It’s 20 years since the legendary Giant Baba passed away, so here’s a unique little show to commemorate it with wrestlers across various promotions taking part including Kento Miyahara/Daisuke Sekimoto against Hiroshi Tanahashi/YoshiTatsu in the main event.
Match 1 – Giant Baba Memorial Battle Royale: Mitsuo Momota vs. Kim Duk vs. Joel Deaton vs. MEN’s Teioh vs. TARU vs. Ryuji Hijikata vs. Yuto Aijima vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Masahito Kakihara vs. Masao Inoue vs. Tamon Honda vs. Yasu Urano vs. Abdullah Kobayashi vs. Stalker Ichikawa (surprise entrant!!)
There was never gonna be whole lot to this but it was still a pretty entertaining watch and includes some fun moments like Taru getting a fork stuck in Abdullahs’ head, Deaton taking Urano over the ropes with a nice lariat, honda failing to hit a Dead End on Momota and getting piled on for a pin instead, just little enjoyable things like that.
At the end Momota and Masao are the final two and Momota showcases his athletic prowess at the ripe old age of 70 to get Masao into a victory roll to win the match.
Winner: Momota (via victory roll) NR
Match 2 – Kazushi Miyamoto/Tomohiko Hashimoto/Daichi Hashimoto/Takuya Nomura vs. Tomoaki Honma/Yuji Okbayashi/Naoya Nomura/Ren Narita
Pretty solid match. Young Lion Narita gets dominated a bit as you’d expect but there is some other nice action on the go which of course includes a few stiff kicks getting thrown in. By the end Okabayashi and Takuya are the two legal men and Yuji ends up trying to break Takuya’s back with a torture rack that makes him tap-out.
Everyone got to do their little bit and it was enjoyable.
Winner: Honma/Okabayashi/Nomura/Narita (via argentine backbreaker) ***
Match 3 – Street figh Tornado Bunkhouse Deathmatch: Great Kojika/Shuji Ishikawa/Hikaru Sato/Mistuya Nagai vs. Atsushi Onita/Kendo Kashin/Hideki Suzuki/Hideki Hosaka w/Freddy Krueger?
Fun match. Has some entertaining little hardcore bits, plus 76 year old Kojika takes an unprotected chairshot to head and Onita who needs to have urgent knee surgery so he doesn’t end up wheelchair bound still does a piledriver onto a table.
Suzuki wins the match with a beautiful double arm suplex on Sato. Lovely stuff.
Winner: Onita/Kashin/Suzuki/Hosaka (via butterfly suplex) ***
-Next is the Abdullah the Butcher retirement ceremony which includes him giving a speech at the end where he tells the kids not to put parents in a retirement home cause when they’re old someone will put them in one.
Match 4 – Taichi/Taka Michinoku/Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Masanobu Fuchi/Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Yuma Aoyagi
Decent little match. Fujiwara actually locks in his armbar very early on but the ref gets distracted by Kanemaru so he doesn’t see Taka tap. Taichi breaks it up with his mic and from there Aoyagi has some pretty solid little interactions with the Suzuki-gun members. Fujiawar then starts throwing out headbutts and a couple of slaps before Fuchi comes in and starts doing some of his usual fun shtick including busting out a few dropkicks.
At the end him and Taichi are the final two and he almost gets the win with a couple of small packages but Taichi ends up kicking him in the nuts and doing his own small package to win…that vile man… poor Fuchi 😦
Winners: Suzuki-gun (via small package) ***
Match 5 – SANADA/BUSHI vs. Jake Lee/Koji Iwamoto vs. Ayato Yoshida/Shota Umino
Fairly solid match. Umino ends up being in it mostly. He takes a beating in the early going then tries to put up more of a fight when he’s tagged back in towards the end but Lij end up clearing house and Sanada takes him out with a moonsault.
Would have liked to have seen more Lij/Sweeper action since there was barely any but it was all well worked either way.
Winners: Sanada/Bushi (via Moonsault) ***
Match 6 – Jinsei Shinzaki/Naomichi Marufuji vs. Shun Skywalker/Masaaki Mochizuki
Good match. All 4 guys blended incredibly well together so the match flowed smoothly, still amazing how Shinzaki hasn’t seemingly lost a step at age 52 and it was a good showcase for the young Skywalker too.
Marufuji gets the win with a variation on the perfect inside cradle. Very enjoyable match.
Winners: Shinzaki/Marufuji (via inside cradle) ***1/2
Match 7 – Jun Akiyama/Takao Omori/Taiyo Kea vs. Satoshi Kojima/Yuji Nagata/Osamu Nishimura
This was very solid 6-man. It’s nice seeing some of these guys interact once again and everyone got a chance to play their part. At the end Nishimura manages to survive an Axe Guillotine Driver and running knee but it’s a wrist-clutch exploder from Akiyama that takes him down for the 3 count.
Winners: Akiyama/Omori/Kea (via Wrist-clutch exploder) ***1/4
Match 8 – Dos Caras/Mil Mascaras vs. Kaz Hayashi/NOSAWA Rongai
This was worked beautifully. Kaz/NOSAWA were treated as heels and booed for whatever offense they gave to the Mexican legends.
Caras did a nice bit of mat wrestling with Kaz and even busted out one of his odd submissions.
Then there’s 76 year old Mascaras dressed up head to toe in jazzy leopard print, he can barely run but still manages whatever agility he has left to do a couple of small headscissors and then At the end with his knackered knees does his best to come off the top with a signature cross body onto Kaz and Nosawa, which gets his team the win. I really did enjoy this alot, about as good as a match you could probably have with Mascaras at this point.
Winners: Caras/Mascaras (via crossbody) ***1/2
Main Event – Kento Miyahara/Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Yoshitatsu
Great match, the guys worked it like a proper main event, so it had some real good stuff on the go and I was really liking all the interactions including some of taunting that was going on.
At the end Kento and/Tatsu are the legal men and they have a nice finishing stretch that gets a fair amount of time before Kento finally puts Tatsu away with the Shutdown German suplex hold. Pretty obvious Tatsu was gonna take the fall but he put in a really good effort still. Now where’s my Tanahashi/Kento singles match? because I would watch the hell out of it.
Winners: Kento/Sekimoto (via Shutdown German suplex hold) ****
What a lovely show this was to watch. Just a good variety of talent from different generations getting to mix it up to produce some enjoyable varied action and commemorate two legends of the biz. If I was to recommend a couple of matches it’d be the main event and the Shinzaki/Marufuji vs/ Skywalker/Mochizuki match. I found the whole show to be hoot though even the matches weren’t exactly very special.
Sometimes it’s just nice to have these big shows where everyone can come together and have a good time.
Thanks for reading.
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