Cero Reviews NJPW Kizuna Road 2018: Super Strong Machine Retirement
June 19, 2018
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori) vs KUSHIDA & Ren Narita - 5/10
Narita, while valiantly, got his ass kicked for most of the match until KUSHIDA came in for the save. Ishimori and KUSHIDA had a good little pair up before Narita and Yujiro coming back to the ring to exchange some near falls and for Narita to fall to the Pimp Juice for the Bullet Club win. Ok match.
Toa Henare, Shota Umino, Tokoyuki Oka vs Jyushin 'Thunder' Liger, Tiger Mask, & Togi Makabe - 5.5/10
How is this balanced AT ALL!? Umino decided it was a good idea to jump Makabe, and so he got his ass kicked by all three legends. Henare got the hot tag, but ended up failing against Liger, and then came Oka. Okad and Makabe had a great little hoss fight that made Oka look legit at the level of Makabe, at least strength-wise. Makabe did end up winning with the King Kong Drop on Oka.
Roppongi 3K vs Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & TAKA Michinoku) - 6.5/10
Throughout this whole match, and thanks to the BOSJ and matches with Hiromu, I felt that Desperado really stood out now over Kanemaru and TAKA at least, so good for him. Match saw SZKG pull all of their stops and cheats, they worked over YOH for a while, Romero had the hot tag, and after the Whisky Mist, was rolled up by Desperado. Good match, but I came in thinking they would build to another tag match, and in the end, it was just SZKG dominating most of the match.
G1 Climax Schedule Reveal - Calendar starts with Tanahashi vs Suzuki and Okada vs White for Block A. Block B starts with Ibushi vs Sabre and Omega vs Naito. There was a nice pop for SANADA vs Ibushi, for Ibushi vs Naito. Huge pop for Naito vs SANADA. Calendar closes with Okada vs Kazuchika for Block A. Naito vs Sabre and Omega vs Ibushi for Block B. No way Okada vs Ibushi isn't the finals.
Suzuki-Gun (Taichi & Takashi Iizuka) vs CHAOS (Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii) - 4/10
Jesus, talk about legendary tag teams and match-ups, right? Match was a lot of cheating by everyone except Ishii, who had a small little fight with Taichi who actually got the better of him in the striking department via kicks. Finish saw Yano roll up Iizuka after Ishii had taken care of Taichi and Iizuka trying to attack Yano with weapons. It was some of the worst wrestlers in the promotion, don't expect much.
David Finaly, Jeff Cobb, Michael Elgin, & Juice Robinson vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Jay White, YOSHI-HASHI, & Kazuchika Okada) - 7/10
Cobb and Goto started the match, bunch of shoulder blocks. Okada and Finlay followed and fans were completely behind Finlay and Okada decided to torture him in a heelish way and lead into cutting the ring in half for him. CHAOS worked over him for a while, and to the surprise of no one, Finlay obviously was able to make a break against YOSHI-HASHI and tag in Elgin. Then we just started getting a mix of all guys going in and out until then when where everyone hit their finishers. Decision came when White dropped Juice with the Switchblade for the pin.
SS Machine No 69, SS Machine Ace, SS Machine Justice, SS Machine Buffalo, & SS Machine Don w/ Super Strong Machine & Shogun Kay Wakamatsu vs Los Ingorbenables de Japon - 6.5/10
After pairing up and doing some comedy, all LIJ tried to unmask all of the machines, from there on, LIJ had control over SSM Buffalo. The match was pretty much the same as if all the machines were unmasked, only Taguchi was acting like a machine. There was a big 5-on-5 suplex spot where all the machines suplexed LIJ. Machines cut off BUSHI and landed all of their finishers, outside the ring the original Machine clotheslined Naito. Finish saw SSM No. 69 hit the Super Strong Machine’s hammerlock suplex for the win.
Super Strong Machine Retirement Ceremony - They all took a group photo. They showed a video of SS Machine's history. His debut attire was incredible. Both Shibata and Liger had interviews in the video.
Back in the ring, SS Machine came out. Kay KHiro Saito, Masahito Kakihara, Ryoto Chikuzen, Kazunari Murakami, Katsuyori Shibata, Watoru Inoue and Yuji Nagata all came out to congratulate SS Machine. Some of the current roster also came out for the photo op, mostly members of Taguchi Japan.
Finally, SS Machine gave a nice retirement speech talking about his 40 yrs of wrestling, about why he decided to retire, and what is next for him in life. Ceremony ended with a ten bell salute. Afterward, SS Machine thanked his wife, who passed away earlier this year to Cancer.
Skippable show, it was a nice heartfelt celebration for SS Machine, but there wasn't anything to this show really. Undercard was no different from the last two shows and main event was an exhibition with a bunch of old timers.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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