My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Friday, December 31, 2004

BAPE STA!! Pro Wrestling results

The fifth ever BAPE STA!! Pro Wrestling tour was concluded yesterday. For those of you unfamiliar, BAPE STA!! is a short series of shows annually booked by Satoshi Kojima and sponsored by BAPE wear. The matches themselves usually involve the wrestlers wearing BAPE gear too, and are always co-promoted with an Indy fed. The last tour was with Osaka Pro, and this tour it was primarilly with Michinoku Pro, though several other indy workers like the Gods of Comedy, Ebessan & Kuishinbo Kamen, and future hardcore legend Kintaro Kanemura also worked the tour.

The highlight of the tour this time around was the a-k-a Tournament, featuring Great Kosuke (Satoshi Kojima), Masked Volcano (Kensuke Sasaki), Love Machine Arashi, AKIRA, Black Ebessan (lol!) and THE APEMAN (Kaz Hayashi this time around).

Day one of the tournament saw Masked Volcano advance over AKIRA, who was decked out in some killer Kabuki gear! And a big shocker as Love Machine Arashi advanced over Great Kosuke! Everyone was predicting a Volcano/Kosuke final, but this threw everyone for a loop!
The main event for the day was a big six-man tag that saw the team of Keiji Mutoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Ebetosan (Ebessan's Keiji Mutoh gimmick) VS Shikokuemon Saburo (Jinsei Shinzaki in a mask), Taiji Ishimori and Tsubo Genjin. Shocker of the match was when Genjin gave everyone kisses during the match, including Nakajima who embarassingly admitted after the match that it was his first kiss. Awww...

ZEPP TOKYO - 1,100 Fans

1. Mixed Tag: Michiko Ohmukai, Aja Kong & Kushinobu Kamen beat APE WOMAN, Tsubasa Kuragaki & Ebessan (16:48) when Ebessan used the Kansai International Airport Tornado on Kamen.
2. Nobukazu Hirai beat Akira Raijin (11:35) with a moonsault.
3. NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKA Michinoku beat Kaz Hayashi, Kohei Suwama & Taichi Ishikari (13:43) when TAKA used the Just Facelock on Ishikari.
4. Nobutaka Araya & Tomoaki Honma vs. Kintaro Kanemura & GENTARO beat Nobutaka Araya & Tomoaki Honma (10:05) when Kanemura used the Samson Clutch on Honma.
5. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Round 1: Masked Volcano beat AKIRA (8:47) with a lariat.
6. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Round 1: Love Machine Arashi beat Great Kosuke (10:29) with a horizontal cradle.
7. Keiji Muto, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Ebetosan beat Shikokuemon Saburo , Taiji Ishimori & Tsubo Genjin (13:53) when Nakajima beat Genjin.

The second day of the tour saw another shocker in the a-k-a Tournament when THE APE MAN beat the super heavyweight Love Machine Arashi to advance to the finals! The second semi final saw Masked Volcano beat Black Ebessan (lol again!) to get the finals, where he would then defeat APE MAN to win the tournament!

BAPE STA!!, 12/30/04
ZEPP TOKYO - 1,500 - Super No Vacancy

1. WOMENS PRO-WRESTLING: APE WOMAN & Tsbuasa Kuragaki beat Michiko Ohmukai & Aja Kong (23:11) when APE WOMAN used an flying elbow drop on Kong.
2. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Semi Final: THE APEMAN beat Love Machine Arashi (6:16) with a horizontal cradle.
3. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Semi Final: Masked Volcano beat Black Ebessan (7:30) with a lariat.
4. Taichi Ishikari, Kushinobu Kamen & Tsubo Genjin beat NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKA Michinoku (9:20) when Ishikari pinned NOSAWA.
5. Toshiaki Kawada, Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai beat Tomoaki Honma, Kohei Suwama & Akira Raijin (18:56) when Araya used a moonsault on Raijin.
6. Keiji Muto, Jinsei Shinzaki & Taiji Ishimori beat Katsuhiko Nakajima, Satoshi Kojima & AKIRA (20:51) when Shinzaki used the Gokuraku Gatame on Nakajima.
7. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Final: Masked Volcano beat THE APEMAN (11:40) with a Tiger Suplex hold.

On a side note, I just received the tapes of the May 2004 BAPE STA!! shows, and it's really fun from what I've seen so far.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Wrestling World 2005 card announced!

The current card for New Japan's annual year opening Tokyo Dome event has been announced. I'll honestly say the card doesn't look all that good, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt to prove me wrong with good work rate.
Another important note on the show is that Brock Lesner has been announced as being invited to the show by Antonio Inoki. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen as Inoki has made alot of false claims in the past about bringing in big names like Mike Tyson, and never delivered.

Tokyo Dome

1. Wataru Inoue & Katsushi Takemura vs. Jado & Gedo
2. Koji Kanemoto vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Heat (c) vs. Tiger Mask
4. Amaresu Exhibition Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Katsuhiko Nagata
5. Takashi Iizuka vs. Minoru Suzuki
6. Osamu Nishimura vs. Satoshi Kojima
7. 8 Man Ultimate Royal (Participants TBA)
8. Dogfight: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Masahiro Chono vs. Riki Choshu
9. IWGP U-30 Openweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura


Saturday, December 25, 2004

Full Great Voyage card announced!

The full card for NOAH's first big show of the year has been announced and it looks good as always. Kenta Kobashi puts the GHC Heavyweight title on the line against Pancrase/NJPW star Minoru Suzuki in what could be a very interesting encounter, as Suzuki is a mat based grappler and will probably keep Kobashi locked to the mat for the most part. Suzuki was actually one of the people I thought that would stand a good chance of beating Kobashi, but I don't see it happening now.
Genichiro Tenryu makes his first appearance in the green NOAH ring as he teams with Shiro Koshinaka to take on Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikioh. Rikioh has a lot of momentum going into this match as he scored a huge pinfall victory over Kobashi awhile back during the NOAH 2-day tag tournament. Whether or not he'll get the rub here from Tenryu remains to be seen. It should still be a very good match though, and I expect alot of crowd heat for the Misawa/Tenryu interaction.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru will put his GHC Jr. Title on the line against Tatsuhito Takaiwa of Zero-One Max. Takaiwa beat Kanemaru for the title several years ago, and this could be Kanemaru's revenge match. Takaiwa is going into the match with a tag victory over Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi when he pinned Hashi at the Zero-One Max Korakuen Hall show a few days back, and he also just recently dropped the Zero-One Max Jr. Title to Super Crazy recently. Is this a sign that Takaiwa will beat Kanemaru, and give Zero-One Max a much needed mainstream rub? Or is it just to protect ZOM by not having their Jr. champion lose to the champ of a rival promotion?
Another big match on the card is the in ring return of Takeshi Morishima as he teams with his good buddy Naomichi Marufuji against Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi of STERNESS. Morishima has been out on injury for several months now, but he's been looked to as being better then his WILD II team mate Takeshi Rikioh and will probably feud with him should he win the GHC Title off Kobashi like everyone suspects. But I do wonder if his injury will effect his performance in anyway.
Another fun match I'm really looking forward to is the big six-man Jr. tag match. Interesting to see Muhammed Yone in it, I hope they give him a big push now that his long time partner Daisuke Ikeda is going off to become a freelancer.

NOAH "GREAT VOYAGE 2005", 1/8/05 (NTV)
Tokyo Nippon Budokan

1. Mitsuo Momota VS Haruka Eigen
2. Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Takashi Sugiura VS Jun Izumida, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kishin Kawabata
3. Yoshinari Ogawa, SUWA & Ricky Marvin VS Mohammed Yone, KENTA & Kotaro Suzuki
4. Akira Taue & Takuma Sano VS Tamon Honda & Go Shiosaki
5. Takeshi Morishima Return Match: Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji VS Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi
6. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Tatsuhito Takaiwa
7. Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio VS Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi VS Minoru Suzuki


NOAH Christmas Eve Results

NOAH just got done running it's annual Christmas Eve show at the Differ Ariake Arena. All the matches on the show were drawn at random before the show started, and most the wrestler wore Christmas related gear as they wrestled, like Ricky Marvin had a Christmas Tree on his head.

Tokyo Differ Ariake

1. Kenta Kobashi VS Mitsuharu Misawa went to a draw (10:00) when the time limit expired.
2. Naomichi Marufuji & Tiger Emperor (Kotaro Suzuki) beat Takuma Sano & Go Shiosaki (14:13) when Emperor used a Tiger Suplex '04 on Shiosaki.
3. Yoshinari Ogawa, Akitoshi Saito & Haruka Eigen beat KENTA, Kishin Kawabata & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (17:12) when Saito used an inside cradle on Kikuchi.
4. Jun Akiyama & Akira Taue beat Masao Inoue & Makoto Hashi (11:25) when Akiyama used an Exploder on Hashi.
5. Daisuke Ikeda, Tamon Honda & Takashi Sugiura beat Takeshi Rikio, Mohammed Yone & Mitsuo Momota (14:36) when Honda pinned Momota.
6. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Jun Izumida beat Ricky Marvin & Masashi Aoyagi (11:11) when Kanemaru used a side cradle on Aoyagi.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

Shamless plug of the day

Several days ago I was invited to join a new wrestling forum on the web ran by a few guys in Singapore since I was knowledgeable on the subject of Puroresu. It's still new, but hopefully business will pick once more members join and participate actively in the discussions.
Not only can you talk and discuss pro-wrestling, you can also talk about merchendise, as well as buy, sell or trade wrestling related stuff you have or are looking for. There's even a media section to download matches and themes once you meet the post quota.
Anyone interested to join (I'm looking at you TT2K, my partner in puroresu crime) can do so by going to AOPW-SG.COM and sign up at the forums.

Monday, December 20, 2004

BAPE STA!! year end line-ups

The next installment of Satoshi Kojima's/BAPE wear shows will be their year end shows on 12/29 and 12/30/2004! For those who don't know, the shows are booked by Kojima and sponsored by BAPE, with the wrestlers all dressed in BAPE wear, think of it as a wrestling fashion show! They also usually bring in indy talents, and this tour it looks to be some of the guys from Michinoku Pro.
The highlight of this tour looks to be the a-k-a Tournament that features Kojima in his Great Kosuke gimmick, AKIRA, Love Machine Arashi and Kensuke Sasaki in his Masked Volcano gimmick. Kinda obvious we'll see Kosuke VS Volcano in the finals, but will it be a serious hard hitting match we can expect from the two, or a more comedic match since it's their alter-egos?


1. Mixed Tag: Michiko Ohmukai, Aja Kong & Kushinobu Kamen VS APE WOMAN, ? & Ebessan
2. Nobukazu Hirai VS Akira Raijin
3. Kaz Hayashi, Kohei Suwama & Taichi Ishikari VS NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKA Michinoku
4. Nobutaka Araya & Tomoaki Honma VS Kintaro Kanamura & GENTARO
5. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Round 1: Masked Volcano vs. AKIRA
6. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Round 1: Great Kosuke vs. Love Machine Arashi
7. Keiji Muto, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Ebessan VS ?, Taiji Ishimori & APEMAN


1. WOMENS PRO-WRESTLING: Michiko Ohmukai & Aja Kong VS APE WOMAN & ?
2. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Semi Final: Winner of AKIRA/Volcano VS THE APEMAN
3. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Semi Final: Winner of Kosuke/Arashi VS X
4. Taichi Ishikari, Kushinobu Kamen & ? VS NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKA Michinoku
5. Toshiaki Kawada, Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai VS Tomoaki Honma, Kohei Suwama & Akira Raijin
6. Keiji Muto, Jinsei Shinzaki & Taiji Ishimori VS X, Katsuhiko Nakajima & X
7. BAPE STA!! PRO-WRESTLING a-k-a Tournament - Final:

Friday, December 17, 2004

Giant Baba Memorial show on 2/5/05

An updated list of participants have been announced for next year's big All Japan tribute show to the late founder of the company, Shohei "Giant" Baba, which will take place at the Nippon Budokan Hall.

All Japan: Keiji Muto, Toshiaki Kawada, Hiroshi Hase, Satoshi Kojima, Taiyo Kea, Masanobu Fuchi, Kaz Hayashi and more
Freelancers: Genichiro Tenryu, Yuto Aijima, Kensuke Sasaki, Takao Omori, Tarzan Goto, Shigeo Okumura
Michinoku Pro: Jinsei Shinzaki
Dragon Gate: Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Yokosuka, Darkness Dragon, Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito, Dragon Kid, Yasushi Kanda
Johnny Ace (WWE): Rodney Mack, Chuck Palumbo
Ceremony guests: Stan Hansen, The Destroyer, Yoshihiro Takayama, Seiji Sakaguchi, Hayabusa

The big surprise edition is obviously the Johnny Ace/WWE representatives, Rodney Mack and Chuck Palumbo, who have absolutely ZERO history in Japan and have NEVER set foot in an All Japan ring. Heck, they aren't even employed by WWE anymore.

New ODG Champion!

Surprising results from yesterday's year ending Dragon Gate show saw CIMA lose the Open the Dragon Gate title to FM2K leader, Masaaki Mochizuki! This was CIMA's 2nd defense of the title and it shocked many that he was unsuccessfull at holding on to it after his last title reign where he lost the UDG title to Magnum Tokyo on his FIRST defense!
Also on the show, the Italian Connection successfully defended the Open the Triangle Gate trios titles against the Aagan Iisou trio of Shuji Kondo, Takuya Sugawara and "brother" YASSHI. Ugly rumours are circulating now that Kondo is considering quitting Dragon Gate!

The final big news of the show was the shocker of Kensuke Sasaki getting pinned by Dragon Kid in the big Florida Express VS DO-FIXER 8-Man Mask VS Hair match! The result was that Johnson Florida had to unmask, and Iwase, Mishima and Sasaki had to get their heads shaved!

Dragon Gate "The Gate of Legend" 12/16/2004
Yoyogi National Stadium, 2nd Gym - 5,500 Fans

1. K-ness & Second Doi beat Shingo Takagi & Don Fujii in 13:31 when Doi pinned Takagi with the Doi 555.
2. HenoHeno Mask & Susumu Yokosuka beat Touru Owashi & Shogo Takagi in 12:03when HenoHeno Mask pinned Owashi with a schoolboy after an alcohol spray!
3. Hair vs. Mask
DO-FIXER (Magnum TOKYO, Genki Horiguchi, Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito) beat The Florida Express (Michael Iwasa, Daniel Mishima, Kensuke Sasaki & Johnson Florida) in 11:33 when Dragon Kid pinned Sasaki with a schoolboy roll-up.
4. Open the Triangle Gate Trios Titles
Italian Collection (Milano Collection AT, YOSSINO & Anthony W. Mori) beat Aagan Iisou (Shuji Kondo, Takuya Sugawara, brother YASSHI) in 14:55 when Milano pinned YASSHI with the IR.
5. Open the Dream Gate Title
Masaaki Mochizuki beat CIMA in 22:49 with the Saikyo High Kick to become the NEW champion!

2004 Pro-Wres Grand Prix Awards

The winners of the 31st annual Pro-Wrestling Grand Prix Awards in Japan was announced recently, with the Kensuke Office sweeping most of the awards!
For all his years in the business, this is Kensuke Sasaki's first MVP award. Past winners include Kenta Kobashi, Keiji Mutoh, Yoshihiro Takayama, and Genichiro Tenryu, as well as past legends like Antonio Inoki (record 6 times winner!), Giant Baba, and Jumbo Tsuruta.

MVP: Kensuke Sasaki (Kensuke Office)
Best Bout: Kenta Kobashi VS Jun Akiyama (NOAH 7/10)
Best Tag Team: Yoshihiro Takayama & Minoru Suzuki (free & Pancrase Mission)
Outstanding Performance Award: Toshiaki Kawada (All Japan)
Fighting Spirit Award: Hiroyoshi Tenzan (New Japan)
Technique Prize: Minoru Suzuki (Pancrase Mission)
Newcomer Prize: Katsuhiko Nakajima (Kensuke Office)
Subject Prize: Akira Hokuto (Kensuke Office)
Joshi Prize: No appropriate person


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

WWE Armageddon Results

Was anyone aware that this PPV was yesterday? It totally slipped my mind, but I really couln't give a crap after the miserable past few days I've been having. And the card for the PPV was nothing to shout home about from the get go. From the results there were only 2 things that caught my interest, and hopefully I'll be able to download them somewhere. Read the results and see if you can guess what caught my eye.

WWE Tag Team Championship
Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam beat Rene Dupree & Kenzo Suzuki when RVD pinned Dupree with the Five Star Frog Splash to retain the titles. When exactly did Mysterio & RVD win the titles again?

Kurt Angle beat Santa Claus with an Ankle Lock. And you wonder why I don't regret missing WWE PPVs anymore.

Dixie Dog Fight (AKA A Boxing Match)
Daniel Puder beat Mike Mizanin by fans decision after 3 rounds. Mizanin really had no chance of beating Puder due to his popularity, unless he could have knocked out the former MMA fighter.

The Basham Brothers beat Hardcore Holly & Charlie Haas when Danny Basham pinned Holly with a small-package after switching places with Doug Basham while Holly was distracted by Haas who was trying to break up a cat fight between Ms. Jackie & Dawn Marie.

US Championship - Street Fight
John Cena beat Jesus with the FU. A near total squash.

Dawn Marie beat Ms. Jackie with a roll-up and hooking the tights. Charlie Haas was the referee. Post match he said he didn't love Jackie, and called Dawn a slut. He then walked out on both of them. Hopefully this means that the whole dumb story is finished.

3-on-1 Handicap Match
The Big Show beat Kurt Angle, Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak when he pinned Jindrak with the F5.

WWE Cruiserweight Title
Funaki beat Spike Dudley when he countered the Dudley Dog into a roll-up to win the title.

WWE Championship - Anything Goes Fatal Four-Way
John "Bradshaw" Leyfield beat Eddie Guerrero, Booker T and The Undertaker when he pinned Booker with the Clothesline From Hell. 'Taker had the match won till John Heidenreich made his return and took him out, leaving JBL free get the win.

So could you guess the two standout moments I was talking about? The first was obviously Sho Funaki winning the cruiserweight title off Spike Dudley. God know Funaki desereved it after all these years with WWE. The second was Big Show using Brock Lesner's F5 finisher to win his handicap match. I want to see what the reaction was like, cause the reports said everyone was shocked and surprised when he pulled it off.

Monday, December 13, 2004

New IWGP Champions!

New Japan Pro Wrestling ran two big back to back shows, with very positive results as new champions were crowned on both shows as the two main titles in the promotion were brought back to the home team.
The first show on saturday saw an incredible double main event, first with Satoshi Kojima returning to New Japan and facing his former TenKoji partner, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, in a great sounding match that went to a thirty minute draw!
And the main event saw U-30 champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and Supernova Shinsuke Nakamura defeat the team of Minoru Suzuki and Kensuke Sasaki in another thirty-plus minute match to become the new IWGP tag team champions! The match was a decision match since Suzuki's original tag champion partner Yoshihiro Takayama has been sidelined with an injury since August, and they had only now decided to vacate the titles.
Elsewhere on the show, Masahiro Chono became the first man ever to beat Yuji Nagata in his "demon" form, winning the bloody battle with his new FTS submission hold.

NJPW, 12/11/04 (PPV)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
6,000 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. El Samurai & Hiroshi Nagao beat Ryusuke Taguchi & Akiya Anzawa (10:04) when Nagao used a chokeslam on Anzawa.
2. Masayuki Naruse beat Hirooki Goto (2:51) with a cross kneelock.
3. Koji Kanemoto, Tiger Mask & Wataru Inoue beat Minoru Tanaka, Jado & Gedo (13:41) when Kanemoto used an ankle hold on Jado.
4. Genichiro Tenryu & Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Togi Makabe & Toru Yano (10:25) when Tenryu used the 53-years-old on Yano.
5. Takashi Iizuka, Yutaka Yoshie & Blue Wolf beat Black Strong Machine, Scott Norton & Mitsuya Nagai (14:35) when Yoshie used a diving body press on Nagai.
6. Jushin Thunder Liger Return Match: Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Thunder Liger beat Riki Choshu & Tomohiro Ishii (8:03) when Nakanishi used the Hercules Cutter on Ishii.
7. Masahiro Chono beat Yuji Nagata (13:23) with an FTS.
8. Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Satoshi Kojima went to a draw (30:00) when the time limit expired.

9. IWGP Tag Team Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shinsuke Nakamura beat Kensuke Sasaki & Minoru Suzuki (32:33) when Tanahashi used a Dragon suplex hold on Suzuki to become the 47th champions (decision match).

The second show saw Hiroyoshi Tenzan win his third IWGP Heavyweight Championship in 12 months when he defeated Kensuke Sasaki and brought the title home from the freelancer. The match was said to be a very stiff affair, and a great tie-breaker as they were 1-1-1 in singles matches in the past year.
Also on the card, Minoru "Heat" Tanaka made a successful V11 defense of the IWGP Jr. title against young Wataru Inoue who was on a roll against Heat throughout the tour. But his luck ran out here.

NJPW, 12/12/04 (WPW/NJ+IWTV Internet)
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
9,000 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Naofumi Yamamoto beat Yujiro (8:06) with a crab hold.
2. El Samurai & Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Ryusuke Taguchi & Hirooki Goto (11:55) when Nakajima used a German suplex hold on Taguchi.
3. Toru Yano beat Hiroshi Nagao (5:27) with a scrap buster.
4. Koji Kanemoto & Tiger Mask beat Jado & Gedo (12:35) when Tiger used a Japanese leg roll clutch hold on Jado.
5. Tatsutoshi Goto & Masayuki Naruse beat Yutaka Yoshie & Blue Wolf (11:22) when Naruse used a sleeper hold on Yoshie.
6. Riki Choshu & Tomohiro Ishii beat Takashi Iizuka & Togi Makabe (3:52) when Choshu used a Scorpion Deathlock on Makabe.
7. Genichiro Tenryu & Minoru Suzuki beat Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Thunder Liger (13:13) when Tenryu used a lariat on Liger.
8. Yuji Nagata, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shinsuke Nakamura beat Masahiro Chono, Scott Norton & Mitsuya Nagai (17:13) when Tanahashi used an inside cradle on Norton.
9. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Heat (c) beat Wataru Inoue (18:51) with a cross armbreaker (11th defense).

10. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Kensuke Sasaki (c) (31:38) with a moonsault press to become the 40th champion

Both shows look great, and I just might be picking up tapes of them when they come out. Good to see the New Japan are ending the year on a good note, after a mostly horrendous year of booking. Next up: WRESTLING WORLD 2005! Don't dissapoint us!

Credit: Strong Style Spirit for the results.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Spoiling The Illusion: RAW is Jericho Edition

So last week after telling Orton that the world title match controversy in the battle royal was Orton's problem since he's the GM, why didn't Vince leave it to Jericho this week to settle the controversy since he was the acting GM instead of waiting for Bischoff to return next week? Wouldn't the most logical way to settle it was to have a rematch, like they've done so many times in the past? And wouldn't it all be a big waste of time if Bischoff announces a rematch for the title next week anyway?
Right now I get the feeling that they might hold a mini tournament over the next few weeks with the finals taking place at the Royal Rumble. And it seems likely since it puts Orton back in the world title chase since HHH isn't champion anymore. Either that, or the triple threat rematch will take place at the Royal Rumble.
Speaking of the Royal Rumble, say it with me now, "BATISTA, 2005 ROYAL RUMBLE WINNER!" The way things are going now, I think it looks better to have Batista in the main event against HHH than Randy Orton, since they've been doing an incredible job building up the tension in Evolution. Batista has been using his brains more than the cerebral assasin, and lets not forget that Vince loves the big men. Then again, Orton defending the title against Batista at WrestleMania would also make for a fresh change.
And speaking of Evolution, why is it that the one week they decide to not let Ric Flair have a match on RAW, it just so happens to be a show being held in his home town, where Flair truly is God to the masses? Again, whatever it is Flair is being paid, it sure as hell isn't enough when he has to shill HHH like crazy in front of his home crowd.

Man, is Christy Hemme working off every penny of that $250,000 or what? Was this Creative's plan all along? Find someone that looks good other than the wrestling Divas so they can have them do a cheap kinky T&A stunt every week? Or was it all really what Vince had in mind from the get go? Stacy must really be happy that she has a group to hang out with, and doesn't have to wrestle with them in the ring either.

OK, I'm seriously getting the feeling that WWE has no idea what to do with Shelton Benjamin. The push he is getting now sorta reminds me of Ahmed Johnson. Black dude makes a big impact and given a monster push, but eventually they don't know what to do with him. Benjamin may not be as injury prone as Johnson was, but they seriously need to find something for him to do that he can actively participate in, other than just making IC title defenses every week.
And wouldn't it have been more hilarious if Tyson Tomko came out after Captain Charisma and held back his wanting to laugh all the way down to the ring following Christian? And was I the only one expecting Captain Charisma to actually get into character and pulloff a few Hurricane type mannerisms?

Was that really former ECW star Super Nova in the ring with The Hurricane last night? I'm talking about Simon Dean. His debut was one hell of a dissapointment, especially given who his opponent was. For those of you who didn't know, Nova was one of the most innovative wrestlers in ECW back in the day. And I heard after he bulked up to heavyweight status that he was doing really good in the indy scene and OVW. But last night's match was just one big DUD. I know he uses the gimmick of a Bodydonna, but does he actually have to wrestle like one? Or is it because he's suppose to be a sponsor of the show, and hence, has ZERO wrestling ability like actual sponsors most probably would? And if an actual sponsor wanted to wrestle, you think Vince would allow them???

The last time a Women's Title match main evented RAW, it was Stephanie McMahon defending against Lita. The only reason that match was good was because of the Rock as the special referee. This time, it was Trish Stratus defending against Lita, and it was their pure ability alone that tore the house down this week! Being in Lita's home town really helped alot too, as I guess the crowd heat wouldn't have been that good anywhere else. And was the landing on that suicide dive to floor Lita took SICK or what?

Monday, December 06, 2004

All Japan 12/05 Results

All Japan's last big show of the year saw Toshiaki Kawada break Mitsuharu Misawa's Triple Crown defense record when he overcame the challenge of New Japan's Hiroyoshi Tenzan. The match was said to be a brutal slugfest that went over half and hour! Post match, they hinted at a possible IWGP VS Triple Crown match as Kensuke Sasaki (who work the semi-main of the show) confronted Kawada after the match.
The Kensuke Family ((or Sasaki Office) finally settled their feud with RO&D, Kensuke being the soul survivor of a big 10-person elimination tag. A lot of top rope toss out eliminations in this one, but Sasaki scored two decisive pinfalls in the end to win the match.
Keiji Mutoh brought back The Great Muta tonight to do battle with GREAT MUTA of the Love Machines! Muta even had a new demon-like mask on.
Satoshi Kojima continues his rise in the ranks, overcoming the Super Love Machine in singles competition.
And Vader made a successful return to Japan as he defeated young rookie Kohei Suwama in the first match of the youngster's 7-match trial series. Let's hope Vader sticks around for a while as it would be fun to see the big man in action again after such a long hiatus.

Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
8,800 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Tomoaki Honma & Taichi Ishikari beat AKIRA & Akira Raijin (13:14) when Honma used a single-leg crab hold on Raijin.
2. Love Machine Storm, Love Machine Steele & Mini Love Machine beat Masanobu Fuchi, Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai (8:39) when Steele used the Turbo Drop II on Araya.
3. AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kaz Hayashi (c) beat NOSAWA Rongai (14:47) with the Final Cut (5th defense).
4. Kohei Suwama Trial Series 1st: Vader beat Kohei Suwama (6:28) with a lariat.
5. Satoshi Kojima beat Super Love Machine (16:52) with a lariat.

6. Great Muta beat GREAT MUTA (10:12) with the Shining Wizard.

7. Kensuke Family vs. RO&D Conclusion - Elimination Match:
Kensuke Sasaki, Genichiro Tenryu, Katsuhiko Nakajima, KENSHIN & Akira Hokuto beat TAKA Michinoku , Taiyo Kea, Jamal, Buchanan & D-Lo Brown (25:54).
- Buchanan used an iron claw slam on KENSHIN (6:04).
- Tenryu threw Buchanan over the top rope (10:44).
- Jamal threw Tenryu over the top rope (15:24).
- Nakajima & Brown went over the top rope (17:50).
- Hokuto & Jamal went over the top rope (20:47).
- Sasaki used a lariat on TAKA (22:18).
- Sasaki used a Northern Light bomb on Kea (27:54).

8. Triple Crown: Toshiaki Kawada (c) beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan (32:21) with a face kick (9th defense).

Sunday, December 05, 2004

NOAH 12/04 Yokohama Results

NOAH's final big show of the year saw three successful title defenses being made. The big news coming out of the show was that Yoshinobu Kanemaru will now officially make his next defense of the GHC Jr. Title against Zero-One's Tatsuhito Takaiwa at the Z1 Korakuen Hall show on 12/22! Also, Minoru Suzuki will be next in line to challenge Kenta Kobashi for the GHC World Heavyweight Championship! The date for the match hasn't been confirmed yet though.

NOAH, 12/4/04 (NTV)
Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
4,600 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Makoto Hashi beat Go Shiosaki (13:27) with the Falcon Arrow.
2. SUWA & Takuma Sano beat Tamon Honda & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (14:59) when SUWA used the FFF on Kikuchi.
3. Scorpio, Richard Slinger & Ace Steel beat Daisuke Ikeda, Mohammed Yone & Kishin Kawabata (18:53) when Steel pinned Kawabata.
4. Takeshi Rikio, Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA beat Akira Taue, Ricky Marvin & Kotaro Suzuki (16:42) when Marufuji used the Shiranui on Suzuki.
5. Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue beat Jun Akiyama & Jun Izumida (16:02) when Saito used the Sickle of Death on Izumida.
6. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) beat Takashi Sugiura (25:03) with the Touching Out (3rd defense).
7. GHC Tag Team Title: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (c) beat Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan (17:53) when Ogawa used the Emerald Frosion on Modest (7th defense).
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi (c) beat The Gladiator (28:21) with the Moonsault Press (12th defense

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Kea & Jamal win the Tag League!

The RO&D team of Taiyo Kea & Jamal have won the 2004 Real World Tag League, defeating last year's winners, Satoshi Kojima & Kazu Hayashi in the finals last night. Prior to that, they defeated the team of Toshiaki Kawada & Mitsuya Nagai in a play-off match as both teams were tied for points from the round robin leg of the tournament.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My look at the current state of puroresu

Was reading my buddy TenzanTeam2K's new online journal, and he made some interesting remarks about wanting to debate the current state of Japanese wrestling based on some stuff I said awhile back. Well, I ain't no master-debater, but I think I could argue a few of the points he made. You can read TT2K's original rant by clicking HERE.
I was actually saving some of this stuff for a big year end look at the business, but what the heck.

Yes, it's a shame ZERO-ONE died out. And they did pull a coup d'eta by kicking out Hashimoto because he appeared on a rival company's show. But hey, even they had to get fed-up by never having been put over by him and the company not making any money due to his bad business decisions (including paying more attention to the Hustle project), and this was the best excuse to get rid of him.
And the Fire Festivals which were a big yearly attraction were booked by Otani himself, and even he was more generous with his bookings by putting over others ahead of himself.
Zero-One might be dead, but I don't think I ever said I'd like for there to be a revival of sorts. It's also probably a good thing now since there isn't room for four big promotions to survive in Japan the way attendance numbers have dropped.
Everyone is singing praises about Hashimoto returning to New Japan now. But I'll be the first one laughing in their faces when it comes back to bite them in the ass.

All Japan Pro Wrestling
I'll admit Mutoh did a really crappy job when he was first put in charge about two years back, but this year has been a real eye-opener as things have really turned around for the better for the company. Mutoh was really smart in rekindling his ties with NJPW as it allowed him access to bring in some old friends like Nishimura who weren't being used much in NJPW anyway.
One thing I do have to argue with TT2K though is how he totally lacked to mention the next to ZERO Jr heavyweights they have in their division as compared to NOAH. Kazu Hayashi, Ryuji Hijikata & Taichi Ishikari are the ONLY locals they have in the Jr. division (Fuchi is a fulltime heavyweight now), with the rest all being outsiders or free agents. And Kohei Suwama is about the only hope they have as a future homegrown star of the company.

This is a failing experiment. But they have done somethings that caught my interest, like Kawada VS Mick Foley and Goldberg VS Naoya Ogawa. They'll be lucky if they EVER sell out the Yokohama Arena though. And I agree with TT2K about cosplaying wrestlers. It must be one of the worst ideas in the history of bad-wrestling ideas. At least they haven't had two old-timers go at it in a evening gown hardcore match yet XPXPXP

Pro Wrestling NOAH
Misawa's happy little group. TT2K, you've been a bit of a hypocrite here as you said you had no problems with Kawada being Triple Crown champion for a long time, but said the opposite for GHC Champion Kobashi. The reason Kawada hasn't dropped the title yet to Kojima or anyone yet is because he is the top draw of the company also, like Kobashi is for NOAH. Kojima's time as champion will come. But they can't rush into it or it will end up like Akiyama's GHC title reign.
I will admit Kobashi's act is getting a bit redundant though. Watching his classic AJPW matches on the satelite TV this past few days showed me a real difference in the man then and now. For one thing, he wasn't a half-nelson suplex machine, and was more of the underdog at times in big matches.
As for the rest of the heavyweight division, say what you will about Taue, but the man is putting on matches ten times better than anything involving guys his age like Chono or Choshu in NJPW. Taue is the man who can answer the call when required despite his age and he hardly dissapoints.
Tamon Honda lost his spark due to lack of follow up for the push he had awhile back. True that he is one of the guys that will never be champion, but pairing him up in tags to help get over younger guys would be a good way to use him. A second tag title run would be good.
The rest of the division is indeed in need of some help though. I won't argue that Masao Inoue & Akitoshi Saito need to be carried to have a good match, or at least matches that don't go over 10 minutes if they aren't tagging with descent partners, which is probably why Sugiura is in the Dark Agents faction.
Rikio & Morishima still need to develop more before they can make the jump to the top. They have yet to prove themselves as singles wrestlers (Rikio had arguably the worst GHC title match ever with Kobashi). The day one of them gets a three count on Misawa himself and put on a convincing performance for it is the day they will be deemed worthy to become champion.

New Japan Pro Wrestling
The self professed "King of Sports" have had themselves a crock of a year with alot of really bad business decisions that have cost the company both financially and integrity-wise. From the IWGP title being devalued by champions like Bob Sapp and Kazuyuki Fujita, to Inoki's medling with the booking, and of course the miss-use of talent, this has not been a good year for them.
Guys like Stuart and the rest of the Yes-Men at the Strong Style Message Board can rant and rave all they want about how good a show is, But it's not doing NJPW any good if non of the locals feel the same way and turn up for the shows, like the huge bomb that was the Osaka Dome last month. We can buy all the tapes we want, but it won't put a cent in NJPW's pocket since they are all bootlegged anyway. If New Japan is smart and really want to cut down expenses, they should just run one Tokyo Dome show a year (Wrestling World), while the rest of the big shows be relegated to smaller venues like the Nippon Budokan and the Sumo Hall. All Japan did that, and look how they turned out now?
As for the roster, True, they have some of the best workers in the world. False, I don't think I said most of them were shooter wannabes, but that they fall into one of three main categories of the types of workers they have. And this was even pointed out by NJPW President Kusama himself. And TT2K, how could you possibly not count Nakamura as a shooter when he’s been more successful at it than Shibata? Heck, about 70% of his arsenal comprises submission moves. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you probably “forgot” that the young supernova made his mark as a shooter.
And I’ll admit that I still don’t get “Strong Style”. The only thing I get about it is that it’s slow and lumbering. I haven’t seen any of the big chain sequences that guys like Akiyama, Kobashi, Kawada or even Masato Tanaka have pulled off. Proof being Akiyama in the 2003 G-1 Climax tournament. He just looked so limited there, like a fish out of water. The best match he had there was actually with Tanahashi, cause the youngster could keep up with his pace instead of the lumbering guys like Chono & Nakanishi. Tenzan also had two good matches with Akiyama by the way. More then enough reason he should be holding the IWGP title right now.
As for the rest of the rosters, it’s true that NJPW have a HUGE rosters of up and coming youngsters, but just how far are they gonna get now with the return of Hashimoto & Choshu? Or Chono again stealing the spotlight away for himself as the leader of the top heel faction? Instead of the generation wars, it’s back to the old good VS evil storylines.
The same could be said for the Jr Division when Liger once again jumped to the dark side and joined CTU, so he could be an unbeatable heel instead of the underdog face that has to battle them and take a few loses along the way. Personally, I also thought Liger joining CTU took the focus away from Takemura, who started the whole damn thing in the first place to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
And then there are the rookies; the guys in black tights who win all their matches early in their careers with either a Boston crab, or a German suplex. Sure, NJPW is churning them out like no other, and it was huge that they managed to get the son of Davey Boy Smith too. NOAH so far only has Go Shiozaki and AJPW only has Kohei Suwama. Both of them could really use some fresh meat, but NOAH could use it more than AJPW I think, since NOAH needs to expand their roster a bit instead of bringing in outsiders mostly for one shot tours.

Well, this turned out to be a bit of a rant, didn’t it? Think I'll end this here for now. But you know what they say, “It’s healthy to release some of your frustrations by putting it in writing.”


Spoiling The Illusion

So last night we get a kind of "bait & switch" AND a Dusty Finish both in one show???
You had to have known something screwy was gonna happen when the World Title battle royal kicks off the show. The battle royal itself was pretty good though, but man did the fans hate it when the wrestlers broke up the Batista/Snitzsky confrontation? And how about Steven Richards making the final six after McMahon said he'd be the least credible as champion? I would have liked to have seen him last just a big longer though.
So after over-ruling Orton's decision that the battle royal was for the world title, Vince shrugs off Orton when he asks for his advice by saying, "I'm not the general manager!" Benoit really hit the nail on the head later when he said eventhough they won total control of RAW at Survivor Series that they were still getting shafted every week.

Instead of having Mohammad Hassan come in as a heel with a vendetta against America, couldn't they have made him a face trying to fit in and earn everyone's respect as an athelete and not an Arab-American? That would definately get people talking more then the overused gimmick they are giving him now. It would also be more of a positive since it would help to curb America's fear of Arabs and Muslims instead of adding fuel to the fire of hate that's already there.

I really liked watching Lawler VS Flair, but isn't it dumb the way a guy always suddenly jams his knee or something in a match where their opponent's specialty is a leg finisher?
And whatever Flair is being paid, it sure as hell isn't enough if he has to say that Triple H is HIS MENTOR with a straight face.

Was I the only one thinking Maven was gonna screw Regal & Eugene out of the tag titles, thereby giving them back to La Resistance for the umpteenth time? Damn was I happy to be wrong for once.

I like watching hot women as much as the next guy, but isn't it getting kinda obvious that the WWE now has so many non-wrestling Divas that they don't know what to do with them? And thanks again ASTRO for cutting out the lingerie fashion show last night by the way.

It's also become pretty clear to me now that the reason the face team won at Survivor Series is so that Triple H can make himself look strong again week after week after not having the title for so long. Heck, it won't surprise me one bit if they decide next week to have a triple threat rematch, and HHH wins it there by beating Benoit.