Global Impact Japan
Date: July 4, 2014
Location: Ryōgoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz
This is another One Night Only show with the roster heading to Japan for a show co-promoted by the Wrestle-1 promotion. Naturally, what better day to hold it on thant he Fourth of July? This show has three title matches, all of which have been spoiled on Impact in the four months since this was taped. I hope you like this, as this is very similar to what Bound For Glory is going to be this year. Let’s get to it.
The opening video shows a lot of the traveling as a voiceover talks about how awesome this is for TNA. Magnus is the main star featured in the video as he was the World Champion when this took place.
Bad Influence vs. Junior Stars
The Junior Stars are Koji Kanemoto and Minoru Tanaka. Kanemoto wrestled at Starrcade 1995 and invented the Koji Clutch. Tanaka was in TNA for the 2006 World X-Cup. I’m assuming the Junior part is for their weight class and not for their ages. Daniels and Tanaka get things going with Christopher being taken into the corner, where he shouts CLEAN BREAK about fifteen times in a loud voice. Daniels does the same to Tanaka, who shouts the same thing and is granted his request. They hit the mat for a bit before Tanaka dropkicks Daniels’ knee.
Off to Kanemoto vs. Kazarian with Koji taking over, using something like Joe’s Facewash. Taz says Koji invented that move which really wouldn’t surprise me given Joe’s work in Japan. Kaz comes back with a dropkick and is hiptossed onto Koji by Daniels for two. Back to Daniels as Taz makes jokes about photographers. They’re firmly in the “let’s make jokes instead of calling the match” mode tonight.
Bad Influence starts some fast tagging to keep Kanemoto in trouble but he avoids a charge from Daniels to get a breather. A suplex puts Daniels down but there’s no tag to Tanaka. Instead Koji misses a moonsault and a double big boot puts both guys down. A double tag brings in Daniels to face Tanaka with Minoru taking over with shots to the face. Everything breaks down and Tanaka dives off the middle rope to take Daniels down to the floor.
A half butterfly suplex gets two on Christopher and Koji gets two off a 450. Kazarian pulls the referee out to really get the fans’ attention. A powerbomb/neckbreaker combination gets two on Tanaka but he pops up and puts Kaz in an ankle lock. Kanemoto puts Daniels in a cross armbreaker at the same time but Kaz crawls over to save his partner. Why Tanaka lets go of his hold when Tanaka’s is broken isn’t clear. Bad Influence goes High/Low for the pin out of nowhere on Kanemoto.
Rating: C+. The match was fine for an opener as Daniels and Kazarian can wrestle without having to do all their comedy stuff. That fits in better for a more serious show like this, and the match was entertaining as a result. It wasn’t anything spectacular but not every match has to be.
A humble Magnus talks about how important of a show this is for both himself and TNA. He and Joe won the GHC Tag Team Titles here about a year ago so he has history in this building. Tonight he’s defending against Kai and promises that it’s going to be a war.
Bad Influence says they’re the best team in the world. This is much more over the top in true Bad Influence style. Tanaka chases them off.
Gail Kim vs. Madison Rayne
Madison is Knockouts Champion at this point but I believe this is non-title. Rayne gets a quick rollup for two and does the mat humping for two. Tenay and Taz try to talk about some Japanese culture and wrestling history but it’s about as pitiful as you would expect. Gail gets two off a clothesline and hits the running cross body to the ribs in the corner. Madison comes back with a rolling cradle but Gail tries to cheat. The champion isn’t happy and charges into the buckle to stun herself.
Gail puts on the figure four around the post as Taz continues asking about the numbered photographers at ringside. Back up and Madison’s leg is fine as Gail rolls her up for two. A suplex gets the same for Rayne but she gets caught in something like a Death Valley Driver for two. Eat Defeat gets Gail the pin a few seconds later.
Rating: D+. This is the exact same match these two have had about a dozen times and in this case Gail won. I really don’t know what else you want me to say about this one, as their matches have been done so many times and there’s almost nothing more to see them do in the ring.
We hear from some wrestlers who are happy to be in Japan. This looks like deleted scenes from the opening video.
Abyss vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
Takayama is described as the Japanese Abyss. Granted that’s Tenay’s opinion of him so I’d expect the second coming of Petey Williams. It’s a brawl to start of course with the blond haired Takayama being knocked out to the floor early on. Takayama slugs away but gets sent into the barricade for his efforts. Back in and they punch each other some more with Takayama nailing a pair of running knees to the chest. Abyss blocks a German suplex and they head outside again.
Four minutes into the match, Tenay casually mentions that Takayama has won the All Japan Triple Crown Title, the GHC Championship and the IWGP Championship. I don’t follow Japanese wrestling and even I know that’s a bigger deal than something you mention four minutes into a match. Abyss takes him to the ramp and pours out the thumbtacks but Takayama fights out of a chokeslam. He tries another German but gets slammed down onto the tacks. Abyss misses a splash and lands in the tacks as well before they brawl to a no contest.
Rating: C-. Take two big guys and let them fight for about seven minutes. This was a mindless but fun brawl and that’s what you would expect out of guys like these two. The tacks were a nice big spot at the end and the shorter you keep an Abyss match, the better things are going to be.
Gail Kim says she’s the best Knockout in the world and screws up the continuity of being Madison’s friend.
Masakatsu Funaki vs. Bobby Roode
Funaki is a technical guy with a very successful MMA background. Feeling out process for the first minute and a half with Roode shouting about how great he is. Bobby takes him down with a headlock but Funaki grabs a much faster headlock of his own to take control. Back up and they stare each other down before Roode tries a forearm.
A stiff kick to the chest puts him down on the floor where he asks Funaki to bring the fight. Funaki obliges and is whipped hard into the barricade for his efforts. Bobby sends him shoulder first into the post before wrapping it around the ropes. A knee drop gets two on Funaki and it’s off to a cross armbreaker. Funaki fights up and fires off kicks in the corner followed by a hard one to the face.
They chop it out until Roode takes him down with a DDT on the arm. There’s the crossface (more like a crossforehead) but Funaki rolls backwards into a rollup for two. Back up and Funaki tries an ankle lock, only to get pulled back down into the crossface. That goes nowhere so Roode grabs a spinebuster for two. The Roode Bomb is countered into the ankle lock and Bobby taps out.
Rating: B. This was a nice technical match with Roode having good psychology by going after the arm for the entire match before trying the crossface. I would have liked some leg work before the ankle lock but it wasn’t completely out of nowhere. Roode looked good here and the match was fun to watch.
Joe is thrilled to get to face Great Muta tonight. He calls wrestling an international language and says TNA is ready to show what they can do to a new audience.
Keiji Mutoh/Rob Terry/Taiyo Kea vs. Masayuki Kono/Rene Dupree/Samoa Joe
Joe’s team gets the jobber treatment and Mutoh might retire if he loses. Joe and Kea get things going with Joe hammering away in the corner, only to have Kea no sell most of the shots. A big boot has little effect on Joe and an elbow to Kea’s jaw has the same result. Off to Terry vs. Dupree for a posedown before Renee dropkicks Terry’s knee out. Kono comes in to try a double suplex but Terry suplexes both of them at the same time.
Mutoh gets the tag for the power drive elbow before putting Kono in an STF. Back to Kea for chops followed by Terry for some cranking on the arm. Mutoh puts on a sleeper but Dupree gets in a cheap shot. Joe glares at his partner for the cheap shot and does the same thing to Kono, even going so far as to save Mutoh. Apparently he’s fine with backsplashing Mutoh for two and putting on the Koquina Clutch but everything breaks down.
Things settle down and Mutoh mostly misses a dropkick to Joe and the tag brings in Kea. A Russian legsweep gets two on Joe but he comes back with a powerslam. Off to Kono who gets caught in something resmbling a running DDT. Terry gets the tag and gets the crowd to clap a lot before hitting a slow motion Jackhammer. Kea rolls away and tags in Dupree who is quickly backdropped down.
Muta comes in and takes out everyone with dragon screw legwhips before putting Renee in a Figure Four. Kono makes a save so Muta hits Dupree with a Shining Wizard but everything breaks down. Members of the Desperadoes stable comes in to attack Mutoh but Joe won’t help them. He takes a chair from Dupree and headbutts him before walking out, allowing Mutoh to hit the Shining Wizard for the pin on Dupree.
Rating: D+. Well you knew Mutoh wasn’t jobbing here. This match was a big mess though with Joe wanting to do the right thing or whatever it was while all of the people interfered (and Tenay just expected us to know who they were because EVERYONE follows a year old Japanese promotion). This felt like “let’s all love Mutoh” and while he deserves respect, I don’t care for matches that turn into stuff like this. It wasn’t terrible or anything and the story made good sense, but it was messy.
The Wolves talk about how honored they are to perform in this building. They respect Team 246 but don’t think too much of the BroMans.
Tag Team Titles: BroMans vs. Wolves vs. Team 246
One fall to a finish, The Wolves are defending and Team 246 is Kaz Hayashi/Shuji Kondo. These are the TNA Tag Team Titles if that’s not clear. Three people in the ring at once so it’s Robbie, Kaz and Davey getting things going. Kaz and Davey slug it out before they both stare at Robbie, triggering a very Broish scream. Robbie Hulks Up and a single chop from Kaz sends him to the floor. Davey and Kaz get to shout at each other a lot and counter moves until Kaz kicks him down.
Eddie comes in but gets caught by a DDT from Kondo. The BroMans pull everyone to the floor until they head back inside with the Wolves. The champions low bridge the BroMans to the floor before diving onto Team 246. Robbie totally misses a dive so the Wolves hit more stereo dives to take everyone out. Back in and Davey kicks Jesse in the side of the head before an enziguri and missile dropkick put Hayashi down for two.
The BroMans shove the Wolves off the top rope and double team Hayashi. Things settle down with the Wolves staying out of the ring as Kaz gets beaten up even more. Davey finally comes back in but gets gorilla pressed by Jesse and nailed with a middle rope elbow from Robbie. Hayashi shoves the BroMans into each other but Davey kicks Kondo off the apron. Kondo comes in anyway as everything breaks down.
A spinebuster gets two on Edwards and Kondo sends the BroMans together again. Davey comes back with a handspring into a kick to Kondo’s face. Robbie DDTs Kaz down but gets laid out by the Wolves. Kondo powerslams Edwards and some double teaming from 246 gets two. Kaz gets the same off a superkick but Davey makes the save.
Richards kicks both of 246 before slugging it out with Hayashi again. A hugh kick to Kaz’s head sets up a German suplex for two for Davey and the powerbomb/Backstabber combo gets two more. The BroMans send the champions to the floor but Kondo breaks up the Bro Down. Richards kicks Kondo down but gets sent to the floor, setting up the Bro Down to Hayashi for the pin and the titles.
Rating: C+. This was fine though I still don’t see the appeal of Kaz Hayashi. He didn’t do anything for me in WCW and now he’s not doing anything for me when he has longer hair. The Wolves looked decent but I get really tired of the Japanese style of getting hit in the face a lot and just screaming in response.
Sanada training video.
The BroMans celebrate.
X-Division Title: Austin Aries vs. Sanada
Sanada is challenging. They shake hands to start before trading armbars. Now they trade headlocks until Sanada hooks a quickly broken abdominal stretch. Sanada rolls him up for two and it’s another standoff. Austin takes him to the mat and rides him a bit before grabbing a few rollups for two each. Aries flips out of a wristlock before dropkicking Sanada in the head for the first real advantage. Sanada is sent to the floor but blocks a suicide dive with a forearm.
Back in and Sanada hammers away in the corner for two but Aries sends him to the floor to break up a springboard attempt. The champion hits a top rope ax handle to the floor before hitting a running elbow off the ramp for two back inside. After working on the neck for a bit, Aries hooks a leg lock to change course. A knee crusher gets two for Aries before they chop it out with Sanada taking over. Aries comes back with a discus forearm to put Sanada on the floor and now the suicide dive connects.
A missile dropkick sends Sanada across the ring but he stays on his feet. Sanada stops a charge with a boot to the face but Austin grabs a crucifix, only to be flipped up into a TKO in a sweet counter. Aries pops back up with a knee crusher into a belly to back suplex, followed by the corner dropkick.
The brainbuster is countered so Aries hits three more running dropkicks, only to have Sanada counter the brainbuster into a suplex. Sanada wins a slugout but Aries grabs him for the brainbuster and two. There’s the Last Chancery but Sanada crawls over to the rope. Aries misses the 450 and a German/dragon/tiger suplex combo gets two for Sanada. A pair of moonsaults give Sanada the title.
Rating: B-. This was the usual good match between these two and it should have been the longest match of the show. Sanada is at least getting to be in TNA longer than the cup of coffee that a lot of foreign wrestlers get in American companies. He’ll get a big match at Bound For Glory and it’s going to be interesting to see where he goes after that.
A stunned Aries rolls up the promoter before raising Sanada’s hand.
Magnus says Kai is good but not good enough.
Here’s a match from Lockdown 2014.
Bad Influence/Chris Sabin vs. Great Muta/Sanada/Yasu
Daniels and Kazarian come out in Great Muta garb circa 1989. Sanada took the X Title from Austin Aries a week ago in Japan. Sabin and Sanada get things going and fight over hiptosses before Sanada grabs an abdominal stretch. It’s quickly off to Muta to drop some fast elbows on Sabin followed by a crossface hold. Daniels makes the save but we get the Green Mist from Muta.
Back to Yasuyuki who gets taken into the wrong corner with Daniels dropping him with a belly to back suplex, setting up a slingshot legdrop from Kaz for two. Daniels suplexes Kaz onto Yatzu, setting up a springboard moonsault for two from Christopher. Back to Kaz who misses a top rope legdrop, allowing the hot tag off to Sanada.
He cleans house until Bad Influence hits a quick High/Low for two. Daniels takes Sanada down for a second but a hot tag brings in Muta to really clean house with dragon screw leg whips all around. The Mist puts Daniels down and there’s the Shining Wizard, setting up a moonsault from Sanada for the pin on Daniels at 9:22.
Rating: C. Not a bad match and a good choice for an opener, but it’s also a good example of what’s wrong with the all cages gimmick. The cage added absolutely nothing here and there’s no reason for the cage to be there at all. The fans reacted well to the Japanese guys so it certainly wasn’t a terrible idea.
Austin Aries says he makes guys like Sanada raise their game.
TNA World Title: Magnus vs. Kai
Magnus is defending and Kai won a tournament to get this shot. Feeling out process to start as a lot of TNA guys have come out to watch the match. No one goes anywhere when they fight over a top wristlock so Magnus takes him down with a headlock. Back up and Kai nails three straight dropkicks but Magnus stops him with a forearm. They head up the ramp and fight over a suplex on the stage until the champion takes him over.
Back in and Taz keeps complaining about the referee not being up to his standards. We hit another chinlock followed by a camel clutch to Kai. Taz notices that Kai’s tights say Dress Camp and goes on a rant about summer camp. Kai fights up and sends Magnus to the floor, followed by a suicide dive to take over. Magnus fights out of a powerbomb and kicks away, only to get dropped by a clothesline.
They slug it out with Kai nailing a falcon’s arrow for two. Kai goes up but gets superplexed down, though Magnus can’t follow up. Back up and a springboard enziguri drops Magnus and a running boot to the face gets two. A powerbomb gets two more on the champion but he catches Kai in a Michinoku Driver for a near fall of his own. The top rope elbow gets the same and another Michinoku Driver followed by a second elbow retains Magnus’ title.
Rating: C. It was a pretty good main event style match, but the problem I have with this is the problem I have with almost all shows like this: who is Kai and why should I care about him? Yeah I know he won a tournament, but I have no connection to Kai, have never seen one of his matches or heard him talk. All I know about him I learned in the last fifteen minutes of hearing Tenay and Taz and watching this one match. Wrestling is about connecting with performers, be it through promos or through their matches. With nothing to go off, there’s no reason for me to care about Kai.
A two minute highlight package closes us out.
Overall Rating: C+. This was very different than the rest of the One Night Only shows as there was a completely unique feeling to the show. Now that being said, as I mentioned, I don’t care for most of these shows as I don’t care for Japanese wrestling all that much. The show wasn’t bad but it’s nothing I got excited about watching. I saw some good action but I have no connection to most of them. I don’t care to watch any more Wrestle-1, even though some of it was good stuff. Bound For Glory is going to be a HUGE gamble, but they could make it work under the right circumstances.
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