This might be one of the weirdest matches we will ever see in NJPW. All year, Taichi & Tama Tonga have been feuding over the Iron Fingers From Hell. These were left behind by Suzuki-Gun’s crazed animal Takashi iizuka when he retired in 2019. Now, they will be hung above the ring and whoever retrieves them using a ladder wins. However, no matter who wins, they will be retired and taken away forever. Either Taichi will put the cursed object to rest, or Tama will taunt him forever about this win. This is only the third ladder match in NJPW history, the last involving Micheal Elgin & Kenny Omega.
New Japan Doesn’t Do Ladder Matches Often For Good Reason
The Fingers were placed in a clear plastic bag, and put high above the ring. Instantly, both men started to throw strikes in the middle of the ring. Taichi launched some high impact leg kicks and an axe bomber, before choking Tama. They’d roll in the ring trying to choke each other, before pulling each other’s hair like this was a 2003 WWE Divas match.
Taichi & Tama both grabbed short ladders, before pacing around the ring. They would get in at the same time and crash the ladders into each other. Taichi won out, before having his ladder dropkicked into his face Tama set up the ladder and nearly got the fingers, but the ladder was too short and wobbly. He’d eye a taller ladder, before beating down Taichi in the corner.
A ladder was set up and Taichi was thrown into it, before Tama hit a stinger splash to crush him between ladder and steel. Tama asked for a pinfall, but the referee reminded him this was a ladder match. He’d miss a stinger splash and Taichi responded by launching him into the ladder with a back body drop. Tama rolled to the outside, and Taichi slowly followed.
A ladder was spread out between the ring and barricade, and Taichi wanted to send Tama through it but Jado stopped him. Tama wanted to hit Taichi with a ladder, but DOUKI stopped him. Instead, Taichi brought a ladder into the ring and started to climb. Tama slowly made his way into the ring to stop him, and they’d fight on the ladder. Taichi would fight Tama off, only for him to dive at Taichi and take him down.
Taichi Finally Ends This Match After 25 Minutes
Tama started to climb, but decided to go to the other side a few rungs up. DOUKI hit a swan dive dropkick to send Tama off the ladder, before trying to wake up Taichi who was taking a nap. Jado whacked DOUKI with his Kendo Stick, before trying to tape Taichi to the barricade. Tama wastes time by attacking Taichi, instead of just climbing the ladder and winning the match.
Once he was in the ring, he’d knock the ladder over before setting it back up and climbing up. He’d take more time to gloat, and Zack Sabre Jr. came in from the back and shoved Tama off the ladder. Jado would have his neck cracked, and Taichi would be saved. Taichi now would start to slowly climb the ladder, and Tanga Loa showed up and took the ladder away, likely adding another ten minutes to this match as they already could barely set it up once. ZSJ stopped him from throwing Taichi, but was taken out.
Taichi would almost be powerbombed into a ladder, but DOUKI made the save. He’d go for a hurricanrana, and be powerbombed through the spread out ladder at ringside, breaking it in half and likely taking DOUKI out as well. Loa slipped a ladder into the ring, but Taichi fought off both Guerillas of Destiny with low blows. Jado was thrown onto a ladder in the ring, and Taichi finally tried to set up the tall ladder again.
He’d climb up, but Tama was back. Taichi took him down with a chokeslam off the ladder, but was so slow that Tama got to grab a table. He’d fight the powerbomb attempt, before both men just climbed the ladder. Tama tried to hit a gun stun off the ladder, failed, and Taichi was left to grab the fingers.
This was a ladder match between two people who didn’t know how to have a ladder match, in a company that rarely has matches like this. It’s only redeeming factor was that it finally ended the feud over Izukas iron fingers, and DOUKI having to die to give this match a memorable bump. This was a change of pace for NJPW, but they should keep gimmick matches to the King of Pro Wrestling title and Toru Yano. Match Rating: 1/5 (*)
Should NJPW do any more ladder matches after this mess of a match? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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