Michinoku Pro made its return to the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo for the last time this year on December 17 for pro wrestling action, highlighted by costumed chaos in Michinoku Pro’s 16th annual year-end special match, “Space War”. There was an attendance of 700. At this time of writing, the highest attendance of the largest promotions at the Korakuen Hall was 725 this year, and the lowest was 280. Even in this era of a pandemic and seating limitations, Michinoku Pro is still running with the big dogs!
This match was an opportunity for both men to show what they could do as they attempt to move up the ladder in the singles division.
Ayumu Gunji and Yasuyoshi Ogasawara had different main strategies during this match, with Gunji often going for submissions, while Ogasawara tried to overwhelm Gunji with aerial and power moves. In the end, Gunji’s strategy won out, as he forced Ogasawara to submit via a cobra twist.
Next, it was time for the wrestlers of Gatoh Move to show what they could do, as Masahiro Takanashi & Yuna Mizumori went against Baliyan Akki & Sayaka. Gatoh Move is owned by legend and AEW star Emi Sakura.
Gatoh Move talent previously wrestled at the December 2020 and June 2021 Michinoku Pro events in Tokyo, and it’s important to note that this was an intergender tag team match, as opposed to a mixed tag team match. Most pro wrestling fans are more familiar with mixed tag team matches, where the male and female wrestlers are not allowed to wrestle with each other. Therefore, if, for example, a male wrestler tags his female partner in, the female from the opposing team becomes the legal wrestler as well. In an intergender match, however, males and females are allowed to wrestle each other, which adds variety to a match.
In the end, Yuna Mizumori won the match for her team, pinning Sayaka.
All four men are very important wrestlers in Michinoku Pro’s history. Jinsei Shinzaki has the most reigns (5) as Tohoku Tag Team Champion (tied with Brahman Kei). Although Dick Togo is seen more often in NJPW these days, he has a long history in Michinoku Pro, where he became the first Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion in Michinoku Pro history in 2002. Manabu is the second longest-reigning Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion in Michinoku Pro history (with the longest-reigning champion being Rui Hyugaji). Ken45 has wrestled in Michinoku Pro more than any other promotion during his 19-year career.
With all of the competitors having a vast amount of experience, they were all very methodical, all of their moves having a purpose behind them.
Dick Togo secured a victory for his team after forcing Ken45 to submit to his signature crossface hold.
This match was a part of the ongoing battle between the new generation and the established members of the roster. And this time, Rui Hyugaji and Rasse had Rekka from the China-based OWE promotion by their side in this match against the new generation.
In the end, however, MUSASHI picked up the win over Rekka.
In the main event, it was “Space War”, Michinoku Pro’s annual year-end special match. Michinoku Pro fans always look forward to Space Wars featuring chaos, costumes, weapons, the ring being taken apart, and The Great Sasuke putting his life on the line.
After all of the participants entered the ring, the brawling soon began. During the wild and crazy action, The Great Sasuke was in dangerous situations on more than one occasion. First, he received a powerbomb onto a ladder. Later, he did a senton onto a table. After that, he was bashed in the head with a traffic sign.
After enduring all that, The Great Sasuke kept fighting, eventually delivering a Senton Atomico with a ladder around his neck to pick up the win for his team.
More photos from this great event can be seen here!