New Japan held their fourth Lion’s Gate card this morning at Shinjuku Face. While the first three shows featured NJPW and NOAH wrestlers, the fourth featured talent from All Japan, FREEDOMS, and Michinoku Pro.
– Taka Michinoku defeated Shota Unno with a crossface.
Unno is the son of popular New Japan referee Red Shoes, who happened to officiate this match. For his first match, Unno looked decent but obviously green, doing the usual young lion counters like the Boston crab. Michinoku transitioned into the crossface and after a while Unno tapped out.
Michinoku helped Unno to his feet, which Unno responded to by slapping the taste right out of his mouth. Michinoku no sold it and walked away.
– El Desperado defeated Hirai Kawato after pinning him with the Code Red.
Kawato has noticeably improved over the last few months and looked good here. They traded some really good near falls before Desperado pinned him.
Desperado wanted to shake hands after the match. Kawato obliged, but Desperado sucker punched him and left him out to dry.
– Jado & Gedo defeated Yuma Aoyagi & Koji Iwamoto when Jado submitted Aoyagi with the crossface.
The latter two both wrestle for All Japan, and Aoyagi also was in the Best of the Super Juniors last year. Gedo & Jado were in control for most of the match until Iwamoto took Gedo down with a judo throw as he has a background in the martial art. From there it was a solid match until Jado gained control and submitted Aoyagi.
– YOSHI-HASHI defeated Toru Sugiura after he submitted him with the butterfly lock.
Sugiura is part of the FREEDOMS promotion. They had a mostly solid match, though there were one or two mistimed spots.
– Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Dinosaur Takuma & Ayato Yoshida when Kojima pinned Takuma with the lariat.
This was a pretty decent match, but nothing to write home about. I liked Takuma’s mannerisms. Both he and Yoshida represented Michinoku Pro here.
– Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata defeated Katsuya Kitamura & Manabu Nakanishi when Nagata pinned Kitamura with the backdrop driver.
The young lions focused on each other and vice versa. Nakanishi and Kitamura did a double torture rack spot. Kitamura and Nagata squared off until Nagata took down Kitamura with a crossface. Nakanishi broke it, but Oka took him back to the floor as Nagata delivered the backdrop driver for the win.
The main event was another solid, decent match and the young lions looked good doing their spots. Nagata cut a promo to close out the show.
Overall, this wasn’t a show you absolutely need to go back and watch, but if you want to see younger wrestlers from other promotions that don’t get this kind of spotlight, this is up your alley.