My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Zero-One MAX Fire Festival 2006

Masato Tanaka became the winner of the annual Fire Festival tournament, defeating Ryouji Sai in the finals today. Due to a 4-way tie in his block, Tanaka first had to overcome Shinjiro Ohtani, Yutaka Yoshie and Kazunari Murakami in a 4-way decision match before taking on the young rising star Sai in the finals. This is Tanaka's first ever Fire Festival win, and is definately much deserved.

Full results for the Fire Festival:

ZERO1-MAX "Fire Festival" 7/29/06 (Samurai! TV)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1,600 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Rikiya Fudo beat Fuyuki Takahashi (4:43) with the U-39.
2. Fire Festival Block A Playoff: Masato Tanaka beat Shinjiro Ohtani, Kazunari Murakami & Yutaka Yoshie.
- Shinjiro Ohtani beat Kazunari Murakami (6:15) with a parcel hold.
- Yutaka Yoshie beat Shinjiro Ohtani (12:24) with a body press.
- Masato Tanaka beat Yutaka Yoshie (19:24) with a lariat.
3. World-1 Jr. Participation Assessment: Aussie Osborne beat Osamu Namiguchi (6:48) with the Kangaroo Press.
4. Tatsutoshi Goto & Daisuke Sekimoto beat Takao Omori & Kamikaze (13:12) when Goto used the backdrop on Kamikaze.
5. Kohei Sato beat Tomoaki Honma (13:17) with a German Suplex hold.
6. Just Before World-1 Jr. Special Tag: Ikuto Hidaka, Minoru Fujita & Takuya Sugawara beat Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Yoshito Sasaki & NOSAWA when Sugawara pinned Sasaki.
7. Fire Festival - Final: Masato Tanaka beat Ryouji Sai (23:00) with a rolling elbow

ZERO1-MAX "AWA Fire Festival" 7/27/06 (Samurai! TV)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2

1. Tatsutoshi Goto & Masanobu Kurisu beat Rikiya Fudo & Fugo Fugo Yumeji (6:46) when Goto used a backdrop on Yumeji.
2. Fire Fesitval - Block A: Kazunari Murakami [5] beat Tomoaki Honma [0] (5:58) with a straight right hook.
3. Fire Fesitval - Block B: Daisuke Sekimoto [2] beat Kohei Sato [3] (14:06) with a German Suplex hold.
4. Kamikaze, Yoshito Sasaki & Osamu Namiguchi beat Ikuto Hidaka, Minoru Fujita & Fuyuki Takahashi (12:06) when Kamikaze used a Moonsault press on Takahashi.
5. WWA World Jr. Lightweight Title/International Jr. Heavyweight Title: Tatsuhito Takaiwa © beat Takuya Sugawara © (14:05) with the Death Valley Bomb (2nd defense, Takaiwa becomes new International Jr. Champion).
6. Fire Fesitval - Block A: Shinjiro Ohtani [5] vs. Masato Tanaka [5] (30:00) ended in a time limit draw.
7. Fire Fesitval - Block B: Ryouji Sai beat Takao Omori (14:20) with a running kick.

ZERO1-MAX "Fire Festival" 7/25/06
Iwaki City Gymnasium
1,150 Fans

1. Ikuto Hidaka beat Osamu Namiguchi (8:21) with the figure four.
2. Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Fuyuki Takahashi beat Takuya Sugawara & Shota Takanishi (9:48) when Takahashi used a German Suplex hold on Takanishi.
3. Fire Festival - Block A: Kazunari Murakami [3] VS Yutaka Yoshie [5] (11:38) ended in a double countout.
4. Fire Festival - Block A: Tatsutoshi Goto [4] beat Ryouji Sai [4] (7:44) with a backdrop.
5. Yoshito Sasaki, Rikiya Fudo & Daisuke Sekimoto beat Masato Tanaka, Minoru Fujita & Kamikaze (13:00) when Sekimoto used a German Suplex hold on Kamikaze.
6. Fire Festival - Block B: Takao Omori [5] VS Kohei Sato [3] (30:00) ended in a time limit draw.
7. Fire Festival - Block A: Shinjiro Ohtani [4] beat Tomoaki Honma [0] (11:57) with the Spiral Bomb.

ZERO1-MAX "Fire Festival" 7/24/06
Akita Municipal Gymnasium
1,400 Fans

1. Minoru Fujita beat Osamu Namiguchi (9:34) by pinfall.
2. Kohei Sato & Rikiya Fudo beat Ikuto Hidaka & Fuyuki Takahashi (13:35) when Fudo Fudo used the U-39 on Takahashi.
3. Fire Festival - Block B: Ryouji Sai [4] beat Daisuke Sekimoto [0] (14:14) with Sid Mouth.
4. Fire Festival - Block A: Yutaka Yoshie [4] beat Tomoaki Honma [0] (10:41) with a body press.
5. Fire Festival - Block A: Masato Tanaka [2] beat Kazunari Murakami [2] (8:23) with a running elbow.
6. Fire Festival - Block B: Takao Omori [4] beat Tatsutoshi Goto [2] (7:29) with the Axe Bomber.
7. Akita Special Tag: Toshiaki Kawada, Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Takuya Sugawara beat Shinjiro Ohtani, Kamikaze & Tatsuhito Takaiwa (15:20) when Kawada used a low kick on Kamikaze.

ZERO1-MAX "Fire Festival" 7/23/06
Aomori Industrial Hall
2,000 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita beat Osamu Namiguchi & Shota Takanishi (10:45) when Hidaka used the Shawn Capture on Takanishi.
2. Fire Festival - Block B: Tatsutoshi Goto [2] beat Daisuke Sekimoto [0] (9:40) with a backdrop.
3. Fire Festival - Block A: Masato Tanaka [2] beat Tomoaki Honma [0] (11:08) with a rolling elbow.
4. Toshiaki Kawada & Takuya Sugawara beat Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Rikiya Fudo (15:20) when Kawada used a low face kick on Fudo.
5. Aomori Special Tag: Takao Omori & Manabu Nakanishi beat Kamikaze & Fuyuki Takahashi (0:30) when Omori pinned Takahashi after the Washington Jouyaku.
6. Fire Festival - Block A: Shinjiro Ohtani [2] beat Yutaka Yoshie [2] (18:10) with a Dragon Suplex hold.
7. Fire Festival - Block B: Ryoui Sai [2] beat Kohei Sato [2] (12:18) with the Sid Mouth 2.

ZERO1-MAX "Fire Festival" 7/20/06 (Samurai! TV)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1. Takuya Sugawara beat Osamu Namiguchi (8:40) with the Death Valley Bomb.
2. Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Ikuto Hidaka & Fuyuki Takahashi beat Yoshito Sasaki, Rikiya Fudo & GENTARO (11:11) when Takaiwa used an avalanche-style Death Valley Bomb on Fudo.
3. Fire Festival - Block B: Takao Omori beat Daisuke Sekimoto (11:50) with the Axe Bomber.
4. Fire Festival - Block A: Yutaka Yoshie [2] beat Masato Tanaka [0] (11:27) with a body press.
5. Ryouji Sai & Minoru Fujita beat Tomoaki Honma & Kamikaze (11:19) when Sai used an avalanche-style Syd Mouth on Kamikaze.
6. Fire Festival - Block B: Kohei Sato [2] beat Tatsutoshi Goto [0] with a triangle choke.
7. Fire Festival - Block A: Kazunari Murakami [2] beat Shinjiro Ohtani [0] (9:15) with a backslide

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

WWE Great American Bash 2006 results

WWE Tag Team Titles: Paul London & Brian Kendrick beat The Pitbulls when Kendrick pinned Kash with a sunset flip after London hit a dropsault to retain the titles.
- A solid tag match and these two teams work really well together. WWE seriously need to book more tag matches like these.
Match Rating: ***1/2

GM Teddy Long comes out to announce that Bobby Lashley would not be able to compete tonight due to elevated enzymes discovered in his liver during a routine medical check. Lashley comes out dressed to wrestle and asks Long to let him wrestle tonight. Long denies his request for his own good despite the fans chanting “Let him fight!”. Long denies his request again, but promises him the first shot at the US title when he’s 100% cleared to wrestle.
US champion Finlay & William Regal come out as Lashley makes his way to the back. They stare down for a moment before Finlay & Regal get in the ring. Finlay asks Long to raise him hand and declare him the winner via forfeit. Long denies his request, and orders Finlay to defend his title against Regal right now!

US Title: Fit Finlay beat William Regal with a roll-up with his feet on the ropes after hitting Regal in the head with his boot.
- Well, despite the comedy bits with the leprechaun and the screwy finish, this was a solid brawl of a match between two veterans. You gotta know the only reason the fans chanted “boring” was because they really wanted to see Lashley in action. But this match definitely earned it’s props.
Match Rating: **1/2

Backstage and Rey Mysterio gets encouragement from Chavo Guerrero, telling him to live out his dream and Eddie Guerrero’s dream as world champion.

Gregory Helms beat Matt Hardy with a roll up and a hand full of tights.- Non-title match as Hardy is now a heavyweight. Seriously, THANK WWE for putting these two on the PPV, and thank them even more for giving them enough time to really give you your money’s worth. Would have made more sense if they had built this one up as it really looked like a championship caliber match. I just wonder if they had Hardy lose here just to make it look like his win over Kennedy was a fluke and that Kennedy actually has a chance against Batista tonight?
Match Rating: ***1/2

Daivari & Great Khali are on their way to the ring for the Punjabi Prison Match, and ‘Taker appears and takes out Daivari. But before he can get to Khali, Big Show comes out of nowhere and beats down ‘Taker! GM Long & officials pull Show off ‘Taker, and Khali gets in one last cheap shot. The match is next.

After a video highlighting the feud between ‘Taker & Khali, we see Daivari and the 2 giants backstage. GM Long confronts them and announces that BIG SHOW will face ‘Taker in the Punjabi Prison instead of Khali! Can we say “Bait ‘n’ Switch”?

The Punjabi Prison is lowered onto the ring, and the setup is basically 2 bamboo cages. One surrounding the immediate ring area, and a second octagon shaped cage surrounding the ringside area. The rules are that there are 4 doors on the inner ring, and the wrestlers can order the referees to open any of the doors and than are given 60 seconds to escape to the second cage, and if you don’t get out in time, the door can’t be opened any more! And to win the match, they have to find a way to escape the over 20ft second cage!

Punjabi Prison Match: The Undertaker beat the Big Show when he escaped the Punjabi Prison.
- Hey TNA, how’s this for an original concept match? I guess the reason Big Show was put in this match was because WWE knew he’d do a way better job in there than Khali could, and what we got was a real interesting contest between 2 big men in a never before seen environment. The crowd was pretty silent, but I’m guessing it’s cause they didn’t know what to expect, but they did pop in all the right places. Hate to say it, but I like the concept of the match and hope they can somehow do another one someday.
Match Rating: ****

4-Way Bra & Panties Match: Ashley Masaro beat Krystal Marshall, Michelle McCool & Jillian Hall when she stripped Krystal- A lot better than expected since they actually tried to brawl a bit, with Jillian & Michelle bringing some stiffness to the match with their knee strikes. And you expect to see Jillian’s boob smother move in the next Rumble Roses game.
Match Rating: *

Mr. Kennedy beat Batista by Disqualification.
We actually get some boos for Batista! And Kennedy seriously looked like Ric Flair after Batista bloodied him up. This was fun and brutal at the same time thanks to the aggressiveness of both men here. Batista getting disqualified and then continuing to lay out Kennedy I guess is best explained by Batista releasing all the built up anger of his. It win would have meant more to Kennedy if he didn’t already lose his first match to Matt Hardy 2 weeks ago.
Match Rating: **1/2

World Championship: King Booker beat Rey Mysterio after Chavo Guerrero hit Rey with a steel chair to win the title.
- Well, Chavo’s turn on Mysterio has been speculated for weeks now, and interesting to see it finally hit it’s peak. Interesting to note that was finally put up against someone he could the advantage on, and he finally loses the title.
Rey’s Cinderella story comes to an end, and Booker’s reign as belt warmer for Batista begins. It was a good match though.
Match Rating: ***

Overall: Another one of those PPVs with a less than spectacular build-up, but ended up being very good work rate-wise. I thought it was a good show from front to back.
But what the heck is up with JBL’s commentary? He seriously sounds like he’s being fed information through his headset and can’t come up with anything of his own. He did come off funny at times though, but he still needs a lot of work.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New IWGP Champion!

Hiroshi Tanahashi finally rose to the top of New Japan Pro Wrestling yesterday winning a 1 night 6-man tournament to become the 45th IWGP heavyweight champion! Tanahashi was originally scheduled to face champion Brock Lesner for the title, but due to "visa problems", Brock was unable to make it and was stripped of the title leading to the last minute card change and the tournament.

Tsukisamu Green Dome
3,955 Fans

1. Takashi Uwano, Taichi Ishikari & Mitsuhide Hirasawa beat Takashi Iizuka, Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito (11:37) when Hirasawa used a chickenwing armlock on Naito.
2. IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament - Round 1: Akebono beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan (6:55) with a running body press.
3. IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament - Round 1: Yuji Nagata beat Travis Tomko (7:48) with a backdrop hold.
4. Koji Kanemoto, Negro Casas, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Minoru, Jushin Thunder Liger, Jado & Gedo (10:35) when Kanemoto used a Tiger suplex hold on Minoru.
5. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii beat Riki Choshu & Naofumi Yamamoto (10:38) when Yano used the Oni Koroshi on Yamamoto.
6. IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament - Semi Final: Giant Bernard beat Akebono (4:45) with a horizontal cradle.
7. IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament - Semi Final: Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Yuji Nagata (13:46) with a ground Cobra Twist.
8. NWA Jr. Heavyweight Title: Tiger Mask © beat Wataru Inoue (12:13) with a Tiger suplex hold (2nd defense).
9. IWGP Provisional Tag Team Title: Manabu Nakanishi & Takao Omori beat Shiro Koshinaka & Togi Makabe © (15:17) when Nakanishi used the Hercules Cutter on Makabe to become the new champions.
10. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi beat Giant Bernard (17:44) with the Sling Blade to become the 45th champion.

Hopefully the lesson NJPW learns from this is to FINALLY put their own talent ahead of outsiders and quit with the "We must have the strongest champion" mentality. And if they are serious about Tanahashi being champion, they better start lining up quality opponents for him to defend against to bring back credibility to the title. And as for Tanahashi, lets hope he can carry the mantle of being champion both in and out of the ring and be a believable champion, not one that scrapes by on flash-pinfalls and such like he's known for. Drop the friggin' Sling Blade and find yourself a FINISHER already.


TNA Victory Road PPV results

Quick results for the PPV:

1. The Naturals with Shane Douglas beat The Diamonds in the Rough with Simon Diamond when scored the pin after a powerbomb/missile dropkick combination.
2. "The War Machine" Rhino VS "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown went to a No Contest.
3. LAX (Homicide & Hernandez) with Konnan beat Ron "The Truth" Killings & Sonjay Dutt when Hernandez pinned Dutt after a crucifix powerbomb (He launched Dutt halfway accross the ring with it!).
- Team Canada were formally disbanded. Eric Young became a mega-babyface and rallied the crowd to start a "Don't Fire Eric" campaign.
4. X-Division Title: Senshi (C) beat Frankie Kazarian with the Warrior's Way.
5. Hair VS Hair Match: Raven beat Larry Zybysko with the Raven Effect DDT.
6. Chris Sabin & Jay Lethal beat Kevin Nash & Alex Shelley with Johnny Devine when Sabin pinned Shelley with a roll-up.
- Nash actually did a quick arm-drag during the match! Jerry Lynn made his return after the match to help Sabin & Lethal.
7. The James Gang & Abyss with Father James Mitchell beat Team-3D when Abyss pinned Brother Runt with a Black Hole Slam through a table.
8. NWA World Tag Team Championship - 6-Person Mix Tag: AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels & Sirelda beat America's Most Wanted & Gail Kim when Styles pinned Storm with a roll-up to retain the titles.
9. Road to Victory No.1 Contender's Match: Sting beat Christian Cage, Samoa Joe & Scott Steiner when he pinned Steiner with the Scorpion Death Drop.
- Jeff Jarrett attacked Sting during the match and sprayed gasoline in his eyes. Sting was escorted to the back, but was able to come back near the end of the match to steal the win. A Christian heel turn is being teased.


Monday, July 17, 2006

NOAH 7/16/06 Budokan results

NO FEAR is back! Yoshihiro Takayama made his pro-wrestling return last night at the Nippon Budokan after being on the shelf for almost 2 years! The former GHC & IWGP champion was given the 5-star return treatment entering the ring last (even after GHC champion Akiyama) to a thunderous pop from the crowd. Despite having the spotlight shown on him, the big man still came up short in his return, dropping the fall to Akiyama's wrist-clutch Exploder after Misawa slammed him with the Emerald Frosion. It's good to see Takayama back, and hopefully he's 100% healed up and can participate regularly on tours and such in the immediate future.
The four future aces of the company squared off in the semi-main event of the show with Rikioh & Morishima reforming WILDII and taking on one of the greatest junior heavyweight tandems ever in KENTA & Marufuji. Both teams went neck and neck and the match ended in a 30-minute draw! The foursome are being billed as the "New Four Kings" of pro-wrestling. The original Four Kings were Misawa, Kawada, Taue & Kobashi back in AJPW in the '90s, so these four have some really big shoes and high expectations to fill to live up to the name.

NOAH "Summer Navigation" 7/16/06 (NTV/G+)
Tokyo Nippon Budokan
16,500 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. SUWA beat Mitsuo Momota (7:49) with a lariat.
2. Junji Izumida, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Abismo Negro beat Mohammed Yone, El Oriental & Atsushi Aoki (12:56) when Negro used the Martinez Special on Oriental.
3. Tamon Honda, Takuma Sano & Kentaro Shiga beat Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Kishin Kawabata (15:46) when Sano used a Northern Light Bomb on Kawabata.
4. Akira Taue & Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Yoshinari Ogawa & Ippei Ota (15:20) when Nakajima used a German Suplex hold on Ota.
5. Mushiking Terry Return Match: Mushiking Terry, El Angel & Taiji Ishimori beat Mushiking Joker, Charly Manson & Psicosis (17:21) when Terry used the Mist Crash on Psicosis.
6. Minoru Suzuki beat Go Shiosaki (16:46) with a sleeper hold.
7. Takeshi Rikio & Takeshi Morishima vs. Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA went to a draw (30:00) when the time limit expired.
8. Yoshihiro Takayama Return Match: Jun Akiyama & Mitsuharu Misawa beat Yoshihiro Takayama & Kensuke Sasaki (22:30) when Akiyama used the Wrist-Clutch Exploder on Takayama.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Arashi fired from AJPW!

I really should have reported this earlier, but Arashi was fired from AJPW earlier this week after he was arrested for being in possesion of 2.9 grams of marijuana. This incident only coming a week after Rob Van Dam and Sabu were also arrested in the United States for smoking marijuana while travelling to the next ECW show.
AJPW president Keiji Mutoh and Masanobu Fuchi immediately called an emergency press confress to announce Arashi's release, and to note the Arashi had been working without a contract for quite some time already.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

UFC62: Bitter Rivals 7/09/06 PPV results

Live from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, it’s time to settle some scores in the UFC!
Our hosts are Mike Goldberg and UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture, and after a quick look at the main bouts of tonight’s telecast, it’s on to the first fight!

Lightweight Fight: Joe “Daddy” Stevenson VS Yves Edwards
Joe Stevenson is the Ultimate Fighter 2 Welterweight winner, and has since moved down to the Lightweight division.
Yves Edwards is a returning veteran looking for a win after losing in his UFC return fight at UFC 59.

Round 1
They feel each other out for about a minute before Edwards floors Stevenson with a big left kick to the head! Edwards pounces on Stevenson and throws punches, but the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner is able to survive the storm and get back to his feet, clinching on to Edwards’ leg to take him down! Stevenson tries to push Edwards into the fence, but the veteran is able to escape and they get back to their feet. Stevenson corners Edwards, but the veteran jumps him and tries for a triangle! Edwards fights it off and gets into a high guard position and begins raining elbows on Edwards. Edwards takes a few shots and fights to his feet to escape, but Stevenson holds on to his leg, which almost turns into a big mistake as Edwards again takes advantage to shoot for the triangle! Stevenson gets into a dangerous position where his right arm is locked in Edwards’ triangle, but survives through it as the time limit expires.
Very even back and forth opening round with no clear advantage for either man.
Round 2
Edwards out boxes Stevenson for the opening minute, so the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner shoots in for a single leg takedown and pushes Edwards into the fence and begins raining down heavy punches and elbows. Edwards gets cut and starts bleeding a gusher as Stevenson continues to pound away. Stevenson is relentless, but Edwards is able to weather the storm till referee Big John McCarthy pulls them apart and asks the doctor to check on Edwards’ cuts. There is blood EVERYWHERE! Edwards chooses to continue the fight, and McCarthy restarts them on the mat where Stevenson again gains a high mount position and rains down the elbows and punches! Edwards is somehow able to survive the assault and fight back to his feet in the final seconds as the round comes to an end.
A very BRUTAL and BLOODY second round, clearly won by Stevenson.

The doctors check on Edwards during the intermission and decide the fight can’t continue, ending the fight and awarding it to Stevenson by TKO. Edwards is not happy, and there are some boos from the crowd as well at the decision.
Winner: Joe Stevenson by TKO

Heavyweight Fight: Frank Mir VS Dan “The Sandman” Christison
Frank Mir is a former UFC heavyweight champion, winning the title off current champion Tim Sylvia at UFC48, and snapping Sylvia’s arm in the process with a triangle armbar! Mir also held a 46 second submission victory over Tank Abbott, as well as handing Lion’s Den fighter Pete Williams his first submission loss also in 46 seconds! Mir was on top of the world after winning the heavyweight title, but tragically was involved in a motorcycle accident before he could defend his title and was out of the game for over a year. His return fight was less than memorable as he lost the fight in the first round by TKO via ground strikes. But he’s still determined to climb the mountain back to the top again.
Dan “The Sandman” Christison is a 6’8” giant of a man, and the Ultimate Fighter 2 heavyweight runner up. He’s got size and power, as well as submission skills as proven in his last fight where he lived up to his namesake and put his opponent to sleep for one of the greatest submission moments ever!

Round 1
They start off with a few short punch-kick combos before Mir is able to push Christison to the cage and take him down. Mir starts throwing punches, but Christison pulls out an armbar! Mir is barely able to escape as Christison loses his grip on the hold and both men get back to their feet, ending the round with a volley of strike exchanges.
The whole thing was a lot slower than it sounded and Mir already looks winded. I’d give the advantage to Christison for being the aggressor and connecting with more strikes during the closing moments.
Round 2
They start off trading punches for a bit, and Christison scores more thanks to his reach advantage. Christison actually smiles for a bit before Mir takes him down and tries to ground and pound the big man. Christison slaps on a sloppy triangle which Mir is able to escape. Despite his back on the mat, Christison is able to be more active. The referee eventually stands them back up. They trade kicks before clinching up against the fence again and throw short knees at each other as the round comes to an end.
The crowd boos the fighters as they go back to their corners. Christison again looked to be the better of the two as Mir is just gassed now.
Round 3
They trade strikes for a bit before Mir takes down Christison and shows some fire for the first time in the fight, raining down punches and elbows that bust open the Sandman and he starts to bleed, ironically in the same corner of the Octagon with the big blood patch from the previous fight. Unfortunately, Mir gets gassed again and the referee eventually stands up both men with 50 seconds left on the clock. Mir tries for a quick takedown, but Christison is able to sprawl to avoid the takedown, but himself can’t do anything from the position he has Mir in and the crowd boos the lack of action. They manage to get back to their feet in a clinch position and throw knees at each other as the time expires ending the round as the crowd boos some more.
The Decision:
We go to the judges decision and it’s a unanimous decision as all 3 judges score the fight 29-28 in favor of FRANK MIR!
Really disappointing fight overall as both men lacked any fire, and I’m rather surprised by the judges decision.
Winner: Frank Mir by 3-0 Judges Decision

Light Heavyweight Fight: “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock VS “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz
This is one of the few MMA fights where both men have legitimate heat with one another, and the rivalry dates back a long way. The two of them even almost went at it when they were coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 3! The first time these two fought it was UFC40: Vendetta, and Ortiz totally dominated Shamrock save for one punch Shamrock got in that instantly buckled Ortiz, but he was able to recover from to win the fight. Shamrock is counting on Ortiz to make that same mistake again tonight so he can capitalize on it and finally shut up Ortiz.
Heck, the fireworks for this one already started at the official weigh-ins on the previous day where Shamrock officially weighted in at 206lbs. The official weight designation for the Light Heavyweight Division is 205lbs, but an extra-pound of leniency is allowed. Tito immediately mouthed off to UFC president Dana White about Shamrock not making weight, but Shamrock is allowed to fight anyway. Ortiz on the other hand weight in at 206 1/2lbs! And had to spend the next half-hour jogging around the Octagon to cut weight to make the fight!

Round 1
Very heated stare off before the round and even security are in the Octagon to make sure they don’t go at it before official start.
They go right at it and Shamrock immediately rushes in with punches. Ortiz hits a knee and tries for a single leg takedown. Shamrock tries to block it, but Ortiz picks him off the mat and slams him down! Ortiz pushes Shamrock against the fence and begins dropping elbow strikes, and suddenly referee Herb Dean stops the fight and pulls Ortiz off Shamrock, awarding the Huntington Beach Bad Boy the win at 1’08 of the first round!
The crowd boos the decision heavily despite cheering for Tito during the fight. Shamrock also obviously is still good to go despite the replay showing Shamrock was absorbing the punishment instead of blocking the shots. Uniformed security guards even enter the Octagon to keep both parties apart, and the official decision stands as Ortiz over Shamrock by TKO in the first round.
This right here is the thing I don’t like about MMA, when a referee stops the fight earlier than he should have. Especially after the way the fight was hyped as one of the most anticipated in UFC history! The fans were still booing and chanting “Bullsh*t!” even when Ortiz offered to face Shamrock one more time.
Winner: Tito Ortiz by TKO from ground elbow strikes at 1’08 in Round 1

After a short intermission, UFC President Dana White is in the Octagon with a big announcement to make. He says he knows the fans are probably a little pissed right now, and they boo him to confirm it! White than brings out WANDERLEI SILVA! And Silva challenges Chuck Liddel for his UFC Light Heavyweight Title! Chuck immediately jumps from his ringside seat and enters the Octagon to stare off with the Axe Murderer and Dana White officially announces that if Liddell successfully defends the title against Renalto “Babalu” Sobraj at UFC 62 next month, he will than defend the title next against Silva in November!

Welterweight Fight: Josh “The Dentist” Neer VS Josh “The People’s Warrior” Burkman
Josh Burkman is an Ultimate Fighter 2 competitor that had to pull out of the competition due to an arm injury he sustained in a fight on the show that he won. He came back at the Ultimate Fighter 2 Finals to win his fight in just 21 seconds by KO, followed by another quick submission victory in his second UFC fight before his momentum was derailed by a loss in his third fight. He’s hoping to get back on the winning track tonight.
Josh Neer lost his first UFC fight, but has since came back and taken down two Ultimate Fighter 2 contestants, including a win over Ultimate Fighter 2 welterweight winner Joe Stevenson. Neer also happens to be a big fan of Tito Ortiz, and ironically, his opponent tonight happens to be a trainee of Ortiz! Neer is looking to climb the welterweight ranks by taking out another Ultimate Fighter 2 competitor tonight.

Round 1
They trade off some hard punches before locking up in a clinch where Burkman showed some good flexability hitting some high knees to Neer’s head. Neer actually gets cocky and calls out Burkman to bring it. Burkman manages to take down Neer near the fence and got up high to try and throw strikes, but Neer is able to kick him off and sweep him down, and both men get back up to their feet and trade strikes again. Burkman was able to catch Neer with a good right hand that buckled him, and Burkman immediately pounced on the advantage but wasn’t able to complete locking on a choke or an armbar, leading to both men getting to their feet again and ending the round trading punches.
Burkman looked to be the stronger of the two, connecting with more strikes, even short elbows and knees when they were up close in the clinch.
Round 2
Burkman starts off with a big kick to the head that gets blocked, and Neer backs him against the fence and tries for a single leg takedown. Neer leaves his head open and Burkman connects with a few close punches, but Neer takes the advantage to sweep and takedown Burkman. Neer can’t get into a proper guard and so he tries to hold down Burkman against the fence and throws short punches. Neer is able to get Burkman in a guillotine position, but can’t clamp down on the hold. Neer rocks Burkman with punches as they get back to their feet. Burkman is able to shove off Neer with a hard left hand and follows up with more hard punches and a body kick. Neer gets cocky again and dares Burkman to try and hit him again. They clinch up again and Neer struggles for a single leg takedown. Burkman pushes him off with a big left hand and follows with more punches as Neer blocks the offense before asking Burkman for more! Neer is slightly bleeding over his left eye as Burkman backs him against the fence. Burkman leaves his neck open, but Neer is unable to lock on a choke, and gets picked off the mat and slammed down into the guard position. They struggle for a bit on the mat and Neer manages to lock on a triangle just as the time expires!
I can admire Neer willing to absorb punishment, but the guy needs to get some serious offense going.
Round 3
They start throwing punches again and Burkman shoots in and slams Neer hard on the mat. Burkman tries to ground and pound, but Neer tries for a triangle! Burkman powers out of it by picking Neer off the mat and powerbombing him down on the mat! Burkman pushes Neer against the fence and gets into a standing position in the guard to try for punches. Neer is able to kick him off and the two grapple on the mat for a bit, going back and forth trying for ground locks. Neer almost gets a knee-bar on Burkman, but both men are able to fight to their feet and Burkman again picks up Neer off his feet and slams him down! The round ends with Burkman dominant on top once again.
As far as points are concerned, Burkman definitely owned that round. And the crowd applauds the efforts of both men.
The Decision:
All 3 judges score a unanimous decision in favor of Josh Burkman, and rightfully so as he dominated both the striking and grappling for the whole fight. While Neer definitely showed he can take a punch and has good counter grapple skills on the mat, he definitely needs to work on his offense a bit more.
Winner: Josh Burkman by 3-0 Judges Decision.

UFC World Heavyweight Title: Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski VS Tim “The Maniac” Sylvia (C)

The first time these two fought, Arlovski shocked everyone when he floored Sylvia with one big punch and quickly pounced on the champion to lock on a leglock to win the title in barely a minute! The second time they fought, Arlovski was being built as being an unbeatable champion and Sylvia had little chance against the champion. And everyone seemed to be right as Arlovski again floored Sylvia with one big right hand, but this time Sylvia was able to quickly get back to his feet and connect with a big uppercut on an overly aggressive Arlovski, dropping the champion and giving Sylvia the opening to mount and rain down punches forcing a Referee Stop to win back his world title in under barely a minute of the first round!
Who will win the rubber match? The 6’8 Maniac or the aggressive Pitbull? The Main Event is NOW!

Round 1
The first 3 minutes of the round sees both men being cautious with their movements as they exchange punches and kicks. Sylvia has been saying how Arlovski has a glass jaw, and true enough at the second minute he connects with a big right which staggers back the Pitbull. Sylvia follows in but Arlovski cuts him off with a clinch. They break off and continue to trade as a “Pitbull” chant breaks out. Arlovski is connecting with more punches as Sylvia closes the distance and they clinch against the fence and try throwing short knees. Referee Big John McCarthy restarts them in the center of the Octagon due to lack of action with 40 seconds left on the clock. They continue trading strikes and the round ends with Sylvia connecting with a big back kick and Arlovski answers with a low kick of his own.
Pretty even back and forth opening round, but I’d give the advantage to Arlovski since he’s showing more aggression and connection with more punch combinations.
Round 2
The second round was another stand up affair with both men trading back and forth. A quick burst of strikes break out between the two around the 2 minute mark before slowing the pace down again. Both men being cautious not to make any mistakes as they stand and trade for the rest of the round. Since this is a championship fight, it will go for five five-minute rounds instead of the standard three rounds.
The second round was also very evenly matched with no clear winner. Sylvia does seem to be gassed a bit with Arlovski still sticking and moving.
Round 3
Another bland round as both men are being over-precautious, and the fans let out boos throughout despite some big flurries. Arlovski probably wins this one since he pressed the fight more and seemed to connect with more punches. Arlovski is also smart to take advantage of throwing body shots, which is very underused in the sport despite the amount of damage it can do to a fighter’s breathing.
Round 4
Again the big men keep it on their feet with a really slow back and forth pace that draws boos from the crowd. Sylvia presses the fight more this time as Arlovski is bleeding above his left eye and on his right cheek. If either man is going to try for anything big, like say a takedown, now would be the time to do it.
Round 5
I wonder if these two saw the Shamrock/Ortiz fight and were afraid of the referee stopping the match, which is what lead to this rather anti-climatic fight finish as both men again stayed away from anything other than trying to jab and kick at each other from a distance. And the crowd rightfully boos as the fight comes to an end at the time limit.
The Decision:
The judges score the fight 48-47, 49-46, 48-47, for a unanimous decision awarded to Tim Sylvia to retain his title. Sylvia is in tears as he hears the decision and Arlovski is obviously disappointed.
Winner: Tim Sylvia by 3-0 Judges Decision

During the post match interview Sylvia jokes at how Arlovski apparently got his glass jaw fixed, but Sylvia is now looking forward and nominated Jeff Munson as a possible next challenger. Munson dominated his pre-PPV fight with Australian fighter Anthony Paroche, and is definitely worthy of a title shot down the line.
The PPV ends with a recap video of the nights fights as Mike Goldberg reads off the credits.

Overall: OK, the two heavily hyped grudge matches turned out to be really lackluster. Ortiz/Shamrock ended way too early and the heavyweight title fight lacked the fire of the two previous encounters.
The UFC returns to PPV on August 26th, with the headlining fight of Chuck Liddell VS Renalto “Babalu” Sobral for the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kobashi update

Kenta Kobashi underwent successful surgery on Friday (7/07/06) to remove a right kidney tumor. The doctors performing the surgery stated that they did not see the tumor spread to any other organs in the body, which is a very good sign. The surgery took 5 1/2 hours and was a success.

Definately good news and hopefully he makes a speedy recovery and can get back in the ring soon.

In other NOAH news, the promotion is teasing a possible GHC heavyweight title match between Jun Akiyama and SAMOA JOE for the 9/09 Budokan Hall show! It would definately be an interesting and intruiging match up to say the least, but would definately make more of an impact if Joe were to tour with NOAH first so the fans know what to expect from the Samoan Submission Machine before tossing him into the fire like what happened to Taiji Ishimori when he challenged KENTA for the GHC Jr. title a while back.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

New Triple Crown champion!

Taiyo Kea, the last true disciple of the late Giant Baba in All Japan Pro Wrestling, finally won the big one yesterday as he dethroned long running rival Satoshi Kojima to capture the Triple Crown. He than made the shocking announcement that he would like his first challenger to be none other than former champion Toshiaki Kawada!
Also on the show, Kaz Hayashi won the finals of the Crossover Tour Junior Singles League defeating super rookie Katsuhiko Nakajima in the finals in a hard fought contest. Hayashi announced the tounament will be held in June every year from now on, and challenged Shuji Kondo for his Jr. title.

Ota Ward Gymnasium
3,700 Fans - Super No Vacancy

0. Masanobu Fuchi & Nobutaka Araya beat Toshiyuki Moriya & Naoshi Sano (7:52) when Araya used a vertical drop brainbuster on Moriya.
1. Virus & MAZADA beat Kikutaro & Hayabusu-cito (11:44) when Virus used the Virus Lock II on Kikutaro.
2. TAKA Michinoku & RO'Z beat Nobukazu Hirai & Akira Raijin (4:32) when RO'Z used a moonsault press on Raijin.
3. TARU, Kohei Suwama & Shuji Kondo beat Arashi, Yutaka Yoshie & Brute Issei (10:30) when Suwama used a German Suplex hold on Brute.
4. YASSHI "Strong" Physical Feeling Match: Kensuke Sasaki beat "Strong" YASSHI (4:32) with a Hokuto assisted bamboo sword double impact.
5. Keiji Muto, AKIRA & Ryuji Hijikata beat Minoru Suzuki, NOSAWA Rongai & Katsushi Takemura (13:38) when Muto used the Shining Wizard on NOSAWA.
6. Junior Singles Heavyweight League - Final: Kaz Hayashi beat Katsuhiko Nakajima (20:58) with the Final Cut (Hayashi wins the 2006 league).
7. AJPW Triple Crown: Taiyo Kea beat Satoshi Kojima © (19:56) with the H50 (Kea becomes the 34th champion).


Dragon Gate 7/02 results

Dragon Gate ran it's annual Kobe World Hall anniversary show on Sunday and received good reviews from those in attendance, with more plusses than minuses.

Dragon Gate Pro Wrestling Festival 7/2/2006
Hyogo, Kobe World Hall, 8500 Attendance

1. Shisa Family First Meeting: Ryo Saito{W}, Genki Horiguchi, The Turboman (14:47 Dragon Suplex Hold) Super Shisa, Shisa Boy{L}, King Shisa
2. K-ness Return Match: K-ness{W}, Keni'chiro Arai (10:35 Aoki Hikari) Akira Tozawa{L}, Takayuki Mori
3. Dos Caras (10:07 Power Bomb) BxB Hulk
4. Yutaka Yoshie (12:52 Diving Body Press) Shingo Takagi
5. Naruki Doi{W}, Masato Yoshino, Naoki Tanisaki, Gamma, Dr. Muscle (23:21 Chair Assisted Bakatare Sliding Kick) Yasushi Kanda{L}, Don Fujii, Matt Sydal, Jack Evans, Roderick Strong
6. Revolution Special Match: Magnum TOKYO{W}, Geni'chiro Tenryu (17:42 Zetsuen) Masaaki Mochizuki{L}, Minoru Suzuki
7. Open the Dream Gate: Susumu Yokosuka (30:55 KOBE World Liner) Dragon Kid (V2 for Susumu)
0. No Rope Bonus Match: CIMA (23:28 Mad Splash from the Ringpost) Magnitude Kishiwada