Junta Miyawaki, Kinya Okada, Yasutaka Yano & Yoshiki Inamura vs. FULL THROTTLE (Hajime Ohara, Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY) & Mohammed Yone - 5.5/10
The stablished wrestlers beat up the rookies until Inamura came in and ran rough, he paired up with Yone first which was kinda meh, but then with the FT guys in, it got better. At the end, Ohara won via submission. Match was ok, nothing special, Inamura still feels out of place here.
Kotaro Suzuki & Salvaje del Oriente vs. KONGO (Hao & Tadasuke) - 6.5/10
Salvaje del Oriente was promoted as a mystery opponent, but he just came out like nothing, no theatrics to bring him out. This was another fun well wrestled match, but nothing to it, I wasn't impressed by Salvaje at all.
Sugiura-gun (Kazuyuki Fujita, Kendo Kashin & NOSAWA Rongai) vs. KONGO (Manabu Soya, Masa Kitamiya & Nio) - 6.5/10
We got a really good pair up with Soya and Fujita, and that was pretty much it. The match was really short to really do much. KONGO did get to do some combos and Kashin vs Nio had a short run at the end with the former beating the latter by submission.
Post-match - Soya and Fujita pushed each other, teasing a one-on-one.
Keiji Muto vs. Shuhei Taniguchi - 6.5/10
And while we're talking about short matches, this one, with old man Mutoh got like 15 minutes. Granted you need time for Mutoh to walk around, but this is the one that could had been a bit of a quick-ish squash and be done with it. Having said that, props for Mutoh and Taniguchi for actually having quite a decent match, they did some mat work, Mutoh spots, built some momentum that the fans got into, and at the end, we got a couple of near falls before Mutoh hit the Wizard a bunch of times for the win. Mutoh is that guy right now that you're like "Oh that was kinda good", and a second later you're like "he can't move anymore, why is he wrestling!?".
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Momo No Seishun Tag (Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada) (c) vs. Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) - 7/10
I found this to be kinda boring to be honest, I'm not the biggest HAYATA or Ogawa fan, and so the whole babyface in peril part of the match was dreadful, and maybe I was overreacting, but it really felt like they had three of them! And the worst thing was that after 3 hrs the match took, the finish was just a quick roll up by Ogawa to retain the titles. Match was ok, well wrestled, I just don't care about the new champions.
Post-match - Kotaru Suzuki and Salvaje came out to challenge for the titles and got into a small pull apart.
GHC National Title Match
Kenoh (c) w/KONGO vs. Kaito Kiyomiya - 9/10
This was my favorite match so far, it was a lot of action, Kiyomiya showed a lot of babyface fire and Kenoh was just relentless working over Kiyomiya. Really early in the match, there was a suplex in the floor were Kiyomiya accidentally landed with one leg on the ringpost, it looked and sounded ugly. It's one of those shots that wouldn't really hurt you, but could send a little bold through your nerve for a couple of minutes. Nonetheless, Kiyomiya wasn't slowed down.
Finish saw Kenoh submit Kiyomiya with a rear naked choke.
GHC Tag Team Title Match
Sugiura-gun (Kazushi Sakuraba & Takashi Sugiura) (c) w/Masahiro Chono & NOSAWA Rongai vs. M's Alliance (Masakatsu Funaki & Naomichi Marufuji) w/Jurina Matsui & Kenji Mutoh - 8/10
It's the end of 2020 and Masakatsu Funaki is challenging Kazushi Sakuraba for a championship, Chono and Mutoh are seconds, their tag partners are Marafuji and Sugiura. That may be just one of the many issues with NOSAWA's booking, he's a total fanboy for nostalgia.
Having said all that, I can't deny that this was good. I'm a sucker for watching Funaki and Sakuraba mat wrestle and slap each other around, and kuddos to Funaki, who at 51 looks amazing. You look at Suzuki and Fnaki, and it's confirmed that Pancrase has rejuvenating powers.
The match saw Sugiura of all people be the babyface in peril, who also later on had a great pair up with Marafuji. Sakuraba and Funaki did a lot of grapplefuck. Marafuji and Sakuraba got into a great striking exchange, and at the end, it was Sakuraba that wrapped Mararuji in a pretzel and made him submit.
GHC Heavyweight Championship Match
Go Shiozaki (c) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima - 9.75/10
Weird to say about a 42 minute match, but I felt that it was only about 5 minutes away from the perfect 10. It was an fantastic match, great story of Nakajima cutting off Shiozaki and destroying his arm, disabling his lariat, but then Shiozaki making a great comeback that pushed Nakajima to go ultra vicious and DESTROY Shiozaki to the point that he seemed knocked out, and out of cockiness, Nakajima failing to capitalize and realizing that it was gonna take way more to put Shiozaki down, and it was about here that I felt I wanted 5 more minutes to have a finisher chasing sequence, but instead they went straight for the dominant win for Shiozaki.
These two have a long history together, they were a top tag team last year as AXIZ, they had a good half a year this year together, and the betrayal was huge. Nakajima was the N1 Victory winner and they finally collided, and I really felt the match delivered at the level of the story.
Wrestling wise, this was FUCKING brutal, both men went stiff on each other, but given that Shiozaki hits chops and Nakajima kicks with kickpads, it really felt like Shiozaki was doing a lot more damage, the chops just sounded like gunshots.
Post-match - All of KONGO came in to check on Nakajima. Sugiura and Sakuraba got in the ring to check on Shiozaki for some reason, but among the chaos, Sakuraba and Kenoh got into a face off and challenged each other to a match. Sugiura then challenged Shiozaki for a match. I don't mind either set ups, but I was annoyed that they stole the post match of the Shiozaki v Nakajima match to just set up other matches for other shows. A lot of promotions do this and for the most part, it's ok, but sometimes, like here, it felt like the stole from us the big celebration.
As much as I enjoyed Kenoh vs Kiyomiya and watching Sakuraba and Marafuji slap each other, this really was a one match show with the main event. As a big time show, it had the feel, but the matches were just not attractive for me, to the point that I was drained by the time we got the Kenoh vs Kiyomiya match, but it really brought me back and that is a plus.