My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Monday, January 30, 2006

WWE Royal Rumble 2006 Stats

Here are the stats for the Royal Rumble match. I actually missed Super Crazy's elimination during the live show.

Order of Entry:
1. Triple H
2. Rey Mysterio
3. Simon Dean
4. Psicosis
5. Ric Flair
6. Big Show
7. Jonathan Coachman
8. Lashley
9. Kane
10. Sylvan
11. Carlito
12. Chris Benoit
13. Booker T
14. Joey Mercury
15. Tatanka
16. Johnny Nitro
17. Trevor Murdoch
18. Eugene
19. Road Warrior Animal
20. Rob Van Dam
21. Orlando Jordan
22. Chavo Guerrero
23. Matt Hardy
24. Super Crazy
25. Shawn Michaels
26. Chris Masters
27. Viscera
28. Shelton Benjamin
29. Goldust
30. Randy Orton

Order of Elimination and Eliminated by:
1. Simon Dean – Rey Mysterio & Triple H
2. Psicosis – Rey Mysterio
3. Ric Flair – Triple H
4. Jonathan Coachman – Big Show
5. Sylvan – Lashley
6. Lashley – Kane & Big Show
7. Kane & Big Show – Triple H
9. Booker T – Chris Benoit
10. Road Warrior Animal – Rob Van Dam
11. Chavo Guerrero – Triple H
12. Tatanka – MNM
13. Trevor Murdoch – Shawn Michaels
14. Matt Hardy – Viscera
15. Eugene – Chris Benoit
16. Super Crazy – Rey Mysterio
17. Chris Benoit – Randy Orton
18. Viscera – Carlito & Chris Masters
19. Chris Masters – Carlito
20. Goldust – Rob Van Dam
21. Orlando Jordan – Randy Orton
22. Joey Mercury – Johnny Nitro
23. Johnny Nitro – Shawn Michaels
24. Shelton Benjamin – Shawn Michaels
25. Shawn Michaels – Shane McMahon
26. Carlito – Rob Van Dam
27. Rob Van Dam – Rey Mysterio
28. Triple H – Rey Mysterio
29. Randy Orton – Rey Mysterio

Time in the Rumble Match (Credit: PWInsider.com)
Rey Mysterio Jr.: (1:02:15) (Ironman) (Winner) *New Record*
Triple H: (1:00:16)
Carlito (38:32)
Chris Benoit (30:34)
Joey Mercury (29:15)
Johnny Nitro (25:45)
Rob Van Dam (23:52)
Orlando Jordan (16:09)
Tatanka (14:09)
Trevor Murdoch (13:42)
Randy Orton (13:04)
Shawn Michaels (12:55)
The Big Show: (9:04)
Matt Hardy (7:43)
Super Crazy (7:41)
Chris Masters (7:02)
Shelton Benjamin (6:52)
Viscera (5:20)
Bobby Lashley (4:17)
Goldust (3:09)
Kane (3:32)
Road Warrior Animal (2:48)
Ric Flair: (1:17)
Psychosis: (1:15)
Chavo Guerrero Jr. (1:00)
Simon Dean: (00:46)
Jonathan Coachman: (00:30)
Sylvan (00:17)
Booker T (00:17)

Most Eliminations:
Rey Mysterio – 6
Triple H – 5
Rob Van Dam – 3
Shawn Michaels – 3
Big Show – 2
Chris Benoit – 2
Randy Orton – 2
Johnny Nitro – 2
Carlito – 2
Joey Mercury – 1
Lashley – 1
Kane – 1
Chris Masters – 1
Viscera – 1
Shane McMahon – 1
* MNM, Rey Mysterio & Triple H and Kane & Big Show have one elimination each as a team added to their individual scores.


WWE Royal Rumble 2006 results

I like the Roman colosseum setup for the PPV. And luckily the commentary team aren’t wearing togas.

WWE Cruiserweight Title - Six-Way Texas Tornado Match:
Kid Kash VS Funaki VS Jamie Noble VS Little Guido VS Paul London VS Gregory Helms

This is an open invitation match where former champions can take part, hence the reason for Helms’ participation. The first person to pick up a pinfall or submission wins the match and the title.
Sweet spot by London where he hits a dropkick on Helms and flips out of it into a standing moonsault on Noble!
Crap! When things are picking up, they lose the PPV feed!
The signal comes back just in time to catch Paul London do an insane shooting star press out of the ring, just barely hitting his target and crashing hard on the mat! Helms brings London back into the ring with a huge swinging neckbreaker off the top!
Kash hits a SICK Dead Level Brainbuster on London but the cover is broken up by everyone else.
Noble carries Funaki out of the corner in a fireman’s carry and drops him in a double knee gutbuster, followed by a Dragon Clutch! Helms takes out Noble and hits a Shining Wizard on Funaki and pins him to win the title! A RAW competitor is the Cruiserweight champion!
Match Rating: *** (Despite losing the signal a bit)

Vince McMahon in his office with Torrie, Candace & Victoria with the tumbler to draw entry numbers for the Rumble. Randy Orton is the first to draw, and is less than impressed by his number. Triple H enters and bad mouths Orton before drawing his number, we don’t see it, but it turns out to be worse than Orton’s and Orton talks some smack on H before leaving. H ain’t happy.

Backstage Mickie James confesses her love for Trish Stratus. Aww. Trish shrugs it off.

Mickie James VS Ashley – Special Referee Trish Stratus
Mickie puts on MMA gloves as the match starts. Interesting.
The match started off good enough, but they kept up a really slow pace to try and hide Ashley’s weaknesses in the ring. Things get really bad at the end however when the crowd starts booing cause Ashley isn’t doing anything other than punching. Mickie hits a powerbomb out of the corner and Trish reluctantly counts 3.
After seeing Ashley on RAW this past week, I expected more from these two, but they protected the match too much which backfired as the fans turned on them at the end.
Match Rating: *

Backstage again and the Three Skankateers are showing off their tattoos to Vince when Big Show comes in to draw his number. He jokes about wanting to show Vince his tattoos. He picks his number and is satisfied.
Rey Mysterio comes in and Big Show wished him luck since he’s dedicating the match to the memory of Eddie Guerrero. So Rey forgot about Big Show wanting to beat the crap out of him not long after Eddie passed? Eddie draws his number and laughs up to the heavens as he says Eddie got him.

John “Branshaw” Leyfield with Jillian Hall VS The Boogeyman
JBL is afraid to get in the ring cause there’s ONE WORM on the mat. Sheesh.
Big waste of time start to the match as JBL shoves Jillian into Boogey, and takes forever to get back in the ring to attack him while his back was turned. There are squished worms all over the ring mat.
JBL beats down Boogey, who seems to no sell it. JBL misses the Clothesline from Hell and rams his shoulder right into the corner, leading to Boogey hitting the pump-handle slam for the quick win!
They protected Boogeyman way more than Ashley! Would have been better to put both these guys in the Rumble as they could have done the exact same thing there.
Match Rating: DUD

Backstage again and Momma Benjamin gooses Vince before Shelton draws his number, and is happy with his number, promising Vince he’ll throw out HBK.
Melina comes in followed by Mercury & Nitro who draw their numbers and are satisfied with what they got. Melina offers Vince MNM’s services to throw out HBK from the Rumble as well.

The Royal Rumble Match is next! There goes my prediction of John Cena winning it.

Lillian Garcia is about the announce the rules for the Rumble when she’s interrupted by the Spirit Squad, who come out and do a cheer for the Rumble, like their actually in it or something. They come, they go, and I feel like throwing up.

30-Man Royal Rumble Match
No. 1 – TRIPLE H!!!
Triple H does his usual long intro, and Rey comes out driving a low-rider in tribute to Eddie Guerrero, wearing an Eddie t-shirt as well.
Match starts and Rey takes it to the Game, attacking his leg. Rey hits a springboard dropkick and misses the 619 as entry no.3 comes out.
No. 3 – Simon Dean
Dean beats down Rey as H watches and throws out Rey who hangs on to the ropes. Dean looks for a high five from H, but gets decked by H, followed by a guillotine from Rey. H & Rey toss out Dean and go back at it. Rey hits the bronco-buster on H as the next man comes out.
No. 4 – Psicosis
Psicosis goes straight for Rey and hits a great modified slam and tries to toss Rey out with a splash mountain bomb, but Rey counters into a hurrican-rana, flipping Psicosis out of the ring! H takes down Rey as entrant no.5 comes out.
No. 5 – Ric Flair
The last time Flair came out at no.5, didn’t he win the damn thing? Flair goes straight to work on H with big punches and a backdrop. H hits a knee smash, but Flair grabs the testicular claw! Flair hits a thumb to the eye, and rushes into H only to get backdropped out of the ring and eliminated! H is sprawled on the mat as the next man comes out.
No. 6 – The Big Show
Show immediately goes to work on H, not forgetting their past. Show hits a sidewalk slam followed by 2 elbow drops as the next man is out.
No. 7 – Jonathan Coachman
Coach actually has the balls to go after Show! Show looks at him, palms his face and just shoves him over the top rope! H tries to attack show, but gets dropped in a big military press slam! Why didn’t he just throw him out?
No. 8 – Lashley
This should be interesting! Lashley goes at it with show and actually backdrops the big man before kicking him out under the bottom rope! Lashley goes to work on H & Rey as the next man comes out.
No. 9 – Kane
The big men immediately go at it and Kane takes down Lashley with a big boot, but Lashley recovers and flips Kane with a belly-to-belly, followed by a gorilla press on HHH, and powers Kane up in a Dominator! Lashley stands dominant as the next man comes out.
No. 10 – Sylvan
Sylan tries to attack Lashley from behind, but Lashley just tosses him out like a sack of potatoes! Lashley turns around and is met by a double chokeslam from Kane & Big Show before being tossed out! Showing that it’s every man for himself, the world tag team champions go at it, and look to try and eliminate each other, but leave themselves open to be eliminated by HHH who uses their weight agains them to flips them both over the top at the same time!
No. 11 – Carlito
Carlito goes to work on Rey and catches him in mid-air with a sick double knee backbreaker. H catches Carlito with a thumb to the eye, but Carlito comes back with an uppercut.
No. 12 – Chris Benoit
Benoit goes to work leveling everyone with chops and German suplexes! Carlito flips out of a German, but gets locked in the Crossface! H takes advantage and attacks Benoit, launching him hard into the corner turnbuckle. H suplexes Benoit over the top rope, but Benoit lands on the apron, they try to suplex each other out, but H lifts Benoit up the top rope. Benoit knocks H off the corner and hits the diving headbutt!
No. 13 – Booker T
Booker goes straight to work on Benoit, but quickly gets tossed over the top! The crowd boos this, but I’m guessing Booker isn’t completely heeled up from his injuries yet. Crowd chants the “Goodbye” song to Booker as the action continues in the ring.
No. 14 – Joey Mercury
Mercury goes to work on Carlito, and gives H a big right hand. Benoit gives Mercury a German suplex, but Mercury is able to block a second one and take down Benoit. Things are slowing down now.
No. 15 – TATANKA!
He comes out to ZERO crowd reaction, but thank God he lost the beer gut! The crowd gives him the chop cheer as he goes to work in the ring, looking pretty good. The crowd seriously has no idea who he is I guess. All 6 men pair up and try to toss each other out.
No. 16 – Johnny Nitro
Nitro rushes in to help Mercury, but is met by a barrage of chops from Tatanka. Benoit almost eliminates H, but he was able to hang on. Carlito almost eliminates Rey twice as Tatanka continues to dominate MNM.
No. 17 – Trevor Murdoch
Murdoch goes after Tatanka, and Rey almost gets eliminated by the Game. MNM try to eliminate Benoit as Murdoch & Carlito try to put out Tatanka. Mysterio battles back and hits a big sliding dropkick on H.
No. 18 – Eugene
The crowd isn’t exactly thrilled by the return of Eugene, who immediately Hulks-up when Murdoch goes after him. He gives Murdoch and airplane spin, but while him and Murdoch are both woozy, Rey gives them a double bulldog!
No. 19 – Road Warrior Animal
MNM go after Animal, but get taken down by a big double clothesline. HHH runs into a big powerslam by Animal. Eugene almost eliminates Murdoch. Mysterio struggles to avoid elimination by MNM as the next man comes out.
No. 20 – ROB VAN DAM!
Now this was a heavily accepted return and RVD goes straight to work launching kicks at everyone. RVD stops for a second to do his RVD pose, and Animal tries to attack him but gets himself eliminated as RVD ducks and backdrops him out.
No. 21 – Orlando Jordan
RVD hits a big diving kick on Carlito and almost tosses him out. The ring is filling up now.
No. 22 – Chavo Guerrero
Chavo goes after everyone who gets in his way as the crowd chant Eddie for him. Chavo hits the Three Amogos on Mercury, and goes up for the Frog Splash, but HHH takes advantage to shove him off the top and eliminate him!
No. 23 – Matt Hardy
Hardy goes straight to work taking down MNM and hitting the Twist of Fate on Orlando. Tatanka comes off the top with a chop, but misses, and MNM hits him with the Snap Shot before tossing him out.
No. 24 – Super Crazy
Crazy comes in and hits a big diving cross body off the top on both members of MNM. Nitro almost eliminates Carlito, dropping him on the apron before going to help his partner. Carlito is able to hold on as Rey hits him with a dropkick as well.
No. 25 – Shawn Michaels
HBK botches his corner flip, and crawls under the ropes to the apron. He ducks as Murdoch charges at him and Murdoch is eliminated. Carlito tries to toss out HBK, but he hangs on to the ropes for dear life.
No. 26 – Chris Masters
Did someone speed up the clock? Cause the entrants are coming really quickly now. H tries to eliminate Hardy, who hangs on and Hardy almost eliminates H twice. HBK almost eliminates Mercury, but Nitro pulls him back in.
No. 27 – Viscera
The World’s Largest Love Machine squashes Matt Hardy with a Samoan Drop before giving him the big dry hump! Viscera charges into Matt in the corner, but Hardy gets the boots up. He tries for the Twist of Fate, but Vis picks him off his feet and tosses him out! Matt Hardy might not die, but he’ll never main event either.
No. 28 – Shelton Benjamin
Benoit eliminates Eugene, and nobody cares. Benjamin hits the Dragon Whip on H as the next man comes out.
No. 29 – GOLDUST!
Goldie goes to work on MNM, I thought these Hollywood guys would get along?
No. 30 – Randy Orton
Orton goes right after Benoit, and is able to counter and lift Benoit out of the Crossface attempt and toss him out of the ring to eliminate him! Orton hits the RKO on Viscera! Masters & Carlito work together to eliminate Viscera, and as Masters poses, Carlito eliminates him! Goldust goes after Carlito, and hits him with low with Shattered Dreams before getting knocked over the top by RVD! Orton eliminates Orlando!
Carlito & Benjamin are hanging on to the ropes for dear life as they try to eliminate each other. HBK takes down HHH with a flying forearm. MNM take down HBK and try for the Snap Shot, but HBK escapes and tosses Mercury over the rope, but he hangs on. Nitro charges at HBK, but he dodges and Nitro knocks Mercury off the apron to eliminate him! HBK immediately follows with a clothesline to eliminate Nitro! HBK turns around and eats a big kick from Shelton Benjamin! HBK recovers and tosses Benjamin over the ropes, but he holds on till HBK hits Sweet Chin Music to eliminate him!
Vince McMahon than comes out and distracts HBK, as SHANE MCMAHON enters the ring and eliminates HBK! HBK goes after Shane, but HHH cuts him off and tries for the Pedigree. HBK flips H over and hits him with a super kick before going back after Shane. In a move that just defies any logic, HBK actually listens to Vince and leaves him alone, opting to go after Shane since it was Shane that eliminated him.
The Final Four are RVD, HHH, Rey Mysterio & Randy Orton! RVD & Rey work together taking down both Orton & H with double team moves. RVD goes up for the Five Star, but gets crotched by H. Rey runs at H, but H launches him into RVD in the corner, eliminating him!
H & Orton double team Mysterio, who battles back with a double DDT and hits a double 619 on both H & Orton! Orton comes back and takes down Rey. Orton tries for the RKO on H, but H counters with a spinebuster! H goes after Rey, but Mysterio is able to eliminate him! H is pissed and drags Mysterio out of the ring and slams him into the steel steps!
Orton is all confident now as the crowd chants “Eddie”. Orton picks up Mysterio tries to slam him over the ropes, but Mysterio flips into a hurricane-rana, and ELIMINATES ORTON TO WIN THE RUMBLE!!! REY MYSTERIO IS GOING TO WRESTLEMANIA!!!!
I didn’t like the beginning of the Rumble when guys were eliminated to easily, but it picked up toward the end and the final outcome was really surprising!
Match Rating: ****

Trish Stratus is at the WWE Instant Access booth when Mickie comes in and thanks her. Trish said she just did the right thing, and Mickie says of course since Trish loves her too! Mickie bounces off happily as Trish chases after her.

Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko & Chavo Guerrero congratulate Rey Mysterio backstage till Edge steps in and tells Rey not to try and jump over to RAW and challenge him for the WWE Title and walks off. Benoit tells Rey to forget about Edge as this is his night.

WWE Championship: John Cena VS Edge with Lita
A big rampway lowers down from the ceiling. Are we going to have a scaffold match? Nope. It’s just a prop for John Cena’s entrance. So after he loses his title he gets a custom intro?
Cena can thank his lucky stars that he was heeled as much as he usually by the crowd, or he at least had more supporters than haters in the house tonight. Edge took control after giving Edge a spear into the steps. Edge dominated most of the match from here, varying his offense. Cena mounts the come back and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Lita interrupts distracts the referee. Cena grabs Lita, and dodges as Edge runs in and knocks Lita off the apron. Cena hits the FU, and locks on the STFU for the submission win! Cena wins back the title, and the first thing you see when the camera pans to the crowd is several guys in the front row shaking their heads.
They tied to keep things interesting, but the match was rather boring up till the end.
Match Rating: **

Todd Grisham tries to interview Edge as he reaches the back, asking him about being a ‘transitional champion” but Edge is pissed and stomps off. Lita screams at Grisham as she notices and asked what the heck HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN is doing there?!? Hacksaw says Cena invited him just to tell Lita one thing: HOOO!!!
Yup, Edge is officially a joke champion.

They show footage of Mark Henry powering out of Angle’s ankle-lock. Josh Matthews interviews Angle asking him about that. Angle says he can beat people in ways that haven’t even been invented yet. And says Mark Henry sucks.

World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry with Daivari VS Kurt Angle
So the “You Suck” chants are now directed at whoever Angle is facing as he enters? Whatever it takes to turn a negative into a positive I guess. This one is definitely going to be short.
Slow chugging match as Henry over powers Angle. Angle uses a judo-flip to escape a bear hug. Angle gets caught off the second rope trying a crossbody, but turns it into a ankle-lock! Henry gets to the ropes to break the hold. Henry escapes an Angle-slam attempt, but Angle hits a big German suplex followed by the Angle-slam for a near fall. Angle goes for the ankle-lock again and Daivari distracts the referee. The referee gets bumped when Henry powers out of the ankle-lock and Angle runs into the ref.
Angle goes to grab a steel chair and Daivari tries to stop him, but eats a face full of chair. Angle blasts Henry in the head twice with the chair and covers him but only gets 2. Angle unpads the second turnbuckle pad and Henry tries to whip him into it, but Angle reverses it and Henry smacks his head on it. Angle rolls him up for the win.
Match Rating: *1/2

Angle is about to celebrate when THE UNDERTAKER comes out riding a chariot! ‘Taker marches to the ring and stares down Angle, gesturing he wants the title. ‘Taker than causes the ring to collapse by shooting lightning from the sky (done with some very bad special effects!). ‘Taker walks off as a shocked Kurt Angle is left in the ring to end the PPV.

Overall: Quite a few surprises on this PPV. It was a strong show, but I did scratch my head at a few things, like why HBK would not want to go after Vince when it was pretty obvious it was all Vince that set him up. Strong show overall and well worth checking out.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

NOAH 1/22/2006 Results - NEW Champion!

Jun Akiyama defeated Akira Taue to become the new GHC Heavyweight Champion today! Taue managed to kick out of the wrist-clutch Exploder and a top-rope Exploder before Akiyama put him away with a jumping knee attack.
KENTA made a successfull defense of the GHC Jr. Title against his ex-GHC Jr. tag team championship partner, Naomichi Marufuji. They went almost 30 minutes before KENTA was able to put Marufuji away with the Busaiku Knee Kick.
Akebono made a successful debut for NOAH, teaming with former GHC champion Takeshi Rikioh, also a former sumo student. They defeated the tandem of Kenta Kobashi and Junji Izumuda, the later also a former sumo. They won pinning Izumuda with a tandem diving body press onto Izumuda.
Kensuke Sasaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima returned to NOAH teaming with Mushiking Joker in a losing effort to NOAH ace Mitsuharu Misawa, Takashi Sugiura & Mushiking Terry, Terry pinning Nakajima in the end, and than challenged Sasaki & Nakajima for their All Asian Tag Titles. Should be interesting to see who Terry picks as a partner for that one and whether the match will take place in a AJPW or NOAH ring.

NOAH "First Navigation" 1/22/06 (NTV/G+ Live)
Tokyo Nippon Budokan

1. Kentaro Shiga & Mitsuo Momota beat Kishin Kawabata & Haruka Eigen (7:43) when Shiga used a cradle on Eigen.
2. Takuma Sano, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Dakota beat Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Tsutomu Hirayanagi (18:32) when Dakota used the Bat Land DDT on Hirayanagi.
3. Yoshinari Ogawa & Shiro Koshinaka beat Tamon Honda & Daisuke Ikeda (11:35) when Ogawa used an inside cradle on Honda.
4. Scorpio, Minoru Suzuki & SUWA beat Takeshi Morishima, Mohammed Yone & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (7:18) when Scorpio used the 450 Splash on Kikuchi.
5. Mitsuharu Misawa, Takashi Sugiura & Mushiking Terry beat Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Mushiking Joker (17:53) when Terry used the Mist Crash on Nakajima.
6. Takeshi Rikio & Akebono beat Kenta Kobashi & Junji Izumida (17:12) when Akebono pinned Izumida after a union diving body press.
7. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: KENTA (c) beat Naomichi Marufuji (29:19) with the Busaiku Knee Kick (5th defense).
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Jun Akiyama beat Akira Taue (c) (20:31) with a jumping knee to become the 9th champion.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

TNA Final Resolution PPV results

So I thought I didn’t make my order in time for the PPV, and after reading the spoilers all over the place, I finally get the PPV, 8 HOURS after placing my order for the show. One of my new year resolutions was to watch PPVs spoiler free, and so far I’m 0 for 2. On to the show!

The Pre-show
Team Canada (Petey Williams, A-1 & Eric Young) VS Lance Hoyt, Kenny King & Jay Lethal

Definitely not enough of Jay Lethal in the match, and pretty obvious they don’t have much future plans for him since he dropped the fall over a King, who I’ve never even heard of before but was given the most time of his team. Not a whole lot to this one.
Match Rating: ½*

The Latin American Exchange (Homicide & Konnan) VS The Naturals (Chase Stevens & Andy Douglas)
So the LAX supposedly triggered somekind of feud with BG & Kip James (They even had a big promo video for it before the PPV started as part of the PPV push), yet their on the pre-show instead of actually being on the PPV? Homicide is also known as one of the stiffest workers in ROH, but he looked like a putz here. I’m all for pushing the home talent, but they still need to give the others some spotlight as well. Another ho-hum match.
Match Rating: ½*

Roderick Strong, Austin Aries & Alex Shelley VS Matt Bentley, Sonjay Dutt & Chris Sabin

Seeing Tracy makes me happy.
Both Shelley & Sabin have matching hair styles, you’d think they should be teaming together! I like Austin Aries. He has the look and attitude of a monster, if only he wasn’t a cruiserweight. I also like seeing Tracy bounce.
I just noticed Shelley bares a striking resemblance to Hiroshi Tanahashi with his new look, and what a coincidence, he scored the win with a flash cradle, the same way Tanahashi made his claim to fame in NJPW. Big things coming his way for this kid!
Seriously, I hate it when they ruin a hot match with a cheap finish, even if it does continue any kind of feud.
At least we got to see Tracy bounce around in a tight top and a short skirt.
Match Rating: **

Diamonds in the Rough (Elix Skipper & David Young) VS The James Gang (BG James & Kip James)
So this is the first time the two James’ are teaming together? Guess all those 6-8 man tags don’t count. Anybody remember the principle from the Ranma ½ anime series who had a coconut tree on his head? Kip James has one now!
Again, if the James’ are so angry at LAX for putting out Bob Armstrong, why isn’t that match on the PPV instead of filler like this? It does nothing for them anyways since they beat 2 guys that they had a big size advantage over.
Match Rating: 1/2*

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS AJ Styles
HAH! I KNEW IT! TANAHASHI BROUGHT HIS U-30 BELT WITH HIM! Mike Tenay mentioned he held the title for 7 months already. What he didn’t mention is that in that time he’s done NOTHING with the title.
But I’ll be damned if these two didn’t put on the best match of the PPV right here. Why can’t Tanahashi work like this more in NJPW? Or maybe it was the environment here. They did miss a spot or two, but manage to cover up for them nicely. I actually think Tanahashi got a raw deal from the referee when the ref wouldn’t count his pinfall cause his knee was on AJ’s neck.
Despite the screw job finish, I still think NJPW got the short end of the stick on this as this is the 2nd big name they sent to TNA to job out. This was still a really strong match though, and definitely one you need to look out for.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Raven VS Sean Waltman – Raven wins, he gets a World Title shot, Raven loses, and he’s out of TNA.
Your standard Raven garbage match with all the violence you’d come to expect, and some fun spots with the shopping cart. I still don’t get why they would bring in Waltman of all people to get the win on Raven to put him out. Couldn’t they get Perry Saturn or Mike Awesome, who both have more of a direct link to Raven like all the other opponents they set up before this?
Match Rating: *1/2

Bobby Roode VS Ron “The Truth” Killings
This match gets on the PPV because Killings scored 2 flash pinfalls on Roode before Roode whacked him with a hockey stick, but LAX putting Bob Armstrong in the hospital doesn’t warrant get them on the PPV against the James Gang?
This was ok, but I would have preferred if they kept it short like in the build up video of it. Killings is so underutilized. The ending was lame and I hate the ongoing build up for the LAX/James Gang feud. They could have just had a quick match on the PPV with LAX getting a screw job win, cause that’s pretty much how things have been going all night so far.
Match Rating: ½*

Abyss VS Rhino
This was a good physical big man match! I like that Rhino added the TKO to his arsenal as it gives him something to rely on other than the Gore. Abyss has done so much in TNA already. Why not give him the NWA Title already?!? Anyone willing to take all the sick chair shot to the head here like what Rhino gave him more than deserves it.
Match Rating: **

NWA World Tag Team Titles: Team 3D VS America’s Most Wanted
Both teams worked really hard here, but man was that one hell of a screw job finish even if it was kinda original. Guess they’ll borrow a page from the WWE playbook where everyone BUT the referee saw what happened despite the fact the whole thing was taped and the referee could have seen a replay. I’m surprised Jarrett didn’t save that finish for one of his title matches.
Match Rating: *1/2

TNA X-Division Title: “Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels VS Samoa Joe
Did I miss the part where they said this was a No DQ match? The referee was “intimidated” by Joe to the point he wouldn’t disqualify him for dropping Daniels on a steel chair that Joe tossed into the ring right in front of the referee? I guess right now it’s pretty obvious they want their golden boy AJ Styles to be the man that breaks Joe’s unbeaten streak. I thought it sort of took away from what was turning into a really good match, which now basically tells the story that Daniels came back too soon to face Joe.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Monty Brown & Jeff Jarrett VS Christian Cage & Sting
This was ok, but ended up like every other overbooked main event finish involving Jeff Jarrett. At least Sting showed he’s still in fighting shape.
Match Rating: *1/2

Overall: Sure the matches had good work behind them, but what’s with all the screw job finishes? Can’t anyone win a clean match instead of having somekind of over the top finish or run in?


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

WWE New Year's Revolution 1/08/06 Results

WWE IC Title: Edge VS Ric Flair
Wow, when the match gets good five minutes in, Edge gets himself disqualified. So much for him bragging about winning the IC title, but hey, he still has the money in the bank contract valid for 2 more months.
Match Rating: ¼*

Wow, again. WWE trying to use reverse psychology to get the fans to boo Kurt Angle by straight out saying the fans will cheer him despite what he says about bashing the US or whatever.

WWE Women’s Championship: Trish Stratus VS Mickie James
Damn! This was probably the stiffest women’s match I’ve seen in a while! This was a really good match that saw Mickie evolve from being all happy happy to all serious. I liked the psychology of the match and the story it told, plus it was just plain fun.
Match Rating: ***

Maria interviews herself before Gregory Helms interrupts. As he leaves, we see Shelton arriving at the arena with his momma. Why? It’s not like he has a match tonight, right?

Jerry “The King” Lawler VS Gregory Helms
I just noticed Helms looks like Simon Diamond.
They wrestled a good old school match since Lawler really can’t do more than punch, but what the hell was the point of Helms doing the job?!? They even gave this more time than Edge/Flair, that’s probably because Edge still isn’t 100%.
Match Rating: ½*

Trish arrives at WWE Instant Access just as Lita is leaving and the two give each other the evil eye before Mickie James interrupts all cheery again.
In a really hilarious segment, Big Vis runs into Shelton’s momma backstage and tries to hit on her. Looks like Benjamin has a match later tonight. And I thought the Love Machine push was over.

Triple H VS Big Show
You can say what you want about Show’s ability, but he really knows how to sell an injury! I really liked the psychology of this one where Show had to fight with one hand, and remembered to sell the pain in it too, though he could have done a better job when H smashed it with a chair. Really entertaining, save for the old “ref bump so you could use a weapon” finish. The fans were cheering for both of them though, even if you clearly hear some boos for Show.
Match Rating: ***

Carlito & Chris Masters backstage planning on working together so that one new blood wins the WWE title in the Elimination Chamber.
Royal Rumble promo. Funny stuff with Shanus stabbing Vince Caesar at the end. We can all hope can’t we?!?

Shelton Benjamin & his momma come out and Momma Benjamin calls out Big Vis to take an ass-whooping from Shelton. This should be fun.

Shelton Benjamin VS Viscera
I actually think Vis has lost some weight.
I was also rather distracted by Momma Benjamin at ring side, but actually reminds me of those old-school managers from the past. We could use more of those these days. I think the crowd was silent cause they were listening to what Momma was screaming!
I thought this match was actually rather entertaining too. Your classic big man/little man contest. I don’t know if the big momma gimmick will get Benjamin over, actually is rather funny.
Match Rating: *

Vince confronts HBK in his locker room and wishes him luck, reminding him that the first man into the chamber has never won it. HBK runs down the list how he was the first in a lot of big gimmick matches and went on to win them. Vince says Hell would freeze if HBK managed to pull it off.

Bra & Panties Gauntlet Match
Match#1: Maria VS Candace Michelle

So with the whole premise of the match being to strip your opponent, Candace comes out wearing barely anything?
Match#2: Maria VS Torrie Wilson
I hate to say it, but Maria looked better in the ring than Torrie! This girl could actually be improving. Torrie hit a pretty sloppy handspring elbow and ended up losing to Maria.
Match#3: Maria VS Victoria
Victoria roughs up Maria, before eliminating her, but again, I’m quite impressed with Maria.
Match#4: Victoria VS MOOLAH & MAE YOUNG!
Match#5: Victoria VS Ashley
Ashley escapes the Widows Peak and pulls down Victoria’s pants (like it says in her theme song) and wins the match!
Match Rating: Like Joey Styles said, not a mat classic, but will be in our DVD collections.

Shelton Benjamin and his momma backstage interviewed at WWE Instant Access, and it turns out Momma Benjamin had a brick in her bag when she whacked Vis in the head with it! Benjamin don’t look happy.

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match:
Kane VS Chris Masters VS Carlito VS Kurt Angle VS John Cena VS Shawn Michaels

We had qualifying matches on RAW to see who would enter when into the Chamber, and the commentary team still have to ask who is coming out next when the timer is up?
I seriously have no idea what it’s going to take to get the crowd to cheer Cena as the fans were even cheering for Carlito when he was beating on the champ. Heck, the fans actually cheered Masters for saving Carlito from the ankle lock!
HBK does his mandatory blade job after getting launched into the cage by Angle, but comes back later to eliminate Angle with Sweet Chin Music while Angle had Cena in the ankle lock! Hate to say it, but I was shocked Angle was first one out after being just a total monster in there.
Kane is next eliminated, but in a pretty lame manner by Chris Masters dropping Carlito on him with a gorilla press, than piling on top of him.
HBK is next eliminated after hitting Cena with Sweet Chin Music, but gets double teamed by Carlito & Masters, leading to Carlito hitting the corkscrew neckbreaker for the pin.
Masters & Carlito double team Cena, leading to Masters locking on the Masterlock, but Carlito double-crosses him and hits a low blow followed by a roll-up to eliminate Masters!
But Cena immediately rolls up Carlito to win the match!
Match Rating: ****

Vince McMahon comes out and announces Edge is cashing in his Money in the Bank contract! The match is NOW!

WWE Title: John Cena VS Edge
Edge makes short work of a bloody Cena, beating him down, than hitting two spears to win the title! The fans go nuts as they’d cheer anyone who beats Cena anyway!
Match Rating: *

Overall: Ok, to some, this might not have been a must see PPV, but it definitely had some good moments to it. Main story obviously being the very ECW like surprise at the end of the PPV. Will be interesting to see how they follow up this on RAW tomorrow. Maybe it would have been better if HBK won the Chamber match, then Edge beat him for the title? Cause now Cena will carry the badge of “First Man Into The Chamber Winning It”.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

NJPW 1/04/2006 Results

Brock Lesner made a successful V1 defence of the IWGP heavyweight title against Shinsuke Nakamura at the Tokyo Dome last night, ending Nakamura's streak of Tokyo Dome main event wins. The match was reported to be fast paced with Lesner showing more understanding for the Japanese style now and improved skills in countering Nakamura's submission locks. The downside for what I can see is that it looks like New Japan intend to pay Brock big bucks for minimal work if all his matches are just 10-minute sprints. We know he can go the distance, so give him the chance already.
Another ex-WWE star Giant Bernard (A-Train) made his New Japan debut against Manabu Nakanishi in a match that was not received very well by the fans as the two just couldn't seem to click.
Overall, the show looked pretty good even if most of the matches barely went 10 minutes, which is becoming a trend for New Japan big shows now. Also, the actual attendance was said to be about 28,000-30,000, with papered tickets given out on the last few days leading up to the show.

Tokyo Dome
43,000 Fans - No Vacancy

1. Ryouji Sai beat Naofumi Yamamoto (8:18) with the Sidmouth.
2. Masato Tanaka, Kintaro Kanemura & BADBOY Hido beat Jushin Thunder Liger, Jado & Gedo (10:03) when Kanemura used a diving senton on Jado.
3. Tiger Mask & Minoru beat Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Tomohiro Ishii (12:11) when Minoru used a right kick on Ishii.
4. Riki Choshu, Takashi Uwano, Kohei Sato, Kamikaze, Yoshihito Sasaki & Daisuke Sekimoto beat Tatsumi Fujinami, Takashi Iizuka, Osamu Nishimura, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & Hiroshi Nagao (12:16) when Sato used a German suplex hold on Nagao.
5. Akebono & Yutaka Yoshie beat Black Strong Machine & Hiro Saito (9:18) when Yoshie used a diving body press on Hiro.
6. Yuji Nagata beat Kazunari Murakami (13:11) with a backdrop hold.
7. Shinjiro Otani beat Koji Kanemoto (10:47) with a Dragon suplex hold.
8. Katsuyori Shibata beat Hiroshi Tanahashi (11:59) with a right kick.
9. Giant Bernard beat Manabu Nakanishi (9:53) with a corner press.
10. IWGP Tag Team Title: Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan © beat Shiro Koshinaka & Takao Omori (19:28) when Chono used a Shining Yakuza kick on Koshinaka (1st defense).
11. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Brock Lesnar © beat Shinsuke Nakamura (8:58) with the Verdict (1st defense).

Results Credit: Strong Style Spirit


Monday, January 02, 2006

Tokyo Sports Top 10 Events of 2005

These are the top 10 Japanese pro-wrestling stories as voted by Tokyo Sports readers. I'll try and explain each one below for those of you who don't know about the Japanese scene.

The Top 10:
1. Shinya Hashimoto's sudden death
2. New Japan's sale to Yuke's
3. Creation of the first IWGP Heavyweight & Triple Crown double title, or the brief "4-Crown"
4. Hustlemaniac's use of celebrites leading to major mainstream press
5. All Japan Women's collapse
6. Akebono's pro wrestling debut
7. Eddie Guerrero's sudden death
8. "Absolute champion" Kenta Kobashi surrendering his title
9. Kashin refusing to give back All Japan's tag belt, leading to a court case
10. Livedoor's entry into pro wrestling

The explanations:
1. Shinya Hashimoto was one of the biggest drawing names in Japan. One of the "Three Musketeers" of New Japan Pro Wrestling alongside Keiji Mutoh (aka Great Muta) and Masahiro Chono. Hashimoto founded Zero-1, which originally started out as a faction in New Japan but ended up as an actual promotion (Take that nWo!), and because he was the top draw of what was technically the No.4 promotion in Japan, he worked through injuries just to keep the crowds coming. In late 2003, he was outsted from Zero-1 by his own workers for "siding with the enemy" when he made various appearances in New Japan. He finally had surgery done to fix his busted shoulder and was recovering well, with high anticipation of his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling. That would never happen however, as on July 12, he passed away due to a blood clot in his brain. He was just 40 years old.

2. New Japan may be the equivilant to WWE in Japan as it's the biggest pro-wrestling promotion in the country, but really horrible booking decisions and backstage politics over the past few years really ruined the company financially, especially when founder and owner Antonio Inoki continually used money made by the company to fund his MMA projects and bizarre business ideas (researching creating raw power from nothing?), and of course there were rumours of owing money to the Yakuza. So it came as a surprise when it was announced that Inoki had sold his majority stock share in the company to video game developers Yukes. The results thus far has been positive, with the company debt wiped out and complete restructuring going on, 2006 will be the year we see if NJPW can turn things around and stay by it's claim as the "King of Sports" (note how they don't use "Sports Entertainment).

3. The IWGP is the top title of New Japan Pro Wrestling. The Triple Crown is the top title of All Japan Pro Wrestling. For years, these two companies were at war with each other, so you could imagine the signaficance of the ultimate interpromotional title for title match. This was about as big in Japan as say having the WWE champion face the WCW champion, with both titles on the line. The only problem here was that much like the "Invasion" of WCW in WWE, All Japan's Triple Crown champion going into the match was a former NJPW true born, who made it big in the rival company. So technically it was an all NJPW match for the two most prestigious titles in Japan, add one oddball ending to the match when IWGP champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan couldn't continue due to legit dehydration 11 seconds shy of the 60 minute time limit, and you have one heck of a dramatic dream match. Kojima's reign as 4-Crown champion only lasted about 3 months, as he lost the IWGP title back to Tenzan in May.

4. The true "Sports Entertainment" company of Japan, HUSTLE, has recently been utilizing the use of celebraties on it's shows to pop attendance and TV ratings. The company is owned and run by DSE, who also own and run MMA giant PRIDE FC, which would also expain the use of shoot fighters like Naoya Ogawa, Mark Coleman and Giant Silva on it's shows. The company is considered a big joke by pro-wrestling purists, but they do actually have a big following and despite the oddball angles and storylines, have actually put on quite a few entertaining wrestling matches. But even despite a huge fanbase and popularity, the company has yet to even once sell out it's home venue of Yokohama.

5. I can't believe I actually forgot to mention this in my Year in Review column. All Japan Women was the longest running all-female company in Japan, and probably the world even. The '90s was the true golden era of woman's wrestling in Japan, with the talented femme fetales putting on main events that rivaled that of their male counterparts! But the industry fell on some really hard times after, mainly due to decline of interest in the product. It got so bad that it's been rumoured that some of the girls had to work "private matches" with male fans just to make ends meet. AJW was so heavilly in debt, that one of the owners actually commited suicide not long before the company shut down just so they could use the insurance money to pay off the many debts of the company. Their main rival, GAEA, would also closed it's doors not long after, also due to financial difficulties.

6. For those of you who don't know, Akebono is the first American (he's from Hawaii) sumo wrestler to reach the rank of Yokozuna in Japan. No doubt you all remember him from his sumo match against the Big Show at WrestleMania XXI. The thing is, he's been getting his fat ass handed to him in Japan, taking part in MMA and K-1 fights (these are real fights, not scripted sports entertainment matches), and it's mostly thanks to Keiji Mutoh who took him under his wing and trained him to be a pro-wrestler that much of his face value in Japan was salvaged. Despite using a lame hip-toss finisher called the "69" (Don't ask, cause I don't get it either), his appearances in All Japan Pro Wrestling helped boost business for them big time, and he really did improve his in ring skills for the short time he was there and was given matching success, forming a strong team with Mutoh and getting to the finals of the annual Real World Tag League tournament. His pro-wrestling future right now is uncertain, as he's been re-called by FEG to get back into MMA (He lost his return fight to ACTOR Bobby Olugun in a K-1 match on 12/31/05!).

7. Eddie Guerrero's death did indeed have meaning in Japan, as that was where he got his start working as Black Tiger in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and even worked a few shows there during his time before his return to WWE after he was released by them.

8. Kenta Kobashi is THE MAN in Japan. No other pro-wrestling champion in recent history has been built up like him and truly earned his spot. Since returning from a near career ending knee injury in 2003, Kobashi has been UNSTOPPABLE, beating just about every big name there was in Japan, and being able to carry and bump for anyone to make his matches memorable and exciting. He held the GHC title for 2 years and a record 13 title defences (no, they don't defend the title every week just to pop a rating there). With every big name he defeated, the question was always asked, "Who will beat/can beat him?". Everyone was sure it would be Jun Akiyama, his top rival in the company and the only man with the credentials to do it, but it shocked everyone when Kobashi was able to retain the title in a match at NOAH's 2004 Tokyo Dome show which was rated by the Japanese media as Match of the Year that year. The unlikely person that was finally able to take the title off Kobashi was young Takeshi Rikioh on his second attempt at Kobashi's title. Rikioh was able to defeat the "ironman" with his Muso (high-angle Rock Bottom) finisher to take the title. Unfortunately for Rikioh, his reign would be far less memorable than Kobashi's.

9. Kendo KaShin is an enigma in Japan. You have fans who love him to death, and you have fans like me who hate him to high Hell and wish he'd go away and never come back. The man has amazing popularity despite a really crappy attitude and craptacular matches which is mostly him doing a flying cross armbreaker for a quick tap out, add to the fact that he cheats like hell to win his matches. The thing here is, while he was under contract to All Japan Pro Wrestling, he teamed with his good friend and New Japan ace Yuji Nagata to take the All Japan tag team titles. The held the titles for six months, but never defended them even once due to Nagata's NJPW schedule, and KaShin basically dissapearing from the company due to not liking the politics there (aka he just didn't want to job to ANYONE). He was stripped of his AJPW Jr. title, which he had held for 2 years but only defended a handful of times against b-grade workers. But when he and Nagata were stripped of their tag titles, KaShin refused to give back his half of the tag belts, and All Japan have been after him ever since, even taking the matter to court where he refused to even show up cause he didn't even want to take his mask off in public (everyone already knows what he looks like due to his brief MMA career). The matter is yet to be settled and has soured relations between AJPW and NJPW working together.

10. This is an interesting one. Livedoor is a blog operator in Japan, with many pro-wrestlers and professional athletes using their services to host their online blogs. The company has recently been rumoured to have actually have a hand in the pro-wrestling industry now, possibly as a sponsor/promoter for the new Dragondoor promotion ran by Ultimo Dragon. I'm really not too sure of the details on this one myself.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Eve MMA results

PRIDE FC Otoko Matsuri - ITADAKI 12/31/2005
Saitama Super Arena

1. Charles "Crazy Horse" Bennet (USA) beat Ken Kaneko (JPN) by armbar (Rd.1 - 4'14)
2. Kazuhiro Nakamura (JPN) beat Yuki Kondo (JPN) by Decision 3-0
3. James Thompson (ENG) beat Giant Silva (BRA) by KO (Rd.1 - 1'28) (OUCH!)
4. Sanae Kikuta (JPN) beat Makoto Takimoto (JPN) by Decision 3-0
5. Aleksander Emelianenko (RUS) beat Pawel Natsula (POL) by rear naked choke (Rd.1 - 8'45)
6. Fedor Emelianenko (RUS) beat ZULU (BRA) by KO (Rd.1 - 0'28!!!)
7. PRIDE Welterweight GP Finals: Dan Henderson (USA) beat Murilo Bustamante (BRA) by Decision 2-1
8. PRIDE Lightweight GP Finals: Takanori Gomi (JPN) beat Hayato "Mach" Sakurai (JPN) by KO (Rd.1 - 3'56)
9. Kazushi Sakuraba (JPN) beat Ikuhisa Minowa (JPN) by TKO (Kimura) (Rd.1 - 9'39)
10. Mark Hunt (NZ) beat Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic (CRO) by Decision 2-1
11. PRIDE Middleweight Title: Wanderlei Silva (BRA) beat Ricardo Arona (BRA) by Decision 2-1 to retain the title.
12. Hidehiko Yoshida (JPN) beat Naoya Ogawa (JPN) by TKO (armbar, Rd.1 6'04)

K-1 Premium Dynamite 12/31/2005
Osaka Dome

1. MMA Rules: Shungo Oyama defeated Peter Aerts with a heel-hook.
2. K-1 Rules: Jerome Le Banner defeated Alan Karaev in R2 by KO.
3. K-1 Rules: Heath Herring and Yoshihiro Nakao had no decision after Herring apparently hit Nakao before the bell rang. Herring was provoked before the bell rang by Nakao's antics.
4. MMA Rules: Katsuhiko Nagata defeated Remigijus Morkevicius after 2R by decision.
5. K-1 Rules: Remy Bonjasky defeated The Predator after 3R by a 2-1 split decision.
6. K-1 Rules: Musashi defeated Bob Sapp after 3R (decision).
7. K-1 Rules: Masato defeated Akira Ohigashi by KO with a low-kick.
8. K-1 Rules: Semmy Schilt defeated Ernesto Hoost in R2 by TKO (blood stoppage when Hoost had a cut on his forehead).
9. K-1 Rules: Bobby Ologun defeated Akebono after 3R by decision.
10. MMA Rules: Royce Gracie & Hideo Tokoro went to a draw after 2R.
11. K-1 Rules: Norifumi "KID" Yamamoto defeated Genki Sudo by KO in R1.

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