Tiger Mask W comes to life again!


Fans treated to two matches

As Tiger Mask W rolls along in its second season, giving us a lot of animated wrestling action, New Japan Pro Wrestling (Co-Producer of the series) once again featured live action tiger Mask W on two of its cards earlier this month. After two previous shows in October and at Wrestle Kingdom 11, let's see what Tiger Mask W can do this time around.

Kazuchika Okada and Gedo vs. Tiger Mask W and Tiger Mask IV- 3/1/2017- New Japan Road- Sumo Hall, Tokyo

We are at the Sumo Hall for this big tag match as Tiger Mask IV and Tiger Mask W take on IWGP champion Kazuchika "The Rainmaker" Okada and Gedo.

The Tigers make their entrance first as the announcers flip out when they see that W has forgone the goofy mask he had worn previously and decided to go with a mask that harkens back to the original Tiger Mask.

Word is he was having problems with that mask, so switching to this one not only makes him look more legit but probably functions better than that complex one he had been given previously. Also, it just looks better. Never realized how short IV was either.

Okada and Gedo make their way out to an applause. Okada is a popular guy in NJPW. After a conference on each side, we start with Gedo and IV. The bell rings and we get a lock up that Gedo quickly reverses into an armlock. IV flips through it a few times and turns it around sending Gedo flat to the mat. They go for another lock up but Gedo lands the kick to the gut. A forearm shot to the top of the head and then he locks in a headlock. IV shoots him off but Gedo smacks him down with a shoulderblock and a big yell. Gedo hits the ropes again and IV gets some big leaps frogs before taking Gedo down with an armdrag. He gets another one before locking in an armbar. IV gets him to his feet and back into the corner where W makes the tag. Gedo eggs on the crowd by pointing to Okada and then he makes the tag.

They go for the Greco lock up but W shoot for a leg and Okada dodges and gets a waistlock. W counters with a roll out and gets the armbar but Okada reverses and grabs the arm for a hammerlock. W counters with a drop toe hold into a front facelock. He turns it into a wristlock into a headlock, but Okada reverses into a takedown and a headscissors. They break and the crowd applauds.

They lock up again and Okada pushes him back, and gives him the fake out and just pats his chest instead. W runs in and gets a kick to the gut for it. Headlock by Okada and he gets shot into the ropes and comes back with a shoulderblock. He hits the ropes again and W gets a leapfrog before drilling in a nice dropkick! He picks Okada up and takes him to the corner where he tags IV. They both stay in the ring as Okada is whipped in and gets a double flying forearm. Gedo comes in and rakes both men's eyes. IV backs to the ropes but when Gedo comes running to him, IV leapfrogs and Gedo goes flying through the ropes. W gets a running start but Okada and Gedo move and W catches himself on the top rope and backflips back in the ring.

IV then turns and dives through the ropes on the left on Gedo while W launches over the top rope on Okada! Nowhere is safe!  The Tigers get back in the ring and shake hands as the fans clap for that. Okada rolls back in clutching his head and IV stomps on him a few times. He goes to the ropes but is caught in a flapjack as off camera Gedo pulls W off the apron. He then rams a chair into W's throat! Old dirty heel. Back in the ring Okada slams IV near the ropes and hits a slingshot senton. He picks IV up and drills him into Gedo's foot before tagging the bearded one.

Gedo chokes him over the middle rope. He snapmares IV and starts going for the mask laces!  W comes in and complains to the ref before kicking Gedo. Okada then comes in and kicks W before snapmaring him and then going for his mask laces!  Red Shoes the ref finally gets them to stop that and we are back to Gedo and IV. Gedo just sticks his finger in the eye and tags in Okada.

IV gets sent into the corner and worked over with some kicks.  Neckbreaker by Okada and a cover. It only gets two. Tag back to Gedo who runs over and pushes W off the apron. Another finger in the eye and then into a DDT by Gedo. Cover only gets a two count. Okada tags back in and gets a slam. He fakes going to the corner but he runs over and knocks W off the apron. Okada then really does go to the top rope but IV runs up to greet him. Okada goes for a clothesline but IV catches the arm and armdrags him down to the mat.

IV crawls over and gets the tag to W! W flies into the ring with a slingshot dropkick that gets some serious air!

He goes over and smacks Gedo on the apron before landing some serious side kicks to Okada. Whip in is reversed but W hits a flying forearm instead. They both get up as W lands an ultra quick kick and chop combo before a big kick to the chest that sends Okada down. W gets a standing moonsault in and goes for the cover but only gets two. Ti-gah! Ti-gah! the crowd chants. They love it! W grabs a waistlock and locks to go for the German suplex but Okada is fighting it. He elbows out and lands a forearm. they exchange forearms to the face before Okada lands a bunch of European uppercuts. W goes to the corner and Okada whips him to the other corner and lands a running back elbow. DDT with a kip up and W is down.

Okada lands a rolling forearm and goes for the pin but it only gets a two. Okada goes up top, but W pops up! Okada leaps over him but W comes charging in and gets a forearm right to the head. Okada goes for a clothesline but W hooks the arm and spins him around into a Tiger Driver. Okada blocks it and goes for the Rainmaker! W ducks it and lands the German Suplex! Pin attempt gets two. W hooks in the tiger suplex but Okada reverses it and lands an emerald neckbreaker. Both guys roll over and make tags.

Gedo comes running in but IV meets him with a top rope splash. IV lands side kicks from both legs and whips Gedo in the corner where he lands a side kick right to Gedo's chin! He can still go considering he's been around longer than guys like Yuji Nagata and Nakanishi. That's training folks. He sets Gedo on the top rope and tries for the Tiger Suplex but Gedo fights out of it. Gedo rakes the eyes and IV tumbles down. Gedo follows him and starts with some short punches. He goes for a big one but IV drives a knee in the gut. Gedo turns around and decks him anyway. Gedo gets a chin crusher and lands a sweet superkick right to the jaw. Cover gets two as W comes in for the save. Gedo rakes his eyes for that.

IV lands a strike on Gedo and goes for another tiger suplex but Okada comes in and nails him. He whips IV into the ropes and lands his big dropkick. Gedo goes for the Gedo clutch but W comes in and kicks Gedo right in the neck. W then turns and gets a rana on Okada! as Okada and w go to the floor IV gets the Tiger driver on Gedo but again only gets two. IV locks in a double armbar but Okada comes in and breaks that up. W is right behind him and lands a kick as they both go out again.

IV tries for the Tiger Suplex again but Gedo gets out of it. IV tries a kick but Gedo ducks. IV tries the suplex again but Gedo backs him into the corner. they trade waistlocks as IV tries a roll up. IV tries to bridge back but Gedo catches him and goes for his own roll up before W breaks up the pin. Okada comes in and smacks W a few times before going for the tombstone on IV! IV counters out the back and Okada shoots off the ropes but is met with a double dropkick!  IV then turns around and gets Gedo in the tombstone piledriver and PLANTS him!

The Tigers go up opposite corners and land the double headbutt!

W runs over and does the diving moonsault to Okada outside the ring! IV grabs Gedo and gets the bridging tiger suplex and the three count!

As the tigers celebrate the victory, Okada grabs the mic. No subtitles here so I can only guess Okada says that W won't beat him in the singles match. He leaves. IV then grabs the mic and again, not exactly sure what he says but it sounds like he puts W over to all the fans and shakes his hand.

45th Anniversary Memorial Day: Nontitle: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tiger Mask W

March 6, 2017 Ota City General Gymnasium Higashikamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo

This was a strange one for me when it was first announced. You would think that for the 45th anniversary of New Japan Pro Wrestling they would line up a big huge main event and make it a big-time event on PPV. Nope. Instead, we get essentially a televised house show main evented by a nontitle match with the champion taking on a guy dressed as a cartoon character. 

Tiger Mask W comes out first with Tiger Mask IV as his cornerman.  He is wearing the same mask from the Tag match, which I love as it reminds me so much of the original Tiger Mask. Okada is out next and he had Gedo with him. At ringside we have the regular announcers, Togi Makabe, and the Japanese voice actors for Haruna and I think Takuma (no English here so I have to guess).  They have a staredown in the ring before the entrance gear comes off and the bell rings. "Ti-gah! Ti-gah!" man, the fact these fans are chanting for an anime character over the face of the company and a big fan favorite himself just blows my mind. These people are not cynical fans at all. This would NEVER work like that here in the states.

The camera stays on the voice actors as they lock up in the ring. Tiger goes to shoot the leg but Okada catches him. Tiger reverses it and they get up to a standing position where Okada grabs the arm. Tiger rolls through and reverses it. Okada does the same and takes it from and armlock through a hammerlock into a headlock. Shoot off and the bigger Okada gets him down with a shoulderblock. Okada goes for the ropes again and Tiger leapfrogs over him and gets an armdrag to which Okada gets in one of his own. They each duck clothesline attempts and then throw simultaneous dropkicks. They pause to let the audience appreciate that one.

Resetting themselves, they grab a Greco-roman knuckle lock that Tiger immediately break the grip with his knee and spins around and turns it into an arm throw. With Okada down Tiger bounces off the ropes but Okada is at a weird angle so he stops and gets a turning splash anyway. He tries for a cover and gets a two count. They get back up and Tiger forearms him into the corner and Okada yells at him! Bring it on! Tiger forearms him right in the head and Okada yells at him again! Okada fires off a few forearms and Tiger answers right back. Okada scoops up Tiger and sets him on the top turnbuckle and delivers the high dropkick sending Tiger to the floor.

He bangs the side of his lower leg on the metal barrier too. That has to hurt.

Okada goes outside and runs Tiger into the barrier and then gives him a running boot to the face. Okada backs up all the way and gets a running start to splash Tiger and send the both of them into the metal barrier right in front of the fans. Okada calmly gets back in the ring and waits for Red Shoes to start the count. Tiger is already up and gets in the ring at seven. Okada gets control and lands a neckbreaker. Cover attempt for a two count. In a weird moment, Okada seems lost for a few seconds before locking in a straight jacket hold. Heh, my dad used to put that one on me as a kid. It is not fun, even if you are just playing around. Tiger gets his foot on the rope for a break.

They stand up and Okada goes for the head but Tiger swats his hand away and lands a couple of forearms. He lands another but Okada gives him a knee to the gut. Okada slams him near the ropes and gets a slingshot senton over the ropes. Okada gets him up for a snapmare into a chinlock. The voice actress for Haruna is the cutest thing on commentary cheering for Tiger, you keep hearing this mousy "Ti-gah" just like the show. Tiger gets up and elbows his way out of the chinlock. Okada swats him down with a club to the spine. He whips tiger into the ropes, misses a clothesline, misses another one, and then Tiger gives him the Mil Mascaras double flying forearms. Fans cheer that one!

Tiger sends Okada to the mat repeatedly with side kicks. He goes right for the waistlock but Okada blocks the suplex attempt and gives Tiger a back elbow. Okada shoots the ropes but tiger counters with a rana and Okada rolls outside. THIS IS NOT A SAFE PLACE CHAMP!  Tiger proves me right by going for the big golden triangle moonsault! 

Tiger rolls Okada back into the ring and goes to the apron. As Okada stands up Tiger nails him with a big slingshot dropkick! Tiger goes for a cover and gets two.

Okada gets to the corner and Tiger goes for the charge but runs right into the boot. Okada slips out of a second charge and lands a back elbow. Tiger stumbles out right into a kick and a DDT. Okada hits the rolling forearm and covers Tiger but only gets a two count. He slams Tiger down and goes up for the Randy Savage elbow, but Tiger gets to his feet. Okada leaps over him and rolls. Tiger runs at him but Okada lands a forearm right under the masked chin. Okada shoots the ropes and Tiger drills him with a dropkick right to the chin! That will dislocate your jaw! Tiger doesn't go for the pin and tries the Tiger suplex but Okada counters it into the emerald neckbreaker. Both guys get up and Okada misses a clothesline but lands the forearm to the chest. He whips Tiger to the ropes and goes for His big dropkick but Tiger holds on to the ropes. Tiger goes for a kick but Okada ducks it. tiger tries the standing moonsault and Okada gets the knees up.  Okada picks him up and rolls into a victory roll position but keeps going with it so Tiger ends up back on Okada's shoulders. He looks to go put Tiger on the buckle, but Tiger slips out the back to try for a sunset flip but Okada rolls through and ties up the legs. Red Ink submission!

Tiger struggles as he scoots along slowly before getting to the rope for the break. Okada slams him and goes up. He lands the big Randy Savage elbow. He looks to Gedo and makes the rainmaker pose! He grabs Tiger and pulls him in but tiger ducks around and locks in the full nelson. In literally a fraction of a second, he switches to a waistlock and gets a snap German suplex with a bridge for a two count. Tiger launches his quick kick/strike combo and goes for the corner charge but Okada brings up the foot. Okada comes out of the corner but Tiger gets the scoop slam and leaps right to the middle ropes for a moonsault and a quick cover that gets two.

Tiger pulls Okada up and gets the double armlock in going for the Tiger suplex but Okada holds on for dear life to counter. Hew finally reverses and gets Tiger up for the tombstone but Tiger slips out the back. He then lands a high kick right to Okada's neck. Okada is folded up on the mat but Tiger is too beat up to do anything either. They crawl over and start firing forearms back and forth. Tiger gets to his feet first and nails another forearm. They get back up tho their feet but keep firing off forearms. Okada lands an uppercut and tiger is back down. Okada gets pissed as he just starts stomping on Tiger's head a few times and screams at him to get up. Okada begins slapping him in the back of the head as Tiger is getting pissed now. Tiger gets up and slaps Okada hard on the face. He launches so quick palm thrusts and gets Okada down before stomping and kicking his head. Man, this is getting nasty!  Okada gets to the corner and Tiger starts stomping on Okada's head and the ref has to drag Tiger out of the corner. Tiger SHOVES THE REF but turns right into an Okada cannonball dropkick that launches Tiger back into the corner. Okada starts stomping away and Red Shoes has to pull him out of the corner. Tiger gets up and FLOOR RED SHOES before drilling Okada. This is becoming a fight and Mr. Anime kitty is not playing kids stuff anymore!  The camera gets a close shot of Tiger balling his fist up and he straight up punches Okada right in the jaw! He does it again as Red Shoes gets back in the ring.As the ref is giving him static he is lightly kicking Okada in the head. Jeez, you'd think Tiger Mask turned heel acting like this.

Tiger grabs Okada right by the hair but Okada fires off a dropkick! He sends tiger into the ropes and hits the big dropkick! Okada goes for the Rainmaker but Tiger ducks it and he goes for the rainmaker but fires off a kick right to Okada's neck!  Tiger drags Okada up to his knees and hits another kick to the neck! 

He keeps hold of the arm and just starts stomping on Okada's chest and looks like he is damn near gonna rip the arm off. He gets Okada up and gets in a last-rights bomb for the cover. Okada kicks out! Tiger can't believe it. He gets Okada up and locks his arms for the tiger bomb but Okada keeps fighting it. Tiger lets go and hits Okada in the face with a knee instead.

Tiger sets Okada on the top turnbuckle but Okada sends him to the apron. tiger leaps right back up and tries to go for the rana but Okada keeps fighting it. They change positions and Okada gets him on the shoulder and sets him up for a super tombstone but tiger flips out of it and lands a Pele kick!  Tiger goes back up and ties up the arms and gets the super tiger bomb! He goes for the count and Okada kicks out at two!  As he gets up Tiger keeps putting his fingers in his mouth. I'm guessing her loosened some teeth on that hard landing or maybe messed up his jaw. He gets Okada up and goes for the Tiger Suplex but Okada slips out the back and nails the rainmaker!  He holds onto the arm and lands a second one!  He pulls Tiger up and goes for a third one, but Tiger ducks and hits another Pele kick!  He runs over and goes to the second rope. He jumps off and Okada catches him. Okada adjusts and lands the German suplex! He hangs on and lands another rainmaker! Tiger is out and Okada makes the cover and gets the three count!


Almost immediately Tiger Mask IV and the doctor run to Tiger. Okada is given his belt as Tiger is still laying on the mat and in a bad way. He goes to shake Okada's hand but he is so loopy he can't do it. They roll him out of the ring and carry him off. Haven't heard anything so hopefully, he just got his bell rung. Gedo and Okada get on the mic and doing their usual shtick. He goes on for a while before giving some poses and leaving.

As you can see this was presented much more seriously that the previous match. This wasn't two guys in a costume rushing through a match for the kids in the audience, this was not only two competitive matches, but that singles match was amazing. NJPW once again blows away whatever else you can find, and does it with a "gimmick" to promote an anime show.

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Soul Tsukino
Soul TsukinoContributor   gamer profile

Soul Tsukino lives in the state of Maine. When not enveloping himself in a new fiction story he also comments on happenings in the animation and Otaku fan scene. A creative writer since he was yo... more + disclosures



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