Thursday, December 15, 2011

ANTONIO INOKI'S IGF "GENOME" 15 REVIEW

4.28.2011
TOKYO DOME CITY HALL(JCB HALL)
ATTENDANCE: 2,988 aka Super No Vacancy Full House

So this started with them showing Inoki visiting people you were devastated by the tsunami back in March. Several of them asked for him to slap them in the face. He did. Men and women, coz Inoki don't discriminate. Can you imagine if Stan Hansen went around lariat-o'ing everyone after 9/11? Imagine it now, then.

Let's roll.

HIDEKI SUZUKI & AKIRA JO vs. TAKA KUNOU & MUNENORI SAWA
Probably the greatest IGF match of all time. Suzuki and Jo didn't mess around at all and took it to Sawa in particular pretty hard. Kunou was KILLER with his judo stuff, and he looked really badass here. It almost erases my memories of Jon Andersen tossing him over the top rope like a dead infant. The takedowns in this match from everybody are really really slick, and the finish was a shocker for me. Hideki Suzuki and Akira Jo are pretty damn awesome together. Check this one out.

He's gonna slap her so damn hard. You can see it in his evil eyes.
ULTIMO DRAGON & TIGER MASK vs. GREAT SASUKE & MASKED GENOME JR.
Tiger Mask has gotten a lot cleaner since his initial return to the ring. He was swinging his kicks with a little more accuracy and with a little more power, though he doesn't seem to be getting any smaller. I can't imagine what would happen if he could drop 25 more pounds. 

Some decent work from everyone involved, Sasuke is still awesome to me, and he felt like a guy who was really holding it together. He and Ultimo always have pretty good chemistry together. Genome was fun, and had some great physical charisma. It's not a great match, it's a little sloppy and the finish felt really flat to me, but it's still fun to watch these four in the ring.

TATSUMI FUJINAMI vs. VADER
Fun bout. Some of it is probably the nostalgia factor, but I thought both guys worked a decent fight given their limitations in age and physicality. Vader is a little overweight(even for him) but I thought he still looked pretty intense and his Vader splash looked killer. After a bit you realize they're going to draw, so it detracts a little bit, but still it's great seeing two of my favorite wrestlers mix it up, even if they're past their prime.

YOSHIAKI FUJIWARA & MINORU vs. SHINJIRO OHTANI & DAICHI HASHIMOTO
Pretty rad stuff from everyone. Daichi fit in well with Fujiwara and Minoru, his intereatctions with them both were really well done. I really loved it when Minoru had Daichi in a single leg crab and Fujiwara came in and just started stomping the kid like a mean bastard while looking off at Ohtani. Ohtani's stuff with Minoru was pretty good too and I'd like to see a nifty little singles match out of them in the future maybe in a junior league for All-Japan or something. So far this card is beyond anything I could have hoped for. Solid match.

KICK BOXING MATCH
BOB SAPP vs. MASAYOSHI KAKUTANI
The say Kakutani weighs 115kg vs. Sapp's 145 kg for this "kickboxing match". At first it looks like it's not going to be good for the skinny guy, but Bob Sapp pulls something and his corner throws in the towel. UPSET OF THE CENTURY!

Ridiculous.

ASTUSHI SAWADA vs. RYUJI SAI
These two actually had a really strong match going on before it was cut off by some interference. The story is that Sawada has been feuding with the ZERO-1 folks, particularly Ryuji Sai. This fight was showing some great intensity and hate that a inter-promotional feud should have. Sadly some of the seconds got involved before this could really escalate into something cool, and we get these two brawling it out. I still like it, because it's a cool story and Sai and Sawada bring the heat in their interactions. Their ring work was solid enough that I'm totally clamoring for more.

During the post match shenanigans Chono came in and slapped Sawada in the face trying to get these kids to straighten up, but hotter heads prevailed.

IGF TITLE TOURNAMENT ROUND 1 MATCH
BOBBY LASHLEY vs. LUKE GALLOWS
Pretty decent work from Luke Gallows, who pretty much controlled the fight the whole time. I really loved his work when he was in the WWE, especially as Festus, which I think more people should check out. He actually had a fun and unique brawling style that made him really stand out. Here, now that he has freedom to do whatever, he feels kind of like a gaijin appreciation act. He came out acting like Stan Hansen(he was even going by "Keith Hanson") and was doing the Vader splash in the corner, the lariat and Giant Bernard's pump kick. It's kind of cool but it also hides some of that great personality and uniqueness that he had in the WWE.

Bobby Lashley is insane looking. Just a physical beast, that should probably be main eventing PPVs and making Vince stupid amounts money. I actually think he's good enough to be a big time wrestler(which means just good enough to not fuck up and let better wrestlers make you look better) and watching this match made me kind of wish he was on Smackdown again. Weird. I never thought I'd say that.

Well at least he has a cool back tattoo. 
IGF TITLE TOURNAMENT ROUND 1 MATCH
JEROME LE BANNER vs. SHINICHI SUZUKAWA
At first I was like, "Why does Jerome wear boxing gloves and Suzukawa doesn't?" Then I realized it was to save Suzukawa's face from total obliteration.... or Le Banner's hands. He pummeled this kids face and smashed his nose flat. Brutal. Part of me wonders what the point of it is. Having this worked shoot kind of fight in the midst of very obvious pro-wrestling, but really it just fits in. There's something about the ridiculousness of sending this poor kid to get his face rearranged that feels very pro-wrestling, even though it flies in the face of the philosophy of the art of wrestling. I can't really explain it. This isn't a very good fight or match or whatever, but it was still morbidly entertaining.

Also, Shinichi Suzukawa just won the Rookie of the Year award from Tokyo Sports. So I guess I have a lot more to see from the guy as I check out more 2011 IGF shows.

OVERALL SHOW
Best IGF show ever? At least it's the best one I've seen so far and I've seen my share. The opener was the best match, and everything after was at least entertaining in one way or another. If you're wondering about IGF you should at least check this one out as I think there's a lot of good to latch on to, which you couldn't say for the first year or so of their existence.

Here's that opening tag match, check it out!



2 comments:

  1. That tag match cuts off before the end. I was getting into it, too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I embedded part 2 of the match, FINISH IT!!!!!

    ReplyDelete