We continue our countdown to Jyushin Thunder Liger’s retirement.
<– 30 Years of Liger in 30 Days: 2010 30 Years of Liger in 30 Days: 2012–>
Liger’s 2011 started with him teaming with Hector Garza against a pairing of Mascara Dorada and La Sombra, as NJPW geared up for its first ever Fantasticamania event. Now a staple of annual proceedings in NJPW, the annual fiesta was just getting started in 2011, and being a true bridge between cultures, it was obvious Liger was going to be involved.
Liger would continue to wrestle extensively in Mexico in 2011, but also was dedicated to inspiring and delighting audiences in Japan. No more was this necessary than in the summer as a devastating earthquake and tsunami meant horrific casualties and mass displacement in eastern Japan. Several promotions worked together to create hope in the midst of despair, and the All Together events saw thew best come together to raise funds for disaster relief. On August 27, that meant Liger reuniting with familiar friends and foes; taking on Minoru Suzuki (for the first time since his Pancrase fight in 2002), Atsushi Aoki and Taichi, Liger teamed with Takuma (aka Naoki) Sano, and, incredibly, Masakatsu Funaki. Funaki and Suzuki had blazed an MMA trail together when they formed Pancrase, and both men were Liger’s junior Dojo members. Funaki and Liger in fact shared an interesting history, in that the famous mask and body suit was originally destined for Funaki before fate intervened.