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January 23, 2010 / liamcbyrne

Masato Tanaka vs. Homicide from JAPW 2010

Post by Liam Byrne:

I’m not a big fan of Homicide.

In terms of my wrestling credentials, that is about all you need to know when it comes to the review, as I watched Masato Tanaka face off against the aforementioned Homicide from the JAPW 12th Anniversary show.

I mean, I’ve watched wrestling for close to twenty five years now, which is I guess worth noting. It would suggest that, provided I’ve been paying attention, I’d know a bit about what makes a good wrestler. In that time, I’ve never been that impressed by Homicide. I like Tanaka, sure, but Homicide only ever works for me in specific settings, usually when feuding with wrestlers who are capable of papering over the cracks of Homicide’s offense – namely, that he is about as far removed from the technical wrestler he tries to present himself as as is possible. Without wanting to sound like the high school teacher, at least Homicide tries, which is something.

For fifteen minutes of this video, I was suddenly a believer.

I’m not going to pretend it was the best thing I’ve ever watched. It was fairly perfunctory in nature – Tanaka took early control, as he should being the ‘name’ guy in the match, Homicide had short bursts of offence before heading down the line to what should have been a rip-roaring finishing straight.

Indeed, they’d done the hard part – they’d made me invest in the match. Trading strikes, slaps and spit, I felt the guys really didn’t like each other. Tanaka went to town on Homicide’s knee, destroying it with a chair shot around the ring post, before locking in a figure four (with a few additional slaps for good measure). Homicide’s hope spots had been just that – moments of hope, a somersault senton and top rope dropkick two particular highlights. We’d even had near falls, a vicious clothesline from Tanaka almost giving him the victory.

Following a ref bump (and a second ref appearance) and a Cop Killer, I almost bought the ending from the resulting spot, thus further highlighting just how much interest I at least had for the outcome of this match. Corino, getting on the ring apron, is bumped by Tanaka into a Homicide roll-up. A kick-out sees Homicide get blasted with a chair shot by Corino (which somehow the referee misses – he doesn’t exactly come out smelling of roses in this match) into a Tanaka roll-up. That was the match, or so I thought. Impressively, Homicide kicked out.

Ah, the last two minutes. It was all going so well, until Homicide clotheslines the second referee.

I can only believe this was a fairly huge botch. It made no sense, the commentators didn’t know how to cover for it and Homicide looked confused. From there, everything falls apart. Corino gets involved and is pitched to the outside. Madison Rayne returns (having been removed earlier) and jumps on Tanaka, before Tanaka plants her with a brainbuster. Tanaka hits a pretty swank sliding elbow, to be fair, but even that isn’t enough to save this overbooked clusterfuck of a finish. Finally, Homicide hits a second Cop Killer to put me, and the final two minutes of the match, out of our misery.

There was no need for any of what happened at the end of the match. People got involved for no real reason, the first ref bump in no way worked in terms of booking (Homicide gets the false finish, Tanaka wins, we all go home happy, which should have been the ending) and the actual finish is in no way enhanced by the involvement of everyone else.

Shame. I almost felt some long repressed enjoyment for Homicide bubbling to the service, but it has effectively been killed off. I won’t mourn.

My name is Liam Byrne, and if you’ve enjoyed reading about Homicide vs Masato Tanaka, please check out TV Time Limit Remaining, where I cover a range of topics from modern WWE PPVs to 1980s NWA and UK independent wrestling. Follow me on twitter at @tvtimelimit and do comment on what I cover. The wrestling scene is built around debate, discussion and argument, and I want my blog to offer another haven for such activities.

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