“This Is Awesome” chants fills Hall B, Sands Expo and Convention Centre as the stars from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) battle it out in the square circle at WRESTLING WORLD 2016 IN SINGAPORE. Loud Slaps to Chests, Clothesline and Body Slams plus an incredible Drop Kick were on the menu as Singaporean fans finally got to see a full wrestling event by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling wrestlers. Drawing a huge crowd over the last two years at CharaExpo that NJPW have been part of, expectations were high as the matches definitely have whet the fan’s appetite for more. Thus it was not surprising to see the hall almost filled with fans cheering their favorite wrestler on.
The match between David Finlay and Juice Robinson was a good warm up while the tag team match between Beretta and Rocky Romero vs Ryusuke Taguchi and Jyushin Thunder Liger brought on the “funny” side of wrestling entertainment especially with the many fan interaction. I sure hoped the Linger City poster that got torn up didn’t cost the fans much! The Tanga Roa and Tama Tonga vs Gedo and Tomohiro Ishii match was just as entertaining with each countering each other moves with loud slaps counters that the crowd cheered on.
Tomoaki Honma was in his usual funny self with head attacks that never seem to connect as he took on Hirooki Goto in a singles match. Hopefully he will win a match soon but it was a good effort from both wrestlers. My personal favorite Hiroshi Tanahashi was in action next together with KUSHIDA and Togi Makabe as they took on BUSHI, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito in a 6-man tag team match. From high mobility moves to big slams and off the corner jumps, it was one crazy match with lots of synergy between team members from both sides ending with his signature move from the turnbuckle.
The Rainmaker was up next as together with YOSHI-HASHI, they took on Yujiro Takahashi and Kenny Omega. Clothesline to submission moves and lots of counters and that BEAUTIFUL drop kick from Kazuchika Okada, this was another high energy match that got everyone cheering on for the title match next. Fingers crossed that we will see him defend his title here in Singapore.
Considering this is the first time New Japan Pro-Wrestling is in Singapore for a full event, fans have lots of cheer for a title match was scheduled for the night. In a NEVER Openweight Championship Title Match, Katsuyori Shibata challenged EVIL for the title belt. Two different styles of wrestling with one aim to pin the opponent for the count of 3, this match was the longest match even though it was a singles match. While it looked at times that EVIL was gaining the upper hand, somehow Katsuyori Shibata bounced back and hit harder. At the end it was Katsuyori Shibata with the finishing move and at the count of 3, the NEVER Openweight Championship Title was back in his hands to the cheer of fans.
Sure the place wasn’t as decorated as an WWE Main Event, sure the capacity isn’t as big as the indoor stadium and the lack of a giant TV in the center meant certain parts of the match were out of view when the wrestlers took their fight out of the square circle. Yet for a first go here in Singapore, it was an encouraging start and hopefully we will see more of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling wrestlers here.
Photo credits: New Japan Pro-Wrestling
By Kenneth Wong
© POPCulture Online 2016