My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Saturday, May 22, 2004

News and Thoughts from the past week

New Japan VS WWE?
This was probably one the biggest stories of the week. President Uei returned from America with positive news on talks he held with Johnny 'Ace' Laurantis of WWE, and claims both sides have reached somekind of working agreement with hopes for future talent exchanges between both companies. The first being the possibility of NJPW wonderkid Hiroshi Tanahashi working WWE's Budokan show in July, and the possibility of a WWE star participating in this year's G-1 CLIMAX. Uei hinting at Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, former NJPW workers, as candidates.
My take? Don't count your chickens till their hatched. You can bet if anykind of inter promotional deal or angle is worked out, the egos are gonna fly (mostly from the WWE side) and I seriously doubt that said egos would contribute to making any of the possible dream matches really memorable. Until I see a contracted (and credible) NJPW star intrude on a WWE show to start something (with purpose) and vice versa, I wouldn't get over excited about this.

Vince Russo finally calls it quits
Another big shocker, Vince Russo has finally called it quits with the wrestling business. He posted an open letter on 1wrestling.com announcing his departure, citing all kinds of reasons, including locker room pressure, egos and finding religion.
Reading his letter, I find it to be a big bunch of BS. He could be sincere, but the image he's built for himself in my eyes makes it hard for me to believe any of the crap he's using for an excuse. We all know how he's claimed to hate being on TV, so why the heck did he write himself to be a major player on the show with more TV time than most wrestlers? Surely with the authority he held, he didn't have to put himself on TV. Heck, he could have gotten someone else to portray his character while he himself didn't have to appear on screen.
Though his beef with Jeff Jarrett could be for real if they did have a fallout over creative differences, Jarrett wanting to be champ but Russo wanting to push a fresh face.
My thoughts is that if has indeed found religion and something better in his life, good for him. But I wouldn't be suprised if he did indeed show up on a wrestling related program if the right number of zeros are on the pay-cheque are right, or if he comes up with some fresh ideas to exploit. So even if it is only temporary, I say good riddance. I just hope they don't blame Russo's departure if TNA falls further.

NEW NWA Champion crowned!
This past week on TNA, Ron 'The Truth' Killings won the NWA heavyweight title in a fatal four way against Raven, Chris Harris and defending champion A.J.Styles. This is Killings' second reign as champion, and (no pun intended) was the dark horse of the match as I'm guessing everyone like myself was expecting Chris Harris to win the title off Styles.
In the following weeks I'm expecting big wave of the Raven Effect to sweep TNA as Raven vents his frustrations in his ever going quest to become NWA champion. Mark my words, with NWA IMPACT! starting soon, you can pretty much expect another title reign by Jeff Jarrett that will last awhile. Expect alot of screwjob finishes and short world title reigns if anyone OTHER than Jarrett is holding the belt.

Fujita doesn't get a shot, but Tanahashi does
Former IWGP heavyweight champion Kazuyuki Fujita's K-1 MMA match today with current IWGP champion Bob Sapp will be a none title match. This would have been the first time a pro-wrestling title would have been contested in an MMA shoot fight.
Bob Sapp's next challenger will instead be rising sensation and U-30 champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi on 6/5/04. Tanahashi has been wiling to put his U-30 title on the line to make it a double title match, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
I personally would have loved to see Fujita VS Sapp for the IWGP title in a shoot, as I believe Fujita actually has a chance of beating Sapp if his hard head can withstand Sapp heavy strikes. Right now I hope Sapp beats Tanahashi the same way he beat supernova Shinsuke Nakamura. The only man I want to see now beat Sapp for the IWGP title is Hiroyoshi Tenzan. And many would agree with me. The only other possible candidate is Yoshihiro Takayama...

Kanemaru finally steps up to Liger
NOAH Jr heavyweight ace Yoshinobu Kanemaru finally stepped up to current GHC Jr. Heavyweight champion Jushin Thunder Liger as he attacked him post match after Liger made his successfull V5 defence in the main event of NOAH's 5/21 show against veteran Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. The stage is finally being set for Kanemaru to hopefully be the man to bring home the gold, with the match either happening sometime in June, or at NOAH's Tokyo Dome show in July.
You can bet if it's at the Dome, the title is definately coming home! Other than Kanemaru, I'd like to see either Sugiura, Maruguji or KENTA dethrone Liger. Heck, I wouldn't mind if Liger dropped it to Big Boss MA-G-MA!

Shamless Personal Plug!
If you missed it on the main page, My new official website dealing in mail order Puroresu VCDs is now open! Check it out at http://extremepuroresu.tripod.com/vcds/index.html!


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