New Year’s Eve Tag Shuffle Tournament review (12.31.17)

New Year’s Eve Tag Shuffle Tournament review (12.31.17)

New Year’s Eve Tag Shuffle Tournament


December 31 2017


New Year’s Eve Tag Tournament. The Rules:


Daisuke Sekimoto & Kazusada Higuchi vs. Ryota Hama & Soma Takao


Hama and Higuchi barrelling into each other is exactly how I wanted this show to start. I’ve not seen much DDT recently but Higuchi is one of their biggest guns and it’s great to see him look like a star here. I love Sekimoto trying to scoop slam Hama. That would be more impressive than Hogan slamming Andre because Hama is huge. Takao is obviously the odd man out because he’s tiny and everyone else is Large. This allows him to get battered by Seki and Higuchi…and Hama, whose accidental splash kills the poor kid off.

Final Rating: **3/4


Kazuki Hashimoto & Akito vs. Kota Sekifuda & Ryota Nakatsu

Sekifuda is from Big Japan, Nakatsu from DDT. Hashimoto is BJW, Akito from DDT. So it’s a mesh of those two promotions. Hashimoto never ceases to amaze me with his weight loss. He was a chubby youngster, heading towards the heavyweights and he’s dropped a tonne of flab and replaced it with toned muscle. He looks incredible. He has eschewed the traditional chubby heavyweight look for badass shootfighter business. Nakatsu reminds me Kenoh, only less miserable. Same hair, same kick heavy style. The action is frantic, as you’d expect with the ten minute time limit. Nakatsu gets trapped in a Figure Four and submits, allowing Akito and Kaz to advance. Good showing all round. I dig a sprint.

Final Rating: **1/2


Antonio Honda & Takuya Nomura vs. Daisuke Sasaki & Brahman Kei

Honda & Nomura have matching gear! Everyone is pre-warned that they’re about to get wet. The sight of everyone in the crowd covering up and putting coats on is great stuff. This is the closest bout yet as the Sasaki/Brahman act is over huge but I find it hard to believe they don’t want Nomura mixing it up with someone more serious in the later going. Either way you slice it this is comedy match with all the Brahman shtick.



The Brahman boys bring a bunch of disgusting stuff, which Honda is used to but I feel for poor Nomura. Honda manages to injure himself tripping over the rope and grabs the mic to kill time and tell the story of the Gon the Little Fox. There’s a ten minute time limit pal! Sasaki rolls him up for the win. Lots of antics here. Sasaki’s star power combined with the Brahmen shtick is going to make them a strong commodity.

Final Rating: **1/2


Danshoku Dino & Daichi Hashimoto vs. Keisuke Ishii & “Zangief” Ueki

Hash Jr looks more like his Dad every time I see him. He’s going to be so fucking surly when he’s older.


Ishii nearly destroys D-Hash with his Hadouken. Then Zangief pulls out his devastating spinning attack! Everyone is floored! His battle against Dino features the Iron Stomach Claw and the dropping of pants. It’s quite the contest. Ishii vs. Hashimoto is genuinely good at times, once they’ve gotten the Hadouken spot out of their system. Ishii then staggers


Ueki has had enough of being Zangief and demands they switch characters, changing trunks with Dino and assaulting him from behind. Sadly the live stream bummed out at this point so I don’t even know who won!

Final Rating: NR


HARASHIMA & Yuko Miyamoto vs. Yukio Sakaguchi & Yuya Aoki

This is definite switch in pace with everyone being super serious. Aoki out to prove himself. Sakaguchi out to kick everyone’s ass. I’m not as into HARASHIMA & Miyamoto as a team as most people are but they fit the ‘weird tag partners’ bill here, despite being regular partners in the past. Miyamoto drops Aoki in short order and the Smile Yankees advance.

Final Rating: **


Isami Kodaka & Yoshihisa Uto vs. Masa Takanashi & Tatsuhiko Yoshino


Takanashi & Yoshino are “Party People”. Kodaka is very serious. Because the underdogs are so much fun there’s a chance of an upset here. Uto is a big dude so Kodaka can unleash him when the team begins to struggle. However Takanashi & Yoshino have better fluidity as a team. Takanashi is such a technical master that he seems to slip into any situation with ease. Kodaka, perhaps unaware of the ten minute time limit, spends half a minute explaining a superplex off the shoulders to Uto and he fucks it up in spectacular fashion. If that was planned then Kodaka and Yoshino have balls of steel. Wrestling has become so meta that they’re planning botches into matches as part of the psychology now. They do it again and this time there’s no botch and Uto gets the pin!

Final Rating: **3/4


Abdullah Kobayashi & Colt Cabana vs. Shunma Katsumata & Minoru Fujita

Abby & Colt’s team name is KobaCabana! They have a huge size advantage of the junior team across the ring. Shunma is still a baby and Fujita, despite his groovy pop idol moves, isn’t much bigger. Abby can’t quite do Colt’s spots, including a Bionic Elbow that missed by at least a foot. Boston Crab puts Shunma away and this is another quick bout. Colt gets nicely freaked out by Abby’s back scars after the match.

Final Rating: *3/4


Great Kojika & Tetsuya Endo vs. Hideki Suzuki & Konosuke Takeshita

Takeshita is the KO-D Champion so it’s hard to see his team losing, especially with Hideki in there too. Also Kojika is ancient. Hideki Suzuki doesn’t give a fuck about Kojika’s age, experience or legendary status in Japan. The pacing here is very slow, especially compared to every other match, which makes me think we’re heading into sudden death. With Takeshita and Endo that’s highly likely as their singles matches have been going long this year (they went broadway at Korakuen Hall). Takeshita and Endo up the pace, with some incredible switches and near falls. Those guys know each other so well. No one can get a pin though and we go to sudden death.


Now it’s a one-count getting the win. Takeshita and Endo continue their high speed interaction and the super early kick-outs are crazy to watch. Kojika tags in and Takeshita rolls him up for the winning one count. This was the stand-out match of the first round. Takeshita-Endo is starting to get insanely good. Their interactions are brilliant.

Final Rating: ***1/2




Daisuke Sekimoto & Kazusada Higuchi vs. Kazuko Hashimoto & Akito



Sekimoto & Higuchi are swiftly becoming my favourite thing about this show because they’re so totally badass. Akito tries to do cheeky roll ups on Higuchi but gets outwrestled and the Best Boys advance.

Final Rating: **1/2


Daisuke Sasaki & Brahman Kei vs. Danshoku Dino & Daichi Hashimoto

Sasaki failing to baseball bat oranges across Korakuen Hall, followed by him smacking one at a front row fan is wrestling dorkery at its finest. Sasaki = super athlete. Hashimoto gets pelted with oranges during his introduction. Shinya wouldn’t have stood for that shit, kid!


Daichi gets steadily corrupted by the influence of Dino. Going from purity to dry humping over the course of the match.



Dino’s perversion is a major highlight of this, with him taking a gun and making Sasaki perform fellatio on it. Also in this match; Dino gets a broom handle shoved in his butt and the son of Shinya Hashimoto is forced to toss the salad. It’s all too much for my senses and the Brahmen antics are too much for Dino. He’s been out-Dinoed!

Final Rating: ******1/4


HARASHIMA & Yuko Miyamoto vs. Isami Kodaka & Yoshihisa Uto

It’s somewhat unfair that Smile Yankees are in this, as they are an actual tag team. Uto has issues carrying Kodaka through the entranceway on his shoulders. You’d think they’d have learned after it failed the first time. Kodaka vs. Miyamoto is an intriguing match up as they were tag partners for a long time. I’m well aware I’m in the minority but I was never into them as a team. This match is strangely flat too, although the crowd get into it so again I’m in the minority. I dig the throwback to the first match where Kodaka has to explain the big corner superplex spot to Uto and he fucks it up again. Somato finishes Uto and Smile Yankees progress.

Final Rating: **3/4


Abdullah Kobayashi & Colt Cabana vs. Konosuke Takeshita & Hideki Suzuki


Abby is Stan Hansen. Colt is the original Abby. Suzuki is Brody. Takeshita is Jimmy Snuka. It’s a bizarre line up. There are degrees of piss being taken. They brawl all over the building and “Brody” throws a fan into the rail, which would a lawsuit if the defendant wasn’t already dead. Takeshita beats the count out for the win.

Final Rating: Ridiculous.


And with that we’re already up to the semi-final round. Considering how many matches are on this show, it’s flying by. We stop the action to hand out some year end awards. Best newcomer is “Andre the Giant Panda”





Daisuke Sekimoto & Kazusada Higuchi vs. HARASHIMA & Yuko Miyamoto

You can we’re into the business end of this show because two of the best pure teams have been pitched together and they do lots of serious wrasslin’. It’s so tonally different to the rest of the show, with it’s purist sensibilities that it’s actually a little tough to get into. Such has been the general wackiness of the show, as a whole. It takes HARASHIMA and Higuchi trading to get me back. Big kicks vs. big chops. It’s pretty fucking great. Some of the chops in this match are epic and the noise is so loud. Higuchi is a badass and dishes out those huge chops. Sekimoto puts Miyamoto away with Chaos Theory. I’m Hard!

Final Rating: ***1/2


Konosuke “Jimmy” Takeshita & Hideki “Brody” Suzuki vs. Daisuke Sasaki & Brahman Kei

Sasaki finally manages to hit a ball, making him 1-4. The highlight of the early going is Takeshita getting his ass so badly injured his wig falls off. It’s also a world devoid of rules where Abby and Colt just jump in there too and the Brahmen do bowling and such. I like that Sasaki hasn’t washed his face all night and all the comedy miscues have turned it into a total mess. Takeshita does a fine job of surviving near falls with his wig still on. Only anal trauma can dislodge that bad boy. Takeshita gets the win with the Superfly Splash but the match was all over the place, with no semblance of tag teaming. It was a great laugh but didn’t have the structure to be called a tag match, in any sense of the word.

Final Rating: **1/4


MAO, Kazumi Kikuta, Dinosaur Takuma, Kotaro Yoshino & vs. Sanshiro Takagi, Ryuji Ito, Dick Togo & TAKA Michinoku

This is your random eight-man filler tag before the main event. It’s definitely loaded heavily on the one side with a big collection of veterans. There’s a huge experience edge on one side of the ring. Yoshino, a wrestling caveman, is paired up with Takuma…an actual dinosaur. He has a tail and everything.


My biggest take home from this match is; when did MAO get this fucking good? He’s always impressed me but it was for high spots but now the transitions are coming along and it’s all done at speed and he’s really, really good. The match gets very Dragon Gate, with the corner charge spot featuring everyone, including people who aren’t in the match and the referee. Then it gets even wackier as the locker room empties out and literally everyone on the card piles in to hit MAO in the corner.

They keep at it until the year runs out and MAO sneaky rolls up TAKA and gets the pin bang on midnight. This was so great.

Final Rating: ***3/4



Daisuke Sekimoto & Kazusada Higuchi vs. Konosuke Takeshita & Hideki Suzuki

This is the final I was hoping for. Higuchi and Takeshita are the less experienced members of their teams and yet they’re the guys that excite me the most here. They have the chance to put down a marker against an experienced opponent. Everyone is supremely talented and when the brackets were released it should have been a no-brainer to do this final. Takeshita vs. Sekimoto is really good and I hope that ends up being a big singles match at some point this year. The striking is wonderful and the no selling and such. Perhaps even better is that Higuchi absolutely bullies Suzuki in their exchanges. His stock is seriously on the rise. Hideki ends up downing Higuchi with his patented double underhook suplex but Higuchi bossed the majority of the action. This was tremendous. The Sekimoto-Takeshita interaction gave me a lot of hope for Takeshita in 2018, that he can step up another level. Meanwhile Higuchi has reached the level we always thought he belonged at.

Final Rating: ****



This show was so much fun. It probably went too long (at 4.5 hours) but the nature of the wrestling, a series of sub-ten minute, sprints made the majority of the show fly by. Many thanks to Brother Mort and the other lovely people behind Real Hero, nailing the live stream of this show. It was a great way to end 2017.


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