We continue our countdown to Jyushin Thunder Liger’s retirement.
<– 30 Years of Liger in 30 Days: 2005 30 Years of Liger in 30 Days: 2007–>
Wrestle Kingdom 14 night 1: January 4 tickets!
Wrestle Kingdom 14 night 2: January 5 tickets!
At the helm of CTU, and partnering with Masahiro Chono, Jyushin Thunder Liger may have had an anti-establishment take on goings-on in NJPW, but he was fiercely loyal and proud of his status within New Japan, and New Japan’s status within the wrestling world. He would fly the CTU and NJPW banners in America, Europe or Japan, in NJPW, NOAH or Osaka Pro.
In 2006, NJPW would find itself having to prove their superiority against outside forces, from established promotions like All Japan, to startups like Big Mouth Loud, from the majors to the independents. Among the independents were Apache Pro-Wrestling, a hardcore group of bruisers whose battles with NJPW in the coming years would see several wrestlers, like Togi Makabe find a new, tough direction, while Liger would tap into his darkest of sides.
January 4 2006 at the Tokyo Dome started wildly enough, as Liger would target hardcore veteran BadBoy Hido from the word go. Liger rejected Hido’s way of wrestling, while Hido and Apache wanted to make a statement against their major league competition. In ShinKiba, this would result in Hido grabbing a pair of scissors and cutting Liger’s hair, something the legend could not forgive. He vowed that on July 30, Kishin Liger would return after a ten year absence to vanquish Hido, which he did emphatically and in violent fashion.
Yet Liger’s playful side still existed. On December 24 at a Christmas Eve event in Korakuen Hall, the CTU Cats team of Thunder Tama (Liger) and Mike AT (Milano Collection A.T.) would do battle against Tiger Mask and the ‘Christmas Tiger’, the different sides of the man beneath the mask being one of the factors that has endeared him to so many for so long.
Watch Jyushin Thunder Liger, Jado & Gedo vs Masato Tanaka, Kintaro Kanemura & BadBoy Hido here!