[PRIDE] Two fights announced
Brandon on 10/31/2002 @ 13:04 

PRIDE announced to two new fights for the PRIDE 23 card on 11/24 in the Tokyo Dome:

Middleweight Title: Hiromitsu Kanehara vs. Vanderlei Silva
Ricardo Arona vs. Murilo "Ninja" Rua

Kanehara (32) is a former RINGS fighter. This will be the second time Silva will be defending his title.

 [NOAH] "Halloween With NOAH" results
Brandon on 10/31/2002 @ 12:57 

Tokyo Differ Ariake

1. Iho De Rikidozan (Momota), Big Ben Skydivers (Taue and Kimura) defeated Dabei (Izumida) and Dai Shyo (Eigen) in 9:03 when Momota pinned Aoyagi.

2. Yoshimura (Sugiura), Black Cobra (Sano) and VINNY (Ogawa) defeated Mr. X #1 (Aoyagi), Mr. X #2 (Ikeda) and Mr. X #3 (Honda) in 16:35 when Sano pinned Aoyagi.

3. White Man #7 (Rikio), White Man #11 (Morishima) defeated Moon (Hashi) and Pumpkin (Saito) in 12:43 when Rikio pinned Hashi.

4. BORO (Kanemaru) and SHURA (Akiyama) defeated The Kamehameha (Kawabata) and ZIZO (Shiga) in 13:34 when Kanemaru pinned Kawabata with an inside cradle.

5. Cabin Mask (Suzuki) and ? (Inoue), Lion (Misawa) and Robin Mask (?) defeated HALIMAO (KENTA), German Man (Kikuchi) and BLAZE (Kobashi) in 19:36 when ? defeated Kikuchi with an Argentine backbreaker.

 [ZERO-ONE] Hashimoto likely not to participate in W-1
Brandon on 10/31/2002 @ 12:30 

Shinya Hashimoto spoke to the media on 10/31, where he showed a new unwillingness to participate in the WRESTLE-1 show on 11/17. Hashimoto said, "I am interested in All Japan and New Japan, however, the target cannot be seen if I participate in W-1."

On other note, Hashimoto said that he and Naoya Ogawa would likely defend the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title against Matt Ghaffari and an undetermined partner at the Tokyo Sumo Hall show on 12/15.

 [UFC] UFC returns to Japan in June
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 20:01 
It became clear on 10/30 that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would make its return to Japan in June 2003 in the Yokohama Arena. It is expected that there will be at least two title matches and that Tito Ortiz will be on the card.

 [Content] This Week in Puroresu
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 16:29 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
-Edge/Misterio vs. Angle/Benoit
-Chono/Nagata 60-minute Draw
-Muta wins Triple Crown

 [Inoki] Fujita sent to LA Dojo
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 16:26 

Also in Antonio Inoki's talk with the media, he said that Kazuyuki Fujita (32) is being sent to the LA Dojo to try to revive himself.

After two consecutive losses (to Takayama on 8/29 and Nagata on 10/14), Inoki has begun what he says is, "toukon preaching," or "fighting spirit preaching," to Fujita, sending him LA, where Inoki hopes that he will begin his true revival.

Then Inoki plans on Fujita making his return for the Bom-Ba-Ye New Years Eve Festival on 12/31, possibily against Bob Sapp.

 [WWE] Yoyogi show on 1/24 or 1/25
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 15:42 
The WWE will once again have a show in Japan in 2003 on either 1/24 or 1/25. In March, they had a show in Yokohama Arena, but this year they will run in the Yoyogi Gymansium I in Tokyo.

The show will be aired on Fuji Television on 1/31.

There may be up to three WWE shows in Japan in 2003. They may return to Japan in July and December 2003.

 [NOAH] Mohammed Yone has knee operation
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 12:58 

Mohammed Yone (26) underwent a two-hour-long knee operation to repair damaged ligaments in his right knee.

The operation was successful, though it is still undecided when Yone will return.

 [Onita] Onita plans another Afghanistan show
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 12:49 

Atsushi Onita (45) said that he would return to Afghanistan in March to hold a huge show, where he hopes to draw 100,000 fans.

His first show this September was attended by 250 people.

He was interviewed on 10/30 in Tokyo, where he said that he would hold the show in Afghanistan's Olympic Stadium, which would hold supposedly about 100,000 people.

Onita said he would bring about 10 wrestlers with him this time that he would like Riki Choshu to join him in doing the show.

Onita said he also wants to do a show in Pakistan.

 [PRIDE] Inoki talks about Yoshida`s gi
Brandon on 10/30/2002 @ 12:42 

PRIDE match-maker, Antonio Inoki (59) was interviewed in Narita Airport on 10/30, where he said that he would speak to Hidehiko Yoshida (33) about not wearing the gi (jacket worn in judo and jiu jitsu) in his fight at PRIDE 23 on 11/24 against Don Frye (36).

Also while talking to the media, he said he would like Bob Sapp (29) to participate in his Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye show on 12/31. Inoki was impressed by Sapp's match with Nakanishi in the Tokyo Dome on 10/14 and feels strongly that Sapp could become a big star.

 [ZERO-ONE/All Japan] Hashimoto refuses to work with K-1
Brandon on 10/29/2002 @ 16:28 

Shinya Hashimoto, in negotiations for his possible match on the 11/17 "WRESTLE-1" show, Hashimoto has refused to be in the ring with an K-1 fighters.

Hashimoto immediately offered to be on the show after Muto injured his knee, however, now with Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta officially on the card, Hashimoto's refusal to work with K-1 fighters may threaten the possiblity of Hashimoto wrestling on the show at all.

 [All Japan/Choshu] Tenryu tries to contact Choshu
Brandon on 10/29/2002 @ 16:24 

Genichiro Tenryu (52) said that he has met with Mr. Nagashima (59), who is serving as a partner to Riki Choshu (50) in their "RikiNagashima Plan."

Tenryu likely contacted Mr. Nagashima with the intention of attempting to get Choshu to participate in All Japan or possibly even for Tenryu's WAR anniversary show which is supposedly happening some time before next year.

 [ZERO-ONE] Ghaffari to appear on 12/15 Sumo Hall show
Brandon on 10/29/2002 @ 01:33 

It has been decided that Olympic silver medalist, Matt Ghaffari (40) will enter ZERO-ONE in December, leading up to an apperance on the Tokyo Sumo Hall show on 12/15.

Ghaffari will more than likely have some kind of match on the Sumo Hall show with Naoya Ogawa, who defeated him at the UFO "Legend" show on 8/8 this year.

 [New Japan/All Japan/ZERO-ONE] Three Muskateers to reunite at WRESTLE-1?
Brandon on 10/29/2002 @ 01:26 

It's possible that the "Three Muskateers," (Keiji Muto, Shinya Hashimoto and Masahiro Chono) may reunite in the Yokohama Arena on 11/17 at the WRESTLE-1 show.

Muto has invited both Hashimoto and Chono to the show. Hashimoto has said, "If there is a request, I will cooperate."

If doesn't happen at the "WRESTLE-1" show (which it seems likely that Chono and Hoshimoto will at least be in attendance), it looks like a "WRESTLE-2" show is being planned.

 [Toryumon] UWA Six-Man Tag Team Title match deteremine
Brandon on 10/28/2002 @ 16:28 

It has been determined that the UWA Six-Man Tag Team Champions, Milano Collection, YOSSINO and Brother YASSINI of the Italian Connection will have a title match against former champions from Crazy MAX, CIMA, SUWA and TARU.

The match will take place on 11/27 in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

 [All Japan/NOAH] Tenryu on NOAH Halloween show
Brandon on 10/28/2002 @ 16:24 

If an interview with the media on 10/28, former Triple Crown champion, Genichiro Tenryu (52) wished Keiji Muto luck in his new position as president of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

But more surprisingly, he said that he would appear on NOAH's 10/31 "Halloween With NOAH" show. He said that he's going because he feels that all wrestlers should be represented on this show. However, like everyone else on the show, he will be appearing as another ring name, under a mask.

 [All Japan] Muto "seals" Triple Crown until Kawada returns
Brandon on 10/28/2002 @ 16:18 

President Keiji Muto (39) declared that his Triple Crown would be "sealed" or "frozen" until spring, meaning he will not defend the title until then. The reason for this is Muto wants to wait until the injured Toshiaki Kawada (39) returns to the ring, so Muto can defend the title against him before anyone else.

Muto said, "I want to keep it this way until Kawada comes back."

After all, Kawada never lost the title, as he was forced to vacate the Triple Crown last March.

 [New Japan] Chono`s plan to defeat Makai Club
Brandon on 10/28/2002 @ 13:03 

Masahiro Chono (39) announced on 10/28 that he has appointed Joanie Laurer, "world strategy ambassador," in New Japan's battle with the Makai Club.

He also announced that he would grant the Makai Club a title match for the IWGP Tag Team Title (which he and Hiroyoshi Tenzan hold), but that there will be a, "Makai Strongest Tag League" to determine the challenger.

Chono says that this will probably lead to in-fighting and weaken the Makai Club.

 [Tapes] Best of Puroresu 2002
Brandon on 10/28/2002 @ 00:18 
Volume 9 and Volume 10 are now available.

Volume 9
6/9 - Katsumi Usuda vs. Yuki Ishikawa
6/21 - AKIRA vs. Minoru Tanaka
6/23 - Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
7/4 - AKIRA/Koji Kanemoto vs. Jushin Thunder Liger/Minoru Tanaka
7/6 - Kaoru Ito vs. Manami Toyota

Volume 10
7/6 - NANA/MOMO vs. Takako Inoue/Rumi Kazama
7/8 - Hiroshi Tanahashi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi/Yuji Nagata
7/17 - Satoshi Kojima vs. Genichiro Tenryu

Both volumes can be purchased together on an LP for $10.

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Special
Brien on 10/28/2002 @ 00:06 
Ichiban Puroresu Special:
With the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals about a month away, I thought this would be a good time to start profiling the fighters for those of you who may not be too familiar with K-1...

 [New Japan] Notes from 10/27 Kobe World Hall show
Brandon on 10/27/2002 @ 18:04 

<> 10/27 <> Kobe World Hall <> 6,300 fans (sell-out)

Team New Japan defeated the Makai Club on 10/27 in the Kobe World Hall, evening the score in this three-series contest.

The Makai Club won the 5 vs. 5 series on 10/26. The final and deciding series will be held on 11/4 in Makuhari.

After winning the series for New Japan, Manabu Nakanishi once again challenged Yuji Nagata for a match for his IWGP Heavyweight Title. Nagata accepted.

New Japan vs. Makai; 5 vs. 5 single series
15-minutes l 1 fall each
-Ryushi Yanagisawa defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in 6:20 by KO with a right high kick. (1-0)
-Kenzo Suzuki defeated Makai #2 in 3:47 by pinfall. (1-1)
-Yuji Nagata defeated Makai #1 in 6:04 by disqualification (interference). (2-1)
-Tadao Yasuda defeated Takashi Iizuka in 6:31 with a Yanagisawa right high kick. (2-2)
-Manabu Nakanishi defeated Kazunari Murakami in 4:41 by pinfall after a Argentine backbreaker. (3-2)

In the main event of the show, Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan successfully defended their IWGP Tag Team Titles against Great Kabuki (who substituted for the injured GREAT MUTA) and for the first ever a woman: Joanie Laurer.

This is Chono and Tenzan's third successful defense of the title.

After the match, in the ring, Chono and Laurer shook hands. With that, Laurer as left the Foreign Army and joined the regular New Japan army.

Laurer said after, "I'm happy to join the best of the best." While Chono said, "We have no policy on wrestlers, whether man or woman or foreigner."

IWGP Tag Team Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
Masahiro Chono (victory) and Hiroyoshi Tenzan [12:40; STF] Great Kabuki (defeat) and Joanie Laurer

 [All Japan] Other notes; W-1 main event
Brandon on 10/27/2002 @ 17:48 

It was announced on 10/27 that the main event of the "WRESTLE-1" show in Yokohama Arena on 11/17 will be Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta.

<> 10/27 <> Tokyo Nippon Budokan <> 16,300 fans

In the Muta vs. Tenryu match in the Budokan on 10/27, Tenryu himself sprayed mist at Muta, also using the running neckbreaker drop and backdrop, in memory of Giant Baba and Jumbo Tsuruta, repspectively. Muta at one point, did a Shining Wizard off the shoulder of referee Kyohei Wada.

Muto, who wrestled with a blown knee, said after the match, "It was hard. It is becoming frightening to go in the ring... I don't know if I'm done fighting with Tenryu-san yet."

Of course, when Tenryu challenged for the Triple Crown on 4/13/02 in a decision match against Keiji Muto, Tenryu said that that would be his last challenge ever for the Triple Crown. So if Tenryu keeps his promise, we have seen the end of Tenryu's final Triple Crown reign.

Toshiaki Kawada, who is expected now to return next spring said as he had before, "All Japan has become a new system, however, I do not change. When I return, All Japan will be truly revived. Please wait a while for me."

Triple Crown
60-minutes l 1 fall
Great Muta (victory) [17:12; moonsault press] Genichiro Tenryu (defeat)

 [All Japan] World`s Strongest Tag League Lineup & 10/27 Note
Gerry on 10/27/2002 @ 09:30 

Genichiro Tenryu & John Tenta
Keiji Muto & X
Taiyo Kea & Satoshi Kojima
Mike Rotundo & Steve Williams
Arashi & Nobutaka Araya
Mike Awesome & PJ Friedman (Friedman is a Steve Williams trainee and apparently also has blue belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu awarded to him by Royler Gracie)
Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai
Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka (ZERO-ONE Team)

No sign of Bam Bam Bigelow, who was rumoured for the tournament. He could turn out as the X Muto is teaming with, but Tenryu/Bigelow was the rumoured team he was going to be in. Bigelow has had some disagreements with Japanese companies before (NJPW in 2001 over pay, never ended up in the G1 World tournament) so it is possible John Tenta was a last minute replacement.

Suprisingly Mike Barton & Jim Steele last year's NJPW G1 Tag Climax finalists are absent. Barton & Steele also made two challenges for the World Tag Team titles this year as well. The reason for their absence may be due to contractual reasons (getting every few tours off) or though this is just a theory, but since Barton & Steele made such a splash in NJPW as a outsider team, they may appear in ZERO-ONE if Hashimoto holds a tag league.

On 10/27 at the Nippon Budokan show after Kendo Ka Shin lost to Anges Mask, ZERO-ONE's Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Naohiro Hoshikawa attacked Ka Shin with Takaiwa powerbombing Ka Shin. Takaiwa vs. Ka Shin is expected to be the first ZERO-ONE vs. AJPW singles feud.

 [All Japan] 10/27 Nippon Budokan results
Brandon on 10/27/2002 @ 07:33 

Nippon Budokan
Drawing 16,300 (sell-out)

1. Masanobu Fuchi and Gran Hamada defeated Shigeo Okumura and Kazushi Miyamoto in 9:47 when Fuchi pinned Miyamoto with a backdrop.

2. Kaz Hayashi and Jimmy Yang defeated Gran Naniwa and Hideki Hosaka in 10:53 when Hayashi pinned Naniwa.

3. Steve Williams, Mike Rotundo and Johnny Smith defeated Yoji Anjo, Mitsuya Nagai and Takashi Hijikata in 12:29 when Williams pinned Hijikata with the homicide backdrop.

4. Mike Barton, Jim Steele and George Hines defeated Arashi, Nobutaka Araya and Nobukazu Hirai in 15:52 when Barton pinned Hirai with the tornado powerbomb.

-30th Anniversary Ceremony
--President Keiji Muto, former president Motoko Baba, Toshiaki Kawada, The Destroyer, Nick Bockwinkle and Gene Kiniski came to the ring and addressed the fans. Mrs. Baba was presented with flowers.
-Mrs. Baba said, "For 30 years, we are truly indebted to you, the fans of All Japan Pro Wrestling. Your support did not change and we were able to show Baba-san bright, pleasent pro wrestling."
-Muto said, "I'm Keiji Muto, who became president this October. The billboard of All Japan is very heavy now. This series was also very dangerous for me. I think that I'm going to be facing a lot of difficulties in the future. Please, I will need your support."
-Kawada said, "Thank you for your time. I think that when I return, that will be the true revival of All Japan. When I comeback, I will need your help and support." Kawada further commented in the back, "My condition is at about 70% right now, but I would be troubled if my leg was attacked. I need a little more time. I'm training my muscles now."

5. Terry Funk and Abdullah the Butcher defeated Tarzan Goto and Tomoaki Honma in 13:42 when Butcher pinned Honma after an elbow drop. ,

6. Agnes Mask defeated Kendo Kashin in 7:05 after the H50.

7. Satoshi Kojima defeated Hiroshi Hase in 20:41 after a lariat. ,
-After the match, Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka confronted Kojima, challenging him.

8. Triple Crown: Great Muta defeated Genichiro Tenryu in 17:12 with the moonsault to become new champion. , ,
-Muto said after that it was a hard match and that, "Going up to the ring is becoming fearful."
-Tenryu gave no comment.

 [ZERO-ONE] Two notes
Brandon on 10/26/2002 @ 23:14 

After they were unable to get a match on All Japan's 10/27 Nippon Budokan card, Shinjiro Otani told the press that he and Masato Tanaka would invade the Budokan tonight. They will also try to enter All Japan's "World's Strongest Tag League," which begins this November.

<> 10/26 <> Osaka Prefectural Seasside Sports Center <> 3000 fans

Naoya Ogawa and Shinya Hashimoto made the "Sky Scrapers" NWA Interncontinental Tag Team Title reign a short one, defeating them for the titles on 10/26 in Osaka.

NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title Match
60-minutes l 1 fall
Naoya Ogawa (victory), Shinya Hashimoto [10:32; pinfall] John Heindrich (defeat), Nathan Jones

 [New Japan] 10/26 Fukuoka results
Brandon on 10/26/2002 @ 08:45 

Fukuoka International Center
Drawing 6,000 ("super" sell-out)
Airing live on SkyPerfectTV! pay-per-view for 2,000 yen (about $15) per view

1. Jack the Bull defeated Toru Yano in 1:49 with the Jack Buster.

2. Shiro Koshinaka, Wataru Inoue and El Samurai defeated Jado, Gedo and Hiro Saito in 7:21 when Koshinaka pinned Gedo with a powerbomb.

3. Scott Norton defeated Blue Wolf in 4:37 with a powerbomb.

4. Shinya Makabe and Minoru Fujita defeated Masahito Kakihara and Masayuki Naruse in 3:58 when Makabe pinned Kakihara after a lariat.

5. Junior Triathlon Survivor: Tiger Mask, Heat and Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Ricky Reyes, Rocky Romero and American Dragon 2-1.
-Singles match: Heat defeated American Dragon in 5:19 with a fisherman buster. (1-0)
-Tag match: Rocky Romero and Ricky Reyes defeated Tiger Mask and Jushin Thunder Liger in 10:30 when Romero pinned Tiger Mask with a hurricanrana. (1-1)
-Six-man tag match: Tiger Mask, Heat and Jushin Thunder defeated Rocky Romero, Ricky Reyes and American Dragon in 15:00 when Tiger Mask pinned Romero with the tiger suplex hold. (2-1)

6. Kenzo Suzuki and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated GREAT MUTA and Joanie Laurer in 4:52 when MUTA was counted out of the ring.
-Great Kabuki once again accompained MUTA.
-MUTA apparently injured his knee, causing the countout. Laurer said after the match that she would decide who her partner for the IWGP Tag Team Title match would be tomorrow.

7. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Koji Kanemoto defeated Bas Rutten in 10:11 with an ankle hold. ,
-Kanemoto's third successful title defense.
-Kanemoto thanked Naruse after the match and said about Rutten, "Rutten is strong... I did not think he was that strong." And when asked about who he would like to face next, he nominated NOAH's Yoshinobu Kanemaru.

8. 5 vs. 5 Elimination Series: Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami, Ryushi Yanagisawa, Makai #1 and Makai #2 defeated Takashi Iizuka, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, Osamu Nishimura and Yutaka Yoshie in 22:48.
Round 1: Iizuka defeated Makai #2 in 1:02 with a rear naked choke. (1-0)
Round 2: Makai #1 defeated Iizuka in 3:40 by submission. (1-1)
Round 3: Nakanishi defeated Makai #1 in 2:27 with an Argentine backbreaker. (2-1)
Round 4: Yanagisawa defeated Nakanishi in 3:56 with a high kick. (2-2)
Round 5: Tenzan defeated Yanagisawa in 1:47 with the TTD by pinfall. (3-2)
Round 6: Yasuda defeated Tenzan in 4:04 with a front naked choke. (3-3)
Round 7: Yasuda defeated Yoshie in 3:25 by pinfall. (4-3)
Round 8: Nishimura defeated Yasuda in 2:54 with a cobra twist. (4-4)
Round 9: Murakami defeated Nishimura in 0:33 with a rear naked choke. (5-4)
-Nakanishi said after the match that New Japan was not defeated and that the Makai Club's win today was a "dirty" victory.
-Tenzan said, "They will all be crushed!"

9. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Yuji Nagata drew Masahiro Chono when time-limit expired at 60:00. , , ,
-Nagata's fifth defense of the title.
-This is the first singles match to go to a one-hour draw in New Japan since Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami's draw on 8/8/88.
-After the match, Tadao Yasuda and President Hoshino came to the ring to challenge Nagata. Nakanishi entered the ring, because he wants to be the next challenger, and another New Japan/Makai confrontation ensued.
-Nagata said after the match, "I was not able to win today, but I am happy to have had this experience. I want to become the driving force that moves New Japan," and that he expects Manabu Nakanishi will be his next challenger.

 [New Japan] Kanemoto comments on Rutten
Brandon on 10/25/2002 @ 18:33 

Going into his match with Bas Rutten on 10/26 in Fukuoka, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Koji Kanemoto commented, "Rutten cannot come into pro wrestling, where I have cultivated. I will tidy up within 10 minutes."

 [New Japan] Chono delcares title monopoly
Brandon on 10/25/2002 @ 18:25 

Masahiro Chono (39) declared that he will begin a monopoly of all titles in Japan after he defeats Yuji Nagata on 10/26 in Fukuoka. After he wins the IWGP Heavyweight Title, Chono says he wants to next go after the Triple Crown.

Chono also said that he wants to have a dream card involving Keiji Muto, Mitsuharu Misawa, Shinya Hashimoto, and fighters from PRIDE and K-1.

Chono told the media, "Promotions have been restricted from each other until now. Not only other Japanese wrestlers, but foreign fighters, and fighters from PRIDE and K-1 will be allowed to come up to the New Japan ring."

 [Zenjo] Willow Miyuki passes away
Brandon on 10/25/2002 @ 13:56 

It was announced on 10/25 that one of Zenjo's original wrestlers and Hall of Famer, Willow Miyuki (real name Katsue Yagishita) passed away on 10/19 at age 64.

She was a former WWWA World Tag Team Champion and served as fan club director and referee after her retirement.

 [All Japan] Muto to use moonsault
Brandon on 10/25/2002 @ 13:49 

Keiji Muto (39) said that he will hold back nothing in his Triple Crown match with Genichiro Tenryu (52) on 10/27 in Nippon Budokan. With a blown out knee, Muto says that he will not hesitate to use the handspring elbow or the moonsault against Tenryu.

 [New Japan] BS-Asahi listings
Brandon on 10/25/2002 @ 07:56 

BS-Asahi recently revealed their November TV listings for New Japan's "World Pro Wrestling" TV show. The Tokyo Dome show will be airing in two parts as usual.

Air Date --- Tape Date
10/26 ----- 10/14 - Tokyo Dome (Part 1)
11/02 ----- 10/14 - Tokyo Dome (Part 2)
11/09 ----- 11/09 - New Japan vs. Foreign Army Special
11/16 ----- 10/26 - Fukuoka International Center (also on PPV)
11/23 ----- 10/27 - Kobe World Hall
11/30 ----- 11/04 - Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall

 [New Japan] Nagata nominates Nakanishi after Chono
Brandon on 10/24/2002 @ 12:57 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata (34) said that if he defeats Masahiro Chono (39) on 10/26 in Fukuoka, he would next like to defend the title against his "sworn friend," Manabu Nakanishi (35).

 [All Japan] Muta vs. Tenryu back on
Brandon on 10/24/2002 @ 12:41 

After his match on 10/23, Muto said that he had had his knee X-rayed, after seeing the X-ray, he has decided to go back on with challenging Genichiro Tenryu for the Triple Crown on 10/27 in the Nippon Budokan.

Muto has also requested Tenryu to be his tag team partner for the "World's Strongest Tag" League, which starts in November. Tenryu has responded to this, sharply rejecting Muto's offer.

The rest of the 10/27 card is as follows:

1. Masanobu Fuchi/Gran Hamada vs. Shigeo Okumura/Kazushi Miyamoto
2. Kaz Hayashi/Jimmy Yang vs. Hideki Hosaka/Gran Naniwa
3. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai/Takashi Hijikata vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo/Johnny Smith
4. Arashi/Nobutaka Araya/Nobukazu Hirai vs. Mike Barton/Jim Steele/George Hines
5. Terry Funk/Abdullah the Butcher vs. Tomoaki Honma/Tarzan Goto
6. Agnes Mask vs. Kendo Ka Shin
7. Hiroshi Hase vs. Satoshi Kojima
8. Triple Crown: Great Muta vs. Genichiro Tenryu

The card will also include participation from ZERO-ONE's Masato Tanaka and Shinjiro Otani.

 [New Japan] Nagata/Chono signing
Brandon on 10/24/2002 @ 12:38 

At the contract signing ceremony for the IWGP Heavyweight Title match between champion, Yuji Nagata and challenger, Masahiro Chono for their match on 10/26 in Fukuoka, Chono said that if Nagata wins, he will be made "general" of "overseas" matters between foreign groups and New Japan.

 [PRIDE] Yoshida vs. Frye
Brandon on 10/24/2002 @ 12:35 

Another fight was announced for PRIDE 23 (11/24, Tokyo Dome): Don Frye vs. Hidehiko Yoshida. The rules for the match will be under normal PRIDE rules.

 [All Japan/ZERO-ONE] Muto asks for Hashimoto`s help
Brandon on 10/23/2002 @ 12:46 

On 10/23 after his match in Fukushima, Keiji Muto (39) asked for the participation of Shinya Hashimoto for the 11/17 "WRESTLE-1" show.

Muto feels that in his condition, he won't be able to have a proper singles match and is asking for Hashimoto to take his place in this.

 [All Japan] Kawada appearance on 10/27
Brandon on 10/22/2002 @ 16:27 

Toshiaki Kawada is continuing to train towards a return to the ring, though, he will not wrestle on the 10/27 show in the Nippon Budokan, he will publicly address the fans at the show.

 [NOAH] Kobashi aims at GHC Title in 2003
Brandon on 10/22/2002 @ 12:46 

In an interview on 10/22, Kenta Kobashi (35) said that he will aim at winning the GHC Heavyweight Title in 2003.

Kobashi, who failed with Kentaro Shiga, to win the GHC Tag Team Title said, "My next challenge will not go wrong by any means.

Kobashi's other intention is for a singles match with GHC Heavyweight Champion, Mitsuharu Misawa (40), which has yet to be realized since the birth of the NOAH promotion in August 2000.

 [PRIDE] Takada vs. Tamura official
Brandon on 10/22/2002 @ 12:33 

Nobuhiko Takada's opponent for PRIDE 23 in his retirement match on 11/24 in the Tokyo Dome was finally officially announced as Kiyoshi Tamura.

 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 21:32 
Scout Report:
This is a 14-fight tape spanning just under six hours and covering Pride's six events of 2000. I start with Sakuraba's three fights against Gracies that really made this year his.

 [Content] This Week in Puroresu
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 21:31 

-What I watched this week
--ZERO-ONE 8/4/02
--T2P 8/11/02
-Nagata defeats Fujita
-Momoe wins WWWA World Singles Title

 [New Japan] Fujinami offers Sapp a match for 1/4
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 20:51 

On 10/21, New Japan President Tatsumi Fujinami offered the idea of Bob Sapp fighting a four men in the same night at the Tokyo Dome show on 1/4/03.

The four Fujinami has in mind are Yutaka Yoshie, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenzo Suzuki and Blue Wolf.

I would doubt this will happen, though.

 [NOAH] Takayama plans to return before year-end
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 20:47 

After suffering a dislocated shoulder against Mitsuharu Misawa a month ago on 9/23, Yoshihiro Takayama (36) is aiming at returning to the ring in November or December.

Takayama will begin training again in a few days.

 [ZERO-ONE] Matt Ghaffari to participate next year
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 20:44 

Matt Ghaffari (40), who lost to Naoya Ogawa on 8/8 at UFO's "Legend" show in the Tokyo Dome will have a chance to get his revenge.

The 1996 Olympic Greco-Roman silver medalist will appear in ZERO-ONE in the beginning of 2003.

Hopefully he'll lose some weight before then.

 [New Japan] Notes from 10/21 show; Makai #3 debuts; Yano gets first pin
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 20:31 

<> 10/21 <> Yamaguchi Strait Messe Shimonoseki <> 2000 fans

President Hoshino's Makai #3 debut on 10/21 in Yamaguchi, taking the place for the injured Ryushi Yanagisawa. Apparently it was obviously that the identity of Makai #3 is the GREAT MUTA.

Hoshino said after the match that the Makai Club would declare "IWGP monopoly," that they would win all the titles in New Japan.

Hoshino also said that Makai #4 and #5 would also make their debuts.

30-minutes l 1 fall
Makai #3 (victory), Makai #2, Makai #1, Tadao Yasuda [9:26; pinfall] Blue Wolf (defeat), Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenzo Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka

After his 36th singles match, Toru Yano scored the first pinfall of his career on 10/21, pinning fellow young lion, Naofumi Yamamoto.

15 minutes l 1 fall
Toru Yano (victory) [4:59; front suplex; pinfall] Naofumi Yamamoto (defeat)

IWGP Tag Team Champion, Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated their rivals, Osamu Nishimura and Manabu Nakanishi on 10/22, managing to stay within the time-limit, unlike their two previous matches.

On 4/26, the two teams had fought to a 30-minute draw, then drew to a 5-minute extention. Then on 6/5, they battled to the first 60-minute draw in New Japan since 1988.

30-minutes l 1 fall
Hiroyoshi Tenzan (victory), Masahiro Chono [18:55; pinfall] Osamu Nishimura (defeat), Manabu Nakanishi

 [All Japan] Muto out; Kojima in
Brandon on 10/21/2002 @ 15:10 

Although Keiji Muto (39) said that he would fight Genichiro Tenryu on 10/27 despite injuries, Muto has cancelled his appearance for the Nippon Budokan show.

However, Tenryu will still defend the Triple Crown on 10/27. It has been decided that Satoshi Kojima (32) will challenge him for the second consecutive time.

Tenryu defeated Kojima in an exciting match on 7/17 earlier this year in the Osaka Prefectural Gym.

 [All Japan] Another Muto update
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 18:59 

While Keiji Muto does plan to challenge Genichiro Tenryu for the Triple Crown on 10/27 and wrestle on 11/17 at the W-1 show, it now appears that Muto plans to eventually have surgery to get an artificial knee joint.

Meanwhile, Shinya Hashimoto has offered to deal with All Japan if Muto cannot appear on shows and they need other wrestlers to help out.

ZERO-ONE and All Japan have already agreed to exchange talent, as Kendo Ka Shin and Kaz Hayashi will take on Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Kaz Hayashi on 10/26 at ZERO-ONE's show in Osaka.

 [ZERO-ONE] Ka Shin and Hayashi on 10/26 show
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 17:30 

Because of the currently injured Tatsuhito Takaiwa's claims that he will win all three of Japan's major junior heavyweight titles (IWGP, GHC and PWF World), Kendo Ka Shin and Kaz Hayashi are expected to tag together on ZERO-ONE's show in Osaka in 10/26.

 [ZERO-ONE] Tanaka and Otani lose titles
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 17:16 

<> 10/20 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1,800 fans (sell-out)

Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka lost their NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Titles on 10/20 in the Korakuen Hall to Nathan Jones and John Heidenreich.

Jones and Heidenreich are going by the "Skyscrapers" tag team name.

However, Otani said after the match that he and Tanaka will now look to fight Taiyo Kea and Satoshi Kojima, and GHC Tag Team Champions, Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama before the year is over.

NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
Nathan Jones and John Heidenreich (victory) [11:19] Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka (defeat)

 [All Japan] Muto update
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 16:58 

<> 10/20 <> Sendai Miyagi Sports Center <> 3,100 fans

Keiji Muto, who blew out his knee yesterday in Niigata, actually did wrestle on 10/20 in Sendai. However, Muto did not fight in the ring more than one full minute, in his eight-man tag match.

Probably for that reason, the WAR vs. Muto eight-man tag match was only the semi-main event. This left Satoshi Kojima and Arashi to main event the show in a singles match, where Kojima won in 18:32.

Muto said that he was able to move his knee better than he expected. Although he's injured, he still plans to appear on the 10/27 Nippon Budokan card against Genichiro Tenryu for the Triple Crown, and plans to wrestle on the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17.

One other All Japan note: pro wrestling legends, Gene Kiniski and Nick Bockwinkle have both arrived in Japan. They will participate in some kind of ceremony on 10/27 in the Nippon Budokan to commemorate All Japan's 30th anniversary.

60-minutes l 1 fall
Hideki Hosaka, Nobutaka Araya, Abdullah the Butcher (victory) and Genichiro Tenryu [16:39; elbow drop] Tomoaki Honma (defeat), Terry Funk, Taiyo Kea, Keiji Muto

 [PRIDE] Takada`s opponent undecided
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 16:47 

President Morishita gave an interview on 10/20, saying that Nobuhiko Takada's opponent for his retirement match at PRIDE 23 on 11/24 in the Tokyo Dome is not decided after all. Morishita said that Takada's opponent is "still being determined," and that there will be announcement about the card on 10/22.

It was originally expected that Takada would fight Kiyoshi Tamura.

In other PRIDE news, Bob Sapp has said that he wants to be on the PRIDE 23 card. Sapp is also expected to wrestle on the "WRESTLE-1" show in Yokohama just seven days before (11/17). Then he will also compete in K-1's Grand Prix on 12/7.

 [GAEA] 10/20 Kawasaki results
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 08:27 

Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium

1. Carlos Amano defeated Tomoko Miyaguchi in 13:44 by pinfall.

2. Dynamite Kansai and Toshiyo Yamada defeated Devil Masami and Toshie Uematsu when Yamada submitted Uematsu.

3. Police defeated Hirota Sakura in 10:05 by pinfall.

4. Sugar Sato defeated Aja Kong in 16:54 by pinfall.

5. Chigusa Nagayo and Lioness Asuka defeated Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita in 16:50 when Asuka pinned Mita.

6. Special ZERO-ONE match: The Predator and Leonardo Spanky defeated Steve Corino in 13:05 and Low Ki when Predator pinned Corino after the king kong knee drop.

7. AAAW Tag Team Title: Meiko Satomura and Ayako Hamada defeated Mayumi Ozaki and KAORU in 23:08 when Satomura pinned KAORU to become new champions.

8. AAAW Singles Title: Manami Toyota defeated Chikayo Nagashima in 21:29 with a Japanese Ocean Queen Bee Bomb to become new champion.

 [Zenjo] 10/20 Kawasaki results
Brandon on 10/20/2002 @ 08:13 

Kawasaki Gymnasium

1. Blizzard Yuki II (Mika Nishio) defeated Miyuki Fujii in 14:19

2. Junior Generation Tag League: Takase and Kaori Yoneyama defeated Saki Maemura and MARU in 14:30 when Yoneyama pinned Maemura.

3. All Pacific Title Determination: noki-A defeated Tsubasa Kuragaki in 13:18 with a cross armbar.

4. All Pacific Title Determination: Kayo Noumi defeated Fang Suzuki in 16:34 with a cross armbar.

5. Eagle Sawai defeated Nanae Takahashi in 14:40 by pinfall.

6. Yumiko Hotta defeated (Fake) Aja Kong in 4:46 with a rear naked choke.

7. Tag League: Kumiko Maekawa and Genki Misae defeated Takako Inoue and Tomoko Watanabe in 16:00 when Misae pinned Inoue.

8. All Pacific Title: noki-A defeated Kayo Noumi in 17:48 by pinfall to become new champion.

9. WWWA World Singles Title: Momoe Nakanishi defeated Kaoru Ito in 22:56 with an inverted momo+racci to become new champion.

 [New Japan] Norton betrays T2000 for Foreign Army
Brandon on 10/19/2002 @ 20:30 

<> 10/19 <> Nagasaki Prefectural Gymnasium <> 2500 fans

Scott Norton (41) betrayed New Japan and Masahiro Chono's Team 2000 on 10/19 in Nagasaki to join the other foreigners of the LA Dojo and the Foreign Army.

Norton attacked Chono, stomping, then powerbombing him.

Chono was pinned by Yanagisawa, putting the end to a short match.

Makai #3 did not appear as President Hoshino said he would. Hoshino commented after, saying that they did not need him today.

30 minutes l 1 fall
Makai #1, Ryushi Yangisawa (victory), Tadao Yasuda [5:21; pinfall] Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masahiro Chono

 [NOAH] Akiyama and Saito defend GHC Tag Team Title, other notes from Nagoya
Brandon on 10/19/2002 @ 20:19 

<> 10/19 <> Nagoya Aichi Gymnasium <> 4600 fans

Jun Akiyama (33) and Akitoshi Saito (37) successfully defended the GHC Tag Team Titles against Kenta Kobashi and Kentaro Shiga on 10/19 in Nagoya

Akiyama pinned Shiga after using the Exploder '98 and a new move, called the "Sterness Dust Alpha."

This is Akiyama and Saito's first defense of the title.

GHC Tag Team Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama (Champion team) (victory) [31:11; pinfall] Kentaro Shiga (defeat) and Kenta Kobashi (Challenger team)

Also, after his match on 10/19, Mitsuharu Misawa said that he would like the first challenger for his GHC Heavyweight Title to be former champion Yoshinari Ogawa.

In his second defense of the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title, Yoshinobu Kanemaru defended the title against his tag team partner, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, defeating him in 16:53.

GHC Junior Heavyweight Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Champion; victory) [16:53; pinfall] Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (Challenger; defeat)

 [All Japan] Kojima defends MLW Heavyweight Title
Brandon on 10/19/2002 @ 20:11 

Satoshi Kojima (31) successfully defended the MLW Heavyweight Title against Mitsuya Nagai (33) after a 24-minute battle in Niigata on 10/20.

Kojima said after the match that he wants to also defend the title on the 11/17 "WRESTLE-1" show.

MLW Heavyweight Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
Satoshi Kojima (Champion; victory) [24:15; lariat] Mitsuya Nagai (Challenger; defeat)

 [All Japan] Muto injured; Muta vs. Tenryu apparently cancelled
Brandon on 10/19/2002 @ 20:04 

<> 10/19 <> Niigata Gymnasium <> 3200 fans

Keiji Muto (39) suffered even more damage to his right knee on 10/20. It is being assumed that he has suffered ligament damage to the inside of his right knee, however, the details of the injury are not yet known, but there is a very good chance that this will keep Muto out of action long-term.

The injury occured when Muto was doing the handspring/rolling elbow.

The scheduled Triple Crown match for 10/27 in the Nippon Budokan between Genichiro Tenryu and the Great Muta is now all but officially off. All Japan will likely announce a new opponent for Tenryu or come up with a new main event in the coming days.

Muto appearance at the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17 is also unlikey.

60-minutes l 1 fall
Nobutaka Araya, Abdullah the Butcher (victory), Genichiro Tenryu [31:11; pinfall] Masanobu Fuchi (defeat), Terry Funk, Keiji Muto

 [Takayama] Everyone wants to fight Sapp
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 21:10 

Add Yoshihiro Takayama to the list.

While resting his injured body as a result of his GHC Heavyweight Title match with Mitsuharu Misawa on 9/23, Yoshihiro Takayama said that he would like to have a match with the man who took his place to fight Manabu Nakanishi on the 10/14 Tokyo Dome show: Bob Sapp.

Takayama said that it will first be his goal to return on 1/4/03 for the Tokyo Dome show, where he will fight Tsuyoshi Kosaka for the NWF Heavyweight Title. But he said he wants to have a match with Sapp some time next spring.

 [ZERO-ONE/All Japan] Otani interested in Kojima and Kea
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 21:06 

Apparently NOAH President, Mitsuharu Misawa has approved of the possibility of a GHC Tag Team Title match between Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka and champions Jun Akiyama and Akitoshi Saito. However, Otani said that he was also interested in having a tag match with All Japan's Satoshi Kojima and Taiyo Kea.

 [PRIDE] Takada vs. Tamura decided
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 21:02 

It was decided on 10/17 that Nobuhiko Takada's (40) opponent for his retirement match on 11/24 at PRIDE 23 in the Tokyo Dome would be Kiyoshi Tamura (32).

A formal announcement will be made on 10/18.

 [NOAH] Kobashi uses Diamondhead
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 20:58 

<> 10/17 <> Higashi-ku, Hiroshima-shi Sports Center <> 2400 fans

Kenta Kobashi finally used the Diamondhead move that he had been talking about for a long time. He used it on Yoshinobu Kanemaru, then finished him with a lariat.

Kanemaru had to be taken out on a stretcher.

Kobashi and Kentaro Shiga will challenge Jun Akiyama and Akitoshi Saito for the GHC Tag Team Title on 10/19 in Nagoya.

60-minutes l 1 fall
Kentaro Shiga and Kenta Kobashi (victory) [16:28; pinfall] Yoshinobu Kanemaru (defeat) and Jun Akiyama

 [DSE] "The Best": Vol 3 card
Brien on 10/17/2002 @ 13:18 
Dream Stage is holding another "The Best" card on Sunday, the 20th of October, and it is basically split into 2 parts. The first part is being "produced" by Yuji Shimada and has the theme of "Asain Fight Sport Championships", the 2nd part is being produced by "Booker K" Kawasaka and has the theme of "KOTC vs The Best"(or at least that was the idea, the reality is a bit different).

The Complete Card:
Freshman Fights
1. Shinichio Takamura vs Togo
2. Yutaro Miyamoto vs Yoshinori Oniki
3. Akira Nitagai vs Kyosuke Sasaki
Asian Fight Sport Championships
1. Giant Ochai(Japan) vs Kim Jong Wang(South Korea)
2. Xu Do Won(Myanmar) vs Aji Susilo(Indonesia)
3. Yusuke Imamura(Japan) vs Han Ten Yun(South Korea)
4. Anglo-Saxon Oba(Japan) vs Kestutis Smirnovas(Lithuania, hey if Denmark can be part of Japan, Lithuania can be part of Asia!)
KOTC vs The Best
5. Yushin Okami vs Steve White
6. Eiji Mitsuoka vs Scott Bills
7. Yuji Hisamatsu vs Demetrius Gioulacos
8. Daijiro Matsui vs Rory Singer


 [MMA] UFC 40-partial lineup
Brien on 10/17/2002 @ 12:47 

The lineup so far for UFC 40 on 11/22:

UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Tito Ortiz(c) vs Ken Shamrock
UFC Welterweight Championship
Matt Hughes vs Gil Castillo
UFC Light Heavyweight #1 Contenders Match
Chuck Liddell vs Ranato "Babalu" Sobral


 [New Japan] Chono promises to win title and defeat Sapp
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 12:29 

Masahiro Chono (39) said that he plans to both win the IWGP Heavyweight Title (which he challenges Yuji Nagata for on 10/26) and defeat Bob Sapp (29) by the 1/4/03 Tokyo Dome show.

 [ZERO-ONE] ZERO-ONE/NWA-TNA interpromotional show
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 12:27 

It became clear on 10/17 that ZERO-ONE would do an interpromotional show with NWA-TNA on 12/15 in Tokyo.

No word of any scheduled matches yet.

 [New Japan] Fighting Spirit series cards
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 04:34 

Nagasaki Prefectural Gymnasium
1. Wataru Inoue vs. Naofumi Yamamoto
2. Tiger Mask/Masahito Kakihara/El Samurai vs. Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero/American Dragon
3. Osamu Nishimura/Shiro Koshinaka vs. Toru Yano/Takashi Iizuka
4. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kenzo Suzuki vs. Tatsutoshi Goto/Hiro Saito
5. Masayuki Naruse/Heat/Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Jado/Gedo/Koji Kanemoto
6. Blue Wolf/Yutaka Yoshie vs. Jack The Bull/Scott Norton
7. Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Masahiro Chono vs. Makai #1/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda

Beppu Beacon Plaza
1. Toru Yano vs. Makai #2
2. Tiger Mask/Masayuki Naruse vs. Gedo/Koji Kanemoto
3. Masahito Kakihara/Heat/Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero/American Dragon
4. Takashi Iizuka/Shiro Koshinaka vs. Tatsutoshi Goto/Hiro Saito
5. Wataru Inoue vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa
6. Blue Wolf/Yutaka Yoshie vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kenzo Suzuki
7. Osamu Nishimura/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Jack The Bull/Scott Norton
8. Manabu Nakanishi/Masahiro Chono vs. Makai #1/Tadao Yasuda

Strait Messe Shimonoseki
1. Toru Yano vs. Naofumi Yamamoto
2. Tiger Mask/El Samurai vs. Masayuki Naruse/Masahito Kakihara
3. Wataru Inoue vs. Tatsutoshi Goto
4. Jado/Gedo/Koji Kanemoto vs. Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero/American Dragon
5. Heat/Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Diablo/Azteca
6. Yutaka Yoshie/Shiro Koshinaka vs. Jack The Bull/Scott Norton
7. Blue Wolf/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kenzo Suzuki/Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #1/Makai #2/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda
8. Osamu Nishimura/Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Masahiro Chono

There are a couple interesting matches for 10/21. Toru Yano vs. Naofumi Yamamoto, where Yano will likely get his first win. And also another Chono/Tenzan vs. Nishimura/Nakanishi under a 30-minute time-limit. However, the 10/21 card has not been announced as any kind of TV taping yet.

Munakata Yurikkusu Event Hall
1. Blue Wolf vs. Wataru Inoue
2. Masayuki Naruse/Masahito Kakihara/Heat vs. Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero/American Dragon
3. Osamu Nishimura vs. Hiro Saito
4. Tatsutoshi Goto/Shiro Koshinaka vs. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi
5. Tiger Mask/El Samurai/Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Jado/Gedo/Koji Kanemoto
6. Toru Yano/Yutaka Yoshie/Manabu Nakanishi/Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #1/Makai #2/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda
-Toru Yano's first semi-main event
7. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Masahiro Chono vs. Jack The Bull/Scott Norton

Kagoshima Arena
1. Tiger Mask/Jushin Thunder Liger/Yuji Nagata vs. Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero/Scot Norton
2. Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #2
3. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kenzo Suzuki/Masahiro Chono vs. Makai #1/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda

Koshi-Cho Synthesis Gymnasium
1. Toru Yano vs. Tadao Yasuda
2. Masayuki Naruse/Yutaka Yoshie/Manabu Nakanishi vs. Makai #1/Makai #2/Ryushi Yanagisawa
3. Heat/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Yuji Nagata vs. Koji Kanemoto/Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Masahiro Chono

10/26/02 (PPV)
Fukuoka International Center
1. Junior Triathlon Survivor Tournament: Jushin Thunder Liger/Heat/Tiger Mask vs. American Dragon/Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero
2. Koji Kanemoto vs. Bas Rutten
3. Masahito Kakihara/Masayuki Naruse vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
4. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Joanie Laurer/Great Muta
5. New Japan vs. Makai / 5 vs. 5: 1st match / SKYPerfectTV! Cup: Kensuke Sasaki/Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Osamu Nishimura/Wrestler to be named vs. Tadao Yasuda/Kazunari Murakami/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1/Makai #2
6. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Yuji Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono

Kobe World Hall
1. Junior Triathlon Survivor Tournament: El Samurai/Masahito Kakihara/Masayuki Naruse vs. Koji Kanemoto/Jado/Gedo
2. Yutaka Yoshie/Blue Wolf vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
3. Osamu Nishimura vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
4. New Japan vs. Makai / 5 vs. 5 singles: 2nd match: Yuji Nagata/Manabu Nakanishi/Kensuke Sasaki/Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tadao Yasuda/Kazunari Murakami/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1/Makai #2
-Specific singles matches will be determined in a lottery on the day of the event.
5. Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Joanie Laurer/Great Muta

Tsuyama Synthesis Gymnasium
1. Shiro Koshinaka/Masahiro Chono vs. Jack The Bull/Scott Norton
2. Yutaka Yoshie/Osamu Nishimura/Manabu Nakanishi/Yuji Nagata vs. Makai #1/Makai #2/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda

Tottori Industrial Gymnasium
1. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Yuji Nagata vs. Makai #1/Makai #2
2. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Masahiro Chono vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda

Fukui Gymnasium
1. Toru Yano/Blue Wolf/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kenzo Suzuki vs. Makai #1/Makai #2/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda
2. Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yutaka Yoshie/Osamu Nishimura
3. Heat/Yuji Nagata vs. American Dragon/Jack The Bull

Iida Worker Gymnastics Center
1. Jushin Thunder Liger/Yuji Nagata vs. American Dragon/Scott Norton
2. Osamu Nishimura/Manabu Nakanishi/Takashi Iizuka/Masahiro Chono vs. Makai #1/Makai #2/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Tadao Yasuda

11/4/02 (TV-Asahi taping)
Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall
1. Tatsutoshi Goto/Hiro Saito vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
2. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Scott Norton/Jack the Bull
3. Junior Triathlon Survivor Tournament Finals: Winning team on 10/26 vs. Winning team on 10/27
4. New Japan vs. Makai / 5 vs. 5: 3rd match; Final match: Masahiro Chono/Yuji Nagata/Kensuke Sasaki/Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tadao Yasuda/Kazunari Murakami/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1/Makai #2

The good news is, Joanie Laurer only appears to have two bookings the series (10/26, 10/27).

 [New Japan] Hoshino appoints Makai #3
Brandon on 10/17/2002 @ 03:54 

President Kantaro Hoshino announced that there would be a third masked fighter for the Makai club, "Makai #3."

Hoshino said he would not reveal the identity of who Makai #3 would be, but that he will make his first appearance in Nagasaki in the opening to New Japan's Fighting Spirit Series on 10/19.

 [Zenjo] Momoe interviewed
Brandon on 10/16/2002 @ 13:04 

Momoe Nakanishi (22), who will challenge Kaoru Ito for the WWWA World Singles Title on 10/20 in Kawasaki, was interviewed by Nikkan Sports on 10/16.

She said she wants to change her image, to be more focused on winning, going into to the second "big red belt" challenge in her career.

 [New Japan] Nagata hopes to defend against Sapp
Brandon on 10/16/2002 @ 13:00 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata (34) appeared on Samurai TV on 10/16, where he said that he would like to defend the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Bob Sapp sometime in the future. He said, "I want to have a match with Sapp and prove I'm different than Nakanishi."

First, though, Nagata will defend the title against Masahiro Chono on 10/26 in Fukuoka.

 [All Japan] Sapp on WRESTLE-1 show
Brandon on 10/16/2002 @ 12:58 

It was announced on 10/16 that Bob Sapp (29) would be on the 11/17 "WRESTLE-1" card in Yokohama.

His opponent will likely be Keiji Muto as the Great Muta.

 [New Japan] Chono declares autocracy
Brandon on 10/16/2002 @ 12:54 

Masahiro Chono (39) declared on 10/15 that he would like to gain full control of New Japan, forcing out Antonio Inoki.

He said that he wants to fully exclude Inoki and his Foreign Army from New Japan.

On Joanie Laurer, who he defeated on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome he said, "Laurer is probably a man."

 [ZERO-ONE/All Japan] Takaiwa declares he will win World Junior Title
Brandon on 10/15/2002 @ 12:39 

While currently out of action because of a right knee injury, Tatsuhito Takaiwa (30) declared he would win All Japan's PWF World Junior Heavyweight Title, currently held by Kendo Ka Shin. Takaiwa said that he also wants to win the IWGP and GHC Junior Heavyweight Titles, but that he would win the World Junior Title first.

Ka Shin will defend his PWF World Junior Heavyweight Title against Jimmy Yang on 10/19 in Niigata.

 [All Japan] Muto army defeats WAR
Brandon on 10/14/2002 @ 20:52 

<> 10/14 <> Nagoya Aichi Gymnasium <> 6,000 fans

All Japan had their own singles series in Nagoya on 10/14, between Keiji Muto's army and Genichiro Tenryu's WAR army. Muto's team won 3-2, though, Tenryu defeated Muto in the final match.

Muto Army vs. WAR l Five-Match Series
-Kaz Hayashi defeated Nobukazu Hirai in 10:25 by pinfall. (1-0)
-Hiroshi Hase defeated Nobutaka Araya in 9:32 by pinfall (2-0)
-Steve Williams defeated George Hines in 10:03 by pinfall. (2-1)
-Satoshi Kojima defeated Arashi in 16:17 by pinfall. (3-1; Muto Army clinch series)
-Genichiro Tenryu defeated Keiji Muto in 16:36 after a brainbuster. (3-2)

Just before the bell in the Tenryu/Muto match, Tenryu attacked Muto with Giant Baba's trademark move, the running neckbreaker drop. Then at about the 15-minute mark, Tenryu used Jumbo Tsuruta's backdrop move.

This is Tenryu doing a kind of throwback gimmick, going into the 30th anniversary show, where he will defend the Triple Crown against Muto as the Great Muta incarnation.

 [New Japan] "THE SPIRAL" 10/14 Tokyo Dome results
Brandon on 10/13/2002 @ 22:12 

Tokyo Dome
Drawing 50,000 (sell-out)

Take what you want from the attendance claim. It's probably not accurate.

The first three matches were special "present" matches added to the card, which were not announced beforehand. This is something special for New Japan's 30th anniversary.

Present 1. Blue Wolf defeated Toru Yano in 5:59 after the Monglion slam.

Present 2. Jado and Gedo defeated El Samurai and Wataru Inoue when Gedo pinned El Samurai in 11:33 with the Super Fly.

Present 3. Hiro Saito and Tatsuhito Goto defeated Shiro Koshinaka and Takashi Iizuka in 9:58 when Saito pinned Iizuka after a diving senton.

-The opening ceremony was held. A video package was played showing the history of New Japan, then featured the 14 wrestlers competing in the singles series. Tatsumi Fujinami made his entrance and addressed the crowd, regarding the 30th anniversary, "Without fearing the change of time, we will continue to push and move forward. Please give your support to New Japan Pro Wrestling in the future."

1. Jushin Thunder Liger, Masahito Kakihara and Tiger Mask defeated American Dragon, Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero when Liger pinned Romero after a brainbuster in 12:26.
-Liger man his entrance with a boy dressed up as Liger.
-Surpisingly, American Dragon commented as a typical angry gaijin after the match, "Liger! Today, they were very luck to have won... We will return... Asshole!"

2. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenzo Suzuki defeated Shinya Makabe and Minoru Fujita when Suzuki pinned Fujita with a shining attack in 0:31.
-The match was restarted at Makabe's demand, with Makabe fighting alone. Makabe pinned Suzuki with a dragon suplex hold in 7:29.
-Makabe said after the match that he would "crush" Kakihara and Naruse next, since they were weaker than his opponents today.
-Tanahashi commented, "Shinya Makabe? He is completely useless."

3. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Koji Kanemoto defeated Heat (Minoru Tanaka) with an ankle hold in 18:43. ,
-Like Liger earlier, Heat made his entrance accompained by a boy also dressed in the Heat costume.
-This is Kanemoto's second successful title defense.
-After the match, Heat said, "Since I lost today, I can't say." He added, "As Heat, I'm a child's hero in this company. I don't do it for myself. I do it so they [the children] will like it. A hero, but pro wrestler also."

4. NWF Heavyweight Title Semi-final: Tsuyoshi Kosaka defeated Tadao Yasuda in 2:15 with an achilles tendon hold. ,
-Kosaka will meet Yoshihiro Takayama for the NWF Heavyweight Title on 1/4/03.
-After the match, Yasuda admitted that he was defeated and said he would have to continue training and do his best.

5. 7 vs. 7 series: Yutaka Yoshie defeated Ryushi Yanagisawa in 5:33 with a diving bodypress.
-Yoshie said after that match, "New Japan was driven."
-New Japan leads the series 1-0.

Two men with Inoki masks made their entrance to Inoki's theme music. They entered the ring and suddenly began exchange blows. One man revealed himself to be Kengo Kimura, while the other revealed himself to be Antonio Inoki himself. This was "Inoki Theater." Inoki said, "He was also a fool today," then yelled, "Ichi, ni, san, da!" with the crowd and opened the curtain for the second half of the show.

6. 7 vs. 7 series: Ten three-minute rounds: Osamu Nishimura drew Bas Rutten after the tenth round came to an end. (30:00, total)
-Nishimura became angry in the 8th round, hitting Rutten with elbows. The bell rang and Nishimura did stop. He received a yellow card.
-Rutten used the Shining Wizard in the 9th round.
-New Japan maintains the lead in the series 1-0-1.

7. 7 vs. 7 series: Kazunari Murakami defeated Masayuki Naruse in 4:22 with a choke sleeper.
-The Foreign Army ties the series at 1-1-1.

8. 7 vs. 7 series: GREAT MUTA defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 6:43 with a tornado clothesline.
-The Great Kabuki accompained MUTA.
-The Foreign Army takes the lead in the series at 2-1-1.

9. 7 vs. 7 series: Masahiro Chono defeated Joanie Laurer in 11:35 with a Yakuza kick.
-Laurer made her entrance in the theme of an ancient Egyptian queen. Four men carried on a float, as she wore a feathered headdress.
-Chono made his entrance in a black limosuine.
-Chono put Laurer over his knee and spanked her after the match.
-Laurer said after the match that she has proven her strength infront of many fans, even though she lost. She said, "I will come here as many times as it takes until I win." ...Oh, great.
-New Japan ties the series at 2-2-1.

10. 7 vs. 7 series: Bob Sapp defeated Manabu Nakanishi in 6:26 by countout.
-Nakanishi was able to put Sapp in the Argentine backbreaker, but could not submit him.
-Sapp powerbomb Nakanishi outside of the ring, leaving him to be counted out.
-Sapp said after the match, "Uncooked meat is always delicious." And if Nakanishi wants a rematch he's, "always hungry."
-The Foreign Army takes the lead in the series at 3-2-1.

11. 7 vs. 7 series: IWGP Heavyweight Title: Yuji Nagata defeated Kazuyuki Fujita in 12:55 with a backdrop hold. , ,
-This is Nagata's fourth successful defense of the title.
-Nagata earns the right to face Mirko CroCop.
-The series ends in a tie: 3-3-1.

 [New Japan] Public fan event
Brandon on 10/13/2002 @ 22:08 

New Japan held a free public event for the fans in Tokyo on 10/13. All wrestlers competing on the 10/14 Tokyo Dome show were there, with the exception of Bob Sapp, Kazuyuki Fujita and Kazunari Murakami. About 2,000 fans came.

Osamu Nishimura begin, speaking in English, "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please." This has something to do with MUGA. Seems to be the catch-phrase or something. He continued in Japanese, "Bas Rutten is surely strong, but I will give my strong opponent a pro wrestling match."

Hiroyoshi Tenzan called GREAT MUTA a "third-rate wrestler," and that he was "first-class." He added, "Tomorrow will be the beginning of the end."

Manabu Nakanishi said he saw the World Pro Wrestling TV show yesterday, where he saw Bob Sapp tear up his picture. "He wants to fight me so much." Once again, Nakanishi said he would use the Argentine backbreaker on Sapp and that he would defeat him with the German suplex. Ganbatte. Good luck, Manabu-san.

On his match with Osamu Nishimura, Bas Rutten commented, "I thought he was a gentelman, but he refused to shake hands with me... Even if he gives 100%, it doesn't matter. He couldn't win if he gave 200%."

Of course, Joanie Laurer and Masahiro Chono made a lot of noise and yelled at each other. Nothing we haven't seen before.

Yuji Nagata signed the contract for his IWGP Heavyweight Title match with Fujita and promised that he would successfully defend the title against Fujita, saying, "I will absolutely win tomorrow."

Since Fujita was not there to also sign the contract, Nagata looked out to the crowd and said, "Who wants to come up here to do the signing ceremony instead of Fujita?" Nagata chose a boy out of the audience to serve as Fujita's substitute.

 [Content] Whole Alf`n Review
Brandon on 10/13/2002 @ 21:15 
Whole Alf'n Review:
Calling this card flat is an understatement; however there are several nice looking matches. The main event certainly has the feel of Tokyo Dome main event, yet the rest of the show seems subpar. All we can really ask is for New Japan to give us some nice matches and prove that my predictions above are something more than fantasy booking.

 [Content] This Week in Puroresu
Brandon on 10/13/2002 @ 18:11 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
-What I watched
--ZERO-ONE 7/28/02
--ZERO-ONE 7/31/02
-Kensuke Sasaki leaves New Japan
-"THE SPIRAL" Tokyo Dome preview

 [New Japan] Bob Sapp will eat Nakanishi
Brandon on 10/13/2002 @ 10:50 

Being interview outside a hotel in Tokyo, Bob Sapp said, "I will prove who the real beast is. I will eat the little beast [Nakanishi] as my dessert!"

 [New Japan] 10/14 Tokyo Dome show to air in the US?
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 20:10 

Returning from his regular trips to Los Angeles (where he owns a home), Antonio Inoki told the press on 10/12 that he has FOX television may be show New Japan's 10/14 Tokyo Dome on television in America.

However, it is expected that there will be difficulties in negotiations because of broadcasting rights.

If New Japan can manage to get one of their shows broadcasted in the US, it would be a huge step for New Japan in their "US advance."

By the slim chance FOX does air the show, I wouldn't expect it to be air on their network channel, but probably through their syndicated FOX Sports Network.

 [New Japan] Iizuka to replace Kensuke on Fighting Spirit Series
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 19:59 

It has been arranged that Takashi Iizuka will take Kensuke Sasaki's place in the matches he was scheduled to wrestle in on the next series (which includes dates on 10/26, 10/27 and 11/4).

 [NOAH] Kanemaru and Kikuchi defend IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 19:49 

<> 10/12 <> Tokushima Municipal Gymnasium <> 2,400 fans
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru successfully defend their titles for the second time on 10/12 by defeating Takashi Sugiura and KENTA.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
60-minutes l 1 fall
Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (victory) and Yoshinobu Kanemaru [23:15; Fireball Bomb -> pinfall] KENTA (defeat) and Takashi Sugiura

 [New Japan] Choshu: Inoki is just a puppeteer
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 19:43 

While Riki Choshu was accused of being a "karaishi," or "puppeteer," in Kensuke Sasaki's exit from New Japan, Choshu recently accused Inoki of being a puppeteer. Also, he challenged Inoki to a public debate.

Inoki responded causually to Choshu's strong words. Laughing and brushing off Choshu's challenge, when asked on 10/12 in Narita Airport.

 [New Japan] Laurer intrudes on Chono
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 19:29 

Joanie Laurer unexpectedly appeared in the Korakuen Hall on 10/12 before Masahiro Chono's match, where he teamed with Hiroyoshi Tenzan.

Laurer took the microphone and spoke Japanese, where she surely butchered, "Sumimasen, Chono. Buttobasu," which losely means, "Sorry, Chono. I'm going to beat you."

Chaos then ensued. Chono tore off part of Laurer's clothing to point her bra could be seen. Embarassed, Laurer ran off to the back.

I can't wait until this is over.

 [New Japan] Naofumi Yamamoto debuts
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 19:16 

<> 10/12 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1,420 (sell-out)
Naofumi Yamamoto (25) made his debut on 10/12 in the Korakuen Hall. Another young lion, Ryuske Taguchi (23), had also been scheduled to make his debut, but didn't for some unknown reason.

Yamamoto made his debut against Wataru Inoue in a loss after 6:34 when Inoue submitted him with a cross armbar.

Yamamoto weighs in at about 207lbs., so is officially a junior heavyweight now, but could become a heavyweight wrestler in the future.

10-minutes l 1 fall
Wataru Inoue (victory) [6:34; cross armbar] Naofumi Yamamoto (defeat)

 [New Japan] Sapp/Nakanishi strategy
Brandon on 10/12/2002 @ 18:47 

Bob Sapp (29) told the press on 10/12 that he would defeat Manabu Nakanishi in five seconds when they fight on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome. He plans to defeat Nakanishi with a lariat.

Meanwhile, in the Korakuen Hall, Manabu Nakanishi lost his match with Blue Wolf to Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kenzo Suzuki. After the match, Nakanishi said that he would use the Argentine backbreaker on Bob Sapp in their match.

Nakanishi has been training for this, putting two men in the backbreaker at the same time. But it will be difficult for Nakanishi to put all 6'3", 360lbs. of Bob Sapp on his shoulders. He has also said that he plans to use the German suplex on Sapp.

Also, it was announced that the Sapp vs. Nakanishi match will be under pro wrestling rules with a 30-minute time-limit.

 [PRIDE] Sakuraba to return at PRIDE 23
Brandon on 10/11/2002 @ 20:48 

Kazushi Sakuraba revisted the doctor on 10/11 and received approval to return for PRIDE's Tokyo Dome show on 11/24.

Sakuraba suffered a broken orbital bone in his "Dynamite!" loss to Mirko CroCop on 8/28. It was originally believed that Sakuraba would be done for the rest of the year.

 [K-1] World Max results 10/11
Brien on 10/11/2002 @ 14:43 

K-1 ran a stand-alone World MAX (Middleweight Athletic eXtreme) show today, the main was a rematch from the first World MAX GP, featuring Masato and the eventual champion Albert Kraus.

The results:
Mori Tomoyuki W 3 Shingo Eguchi
Sakon Kubosaka W 3 Yasuhiro Kazuya
Marino Deflorin W 3 Kojiro
Takasi Ono W 3 San Zhen Wang
Takahiro Muraham W 3 Melchor Menor
Genki Sudo KO 2 Kim Jingwu
Peter Crooke KO 5 Kohiruimaki Takayuki
Kensaku Maeda Retirement Fight
Kensaku Maeda W 3 Miroslav Safra
Rematch from K-1 World Max Tournament
Masato D 5 Albert Kraus

 AJPW News & Notes from Masanobu Fuchi
Gerry on 10/10/2002 @ 18:38 

At today's show in Kagawa, Masnobu Fuchi had some interesting things to say about upcoming matches in AJPW.

AJPW/Muto Army vs. WAR 5 vs. 5 Series 10/14 @ Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
1 fall no time limit.
Kaz Hayashi vs. Nobukazu Hirai
Satoshi Kojima vs. Arashi
George Hines vs. Steve Williams
Hiroshi Hase vs. Nobutaka Araya
Keiji Muto vs. Genichirou Tenryu

2 Title Matches on 10/19 @ Niigata Prefectural Gymnasium:

PWF World Jr. Heavyweight Championship
Kendo Ka Shin (c) vs. Jimmy Yang

Fuchi: Although Kaz Hayashi won a #1 contenders match against Yang, Yang won a non-title match against Ka Shin on 10/6. Yang is now the #1 contender to the title. Hayashi will have to talk to President Muto to arrange his title challenge.

MLW World Heavyweight Championship
Satoshi Kojima (c) vs. Mitsuya Nagai

Kojima: Nagai is not a suitable challenger. He is as mature as a high school student.

Nagai: You are joking. I will make this minor title a major title.

Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke) have vacated the World Tag Team Title as a result of Brian Adams becoming a pro boxer. The World Tag Team Titles will be up for grabs in the 2002 World's Strongest Tag Team League (aka Real World Tag Leauge)which runs from late November to early December.

One additional note that Fuchi did not talk about but AJPW has confirmed as happening, will be the inclusion of giant screens at the 10/27 Nippon Budokan Show in Tokyo. The screens will show backstage happenings and interviews. The screens are expected to be used on all major AJPW shows from now on.

 [New Japan] Nakanishi and Sapp confront at boxing show
Brandon on 10/10/2002 @ 12:44 

At a boxing event in the Tokyo Sumo Hall on 10/10, Manabu Nakanishi presented a bouquet of flowers to the WBA World Middleweight Champion, William Joppy, who had just won his match. Bob Sapp, who was acting as a commentator immediately went up to the ring. Sapp tried to attack Nakanishi with a bottle, but they were separated. But not before Sapp could leave Nakanishi covered with water.

Sapp and Nakanishi will meet at New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 10/14.

 [New Japan] Laurer, MUTA and Rutten arrive in Japan
Brandon on 10/10/2002 @ 12:37 

Joanie Laurer (32), GREAT MUTA and Bas Rutten (37) arrived in Japan on 10/10 for their matches on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome.

Laurer, who will fight Chono in the Dome, said that she would break Chono's arms and legs in the match, since Chono has made remarks insulting women.

 [New Japan] Nagata agrees to "challenger determination match"
Brandon on 10/9/2002 @ 12:56 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata (34) agreed to the idea presented by Antonio Inoki, that the winner of the IWGP Title match between Nagata and Fujita on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome would earn the right to have a rematch will Mirko CroCop.

Nagata added that if he wins, he would like to challenge CroCop in a pro wrestling match. Although CroCop has said on at least one occasion, "I am not interested in conquering the pro wrestling world. I'm interested in conquering the martial arts world."

Good idea, Yuji-san. Nagata was destroyed in under 20 seconds with a single kick in his Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye match with CroCop at the end of last year, and the same thing would likely happen again if the match were a shoot.

 [ZERO-ONE] Tickets stolen
Brandon on 10/9/2002 @ 12:50 

Reportedly, a total of 1,100 tickets were stolen for ZERO-ONE's shows on 10/22 in Mie and on 10/25 in Nagoya. The tickets were worth about seven million yen ($56,770 US).

Anyone who may know about the stolen tickets have been asked to contact ZERO-ONE either by phone or their homepage: www.01fa.com

....I'm looking at you, Alf!

 [NOAH] Kobashi and Shiga earn GHC Tag Title match
Brandon on 10/9/2002 @ 12:38 

After more than 30 minutes, on 10/8 in Morioka, Kenta Kobashi and Kentaro Shiga earned the right to face Jun Akiyama and Akitoshi Saito on 10/19 in Nagoya.

GHC Tag Team Title l Next Challenger Determination Match l No time-limit
Kentaro Shiga (victory) and Kenta Kobashi [30:18, referee stop]
Masao Inoue, Tamon Honda (defeat)

 [Choshu] Choshu denies involvement in Kensuke resignation
Brandon on 10/8/2002 @ 12:32 

Riki Choshu (50) was interviewed on 10/8 where he denied that he had anything to do with Kensuke Sasaki's (36) withdrawal from New Japan.

Choshu expressed that he is very unhappy that so many people are suspecting that he was involved.

 [New Japan] Nagata attends baseball game
Brandon on 10/8/2002 @ 01:13 

Yuji Nagata attended and threw out the first pitch in the Nippon vs. Seibu baseball game on 10/6 in the Tokyo Dome.

 [K-1] Bob Sapp vs. Semmy Schilt
Brandon on 10/8/2002 @ 00:58 

As Brien reported earlier, Bob Sapp drew to face Semmy Schilt in the next round of K-1 Grand Prix.

Sapp commented, "If I make it to the finals, I think everyone will find out about my stamina."

 [ARSION] Yoshida wins ZION tournament
Brandon on 10/8/2002 @ 00:53 

<> 10/7 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1050 fans
Mariko Yoshida (32) won ARSION's ZION tournament for the first time in four years by defeating noki-A in the final round on 10/7 in the Korakuen Hall.

ZION Tournament Final
No time limit l 1 fall
Mariko Yoshida (victory) [20:18] noki-A (defeat)

 [New Japan/Inoki] Inoki comments on Kensuke situation
Brandon on 10/8/2002 @ 00:43 

Antonio Inoki seemed unconcerned about Kensuke Sasaki's resignation from New Japan, commenting with more or less a "whatever" attitude.

Masayuki Naruse will replace Sasaki in the match against Kazunari Murakami at the 10/14 Tokyo Dome show.

One could say Inoki is acting carelessly about Kensuke Sasaki's depature, because he knows Kensuke will soon join Riki Choshu, who Inoki is at odds with.

Choshu also left New Japan this year, in large part due to disagreements with Inoki.

 [New Japan/Pancarse] President Ozaki responds to Kensuke`s resignation
Brandon on 10/8/2002 @ 00:35 

Pancrase President Ozaki (43) returned from his business trip on the afternoon of 10/7, where he could not hide his embarassment and confusion to the situation of Kensuke Sasaki leaving New Japan.

Ozaki said that he thought that having a match between Minoru Suzuki and Sasaki had become impossible for the time being because of Sasaki's injury to his foot.

He added that the Suzuki vs. Jushin Thunder Liger match for 11/30 in Yokohama is planned to go on as scheduled.

 [New Japan] Winner of Fujita/Nagata to have rematch with CroCop
Brandon on 10/7/2002 @ 13:03 

Kazuyuki Fujita (31) directly petitioned Antonio Inoki to work to arrange a rematch between himself and Mirko CroCop.

Fujita lost quickly to CroCop in K-1 last year by TKO when Fujita was cut badly.

Inoki consented that Fujita would first have to defeat Yuji Nagata on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome in their IWGP Heavyweight Title match.

Inoki said that the match between Fujita and Nagata will be a "revenge determination match." So the winner of the match will earn the right to have a rematch with Mirko CroCop, since Yuji Nagata was also defeated by CroCop on 12/31/01.

 [K-1] GP Opening round TV rating
Brandon on 10/7/2002 @ 12:41 

Fuji Television's 7:00pm broadcast of K-1's opening round of the Grand Prix tournament received an average share of 13.8, while the main event between Bob Sapp and Ernesto Hoost scored a 19.8 share.

You could conclude from this that Bob Sapp is becoming a top draw in the combative-sport community.

 [New Japan] New Japan "suspends" Kensuke -- will keep him off Dome show
Brandon on 10/7/2002 @ 12:38 

Kensuke Sasaki (36), who announced his resignatination from New Japan on 10/6, formally gave his resignation on 10/7. However, New Japan has treated this as a suspension, which will keep Kensuke off any future New Japan events, including the Tokyo Dome show on 10/14, where he was scheduled to fight Kazunari Murakami as part of the 7 vs. 7 series.

It's uncertain as to how or if New Japan will replace Kensuke's spot on the show. It's likely that another New Japan wrestler will simply take his place against Murakami.

 [New Japan] Full press conference with Kensuke Sasaki
Brandon on 10/7/2002 @ 00:52 

Sasaki: About the Minoru Suzuki match in Pancrase, the discussions were progressing to the point where I didn't know about them. There was a press conference on 9/12. We had informally arranged that I would fight there on 11/30. As you know, I greeted the Pancrase ring on 9/29: the day of Nagata's marriage ceremony. I had talked with Mr. Uei, who said someone else would be going.

I am puzzled by this -- what Mr. Uei told me. The facts and what I was told are differing from each other now. Liger went to the Pancrase dojo with Mr. Uei on 9/27. They decided that Liger would go in my place. I did not understand why Liger would have the match instead of me, or why Liger would go there. I think that the match between Liger and Minoru Suzuki is a dream. I also think that the realization of this match is good. However, he is not my substitute.

And now, without my knowing, discussions progressed and the match is decided. I was not able to sleep at all yesterday. I have been worrying until I have come here.

I wanted to have this match with Minoru Suzuki because Suzuki and I had been training together when we both began in New Japan. We shed sweat together. We would say, "We are at the bottom now, but we will become strong one day." We trained with our pure feelings. And used all we knew from our training in our matches. We made a promise that we would finally have a match in the New Japan ring. It is not for myself that I leave this company now. There is only pure feeling in doing this. It is like a child's pure promise. And it is now the straight and pure promise of the men in which it is vied. But this organization is now different. That is the feeling I have now. And I think Suzuki has the same feeling. Even after I have come so far since the beginning, those days do change who I am here today.

So when I met with Suzuki in the dome, and he said, "the time is finally here," I had such a feeling. I had goosebumps. A match between Suzuki and I -- we had to do it. And we would call it New Japan vs. Pancrase.

For this one match, I give my resignation to the company.

I love New Japan Pro Wrestling. They are my favorite. But in order to achieve my promise with that fellow, this is what I must do. I will fulfill my contract as a wrestler of New Japan. But after that, I will go after my dream. After the contract ends, I will face Minoru Suzuki.

Director Uei: Kensuke's comments are sincerely accepted. We will have a meeting with the company tomorrow [10/7]. I want to speak with all the members.

 [New Japan] Iizuka returns
Brandon on 10/6/2002 @ 22:42 

<> 10/6 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1,611 fans

Takashi Iizuka (36) made his return to the New Japan after a 487-day absence. He made his return match in the main event of New Japan's "MUGA" show in the Korakuen Hall in the main event against Osamu Nishimura, losing after 24:14.

Iizuka said after the match, "I'm happy to be able to return to the ring, though, the result of this match is unsatisfying. I will fortunate to have these kinds of matches with Nishimura, in respect that the foundation [of puroresu] is improved. I'm able to return to New Japan now. It has been a long year and four months. I thank everyone."

30-minutes l 1 fall
Osamu Nishimura (victory) [24:14; cobra twist] Takashi Iizuka (defeat)

Also on the show, Hiroshi Tanahashi was defeated by his mentor, Tatsumi Fujinami.

Tanahashi said after, "Today we showed the classic form of pro wrestling. I think it is good for us to show respect to pro wrestling."

30-minutes l 1 fall
Tatsumi Fujinami (victory) [7:30; cross armbar] Hiroshi Tanahashi (defeat)

 [NOAH] Shiga earns the right to be Kobashi`s partner
Brandon on 10/6/2002 @ 22:33 

Kentaro Shiga (27) defeated Makato Hashi (who took Mohammed Yone's place) by referee stoppage to earn the right to be Kenta Kobashi's tag team partner in his attempt to win the GHC Tag Team Titles.

Kobashi and Shiga will now face Masao Inoue and Tamon Honda on 10/8. The winner of that match will challenge Jun Akiyama and Akitoshi Saito on 10/19 in Nagoya for the GHC Tag Team Titles.

 [New Japan] Reactions to Kensuke`s announcement
Brandon on 10/6/2002 @ 22:28 

Public Relations Director Uei, Tatsumi Fujinami and Yuji Nagata gave their responses to Kensuke Sasaki's shocking announcement that he would soon be leaving New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Director Uei, who attended the press conference where Kensuke made the announcement, said, "He could not have the fight [with Minoru Suzuki] since he was injured. Liger felt responsibility and offered to be a subsitute. What did Kensuke want?"

New Japan President, Tatsumi Fujinami commented on the situation at the MUGA show on 10/6 in the Korakuen Hall, "I had a telephone call from him [Kenskue] a while ago. He indicated his intention to retire and that it would be difficult for him to appear in matches. He also hinted to the fans that there is a possibility that he may leave early and annull his contract. I think that would be impolite to the wrestlers also [as well as the fans]."

Chairman of the Wrestlers, Yuji Nagata was most offended. He said, "Right now, this is like a bomb dropping. He should not appear in the Dome... If only the match with Suzuki is the really his reason, I would like to know. Maybe there is someone who we cannot see. Someone who he is working in secret with as a string-puller."

Is Nagata is referring to Choshu?

 [All Japan] Yang pins Ka Shin; Kojima returns
Brandon on 10/6/2002 @ 22:02 

All < Japan: Tokyo convention >
<> 10/6 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 2,100 fans
In the sold out Tokyo Korakuen Hall, Jimmy Yang defeated current PWF World Junior Heavyweight Champion, Kendo Ka Shin in a singles non-title match with an inside cradle after only 2:57.

1 fall
Jimmy Yang (victory) [2:57; inside cradle] Kendo Ka Shin (defeat)

On 10/6, Satoshi Kojima also wrestled in Japan for the first time since winning the MLW Heavyweight Title. After pinning Nobukazu Hirai in his tag match, Kojima sent a message to Keiji Muto, who will challenge Genichiro Tenryu for the Triple Crown as the Great Muta on 10/27 in the Nippon Budokan, saying, "Be sure to win. I want to win the Triple Crown from you."

60 minutes l 1 fall
Kaz Hayashi, Satoshi Kojima (victory) [16:27; pinfall] Nobukazu Hirai (defeat), Genichiro Tenryu

 [K-1] World Grand Prix Brackets
Brien on 10/6/2002 @ 11:11 

As is tradition in K-1 the draw for the K-1 GP finals took place yesterday, the day after the field was set. K-1 has an interesting draw structure, where each fighter draws a ball from 1-8 and then stands under whatever open bracket they choose to stand under.

Ray Sefo drew ball 1, and chose to stand under the first bracket.

Peter Aerts drew ball 2, and chose to stand under the 2nd bracket, so the first match was set as Ray Sefo vs Peter Aerts.

Bob Sapp drew ball 3, and chose to stand under the 3rd bracket.

Musashi drew ball 4, and decided against fighting Sapp, instead going to the 8th bracket.

Jerome Le Banner drew ball 5, and decided he'd rather fight Musashi than Bob Sapp (smart man) and stood under the 7th bracket, thus match 4 was set as Jerome Le Banner vs Musashi.

Stefan Leko drew ball 6, and he too avoided Bob Sapp by standing under the 5th bracket.

Semmy Schilt drew ball 7, and since he and Leko are now teammates, he chose to fight Bob Sapp and stood under the 4th bracket. Match 2 is then set as Bob Sapp vs Semmy Schilt.

That left Mark Hunt to take the last available space, bracket 6 against Stefan Leko. Match 3 is then set as Stefan Leko vs Mark Hunt.

In summary, the Q-final matches are:
Ray Sefo vs Peter Aerts
Bob Sapp vs Semmy Schiltt
Stefan Leko vs Mark Hunt
Jerome Le Banner vs Musashi

Credit to:

Brandon on 10/6/2002 @ 10:01 

Kensuke Sasaki (36) held an "urgent" press conference in the Tokyo Dome Hotel on 10/6 where he announced that when his contract expires in January, he will leave New Japan Pro Wrestling. He said he distrusts New Japan after the dealings for the "old friend confrontation" with Minoru Suzuki (34), which never ended up happening.

Kensuke announced his future exit from New Japan with tears in his eyes, "For this one match, I give my resignation to the company."

Crying, he said, "I love New Japan Pro Wrestling. They are my favorite. But in order to fulfill my promise with that man [Minoru Suzuki], this is what I must do. I will fulfill my contract as a wrestler of New Japan. But after that, I will continue to go after my dream. I will face Minoru Suzuki when my contract ends."

It's now apparent that in January, Kensuke will join Riki Choshu in Choshu's, "RikiNagashima" plan.

This will mark the second year in a row that wrestlers have left New Japan Pro Wrestling at the end of the year, since most or all wrestlers in New Japan are under one-year contracts that expire at the end of the year.

More on this later today.

 [Content] This Week in Puroresu
Brandon on 10/5/2002 @ 22:41 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
-What I watched
--Zenjo W Explosion 8/27/02
--Battlarts "Rebirth" Commercial Tape (6/9/02)
-Muta vs. Tenryu
-Muto becomes president: Misawa says nice things; Inoki says means things

 [NOAH] Yone injured; cancels appearances
Brandon on 10/5/2002 @ 21:58 

After suffering an injury where he sustained ligament damage to his inner right knee in the Korakuen Hall on 10/4, Mohammed Yone (26) has cancelled his scheduled appearances on 9/5 in Fukushima and 9/6 in Niigata so he can undergo examination in the hospital on 9/7.

So instead of Yone competing with Kentaro Shiga for the chance to be Kenta Kobashi's tag team partner on 10/6, Makato Hashi will replace Yone has Shiga's opponent in the match.

 [New Japan/All Japan/K-1] News from K-1 show
Brandon on 10/5/2002 @ 21:49 

<> 10/5 <> Saitama Super Arena <> Match 7 <> 20,200 fans

After Bob Sapp (29) defeated Ernesto Hoost on 10/5 at the end of the first round by TKO, Manabu Nakanishi unexpectedly had an appearance as the press talked to Sapp. He congradulated Sapp on victory, but said that he would be defeated by New Japan on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome.

Nakanishi will meet Sapp as part of the 7 vs. 7, New Japan vs. Foreign Enemy Series on 10/14.

Masahiro Chono and Keiji Muto were also in attendance. Chono requested that Muto have a meeting with him in the arena, but Muto declined, saying, "I did not come here with that intention today."

3 rounds l 3-minutes per round
Bob Sapp (victory) [Round 1; TKO] Ernesto Hoost (defeat)

 [K-1] GP Opening Round Results
Brien on 10/5/2002 @ 12:58 

K-1 ran it's World Grand Prix Opening Round event today. The 7 winners advance with Japan Grand Prix Champion Musashi to the World Grand Prix finals at the Tokyo Dome on 12/7.

Grand Prix Opening Round Results:

Mark Hunt W4 Mike Bernardo
Ray Sefo W3 Martin Holmn
Peter Aerts W3 Glaube Feitosa (At least Peter can still win this one)
Stefan Leko W3 Alexei Ignashov
Semmy Schiltt W3 Mike McDonald
Jerome Le Banner KO 1 Gary Goodridge
BOB SAPP TKO 1 ERNESTO HOOST (Ok, Ok, Sapp is the man now, are you all happy?!?)

 [New Japan] Fighting Spirit series
Brandon on 10/4/2002 @ 15:40 

Messe Shimonoseki
Heat/Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Diablo/Azteca

10/26/02 (PPV)
Fukuoka International Center
1. Junior Triathlon Survivor Tournament: Jushin Thunder Liger/Heat/Tiger Mask vs. American Dragon/Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero
2. Koji Kanemoto vs. Bas Rutten
3. Masahito Kakihara/Masayuki Naruse vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
4. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Joanie Laurer/Great Muta
5. New Japan vs. Makai / 5 vs. 5: 1st match / SKYPerfectTV! Cup: Kensuke Sasaki/Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Osamu Nishimura/Wrestler to be named vs. Tadao Yasuda/Kazunari Murakami/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1/Makai #2
6. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Winner of Nagata/Fujita vs. Masahiro Chono

Kobe World Hall
1. Junior Triathlon Survivor Tournament: El Samurai/Masahito Kakihara/Masayuki Naruse vs. Koji Kanemoto/Jado/Gedo
2. Yutaka Yoshie/Blue Wolf vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
3. Osamu Nishimura vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
4. New Japan vs. Makai / 5 vs. 5 singles: 2nd match: Yuji Nagata/Manabu Nakanishi/Kensuke Sasaki/Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tadao Yasuda/Kazunari Murakami/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1/Makai #2
-Specific singles matches will be determined in a lottery on the day of the event.
5. Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Joanie Laurer/Great Muta

11/4/02 (TV-Asahi taping)
Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall
1. Tatsutoshi Goto/Hiro Saito vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
2. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Scott Norton/Jack the Bull
3. Junior Triathlon Survivor Tournament Finals: Winning team on 10/26 vs. Winning team on 10/27
4. New Japan vs. Makai / 5 vs. 5: 3rd match; Final match: Masahiro Chono/Yuji Nagata/Kensuke Sasaki/Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tadao Yasuda/Kazunari Murakami/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1/Makai #2

 [Onita/Choshu] Onita claims full cooperation
Brandon on 10/4/2002 @ 12:45 
Atsushi Onita (45) met with Riki Choshu's (50) representative, Katsuji Nagashima, regarding the possibility of Choshu appearing on Onita's 10/14 Differ Ariake show. After ten minutes, Onita left the meeting and announced that Onita and Nagashima had agreed to "full cooperation" with Choshu. Though, it appears Choshu will not attend the 10/14 show, Onita said that he will talk to Choshu personally, very soon.

 [New Japan] Chono to challenge for IWGP Title
Brandon on 10/4/2002 @ 12:33 

It was formally announced on 10/4 in Tokyo that Masahiro Chono will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title some time in New Japan's next series, facing the winner of the Fujita/Nagata match on 10/14. This will be the first time Chono has challenged for the title in four years.

 [WEW] Tanaka/Kanemura match signing breaks out into a brawl
Brandon on 10/3/2002 @ 18:04 

The match signing for the WEW Heavyweight Title match between Masato Tanaka and defending champion, Kintaro Kanemura was held in Tokyo on 10/3. The signing ceremony broke out into a brawl, though, between WEW "commissioner," Kodo Fuyuki and Tanaka. Fuyuki said after, "I thought I was going to die."

The title match between Tanaka and Kanemura will take place on 11/4 in the Yokohama Culture Gymnasium. Also on the card -- another ZERO-ONE vs. WEW-themed match: Shinjiro Otani/Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. TAKA Michinoku/Testuhiro Kuroda. And also, Garuda's WEW debut match with Ayako Hamada and Gran Hamada against Dick Togo, Hi69 and Masao Orihara.

 [NOAH] Kobashi choses Shiga as his partner
Brandon on 10/3/2002 @ 17:47 

Kenta Kobashi and Kentaro Shiga will face Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue on 10/8 in the Differ Ariake for the right to challenge Jun Akiyama and Akitoshi Saito for the GHC Tag Team Titles on 10/19 in Nagoya.

Kobashi had been deciding whether to have Muhammed Yone or Kentaro Shiga as his tag parnter. However, Kobashi said that me might change his mind if Yone defeats Shiga in their scheduled match on 10/6.

 [All Japan] Muto appears on talk show
Brandon on 10/3/2002 @ 17:44 

Keiji Muto appeared on a talk show on 10/3 where he responded to Masahiro Chono's invitation to attend the 10/14 Tokyo Dome show. Muto said he would not be able to make it to the show, but wish Chono luck.

Also on the talk show, Muto said that it was possible that he would fight Bob Sapp at the 11/17 "WRESTLE-1" show in Yokohama.

 [New Japan] Full 10/1 interview with Yuji Nagata
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 20:22 

Nagata: For the Tokyo Dome, Nagata vs. Fujita was formally decided to be for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. This belt, you don't have to worry about going anywhere. Now that another war with Kazuyuki Fujita has been decided, I have a lot of motivation.

-About the 6/6/01 Nagata vs. Fujita match in the Nippon Budokan-

Nagata: I had a sublime feeling when fighting Fujita for the first time. I think, though, that I have grown up this time, for this match in the Dome.

-About wearing gloves-

Nagata: Although Fujita has had several matches since his return where he did not wear gloves, I feel that if I fight Kazuyuki Fujita without gloves, I'm not fighting the real Kazuyuki Fujita. I think it's like, "coffee without a creep... A canary which has forgetten his song." But there are various ways of explaining it... (smiling). If Fujita truly fights, I think it is best if he wears gloves.

Nagata: I think it's a catalyst for Kazuyuki Fujita to wear open finger gloves in this match, although I will fight as a pro wrestler -- bare-fisted. I want to require Fujita to wear gloves from now on. That is the real thrill in pro wrestling: to use your maximum power in the ring. I want to see all of my opponent's power. It makes me the best that I can be. It's dangerous for me try to make my opponent even better for a match where victory and defeat is so important to me. But anyway, I'm going to firmly defend this belt. I will come out to the New Japan ring and show pro wrestling at its best.

 [All Japan/WMF] Muto talks with Hayabusa
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 19:08 

New All Japan president, Keiji Muto (39) appeared with WMF promoter, Hayabusa on a talk show on SkyPerfectTV on 10/1. Muto shoke hands with Hayabusa and agreed to form a "tag team" with Hayabusa.

This means All Japan and WMF will likely have minor talent exchanges.

 [NOAH] Misawa asked about possible interpromotional work
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 19:03 

When talking to the media on 10/1, Mitsuharu Misawa (40) was asked if he had talked to either Muto, Chono or Hashimoto about interpromotional participation. Misawa said, "If I talk to them directly, you will hear about it."

 [K-1] Sapp declares he will beat Hoost in three minutes
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 18:59 

In a steakhouse where he ate 33 cow tongues, Bob Sapp (29) declared that he would defeat Ernesto Hoost within three minutes (as long as the first round in K-1) in their K-1 Grand Prix match in Tokyo on 10/5.

 [Tapes] New releases
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 17:37 
Twelve new tapes are in, including Battlarts' "Rebirth" show, more footage from New Japan's G1 Climax, Zenjo's 8/27 Odaiba show, Toryumon's Ariake Colesium TV special with Dragon Kid vs. Darkness Dragon; mask vs. mask, and footage from ZERO-ONE's Fire Festival, including Masato Tanaka vs. Shinjiro Otani.

Please buy something. My children are still hungry.

Battlarts Rebirth 6/9/02
New Japan ESPN 8/5/02
GAEA G-Panic 7/7, 7/14, 8/14/02
Zenjo Samurai TV 8/27/02
Zenjo Samurai TV 7/20/02
NOAH Di Colloseo Special on G+SN 9/7/02
NOAH Di Colloseo Live Special on G+SN 7/26/02
Toryumon T2P 8/11/02
Toryumon Live TV Special 9/8/02
ZERO-ONE Samurai TV 7/28/02
ZERO-ONE Samurai TV 7/31/02
ZERO-ONE Samurai TV 8/4/02

 [New Japan] Nagata demands Fujita wear gloves
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 15:36 

Yuji Nagata (34) was interviewed in Tokyo on 10/1, wear he demanded that Kazuyuki Fujita (31) wear gloves in their match for the IWGP Heavyweight Title on 10/14 in the Tokyo Dome. However, as opposed to their fight on 6/6/01 in the Nippon Budokan, Nagata said that he would not wear gloves, "I will fight bare-fisted and pull out all of my opponent's power and show the best pro wrestling in the ring."

With gloves, Fujita will be allowed to punch. But Nagata wants Fujita to have the fullest of his capablities. By allowing Fujita to wear gloves, this is seen as him incuding the truest form of competition between himself and Fujita.

 [Content] Straight Shooting
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 04:25 
Straight Shooting:
Keiji Muto: Idiot or Genius?
Genius: Muto is not allowing too much to be done to the All Japan midcard until he becomes president, so it makes it look as if he single handedly rejuvenated All Japan, so the fans will have faith in his leadership abilities.
Idiot: Muto has done nothing to help All Japan's midcard and never will. It will be Kea vs. Muto vs. Tenryu vs. Kojima forever with no talent gaijin beating up young promising natives in the midcard.

 [All Japan] Keiji Muto officially president of All Japan
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 04:13 

At All Japan's 30th anniversary party on 9/30, it was finally formally announced that Mrs. Baba (62) has retired as president of All Japan, stepping aside for Keiji Muto (39).

Mrs. Baba greeted everyone at the party, saying, "I introduce Keiji Muto, who will lead All Japan from October 1."

Muto said that this is going to be a new time for puroresu.

Now with Muto in charge of All Japan, Chono in New Japan, Misawa in NOAH, and Hashimoto (who attended the party) in ZERO-ONE, interpromotional matches seem as likely as ever. Especially since Mrs. Baba is gone, who had such a grudge with Mitsuharu Misawa.

Muto had several interesting quotes, including, "I think that real fights are great. But I believe in the potiental and capability of pro wrestling."

That is very strange, because Muto is almost admitting kayfabe there, something almost never done in Japan.

"All Japan will aim at being the best in pro wrestling. As an employee and a wrestler, I will do my best so that I can show you the best pro wrestling," then closing in saying, "Yoroshiku ishimasu," or "I will need your support."

Antonio Inoki was interviewed in Nagoya on 9/30 where he swore, "All Japan will collapse soon," showing us that there are still very bad feelings between Muto and Inoki after Muto's depature from New Japan last January.

Inoki continued, saying pro wrestling is at low because of those "three fools, Muto, Chono and Takada."

On the other hand, Masahiro Chono sent a message to Muto, saying, "Do your best in developing the pro wrestling community." Chono also hinted that there may be New Japan participation at the 11/7 "W-1" show in Yokohama.

 [New Japan] Go on a trip with New Japan!
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 03:55 

New Japan will be organizing a trip to Hawaii from January 7 to January 12 at the beginning of next year, in which 150 fans will be invited (110 from Tokyo; 40 from Osaka).

Fans have to apply and if they're choosen, pay about $120 to get to participate in all kinds of events with New Japan wrestlers in Hawaii, including hiking, softball, dodgeball and shopping.

Don't miss your chance to vacation with Masahiro Chono, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Yutaka Yoshie, Minoru Tanaka, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenzo Suzuki, Jado, Gedo and others.

 [New Japan] 10/14 Tokyo Dome match order announced
Brandon on 10/1/2002 @ 03:45 

The match order for New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 10/14 was announced, where it was also reveal that Shinya Makabe's mystery partner against Tanaken would be Minoru Fujita.

1. Jushin Thunder Liger/Masahito Kakihara/Tiger Mask vs. American Dragon/Ricky Reyes/Rocky Romero
2. Hiroshi Tanahashi/Kenzo Suzuki vs. Shinya Makabe/Minoru Fujita
3. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Heat (Minoru Tanaka) vs. Koji Kanemoto (c)
4. NWF Heavyweight Title Semi-final: Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs. Tadao Yasuda
5. 7 vs. 7 series: Osamu Nishimura vs. Bas Rutten
6. 7 vs. 7 series: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa
7. 7 vs. 7 series: GREAT MUTA vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
8. 7 vs. 7 series: Kazunari Murakami vs. Kensuke Sasaki
9. 7 vs. 7 series: Joanie Laurer vs. Masahiro Chono
10. 7 vs. 7 series: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bob Sapp
11. 7 vs. 7 series / IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Yuji Nagata (c)