all lead to a guillotine from Sabre… which just gets countered into the double-team Guerrilla Warfare.

DOUKI runs in to ‘rana Tama to the outside, but the follow-up dive’s stopped with Jado’s Kendo stick before a Magic Killer laid out DOUKI. They tease a Magic Killer on Sabre, but Taichi runs in with the ladder to get retribution for Monday, and there’s the DQ. This wasn’t as bad as I feared, as they kept it short before the DQ… and yes, we’re getting this AGAIN tomorrow. **½

Post-match, Taichi continues to choke out Tama with the ladder before Sabre grabbed the mic and vowed to tap out Tanga Loa at Wrestling Dontaku next week.

Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato
That’s the sound of a barrel being scraped for the Bullet Club… they’ve been watered down a bit here.

It’s Taguchi who plays cheerleader for Tanahashi’s abs today, as we start with Gedo and Tanahashi to build up that future Jay White match. All the hair pulling here, before Taguchi directing traffic… before Yujiro literally bit him in the ass.

Gedo does the same back in the ring, but Taguchi’s able to go back to the hip attacks. Master Wato’s in to help, but he’s blocked as he tried to go for Recientemente… Ishimori counters with a Yes Lock, but that ends in the ropes, before Gedo’s caught with a discus enziguiri. Yujiro comes in to break up Tanahashi’s attempt at a Blade Runner, raking the eyes as we began to get the Parade of Moves.

Dualling hip attacks drop Gedo as Tanahashi came back with a Slingblade… then a Texas Cloverleaf for the submission. They kept this light on shenanigans, and the match was all the better for it as we still wait for Jay White to return and really set off the build for that. **¾

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI) vs. United Empire (Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare & Jeff Cobb)
We’ve got the title match next week, so here’s the obligatory tag…

We’ve the usual bedlam to start on the outside, before Naito and O-Khan traded Mongolian chops in the ring. Cobb’s in with a standing moonsault for a two-count, before he draped Naito across the top rope for a flying stomp from Ospreay. O-Khan tries to stay on Naito, but gets caught with a flying forearm, before Shingo came in to suplex Cobb.

SANADA and Henare’s in next, with a Paradise Lock before they head outside… Henare has more luck back inside, landing a suplex before a back suplex from SANADA puts the brakes on things. A ‘rana takes Cobb away, while BUSHI tagged in to hit a DDT for a two-count.

A missile dropkick from BUSHI keeps Cobb down, but the Empire swarm the ring and throw BUSHI into the Spin Cycle for a two-count. Another Parade of Moves breaks out, with Ospreay’s handspring back elbow getting caught before Shingo ‘rana’d out of a powerbomb. Shingo nails a Pumping Bomber to take Ospreay to the outside, before he threw Cobb into a BUSHI enziguiri as a roll-up nearly gets the upset.

Cobb blocks a Codebreaker but can’t avoid a ‘rana for a near-fall, before he just went “eff it” and pulled BUSHI into a Tour of the Islands for the win. A decent enough match to keep things bubbling for the Dontaku title match next week – and whatever else may lay on those Wrestle Grand Slam shows… ***

Creation of Darkness Blindfold Match for Provisional KOPW 2021: EVIL vs. Toru Yano (h)
We’ve got blindfolds on each ring post – the winner is the first person to blindfold their opponent ahead of a decision being rendered. Also, your reminder that less than a year ago, EVIL was a double champion. That’s quite the turnaround from that to this…

Both men grab a blindfold to start, but they block each other as Yano instead opts to stuff the hood in his ring gear and go about removing a corner pad. EVIL argues with the ref and gets blindfolded as a roll-up gets a two-count. EVIL returns the favour before they head outside, with chairs coming into play as Dick Togo distracts from a chairshot.

EVIL grabs some tape and ties Yano to the guard rails, then puts a blindfold on him – so he could win via count-out… Yano writhes in front of Taichi (who was on commentary), before he threw off the blindfold, so the count-out, erm, stopped? EVIL heads out to choke Yano in front of Taichi (clearly a big fan), as Yota Tsuji and Gabriel Kidd then went about untying Yano.

EVIL then throws in a twist on his usual timekeeper killing – he blindfolded him before charging Yano into the table. Back inside, EVIL covers Yano for a two-count, then did the cheating abdominal stretch… which the ref caught, and broke up as Yano wearing the hood would have led to a DQ.

Yano’s sent back outside as EVIL distracts the ref, so Togo could put the hood back on Yano and give him a kicking. EVIL throws Yano under the ring as his latest count-out big ended with Yano coming out the other side before he rolled back in. While he was under the ring, Yano had ripped eye holes into the mask, which kinda defeats the purpose, before a rebound belly-to-belly took EVIL down *and* knocked Togo off the apron.

Going for another mask, Yano struggles with EVIL again before sidestepping a charge. The ref blocks a blow blow, but gets covered with a hood and thrown aside as we get interference, with Dick Togo getting hooded. EVIL low blows Yano, then goes for a hood, but Yano mule kicks him before throwing on another hood as both men were down, covered up, and holding their balls. Wrestling!

The ref comes to and starts a standing ten count, but both men pull off their masks at nine to keep the match going. From there, Yano slingshots EVIL into the exposed corner, then puts the hood back on… but the lights go out before anything can happen. We’re back up with EVIL having choked out Yano with the garotte wire, and of course Yano is masked up…

Dick Togo’s back, having “turned out the lights,” just in time to see EVIL lariat Yano for a near-fall. A Scorpion Deathlock follows, but Yano can’t make it to the rope… what he does though is pull off the hood though to apparently force the break. The hood’s back on as EVIL looked for Everything is EVIL… but Yano escaped, before (still blindfolded) he raked the ref’s eyes. Cue more interference from Togo, but it backfires as Yano hits a pair of low blows, then threw Togo into a masked EVIL to hit Everything is EVIL. Another low blow follows, as Yano masks up and rolls up EVIL for the win to retain the Razzie. I mean the KOPW 2021 trophy. The parade of comedy matches with one joke continues – and while the in-ring here was better than you might have expected, the joke did end up running its course. **

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (c)
We main event with a junior tag title rematch – which also plays into YOH’s hunt for the singles junior title as well…

YOH and Kanemaru start us off, with YOH pulling ahead early on before Kanemaru started to go to work on YOH’s knee. A low dropkick spins down the prospective title challenger, before Desperado came in with a wishbone leg splitter as the ring post quickly came into play as they wore down YOH’s knee.

Back inside, Kanemaru kicks at the knee some more, before Desperado’s splash to the leg gets him a two-count. SHO manages to get a tag in as he knocks Kanemaru onto the apron for a baseball slide dropkick… then he turned his attention to Desperado with a series of mid kicks. Elbows from Desperado offered him some hope as Kanemaru proceeds to drag SHO to the outside for a trip into the railings ahead of a step-up legdrop.

Another dropkick from Kanemaru clocks SHO on the apron for a two-count, with a camel clutch following as SHO needed the ropes to force a break. Desperado’s back to slam SHO as the challengers again pushed on… only for SHO to land a double-spear that bought him enough time to make the tag out to YOH. A missile dropkick from YOH takes down Desperado for a two-count… but Desperado returns by blocking a suplex and landing a spinebuster for a near-fall. Pinche Loco looks to follow, but YOH back body drops his way free before he hit a sweet back suplex with a snap spin out into a Flatliner for a near-fall.

Desperado snaps back with a knee breaker before Kanemaru dropkicked the limb again… setting up for Numero Dos. YOH tries to roll free, but Desperado holds on until SHO made the save… only to get turfed outside by Kanemaru. Guitarra de Angel nearly wins the titles back for Desperado, before YOH nailed a desperation Final Cut to buy him some time.

Kanemaru and SHO return, with the former landing a reverse DDT for a two-count, before SHO’s suplex was stopped by Kanemaru grabbing the ref. Another spear drops Kanemaru for a two-count, with SHO rolling into a key lock from the kick-out as my feed drops. Hey, it’s been a while, huh?

Kanemaru build switch a slam and a moonsault for a two-count, before SHO rolls away from Deep Impact… sparking our favourite Parade of Moves, which led to a cross armbar from SHO. A rope break saved Kanemaru, who gets caught with a superkick and a back cracker as the champions tried to push ahead… only for their 3K to be escaped.

A pair of leaping knees finally leads to the 3K seconds later, but Desperado makes the save before he got superkicked to the outside. YOH throws himself with a tope con giro to Desperado on the floor, while SHO looked to finish it off with a Shock Arrow… but Kanemaru counters with a roll-up for a two-count as he began to spam pinning attempts. SHO’s lariat stops that, before a cross-armed piledriver gets a two-count, before the Strong X (a spike Shock Arrow) gets the win. This was fine, but never threatened to hit a higher gear as the focus stayed on YOH and Desperado for Tuesday’s junior title match. ***½

We’re back in Kagoshima for an earlier start tomorrow (2am ET), with the second night of Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni giving us the return of the Golden Aces, as Kota Ibushi appears for the first time since he lost the IWGP World Heavyweight title to team up with Hiroshi Tanahashi against Jeff Cobb and Aaron Henare in the main event of a card that lacks much in the way of flashiness compared to today’s.

The final score: review Good
The 411
For the most part, the first night of Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni was a consistent show that didn’t threaten to break though into the proverbial upper gear. Swing by for the main event, but otherwise there’s little here that falls into the “must see” category as the lack of depth in certain areas of the roster really are starting to show.