My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Friday, April 30, 2004

New Japan fires back at Jim Ross!

Scroll down a bit and you'll see the article I wrote on Jim Ross' uncalled comments he made regarding puroresu last week on Byte This!. Well, I know I'm not the only one who sees things that way and now even New Japan Pro Wrestling has voiced their unhappiness with JR's comments. New Japan head honcho Antonio Inoki took the comments as an insult to puroresu (and they were!) and he announced that he told NJPW management to sign former WWE stars to help prove to the world that New Japan is the greatest pro-wrestling company. Steve Austin and Brock Lesner were obvious names he hinted, and they already have Ultimo Dragon and Sean O'Haire signed on to work the NEXESS Tokyo Dome show this monday.

WWE were also planning on purchasing footage of Chris Benoit during his time in Japan from New Japan for an upcoming Chris Benoit DVD (Probably Eddie Guerrero too since he worked for New Japan before as well), But that possibility seems out of the question at the moment due to NJPW taking offence to JR's comments. Nice going JR!

Credit Pro Wrestling Insider


Sunday, April 25, 2004

Kobashi successfully makes 8th GHC Title defence!

NOAH, 4/25/04 (NTV/G+ LIVE)
Tokyo Nippon Budokan
16,700 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Trevor Rhodes beat Mitsuo Momota (7:01) with a lariat.
2. Takeshi Morishima & Kishin Kawabata beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Masashi Aoyagi (10:37) when Morishima used a backdrop suplex on Aoyagi.
3. Daisuke Ikeda & Mohammed Yone beat Akitoshi Saito & Jun Izumida (10:42) when Ikeda used a Dai-Chan Bomber on Izumida.
4. Akira Taue & Takuma Sano beat Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue (16:38) when Sano used a Northern Light bomb on Inoue.
5. Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Ricky Marvin (14:47) with a revolution-style brainbuster.
6. Takeshi Rikio & Kotaro Suzuki beat Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi (17:01) when Suzuki used the Blue Destiny on Hashi.
7. GHC Tag Team Title: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (c) beat Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA (28:39) when Misawa used a modified Emerald Frosion on Marufuji (2nd defense).
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi (c) beat Yoshihiro Takayama (28:47) with a moonsault press (8th defense).
Credit Strong Style Spirit for the results


A response to Jim Ross...

I’ve got a big bone to pick with WWE and Jim Ross. Recently, Ross was the guest on wwe.com’s Byte This! radio show and was asked concerning Steve Austin possibly working in Japan. In his reply, JR included the following uncalled for remark: “They’re desperate. Japanese wrestling is sucking pond water.”

EXCUSE ME?!? ‘Sucking pond water’?!? This from a guy who works for a wrestling company that considers humping a corpse good TV? A company that has some of the best wrestling talent in America, but can’t find any programs for them, cause they keep giving and recycling stories to the established stars and give goofy gimmicks to workers that don’t need them? It really infuriates me that someone as knowledgeable in the business as JR would take such a pot shot at a market that’s not even in direct competition with WWE.

JR’s paranoia is based on the breaking news that New Japan Pro Wrestling and Dream Stage Entertainment were both interested in acquiring Austin to work some shows for them, possibly wrestling against Goldberg for DSE’s HUSTLE pay per views in Japan. That’s right, Austin’s possible in ring return might NOT be in a WWE ring! Goldberg already has a contract with DSE and even worked a pay per view for them while under his WWE contract.

How the Hell JR can justify his comments is beyond me since WWE isn’t doing any better. If anyone is desperate, it’s WWE as they scramble every week for instant ratings boosts and cheap publicity stunts that won’t matter in the long run.

And if puroresu is sucking pond water, it must taste pretty sweet to guys like D-Lo Brown, Jamal, Mike ‘The Gladiator’ Awesome, Justin Credible, Bull Buchanan, Brian ‘Spanky’ Kendrick, and others who have had less than stellar careers in WWE, but have found a place overseas where they can work regularly, and by that I mean they actually get to WORK, and not just be fodder or not used at all.

D-Lo, Jamal, Buchanan & Credible are currently part of the top heel faction in All Japan Pro Wrestling, lead by TAKA Michinoku, another ex-WWE talent! And Jamal is even being worked into a major main event push against Japan’s top foreign talent, Bob Sapp! Sounds a lot better than the crappy gimmick his former partner Rosey is stuck with isn’t it? Drop me an email if any you don’t know who Bob Sapp is.

Weeks after leaving WWE, Spanky became NWA Junior Tag Team champions with TNA star Low Ki in Zero-One, and works there on a regular basis. And Nathan Jones is also scheduled to make his return there soon as he recently signed a contract with K1.

Heck, Ultimo Dragon even got fed up of not having anything to do every week on SmackDown that he’s taken a ‘break’ from his WWE contract to go back to Japan, and he’s already been signed on to work New Japan’s NEXESS Tokyo Dome show on 5/3/04 in a huge six-man inter-promotional match! Even bigger news is that the freshly released Sean O’Haire is scheduled to work that very same show, but in the SEMI MAIN EVENT slot versus New Japan’s top young gun and U-30 Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi!

Another thing about Japanese promotions is that they’re not so high on themselves that they can welcome talent exchanges with each other so that their ‘dream matches’ actually come true and really mean something. The results of such matches also aren’t so obvious that just because you work for another company, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win or lose when you step into the ring of your rival company. Unlike WWE who consider themselves the ONLY promotion in North America, and that other promotions don’t exist except for companies they’ve already buried (WCW, ECW). And the results of any dream matches they can come up with in this day and age are just too obvious.

So Jim Ross, before you start to criticize where Austin chooses to go, you best worry about the direction your own company is headed for. And again, if Japanese wrestling is sucking pond water, I’d rather drink that any day over the sewage water WWE is spiking its talent and fans with.

Eric Extreme – Proud Malaysian Puroresu supporter

Friday, April 23, 2004

New Japan complete NEXESS card

Here's possibly the final card change for NJPW's big NEXESS Tokyo Dome show which is just one week away. Major announcements being two of the X's have been named. First of all, Ultimo Dragon will be in the six man Jr tag opener, and the big news being the K1 MASK was announced as being the freshly WWE released Sean O'Haire! Those guys must really like pond water...

NJPW "NEXESS", 5/3/04 (WPW/PPV/NJ+IWTV Internet)
Tokyo Dome
1. Koji Kanemoto, Ultimo Dragon & American Dragon vs. Heat, Tiger Mask & Naomichi Marufuji
2. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura & Shinya Makabe vs. Giant Majin, Super Strong Majin & New Strong Majin
3. Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
4. Grudge Match: Josh Barnett vs. Ken Shamrock
5. Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar & Dolgorsuren Serjbudee (Blue Wolf) vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Meng
6. Yuji Nagata & Kendo Kashin vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Manabu Nakanishi
7. IWGP Tag Team Title: Yoshihiro Takayama & Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Masahiro Chono & Kazunari Murakami
8. New Japan vs. K-1: Yutaka Yoshie vs. The Convict Nortje (Jan Nortje)
9. New Japan vs. K-1: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Musashi
10. New Japan vs. K-1: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Sean O'Haire
11. New Japan vs. K-1 - IWGP Heavyweight Title: Bob Sapp (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura


Spoiling The Illusion: Backlash Edition!

- Jerry 'The King' Lawler was off the charts annoying throughout the whole damn pay per view! I seriously wished I could have stuck my hand into the TV to bust his lip and shut him up!
- He scored a BIG win against Flair the previous night, and two big wins over Triple H for two weeks straight. So where was Shelton Benjamin?
- AGAIN with Lawler! Why the heck wouldn't Benoit want to soak in the adulation of his countrymen, you IDIOT?!? HE'S THE CHAMPION!!!
- Trust me. Sooner or later PPV buyrates are gonna take a serious dive when the fans figure out that every show following a PPV will have a rematch from the PPV on it that they could just watch for free.
- Geez. I when Kane said he would seek out a sacrifice and strike fear into the hearts of the masses, I didn't think he'd go back to his old ways of just interupting matches and chokeslamming innocents. Can't they think of something new for the Big Bald Machine?!?
- When Matt Hardy told Lita to "Get out of the ring", why didn't she? Especially since she was right next to the ropes?
- AND AGAIN WITH LAWLER! JR was right on the mark telling him how stupid he looked for saying he didn't see a thing when Triple H was choking Benoit during the main event.
- Again with the dumb 'championship changes hands on a DQ rule'.
WWE SmackDown
- Rico was jobbing left and right on RAW, and now he's a tag team champion with Charlie Haas?

Jim Ross has some unkind words about puroresu

Jim Ross was the guest on Byte This!, and when asked about Stone Cold Steve Austin possibly wrestling in Japan, he made a very un-called for comment that "Their desperate" and "Japanese wrestling is sucking pond water"!
If that's true, then it must be pretty sweet compared to the toilet water WWE is spiking their talent with. Remember, guys like D-Lo Brown, Jamal, Justin Credible, Mike 'The Gladiator' Awesome, Spanky and others who have had less than stellar careers in WWE have found a place overseas where they can work regularly, by that I mean they actually get to WORK and not just be fodder.
JR, you can call them desperate, but at least Japanese promotions aren't so high on themselves that they can welcome talent exchanges between each other, unlike WWE where they consider themselves the ONLY wrestling promotion in America and other feds don't exist except promotions they have already conquered (WCW, ECW).
And if I were given the choice, I'd rather drink the 'pond water' than the crap Vince spikes your drinks with.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

WWE RAW in Calgary......Alberta, Canada!

WWE RAW live in Canada kicks off with Chris Jericho VS Christian. WWE sure has a bad habit of re-matching PPV matches on free TV on the following week’s show, don’t they? This was an excellent match! Even better than their WrestleMania XX match! They did a big spot where Y2J connects with a super butterfly suplex off the top! Christian broke out a reverse swinging DDT! Y2J hits the shinning enzuguiri, but Trish distracts the referee. Y2J tries for the Walls of Jericho, when suddenly a huge man runs in and gives Jericho a big boot to the face! Christian covers and gets the win!
Back from commercial and Christian introduces the mystery man as Tyson Tomco.

World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit comes out to a standing ovation. Benoit gives props to the late Stu Hart for training him. He then goes through a brief history leading up to winning the Royal Rumble, the World Title at WMXX and tapping out HBK last night at Backlash. Benoit says he’s proven he’s for real, which brings out HBK Shawn Michaels. HBK gets incredible heel heat from the crowd and challenges Benoit for a title match right here and now which Benoit accepts! Their about to get it on when Eric Bischoff comes out and declares the match will take place in two weeks in Phoenix, Arizona! The crowd is not thrilled with the announcement but Benoit and HBK shake hands to seal the deal. So WWE now has two weeks to turn HBK heel in the states?

WWE Women’s Championship as Victoria defends against Molly Holly. A rematch from WrestleMania XX. Great match with a faster pace as compared to the title match from Backlash. Victoria debuts a new split leg ducking move which brings a smile to all the guys in the audience. Victoria tries a hair throw but pulls off Molly’s wig instead! Molly freaks out and goes ballistic on Victoria before locking on a rear naked choke and doesn’t release the hold till she got disqualified! Good match and good story-telling!

Evolution arrive at the arena and HHH learns about the Benoit/HBK title match in two weeks. HHH claims that it’s his match and walks off in anger.
Eerie Kane promo as Kane says he’s been week for the past few months, but will resurface feasting on the fear of the masses. Kane claims he hungers for sacrifice, and will get it.
Bisch and Johnny Nitro are watching the Kane promo backstage and freak out. William Regal walks in and asks to not be Eugene’s babysitter anymore. Bisch said the job is not optional and threatens to put him in a match with Kane as the ‘sacrifice’ if he doesn’t go and find Eugene, who disappeared while they were playing hide and seek.

Randy Orton came out and gave an excellent promo about his match with Mick Foley at Backlash about how he overcame all the odds that were in Foley’s favor. Orton claims he walked into Backlash a legend killer, but walked out a living legend. Edge comes out an proclaims he hates Orton and dares him to spit in his face even though he’s not a legend. Orton declines and gets decked by Edge! Flair and Batista run in and beat down Edge, Benoit runs in for the save, but himself gets blindsided by HHH. The two Canadians are left laying. Bisch comes out as Evolution celebrate and declares Flair and Batista will defend the tag team titles in tonight’s main event against the battered team of Edge and Benoit.

Jonathan Coachman comes out and introduces Garrison Cade before joining the announce team. Cade opponent is Tajiri, who Cade helped Coach defeat at Backlash. Cade dominates the match with his size advantage. Tajiri makes a comeback, but misses a springboard moonsault and Cade wins the match with a top rope elbow drop. Huh?

SmackDown Rebound airs with Big Show’s award winning performance where he lost to Eddie Guerrero then had to quit, he thought Torrie was laughing at him and destroyed her car with his bare hands before flipping it over. He then threatened to toss Torrie off the balcony, but GM Kurt Angle was instead chokeslammed off to the floor and left in a heap and bleeding.

Back to RAW and Eugene is in the ring with Lilian Garcia shooting T-shirts into the crowd with an air-gun. Regal comes out to collect Eugene but accidentally gets shot in the crotch with a high pressure T-shirt! Fun moment, an there was even a big Eugene chant.

The next match was scheduled to be a mix tag match with Val Venis and Lita VS Matt Hardy and Gail Kim, but Kane comes out and destroys Val before setting his sights on Lita. Then Matt Hardy turns face and runs in to save Lita but gets destroyed right in front of a terrified Lita. Lets hope Matt’s face turn is permanent and finally gets him some wins.

World Tag Team Championship Match: Ric Flair and Batista VS Edge and Chris Benoit. AWESOME CONTEST! Great action from start to finish and the heat was off the charts! HHH tries to interfere at the end but HBK runs in and gives him Sweet Chin Music as Edge hits the Spear on Batista to win the tag titles!!!
Match Rating:****

Overall: WWE always seem to deliver great shows in Canada and this was no exception! Some good new feuds and story lines were established, new talent introduced, and a great ending to send the fans home happy!


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Keiji Mutoh wins 2004 Champion Carnival!!!

Keiji Mutoh beat Kensuke Sasaki in the finals of the 2004 All Japan Champion Carnival at 15:33 with his trademark moonsault press. This marks Mutoh's 2nd Champion Carnival win and with that has started spinning the wheels in motion for his plan to re-start the All Japan VS New Japan feud and have the 2004 Champion Carnival winner (now himself) VS this year's G-1 CLIMAX winner! And New Japan's President Uei has already accepted the proposal!
Another note from the show is that Manabu Nakanishi invaded All Japan and helped Akira Hokuto defeat Kendo KaShin! After which, Lion's Mask (Yuji Nagata) ran in to save KaShin from a further beating.

AJPW, 4/20/04 (PPV)
Yoyogi National Stadium Gymnasium #2
5,800 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Nobutaka Araya, Gran Hamada & Taichi Ishikari beat Nobukazu Hirai, Hideki Hosaka & Ryuji Hijikata (13:28) when Araya used a moonsault press on Hosaka.
2. Champion Carnival - Semi Final: Keiji Muto beat Takao Omori (11:09) with a Frankensteiner.
3. Champion Carnival - Semi Final: Kensuke Sasaki beat Satoshi Kojima (16:51) with a Northern Light bomb.
4. Akira Hokuto beat Kendo Kashin (3:34) with a Northern Light bomb.
5. Honma & Miyamoto 6 Match Trial #6: Genichiro Tenryu & Koichiro Kimura beat Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto (12:03) when Tenryu used a powerbomb on Honma.
6. Masanobu Fuchi 30th Anniversary Match: TAKA Michinoku , Taiyo Kea & Jamal beat Masanobu Fuchi, Arashi & Kaz Hayashi (14:11) when Kea used a jumping kneelift on Fuchi.
7. Champion Carnival - Final: Keiji Muto beat Kensuke Sasaki (15:33) with a moonsault press.

Orton VS Foley - Was the match a big deal?

Zach Arnold at Puroresu Power brought up a good point about yesterday's Backlash match between Randy Orton VS Mick Foley. It's a good point that I would have to agree with. Orton and Foley had a certifide Death Match which is very common in Japan and even US indy feds like CZW and the now defunct XPW. And let's not forget old-school ECW. You probably saw the clips of Foley's run in IWA Japan during the buildup video before the match. The thing is, nobody gave a damn about most of those feds cause they were considered garbage matches, unlike the pure wrestling normally delivered by WWE.

Foley and Orton put on one hell of a barbaric match yesterday and the live crowd ate it up. I myself was suprised and impressed at the violence put out in the match. That kind of brutality only rears it's ugly head once in a blue moon on WWE TV. Fans are already raving at how this is match of the year material since most fans rarely get to watch matches like these, and No, those crappy Hardcore title matches don't count. So just why the heck is what they did MOTY material when the same work being done in Japan and the indy circuit is considered 'garbage wrestling'?

And now that both men went through hell to get Orton over in the end. How will Orton continue to remain over in the long term? Anyone remember Steve Blackman? You know, the guy that had an awesome Hardcore title match with Shane McMahon where he jumped off the Titantron to hit an elbow drop to win the match? Or will Orton end up like Steve Corino and have to bleed buckets every night to hide his limited wrestling ability so everyone remembers who he is? Only time will tell.


Monday, April 19, 2004


Shelton Benjamin VS Ric Flair
Flair takes a big slap at the start of the match and that drops him like a rock? Benjamin outwrestles Flair with his amateur style and speed advantage. Crowd boos Benjamin when he mocks Flair. Flair takes a painful looking backdrop out on the floor but takes control back in the ring targeting Benjamin’s leg for the figure-four. Flair locks it on but Benjamin manages to reverse it. Both men trade chops and punches. Jerry Lawler sounds really annoying on commentary so far tonight. Flair gets sent out of the ring the hardway. He then tries to go for the brass knucks, but Benjamin splashes him in the corner and finishes him with a clothesline off the top rope for the three count.
Match Rating: **1/2
This was a lot shorter than I expected it would be. And they better give Benjamin a proper finisher soon if he’s gonna establish himself as a superstar.

Interview with Randy Orton and he claims to be the longest reigning IC Champion for the last seven years. Could it be cause you haven’t actually defended the title till tonight, Randy? He claims to have researched Foley’s hardcore background and guarantees victory tonight.

Jonathan Coachman VS Tajiri
Coach is actually in ring gear. Coach actually armdrags Tajiri at the start! Tajiri kicks out Coach’s leg and Coach ducks the knock out kick and escapes to the outside. Tajiri follows and misses a kick outside which hits the ring post. Coach then starts working on his leg and locks on a leg lock! When did Coach learn to wrestle? Tajiri face kicks Coach to escape a second leg lock. Coach slowly goes up top and loses his footing getting crotched! Tajiri delivers a sick sounding double kick to the back of the head unleashing the kicks! Tajiri locks on the Tarantula and signals for the knock out kick when Garrison Cade ran in and gives Tajiri ONE PUNCH which is enough for Coach to roll him up for the upset win!
Match Rating: *
Though he did a lot of basics, Coach actually showed some wrestling skill. Could he be a late bloomer in the business like Diamond Dallas Page? Nah…

Christian & Trish Stratus VS Chris Jericho
Lawler’s annoyance level peaks again and even JR can’t stand it. Jericho takes the early advantage on Christian till he gets distracted by Trish. Y2J takes CLB outside and smacks him with a springboard dropkick. Trish hits Y2J as he rebounds off the ropes but the Y2J’s momentum knocks her off the apron as Christian takes control. Trish tags in and throws some slaps and a kick before tagging out. Y2J tries for the Walls of Jericho but CLB kicks him off, but Y2J falls out of the corner and headbutts CLB ‘low’. Pace quickens and Y2J scores several near falls on CLB. Christian lands a sweet reverse DDT off the second rope. Trish breaks up another attempt at the Walls, but gets caught by Y2J and spanked! Christian nails the Unprettier and Trish covers but Jericho kicks out. Trish takes a hard clothesline from Y2J. Christian gets spiked by a bulldog, but gets the knees up to stop the Lionsault. Christian locks on a Texas Cloverleaf. Y2J escapes and tries for the Walls but is again foiled by Stratus. Y2J slingshots CLB into the Trish and hits his cool looking running enzuguiri on Christian to pick up the win.
Match Rating: ***
This was a really good match and I just love Jericho’s Shinning enzuguiri.

Fun backstage segment as Eugene Dinsmore walks into the Diva’s locker room as Gail Kim is changing and asks her to sign his copy of the Diva’s magazine. Gail starts screaming and so does Eugene! Molly runs in and forgets her wig which leads to more screaming! Regal appears in and escorts Eugene out. He tries to apologize but then notices Gail’s state of undress, which leads to more screaming!

Video package of Chris Benoit’s return to his hometown of Edmonton. We see Benoit’s family at ringside. Dang are his kids ugly.

Victoria VS Lita – WWE Women’s Championship
Victoria is all smiles and babyface now. Very mat oriented match. Both girls trade near falls. Victoria does a jiggle before the standing moonsault. She locks on a chin lock and then a surfboard. Head scissors takedown followed by a standing monkey-flip by Lita. Lita does another slow-mo head scissors and locks on a sleeper. Spinning backbreaker by Lita but she misses the moonsault. Lita nails the reverse Twist of Fate for a two. Lita tries for another Twist of Fate but Victoria manages to counter into a small package for the win. Post match, Molly and the newly ‘enhanced’ Gail Kim run in and attack both Victoria and Lita.
Match Rating: **
I was a bit disappointed that the pace of the match was really slow despite some of the big moves that were pulled out.

Randy Orton VS Mick Foley – IC Title, No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere
Orton brought a rather lame looking barb-wired 2X4. I was disappointed Foley didn’t use the Cactus Jack theme. Match starts with Foley chasing Orton around the ring with Barbie. Orton smacks Foley several times with a thrash can. Foley takes control back in the ring but gets backdropped on the rampway back on the outside. Orton tries to grind Barbie into Foley’s face but escapes with a low kick. He then goes for Socko, but decides to use Barbie instead and busts Orton open! Foley continues his assault and goes for Barbie again, grating it into Orton’s skull! Dynamite pain as Foley drops a leg on Barbie while its placed in Orton’s nether-region!!! Foley gets a can of gasoline out from out from under the ring and looks to set Barbie on fire! But Bisch comes out and warns hom that the fire-marshall will shut down Backlash if he does! Foley throws Barbie out of the ring as the crowd boos, but Foley gets out another old toy from Japan: A BED OF BARB WIRE!!! Foley whips Orton into the ropes, but Orton tosses powder in his eyes and slams him into the wire bed!!! Orton sets up the wire bed in the corner and whips Foley into it and dropkicks him back into it again! The wire looks stuck on Foley’s arm! Orton gets out a bag from a box and pours out THOUSANDS OF THUMBTACKS from it! Orton tries for the RKO, but Foley launches him on the thumbtacks!!! The tacks are stuck all over his hands and back! Orton tries to run for it but Foley catches him and launches him off the stage!!! The referee stops the match as EMTs check on Orton. Foley takes out the referees and dives off the stage landing an elbow on Orton!!! Foley makes the cover and ORTON PULLS A SHOULDER UP!!! Foley drags Orton back to the ring where the tacks are! Double arm DDT, but Orton kicks out again! Orton immediately exits the ring as Foley sets up the wire bed. Orton makes a comeback as he bats Foley several times with Barbie, but Foley gets Socko and locks on the Mandible Claw! Orton escapes but Foley locks it on again! Orton counters into the RKO! Foley kicks out at two! RKO on the barb-wire bat!!! Cover and a THREE COUNT! Super Orton wins!!!
Match Rating: ****
So Orton kicks out after a series of moves that would put out even then hardest of Japanese Death Match veterans, but only needs to hit TWO moves in concession to pin Cactus Jack?!?

La Resistance VS The Hurricane & Rosey
Nothing special here. Eugene comes out and messes with the Quebec flag as Helms dives out of the ring onto the La Resistance. Eugene gets in the ring and starts running the ropes which leads to Hurricane pinning Conway after the Eye of the Hurricane. Eugene celebrates with the super heroes as Regal comes out and escorts him to the back.
Match Rating: *
They really should have left this match off the PPV and put it in HEAT or something and make more time for one of the other matches, like Benjamin/Flair.

Kane VS Edge
Man, King is REALLY annoying on commentary tonight. The royal idiot actually accused JR of being the guy who told Edge to put on a cast to use as a weapon! Geez. Edge uses his speed to avoid Kane’s power throughout the match. Kane targets Edge’s busted hand. Kane misses the top rope clothesline and Edge hits the Edge-cution! Edge tries for a spear, but Kane dodges and the ref jumps the ring to avoid the spear. Kane tries for the chokeslam, but Edge low kicks him than pounds him with the cast! Edge nails the spear and the referee comes back in to make the three count.
Match Rating: *1/2
This match just plodded along and did nothing for me. So who’s next to get over on Kane? Shelton Benjamin? Eugene?

Triple H VS Shawn Michaels VS Chris Benoit – World Heavyweight Championship
Some big boos for HBK from the Canadian crowd and the biggest pop of the night for Benoit! HBK and Benoit work together at the beginning of the match taking out HHH with a double back body drop before going to work on each other. HHH back in and takes control of HBK & Benoit. Benoit comes back and gives a German suplex to each opponent. Benoit sends HBK out of the ring hard over the corner and manages to lock the Crossface on HHH, but has to release the hold as he sees HBK coming back in. HHH tries a superplex on Benoit, but HBK knocks Benoit off the top to the floor and drops HHH with an electric chair drop for a two count. HHH hits the face buster on HBK and Benoit flies in with the swandive headbutt! HBK accidently knocks the referee out of the ring. HHH takes out HBK and tries for the Pedigree, but Benoit reverses it into a Sharpshooter! HBK tries to break the hold, but Benoit locks him in the Crossface! But there’s no ref! HBK gets a second wind a locks a Sharpshooter on Benoit! Big time heel heat as referee Earl Hebner runs in! HHH breaks the hold. The ‘You Screwed Bret’ chant starts for both HBK & Hebner! HBK gets distracted by the chants and Benoit locks on a Crossface but HHH breaks the hold. HHH takes control on Benoit. Benoit sends HHH out of the ring and HBK takes over on Benoit as the crowd gets on his case again! HBK sends Benoit to the outside tries to dive out off the top on HHH & Benoit, but HBK MISSES and goes through the Spanish announce table!!! HHH takes control on Benoit and works his shoulder. HHH locks on a camel clutch. HHH & Benoit slug it out as Lawler hits the tip of the annoyance meter again for the record time tonight as he argues with JR. Benoit comes back and nails the triple-German on HHH! He goes up top but misses the swandive headbutt. Pedigree by HHH! HHH covers but HBK breaks the count! HBK & HHH slug it out. HBK slams HHH and nails the top rope elbow drop. Michaels signals for Sweet Chin Music as the crowd boos, and HBK nails Benoit with it as he comes back in! HHH nails a low blow on HBK and covers but only gets two. HHH tries for the Pedigree again, but gets back body dropped out of the ring. HHH then gets a sledge hammer out from under the ring! HHH nails HBK from behind with the hammer and theres no DQ! HHH tries to hammer HBK again, but Benoit makes the save only to get banged into the ring steps. HHH tries to Pedigree Benoit into the ring steps, but Benoit counters and slingshots him into the ring post! Benoit back in the ring and counters HBK’s Sweet Chin Music into the Sharpshooter!!! HBK fights to get to the ropes, but Benoit drags him away! HHH tries to get back in the ring but HBK TAPS OUT!!!! BENOIT RETAINS THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
Benoit celebrates and rubs it in HHH and HBK’s face that he’s still the champion and no fluke one hit wonder!!! Benoit waves the world title and the Canadian flag to end the show.
Match Rating: ****

Overall: As I expected, the two main events delivered the goods! And the handicap match also turned out surprisingly good. This was a good show overall, but damn was King annoying on commentary tonight. What will happen tomorrow when RAW airs live from Calgary, Alberta, Canada? Will Bret Hart make his long awaited return? And someone tell me when Coach learned to wrestle?!?
Overall PPV Rating: ***


Sunday, April 18, 2004

The Return of: Spoiling The Illusion

I honestly didn't feel like writting a column this week as I didn't really pay much attention to the western wrestling scene this past week. But then I thought to myself how I owed it to all my fans who have missed it for the past two weeks. Aren't I just considerate to my fans?

- Victoria is scheduled to defend the Women's Championship against Lita on PPV tomorrow. So where the hell was she for the past two weeks? Couldn't they at least have let her come out to watch Lita VS Trish this past week? Heck, even a backstage segment would have helped show some importance to the match. For her to not be around and just show up to retain the title after the buildup they gave Lita seems pointless to me, unless Lita DOES win the title out of nowhere, thus, burrying Victoria's push....

- Isn't re-instating the 'title changes hands on a disqualification' rule the dumbest move since getting disqualified for throwing people over the top rope in the old WCW/NWA days? And will that mean every world title match now be under no disqualification or street fight rules or something to that extent?

WWE SmackDown
- Anyone else noticed how the cruiserweights have been absent for the past two weeks? Even Cruiserweight ace Rey Mysterio hasn't even had a match on Velocity! And cruiserweight champion Chavo Guerrero Jr. was basically squashed by John Cena this past week. Guess the time of having cruiserweights put on some of the best darn matches on free TV is over.
- OH MY GOD! YOU KILLED ANGLE! YOU BASTARD! Seriously, wouldn't this have been a better way to get Paul Heyman off of TV instead of having him quit a few weeks back? Or is this how they plan to bring Heyman back? Or even worse....Stephanie McMahon?!!


WWE Backlash Predictions

Considering whats on the undercard, I'm predicting two LONG main events! Make no mistake about it, this PPV is all about the two main events and everything else is just there to fill in the three-hour time slot.

Jonathan Coachman VS Tajiri
- Tajiri wins and hopefully this 'match' will be VERY short. I'm also praying this match serves the purpose of at least debuting a new talent to 'save' coach.

Christian and Trish Stratus VS Chris Jericho
- It's so easy to point the finger and say Jericho will get his revenge, but gonna go the other way and say Christian & Trish win due to Jericho concentrating too much on Trish leaving himself open for Christian to nail the Unprettier from behind.

Kane VS Edge
- Despite being an unstoppable monster up till he was squashed by the Undertaker at WrestleMania XX, Kane is again stopped here by the returning Edge. Hopefully they don't make it a clean loss for the Big Bald Machine.

Victoria VS Lita - Women's Championship
- Victoria retains as there's no purpose for Lita to hold the title at this time.

Ric Flair VS Sheldon Benjamin
- Flair's role in WWE now is the veteran that puts the younger guys over so Triple H can squash them later to make his legend bigger than Flair. Therefore, Benjamin wins despite interference from Batista at ringside.

Randy Orton VS Cactus Jack - Intercontinental Championship
There's gonna be ALOT of blood spilt here. And after bumping his ass off throughout the match, Orton gets the win as I don't see the point of putting the IC title on Foley. But they could still have one more match down to road to put an end to the feud.

Chris Benoit VS Shawn Michaels VS Triple H
I'm going with Chris Benoit eventhough I have a really bad feeling HHH is gonna win back the title for the um-teenth time.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

RAW is Good!

Back with my first RAW report in two weeks and boy was it a great show! This weeks edition was the final RAW before this weekend's Backlash Pay Per View and they did a good job hyping the event throughout the night.
Show starts off with Sheldon Benjamin complaining to Bischoff about getting beat down by Evolution last week and being put in an 8-man tag against them this week. Sounds heelish doesn't it? But Benoit and HBK walk in and reassure Benjamin as Mick Foley walks in a grabs his barbwire baseball bat from Johnny Nitro.
To the ring and Mick Foley comes out and addresses his match at Backlash with Randy Orton. Foley says he has some remorse guilt for having to beat and mame one of WWE's top rising stars, so he decided to get someone else who wouldn't give a damn how bad Orton gets crippled at Backlash, CACTUS JACK!!! Mark out moment! Awesome promo by Foley! Probably better than the Barbie promo he did last week!
Orton tried to sneak attack Foley with a chair, but Foley sees him coming and bats the chair out of his hands with Barbie. Orton hightails it as Foley calls him out.
First match of the night is Kane vs the returning Grand Master Sexay! For some reason, after being dominant against Rhyno last week, Kane actually gets staggered back by Sexay! Guess he was as dumbfounded by the return of the dancin' fool like myself. Kane wins with his Chokeslam. Suprisingly, after the big pop for Sexay's return, the crowd popped just as loud for his eventual squash by the Big Bald Machine.
Eugene meets Trish in the back getting her makeup done, and when she asked if he knew who she was, he called her a 'slut'. Regal runs in and appologises before going off with Eugene, as Christian tries to console Trish about their Backlash handicap match with Y2J.
Jonathan Coachman comes out next accompanied by a 'ninja' and says that Tajiri challenged him to a match at Backlash, but Coach says he has to beat his '5-Star Ninja' he brought in flew in from Japan. I first glance I was thinking 'The Great Sasuke or maybe Kendo KaShin?!?' Then upon close-up I see by his eyes and its a gaijin (No prizes for guessing who). Tajiri comes out and the two have a pretty good match that ends with Tajiri escaping a northern lights bomb and nailing his knock out kick for the win. He then unmasks the ninja revealing Al Snow! Maybe Coach should have brought out Avatar and everyone would have thought it was Hayabusa?
Backstage Ric Flair requests a match with Sheldon Benjamin at Backlash, stating Benjamin's win over HHH 'never happened'. Bisch grants Flair's request and Benjamin immediately runs in and beats up Flair!
The first of three promos featuring the Backlash main event participants is aired first with Triple H who does the same old 'I'm the Best, I'm the Game' BS.
Highlight Reel time and after degrading Trish, Y2J brings out his guest, 'The Queen of Extreme' (Justified since she actually wrestles) Lita. But she gets attacked by Trish as she made her entrance. Bisch immediately calls for a match between the two. Match goes pretty well till Trish gets DQ'd for Christian ramming Lita (rather stiffly) into the guardrail. Jericho then gets beat down by Trish and Christian, which seems to go too long for my liking.
Backstage, kind of a funny segment as La Resistance cut a promo, but in the background we can see Eugene playing around with the Quebec flag.
Back to the ring and Johnny Nitro comes out (using the old WCW Nitro theme song) and calls out Edge. Nitro warns Edge on behalf of Bisch that he isn't allowed to use his cast in the match as a weapon. Edge cuts a serious, and very good, promo before spearing Nitro.
Next match is Sylven Grenier vs The Hurricane. Helms has new 'shirtless' attire. OK match. Eugene than comes in and offers a stuffed rabbit to La Resistance. Grenier rips the head off the rabbit and tosses it down which leads to Helms scoring the win with the Eye Of The Hurricane.
An HBK promo for Backlash is aired.
A very good video recap of the Foley/Orton feud is aired.
Benoit's Backlash promo is aired
Huge main event as Chris Benoit, Sheldon Benjamin, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley take on Evolution. This was a great, heavilly heated match that the crowd was into throughout. Very good work from all involved and ends with HBK scoring Sweet Chin Music on Orton and covering for the win. Show ends with a three-way staredown between Benoit, HHH & HBK.
Overall this was a solid show and a good build to this Monday's PPV.

Full Card For BACKLASH
- Chris Benoit VS Shawn Michaels VS Triple H - World Heavyweight Championship
- Randy Orton VS Cactus Jack - Intercontinental Championship
- Victoria VS Lita - Women's Championship
- Ric Flair VS Sheldon Benjamin
- Kane VS Edge
- Chris Jericho VS Christian and Trish Stratus
- Tajiri VS Jonathan Coachman
Check back later this week for my PPV predictions.

Pro-Wrestling NOAH news and thoughts
- The date for NOAH's first Tokyo Dome show has finally been set for 7/1/2004 with the expected main event of Kenta Kobashi defending the GHC Heavyweight Title against Jun Akiyama. The match itself should be great, but whether or not it would draw a big crowd for the Dome remains to be seen. Theres also the factor of whether Kobashi will successfully get past Takayama on 4/25 at the Budokan. Here's the full card for the show:

1. Mitsuo Momota VS Trevor Rhodes
2. Takeshi Morishima & Kishin Kawabata VS Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Masaji Aoyagi
3. Daisuke Ikeda & Mohammed Yone VS Akitoshi Saito & Jun Izumuda
4. Akira Taue & Naoki Sano VS Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue
5. Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Ricky Marvin
6. Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi VS Takeshi Rikioh & Yasuhiro (Kotaro) Suzuki
7. GHC Tag Team Titles - Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa VS Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA
8. GHC Heavyweight Title - Kenta Kobashi VS Yoshihiro Takayama

- Noticibly theres no GHC Jr. Title match, which leads many to believe that the NOAH Juniors don't seem to care so much that the title is being held in foreign hands by New Japan's Jushin Thunder Liger. That might not all true, as Marufuji will be part of a big 6-man Jr. tag match at New Japan's NEXESS Tokyo Dome show on 5/3 (See card below), teaming with Heat & Tiger Mask VS Liger, Koji Kanemoto & X. You could probably predict Marufuji scores the pin on Liger and challenges him for the NOAH Dome show where the gold will finally be brought home. But personally I feel that's still too long to wait and build between (TWO months!), and unless he and KENTA lose the GHC Jr. tag titles before then, I'd like to see all the titles on the line during the Dome show instead of Marufuji challenging for the GHC Jr title alone leaving the GHC Jr tag titles uncontested on what will be NOAH's biggest show ever.
- Tamon Honda will book an all-singles match format for the promotion's 6/11 Korakuen Hall show. Honda is viewing it as a potential look at what the matchmaking will be for their upcoming Tokyo Dome show. Naoki Sano will probably challenge Jun Akiyama for the Sterness leader's white GHC Hardcore title on that show, and he's also been pushing for the match to be under U-STYLE rules.

New Japan 5/3 NEXESS Tokyo Dome card:
1. Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto & X vs. Heat, Tiger Mask & Naomichi Marufuji
2. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura & Shinya Makabe vs. Giant Majin, Super Strong Majin & New Strong Majin
3. Grudge Match: Enson Inoue vs. Kazunari Murakami
4. Grudge Match: Josh Barnett vs. Ken Shamrock
5. Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar & Dolgorsuren Serjbudee (Blue Wolf) vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Meng
6. Yuji Nagata & Toru Yano vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Manabu Nakanishi
7. IWGP Tag Team Title: Yoshihiro Takayama & Minoru Suzuki (c) vs. Masahiro Chono & X
8. New Japan vs. K-1 - Different Style Fight: Yutaka Yoshie vs. The Convict Nortje (Jan Nortje)
9. New Japan vs. K-1 - Different Style Fight: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Musashi
10. New Japan vs. K-1: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. K-1 MASK
11. New Japan vs. K-1 - IWGP Heavyweight Title: Bob Sapp (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

- Theres still several blanks to fill such as who the identity of K-1 MASK would turn out to be. Uei is pushing for Brock Lesner, but it's more likely to be either The Predator, Tom Howard or Nathan Jones as all three have recently signed contracts with K-1. Chono's mystery partner also raises speculation that it might be Hulk Hogan, and the show will give us our first look at the 8ft+ Giant Majin who is being heavilly hyped as the Makai Club's ace to extract revenge on Bob Sapp's betrayal.

All Japan Champion Carnival Chaos!
- The biggest shocker of what many had high hopes for as a awesome Champion Carnival was that Triple Crown champion Toshiaki Kawada fractured his pinky finger in his first day match against Nobutakay Araya and had to forfeit the rest of the Carnival! Kawada had to have emergency surgery to fix his finger, and its in high speculation whether or not he'll recover in time to main event HUSTLE-3 where he's scheduled to face Bill Goldberg! At least Kawada won't have to forfeit the Triple Crown, but man did DSE pick a time to bar sales of bootleg DSE related shows as I'd really like to watch Kawada/Goldberg!

Current Champion Carnival Standings:
Keiji Mutoh - 5 pts
Kensuke Sasaki - 5 pts
Jamal - 2 pts
Arashi - 0 pts
Kaz Hayashi - 0 pts
* Takao Omori - 5 pts
* Taiyo Kea - 4 pts
* Satoshi Kojima - 3 pts
Nobutaka Araya - 2 pts
Toshiaki Kawada - 2 pts (final score)

- Because of Kawada's injury, Omori, Kea and Kojima automatically get two additional points for future matches they had scheduled with Kawada. 4/15 at Korakuen Hall has Kojima vs. Kea and 4/17 Differ Ariake with Araya vs. Omori as the matches to determine who goes over. By these calculations, Omori automatically goes in even if he jobs to Araya on 4/17 at Differ and the winner of the 4/15 Korakuen Hall matches determines the realistic final four of Mutoh, Sasaki, Omori, and the final competitor. If Kojima goes over Kea on 4/15 at Korakuen, he and Omori will be tied at 5 pts a piece (they went to a draw against each other and both beat Kea) and all hell breaks loose over seedings because both would be #1 seeds in their block.
(credit Puroresu Power)


Friday, April 09, 2004

Dreamstage Entertainment bars sales of ZERO-ONE Tapes!

This was a huge shocker to myself when I first read the report. Since Dreamstage Entertainment now has ties to All Japan (WRESTLE1) and Zero-One (as well as PRIDE), they will be taking legal action against bootleggers and tape dealers in the United States that sell unauthorised tapes of shows and events from the promotions. What that means now is that if any of us want to watch any Zero-One shows (and maybe AJPW later), then we have to wait for official releases. It's kinda like the video piracy deal that goes on here in Malaysia, except they actually know where to look for the bootleggers since they sell their wares online.
Already many of the sites I regularly get tapes from have pulled their complete Zero-One tape lists from their sites and some have removed their All Japan tapes as well. Curse the luck as I was planning some big Zero-One orders.

WWE Releases Sean O'Haire!!!
If the above news wasn't shocking enough, I also just found out that sometime last week Sean O'Haire was released from WWE! WHY?!? They keep dull guys like Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade around, but release one of the potentially most intruiging gimmicks they ever came up with? And O'Haire was also good wrestler to boot! Is it any wonder WWE is re-cycling older wrestlers (Hardcore Holly, Bradshaw, etc) when they could have better benefitted from pushing NEW faces for a change? Like many, I honestly believe letting O'Haire go was a BIG mistake!

Sheriff Austin rides off into the sunset?
Stone Cold Steve Austin hit a snag during his contract renegotiations and now seems to be on the outs with WWE again, and this time it might be for good! That was why Austin was absent from RAW this past week. I bet Rene Dupree wishes he had left about two weeks earlier! All I can say is at least now the actual WRESTLERS can go about their business without any fear of being punked out by a criple that can't even wrestle a full match, yet cannot be stopped by wrestlers who are in the peak of physical condition and health. I can appreciate all Austin has done in the past, but like many nowadays just can't stand current position.