By John Moore
Tiger Mask W – Episode 13
Aired January 7, 2017 on Crunchyroll/TV Asahi Simulcast
Professional wrestling journalist lady Hikari Kuruma congratulated Tiger Mask on his win while trying to interview him about his new finisher. Tiger Mask was pissed and didn’t stay for the interview. Tiger Mask went to sit in darkness alone in the locker room. This week’s episode was titled “A False Victory”…
The Wrestle Max announcer announced that there was going to be a buffer match. In fact it was being dubbed “A Divas Match”. Hmmmm how fitting? Nurse Ruriko wondered what “Divas” meant and Daisuke told her it meant women wrestlers. Haruna remembered she had to go get Tiger Mask ready for the main event…
The “Divas” were stretching and in their ring gear getting ready for their match. Miss X’s assistant told the women that their match was getting cut for time. The blonde lady thought they were getting a full match because Japanese fans were looking forward to women wrestling. Miss X’s assistant reiterated that it has to be a short match and to do “High spots!”. The women also look like accurate depictions of Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch especially with their ring gear. And since this is the Anime Version of WWE/NXT, of course it’s Charlotte and Becky.
John’s Thoughts: We’re back to insider pro wrestling mode. Not only that, we’re getting our first actual WWE wrestlers in Becky Lynch and Charlotte. Also, I wonder if that’s how TNA producers tell X Division wrestlers their matches? To go out there and do high spots. And your time is cut!
Haruna walked in on a brooding Tiger Mask who put on a happy face to thank her for inviting Daisuke and Nurse Ruriko. Tanahashi and Ryu Wakamatsu walked in. Haruna greeted them by names which they didn’t like due to being masked at the moment. Tanahashi pointed out how the new finisher didn’t put Tiger the Dark away (he had to do a Tiger Driver afterward). Ryu told Tiger not to sweat it since Tiger Mask has an arsenal of moves at his disposal which Hiroshi agreed with. Tanahashi told Tiger Mask that he should rest up while the diva’s match is happening…
The commentators were going over the statistics of anime-Charlotte and anime-Becky. They just gave the viewers their body measurements since the play-by-play was acting like a horny perv at the moment. Charlotte was being called “Queen Elizabeth” while Becky was being called “Payne Fox” (to avoid WWE copyright of course!). Fukuwara yelled at the pervy guy and said they should be talking about fighting styles.
1. Queen Elizabeth (Charlotte) vs. Payne Fox (Becky Lynch). Fox was winning the initial test of strength but the Queen managed to even things up. Queen managed to dodge Fox and hit her with a sunset flip bomb. This lead to a nearfall. The commentator pointed out how the Japanese crowd loved this match with loud cheers. Backstage Miss X warned Yellow Devil to watch out for Tiger Mask’s new finisher. Devil said it won’t surprise him since he’s seen the move already. He also pointed out that he has a move that Tiger Mask hasn’t seen, and powerful standing headbutt.
Fox had Queen locked in the figure four leglock but Queen broke it. Miss X reminded the women that their time was shortened. Fox tried to finish Queen off with rapid knees to the gut. Fox went for the roundhouse but it was caught. Queen hit a fallaway slam to pick up the victory.
Queen Elizabeth defeated Payne Fox via pinfall in 3:30.
Queen Elizabeth was declared the winner but she couldn’t stand up due to exhaustion. This caused the crowd to show a bit of worry. Miss X and Haruna were surprised that the women got a good match out of a short amount of time. The Pryo then went off for the main event between Tiger Mask and Yellow Devil…
Tiger Mask was in gorilla position where Tanahashi asked Tiger if he has a history with Yellow Devil. Tiger Mask said he became Tiger Mask to defeat Yellow Devil. Tanahashi put his hand on Tiger’s shoulder and told him to go finish it! Tiger Mask then ran out to his entrance and did his signature pose. Yellow Devil came out afterward. The commentators pointed out that there was $100,000 in US Currency on the line and the Wrestle Max Championship. They cut away to Naoto’s loved ones rooting for him. [C]
2. Tiger Mask vs. Yellow Devil in the Masked Tournament Finals. Tiger went straight for the lockup but was overpowered in the corner. Tiger Mask went for an early German Suplex but Yellow Devil was dead weight. Devil then hit Tiger Mask with his Devil Tornado Chop. Tiger Mask went straight for the Tombstone but it was reversed by Devil. Both Daisuke and Haruna noticed that Tiger Mask was oddly going for finishers early without setup because he’s distracted. Tiger Mask was sent outside with a backtoss. Tiger Mask was frustrated and started to beat up the barricade. Both Takaoka and Daisuke yelled at Tiger to get his head back in the game as Tiger Mask was almost counted out.
Tiger Mask entered the ring with a pep in his step. He hit a reverse sobat kick. Yellow Devil hit a strong lariat that Tiger Mask reversed into the cross armbreaker. Fukuwara pointed out that Tiger Mask was looking normal again. Yellow Devil broke the hold with the rope break. Suddenly Tiger the Dark ran to gorilla position to watch the match. Yellow Devil had Tiger Mask in the Torture Rack. Tiger escaped with a knee to the face and followed up with a jumping elbow strike to Devil’s face. Tiger Mask was dominating and treating Devil like a punching bag.
Yellow Devil had a flashback as to the moment when Mr. X gave him the Devil mask. Yellow Devil recovered and locked Tiger Mask in a hanging tree. He followed up with a headbutt which busted Tiger Mask open. This new moved surprised everyone. Daisuke pointed out that this was not the same Yellow Devil he fought. He was going for the “hangman crush” again. Tiger Mask saw a white light in his head with the voice of Daisuke. This caused him to reverse with a front kick and a dropkick to the corner. Tiger Mask then went for his new somersault finisher. He successfully nailed the double knee in the gut and turned it to a reverse Lungblower into the Monkey Flip. A bloody Tiger Mask stood tall as the referee declared that Yellow Devil was not able to wrestle further.
Tiger Mask defeated “Yellow Devil” via KO in 7:24.
Fukuwara said what we saw was the final form of Tiger’s new finisher. Naoto’s loved ones and Tanahashi cheered him on. Tiger Mask then lifted up Yellow Devil to rip off his mask. Tiger Mask then saw that it was Billy “the” Kidman under the mask. Bah Gawd!
Daisuke Fujji pointed out that this was an imposter Yellow Devil. Fukuwara knew this too because Kidman was one of Devil’s young boys. Tiger Mask demanded to know where the real Yellow Devil was. Miss X just patronized him and told him that it’s common for other people to go under the hood as a masked wrestler. Miss X then rushed to the championship ceremony for Tiger Mask who wasn’t really happy. Tiger Mask grabbed his glass trophy and he threw it on the ground!!! (Adam Sandberg would be proud). Back in gorilla, Tiger the Dark figured out that Tiger Mask was after Yellow Devil too. This ended the episode.
John’s Thoughts: Another strong episode and interesting swerve at the end. It was a bit hilarious that the random Billy “The” Kidman was imposter Yellow Devil, but I’d take it. It was a strong match with some good usage of epic music. I’m also sure WWE isn’t paying attention but this episode included a bunch of WWE mimics including Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Billy Kidman for some reason. This episode did mock how women’s matches in the U.S. are usually cut in favor for the main event, which is a bit odd given how New Japan doesn’t even have women’s matches.