My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Spoiling The Illusion

The Gone and The Forgotten
- WWE did a nice gesture by playing a tribute screen to the late Ray Traylor who passed away last week. They then went in a tasteless direction by having Kane say that his baby may be dead, but he would not die alone. The problem here is that the arena that hosted RAW this week was the Kemper Arena is Kansas, the same place where Owen Hart fell to his death several years back. I'll admit that I myself wasn't aware of the venue's significance till my buddy TenzanTeam2K asked me to check out an editorial article over at PWInsider.com, where it was pointed out.
It was also being reported that the whole thing could have been avoided if not for a miscommunication problem where Lita was scheduled to be on the show, but NO ONE TOLD HER. So, last minute script re-writes was what caused it to happen. But it could also be unforgiveable that no one stepped up to mention that it was a bad idea to begin with since it's obvious no one wants to jeopardize their spot by speaking up against anything these days.

Seemed like a good idea at the time...
Last week I was big on Gene Snitzky being the guy to end the Lita/Kane pregnancy angle. But now it doesn't look good if the poor sap is gonna go through the rest of his career with the fans chanting "baby killer" at him since that is now what he's gonna be remembered for.
I thought it was interesting Snitzky is using CIMA's pumphandle emerald frosion as a finisher though.

Everyone BUT Orton, huh?
The Ric Flair/Randy Orton segment was probably one of the best in a long time. But I thought Flair looked kinda dumb saying "your not a Legend Killer till you beat Ric Flair!". What? Does this mean Shelton Benjamin, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and a bunch of others can be considered legend killers since they've all gotten victories over him in the past few months???
And seriously, couldn't you just tell Flair would turn on Orton anyway at the end of the night? And after that great promo and Flair's attitude when confronted by Batista, I guess it means he CHOOSES to be Triple H's lap-dog and his legacy isn't as important as he would have us believe.
Oh yeah, way to go Flair for taking a potshot at Bret Hart in the arena where his brother died.

Was it really "real" to begin with?
So Christy Hemme won the Diva Search, and still Carmella gets a spot with RAW? I guess this answers the question on the legitimacy of the search. I am now convinced WWE thought that with a former Playboy Playmate of the Year in the contest that she would be the hands down winner, but when it didn't turn out that way they gave her a spot anyway and worked legit winner Christy into an angle/feud with her! God I hope they don't expect them to wrestle this soon in, cause there's no way either of them are ready. Heck, it was clearly stated even that the winner of the contest would NOT be required to be an active wrestler, yet Christy already had her first "match" this past week on RAW which our local censors cut out.
And why did Carmella only NOW decide to show some personality when she did her promo? And how she can claim to have more beauty, talent and personality is beyond me since Christy actually smoked the competition in all three categories since the dumb contest began!

The things people do to break into the big time
I didn't notice it, but the poor fool that got his hair cut by Eugene (more like had a chunk hacked off) was none other than former NWA:TNA wrestler Ace Steel! Hope the sacrifice was worth it. This sorta reminded me of all the dumb things Brian "Spanky" Kendrick did when he first joined WWE. And we all know we all know how he ended up!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

AJPW 10/31 early card announced

The early card for Keiji Mutoh's 20th Anniversary show has been announced and needless to say, it looks GOOD! All the main matches have been announced and here's hoping the rest of the card will be as good.

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

1. AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kaz Hayashi (c) VS AKIRA
2. Satoshi Kojima vs. X
3. Osamu Nishimura & Jinsei Shinzaki VS Abdullah The Butcher & Ruckus
4. Keiji Muto 20th Anniversary Special Match: Keiji Muto & Mitsuharu Misawa VS Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki
5. Triple Crown: Toshiaki Kawada (c) VS Taiyo Kea

Dragon Gate trios teams announced

The seven 3-man teams taking part in the upcoming Dragon Gate Rey de Parejas: Open the Triangle Gate tour have been announced. A round robin points system will be used to score the matches starting from 10/3 till 11/7 where the semis and finals will be held.

The teams are:
Crazy Max - CIMA, TARU & X
The Iron Perms - Don Fujii, Second Doi & Naoki Tanisaki
Final M2K - Masaaki Mochizuki, K-Ness & Susumu Yokosuka
DO-FIXER - Magnum TOKYO, Genki Horiguchi & Dragon Kid
Italian Connection - Milano Collection AT, YOSSINO & Anthony W. Mori
Florida Express - Michael Iwase, Daniel Mishima & Johnson
Aagan Issou - Shuji Kondo, "brother" YASSHI & Takuya Sugawara

Lots of speculation who C-Max's X is and whether or not he could be the difference maker. The Iron Perms consists of members of other factions who got dragged in by Fujii. And will the mystery man, Johnson be able to help the Florida Brothers to literally Lie, Cheat and Steal their way to the Triangle Gate trios tag titles? We'll know soon enough when the tour kicks off next month!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

NOAH Navigation Against The Current tour

Early cards for Pro-Wrestling NOAH's next tour have been announced, and I thought I'd chime in a my opinion on the key matches that have already been announced.

10/9/2004 - Tokyo Korakuan Hall
4. KENTA Single Match Trial Series:
KENTA VS Kenta Kobashi
- KENTA's trial series has seen him take on EVERY major star in the promotion (Akiyama, Misawa, Takayama), and he hasn't won a match yet! Of course I don't expect him to win here either, but like the others, expect it to be great!

10/16/2004 - Tokushima Municipal Gymnasium
4. GHC Hardcore Openweight Title: Jun Akiyama (c) VS Naomichi Marufuji
- Another great looking heavy VS Jr. match. Expect Akiyama to bully around Marufuji who will put up a big fight, but of course come up short.

10/22/04 - Yoyogi National Stadium Gymnasium #2
3. Daisuke Ikeda VS The Gladiator
- This is definately gonna be fun as I'm sure these two have met before during their old FMW days.
4. Jun Akiyama VS Bison Smith
- This is almost a dream match for me! I've heard Bison had two awesome singles matches with Kobashi in the past, and now he gets a chance to showcase it against another of NOAH's top stars in singles matches! They should have the Bison Single Match Trial Series!
5. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA (c) VS Ricky Marvin & SUWA
- The former Toryumon/Dragon Gate ace and UDG champion gets his big shot in NOAH. This match will no doubt be very good, but it's almost a given the Marvin is the fall guy of the match.

10/24/04 - Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
3. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) VS TAKA Michinoku
- TAKA makes his NOAH debut! I had actually considered simulating this match in KOC2, and now it's happening for real! This will definately be an awesome battle of two rudo aces!
4. GHC Tag Team Title: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (c) VS Akira Taue & Takuma Sano
- I have high hopes for this one, and hopefully Misawa does the right thing by dropping the belts to Taue & Sano as he and Ogawa don't really need the titles to be over with the crowd anyway.
5. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi (c) VS Akitoshi Saito
- Kobashi went from having three MOTY title matches in succession with three awesome opponents to having to defend it next against Saito?!? What happened to Gladiator? That would definately have been more interesting than this, and it just makes it so obvious Kobashi will V11 here.

It's also interesting to note that Masao Inoue will be touring America for NWA:TNA from 9/28 - 10/5/04. Hopefully, they do someting good with him other than just job fodder for the TNA locals like every other Japanese star they've brought in.


Friday, September 24, 2004


Pro-Wrestling NOAH ran it's annual "East VS West" show at the Differ Ariake, doing two back to back shows, featuring an all out war on the second show as they had a gauntlet Kobashi Army VS Akiyama Army match series.

Tokyo Differ Ariake
1,800 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Four Way Match: Ricky Marvin beat Naomichi Marufuji, KENTA & Kotaro Suzuki (9:38) with a horizontal cradle on Marufuji.
2. Tamon Honda beat Mitsuo Momota (4:57) with a shoulder hold.
3. Jun Izumida beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (7:17) with a head thrust.
4. Takuma Sano beat Trevor Rhodes (R3 3:49) with a double footstomp.
5. Three Way Match: Yoshinari Ogawa beat Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue (8:28) with a jackknife hold on Taue. (Misawa actuall pinned Taue, but Ogawa jacknifed over both of them to get the pin.)

Tokyo Differ Ariake
1,800 Fans - Super No Vacancy
* Kobashi Army vs. Akiyama Army "full conclusion match"
1. Makoto Hashi beat Haruka Eigen (7:31) with a horizontal cradle.
2. Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Makoto Hashi (2:55) with an inside cradle.
3. Takashi Sugiura vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru went to a time limit draw (15:00).
4. Mohammed Yone beat Kishin Kawabata (5:25) with a kick.
5. Takeshi Rikio beat Mohammed Yone (2:06) with a powerbomb.
6. Daisuke Ikeda vs. Takeshi Rikio went to a double countout (3:34).
7. Masao Inoue beat Go Shiosaki (7:33) with an Argentine backbreaker.
8. Kenta Kobashi beat Masao Inoue (8:36) with a lariat.
9. Jun Akiyama beat Kenta Kobashi (9:19) by countout.

Credit: Strong Style Spirit for the results


Big BossMan passes away

Ray Traylor, better known to wrestling fans everywhere as the Big BossMan in WWF/WWE passed away at his home on Wednesday night, 23/09/2004. The cause of death was believed to be a massive heart attack. He was just 42yrs old.
I remember the BossMan when he debuted as the huge prison security guard who's first major feud was with the legendary Hulk Hogan in the early '90s. As a badass heel, he would usually hand-cuff his opponents to the ropes after a match and administer some "hard times" on them by beating them with his nightstick! He also had a stint in the tag leagues in the odd-couple team of the Twin Towers, paired up with the monstrous Akeem the African Dream (aka One Man Gang) to form one of the largest tag teams of that time.
Then the Bossman would turn face when he found out the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase payed off his then manager Slick to retrive his Million Dollar Championship belt which was stolen by Jake "The Snake" Roberts and kept in his snake bag. Bossman declined to be bought and returned the snake bag, belt and all, back to Roberts, and began a feud with Dibiase shortly after.
Another big turning point in his career saw Bossman come out as Hulk Hogan's mystery enforcer for his match with Earthquake at SummerSlam. Earthquake had hospitalized Hogan's original cornerman, Tugboat Thomas, and the whole crowd went nuts when Bossman's theme hit and he came out to side with his former enemy.
There wasn't really much for the Bossman after that though, save for a short feud with Nailz that didn't last long, and he made the jump to WCW where he underwent a slew of name changes since WWF/E held the rights to the Big Bossman name. He became The Boss, The Guardian Angel etc. But all failed and he never really amounted to anything there either as this was during the time WCW was miss-using talent.
Bossman made a surprise return to WWF/E during the Austin/McMahon wars as McMahon's bodyguard. This really caught me and alot of people off-guard when he unmasked to reveal himself as the hooded bodyguard in black riot gear. As a member of McMahon's Corporation he would get a run as Tag Team champions with Ken Shamrock, and a run as Hardcore champion.
He eventually was phased out again and used to put over the likes of Darren Drozdov and Prince Albert, and being a trainer before being released again.

Ray Traylor may not have been one of the best wrestlers in the business, but he certainly was one of the most mobile big men ever who really moved well in the ring. He will definately be missed, and I'm sure he's up there in the big ring in the sky right now dishing out hard-times to all the other wrestle-maniacs up there.

Rest in Peace, Bossman.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Spoiling The Illusion: RAW Season Premiere Edition

OK, I actually sat through last nights WWE RAW Season Premiere show and thought it was a mixed bag of some good, some bad and some left on the cutting room floor thanks to our censorhip board (The Simon System segment). Needless to say you can probably guess what all the meat in this report will focus on.

This'll put asses in the seats...
- The first match for Taboo Tuesday has been announced and it's Eric Bischoff with a broken foot VS Eugene with a seperated shoulder? Yeah, that's gonna bring 'em coming in droves to attend the event. I might be a little harsh since the rest of the card hasn't been announced yet, but if they really wanted it to be fan controlled, they should have let the fans pick Bischoff's opponent and not bring back Eugene till later. Eugene did a marvelous job selling the bad arm in a sling by bouncing around and clapping his hands like he usually does though. Yes. I'm being sarcastic about that last remark. And it really sounded dumb when JR said the fans were ecstatic at Eugene's return when they only popped big when his music queued up, but was really silent as he made his way to the ring.

She was OK yesterday, but today she's having problems
- So one week after the incident, and Lita is still in the hospital? Add to that, she conviniently starts having problems when a live camera is near by, and on HEAT the previous night she was said to be recovering ok. Once again five simple letters are kicked out the back door: L-O-G-I-C.

The reporter leaves, but the cameraman stays
- How dumb is it when the nurses ask Todd Grisham to leave immediately during an emergency situation, and yet lets the cameraman stay? One minute were made to believe were watching a live report, and the next were watching a sitcom where the camera is invisible? Add to that, no-one tried to stop the cameraman from freely entering Lita's room to film her as she lay helpless on her bed?

Lita lost the baby. Let the disgust flow!
- There is good and bad out of this. The good is that this horrible pregnancy angle is finally over. The bad is that any fan who actually had the misfortune of experiancing a miscarrige is probably more than ticked off at WWE for playing out the horrible scenario that NO ONE buys as real.

All hail Gene Snitsky!
- Who would have thought the honour of ending the Kane/Lita pregnancy angle would go to this total unknown? And wasn't he actually right when he said Lita losing the baby wasn't his fault? Who is to blame then? Lita for getting involved in the match in her "condition"? Kane for hand-picking Snitsky as the opponent and bringing the chair in the ring, or ERIC BISCHOFF for giving Kane a NO QUESTIONS ASKED, NO DISUALIFICATION MATCH AGAINST ANYONE OF HIS CHOOSING???

Legend Killer getting Killed
- WWE sure have yanked the carpet out from under Orton, haven't they? One match he's showing super-human ability surviving a death match with Mick Foley, and now it only takes ONE shot into the corner post to knock him out and be carried off for medical attention? It's almost guaranteed that if the fans are given the choice to pick who Triple H will defend the title against at Taboo Tuesday, it will NOT be Orton, and more probably Chris Benoit or Shelton Benjamin. To which case HHH is also guaranteed to retain the title.

Miscellanious rants
- Molly finally makes a return with her hair grown back and she's jobbing to Stacy Kiebler? I like Stacy, but she's no wrestler! Use her for promotional duties, but keep her out of the ring. And whatever happened to Molly's beef with Trish about being "pure and wholesome" since Trish has been acting more slutty in recent weeks? It would have made more sense to tag Molly with her regular partner, Gail Kim, since Trish already had a spot on the show interupting the Diva Search segment.

- And wasn't that considerate of them to put in a happy moment like the announcement of the Diva Search winner right after announcing Lita miscarriage? Cudos to Christy for winning. She definately deserved her spot, though I wouldn't rule out Carmella coming back in a couple of weeks.

- So Rhyno & Tajiri lost their shot at the tag titles, and that's it? Why can't they be like Evolution and dog the belts till they finally get them? What was the point of Maven scoring an upset win over Grenier? Are they gonna now pair him up with someone (I'm guessing it'll be Chris Nowinski) to chase and win the tag belts to help hype the new Tough Enough show? Hurricane Helms turning heel looks to be interesting, but I hope he doesn't drop the super-hero gimmick.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Zero-One/DSE HUSTLE-5 Results

The fifth installment of the HUSTLE pay per views was held last night at the Yokohama Arena, and highlighted by a big Hustle Army VS Takada Monster Army seven match series.
Former WWE superstar Rikishi made his debut as "Hustle RIKISHI", teaming as Riki Choshu's mystery partner.

Full results of the show:
- Team Ikeman (Leonardo Spanky & Kaz Hayashi) beat The Flying Vampires #16 & #28 in 9:06 when Spanky used his Sliced Bread No. 2 on #16 for the win.

- The Monster C & Mark Coleman beat Toshiaki Kawada & Hirotaka Yokoi in 6:34 when Monster C used a low blow on Yokoi and Chief-of-Staff Yuji Shimada held down Yokoi's leg while C got the three count.

- Hustle Kamen Red & Hustle Kamen Blue beat The Devil Pierrots #1 & #2 in 10:04 when Red used a Hustle Hurricanrana on Pierrot #1 for the win.

- Giant Silva beat The Great Sasuke in 8:43 seconds with a Giant Press. The lights in the building went out for a few seconds during the match, setting up the entrance of Hakushi.

Hakushi gave Sasuke the powerbomb and Silva did the body press.

- Hardcore Match: Psycho the Death, The Pirahnian Monster Z & Super Crazy beat Kintaro Kanemura, Masato Tanaka & Wataru Sakata in 11:40 when Psycho used a school-boy roll-up on Sakata for the win.

- Riki Choshu & "Hustle RIKISHI" beat O-YA-JI-GA-RI (Yoji Anjoh) & Dan "The Buffalo" Bobish in 9:36 when RIKISHI used a Banzai Drop on Anjoh for the win.

After the match, Rikishi did the "Too Cool" tag dance with the Hustle Kamens.

- Judo O (Naoya Ogawa) beat Russian 54 with the STO Bomber in 5:04.

The Hustle Army won the series 4-3 and ended the show doing the Hustle dance.

Credit: Puroresu Power for the results and Sports Navi for the pictures

Monday, September 20, 2004

Dragon Gate "Gate Of Sanctuary" 9/17/04 PPV Results

Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling's monthly PPV looked to be a great show, with CIMA defending the new ODG (Open the Dream Gate) title against Susumu Yokosuka in what looks like a killer near 30-minute main event!
Full results of the show:

- K-NESS, Second Doi, & Kenichiro Arai beat "brother" YASSHI, Touru Owashi & Shogo Takagi when K-NESS used his new Blue Light finisher on Takagi.
- Don Fuji & TARU beat YOSSINO & Milano Collection AT when Fuji pinned YOSSINO with a La Majistral after Second Doi hit him with the Bakarate slidding kick.
- Masaaki Mochizuki beat Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Twister at 7:57.
- Hair VS Hair - Shuji Kondo & Takuya Sugawara beat Ryo Saito & Anthony W. Mori when Sugawara used the Shiisanpuuta on Mori at 12:59. Post match, Saito volunteered his head be shaved instead of Mori and vowed not to grow it back till he settles the feud with Sugawara.
- The Florida Brothers & Kensuke Sasaki beat Genki Horiguchi, Dragon Kid & Magnum TOKYO by disqualification at 10:54 when Sasaki faked getting low-blowed by Magnum.
- ODG Title - CIMA beat Susumu Yokosuka with a Schwein Redline at 29:54. The Schwein Redline is a new "wrist-clutch" version of the Schwein.

The new ODG belt is probably the best looking championship belt ever! You can see it by clicking HERE

With this PPV out of the way, all eyes now turn to the upcoming trios tournament to crown new six-man tag champions. Hopefully the names of the participating teams will be announced soon and I'll post it here.

Credit: Dragon Gate USA for the results

Friday, September 17, 2004

One Out and Two In

WWE have recently released former cruiserweight champion Jamie Noble. Don't know if it's true, but Noble was accused of trying to fake an insurance claim under WWE. If it is true, does that show how lowly paid the talents really are?

And on that note, last night on Smackdown!, two of my all time favs made their return, Gangrel and Viscera! The turned up to help JBL & Orlando Jordan beat up the Undertaker and will face him in a handicap match next week. Whether or not their returns are short-term remains to be seen.

Take it for what it's worth, but they also announced that Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, and Stephanie McMahon would be on Smackdown next week for the season premiere and to relive some of Smackdown's greatest moments. I'll believe the first two when I see it.

And if you missed the Smackdown! Rebound on RAW this week, the sight of Big Show destroying EVERYONE when he made his big return was truly a sight to behold. And now he's scheduled to face Kurt Angle at No Mercy, and next week will team with Eddie Guerrero to take on Angle and Luther Reigns in a tag match.

So am I the only one that thinks the WWE RAW Diva Search is rigged? Since it started, there have been many who questioned it's legitimacy. Especially now since some of the eliminated contestants have been given opportunities to work for WWE regardless. And the big controversy surrounding Carmella who gets booed constantly, yet miraculously makes it to the finals over Joy who was a big fan favourite. Carmella has even been getting alot of bad press for incidents outside WWE. If Christy doesn't win next week, it's guaranteed this whole thing is a sham.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

WWE Unforgiven Results

Ric Flair & Batista VS William Regal & Chris Benoit
Your standard WWE tag match. Cool spot saw Batista lift Benoit up while he had Flair locked in the Crossface and gave him a side slam. Regal disposes of Batista out into the audience, and Benoit counters a figure-four attempt into a Crossface for the tap out win.
Match Rating: ***

Christian makes his return, and already they break him up with Trish as she convinces Tyson Tomko to accompany her for her Women’s Title match, instead of Christian later for his match.

Victoria VS Trish Stratus – WWE Women’s Title
Victoria pulled a Britney Spears as she did her strip intro to reveal a skin coloured outfit. NICE! This was a good women’s match, prob the best in some time. End sees Victoria have the advantage, and drop Trish with a big headbutt. Suddenly she dives over the top rope onto Tomko and takes him down! Tomko chases Victoria back into the ring and with Victoria’s attention on Tomko, Trish hits the Stratus-faction for the win.
Match Rating: **1/2

Post match, a still enraged Tomko chokes Victoria and out comes the ‘mystery woman’ to make the save. “She” leaves after the save, and an enraged Tomko calls him out or he’s gonna go back and drag him out.
The Mystery Woman returns and we have a match!

Tyson Tomko VS “The Mystery Woman”
Right off the bat, Tomko decks “her” and rips off her wig and attire to reveal Steven Richards. What follows is a SLOW beat down by Tomko. So slow we get more than our fair share of “boring” chants. Tomko puts the bad mouth on Richards, calling him a sissy. This sparks a fire in Richards who tosses the wig to distract the referee before grabbing Tomko “low”, if you know what I mean! He launches Tomko into the corner by his jewels and starts wailing away on Tomko. Tomko shoves him away several times and Richards drops him with a dropkick. For no reason whatsoever, Richards turns his attention to his torn up bra and Tomko attacks him from behind and drops him with a Hercules Cutter for the win. Richards lost. What was the point of this?!?
Match Rating: 1/2* (near DUD, saved by Richards at the end.)

Chris Jericho VS Christian – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
There was a serious mis-communication here as Jericho was gonna toss out Christian, but Christian instead dropped like Y2J was supposed to do a drop toe hold. Heh. Jericho targeted Christian’s bad back at first before Y2J took over and they brawled into the audience. Christian nails the Un-prettier on the floor outside. Christian takes the opportunity and almost gets the title before Jericho barely makes the save. Christian rams Y2J into the ladder, then sets it up in the corner. Y2J reverses an Irish whip and Christian goes face first into the ladder! CLB comes back and smacks Y2J into the ladder again. CLB sets up the ladder on the 2nd rope and slingshots Y2J’s face up into it! Christian tries to sandwich Jerico between the corner and the ladder, but Y2J dodges and CLB rams right into the ladder! Y2J sets up and rams the ladder onto Christian’s back as he lay on the mat. Jericho attempts a bulldog, but Christian tosses him into the ladder and Y2J’s leg gets hooked in the rung! Christian then splashes him in the corner in that position! Christian climbs the ladder again, but Jericho fingers him before dropkicking the ladder out from under him! Y2J sandwiches Christian between the ladder and tries to Lionsault the ladder on Christian, but the CLB moves and Y2J jams his knee into the ladder! Christian again almost reaches the belt, and gets his hands on it as Jericho catches him and drops the ladder out from under him! Christian dangles from the ring holding the belt till Y2J tosses the ladder at him causing him to fall almost face first on the mat! Y2J now goes up the ladder and almost gets the belt before Christian tilts the ladder forward trying to drop him head first into the floor, but Jericho rolls off and hits the mat instead. Christian goes for the belt again, but Y2J catches him and locks him in a Walls of Jericho on the ladder! Christian falls off and Y2J goes after the title before Christian knocks the ladder out from under him and Y2J lands awkwardly on the ladder below him! Christian gets a bigger ladder out and Y2J sets up the other ladder and chases up Christian. They battle at the top before they both drive each other off the top crashing to the mat! Y2J gets up first and sets the ladder on top of Christian before climbing up and getting the belt to win an AWESOME match!
Match Rating: ****

Lita get interviewed backstage saying she hopes HBK puts Kane in the hospital. Kane comes out and says he spoke with Bishoff and got their match to be no disqualification!

Coach interviews Y2J who says he feels like crap after the ladder match. Edge appears and tells him to enjoy it while he can cause he’ll be gunning for him when he’s cleared to wrestle again.

Recap of the whole Kane-Lita-HBK buildup. Damn, even this couldn’t make the angle interesting.

Shawn Michaels VS Kane – No Disqualification
This was just tons better than I thought it would be! HBK of course hasn’t loss a step, and was on his A game here, but so was Kane! Really great match with some big spots like Kane suplexing HBK through the Spanish announce table. Ending sees Kane try to use a steel chair, but HBK low blows him and smacks him with the chair! HBK goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Kane delivers a big boot of his own! Kane covers and only gets 2, so he goes to get the chair, but Lita yanks it away! Kane argues with Lita and HBK tries again for Sweet Chin Music but Kane ducks it and tries for the Chokeslam, but HBK slips out and nails Sweet Chin Music followed by a flip-over pin for the win! Great match overall despite some plodding moments in between.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Interview with HHH who says he’s gonna beat Orton for the World Title later. Blah blah blah.

La Resistance VS Rhyno & Tajiri – World Tag Team Titles
This was another pretty good tag match. Ending saw Grenier knock Tajiri off the apron and Rhyno hits the Gore, but Conway places Grenier’s leg on the ropes breaking the count. Rhyno goes after Conway giving Grenier the chance to strike him with the flagpole and get the win to retain the title. Crapper.
Match Rating: ***

Triple H VS Randy Orton – World Heavyweight Championship
Orton starts off by blatantly slapping the Game TWICE, then spits on him again! HHH loses his cool leaving him open to attack from Orton. This was almost a good match until the referee got bumped and all hell breaks loose with interference from Evolution and Coach as a heel referee. Orton fought off Evolution as long as he could before HHH takes him out with a chair, and Pedigrees him on the chair to WIN THE TITLE FOR THE NINTH TIME. Crapper again.
Match Rating: ***

Overall: This was a pretty good PPV, with the ladder match expectedly stealing the show, but HBK/Kane was also a nice surprise as it was very good as well. The main event was looking good up till the horribly over-booked finish. I guess Triple H is thinking he's put enough young talent over for the time being. The whole Steven Richards/Mystery Woman angle was just useless and they could have done it on RAW instead, and right now I predict the rematch to take place on RAW tonight, as well as the Tag Title bout.

With that, my predictions for the show are 3-3-1, bringing the current total to 47-26-6.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Spoiling The Illusion

Wouldn't you know I wrote up this big return article yesterday, and when I'm almost done, my freakin' PC hangs on me and all the work I did was lost?!? If that weren't bad enough, the system hang caused my Stramyx settings to be reset and I don't know how to fix the settings! Jeez. At least my office PC is still good. Lets get to it.

- OK, the main gripe here was Randy Orton getting disqualified for defending himself when he gave Kane a low-blow to prevent him from hitting him with a steel chair. Why the referee didn't bother to pull the chair from Kane like they would normally do in any other situation is beyond me. Maybe the ref was thinking,"I'll let Kane hit him with the chair, then I can disqualify him and save Randy from a bigger beating if the match goes on. Hey! He just low-blowed Kane! I'll disqualify HIM and do him one better!" Geez. If they wanted to make the main event a steel cage match, couldn't they have Triple H go to Bischoff earlier in the show to make it one instead of that whole fiasco they pulled?
- Couldn't they have had HBK on the show to help hype his match with Kane at the PPV? It's not like he's not 100% yet. But then again, Jerry Lawler seems to think he's not 100% healed, even after HBK did an interview from the Democratic Convention on RAW LAST WEEK with no signs of injury! They could have pulled a surprise save by Shawn helping Orton fend off Evolution and Kane, or he could have been the guy to get Orton disqualified by attacking Kane. So many possibilities and they decide not to have him on the show at all. It's not like we don't already know he's returning at Unforgiven. Or is it that HE doesn't know who his opponent is since Lita put his name on the contract???
- Where was Victoria? She's supposed to have a Women's TITLE MATCH at Unforgiven! And yet she wasn't even on the show? Couldn't they have booked a post-match beat down on Nidia to at least have Victoria come out to make the save and give the match SOME interest? What does it do for the importance of a title (or any match for that matter) if one of the participants doesn't even show up to hype or add interest to it a week before the big match?

- Jeff Jarrett is still champion. Big whoop. Ever notice how every "new beginning for TNA has to start with an "old face"? Jeff Hardy may not have been the ideal choice for world champion, but putting the belt on him even if it is for a short term till he loses it on the first monthly PPV would have been alot better than what they did. Heck, they already pulled one "bait 'n' switch" that night (see below), so why not another? A last minute three-way or fatal-fourway with someone, say Monty Brown, pinning Hardy to win the title would have made things a whole lot more interesting than the usual "super-Jarrett, cheap finish" match.
- I sat through TNA this past weekend on Star World and witnessed the "bait 'n' switch" debacle where they hyped Chris Harris VS Jeff Jarrett for weeks, and ended up with AJ Styles winning the title of Jarrett instead after Harris was taken out by Raven. It caused an uproar on the internet when it happened months back, and TNA decide to do it again, though lower on the scale. They hyped the Naturals to defend the tag titles against America's Most Wanted and Triple X (Skipper & Daniels), knowing full well James Storm has a legit injury and couldn't wrestle. Come the day of the show, they pull the switch seemingly taking AMW out of the match, then taking Daniels out of the match and pairing Chris Harris with Elix Skipper, and gave them the titles! Geez. Needless to say, alot of people AGAIN didn't appreciate putting down their 10 bucks for an anticipated match only to have yanked out from under them.

WWE SmackDown!
- I just hate it when they turn a real life situation into an angle, and at the same time this buried the already dying tag division on SmackDown. We hadn't seen Kidman on the show in months, let alone Paul London, then they shock the world beating the Dudley Boys for the tag belts and were seriously on a roll to making the belts credible again. Then suddenly one accident later where Kidman lands awkwardly after an SSP on Chavo Jr. and they hot shot breaking up this young and awesome team before they really get off the ground! Worse than that, they lose the belts to the makeshift team of Rene Dupree & Kenzo Suzuki?!? This, after they lost non-title matches to certifide teams like the FBI, and forgetting about former champions The Bashams? It's just dumb.
- And what does it say about the WWE Championship when the main storyline of the show is focused on the on-going Angle/Guerrero rivalry and not the world title picture? They've more or less been starting the show with the championship angle and ending it with Angle/Guerrero for the past few weeks now. It's already proven that JBL (as much I love the guy) is a failure as a champion, and Taker isn't helping, and the Angle/Guerrero feud pulls off rave reviews everytime! These are the two guys that the championship should be fought over by and not two big stiffs.

Check back later for my WWE Unforgiven results.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

WWE Unforgiven PPV Predictions

WWE's next big PPV is once again being built with only one or two matches given a proper buildup depending on how you look at it. And since no other matches have been added to the current six, I'm expecting some of the matches to go long, like they've been doing recently on their PPVs.

Triple H VS Randy Orton - World Heavyweight Championship
- This will be the twenty-plus minute main event of the show. I don't really expect much other than the usual strike, submission, big finish formula that goes around in WWE main events. Orton retains here, loses the title to HHH at Survivor Series, wins the Royal Rumble, and wins the title back again at WretleMania XXI. That's your long term booking for ya.

Christian VS Chris Jericho - Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
- I know this will be a good match, but I don't like the idea of putting Christian in a dangerous match just as he's returning from a BACK INJURY. The cage would definately have been a safer match for Christian since there's no fear of taking constant big falls off ladders, or getting smacked by one. Will Edge play a part in the finish? Possibilly. Will Jericho win? No. Cause WWE loves making him look like an ass-clown that talks big but can't win the "big one", and they love having the face chase the heels for titles.

Rhyno & Tajiri VS La Resistance - World Tag Team Titles
- The time for Rhyno & Tajiri to be tag champions in NOW! They've been building this up for TWO MONTHS and they BETTER DELIVER THE BIG PAYOFF! There's no reason for them not to give Rhyno & Tajiri the belts after all this time if they can throw Dupree & Suzuki together and give them the SmackDown tag titles on their first shot!

Victoria VS Trish Stratus - Women's Title
- They didn't really bother to hype this filler match, so expect Trish to retain in under five minutes (possibilly including intro time). Trish will probably hold on to the strap until Lita "can wrestle again" and drop it to her.

Kane VS Shawn Michaels
- Another match I expect to go longer than it should. Michaels wins with the help from Lita. How obvious is that gonna be? This will also be the usual Michaels big blade job match where he bleeds a gusher.

Ric Flair & Batista VS William Regal & Chris Benoit
- Why are Benoit & Regal teaming up again? This could easilly have been split into two singles matches match. Heck, I'd pay to see Flair & Regal one-on-one! Each team has a "weak-link", and I expect the face team to win to show that Benoit is still "for real".

Friday, September 10, 2004

V10 for Kobashi!!!

NOAH's big "Navigation Over The Date Line" Budokan tour closer ended with a bang!
Kenta Kobashi successfully made a record V10 defense of the GHC Heavyweight title today, beating fellow veteran Akira Taue with a new "wrist-clutch" Burning Hammer! The main event was said to be the true highlight of the show.
Minoru Suzuki returned to NOAH, and defeated one-half of the GHC Jr. Tag champions, Naomichi Marufuji in what was a very highly praised match. Suzuki is rumoured to be next in line to challenge Kobashi for the GHC title.
Another big surprise of the show was the unexpected appearance by former TORYUMON/Dragon's Gate UDG champion, SUWA! Who challenged KENTA for a GHC Jr. Tag Title match and then picking Ricky Marvin as his partner!
Full Results are as follows:

- Kishin Kawabata beat Haruka Eigen with a horizontal cradle at 6:08.
- Takuma Sano & Jun Izumuda beat Muhammed Yone & Trevor Rhodes in 20:55 when Izumuda used a Mukado Domo on Rhodes.
- Tamon Honda, KENTA, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kotaro Suzuki beat Daisuke Ikeda, Takashi Sugiura, Mitsuo Momota & Ricky Marvin in 4:29 when Kikuchi cradled Momota.
- Takeshi Rikioh & Makoto Hashi beat Jun Akiyama & Go Shiozaki in 17:16 when Rikioh powerbombed Shiozaki.
- Minoru Suzuki beat Naomichi Marufuji in 17:18 by referee stoppage.
- GHC Junior Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Low Ki in 22:15 with a revolution-style brainbuster (V1).
- GHC Tag Team Titles: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa beat Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue in 30:44 when Ogawa used a backdrop-hold on Inoue (V5).
- GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi beat Akira Taue with a wrist-clutch Burning Hammer at 28:05 (V10).

Looking at the results, it really bothers me that the big eight-man tag barely went FIVE minutes, where as the tag match before it went TWENTY! And you had a TON of better workers in the eight-man.
And they gave the GHC tag title match THIRTY MINUTES?!? I love Masao Inoue, but he is in no way a guy to go half an hour with, and Saito isn't really any better. And lets not forget Ogawa is in there as well! Hopefully this will be alot better than what I expect it to be when I finally watch the show.
And why would SUWA pick Marvin for a partner? Couldn't he pick someone from the WINNING team like Kotaro Suzuki, who's way overdue for a push? Or maybe even Takashi Sugiura, as SUWA would be ten-times better a partner for Sugiura than Kendo KaShin was at the Tokyo Dome. Bottom line here: Ricky Marvin = Fall guy.
If you remember awhile back, I did pick Minoru Suzuki to be a likely candidate to beat Kobashi for the title, much like Taue. But I don't see Suzuki doing it now since he's lost to Tenzan in an IWGP title match before, so NOAH probably wouldn't want it to look like their champion is weaker than the IWGP champion at that time.
But who knows?

And on that note, my buddy, TenzanTeam2K has inducted Kobashi into his Wrestling Hall of Fame at his blog. Click the link and go check it out!

Credit: Strong Style Spirit for the results


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A look at the 2003 G-1 Climax participants

I'm not really a big New Japan fan, but watching the 2003 G-1 CLIMAX gave me a good look at the wrestlers both new and established. I thought I'd throw in my two cents as to what I think about the participants then as compared to where they are now.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan (Winner)
Tenzan's rise to the top started at the G-1. I'll admit he's got a limited moveset and ability, but he did earn his spot among NJPW's elite. If only New Japan could have followed up this win better than they did.

Osamu Nishimura
Surprisingly fun competitor who manages to have good mat based matches everytime. I do find that he tends to ramble on in his post match interviews though. Yes, we know your a student of Gotch-ism, but we don't need to hear a detailed explanation of how you applied the knowledge in every match you took part in.

Masahiro Chono
It still bothers me that Chono wouldn't put over Akiyama when he did for Nakanishi and Tenzan. He might be the booker, but there wouldn't have been anything wrong with putting Akiyama over to make him seem like a bigger threat to Tenzan's eventual win. The fact that Chono had a bad leg didn't do anything for Akiyama either when he couldn't put him away.

Manabu Nakanishi
Nakanishi is an intense wrestler, but seems really lazy at times when he wouldn't sell moves right, like not struggling when being pinned only to make the eventual kick out look more like his opponent let him up. He's a tough guy, but needs to carry a match to look good.

Hiroshi Tanahashi
Sure he has the look, the attitude and the charisma, but I didn't see the WORK that would make that a complete package. The best match he had in the whole G-1 was with Akiyama, and everything else was nothing special. What victories he garnered looked like flukes or dumb luck to me.

Jun Akiyama
I'm really puzzled at the way Akiyama was booked. He had alot of heat from the crowd booing him everytime, but for the most part he didn't look like the outside threat he was built up to be. NOAH was very generous of their handling of Yuji Nagata, too bad NJPW couldn't do the same for Akiyama.

Yoshihiro Takayama
The reigning IWGP champion was not at 100% throughout most of the tournament, but he still managed to be entertaining and even humble in defeat.

Yuji Nagata
I noticed Nagata needs to be put in with the right opponents to have good matches. He's at his best when he's fired up (aka pissed off). Much like Akiyama, Nagata's booking was puzzling to say the least as he would look strong against one guy, but not against others.

Shinsuke Nakamura
The young supernova. I can actually see the reason NJPW gave him the push they did. He comes off as the underdog here, unlike the cocky Tanahashi, and the victories he managed where hard fought. No cheap roll-ups and cradles for this guy! He does need to work on his moveset though, as his ring skills are very limited, much like the other young lions in the G-1.

Katsuyori Shibata
Shibata is a heavy striker, but is so darn boring to watch. He's almost a Murakami clone to me, but Murakami has more intensity. Shibata is really gonna have to improve his ring work to justify his status, a sentiment many on the internet seem to share.

Yutaka Yoshie
A fun surprise! Like Nishimura, Yoshie had alot of fun matches here, even though he was on the losing side of many, he managed to make it all watcheable and get you rooting behind him. The "Power Monster" is someone who should definately be pushed more in the future.

Tadao Yasuda
He looks like an ape and move like a rock. He moves like he's got no elbows or knees and can't even run like a normal person. Bottom line, he sucks!


Sunday, September 05, 2004

All Japan 9/3 Results

The tour closer for the Summer Impact tour saw Kawada make a successful V7 defense of the Triple Crown after defeating New Japan's Osamu Nishimura with a running face kick in 27:12. Nishimura wrestled "Darkstyle Muga", which is essentially a more violent version and should be interesting to watch. Nishimura was barefoot too.
The story now is that Taiyo Kea has stolen the Triple Crown belts and won't give them back until Kawada gives him a title shot. The match is rumoured to happen on 10/31.
Also on the show, Keiji Mutoh beat Satoshi Kojima in a "student vs teacher" match. This decision made alot of internet fans moan about Kojima's continued burial in AJPW, but since it took Mutoh FIVE Shinning Wizards to beat him, I guess it's all part of the (very) slow build to Kojima's eventual run at the top.

Full Results:
- Yuki Ishikawa beat Ryuji Hijikata by Referee Stop at 7:16
- Katsushi Takemura & MAZADA beat Taichi Ishikari & Akira Raijin in 10:39 when Takemura punched (?) Raijin.
- Kaz Hayashi & Katsuhiko Nakajima beat TAKA Michinoku & BLUE-K in 11:30 when Kaz hit the Final Cut on BLUE-K (Probably not Kendo KaShin, but a K-Dojo wrestler under the mask)
- Bull Buchanan & D-Lo Brown beat Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai in 12:45 when Buchanan hit Hirai with a scissors kick.
- Ganichiro Tenryu & Masanobu Fuchi beat ARASHI & Gran Hamada in 6:31 when Tenryu hit a lariat on ARASHI.
- Shiro Koshinaka beat Tomoaki Honma in 9:56 with the Samson Driver '84.
- Taiyo Kea and Jamal beat Kensuke Sasaki & Koichi Kimura in 13:17 when Jamal hit the Flying Sausage on Kimura.
- Keiji Mutoh beat Satoshi Kojima in 19:17 with the Shining Wizard.
- Triple Crown Title:Toshiaki Kawada beat Osamu Nishimura with a running face kick at 27:13

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Dr. Death retires

Former All Japan Triple Crown champion and a near legend in Japanese wrestling, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams has had to hang up his wrestling boots quietly on 8/30/2004 as his battle with throat cancer took a turn for the worse.
The announcement was made by his good friend and wrestling promoter, Bill Watts. Williams was set to work the IWA-Japan 8/31 show (possibilly his retirement show), but that had to be cancelled. Williams is now scheduled to get throat surgery to have his voice box removed, meaning from now on he'll have to speak with a synthesizer (like Kane used to when he first started). And his weight has dropped dramatically down to 214lbs!
I remember watching Dr.Death in some of the first NWA shows on TV when I was a kid, and then several years back I downloaded a clip of him dropping Kenta Kobashi on his head in All Japan Pro Wrestling with probably the most devastating Homicide Backdrop Driver EVER, I was immediately interested to check him out again.
He may have slowed down in his later years, But Dr. Death's mark in the Japanese wrestling scene was made and he remained one of the top drawing gaijing in Japan.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Death and his family, and I hope he makes a complete recovery in his battle with his greatest opponent ever.