Friday, June 29, 2012

No NJPW fanfest today...

No NJPW fanfest today unfortunately. Still in the process of moving and taking my stuff to my place.  I apologize.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ProWresBlog is now live from Japan!

As some of you may know, I am moving to Japan this week. I'm currently in Japan and going through the moving process, so it will be a few days before I can regularly update.
On the 30th, look for a report on New Japan's fanfest. They are having something in Akihabara with autographs, press conferences and some other activities. I'll do a write-up and hopefully some pictures. In the meantime, please keep checking out my blog!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Daily Viewings

BJW - Barbed Wire Boards Spike Nail Death, Loser wrestles an Alligator- Mitsuhiro Matsunaga vs. Shadow WX
This match was mainly about a few big spots without anything else. WX took a suplex through a board with light tubes, and Matsunaga took a powerbomb off a stage through a light tube board and a barbed wire board. WX won with a body slam through a barb wire board. The setting up of the weaons in the spots took more than the actual spots. Rating: DUD

Coffin Death Match - Alligator vs Matsunaga
This was a quick 30 second version of this match. I've seen the longer version before and I didn't miss anything. Just so you know, Gators can actually be wrestled with to a degree as alot of trainers have to get ontop of them and pull their heads back to get them to sleep. Trust me, I saw this at Gatorland in Florida.  You can even do this with some of the bigger ones. So naturally, with BJPW being cheap they found a 3 foot gator for Matsunaga. Even if he got bit, it wouldn't have been that bad. Basically, the gator did his best Hulk Hogan impersonation and just stood there for a few minutes. Matsunaga picked him up by his tail and put him in the coffin. I feel bad for anyone who dropped $40 plus to see this. If you want to see a gator fight, watch Swamp People as it might actually entertain you instead of this joke. Rating:....

1/8/1995 IWA-Japan - Tajiri vs Jiraya
Jiraya wears a power ranger/samurai style outfit. Jiraya really stunk. He did everything slowly and deliberately. This match was not good. There was zero heat for this. Rating: DUD

9/30/1996 BJW - Dr. Wagner Jr. vs Tajiri
Wagner talked smack in English during this match along with saying "Yoshiri" everytime he moved. They had a nice match here. Lots of cool highflying and reversals from Tajiri and Wagner was a good rudo for him. Tajiri looked like a completely different wrestler in a little over a year. Rating:**3/4

11/20/1996 BJW - Rocky Santana & Fantastik vs GOKU & Tajiri
GOKU is indeed a wrestler dressed like Goku from DBZ. I always wanted to see him. Fantastik did a Nudo on GOKU, Yes! This match was awesome. Fantastik makes every dive look so cool and when in doubt, get luchadores for your cards! You want this. Rocky won with an odd Bow and Arrow type of lock that was really nifty. Rating: ***1/2

12/2/? BJW - Briscoe Brothers vs Ryuji Ito and Fantastik
The Briscoes did a promo set to some odd calm music before the match. They looked so young here, and I'm sure they were. This had to have been from around 2002-2003.  Ito was the one who looked really odd though. He had long hair and long leather pants and resembled one of the Braham Brothers. He wrestled fast too which is something I've never seen him do. Mark won this one with a Jay Driller. Rating: ** 1/2

11/20/1996 BJW - Scorpions and Cactus Desert Death Match - Mitsuhiro Matsunaga vs Shoji Nakamaki
Ah, BJW. They found another way to screw up an interesting gimmick match. They put all of the Scorpions in a big glass cage and for some reason, they put some kind of liner or something on the inside, so, I couldn't see the actual scorpions. Brilliant BJW. Have a dangerous death match and make the part people want to see most not visible.  This match was actually entertaining. They did some good teases with the Scorpion tank and Nakamaki held Matsunaga down in there for the win. Kendo Nagasaki came in and dumped the cage on Nakamaki after. Rating:*1/2

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NXT 6/20/2012: The New NXT

They have a new nice looking stage along with a nice arena. Dusty is announced as the interim GM and JR/Regal are on commentary.

Rick Victor vs Bo Dallas
Bo is the son of Mike Rotunda and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. I think that pretty much explains why he's on this show. He had a really basic WWE style match with Rick Victor. He's still green and nervous on the mic. I don't like his long term chances as he's too small for Vince. Rating: *

Tyler Black promo
I have no idea what he was talking about.

Damien Sandow vs Jason Jordan
Sandow is really good on the mic, but he refuses to fight Jordan, so no match. I don't know if he will get over or not, but the talking helps

The Ascension promo
I think they stole their promo background from the new Spiderman movie. They look to be interesting from their promo but the Connor O'Brien has been in development for years, which should tell you something about his ability.

Ascension vs Mike Dalton and CJ Parker
Ascension has an Undertaker style entrance. They got a quick squash in and won by lifting their opponent up and then falling back. Not that impressive.

Bray Wyatt Promo
He's supposed to be some kind of religious/conspiracy wacko from the South. He talks about how children should look under their bed and how they should believe monsters are real. He comes more across like Herbert the Pervert than anything else. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up getting pulled quickly.

Derrick Bateman meets up with Johnny Curtis in the men's john. Where's Dusty to call this when you need him? The crowd noise piped in from this promo was hilarious. They challenge each other for next week and Curtis tells him to stay out of the bathroom. He then wipes his hands on Derrick's shirt.

Michael McGillicutty vs Tyson Kidd
This was good but this is Michael McGillicutty. He had his chance on NXT 2 and blew it and it's going to be super hard to recover from it. He also doesn't have WWE on his side, so he's stuck. Tyson Kidd has great skills, but he's a small guy and WWE has alot of those already. Kidd won with a Dungeon Lock in a very good match  Rating: **3/4

There you have it. The commentary throughout this was absolutely excellent. Everyone got put over and JR/Regal made everyone seem worthwhile. Regardless of the talent, this is still NXT and being on NXT is probably more of a blemish than a good thing on your record. I feel bad as anyone who is on this show is basically going to have to re-debut on SD/RAW, making this mostly a waste of time.

If you want to see what WWE could be like if all of the egos were gone, this is your show. There was some good wrestling and no one was made to look like a fool.

Today's viewings

9/3/1997 IWA Japan - King Kong Bundy/Leatherface/Freddy Kreuger vs Benkei/Great Kabuki/Hirano
When you are relying on Great Kabuki to bring the workrate, you have problems on your hands. When your second and third best wrestlers are King Kong Bundy and Leatherface, you have bigger problems. There was alot of bad and boring brawling here. There was more choking in this than I think I have ever seen in any match. Sucks, because I was interested in seeing Bundy squashing some japanese guys. Rating: DUD

4/29/2012 Oz Academy - Mio Shirai/Mayumi Ozaki vs Aja Kong/Sonoko Kato
This is kind of your typical Oz tag. Decent work with lots of unreprimanded interference. There wasn't nothing wrong with this but it never really kicked into high gear. Watching this, I was thinking how perfect Kato would have been in AJW in the 2000's. Rating: **1/2

5/16/2012 Zero-1 Hiroyo Matsumoto vs Yuhi
I hate dailymotion. This match was only 6 minutes long and it took atleast 20 minutes to finish it with all the buffering I had to deal with. This was a good match. Yuhi already gets the finer nuisances of pro wrestling and I hope she sticks with STARDOM and stays far away from DIANA and Oz. Hiroyo won here, which I think was the wrong call as Hiroyo is still an underbooked wrestler 6 years later. Hiroyo also looked like she gained some weight. Rating: **1/2

4/24/2012 Zero-1 Daisuke Sekimoto/Kazuki Hashimoto vs Daichi Hashimoto/Kohei Sato
This is in the new Korakuen set-up and it looks kind of sad. You see them brawl into the crowd...and there is no crowd to brawl into. Just tarped over seats in the stands. I hope it's alot cheaper because it really makes your promotion look sad.
This was a good match. They worked at a nice pace and it was mostly about who could hit who the hardest. Kazuki is really good as a jerk heel. The only thing he needs to be careful of is not selling enough due to being a jerk. You can brush off shots, but if you don't sell them, then they look weak.  Daichi reminds me so much of Fujita Hayato Jr. Sekimoto was great as usual and Sato was fine. This isn't something you would go out of your way for, but was good. Rating ***

Big Japan TV 5-1-1998 Shadow VII, Shadow WX, Shadow Winger & The Great Pogo vs. Jason The Terrible, Shoji Nakamaki, Mitsuhiro Matsunaga & Masked GK in a "The W*ING Crisis BJW Big Born Death Match."
This was one of the crazier deathmatches BJPW put on. Here's a list of all the goodies that were available in the match:
- Barbed wire boards
- A ring with a circus net of barbed wire
- Lots of lighttubes, including some connected to actual lights.
- Dry Ice
- Tacks
- A coffin
 -A bed of nails

Of course, this wasn't enough for some of the guys, so we also got:
- A sickle
- A nail baseball bat
- A BUSH TRIMMER. No, I'm not joking.

The match was really not that good. This had alot of guys throwing each other into things and alot of guys walking together to the next weapon. I didn't hate it though. It was entertaining, just not good. Does that make sense? The big highlights here were a few guys getting their face put into dry ice, Matsunaga throwing a scorpion on WX's head, Mr. Pogo powerdrilling someone's head, Mr. Pogo using a bush trimmer on someone's head, Matsunaga falling off a walkway about 15 feet up, Matsunaga throwing someone off the scaffold into the barb wire net and Matsunaga doing a rolling senton onto the net. Kojika was probably the worst in this whole match which is really saying something. If you want to see alot of spots and random acts of violence then you want this, but if you are looking for a good workrate oriented match, this isn't your thing. I myself enjoyed it.

5/5/1994 FMW Genichiro Tenryu vs Atsushi Onita - Exploding Time Bomb Barb Wire Cage Match
    I've always loved this match. The crowd was really pumped for this and it was a rather big match for 1994. There was a stip that said Onita had to retire in 1 year if he lost this match. This is the follow up to the Goto/Onita vs Tenryu/Hara match I reviewed.
   They worked the match like a basic pro wrestling match only inside of a cage. This is what made it great as they focused on the psychology of it with Tenryu having the upper hand on Onita. Onita took most of the bumps, but Tenryu did take one into the cage which was surprising.
    Tenryu ended up winning it in what was Onita's best match ever. The crowd was completely dejected after this and they showed video of the fans after that showed how down they were. Rating: ****1/2

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Today's viewings

6/10/2012 Prince Devitt vs Low-Ki
This was fluid japanese junior heavyweight wrestling. Everything was really crisp and nice  and I loved Devitt's dropkick to Low-ki on the post who had to be a good 7 feet or more up in the air. Everything was going good and then naturally, Devitt injured his knee. Low-Ki quickly put him in the sharpshooter to prevent any injuries. Rating: ***

5-5-1997 WAR Genichiro Tenryu & Kitahara & Kikuchi vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tarzan Goto & Ryo Miyake (Cage)

Goto starts this off right by chucking chairs at wrestlers as they enter the arena. They then get into the cage after a nice brawl and start following rules, what the heck?  We get a long beatdown section on Kitahara and then it gets more chaotic. Miyake gets his team some more plunder like chairs and a glass bottle. Goto mistakes this for his favorite izakaya and breaks the bottle threatening to cut fools. Goto tied Tenryu's foot to the ropes with barbwire while Abby stabbed him for about 5 minutes straight. After he got out, Tenryu threw some awesome jabs on Miyake from the top of the cage then did a dive! How can you not love Tenryu? Tenryu then HULKED UP! After that Kitahara took over and got the win over Miyake with a powerbomb. This was a fun match. It stalled a little in the middle but Tenryu hulking up is cool stuff. Rating:***

3/2/1994 WAR Genichiro Tenryu/Ashura Hara vs Atsushi Onita/Tarzan Goto
I always wanted to see this match.  It was disappointing. The crowd wasn't into anything Hara did and they couldn't wait to have Tenryu and Onita square off so the crowd got their fill early. The finishing stretch was nice though. Rating: **3/4

AJPW 1985 - Rusher Kimura vs Giant Baba
I knew this wasn't going to be much and it wasn't. Just basic heel and face work and naturally a screwy finish since this is the 1980's. Rating: *1/2

AJPW 1977 - RWTL - The Funks vs Rocky Hara and Genichiro Tenryu
Tenryu was so thin here. I think Taka Michinoku weighed more than him at this point. This is a 1970's match and it had a 1970's style to it. Lots and LOTS of headlocks. This match was split into three parts on youtube and it took until the third part for anything worthwhile to happen. The Funks did some okay legword and Terry ended up winning it with a Funk toehold. Rating:**

AJPW 1977 - RWTL - Giant Baba/Jumbo Tsuruta vs Abdullah the Butcher/The Sheik
This was actually a pretty good match. They got off to a hot start and everyone did their gimmicks swiftly. Baba had a really goofy haircut that needs to be seen and he was actually pretty fast and stiff in this. This match was alot of fun and it was surely the fastest I have ever seen three of the four guys in this match work. Rating: **1/2

They had a great post-match thing too. Abby and Sheik found Terry Funk and strangled him and stabbed him with Sheik's weapon. They hung him out to dry and he bled so good that it looked like he was wearing face paint. Total chaos.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MTV Cribs with Gran Hamada, plus Hamada vs Gran Cochisse

This one isn't AJ here but screw it, we are on a roll.

We get an MTV Cribs with Gran Hamada from 1985. We see an already tall Xochitl Hamada with a ghostbusters shirt and Ayako who was four at this point. She almost gets hit by a taxi during the video. Trust me, it will hurt less than some of the Aja Kong shots you will take someday.

We then get: Gran Cochisse vs Gran Hamada for an NWA title of some sort. This match was really good. It was clipped but it was really fast paced and everything was pretty smooth. Such a shame there's not much 80's lucha out there.

AJPW Mix: Part 2

9/1/1990 Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue vs Mitsuharu Misawa/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

This was JIP, darn it! The 5:43 that I did see of this was awesome. Jumbo was in a bad mood and was going Stan Hansen lariating fools. Jumbo was super aggressive and fiery which is what I like. But, Kikuchi was even better. Kikuchi played up his strengths as being a smaller guy and went on small flurries to break up pins and moves. He was also super fast. He tried to get some moves on Taue but Taue used his power and size against him. Jumbo ended up winning here a little abruptly with a sleeper, just as the crowd was chanting Kikuchi.

Chalk up another for the case that Kikuchi should have been pushed more.

Rating: No rating. This was way too short but if I could see the rest, I know it's going to be mid 4-star range.

1/26/1992 Kenta Kobashi/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue
Starts off hot and heavy like you expect it would. At one point Kobashi had Taue in Boston Crab position and grumpy Jumbo kicked him and punched him until he let go. Kobashi then goes over to the corner, turns around Jumbo from behind and slaps him like a child. Greatness! Kikuchi did a stretch muffler on Taue which was unexpected. Kikuchi had Taue in a submission again and Jumbo came in to break it up. When Jumbo returned, Kikuchi gave him a nice forearm sending him into the barriers. Jumbo vs Kikuchi was mostly the theme of this and it rocked. Jumbo was really in rare form and he let Kikuchi have it about a thousand times over. Everyone was good in this and everyone played their role well. Rating: ****1/2

RWTL 1994 Toshiaki Kawada/Akira Taue (Holy Demon Army) vs Giant Baba/Stan Hansen
Old Man Baba threatens Kawada to start this off. Love it. Holy crap, Baba did a reversal sequence with Taue. Awesome! Kawada went teeing off on Baba at one point and even backdropped him. Hansen was great in this as Baba's buddy and Taue too seemed more inspired than usual. HDA controlled most of this match and at one point hit Baba with the backdrop/otoshi combo. This match was a great story of two vets just trying to survive. Later in the match, they almost had it then Taue made a great save for Kawada and evened up the score. Baba and Hansen eventually overcame them and Hansen won with a sicko lariat while Baba held down Taue. Great match. Baba and Hansen are such a fun team and Hansen is so underrated. Rating: ****1/2

12/3/1992 Andre the Giant, Giant Baba and Rusher Kimura vs Fuchi, Eigen and Okuma
 This was the last match of both Andre and Okuma. Andre looked completely finished here. This was about a month and a half before he died. He was massive at this point. This was pretty much all comedy but the parts with Andre were funny. It was mostly just guys standing around staring at each other. Rating: No Rating

6/1/1982 Giant Baba vs Stan Hansen
This is probably the fastest I've ever seen Giant Baba. He looked really good here. The crowd was totally into this and so was Hansen. This was the 80's though and the finished SUCKED. Hansen wins on a countout. Rating: **3/4

6/5/1989 - Sting vs Danny Spivey
This is from Sting's one and only AJPW tour. Sting and Spivey go at it before the names are even announced and brawl pretty hard. This started off really hot but then it progressively got worse. Maybe Sting tired himself out or something, but there were two deadweight move attempts where someone got dropped. I like my Ganso Bomb's as much as anyone else, but what they were doing was not quite the same. Sting did a sweet over the corner plancha. Sting went for the Scropion later on in the match and after one failed attempt, he failed again and Spivey cradled him for the win. This is a tough match to rate. Everything was there for a good match except the execution. They almost screwed the finish up as Sting didn't want to roll for the cradle, so he was left dangling for a few seconds. Rating: **

7/28/1993 - 4 vs. 4 SURVIVAL TAG MATCH: Kawada/Taue/Fuchi/Ogawa vs. Misawa/Kobashi/Akiyama/Kikuchi
This starts off with Akiyama/Kikuchi vs Ogawa/Fuchi. Fuchi did a brain-scrambling backdrop on the floor on Kikuchi. Fuchi then did some nasty looking stretches on Kikuchi on the ropes. Kikuchi ended up rolling up Ogawa to thankfully keep him from ruining the rest of the match. Next it was Akiyama/Kikuchi vs Fuchi/Taue. The next segment was the Taue show. He looked awesome and went on a chokeslamming spree which got him the win over Kikuchi. Akiyama/Kobashi vs Fuchi/Taue followed. The Fuchi/Kobashi sections were excellent. Fuchi went on a nice slapping spree on Kenta. Akiyama took out Fuchi with a bridge. Too bad as I could have watched Fuchi have fun on the faces expense all day. Kawada/Taue vs Akiyama/Kobashi was next.  Kawada did a new stretch on Jun that I never saw before. He had Jun in a sitting position and did double armlocks while leaning on Aki's head. Ouch. Kawada mostly toyed with Jun for the next 11 minutes until putting him down with the stretch plum. Next, Misawa/Kobashi vs Kawada/Taue. Okay, we all knew it was coming to this. The Kawada/Kobashi exchanges were alot of fun. Kobashi at one point kept chopping Kawada and Kawada just looked at him and said one more. Kobashi tried it a few more times to no effect, then Kawada gave it back to him and followed with the always fun Kawada right hook. Kobashi ended up winning win the moonsault. The last tag here was by far the best of the whole match. I am going to not rate this one as I don't know where to even start with it. I don't entirely reccomend it though except for the last section. That's where it was all built up to and that's the only part that really mattered.

3/11/1985 Road Warriors vs Giant Baba/Fuchi
The Road Warriors knocked over atleast 5 different japanese people on their way to the ring. That's always the sign of a good entrance. The RW's came out like a house of fire and made quick work of Baba and Fuchi. They also actually SOLD for these two. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Baba was signing their checks. Nice squash.

3/9/1985 - Giant Baba, Takashi Ishikawa, Mighty Inoue vs. Rusher Kimura, Goro Tsurumi, Ryuma Go
AJPW vs Indy Scum, the 1985 edition! Rusher took the flowers he received from the ring girls and threw it to Baba as he was coming in! HEEL.  Rusher then started a FLOWER FIGHT! YES! He threw two more at Baba before Ishikawa broke some over his head. Man, this opening was great. Streamers and flowers flying everywhere! This match was fast paced and alot of fun. Hey, they had me at Goro Tsurumi's haircut. Ishikawa won with the Scorpion and seemed quite pleased. Rating: ***

3/8/1985 - The Roadwarriors vs Animal Hamaguchi and Killer Khan
This is the Roadies debut here. No japanese were harmed during the making of their entrance this time. Animal Hamaguchi wore tights that matched the ring canvas! Sorry to disappoint the DVDVR Killer Khan contigent, but he didn't even get tagged in here. Squash City, Baby!

2/28/1985 Baba/Okuma/Kojika vs Goro Tsurumi/Rusher Kimura/Ryuma Go
We have more challengers for the Goro Tsurumi Best Hair challenge, but Goro is still able to defeat them with his afro. Who can stop the 'fro? Quickly, we got a no decision as the ref lost all control. Kimura choked out Baba.

AJPW 11/27/1992 Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada vs Giant Baba and Kenta Kobashi

AJPW 11/27/1992 Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada vs Giant Baba and Kenta Kobashi
I liked this match. It wasn't at the level of Misawa/Kobashi vs Baba/Hansen a year later but it was still really good. Whereas that match had more of a legends vs younger wrestlers vibe to it, this was pretty much a straight tag.

The match was pretty even until the second half, where Misawa and Kawada took over. The obvious move would be to get heat on Misawa and Kawada picking on Baba, but they chose to go with Kobashi instead. Of course, there are few better FIP's than Kobashi, so it worked too.

Baba was not that involved in this match. He was in it a little bit but this was mostly the Kobashi vs Kawada show. Misawa was in this so little too. One cool thing happened in this match. Kawada had Baba up for a suplex but Baba's weight was too much and both of them fell over in the process of getting Baba up. For any wrestlers reading this that are in this situation, ask yourself, WWTKD? Well, Kawada ingeniously decided to play it straight. He sold the effort it took in getting Baba up there and turned what could have been a knock on this match into a positive. Kawada showed us that even the best flub sometimes, but only the best know how to cover it. Baba even sold the botched suplex a little and then smartly got up before Kawada and made a quick tag.

Baba was also a very good face in this match. Baba played by the rules of pro wrestling and refused to interrupt any submission or pin attempt. This is something you don't see everyday. What made it better is that he teased wanting to, but instead chose to be the super face and didn't do a thing. Baba became the cheerleader for Kobashi instead. This added to the crowd's sympathy for the face team.

The finishing stretch saw Kawada and Misawa work over Baba and Kobashi with Kobashi getting a Tiger Driver then a Folding Powerbomb pin from Kawada for the win.

Rating: ****. This was a really good match and it again showed the genius of Baba knowing his role and bringing in pieces of wrestling psychology that have been long forgotten.

Podcast Tonight!

I'll be doing a show with Tim Noel and Dean Rasmussen from tonight. I don't know what we will talk about but probably recent tapes we watched and other related wrestling stuff. It should be fun so check it out at 9:30 EST tonight at:

This is available anywhere in the world for free so everyone is welcome to check it out!

Monday, June 18, 2012

STARDOM 7/24/2011 - Taiyo vs Leon - Understanding the Audience 101

You know those indy matches where people do spots to impress the crowd but the crowd just isn't into it no matter how much work they put in? This was one of those.

I've been watching a little STARDOM lately and it seems they are lacking heat for some of their matches. I don't know if I should blame that on the workers or on the fans or both. But, crowd heat really affects matches.

A good example of how crowd heat affects matches for the better is in old school WWF from the 80's. The fans cared about the wrestlers and were so into everything that happened that the match seemed better than it was and both wrestlers seemed better than they were.

A bad example of how crowd heat affects matches is this match. These girls had a heck of a match. They went at a pace so fast that I think only Natsuki Taiyo can do it. They went about a hundred miles an hour during the beginning of this and actually didn't let up. The crowd was a little into it, but not as much as they should have been. As they went on, they had to slow it down a little, but it was still a good pace.

The girls busted out huge moves in this and the crowd could have cared less. It seemed like generic indy spot-fu, and to a degree, it probably was. The two biggest moves in this match were the Solo Spanish Fly and probably the second or third nastiest move ever, the Spider German.  Leon looked at the crowd after hitting Natsuki with the German and the crickets only responded. They even got a shot of Natsuki looked at the crowd going "Hello?".

Crowd Heat really affects matches and I would have liked to have seen what would have happened if they had a hotter crowd for this match. I think this legitimately could have been in the 4 star range. They had a great match but no one cared, and no match that I review can really reach the 4-star plateau without heat. Therefore, I have to give it ***3/4.

The one criticism I have besides the wrestlers taking really stupid bumps is the wrestlers not listening to the crowd. If I was Natsuki in this and the crowd was still dead after the Solo Spanish Fly, I would have ended it immediately. Doing moves for no reaction makes you a bigger fan than the people in the audience, and in this case, they were. This match also shows the dangers of scripting your matches ahead of time. Had they been calling it in the ring, this would have been avoided.

Good match but a terrible crowd.

Rating: ***3/4

Email me your questions/comments here!

Hey everyone, I have created an email account so that you can send in your thoughts, hate-mail, questions or whatever else! I'm always interested in talking wrestling or Japan stuff so feel free to message me at:

I'll try to respond as soon as possible, but give me a day or two regardless. Put prowresblog, wrestling or something of that nature in the subject line so it doesn't get spammed.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned as big things are going to be happening in July 2012!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

All Japan Reviews

All of these are on youtube.

Daisuke Sekimoto/Yuji Okabayashi vs (SMOP) Akebono/Ryota Hama 3/1/2012
This was a really good match. The words bad match and Daisuke Sekimoto will never be found in the same sentence and there's not much more raw of a younger talent than Oka. Akebono has improved tremendously over the years. I remember seeing him at a Zero-1 One show in 2010 and I thought he was going to die from a heart attack. Now he looks alot more comfortable in the ring. Hama definitely has some natural talent but his weight is what makes him interesting but is what will hurt him in the long run. I enjoyed this match. The fat guy vs power wrestler theme rarely even goes wrong. I would have liked to have seen more offense from SMOP though. This match felt short and I think more could have been done with it. Still it was good and there wasn't a dry moment in it. Rating: ***1/2

Big Daddy Voodoo vs Akebono 6/11/2011
Let's put it this way, after looking at Hama for about 14 minutes, these two almost seem thin. AJPW had some really odd guard rails for this show. They looked like lighting fixtures. This match was only 3:28 long and it wasn't much. They should have played up the King of the Monsters theme and it needed to atleast go 7 minutes. Rating: 1/2*

Big Daddy Voodoo vs Ryota Homa 7/2/2011
Everytime the announcer tries to say Vis's name it comes off as Big Daddy Doodoo. BDV threw Hama into the guardrail at one point and the fans ran. Good call there, I love it. The crowd was really dead for this. That's unfortunate because in these type of matches, the crowd will make it or break it. BDV won win the big splash but it didn't do much for me. Rating: *

Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi vs Giant Baba/Stan Hansen 3/5/1994
I'm always fascinated when Baba puts on the tights during the 1990's. Baba was 56 at this point and it's pretty fascinating that a man of his size is even in the ring. He is the probably the oldest tallest wrestler to get in the ring. Baba could even run! Baba did a fireman's carry here that was pretty nifty for an old guy. Baba even did some lucha style armdrags. GIANT BABA was doing armdrags at age 56. Baba even takes Kobashi's leg roll at one point. Baba worked so smart in this. He'd take moves near the corners to avoid having to take extra bumps that he probably shouldn't be taking and he used the ropes to help leverage moves. Misawa got the win here over Baba. This match is pro wrestling. It was a beautiful match. The booking was good and Baba brought it. You need to see this. Misawa and Kobashi have to be in consideration as the best tag team ever. Rating: ****1/2

Mitsuharu Misawa/Jun Akiyama/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs Dan Kroffat/Doug Furnas/Johnny Smith 4/15/1994
Kikuchi for me is like Misawa's younger kid brother. It's a crime that Kikuchi wasn't about 3 inches taller as the Big Four would have become the Big Five. He's a totally underrated talent. Doug Furnas hits the GREATEST release german ever in this. He throws Kikuchi like a WWF wrestling buddy. The gaijin team has to high five each other after that. Smith hit a really strange rotating splash/elbow. Akiyama got the win over Smith with a sweet exploder. Rating: ***. WATCH IT FOR THE GERMAN!

Masakatsu Funaki vs Kyotaro 6/19/2011
Funaki has a Rocky Balboa look going on here and I love it. Kyotaro was a champion in K-1 until it closed down. Really sucks for him as if he had been born a few years sooner he would have been what K-1 needed to fend off all those evil gaijin.  Kyotaro may win the prize here for the goofiest hair ever. It looked like someone spilled fruity pebbles on his head.  Kyotaro looked like a PRO in this. I know I said Yuhi's debut may have been the best debut I've ever seen, but Kyotaro was great. He even did a capoeria style kick that I've never seen before. This was a darn good match. Someone sign Kyotaro NOW. This guy is already better than most of the AJPW roster. Rating:***3/4

Understanding Japanese Wrestling on Television in Japan

Since I'm currently looking at getting japanese channels, I thought I would do a little bit of research to figure out how it works. Here's what I can grasp about how they work:

NOTE - I am using this guide:

Free channels - NJ is the only one who gets this aside from a few of the other promotions having spots in local areas on free tv. Most japanese people are perfectly content with having 8-12 channels and nothing more. However, NJ is on really late at night and that's kind of the equivalent of those failed Saturday Night Main Event shows that WWE puts on once a year these days.

For all of these, you have to have a satellite which is extra change up front.

J Sports - WWE has the best set up for this as they are on J Sports 1, 2, 3, with Raw, Smackdown, NXT and Vintage collection. NJ is on J Sports 3, which in order to get with the other J Sports channels you have to pay $28 for as opposed to the $25 with 1,2 and 4. I would think they gain less from this. However, you can get this with their 64 channel package which is a great deal and is what I would think most people would do. Think of J Sports like you would be paying for ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic and ESPN U.

Samurai TV - This is a $19 version of 24/7 that has some other fighting sports on it. 24/7 doesn't get that many viewers and I can't imagine any casual fans getting this channel. This channel does provide funding for shows though which is a big help. But, I think it may hurt overall buisness in some aspects. The promotion's tend to air their big shows on this channel anyway so why would fans want to spend the extra $40+ to see it live when they are going to get it on tv anyway? I only know one person who has this, and he's american.

GAORA - AJPW and DG do this along with a host of others on the Puroresu King series like Z1, Michinoku, AAA, Oz and K-Dojo. This is about $10 a month and probably the cheaper and overall better deal than Samurai as you would get other non wrestling viewers with this. Wrestling seems to be on about once a day or once every other day on this channel. This channel also features MMA and Kickboxing.

G+ - This airs NOAH and a little West Gate Pro Wrestling but mostly other things with the Tokyo Giants being the big thing. Racing is on here too. $10 a month.

V*Paradise - It costs around $8-$9 a month on exchange rates. This channel is the least sports related as WAVE is one of the few things sportswise on there. It has alot of drama's and movies. Have any recordings of the WAVE show shown up yet? I usually just see the DVD's but it seems there are more WAVE releases than ever.

Sky-A - I need to get a little more information on this channel but it carries both Osaka Pro and Okinawa Pro. It also used to show NJ Classics, but I do not believe it does anymore.

So basically, to get all of these, you are looking at around $80-$90+ a month once you count in exchange rates. These are all on sports related channels, so thats the audience it would appeal to. I think NJ has by far the best deal, but WWE has a pretty good deal too. NJ gets on free tv which is a major major help, plus Samurai, but WWE gets minimum 6 hours a week on the J Sports channels which is really good.

One final note that I want to make that I have made many times before is that japanese people usually only follow one promotion or a couple of wrestlers while ignoring the rest. Japanese fans also tend to follow either men's or women's wrestling, with not many crossing over. Sure, some hardcore fans follow everything, but they are going to shows and spending money there, not on tv, which is probably not the best overall deal since you can see everything for $70 a month. One other note that I'd like to make is that Japanese companies give ALOT of big matches and main events for free on television. I guess they have to give something with people having to pay extra to see their shows on TV, but I have to wonder if it hurts buisness. While I do like wrestling live, it would obviously be much smarter to wait a week and save the $40+ to see a show as I would see the big matches on the channel anyway. Remember that most of the footage we get is off of television, and I think you can see that we are usually getting the best stuff that these companies can put out for televised shows.

Friday, June 15, 2012

All Japan Wrestling on TV from June/July 1993

This tape is some kind of compilation of wrestling from June and July of 1993.  I'm going to focus on the All Japan from it. I don't have any specific dates unfortunately, but I think if you search you should be able to find it.

Terry Gordy vs Stan Hansen
I'm not a big Terry Gordy fan. It's true. I don't think there is anything wrong with him, but I'm not a big Freebirds fan and I think Doc was much better than him. He's a good wingman, but not really a pilot, you know what I mean? This match had alot of US style brawling. Too many punches and kicks here, and not the good type like Kawada does. Gordy controls most of this match, but it's much better when Hansen is on the attack. The highlight of this match is Joe Higuchi. He yells at the guys in English! He sounds pretty cool too. If you haven't seen Joe Higuchi before, check my photobucket as I have a picture with him when he came to the combination Ring of Honor/Noah show in USA. Back to the match, the finish was pretty good. Gordy hit a few choice lariats and Hansen finished him off with a lariat out of nowhere for the win. The finish was good but the opening was pretty bad. Rating: **1/2

Miracle Violence Combination vs Stan Hansen and Joel Deaton
Doc and Gordy, Doc and Gordy, Doc and Gordy, Doc and....Sorry, Perry Saturn moment there. Great opening here. MVC rushes their opponents from the start and it begins with chaos. Great! Gordy and Doc owned for the first part of this then Hansen made a killer comeback. MVC were so good in this with their aggresive attacks. Deaton and Hansen were both really good too. Gordy wins with the powerbom. You want all of this. Rating: ****1/4

Misawa/Kobashi/Kikuchi vs Kawada/Taue/Ogawa 6/13/1993
This is legitimately one of my favorite matches ever. This is top 10 AJPW for me. The crowd doesn't know who to cheer for when Misawa and Kawada square off, so they have both chants at the same time and somehow "Miwada" gets cheered. Kikuchi is like a smaller and even spunkier Kobashi in this. Taue had a blast bullying him around. This was a really strong match and still is one of my favorites. Rating: ****

Kawada/Taue/Ogawa vs Misawa/Kobashi/Akiyama 7/2/1993
This match OWNS. The crowd goes banana(as Pat Patterson would say) throughout this whole thing, especially when Kobashi is in it. KAWADA was the man in this. He was super aggressive and a such a jerk. Combine that with his awesome selling and it was amazing. Taue was good in this too. He got really fired up and did some nasty chokeslams. Ogawa is Ogawa and Akiyama hung in there. Kobashi wins with a sweet moonsault. Rating: ****1/2

The Destroyer vs Omori
Really quick work by the Destroyer here. He won with the Figure Four.
Rating: No rating

Stan Hansen/Johnny Ace vs The Youngbloods
Cowboys vs Indians here with Sgt. Stan Hansen. One of the Youngbloods tries a chop on Hansen and he goes BALLISTIC. He then schools him on Chopping 101. Hansen wins with the Lariat then gets one on the other Youngblood for good measure. Stan Hansen doesn't like Indians and I don't like Ace's weak stomps. Rating: **. Don't let it fool you, this was really entertaining, but it just was a squash.

You want all of this! A couple of these are on youtube including the MVC tag and the 6-man with Akiyama so check it out.

Monday, June 11, 2012

AJW Athena 12-12-1999 TV

It seems alot of the matches are clipped. There are english announcements of the wrestlers in each match but they are really easy to miss.
-Hotta vs Takako was really good. Hotta broke one of Takako's stunguns then Takako got another one. Takako controlled most of this match/brawl and was really awesome. She did lots of kicks and got a few good urakens in. Hotta wasn't gonna lose though. She did some cool Karate poses and got Takako with a really awesome Shotei. Too bad for Takako.
- We get one of the awesome fighting english videos.
- Hiromi Yagi/ASARI vs MihoKayo - This was really clipped, but that may have been for the better. Hard to judge this because there's nothing to it, but Yagi looked good and ASARI's Sky Twister Press is always awesome.
- Momoe/Ito vs Yabushita/Sakai - Clipped to hell also. What I saw was really good though. Momoe had some awesome bridges and did a great Moonsault into a german. Ito was looking more like what she does now at this stage, but still wasn't immobile. The extra weight made her look stronger. Yabushita was pretty awesome from what was shown.
- Lioness vs Nanae - AJW had a lightnight graphic and got to go across Lioness's table which was cool. Momoe cheats a few times for Nanae which was surprising. Way too many clips again, but Lioness wins with the blue mist then a spin kick. Too hard to judge due to the clips. The match was only 6 minutes long and I didn't see more than two minutes of it...
- Happy Birthday Nanae Takahashi featuring Miyuki Fuji. WAVE uses the same Happy Birthday song. Nanae says "I'll kick you ass".
- Ayako Seki Debut vs Miyuki Fuji - I actually got this dvd for this match as Ayako seemed pretty hyped up at the time. They show some clips of her tearing apart phonebooks and pulling a truck. Eat your heart out Ken Patera. She's actually not that tall at 172cm, but she definitely has the weight(105 kg) and the strongwoman build. The girl is wider than Eagle Sawai. Fuji goes for the double chickenwing suplex, good luck to her on that. Ayako hits a few running body presses and finishes her with a middle rope Splash. Miyuki's head was smaller than Ayako's calfs. This may be the only match of Ayako out there as she quit soon after due to mental sickness. I think that might mean depression or something to that effect. Too bad as with some experience I think she could have been something. After the match we get a clip of her eating fried fish. Yeah, I don't get it either.
- LCO vs Tomoko/Maekawa 2/3 Falls - First 2 falls ended within 3 minutes each. I hate when they do that. Might as well just have a 1-fall match. The end looked good but the rest didn't look too hot. Alot of Mima gently pushing down guardrails on her opponents. C'mon Mima, just lay on the guardrail and push it down on them. It would look so much better. Mita gets hit with a flying Shimoda ass when Maekawa gets out of their double team move. Mita also gets hit by two chairs that Mima threw at her. Time to get a new partner. Tomoko slam dunks Mita twice with two nasty Sitting Crucifix Bombs. Good finish, so-so everything else.
- Kyoko vs Toyota - They showed the history of their feud. Toyota had awful hair when she was a rookie. The lighting intro strikes again with Toyota looking like Electro. Awesome! The Undertaker needs to steal that CGI immediately. Manami did the goofiest Kyoko dance ever! Then Manami does a dropkick to the outside and we see that AJW put a TV under the ring for the commentators to look at from about 4 feet away behind the rail. Nothing but the best for Zenjo announcers. Manami did an awesome crossbody from the bleacher seats 15 feet up. Kyoko did a top rope reverse hurricanrana thing which was pretty amazing. Toyota gets 360'd off a clothesline and gets a Victoria Driver!!! Manami then defiest gravity and gets an Ocean Cyclone for the win. From the highlights alone this had to be 4*+. Really awesome effort from both girls and yet another notch on their awesome series of match. this has to be one of the top 5-10 from 1999.

Bottomline: You want the full version of this. Hell, I want the full version of this! There's lots of good stuff to be had and the main is an easy 4*+ match. I'm becoming a huge fan of Zenjo from this time period.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

ARSION Virgin: Debut Show 2/18/1998

ARSION, much like NEO, also split off from AJW when AJW's owners lost a ton of cash. ARSION got Yumi Fukawa(AJW), Rie Tamada(AJW), got Candy Okutsu(formerly JWP) to come out of retirement and they got the underused Michiko Omukai(LLPW) along with GAMI from LLPW. What a score. I can tell you, ARSION by far got the better of the split over NEO. Wrestlers usually don't switch companies so I have no idea how Aja pulled this off. ARSION would also get Ayako Hamada who would debut a few shows in and who would be pretty much everything you want in a joshi rookie from the start(great, good looking and really young). Finally, ARSION also got Mariko Yoshida, who would become a master of the mat and Sakie Hasegawa(to do non-wrestling things).

The cover on this tape is the single greatest wrestling tape cover ever. Check it out, you'll see what I mean.

Candy Okutsu vs Yumi Fukawa
Man, this was good. Does Candy Okutsu have the stiffest and hardest snapping suplexes of all time or what? Yumi Fukawa had some head issues which led to her retirement amongst other injuries and I have to wonder if they started here. Yumi kind of messed up twice on moonsaults by nailing Candy with her knee in the head. This one had a time limit draw unfortunately, but I really liked this. Yumi Fukawa makes the world a better place. Rating: ***1/2

GAMI vs Jessie Bennett
This was before GAMI stopped caring. GAMI was in tip top shape here and her haircut in this deserves a blog post of its own. GAMI took a really nasty ligerbomb here. GAMI won this out of nowhere with an armbar. Rating: **

Michiko Omukai vs Aja Kong
When I first viewed this, this was one of my favorite matches ever. Upon review, I still like it alot, but it wasn't what I remembered. Both girls were really stiff in this trying to show who's boss and the strikes they hit were probably the best of their careers. This was still a good match but, it could have been even better if they were thinking ahead. They should have continued with the stiff shots then have Omukai get a combo and light Aja up for the surprise knockout or pin. If they had done that, it would have been five stars. There was nothing bad at all in this, but the wrong person won when Aja got the win with the choke. Rating: ***1/2

Reggie Bennett vs Rie Tamada
Reggie Bennett is kind of like the female John Tenta. She's huge but can move. Was there some kind of stiffest powerbomb prize for this show? Because Reggie really wastes Rie with one. I kind of felt bad for Rie, as you can tell she just wanted to go sprint style and do quick stuff, but this wasn't the match for it. It was still really good though and Reggie looked like a beast in it. Rating: **1/2 Give me Tamada vs Fukuoka!

Aja/Omukai/Fukawa vs GAMI/Tamada/Okutsu
Add one more for the powerbomb competition when GAMI does in Fukawa. Jessie Bennett still wins though for that. Fukawa almost died here on an Asai to the outside. She literally went straight down. Thankfully we didn't see the landing but it was a scary fall. Yumi, please stop doing moonsaults. Please? You don't need to. Fukawa gets the La Magistral for the win. Rating: **1/2

This was a great show. You knew ARSION was going to be great. You want all of this

Saturday, June 9, 2012

NEO Three Nights 8/14-8/16/1998: Selected Matches

Nicole Bass vs Etsuko Mita
Would you believe it if I said Nicole Bass was actually a little bit over and decent in this match? Didn't think so. Nicole yells "You are weak" and "weak" a bunch of times along with saying "Nothing" after Mita does anything to her. She even yawns after a chair shot. Nicole wins in 3:11 with a chokeslam. This is your basic squash but it was interesting atleast. Rating: No rating

Nicole Bass vs Chapritta ASARI
Surely if Mita couldn't get the job done, ASARI can right? Nicole gets another chokeslam victory at 1:57. Again another squash, not much to say about it. Rating: No Rating

Nicole Bass vs Kyoko Inoue
Naturally, Kyoko booked herself to be almost even with Nicole. Everything Nicole does looks akward, she even looks akward. She almost kills Kyoko by losing her on a powerbomb and having her make a really odd landing. Nicole wins in 4:50 with another chokeslam. You know, if wrestling had nothing to do with actually being coordinated and physical, Bass maybe could have improved, but she can't do anything and make it look good.  There wasn't much to it and certainly not much to rate. I imagine that the rating would have plummeted further if this went any longer. Rating: *

Lioness Asuka & Hechisera & The Bloody -vs- Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita & Saya Endo
Was there a show during the late 90's that LCO wasn't on? I swear they are on almost every tape I own minus a couple of the LLPW's(Mima is even on some of them!). Not that I mind, but just saying. Mima gets hardway juiced from a Lioness chairshot to the nose. Ouch. It was a pretty nasty looking cut. Does Endo know any other moves besides the top rope leg drop? This match stunk. There was no direction to it and that's because Shark and Crusher came in and just destroyed the face team anyway. This went forever at 24:14 and it got slower by the second. The heels won with LCO's guardrail attack and a Lioness powerbomb.  I enjoyed the Kyoko/Bass match more. Rating: 3/4*
Fang Suzuki vs Yoshiko Tamura
Fang is like a D-level Dump clone. Fang won after Shark came in and clotheslined Tamura. Rating: DUD

Mima Shimoda vs Chapritta ASARI
Mima did basically a 450 to the floor from the top. This was great AJW-style stuff. ASARI wins with two Skytwisters. Rating: ***

Kyoko Inoue vs Hikari Fukuoka
Hikari was a house on fire in this. Kyoko german'd her from the top, so nasty. I loved Hikari's high impact front flip dropkick from the top, loved the moonsault footstomp too. Hikari took a great 360 bump off the lariat too. This match was a Hikari highlight reel. There's never going to be another like her.  Great stuff. Hikari probably could have pulled out something better with Bass. Rating: ***3/4.

Yoshiko Tamura vs Misae Genki
Bowling shoe ugly. Genki popped Tamura right in the face for botching a move. They only showed a minute of this thankfully. Rating: No Rating

Yuka Shiina vs Jaguar Yokota
What they showed of this looked pretty good. Yuka seemed really motivated. Rating: *3/4

Mayumi Ozaki vs Yuka Shiina
Oz had a little too much fun working over Shiina.  Shiina looked good in this. Rating: *1/2

Yuka Nakamura vs Mima Shimoda
I might be wrong but the tape said that this is Yuka's debut. This was a good debut. Rating: *1/4

Friday, June 8, 2012

DDT 9/28/2003 - Ladder Retirement!

I should preface by saying that I'm not an expert on DDT. While I do remember following results back in the day on pixie's site, I really didn't get to see the matches until internet wrestling became more common years later. Retro DDT never got uploaded much and to be honest, it was a little hard even findinga card for this.

I've been to atleast one DDT show and it was actually pretty good. For DDT, I like KUDO, Kota Ibushi and my all time favorite DDT wrestler Toba(Legitimately too).

If you have never seen DDT before then it's going to be something else. DDT is mostly a comedy promotion with some actually good and serious matches from time to time.

1. LADDER MATCH FOR POSION SAWADA'S HEAD: Sanshiro Takagi & Yoshihiro Sakai vs Gill Nakano & Dumbo Matsumoto

Well, I think the title of this pretty much speaks for itself here. This is DDT and ladder matches are rarely ever serious. I find it hard to review comedy matches unless something really outrageous happens. I'm a little rusty on my DDT guys, especially the older ones, but it looks like Miwa is Matsumoto and Tommy is Nakano. Nakano took the top of the ladder to the face and took a nasty stunner from the top of the ladder. Takagi also had a pretty good fall where he got tangled in the ropes after falling off the ladder. Takagi wins the match and Sawada's head. They try to open the bag and Sawada appears after lights go out. He does a number on the winning team.

2. Highlights various matches - This includes some stuff with U-FILE CUMP. Gotta love Engrish. Dino trains with them and looks like a completely different person from today. Dino annoys the U-FILE guys with his homoerotic antics which show a new side to MMA. This was actually pretty funny. They kick Dino out to the street in only his lioncloth.

3. Kyosuke Sasaki & Dai Moriyama vs Danshoku Dino & O.K. Revolution
Dino kisses a 5 year old on the way to the ring. Imagine how that would get over in USA. Dino wrestled only a thong for most of this match and of course DDT had to do closeup shots on his backside and his crotch. I could have lived without seeing that.  Dino strips to an even smaller thong during the match and throws it at the ref. She looks completely disgusted and does a stick-em-up pose. Sasaki gets the win over O.K. Not bad but again, it's hard to rate comedy.

4. KO-D Tag League Finals - Tomohiko Hashimoto & Seiya Morohashi vs Takashi Sasaki & Tanomusaku Toba
If you ever wondered what Sasaki looked like before he got all scarred up, here's your chance. Morohashi does a turn when taking a doomsday device and goes face first into the match. Ouch. This was nothing much. It didn't have any direction and the crowd wasn't into it. Rating: *

Unfortunately, the ladder retirement here is only a small music video with Lonely Road of Faith playing. They show clips of the ladder winning the title and the ladder being used in various matches. Then they have the ladder in the middle of the ring and have the ladder presented with a portrait of it holding the belt. The crowd then throws streamers for the ladder and Mikami's talks to it before taking it to the back. I need the full version of this! Hook me up with it!

This was overall okay. Dino was pretty funny and the ladder retirement was something to be seen(even in music video form).

I discovered that somehow, BJPW's show featuring matches inside of a house is also on this disc. I wanted that show for a long time and I promise that there will be a review of that in the future.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

NEO Ladies: First Kiss Debut Show 1/9/1998

I found this one in my tape box today and figured I'd give NEO another chance. This is NEO's first show and they have 9 total wrestlers on their roster at this point. NEO formed when All Japan Women's was starting to go bankrupt and was starting to not pay their wrestlers. This event was packed and definitely sold out.

Triangle Match: Yuka Shiina vs. Saya Endo vs. Tanny Mouse
Triangle matches in japan are done gauntlet style with a wrestler having to score wins in two individual matches to take it home.

A) Shiina vs. Saya
Saya is with LCO now. Only problem is she isn't good looking and doesn't quite have the offense/brawling that LCO has. Those two things make LCO interesting. Maybe if Shiina was in LCO instead it would have worked better. LCO also doesn't have her out with them when they talk, which doesn't help the believability of it. This was 8:53 too long and wasn't interesting. Rating: *

B) Shiina vs. Tanny
Tanny is actually wearing a tail here. This wasn't very good either.  Typical Tanny Mouse stuff. Atleast Shiina won this so we didn't have to sit through any more. Rating: *

Saya does an interview and she has some really bad teeth. Not only does she have the yaeba thing going on but her top row of teeth is half a centimeter to the right. It still doesn't compare to the one girl I saw in Japan who legitimately had BLUE teeth.

Chaparrita ASARI vs. Yoshiko Tamura
ASARI did more acrobatic stuff than I've ever seen her do Tamura looks completely unrecognizable from her appearances in the 1999 tapes  I reviewed. It's amazing what one year of NEO did to her. This really should have been the opener on the show but there is a case to be made I suppose of getting the crap finished ASAP. This was a little long at 14:56 but it heated up towards the end. ASARI hits a skytwister on Tamura's legs for the win after taking a top rope Northern Lights. Rating: **3/4

Kyoko Inoue vs. Misae Genki
They played some dubbed music for Genki that sounded like a Macarena remix. Someone had fun with autoplay on one of those cheap keyboards. Genki wore an outfit similar to the ones SENDAI Girls wear.  Kyoko hadn't gained all of her weight yet at this point so she still had some energy left in her. Inoue took alot of bumps for Genki and Genki looked really good because of it. Genki's chokeslams in particular were really good in this match and really, anything she did to Kyoko looked pretty impressive. Kyoko won this with the sitout powerbomb but I think Genki should have been given the win here to kickstart the new promotion. Genki looked great in this and it's a shame she never reached her full potential. Rating: ***1/4

Genki gets the easiest night out of everyone as she only has to do one match.

Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita vs. Kyoko Inoue & Tanny Mouse
LCO bring out the Statue of Liberty style costumes for this. Who thought those were good ideas? Kyoko's back and I hope she got atleast 20-30 minutes in an intermission before this. She changed outfits atleast. They switched the cameras at one point with one following each member of LCO. That something you don't see often in Japan. Mima did LCO's railing spot off of the wall at Korakuen onto Kyoko/Tanny on bleachers. Kyoko also fell off the elevated bleacher stand which I can tell you from experience is not fun. I didn't quite fall off it but I ended up getting my leg lodged betwen the elevated stage and the bleachers. One thing I didn't like here is that Tanny was about to go through a table and they suddenly switched shots to Kyoko. Hey NEO is recruiting AAA cameramen. The whole brawl outside was alot of fun and differed from the usual Korakuen brawl. LCO tried the surfboard on Kyoko together but couldn't get her up. Funny stuff. Tanny went on a headbutt sprint on Mita and busted herself open hardway. The match slowed down for a little after this, but it had to. Kyoko took an electric chair off the top and you have to give her credit for going all out bump wise. At one point, Mita cracked Kyoko so many times with her metal chair that the seat came off. Mima busted out a moonsault which I don't recall ever seeing from her and that was it. This was a great match. If it had cut out about 10 minutes, I think we would have been looking a high **** star match here. It might have been even higher without Tanny. Rating: *** 3/4.

Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita & Saya Endo vs. Kyoko & ASARI & Tamura
Saya messes up once in this and actually pushes the ropes towards Kyoko when she is trying to get to them. Oops. One great spot in this had Mita having trouble putting Kyoko in the DVB. So, ASARI jumps on Kyoko's back and prevents it from happening. LCO took this one in another pretty good match. Not as good as the last but my rating is ***.

The girls all looked pretty burned during the interviews, especially Mita who is toasted. I'm sure they must have had fun shilling merchandise after this.

This was a good show overall, but I feel I've seen all I really need to see with this show. Even when the matches are good, you need some different people in there to spice it up. Kyoko and Mima were easily the highlights of this tape and were good in everything they did.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The next batch of shows I'm getting

I got some new shows coming in shortly, here's what I got:

(Please keep in mind I'm on a LLPW high after the 5 star match I reviewed earlier and now I want to see more)

DDT Ladder Retirement 9-28-2003 - You are probably wondering what exactly this is. DDT is the strangest promotion in the world barnone. They are known for wacky storylines and this is a good example of one. One of their wrestlers named MIKAMI is a highflyer who likes to do moves off of his ladder. He usually carries it around with him and this time, it worked against him. During a multi-man match, Mikami left his ladder in the ring with an opponent who was downed. The ladder fell on top of him and the ref declared Mikami's Ladder the new hardcore 24/7 champion! You would think that this has to be the oddest champion ever but DDT outdid themselves by having an action figure, a poster and even a dog become champion. This show features a retirement ceremony for a ladder. I've always wanted to see this since I heard of it happening and soon I will.

D2P Return of the Hexagon 2-7-2006
Dragondoor was an offshoot of Toryumon/Dragon Gate that featured past Toryumon wrestlers, Toryumon X wrestlers who never got brought to the main roster and the recently fired Aagain Iisou. Toryumon created the greatest promotion in history known as T2P in 2001. The promotion featured high-speed complicated llave wrestling ala Skayde and gave us tons of current stars like Naruki Doi, the Sato twins and Masato Yoshino. This show featured the return of the T2P 6-sided ring and reunited two members of the Italian Connection against Aagan Iisou.
 LLPW August-Sept 1997 - I actually have the first half of this tape. I probably shouldn't have gotten it for that reason but the second part of the tape has a Sawai/Asuka vs Kandori/Kazama match that has to be good. Since Asuka vs Kandori never came about, this is as close as I'm getting. The main looks hopeful too with: Yasha Kurenai & Carol Midori & Mikiko Futagami -vs- Harley Saito & Noriyo Tateno & Mizuki Endo.
 LLPW October 1997 - The two main things I wanted to see from this are Lioness Asuka vs Yasha Kurenai and a trios match with Shinobu Kandori & Rumi Kazama & Yasha Kurenai -vs- Eagle Sawai & Sayori Okino & Michiko Nagashima. It probably won't be as good as the 5-star trios match but it might be fun.
 LLPW Dec 97 - Feb 98 - The main thing I'm looking at in this is Shinobu Kandori & Mayumi Ozaki & Rumi Kazama -vs- Dynamite Kansai & Cuty Suzuki & Harley Saito. This match is interesting because it is one of the few LLPW vs JWP matches. LLPW and JWP both split from the original JWP in the early 1990's and even through the big promotional era of joshi, no LLPW wrestler fought a JWP wrestler. In theory, this should be good and heated. There is also another trios match similar to the one I mentioned above.
LLPW Samurai TV: July-August 1997 - (2 1/2 hrs)
There is a trios gauntlet on this featuring the teams of: Yasha Kurenai & Carol Midori & Mikiko Futagami, Noriyo Tateno & Harley Saito & Rumi Kazama  and Shinobu Kandori & Michiko Omukai & Mizuki Endo. There is also this match which looks really tasty: Eagle Sawai & Lioness Asuka & Eriko Tsuchiya -vs- Shinobu Kandori & Harley Saito & Mizuki Endo

LLPW Samurai TV: April 7, 1997 (Taped 06/03 & 08/03/97, Tokyo) - (2 hrs) - The big highlights on this are an early appearance of Emi Sakura and an 8-woman's tag featuring Megumi Kudo.

LLPW COMM: February 11, 1997, Tokyo) - (1 1/2 hrs)
We got another 8-woman's elimination match here which is really the only reason I got this.

NEO Three Nights August 14-16 1998 1.5 hoursOkay, I cant defend this one. Curiousity has gotten the worst of me and I should fess up to my wrestling watching sins right now. For whatever reason, NEO decided to bring in Nicole Bass in 1998. Not only did they bring her in, but they put her over everyone and even got Kyoko to do a job for her. I'm asking for it here and I know it.

Daily Viewings - Stardom & Joshi stars doing MMA

Stardom is probably my favorite joshi promotion at the moment in Japan. Their model is the exact model joshi needed and their skills in finding athletic idols is pretty impressive. I think Stardom is the future of joshi and I'd like to see Stardom try to become a full-time touring promotion in the future.

Kairi Hojo vs Mayu Iwatani STARDOM 3/20/2012
Good stuff here. Kairi debuted this year and already she is pretty memorable. Kairi is still a little sloppy but she has charisma and I think Stardom got something here. These two hit each other with totally sick slaps. Probably some of the hardest I've ever seen. Rating: **

Eri Suza vs Act Yusukawa STARDOM 3/20/2012
Act is kind of like a drunken gothic girl. She does a really cool forward rolling powerslam that I've never seen before. She also does a swinging front facelock. Eri is starting to focus on mma punching. Act is still a little sloppy but she could be an interesting character.  Rating: *1/2

Natsuki Showzuki vs Saki Kashima STARDOM 3/20/12
Showzuki is a great name. They did some pretty cool transitions in this. Kashima did a nice Christo as well. The surprise pinfall at the end of this was pretty good. Natsuki has some energy and seems pretty likeable. Rating**1/2.

12/27/97 Octagon Challenge CMA-KPW Real Fight (shoot matches)
Megumi Yabushita vs. Yuu Jitai
Yabu did a pretty good job here and got the win.

Rieko(Carlos) Amano(JWP) vs. Yoko Takahashi(Jd')
Carlos looked really good here at the beginning. She looked like she was going to get an easy win then she just put Yoko in her guard and layed and prayed for about 10 minutes straight. Neither girl really seemed to know what they were doing striking wise and it showed when Yoko had to get a demonstration and a warning by the ref about not kicking someone in the head when they are down. She seemed to not know this rule and to be honest, the ref didn't really seem to either. It sucked for her as she really had the advantage at that moment then lost it during the ref stop. The ref has them restart and Yoko did it again a few minutes after to get Carlos the TKO win due to illegal striking. Carlos got really lucky here as again Yoko was ready to finish her off but couldn't resist going for a second head kick on the ground.

Lioness Asuka vs. Cho Oto
I think Lioness missed her calling. She went terminator on Oto and took her out immediately. Her partner Chigusa is on top of my women I wouldn't want to cross list and I think Lioness may have equaled her after this.

The wrestlers looked pretty good here which was more a stroke of luck than anything. Inoki must have seen this tape as he decided to put his IWGP champion in against Mirko Cro Cop years later and didn't exactly get ideal results.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

JWP TV showing of Pure Slam 2004 9/27/2004

This is from JWP's tv show. It shows a few selected matches from Pure Slam 2004. 

Mixed Gender Match: Poison Sawada Julie & Kaori Yoneyama & Jaiando(Giant?) vs. Kintaro Kanemura & ECO & HERO! 9:25 of 13:57:
Yone is dressed up like Julie, I kind of like it. She looks like a child, even against HERO. I spend most of the match trying to figure out which wrestler is dressed up as ECO. Jaiando is a big dude. HERO is pretty fluid in this and makes me want to see more of him. Kanemura gets lariated and his pants fall down. I could have gone without seeing that. Jaiando gets hit with a piece of a table and it sticks to his mask. Hilarious. Then the part of the mask covering his hair comes off too. HERO hit a great flying knee in the corner. ECO gets misted and I  have to wonder how effective it is considering there's no eye holes! Yone schoolboys ECO for the win. Mixed tag matches usually don't work and this was no different. Between the wardrobe malfunctions and a masked person without eyeholes being misted, I have to rate this as a DUD. Yone drinks some liquid after the match and starts acting all lovestruck and goofy.  This liquid apparently brings her back to normal as she says, TADAIMA(a greeting used when someone returns).

Command Bolshoi & GAMI vs. Etsuko Mita & Yuki Miyazaki 9:40 of 12:51:
The first thing Mita does is Death Valley bomb Gami. Miyazaki tries to kiss Gami and I'm losing interest by the second. Mita shakes the ropes while Gami walks it and gets crotched. Gami slaps Miyazaki with what appears to be money. Miyazaki tries to seal some while Mita is looking and gets slapped by Mita for it. Mita then gives it to the ref who tries to steal it, then finally it's given to the officials outside. Mita looks pretty big here. Probably due to the giant kneepads she's wearing. Definitely the biggest I've ever seen her. Miyazaki takes a couple of big bumps including a top rope exploder for seemingly no reason. More kissing and goofy stuff, so screw this. DUD. Bolshoi rolls up Mita and Mita screams and cries. I feel like doing the same thing after this turd.

They show some highlights of other JWP vs M's Style matches and I wonder why I'm not seeing those instead of the turd I just saw. The Omukai match looked decent.

Kayoko Haruyama vs. AKINO 12:05 of 19:24:
I hope this is going to save this mess. Haruyama has some ridiculous blonde dyed hair and AKINO has all  brown hair for this. AKINO was pretty good in this, but Haruyama was a little slow and for whatever reason they just don't click. I swear, there are more backdrops in this match than in any other match in the history of wrestling. **1/2.

Azumi Hyuga 10th Anniversary Match: Azumi Hyuga & Tsubasa Kuragaki & Erika Watanabe vs. Command Bolshoi & Kayoko Haruyama & Kaori Yoneyama 11:28:
Yone is back to normal here. This is the first time I've ever seen Watanabe. This match was alright. The match was mostly Hyuga vs Yone which made me want to see it more. The end run of it was better than the beginning.**1/4.

There you have it. There was not anything really worthwhile on here and the first two matches were pretty bad.

Osaka Pro TV - Super Milo Land 9/26/2004

Super Milo Land is a Super Mario themed show that Osaka Pro had in 2004 with A Bathing Ape(A clothing company). I remember being really interested about it when I had heard of years earlier. It sounded pretty funny.

Goa vs Iron Mario:
This is in digest form and it switches between parts pretty quickly. Iron Mario acts like a monkey and does monkey movements. Goa is super quick and crisp. Goa hits a great frog splash with tons of air and wins it.

Mario Vogue vs Yutaka:
This Mario is dressed like a green telletubby. He does Kendo spots and a really cool exploder. Mario Vogue wins with a kamehameha into a rollup.

Footsoldier & Mario Star vs. Black Buffalo & Mil Bone
Mario Star pretends to be a star and kind of does floating movements. He tries to do a windup slap like a pitcher but gets slapped for his efforts then gets it returned to him. Star accidentally knocks out the referee then revives him with his jazz fingers motion.  Mil Bone gets a german for the win.

Mil Mouse #1 & Mil Mouse #2 & Mil Mouse #3 vs. Ebessan & Gamma & Densen Man:
The ref tries to get Eb to take it seriously and tells him - puroresu. Eb says sorry and pretends to lock up.  The ref tells him - Serious and Eb says - It is.

Eb and his opponent do a dance and then do their pointing poses again. 

Gamma gets in and goes against the monkey in black. The monkey shakes the rope like the Warrior. Okay, that was kind of funny. Gamma then mocks him. More comedy mixed with a little wrestling. The white monkey ends up getting the win over Gamma.

This was really stupid stuff and I definitely missed the joke somewhere. I can't really rate this because I don't know how to. I think the clipping kind of hurt this one as it was a little hard to figure out what was going on.

9/4/04  Osaka Pro Title Match: Billy Ken Kid vs. Takehiro Murahama:
Murahama really just disappeared off the map somewhere in time. Since I'm partial to kickers, I usually enjoyed him. I recommend his stuff with Liger in NOAH if you can find it.

The match was okay but it being clipped hurt it. It was mostly back and forth with moves until Billy won with the 450. ** Rating.

9/11/2004 Big Boss MAGMA  vs Masato Matoba:
Magma does a cool Asai in the ring along with some other nice flips. His a nasty release german, a nasty lariat and a powerbomb to get the win. Total Squash.

9/11/2004 Osaka Puroresu Tag Title Match: Tigers Mask & Billy Ken Kid vs. Black Buffalo & Yutaka:

JIP again. Too much clipping here. This is a fast paced match. Love Buffalo's lariat in this. The heels do a great Doomsday Device/High Kick combo. Tigers hits a nice german with a roll through to try for another german then cranks Yutaka with an exploder and a tiger suplex for the win. What I saw looked good, but we aren't talking more than 3 minutes tops here.

The clippings killed this tape. It was so hard to really get an idea of anything that happened and even harder to review it.

LLPW Live Battle '97 8/15/1997

Come on, like I need an excuse to review a LLPW show! 

Sachie Abe vs. Miho Watabe
Both girls looked pretty good in this but Miho tends to get a little sloppy when doing highflying moves. The crowd was into this and Miho did some nice dropkicks. Good stuff, Sachie wins. ***

Miyuki Sogabe vs. Keiko Aono
Aono looked like a vet in this match. Reminded me of a young and spunky Dynamite Kansai. Miyuki got better as the match went on after she figured out what she was doing wasn't working. Again good stuff. The Jd' girls were a vastly underrated bunch. **3/4

Harley Saito vs. Noriyo Tateno
Harley was pretty fired up for this, which makes for a good match. Tateno nailed Harley with a great slap in this that seemed to wake Harley up. Tateno hit some really nice powerbombs on Harley. The finish was a little sudden, but it was good. **1/2

Handicap Elimination Match: Rumi Kazama & Michiko Omukai vs. Michiko Nagashima & Sayuri Okino & Miwa Sato
Just a warning ahead of time than I may confuse the girls a little in this match. Omukai would move onto bigger and better things soon after this and Rumi would move onto adult video a long time after this. I love Nagashima's zebra style gear.  She does a La Silla onto Rumi onto a table that seriously had to hurt.  The crowd is into Omukai for this and for good reason.  She had some super fiery comebacks. Matches like these show the beauty of LLPW's filming style as there's no commentary so you can hear most of whats said and the camera shots are great. They really make you sympathize for the girls when they go splat across the canvas.  Nagashima was so good with the cane shots in this that I wondered if the Sandman was taking lessons. Omukai tries to save Rumi from a chairshot in this by diving on top of her which was cool.  Omukai puts down Okino after a failed mist attempted to make it 2 on 2. Rumi hits a nasty backdrop into a powerbomb to take out Sato and make it 2 on 1. Rumi then takes out Nagashima for the win. Great match. ***1/2

Kandori & Mizuki Endo vs. Yumiko Hotta & Maekawa
This is what I'm talking about. Someone's getting kicked. Endo goes down right at the beginning of this after rushing her opponents before the bell. Work or shoot? I don't know.  Kandori launches her robe at Hotta during the announcements and I love it. Endo and Hotta ground and pound each other and it's great. Endo has the worst haircut I have ever seen on a woman. Maekawa hits a totally sweet dropkick early on. Hotta and Maekawa light Endo up like the 4th of July. Tons of nasty shots in this. We finally get Kandori in this and she OWNS. She totally shows Maekawa who is boss and actually holds back on her. The best is when she takes a high kick and laughs at her. Kandori has Maekawa in a sleeper and Hotta tries to come in but Kandori just points at her and looks and Hotta stops dead in her tracks.  Hotta low kicks Kandori later and Kandori wipes it off with her hand. Kandori does a great counter from the position where she would about to be powerbombed. Endo is so spunky in this. She has it, I don't know what it is, but she has it. More nasty shots by Maekawa. There's one part were she kicks Endo in the face three times while holding her leg in the air the whole time, impressive. Hotta and Kandori mess up a pyramid suplex spot and Kandori takes one hardway on her head. Not good times. Another fun spot is when Kandori has Maekawa in a sleeper and tries to interfere again. Kandori points at her and she goes away then Kandori jumps her and puts the choke on her. Maekawa hits a great step kick on Kandori and Kandori goes to GnP her. Kandori lifts Maekawa when Maekawa was sitting on her back and just tosses her like garbage. Kandori puts the fujiawa armbar on her for the win. This was really great stuff. The middle was a little slow but it was heated, stiff, believeable and Kandori showed me what great pro wrestling is all about in this. ****1/4.

Vacant LLPW/FMW/Jd' 6 Woman Tag Titles: Eagle & Shark & Lioness vs. Futagami & Kurenai Yasha & Midori
Eagle/Shark/Lioness are a great gang. They had a great little run with some great matches. They all look really boss and look like superstars. The face girls all wear the same colors which are sweet. More teams need coordinated colors. Tommy Ran gets handed like 6 different belts and can't even hold all of them. There were so many champions and stuff in this the announcer almost had a heart attack trying to say them all. GAMI looks totally unrecognizable in this. Donuts and dreadlocks will do that to you. Again, great camerawork in this match. Sawai CRUSHES Yasha with an Avalanche. The turnbuckle almost gave out on it. I don't know who the masked chick is with Shark's gang but I like it. Shark sickles Yasha and Yasha sells it so well.  10 star selling right there. Yasha goes for the tag and Shark steps on her wrist preventing it while flicking off her partners. Awesome. Lioness does a nice 8 rotation big swing on Yasha and just tosses her. More great selling by Yasha. EAGLE GIVES HER A NOOGIE ON HER CUT. LIONESS puts Yasha in a clutch and waves Yasha's arm at her opponents and gets so close to tagging Yasha out. Then she yells, BAKA. Shark does it too and taunts each girl individually as she teases Yasha's tag. The faces try to make a comeback before getting mobbed by the Gang. Midori and GAMI both do awesome hot tag segments and Lioness sends Gami's brain in the 3rd row with an enzugiri. Gami hits a sweeeet russian legsweep and somehow northern light suplexes Eagle. The faces go for a second top rope powerbomb before getting rushed by the gang again. Yasha gets a wooden Katana and goes to town. We need more katana's in pro wrestling. Midori owns it with a German on Eagle. Super powerbomb attempt on eagle #3 and they hit it with a tandem neckbreak attached. Eagle hits some kind of funky tilt-a-whirl from behind. Yasha gets scraped with a lariat/backdrop combo. Eagle gets the powerbomb for the win. This is pro wrestling. *****. Screw it, I'm giving it 5 stars for this. The faces were great faces 101 and the heels were awesome. I don't know if I've ever seen a a better face trios than this team.

Thoughts: You want all of this. Every match was good and the last three in particular were great. This has something for everyone and I want more. GO GET IT. I hate to sit through more than about 30 minutes of wrestling but this tape made it easy.