The first match of the night featured the ninth return of Bird Takayanagi from retirement. She teamed up with Baton Katomina and Tornado Tatsumaki against newcomers Macchi Otoha, Bubbly Arai and Kendo Matsumoto. Yup, Tastumaki was in the curtain jerker match again.
This ends almost immediately after the bell rings when Takayanagi hits a brogue kick on Arai for a 2-count. After a short yoga breathing moment by the newcomers both teams tagged out to bring in fresh members. Tatsumaki and Matsumoto went into a short series of chain wrestling moves before Matsumoto took control and the match settled into the standard 6 person tag action.
In Japanese wresting that means everyone gets into the ring at the same time to engage in a clusterfuck until the people who might be the legal competitors are left in the ring. The end result was Tatsumaki taking an extended beatdown from the three new WIP performers.
Tatsumaki made a comeback and hot tagged Takayanagi. She battled Arai eventually taking her out with a sleeper hold and then a PK for the pin.
For an opening match this was okay. There were a lot of blown spots that probably would have North American wrestling fans screaming “You fucked up!” constantly. But because these are idols (who may or may not have natural athletic abilities) that can be forgiven. They are not full-time performers with years of training and many reps in the ring after all.
The biggest crime in this match was not making more use of Kato Minami. Last year she showed some glimpses of being one of those “flippy shit” type of wrestlers. While she got to show some of her athleticism, she didn’t get enough in-ring time to really show off. The last item to make note of from this match is that Takayanagi did not retire again.
Match #2 had the members of Dasu Vaders facing off against two new members of the Kinshicho Gym in a tag team match. The Dasu Vaders did come out with the WIP Tag Team belts but were not recognized as the actual champions.
Right from the start Nakanishi and Oya generated some serious heel heat from the crowd and took control for the majority of the match. They kept Nao in the ring and away from her partner for much of the match by utilizing solid tag team psychology and dirty heel moves.
Speaking of moves. Nakanishi pulled out her Rise Of The Terminator to dropkick to the ass and a rolling cradle. The latter lead to a near fall and a funny spot where both competitors in the ring were dizzy and unable to reach their corners to tag out.
Eventually Nao made the babyface comeback and tagged in Shimoguchi who came in hitting rolling elbows on Nakanishi and Oya. She followed up by propping Oya up on the corner, moon walking to the other side of the ring and finishing with a Shinsuke Nakamura styled running knee.
However Shimoguchi’s flurry is short lived as Oya parried her super kick attempt and nailed her with a spinning back kick to the head. After some back and forth action Nakanishi and Nao are tagged back in. The match broke down and Oya was thrown out of the ring. The face team trapped Nakanishi in the middle of the ring and hit DIY’s finishing move for a near fall.
After the failed near fall the action broke down to Nao and Nakanishi. Nao tried for a spinning sunset flip but was countered. After several roll up attempts, Nakanishi finally got the pin after a jaw breaker and a bridge.
Dasu Vaders impressed at last year’s WIP CLIMAX and the continued to do so here. Oya and Nakanishi have their characters down and it added a lot to making their fresher faced opponents look pretty good. Ring work wise this was much better than the opening match. There were not many attempts at overly ambitious moves and the simplicity allowed for a more free flowing match where few spots seemed too obviously choreographed.
The funny thing about this is that there is enough of a back story built up from WIP Climax to kind of make it a grudge match. You have Nakai’s constant bullying from Miyazaki causing her defection to Kinshicho. In addition Mukaichi returning back to her original gym has also caused some tension with her former team members.
The contest started with Hirose and the newcomer Takita. After some back and forth after the initial lockup, Takita took control and showed some athleticism by walking the ropes and landing a springboard arm drag. After the big move both teams tagged out to bring in fresh partners.
Ottamage Ma and Strawberry Mukaichi faced off in a strange manner after. After faking a strike Ottamage went into some strange pantomime routine where she built an invisible box around herself. Apparently that failed as she paid for it once she turned her back to gloat.
The other newcomer Seichan jumped in. She did the same routine to show Ottamage how the move was done. Mukaichi brought in Furhata who then proceeded to run face first in to the invisible box. This routine continued between both teams until the box was removed by Furuhata and placed next to the ropes in the ring. Ottamage was then double teamed which lead to a tag out, bringing Nakai in with her tormentor Miyazaki.
After some posturing there was a long sequence where both teams tried to execute double team suplexes, calling in more members at each failed attempt. Eventually everyone was in the ring trying to suplex the other team. Kinshicho won the battle and celebrated like they won the Superbowl.
Once the ring was cleared Miyazaki faced off against Nakai 1 on 1. Miyazaki easily took control and set up Nakai for the finishing blow. However, when she ran the ropes she hit the invisible box temporarily dizzying herself. The ref turned to check the box allowing for the Kinshicho team to hand Nakai a chair with the referee distracted. If you watched WIP CLIMAX you know what the finish was after that. If you didn’t watch WIP CLIMAX then think of the late Eddie Guerrero and the shenanigans he pulled off on Smackdown to get cheap wins.
As a wrestling match this was a lot like the opener, just terrible. As comedy filler it was fantastic. Given the back story going in it was probably best that route was taken. The fact that the exact same finish from WIP CLIMAX was booked was hilarious.