By John Moore
Tiger Mask W – Episode 5
Aired October 29, 2016 on TV Asahi/Crunchyroll
Haruna was chatting with Naoto and Kentaro Takaoka. Haruna informed Naoto that New Japan head booker Yuji Nagata wants tiger mask to compete in a New Japan series of matches. Naoto thought it was a good idea to gain experience against experienced New Japan Wrestlers. Naoto agreed to go the next morning. Naoto darted off on his motorcycle the next morning without waking up Haruna much to her dismay. This week’s title card was “The Mystery of Fukuwara Mask”…
Outside of the arena Yuji Nagata was super hyped at Tiger Mask joining the New Japan PPV. Kazuchika Okada walked in and said he was happy due to Tiger Mask defeating one of the strongest wrestlers in the GWM’s promotion (Red Death Mask). Okada gave Tiger Mask a formal handshake…
Outside at the merch stands, a comedy wrestler Fukuwara Mask was trying to sell his keychain merch saying that it would give you good luck. Togi Makabe walked up to see how Fukuwara was doing on his sales. Fukuwara just started to make bird noises since he’s a comedy wrestler. Fukuwara improved his sales by dragging Tiger Mask to the stand to meet with fans against his will.
John’s Thoughts: Random aside, most of the New Japan wrestlers in the show aren’t voiced by the actual wrestler. Togi Makabe on the other hand was super hyped for the show and offered his voice to cameo.
1. Ryu Wakamatsu vs. Fukuwara Mask. Fukuwara quickly ran to the ropes for a rope break. He started to make strange noises to draw laughs from the crowd. Fukuwara threw himself over the top rope and his mask turned around. Fukuwara ran into the ringpost due to his blindness. Ryu tried to help Fukuwara break the twenty count but Fukuwara was playing possum. Ryu was given the Irish whip into the ringpost. Ryu Wakamatsu couldn’t make the twenty count.
Fukuwara Mask defeated Ryu Wakamatsu via countout in 1:51.
Ryu complained to the ref that he was tricked. Fukuwara made strange noises for laughs. The crowd was on Fukuwara’s side due his comedy. Tiger Mask was watching from ringside. After a short conversation, Fukuwara gave Tiger Mask a key chain for good luck…
Haruna was back at the Takaoka House. Haruna was up all night making designs for Tiger Mask merchandise. On the television was clips from Tiger Mask facing Tomoaki Honma. Tiger Mask pinned him with the bridged German Suplex. Fukuwara wished Tiger Mask well after the match…
Back at [not] WWE headquarters (GWM), Takuma was contemplating facing Tiger Mask. Takuma said his true goal was to actually face Yellow Devil who crippled his father. He then put on his Tiger the Dark mask to go and face GWM developmental guys. Dark went backstage to intimidate some more developmental guys until a veteran named Bosman came to try to talk some respect out of Dark. Bosman said he will see Dark in the ring as he showed his strength by crushing a metal waste can…[C]
GWM was having a Battle Royal being promoted which was a plot by Bosman to punish and bury Tiger the Dark. Takuma’s friends found out about the trap but Takuma was ready to take the challenge. Miss X hyped up and introduced the GWM Battle Royal and promoted Tiger the Dark as the main attraction. Back at New Japan, Tiger Mask and the New Japan main eventers/mid-carders were in the ring for the New Japan Rumble.
2. The New Japan Rumble (with clips of the GWM developmental Rumble shown). Fukuwara was giving Tiger Mask pointers on how to handle a battle royal. Fukuwara told Tiger Mask to use his head. The commentator said the prize of the battle royal was some very expensive rice. Okada and Tanahashi paired off against each other while GBH was strategizing on the other part of the ring. Yuji Nagata was also in the match. Ryu tried to give Nagata a crossbody but was caught midair. Fukuwara started a dogpile on Nagata and Ryu to eliminate them via pinfall.
Fukuwara was then cheering on a strong style chop battle between Honma and Tomohiro Ishii. Makabe gave Fukuwara a body slam to get him in the match. Fukuwara cowered under Tiger Mask’s legs to draw laughs from the crowd.
Tiger the Dark was eliminating jabrones over the top rope in the American Battle Royal. Before the match, Bosman said he rigged the numbers to come out as the last person.
Back at New Japan, Ishii and Makabe eliminated each other over the top rope with clotheslines. Tiger Mask defeated Honma with a schoolboy. Fukuwara tried to steal the pin over Tiger Mask much to his surprise but it only led to a nearfall. Fukuwara tried to hold Tiger Mask for an Okada chop but got choped in his face. Somehow Okada was eliminated leaving Tiger Mask to face the comedy Fukuwara Mask.
The commentator pointed out how it was odd to see two non-New Japan Wrestlers in the finals over the favorite Okada. Fukuwara taunted Tiger Mask with his pointless rope break.Tiger Mask hit Fukuwara with a rolling sobat to the face which caused Tiger Mask to think he went too far. Fukuwara stood up and showed that he now had a crimson mask due to the blood soaking into his mask.
Back at GWM, Tiger the Dark was still holding his own against the wrestlers who were plotting against him by putting him number one while Bosman was the last entrant. Bosman was promoted as GWM’s strongest big man. Bosman and two stooges triple teamed Tiger the Dark.
Back at the New Japan Rumble, Fukuwara was dodging all of Tiger Mask’s strikes which caused Nagata to note that Fukuwara seemed like a different person. Fukuwara gained the upper hand with an elbow strike followed by an attempt at a German into the turnbuckle. Tiger Mask quickly hit the bridged German Suplex to pick up the pinfall win over Fukuwara Mask.
Tiger Mask won the New Japan Rumble and a bag of expensive rice in 5:04.
The commentators pointed out that Fukuwara mask actually seemed like a great wrestler. Fukuwara caught the comments and quickly reverted back into comedy mode to turn the cheers into laughs from the crowd. Back at GWM Bosman and his goons tried to eliminated Tiger the Dark but he gave the goons dropkicks to eliminate them. Bosman had a bear hug locked in on Tiger the Dark and he said he wanted to break Dark’s spine. Tiger Mask’s memories for revenge caused him to break out of the hug and gashing Bosman in the face. Tiger the Dark defeated Bosman after the Darkness Driver. Tiger the Dark gained the respect of Bosman’s goons. Miss X was watching from backstage and liking how Tiger the Dark was getting stronger…
Fukuwara was taking a shower in the New Japan locker room as Tiger Mask asked him as to why he hides his true ability in favor of playing a comedy wrestler. Fukuwara said the comedy is a part of his strategy. That was the end of the episode with Naoto heading back home and using the keychain that Fukuwara gave him on his motorcycle keys…
John’s Thoughts: Even though we got a ton of New Japan cameos and a few matches, this was a filler episode following the really hot Red Death Mask episode. It’s a little odd to have filler in episode so early in the season but at least this filler helped in character development. The show is still directed towards wrestling fans as it focuses on the meta levels of pro wrestling while also introducing casual wrestling viewers to some of the hardcore wrestling concepts. That said, I don’t think you would see so many main eventers in the New Japan Rumble in actual New Japan Rumble. We also got a little pro wrestling story as to the importance of comedy wrestlers in pro wrestling.