By John Moore
Tiger Mask W – Episode 10
Aired December 10, 2017 on TV Asahi/Crunchyroll Simulcast
The commentator confirmed that the Mister Question vs. Tiger Mask match was about to happen. Haruna asked Hikari, the wrestling journalist, about how Mister Question was back in the day when he fought the original Tiger Mask. Hikari said he used to go by the name Great Zuma but must have gone though something to change his alter ego. “It’s the Ace” assumed that Tiger Mask was going to win, but Fukuwara had his doubts and said it wouldn’t be as easy as any old GWM wrestler. This week’s episode was titled “The Mysterious Mister Question”…
1. Tiger Mask vs. Mister Question. Tiger Mask hit Question with a few chops but Question dodged a majority of them. Question turned a test of strength to a monkey flip. Tiger Mask locked in the Camel Clutch next. Question told Tiger Mask that would be ineffective. Question contorted his body to both no-sell the move and flip Tiger Mask off his back. Miss X, who was on color commentary, was shocked to see the body bend like that. The play by play guy assumed that Question had no spine. Fukuwara Mask joined the commentary table and said that it’s moves like that which are Mister Question’s strength.
John’s Thoughts: You know this is a WWE commentary table when they decide to go to the three-person announce booth for no good reason!
Fukuwara said Mister Question has practiced Yoga and therefore submissions won’t work well on him. The play by play guy was shocked at Fukuwara’s in-depth color commentary. Tiger Mask went for the hip stretch but Mister Question no sold it and twisted his upper half 180 degrees. Fukuwara called taht the wonder of yoga. Tiger Mask locked in the figure four leg lock which did cause Question to flinch. Question pulled a Dhalsim move and stretched his arm to make the rope break. Question’s arm looked like it was dead but he popped it back into place to gross everybody out. Fukuwara said anything is possible with the power of yoga.
John’s Thoughts: The Tiger Mask people really missed a perfect opportunity for a joke/reference here. How awesome would it have been if instead of going the Dhalsim route with the Mister Question character, they would have went with DDP?
Mister Question hit a clean German Suplex on Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask was kicked into the outside barricate and Question put the boots to Tiger Mask. Miss X stood up and said that she would pay Question to beat up Tiger Mask. Mister Question said he won’t accept the dirty money of GWM even if he was dead. Question said he just wanted to fight Tiger Mask for the honor of pro wrestling. While Question was monologing, Tiger Mask recovered in the background. Mister Question rolled Tiger Mask back in the ring. Question confirmed to Miss X that he will not do things the way that Miss X or the Monopoly wants.
Mister Question told Tiger Mask that he may not be strong enough at his current state to defeat Monopoly. Question hit a kick to the gut and picked up a nearfall after holding the shoulders down off the power bomb. Question called Naoto a disappointment and said he just inherited the name for no reason. Question asked Tiger Mask why he fights and to show him the true tiger! Tiger Mask saw Yellow Devil in the crowd and had flashbacks to Daisuke’s defeat from years ago.
Tiger Mask flipped out and said he had to win. Mister Question saw the spirit of the tiger behind Tiger Mask as he struck a fighter’s pose. Tiger Mask leveled up in terms of endurance and agility. Fukuwara noted that Mister Question looks to want to end the match quickly now. Tiger Mask blocked a pile driver and hit Question with a rolling sobat kick. Tiger Mask powered through and hit the triple German Suplexes. Tiger Mask picked up the victory by bridging the third suplex.
Tiger Mask defeated Mister Question via pinfall in 9:31 to advance in the Wrestle Max Masked Tournament.
Haruna was winded after watching such a dramatic match and her father said that Mister Question proved to be a worthy opponent. Tiger Mask asked Mister Question who he was and he said he would tell Tiger later but would thank Tiger Mask for a good match right now…[C]
It’s-the-ace was in the ring playing to the crowd before his match with Poseidon and was acting a lot like Tanahashi. Young Dragon revealed to the TV viewer that it was Tanahashi under a hood and he was nervous that people would catch on because Tanahashi was doing his Tanahashi things, especially by calling himself the Ace…
Poseidon told Tanahashi that he must like the crowd attention which is pointless to like if he loses. Poseidon said it’s all about the money. Poseidon then attacked Tanahashi before the bell. They cut to backstage to show Mister Question about stamina. Question said that Tiger Mask has true strength and he would reveal his identity. Mister Question showed that he was about 60+ years of age. He talked about how he lived during the time of the original Tiger Mask and came to test the new Tiger Mask’s strength. He said he wanted to see if Tiger Mask was worthy to take down the Monopoly. Mister Question mentioned how GWM (WWE) destroyed Indian Pro Wrestling with their money. Question said he saw the tiger within Tiger Mask and said he has the strength to fight them to the end. Mister Question said at his current state he can’t beat the Monopoly.
Tiger Mask wanted to know what he need to beat the monopoly. Mister Question said Tiger Mask needed a home made finisher move. Mister Question said it was time to sharpen his fangs. Question said that his mentor, the original Great Zuma, broke out of the Original Tiger Mask’s Ultra Tiger Drop, but he rose above and came up with a new finisher move. He then bid Tiger Mask farewell.
2. It’s-The-Ace (Hiroshi Tanahashi) vs. Poseidon. Back to the match, Poseidon and Tanahashi had a Lariat battle. Fukuwara said that both wrestlers seemed stubborn with their persistant lariats. Tanahashi hit Poseidon with the Sling Blade and played to the crowd. Fukuwara said that move looked familliar. Tanahashi went to the top rope and turned the High Fly Flow into a frog elbow drop. Tanahashi picked up the one-sided win.
Hiroshi “Go Ace!” Tanahashi defeated Poseidon via pinfall in about a minute to advance in the Masked Wrestler Tournament.
Tanahashi stood up and yelled “Go!” which prompted the crowd to say “Ace”. Miss X said that It’s-the-Ace was good at playing to the crowd, not knowing that it’s New Japan wrestler Tanahashi. Young Dragon (Ryu Wakamatsu) was still nervous that Tanahashi is blowing his cover all over the place. Poseidon was fuming backstage and revealed that he was the jobber Mikasa. The commentators announced that Young Dragon will be facing Yellow Devil in the main event. Miss X handled the ring introductions for the main event while Tanahashi was watching Ryu at ringside in support.
3. Ryu Wakamatsu vs. Yellow Devil. Devil did his best impersonation of a stone and no sold everything Ryu hit him with. Devil took down Ryu easily with a single punch. Ryu flipped to the ground after running into Yellow Devil’s lariat. Tanahashi told Ryu to show his fighting spirit. Ryu went for the German Suplex but couldn’t lift the Devil. Fukuwara said the strength gap was too much. Haruna said it was like watching a child try to fight an adult.
Yellow Devil hit his Devil Tornado chop on Ryu to send him to the ground. Devil then hit Ryu Wakamatsu with a reverse Death Valley Driver. Yellow Devil then put his foot over the lifeless Ryu to pick up the victory.
Yellow Devil defeated Ryu Wakamatsu via pinfall in 2:21 to advance in the Masked Wrestler Tournament.
Naoto said it was impressive to see a wrestler win without using his finisher. Takuma assumed that Ryu was just too weak. The Young boys managed to pick up Ryu who was still alive. The commentators announced that It’s-The-Ace Tanahashi will be facing Yellow Devil in the next round. Tanashi said he promised to avenge Ryu. Tiger Mask was facing Tiger the Dark in the next round. An epic face-off screen closed the show…
John’s Thoughts: Fewer pro wrestling insider references and more matches. Even though I report on the insider stuff, I prefer the in ring action, and I assume the viewer does as well. I see the need to teach non-wrestling fans on the wonders of the background stuff. We got three matches in this episode and some good sound production with good background music. It also looks like they are making Tanahashi more of a main character than Okada which is interesting. Okada in this show just comes off as a generic babyface while Tanahashi is made out to be badass and confident. I wonder how this would have gone if Nakamura were still under New Japan contract but we might be getting Nakamura in some non-copyright form later?