Moore’s Tiger Mask W Anime Review: Episode 11 – The Tiger’s Killer Move, Okada and Tanahashi beat up Tiger Mask, Tetsuya Naito cameo, Hikari the wrestling reporter talks to Haruna about how modern pro wrestling has become all about “high spots”

By John Moore

Tiger Mask W – Episode 11
Aired December 17, 2017 on TV Asahi/Crunchyroll Simulcast

Fukuwara met with Tiger Mask in the Locker Room and wanted to warn Tiger Mask that Tiger the Dark was a tough opponent with sharp moves. Fukuwara left and Tiger Masked thanked Fukuwara for the warning. This week’s episode was titled “The Tiger’s Killer Move”…

Tiger Mask remembered what Mister Question said about needing a finisher move in order to defeat his next wave of opponents. Tiger and Haruna ran into Young Dragon (who was fine by the way?) and It’s-The-Ace (or Go Ace!). Young Dragon started to hit on Haruna which tipped her off that it was Ryu Wakamatsu. Tanashi said he was the Ace of the Universe which gave his identity to them. Ryu Wakamatsu said they were wearing the masks because New Japan wasn’t sending any of their contracted wrestlers to GWM like Jushin Thunder Liger or Captain New Japan. Tanahashi said that he couldn’t just sit back when there was a chance to fight GWM so he negotiated with Nagata and management a deal to wrestle under masks as to not give away their identities and reputation for being stars in New Japan.

Tanahashi said his goal is to steal the spotlight from GWM since they waged war against New Japan. Tanahashi said he would embarrass GWM by taking his mask off after winning the tournament and saying “I love you” on televison to the audience. Tanahashi said he wishes to fight Tiger Mask in the final as it would be a much better wrestled match than facing a GWM wrestler. Ryu Wakamatsu energetically proposed that they all work out in the gym together at the New Japan Dojo…

Naoto and Haruna went back to Takaoka’s shop for dinner as Naoto told Takaoka about needing to coming up with a signature finishing move. Kentaro Takaoka said that they must go train at the Mt. Fuji tiger cave. Naoto and Haruna told Takaoka that they were going to train at the New Japan Dojo instead which caused Takaoka to backtrack and say that Naoto doesn’t need a finisher. Takaoka said back in the day, Body Slams and key locks used to be finishing moves. Haruna teased Takaoka and said that Takaoka is just jealous of New Japan taking his student away…

Tiger Mask entered the New Japan Dojo and asked Tanahashi to practice his moves on him like a punching bag. Tanahashi started with a German and then hit a straightjacket German. Tahahashi hit Tiger with a running dropkick followed by a flying forearm. Tanahashi then hit the Sling Blade on Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask said he needs to be hit with more signature moves to help him come up with his own. Tiger Mask asked to be hit by more signature moves. Tanahashi hit Tiger Mask with Twelve-Six, Twist and Shout, and then the High Fly Flow from the top rope. Ryu said that was overkill.

Suddenly, Okada entered the picture and offered his hand in helping because he said he understands how hard it is to come up with a finisher…

The pro wrestling media were getting a tour of the GWM performance center led by Miss X. Hikari Kuruma of the MPW newsletter asked about a unique looking room. Miss X said it was a room that simulated high altitude training to allow the wrestlers to reach peak performance. Hikari asked for a chance to interview the wrestlers. Miss X said anyone can be interviewed except Yellow Devil. Hikari Kuruma asked Tiger the Dark for all of his personal data. Tiger the Dark instead gave her his known stats. Hikari asked him for his goal. He said he was there to win and called Tiger Mask a speedbump. Hikari mentioned how the original Tiger Mask destroyed the Tiger’s Den which caused Tiger the Dark to walk off and end the interview. Hikari changed the subject to keep Dark interested and said who will win between Yellow Devil and Go Ace? Tiger the Dark said it was a lock that Yellow Devil was winning and it will be an all GWM final. Hikari said Dark seems different from the other GWM wrestlers…

Haruna ran into Hikari as she was going to get her comp tickets from the box office. She told Hikari how Tiger Mask is on a quest at the New Japan Dojo to create a signature finishing move. Hikari then went into a random monologue about how “pro wrestling has changed!”. Dramatic music played as Hikari said that pro wrestling used to be about speed and quality where ground moves will lead up to a finishers. She said that today’s wrestling is all about kicking out of finishers and high spots.

John’s Thoughts: Somewhere out there, Jim Ross and Jim Cornette just shed a tear.

Haruna wasn’t familiar with the term “High Spot”. Hikari said that high spot wrestling was all about the flashy moves. She said that the old school signature moves are now easy to counter and just serve as transition. She said that’s the reason why wrestlers need to come up with signature moves that no one knows, in order to defeat opponents with moves they can’t counter. This caused Haruna to consider being a pro wrestler for just a second until she quickly shut down that idea. Meanwhile, back at the New Japan Dojo, Okada was beating up Tiger Mask to help him come up with a signature finisher…[C]

Okada hit Tiger Mask with a discus elbow followed by DID. He then locked in Red Ink. A mysterious man walked into the dojo and observed the action. Okada hit heavy rain. Tiger Mask got up and hit Okada with a cannonball kick followed by a rolling sobat to fire up Okada. Okada grabbed the shortarm and hit Tiger Mask with the Rainmaker to knock out Tiger Mask. Okada joked about it being a waste not making it rain gold after hitting such a great move. Tanahashi said Tiger Mask is going to make it rain gold soon. Dismissively, the mysterious man gave a sarcastic slow clap. It was Tetsuya Naito who still doesn’t give an F. He said it was sad seeing all of these tiny japones trying to come up with a signature move. He called Tiger Mask an outsider and told him to “tranquilo, Calm Down”…

Back at the hospital Daisuke Fujii was being put to bed by Nurse Rukio. Takuma was outside the door and came with a brown bag gift for Daisuke. Takuma wanted Rukio to give Daisuke the bag so he doesn’t have to face his father. Rukio mentioned how the hospital isn’t allowed to give random packages from strangers to patients. Takuma was embarrassed and mentioned that it was pudding in the bag, Daisuke’s favorite. Rukio took the bag and said Daisuke was doing well. She wondered if Takmua was a pro wrestler too but Takuma walked away without telling Rukio his name. Rukio gave Daisuke the pudding and told him that the man had a scar on his face. This caused Daisuke to wonder if it was his long lost son Takuma…

Tanahashi took Tiger Mask on a road trip. He told Tiger Mask how the shing blade was invented in a dream. He took Tiger Mask to a waterfall to train. Tanahashi told Ryu that Hiroki Goto came up with his signature move by meditating in a waterfall. Ryu said he heard the story differently in that Goto gave up on pro wrestling after losing to Okada so he used the waterfall to give him peace.

Tiger Mask recollected getting hit by all of Tanahashi’s and Okada’s finishers while meditating. Takamua was training at high altitude levels at the GWM performance center to show that he can keep up with Yellow Devil. Yellow Devil ran at the high altitude with ease…

Ryu and Tanahashi then put Tiger Mask through the “New Japan initiation” by fighting him with flaming torches. Tiger mask then ran on the wall to avoid the fire and the light bulb lit in his head that the wall flip could be his new finisher. Tanahashi went to hit Tiger Mask with the flaming torch which caused Tiger Mask to hit Tanahashi with his new finisher to end the show…

John’s Thoughts: The last episode focused on matches and in-ring action while this one went back into the insider pro wrestling stuff that this show is known for. The lesson of this week is the state of modern pro wrestling where it’s more about high spots and multiple finishers. Tanahashi continues to become the most developed New Japan wrestler in the show even though Okada is presented as the top star of the promotion. In fact, Naoto and Okada come off as generic babyfaces while Tanahashi and Takuma (Tiger the Dark) come off as babyfaces with backstory and character development. Both of them also have unique characters with Tanahashi coming off as confident and laid back. As a side note, even though it was just a little cameo, I hope they give more time to Tetsuya Naito since he came off as cool in his anime iteration as he does in real life.



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