Puro Flashback: Tama Tonga Faces Hirooki Goto at NJPW NEVER 7

by Daniel Johnson

Tama Tonga vs. Hirooki Goto

This bout from NJPW NEVER 7 took place when Tama Tonga was in his second year of wrestling for NJPW. Prior to this Tonga, the son of the legendary badass Haku, was already a well traveled performer having worked for World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) in Pennsylvania and World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico. Heck, he was even signed to WWE as a developmental wrestler for a time in 2009. I’m not sure if WWE really wanted to sign Tonga, but damn it when the son of Haku tells you he wants a job, you give it to him!

At any rate the point is Tonga had a good deal of experience and a versatile background, which explains why Hirooki Goto lets him have so much offense despite Tonga being relatively new in NJPW at the time. The two shake hands before the bout and the mutual respect between the men in kayfabe and out of it is obvious. Each man takes the other down to start, but Tonga runs into trouble when he fails to knock Goto down with a shoulder block. Goto on the other hand knocks Tonga down with ease. Goto makes his big mistake when he goes to the top rope and ends up getting caught with a dropkick and a superplex. From there Tonga controls most of the match until the closing minutes. Goto starts to finish Tonga off with a big headbutt and…wait a second! A headbutt? Taking down a dude from the islands?  What would Jimmy Snuka say? Come on NJPW! I can only suspend disbelief so much!

Still, Goto puts Tonga away with a more believable shouten, his vertical suplex side slam finisher. Overall, this bout was short and sweet with the only complaint being about the headbutt. It just defies Professional Wrestling 101.



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  1. Puro Flashback: Tetsuya Naito Takes on KUSHIDA at NJPW NEVER 7 | The Johnson Transcript

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