[WWE] Tickets sell-out in one day
Brandon on 11/30/2002 @ 20:33 
Tickets for the WWE's two shows in Yoyogi Gymnasium I to be held on 1/24 and 1/25 went on sell on 11/30 and sold out within two hours. A total of about 24,000 tickets have been sold for both shows. About 16,000 tickets had already been purchased through the fan club, whose members could make early reservations on tickets. The remaining 8,000 tickets were sold today.

Kyodo Tokyo, who commissioned the ticket sales said this was expected.

The WWE's previous show in Japan on March 2002 also sold out very quickly.

 [Pancrase/New Japan] Suzuki wins; Kensuke shows up
Brandon on 11/30/2002 @ 20:22 

<> 11/30 <> Yokohama Culture Gymnasium <> 5,900 fans

In a match that originally planned to be Minoru Suzuki vs. Kensuke Sasaki, Suzuki defeated Jushin Thunder Liger by submission on 11/30 at Pancrase's show in the Yokohama Culture Gymnasium. However, Kensuke Sasaki was in attendance at ringside for the fight. After the fight, Suzuki provoked Kensuke to come in the ring. Suzuki and Kensuke agreed that they would fight each other at Pancrase's 10th anniversary show next fall.

After the fight, Liger was humbled by his loss to Suzuki and said, "It was pro wrestling at its best."

President Ozaki said that he would like to continue an exchange between Pancrase and New Japan (probably because he saw all the attention this fight caused). About the possibility of a match between Sasaki and Suzuki next fall, Ozaki seemed cautious because of all the trouble the situation of Kensuke wanting to fight Suzuki has caused (Kensuke leaving New Japan).

Open-Weight Division l 3 Rounds; 5-minutes ea.
Minoru Suzuki (victory) [choke sleeper; 1:48-1R] Jushin Thunder Liger (defeat)

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review
Brandon on 11/30/2002 @ 11:36 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
The one thing that so many fans will remember about this time period for Yuji Nagata is his gamble to take a shoot with K-1 kickboxer Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic at Antonio Inoki's New Year's Eve show on December 31. The bell rings and 21 seconds later, Nagata is laying on his side, eating the ropes. Twenty-one seconds earlier, his future seemed so bright and optimistic...

 [New Japan] Hara turned over to public prosecutor`s office
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 20:08 

Hitomi Hara (23) who stabbed Hiroshi Tanahashi on 11/28 was turned over to the public prosecutor's office on the morning of 11/29 on suspicion of attempted murder for the case to be investigated.

Hara has explained that her motive was because of a fight with Tanahashi about ending their relationship.

 [Tamura] A new UWF
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 20:01 
Kiyoshi Tamura (32) announced on 11/29 that he was going to start a "new UWF" in February. The formal name of the promotion is being decided.

Tamura is now preparing to open the organization, with plans for the first show in February to be in a mid-sized venue.

The new organization will be a vale tudo promotion and will presumably be all shoot fights, but it's unclear and probably will be until they actually have their first card.

 [New Japan] Makabe vs. Nagata decided
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 17:34 

After Yuji Nagata, Mike Barton and Jim Steele sweep the Makai Club team as part of the Survivor Triathlon, Shinya Makabe intruded. Since Tanahashi won't be able to fight him on 12/15, Makabe challenged Nagata for the match in Nagoya. Nagata accepted. So the match all but official.

 [PRIDE] Nogeuira vs. Fedor official
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 14:14 

It was officially announced in an interview on 11/29 that Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira would defend his PRIDE Heavyweight Title against Emelianenko Fedor on 12/23 at PRIDE 24 in the Fukuoka Marine Messe.

Nogeuira, who is still in Japan, attended the interview. He said, "This match is important since it's my first title match. I want to show all my skill. I admired the skill of Fedor at PRIDE 23 and I think Fedor has excellent ground skill, but my skill the best." Nogeuira almost was open to the fact that this fight will be somewhat personal, saying, "I think the only 'Top Team' is the Brazilian Top Team. I think we have proved that we are the best right now. We have defeated four Russian men up until now... So I think that we have proved that with are the real Top Team."

Nogeuira also said he would like to fight Hidehiko Yoshida if he can fight at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye show on 12/31. If can't fight him there, he said he would like to fight him sometime next year. But he said he wants to concentrate 100% on his title match with Fedor right now.

It is being speculated that Igor Vovchanchyn and Heath Herring are on the poster for PRIDE 24. President Morishita said that Herring being on the show would be unlikely. He said there would probably be eight matches on the card and he wants to include four or five Japanese fighters. He said the full card would probably be announced some time next week.

 [Bom-Ba-Ye] Inoki, Morishita, Ishii interview
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 13:21 

An interview with Antonio Inoki, DSE President Naoto Morishita and K-1 Producer Kazuyoshi Ishii was held on 11/28 in Tokyo. They said they would look to sign two matches, Bob Sapp vs. Yoshihiro Takayama and Mirko CroCop vs. Kazuyuki Fujita.

It has been determined that Bob Sapp and Jerome LeBanner will fight on the show. Sapp, who was at the interview said he was excited for a chance to fight Takayama. He said the Bom-Ba-Ye show would "make for a good meal."

Producer Ishii said he wants the Bom-Ba-Ye show to break a 20% share for the TV rating, as the show will be broadcast live on the TBS-JNN network on 12/31 from 9:00PM to 11:24PM. Morishita said he thinks the show will break a 20 rating.

President Morishita said he would like as many PRIDE fighters to participate in the show as possible.

After their statements, the press asked questions.

Q: This is a question for Inoki-san. Who do you think LeBanner and Sapp's opponents will be?

Inoki: It seems there are several opponents they could have... Bob Sapp has grown very much this year, in this last half year. He's become very popular with the fans and a match with Takayama, who is a pro wrestler, would be best. It has not been decided, that is just what I think now. Many things are still being considered for LeBanner.

Sapp: Takayama's last match with Frye was a tough fight. He's a tough guy. However, knowing this, he will be hard to bit.

Q: A question for Inoki-san. Last year there was a LeBanner vs. Yasuda match. Is there a possibility of a rematch?

Inoki: It hard to say now when the card is not announced. I have not checked with Yasuda at the moment. I want to speak to him about it. I think there is a possibility it may happen.

Q: A question for Master Ishii. Is there a fighter who wants to come out other than Sapp and LeBanner?

Ishii: I want Mirko, LeBanner and Sapp to fight. Those are the three I want, but other fighters may come after we see the result of the Grand Prix. The rest would be Japanese fighters. If we can, I think we would like to bring Nakasako, Musashi and Shingo Koyasu. But it's up to Inoki-san to make the decisions.

After the official press conference, Inoki took questions from the media, where he was asked about what he thought of what happened to Tanahashi. Inoki described the situation as "foolish" but said he did not know very much about what happened.

Cultural note: If Tanahashi was a wrestler in America and this happened to him, he would be given great sympathy. But in Japan, what happened is shameful and almost looked at as his fault, since a man is expected to take responsibility for his wife or girlfriend.

 [New Japan] Fujinami apologizes to fans
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 12:26 

Tatsumi Fujinami took the microphone and apologized to the fans at New Japan's show in Tsukuba on 11/28 for the stabbing incident with Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Fujinami said he visited Tanahashi in the hospital at 9:00AM and spoke to him for about 30 minutes. He said Tanahashi can't easily move his entire body yet. He said Tanahashi's participation in the 1/4 Tokyo Dome show is in question.

So you can rule out a match between Tanahashi and Yuji Nagata on the 12/15 show in Nagoya.

 [ZERO-ONE] Two matches added to 12/15 card
Brandon on 11/29/2002 @ 12:06 

Two new matches have been added to ZERO-ONE's 12/15 show in the Tokyo Sumo Hall. One looks like it could be a great match:

-Shinjiro Otani vs. Satoshi Kojima
-Kazuhiko Ogasawa vs. Kendo Kashin

 [New Japan] Brian Johnston to second Fujita
Brandon on 11/28/2002 @ 20:52 

In what sounds like a great comeback story, it seems that Brian Johnston may second Kazuyuki Fujita when he appears on Antonio Inoki's Bom-Ba-Ye show.

In 2001 on the night of the Andy Hug Memoral Show, Johnston suffered a stroke and was in the hospital for a long period of time.

 [ZERO-ONE/WEW] Tanaka and Otani to defend PWF Tag Title
Brandon on 11/28/2002 @ 16:23 

It was announced on 11/27 that PWF Tag Team Champions, Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka would defend their title against Kintaro Kanemura and Masao Orihara on 12/27 at WEW's show in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

 [New Japan] Talks with Kensuke fall through
Brandon on 11/28/2002 @ 16:17 

The New Japan office has now formally terminated Kensuke Sasaki's contract with the promotion. Kensuke will become a free agent as of 12/1.

Vice President Tetsuo, who announced the cancelation of the contract said he called Kensuke in the morning about it. On the phone, he said Kensuke said, "I understand."

New Japan President Tatsumi Fujinami (49) commented, wishing Kensuke the best, wherever he goes and hoped that they cross paths again in the future.

Yuji Nagata said, "I think we will meet again in the ring.

Masahiro Chono said that he hopes Kensuke can now be happy do what wants.

It now appears to be a distinct possibility that Kensuke may join Riki Choshu's World Japan promotion, which will have its debut show on 3/1 in Yokohama.

 [New Japan] More on Tanahashi stabbing
Brandon on 11/28/2002 @ 16:00 

Reports are that Hiroshi Tanahashi came to his girlfriend, Hitomi Hara's apartment at midnight on 11/27. Then it was in the morning of 11/27, around 10:00AM that the stabbing occured, as it seems Tanahashi was leaving.

Immediately after the incident, Hara ran out of the apartment completely naked. Some neighbors noticed this, and called the police.

On the actual stabbing, the kitchen knife Hara is alledged to have stabbed Tanahashi with is said to be about 13cm long. Hara struck Tanahashi with the knife in the bottom of the right shoulder, then in the head. Tanahashi got on his motorbike and drove himself to the hospital. The doctors in the hospital were also reported the incident to the police.

While Tanahashi received medical treatment in the hospital, he asked that the police get to the scene quickly, since he was worried that Hara may commit suicide.

And more specifically on Hara's job with pro wrestling. She is a TV assistant for Samurai TV, where Tanahashi appeared as a guest on 10/6.

A doctor who treated Tanahashi says the wounds are not life threatening, but were very close to being so. The wound could have been worse if Tanahashi wasn't a muscular pro wrestler.

At New Japan's 11/27 show, Masahiro Chono made announcement to the crowd, explaining that Tanahashi's appearance had been canceled due to a back injury. Yuji Nagata took his place in his match.

Nagata spoke to the media, hoping Tanahashi recovered quickly.

Since Tanahashi is in New Japan's Survivor Triathlon with Kenzo Suzuki and Blue Wolf, it has been decided that Toru Yano will take his place.

Public Relations Director Fumihiko Uei held a press conference. He said he had visited Tanahashi in the hospital. Tanahashi said that he hopes to make his return to have his scheduled singles match with Yuji Nagata on 12/15 in Nagoya. Uei seemed disappointed with Tanahashi that this has happened, saying that it is not good for New Japan's public image.

 [New Japan] Hiroshi Tanahashi stabbed
Brandon on 11/28/2002 @ 12:02 

On 11/28 at approximately 10:00AM (Japan time) outside an apartment building in Tokyo, New Japan wrestler Hiroshi Tanahashi (26) was alledgedly stabbed in the back twice with a cooking knife by a woman he knew, Hitomi Hara (23).

The injuries Tanahashi has sustained do not appear to be critical. It's being said he will need 10 days to recover.

Police say that Hara has said, "I thought I killed Tanahashi-san and he was going to die."

Hara, who lives in the apartment building this took place outside of, is a TV assistant for New Japan.

Police in Tokyo have arrested Hara and are holding her on susipicion of attempted murder.

Hitomi Hara and Hiroshi Tanahashi have reportedly been associated since around April of this year.

I'm sure everyone here at Ichiban Puroresu wishes Hiroshi Tanahashi the fastest, healthiest recovery.

 [Toryumon] Crazy MAX regains UWA Six-man Title
Brandon on 11/27/2002 @ 22:42 

<> 11/27 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1800 fans

T2P's Italian Connection suffered their first major defeat on 11/27 in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall. Milano Collection AT, YOSSINO and YASSINI were defeated in defending their UWA World Six-Man Tag Team Title against Crazy MAX's CIMA, SUWA and Don Fujii when SUWA pinned YASSINI.

The war between Crazy MAX vs. Italian Connection war will continue at T2P's Korakuen Hall show on 12/26 in a singles match.

UWA World Six-Man Tag Team Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
CIMA, SUWA (victory), Don Fujii [14:12] Milano Collection AT, YOSSINO, YASSINI (defeat)

 [Zenjo/ARSION/`Jd/LLPW/NEO/JWP] Six-promotion summit
Brandon on 11/27/2002 @ 22:31 

Members from six joshi puroresu promotions (including Zenjo, ARSION, 'Jd, LLPW, NEO and JWP) met in Tokyo on 11/26 and announced that all six promotions will cooperate at Zenjo's show on 5/11 in the Yokohama Arena.

The 5/11 show is Zenjo's 35th anniversary show.

The number of promotions coming together for this show will be comparable to the number of promotions that gathered for the two Dreamslam shows in April 1993.

Obviously, GAEA is the only joshi promotion left out of this. GAEA is by far the top womens' promotion in Japan, so this is kind of the rest of the community's attempt to get some attention to each of their promotions all while trying to out-do GAEA, who has separated themselves from the rest of the community.

GAEA promoter, Chigusa Nagoya has said in the past that no GAEA wrestlers will participate on other promotions' shows and that other promotions are jealous of GAEA.

GAEA President Kimura even commented to the media, saying GAEA had received a fax requesting participation on the show, but said GAEA will not participate on this show. Kimura said, "I hope the fans don't misunderstand."

The group (which included Shinobu Kandori and Rumi Kazami from LLPW, Hiroshi Ogawa from ARSION, Manager Togitsu from JWP, Public Relations Officer Takase, Zenjo's Public Relations Cheif and ring announcer Imai and NEO President Koda) agreed they would meet again at the beginning of next month.

 [K-1] Bob Sapp`s menu
Brandon on 11/27/2002 @ 17:09 

On a follow-up to the previous post about Sapp, he also announced his full menu for the K-1 Grand Prix Final.

Musashi: Grilled dumpings with bits of octopus
Hoost: Cow tongue
LeBanner: French toast
Arts: Shark fin
Hunt: Globefish
Leko: Celery
Sefo: Seafood

 [New Japan] Jado, Gedo provoke IWGP Jr. Tag Champions
Brandon on 11/27/2002 @ 12:59 

It was formally announced on 11/27 that Jado and Gedo would be the next challengers for IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi on 12/7 at NOAH's show in the Yokohama Culture Gymnasium.

One of them said, "Kanemaru and Kikuchi have finally chosen a strong challenger. December 7 will be the end of your tag reign. We will take the belts."

 [K-1] Sapp predicts three minutes
Brandon on 11/27/2002 @ 12:51 

Bob Sapp (28) was interviewed on 11/27. Overall, the interview contained a lot of loud laughing and pro wrestling-ish promoting.

He told the media that he would defeat Ernesto Hoost within three minutes when they fight on 12/7 in the Tokyo Dome. Not only that, he said he thinks he can beat all fighters within three minutes.

Sapp will face the winner of the Jerome LeBanner vs. Musashi match. Sapp says he preparing for LeBanner but is also preparing for Musashi incase he wins.

When asked what he wanted to do after becoming the champion of K-1, he said he wants to become PRIDE champion.

Comments have also been received from Ernesto Hoost. He said, "First of all, I'm not conviced of the result of the last match with Sapp in the opening round. He committed some illegal moves that the referee didn't call, like when he punched me after I was down... I think as "three time champion," I should naturally be in the Final show. So for me fight on the event is natural. [Sapp] plans to collide with me, so I will have to risk my pride."

 [All Japan] WRESTLE-1 TV rating
Brandon on 11/27/2002 @ 12:30 

The WRESTLE-1 show that was taped on 11/17 in the Yokohama Arena was aired on 10/26 on Fuji Television at 7:00PM. The overall rating was an 8.4 share, with the highest point being a 12 share at 7:49PM for the Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta main event.

 [PRIDE] Silva vs. Sakuraba III?
Brandon on 11/26/2002 @ 13:00 

Kazushi Sakuraba spoke to press on 11/26. He said that he would likely return to the ring for PRIDE 25 in 2003 and that he would like to have a third match with Vanderlei Silva.

Sakuraba lost to Silva by knockout at PRIDE 13, then lost to him in the rematch to determine the first PRIDE Middleweight Champion at PRIDE 17 in the Tokyo Dome when Sakuraba suffered a dislocated shoulder.

 [ZERO-ONE] 12/15 matches announced; Hashimoto beats Corino
Brandon on 11/26/2002 @ 12:54 

<> 11/26 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Shinya Hashimoto (victory) [12:42; brainbuster] Steve Corino (defeat)

After the 11/26 from the Korakuen Hall, six matches for ZERO-ONE's Tokyo Sumo Hall show on 12/15 have been announced. The World-1 Junior tournament play-off will allow the winner of the Hoshikawa vs. Sakata match to go on to participate in the tag tournament.

Also announced for the World-1 Junior Tournament (which will take place on 2/8 and 2/9 in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall) are: Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Noamichi Marufuji, Dragon Kid and Ultimo Dragon, Great Takeru and Keizo Matsuda (from IWA Japan), Yoshito Sasaki and Garuda. Also expected will be Great Sasuke, Jinsei Shinzaki, Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Tiger Mask.

Surprisingly announced for the show was NWA-TNA's Jeff Jarrett, who will tag with Steve Corino against King Joe and King Amado. King Amado is the former Samoan Savage, whose name has been changed.

-Kuroge Wagyuta, Fugofugo Yumeji vs. Don Arakawa, Masanobu Fuchi
-Dos Caras Jr., Jimmy Snuka Jr. vs. Kohei Sato, Hirotaka Yokoi
-Steve Corino, Jeff Jarrett vs. King Joe, King Adamo
-First World-1 Junior Tournament Play-off: Wataru Sakata vs. Naohiro Hoshikwawa
-Wire Net Deathmatch: Nathan Jones vs. The Predator

Participation from Kendo Kashin and Satoshi Kojima is also expected. Josh Dempsey is also planned to participate in another Wire Net Match.

Shinya Hashimoto also suggested that he may fight Matt Ghaffari in a singles match on the show.

Noaya Ogawa is also expected to be on the card.

 [K-1] Schilt pulls out of GP; Hoost vs. Sapp II
Brandon on 11/26/2002 @ 12:28 

It was announced on 11/26 that Semmy Schilt has pulled out of K-1's Grand Prix Final show on 12/7 in the Tokyo Dome, due to his condition after his PRIDE 23 loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira.

It has been decided that Ernesto Hoost will take his place, setting up for the rematch between Hoost and Bob Sapp.

Sapp defeated Hoost in the Opening Round of the Grand Prix.

 [NOAH] Jado and Gedo next challengers to Kikuchi/Kanemaru
Brandon on 11/25/2002 @ 12:59 

It was announced on 11/25 that IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru would next defend their title against former champions, Jado and Gedo.

The match will take place at NOAH's 12/7 show in the Yokohama Culture Gymnasium, where Mitsuharu Misawa will also defend his GHC Heavyweight Title against Yoshinari Ogawa.

 [PRIDE] Silva comments on Yoshida; More updates
Brandon on 11/25/2002 @ 12:45 

Vanderlei Silva (26), who defended his PRIDE Middleweight Title for the second time on 11/24 commented on the possibility of a match between himself on Hidehiko Yoshida on 11/25. Silva said, "Yoshida can be defeated in three minutes."

Yoshida, who defeated Don Frye on 11/24 was resting today.

Don Frye has been diagnosed with a dislocated right elbow and is returning to the US.

The now retired Nobuhiko Takada received a massage and was examined at the hospital as a precaution to be sure he sustained no injuries in his fight with Kiyoshi Tamura.

Kazushi Sakuraba is resting his right knee and right eye injuries at his home. He continues to say, though, that he will not need any surgeries.

Heath Herring, who lost to Emelianenko Fedor at PRIDE 23, has been diagnosed with a right orbital bone fracture. Surgery will not be necessary and he will return to Holland, where he trains.

 [New Japan] 12/15 Nagoya matches announced
Brandon on 11/25/2002 @ 12:32 

It was announced on 11/25 that Masahiro Chono and Joanie Laurer would tag for the first time at the 12/15 show in the Nagoya Rainbow Hall against Makai Club's Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda.

Other matches also announced:
-Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Heat
-Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Blue Wolf
-Manabu Nakanishi vs. Kenzo Suzuki
-Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

The 12/15 show from Nagoya will be broadcast live in SkyPerfectTV! pay-per-view.

 [All Japan/ZERO-ONE] Kashin vs. Takaiwa on 12/6
Brandon on 11/25/2002 @ 12:28 

It was announced on 11/25 that ZERO-ONE's Tatsuhito Takaiwa will challenge Kendo Kashin for the PWF World Junior Heavyweight Title on 12/6 in the Tokyo Nippon Budokan.

This comes after Takaiwa "invaded" All Japan on 10/9 in Niigata and Kashin "invaded" ZERO-ONE last night on 11/24 in Fukuoka.

 [New Japan] Shibata to participate in Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye
Brandon on 11/24/2002 @ 23:33 

Katsuyori Shibata is petitioning to be included in Antonio Inoki's New Year's Eve show on 12/31. He has nominated Masaaki Satake as a possible opponent. Shibata said, "I want to show what New Japan is."

If Shibata does have a match with Satake on the show, it's a good possibility that it would be a work, since Satake has done at least two works in the past (in losses to Naoya Ogawa at PRIDE 11 and to Tadao Yasuda at PRIDE 13).

 [PRIDE] Attendance; some updates
Brandon on 11/24/2002 @ 21:20 

The attendance for PRIDE 23 in the Tokyo Dome was announced as 52,228. This is slightly less than their last Tokyo Dome show at PRIDE 17 on 11/3/01, which drew 53,246. The PRIDE 17 (headlined by Silva vs. Sakuraba and Herring vs. Nogeuira) show is still their largest crowd in their now six shows in the Tokyo Dome.

Nobuhiko Takada said after he was punched by Kiyoshi Tamura and he was knocked out, he "saw a white light and didn't know what happened." This was apparently the first time Takada has ever been knocked out. Takada said after the fight, "The PRIDE ring is not so easy that a fighter who retires can win easily. I have no regrets."

After his fight with Emelianenko Fedor, where the fight was stopped to due the possibility of a broken left orbital (eye) bone, Heath Herring was taken to the hospital. He was examined and it's doubtful that his orbital bone is fractured.

After his loss to Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira, Semmy Schilt commented, "I was caught in the trap of Nogeuira."

After Kevin Randleman defeated Kenichi Yamamoto, Mark Coleman said that Randleman would win the PRIDE Middlweight Title soon.

Hirotaka Yokoi said after his win over Jerrell Venetiaan that he wanted to continue to have fights in PRIDE, but also continue wrestling for ZERO-ONE.

Hidehiko Yoshida, after his surprising win over Don Frye, expressed that he would like to participate in PRIDE 24 on 12/23 in Fukuoka and that he would soon like to challenge Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira for the PRIDE Heavyweight Title. He also mentioned Vanderlei Silva as a possible future opponent. His opponent, Don Frye was unable to give comment after the match, since he went to the hospital to have his arm treated.

 [ZERO-ONE] OH Gun defend NWA IC Tag Title
Brandon on 11/24/2002 @ 20:49 

Shinya Hashimoto (37) and Naoya Ogawa (34) successfully defended their NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title for the first time on 11/24 in Fukuoka by defeated The Predator and Jimmy Snuka Jr. The match saw The Predator attempt to use his chain several times, but was never really successful. Ogawa and Hashimoto have now defeated all the major tag teams in ZERO-ONE (Tanaka and Otani, Twin Towers, Predator and Snuka). It appears that they will next defend the title in some capacity against Matt Ghaffari on 12/15 in the Ryogoku Kokugikan.

60-minutes l 1 fall
NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title
Naoya Ogawa (victory), Shinya Hashimoto [12:21; pinfall] Jimmy Snuka Jr. (defeat), The Predator

 [NOAH] Kobashi defeats Taue; Kanemaru, Kikuchi defend title
Brandon on 11/24/2002 @ 20:26 

<> 11/24 <> Miyagi Sports Center <> 3100 fans

Kenta Kobashi (35) pinned Akira Taue on 11/24 in their first singles match in a few years. Taue attacked Kobashi's left knee, using dragon screws and other moves. However, after almost 23 minutes, Kobashi defeated Taue after his trademark lariat.

45-minutes l 1 fall
Kenta Kobashi (victory) [22:49; pinfall] Akira Taue (defeat)

Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Tsyoshi Kikuchi defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title for the third time on 11/24 in Miyagi, defending against Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest. The gaijin team attacked the right elbow of Kikuchi, taking Kikuchi out of a portion of the match, where Kanemaru had to fight both men by himself.

Kanemaru and Kikuchi's next challenger's may be Jado and Gedo, in another chance for a New Japan team to win back the title.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title
Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (victory), Yoshinobu Kanemaru [19:28; cross armbar] Donovan Morgan (defeat), Michael Modest

 [PRIDE] PRIDE 23 results
Brandon on 11/24/2002 @ 03:40 

Tokyo Dome

-In the opening ceremony, Don Frye appeared wearing a gi.

1. Hirotaka Yokoi defeated Jerrell Venetiaan in 2R (3:29) by submission with an armbar.

-1R: Yokoi avoids punches from Venetiaan. Yokoi acheives mount and lands punches. Venetiaan gets Yokoi back to side mount.
-2R: Yokoi gets Venetiaan in side mount. He goes for the armbar, but Venetiaan escapes. They stand. Yokoi takes him down and mounts. He applies the armbar. Venetiaan submits.
-After, Yokoi said he was happy to have won on Takada's retirement day.

2. Kevin Randleman defeated Kenichi Yamamoto in 3R (1:16) by TKO with knee strikes.

-1R: Randleman attempts to apply a keylock, caused damage, but could not fully extend it. Randleman is able to extend the keylock, but Yamamoto miraculously escapes. They stand, where Randleman knocks Yamamoto down with strikes. Randleman applies and extends the keylock again, but Yamamoto is able to ease the hold. Yamamoto is able to get Randleman in the guard until the end of the round.
-2R: Randleman puts the keylock in place again. He continues to go between the keylock and throwing punches to Yamamoto's face while in the side mount. Randleman attacks with knees from the north-south position. Yamamoto appears cut as the round ends.
-3R: Randleman takes down Yamamoto and acheives side mount. He lands a series of knees to the head from the north-south position. The referee stops the fight.

3. Ricardo Arona defeated Murilo "Ninja" Rua in 3R (5:00) by unanimous decision (3-0).

-1R: Ninja throws a jumping knee, misses, Arona takes him down. Arona acheives half guard. Ninja sweeps out. They both stand and go to a bodylock in the corner. The referee breaks them up. Ninja attempts a takedown. Arona takes him down. Arona takes back mount. Ninja spins out into Arona's guard. They exchange small strikes from Arona's guard. The referee gave Arona a yellow card for stalling. They are stood up, then return to the ground in Ninja's guard. Arona throws body shots, while Ninja throws liver kicks. Arona broke Ninja's guard and went for a leglock. Arona possibily could have submitted Ninja with it, but the bell rang, ending the round.
-2R: Arona takes him down with a judo sweep into Ninja's half guard. Ninja sweeps out and goes for a takedown, but Arona catches him in a front guillotine. The hold looks tight, but Ninja is able to slip out. They go back to the ground into Arona's half guard. Arona is able to get full guard. Ninja is able to stand with Arona on his back in butt scoot as the bell rings.
-3R: Ninja throws knees in the over-under position. The referee breaks them up. Arona takes him down with a double-leg takedown. Ninja is able to close guard. Both throw small punches. Ninja stands up and goes for a lower-body clinch. Ninja takes him down with a a single-leg take down, but Arona gets back up. Arona takes him down again with a double-leg takedown. The round ends. Arona wins by unanimous decision.

4. PRIDE Heavyweight Title "Elimination Bout": Emelianenko Fedor defeated Heath Herring at the end of 1R (10:00) by doctor stoppage.

-Herring weighs in at 109kg; Fedor at 105kg.
-1R: Fedor almost applies a kneebar, but Herring escapes. Fedor passes Herring's guard. Fedor lands a series of knees and strikes. Herring is cut. Officials check Herring and allow the fight to continue. Fedor takes him down. Fedor throws punches as Herring covers up. Herring's eye is swelling badly. Several position changes, until Herring closes guard. Fedor gets into half guard. They separate. Fedor mounts Herring. Herring spins and gives him his back in a high back mount. Fedor applies a rear naked choke. It's not fully applied. Fedor gives up on it. He puts his hooks in. Fedor goes for the choke again, but Herring escapes. Herring is bleeding badly. Herring gets north-south position and lands some knees and punches as the round ends. The doctor examines Herring after the round and stops the fight. Herring's left eye bone may be fractured.
-Fedor earns the right to face Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira for the PRIDE Heavyweight Title on 12/23 in Fukuoka at PRIDE 24.

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira defeated Semmy Schilt in 1R (6:36) by submission with a triangle choke.

-1R: Nogeuira attempts a takedown, but Schilt evades. Nogeuira takes him down. Schilt puts him in the guard and holds Nogeuira's wrists. Nogeuira comes off and jumps on him, getting in Schilt's half guard. Nogeuira gets full mount. Schilt pulls down the back of Nogeuira's head to keep him from doing much. Nogeuira applies the triangle. Schilt picks him up and drops him, but Nogeuira holds on. Nogeuira has it in tight. Schilt taps out.
-Nogeuira said in the ring, he is the champion and that no matter who he fights he will "beat them all."

6. PRIDE Middleweight Title: Vanderlei Silva defeated Hiromitsu Kanehara in 1R (3:31) by TKO (corner stoppage) with kicks.

-1R: They both come out throwing punches until they go down into Kanehara's guard. Kanehara stands up. Silva knocks him down with a punch. They go into Kanehara's guard. Silva stands up. Silva throws punches at Kanehara. Silva stomps and kicks Kanehara's head. Kanehara's corner threw in the towel.
-Silva said in the ring after the fight, "I'd like to thank my team and the fans for the support they gave us... Thanks for showing up at PRIDE. You're the best fans. I'll train hard and try to show a good fight again next time. I really thank Mr. Morishita. Arigato gozaimashita!"
-Silva's second defense of the PRIDE Middleweight Title.

Antonio Inoki made his entrance. He said that when he went to Brazil the other day he had found a new fighter named Ryoto Machida, who is from Brazil, but his father is from Japan. He introduced Machida, who said, "I'm finally back in my father's country. I will do my best." Inoki took a seat at ringside.

7. Hidehiko Yoshida defeated Don Frye in 1R (5:32) by submission with an armbar.

-Frye entered wearing the the gi jacket (but no gi pants). Yoshida entered wearing the full gi. Frye took off the gi jacket just before the bell rang.
-1R: Yoshida took Frye down. Frye put him in the guard. Yoshida goes for the choke he used against Royce Gracie, but Frye escapes it. Frye gets up. Yoshida gets his back. Yoshida puts one hook in. He puts the second hook in. Yoshida uses the bottom of the gi to choke Frye. Frye holds onto the gi. Yoshida appears to have the choke on very tight. Frye took the back door out and got into Yoshida's guard. Frye takes body shots. Frye gets out of full guard into half guard. Yoshida goes underneath for an armbar. Yoshida has the armbar extended all the way. Frye would not tap out. The referee stops the fight. Frye was up and walking, so his arm doesn't appear to be broken, but is probably dislocated.
-Yoshida said in the ring, "This was my first vale tudo match. Luckily I was able to win. I thank everyone for their support."

8. Takada Retirement Match: Kiyoshi Tamura defeated Nobuhiko Takada in 2R (1:00) by TKO.

-1R: They exchange punches and low kicks for the first minute and a half. Tamura hits Takada with a low kick that sends him to the mat. Takada goes to the butt scoot. The referee makes him stand up. They continue some mostly uninteresting standing exchanges. Tamura accidentally kicks Takada in the groin. Takada appears to be in great pain. There's a special announcement that there will be a three-minute break to give Takada a chance to recover. Tamura is penalized with a yellow card, although the strike seemed to be unintentional. After the break, the match is restarted. They go back to doing the same thing, standing up. Tamura frequently throws low kicks which bruise Takada's right leg. Takada switches his stance to protect his right leg. They go down to Tamura's guard. They don't do much there. Takada holds on to Tamura's wrists. Takada punches Tamura's face somewhat lightly. Tamura stands up. Takada lays down for a few seconds, then he stands up. The round ends.
-2R: Takada begins the second round with a purple bruise on his right leg. Tamura throws two low kicks. Tamura lands a right hook. Takada goes down. The referee stops the fight. Doctors and officials crowd around Takada. Takada is up and seems to be okay. Tamura is in tears.
-In the ring, Tamura said, "Takada-san, thank you very much. Thank you for intstructing me and I'm sorry for the inconveniences I've caused. Honestly, I don't know what to say right now. Today is your retirement day. I don't know what to think about this. Thank you for giving the people their dream and hope for twenty-two years."
-Takada said on the microphone, "Thank you for twenty-two years. Thank you for supporting PRIDE. Today's event is not over. Sakuraba will come out and fight in the main event." Many shook hands with Takada, including Antonio Inoki and Yoshihiro Takayama. Inoki gave Takada his jacket. Kazushi Sakuraba made his entrance and shook hands with Takada. Confetti falls. Sakuraba appears very emotional over the result of Takada's loss.

9. Kazushi Sakuraba defeated Gilles Arsene in 3R (2:18) by submission.
-Arsene enters wearing a jiu-jitsu gi with a purple belt (two belts away from black).
-Takada goes to Sakuraba's corner.
-1R: Sakuraba lands a series of uppercuts. They go down into Arsene's half guard. Sakuraba attempts to pass the half guard. Sakuraba acheives side mount. He attempts a rear naked choke, but Arsene fights it off. Sakuraba goes for the choke again, but Arsene spins out and goes into the north-south position. Sakuraba lands slaps from the side mount. Arsene isn't doing much, though, Sakuraba isn't very aggresive either, taking his time on the ground. Arsene gets half guard position as the bell rings.
-2R: Sakuraba lands jabs and uppercuts. Arsene can only cover up. Sakuraba palm strikes from the side mount. Sakuraba lands punches. Sakuraba gets him into inverted north-south position. The second round ends.
-3R: Sakuraba comes in with a right straight. Arsene drops. They go to the ground. Sakuraba uses the Mongolion chop. He attempts an armbar. He has it partially extended. Arsene taps out before Sakuraba fully extends it.
-Sakuraba took the microphone saying, "Thank you very much for coming today. It's a been a while since I've won. I'm very happy I won this time." Takada entered the ring, "Saku, congratulations. You're a real man, Saku. There's so much pressure, it's amazing how you managed to win." Takada then revealed that Sakuraba is fighting with bad knees that he just go approval from the doctors to fight yesterday. Takada then invited all the UWFi fighters to come to the ring. Masahito Kakihara, Yoshihiro Takayama, Yoji Anjo, Gary Goodridge, Hidehiko Yoshida, Vanderlei Silva, Kiyoshi Tamura all enter the ring. Nogeuira and Fedor also enter. Tamura and Kenichi Yamamoto (who Tamura almost pulled out of the show over) shake hands. Takada speaks again, "Thank you for supporting PRIDE. PRIDE will even become bigger. Thank you very much!" Everyone bows.
-Inoki entered the ring. "Takada, arigato! Thanks for the great fight tonight. Thanks for your great support. ICH! NI! SAN! DAA!"

 [New Japan/NOAH] Chono and Misawa may tag on 1/10
Brandon on 11/23/2002 @ 16:43 

Masahiro Chono (39), who is trying to get Mitsuharu Misawa (40) to be his tag partner for New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 1/4/03 said that there is a possibility that they may tag at NOAH's 1/10/03 show in the Nippon Budokan.

 [All Japan/WJ] Tenryu offered to participate in WJ show
Brandon on 11/23/2002 @ 16:37 

Genichiro Tenryu revealed on 11/23 that Riki Choshu has made him an offer to participate in World Japan's opening show on 3/1 in Yokohama.

Tenryu said he probably wouldn't take the offer, but hasn't decided yet.

 [PRIDE] Tamura demands alternative gloves
Brandon on 11/22/2002 @ 13:00 

On 11/22, head PRIDE referee and Rule Director, Yuji Shimada addressed Kiyoshi Tamura's demands to use different gloves in his fight with Nobuhiko Takada at PRIDE 23 on 11/24.

Tamura is worried that the gloves are too thin. PRIDE gloves come in three sizes: L, LL and 3L. The gloves that were planned to be used in the fight between Tamura and Takada were 10oz. L-sized gloves. However, in the rules meeting for the fight, Tamura made it clear that he wants to use the thicker 12oz gloves used by the U-FILE CAMP. Tamura also uses these gloves in his training. After the meeting was finished, it was decided by Shimada that he would allow the gloves to be used by Tamura in the fight. The gloves will be specially made. This will be the first time non-official PRIDE gloves will be used in the PRIDE ring. Apparently, Takada will still use the normal 10oz official PRIDE gloves.

Some in the media suggested that this might be Tamura's way of playing mind games before the fight. Another member of the media asked Shimada if the gloves might have influence on submissions. Shimada said he didn't see how they could. Shimada also said that Tamura's complaint may be reasonable, since Enson Inoue once broke his hand in a fight, wearing the normal gloves and that Tamura probably wants to be able to punch as hard as possible.

 [All Japan] Animal Warrior
Brandon on 11/22/2002 @ 12:41 

It was announced on 11/22 that Keiji Muto's mystery tag partner for the World's Strongest Tag League would be Animal Warrior (41).

To take a guess, Animal Warrior might be Road Warrior Animal.

 [Content] MMA Previews
Brandon on 11/22/2002 @ 00:54 
MMA Previews:
Brien: In all honesty, when I first heard that this was the fight, I thought "This is stupid, it's a blowout!". However, the more I learn about Kanehara, the more I think me MIGHT actually have a shot here!

 [Tapes] G1 Climax 2002 comp
Brandon on 11/21/2002 @ 23:57 
The is now available for $20. It includes all matches from the tournament from all seven G1 shows [8/3/02, 8/4/02, 8/5/02, 8/7/02, 8/8/02, 8/10/02 (semi-finals), 8/11/02 (finals)]

 [WJ] Yokohama Arena, 3/1
Brandon on 11/21/2002 @ 21:33 

There was a press conference held in Tokyo on 11/21 by Riki Choshu and Yoshiaki Yatsu, where Yatsu formally became part of Choshu's World Japan promotion.

Choshu announced that the promotion's first show would take place on 3/1 in the 12,000-seat Yokohama Arena, titled, "MAGMA." Choshu, Yatsu and Choshu's three trainees are all planned to wrestle on the show.

Yatsu said, "I want to give my all."

 [PRIDE] Herring and Schilt arrive in Japan
Brandon on 11/21/2002 @ 12:53 

Golden Glory members, Heath Herring and Semmy Schilt have arrived in Japan.

Schilt was interviewed. He was asked if he was unhappy about the match with PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogeiura being a non-title match, but said that he didn't feel very bad about it and that maybe someday he can fight for the title. He said he's talked Heath Herring (who fought Nogeuira at PRIDE 17 on 11/3/01) about Nogeuira, but that what they've talked about is secret. Then when asked about Bob Sapp, who he will fight in the K-1 Grand Prix on 12/7 in the Tokyo Dome, he was shown a picture of Sapp doing the Shining Wizard on Great Muta. Schilt said, "the shining wizard will not reach me."

Heath Herring said he's been practicing kickboxing for the last two years, but when asked, he said he doesn't plan on entering K-1. He said he's looking forward to his fight with Fedor, to get a chance to fight Nogeuira again (the winner will fight Nogeiura for the PRIDE Heavyweight Title at PRIDE 24 on 12/23). He said he's in good condition. When asked if his hairstyle is a secret he said, "That's right, it's a secret. I'll surprise you on Sunday."

 [Inoki] Bom-Ba-Ye 2002 announcement
Brandon on 11/21/2002 @ 12:39 

Antonio Inoki held a press conference on 11/21, where he made a few announcements regarding the "Inoki Festival III" which will take place on 12/31 in the Saitama Super Arena.

The show will be broadcast at 9:00PM (Japan time) on the day of the show (presumably live), on the JNN network.

Tickets for the show will go on sale on 12/1.

Inoki said that the show will have a "Inoki Army vs. PRIDE vs. K-1" theme, and suggested that Kazuyuki Fujita and Tadao Yasuda would participate in the show.

Yesterday, Inoki told the media that he would like to see Fujita have a rematch with Mirko CroCop on the show.

 [New Japan] Josh Barnett to wrestle on 1/4
Brandon on 11/21/2002 @ 12:32 

Masahiro Chono (39) announced on 11/21 that former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett (25) would participate in New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 1/4/03.

His opponent(s) are undecided.

 [New Japan] Liger/Suzuki signing
Brandon on 11/21/2002 @ 12:27 

At the signing ceremony on 11/20 for the Pancrase fight between Jushin Thunder Liger and Minoru Suzuki, Liger said that there would be continued participation from New Japan in Pancrase.

Masked, Liger will fight Suzuki in a shootfight on 11/30 for Pancrase in the Yokohama Culture Gymnasium.

 [PRIDE] Frye arrives in Japan; Nogeiura and Silva interviewed
Brandon on 11/20/2002 @ 12:51 

Don Frye landed in Japan on 11/20, tearing up a picture of his PRIDE 23 opponent, Hidehiko Yoshida. Frye flew in from Hawaii, so with the lesser time difference, he's only come four days earlier. He said that Yoshida is a wonderful athlete, but that he's fully confident that he will win and that the fight would be like "World War III."

PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogeiura was interview on 11/20 also. He said he is 100% for his fight with Semmy Schilt. His weight has increased 2kg. He said he thinks he can show how strong he is in this fight. His impression of Schilt is that he's very tall and skillful. He watched his match with Ernesto Hoost from the Dynamite! show. He'll try to use armbarring techniques on him in the fight and that standing with him would be dangerous. He said if Yoshida defeats Frye, he would like to fight him.

Vanderlei Silva: My condition is very good. When training, I became thin and I weight 92kg. Of course, I want to win by knockout. I have not seen video on Kanehara. [How long will the fight last?] It's hard to say. I want to do my best. If comes at me, I think I can finish him early. If I can, I want to enter PRIDE 24 [on 12/24]... Although the promoters decide my opponents, I want to fight a fighter as famous as myself. If Yoshida beats Frye, I would like to fight Yoshida.

--As always, this page will have full, detailed results of the PRIDE show, starting at around 4:00AM EST on 11/24.

 [Content] MMA Preview
Brandon on 11/20/2002 @ 00:55 
MMA Preview:
The fight the world has been waiting for! The greatest MMA fight in the history of the sport! The New School versus The Old Guard! Yeah right...

 [PRIDE] Yoshida has the cold
Brandon on 11/20/2002 @ 00:52 

Hidehiko Yoshida (33) who will fight Don Frye (36) on 11/24 in the Tokyo Dome at PRIDE 23, has come down with a cold. The cold has worsened, reportedly causing him to miss any training on 11/16 and 11/17. He resumed training on 11/18, however, and has also received medical treament.

 [WJ] Yatsu joins World Japan
Brandon on 11/20/2002 @ 00:46 

It was announced on 11/19 that Yoshiaki Yatsu (46) of the small independent promotion, SPWF, had joined Riki Choshu's World Japan promotion.

Choshu and Yatsu have a history together, having tagged in All Japan, Choshu's Japan Pro and New Japan.

 [New Japan] Chono/Misawa dream tag team
Brandon on 11/20/2002 @ 00:36 

Masahiro Chono (39) spoke to the media on 11/19 about the possibility of a tag team between himself and Mitsuharu Misawa (40) for New Japan's 1/4 Tokyo Dome show.

If Misawa does represent NOAH, teaming with Chono on the 1/4 show, it's likely that all four major promotions (New Japan, NOAH, All Japan and ZERO-ONE) would be represented on one show. This would be the first time that would happen, and it would be the first time NOAH wrestlers and All Japan wrestlers appeared on the same show.

 [Content] Whole Alf`n Review
Brandon on 11/19/2002 @ 16:02 
Whole Alf'n Review:
After some footage of outside the arena (the show took place on an oh so bright sunny day in June), we get footage from inside the arena, with the UWFi theme playing and pyro from the turnbuckles. The lights around the ring dim and we go to the ring...

 [All Japan] Kea and Kojima have open training session
Brandon on 11/19/2002 @ 12:53 

On 11/19, Satoshi Kojima and Taiyo Kea, who will team in All Japan's World Strongest Tag League (which begins on 11/23 in Tokyo Korakuen Hall) had an open training session where they showed a variety of double team moves they plan to use in the tournament.

In the above picture on the left, Kojima executes the lariat, while Kea hits the opponent with a heel kick. The picture on the right seems to be a double fisherman buster.

Kojima said that he wants to have a name for the tag team, but hasn't decided what it will be yet. Some of his ideas are: "Kojikea," "Kojisanzu," and "543."

On another note, Kea and Kojima also celebrated Kea's 27th birthday one day late.

 [UFO/ZERO-ONE] Katsuhisa Fujii joins UFO
Brandon on 11/19/2002 @ 12:45 

It was announced that UFO has a new member: Katsuhisa Fujii (30). Fujii (184cm; 100kg) who has entered in Pancrase and is an experience wrestler, having placed third in the Nihon University championship in 1994 at 82kg.

Fujii said first he will go on a "wild rampage" in ZERO-ONE.

Fujii may become an ally to Naoya Ogawa in his matches in ZERO-ONE.

 [UFO] 2nd Legend
Brandon on 11/19/2002 @ 12:37 

UFO President, Tatsuo Kawamura (61) announced on 11/19 that UFO has intentions to have a show entitled, "2nd Legend" in either March or April 2003. Their plan for the show is to have the Naoya Ogawa vs. Rickson Gracie match that has been talked about for so long.

 [New Japan] Interpromotional matches on 1/4
Brandon on 11/19/2002 @ 12:29 

After "declaring war" on Shinya Hashimoto and Keiji Muto at the W-1 show on 11/17, Masahiro Chono (39) said on 11/18 that New Japan would "open war" with other organizations at the 1/4/03 Tokyo Dome show, including All Japan and ZERO-ONE.

 [All Japan] Tokyo Dome show on 1/19
Brandon on 11/17/2002 @ 22:47 

It was announced after the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17 that All Japan would have their first Tokyo Dome show in two years on 1/19/03. It seems the show will be titled, "2nd WRESTLE-1". Muto said he wants to defend the Triple Crown against Goldberg there.

A formal announcement will be made on 11/18.

Names being thrown around to be on the card are Hulk Hogan, Bill Goldberg and Bob Sapp.

It's unofficially arranged that the show from the Tokyo Dome would be broadcast live on pay-per-view.

 [Content] This Week in Puroresu
Brandon on 11/17/2002 @ 22:30 
This Week in Puroresu:
-What I watched
--New Japan G1 Climax 2002
--New Japan "Crossroads" 8/29/02
--NOAH 7/26/02
-Joanie Laurer on FOX Sports Net
-Riki Choshu opens WJ

Note: PRIDE 23 Preview will be up soon.

 [All Japan] "WRESTLE-1" results
Brandon on 11/17/2002 @ 06:45 

Yokohama Arena
Drawing 12,807

1. Abdullah the Butcher defeated Masaaki Satake in 5:10 after an elbow drop.

2. Kendo Kashin and THE APEMAN NIGO (Jimmy Yang) defeated La Parka and Super Parka in 13:37 when Kashin submitted La Paraka with a cross armbar.

3. Sam Grecaras (Sam Greco) and Dos Caras Jr. defeated Taiyo Kea and Kay Hayashi in 12:20 when Caras pinned Hayashi after a top-rope frankensteiner.

4. Satoshi Kojima and Hiroshi Hase defeated Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman in 16:49 when Kojima pinned Randleman after a lariat.

-The New Japan logo appeared on the screen and Masahiro Chono made his entrance to do commentary. Chono said, "To Muto and Hashimoto, New Japan is number-one!"

5. Shinya Hashimoto defeated Josh Dempsey in 8:01 with a triangle hold.

6. Bill Goldberg defeated Rick Steiner in 6:03 with the jackhammer.
-Goldberg apparently charted a high-speed plane from Hollywood to make it in time for the show.

7. Bob Sapp defeated Great Muta in 6:33 after a diving headbutt.

 [All Japan] Golberg vs. Rick Steiner announced
Brandon on 11/16/2002 @ 11:20 

All Japan announced that Bill Goldberg's opponent for the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17 will be Rick Steiner. The match will be in the semi-main event.

However, it's on Goldberg's website that he will not be attending the show. So who knows what's going to happen.

The full card looks like:
-Abdullah the Butcher vs. Masaaki Satake
-Sam Grecaras (Greco)/Dos Caras Jr. vs. Kaz Hayashi/Taiyo Kea
-La Parka/Super Parka vs. Kendo Ka Shin/Apeman Nigo (Yang)
-Mark Coleman/Kevin Randleman vs. Satoshi Kojima/Hiroshi Hase
-Josh Dempsey vs. Shinya Hashimoto
-Rick Steiner vs. Bill Goldberg
-Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta

 [All Japan] Muto will dive out of the ring
Brandon on 11/16/2002 @ 11:17 

Keiji Muto (40) said on 11/16 that he would probably try diving onto Bob Sapp outside the ring in their match on 11/17 in the Yokohama Arena, where Muto will be under the Great Muta gimmick.

Live results of the "WRESTLE-1" show will begin here tonight/early tomorrow at 5:00AM EST.

 [New Japan] Nagata wants Kensuke to return
Brandon on 11/16/2002 @ 11:02 

After Kensuke Sasaki announced his resignation from New Japan Pro Wrestling on 10/6, Yuji Nagata clearly expressed his displeasure with Kensuke. But now as talks about Kensuke returning have come about, Nagata has said that he wants Kensuke to return to New Japan.

 [All Japan/K-1] Sapp arrives in Japan
Brandon on 11/14/2002 @ 12:37 

Bob Sapp (28) arrived in Japan, in Narita Airport on 11/14.

Sapp will fight Great Muta on the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17 and will compete in K-1's World Grand Prix final on 12/7 in the Tokyo Dome.

Sapp said that he will eat Muta like an omelet, using his head as an egg.

 [New Japan] Joanie Laurer on FOX Sports Net on 11/14
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 22:06 

FOX Sports Net's "Best Damn Sports Show Period," will air a segment tomorrow (11/14) night, featuring Joanie Laurer and her 10/14 match with Masahiro Chono.

Check your local listings for the time, since the show airs at different times on different affiliates.

 [New Japan] Nagata meets Barnett
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 19:50 

Yuji Nagata (34), currently visiting the US, was in the LA Dojo, where he met and posed for pictures with former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Josh Barnett.

Nagata dared to further express an interest in having a rematch with Mirko CroCop, who easily KO'ed him on 12/31/01. Nagata said he has a "strong desire" to fight CroCop again. He wants to do it at New Japan's 1/4/02 Tokyo Dome. If the match happens there, it would be the best for Nagata, since if it's in New Japan, it will surely be a work.

 [Junior Tag Tournament] More information
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 19:36 

The shows that will be run in the Tokyo Differ Ariake on 2/8 and 2/9 will be aired by NTV (which also broadcasts NOAH regularly), which probably means there will be other, longer satellite versions of the shows aired. The 2/9 show, which will probably at least have the final two rounds of the tournament, will be aired live on NTV's G+ channel.

It's also clear now that eight teams will enter the tournament. Partcipants expected are Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Tatsuhito Takaiwa (maybe teaming with Naohiro Hoshikawa), and Great Sasuke and Tiger Mask.

 [New Japan] Kensuke appears in public
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 16:06 

Kensuke Sasaki (36) appeared in public for the first time in about a month -- since he announced his resignation from New Japan Pro Wrestling.

He appeared, arriving at the New Japan Office, where he was to negotiate with officials about a possible return to the promotion.

He was approached by the press, but declined to comment, saying he was only there to make his visit to the office.

 [New Japan] Murakami plans to win with Nagata lock
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 15:58 

Kazunari Murakami, who will challenge IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata on 12/10 in Osaka said on 11/13 that he plans to use the Nagata Lock I and II to help him defeat Nagata.

 [All Japan] Chono accepts Muto`s invitation; Hashimoto to wrestle
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 12:44 

Masahiro Chono accepted Keiji Muto's invitation to be a television commentator for the PPV broadcast of the WRESTLE-1 show on 11/17.

It was also decided that Shinya Hashimoto will participate on the show. His opponent will be Josh Dempsey, who has fought in K-1 and has wrestled on many occasions for Hashimoto's ZERO-ONE.

This now makes it certain that the "Three Musketeers" will reunite at the show on 11/17 in the Yokohama Arena.

Also regarding the show, Satoshi Kojima's partner has been determined to be Hiroshi Hase. They will team against Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman.

 [All Japan] Sapp postpones leave to Japan to 11/14
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 12:39 

Bob Sapp (28) was scheduled to have left on 11/13 for Japan, but because of problems with his schedule, he will not be leaving until 11/14.

It's being said that the postponement has nothing to do with a fall he took in the bathroom in his home in Seattle, where he bruised his left thigh and also supposedly destroyed his bathtub in the process.

Sapp will still land in Japan well in time for the "WRESTLE-1" show for 11/17 in the Yokohama Arena.

 [NOAH/ZERO-ONE/WEW/IWA/Toryumon] Junior Tag Tournament in February
Brandon on 11/13/2002 @ 12:33 

In what sounds like it could be a tag team version of the Super J Cup, Pro Wrestling NOAH, ZERO-ONE, WEW, IWA Japan and Toryumon will hold a two-day junior heavyweight tag team tournament on 2/8 and 2/9. Both shows will take place in the Tokyo Differ Ariake.

This announcement was made in the NOAH office in Tokyo on 11/13.

There is no decided name for the tournament yet, other than "Junior Tag Tournament," though a more creative name may be determined later.

No word on any participants yet, other than the statement made in the NOAH office said that each organization's top juniors will compete.

 [PRIDE] Sakuraba vs. Arsene main event
Brandon on 11/12/2002 @ 17:41 

Correction on an early report. The Takada vs. Tamura match will take place, but in the semi-main event. The new main event will be what was previously scheduled to be the opener: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Gilles Arsene.

Also, PRIDE finally confirmed a nineth fight for the card: Hirotaka Yokoi vs. Jerrell Venetiaan. That fight will open the show.

 [WJ Pro] Choshu introduces Fighting of World Japan
Brandon on 11/12/2002 @ 15:48 

Riki Choshu finally announced his true plans on 11/12. He announced that he has begun a new promotion: Fighting of World Japan.

The President of the promotion will be Masaji Fukuda. Mangement Director will be Choshu's business patner, Katsuji Nagashima. And Hiroaki Morisawa will serve as Control Adviser.

It was also announced that in his dojo in the Ota-ku prefecture, there are currently three students training to become wrestlers. The promotion's debut show is planned for sometime in March.

Below is the press conference that was held in Tokyo on 11/12:

Chairman: Thank you all for coming here from various mass communications on this busy day. A journalistic announcement about the company will be made now. The company name is "Incorporated Company, Fighting of World Japan." The Representative Director and President is Masaji Fukuda. Managing Director is Katsuji Nagashima. Hiroaki Morisawa, of the Uddozu Office is the Control Adviser. Although he is not present today, Koji Murakami will be the Certified Public Accountant. And the Director, Tsuyoshi Nagasu. These are the personnel officers for Fighting of World Japan. And now, a greeting from Representative Director, Masaji Fukuda.

Fukuda: We are gathered today for the establishment of our company, "Incorporated Company Fighting of World Japan". We are fully aware that the only wrestler we have right now is Riki Choshu. However, we will make our own wrestlers and we expect our results to be wonderful. Our organization will create great commotion throughout the community. This includes PRIDE and K-1. We will be extremely powerful and active. I think this will be situation that will blow new breath into the combative-sport community... For many years, I have associated with Riki Choshu. We made a promise to each other that we would seek the true way of pro wrestling. And we are here today. This is the reason that this company has been founded... Choshu has been called, "Maverick" and "New Revolution Soul." And now with Fighting of World Japan, this company has been founded because we want to build a revolution. And we will do this with a man who is never dispensible, our Mangement Director, Katsuji Nagashima. And also, of the Uddozu Office Group, President Morisawa will be Control Adviser. We will be helped by many people of all fields -- even by those will come from this company. I want to my best in this industry. I ask for your warm support.

Question: About many wrestlers are going to be involved?

Choshu: We have come very far... There is one admission student and three test students in the dojo. We will continue to accept admission students if we feel they can make it to the ring.

Question: Then about ten wrestlers?

Choshu: Ten. Probably. Maybe a few more.

Question: Fourteen or fifteen wrestlers?

Choshu: We'll see.

Question: About what time do you plan on having the first show?

Nagashima: We are planning on next spring in March at the moment.

Choshu: The date is undecided because we want to have everything in order. Mentally, too, without being confused after doing so much work. I think soon there will be an announcement from the president or Nagashima.

Question: How often will there be shows?

Nagashima: From the start, there will probably be five a month. Maybe between six and ten.

Fukuda: I think we'll have as many shows as necessary. However, since wrestlers will be self-produced, the matches may seem unfamiliar. But as was said, this will be a breath of air for pro wrestling. But Choshu will still be there.

Question: When will the dojo be complete?

Choshu: It's almost complete now, I think. I think our dojo will be different from other organizations' dojos. We will use different ideas.

Question: How will the dojo be different?

Choshu: Well, right now, I do not want to exhibit the inside. Not at this moment.

Fukuda: Since it's in a quiet residential area, it could be a problem.

Question: What is the size of the dojo?

Fukuda: It's about 100 tsubos (about 400 sq. ft.). It's in Ota-ku.

Question: Specially, what different ideas will be used?

Fukuda: There will be equipment used for training from the US and other changes.

Question: Do you have any ideas to take wrestlers from the the year-end All Japan amatuer championships?

Choshu: It would be difficult to have to go through the universities. I have connections to those places, but there are no plans to bring in amatuer wrestlers.

Question: Where will the first show be held?

Nagashima: The first show will be in a suitable hall.

Question: Somewhere in Tokyo?

Nagashima: Probably somewhere in the Kanto suburbs.

Question: Are there any wrestlers that you're speaking to now [about participating]?

Choshu: There is no one at the moment. I want wrestlers with amateur experience. Of course, this is the pro's world.

Question: Since the time Kensuke Sasaki gave his resignation to New Japan Pro Wrestling, his affiliation has remained uncertain.

Choshu: That was not related to this. That a problem with New Japan.

Nagashima: I heard that we were puppeteers. We must be hiding behind the curtain. (smile)

Question: Will you exchange with other promotions?

Choshu: There are no plans. It is fashionable to "remove borders," but I'm not thinking about such things now.

Question: Why not?

Choshu: It is my feeling that it's not a good idea.

--Masaji Fukuda's statement:

Fukuda: I was happy to be the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, director and adviser for New Japan Pro Wrestling. I surely want to do my best for this industry, in an orderly way, step by step... There are organizations at the moment becoming similar to K-1 and PRIDE. True pro wrestling does not happen there. We have Choshu's familiar style of pro wrestling. That style is called Strong Style. I want the company to use that infront of the fans and show them the color of Choshu, in a way so that they are all dyed. I think Choshu is misunderstood at times. I think that he truly loves pro wrestling purely. He will do his best to bring great entertainment.

Question: Is Choshu-san the ace?

Fukuda: We will all work to take the strain off of Choshu, since he is the "revolution soul."

--Hiroaki Morisawa's statement:

Morisawa: How have we decided to use media? We have not decided. We cannot announce anything yet since we are in the middle of discussing things. It seems that a regular program would be too much for our small tours. I think it would be best if we could have special programs. Rather than a regular showing, we would show many special matches throughout the year.

 [Choshu] WJ Pro is born
Brandon on 11/12/2002 @ 13:00 

There's a new promotion in Japan: Fighting World of Japan. Riki Choshu and others officially announced the opening of a new promotion on 11/12.

Much, much more on this in a few hours.

 [Fujita] Fujita Group
Brandon on 11/12/2002 @ 12:55 
Kazuyuki Fujita (32) announced that he has started the "Fujita Group." He said the group will be "borderless," meaning that fighters from any affiation may be part of it.

Fujita said that he will work towards a trying to get rematch with Mirko CroCop on Inoki's New Years Eve show on 12/31 and that he wants to fight in the United States in UFC.

 [All Japan] Goldberg on W-1 show
Brandon on 11/12/2002 @ 12:52 

All Japan President, Keiji Muto (40) announced on 11/12 in the Tokyo Dome Hotel that Bill Goldberg (35) would be on the "WRESTLE-1" card on 11/17 in the Yokohama Arena. However, Muto said that his opponent is undecided.

 [Osaka Pro] Liger defeats Murahama
Brandon on 11/12/2002 @ 12:39 

<> 11/12 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall

New Japan's Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Osaka Pro's Takehiro Murahama in the main event of Osaka Pro's Tokyo Korakuen Hall show on 11/12.

Immediately after the match, Black Buffalo attacked Liger.

Liger was impressed by Murahama. They shook hands after the match. Liger announced that they would form a "border transgressional" team, and that they would "stir the junior community together."

Liger said he now looks forward to doing his best in his match with Minoru Suzuki for Pancrase on 11/30.

Osaka Pro vs. New Japan Special Singles Match
No-time-limit l 1 fall
Jushin Thunder Liger (victory) [18:45; top-rope brainbuster] Takehiro Murahama (defeat)

Also on the show, Tsubasa and Black Buffalo successfully defended their Osaka Pro Tag Team Title against Super Delfin and Billy Ken Kid.

Osaka Pro Tag Team Title Match
No-time-limit l 1 fall
Tsubasa, Black Buffalo (victory) [17:30; lariat] Billy Ken Kid (defeat), Super Delfin

 [All Japan] Kojima & X vs. Randleman & Coleman
Brandon on 11/11/2002 @ 22:41 

Keiji Muto (40) announced another match for the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17: Satoshi Kojima and X vs. Kevin Randleman and Mark Coleman. This is only the second match announced for the show so far, along with Great Muta vs. Bob Sapp.

Muto claims that he's negotiating with many people about participating on the show including, Abdullah the Butcher, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Steve Austin and Sting. All but Butcher and Goldberg are totally unrealistic.

Muto says that he wants to see a reunion of the "Three Musketeers" (himself, Chono and Hashimoto) at the W-1 show.

There will be a special interview on SkyPerfectTV! pay-per-view with Keiji Muto, where he talks about all the events that have happened in All Japan over the last year. The PPV will cost 500 yen (about $4).

 [PRIDE] Takada healed, but Tamura considers pulling-out
Brandon on 11/11/2002 @ 22:25 

Nobuhiko Takada (40) told the press on 11/11 that the frostbite he suffered on 11/6 has since healed and that he should be able to fight Kiyoshi Tamura on 11/24 at PRIDE 23 in the Tokyo Dome.

However, there is now another problem -- but with Tamura. It appears Tamura is upset that PRIDE has put Kennichi Yamamoto on the PRIDE 23 card and is reluctant about being on the show.

Takada appears somewhat worried by this, but would not comment, saying he wants to stay out of other people's business.

I would say it's likely the match between Takada and Tamura will go on as planned.

 [New Japan] Kensuke likely not to return for next series
Brandon on 11/11/2002 @ 22:19 

It appears that Kensuke Sasaki will probably not make his return to New Japan for their next "Triathlon Survivor" series. Kensuke and the New Japan office appear to still be talking, having not come to a full agreement yet.

In response to this, Shinya Makabe said that if Kensuke does return to New Japan, he wants to be the first to fight him.

 [All Japan] Muto asks Chono to be commentator
Brandon on 11/11/2002 @ 22:16 

Keiji Muto (40) asked that Masahiro Chono (39) act as a commentator for the SkyPerfectTV! live pay-per-view broadcast of the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17.

Muto said, "If he can do it, I want him to watch and criticize my match."

And also, once again, he asked that Shinya Hashimoto (37) participate in the show, though, it does not look like Hashimoto will.

 [All Japan/PRIDE] Satake possibly on W-1 show; reveals skull fracture
Brandon on 11/11/2002 @ 22:13 

While training in the Takada Dojo on 11/11, Masaaki Satake (37) revealed that he had suffered a fractured skull in his match with Quinton Jackson on 4/28 at PRIDE 20, where he lost by TKO after Jackson slammed him.

He said that he may have another (shoot) fight soon, but that he hopes compete on Keiji Muto's "WRESTLE-1" show in the Yokohama Arena on 11/17.

 [NOAH] Kobashi fully recovered
Brandon on 11/11/2002 @ 22:06 

Kenta Kobashi (35), who missed the entire year of 2001 to have multiple knee surgeries, visited the doctor on 11/11.

Dr. Ryosuke Sasaki told Kobashi that he has completely recovered and will no longer need periodical examinations. Dr. Sasaki said that the bone transplant done on Kobashi's knee has been successful and solidified as it was intended to.

Kobashi's last match before his long absence was a victory over Jun Akiyama on 12/23/00 in the Ariake Colesium. After this match, Kobashi took much needed time off. He had at least five operations on both knees. Kobashi returned to the ring on 2/17/02 in the Nippon Budokan, in a tag match Mitsuharu Misawa against Jun Akiyama and Yuji Nagata. It was a good match, however, physically, his return did not go well. Kobashi required more time off, until finally making his permanent return on 7/5/02 in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

 [Big Japan] Naoki Numazawa rushed to the hospital
Brandon on 11/10/2002 @ 18:46 

<> 11/10 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1200 fans

In a barbed wire board deathmatch with Madman Pondo, Naoki Numazawa suffered a large gash to his body after being hit by Pondo with a lightbulb. Part of the lightbulb became stuck in Numazawa's side. After the 20-minute match, Numazawa was taken to the hospital, where, after having bled so severely, he needed a blood transfusion.

After being given 300cc's of blood in the hospital, Numazawa had his 5cm cut stitched up and is said to be completely calm.

Barbed Wire Board Deathmatch
30-minutes l 1 fall
Madman Pondo (victory) [20:28; TF powerbomb] Naoki Numazawa

 [Osaka Pro] Murahama submits El Samurai; MA-G-MA wins Tenno-zan
Brandon on 11/9/2002 @ 19:35 

On 11/9 in Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Big Boss MA-G-MA won Osaka Pro's Tenno-zan Tournament, defeating Takehiro Murahama in the final round.

Murahama defeated New Japan's El Samurai in the semi-final, while MA-G-MA defeated Gamma in the other semi-final.

Murahama will face another New Japan junior heavyweight on 11/12: Jushin Thunder Liger. For Osaka Pro, a promotion that does many shows in and around the Osaka area, the show will be held in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

"Tenno-zan 2002" Semi-Final
MA-G-MA (victory) [11:13; pinfall] Gamma (defeat)

"Tenno-zan 2002" Semi-Final
Takehiro Murahama (victory) [11:57; cross armbar] El Samurai (defeat)

"Tenno-zan 2002" Final
MA-G-MA (victory) [11:43; pinfall] Takehiro Murahama (defeat)

 [PRIDE] Takada vs. Tamura in jeopardy
Brandon on 11/8/2002 @ 17:01 

Nobuhiko Takada (40) is now unsure whether or not he'll be appear to fight in what is scheduled as his last fight, against Kiyoshi Tamura on 11/24 at PRIDE 23 in the Tokyo Dome. Apparently, in training, Takada was icing down his elbows and knees, to the point where they are now frostbitten.

If he cannot appear on the card, Takada said he would like to give his match with Tamura to his student, Kazushi Sakuraba.

Takada is using an ointment, trying to recover from the frostbite.

An opinion: Frostbite? Come on Takada-san. At the very least you can throw some tape or kneepads on your knees to cover those up. That only leaves your elbows. Give the fans that already paid for their tickets for the Tokyo Dome what they paid to see. It's only Kiyoshi Tamura. There aren't many fighters with names like Tamura, but with abilities like "The Best" fighters (except for maybe Takayama... or... you). Ganbarimasu. How bad can frostbite be?

 [NOAH] Ogawa sends "love call" to Kensuke
Brandon on 11/8/2002 @ 16:49 

Yoshinari Ogawa (36) told the press that he would like to have a tag match with Kensuke Sasaki (36) as his partner on 11/8. Ogawa pointed out that he and Kensuke had wrestled in All Japan, when they were both young wrestlers, when Kensuke was in All Japan with Riki Choshu.

 [New Japan] Kanemoto vs. Kakihara
Brandon on 11/8/2002 @ 15:04 

In addition to the IWGP Heavyweight Title and IWGP Tag Team Title matches taking place on the 12/10 in Osaka, there has been an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title match announced.

Koji Kanemoto will defend his title against Masahito Kakihara on 12/7 in Tokushima Municipal Gymnasium.

 [Michinoku Pro] 10th Anniversary Show results
Brandon on 11/8/2002 @ 13:03 

Ota Ward Gymnasium

1. Naohiro Hoshikawa defeated Kazuya Yuasa in 9:35 with a Boston crab.

2. Gran Hamada, Hanzo Nakajima and Hideki Nishida defeated Masao Orihara, Tomohiro Ishii and Bengu in 9:01 when Hamada pinned Bengu.

3. Yone Genjin drew Tsubo Genjin in 4:11 by double countout.

4. Immediate rematch: Tsubo Genjin defeated Yone Genjin in 0:01 with a janken.

5. Tiger Mask and Heat defeated Koji Kanemoto and Gedo in 9:16 when Tiger Mask pinned Gedo.

6. CIMA, SUWA and Don Fujii defeated Curry Man, Tiger Mask and Dragon Kid in 11:34 when CIMA pinned Curry Man.

7. Shoichi Funaki defeated Ikuto Hidaka in 6:59.

8. Great Sasuke, Jinsei Shinzaki and Dick Togo defeated TAKA Michinoku, Kaz Hayashi and Gran Naniwa in 21:45 when Sasuke pinned TAKA.

 [New Japan] Hoshino announces IWGP challengers
Brandon on 11/8/2002 @ 12:36 

After Masahiro Chono granted President Kantaro Hoshino the right to decide who would be the next challengers for both the IWGP Tag Team Title and the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

Hoshino decided on 11/8 that the challenger for Yuji Nagata's IWGP Heavyweight Title on 12/10 in Osaka would be Kazunari Murakami (as Nagata had suggested), while the challengers for Chono and Tenzan's IWGP Tag Team Title will be Tadao Yasuda and Ryushi Yanagisawa.

 [Tapes] New Releases
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 22:42 
Four new tapes in the section:

-New Japan 10/26/02 PPV (Nagata vs. Chono)
-NOAH G+SN Special 9/23/02 (Misawa vs. Takayama)
-New Japan BS-Asahi 8/29/02 (Crossroads; Takayama vs. Fujita)
-New Japan BS-Asahi 8/10-11/02 (G1 Climax semi-finals and final)

 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 22:06 
Scout Report:
What would normal people do when they've spent a weekend writing midterm papers on Buddhism? Take a break? The smart ones do.

 [PRIDE] PRIDE 23 finalized; five matches announced
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 16:07 

Five fights have been added in finalizing the PRIDE 23 card, scheduled for 11/24 in the Tokyo Dome:

-PRIDE Heavyweight Title "Elimination Bout": Heath Herring vs. Emelianenko Fedor
-Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira vs. Semmy Schilt
-Kevin Randleman vs. Kenichi Yamamoto
-Jerrel Venetiaan vs. Hirotaka Yokoi
-Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Gilles Arsene

Sakuraba has decided to make his return to the PRIDE ring, as his doctor said it was his decision. His opponent, Gilles Arsene is a sparring partner of K-1 kickboxer, Jerome Le Banner. Sakuraba also plans on being Nobuhiko Takada's second in his retirement match against Kiyoshi Tamura.

Jerrel Venetiaan makes his return to PRIDE after having defeat Daijiro Matsui at the "Dynamite!" show, fighting ZERO-ONE wrestler, Hirotaka Yokoi.

Kevin Randleman will have his second consecutive fight for PRIDE, this time against Kenichi Yamamoto.

Rodrigo Nogeuira takes on another giant, Semmy Schilt.

And finally, Heath Herring and Emelianenko Fedor will battle for the right to face Nogeuira for the Heavyweight Title at PRIDE 24 on 12/23, leaving a strong possibility that we could see a rematch to the incredible PRIDE 17 fight between Nogeuira and Herring.

These fights add to the other four already announced:
-Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Ricardo Arona
-PRIDE Middleweight Title: Mitsuhiro Kanehara vs. Vanderlei Silva
-Don Frye vs. Hidehiko Yoshida
-Takada Retirement Match: Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Nobuhiko Takada

 [PRIDE] PRIDE 24 on 12/23
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 15:57 

Dream Stage Entertainment (the parent company of PRIDE) announced that PRIDE 24 would be held in the Marine Messe in Fukuoka on 12/23.

President Morishita said that if PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira defeats Semmy Schilt at PRIDE 23 (on 11/24), Nogeuira will finally make his first defense against the winner of Heath Herring vs. Emelianenko Fedor, which is also scheduled for PRIDE 23.

However, if Schilt defeats Nogeuira, Morishita says he may change his decision, possibily giving the title match to Schilt at PRIDE 24, with the winner of Herring/Fedor to have a title match at a later event.

 [New Japan] Nagata visits the US; nominates Murakami
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 15:48 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata (34) will be visiting America, serving as a second to his brother, Katsuhiko Nagata (29), who will be competing in the "Kurt Angle Classic" in New Orleans.

Nagata says that he "wants to put the world into view" with this trip and scout young wrestlers.

Nagata has also nominated Kazunari Murakami as his challenger for the IWGP Heavyweight Title match that is scheduled to take place on 12/10 in Osaka.

 [All Japan] Muto`s partner is Fuchi; he makes a couple other announcements
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 15:40 

Keiji Muto (40) announced on 11/7 that his partner in All Japan's World Strongest Tag League would be Masanobu Fuchi.

Muto also revealed that Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman will be a tag team on the W-1 show on 11/17 in the Yokohama Arena. Also appearing on the show will be Agnes Kamen (Taiyo Kea).

About the future of All Japan, Muto said he wants to establish a Royal Road tradition that will be even greater than Giant Baba's, and that he wants to have a "grand rebirth" of All Japan.

And finally, Muto confirmed rumors that he wants to have a Tokyo Dome show in 2003.

 [Toryumon/Michinoku Pro/Zenjo/WEW] East vs. West show on 1/25
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 12:38 

It was announced in Tokyo on 11/7 that there will be an interpromotional show on 1/25 held in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall. The show will have an "East vs. West" theme, with wrestlers facing each other based on their hometown, whether they are from east or west of Shizuoka. There are said to be nine promotions that will participate, including Toryumon, Michinoku Pro, WEW and Zenjo.

Great Sasuke has been named the captain of the East team. He commented, "Many wrestlers will be gathered together. It will be a pleasure."

The captain of the West team will be CIMA.

The full card will be announced at a later date.

 [All Japan] A new Muta?
Brandon on 11/7/2002 @ 12:29 

Keiji Muto (39) visited Nikkan Sports, where he suggested that he may bring out a "new" Muta for his match on 11/17 against Bob Sapp at the "WRESTLE-1" show. Muto said that the fans may see a different Muta, "far beyond the fan's imaginations."

 [ZERO-ONE] TV Tokyo
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 21:01 

Shinya Hashimoto (37) (who recently appeared on the variety show, "Living Room" with Naoya Ogawa) is in negotiations to have ZERO-ONE's 12/15 Tokyo Sumo Hall show broadcast on TV Tokyo.

There will be some kind of segement devoted to ZERO-ONE on TV Tokyo's "Sports News Frame" show, airing on 12/13, to build up to the 12/15 show. But ZERO-ONE and TV Tokyo are negotiating the possibility of a regular show on the station.

TV Tokyo offices said that they are "still talking" to ZERO-ONE, while the ZERO-ONE office says that the possibility of a deal is very good.

Up until now, ZERO-ONE has only been broadcast on Samurai TV and SkyPerfectTV pay-per-view.

 [New Japan] Fujinami to talk to Kensuke
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 20:42 

New Japan President, Tatsumi Fujinami will speak to Kensuke Sasaki about returning to New Japan Pro Wrestling at the end of this week. Fujinami said that Kensuke has probably been training during his time off, so he could return quickly if they came to an agreement.

Masahiro Chono said that if Kensuke returns, he would consider adding another team to the "Triathlon Survivor" tournament.

 [Choshu] Choshu talks to Nikkan Sports
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 20:39 

Riki Choshu (50) spoke in-depth to anyone the media for the first time since his exit from New Japan in May of this year when he was interviewed by Nikkan Sports on 11/5. Choshu said, "I think I can soon announce various things," though this is what we heard from his partner Nagashima, months ago. However, he also revealed he has a plan to begin training foreign wrestlers.

Choshu commented, "Independent performance? Dojo? New disciple? I think soon I can announce such things. Every organization now is exhausted."

In his interview, some of what he said made it sound as if there was less of a possibility that he would start his own promotion.

Choshu made it clear he was interested in foreign wrestlers, "It is better not to adhere to the Japanese people," and expressed an interest in Bob Sapp.

"The way it is now, this industry is attractive because of its history."

Choshu's dream now seems that he wants to raise successor to himself.

 [New Japan] Nagata/Barton/Steele Press Conference
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 17:40 

Steele: The number-one reason we have come to New Japan is business. I want to have the best matches in the ring and fight against the world as Barton and Steele.

Barton: Like Steele said. We want to have matches against the world as free agents. New Japan Pro Wrestling was our first choice. We also want to appear in the six-man tag tournament held in the next series.

Steele: We are the strongest tag team. But we need one more person to be in the Survivor Triathlon. We need to chose another partner.

Barton: The strongest man suitable to be the partner to the strongest tag team in the world is Yuji Nagata. We want to nominate him as our partner. I want to hear his answer.

[Nagata enters]

Steele: Chono or Norton are unsuitable partners for us. I want Nagata as our partner. What's your answer?

Nagata: I would like to ask you one important question before I answer. IWGP? Triple Crown? Which is the best?

Steele: The IWGP is the world's best.

Barton: That's right. The IWGP is the number-one belt.

Nagata: OK!

Steele: Thank you.

[They all shake hands.]

<> Nagata further comments on the tag league <>

Interviewer: The Nagata, Barton, Steele group was determined toda. The next series is a round robin league, Triathlon Survivor. The final is to be held in Hiroshima on 12/7.

Nagata: I was suddenly nominated, and I was surprised for a moment. They said the number-one singles wrestler in the world was needed for the number-one tag team in the world. I felt like I wanted accept immediately after hearing it, since they know the worth of the IWGP belt. When they attacked Chono in the ring yesterday, I think they were trying to appeal to me... Last year [in the G1 Tag League] I fought them in only two-man tags, but I remember that they were a good team. I teamed with Nakanishi that time, but we could not win. They left an impact in that series. And of course, they finished second. When I team with them soon, the runners-up to the championship should be very good.

Interviewer: Which teams do you think you have to look out for in this league?

Nagata: Except for our team, there really isn't anyone. So I am not worried. Is my team the favorite? We will see. The "Gotch Brothers" (Nakanishi, Nishimura and Yoshie) will be good rivals.

Interviewer: Who will be the playmaker of the team?

Nagata: I am a playmaker. I will fight the way they want me to.

(About Barton and Steele.)

Nagata: It will be another big movement. They will stir New Japan again. I can see our direction, and I think it will be interesting. It will be important for me to fight with them, since the foreigners are the foreign enemies after all. But I am happy to construct this team.

Interviewer: An IWGP Heavyweight Title match is scheduled for the next series, in the final show on 12/10 [in Osaka]. The challenger will be decided by the Makai Club.

 [New Japan] Triathlon Survivor teams and matches announced
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 17:38 

Six teams have entered the Survivor Triathlon league:
-Yuji Nagata, Jim Steele, Mike Barton
-Tatsumi Fujinami, Masahiro Chono, Hiroyoshi Tenzan
-Osamu Nishimura, Manabu Nakanishi, Yutaka Yoshie
-Kenzo Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Blue Wolf
-Scott Norton, Rick Steiner, Shinya Makabe
-Tadao Yasuda, Ryushi Yanagisawa, Makai #1

The rules of the tournament will be the same as the junior triathlon held in the previous series. There will be a six-man tag match, a tag match and a singles match (in that order). The team that wins two out of those matches, takes the win. Each match will have a total 30-minute time-limit, with the final match having a 60-minute time limit. Should time-limit expire in any match, there will be a sudden death round, held as a normal six-man tag match. The winning team receives six-million yen.

Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Triathlon Survivor: Scott Norton/Rick Steiner/Shinya Makabe vs. Manabu Nakanishi/Osamu Nishimura/Yutaka Yoshie
2. Triathlon Survivor: Yuji Nagata/Mike Barton/Jim Steele vs. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Blue Wolf

Fujisawa Akiba Stand Culture Gymnasium
1. Triathlon Survivor: Scott Norton/Rick Steiner/Shinya Makabe vs. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Blue Wolf
2. Triathlon Survivor: Tadao Yasuda/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1 vs. Tatsumi Fujinami/Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Ueda Citizen Gymnasium
1. Triathlon Survivor: Yuji Nagata/Mike Barton/Jim Steele vs. Manabu Nakanishi/Osamu Nishimura/Yutaka Yoshie

Nagano Movement Park Synthesis Gymnsium
1. Tadao Yasuda/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1 vs. Manabu Nakanishi/Osamu Nishimura/Yutaka Yoshie
2. Yuji Nagata/Mike Barton/Jim Steele vs. Tatsumi Fujinami/Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Gumma Synthesis Sports Center Sub-Arena
1. Tadao Yasuda/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1 vs. Scott Norton/Rick Steiner/Shinya Makabe
2. Manabu Nakanishi/Osamu Nishimura/Yutaka Yoshie vs. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Blue Wolf

Tsukuba Kapio
1. Tadao Yasuda/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1 vs. Yuji Nagata/Mike Barton/Jim Steele
2. Tatsumi Fujinami/Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Blue Wolf

Kyoto Gymnasium
1. Scott Norton/Rick Steiner/Shinya Makabe vs. Yuji Nagata/Mike Barton/Jim Steele
2. Tatsumi Fujinami/Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi/Osamu Nishimura/Yutaka Yoshie

Ehime Tex Port Imabari
1. Scott Norton/Rick Steiner/Shinya Makabe vs. Tatsumi Fujinami/Masahiro Chono/Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Yanai Gymnasium
1. Kenzo Suzuki/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Blue Wolf vs. Tadao Yasuda/Ryushi Yanagisawa/Makai #1

Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall
-Triathlon Survivor Final

Kochi Resident Gymnasium
-No matches announced

Tokushima Municipal Gymnasium
-No matches announced

Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
1. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Undecided

There will also be an event considered to be outside of the Triathlon Survivor series.

Nagoya Rainbow Hall (Shown live on PPV)

 [NOAH] Misawa vs. Ogawa determined for 12/7
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 10:36 

Pro Wrestling NOAH announced their main cards for their next series, which opens on 11/14 in the Tokyo Korakuen hall. Announced was GHC Heavyweight Champion, Mitsuharu Misawa (40) will defend the title against former champion, Yoshinari Ogawa (36) on 12/7 in the Yokohama Culture Gymnasium.

GHC Tag Team Champions, Jun Akiyama (33) and Akitoshi Saito (37) will defend their title against Scorpio (37) and Vader (47) in the Hokkaido Green Dome in Sapporo on 12/1. Also on that show, Yoshinobu Kanemaru (26) will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title against KENTA (21).

And before that, on 11/24, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Kanemaru and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi will defend the title against Donovan Morgan and Michael Modest in the Miyagi Sports Center.

 [All Japan] Kojima interview
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 10:26 

With the announcement of the tag league cards, Satoshi Kojima was interview on 11/5 in the All Japan offices in Tokyo. He also presented an interesting drawing.

(Kojima's drawing of Taiyo Kea and himself against Tanaka and Otani)

-Kojima's first appearance in All Japan's tag league-
Kojima: Although I left, having won the G1 Tag League last year, I want to win with Taiyo Kea, who I'm teaming with for the first time this year... But later, if I can say something only about myself, I will participate in the WMF show on 12/12. This was realized through the relations between Muto-san and Hayabusa. And also, I will have a match in ZERO-ONE on 12/15, but I be able to see our match with Tanaka and Otani in the Budokan first... And finally, I will defend the MLW Title in Miami on 12/20... Kea and I will show that we are the strongest team.

-Muto's partner is still X-
Kojima: I feel that X won't be anyone important [smile]. It's Muto-san's thing, I will wait and be patient to find out. But still I have not defeated Muto-san or Tenryu-san. Not in New Japan either. Especially Tenryu-san. So now, although in a tag match, I will fight those two teams to try to defeat Muto-san and Tenryu-san.

-Kojima will oppose Tanaka and Otani in the Budokan Hall-
Kojima: I will finish them the first chance I get this time.

 [All Japan] World`s Strongest Tag League cards
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 09:52 

The league matches for All Japan's annual "World's Strongest Tag" League were announced on 11/5. The final 12/6 Nippon Budokan show (which will be show live on SkyPerfectTV PPV) will once again contain league matches, with the determined finalists to compete at the end of the night. The matches scheduled for the 12/6 show are: Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo, Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka, Keiji Muto/X vs. Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta. So in all likelyhood, the final will be determined between those last two matches.

Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Kaz Hayashi/Tomoaki Honma/Ryuji Hijikata vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman/Jimmy Yang
2. Mitsuya Nagai/Hideki Hosaka vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka
3. Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Yoji Anjo/Shigeo Okumura
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo
5. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji Muto/X vs. Arashi/Nobutaka Araya

Kokura-kita Gymnasium, Fukuoka
1. Yuto Aijima/Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo/Hideki Hosaka
2. Keiji Muto/X/Kaz Hayashi vs. Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta/Nobukazu Hirai
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Arashi/Nobutaka Araya vs. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai

Mashiki-cho Synthesis Gymnasium, Kumamoto
1. Shigeo Okumura/Tomoaki Honma vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo
2. Nobukazu Hirai/Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea/Yuto Aijima
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Arashi/Nobutaka Araya vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji Muto/X vs. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai

Okayama Budokan Hall
1. Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea/Tomoaki Honma vs. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai/Hideki Hosaka
2. World's Strongest Tag League: Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Arashi/Nobutaka Araya
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji Muto/X vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman

Osaka Prefectural Stadium Gymnastics Hall
1. Arashi/Nobutaka Araya/Nobukazu Hirai vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo/Tomoaki Honma
2. Keiji Muto/X/Kaz Hayashi vs. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai/Jimmy Yang
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka

Toyota Gymnasium, Aichi
1. Keiji Muto/X/Kaz Hayashi vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka/Gran Hamada
2. World's Strongest Tag League: Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Arashi/Nobutaka Araya
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo

Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Mitsuya Nagai/Shigeo Okumura/Ryuji Hijikata vs. Arashi/Nobukazu Hirai/Hideki Hosaka
2. Yoji Anjo vs. Nobutaka Araya
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea
5. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji Muto/X vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka

Nagaoka Welfare Hall, Niigata
1. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo/Hideki Hosaka vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman/Jimmy Yang
2. World's Strongest Tag League: Arashi/Nobutaka Araya vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji Muto/X vs. Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea

Akita Municipal Gymansium
1. Satoshi Kojima/Kaz Hayashi vs. Nobutaka Araya/Nobukazu Hirai
2. Taiyo Kea vs. Shigeo Okumura
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka
4. World's Strongest Tag League: Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta vs. Mike Awesome/PJ Friedman
5. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji Muto/X vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo

Ishinomaki Synthesis Gymnasium, Miyagi
1. Keiji Muto/X/Tomoaki Honma vs. Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta/Nobukazu Hirai
2. World's Strongest Tag League: Arashi/Nobutaka Araya vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai

Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall (Shown live on PPV)
1. World's Strongest Tag League: Yoji Anjo/Mitsuya Nagai vs. Steve Williams/Mike Rotundo
2. World's Strongest Tag League: Satoshi Kojima/Taiyo Kea vs. Shinjiro Otani/Masato Tanaka
3. World's Strongest Tag League: Keiji/X vs. Genichiro Tenryu/Big John Tenta

 [New Japan] Nagata to team with Barton and Steele
Brandon on 11/5/2002 @ 09:21 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata (34) announced that he had formed a union with New Japan's newest gaijins, Jim Steele and Mike Barton. The three will team in New Japan's "Triathalon Survivor" League, which starts 11/22 in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

 [WEW] Kanemura defends title
Brandon on 11/4/2002 @ 19:57 
<> 11/4 <> Yokohama Culture Gymnasium <> 4300 fans

On 11/4, Kintaro Kanemura (32) successfully defend his WEW Heavyweight Title against ZERO-ONE's Masato Tanaka (29). This is Kanemura's first defense of the title after becoming the title's first champion by defeating Tetsuhiro Kuroda.

WEW promoter, Kodo Fuyuki said after the match that WEW would participate in ZERO-ONE's Tokyo Sumo Hall show on 12/15.

WEW Heavyweight Title Match
60-minutes l 1 fall
Kinatro Kanemura (victory) [18:56; pinfall] Masato Tanaka (defeat)

 [New Japan] 11/4 Makuhari results
Brandon on 11/4/2002 @ 19:52 

Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall
Drawing 2,200

1. El Samurai defeated Noafumi Yamamoto in 5:07 with a cross armbar.

2. Osamu Nishimura and Yutaka Yoshie defeated Toru Yano and Blue Wofl in 10:03 when Nishimura submitted Yano with the cobra twist.

3. American Dragon, Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero defeated Wataru Inoue, Masayuki Naruse and Masahito Kakihara in 12:28 when Dragon pinned Inoue with a dragon suplex hold.

4. Shinya Makabe and Minoru Suzuki defeated Tatsutoshi Goto and Hiro Saito in 9:22 by disqualification.

5. Kenzo Suzuki and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Jack The Bull and Scott Norton in 12:05 when Suzuki pinned Jack.

-Masahiro Chono formally introduced Jim Steele and Mike Barton to New Japan as "free agents." Chono extended his hand to Barton and Steele, but they then suddenly attacked him. Barton hit Chono with his infamous left hand and Steele gave him the Turbo Drop II, leaving Chono knocked out in the ring. They claimed they would be the next champions.

6. Junior Triathalon Survivor Tournament Final: Jado, Gedo and Koji Kanemoto defeated Tiger Mask, Heat and Jushin Thunder Liger (2-1) to win the tournament.
-Six-man tag match: Tiger Mask, Heat and Liger defeated Jado, Gedo and Koji Kanemoto in 10:06 when Liger pinned Jado after a brainbuster. (1-0)
-Tag match: Gedo and Koji Kanemoto defeated Tiger Mask and Heat in 13:27 when Gedo pinned Tiger Mask with the superfly. (1-1)
-Single match: Koji Kanemoto defeated Heat in 23:15 with the falcon arrow. (2-1)

7. New Japan vs. Makai - 5 vs. 5 Series Final: Makai #1, Makai #2, Ryushi Yanagisawa, Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Takashi Iizuka, Yuji Nagata and Masahiro Chono. (2-1)
-Match 1: Manabu Nakanishi defeated Makai #2 in 9:50 with a German suplex.
-Match 2: Makai #1 defeated Masahiro Chono in 7:25 by disqualification when Chono tried to unmask Makai #1.
-Match 3: Kazunari Murakami defeated Yuji Nagata in 8:00 by pinfall after mounted punches.
-The Makai Club has won the two-out-of-three 5 vs. 5 series.
-After the match, Makai #4 appeared. A brawl broke out. It was publicly speculated that Makai #4 is Katsuyori Shibata.

 [New Japan] Hoshino declares IWGP monopoly
Brandon on 11/3/2002 @ 22:25 

<> 11/3 <> Nagano Iida City Worker Gymnastics Center <> 1600 fans (sell-out)

After their victory on 11/3 in Nagano, President Kantaro Hoshino (58) of the Makai Club declared that they would win all IWGP titles: heavyweight, tag team, junior heavyweight and junior tag team.

30 minutes l 1 fall
Makai #2 (victory), Makai #1, Ryushi Yanagisawa, Tadao Yasuda [12:44; pinfall] Osamu Nishimura, Manabu Nakanishi, Takashi Iizuka (defeat), Masahiro Chono

 [W-1] Sapp eats Muta
Brandon on 11/3/2002 @ 22:18 

The king of the photo op: Bob Sapp (28).

Talking to media, promoting his match with Great Muta on 11/17 at the WRESTLE-1 show, Sapp said, "Muta is a hamburger!" and said that he would cover Muta's face with red blood, instead of facepaint. And added that Muta would be his appetizer for the K-1 Grand Prix.

It has also become clear that Sapp will not appear on the PRIDE 23 card.

Brandon on 11/3/2002 @ 22:15 

Formerly the SWING-LOWS, who were led by Kensuke Sasaki, now Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenzo Suzuki and Blue Wolf have done away with the SWING-LOWS stable name. Since Sasaki is now gone from the promotion, they have separated themselves, now under the group name of KING OF THE HILLS.

 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon on 11/2/2002 @ 22:53 
Scout Report:
Brandon hyped this a great deal. Like I was speculating it may be a 5-star match. I was impressed, but somewhat underwhelmed by Tenryu-Muto last year as I'd heard stuff that made it sound like 5-star good, but I could warrant higher than four-and-a-half stars. Stan Hansen, who taught Koji some lariat techniques, butchers their names and we're underway.

 [New Japan/All Japan] Barton & Steele to jump to New Japan, Steve Williams possibly to follow
Gerry on 11/1/2002 @ 15:57 

Weekly Fight Magazine out of Japan (a non-kayfabed publication) reports that Mike Barton and Jim Steele two regular foreigners for All Japan will be transfering to New Japan sometime later this year. Steve Williams is also rumoured to be going, but will be working the World's Strongest Tag League first. The reason for the jumps is rumoured to be AJPW cutting costs in the foreigner department. This may have been caused by the costs of signing Goldberg to a 6 match deal as well as using Bob Sapp on the WRESTLE-1 show on 11/17.

 [ZERO-ONE] Otani and Tanaka aim at GHC and World Tag Titles
Brandon on 11/1/2002 @ 12:54 

On 11/1, Shinjiro Otani (30) and Masato Tanaka (29) promised that they would win both, NOAH's GHC Tag Team Title and All Japan's World Tag Team Title.

They will have the opportunity to win the World Tag Team Title in All Japan's "World's Strongest Tag League", which begins this month.

 [All Japan/WMF] Kojima vs. Gannosuke on 12/12
Brandon on 11/1/2002 @ 12:45 

WMF "commissioner" Hayabusa (33) announced the card for his 12/12 WEW show in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall show on 11/1. It was announced that Mammoth Sasaki (28) would have his return match against Tetsuhiro Kuroda (30) in the semi-main event. While the main event will be Mr. Gannosuke (34) against All Japan wrestler, Satoshi Kojima (32).

 [PRIDE] Sakuraba on PRIDE 23 card
Brandon on 11/1/2002 @ 12:35 

It has been announced that Kazushi Sakuraba (32) will fight on the PRIDE 23 card in the Tokyo Dome on 11/24. Sakuraba has decided this because he wants to have a farewell performance for his teacher, Nobuhiko Takada (who has his retirement fight against Kiyoshi Tamura on the card).

 [All Japan] Hogan on W-1 show?
Brandon on 11/1/2002 @ 12:32 

The Japanese media is reporting that Hulk Hogan (47) may participate in the "WRESTLE-1" show on 11/17 in Yokohama Arena.

This rumor doesn't seem to have a lot of credibility, so may just be the media blowing more smoke.