Cubed Circle Newsletter Issue # 30: The Finals of the New Japan Cup and Championship Carnival, RAW, the Return of Kota Ibushi and more!

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The Cubed Circle Newsletter


I have a big newsletter for you this week (11 pages) and I must say it is pretty Puro centric, although we have RAW as usual. The finals of the New Japan Cup finally surfaced so we cover that, the return of Kota Ibushi and the finals of the All Japan Championship Carnival. There was no time for coverage of the ROH Border Wars iPPV, coupled with the disaster which was the broadcast, but that will be covered in its entirety next week. There is also a survey up on the front page if you want to leave your feedback.


WWE RAW May 7th 2012

Greensboro, North Carolina


Overall Show Thoughts


This was another mediocre show in a relatively long string, the Heyman segment was good, but the fans weren’t into it and there was a pretty good tag match on the show. But, other than that pretty much everything on the show was either mediocre or below par. However the show has left me interested in the incorporation of Heyman to a certain degree, although I don’t see it being that way for the average viewer.


The show opened up with Laurinaitis coming out, he said that he was the undisputed leader of the WWE and that he won’t let anyone challenge his authority or leadership and that included John Cena. He said that Cena embarrassed him and he also called him a corporate jackass, which was actually wrong, last week Cena called him a corporate kiss ass, but Laurinaitis messed up so many times in this segment that that is the least of their problems. He said that if he was disrespected again he would go into a fit of destruction. He said that Lesnar injured his arm, Laurinaitis hurt his pride and Brock Cena, he stumbled after the mess up and said he will continue what he started showing everyone how skilful and dangerous he can be. He said that he wouldn’t apologize for using the chair on Cena and he wasn’t reprimanded, because everyone understands that he is tough, but fair. He said that was why Cena wouldn’t be there that night, even though he appeared via “satellite” later on. Laurinaitis said that he wanted Cena at full health for Over the Limit and Cena would appear via satellite and he would be interviewed by Cole. He said that all of the superstars would be on check and anyone who made fun of his voice would suffer the consequences. He then proceeded to make false statements (which was the point) like his voice is the way it is, because of an injury from Dr. Death Steve Williams. He said that he became the biggest star in Japanese history! They showed pictures of him wrestling Steve Williams, Akira Taue and Jun Akiyama. Then in a wacky line he said that he was the Hogan, Rock and Austin of Japan all rolled into one. The angle was fine for the fans on the internet and for those who follow or followed Japanese wrestling, but I am not sure if the average viewer understood that these statements were completely false. He said that WWE approached him with a lucrative contract while he was inJapan, but he said no, he said that his match will be bigger than Cena’s match with Rock or Brock and said that the people will see John Cena vs. Big Johnny. He closed off by saying God Bless the fans, people power and god help John Cena.


Punk’s music hit, he said that Laurinaitis never seems to amaze anyone, but he amazes Punk. He said that Laurinaitis had no clue on what the people wanted and that he was on his side, but he wouldn’t make it easy for him. He said that he will start backwards and they would work their way to the top. He said that the fans don’t want to see him and he proceeded to bury Laurinaitis and defend Cena. He reminded everyone of his gimmick and said that Laurinaitis put all of his chips on Lesnar, but Cena beat him. He said that the reason that he went toJapanwas because no one wanted to see him wrestle (well I guess the Japanese don’t count as people.). Laurinaitis warned Punk and said that he should be carful, Punk said that after (and I emphasize the word after) he beatsBryanat Over the Limit he will watch Cena beat Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis asked if Punk was finished, the crowd chanted no. He said that Laurinaitis had no friends and that he was stupid and ugly (yes, that will hurt him!) Punk asked if he was finished the crowd screamed no and he said that Ace was a gigantic tool box. Laurinaitis responded to this by saying that he would have pummelled Punk into the ground, but he was currently training. But, he said that Punk would have a match that night against a man that also went toJapanto hone his skills, Lord Tensai. Punk said that during Laurinaitis’s whole career he was carried by talented big men and at Over the Limit he wanted to see Cena twist him into pretzel and tap him out. This segment went way too long and it had a lot of logical inconstancies, such as that of Cena. Also throughout the segment and the show in general, Laurinaitis came off as more of a face than any of the faces he was involved with.


Laurinaitis was backstage texting, when he walked into the Big Show, he asked if the Big Show was stupid and told him to get out of the way. Big Show proceeded to make fun of his voice in the most contrived manner, when Eve walked by and stared the Big Show down, they then cut back to the arena.


1. Intercontinental Championship Match

Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show


Big Show was knocked down on one knee, he pushedRhodesoff, who fled to the outside and demanded his title. He grabbed the belt, but he was shoved back into the ring by the Big Show, however he fled regardless. He was counted out, Big Show called Rhodes back in, butRhodeswalked off. Big Show said that it would be even worse forRhodesif he didn’t come back. Out came Eve who asked for an apology, Big Show wanted to know why. Eve responded by explaining that the Big Show had made fun of Laurinaitis’s voice. Big Show smiled and said that he was just playing around, but Eve continued saying that the Big Show should apologize to both the people and Laurinaitis. Big Show said in an apathetic manner “fine I’m sorry”, but Eve said that Big Show should apologize and not say that he is sorry. She proceeded to completely bury the man, saying that there was no need for a 400 pound, 7ft tall, 40 year old (I found the fact that they mentioned his age astounding) freak in society. Big Show finally apologized for his actions.


2. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolf Ziggler


Abraham Washington was watching backstage along with Primo and Epico, who were then approached by Mason Ryan. Vicky was on the apron afterKingstondelivered a boom drop and distracted the referee along with Swagger, allowing Ziggler to hit the Zigzag for the win. Hopefully this leads somewhere.


Cole was in the ring and he introduced John Cena “via satellite” miraculously with no delay. He thanked the fans for all of the well wishes and Cole asked what the latest update was. Cena said the doctors said that there was no permanent damage, but he had to have his elbow drained everyday. Cole asked if that meant that Cena would be ready for Over the Limit, Cena said that his doctors have recommended that he doesn’t compete, but he said that they don’t know who they are dealing with. Cole asked Cena if he was surprised that Laurinaitis wasn’t reprimanded, Cena said that they contacted him, but he told them to forget everything until Over the Limit. He said that he was watching tapes (obviously he hasn’t heard of IVP) of Laurinaitis inJapanand he said that he wonders if Laurinaitis is scared. Cena said that he just hopes that Laurinaitis wouldn’t hurt himself, before Over the Limit. Cena closed off by saying that at Over the Limit he gets a chance to do what every wrestler and fan wants to do, he said that Laurinaitis wouldn’t be a suit and that that means that he will “kick his ass”.


3. Kelly Kelly & Layla vs. Natalya & Maxine


Phoenixwas on commentary delivering the most scripted lines imaginable, she asked and reasonable question, asking what Layla did to earn a title shot. Layla then pinned Maxine with a neckbreaker asPhoenixlooked on.


They aired an ultra wacky promo for the WWE YouTube channel.


4. Sheamus & Randy Orton Chris Jericho & AlbertoDel Rio


Sheamus worked onJericho, Sheamus was knocked to the outside andDel Riolanded a kick after being knocked off of the apron.Jerichoworked on the arm of Sheamus, which is the third arm injury in the promotion as of right now. Sheamus fired back with some forearms and made the tag to Orton, Orton ran wild onDel Rio, landing the draping DDT and he began to taunt for the RKO, butJerichoran in, however he was powerslammed by Orton.Del Riolanded an enzuigiri on Orton while the referee was distracted by Ricardo. Orton was worked on byJericho, butJerichowas rolled up in a cradle for two.Jericholanded an enzuigiri and tagged inDel Rio, who worked on the arm of Orton, he went for the cross arm breaker, but it was reversed into a backbreaker by Orton. Sheamus was tagged in, he ran wild onJericho,Jerichowent for the walls ofJericho, but Sheamus got out and landed a backbreaker.Del Rioran in but Orton landed an RKO. Sheamus went for the Brogue kick onJericho, butJerichoducked and Sheamus hit Orton instead. This set up the code breaker byJerichoon Sheamus for the win in a good TV tag match. After the match Sheamus attempted to help Orton to his feet, but he was having none of it and delivered an RKO on Sheamus.


Laurinaitis said that the Big Show’s apology was insincere and hollow and Eve went to go look for him. Jericho and Del Rio came into the office arguing about who would get the title shot, then Orton came in and said that if anyone was going to get the shot it would be him, I didn’t understand the logic behind this. A fight broke out in the office in the most nonchalant manner possible, until Sheamus came in and Laurinaitis intervened and booked a fatal four way match for Over the Limit.


5. Brodus Clay vs. The Miz


Brodus Clay came out, but not before the funkettes (now called the Funkadactals) came out with their own entrance. While they were making their way to the ring they aired a terrible, yet comedic Brodus Clay promo reminding everyone that it was Mother’s Day this weekend. Miz came out and said that instead of competing for the WWE championship he had to deal with Clay and he said if he wanted to see King Hippo he would have played Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Clay kept kicking out strong while he was worked on by the Miz. Finally he landed a splash after making a comeback, for the win in a match that went way too long.


They aired the most ironic package, B.A. Star in theBronx. Stephanie McMahon made a speech, which was high comedy. Then Henry came out and the kids went nuts. I just find it ironic that on the show everyone is bullied and laughed at, yet the WWE is a huge participant in this. I wonder if J.R. made a speech. They showed a recap of the Lesnar segment from last week coupled with an interview with Triple H, they actually mentioned him accompanying Mayweather to the ring, but they failed to mention him picking up a million belts. Either way it is ridiculous.


Lesnar’s music hit and it played for a very long time, until finally Paul Heyman. He was great on the way to the ring, walking with a purpose, however what was sad was that he got barely any reaction from the crowd. He began the speech like only Paul Heyman could; he explained that he is the representative for Brock Lesnar and that Lesnar was the single most dominant and decorated Superstar in the history of the WWE. He said that Lesnar had been booed and underappreciated since day one, he elaborated by saying that it holds true for corporate management as well, but he said that the WWE is far different than the way it was ten-years ago. He said that it was more image conscious and it was Laurinaitis who signed him to a legitimate contract. He said that Lesnar did make a few reasonable demands that were agreed to on TV, which made every viewer a party to the agreement. He said that Lesnar felt betrayed by the WWE Universe (I cringed), even though he is the only man to have ever been NCAA champion, WWE champion and UFC heavyweight champion of the world and above all else he said that Lesnar is an honest man and “ass-kicking machine”. He said that instead of talking about Lesnar’s accolades he was going to read an official statement from Brock Lesnar.


The letter that Heyman read out loud read said that Lesnar came to bring legitimacy and that is what he did. He asked how he was rewarded and he said that he was met with backstage politics, the same ones that forced him to leave eight years prior. He said that he didn’t regret what he had done to John Cena and he said that he had embarrassed him and did the same to Triple H. He said that Triple H lasted nearly an hour in the cell with Undertaker, but he couldn’t last a minute in the ring with him. He said that Triple H had gone soft because of his office job and Lesnar felt disrespected so he broke his arm. He said that he didn’t care about anyone, because he quits and Heyman walked off.


I thought that Heyman was great in the segment, not at great as some other people thought, but still great. However, I think that because of the Lesnar loss coupled with crowd reaction to Heyman and the way in which he returned I don’t think that the speech had as much of an impact that was hoped it would have. However I still think that there is a lot of potential with Heyman, because he is one of the best talkers that the WWE has on offer as of right now.


Big Show was backstage talking to some actors, they complained about the fact that Big Show has to apologize to Laurinaitis, they said that he didn’t have to apologize because he was BIG you see. They then said that they were detectives, which pretty much means that after this and the Three Stooges that pretty much all guests will now have to appear as their characters. Then in what was so unbelievably stupid they began to make fun of Laurinaitis when Eve walked past and stared at them. This will probably lead to a stupid segment next week.


6. CM Punk vs. Lord Tensai & Daniel Bryan


Laurinaitis cut the music and announced that it would be a handicap match, withBryanas Tensai’s partner. Punk was killed by Tensai and then he was destroyed further on the outside. Punk landed a bulldog on Bryan and singled for the GTS, he went for the GTS, but while on the shoulders of Punk Bryan got the tag to Tensai, who pinned Punk with what looked like a modified STO, but turned out to be nothing more than a botch.Bryanstomped on Punk and locked in the Yes lock to close off the show.


AJPW Championship Carnival Final 2012/05/07

Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan


1. Osamu Nishimura vs. Yasufumi Nakanoue


Osama worked on the younger Nakanoue, roughing him up with elbows, stretching him out and locking in a submission across the legs for the 3:34 victory via submission, in a very short match

** ¼


2. Champion Carnival Semi Final Match

Taiyo Kea vs. Yuji Nagata


Nagata worked on the arm of Kea, with crucifix armbars and armbreakers. Kea landed an enzuigiri and got Nagata down to the mat with a Russian leg sweep. Nagata was great with his selling as per usual. Kea brought Nagata back to his feet, they began to exchange strikes as Nagata put on his angry face and landed a release German suplex. Kea responded to this with a back suplex and both men went down. Nagata went for a suplex, but Kea countered it with a knee and attempted a suplex of his own. He went for a back suplex on Nagata, but it was countered into a pinning predicament for two. Nagata landed a big release German suplex, he went for a knee, but Kea countered it and landed a pelé for the win in 11:51.



3. Champion Carnival Semi Final Match

 Suwama vs. Akebono


Akebono landed a splash on Suwama against the post, followed by a big standing elbow on a grounded Suwama for two. Akebono went for a strike, but Suwama moved and landed a mic check. Suwama landed a shoulder block that knocked Akebono against the ropes, Suwama followed this up with strikes and finally got Akebono down with a clothesline. Suwama locked in an ankle lock, but Akebono escaped. Suwama went for a piledriver on Akebono, but Akebono countered it into a backdrop and subsequent elbow on a grounded Suwama. Suwama landed a dropkick from the top rope on Akebono and both men proceeded to exchange lariats. Suwama then hit a huge backdrop driver on Akebono for the win in 08:18.

** ½


4. Masayuki Kono & Minoru Tanaka vs. KENSO & Masao Inoue


KENSO is still just as over as ever, but then again he is the world’s favourite dingbat. Inoue was worked on by Kono and Tanaka with kicks, Kono landed a big kick on Inoue, KESNO tried to make the save, but he was held back by Tanaka, however Inoue kicked out anyway. Inoue landed a huge delayed vertical suplex on Kono and despite his flaws when Inoue made the hot tag to KENSO and he landed his wacky chops and slaps he was by far the most over man in the match. KESNO landed his wacky topé onto Tanaka and Kono and the crowd ate it up. KENSO landed a spear on Kono for two. Inoue was tripped by Tanaka and KESNO was taken out by Tanaka, Inoue got a roll up on Kono for two. KESNO accidentally landed a splash on Inoue and Kono locked in the cross armbreaker on Inoue for the 08:05 submission.

** ½


5. Seiya Sanada, KAI & Hiroshi Yamato vs. Takao Omori, Manabu Soya & Masanobu Fuchi


This was your usual All Japan six-man that we review constantly in the newsletter, it wasn’t the second coming of the Tsuruta wars, but it was fine for what it was. Fuchi (58) looks even older than the last time we saw him, but the crowd was still as into him as ever chanting his name and for the most part he is still at the very least functional in the ring and at some points pretty good. You could see just how over Fuchi was when KAI landed a dragon screw on him the crowd really turned on KAI. Soya tapped Sanada out with a dragon sleeper in 11:37.

** ¾


6. Ryota Hama, Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo vs. Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okabayashi & Kazuki Hashimoto


Kondo and Sekimoto started off, Hayashi and Okabayashi chain wrestled, up until the point where Okabayashi landed a backdrop driver. Team Sekimoto killed Kondo and everyone on the opposite team landed lariats. Sekimoto came across as an absolute monster as they worked on Kondo.Hamahit Okabayashi with a really hard Umaga esque running reverse pelvis in the corner. Sekimoto, Hayashi and Okabayashi landed a triple German, with Hayashi almost bearing the brunt of the impact, but instead he landed on his feet and hit a leg lariat on Sekimoto. Hayashi ducked a kick from Hashimoto, but Hashimoto came off with a lariat. Hayashi pinned Hashimoto in 11:55 with a roll up after a great sequence.

*** ¼


7. Champion Carnival Final

SUWAMA vs. Taiyo Kea


Both men squared off and Kea planted Suwama flat down on the apron. Kea was down and was kicked out of the ring by Suwama, who proceeded to throw Kea into the barricade. But, Kea came off of the barricade with a lariat and chops, Suwama chopped Kea

over the rail and landed a knee in the ring for two. Suwama locked in an abdominal stretch, but it was released after a while. Kea landed a brainbuster on Suwama and began to strangle him, following it up with a Russian leg sweep. Suwama landed a release belly to belly suplex, followed by another belly to belly suplex for two. Suwama went for what was presumably a torture rack bomb, but Kea reversed it and landed a neckbreaker. This lead to an elbow exchange, Suwama landed a big lariat, but Kea didn’t budge. Suwama landed another lariat, both men ducked the line and collided. Kea landed a German suplex, Suwama responded with one of his own and Kea landed a backdrop driver. Suwama landed another German suplex and both men landed Lariats and fell down to the mat. Suwama landed a dropkick and lariats on Kea who was in the ropes and Suwama finally landed a big running lariat for two. Suwama went for the last ride, but Kea locked in a guillotine in an amazing spot. Suwama got his foot on the ropes, but Kea landed a spike DDT for two. Kea was on the top rope, but Suwama landed the last ride for two in a great near fall. Suwama landed a lariat in the corner and pulled Kea into a German. Kea made it to his feet and landed a lariat for two. Suwama went for a backdrop driver, but Kea turned around and got Suwama in a pinning predicament for two. Suwama was back to his feet and landed a backdrop driver for two, he got Kea up for the last ride, but Kea countered it into a Tiger Driver for two, which was a great homage to Misawa. Kea landed a sleeper suplex for two and followed it with a lariat for another powerful near fall. Kea got Suwama up in a fireman’s carry, but Suwama elbowed his way out and landed a headbutt. Suwama went for a lariat, but it was countered by Kea who landed a backdrop driver. Kea finally landed a Samoan Driver for the 23:33 pinfall, in a great All Japan heavyweight style match up.

**** ¼


Bits & Pieces


New Japan Pro Wrestling 2012/04/08

Korakuen Hall, Tokyo Japan


1. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Karl Anderson


Both men chain wrestled, Anderson landed dropkicks to the knee of Tanahashi and began to work on the leg. Tanahashi fought back with elbows, but Andersonresponded with chops and a scoopslam, followed by two big back sentons. Andersonmissed a splash in the corner and Tanahashi landed elbows and got Andersondown to the mat. Tanahashi hit a scoopslam and a senton from the second rope. He went for a splash in the corner, but Andersonmoved and landed a boot followed by a big powerbomb for two. Andersongot Tanahashi up in the fireman’s carry, but Andersongot off and landed a straight jacket bridging suplex for two. The fans got behind Anderson, Tanahashi went up to the top, but Andersoncaught him with a boot. Both men proceeded to exchange strikes on the top, Andersonalmost fell back, but he began to fight back with further strikes. Tanahashi landed some forearms, but Andersonstill held on and managed to land a spinning ace crusher for two. He went straight back up to the top and landed a diving gun stun for two. Andersonwent for the gun stun again, but Tanahashi reversed it and landed an elbow on the way down. Both men began to exchange European uppercuts, but Tanahashi landed some punches. Both men exchanged reversals and Tanahashi got a backslide for two, followed by a school boy from Andersonin another near fall. Andersonrolled Tanahashi up after landing a modified bulldog, but Tanahashi countered it into a roll-up of his own for the win in 12:36.

*** ¾


2. Hiroki Goto vs. Togi Makabe


Goto and Makabe exchanged shoulder blocks, Makabe went for a lariat, but Goto ducked and landed a shoulder block. Makabe landed one of his own and landed some strikes in the corner. Goto got Makabe down and landed kicks to the leg of Makabe, working on the ankle. Makabe got to the ropes, but Goto landed kicks to the chest of Makabe. Makabe hulked up and made it to his feet, but Goto continued with the strikes. Makabe responded to the strikes with a powerslam and landed a clothesline in the corner. Makabe landed some strikes to the head of Goto in the corner and then hit a northern lights suplex for two. Goto landed a lariat and kicks to the chest of Makabe and Goto hit a leg lariat in the corner. Goto got Makabe up for a very difficult looking back suplex, which should have been a backdrop driver. Makabe went for a German suplex, but Goto countered, Makabe fought out. Goto responded to with a bridging German suplex for two. Makabe landed a vertical suplex on Goto and both men began to exchange strikes. A headbutt from Goto knocked Makabe to the mat and Goto went for another suplex, but Makabe countered and went for a German suplex; however that was countered too with a lariat from Goto. This lead to a lariat exchange between Goto and Makabe, Goto went for a leg lariat, but the leg was pushed down by Makabe, who responded with a huge lariat for two. Makabe took Goto up to the top rope and landed the spider German suplex. He went for the King Kong knee, but Goto moved out of the way and pinned Makabe with the Goto Shiki in 09:22.

*** ¼


3. Kazuchika Okada vs. Captain NewJapan


Okada got some offense in on the outside and delivered a terrible snapmare on New Japan, followed by a dropkick to the back for two. Okada went for a back senton, but New Japan moved. NewJapanlanded a shoulder block and an exploder and then followed it up with a flying crossbody and a dropkick, but Okada kicked out at one and a half. Okada landed a beautiful dropkick and a neckbreaker on the knee followed by a scoopslam. Okada hit an elbow and singled for the rainmaker, as the commentators shouted “rainmaka pozu!” But, New Japan actually got a chokehold in with one hand, which was complete comedy. He landed a scoop slam on Okada and then went up to the top rope and he went for a diving headbutt, but Okada moved. Okada landed some elbows on New Japan, but New Japan responded with a side slam and locked the choke in again, but Okada landed an uppercut and big boot followed by a tombstone piledriver and rainmaker clothesline for the win in 06:55. The match was fine for what it was, although from a purely logical standpoint New Japan shouldn’t have gotten that much offense in, I also didn’t like the fact that Okada didn’t just pin him with the tombstone.

** ¼


4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto


Goto landed some elbows after the lock up, Tanahashi came off the ropes presumably for a forearm, but Goto landed a hip toss. Tanahashi hit a top rope crossbody followed by a shot to the leg of Goto. Tanahashi worked on Goto’s leg in the ropes and went for a lariat, but Goto reversed and delivered the fireman’s carry neckbreaker on the knee. Tanahashi was on the outside and was thrown into the post by Goto, Tanahashi was perched on the top rope and Goto landed a big rope assisted neckbreaker. Goto landed a forearm to the head of a grounded Tanahashi and a snap German suplex for two. Goto locked in the camel clutch, but Tanahashi made it back to his feet where Goto began to land forearms. Tanahashi began to fight back with some of his own, which led to a counter exchange where Tanahashi ducked and landed a big running forearm, knocking Goto down. Tanahashi landed a dropkick in the corner, followed by a second one this time the knee of Goto. Tanahashi proceeded to land another dropkick knocking Goto to the outside, Tanahashi went to the top and landed a high fly flow on Goto on the outside. Tanahashi got the dragon screw in the ropes and landed another two in the ring. Tanahashi then locked in the cloverleaf at a very high angle, Goto got to the ropes, but he was pulled back, however he made it back to the ropes seconds later. Tanahashi got another dragon screw in the ring, Goto attempted to throw Tanahashi to the outside, but Tanahashi skinned the cat allowing Goto to hit a Mick Foley esque clothesline to the outside. Goto land a lariat on Tanahashi knocking him over the barricade as he sold the leg crawling back in. Goto landed some kicks on Tanahashi followed by some further elbows in the corner and a leg lariat in the opposite corner. Goto landed a big kick to the chest of Tanahashi and a bridging German suplex for two. Goto got Tanahashi up in the fireman’s carry, but Tanahashi countered it with a horizontal elbow taking Goto down. Tanahashi came off of the ropes and caught Goto with a sling blade. Goto locked in a modified crucifix armbar, pulling back on the elbow of Tanahashi. Tanahashi got to the ropes, but Goto landed some kicks and got a kick on the mat for two. Goto went for the Shouten Kai, but Tanahashi kicked the leg of Goto. Both men came off of the ropes, but Tanahashi was the man who landed up victorious in that exchange landing a sling blade. Tanahashi hit another sling blade and landed a high fly flow on the back of Goto. He went back up attempting one on the stomach, but Goto moved. Both men were down for a very long period of time as the crowd got even more into it. Both men exchanged slaps, Tanahashi got the better of the exchange, but Goto responded with a thunderous lariat. Goto delivered a huge backdrop driver and went for the Shouten Kai, but Tanahashi landed a bridging full nelson suplex for two. Tanahashi made it to his feet and Goto held onto the leg crawling towards Tanahashi in a great spot, but Tanahashi landed kicks to the downed Goto like a big time heel. Tanahashi went back up to the top, but Goto caught him with a leg lariat and landed the neckbreaker on the knee. Goto landed a big lariat that Tanahashi bumped too early for and got another near fall. Tanahashi got a cradle for two, Goto landed a headbutt and a Shouten Kai for two, in what should have been the finish. But, Goto hit another Shouten Kai in 25:25 in an amazing tournament final.

**** ¼


The Return of Kota Ibushi


On May 4th 2012 Kota Ibushi returned to action after an eight month long absence due to a shoulder injury.


Generico went after the shoulder immediately. Ibushi faked a dive to the outside and landed a standing moonsault on Generico. Both men exchanged strikes, but Generico went back to the arm. Generico kicked the shoulder and Ibushi sold it really well. Generico landed a split legged moonsault and landed the yakuza kick on the outside when Ibushi was seated on a chair. Ibushi was thrown into the turnbuckle shoulder first by Generico and Generico worked as a great heel. Ibushi landed a kick on Generico, Ibushi ran into the turnbuckle and Generico went to the top rope, but Ibushi halted him with a perfectly executed rolling pelé and a beautiful Asai moonsault on the outside. Ibushi landed a missile dropkick on Generico followed by a powerslam and a split legged moonsault. Generico lifted Ibushi up, but Ibushi reversed and landed a reverse hurricanrana on Generico. Ibushi went for a kick, but it was countered and Generico landed a spinout powerbomb for two. Ibushi landed another kick, but Generico responded with a Michinoku driver for two. Ibushi looked devastated, Generico went for the yakuza again, but it was caught by Ibushi who landed a high kick. Generico responded with a boot of his own and both men faced off. Generico went for another kick, but Ibushi moved out of the way with a matrix and landed a bridging German suplex on Generico for two. They exchanged elbows, Generico landed a kick and Ibushi responded with slaps and a subsequent kick. Ibushi went for a kick on Generico, but it was caught and Generico landed the exploder in the corner and went for the yakuza kick again, but Ibushi landed a big lariat and sitout powerbomb for two. Ibushi landed a lariat in the corner and went for another, but he was caught with the yakuza finally. He was perched on the top rope by Generico, who went for the top rope brainbuster, but Ibushi fell to the outside and landed a reverse frankensteiner off the top for two. Ibushi landed an odd looking torture-rack bomb. Generico landed another exploder and yakuza kick and finally hit the brainbuster from the top rope for the win.



The match was good and Ibushi seems to have improved somehow as a worker, his matches seem less spot orientated and even though he was a great face before his selling has improved dramatically. The match was also an emblem of just how good Generico is, working as a heel, but in a way as a face as well. I was a bit surprised that Ibushi lost on his first match back though, but it didn’t seem to damage him, especially with the post match camaraderie from Generico.


Top Matches of 2012 (May Edition)



  1. Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin ROH 2012/03/31 *****
  2. Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito NJPW 2012/03/04 **** ½
  3. Undertaker vs. Triple H Hell in a Cell WWE WrestleMania 28 2012/04/01 **** ½
  4. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto NJPW 2012/04/08 **** ¼
  5. Suwama vs. Taiyo Kea AJPW 2012/05/07 **** ¼
  6. SUWAMA vs. Daisuke Sekimoto AJPW 2012/01/02 **** ¼
  7. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena WWE Extreme Rules 2012/04/29 **** ¼
  8. Jun Akiyama vs. Keiji Muto AJPW 2012/03/20 **** ¼
  9. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito 2012/04/05 **** ¼
  10. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan 2/3 Falls WWE Extreme Rules 2012/04/29 **** ¼
  11. Jun Akiyama vs. Takao Omori AJPW 2012/02/03 **** ¼
  12. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Shingo Takagi Diamond Ring 2012/02/11 **** ¼
  13. Kenny Omega vs. Kaz Hayashi AJPW 2012/02/03 **** ¼
  14. CM Punk vs.Chris Jericho Chicago StreetFight WWE Extreme Rules 2012/04/29 **** ¼
  15. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards ROH Final Battle 2011/12/23 **** ¼
  16. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho WWE WrestleMania 28 2012/04/01 ****
  17. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada NJPW 2012/02/12 ****
  18. Go Shiozaki, Seiya Sanada & Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Suwama & Takeshi Morishima AJPW/NJPW/NOAH All Together 2 2012/02/19 ****
  19. SUWAMA vs. Taiyo Kea AJPW 2012/05/07 ****
  20. La Sombra vs. Valador Jr. NJPW Fantastica Mania 2012/01/22 ****
  21. Manami Toyota, Hanako Nakamori & Sawako Shimono vs. Aja Kong, Mio Shirai & Tsubasa Kuragaki Chikara JoshiMania Night 3 2011/12/04 ****
  22. Ayako Hamada vs. Sara Del Rey Chikara JoshiMania Night 3 2011/12/04 ****
  23. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Mitsuhiro Kitanomiya Diamond Ring 2012/02/11 ****
  24. Kenny Omega vs. Shuji Kondo AJPW 2012/03/30 ****
  25. Akira Tozawa vs. Masaaki Mochizuki DGUSA 2012/03/30 ****
  26. Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 2012/04/05 ****
  27. CM Punk vs. AlbertoDel Riovs. The Miz TLC Match WWE TLC 2011/12/18 ****
  28. Masato Tanaka vs. Tomoaki Honma NJPW 2011/12/23 ****
  29. Kevin Steen vs. El Generico Last Man Standing ROH 2012/03/30 ****
  30. El Generico vs.KotaIbushi DDT 2012/05/04 ****
  31. Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. Keiji Muto & Kenta Kobashi AJPW/NJPW/NOAH All Together 2 2012/02/19 *** ¾
  32. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Karl Anderson NJPW 2012/04/08 *** ¾
  33. Kevin Steen vs. Steve Corino No DQ Match ROH Final Battle 2011/12/23 *** ¾
  34. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki NJPW 2011/01/04 *** ¾
  35. Yuji Nagata vs. Masayuki Kono Cage Match AJPW 2012/03/20 *** ¾
  36. Hikaru Shida vs. Yuzuki Aikawa Bull Nakano Produce Empress 2011/01/08 *** ¾
  37. Tsubasa Kuragaki vs. Sara Del Rey Chikara Joshimania Night 2 2011/12/03 *** ¾
  38. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Suwama & Takumi Soya AJPW 2012/03/30 *** ¾
  39. Tetsuya Naito vs. Satoshi Kojima 2012/04/01 *** ¾
  40. Masato Yoshino & Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor DGUSA 2012/03/30 *** ¾
  41. Low Ki, Akira Tozawa & BxB Hulk vs. Pac, Ricochet & Masaaki Mochizuki DGUSA 2012/03/31 *** ¾
  42. Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz vs. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya AJPW 2012/03/20 *** ¾


Next Week’s Newsletter


Next week we will certainly be covering ROH Border Wars, the broadcast and what it means for the company, the May 4th New Japan show, hopefully Okada Goto, RAW, the Heyman follow up, build to Over the Limit and so much more! For more on next week’s issue visit




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