My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Monday, January 31, 2005

WWE Royal Rumble 2005 results

Show opens with a great recap vid of previous Rumbles

Edge VS Shawn Michaels
This was a great match! It’s probably safe to say that all expectations going in to it were met. Edge is just so awesome as the psycho heel here. The match itself had a good story going for it, with both men almost even matched. Edge would mock HBK’s tuning up the band before hitting the spear, but HBK would kick out. HBK would rebound and try for Sweet Chin Music, but Edge would duck it and drop HBK with an electric chair drop! Edge would get a near submission with the Edge-ucator, but eventually cheat to win rolling up HBK and holding the ropes for the win. The ending of course being the only blemish on an otherwise awesome opener for the PPV.
Match Rating: ***3/4

In the GM’s office, Ric Flair & Eddie Guerrero are first to draw their numbers for the Rumble match. Flair goes first and seems to get a good number, while Guerrero seemed not to like his number. Eddie congratulates Flair and gives him a hug before walking off. Flair shows off his number to Christy, Torrie, Bisch & Teddy Long, who mention his number isn’t that impressive. Flair looks at his number slip and realizes Eddie snatched his number! He rushes out to look for Eddie!
John Heidenreich (who looks strikingly similar to Tom Howard) is shown in the back exclaiming his hatred for caskets. Fellow wacko Gene Snitzsky shows up and in a very homophobic moment, but men exclaim their hatred for caskets, but their like of each other! Snitzsky says he has a plan, and Heidenreich is all ears as we head to a recap building up the Casket Match which is next.

Casket Match
Heidenreich VS The Undertaker

They did a lot of mock MMA moves in this one, including the WORSE looking triangle choke I’ve ever seen! It wasn’t even locked in properly, and Heidenreich sold it like hell! Gene Snitzsky suddenly shows up and helps Heidenreich beat down Taker. They double-suplex him and try to put him in the casket, but Kane is in the casket! Kane saves his brother and beats Snitzsky out through the crowd. Heidenreich battles back and rams the casket into Taker before locking on (rather badly) a Cobra Clutch. Taker escapes getting locked in the casket and guillotines Heidenreich who’s upper body is in the casket to get a “holy shit!” chant. Heidenreich comes back with a big sidewalk slam, but Taker comes back with a running DDT. Taker goes for the chokeslam, but loses Heidenreich on the way up! Damn is Heidenreich green! Anyways, one Tombstone Piledriver later, and Taker boxes the big man in the casket to win the match.
The only high point of the match was when Snitzsky and Kane got involved, and the big casket guillotine leg drop Taker geve Heidenreich.
Match Rating: **

Backstage and Teddy Long is talking to Eddie Guerrero asking him to give Flair back his number when Evolution come in and demand the number back. Long convinces Eddie, and after getting Flair’s number back, asks Eddie to give back his ‘other’ item, which turned out to be Flair’s wallet! Flair is irate again! Long & Eddie leave, and tensions rise between Batista & HHH again as Batista wants to go draw his number, but HHH wants to discuss their plans for his match with Orton instead.
Back at the GM’s office and Christian with Tyson Tomko draws his number and is satisfied with the his number. John Cena comes in to get his number and Captain Charisma takes offense to Cena and challenges him to a rap-off. Cena accepts, and Christian asks Tomko to give him a beat, who casually replies “No”. Hehe. Christian does a pretty good rap, and gets a pop for mentioning the peeps. Cena counters back saying the Chain Gang run the show. And ASTRO silenced out the rest of it. But this was really fun!

WWE Championship – No DQ, Triple-Threat
Kurt Angle VS The Big Show VS John “Bradshaw” Leyfield

Big Show dominated this match for the most part, till he was put through the announce table by Angle. Angle & JBL did some surprisingly good counter wrestling till Big Show came back. Really cool double team saw Angle hit show with a chopblock as JBL hit the Clothesline From Hell on Big Show. Show would rally back and score a near fall on JBL with a chokeslam. Show then tackles JBL right through the ringside barricade! Show almost gets the victory on Angle, if not for the interference of Jindrak and Reigns. The Bashams also show up to help keep Show occupied as Jordon helps JBL back into the ring, where he scores the Clothesline From Hell on Angle to win and retain the title.
Probably cause of the 3-way format, but this was really good!
Match Rating: ***1/4

On his way to draw his number, Batista runs into Carlito Carribean Cool, who asks him to sign his petition to get rid of GM Teddy Long. Batista declines, and CCC acts like he’s about to spit apple in Batista’s face, till the big man reminds him of what he did to La Resistance and the French Flag on Monday. CCC nervously swallows down his apple and Batista goes to draw his number. The two GMs are bickering over the Smackdown title match, and Bisch tells Batista to inform Evolution that everyone is banned from ringside to avoid an ending similar to the Smackdown match.

World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton VS Triple H

It was either legit, or Orton pulled off one of the best sell jobs in history when he smacked his head and was dazed throughout the rest of the match! The match was OK, but I really wonder about the Orton oversell part near the end. HHH more or less wins the match clean as Orton had trouble even standing and the Pedigree at the end was very sluggish due to it.
Match Rating: ***

Backstage and Angle intimidates Nunzio into giving him his number. Poor guy probably wishes he still had the FBI to back him up.
JBL and company bust into the GM’s office still celebrating his title defense as Teddy Long breaks the news that for the first time ever, JBL will defend the title against Big Show in the first ever BARB-WIRE STEEL CAGE MATCH at No Way Out!

Royal Rumble time, and JR & Tazz are co-announcing!

30-Man Royal Rumble Match
- Daniel Puder comes out and I almost thought it was Tito Ortiz! Instead of getting into the match, Puder grabs the mic and proclaims he’s gonna win the Rumble and be the first Tough Enough winner to do so. What follows is Puder getting the snot slapped out of him by Guerrero & Benoit as well as suplexing him to Hell, untill Holly enters and they all take turns to chop away at young Puder before eliminating him. Somehow, I don’t think it’s a good idea when the crowd encourages Hardcore of all people to beatdown a rookie…
- Benoit & Guerrero continue to double team and dominate for a while, and at the same time take pot shots at each other when the opening arises.
- Edge showed a lot of aggression when he entered and almost threw out Eddie, who clung to the bottom rope for dear life and did a commando rope crawl to get away from Edge!
- Is it just me, or has Rey Mysterio gotten smaller since the last time I saw him?
- For some reason, GM Bisch comes out at the no.10 mark.
- Y2J enters, and I noticed everyone in the ring has had a feud with him at one time or another.
- GM Teddy Long also comes out at this point.
- Eight men in the ring, four RAW and Four Smackdown = GANG WARFARE!
- Hassan enters, and all eyes turn on him! ALL EIGHT MEN gang up and beat the crap out of him before tossing him out! Call it racism or whatever Hassan, but your ass just got OWNED!
- Hassan attacks Scotty as he made his way to the ring. For some reason, ASTRO are slo-mo-ing Hassan’s intro and now this. Scotty can’t continue. That was a waste of a number.
- Booker T puts out Luther and Orlando, but gets put out by Eddie & Rey Jr after doing a Spinaroonie.
- Benjamin & Haas renew their World’s Greatest Tag Team days as they give Dupree the old tandem guillotine alley-oop.
- Angle came in like a house on fire and suplexed and Angle-Slammed everyone! HBK escapes an Angle Slam and tries Sweet Chin Music, but Angle catches it into an Ankle-Lock! HBK rolls out and gives Angle Sweet Chin Music to eliminate him!
- Angle would return moments later to eliminate HBK and bust him open with the steel steps followed by an ankle lock.
- Cena single handedly eliminated Viscera by flipping him over the top rope.
- London took a painful looking fall out to the floor when a Snitzsky Lariat flipped him hard face first on the floor. Think shooting star press!
- Kane comes in and unleashes hell with chokeslams to everyone! Snitzsky stops his rampage with a pumphandle slam.
- Batista comes in and quickly takes out Snitzsky before facing off with Kane and giving him a Batista-Bomb!
- Cena FUs Kane over the top rope!
- Flair & Batista work together to eliminate a whole lot of people.
- The Final Four are Edge, Cena, Mysterio & Batista
- Edge eliminates Mysterio by spearing him off the apron. He tries to double spear Cena and Batista, but they hoist him over the top to eliminate him!
- Cena tries to FU Batista out of the ring, but the big man escapes and tries for the Batista-Bomb, but both men fall over the top and hit the floor at the same time!
- Controversy as the RAW referees declare Batista the winner, and the Smackdown referees declare Cena the winner!
- Vince McMahon power walks to the ring…..and twists his ankle just getting in the ring???
- Batista and Cena take cheap shots tossing each other out till Vince declares the match be restart!
- They quickly go at it, and Batista hits a big spinebuster and tosses out Cena to decisively win the Rumble and go on to WrestleMania!

Rumble Entries:
1. Eddie Guerrero
2. Chris Benoit
3. Daniel Puder
4. Hardcore Holly
5. The Hurricane
6. Kenzo Suzuki
7. Edge
8. Rey Mysterio
9. Shelton Benjamin
10. Booker T
11. Chris Jericho
12. Luther Reigns
13. Muhammad Hassan
14. Orlando Jordon
15. Scotty 2 Hotty
16. Charlie Haas
17. Rene Dupree
18. Simon Dean
19. Shawn Michaels
20. Kurt Angle
21. Jonathan Coachman
22. Mark Jindrak
23. Viscera
24. Paul London
25. John Cena
26. Gene Snitzsky
27. Kane
28. Batista
29. Christian
30. Ric Flair

OVERALL: This is the first time in several months that I've seen a full WWE PPV, and I give this event a thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Spoiling The Illusion....as we head to the Rumble

The Blue Moon cometh, and so cometh the return of Spoiling The Illusion!

- Didn't you just know somebody was gonna interupt JR's big moment, cause Vince loves to embarass the poor guy? I was surprised that it was Triple H and not Muhammad Hassan (more on him later) though. Once again, Good Old JR gets beat down and no one comes out to make the save.... at least not until Stacy Kiebler was about to get Pedigreed. Guess everyone was hoping someone else would make the save or something. And how nice was it of Jerry Lawler to NOT run in to help JR like he did when Hassan & Daivari were beating him down?

- Sure, NOW Lawler condems Evolution's actions after singing them praises week after week and arguing with JR about their cheating tactics. Wouldn't surprise me if he was back rooting for them this weekend at the Rumble.

- Is it any more clear that WWE doesn't give a damn about the tag division when La Resistance win the belts for the umpteenth time, then proceed to get squashed by Batista in a handicap match after the big man was made to look vulnerable in his match with Viscera last week? I really would have preffered if they gave the belts to Christian & Tomko over La Resistance.

- Muhhamad Hassan wins his Royal Rumble qualifying match against Val Venis, but he already lost a previous qualifying match to Chris Jericho? But that was a house show so it "didn't happen". But La Resistance won the tag titles on the same show. I'm getting a headache...

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

New GHC Tag Champs!

OK, so I'm a bit late posting this but I was waiting for the Jap news sites to post a pic or something of Williams & Scorpio winning the titles. Oh well. Full results of the show as well as some notes:

NOAH "The First Navigation" 1/23/05
Kobe World Hall
2,800 Fans

1. GHC Hardcore Openweight Title: Naomichi Marufuji beat Haruka Eigen (7:40) with the Shiranui (2nd defense).
2. Richard Slinger, SUWA & Ricky Marvin beat Makoto Hashi, Kotaro Suzuki & Mitsuo Momota (15:18) when Slinger used a cradle on Momota.
3. Akitoshi Saito beat Kishin Kawabata (11:53) with the Sickle of Death.
4. Akira Taue, Masao Inoue & Shiro Koshinaka beat Tamon Honda, KENTA & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (15:07) when Inoue used an Argentine backbreaker on Kikuchi.
5. Takeshi Rikio, Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone beat Rick Steiner, Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan (10:13) when Rikio used the Muso on Morgan.
6. Go Shiosaki Single Match Trial 7th: Kenta Kobashi beat Go Shiosaki (13:59) with a lariat.
7. Minoru Suzuki , Takuma Sano & Takashi Sugiura beat Jun Akiyama, Jun Izumida & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (14:40) when Suzuki pinned Izumida after using a sleeper hold.
8. GHC Tag Team Title: Scorpio & Doug Williams beat Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (29:32) when Scorpio used the 450 splash on Ogawa to become the 9th champions.

The actual attendance number for the show was said to be more in the 1,000+ range. NOAH don't really do good business in the Kobe area, and the card really did nothing to help that. Hopefully the tag title change will help sway their minds that anything could happen at a NOAH show like the tag title change that I know NO ONE was expecting.

I was rather surprised that Scorpio and Doug Williams pulled off the upset against the near unbeatable Untouchables team of Misawa & Ogawa. Especially when you consider past teams like Ikeda/Yone, Taue/Sano and Marufuji/KENTA who couldn't get the job done.

I was also surprised that Marufuji retained his title against Eigen. At least he didn't beat him in three minutes like he originally planned to. Marufuji says now he's gonna dye the colour of the belt to his colours since white was Akiyama's colour. Doesn't he wear white too?

I probably wouldn't mind Minoru Suzuki wrestling more frequently in NOAH since I New Japan plan to cut down on using outsiders this year. They've been jobbing him out frequently also.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Full NOAH 1/23 Card

The full card for NOAH's first big tour ending show of the year has been announced. It looks a bit weak on paper, but hopefully NOAH's style of putting on strong work rate for big shows would make up for it. The one match I'm looking forward to the most is the GHC Hardcore title match between Marufuji and Eigen. The time limit is set for 10-minutes, and all Eigen has to do to win the title is survive the time limit. I've seen Momota bust out some great offense during big matches, and hopefully, Eigen will do the same and win the title!

NOAH "The First Navigation 2005", 1/23/05 (NTV)
Kobe World Hall

1. GHC Hardcore Openweight Title: Naomichi Marufuji (c) VS Haruka Eigen
2. Makoto Hashi, Kotaro Suzuki & Mitsuo Momota VS Richard Slinger, SUWA & Ricky Marvin
3. Akitoshi Saito VS Kishin Kawabata
4. Akira Taue, Masao Inoue & Shiro Koshinaka VS Tamon Honda, KENTA & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
5. Takeshi Rikio, Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone VS Rick Steiner, Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan
6. Go Shiosaki Singles Match Trial 7th: Kenta Kobashi VS Go Shiosaki
7. Jun Akiyama, Jun Izumida & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Minoru Suzuki, Takuma Sano & Takashi Sugiura
8. GHC Tag Team Title: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (c) VS Scorpio & Doug Williams


Osaka Hurricane 2005 Card!

The full card for the annual Osaka Hurricane show has been released and it looks interesting to say the least. After a long absence, Super Demekin returns to challenge Big Boss MA-G-MA in the main event for the Osaka Pro Singles Title. I remember seeing these two have a good singles match before when BMM was under the Zeta Mandora gimmick, which was also one of the best matches on that show. Hopefully these two will deliver a solid performance.
Daio QUALLT & Black Buffalo will defend the OPro Tag Titles against the pair of Billy Ken Kid and Perro. The gimmick to the match is that if BKK & Perro lose, they will have to unmask! The dog boy has been improving his game in the past few months and is now a key member in the feud against the Kishiwada Gurentai faction. Can he and former OPro singles champ BKK bring home the gold?
A special attraction match features the return of Tsubasa from a long healing leg injury as he teams with NJPW Jr. ace Jushin Thunder Liger. Could Tsubasa possibily be a CTU prospect? Anyways, they take on the team of Super Delfin and X. I'm leaning towards X being Keiji Mutoh, since there was recent interest from Mutoh to work OPro.
The annual battle of the comedy Gods over the (Unoficial) World's No.1 Title will pit eternal rivals / best friends Ebessan and Kuishinbo Kamen against each other. Will be interesting to see if they come up with any new material, but it's guaranteed to be hilarious.
Another title match for the MWF Jr. Title will see Mexico's Oriental defend the title against Kabuto Daio Beetle. I don't really know much about either man, but Oriental seems to be heavilly praised for his past OPro work.
The rest of the undercard will have handicap match as Tigers Mask takes on Histeria & Kendo Kobayashi (a TV celebrity), a tag match featuring Viewtiful Joe (Gamma?) & Takaku Fuke VS Azteca (Pro Wrestling KAGEKI) & Densen Man, and YUTAKA will face La Uchida in the opener.
I'm hoping they announce who X is before the show, cause a confirmed Keiji Mutoh participation would really help ticket sales if they aren't doing well. And noticibly absent from the card is GOA, Tortuga, Takehiro Murahama and any joshi participation. Murahama is said to be training for a K-1 fight, and It's possible that the first two could be working under a different gimmick for the night though.

Osaka Pro "OSAKA HURRICANE 2005", 2/13/05
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium

1. YUTAKA VS La Uchida
2. Viewtiful Joe & Takaku Fuke VS Azteca & Densen Man
3. Handicap Match: Tigers Mask VS Histeria & Kendo Kobayashi
4. MWF Jr. Heavyweight Title: Oriental (c) VS Kabuto Daio Beetle
5. World's No.1 Title: Ebessan VS Kuishinbo Kamen
6. Tsubasa Return Match: Super Delfin & X VS Jushin Thunder Liger & Tsubasa
7. Osaka Pro Tag Team Title: Daio QUALLT & Black Buffalo (c) VS Billy Ken Kid & Perro
8. Osaka Pro Singles Title: Big Boss MA-G-MA (c) VS Super Demekin

Sunday, January 16, 2005

All Japan 1/16/05 results

All Japan's latest supercard is done, with some good results. Firstly, Toshiaki Kawada overcame the challenge of Kensuke Sasaki to retain the Triple Crown for a record V10 defense. Kawada was then challenged by Kojima after the match, to which Kojima surprisingly received a round of boos for his challenge from the crowd. Maybe cause it took him longer to beat Kohei Suwama then Ebessan took to beat NOSAWA?
The semi-main event saw the tag titles come back to AJPW after a six months absence. Taiyo Kea & Jamal beat the New Japan duo of Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie to win the titles. Post match, Tanahashi challenged Keiji Mutoh to a singles match, and the match is now set to take place on 2/16 at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium #2!
TARU & Johnny Stamboli also continue to make waves as they defeated Mutoh & Tomoaki Honma. The name of their team is now called the Budo Murders. Weird? Yeah.
It was rumoured Aagan Iisou would show up, but that didn't happen. Hopefully they turn up somewhere soon.

AJPW, 1/16/05 (GAORA TV/TV Tokyo)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium

1. Masanobu Fuchi & Akira Raijin beat Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai (6:32) when Fuchi used an inside cradle on Araya.
2. Ebessan beat NOSAWA Rongai (8:21).
3. Love Machine Arashi & Mini Love Machine beat TAKA Michinoku & MAZADA (8:14) when Mini used an avalanche DDT on MAZADA.
4. Toshizo & Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Taichi Ishikari & Kaz Hayashi (13:06) when Toshizo used a flying crossarmbreaker on Ishikari.
5. TARU & Johnny Stamboli beat Keiji Muto & Tomoaki Honma (13:06) when TARU used the TARU Driller on Honma.
6. Kohei Suwama Trial Series 2nd: Satoshi Kojima beat Kohei Suwama (14:03) with a lariat.
7. AJPW World Tag Team Title: Taiyo Kea & Jamal beat Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie (27:15) when Jamal used the flying body splash on Yoshie (Jamal & Kea become 51st champions).
8. Triple Crown: Toshiaki Kawada (c) beat Kensuke Sasaki (23:27) with a face kick (10th defense).

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

WWE New Year's Revolution PPV results

I would have posted this sooner, but I forgot to subscribe for the PPV! So, I no ratings for the matches, though I heard it was a bit of a let down work-rate wise.

WWE Tag Team Titles: Eugene & William Regal beat Christian & Tyson Tomko to retain the titles when Eugene rolled up Tomko for the pin. Eugene injured his knee in the match and is expected to be out for several months.

WWE Women's Championship: Trish Stratus beat Lita with the Chick Kick to become the new champion. What? After all the hell Lita has been through, they won't even give her a decent run with the title? Word is, Lita may have injured her leg here too.

WWE Intercontinental Title: Shelton Benjamin beat Maven. After all the buildup, Maven was basically shown to be a coward and STILL a jobber as he lost not once, but TWICE in sucession to Benjamin. First with a roll-up, then with a quick T-Bone as soon as the bell rang to start the impromptu rematch.

Muhammad Hassan with Kosrov Daivari beat Jerry "The King" Lawler with a modified reverse DDT. Again, ANYONE SERIOUSLY THOUGHT KING HAD A CHANCE???

Kane beat Gene Snitzsky with the Tombstone Piledriver.

Elimination Chamber for WWE World Heavyweight Championship:
Special Referee: Shawn Michaels
Triple H beat Edge, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Batista and Randy Orton to become the new champion. Big whoop.
- Jericho pinned Edge after HBK gave him a super kick
- Batista pinned Benoit with a spine buster
- Batista pinned Jericho with a Batista-Bomb
- Orton pinned Batista with the RKO
- Triple H pinned Orton with the Pedigree

Giant Baba Memorial show card

The card for the Giant Baba memorial show was announced, and it doesn't look bad considering no titles are on the line as the whole point of the show is to pay tribute to the late Shohei "Giant" Baba who founded AJPW over three decades ago.

Taiyo Kea will be going back to his old Manaukea Mossman name, and teams up with Triple Crown champion Toshiaki Kawada to take Genichiro Tenryu and Masanobu Fuchi. These are probably the only four guys left on the roster with direct ties to Baba and are rightfully in the main event slot. But I wonder if Mossman will go back to his old tights considering he's gained quite a bit of weight since he's Jr. heavy days?

Noticibly no NOAH participation for the show, but hopefully that will change before the show takes place in a few weeks. To have a show in memorium for Baba and not have his key students (other than Kawada) there just doesn't seem right. But Misawa himself said last year when the show was in the planning stages that he didn't see the point of it.

I'm really hoping the Dragon Gate match steals the show, cause they really need any good publicity they can get now, and a good performace on a big stage here could win over a few new fans for them.

Tokyo Nippon Budokan

1. Nobukazu Hirai & Ryuji Hijikata VS Yuto Aijima & GOEMON
2. Nobutaka Araya & Taichi Ishikari VS Arashi & Shigeo Okumura
3. Dragon Gate Offer: Masaaki Mochizuki, Susumu Yokosuka & K-ness VS Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito
4. Abdullah The Butcher & Tarzan Goto VS Jinsei Shinzaki & Tomoaki Honma
5. Mike Barton, Jim Steel & George Hines VS Jamal, Chuck Palumbo & Rodney Mack
6. Keiji Mutoh, Kensuke Sasaki & Kaz Hayashi VS Satoshi Kojima, Takao Omori & Hiroshi Hase
7. Toshiaki Kawada & Maunakea Mossman VS Genichiro Tenryu & Masanobu Fuchi

Another Baba themed show called "Giant Baba Goodbye" will take place at Korakuen Hall on 1/30/2005. The full card hasn't been released yet, so I'll just post the current card:

Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1. Masanobu Fuchi & Taichi Ishikari VS Nobutaka Araya & Yuto Aijima
2. Kaz Hayashi & Genichiro Tenryu VS Taiyo Kea & TAKA Michinoku
3. Toshiaki Kawada & Ryuji Hijikata VS Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Tomoaki Honma

TAKA wins AJPW Jr. Title!

TAKA Michinoku beat Kaz Hayashi on Monday in a double title match yesterday at K-Dojo's CLUB-K SUPER KICK show at Korakuen Hall to become the 22nd AJPW Jr. heavyweight champion. TAKA's Strongest K title was also on the line. Post match, Kaz appealed for a rematch, but wanted it to take place in an All Japan ring instead.

This is great press for K-Dojo and a great start to the year for RO&D. Hopefully in continues later this month when Taiyo Kea and Jamal battle Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie in a decision match for the All Japan tag titles.

Full results from the show:

K-Dojo 1/10/05
Korakuen Hall - 1227 fans

1. PSYCHO, Saburo Inematsu & Yuu Yamagata beat DJ Nira, Ofune & Apple Miyuki (8:18) when Yamagata pinned Nira
1a. DJ Nira beat "Combatant Child" (?) (2:10) by Inside Cradle
1b. Akira Hokuto beat DJ Nira (0:19) with a Northern Light Bomb
2. Sambo Oishi, Shiori Asahi & Boso Boy Raito beat Yasu Urano, Mr X & JOE (10:21) when Asahi used the Modern Times on Urano
3. Michael Iwasa & Daniel Mishima beat Daigoro Kashiwa & Teppei Ishizaka (8:59) by DQ
4. Kensuke Sasaki, Ryota Chikuzen & YOSHIYA beat Kengo Mashimo, Kunio Toshima & KAZMA (11:24) when Sasaki used a Lariat on KAZMA
5. Hi69, SUPER-X, Yuji Hino & Hajime Ishikawa beat Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Takashi Sasaki, GENTARO & MIYAWAKI (17:47) when Hino used a German Suplex Hold on MIYAWAKI
6. STRONGEST-K & AJPW WORLD JR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: TAKA Michinoku beat Kaz Hayashi © (25:02) with a Michinoku Driver II to win both belts.

Monday, January 10, 2005

NOAH Great Voyage 1/8/05 Results

Nippon Budokan Hall drawing 16,700 fans
1. Haruka Eigen beat Mitsuo Momota in 7:48 with a cradle.
Eigen said after the match that he wants to challenge for Naomichi Marufuji’s GHC Hardcore Title and that starting off 2005 with a win has increased his confidence in challenging for the title. Momota said after the match that he is behind Eigen in his effort and wants the fans to help encourage Eigen.
2. Dark Agents (Masao Inoue,Akitoshi Saito & Takashi Sugiura) defeated Jun Izumida, Kishin Kawabata & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi in 14:51 when Inoue used the Argentine Backbreaker on Kawabata.
3. Ricky Marvin, Yoshinari Ogawa & SUWA beat KENTA, Kotaro Suzuki & Mohammad Yone in 6:59 when SUWA used the FFF on Suzuki.
SUWA said that he hopes that this match isn’t a forecast for the year to come in NOAH for him because he wasn’t interested in this at all. SUWA hopes that NOAH will keep his interest up or he would find a place that would.
4. Naoki Sano & Akira Taue defeated Tamon Honda & Go Shiosaki in 13:10 when Sano used the Northern Lights Bomb on Shiosaki.
5. Naomichi Marufuji & Takeshi Morishima beat Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi in 12:18 when Morishima used a backdrop suplex hold on Hashi.
Morishima said after the match that he was glad to be back in the ring but he isn’t where he was before he was injured and he thinks that a trip to the United States may be best for him to get back into shape in the ring and outside the ring. Morishima said that he is interested in challenging for Marufuji’s GHC Hardcore Title and wants to work more in singles matches. Marufuji said after the match that he accepts Eigen’s challenge for the GHC Hardcore Title and wants the match to be on one of NOAH’s TV tapings so the fans can see the match and be entertained by Eigen’s comedy antics.
6. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Tatsuhito Takaiwa in 18:22 with an avalanche-style vertical-drop brainbuster to retain his title.
Kanemaru said that Takaiwa was the more powerful man today but his speed & brains overcame the power and put him over the top. Dark Agents recruited Takaiwa before the match and Saito hopes that Takaiwa will become a full member of the DA.
7. Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio beat Shiro Koshinaka & Genichiro Tenryu in 15:53 when Rikio used the Muso on Koshinaka.
Misawa said after the match that Tenryu was just as good if not better in the ring now than he was the last time they met in 1990 and his fighting spirit hasn’t lowered. Rikio said after the match that he felt honored to be working against Tenryu since both are former sumos and tagging up with Misawa. Misawa also said that he wouldn’t mind working against Tenryu in a singles match but Jun Akiyama challenged for a match against Tenryu after the match and it could happen on 3/5 at Nippon Budokan Hall.
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi defeated Minoru Suzuki in 25:22 with a short-arm lariat to retain his title.
Kobashi was challenged by Rikio after the match and Kobashi accepted his challenge for the title and it looks like Rikio will get his shot on 3/5 at Nippon Budokan Hall. Kobashi thanked the fans for being behind him today and wished them all a Happy New Year. Kobashi said that Suzuki was a formidable challenger for his title and said that he wouldn’t mind facing Suzuki in the ring again if the chance arose as Kobashi thinks that such an interesting character shouldn’t be monopolized by others. Suzuki said after the match that he had fun in the ring and that’s all that matters but he said that he drunk way too much sake last night and was working the match with a serious hangover which he said falling in the dressing room didn’t help him out either.

As of right now, Kobashi VS Rikioh for the GHC Title and Misawa VS Tenryu have both been confirmed for the 3/5/05 Budokan show. Marufuji is also scheduled to defend the Global Hardcore Crown against Eigen later this month.

Credit: Green Destiny


Thursday, January 06, 2005

AJPW 1/16 Full Card

The full card for All Japan's big January show is out, and it looks good!
The main event will see Toshiaki Kawada defend the Triple Crown against Kensuke Sasaki. The two are 1-1 in singles matches, and this tie-breaker is guaranteed to be a stiff, hard-hitting affair! I just hope they don't plan on putting the title on Sasaki to be a transitional champion to Kojima.
The All Japan tag titles will finally be decided after being in limbo for over six months since it was won by the Yuji Nagata & Kendo KaShin, who have since been forced to vacate the titles. The 2004 Real World Tag League winners, Taiyo Kea & Jamal will face the New Japan team, and former IWGP Tag Team Champion tandem of Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie in a decision match to crown new champions!

AJPW, 1/16/05 (TV Tokyo)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium

1. Masanobu Fuchi & Akira Raijin VS Nobukazu Hirai & Nobutaka Araya
2. Ebessan VS NOSAWA Rongai
3. Mini Love Machine & Love Machine Arashi VS TAKA Michinoku & MAZADA
4. Kaz Hayashi & Taichi Ishikari VS Toshizo & Katsuhiko Nakajima
5. Keiji Muto & Tomoaki Honma VS TARU & Johnny Stamboli
6. Kohei Suwama Trial Series 2nd: Kohei Suwama VS Satoshi Kojima
7. AJPW World Tag Team Title: Taiyo Kea & Jamal VS Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yutaka Yoshie
8. Triple Crown: Toshiaki Kawada (c) VS Kensuke Sasaki

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Spoiling The Illusion: New Year Edition!

OK, RAW for the past two weeks has been very interesting to say the least, as they build towards the New Year Revolution PPV. A good job has been done hyping the matches for the card, though some have been rushed since they decided to stick two PPVs into one month. So here's the gripe I have:

Last week, during the HHH/Shelton Benjamin match, the other participants in the Elimination Chamber match were at ringside watching the action. Suddenly, when it looks like Benjamin was gonna get the big win, Ric Flair interupts and distracts the referee like he always does, for nearly a whole minute, yet, NONE of the guys at ringside decided to do anything about it! Batista I can understand, but he wasn't holding back anyone either. They just stood there and WATCHED. I could probably also understand Randy Orton WANTING HHH in the Chamber, but at least he still should have done something about Flair's interference. Heck, William Regal had the brains to TRY and stop Tyson Tomko from helping Christian against Eugene this week.

AND this week, after weeks of berating America, and even assaulting JR & King last week, this week the Arab-American duo beat the living be-jesus out of WWE's favorite announce team, and NO ONE lifts a finger against them? NO ONE, NADA, ZERO HELP. NO MICK FOLEY, NO SHERRIF AUSTIN, NO MOVIE STAR ROCK OR ANYTHING. And now we're gonna get Jerry Lawler VS Hassan at New Year Revolution. After the beating he took, does anyone seriously belive King even has a chance???
And it's not bad enough Hassan & Daivari bad mouth America, but they gotta take pot shots at their own people too? This is beyond tasteless, and the WWE are asking for some serious trouble (think terrorist attack) if they keep this up.

Spoiling The Illusion: Toukon Edition!

The first big Japense pro-wrestling show of the year was a mixed bag depending on how you look at it. For one thing, it's the first show in a long time that kept the use of outsiders to a minimum, but the card still left much to be desired for.
And then there are the results itself:

Tokyo Dome
46,000 Fans

1. Wataru Inoue & Katsushi Takemura VS Jado & Gedo went to a draw (15:00) when the time limit expired.
2. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title #1 Contender Match: Jushin Thunder Liger beat Koji Kanemoto (10:30) with a cradle.
3. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Tiger Mask beat Heat (c) (14:17) with a Tiger suplex hold to become the 47th champion.
4. Amaresu Exhibition Match: Yuji Nagata beat Katsuhiko Nagata (5:00) by 15-11.
5. Minoru Suzuki beat Takashi Iizuka (9:45) with a sleeper hold.
6. Satoshi Kojima beat Osamu Nishimura (19:26) with a lariat.
7. Ron Waterman won an 8 Man Ultimate Royal (21:55). Participants: Yuji Nagata, Blue Wolf, Masayuki Naruse, Toru Yano, Manabu Nakanishi, Mitsuya Nagai, Ron Waterman & Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar
- Round 1: Ron Waterman beat Masayuki Naruse (2:35) by referee stop.
- Round 1: Manabu Nakanishi beat Toru Yano (3:09) with an armlock.
- Round 1: Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar beat Mitsuya Nagai (5:46) with a shoulder hold.
- Round 1: Yuji Nagata beat Blue Wolf (5:49) with a heel hold.
- Semi Final: Ron Waterman beat Manabu Nakanishi (1:02) with a front neck lock.
- Semi Final: Yuji Nagata beat Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar (1:53) by referee stop.
- Final: Ron Waterman beat Yuji Nagata (1:41) with a V1 armlock.
8. Dogfight: Masahiro Chono beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Riki Choshu (18:07).
- Masahiro Chono beat Riki Choshu (6:34) with a sliding Yakuza kick.
- Masahiro Chono beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan (11:33) with an FTS.
9. IWGP U-30 Openweight Title: Shinsuke Nakamura beat Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) (24:45) with a cross armbreaker to become the 2nd champion.

Inoue & Takemura VS Jado & Gedo in a NONE-TITLE match??? The first, and probably biggest, annual show of NJPW and they make it a NONE TITLE match, only for Inoue & Takemura to appeal for a title match AFTER it goes to a 15-min draw? Didn't they think to appeal for a title match BEFORE the big show? Or did going to a draw boost their confidence somewhat?

Jushin Liger beats Koji Kanemoto in 10 minutes to become No.1 Contender for the IWGP Jr title. You had to have known Tiger Mask was gonna beat HEAT, and he did, when Liger won this because they wouldn't go with the two top heel Jrs on the SAME faction feuding for the title. Unless maybe Liger wanted HEAT to lay down for him ala Hogan/Nash in WCW. It wouldn't be anything short of a miracle if Tiger can get past Liger next, decisively I might add.

Yuji Nagata beat Katsuhiko Nagata in an amaresu exhibition match. Was this a work or a shoot? Maybe the Olympic commitee got the wrong Nagata to represent Japan?

Minoru Suzuki beats Takashi Iizuka. Everyone is groaning about this cause they love Iizuka. Well, the man has been out for a LONG time, so a loss here is no big deal. He can still rebuild himself slowly, and Suzuki needed some kind of credible push going into his GHC title match with Kobashi this weekend after all the jobs he's been doing in NJPW lately.

Satoshi Kojima beats Osamu Nishimura. Said to be one of the best matches of the night. Both men could have been better used on the card, but I'll leave it at that.

Ron "H20" Waterman won the 8-man Ultimate Royal match. This was nothing like what it was described as going to be: an MMA gauntlet. Instead it turned into a mini tournament. And like many other Inoki experiments before this, was said to have bombed according to the live reports. It may have built Waterman up as a monster, but it's how they follow this up that will ultimately determine Waterman's worth to the company (see Josh Barnett).

Chono beats Tenzan and Choshu in straight rounds to win the Dogfight and establish his HHH like dominance over NJPW. They ought to have just let Chono be the man that took the IWGP belt off Sasaki if Tenzan is STILL gonna be his whipping boy. They say it builds for Tenzan's eventual win over Chono, for some reason I DON'T see that happening. Even if Tenzan did get past Chono, then what? EXACTLY. They wouldn't have anything for Tenzan then. Maybe defenses against Waterman or Brock Lesner? Don't think so. I feel Tenzan needed this win, or he shouldn't have been given the belt in the first place. Serves the dumbass right for sticking his nose in other people's business.

Shinsuke Nakamura dethrones Hiroshi Tanahashi for the U-30 title. Is Nakamura gonna seal the title? Cause at his level, only himself, Tanahashi and Shibata are about the ONLY candidates that could win the title.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Extreme Puroresu Awards 2004

2004 was a real interesting year for pro-wrestling in both America and Japan. WWE started off strong, but things seem to have started going downhill for them not long after WrestleMania with some unbearably bad storylines and undesereved pushes.
New Japan saw it's IWGP World Title's worth reduced to almost nothing as bad booking decisions plagued the company for most of the year.
NOAH created a true Juggernaut in it's champion as Kenta Kobashi faced and defeated all comers to solidify his position as the most dominant champion in recent years.
All Japan turned things around BIG TIME as they managed to pulls fans back to watch their shows thanks to some smart booking decisions being made as well as the interest generated by bringing in outside talent.

Here now I present my Extreme Puroresu 2004 Awards!

Best Wrestler (East): Kensuke Sasaki
- Make no bones about it, being a freelancer has done wonders for Sasaki's career. Making his big return to NJPW in a MOTY bloodbath against Yuji Nagata, to giving some sense of credibility to the IWGP title when it was having a crappy year. And lets not forget his fun excursions to the little leagues like joining the Florida Brothers in Dragon Gate and even making appearances in the even more obscure DDT promotion. Practically a man who's done it all this year from winning titles (IWGP TWICE) and tournaments (BAPE STA!! a-k-a), putting on some incredible matches in NJPW / AJPW to showing a less serious side of himself by taking part in comedy matches with the Florida Brothers. Like him or hate him, Sasaki was definately the MVP of 2004.
Runners Up:
- Kenta Kobashi
- Toshiaki Kawada
- Hiroshi Tanahashi

Best Wrestler (West): Chris Benoit
- Chris Benoit is officially the man that CANNOT seem to have a bad match with ANYONE. His WWE career definately peaked this year when he won the WWE title at WrestleMania XX, and even though he lost the title at Summer Slam, is still turning out quality matches everyweek regardless of his opponents (see his match with Viscera last week!). There is no denying this is man who has earned his spot in the business after all the obstacles he's gone through (broken neck, etc.) and the definate MVP of 2004.
Runners Up:
- Eddie Guerrero
- A.J.Styles
- Shawn Michaels

Best Tag Team (East): Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA
- The first and still reigning GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are another combination that always seem to put on great matches, whether it's defending the Jr. tag titles or taking on the heavyweights, these two always deliver a memorable performance. The speed of Marufuji and the skill of KENTA have made for a almost unstoppable combination so much so that NOAH booker Mitsuharu Misawa would even entrust them with main event slots on shows!
Runners Up:
- None Available (No other team entertained me as much)

Best Tag Team (West): America's Most Wanted
- They've teased breaking up this duo before, but without a doubt the work best together in the tag ranks of NWA:TNA, holding the tag titles a record number of times and having incredible battles with the likes of XXX for the belts. This is a team TNA needs to keep together, even if they win individual titles.
Runners Up:
- XXX (Elix Skipper & Christopher Daniels
- Chris Benoit & Edge (pre heel Edge)
- Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam

Match of The Year: Kenta Kobashi VS Jun Akiyama (Tokyo Dome 7/10/2004)
- Two men with a long history as friends and enemies clash at the biggest show in NOAH's history, and show the world how a big money main event should be done! Great mat work, story telling of how they almost seem equal, and topped off with a heap of insane bumps as they try to get the big win over each other, and an ending that leaves you wondering if one guy had managed to hit his move, maybe the results would be different today. The definative MATCH OF THE YEAR.
Runners Up:
- Kenta Kobashi VS Akira Taue (Nippon Budokan 9/10/2004)
- Kenta Kobashi VS Yoshihiro Takayama (Nippon Budokan 4/25/2004)
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan VS Hiroshi Tanahashi (G-1 Climax Finals 8/15/2004)
- Royal Rumble Match (WWE Royal Rumble 1/25/2004)

(Bare in mind the following category is based only on shows I've seen for myself this year)
Wrestling Show of The Year: Toryumon Japan Vo~Annivesario 6th Anniversary Show 7/4/2004
- Who would have thought my first taste of Toryumon would also be Toryumon's LAST SHOW? And it would also leave a heck of an impression on me as it just jumped ahead as probably my favourite indy fed in Japan right now. From the fast paced six-man opener, to the UDG title tournament, to the hilarious antics of the Florida Brothers, this was definately the most entertaining and action packed overall show I'd seen in a LONG time!
Runners Up:
- NOAH "Encountering Navigation" - 4/25/2004
- NOAH "DEPARTURE" - 7/10/2004
- NJPW "King of IWGP" - 2/15/2004