Moore’s Tiger Mask W Anime Review: Episode 2 – Tiger and Lion, Black Python and Tiger the Dark vs. Tiger Mask and Ryu Wakamatsu, New Japan attempts to increase ratings by featuring Tiger Mask

By John Moore

Check out my review of the episode one.

Tiger Mask W – Episode 2
Aired October 8, 2016 on Crunchyroll/TV Asahi Simulcast

Quick note on the opening theme of the show. This is in fact a dance remake of the Tiger Mask original theme which was from the classic show. The theme is also the current entrance of Kota Ibushi who is playing the real life version of Tiger Mask W. Pretty cool!

Okada opens up the show in the New Japan locker room area chatting with the show’s OC Ryu Wakamatsu. Okada pointed out that GWM outdrew New Japan in the media attention due to having Tiger Mask on their television show (well, that’s obvious, who wouldn’t want to see awesome Kota Ibushi matches). Okada said NJPW is planning things out now rather to ignore GWM, just go with the flow, or make their move. Ryu asked Okada for his opinion. Okada said he doesn’t mind whatever New Japan decides to do…

They cut to Odin being shoved into a jet back to the United States. He was getting sent back to developmental. (Odin should be happy, because I’m pretty sure many people including Tyler Breeze and Sami Zayn wouldn’t mind being sent back to NXT based off of how they’ve been treated on the main roster). Miss X and her unnecessarily large balloon cleavage said that Odin was past his prime and might just be scrapped. Takuma wants to face Tiger Mask to which X refused. Miss X said there was a lot of equity from the Tiger Mask name and that he has a history for wanting to destroy the Tiger’s Den. Miss X said Tiger’s Den will send wrestlers to destroy him in the ring. Takuma wanted Tiger Mask. Miss X said Takuma was a new wrestler and has to be built to the main event. Miss X then talked on her phone in regards to a new GWM signing. She told Takuma and the other random dude that they’re bringing over Black Python to face Tiger Mask who will steal the spotlight…

Naoto and Takaoka senpai were working on a motorcycle at their shop as Haruna walked in with a tablet to show them the latest news. The reporter said that Wrestle Max’s next main event was set. It was Tiger Mask vs. Black Python. Naoto pointed out how he didn’t know he was booked for a main event. Takaoka said this was all a part of their plan and GWM is falling for it. Takaoka said GWM is starting to unearth old historic names like Yellow Devil and putting it on new wrestlers. Haruna looked up Black Python on wikipedia and it said he was a star wrestler in the UK and that his specialty was “Catch wrestling”. Haruna wasn’t familiar with the term and Takaoka told her that Catch means that he’s a master of the submission style. Takaoka wanted to go to accept the challenge on Naoto’s behalf but Haruna stopped him by saying he’s not photogenic. Haruna said that Tiger Mask’s young and cute manager should represent him in the media. Haruna drove to the press conference wearing formal attire. Cut to the intro title card that said “Tiger and Lion”…

Okada was in the New Japan offices and chatting with New Japan vet Yuji Nagata. Nagata said Monopoly (WWE) is getting out of hand and that it’s New Japan’s turn to get in on the Tiger Mask phenomenon. Nagata said whatever happens is going to happen…

Miss X was at the press conference and said that at Wrestle Max’s debut episode they suffered an embarrassing loss at the hands of Tiger Mask. Miss X said GWM demands a formal apology from Tiger Mask and for him to wrestle on Wrestle Max TV. Black Python walked in and everyone was excited to see the champion from the UK. Python cut a promo and said he wants Tiger Mask to face him. One of the press members wondered if Tiger Mask really accepted the offer. X said we’ll find out today at this press conference or else they will take it to court. Haruna walked in and said what starts in the ring finishes in the ring. The press lady wondered who Haruna was and Haruna reiterated that she’s Tiger Mask’s manager.

Miss X said she remembers her. Haruna said there was no need for an apology since Tiger Mask saved GWM from embarrassment by filling in for the injured Mikasa and thus saving the main event. Miss X wondered if the free agent will officially sign up to be a part of the GWM roster. Haruna said he refuses because he wants to run the show. Haruna said Tiger Mask accepts. Miss X said GFW contracted wrestlers can’t just wrestle in any generic ring. Haruna demanded that they will appear on GWM television, but it must be a one-match show featuring Tiger Mask vs. Black Python. Miss X and Haruna then bickered over weather to compete in an independent or GWM ring. Nagata walked in and said they can wrestle in a New Japan ring. Nagata showed that in this show he’s one of the top bookers in the New Japan promotion. Nagata said they were offering Mask and Python a prominent spot in their tournament show. Haruna said that works since it’s not on GWM television. Miss X was about to decline but Black Python overstepped and accepted on his own behalf. He said he will unmask Tiger Mask in front of everyone. Nagata then announced that Tiger Mask vs. Black Python will happen at the NJPW Ryugoku Tournament. Nagata was informed in his office that the announcement increased ticket sales to this show…

Haruna told her uncle Takaoka that the main event was happening in a few days and that New Japan is going to have a contract signing and hype PR on their television very soon. Haruna said New Japan really benefits from the press that Tiger Mask draws. Takaoka said he doesn’t care as long as Tiger Mask gets to embarrass Tiger’s Den wrestlers one by one. Nagata contacted both Haruna and Miss X via cell phone. They showed that Miss X picked up the phone naked after a shower for some reason… [C]

Haruna and Miss X both were angry and met Nagata in his office as he said he rescheduled the main event match to the undercard. Nagata said that there must be those high excitement matches that lead to the main event. Nagata also said that he changed the main event into a tag team match and that Haruna and X already signed the contract. Miss X said Tiger the Dark can be Python’s tag partner. Haruna wasn’t sure about tag team wrestling so she accepted New Japan’s offer to have young lion Ryu Wakamatsu get some rub from the Tiger Mask association. Haruna agreed since she didn’t really know about tag teams or wrestling…

John’s Thoughts: This is why this show is intriguing but they are really gearing it towards a hardcore wrestling audience who understands all of the politics behind the scenes in pro wrestling. Plus, I do think this is a big coincidence but that’s the story of Kota Ibushi’s career. He won’t sign with New Japan since he says that he deserves Main Event opportunities but the bookers at New Japan feel he is better suited to set up for Okada matches in your cruiserweight spotfest openers. Also, it’s such a booker’s mentality to want to give young wrestlers some rub from more popular wrestlers.

Haruna told Naoto and Takaoka that she was played by New Japan and apologized for her inexperience with pro wrestling politics. Takaoka said New Japan was slick there. Naoto said he’s never competed in a Tag Team match before. Takaoka recommended that Naoto go and scout his tag team partner…

They cut to Black Python arriving at Ryugoku. Nagata was salivating over the great ticket sales as he saw Haruna in the hallway. He told her that Tiger Mask was allowed to sale merchandise at the merch stands in the arena which she wasn’t privy to. Instead, Haruna was more interested in buying merch from the New Japan wrestlers. Nagata said Haruna should think of it because merchandise makes good money in pro wrestling…

Ryu was getting ready in the babyface locker room. Ryu told Okada that he feels like New Japan is booking him as Tiger Mask’s sidekick. Okada said people see Ryu as the young lion of New Japan and that he should seize the opportunity of devouring the python. Tiger Mask walked in into the babyface locker room to handshake his tag partner. Tiger Mask was also honored to meet Okada. Ryu said Tiger Mask seems like a man with a lot of experience. Okada said Tiger Mask seems young and around Ryu’s age…

Miss X was giving a pep talk in the heel locker room. She said New Japan is exploiting the popularity of GWN wrestlers by putting them on New Japan television. She said it was time to teach New Japan a lesson. Black Python assumed the answer was to bury Ryu Wakamatsu on television. Miss X said that was the plan and they should also outshine the main event match. Miss X said this was their first step in monopolizing the Japanese market share…

1. Black Python and Tiger the Dark (w/ Miss X) vs. Tiger Mask and Ryu Wakamatsu. Tiger Mask informed Ryu in the gorilla position that he has never competed in tag team matches before. Daisuke was watching from the hospital and he told his nurse that he was watching New Japan today. He said all pro wrestling shows are similar in some way. Tiger Mask started against Tiger the Dark. Dark locked in a headlock. They both had a stalemate as they tagged in their tag partners. Ryu was ready for action but was quickly dominated by the heels. They put the boots to him in the corner and isolated him heel corner. The nurse wondered if it was legal to double team a wrestler. Daisuke informed her that they were cheating (since they’re heels).

The ref broke up the attack in the corner. Python hit Ryu with an argentine backbreaker. Dark came down with a knee drop. Python and Dark hit Ryu with a double knee. Python locked in the bow and arrow submission and everyone was pointing out that Tiger Mask wasn’t breaking up the submission holds and letting Ryu fend for himself. Okada assumed that Tiger Mask was trying to test out the power of New Japan. Ryu escaped and hit Black Python with a spear. Tiger Mask tagged in for the hot tag.

Python locked in the hammerlock but Tiger Mask escaped with a modified snapmare. The commentators pointed out that there was chain wrestling happening. The commentator also pointed out how Tiger Mask is keeping up with Python’s submission wrestling. Miss X reminded Python that the goal is not to wrestle Tiger Mask tonight but to bury the young lion of New Japan on television. Python hit Mask with a Kick and went for a Tiger suplex but Tiger Mask springboarded into a moonsault to the back of the Python. Tiger Mask took Black Python to suplex city with over 5 consecutive German Suplexes before Dark came in to break it up. Ryu took the blind tag and snuck in the pinfall victory over Black Python.

Tiger Mask and Ryu Wakamatsu defeated Black Python and Tiger the Dark via pinfall in 4:49.

Nagata pointed out to Okada that this undercard match might have set the bar too high for the main event. Okada said it’s fine since any win for New Japan is a good win. Daisuke was pleased at the face team winning. Tiger Mask told Miss X that their signing from the UK sucked. He told her to bring stronger opponents. Miss X went in the ring for a promo and said she was bringing the Mask of Red Death which confused Tiger Mask. She said Red Death Mask was GWM’s strongest wrestler and he was coming with red death for Tiger Mask.

John’s Thoughts: This week’s episode was a good continuation of the last and it enforced the characters of the characters that were introduced in the last. They are setting up New Japan as the babyfaces against the non-copyright WWE, but it’s intriguing how they are talking about some of the shady promotor business that bookers deal out. We did get a lot of New Japan branding tonight though and it’s also a bit odd to see Okada presented as the John Cena/Tanahashi type of white meat babyface. The match in this episode was fine and it was interesting to see the story built around WWE trying to bury young New Japan talent.

What was not so great was they had Black Python lose in the first match we’re seeing him in. One of the good things about Kinnikuman was they built the heels to be strong by allowing them to have multiple matches on television. Even in other shonen anime like One Piece or Bleach, they build their shows around strong heels to make the viewer care about the babyfaces. I hope they figure out down the road to make their heels looks stronger rather than try to bend over in trying to make New Japan look too good.

Readers Comments (1)

  1. Glad to see Ibushi is getting some mainstream love

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Moore’s Tiger Mask W Anime Review: Episode 2 – Tiger and Lion, Black Python and Tiger the Dark vs. Tiger Mask and Ryu Wakamatsu, New Japan attempts to increase ratings by featuring Tiger Mask

By John Moore

Check out my review of the episode one.

Tiger Mask W – Episode 2
Aired October 8, 2016 on Crunchyroll/TV Asahi Simulcast

Quick note on the opening theme of the show. This is in fact a dance remake of the Tiger Mask original theme which was from the classic show. The theme is also the current entrance of Kota Ibushi who is playing the real life version of Tiger Mask W. Pretty cool!

Okada opens up the show in the New Japan locker room area chatting with the show’s OC Ryu Wakamatsu. Okada pointed out that GWM outdrew New Japan in the media attention due to having Tiger Mask on their television show (well, that’s obvious, who wouldn’t want to see awesome Kota Ibushi matches). Okada said NJPW is planning things out now rather to ignore GWM, just go with the flow, or make their move. Ryu asked Okada for his opinion. Okada said he doesn’t mind whatever New Japan decides to do…

They cut to Odin being shoved into a jet back to the United States. He was getting sent back to developmental. (Odin should be happy, because I’m pretty sure many people including Tyler Breeze and Sami Zayn wouldn’t mind being sent back to NXT based off of how they’ve been treated on the main roster). Miss X and her unnecessarily large balloon cleavage said that Odin was past his prime and might just be scrapped. Takuma wants to face Tiger Mask to which X refused. Miss X said there was a lot of equity from the Tiger Mask name and that he has a history for wanting to destroy the Tiger’s Den. Miss X said Tiger’s Den will send wrestlers to destroy him in the ring. Takuma wanted Tiger Mask. Miss X said Takuma was a new wrestler and has to be built to the main event. Miss X then talked on her phone in regards to a new GWM signing. She told Takuma and the other random dude that they’re bringing over Black Python to face Tiger Mask who will steal the spotlight…

Naoto and Takaoka senpai were working on a motorcycle at their shop as Haruna walked in with a tablet to show them the latest news. The reporter said that Wrestle Max’s next main event was set. It was Tiger Mask vs. Black Python. Naoto pointed out how he didn’t know he was booked for a main event. Takaoka said this was all a part of their plan and GWM is falling for it. Takaoka said GWM is starting to unearth old historic names like Yellow Devil and putting it on new wrestlers. Haruna looked up Black Python on wikipedia and it said he was a star wrestler in the UK and that his specialty was “Catch wrestling”. Haruna wasn’t familiar with the term and Takaoka told her that Catch means that he’s a master of the submission style. Takaoka wanted to go to accept the challenge on Naoto’s behalf but Haruna stopped him by saying he’s not photogenic. Haruna said that Tiger Mask’s young and cute manager should represent him in the media. Haruna drove to the press conference wearing formal attire. Cut to the intro title card that said “Tiger and Lion”…

Okada was in the New Japan offices and chatting with New Japan vet Yuji Nagata. Nagata said Monopoly (WWE) is getting out of hand and that it’s New Japan’s turn to get in on the Tiger Mask phenomenon. Nagata said whatever happens is going to happen…

Miss X was at the press conference and said that at Wrestle Max’s debut episode they suffered an embarrassing loss at the hands of Tiger Mask. Miss X said GWM demands a formal apology from Tiger Mask and for him to wrestle on Wrestle Max TV. Black Python walked in and everyone was excited to see the champion from the UK. Python cut a promo and said he wants Tiger Mask to face him. One of the press members wondered if Tiger Mask really accepted the offer. X said we’ll find out today at this press conference or else they will take it to court. Haruna walked in and said what starts in the ring finishes in the ring. The press lady wondered who Haruna was and Haruna reiterated that she’s Tiger Mask’s manager.

Miss X said she remembers her. Haruna said there was no need for an apology since Tiger Mask saved GWM from embarrassment by filling in for the injured Mikasa and thus saving the main event. Miss X wondered if the free agent will officially sign up to be a part of the GWM roster. Haruna said he refuses because he wants to run the show. Haruna said Tiger Mask accepts. Miss X said GFW contracted wrestlers can’t just wrestle in any generic ring. Haruna demanded that they will appear on GWM television, but it must be a one-match show featuring Tiger Mask vs. Black Python. Miss X and Haruna then bickered over weather to compete in an independent or GWM ring. Nagata walked in and said they can wrestle in a New Japan ring. Nagata showed that in this show he’s one of the top bookers in the New Japan promotion. Nagata said they were offering Mask and Python a prominent spot in their tournament show. Haruna said that works since it’s not on GWM television. Miss X was about to decline but Black Python overstepped and accepted on his own behalf. He said he will unmask Tiger Mask in front of everyone. Nagata then announced that Tiger Mask vs. Black Python will happen at the NJPW Ryugoku Tournament. Nagata was informed in his office that the announcement increased ticket sales to this show…

Haruna told her uncle Takaoka that the main event was happening in a few days and that New Japan is going to have a contract signing and hype PR on their television very soon. Haruna said New Japan really benefits from the press that Tiger Mask draws. Takaoka said he doesn’t care as long as Tiger Mask gets to embarrass Tiger’s Den wrestlers one by one. Nagata contacted both Haruna and Miss X via cell phone. They showed that Miss X picked up the phone naked after a shower for some reason… [C]

Haruna and Miss X both were angry and met Nagata in his office as he said he rescheduled the main event match to the undercard. Nagata said that there must be those high excitement matches that lead to the main event. Nagata also said that he changed the main event into a tag team match and that Haruna and X already signed the contract. Miss X said Tiger the Dark can be Python’s tag partner. Haruna wasn’t sure about tag team wrestling so she accepted New Japan’s offer to have young lion Ryu Wakamatsu get some rub from the Tiger Mask association. Haruna agreed since she didn’t really know about tag teams or wrestling…

John’s Thoughts: This is why this show is intriguing but they are really gearing it towards a hardcore wrestling audience who understands all of the politics behind the scenes in pro wrestling. Plus, I do think this is a big coincidence but that’s the story of Kota Ibushi’s career. He won’t sign with New Japan since he says that he deserves Main Event opportunities but the bookers at New Japan feel he is better suited to set up for Okada matches in your cruiserweight spotfest openers. Also, it’s such a booker’s mentality to want to give young wrestlers some rub from more popular wrestlers.

Haruna told Naoto and Takaoka that she was played by New Japan and apologized for her inexperience with pro wrestling politics. Takaoka said New Japan was slick there. Naoto said he’s never competed in a Tag Team match before. Takaoka recommended that Naoto go and scout his tag team partner…

They cut to Black Python arriving at Ryugoku. Nagata was salivating over the great ticket sales as he saw Haruna in the hallway. He told her that Tiger Mask was allowed to sale merchandise at the merch stands in the arena which she wasn’t privy to. Instead, Haruna was more interested in buying merch from the New Japan wrestlers. Nagata said Haruna should think of it because merchandise makes good money in pro wrestling…

Ryu was getting ready in the babyface locker room. Ryu told Okada that he feels like New Japan is booking him as Tiger Mask’s sidekick. Okada said people see Ryu as the young lion of New Japan and that he should seize the opportunity of devouring the python. Tiger Mask walked in into the babyface locker room to handshake his tag partner. Tiger Mask was also honored to meet Okada. Ryu said Tiger Mask seems like a man with a lot of experience. Okada said Tiger Mask seems young and around Ryu’s age…

Miss X was giving a pep talk in the heel locker room. She said New Japan is exploiting the popularity of GWN wrestlers by putting them on New Japan television. She said it was time to teach New Japan a lesson. Black Python assumed the answer was to bury Ryu Wakamatsu on television. Miss X said that was the plan and they should also outshine the main event match. Miss X said this was their first step in monopolizing the Japanese market share…

1. Black Python and Tiger the Dark (w/ Miss X) vs. Tiger Mask and Ryu Wakamatsu. Tiger Mask informed Ryu in the gorilla position that he has never competed in tag team matches before. Daisuke was watching from the hospital and he told his nurse that he was watching New Japan today. He said all pro wrestling shows are similar in some way. Tiger Mask started against Tiger the Dark. Dark locked in a headlock. They both had a stalemate as they tagged in their tag partners. Ryu was ready for action but was quickly dominated by the heels. They put the boots to him in the corner and isolated him heel corner. The nurse wondered if it was legal to double team a wrestler. Daisuke informed her that they were cheating (since they’re heels).

The ref broke up the attack in the corner. Python hit Ryu with an argentine backbreaker. Dark came down with a knee drop. Python and Dark hit Ryu with a double knee. Python locked in the bow and arrow submission and everyone was pointing out that Tiger Mask wasn’t breaking up the submission holds and letting Ryu fend for himself. Okada assumed that Tiger Mask was trying to test out the power of New Japan. Ryu escaped and hit Black Python with a spear. Tiger Mask tagged in for the hot tag.

Python locked in the hammerlock but Tiger Mask escaped with a modified snapmare. The commentators pointed out that there was chain wrestling happening. The commentator also pointed out how Tiger Mask is keeping up with Python’s submission wrestling. Miss X reminded Python that the goal is not to wrestle Tiger Mask tonight but to bury the young lion of New Japan on television. Python hit Mask with a Kick and went for a Tiger suplex but Tiger Mask springboarded into a moonsault to the back of the Python. Tiger Mask took Black Python to suplex city with over 5 consecutive German Suplexes before Dark came in to break it up. Ryu took the blind tag and snuck in the pinfall victory over Black Python.

Tiger Mask and Ryu Wakamatsu defeated Black Python and Tiger the Dark via pinfall in 4:49.

Nagata pointed out to Okada that this undercard match might have set the bar too high for the main event. Okada said it’s fine since any win for New Japan is a good win. Daisuke was pleased at the face team winning. Tiger Mask told Miss X that their signing from the UK sucked. He told her to bring stronger opponents. Miss X went in the ring for a promo and said she was bringing the Mask of Red Death which confused Tiger Mask. She said Red Death Mask was GWM’s strongest wrestler and he was coming with red death for Tiger Mask.

John’s Thoughts: This week’s episode was a good continuation of the last and it enforced the characters of the characters that were introduced in the last. They are setting up New Japan as the babyfaces against the non-copyright WWE, but it’s intriguing how they are talking about some of the shady promotor business that bookers deal out. We did get a lot of New Japan branding tonight though and it’s also a bit odd to see Okada presented as the John Cena/Tanahashi type of white meat babyface. The match in this episode was fine and it was interesting to see the story built around WWE trying to bury young New Japan talent.

What was not so great was they had Black Python lose in the first match we’re seeing him in. One of the good things about Kinnikuman was they built the heels to be strong by allowing them to have multiple matches on television. Even in other shonen anime like One Piece or Bleach, they build their shows around strong heels to make the viewer care about the babyfaces. I hope they figure out down the road to make their heels looks stronger rather than try to bend over in trying to make New Japan look too good.

  1. Rich Lacey says:

    Glad to see Ibushi is getting some mainstream love

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