I’ve been in Japan for a few days for some great wrestling action at Korakuen Hall. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve seen:

Dragon Gate:

Yosuke Santa Maria & Stalker Ichikawa (dressed as Stan Hansen for the second time this week) vs.Ryo Jimmy Saito & Genki Horiguchi H.A.GeeMeee!!! 

Super fun comedy match with some good action at times.Santa Maria is such an entertaining performer and really got to shine here. Her push continued with a pinfall win over Genki.

Don Fujii & U-T vs. Kaito Ishida & Takehiro Yamamura

Wow, this was incredible. It had everything you’d want from it. Don Fujii being surly and beating the tar out of the young guys, the young guys being ultra-competitive with each other, great crowd heat and a fantastic finish. This was perfect for what they set out for.

El Lindaman vs. T-Hawk

Huge upset here as Lindaman got the biggest singles victory of his career, knocking off T-Hawk with a Cross Armbreaker after ten minutes of good action.

Kzy, CIMA & Gamma vs. Monster Express

Excellent fast paced trios match, with charisma abound. Like in the last match, this had a huge result as Big R Shimizu beat CIMA clean with the Shot Put Slam. The crowd went wild for the finish.

Punch Tominaga, Dragon Kid & Eita vs. Naruki Doi, Kotoka & Monday Ryu

The stip here was that Punch had to retire if he lost. The result was a white hot atmosphere with the crowd living and dying with the nearfalls. Eita made Kotoka tap with the El Numero Uno. The finishing stretch of this was just out of this world.

Verserk vs. The Jimmys

With special “Jimmy for a night”, Masaaki Mochizuki in tow, the Jimmys scored a huge victory in the main event after 20 minutes of insane action. They did an incredible job weaving Verserk strife into a match which involved so much coordination and timing. It was incredible to watch a match like this in front of the Japanese fans. Susumu pinned YAMATO after a vicious Jumbo No Kachi lariat. Watch out for The Jimmys entrance and yours truly getting involved.

Post match, Verserk split into two sides to set up the annual DEAD OR ALIVE cage match where hair and masks are at stake. We got a bonus 19 second Cyber Kong/Mondai Ryu match to determine who could avoid the Cage. Mondai won.

Sendai Girls

This was the biggest show in the history of the promotion as they hit Korakuen Hall for the first time headlined by the renewal of a classic rivalry.

Aja Kong vs. Meiko Satomura

The result was a bona-fide Match Of The Year Candidate. I saw all the big matches from Mania weekend while I’ve been over here and this topped everything. It also topped the incredible Daisuke Sekimoto main event I saw last week at BJW. Aja Kong looked as good as she did in her prime. Not only was her offence looking fantastic but her selling and the subtle little things she did added so much to the match and made me realise I was watching one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.

However, she was topped by Satomura, who was absolutely heroic as the babyface. Her fire and her execution were on another level from almost anyone I’ve ever seen in person before. I knew she was good, real good, but not this good. Satomura won the match after an epic closing stretch and retained the title. Kong sold the loss, and the damage, brilliantly after the match. It was like Godzilla being taken down, and slumping away to fight another day.

The undercard was a really fun variety show. We had a hard hitting opening tag match, a comedy match, a really good hardcore match pitting Hikaru Shida & Syuri against KAORU & DASH Chisako, and an awesome veteran vs rookie match as Nanae Takahashi defeated hot prospect Chihiro Hashimoto. This show airs on the 16th, and the main event is absolutely must-see stuff.