I thought Hojo/Aikawa from the same show was better.
There haven't been any other Joshi shows available besides the Stardom show in 2013 since most promotions had their year end shows near the end of December. The only joshi that gets aired regularly is Oz Academy. Stardom releases DVD's and has a few aired shows a year and JWP only gets on TV twice a year. JWP does do DVD's but the delays on those are always long. Ice Ribbon gets on TV infrequently and WAVE will only get on TV if they have a Korakuen show. REINA and Kyoko Inoue's promotion(which is so insignificant I can't even remember the name) have infrequent DVD releases as well.
Oz Academy seems to never have any standout matches considering all of the goofy shenaOxiOxiOxiOxins that go on in their matches. Perhaps I've only had poor luck with the lot I've seen. It's plenty entertaining, nothing to "go out of your way" to check out type stuff.
Ice Ribbon clips too many of their matches. It's heartbreaking.
NJPW New Beginning 2013
IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship
Time Splitters(c) vs Forever Hooligans ~ ***1/2
I know I dug this a tad bit more than some others. In the start it was fine. Hadn't quite found their stride yet. Once the momentum was found things got cooking. Definition of blitzkrieg. Absolute non-stop action. By the time the announcer mentioned the bout reached the 10 minute mark if felt as if it was on forever (in a good way)
due to all of the rapid fire offense going throughout. Out of their trilogy this would fall into the category of 2nd place. Their first from King of Pro Wrestling was the topper and the injury marred rematch from Power Struggle 2012 left us wanting more. The series has finally culminated with Time Splitters walking away with the straps. A choice I am A OK with. Good match!
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kengo Mashimo ~ ***1/2
Nakamura and Mashimo pick up right where they left off from the CHAOS vs Suzuki-Gun trios matches a week prior. It's hot and heavy from the outset. Match is rather straight forward. I don't have much to add outside of it. If you enjoy higher paced blends of grappling & dudes hitting each other hard, you'll dig this. Nakamura commits a rare foul and manages to slip a tad off the middle rope during the final sequence. To his ever grand SWAG, he shrugged it off like nothing and proceeded to lock in a flying knee to the face of Mashino which sent him for a loop. One Boma Ye later and the leader of CHAOS stakes his claim. I knew I was going to dig this.
Minoru Suzuki vs Kazuchika Okada ~ ****
Suzuki is on a roll of a lifetime. This match was driven by the age old story of "Young vs Old". "Experience vs Youth". "Veteran vs Rookie". Roles which were played to a tee by both men involved. Suzuki is such a bad ass. It was clear the dynamic here was Suzuki is the give no fucks heel of heels with Suzuki-Gun, meanwhile CHAOS member & hot prospect Okada was willing to play by the rules, The naivety of the lad showed very early on by giving Suzuki a clean break. As Okada was backing out MiSu strikes him directly in the face. Threw the kid for a loop. It would be the common theme for the remainder of the bout. From there on out MiSu was relentless. Demolishing Okada from the inside to the outside with a mix of gnarly yakuza kicks & any foreign objects he could get his hands on by the announcer's position. Taichi was great in his sidekick role yet again. Doing exactly what MiSu was doing and using every chance he had to get in a cheap shot or do some damage while the ref wasn't looking. Suzuki-Gun is putting their heel work on a top notch level early on. Okada has his flashes of brilliance. Being the spunky underdog trying to stop the swarming force that was the grizzled vet in MiSu. No go on the majority. Following each flurry, he'd be stopped by a strike of greater value. It would be back to square one for the wunderkind. Suzuki's force was growing. Okada doesn't have much left. He gets one more final attempt to make an impact, relying on the seemingly most legit finisher in the whole of NJPW - Rainmaker lariat. A few attempts become a bust. With MiSu countering with the final brutal strike combo to the face. The shots are echoing in the arena. To imagine that sort of pain...I couldn't dream. Okada's eyes are glossed over. Gotch/cradle piledriver later and it's done. MiSu came, saw, & conquered here. Great match. This is a must see.
IWGP World Championship
Hiroshi Tanahashi(c) vs Karl Anderson ~ ****1/4
Tanahashi vs Anderson. My heaven's what a match and what a story to boot. The Anderson hype video not only conveyed the emotion the man has for wanting to reach the status of being IWGP World Champion, but it had the believable nature to go hand in hand. It didn't feel as if it was any form of a filler match to add another notch on Tanahashi's current championship reign. Formula here was similar for Tanahashi, yet always brilliant. Feeling out process to start. Both men jocking for their position in this all important match. As it trails on Tanahashi would focus his assault on the knee with pinpoint accuracy. It wouldn't reach the levels of a psycho surgeon it once reached back at King of Pro Wrestling vs Suzuki, though it shouldn't go unnoticed. Anderson's knee was semi gone from the early outside. With the drive of a would-be champion Anderson fights through the pain; managing to turn the tide towards his favor. Anderson's selling is impeccable at this point. You feel the pain on every move he makes. Anderson's incorporation of using the Stun Gun onto both the top rope & guardrail were prime. Excellent mega momentum shifters to showing us where his attack on Tanahashi will be focused on. Finishing stretch was arguably one of the most thrilling a main event has pumped out since...well, a good while. Even WITH the consideration of all the great championship bouts of 2012. I knew the result yet I was still, that's right, still sucked into thinking Anderson could do it. Far too much I was left saying "Tanahashi can't survive this." I was partially correct. He managed to evade as opposite to rising above. Portrayed the skills and smarts of the champ. Appreciated that bit of psychology/storytelling as much as the rest. Anderson was sooooooooo amazing in this though. Absolute grand performance. He was very over with the crowd too. Split the entire bout. Among the finish were some fabulous highlights such as: the sickest kick of possible ever with Anderson moving in slow-motion till he connected with Tanahashi's face on the apron - it was something out of Viewtiful Joe. High Fly Flow countered by Anderson getting his knees up --> eventual lead to some more wonderful selling of the damaged knee. Tanahashi stealing the Stun Gun & Anderson connecting with a Bernard Driver to get the two top near (and I'm talking very) near falls. Bernard Driver was about as close as you can get without the ref slapping the mat. Stun Gun on Anderson was followed up by a High Fly Flow crossbody - that of which Anderson tried to leap up and counter, but had no success with and ultimately became his downfall - and finally a traditional High Fly Flow which sealed Machine Gun's fate. Dashing his hopes & dreams in the process. The Tanahashi era continues to live on. Terrific, terrific match.