Lion’s Gate Project 6 – 6/15
As the name implies, the Lion’s Gate Project showcases the younger, less experienced wrestlers on the New Japan roster. They’re not really meant to push major storylines.
El Desperado s. Tetsuhiro Yagi with a Stretch Muffler. Desperado worked over Yagi’s leg, with Yagi contantly able to make it to the ropes. Yagi hiot a dropkick and half crab for a brief comeback before Desperado grounded him again and locked in the Stretch Muffler to get the submission win.
CHAOS’s Gedo & Jado b. Shota Umino & Hirai Kawato when Jado submitted Umino with a Crossface. Gedo and Jado played the heels in this match. Jado & Kawato started out, with Kawato showing fire early on. Double tag out. G&J cornered Umino for the heat. Gedo threw Umino to the outside, and Jado used a chair. Umino kicked out of a pin attempt. Hot tag to Kawato, who ran wild. Missile dropkick scored a two count. Gedo countered with several roll ups, but failed to get the pin. Another double tag out brought things back to Jado and Umino. Umino locked in the half crab while Kawato kept Gedo at bay. However, Jado made it to the ropes. recovered and hit a lariat for a near fall. Kawato broke up a pin attempt after a second lariat. However, Umino did not last, as he submitted to Jado’s crossface.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV b. Dinosaur Takuma & Takuya Nomura when Tenzan submitted Dinosaur with the Vice. Dinosaur wears a singlet with a lizard tail and carries a large bone with him. This is my first time seeing him and Nomura. Dinosaur would even sell his tail. Both teams looked to be babyfaces. Heat on Dinosaur as both Tenzan and Tiger grounded him with holds. Nomura tagged in and got a respectable amount of offense in, including a cross armbreaker on Tiger, but got cut off by Tenzan. Dinosaur tagged in and speared both Tiger & Tenzan. Impressive powerslam on Tenzan. But in the end, Tenzan locked in The Anaconda Vice for the submission win. In a good show of sportsmanship, the faces held up Dinosaur’s arm in respect.
Manabu Nakanishi s. Katsuya Kitamura with the Torture Rack. Kitamura is almost as big as Nakanishi, which is saying something. They traded running shoulderblocks and chops to start things out, with Nakanishi getting the upper hand. Nakanishi was in control for a while until Kitamura reversed a suplex. A spear felled Nakanishi. Kitamura got Nakanishi in the Torture Rack (one of Nakanishi’s own finishers), but couldn’t hold him. Nakanishi decked Kitamura with his signature lariat, then finished him off with the Torture Rack. Fun hossfight.
After the match Nakanishi helped Kitamura to his feet.
YOSHI-HASHI s. Yuma Aoyagi with Karma. The Young Lion actually was in control in the opening moments of the match. Hashi resorted to going to the outside and brawling to gain the upper hand. Hashi worked over Yuma with submissions for several minutes. Yuma made a fiery comeback with several running elbows. A top rope bodypress on Hashi scored a two count. Hashi locked in a half crab, but the Young Lion escaped. Hashi kicked out of a Fisherman’s Suplex, and a German Suplex. Finally, Hashi levelled Aoyagi with a lariat, and locked in Karma for the submission.
Satoshi Kojima & Ayato Yoshida b. Yuji Nagata & Tomoyuki Oka when Kojima pinned Oka with a Lariat. This is my first time seeing Yoshida’s work. The Young Lions started out the match. Double tag out to the veterans. Dueling chops and strikes. Yoshida tagged in and got double teamed. Kojima hit his rapid fire chops on Oka. Top rope elbow scored a two count on Oka. Yoshida tagged in and hit a Penalty Kick for a near fall. Hot tag to Nagata. Exploder Suplex for a near fall on Yoshida. Kojima tagged back in and decked Nagata with strikes. Nagata rallied with the Shirome armbar, but Yoshida broke it up. Nagata brawled with Yoshida on the outside. Oka put Kojima in a Boston Crab, but Yoshida once again was able to break the hold. Belly to Belly by Oka on Kojima for a near fall. Kojima rallied with a DDT and Koji Cutter, and Lariat to get the win. A fine match that had the only pinfall finish on the entire show.
After the match, Yoshida traded blows with Nagata. He lost that exchange but still looked like he wanted a fight. It came across like he had a fighting spirit. Kojima took the mic and cut a promo, apparently putting over Yoshida.