We continue our countdown to Jyushin Thunder Liger’s retirement.
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Wrestle Kingdom 14 night 1: January 4 tickets!
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After a lot of success overseas in the last couple of years, Liger gained more gold at home in 2012; but that gold didn’t come easily. For months Liger and partner Tiger Mask were taunted by Suzuki-Gun’s Taichi and TAKA Michinoku, all leading to an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match in Osaka at Dominion. As had been the case in the leadup to the match, Taichi would tear at Liger’s mask throughout, eventually ripping off the horns on the legendary hood and showing the ultimate disrespect.
There’s poking the bear, and then there’s opening Pandora’s box. When the mask of Liger was all but completely removed, Taichi revealed the painted face of Kishin Liger, appearing for the first time in six years and spewing mist in the Suzuki-Gun member’s face. A powerbomb through a table later, and Liger and Tiger Mask scooped IWGP Jr. Tag gold, for the sixth and final time; as it happened, this would be the last IWGP championship gold that Liger held in his career.
Later in the year, a new opportunity for junior heavyweight tag teams presented itself in the form of the Super Jr. Tag Tournament. Liger and Tiger mask participated in what was then a single elimination format tournament, unfortunately being eliminated by the Alex Kozlov and Rocky Romero tandem of Forever Hooligans. While Liger and Tiger never had success in the annual tournament, their names will forever be on the list of tag champions, a fitting sign of their unbreakable friendship.
Watch Jyushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs Taichi & TAKA Michinoku here!
Watch Jyushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs Forever Hooligans here!