[All Japan] Kawada returns to the dojo
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 20:07 

Toshiaki Kawada (38) returned to the All Japan dojo in Kanagawa for training for the first time in four months on 7/31.

Kawada, who had surgery on his knee on 4/9, trained for one hour, doing work focusing on his injured leg.

He declared, "I want to get better and revive," as he will focus on an early return to the All Japan ring.

 [Zenjo] Hotta challenges Aja
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 20:03 

Yumiko Hotta (35=Zenjo) was interviewed in Tokyo on 7/31. She said she is "enraged" with Aja Kong (31=GAEA) and demand her participation in Zenjo's 8/27 Odaiba show. This has to do with Manami Toyota's exit from Zenjo to GAEA earlier this month.

Also in Odaiba on 8/27, All Pacific Champion, Momoe Nakanishi will defend the title against Kayo Noumi, while WWWA Singles Champion, Kaoru Ito will also defend her title against Grand Prix '02 champion, Nanae Takahashi.

 [New Japan] Fujinami`s G1 prediction
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 19:54 

Tatsumi Fujinami (48) said today that he anticipates Yuji Nagata to win the G1 Climax for the second year in a row.

No word on whether or not he'll be entering Ichiban Puroresu's G1 Climax Pool.

 [NOAH] Misawa approves
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 19:52 

NOAH President, Mitsuharu Misawa gave his approval to Yoshinari Ogawa to participate in a match against Genichiro Tenryu at WAR's independently run 10th annivesary show.

 [Match Report] Masato Tanaka vs. Shinjiro Otani
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 17:58 
7/31/02, Korakuen Hall (Tokyo)
7th match (30 min l 1 fall)
Fire Festival '02 l Block A
Masato Tanaka
Shinjiro Otani x
Match description:
Tanaka, who bled heavily yesterday in a match with Kanemura bleds again today, right from the beginning of the match. However, the heat of the match rised increasingly in this partner confrontation battle, exchanging kicks from Otani and elbows from Tanaka.

Tanaka attacked violently with a reverse brainbuster and avalanche (top-rope) diamond dust as if Otani had said to him, "I will win the championship". Otani returned with a swinging DDT, continuing with the cobra clutch (top, far right), high kneel kick and dragon suplex.

However, Tanaka kicked out at a one-count after a powerbomb. Otani continued with a missile dropkick. Otani also lost his temper, also kicking out at a one-count after a Superfly frog splash and fisherman buster.

Otani hit the spinning powerbomb, attempting to strike the finishing blow on Tanaka, but he kicked out at two. Tanaka fought back, battling his way to his first victory over Otani after a running and rolling elbow, finishing Otani with a lariat, scoring the three-count.

Post-match comments:
Tanaka -
"Otani thinks -- now after the match -- that I feel languid." [languid: adj. 2. Showing little or no spirit.]

"I was defeated by Otani last year [7/13/01]. I have been thinking about this for a year..."

Otani -
"Tanaka -- he became strong."

"SON OF A B%$#@! Will he go to the final!? This is a complete defeat! Although Tanaka overcame me today, I do not give up. Two more matches [in the Fire Festival]. I will surely win!"

 [ZERO-ONE] 7/31 Korakuen Hall results
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 08:33 

1. Kuroge Wagyuta and Fugofugo Yumeji defeated Shinsuke Sumiya and Kamikaze in 12:18 when Wagyuta submitted Sumiya with a camel clutch.
2. Block B - Fire Festival: Hirotaka Yokoi [4pts] defeated Kohei Sato [2pts] in 7:02 by referee stoppage.
3. Block A - Fire Festival: Kintaro Kanemura [3pts] defeated TAKA Michinoku [2pts] in 9:55 after a senton.
4. Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Yuki Ishikawa and Daisuke Sekimoto defeated Yoshito Sasaki, Noahiro Hoshikawa and Tatsuhito Takaiwa in 15:46 when Ishikawa submitted Sasaki with a choke sleeper.
5. NWA/UPW/ZERO-ONE International Junior Heavyweight Title: Spanky defeated CW Anderson in 10:26 with a front cradle to retain the title.
6. Block B - Fire Festival: Tetsuhito Kuroda [2pts] defeated Steve Corino [2pts] in 9:46 with the Gannosuke clutch.
7. Block A - Fire Festival: Masato Tanaka [3pts] defeated Shinjiro Otani [2pts] in 14:06 after a lariat.
8. Shinya Hashimoto, Kazuhiko Ogasawara and Ryouji Sai defeated Tom Howard, The Predator and Samoan Warrior (Joe) in 11:01 when Hashimoto pinned Warrior after a DDT.

^scoring system for Fire Festival: two points for win; one point a piece for draw (or referee stoppage); no points for loss.

 [All Japan] Tenryu and Ogawa meet, Tenryu calls on Choshu
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 04:09 

Genichiro Tenryu (52) and Yoshinari Ogawa (35) met in a restuarant in the metropolitan area on 7/30. They had "confidential" talk for two hours, where they decided to give up on trying to get Ogawa to fight on All Japan's 8/31 Nippon Budokan show because it would be too difficult to work out now. However, they made an agreement that Ogawa would come perform for Tenryu at his independent "WAR 10th Anniversary" show in October.

Also at the restuarant, Tenryu told the Japanese media that he would like to have Riki Choshu participate at his WAR anniversary show.

The Japanese media put this over, saying it would be an unprecedented action if Tenryu could organize the former New Japan wrestler, the GHC Champion and himself, the Triple Crown champion (if he still has it in October).

 [UFO] Ogawa prays
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 03:48 

Naoya Ogawa (34) went to a temple on 7/30 to pray for his match against Matt Garafi on UFO's 8/8 "Legend" Tokyo Dome show.

This is somewhat in reponse to Kazuyuki Fujita, who harshly criticized Ogawa in an interview, saying, "[Ogawa] is not qualified to compete in the ring," among other things.

Garafi, who is 41, won the silver medal in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta for Greco-Roman wrestling.

Will it be a work or a shoot? If it's a shoot, it's against the right opponent. If Garafi has little to no MMA training, Ogawa could actually stand a decent chance against him in a shoot.

 [ZERO-ONE] Masato Tanaka loses his second match in Fire Festival
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 03:27 

Masato Tanaka (29) was defeated by his "sworn friend" Kintaro Kanemura (31) by referee stoppage, in fighting Kanemura for the first time in two years since Tanaka left FMW.

Tanaka was cut open by Kanemura and bled to the point where the referee stopped the match.

Fire Festival '02 (Block A) l 30-minutes
Kintaro Kanemura [1pt] (15:49, referee stop) Masato Tanaka [1pt]

 [New Japan] Tanahashi continues to prepare for the G1
Brandon Thurston on 7/31/2002 @ 03:14 

Hiroshi Tanahashi (25), the youngest competitor in this year's G1 Climax said on 7/30 in the New Japan dojo, that he'll be doing special training so he can do the best he can in the G1 for Kensuke Sasaki and the SWING-LOWS.

He continued training today and will do more "secret" training on 7/31 with Tatsumi Fujinami, who will teach him the dragon sleeper, dragon screw and dragon suplex.

 [New Japan] BS-Asahi TV listings
Brandon Thurston on 7/30/2002 @ 20:34 

BS-Asahi, known for giving use relief to the clipped TV airings of New Japan's WPW on TV-Asahi will not be showing New Japan for two weeks where they normally would, and for whatever reason, are going to air two TV tapings in one slot on 8/4 (airing 7/19 and 7/20) and 8/25 (airing 8/3 and 8/4) for what they will call "digest" shows.

Airing on 8/4:
Digest: 7/19 & 7/20 - Hokkaido Sports Center
(Matches expected to be shown complete: Kanemoto vs. Tanaka, Steiners vs. Chono/Tenzan, Nishimura/Chono vs. Tenzan/Takayama, Nagata vs. Rutten, possibly others)

Airing on 8/11:
No airing

Airing on 8/18:
No airing

Airing 8/25:
Digest: 8/3 & 8/4 - Osaka Prefectural Gym
(Hard to say what will or won't be shown complete for this show. Hopefully all the G1 matches will. However, the 8/3 show will be a PPV, so all matches from that show will be available complete.)

 [UFC] UFC strips Barnett; Ricco, Coulture to fight for title
Brien on 7/30/2002 @ 19:39 
It was announced today that Josh Barnett has been stripped of the UFC heavyweight title, owing to his 6-month suspension in Nevada for setroid use. It was also aanounced that at UFC 39 former UFC champion Randy Coulture will fight Ricco Rodriguez for the title.

credit to:

 [MMA] UFO more matches announced and UFC on free US TV
Brien on 7/30/2002 @ 11:19 

UFO announced yesterday 3 additional matches to the 8/8 card. All of these were rumored before hand so there are no shocks here:

Wataru Sakata vs Mario Sperry
Kazunari Murakami vs Wallid Ismael
Rogerio Nogueira(the twin brother) vs Vlad Matyushenko

Also, UFC fights will be on Fox Sports Net's "Sunday Night Fights" on 8/4 and 8/11. No official word on the content, but I'm guessing it will be a couple of UFC 37.5 or 38 fights on each show.

Credit to: &

 [Content] Puroresu Ramblings
Brandon Thurston on 7/30/2002 @ 00:11 
Puroresu Ramblings (Part I: Return of the NWF Heavyweight title; Part II: Mutoh vs. Tenryu, Coming Soon to a Boardroom Near You!; Part III: G-1 Climax 2002 Prediction)
So, Kazuyuki Fujita has announced a mini-tournament for the long-abandoned NWF Heavyweight title, last held by Antonio Inoki in 1981. Of course, like everything Inoki touched throughout the 1970s-1980s, he dominated the title from 1973 to 1981 when he abandoned it.

 [Content] Tales from the Eastside
Brandon Thurston on 7/30/2002 @ 00:07 
Tales from the Eastside: Tales from the Eastside #6 (CZW 7/27/02)
...then when Rebel turns around, he gets a faceful of water. Rebel sells it like someone showed him the Yoshiaki Fujiwara porn, clutching his eyes.

 [Content] Pulling Teeth
Brandon Thurston on 7/29/2002 @ 23:30 
Pulling Teeth:
And of course they've been running the feud between these two ever since Nakanishi broke Tenzan's nose in the great hour-draw, but don't forget the twenty-minute draw in their singles match from 4/5 in the Tokyo Budokan. There's a lot of unfinished business between these two...

 [New Japan] Inoki revives the NWF Heavyweight Title
Brandon Thurston on 7/29/2002 @ 19:44 

Today at a press conference it was announced that Antonio Inoki's old NWF Heavyweight Title would return.

The NWF Heavyweight Title was originally founded in the in old NWF territory between Buffalo and Cleveland. It was recognized as a world title until NWA stopped recognizing it in 1976, by the time Inoki had started his five year reign as the title's champion. Inoki held the title on four different occasions in the 70s and 80s, his last in defeating Stan Hansen after the title was held up, where he quickly abandoned the title to concentrate on the IWGP tournament.

It was announced that there will be a four-man single-elimination tournament that will span between the 8/29 Budokan show, the 10/14 Tokyo Dome show and ending at the 1/4 Tokyo Dome show.

Kazuyuki Fujita will fight Yoshihiro Takayama in one of the semi-final matches on 8/29 (which will probably be the main event of that show also, instead of playing off the New Japan vs. Inoki/Foreign Army angle). Then former RINGS star, Tsuyoshi Kosaka will fight Tadao Yasuda in the other semi-final on 10/14. And the winners of those two matches will meet in the title match at New Japan's Wrestling World 2003 Tokyo Dome on 1/4/03. Pray that's not the main event of what's supposed to be New Japan's (not UFO's) biggest show of the year.

Inoki knows he's not going to have a crowd for his UFO show (which only has one match officially announced, now ten days away from the show, which is probably a leading reason why the show is going to bomb), so he'll dump his garbage into the line of attention.

 [New Japan] Rules for Suzuki vs. Kensuke
Brandon Thurston on 7/29/2002 @ 00:22 

Before the fans in the Korakuen Hall on the 28th, Minoru Suzuki presented the idea of having a "full conclusion rule" in his match with Kensuke Sasaki on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome.

Suzuki said that there will be no round system, but that he would like rules established that would prevent the match from ending in a draw.

Supposedly, President Ozaki (Pancrase) will negoiate the rules for the match.

 [Zero-One] 7/28 notes: Ohtani vs. TAKA; Sato vs. Ishikawa; OH GUN
Alf on 7/28/2002 @ 20:26 

Otani vs. TAKA
Before the match, Ohtani returned the Fire Festival sword that he's made his own since winning it last year. The match featured some intense slapping by Otani, before he won the bout with a spiral bomb.

Sato vs. Ishikawa
In a technical, mat orientated match, Kohei Sato defeated "the betrayer" Yuki Ishikawa, after making him tap to a reverse cross armbreaker. Sato was the runner up of last year's Fire Festival, making it to the final before falling to Shinjiro Otani.

After the main event, Hashimoto was attacked by Predator and Tom Howard, including getting a choke with Predator's chain. However, Hash's former rival and new tag team partner, Kazuhiko Ogasawara, came to save the day, taking out the gaijin with his kicks. The new OH Gun will team for the first time on 7/31, when they partner with Ryouji Sai to take on the UPW team of Predator, Howard and Samoan Warrior (Samoa Joe).

 [FightSport] One weird day......
Brien on 7/28/2002 @ 12:05 

July 27th will probably not go down in history, but some rather "interesting" events happened both inside and outside of the ring/cage. First, Josh Barnett has been suspended for 6 months by the Nevada State Athletic Commision for steriod use. So you can forget about seeing him in UFC, PRIDE or any other US-based promotion for a while. Unless of course, he wins the appeal which will surely be rendered.

There were 2 heavyweight boxing "fights" last night. Shockingly, it seems that Holmes/Butterbean (won by Holmes via decision) was actually a better fight than the WBA Title fight between John Ruiz and Kirk Johnson (a "dirty" fight won by Ruiz via DQ, thus Ruiz retains the title).

Then there was the most shocking news of all:
Shannon Ritch TKO 1 Jeff Rogers

The advertised main event between Remco Pardoel and Homer Moore did not take place as Remco came down with a case of food poisioning. Homer Moore then beat the replacement Cory Timmerman via decision. Timmerman was said to give a game effort in the loss.

Credit to: &

 [NOAH/New Japan] Chono wants to fight Misawa again
Brandon Thurston on 7/28/2002 @ 01:41 

Masahiro Chono told the media that after he wins every match of the G1 Climax (as he has promised), he would like another match with Mitsuharu Misawa and said he would have the match in NOAH if necessary.

Chono and Misawa battled to a 30-minute draw at New Japan's 30th anniversary Tokyo Dome show last May.

 [All Japan] Keiji Muto has an interesting challenge for Genichiro Tenryu
Gerry on 7/28/2002 @ 00:47 

Keiji Muto today made an interesting proposal to Gen'ichiro Tenryu concerning the 8/30 Nippon Budokan show that Muto is booking. Muto wants Tenryu to face him in a Triple Crown match but with Tenryu wrestling as Giant Hayabusa (Tenryu used the Giant Hayabusa gimmick to to team with Hayabusa when he was using the H gimmick back in June of 2000 in FMW). Tenryu has in fact said he will boycott the 8/30 show in the past, so it is unknown what he will say to Muto's new proposal. In fact, Tenryu is confirmed to appear on two more All Japan cards (8/31 Nippon Budokan which he will book and 9/16 Korakuen Hall). After 9/16 Tenryu may in fact announce he is jumping to Pro Wrestling NOAH, however at this point Tenryu is playing both sides of the fence and may in fact stay in All Japan.

 [NOAH/All Japan] Tenryu explains why he wasn`t in Yoyogi
Brandon Thurston on 7/27/2002 @ 21:09 

Triple Crown champion, Genichiro Tenryu (52) explained why he did not attend NOAH's 7/26 show, where Yoshinari Ogawa defended the GHC Heavyweight Title against Takeshi Rikio. He said that he was worried that if he was in attendance for the match, Ogawa might look past Rikio. He didn't want to put anything else on Ogawa's mind as he went into defend the title.

This probably translates out to the fact that Tenryu's appearance wouldn't have fit in with NOAH's booking, with Takayama and Ogawa agreeing to fight each other for the title after the match.

However, Tenryu said he still looks forward to the possibility of a match between himself and Ogawa later this summer.

 [Zero-One] Tanaka`s Fire Festival thoughts
Alf on 7/27/2002 @ 20:25 

One day before the Fire Festival begins, Masato Tanaka discussed with the press his thoughts on this year's tournament.

He declared a he would take a "complete victory". Regarding his tag partner, Shinjiro Otani, Tanaka claimed he is not too worried about facing him, their match taking place on 7/31. When asked who he'd like to face in the finals, he put forward Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Hirotaka Yokoi's names.

 [Content] Tales from the Eastside
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 23:46 
Tales from the Eastside: Tales from the Eastside #5
-Joey Styles, shockingly, is still a tool. I'm not calling your hotline, Joey; find a new job.

 [New Japan] Nagata comments on the 8/29 show
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 19:48 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata called upon all New Japan wrestlers -- whether aligned with Team 2000, Kensuke Sasaki's army or the regular New Japan army. He said that New Japan must unite in a fight against Kazuyuki Fujita's foreign army.

 [New Japan] Chono promises to win the G1
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 19:45 

Masahiro Chono (who presented a bouqet to Satoru Asako for his retirement on 7/26) said that his match with Yuji Nagata (on the opening card of the G1 Climax on 8/3) will just be the beginning of his fourth G1 championship, and his first in eight years.

He also bragged that he his in the stronger block. Block B having himself, Nagata, Nishimura and Nakanishi.

 [NOAH/New Japan] More on Tanaken in NOAH
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 19:39 

Hiroshi Tanahashi was there (accompanied by Kenzo Suzuki) to build up hype for his 8/5 match against Takayama as part of New Japan's G1 Climax and also to "send a yell" to Morishima.

 [NOAH] 7/26 Yoyogi Results
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 12:58 

Tanaken (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenzo Suzuki) and Masahiro Chono were in attendance in Yoyogi

Yoyogi Gymansium II
Drawing 4,500 (sell-out)

1. Rusher Kimura and Mitsuo Momota defeated Masashi Aoyagi and Hakura Eigen in 7:13 when Momota pinned Eigen with an inside cradle.

2. Tamon Honda and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi defeated Superstar Steve and Richard Slinger 9:13 when Kikuchi pinned Steve with the Fireball Bomb.

3. Takeshi Morishima and Daisuke Ikeda defeated Bison Smith and Yoshihiro Takayama in 15:34 when Morishima pinned Smith after a lariat.

4. Vader and Scorpio defeated Michael Modest and Donovan Morgan when Vader pinned Modest after a choke slam.

5. KENTA and Takuma Sano defeated Jun Akiyama and Kotaro Suzuki when KENTA pinned Suzuki with a German suplex.

6. Jun Izumida defeated Muhammed Yone in 9:10 by submission with a front facelock.

7. Asako Retirement match: Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi and Satoru Asako defeated Akira Taue, Masao Inoue and Makato Hashi in 25:42 when Asako pinned Hashi after a top-rope frankensteiner. ,
-After the match, Asako said he would like to continue to help NOAH as a staff member.

8. GHC Junior Heavyweight Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Takashi Sugiura in 17:08 after a brainbuster to retain the title. ,

9. GHC Heavyweight Title: Yoshinari Ogawa defeated Takeshi Rikio in 17:54 with an inside cradle.
-After the match, Ogawa nominated Takayama as his next challenger ()

 [New Japan] Chono welcomes "foreign enemies"
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 04:31 

Masahiro Chono confiedently welcome Kazuyuki Fujita and his "foreign enemies" to New Japan for the 8/29 Budokan show.

Chono also sent his best wishes to NOAH's Satoru Asako, who will have his last match and retire a few hours after this post on NOAH's tour-ending show from Yoyogi.

 [New Japan] Kazuyuki Fujita
Brandon Thurston on 7/26/2002 @ 04:15 

Kazuyuki Fujita, who will be responsible for booking New Japan's 8/29 card from the Nippon Budokan (maybe Inoki's warming him up for being a promoter) spoke with the media on the 25th.

"New Japan's foreign enemies will be assembled... Inoki-san wants to revitalize the belt to the it was before."

You may remember, Nagata saying, after defeating Bas Rutten and successfully defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title, "This belt must be protected from Fujita, Takayama, Yasuda, and all other foreign enemies."

He says he's deciding between a number of people to "confront New Japan's ace [Yuji Nagata]." Those being considered include Fujita himself, Yoshihiro Takayama and others.

"8/8 will revival me individually. 8/29 will continue that."

Inoki and Fujita are putting their two shows over as two events that will revive the entire pro wrestling community. (yeah, right)

Fujita, someone who uses the shoot style, even went so far as to say, "strong style" would be revived on 8/29. But then again, he may have meant "strong style" as all styles of New Japan, not just the tradtional one.

He also called upon Naoya Ogawa to participate in the 8/29 show, and offered the idea of Ogawa facing himself.

 [UFO] Chairman for 8/8 show
Brandon Thurston on 7/25/2002 @ 21:07 

It was decided that Kenji Sakaguchi, an actor, will act as a chairman for the live broadcast (on NTV) of the UFO Tokyo Dome show on 8/8.

This is another attempt to at least get a good TV rating for what's probably going to be a big bomb of a show.

Reportedly, ticket sales for the show have been very poor. So much that internet sales of tickets (I'm assuming it's not profitable anymore, since so few are being sold) have stopped.

 [Content] Tales From the Eastside
Brandon Thurston on 7/25/2002 @ 00:35 
Tales from the Eastside:
Ring of Honor is very different than any of the major indies in the US. It lacks CZW's 'Ultraviolence', EPIC's lucha influence, Wildside's Southern style and XPW's general nausea-inducing style. Instead, ROH has been based on pure wrestling, with angles shoved far in the background...

 [Zero-One] Ohtani: Fire Festival, G-1, Interpromotional tournament
Alf on 7/24/2002 @ 21:55 

Shinjiro Ohtani took part in a press conference today, once again claiming he would win the Fire Festival tournament. He mentioned that he wanted to raise the stature of the Fire Festival, thus causing him to refuse an offer to compete in the 2002 G-1 Climax Tournament. He claimed that when the Fire Festival's stature is raised to that of the G-1's, he would go about fufilling his dream of taking part in that tournament.

He also spoke of his desire for an interpromotional tournament, featuring talent ranging from indy promotions to that of the big leagues' in an effort to decide the world's greatest stars.

He said that by winning the tournament for a second year, he would make himself an equal of New Japan's Yuji Nagata and NOAH's Jun Akiyama.

 [All Japan] Update on Kawada`s condition
Brandon Thurston on 7/24/2002 @ 19:22 

After injuring his right leg on 3/26 during All Japan's Champion Carnival tour and having to vacate the Triple Crown, Mrs. Baba commented briefly on the 24th about Kawada's condition saying, "I met with him [Kawada] for the first time in a long time yesterday... He's feeling better..."

 [All Japan] Tenryu`s even more angry, cancels all Sept. dates but 9/16
Brandon Thurston on 7/24/2002 @ 19:11 

Genichiro Tenryu (52), who will "produce" All Japan's 8/31 Nippon Budokan show, (while Muto will produce the 8/30 Budokan show) had a "heated discussion" with Keiji Muto (38) and All Japan President, Motoko Baba in Tokyo on the 24th about the two-show series in Tokyo.

During this discussion, the idea of Tenryu defending the Triple Crown against Muto as his Great MUTA incarnation at the 8/31 show was seriously considered, but Tenryu's requests of making the a 10th anniversary show for WAR were denied.

A match between Muto and Steve Williams for 8/31 is also being considered.

Tenryu is very unhappy and is considering cancelling his appearance for Muto's 8/30 show. Tenryu also declared his cancellation of the first show for All Japan's September tour (9/8) and all other shows on that tour, except for the fan apperication show on 9/16.

 [Content] Whole Alfin` Review
Brandon Thurston on 7/24/2002 @ 18:56 
Whole Alfin' Review:
...we get a few words from the UPW team, which of course, I can� TRANSCRIBE-!


 [K-1] 8/17 Vegas Card Update
Brien on 7/24/2002 @ 13:17 

A bit of a change from the original plan was made official as now an 8-man tournament featuring this years Primary champions will be held for one spot in the K-1 World GP. The 1st Round matchups are as follows:

South Africa Champion Andrew Thompson vs Netherlands Champion Errol Paris
Austrailia Champion Adam Watt vs Czech Republic Champion Pavel Majer
Italy Champion Petr Vandrachek vs France Champion Tony Gregory
USA Champion Michael McDonald vs Ukraine Champion Sergei Ivanovich

Other fights on the card are:
Jerome Le Banner vs Mike Bernardo
Ernesto Hoost vs Jan Nortje
Dewey Cooper vs Jeff Roufus

Credit to:

 [NOAH/All Japan] Will Tenryu make an appearance in Yoyogi?
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 22:13 

It's now been more than 25 months since twenty-four native All Japan pro wrestlers announced the formation of a new promotion. And now, for the first time, it seems very likely than an All Japan wrestler, Genichiro Tenryu, will make an appearance at NOAH's 7/26 show in Yoyogi. Of course, not to wrestle (not just yet), but to let his presence be felt and probably to have some kind of confrontation with Yoshinari Ogawa.

 [New Japan] Nagata to wrestle in the US?
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 18:35 

If IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata, is successful in winning the G1 Climax again this year (opens on 8/3), he says he will "plunge into an overseas title defense."

He said in Tokyo on 7/23, "If I am victorious again, I would like to ask the company and go on an 'overseas defense plan'... in Mexico or the United States."

Remember, he says this is IF he wins the G1 Climax for the second year in a row. I doubt he's going to do that, but then again, Chono did it two years in a row (1991 and 1992).

 [New Japan] Fujinami to coach Tanahashi
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 18:20 

To prepare Hiroshi Tanahashi for his first entry into the G1 Climax, Tatsumi Fujinami will be training with, or "coaching" Tanahashi to teach him some of his moves. Tanahashi says he's doing to this as a way to kind of wrestle in the G1 on Fujinami's behalf (since Fujinami lost in the G1 decision match against Tadao Yasuda on 7/19.

So expect to see Tanahashi use the dragon screw, dragon sleeper and probably even the dragon suplex in the G1, which starts on 8/3.

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 17:41 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
New Japan returns to the Budokan again, as it seems like do every June. And this time, with Kensuke vs. Nagata for the IWGP Title in the main event and Takayama vs. Nakanishii underneath, they still couldn't manage the first sell-out of the Budokan in the promotion's history, only drawing 6,000.

 [UFO, PRIDE] Nogueira to be stripped?!
Brien on 7/23/2002 @ 15:32 

According to PRIDE heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has been told to pull out of his 8/8 UFO match with Sanae Kikuta or be stripped of the PRIDE heavyweight title and barred from future PRIDE events. THis lends credence to the theory that there has been a bit of a falling out between Inoki and DSE boss Morishita over the 8/8 UFO event.....Hey Minotaro, Kikuta ain't worth it, and you'll be jobbing to Kensuke Sasaki soon if you stick with Inoki.

 [UFO] Inoki`s wish for Tadeo Yasuda`s opponent
Brien on 7/23/2002 @ 15:14 

Antonio Inoki made it clear that he wants Tadeo Yasuda opponent at the UFO show on 8/8 to be......Rene Rooze, the guy that KO'd Yasuda at the Andy Hug Memorial last year. Rooze isn't the greatest fighter ever, but he does have some powerful strikes, and may be too much for Yasuda again. I'm assuming that this fight would be the first part of the "Yasuda Doubleheader" on 8/8 so he should have as much energy for this one as he would normally have.

Credit to:

 [WEW] Announcement from the Korakuen
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 00:50 

On 7/22, in the Korakuen Hall, in Tokyo, Kodo Fuyuki (52) stood in the ring and said, Entertainment will be completely running as a sports show in Meiji on 8/23." Fuyuki added that now that he is running his own promotion, there will more emphasis on entertainment. Whether that means a more WWF-looking product, we'll have to see.

 [New Japan/UFO] Yasuda to work twice in one day
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 00:31 

After Masahiro Chono "demanded" Yasuda be devoted the New Japan yesterday for their 8/8 G1 Climax show, instead of appearing of UFO's Tokyo Dome card, it looks like Tadao Yasuda will find a way to work both shows in the same day.

With New Japan's 8/8 G1 Climax show in Hiroshima and UFO's show in the Tokyo Dome, Antonio Inoki has said that he will charter a jet for Yasuda, if need be to get Yasuda to both shows.

 [NOAH/All Japan] Ogawa wants to fight Tenryu
Brandon Thurston on 7/23/2002 @ 00:12 

Yoshinari Ogawa expressed his interest in fighting All Japan's Genichiro Tenryu today, saying, "I surely want to wage war in a singles match." Ogawa also said that If he can successfully defend the title on the 26th against Takeshi Rikio, he would like to make the match for the GHC Heavyweight Title.

In response, NOAH's president, Mitsuharu Misawa said, "You will hear from me if anything becomes formal."

It'll be interesting to see what happens if a match between Tenryu and Ogawa does happen. Where you have a match between an All Japan wrestler and a NOAH wrestler, you will have a match where someone will have to job. And I'm not sure either side would be too excited about losing to their sworn enemy. And if the match does end up being for the GHC Title, it would be very apparent that Tenryu would be the one to lose, since I wouldn't think Misawa would want to give his belt to Tenryu. And if Tenryu is still Triple Crown champion if or when the match happens, does that hurt the credibility of that title? This is Yoshinari Ogawa we're talking about here. Or has Ogawa been that elevated in the minds of the Japanese fans since shockingly winning the GHC Heavyweight Title from Jun Akiyama on 4/7?

 [New Japan] Makabe Comes Home
KrisZ on 7/22/2002 @ 18:04 

Shinya Makabe has left IWA Puerto Rico and is headed back to New Japan Pro Wrestling. This is great news for New Japan as they need another solid young guy to build around.

 EVEN MORE [UFO]!!!!!! (And The Best Vol 2 too I suppose)
Brien on 7/21/2002 @ 23:07 

Rather than go through news bulletin after news bulletin, this is what the 8/8 UFO show looks like based on the various, sometimes conflicting, reports that are out there:

Sanae Kikuta v Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Jens Pulver v Takehiro Murahama
Kazunari Murakami v Wallid Ismael
Mario Sperry v Wataru Sakata
Rogerio Nogueira vs Vlad "The Janitor" Matyushenko
Naoya Ogawa v Matt Ghaffari

I must say that that isn't the worst line-up I've ever seen, that "honor" however might go to The Best Vol 2. Here were the results, I think they speak for themselves:

Seiya Naitou W1 Ken Orihashi
Yushin Okami KO 1 Hidehisa Matusda
Jyukei KO 1 Joe Son
Daisuke Nakamura W 2 Shannon 'The Cannon' Ritch
Fatih 'Terror' Kocamis W 2 Anglo Saxon Oba
John Allesio TKO 2 Eiji Mitsuoka
Giant Ochiai KO 1 Tomohiko Hashimoto
Alistir Oveleem KO 1 Yusuke Imamura
Nino 'Elvis' Schembri W 2 Daiju Takase
Koh Soukun W 2 Bob 'Terrible' Schreiber

Credit to: &

 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 21:53 
Scout Report:
The selling here was...interesting. The match came across as a long-running war of attrition, kind of like a joshi match on drugs. The heat was excellent though and I guess the crowd largely got what they wanted. The spots were good (except for half of Muto's Wizards)...

 [NOAH/WEW] Misawa denies Fuyuki WEW interpromotional participation
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 20:04 

Kodo Fuyuki had a meeting with Mitsuharu Misawa today, where he requested an interpromotional deal between NOAH and WEW.

Fuyuki and Misawa dealt in April, leading up to Fuyuki's retirement. Now with Fuyuki announcing his return to the ring, many believed that Misawa would be upset with Fuyuki.

And they were right.

After a 30-minute meeting with Misawa, Fuyuki walked out of the room and explained to the media that Misawa flat out rejected his offer and said, "He [Misawa] got extremely angry..."

It sounds a little bit like an angle (and considering Fuyuki is involved), but it could just as well not be.

 [NOAH] Misawa suffers minor injury
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 19:53 

After landing oddly on the mat after taking a lariat in his 7/21 match (Misawa/Suzuki/Ogawa vs. Hashi/Kanemaru/Akiyama), Mitsuharu Misawa appears to have suffered a dislocated shoulder.

Misawa says that he "felt nauseated" when he took the fall.

The shoulder will be X-rayed tomorrow (7/22) to be sure there is not a break, however, Misawa says that he will take no time off and will still wrestle on NOAH's 7/23 card in Aichi and the 7/26 in Tokyo.

 [New Japan/UFO] Where will Yasuda work on 8/8?
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 19:38 

Today, Masahiro Chono expressed his dissatisfaction with Tadao Yasuda's wishes to fight at UFO's 8/8 Dome show. Yasuda is also booked to fight Chono on 8/8 as part of the last regular tournament show of New Japan's G1 Climax.

 [Inoki/UFO] What did he say?
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 19:34 

Yes, while eating an ice cream cone, Antonio Inoki discussed the possibilities of who Kazuyuki Fujita's opponent might be for the 8/8 UFO show. Inoki suggested he may go up against a foreign fighter.

 [Content] Whole Alfin` Review
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 13:27 
Whole Alfin' Review:
This is the opener of Zero-One's first tour of 2002. It featured the Z-1 regulars along with some new additions, such as Evolution and former FMW star, Yoshito Sasaki and the return of BattlArts' Yuki Ishikawa, back in a Zero-One ring for the first time since walking out last year...

 [NOAH] Suguira`s plans against Kanemaru
Alf on 7/21/2002 @ 13:22 

Five days before his GHC Jr. Title match against Sternness' Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Takashi Suguira announced he will be wearing a cup to defend against Kanemaru's infamous vital part attack. Suguira was caught by the attack on 7/19, during a tag match with Akira Taue against Kanemaru and Jun Akiyama.

 [Content] Tales From the Eastside
Brandon Thurston on 7/21/2002 @ 03:33 
Tales From the Eastside #3: CZW TV Report for 7/20/02
Having seen the recent CZW Arena show results, I can't say that CZW isn't exactly enthralling me right now, with its scattershot booking and idiotic choices of outside talent (Derrick Frazier? Come on, guys). So unless things pick up soon...

 [Big Japan] Jun Kasai leaves Big Japan
Brandon Thurston on 7/20/2002 @ 21:05 

With rumors going around that he has retired, SANSPO.com has reported that Jun Kasai has left Big Japan Pro Wrestling, reporting the reason being, Big Japan would not pay for his medical treatment.

 [All Japan] A few notes
Brandon Thurston on 7/20/2002 @ 20:58 

-Mrs. Baba apparently "shed tears of joy" over the sell-out of Nippon Budokan for All Japan's 7/20 show and said, "All Japan has been reborn as we begin to move towards the 30th anniversary in the fall." She also presented the idea of having Keiji Muto "produce" the 8/30 Budokan show, while having Tenryu "produce" the 8/31 show. Surprisingly, Mrs. Baba also seemed open to the idea of a Tenryu vs. Yoshinari Ogawa match saying, "...if it is suitable for the 30th anniversary."

-After being pinned for the first time by Taiyo Kea, Genichiro Tenryu commented, "I thought this organization would only have Muto and I. Kojima and Kea have proved themselves."

 [Inoki/UFO] Chyna for the 8/8 show?
Brandon Thurston on 7/20/2002 @ 20:47 

Today, Antonio Inoki suggested the idea of having the former Chyna, Joanie Laurer participate in UFO's 8/8 Tokyo Dome show. He explained that her appearance on the show would be good for the TV ratings, as the show will be broadcast live on TV in Japan.

...Just what that show needs...

Also, on the topic of the 8/28 PRIDE/K-1 National Stadium show, Inoki suggested that his two favorite pupils, Kazuyuki Fujita and Naoya Ogawa fight on the card.

 [New Japan] Nagata promises to win the G1
Brandon Thurston on 7/20/2002 @ 20:41 

After defeating Bas Rutten on 7/20 to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Title, Yuji Nagata took the microphone and said, "With my power, I will change New Japan." and promised, "two straight victories in G1. My best wrestling will be seen again."

He did not forget Fujita either. "Although there will be Fujita and there will be Takayama, and there will be Yasuda, let them all come!"

Nikkan Sports wrote, "Nagata evolves whenever he wins and fears no opponent."

 [Content] Whole Alfin` Review
Brandon Thurston on 7/20/2002 @ 15:04 
Whole Alfin' Review:
Today in the Nippon Budokan, a star was created. In front of a sold out crowd, Taiyo Kea - one of All Japan's brightest stars - defeated a puroresu legend and All Japan's current Triple Crown champion, Genichiro Tenryu. It's a victory that's been a long time coming...

 [New Japan] 7/20 Hokkaido Results: Nagata retains title, Nishimura/Chono vs. Tenzan/Takayama goes 28 minutes
Brandon Thurston on 7/20/2002 @ 13:26 

Sapporo Hokkaido Sports Center (6,000 in attendance - sell-out)

1. Wataru Inoue defeated Katsushi Takemura in 5:43 by submission with the triangle lacer.
-after losing, Takemura promised he would comeback and become stronger

2. Giant Singh, Tatsutoshi Goto and Hiro Saito defeated Dr. Wagner Jr., El Samurai and Rob Rage in 6:30 when Singh pinned Wagner after a choke slam.

3. NEO Pro Wrestling Offer Match: Yoshiko Tamura, Misae Genki and Kyoko Inoue defeated Chaparrita ASARI, Mima Shimoda, Etsuko Mita in 16:06 when Inoue pinned ASARI after a lariat.

4. Tiger Mask, Masayuki Naruse, Minoru Tanaka and Jushin Thunder Liger defeated GOKU-DO, Gedo, AKIRA and Koji Kanemoto in 13:39 when Tiger Mask pinned GOKU-DO after a standing moonsault.

5. Kensuke Sasaki defeated Blue Wolf in 6:19 by pinfall after a lariat.

6. Shiro Koshinaka and Manabu Nakanishi vs. Yutaka Yoshie and Tadao Yasuda was declared a no contest.
-Yasuda turned on Koshinaka, leading the all three beating on Yasuda in the corner.

7. Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenzo Suzuki in 13:42 when Scott pinned Tanahashi after the Steiner Screwdriver.

8. Kazuyuki Fujita defeated Masahito Kakihara in 1:09 by submission with a sleeper hold.

9. G1 Special Tag: Osamu Nishimura and Masahiro Chono defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Yoshihiro Takayama in 28:40 when Nishimura submitted Tenzan with a cobra twist. ,
-after the match, Takayama said that beating Tenzan in the G1 will be easy.

10. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Yuji Nagata defeated Bas Rutten in 8:10 by submission with the Nagata Lock II. ,
-Nagata's third successful defense
-after the match, Nagata said, "This belt must be protected from Fujita, Takayama, Yasuda, and all other foreign enemies."

 Full AJPW 7/20 Nippon Budokan Results
Gerry on 7/20/2002 @ 06:04 

Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
Drawing 16,300 (Sell Out)

Note: All matches on this show were chosen by fan voting.

1. Masanobu Fuchi d. Kazushi Miyamoto with a cradle cutback (8:55)

2. Kokushi-muso (Keiji Muto) d. Kaz Hayashi with a praying powerbomb. (9:37)

3. Shigeo Okumura & Jimmy Yang d. Hideki Hosaka & Ryuji Hijikata when Yang used Yang Time on Hijikata. (14:07)
-after the match Yang declared he would go after Kendo Ka Shin's PWF World Jr. Heavyweight Title and Okumura declared he is concentrating on winning the All Asian Tag team title.

4. Tomoaki Honma d. Yuto Aijima with the Shalimartea. (10:59)

5. Dos Caras, Mil Mascaras & Keiji Muto d. Abdullah the Butcher, Gran Hamada & Gran Naniwa when Dos Caras pinned Hamada with a jumping powerbomb. (9:44)

6. Yoji Anjo, Kendo Ka Shin & Mitsuya Nagai d. Arashi, Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai (Team WAR) when Anjo pinned Hirai with a 200% uppercut. (12:10)

7. Mike Barton & Jim Steele won the 4-way elimination Stan Hansen Tag Team Cup when Barton pinned Mike Rotundo with a Barton Cutter. Order of elimination: George Hines & Johnny Smith, Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke, Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo. (26:40)
-By winning this match Barton & Steele are now the #1 contenders to the World Tag Team Titles.

8. MUTA (Keiji Muto) d. The Great Koji (Satoshi Kojima) with a cross arm breaker (16:57)

9. Taiyo Kea d. Genichiro Tenryu with the H50 (reverse Hawaiian Smasher). (15:15)
-This is Kea's first victory over Tenryu.

 [MMA] Shocker in Shooto!
Brien on 7/19/2002 @ 23:53 

A HUGE upset in Shooto on July 19th as top ranked featherweight and Shooto Lightweight Champion Alexandre "Pequeno" Nogueira lost by 1st Round KO to the somewhat unknown Hiroyuki Abe. Because Abe was not the top Shooto contender to Nogueira (he was ranked 4th) the fight was non-title, however it is expected that Abe's win will propel him to the top of the Shooto rankings and a rematch for the title with "Pequeno".

 [All Japan] Hansen throws out opening pitch
Brandon Thurston on 7/19/2002 @ 20:46 

PWF Chairman, Stan Hansen threw out the opening pitch at a Nippon Ham Fighters baseball game in the Tokyo Dome on 7/19, as a way of advertising All Japan's 30th anniversary.

 [New Japan] Steiners join T2000
Brandon Thurston on 7/19/2002 @ 20:42 

After losing their IWGP Tag Team Title match to Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan, the Steiner Brothers joined Chono's Team 2000.

 [New Japan] Kanemoto/Minoru match report
Brandon Thurston on 7/19/2002 @ 17:10 

7/19/02, Hokkaido Sports Center (Sapporo)
4,100 in attendance
9th match (60 min l 1 fall)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Kanemoto
Heel hold
Minoru Tanaka x
Koji Kanemoto wins title! Becomes 43rd champion
Match description:
Kanemoto used a top-rope frankensteiner and worked on Tanaka left knee with a cross knee hold on the mat. Tanaka got to the ropes spiritedly, to break the hold. Tanaka mounted a brief comeback after a low dropkick, however Kanemoto soon countered and was able to execute both a Tiger suplex and Falcon Arrow. Tanaka was able to quickly hook on a backslide, but could not pin Kanemoto. Kanemoto continued to wear down Tanaka with a standing heel hold. He hit a moonsault press, but Minoru kicked out. Kanemoto murdered Tanaka with a kick to the back of the head and applied an achilles tendon hold, which he turned into a heel hold. Tanaka gave up at last. Kanemoto becomes the 43rd IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
Post-match comments:
Kanemoto -
"Finally chapter one between Minoru and I is over. I caught him. I am champion. Now this is chapter two -- my chapter. I will become the wall of Minoru."

 [New Japan] 7/19 Hokkaido results: Kanemoto new champion, Chono/Tenzan retain
Brandon Thurston on 7/19/2002 @ 13:47 

Sapporo Hokkaido Sports Center (4,100 in attendance)
1. Wataru Inoue defeated Toru Yano in 5:06 by submission with a Boston crab.
2. Dr. Wagner Jr., Masayuki Naruse and Tiger Mask defeated GOKU-DO, AKIRA and Gedo in 8:12 when Naruse pinned GOKU-DO after the Crazy Cyclone.
3. Shiro Koshinaka and El Samurai defeated Rob Rage and Osamu Nishimura in 7:36 when Koshinaka pinned Rage after a powerbomb.
4. Katsushi Takemura Trial (Match No. 7 - Final match): Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Katsushi Takemura in 7:18 after a brainbuster.
5. Masahito Kakihara defeated Tatsutoshi Goto in 0:42 by submission with a triangle hold.
6. Blue Wolf and Minoru Fujita battled to a time limit draw in 10:00.
7. Manabu Nakanishi and Yutaka Yoshie defeated Hiro Saito and Giant Singh in 8:15 after Nakanishi submitted Saito with the Argentinan backbreaker.
8. G1 Climax 2002 Participant Determination: Tadao Yasuda defeated Tatsumi Fujinami after 5:30 by referee stop with a sleeper hold.

9. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Koji Kanemoto defeated Minoru Tanaka in 22:02 by submission with heel hold to become the 43th champion.
10. Kensuke Sasaki and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Kenzo Suzuki and Yuji Nagata in 16:16 when Sasaki pinned Suzuki after a Northern Lights Bomb. After the match...

Rutten - "I will win the belt tomorrow!"
Nagata - "Surely defended!"

11. IWGP Tag Team Title: Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner in 19:08 when Chono pinned Rick after a Shining Yakuza kick.

 [All Japan] Tenryu may boycott All Japan`s September tour
Brandon Thurston on 7/19/2002 @ 00:17 

Courtesy of Daily Ring
In more news regarding Genichiro Tenryu, he has hinted that he will "boycott" All Japan's September tour (which will unusually run from 9/8 to 9/23).

It appears Tenryu and Muto had a major disagreement over something about Tenryu's next defense of the Triple Crown. However, it was decided on 7/18 that Tenryu's next defense would be either on 8/30 or 8/31 (both are Budokan shows).

Parts of this may be an angle. Tenryu may just be "boycotting" the September tour to take time off to rest up.

 [All Japan] Tenryu sends "love call" to Yoshinari Ogawa
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 23:05 

Triple Crown Champion, Genichiro Tenryu has expressed interest in having a match with NOAH's GHC Heavyweight Champion, Yoshinari Ogawa.

This will probably never happen, though. We're talking about NOAH and All Japan. If there's any two promotion's in the world that have heat with each other, it's those two. It's probably going to be a long time before we see a NOAH wrestler and an All Japan wrestler fight each other. And if/when we do, it'll be sure to be a big deal. And if/when it happens, it's going to be a generation away from where we are now. There's just too much mistrust. It's almost like something you just don't talk about in either All Japan or NOAH. The only reason this is brought up is because it's Tenryu. And Tenryu wasn't around when the split happened.

In other All Japan news, All Japan's 7/20 Budokan card, in which Keiji Muto will have three matches, the card will be ordered in a way that will be intended to give Muto the most rest between matches. Of course, there is concerned with Muto's physicial shape, whether or not his body can handle three matches in one night.

 [New Japan] Rob Rage injures Yuji Nagata
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 22:47 

Courtesy Nikkan Sports
On 7/18, in a singles match with Rob Rage, Yuji Nagata supposedly worsen the injury he has to his right arm. Rage's jujigatame is what is largely responsible for the situation. However, Nagata still did not lose, defeating Rage in 8:30.

Nagata's match with Bas Rutten is now in "crisis."

Now, to break away from the kayfabe, don't be too worried. This is all probably just an angle to build up heat for the Rutten/Nagata match and to get more people to believe that Nagata might lose. Plus it will give Bas an obviously body part to work on that will get a lot of heat.

Also on the show, AKIRA, Tatsutoshi Goto and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Rick Steiner, Osamu Nishimura and Manabu Nakanishi when Tenzan pinned Steiner after 11:18. Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner will challenge Tenzan and Chono for the IWGP Tag Team Title on 7/19

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 22:01 

Ichiban Puroresu Review: New Japan BS-Asahi 6/5/02
And no credit to be left from Chono and Tenzan. They all showed that there are wrestlers in New Japan that still have the stamina and the fighting spirit to go all sixty minutes. I hope this doesn't just go down as one of those matches that will only be remembered by us, but a match that New Japan fans will remember for years to come...

 [UFO] Changes in UFO?
Brien on 7/18/2002 @ 18:37 

reports that Marco Ruas is out of UFO due to injury, and that Mario Sperry's opponent has been switched to Wataru Sakata.

 [K-1] 8/17 Vegas Card Coming together
Brien on 7/18/2002 @ 18:28 

The August 17th K-1 World Grand Prix Semi-Final event is coming along nicely. This was originally to be a qualifying event for fighters who did not make last years GP Finals, but that may have changed as several fighters who were in the Finals are on this card.

"Mr Perfect" Ernesto Hoost looks to have a decently easy opponent in South Africa's Jan "The Giant" Nortje. Stefan Leko will face Mike Bernardo in what will probably be the best fight on the card. And in a battle of K-1 USA starts, Jeff "Duke" Roufus will face Dewey "The Black Kobra" Cooper. This last fight may be the most intense as Roufus and Cooper really do not like each other. More matches are expected to be announced soon.

Credit to:

 [K-1] 8/17 Vegas Card Coming together
Brien on 7/18/2002 @ 18:28 

The August 17th K-1 World Grand Prix Semi-Final event is coming along nicely. This was originally to be a qualifying event for fighters who did not make last years GP Finals, but that may have changed as several fighters who were in the Finals are on this card.

"Mr Perfect" Ernesto Hoost looks to have a decently easy opponent in South Africa's Jan "The Giant" Nortje. Stefan Leko will face Mike Bernardo in what will probably be the best fight on the card. And in a battle of K-1 USA starts, Jeff "Duke" Roufus will face Dewey "The Black Kobra" Cooper. This last fight may be the most intense as Roufus and Cooper really do not like each other. More matches are expected to be announced soon.

Credit to:

 [Content] Whole Alfin` Review
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 17:19 

Whole Alfin' Review: Zero-One 4/26/02
This comes from the first half the Zero-One's Genesis tour. It's smack bam in the middle of the Zero One/UPW/NWA feud. Although just a throwaway show, it has some potentially nice looking matches combined with some potentially average stuff...

 [New Japan] Bas masters the Shining Wizard
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 00:22 

On 7/20, in the Sapporo Hokkaido Sports Center, Bas Rutten (37 = Holland) will challenge IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata (34). The former UFC champion has had three consecutive victories (Nakanishi, Tanahashi, Naruse) since his first match in New Japan on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome.

Bas said, "Although Nagata is a strong champion, he wants to stand up with me."

He says he has seen video of Keiji Muto and claims he has mastered the Shining Wizard, to which he laughed, "I will be happy to knock him out with it."

 [Battlarts] PASSION
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 00:14 
Battlarts will run their "PASSION" show on 9/2 in the Korakuen Hall. Matches booked so far: Kengo Mashimo vs. Sambo Oishi, Manabu Hara vs. TAKA Michinoku, Yuki Ishikawa vs. Carl Contini. Rick Lee, Katsumi Usuda, Nobuyuki Kurashima will also have matches on the card.

In an interview, TAKA Michinoku declared, "He cannot lose" in his match against Hara.

 [WEW] Fuyuki revokes retirement
Brandon Thurston on 7/18/2002 @ 00:01 
Well, it only took three months for Kodo Fuyuki to come out of retirement. Fuyuki, who had his last match in NOAH in the Differ Ariake on 4/14, announced on 7/17 that he would make his return on 7/22 in Tokyo for WEW. It's being pushed by the Japanese media that Misawa and Fuyuki's friendship may be "cracked" now, since it was in NOAH that Fuyuki retired.

 [MMA] UFO rumors and thoughts on Scout`s article
Brien on 7/17/2002 @ 17:35 
The now somewhat overlooked UFO restart set for 8/8 seems to be coming together nicely. It looks as if it will be a mostly Japan v Brazil affair. Matches rumored so far include:

Sanae Kikuta v PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Marco Ruas v Kazunari Murakami

Hiromitsu Kanehara v Mario Sperry

Naoya Ogawa vs Matt Ghaffari (US; 2000 Atlanta Olympic Games Silver Medalist 130 kg Greco-Roman)

Also there seems to be conflicting reports as to the status of Jens Pulver. Some say he's off the show entirely (he has, in fact, taken a fight for October 11th, but that in itself doesn't mean anything), while others say that he is fighting Takehiro Murahama from Osaka Pro, who fought in the K-1 J-Max tournament. For what it's worth the updated today to include Ghaffari, but did NOT take out Pulver. So who knows?

And speaking of UFO and it's legacy, I read Scout's article about pro-wrestlers in MMA, and I agree with most of what he says in terms of drawing power, and fan base. Unfortunatly, I personally believe that the US market for MMA is mainly made up of the "purist-type" who don't want anything pro-wrestling involved at all, even if it comes in the package of an actual good shooter like Fujita.

Credit to:

 [Zero-One] Otani`s Fire Festival thoughts & Sekimoto`s bookings
Alf on 7/17/2002 @ 15:15 

Shinjiro Otani announced he would once again win Zero-One's Fire Festival tournament, having downed Kohei Sato in last year's final. He cited Samoan Warrior (Samoa Joe) as a main threat in his block (Block A).

In other news, it was announced Big Japan's Daisuke Sekimoto would compete on Zero-One's 7/30 and 7/31 shows. Otani claimed he would like to tag with Sekimoto on 7/30.


 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon Thurston on 7/17/2002 @ 14:57 
Scout Report: The Not-so Current Trend in MMA
I always get a kick out of people who grew up with Muhammad Ali, who just can't stand Mike Tyson. Now without getting into the "boxer vs. fighter" debate, which is pretty open-and-shut in my view, Tyson's legacy is still looming. While he was in his prime over a decade ago, people are still fascinated with him and despite the garbage Sports Illustrated spews, that is what not only boxing needs, it is what all sports need....

 [Content] Puroresu Ramblings
Brandon Thurston on 7/17/2002 @ 10:45 
Puroresu Ramblings #3: Muto at the Crossroads; Satoshi Kojima-The Future?; Has New Japan got the Right Ace?

 [All Japan] 7/17/02 Osaka Results
Brandon Thurston on 7/17/2002 @ 10:36 

Osaka Prefectural Gym (drawing 5,400)
1. Masanobu Fuchi and Kazushi Miyamoto defeated Shigeo Okumura and Hideki Hosaka when Fuchi submitted Hosaka with a facelock in 6:40.
2. George Hines, Kaz Hayashi and Jimmy Yang defeated Johnny Smith, Ryuji Hijikata and Gran Naniwa when Hayashi pinned Naniwa after the Final Cut in 11:26.
3. Steve Williams, Mike Rotundo and Yuto Aijima defeated Arashi, Nobutaka Araya and Nobukazu Hirai when Williams pinned Araya after the Homicidal Backdrop in 7:05.
4. PWF Junior Heavyweight Title: Kendo Ka Shin defeated Gran Hamada by submission with a cross armbar in 11:38 to retain the title.
5. Mil Mascaras and Dos Caras defeated Abullah the Butcher and Yoji Anjo when Masacaras pinned Anjo in 8:20.
6. Mike Barton and Jim Steele defeated Mitsuya Nagai and Tomoaki Honma when Steele pinned Honma after the Turbo Drop II in 5:52.
7. World Tag Team Title: Bryan Adams and Bryan Clark defeated Taiyo Kea and Keiji Muto when Clark pinned Muto in 14:59 to win the title.
8. Triple Crown: Genichiro Tenryu defeated Satoshi Kojima after a powerbomb in 28:55 to retain the title.

 [K-1] Fukuoka Results 7/14
Brien on 7/16/2002 @ 11:19 

For those who may have missed it during a busy puroresu/MMA weekend, K-1 ran a big show in Fukuoka last Sunday and here were the results

K-1 Japan Fights

Yusuke Fujimoto K0 1 (3:00) Ryou Takigawa

(Future K-1 Japan Ace?)Nobu Hayashi W 3 Masaaki Miyamoto

"K-1 v Pride"(at least that was the theory) Matches

Quinton "Ramage" Jackson K0 1 Cyril Abidi

In a minor upset Martin Holm K0 1 Glaube Feitosa

Musashi W 5 Zero-One's Josh Dempsey in a fight that was described as a near shutout

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic K0 2 Remy Bonjasky (wouldn't it have been embarrassing had Cro Cop lost, seeing as how he is headlining Shock Wave/Dynamite!)

Alexei Ignashov W 5 Peter Aerts (UGH! Peter, please do all of us a favor a retire before you get hurt out here, no one wants to see that happen to you)

Ray Sefo KO 2 Gilbert "Yellow Card" Yvel (So much for the "salt in the eyes trick" Yvel had been boasting about)

So counting Yvel, Jackson and Dempsey (who has full MMA rules experience) as PRIDE fighters, K-1 wins 2-1. Not that that proves anything other than that these cross-promotional events are very hard to run smoothly, as PRIDE veterens Semmy Schillt and Tracy Telligman were also orginally to be included in the card, but were pulled out due to injury (Telligman) or prior commitments(Schillt).

Credit to:

 [MMA] Additional Shock Wave/Dynamite! match
Brien on 7/16/2002 @ 10:45 

It was announced on 7/16 at that a second match has been added to the August 29th Shock Wave/Dynamite! event. Royce Gracie will make his return after a 2-year layoff to fight former Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Hidehiko Yoshida. The concept behind the 8/29 card is to have all the different fights have different rules based on the participants (much like PRIDE 1), and for this match there will be several rule changes:

1) No striking to the head at any time

2) At least one fighter must be standing for any type of strike

3) When both fighters are on the ground the fight becomes submissions only

4) The fight is scheduled for 2 10-minute rounds and there will be NO JUDGES DECISION. If the time limit expires the match will be a draw.

While I expect this to be a HUGE fight in Japan, US MMA fans may find this to be a bit of a boring fight. For my money the outcome of the fight will be based on how well Yoshida adapts to actually submitting his opponent rather than just trying to neutralize him as in Judo. As of right now, my pick would be Royce due to his experience and his superior submission ability.

Also Credit to:

 [Site] New Releases updated
Brandon Thurston on 7/16/2002 @ 10:44 
New Japan BS-Asahi 6/5/02 (with the outstanding Tenzan/Chono vs. Nakanishi/Nishimura 60:00 draw and the Minoru vs. Kanemoto BOSJ final) and New Japan BS-Asahi 6/7/02 (with Bas vs. Naruse, Nakanishi vs. Takayama and Nagata vs. Kensuke for the IWGP Title) are now available in the section.

 [Site] Newsboard!
Brandon Thurston on 7/16/2002 @ 10:22 
The purpose of this newsboard will be to give you, the puroresu fan, the best possible, unbiased coverage of pro wrestling from Japan. And of course, to spread the -puroresu love-.

Each poster here will have their own promotion or promotions that they will cover. Here's how that goes:
New Japan - Brandon (brandonthurston@hotmail.com)
All Japan - Gerry (gerard_0@hotmail.com)
NOAH - Alf (wholealfinshow@hotmail.com)
Indies - Brandon
Joshi - AO (GhiddyZ@hotmail.com)
MMA - Brien (baronov@emba.uvm.edu)

For now, we well focus on news stories and leave results to only major shows, although that change.

Also, when this board has more than two posts, you will notice an annoying ad banner. But don't worry, that will be gone soon.
News prior to July 16 is not here because obviously, this is where the board began. It started out as a group effort, because I knew I would be too lazy to post all the time, but eventually turned into just me doing the posts.