[New Japan] Tenzan suffers head injury
Brandon on 1/31/2003 @ 19:37 

Hiroyoshi Tenzan suffered a head injury while training 1/31. There aren't many details, other than Tenzan was feeling some kind of numbness that wouldn't go away.

Tenzan's tag team partner, Masahiro Chono commented. He said that he is worried about Tenzan condition. He said that they may not be able to defend the IWGP Tag Team Title on 2/16 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall as was planned. So it appears Tenzan may not wrestle for as much as the remander of the Fighting Spirit tour.

This is not Tenzan's first head injury. You may remember on 9/6/02, during the G1 World tour when Tenzan was in a singles match with Osamu Nishimura, he landed on the top of his head, attempting a moonsault and suffered a concussion.

 [ZERO-ONE] Ghaffari and Howard retain
Brandon on 1/31/2003 @ 19:28 

Before 3,500 fans in Hiroshima, NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions, Matt Ghaffari and Tom Howard succeeded in their first title defense against Katsuhisa Fujii and Naoya Ogawa when Ghaffari pinned Fujii after 7:33.

Also coming out of the show, Shinya Hashimoto said that he wants a match WEW Commissioner Hiromichi Fuyuki.

 [WJ Pro] Koshinaka agrees to match with Onita
Brandon on 1/31/2003 @ 19:16 

On 1/31, Shiro Koshinaka announced that he would have a match with Atsushi Onita on 3/1 in Yokohama Arena as part of WJ Pro's first show.

It appears the match will be a deathmatch of somekind, as Onita is apparently "preparing" the explosives for the match already.

 [WEW] Ikeda and Suguira win iron man match
Brandon on 1/31/2003 @ 19:12 

Before 1,850 fans, Pro Wrestling NOAH's Takashi Suguira and Daisuke Ikeda defeated Testuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura at WEW's Tokyo Korakuen Hall show on 1/31.

Mid-way through the match, Suguira was somehow "kidnapped," leaving Ikeda to fight by himself until Suguira returned. The match ended with a total of nine falls, with the NOAH team scoring five and the WEW team scoring four. After the match, they shook hands and did Kanemura's dance to "Come Out and Play."

WEW Commissioner Fuyuki said that he hopes to have TV for WEW by March and that he wants to show the fans a "new entertainment."

 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon on 1/30/2003 @ 21:16 
Scout Report:
That star still exists, just like the more traditional babyface exists (as long as they are presented properly), but there is a struggle in pro-wrestling. Things seem to have a shorter shelf life than they once had. So what can be next?

 [New Japan] Fighting Spirit Series begins; Nishimura and yoga
Brandon on 1/30/2003 @ 21:00 

<> 1/30 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1554 fans

Before what is most likely not a sell-out crowd (although New Japan claimed that it was) in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall on 1/30, New Japan Pro Wrestling began Fighting Spirit 2003 -- their first tour of the year.

The annual heavyweight battle royal was won by Osamu Nishimura (31), returning from training in both India and Florida (wrestling for Dory Funk, Jr., there). After 35:09, Nishimura last eliminated Mike Barton with a backslide.

Nishimura has apparently been training in yoga, and says that he plans to be able to escape IWGP Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata's new Nagata Lock III with his new skill. Nishimura will challenge Nagata for the title on 2/2 in Sapporo.

In the main event, Yoshihiro Takayama and an even more defeated Blue Wolf and Yuji Nagata when Takayama pinned Blue Wolf in 13:48 with a German suplex hold.

The angle is that, if they both keep their titles up to 5/2 (which you can bet they will), Takayama and Nagata want a rematch from their 5/2/02 Dome match last year in which they will unify Takayama's NWF Heavyweight Title and Nagata's IWGP Heavyweight Title.

After the main event, a brawl broke out between Takayama and the Makai Club, where they beat up Takayama's partner-to-be, Hiroshi Nagao (who was at ringside with the other young wrestlers). Nagao hurt his knee, as other wrestlers had to help him to the back. There was worry that Nagao had suffered ligament damage and it was reported that he was sent to the emergency room. Not sure how bad or how legitimate the injury is. I guess we'll find out on 2/2 when Nagao is scheduled to make his debut as Takayama's partner against Tadao Yasuda and Kazunari Murakami in the first round of the IWGP Tag Team Title Contender's Tournament.

 [NOAH] Fuyuki calls for GHC Tag Title match
Brandon on 1/30/2003 @ 20:39 

WEW's Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura will have an ironman match against NOAH's Daisuke Ikeda and Takashi Suguira on 1/31 at WEW's Tokyo Korakuen Hall show.

WEW comissioner Hiromichi Fuyuki (42) said that "when" Kuroda and Kanemura win, they should be given a match for the GHC Tag Team Title against champions Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama.

 [Tapes] New Releases
Brandon on 1/29/2003 @ 12:07 
Twenty-two new tapes have been added to the section. All tapes are $10 and all orders include free shipping.

Zenjo Samurai TV 11/29/02
Zenjo Samurai TV 11/3/02
Zenjo Samurai TV 10/20/02
GAEA G-PANIC 8/30/02
Michinoku Pro on Samurai TV 11/8/02
Toryumon GAORA TV 10/28/02
Toryumon GAORA TV 11/4, 11/27/02
ZERO-ONE PPV 12/15/02
ZERO-ONE on Samurai TV 10/26/02
WRESTLE-1 PPV 11/17/02
All Japan PPV 12/6/02
NOAH on Satellite TV 10/12, 10/17, 11/14/02
NOAH Di Colloseo on G+SN 9/5, 10/19/02
NOAH Di Colloseo Special on G+SN 12/1/02
NOAH Di Colloseo Special on G+SN 12/7/02
New Japan BS-Asahi 10/6/02
New Japan BS-Asahi 10/27/02
New Japan BS-Asahi 11/4/02
New Japan BS-Asahi 11/22/02
New Japan BS-Asahi 11/24/02
New Japan BS-Asahi 12/4/02

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 17:43 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
-Giant Baba vs. The Sheik (4/28/73)
-Angle vs. Benoit (1/19/03)
-Barnett vs. Nagata (1/4/03)
-Toyota vs. Nagashima (10/20/02)
-How should the WWE book the "New Four Horsemen"?
-Roundtable Discussion
Alf: As the clock struck twelve on January 1st, and the third year of the millennium began, the fortunes of a particular wrestling company looked -- at least to me -- the brightest they had been in many months; a testament to the hard work and sheer dedication of an group of individuals who at times during the past year seemed both loved and loathed in copious amounts. The promotion I'm speaking of, and the particular subject for this roundtable, is, of course, New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Brandon: Oh, the drama
Scout: Oh, the horror

 [ZERO-ONE] Hashimoto enraged at announcement of Triple Crown match
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 16:01 

Shinya Hashimoto was "enraged" by Keiji Muto's announcement that Hashimoto would be having a match for the Triple Crown against the Great Muta on 2/23. Hashimoto said, "The announcement is selfish," and "Unless there is a mutal agreement, the match will not be made."

This drama will likely be concluded on 2/2 when Muto shows up at ZERO-ONE's Differ Ariake show.

 [New Japan] Chono renews; Nagao officially Takayama`s partner
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 15:49 

Masahiro Chono finished negotiating his contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling 1/28 and said he was "satisfied" with his deal.

Chono said he would help lead New Japan this year and overcome the losses of Kenzo Suzuki and Shiro Koshinaka.

It was also officially announced that Hiroshi Nagao will make his pro wrestling debut on 2/2 in Sapporo as Yoshihiro Takayama's tag team partner as part of the IWGP Tag Team Title #1 Contender's Tournament. Takayama and Nagao will face Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda in the first round of the tournament on 2/2. Makai Club President Hoshino swore the Makai Club would crush Takayama.

You can read a transcript of the interview and the meeting Hoshino had with Antonio Inoki in Los Angeles from www.inokidojo.com by clicking .

 [WJ Pro] Anjo vs. Yatsu
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 15:46 

The first match was officially announced for WJ Pro's 3/1 Yokohama Arena show: Yoji Anjo vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu.

Yatsu said his match between Anjo would be a mix of the All Japan and UWF style.

 Ticket Sales
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 10:27 
I will try to have an update like this every so often, updating how ticket sales for certain big shows are going.

The two junior tag team tournament shows, which are running on 2/8 and 2/9 in the Differ Ariake or both almost sold out, only the most expensive seats remain. And something that's a really good sign for NOAH, their 3/1 Tokyo Nippon Budokan show, with only Kobashi vs. Misawa expected, has sold-out more than a month in advance.

Their show for 2/15 in the Differ Ariake has been sold out in advance for about two weeks now.

Only the good ringside seats are selling right now for WJ Pro's debut 3/1 show in Yokohama Arena. Ticket prices may be an issue with that show, since they're trying to charging a big gate for it. They still have over a month and can rely on some walk-up.

Sales for ZERO-ONE's 3/2 Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) show are going better than WJ's Yokohama Arena show. The ringside seats are almost sold-out and the rest are selling slowly. The attendance for their current tour looks to be good, as at least the next few shows look like they'll sell-out.

Sales for ZERO-ONE's Sumo Hall show more than a month away are actually doing slightly better than sales for New Japan's Sumo Hall show only a few weeks away. Only the cheapest 1,500 yen tickets are nearly sold-out. Everything else is either selling slowly or barely selling.

For All Japan's 2/23 Tokyo Nippon Budokan show, only the most expensive and cheapest tickets are selling. Everything else in between isn't.

Osaka Pro may actually sell-out the Osaka-jo Hall. All ringside seats are sold-out. Some of the stand seats are almost gone. The only thing not selling of the 3000 yen stand seats, which may be taken in walk-up.

 [New Japan] Blue Dragon
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 00:37 

Famous Monoglian sumo wrestler and older brother to New Japan's Blue Wolf, "Blue Dragon," Gorusuren Serjbudee (29) held a press conference with New Japan on 1/27.

Gorusuren is a yokozuna, is also an amatuer wrestler, who represnted Mongolian in wrestling in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He even had a match with the WWE's Kurt Angle (who of course went on to win the gold medal).

It was announced that Gorusuren will likely participate in pro wrestling for New Japan and has interest in competing in PRIDE and/or K-1.

New Japan President Tatsumi Fujinami suggested that Gorusuren may make his pro wrestling debut in 5/2 at New Japan's Tokyo Dome show.

 [Toryumon] T2P has final show
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 00:21 

Before 1,263 fans in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall, T2P held their last show on 1/27.

The last T2P match was Condotti Shuji, YASSINI and Milano Collection beating Anthony W. Mori, Second Doi and Ryo Saito when Milano submitted Mori with the AT lock after 14:49.

After holding their debut show in Japan on 11/13/01 in the same building, T2P's wrestlers will wrestle on the regular Toryumon shows from now on.

 [ZERO-ONE] Muto to show up on 2/2
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 00:11 

Keiji Muto said that he's now "suspending" his decision about giving Shinya Hashimoto a Triple Crown match on 2/23 in the Tokyo Nippon Budokan.

Muto said he would attend ZERO-ONE's 2/2 show in the Differ Ariake to confront Hashimoto.

After his match on 1/27, when hearing about what Muto said, Hashimoto said that Muto is welcome to come on 2/2.

 [WJ Pro] Anjo, Hase to be on 3/1 show
Brandon on 1/28/2003 @ 00:07 

Katsuji Nagashima announced on Samurai TV that Yoji Anjo and Hiroshi Hase have been added to the names that are being planned to appear on WJ Pro's first show on 3/1 in the Yokohama Arena.

He also mentioned that four gaijin wrestlers are expected to be on the card.

 [NOAH] Liger and Kanemoto win titles
Brandon on 1/26/2003 @ 12:40 

At Pro Wrestling NOAH's tour-ending show in the Kobe World Hall, Jushin Thunder Liger and Koji Kanemoto defeated Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Yoshinobu to win back the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title in what was placed as the main event.

Kobe World Hall
Announced drawing 3800

1. Masashi Aoyagi, Hakura Eigen defeated Mitsuo Momota, Rusher Kimura in 8:33 when Aoyagi pinned Momota.

2. Takeshi Rikio, Takeshi Morishima defeated Kishin Kawabata and Daisuke Ikeda in 9:22 when Morishima pinned Kawabata.

3. Jun Izumida, Akira Taue defeated Ron Harris and Donovan Morgan in 8:33 when Izumida pinned Morgan.

4. Michael Modest and Scropio defeated Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa in 9:07 when Modest pinned Suzuki.

5. Tamon Honda defeated Masao Inoue in 2:00 by referee stoppage.

6. Takashi Sugiura, Kentaro Shiga and Takuma Sano defeated Makoto Hashi, Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama in 19:06 when Sugiura pinned Hashi.

7. KENTA, Kenta Kobashi defeated Naomichi Marufuji and Mitsuharu Misawa in 16:18 when Kobashi pinned Marufuji.

8. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto defeated Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru in 27:11 when Liger pinned Kikuchi.
-Liger and Kanemoto become new champions.

 [All Japan] Muto proposes match with Hashimoto for 2/23
Brandon on 1/25/2003 @ 22:09 

Keiji Muto proposed a Triple Crown match between himself as the Great Muta and Shinya Hashimoto on 2/23 in the Tokyo Nippon Budokan.

Expect this match to be made, since this is a match that Hashimoto has said in angles that he wants and probably will have made.

 [ZERO-ONE] Ghaffari arrives
Brandon on 1/24/2003 @ 19:54 

Co-NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion, Matt Ghaffari arrived in Japan on 1/24.

Ghaffari will wrestle on ZERO-ONE's tour that has been named after him: Ghaffari Typhoon, which opens on 1/26 in Hakata.

He said he has lost 7kg (15lbs.) since the last time he was in Japan. He also plans to use a new move, called the Ghaffari Lock.

 [New Japan] Chono requests 5/2 Dome show to be "Inoki Festival"
Brandon on 1/24/2003 @ 19:50 

Masahiro Chono met Antonio Inoki on 1/24 as Inoki returned from Los Angeles, arriving in Narita Airport.

Chono said that he wants Inoki to allow New Japan's 5/2 Tokyo Dome show to be a tribute to Inoki for his sixtieth birthday (he actually turns 60 on 2/20).

Chono wants to the show to be billed as an "Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye Fesitval," like Inoki's New Years Eve shows.

 [NOAH] Akiyama and Saito defend title; KENTA to wrestle on ZERO-ONE show
Brandon on 1/24/2003 @ 19:43 

<> 1/24 <> Kochi Resident Gymnasium <> 2400 fans

Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama defended the GHC Tag Team Title on 1/24 against Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue. After a match that Honda had long pushed for, Akiyama and Saito won, acheiving their fourth defense of the title.

After the match Akiyama and Honda shook hands.

GHC Tag Team Title
60-minutes l 1 fall
Akitoshi Saito (victory), Jun Akiyama [25:24; pinfall] Masao Inoue (defeat), Tamon Honda

On another note, KENTA will wrestle on ZERO-ONE's 2/2 show in Meiji. His appearance will probably be used to build up to the two-day junior tag tournament that will take place on 2/8 and 2/9 in the Tokyo Differ Ariake.

 [New Japan] 2/16 Ryogoku Kokugikan card
Brandon on 1/24/2003 @ 19:36 

New Japan's 2/16 Tokyo Sumo Hall show was finalized on 1/23. The card is:

1. Super Junior Elimination Match: Jado, Gedo, El Samurai, Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto vs. Super Crazy, Curry Man, Tiger Mask, Masahito Kakihara, Heat
2. Michiyoshi Ohara, Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito vs. Some combination of the Makai Club
3. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazunari Murakami
4. Blue Wolf, Yuji Nagata vs. Perry Saturn, Josh Barnett
5. Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
6. NWF Heavyweight Title: Ryushi Yanagisawa vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

One or two more matches will probably be added still.

 [Sapp] Super Bowl, frozen food endorsement
Brandon on 1/24/2003 @ 19:31 

Bob Sapp will be doing commercials for a frozen TV dinner-type of product. You can view clips from Bob Sapp talking to the media and acting ridiculously .

Sapp also claims that he will be on cable TV in the US, leading up to the Super Bowl, as he's returning to the US. However, he didn't mention what channel or what time he would be on.

Sapp said he would return to Japan, probably fighting in K-1 in March.

 [New Japan] Liger re-signs
Brandon on 1/23/2003 @ 21:44 

Jushin Thunder Liger renewed his contract with New Japan on 1/23.

After renewing, Liger said he looked forward to teaming with Koji Kanemoto in their attempt to defeat IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru and bring the title back to New Japan on 1/26.

Liger also said that he would like to have a match with NOAH's "junior ace," Naomichi Marufuji. This was a match many expected to happen before Marufuji was injured last April.

 [New Japan] Nakanishi re-signs
Brandon on 1/23/2003 @ 12:36 

Manabu Nakanishi re-signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling on 1/22. He said he hopes to make 100 million yen (almost $850,000) this year (he and Yuji Nagata received a pay raise).

He said that he's concentrating on his match scheduled for 2/16 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall against Hiroshi Tanahashi, but that he would like to have matches with Shinya Hashimoto, Keiji Muto, Naoya Ogawa and a rematch with Bob Sapp this year.

 [All Japan] W-1 TV rating
Brandon on 1/23/2003 @ 12:26 

The "WRESTLE-1 Bob Sapp Battle Entertainment" special shown on Fuji Television on 1/21 did a 10.4 overall rating, peaking at 12.7.

This is 2.0 higher than the TV rating for the WRESTLE-1 show ran on 11/17.

 [New Japan] Nagata Lock III
Brandon on 1/22/2003 @ 12:26 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata showed the Nagata Lock III to the press for the first time on 1/23.

He can be seen demonstrating the new move on young lion Ryusuke Taguchi in the picture above.

Nagata will defend his title for the eighth time on 2/2 in Sapporo against Osamu Nishimura. However, Nagata suggested he may try to use the move against Yoshihiro Takayama on 1/31 when he and Blue Wolf fight Takayama and Perry Saturn in the main event in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

 [New Japan] Takayama accepts Fighting Spirit participation
Brandon on 1/21/2003 @ 22:48 

Yoshihiro Takayama reluctantly said that he would wrestle on New Japan's Fighting Spirit tour (which begins on 1/30 in the Tokyo Korakuen Hall).

Takayama nominated that his partner for the IWGP Tag Team Title challenger determination tournament be undebuted wrestler, Hiroshi Nagao. The gimmick there being that both are very tall, for a combined height of about 390cm.

 [All Japan] Takagi challenges Tenryu
Brandon on 1/21/2003 @ 22:43 

In a rally in Tokyo on 1/21, held by All Japan's young wrestlers Tomoaki Honma and Kazushi Miyamoto, DDT wrestler Sanshiro Takagi appeared. Takagi said he wants to have matches with All Japan wrestlers and specifically named Genichiro Tenryu.

 [New Japan] Hoshino leaves to visit Inoki
Brandon on 1/21/2003 @ 22:39 

Makai Club President Kantaro Hoshino left to visit Antonio Inoki in Los Angeles on 1/21. Hoshino said that what he was seeing Inoki to talk about was confidential, but hinted that he may return with a new wrestler.

 [New Japan] Iizuka renews; Honaga doesn`t
Brandon on 1/21/2003 @ 22:36 

Takashi Iizuka renewed his contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling on 1/21.

Some thought Iizuka may leave to join WJ, since he has been known to have a relationship with Riki Choshu, but this was not the case.

The same was not the case for referee and former wrestler Norio Honaga, though. His contract with the promotion was not renewed and it is expected that he will join Choshu's WJ Pro.

 [Sapp] CD to be released on 3/5
Brandon on 1/21/2003 @ 22:29 

On 1/21, Bob Sapp did publicity with comedian Neptune Horiuchi for his CD that will be coming out on 3/5 in Japan.

On of the songs on the CD is apparently called, "Sapp Time." Sapp said he wrote about half of the lyrics to the songs.

Sapp said he hoped the CD would sell at least one-million copies.

With PRIDE 25 coming up in March, he said he might like to fight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira again at the show. But don't look for Nogueira to accept that fight. It's questionable whether Sapp will be on the PRIDE 25 show at all, since K-1 plans to run a show in March also.

 [All Japan] Muto challenges Hashimoto
Brandon on 1/21/2003 @ 22:23 

On 1/20, Keiji Muto talked to the press about want to have a singles match with Shinya Hashimoto. He said he would like to have it either at All Japan's Nippon Budokan show on 2/23 or at ZERO-ONE's Sumo Hall show on 3/2.

 [All Japan] W-1 shows to be held six times a year
Brandon on 1/20/2003 @ 18:21 

Officials for WRESTLE-1 said that they planned on doing a total of six shows in 2003. The next show is being planned for around late March or early April (so not on 2/23, opposite All Japan's Budokan show, as rumored).

A TV special on Fuji Television will air on 1/21, featuring the 1/19 Tokyo Dome show and Bob Sapp. The TV rating for the 11/17 WRESTLE-1 special did a 8.4 overall rating. There are expectations this time for the rating to be at least a 10.

 [WJ] Kensuke reunites with Choshu
Brandon on 1/20/2003 @ 18:18 

Kensuke Sasaki and Riki Choshu did a joint interview before the media on 1/20.

Choshu said they have made Kensuke a part of the WJ promotion because they want to make WJ the top organization.

When asked about who his opponent might be on 3/1 in Yokohama Arena, he wouldn't nominate anyone. He said it was in New York, in his meetings with Katsuji Nagashima where he was totally convinced that he wanted to join the promotion.

 [New Japan] Nishimura in Sri Lanka
Brandon on 1/20/2003 @ 18:11 

Yuji Nagata told the press on 1/20 that Osamu Nishimura is in Sri Lanaka, preparing for his IWGP Heavyweight Title match against Nagata, scheduled for 2/2.

Nagata said Nishimura is training in something called oil wrestling and even suggested that he may be wrestling alligators there.

 [All Japan] Sapp challenges Takanohana and Hoost
Brandon on 1/20/2003 @ 18:06 

After losing to Ernesto Hoost in the Tokyo Dome on 1/19, Bob Sapp said on 1/20 that he wants to have a two-on-one handicap match against retired yokozuna sumo wrestler, Takanohana and Ernesto Hoost.

He also promised he would get revenge on Hoost's trainer, Voz, who interfered in his match with Hoost.

 [New Japan] Nagata re-signs
Brandon on 1/20/2003 @ 10:18 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Yuji Nagata officially renewed his contract with New Japan Pro Wrestlig on 1/20.

Nagata also said that he's ready to use the Nagata Lock III, and said that he's now sure he can use it on larger wrestlers like Scott Norton.

 Technical Difficulties
Brandon on 1/20/2003 @ 01:22 
I realize that the board is backed up to December. Hopefully the posts will one-by-one magically reappear, as they one-by-one magically disappeared.

News archives for December 3, 2002 through January 19, 2003 were lost due to the above problem.