NJPW: Masahiro Chono and Keiji Muto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima (January 4, 2007)

I want to try to review all the Wrestle Kingdom main events while they’re free on New Japan World.

This is interpromotional in the sense that Muto and Kojima were in All Japan at the time, though they both had been in New Japan until 2002. So this is like a reunion of two classic teams.

This is a lot better than the previous year’s match even though it also don’t follow the standard tag formula. Muto takes out Kojima and Tenzan with shining wizards immediately, and they have to regroup. They come back with some offense for a bit, but Chono and Muto sort of make them look like fools by outsmarting them and putting them in each other’s signature holds (Muto with an STF, Chono with a figure four). TenKoji do get some shine back by beating on the old dudes. Despite their history as a team, Tenzan seems to really go after Chono, stomping him on the outside.

I think everyone uses all of their respective signature moves. The last several minutes really tell the story of the match when TenKoji throw Muto from the ring and unload on Chono. They hit him with with an elevated Koji Cutter and a Kojima lariat. Tenzan plants him with a Tenzan Tombstone Driver, and it’s as good as over, but Tenzan pulls Chono up at two. Chono then kicks out after Tenzan’s moonsault, and Muto comes back in so the old guys can get their revenge. They sandwich Tenzan between a Shining Wizard and a Shining Yakuza kick, and then Tenzan taps to the STF while Kojima is in Muto’s figure four.

Winners – Masahiro Chono and Keiji Muto

Rating – Good

Oh, and after the match, they put on headbands in tribute to the late Shinya Hashimoto.

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