Arena Reports 1/4 NJPW results in Tokyo: Detailed report on TNA at Tokyo Dome Show - Jeff Hardy's performance, reactions to TNA wrestlers, Borash ring intros
Jan 4, 2011 - 9:51:55 AM
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New Japan Pro Wrestling "Wrestle Kingdom 5" results
January 4, 2011
Tokyo, Japan - annual Tokyo Dome Show
Report by Nick (25) from Tokyo, PWTorch reader
I don't know the exact attendance figure, but the whole first tier was filled along with the ground level seating. My friend and I speculated there were about 10,000-12,000 people there. We paid 3,000 yen (approx $35) for a seat in the first tier, with a nice view of the action.
As is expected in Japan, the Japanese wrestlers received the biggest pops and heat. Notable mention must go to Kenny Omega and Prince Devitt, though. They seem to have created a pretty nice following in Japan.
From TNA, Jeremy Borash did ring introductions, and Beer Money, RVD, and Jeff Hardy were in action. Quite a few people seemed to be familiar with Beer Money, as they have been to Japan before, but unfortunately Jeff Hardy and RVD received little to no reaction. The Japanese wrestler RVD faced, Toru Yano, received a way bigger pop when he mockingly did the RVD gesture with his name than RVD did himself.
Props go to Jeff Hardy for making the trip to Japan with the personal issues he's dealing with right now, but he was far from top form, and put on arguably the worst match of the night. He faced Tetsuya Naitoh (part of No Limit, who were in TNA briefly), but the match never got going, had a couple of botched spots, and there was a "was that it?" feeling in the crowd after it ended. The match may have finished early for some reason as Naitoh didn't even take his t-shirt off (he usually takes it off during one his signature moves), and Jeff looked noticeably exhausted a few minutes into the match.
All TNA wrestlers used their TNA music and entrance videos.
There was also an announcement during the show that New Japan will be putting on three shows under the "Strong Style" slogan in the U.S. in May. It's May 13 in New Jersey, May 14 in New York, and May 15 in Philadelphia.
Prelim A: Wataru Inoue & Tiger Mask & Tama Tonga & Tomoaki Honma defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Tomohiro Ishi & Gedo & Jado in an eight-man tag match. Short tag match. It was disappointing to see Tiger Mask relegated to dark match status.
Prelim B: Kouji Kanemoto & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Kenny Omega & Taichi. Kenny Omega looked great, and the fans seemed to be really behind him.
(1) IWGP tag champions Giant Bernard (A-Train/Prince Albert) & "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson defeated Beer Money (Robert Roode & James Storm) and Nakanishi Manabu & Strongman in a three-way tag match to retain the TNA Tag Titles. I liked Anderson in this match; he and Bernard got a nice reaction. Beer Money did the Beer Money suplex and DWI, and James Storm did the beer-spitting spot, which backfired. Fun match, which ended with Bernard telling TNA that "NJPW is no. 1!"
(2) La Sombra & Mascara Dorada (from CMLL) defeated Jushin Thunder Liger & Hector Garza. Lucha libre style tag match with lots of high-risk athletic spots. La Sombra performed an inwards somersault dive to the outside and Mascara Dorada did a tightrope walk moonsault to the outside. Really impressive work from all four wrestlers.
(3) Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Takashi Iizuka in a "Deep Sleep" (first person unconscious) match. Finally, a singles match! Very physical grudge match - Iizuka is an awesome heel. Tenzan finished with an move similar to the Anaconda Vice to put Iizuka away. The crowd loved Tenzan - he was out for a long time with an injured neck and seems to be somewhat of a crowd favorite.
(4) Rob Van Dam defeated Toru Yano in a hardcore match.
Poor RVD. He put on a good effort here, but received little to no love from the crowd. Japanese crowds are tough to win over. Standard hardcore rules match with chairs, trash cans, ladders, etc. involved. RVD hit the Van Daminator a couple of times and hit the Five Star Frogsplash to Yano holding a chair for the win.
(5) Yuji Nagata defeated Minoru Suzuki in a grudge match. Apparently there is legit heat between these two guys going back over 20 years. Nagata hit some mega-stiff kicks, very much a Japanese strong style match.
(6) IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion Prince Devitt defeated Kouta Ibushi to retain the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title. Easily the best match of the night. Both of these guys are so impressive in the ring, and shook hands at the end after a very fast-paced match. I urge everyone to check this out on YouTube if it gets uploaded.
(7) Sugiura & Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada. Takayama was as stiff as ever, everyone was "oooh"-ing every time he hit a knee. They did a Go To Sleep style move where Sugiura threw Goto off his shoulders and onto Takayama's oncoming knee. Looked nasty. Takayama got the win for his team with a bridging German suplex.
(8) TNA World Hvt. champion Jeff Hardy defeated Tetsuya Naitoh to retain the TNA Hvt. Title. As I mentioned, a disappointing match. Never got going. Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind, Twist of Hate, and finished with the Swanton Bomb. Naitoh did all the heavy-lifting before that, and did his best to create some movement.
(9) Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Go Shiozaki. Great match. Nakamura has some nasty looking chops. He was even chopping Shiozaki's knee at one point.
(10) Tougi Makabe defeated Masato Tanaka.
(11) Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated IWGP Hvt. champion Satoshi Kojima to become the 56th IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Tanahashi, who was in TNA for a while, had the crowd behind him in an entertaining title match, and sent everyone home happy with a title win.
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