New Japan Pro Wrestling
Bodymaker Coliseum (Osaka, Japan)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
I find the Young Bucks to be far more tolerable in New Japan than I do on the US Indies. That is mostly – if not entirely – a result of the time constraints they have on them in Japan. They have not had that many two on two tags to begin with in Japan and when they have, they have been kept short. This match was one of their longest since coming to New Japan and it wasn’t more than 12-minutes. It might sound like a backwards comment to basically say “the less time they are in the ring the better” but it really isn’t meant that way. The Young Bucks are no different from many, many other wrestlers who have strong qualities but are exposed when they go too long. The Young Bucks work much better in ten minute matches than they do in the 20-minute deals they wrestle in the US.
I am a fan of the Shelley and KUSHIDA tag team. They have some fun double teams (many of which were on display in Osaka) and I really enjoy the spot they do where Shelley does a tope through KUSHIDA’s legs. Both team members work face in peril well and take a good beating. It shows where modern day ROH’s head is that in terms of junior New Japan teams, they would rather bring in the Forever Hooligans and Young Bucks when Shelley (already in the US) and KUSHIDA (has worked ROH shows before) are right there. Re-watching some 2000’s ROH for the Indies project, we concluded that Shelley was underutilized during his initial ROH run so maybe their lack of interest now in him should not come as a total shock.
Even at 12-minutes, I still felt the Bucks overstayed their welcome in this match and perhaps it was *too much* for an opener, but those are very minor complaints. Overall, the two teams combined for an all-action, sprint of an opener with a lot of good moves and a couple of nice near falls. A fine way to kick off the show.
Juniors | Common | Quality/Title Match