[Content] Credenza
Brandon on 2/28/2003 @ 22:47 
Ichiban Puroresu welcomes its newest writer: Jeff Nieves. He's been writing the Credenza since 2001 and though this is his first article for this site, his complete is available here. You may also be familiar with Jeff's site, .

Credenza:
After looking at the best of 2002 over the past three articles I decided to go back ten years and look at some of the best WCW matches of 1992. Despite all the obvious flaws, not even Bill Watts, dwindling attendance or continued disorganization behind the scenes prevent WCW from delivering some pretty fun material...

 [All Japan] Tenryu resigns as director; will likely leave in June
Brandon on 2/28/2003 @ 17:16 


It became clear on 2/28 that Genichiro Tenryu (53) has resigned from his office job with All Japan Pro Wrestling. Tenryu remains a member of All Japan as a wrestler, although his contract expires in June. It's very likely that Tenryu will not renew his contract after it expires, leaving to possibily join WJ Pro at least unofficially. And though he is still officially an All Japan wrestler for the time being, it's questionable how often he will wrestle for All Japan in the remander of his contract, as Tenryu is already wrestling for WJ Pro in March, causing him to miss most if not all of All Japan's Champion Carnival tour.

 [NOAH] Kobashi vs. Misawa to have no time-limit
Brandon on 2/28/2003 @ 17:10 


On 2/28, Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi had their formal signing ceremony for their GHC Heavyweight Title match that will happen on 3/1 in Tokyo Nippon Budokan. Here, it was made official that the match will have an unrestricted time-limit, instead of the usual 60-minute time-limit, as requested by Kobashi.

You can follow both NOAH's Budokan show and WJ Pro's Yokohama Arena show here live. It starts tonight/early tomorrow at 4:00AM Eastern.

 [New Japan] Machida vs. Kengo on 5/2; ULTIMATE FESTIVAL battle royal
Brandon on 2/28/2003 @ 17:06 


The first match for New Japan's 5/2 Tokyo Dome show was announced on 2/28. Pancrase fighter Kengo (pictured) will fight Antonio Inoki's "fair-haired boy," Ryoto Machida. The match will be one of the matches on the card billed as a vale tudo match. This will be Machida's debut.

If you don't know the story about Machida, he has a background in jiu-jitsu, karate and sumo wrestling. He was selected by Antonio Inoki because, like Inoki himself, he is a Japanese man who grew up in Brazil. He is billed as Inoki's successor (although I thought Ogawa and Fujita were kind of supposed to be that, too) and has been training with Inoki since the summer of 2000. You can read an interview with Machida from INOKIDOJO.com (where his first name is mistakenly referred to as "Lyoto") by clicking .

It was also announced that at the Tokyo Dome show on 5/1, which will be entitled, "ULTIMATE FESTIVAL," will have a battle royal featuring former New Japan wrestlers. Makai Club President Kantaro Hoshino (who wrestled as Great Yamamoto in New Japan) has already said he wants to be invovled.

 [ZERO-ONE] Ogawa calls for early conclusion of All Japan war
Brandon on 2/28/2003 @ 16:56 

After ZERO-ONE's 2/28 show in Miyagi Sports Center, where Katsuhisa Fujii, Naoya Ogawa and Shinya Hashimoto defeated Steve Corino, Tom Howard and Matt Ghaffari in 13:99 when Ogawa pinned Corino, Ogawa said he wanted to see an early end to ZERO-ONE's feud with All Japan.

Ogawa said he wants Hashimoto to crush All Japan swiftly, then concentrate on a return of their OH Gun tag team.

 [WEW] Fuyuki in the hospital
Brandon on 2/28/2003 @ 16:51 

Kodo Fuyuki, who is fighting cancer, now in the hospital, sent a message to Shinya Hashimoto on 2/28. He congradulated Hashimoto for winning the Triple Crown and said he hoped to fight Hashimoto on 5/5 in Kawasaki. He also asked that Hashimoto appear on WEW's 3/11 show in Tokyo Korakuen Hall.

 [WJ Pro] Omori vs. Koshinaka on 3/15
Brandon on 2/27/2003 @ 18:19 


WJ Pro announced full cards for their 3/15, 3/16, 318, 3/19 and 3/20 shows on 2/27. As well as Genichiro Tenryu in his series against Riki Choshu, All Japan will be featured in the undercard by Tomoaki Honma, Kazushi Miyamoto and Nobutaka Araya. They also announced that two gaijins would be touring with them: Big Vito and Steve Madison.

3/16/03
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Takashi Uwano vs. Nobutaka Araya
2. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yoji Anjo
3. Yoshiaki Yatsu, Masahiko Kochi vs. Kazushi Miyamoto, Kazushi Miyamoto
4. Animal, Hawk vs. Todd Shane, Mike Shane
5. Steve Madison vs. Kenzo Suzuki
6. Big Vito vs. Kensuke Sasaki
7. Takao Omori vs. Shiro Koshinaka
8. Six Match Series: Riki Choshu vs. Genichiro Tenryu

3/16/03
Miyagi Sports Center
1. Masahiko Kochi, Takashi Uwano vs. Kazushi Miyamoto, Tomoaki Honma
2. Steve Madison vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu
3. Big Vito vs. Kenzo Suzuki
4. Nobutaka Araya vs. Kensuke Sasaki
5. Yoji Anjo vs. Takao Omori
6. No-Rope Barbed Wire Board Deathmatch: Shiro Koshinaka, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Ricky Fuji, Atsushi Onita
7. IPW Hardcore Tag Team Title: Animal, Hawk vs. Todd Shane, Mike Shane
8. Six Match Series: Riki Choshu vs. Genichiro Tenryu

3/18/03
Ota Citizen Gymnasium
1. Masahiko Kochi vs. Kazushi Miyamoto
2. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tomoaki Honma
3. Takashi Uwano vs. Yoji Anjo
4. Takao Omori vs. Nobutaka Araya
5. No-Rope Barbed Wire Board Deathmatch: Shiro Koshinaka, Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Atsushi Onita, Ricky Fuji
6. Todd Shane, Mike Shane vs. Steve Madison, Big Vito
7. Kensuke Sasaki, Kenzo Suzuki vs. Animal, Hawk
8. Six Match Series: Riki Choshu vs. Genichiro Tenryu

3/19/03
Soka City Sports Commemoration Gymnasium
1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kazushi Miyamoto
2. Masahiko Kochi, Takashi Uwano vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu, Ricky Fuji
3. Steve Madison vs. Tomoaki Honma
4. Big Vito vs. Nobutaka Araya
5. Kensuke Sasaki, Shiro Koshinaka vs. Todd Shane, Mike Shane
6. Hawk, Animal vs. Kenzo Suzuki, Yoshiaki Yatsu
7. Six Match Series: Riki Choshu vs. Genichiro Tenryu

3/20/03
Nagareyama Citizen Gymnasium
1. Takashi Uwano vs. Kazushi Miyamoto
2. Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Tomoaki Honma
3. Big Vito vs. Nobutaka Araya
4. Kenzo Suzuki vs. Yoji Anjo
5. Kensuke Sasaki vs. Steve Madison
6. No-Rope Barbed Wire Board Deathmatch: Shiro Koshinaka, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Atsushi Onita, Ricky Fuji
7. Todd Shane, Mike Shane vs. Animal, Hawk
8. Six Match Series: Riki Choshu vs. Genichiro Tenryu

WJ's debut show on 3/1 from Yokohama Arena, as well as the NOAH show from the Nippon Budokan on the same day will likely be carried here with live results.

 [New Japan] Murahama wants IWGP Jr. Title
Brandon on 2/27/2003 @ 18:04 


Takehiro Murahama, who will fight Hiroyuki Abe at K-1 3/1 show, said on 2/26 that he wants to become IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Murahama challenged for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title on 4/20/01 in a loss to Minoru Tanaka in a heavily acclaimed match.

Murahama said that he wants to win the title and defend it against Tatsumi Fujinami, who has lost weight to return to the junior heavyweight division.

 [All Japan/ZERO-ONE] Arashi vs. Hashimoto official; Ryouji Sai out again
Brandon on 2/27/2003 @ 18:00 

It was announced on 2/27 that Shinya Hashimoto would make his first defense of the Triple Crown on 4/13 at All Japan's Tokyo Nippon Budokan show. This was made official after Arashi intruded at ZERO-ONE's tour-opening show in Hamamatsu to challenge Hashimoto himself. The match will be Arashi's first shot at the Triple Crown.

Also at the tour-opener, it was announced that Ryouji Sai (22) would be out indefinitely. After missing several months of 2002 due to lung problems, ZERO-ONE announced that Sai would be out of action once again until further notice. It now appears Sai may have a cardiomyopathy, which is a disorder of the heart muscle.

 [NOAH] Takayama defends against Rikio on 4/13
Brandon on 2/27/2003 @ 17:47 

It was made official on 2/27 that Yoshihiro Takayama would make his second defense of the NWF Heavyweight Title on 4/13. This time it will take place in a NOAH ring, as the match will take place at their Tokyo Ariake Colesseum show.


Also coming from the NOAH show on 2/27, Kenta Kobashi gave Mitsuharu Misawa a half-nelson suplex outside the ring. This being the last show before the 3/1 Budokan show, where Kobashi will try to take the GHC Heavyweight Title from Misawa.

 [Content] Scout Report
Brandon on 2/27/2003 @ 15:52 
Scout Report:
8. Antonio Noguiera vs. Bob Sapp (Pride/K-1) - Better drama than any fight this year, the 2-0 monster fights the heavyweight champ. Noguiera looks tough as nails here and every bit the world class talent he is as a bigger, stronger man gives him the fight of his life and he weathers the storm. After running the big man down, a battered Noguiera puts him away with technique. A great story in a fight that made Bob Sapp and told everyone that Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera is the best heeavyweight in the world.

 [NOAH] Kobashi to use moonsault after more than two years
Brandon on 2/26/2003 @ 18:07 


Kenta Kobashi (35) celebrated his fifteenth year as a pro wrestler, as he debuted on 2/26/88. During this, Kobashi told the media that he plans on using the moonsault in his GHC Heavyweight Title match with Mitsuharu Misawa on 3/1.

Kobashi spent 14 months out of pro wrestling to have numerous surgeries on his knees, required after years of breakdown due largely to using the moonsault. Now more than two years since last using the move, Kobashi will likely use it again on 3/1.

 [Tapes] New Releases; Differ Cup
Brandon on 2/26/2003 @ 16:36 
Four new shows are now available in the .

Included in is the entire two-day Differ Cup Tournament (under NOAH in New Releases) on one tape for only $12. Having seen the tournament, it's one of the most necessary tapes to get in a long time, including a great match between KENTA/Kotaro Suzuki and DDT's MIKAMI/KUDO.

Also now available is the NOAH 1/26/03 show that includes the excellent Liger/Kanemoto vs. Kikuchi/Kanemaru match, the New Japan 12/15 "SPIRAL II" show, and New Japan's 12/10 heated tour-ending show from Osaka, which includes Yuji Nagata defending the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Kazunari Murakami.

Differ Cup Scramble Junior Tag Tournament 2/8, 2/9/03 - $12
NOAH Di Colosseo on G+ 1/26/03 - $10
New Japan BS-Asahi 12/15/02 - $10
New Japan BS-Asahi 12/10/02 - $10

 [All Japan] WRESTLE-1 show postponed until May or June
Brandon on 2/26/2003 @ 15:44 

Keiji Muto told the media on 2/26 that the third WRESTLE-1 show, which was scheduled for 4/19 in Saitama Super Arena will be postponed until some time in May or June.

Muto said that he want to concentrate on the 4/13 Nippon Budokan show right now instead of W-1.

 [All Japan] Arashi petitions Muto
Brandon on 2/26/2003 @ 05:59 


On 2/25, Arashi (41) had a meeting before the press with Keiji Muto. He told Muto that he wants to be Shinya Hashimoto's first challenger for the Triple Crown to bring the title back to All Japan.

Together, Arashi and Muto will fight Shinjiro Otani and Hashimoto on 3/2 at ZERO-ONE's Sumo Hall show.

 [PRIDE] PRIDE 25 match order
Brandon on 2/25/2003 @ 09:02 

PRIDE officially announced the card order for their PRIDE 25 show for 3/16 in Yokohama Arena. Nearly a year and a half after he won the title, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will defend his PRIDE Heavyweight Title against Emelianenko Fedor in the main event. For the right to challenge Vanderlei Silva for the PRIDE Middleweight Title, Quinton Jackson vs. Kevin Randleman will be the semi-main event. And with a bad ACL, Kazushi Sakuraba will fight Antonio Schembri third from the top.

1. Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
2. Alex Steibling vs. Akira Shoji
3. Kenichi Yamamoto vs. Alexander Otsuka
4. Carlos Newton vs. Anderson Silva
5. Dan Henderson vs. Shungo Oyama
7. Antonio "Nino" Schembri vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
6. PRIDE Middleweight Title Challenger Determination: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Kevin Randleman
8. PRIDE Heavyeight Title: Emelianenko Fedor vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

 [ZERO-ONE] Hashimoto talks about merger with All Japan
Brandon on 2/24/2003 @ 11:28 


Triple Crown Champion Shinya Hashimoto appeared on a radio program on 2/24. Lined with a lot of kayfabe, he talked about a possible merger of ZERO-ONE and All Japan. He said that if the two promotions came together, they could become equal to New Japan.

There was an article in Tokyo Sports several days ago, which said that ZERO-ONE would merge and become part of All Japan.

 [All Japan] Champion Carnival
Brandon on 2/24/2003 @ 11:15 


A meeting was held in the All Japan office in Tokyo on 2/24 to discuss how this year's Champion Carnival will be held.

It's doubtful that the Carnival this year will be held with its usual league format. This is because many of All Japan's top wrestlers will not be able to participate. Taiyo Kea is injured, Toshiaki Kawada won't be returning until 4/12 and Genichiro Tenryu will be touring with WJ.

The Champion Carnival will probably be an elimination style tournament as it was in 2000. Nothing is decided for sure right now, but the final round is likely to be held on 3/28 in Sapporo, which is only the fourth show of the tour. Also, it was decided that the winner of the Carnival would earn a match with Shinya Hashimoto for the Triple Crown.

Masanobu Fuchi, who was at the meeting, talked about who Toshiaki Kawada's opponent would be for his return match on 4/12. He mentioned that both Hashimoto and Satoshi Kojima have said they would like a match with him and noted that Kojima had brought up wrestling Kawada in his return match first. However, nothing is official about Kawada's opponent either.

 [NOAH] Vader out of NOAH?
Brandon on 2/24/2003 @ 00:16 

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Vader has signed a long-term deal with NWA-TNA. He has apparently lost his deal with NOAH.

Vader was the only gaijin wrestler to follow Mitsuharu Misawa out of All Japan in 2000 when Pro Wrestling NOAH was formed.

 [New Japan] Kengo Kimura to retire on 4/18
Brandon on 2/24/2003 @ 00:02 

It was announced on 2/23 that Kengo Kimura will retire as a pro wrestler on 4/18 in Tokyo Korakuen Hall. Kimura said he would like his partner for his last match to be his old rival, Tatsumi Fujinami.

 [New Japan] Tenzan marries
Brandon on 2/23/2003 @ 23:59 


Hiroyoshi Tenzan was married to his girlfriend of eight years, Rie Takahashi on 2/23.

The wedding party was hosted by Tenzan's tag team partner, Masahiro Chono and his wife. There were 351 guests in attendance. However, due to the All Japan Budokan show on the same day, Satoshi Kojima and Shinya Hashimoto were unable to attend, but both sent a taped message on video. Antonio Inoki, who also was unable to attend, sent a video message as well.

 [All Japan] WRESTLE-1 finished?
Brandon on 2/23/2003 @ 12:21 

WRESTLE-1's third show, scheduled for 4/19 in Saitama Super Arena was officially canceled on 2/23. After the 1/19 Tokyo Dome show, Muto's office announced that W-1 would run six shows a year. However, according to SportsNavi, a source told them that since the 4/19 show has been stopped, it's possible that there may be no future W-1 shows.

 [All Japan] 2/23 Tokyo Nippon Budokan results
Brandon on 2/23/2003 @ 11:12 

2/23/03
Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall
Announced Drawing 15,800



1. Spriggan, Masanobu Fuchi defeated Gran Hamada and Taichi Ishikari in 11:51 when Hamada pinned Spriggan with the Hama-chan Cutter.
-, , , ,

2. Extreme Blade defeated Super Dragon in 8:09 with the Bring the House Down.
-, , , , ,

3. Elimination match: Tomoaki Honma, Kazushi Miyamoto, Sanshiro Takagi, Tomohiko Hashimoto defeated Shigeo Okumura, Hideki Hosaka, Ryuji Hijikata, Yuto Aijima in 24:33 (Honma and Miyamoto survived).
-Hijikata defeated Hashimoto at 9:54 after a high kick.
-Miyamoto defeated Aijima at 15:30 by pinfall.
-Hosaka and Takagi were eliminated at 16:29 by double countout.
-Miyamoto defeated Hijikata in 18:38 by countout.
-Honma defeated Okumura in 24:33 after a rolling elbow.
-, , , , ,

4. The Gladiator defeated Nobukazu Hirai in 8:57 with a body press.
-, , , Match photo 4

5. Kaz Hayashi, Yoji Anjo and Genichiro Tenryu defeated Big John Tenta, Jimmy Yang and Gigantes in 15:12 when Hayashi pinned Yang after a top-rope Final Cut.
-, , , ,

6. Kendo Kashin, Nobutaka Araya, Arashi, Satoshi Kojima defeated Ryouji Sai, Kazuhiko Ogasawara, Masato Tanaka, Shinjiro Otani in 20:06 when Kojima pinned Sai after a lariat.
-, , , , , , ,

7. Triple Crown: Shinya Hashimoto defeated Great Muta in 20:09 after a brainbuster.
-, , , , , , Match photo 7,
-Hashimoto becomes new champion.
-Kojima entered the ring immediately after the match and said, "I will be the next challenger. Bakayaro!" Arashi also took the microphone and challengered Hashimoto. Hashimoto was given the microphone and said, "Baba-san, thank you very much. Kojima and Arashi are next. They will be destroyed!" Brawling between the All Japan and ZERO-ONE sides broke out. After it was broken up, Hashimoto took the microphone again, "Kojima! Arashi! ...Keiji Muto! Anyone will do. I will keep this belt."
-In the back, Hashimoto said he would consider having a match with Toshiaki Kawada after he returns to the ring.


Toshiaki Kawada gave comment after the show, saying, "After I'm healthy, I want to regain the belt. But I need a little more time." Kawada's return is scheduled for All Japan's next Budokan show on 4/12.


Hisashi Shinma was also at the show for whatever reason. He told the media that he would be selling Antonio Inoki's 5/1 show on DVD and also has plans to put matches like Inoki vs. Ali on DVD to sell. He said he was going to the US in April or May to meet with Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan.

 [All Japan] Keiji Muto gives interview about All Japan`s future
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 22:40 


All Japan President Keiji Muto (40) gave an extensive interview on 2/22 about the future of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Muto said that his Triple Crown match on 2/23, where he will defend the title against ZERO-ONE's Shinya Hashimoto in the Nippon Budokan is about more than just the Triple Crown. He hinted the result of the match would influence the future of All Japan.

It's been rumored that Muto talks to former All Japan President Motoko Baba daily. Muto admitted in the interview that he spoke to Mrs. Baba directly about what would become of All Japan. Muto said, "I'm thinking about detaching myself from All Japan. But I don't think that I'll resign as president."

Muto compared All Japan to W-1 saying, "Our future now is like two parallel pillars. One is the strong All Japan; the other is WRESTLE-1 as a new device. W-1 targets newer fans, having shows periodically.

"I do have my own office now, but I thought that it was needed in order to support All Japan," Muto commented on his own personal office, which is running the W-1 shows, "My management also has the duty of running W-1 and selling merchandise. This was something that wasn't part of the tradition in old All Japan, but I wanted it so the organization would run efficiently."

Muto spoke about W-1 and his vision of pro wrestling, "We're all part of a small group called the pro wrestling village. So I want to listen and hear the opinion of the pro wrestling village. There are many different opinions. I want to bring in new fans. I think that's what I have to do. W-1 is leading the way in doing this. For the last W-1 show, the ratings were high for women in their 20s."

 [NOAH] Rikio, Morishima, Marufuji team formed
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 21:37 


On 2/22 in Wakayama Prefectural Gymnasium, after Naomichi Marufuji, Takeshi Morishima and Takeshi Rikio defeated Makoto Hashi, Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama in 19:08 when Marufuji pinned Hashi after the Shiranui, Marufuji, Rikio and Morishima formed a new group called "Takeshi Rikimaru."

Also, it appears Kenta Kobashi is experiencing problems with his right elbow. It doesn't look like he'll miss any time over it.

NOAH also announced their full 3/1 Budokan card on 2/20:
1. Haruka Eigen, Kishin Kawabata vs. Mitsuo Momota, Rusher Kimura
2. Donovan Morgan, Michael Modest, Akira Taue vs. Kotaro Suzuki, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Takuma Sano
3. Makoto Hashi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Naomichi Marufuji, KENTA
4. Bison Smith, Superstar Steve, IZU vs. Daisuke Ikeda, Takeshi Morishima, Takeshi Rikio
5. Scorpio vs. Yoshinari Ogawa
6. Masao Inoue vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
7. Takashi Sugiura, Tamon Honda vs. Akitoshi Saito, Jun Akiyama
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa

 [PRIDE] Sakuraba declares complete defeat of Schembri
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 11:48 


Kazushi Sakuraba, who will fight Antonio "Nino" Schembri at PRIDE 25, gave an interview to the media on 2/21.

Sakuraba said that his knee is about 80% right now, but said he will defeat Schembri on 3/16 in Yokohama Arena.

Schembri on the other hand, who is being put over by the Japanese press as the "reincarnation of Rickson Gracie," said that he believes he will make Sakuraba tap out.

 [ZERO-ONE] Kojima runs in
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 11:24 


On 2/21, after Hirotaka Yokoi and Kohei Sato defeated Ryuji Hijikata and Nobukazu Hirai in 9:15 by referee stoppage when Yokoi TKO'ed Hijikata, Satoshi Kojima ran in to beat up the ZERO-ONE team. Kojima gave Yokoi a Koji cutter and gave Sato a lariat.

Kojima took the microphone and called out Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka. They came out and Otani said All Japan would be defeated just like Hijikata and Hirai were.

 [New Japan] Nagata talks about Nakanishi; U-30 tournament
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 10:58 

Leading up to their IWGP Heavyweight Title match on 3/9 in Nagoya Rainbow Hall, Yuji Nagata said on 2/20 that Manabu Nakanishi won't beat him on 3/9 because New Japan is too big for him to carry.

New Japan also announced the blocks for their G2 U-30 Climax tournament on 2/20.

Block A: Shinya Makabe, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Masahito Kakihara, Makai #2, Dan Devine
Block B: Yutaka Yoshie, Blue Wolf, Toru Yano, Makai #4, Minoru Fujita

Additional shows for New Japan's Hyper Battle 2003 series were also announced. Shows scheduled for TV tapings include:

3/6/03
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Airing on ESPN SXW
1. G2 U-30 CLimax - Block A: Shinya Makabe vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
2. Makai #5 vs. Masahito Kakihara
3. Dan Devine, Scott Norton vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masahiro Chono
4. Blue Wolf, Takashi Iizuka, Yuji Nagata vs. Yutaka Yoshie, Osamu Nishimura, Manabu Nakanishi
5. Makai #2 vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
6. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title #1 Contendership: Jado, Gedo vs. AKIRA, Heat.

3/7/03
Niigata Gymansium
Airing on TV-Asahi and BS-Asahi
1. G2 U-30 Climax - Block A: Dan Devine vs. Makai #2
2. Blue Wolf, Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi
3. Shinya Makabe, Scott Norton vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masahiro Chono

3/9/03
Nagoya Rainbow Hall
Airing on TV-Asahi and BS-Asahi
1. G2 U-30 Climax - Block B: Makai #4 vs. Blue Wolf
2. Ensen Inoue, Michiyoshi Ohara, Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito vs. Makai #1, Ryushi Yanagisawa, Kazunari Murakami, Tadao Yasuda
3. Three Match Series - Match 1: Makai #5 vs. Takashi Iizuka
4. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Winners on 3/6 vs. Koji Kanemoto, Jushin Thunder Liger
5. IWGP Tag Team Title: Shinya Makabe, Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masahiro Chono
6. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Manabe Nakanishi vs. Yuji Nagata

3/21/03
Yoyogi Stadium Gymnasium II
Airing on ESPN SXW
1. G2 U-30 Climax - Block B: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Blue Wolf
2. Ensen Inoue, Michiyoshi Ohara, Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Makai #1, Kazunari Murakami, Tadao Yasuda
3. Three Match Series - Match 2: Makai #5 vs. Takashi Iizuka
4. Makai #4 vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
5. Shinay Makabe vs. Masahiro Chono
6. Osaka Pro Tag Team Title: Undecided Osaka Pro Team vs. Takehiro Murahama, Jushin Thunder Liger

3/23/03
Amagasaki Commemoration Park Gymnasium
Airing on TV-Asahi and BS-Asahi
1. G2 U-30 Climax - Block B: Makai #4 vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
2. Ensen Inoue, Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Kazunari Murakami, Tadao Yasuda
3. Three Match Series - Match 3: Makai #5 vs. Takashi Iizuka
4. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: AKIRA vs. Koji Kanemoto
5. NWF Heavyweight Title: Scott Norton vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

 [NOAH] Rikio KOs Takayama
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 10:14 


Following Rikio's challenge to Takayama on the previous day, Takeshi Rikio KO'ed Yoshihiro Takayama on 2/20 in Osaka Prefectural Gym II. Rikio hit him with a lariat, leaving him "knocked out" outside the ring. This left Rikio and Naomichi Marufuji to beat Takashi Sugiura and Takayama in 15:00 when Marufuji pinned Sugiura.

Also, Rikio and Marufuji have formed a team. Rikio said he would like to challenge for the GHC Tag Team Title with Marufuji.

 [K-1] Fuji Television sponsorship in jeopardy
Brandon on 2/22/2003 @ 10:08 

Fuji Television President Koichi Murakami said on 2/20 that Fuji Television may discontinue their broadcast of K-1 events in May. The 3/30 show will be broadcast as scheduled.

Murakami said he wants to see how ratings for K-1 shows are now after Kazuyoshi Ishii has been arrested and make a decision in May.

If Fuji stops broadcasting K-1 events, it would be end of a 10 year relationship, beginning in April 1993.

 [ZERO-ONE] Hashimoto vs. Kawada?
Brandon on 2/20/2003 @ 21:01 


After ZERO-ONE's show on 2/20, Shinya Hashimoto (37) commented on both Kodo Fuyuki and Toshiaki Kawada.

He said that it's possible that he will have the deathmatch that Fuyuki wants to have with him on 5/5 at WEW's Kawasaki Stadium show.

He also said that when Toshiaki Kawada returns to All Japan on 4/12, he would consider being Kawada's opponent.

Also after the show, Naoya Ogawa said he wanted to revive the OH Gun team and encouraged Hashimoto to win his match against Great Muta on 2/23 in the Nippon Budokan and to win the Triple Crown.

On another ZERO-ONE note, Satoshi Kojima is expected to appear at their Korakuen Hall show on 2/21.

 [NOAH] Rikio challenges Takayama to title match
Brandon on 2/20/2003 @ 20:54 

On 2/20, after Takeshi Rikio and Naomichi Marufuji defeated KENTA and Kenta Kobashi in 14:43 after Rikio pinned KENTA after a short lariat, Rikio challenged Yoshihiro Takayama.

He said he wants to challenge Takayama for the NWF Heavyweight Title and wants to have the match in NOAH if possible.

 [New Japan] Antonio Inoki turns 60
Brandon on 2/20/2003 @ 20:46 


Antonio Inoki celebrated his 60th birthday on 2/20. Among those at his party in Tokyo Bay were Yoshihiro Takayama, Kazuyuki Fujita and Blue Dragon.


Also on Inoki's birthday, New Japan announced information about their 5/2 Tokyo Dome show, in which it appears Inoki will be involved. The show will be entitled, "ULTIMATE CRUSH." The show will apparently involve both pro wrestling and vale tudo matches, though, no telling whether those vale tudo matches will be shoot matches or not.

Inoki also formally announced that he would be running some kind of event in the Tokyo Dome on 5/1. The event will further celebrate Inoki's 60th birthday.

 [PRIDE] Complete PRIDE 25 card announced
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 16:39 

PRIDE announced their full PRIDE 25 card for the 3/16 show in Yokohama Arena. Among the new matches announced, Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Nino "Elvis" Schembri was made official while Akira Shoji vs. Alex Steibling, Carlos Newton vs. Anderson Silva and Alexander Otsuka vs. Kenichi Yamamoto.

The full card, though the card order is not official and Schembri vs. Sakuraba may end up being the main event:

1. Alex Steibling vs. Akira Shoji
2. Kenichi Yamamoto vs. Alexander Otsuka
3. Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
4. Carlos Newton vs. Anderson Silva
5. Dan Henderson vs. Shungo Oyama
6. PRIDE Middleweight Title Challenger Determination: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Kevin Randleman
7. Antonio "Nino" Schembri vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
8. PRIDE Heavyeight Title: Emelianenko Fedor vs. Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera

 [PRIDE] Inoki to appear at PRIDE 25
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 16:23 


The Japanese media is making an unusually big deal about Antonio Inoki's appearance at PRIDE 25 being confirmed. Inoki is in attendance for every PRIDE show, coming out during intermission to address the crowd, though this being the first show after the death of Naoto Morishita and will be the first since Inoki turns 60 (he will on 2/20), Inoki is saying that he wants to help present a show that will "help ease the fans."

 [New Japan] INOKIDOJO.com interview with Inoki
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 16:14 


INOKIDOJO.com post another interview with Antonio Inoki. This interview was done on 2/17 in the LA Dojo. Yuji Nagata was present, as Inoki, like with his conversation with Makai President Hoshino, expresses what he feels is wrong with New Japan. to read the interview.

Many things are covered in the interview, including Inoki's advice to Nagata and more on Inoki's newest protege, Ryoto Machida.

 [PRIDE] Schembri vs. Sakuraba
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 01:00 

ADCC news reports that Antonio "Nino" Schembri, who some consider the world's most dangerous fighter in jiu-jitsu, will be Kazushi Sakuraba's opponent at the 3/16 PRIDE 25 show in Yokohama.

 [NOAH] Kobashi wants no time-limit on 3/1
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 00:45 


After NOAH's 2/18 show in Yokosuka City Gymnasium, Kenta Kobashi said that he wants his GHC Heavyweight Title match against Mitsuharu Misawa to be a no time-limit match. Kobashi said he's worried that the match would go to a 60-minute draw, since he and Misawa have a history of wrestling long matches, their longest being 43:40 on 6/11/99.

Also after the show, Jun Akiyama said that at the Budokan show on 3/1, where he and Akitoshi Saito have a match with Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue, he would wear a mask, appearing has the character SHURA, which he used at NOAH's Halloween show on 10/31.

 [New Japan] Hitomi Hara appears in court
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 00:34 

Hitomi Hara, Hiroshi Tanahashi's former girlfriend, who stabbed Tanahashi in the back twice on 11/27 appeared before a Tokyo District Court on 2/18.

Hara, charged with attempted murder, said that she accepts her prosecution, but denies she had any intention to kill Tanahashi.

Hara's defense counsel attempted to settle out of court on 2/10, but the prosecution would not settle.

The court demanded that Hara undergo psychiatric testing and will return on 4/14.

 [Zenjo] Momoe succeeds second defense
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 00:20 


<> 2/18 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 1430 fans

WWWA World Singles Champion, Momoe Nakanishi (22) defeated Takako Inoue in 18:04 after the momoracci to succeed in her second title defense.

After the match, Amazing Kong ran in and stole the belt. Eagle Sawai also challenged Momoe. Kyoko Inoue also wants to challenge here for the title. However, Momoe said, "I want to wrestle [Meiko] Satomura or [Ayako] Hamada, although it might not be possible," saying she wanted to defend against a GAEA wrestler at Zenjo's 35th anniversary show on 5/11 in Yokohama Arena.

 [WJ Pro] Onita wants Choshu as referee
Brandon on 2/19/2003 @ 00:13 


Atsushi Onita (44) said on 2/18 that he wants Riki Choshu to be the referee for his exploding barbed wire deathmatch with Shiro Koshinaka on 3/1. Onita said that because it's an explosion match, Choshu should naturally be referee.

Onita has also sent WJ a black t-shirt and black jeans that he wants Koshinaka to wear for the match.

 [All Japan] Full 2/23 card announced
Brandon on 2/18/2003 @ 13:52 

On 2/18, All Japan announced their complete card for their 2/23 Tokyo Nippon Budokan show, which looks to be another disappointing Budokan show, business-wise, for the promotion.

1. Taichi Ishikari, Gran Hamada vs. Spriggan, Masanobu Fuchi
2. Extreme Blade vs. Super Dragon
3. Elimination match: Ryuji Hijikata, Yuto Aijima, Hideki Hosaka, Shigeo Okumura vs. Tomohiko Hashimoto, Sanshiro Takagi, Kazushi Miyamoto, Tomoaki Honma
4. The Gladatior vs. Nobukazu Hirai
5. Jimmy Yang, Gigantes, Big John Tenta vs. Kaz Hayashi, Yoji Anjo, Genichiro Tenryu
6. Kazuhiko Ogasawara, Masato Tanaka, Shinjiro Otani, X vs. Arashi, Nobutaka Araya, Kendo Kashin, Satoshi Kojima
7. Triple Crown: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Great Muta

 [PRIDE] Sakuraba fights at PRIDE 25
Brandon on 2/18/2003 @ 13:33 

It announced on 2/18 that Kazushi Sakuraba will fight on the PRIDE 25 show on 3/16 in Yokohama Arena.

An unhealthy Sakuraba fought in the main event of the PRIDE 23 on 11/24 show, defeating Gilles Arsene, though it was a disappointing fight for Sakuraba.

Sakuraba's opponent is expected to be announced in two or three days.

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review
Brandon on 2/18/2003 @ 02:40 
Ichiban Puroresu Review
-Captain's Fall Elimination (9/5/02)
-Shiga/Kobashi vs. Saito/Akiyama (10/19/02)
-The Beginning: Kawada vs. Misawa
-Theme Song Review II: Stan Hansen
-Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (6/13/93)
-Reflections of Curt Hennig
-Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (8/30/91)

 [K-1] Murahama wants Sapp to be his second
Brandon on 2/17/2003 @ 22:57 

On 2/17, Takehiro Murahama said that he is the "mini Beast" and wants Bob Sapp to be his second for his fight on 3/1.

Murahama will fight Hiroyuki Abe on 3/1 at the K-1 MAX show in Ariake Colosseum.

 Michiyoshi Yoshimura dies
Brandon on 2/17/2003 @ 13:16 

Former JWA pro wrestler, Michiyoshi Yoshimura passed away on 2/15 at 6:35AM. He was 76 years old.

Yoshimura had experience as a sumo wrestler. In JWA, he tagged with Giant Baba, calling themselves the "Fighting Spirit Ball of Fire." Yoshimura is also remembered for making the rolling cradle popular. He retired from pro wrestling in March of 1973 to become a sumo trainer.

 [New Japan] Hyper Battle 2003
Brandon on 2/17/2003 @ 11:15 


New Japan announced some of the matches for their Hyper Battle Series 2003 tour on 2/17. The tour will include seven title matches, including Yuji Nagata making his ninth IWGP Heavyweight Title defense on 3/9 in Nagoya. Enson Inoue is also scheduled to make his New Japan debut on 3/9, scheduled at this time to wrestle two other shows on the tour.


3/6/03
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Shown on ESPN SXW
-Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Makai #2
-IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title #1 Contender Match: Jado, Gedo vs. AKIRA, Heat

3/8/03
Hiratsuka City Gymnasium
-Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Makai #1

3/9/03
Nagoya Rainbow Hall
Shown on TV-Asahi
-Hiro Saito, Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara, Enson Inoue vs. Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami, Ryushi Yanagisawa, Makai #1
-Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #5
-IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Winner of match on 3/6 vs. Koji Kanemoto, Jushin Thunder Liger
-IWGP Tag Team Title: Yoshihiro Takayama, Shinya Makabe vs. Masahiro Chono, Hiroyoshi Tenzan
-IWGP Heavyweight Title: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Yuji Nagata

3/21/03
Yoyogi National Stadium Gymnasium II
Shown on ESPN SXW
-Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara, Enson Inoue vs. Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami, Makai #1
-Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #5
-Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Makai #4
-Masahiro Chono vs. Shinya Makabe
-Osaka Pro Tag Team Title: Undecided Osaka Pro team vs. Takehiro Murahama, Jushin Thunder Liger

3/23/03
Amagasaki City Memorial Park Gymnasium
Shown on TV-Asahi
-Michiyoshi Ohara, Enson Inoue vs. Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami
-Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #5
-IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: AKIRA vs. Koji Kanemoto
-NWF Heavyweight Title: Scott Norton vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

 [PRIDE] PRIDE 25 ticket sales
Brandon on 2/16/2003 @ 22:21 

Tickets for PRIDE 25 scheduled for 3/16 went on sale on 2/16. Almost all the tickets are sold out and only the exspensive floor seats remain.

The show will take place in Yokohama Arena and will be main evented by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defending his PRIDE Heavyweight Title against Emelianenko Fedor.

 [New Japan] 2/16 Sumo Hall results
Brandon on 2/16/2003 @ 10:51 

2/16/03
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall)
Announced drawing 10,000 (sell-out); Less than half the tickets were sold in advance

1. Manabu Nakanishi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in 7:36 with a German suplex hold.
-, , ,
-After the match, Nakanishi took the microphone and said, "Tanahashi! I'm not finished yet. You are the younger generation. I'm the older generation. We could become champions. New Japan Pro Wrestling will be activated by you and me. Get up! We can do it." .
-In the back, Nakanishi said he next wants to challenge for Nagata's IWGP Heavyweight Title.

2. Shinya Makabe defeated Toru Yano in 3:41 with a German suplex hold.
-, ,
-After the match in the back, Makabe said he was upset that Chono booked him so low on the card. He said he will be in the U-30 (under 30) tournament.

3. Osamu Nishimura defeated Curry Man in 10:11 with a cobra twist.
, , , , Match photo 5,
-In the back, Nishimura said he was dissatisfied with how he wrestled today against Curry Man and that he wants to continue wrestling in the US, including other places outside of Florida where he usually wrestles.

4. Yutaka Yoshie, Takashi Iizuka defeated Makai #4, Makai #5 in 12:13 when Yoshie pinned Makai #4 with a diving bodypress.
-,
-After the match ended, Iizuka went after Makai #5 (Nagai) and tried to unmask him. Iizuka challenged him to fight him without his mask. Makai #5 took his mask off himself to reveal Mitsuya Nagai. Nagai said he would send Iizuka to the hospital again.
-Makai #4 (Shibata) said he would participate in the U-30 tournament and beat Yoshie there. Nagai and Makai #4 then beat up Announcer Nakamura.

5. Kazunari Murakami defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in 6:28 by referee stop with a cross armbar.
-, ,
-Murakami said he would "riot more" in the IWGP Tag Title match.

6. Masayoshi Ohara, Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito defeated Makai #1, Makai #2, Tadao Yasuda in 0:53 by disqualification.
-, , , ,
-President Hoshino interfered, causing the disqualification.
-After the match ended, Enson Inoue ran in and choked Hoshino out with a choke sleeper. Ohara and Enson carried the unconscious Hoshino and threw him in Ohara's doghouse.

7. Super Junior Elimination match: Super Crazy, Tiger Mask, Masahito Kakihara, Heat, AKIRA defeated Minoru Fujita, Gedo, El Samurai, Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto in 26:56 by 5-3 (Heat and AKIRA survived).
-Super Crazy defeated El Samurai at 8:18 with a spiral bomb (1-0).
-Masahito Kakihara defeated Gedo at 10:07 with the Kaki cutter (2-0).
-Minoru Fujita defeated Masahito Kakihara at 11:37 by pinfall (2-1).
-Minoru Fujita defeated Super Crazy at 14:18 with a Michinoku driver (2-2).
-Tiger Mask defeated Minoru Fujita at 15:56 with a tiger suplex (3-2).
-Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Tiger Mask at 18:28 with a brainbuster (3-3).
-AKIRA defeated Jushin Thunder Liger at 22:49 with a Masasabi press (4-3).
-AKIRA defeated Koji Kanemoto at 26:56 with a fisherman buster from Heat (5-3).
-, , , , Match photo 5, , , ,
-Heat said he was proud of 's win today and that Liger and Kanemoto are a symbol of old junior heavyweights.

8. Yuji Nagata, Blue Wolf defeated Josh Barnett, Perry Saturn in 13:09 when Wolf pinned Saturn after the Mongol slam.
-, , ,
-Blue Wolf's brother, sumo star Blue Dragon sat at ringside for the match.
-After the match, Wolf's two brothers got in the ring. Nagata, Wolf and his two brothers all raised their hands for a pop.
-In the back, about Nakanishi, Nagata said that if the fans want Nakanishi to challenge for the title, he'll do it.
-Barnett said, "I lost today, but if I gain a little more experience, I'm sure I can beat Nagata."

9. IWGP Tag Team Title: Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masahiro Chono defeated Kazunari Murakami, Tadao Yasuda in 20:36 when Tenzan pinned Yasuda after a diving headbutt.
-, , , ,
-Tenzan and Chono's fifth successful defense.
-Makabe ran in after the match and challenged Chono.
-Chono said in the back that he might defend the tag title against him if he can find a suitable partner.

10. NWF Heavyweight Title: Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Ryushi Yanagisawa in 11:17 with a German suplex hold.
-, , , , , ,
-Takayama's first successful defense.
-In the back, said they would challenge Chono and Tenzan for the IWGP Tag Team Title together.
-Takayama was asked if he would be wrestling for New Japan on the next tour and said he didn't know yet.

 [Site] Tales From the Eastside returns
Brandon on 2/15/2003 @ 17:18 
Ichiban Puroresu welcomes back Patrick McGovern back to the site. His Tales From the Eastside reviews will begin appearing on this site once again. Patrick is one of the most knowledgable people on the internet when it comes to US indy wrestling and we're all very happy to have him back.

Until he writes something new, you can take a look at the material he did for the site while he was here in the Tales From the Eastside Directory.

 [U-STYLE] Next show on 4/6
Brandon on 2/15/2003 @ 16:45 

After defeating Wataru Sakata (24) in U-STYLE's debut show on 2/15 in the Tokyo Differ Ariake, Kiyoshi Tamura (33) said that he was happy the promotion's first show was a success. Tamura said that he hopes this show will be the first step in the "evolution of UWF."

U-STYLE, which sold out the 1,800-seat Differ Ariake weeks in advance will hold another show in the building on 4/6. For that show, Dokonjonosuke Mishima has challenged Tamura to a match, although Katsuhisa Fujii (who defeated Takashi Echigo in 1:33 to open the show) has also said he wants a match with Tamura.

 [New Japan] Chono comments on title match
Brandon on 2/15/2003 @ 12:12 


Leading up to his match against Tadao Yasuda and Kazunari Murakami on 2/16, where he will defend the IWGP Tag Team Title with Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Chono said, "The truth is, I wanted to fight Barton and Steel because they won the tournament. Murakami and Yasuda are both booked for other fights on the same night, so I've got to give them handy cap. In any case, I'll crush them and sell Makai Club brand to some foreign country. Nobody wants them around... About Tenzan, I have left the decision up to him. He doesn't have to fight or can just be standing in the corner, and I'll take care of the match alone. Win or draw, I'll be the one with the belt. Tenzan is strong and recovers from any injury quickly, so I got no worries. The main concern is NWF championship to be the main event... The audience may go home after my bout even before NWF match starts!" (credit: INOKIDOJO)

 [U-STYLE] 2/15 results
Brandon on 2/15/2003 @ 10:36 
2/15/03
Tokyo Differ Ariake
Drawing 1,822 (sell-out)

1. Katsuhisa Fujii defeated Takashi Echigo in 1:33 with a double wristlock.

2. Manabu Hara defeated Tadao Kimura in 7:41 with a rear naked choke.

3. Yasuhito Namekawa defeated Kyosuke Sasaki in 9:14 with a stomach hold.

4. Ryuki Ueyama defeated Hiroyuki Ito in 8:47 with an ankle hold.

5. Takehiro Murahama defeated Kazuki Okubo in 7:13 with a cross armbar.

6. Kiyoshi Tamura defeated Wataru Sakata in 11:46 with a front naked choke.

 [New Japan] 2/16 Sumo Hall card finalized
Brandon on 2/14/2003 @ 16:56 

On 2/14, New Japan Pro Wrestling finalized their tour-ending 2/16 Tokyo Sumo Hall show. Strangely, the Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Manabu Nakanishi match is booked for the opener. Tadao Yasuda and Kazunari Murakami will be working double duty, as they challenge Chono and Tenzan for the IWGP Tag Team Title. Yasuda will tag with Makai #1 and #2 against Ohara, Goto and Saito, while Murakami will go on with his scheduled match with Shinsuke Nakamura.

1. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Manabu Nakanishi
2. Toru Yano vs. Shinya Makabe
3. Curry Man vs. Osamu Nishimura
4. Yutaka Yoshie, Takashi Iizuka vs. Makai #4, Makai #5
5. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazunari Murakami
6. Michiyoshi Ohara, Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito vs. Makai #1, Makai #2, Tadao Yasuda
7. Super Junior Elimination Match: Minoru Fujita, Gedo, El Samurai, Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji Kanemoto vs. Super Crazy, AKIRA, Tiger Mask, Masahito Kakihara, Heat
8. Blue Wolf, Yuji Nagata vs. Perry Saturn, Josh Barnett
9. IWGP Tag Team Title: Kazunari Murakami, Tadao Yasuda vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masahiro Chono
10. NWF Heavyweight Title: Ryushi Yanagisawa vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

 [ZERO-ONE] 3/2 Sumo Hall card announced
Brandon on 2/14/2003 @ 15:53 

ZERO-ONE announced their complete 3/2 Tokyo Sumo Hall card on 2/14:

1. Yoshito Sasaki vs. Wagyu Kuroge
2. Shinsuke Yamakasa Z, Takahashi Fuyuki vs. Jun Kasai, Don Arakawa
3. Ikuto Hidaka, Naohiro Hoshikawa, Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Pentagon, Paul London, Low Ki
4. Ryouji Sai vs. Wataru Sakata
5. King Adamo, Steve Corino vs. Ten Gukaiza, Yoshiaki Fujiwara
6. Katsuhisa Fujii vs. Matt Ghaffari
7. Kohei Sato, Masato Tanaka vs. Takashi Sugiura, Daisuke Ikeda
8. Yoshihiro Takayama, Hirotaka Yokoi vs. Predator, Jimmy Snuka, Jr.
9. Naoya Ogawa vs. Tom Howard
10. Shinya Hashimoto, Shinjiro Otani vs. Arashi, Keiji Muto

This show will mark the first time ever that both All Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH wrestlers will appear on the same card, as Muto and Arashi of All Japan will wrestle, while Sugiura and Ikeda will also.

 [K-1] CroCop vs. Sapp
Brandon on 2/14/2003 @ 02:49 


K-1 announced on 2/14 that Bob Sapp will be fighting Mirko CroCop in the main event of their 3/30 Saitama Super Arena show.

Ernesto Hoost will also be fighting against an undetermined opponent. Peter Aerts will be fighting Stephen Leko. As well as Rey Sefo will be fighting.

 [Osaka Pro] Super J-Cup 4th Stage
Brandon on 2/14/2003 @ 00:52 

Osaka Pro announced on 2/13 that they would hold the fourth Super J-Cup some time in February 2004. At this point, NOAH, New Japan and K-DOJO have agreed to be part of the tournament.

The first Super J-Cup was held on 4/16/94 by New Japan in the Tokyo Sumo Hall, where Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) defeated Great Sasuke in a legendary final match. The second tournament was held under the WAR banner the next year on 12/13/95, also in the Sumo Hall, where Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Gedo in the final round. There was a five year absence of the Super J-Cup until Michinoku Pro promoted the show over two days on 4/1/00 and 4/10/00, ending again in the Sumo Hall, where Liger won the J-Cup for the second time.

 [WJ Pro] Onita demonstrates explosives
Brandon on 2/14/2003 @ 00:44 


Leading up to his exploding barbed wire deathmatch with Shiro Koshinaka on 3/1 in the Yokohama Arena, Atsushi Onita blew up pineapples for the media on 2/13.

Onita claimed that the Yokohama Arena would be sold out for the show and that he would prepare "the greatest bomb ever" for Koshinaka.

 [New Japan] Yasuda, Murakami to replace Steele, Barton
Brandon on 2/14/2003 @ 00:32 

New Japan Media Director Fumiko Uei announced on 2/13 that due to Jim Steele's knee injury, Steele and Mike Barton will not be challenging Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono for the IWGP Tag Team Title on 2/16.

Instead, Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda (who were finalists against Steele and Barton in the tournament to determine the next tag title challengers) will challenge Tenzan and Chono for the title on 2/16 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.

Also, Tenzan's being taken out on a stretcher 2/12 has turned out to be legitimate, as he is continously feeling the same numbness in his head as he has been since the beginning of the tour. Because of this, Tenzan will not be appearing on 2/15 in the Sanjo Welfare Hall, which is the last show before the tour-ending Sumo Hall show.

 [All Japan] ZERO-ONE vs. All Japan eight-man on 2/23
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 16:18 


On 2/12, All Japan Pro Wrestling announced a second match for their 2/23 Tokyo Nippon Budokan show. It will be a ZERO-ONE vs. All Japan eight-man tag team match. The ZERO-ONE team will be headed by Shinjiro Otani with Masato Tanaka, Kazuhiko Ogasawara and an "X" partner who is either a mystery partner or is undecided. The All Japan team will be headed by Satoshi Kojima with Arashi, Nobutaka Araya and Kendo Kashin.

For the 2/23 show which will be shown live on SkyPerfecTV PPV, Toshiaki Kawada will be a guest at the commentators' booth.

 [New Japan] Jim Steele injured
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 15:30 

<> 2/12 <> Okayama Gymnasium <> 2800 fans (non-sell-out)

In a match where Jim Steele and Mike Barton defeated Osamu Nishimura and Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 11:05 when Barton pinned Tenzan after the Barton buster, Steele injured his right knee.

Steele was taken to the hospital immediately after the match, where it was learned that he torn a ligament in his knee and is likely to be out for six months.

Jim Steele and Mike Barton are scheduled to challenge Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono for the IWGP Tag Team Title on 2/16 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.

Tenzan was also scretchered out of the ring after the match with a head injury, but that might have been an angle to build up to the tag title match, since Barton finished Tenzan with the Barton buster.

After the show, Chono said that if Steele isn't able to wrestle (which he won't be), he wants the match to be forfeited and himself and Tenzan to be credited with a successful title defense.

It's possible that Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda (who were the other finalists in the tournament to determine a challenger) will challenge for the title in Barton and Steele's place.

 [PRIDE] Jackson vs. Randleman; Oyama vs. Henderson announced
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 15:13 

Two fights were announced by Dream Stage Entertainment for PRIDE 25 on 3/16.

Dan Henderson will fight Shungo Oyama, in Oyama's first fight since being armbarred by Ryan Gracie.

Also, former UFC champion, Kevin Randleman will fight Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Jackson's last fight was a win over Igor Vovchanchyn, while Randleman is undefeated in his three fights in PRIDE. The winner of the match will earn the right to challenge Vanderlei Silva for the PRIDE Middleweight Title.

 [WJ Pro] Omori interview
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 14:39 

Q: Why did you take the offer to join WJ for this show?

Takao Omori: I'm a freelancer now, so doing this is meaningful to me. I specifically had the idea of joining WJ.

Q: Why did you leave NOAH?


Omori: I talked to the president [Mitsuharu Misawa] and after I came back from the US, I had planned on coming back to NOAH. When I went to the US, I went as a member of NOAH. Last month, on January 23, I cameback. Then I started to consider my own future. So I talked about what to do in NOAH with the president [Misawa] and the company. I made requests and we could not come to an understanding. So my attitude changed, and I felt that I would be going up to the NOAH ring with an unwilling feeling. I decided that I wanted to be a freelancer. I realized it wouldn't be for the best if I cameback [to NOAH].

Q: What did you request from NOAH?

Omori: Well... NOAH did not want to give me what I asked for. What it was, I rather not say. But the reason I have become free is not because I had a misunderstanding. I think NOAH might have thought I had gone to the US with a selfish feeling.

Q: Your match with Kenzo Suzuki has formally been decided.

Omori: He is still young, but he's very energetic and I have heard he is very promising. I'm sure he'll be a good opponent. But in the match, I will knock myself free. I will beat him mercilessly and will crush him. That's all.

Q: Do you expect to wrestle other wrestlers from WJ?

Omori: Of course. When I go in the ring, I want to beat everyone. I don't want to become impatient, so I want to beat everyone one-by-one.

Q: Will you be going to other promotions as part of being a freelancer?

Omori: No, not for now. Just because I'm free doesn't mean I have to go to different places. I want to concenrate on being here for right now.

Q: Are you still part of No Fear [with Yoshihiro Takayama]?

Omori: I wasn't ever since I left to go to the US -- not in my mind.

Q: The US expedition was indefinite, so did you comeback at this time because you wanted to show [NOAH] something?


Omori: I think I learned things when I went to the US, but I have to get back in the ring so everyone can judge that. I think I gained a lot of experience. I learned some very important things. But the reason I cameback [to Japan] in January was because there was a problem with my visa. I had planned on coming back to NOAH right away, but I also considered going back out to the US again. Then I began my talks with the company [NOAH]. We discussed many things and, well, we never came to agreement. As I said before, I realized it wasn't best for me to return [to NOAH]. I thought if I unwillingly went back to NOAH, it would be impolite to the fans who give us their support. It may worry some people, but I think it would have been very impolite to the people who support Takao Omori. Many things have been said by the other side, although there were contract problems, but I felt I had to take responsibility for the fans. So I hope everyone can understand why I left.

 [WJ Pro] Omori vs. Kenzo official
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 04:04 


It was officially announced on 2/12 that Takao Omori would be facing Kenzo Suzuki on 3/1 in the Yokohama Arena.

Omori said that Kenzo is "a young, energetic wrestler," but he will crush him.

About leaving NOAH, Omori said, "I thought that I would be coming back in the NOAH ring [after wrestling in the US], but after talking to the company, it was decided I would leave. I can't get into the details, but I think I couldn't do my best there. I think I couldn't show what I could really do when I was in the NOAH ring."

The card order for WJ Pro's debut show was also determined. The match between The Crushers and the Road Warriors has also been turned into a match for the NWA Florida Tag Team Title:

1. Tomoaki Honma vs. Masahiko Kochi
2. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Takashi Uwano
3. Yoji Anjo vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu
4. NWA Florida Tag Team Title: The Crushers (Todd and Mike) vs. The Road Warriors
-Demonstration by Katsuhiko Nakajima
5. Explosion Deathmatch: Shiro Koshinaka vs. Atsushi Onita
6. Kenzo Suzuki vs. Takao Omori
7. Dan Bobish/Don Frye vs. Kensuke Sasaki/Hiroshi Hase
8. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu

 [All Japan] Tenryu not to be involved in interpromotional matches
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 03:36 

On 2/11, Genichiro Tenryu said he has no intentions of gettng involved with All Japan's interpromotional war with ZERO-ONE on 2/23 in the Tokyo Nippon Budokan.

He said he wants to concentrate on his series of six matches with Riki Choshu, which will begin on 3/1 at WJ Pro's debut show in the Yokohama Arena.

 [New Japan] Barton and Steele earn title shot
Brandon on 2/12/2003 @ 03:29 

Jim Steele and Mike Barton earned a IWGP Tag Team Title match on 2/11 when they defeated Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda in the tournament final in 4:49 when Murakami and Yasuda were disqualified for interference.

Steele and Barton will challenge Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono on 2/16 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.

 [NOAH] Kobashi vs. Misawa official; more on Omori
Brandon on 2/10/2003 @ 23:15 


While also announcing the depature of Takao Omori from Pro Wrestling NOAH on 2/10, Mitsuharu Misawa officially announced that the main event for the Tokyo Nippon Budokan show on 3/1 would be himself defending the GHC Heavyweight Title against Kenta Kobashi. This will be the first Kobashi vs. Misawa match in the NOAH ring (their last singles match was in the All Japan as part of the Champion Carnival 2000 on 4/11/00).

Misawa said he talked twice with Omori at the end of January about Omori leaving and it was decided between the two on 2/6 that he would leave the promotion. Misawa said, "I can't interfere in Omori's life. I hope he does his best."

 [All Japan] Otani wants a rematch
Brandon on 2/10/2003 @ 23:08 


Shinjiro Otani said on 2/9 that he wants a rematch with Satoshi Kojima on 2/23 at All Japan's Nippon Budokan show.

Kojima defeated Otani at ZERO-ONE's 12/15 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.

Kazuhiko Ogasawara has also offered to have another singles match with Kendo Kashin at the Budokan show.

 [ZERO-ONE] Takayama on 3/2 show
Brandon on 2/10/2003 @ 23:00 

It was announced on 2/9 that Yoshihiro Takayama would be wrestling on ZERO-ONE's second anniversary show on 3/2 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.

He will team with Hirotaka Yokoi against The Predator and Jimmy Snuka, Jr.

Naoya Ogawa has also officially be announced to be on the 3/2 card.

Yokoi said that he's happy to be Takayama's partner for the show, and that he and Takayama trained together in the Spring of 2001 as Takayama was preparing for his PRIDE 14 fight with Kazuyuki Fujita.

 [NOAH] TAKAO OMORI LEAVES NOAH
Brandon on 2/10/2003 @ 15:39 


Mitsuharu Misawa announced to the press on 2/10 that Takao Omori would no longer be part of Pro Wrestling NOAH.

Misawa said Omori has left because he wants to be a freelancer and have the opportunity to do other things. However, Omori has been somewhat removed and in the opinion of many, misused in Pro Wrestling NOAH since its beginning as a promotion.

There are already heavy rumors that Omori will appear on the WJ Pro 3/1 Yokohama Arena show in a match against Kenzo Suzuki.

 [Content] Whole Alfin` Review
Brandon on 2/9/2003 @ 19:44 
Whole Alfin' Review:
The work of each wrestler involved in the match adds to the greatness, but the strength of the match lies in the story. Its beginning, middle, and end are each perfectly crafted and my lack of knowledge on each of the individual stories going into the match didn't really hurt my enjoyment as the basic story is so wonderfully produced and played; Two faces wanting to keep their masks vs. two heels wanting to keep their titles...

 [ZERO-ONE] Takaiwa vs. Ultimo Dragon?
Brandon on 2/9/2003 @ 19:28 

After he and Yoshito Sasaki lost in the Differ Cup final to YOSSINO and Ultimo Dragon, Tatsuhito Takaiwa said he would like to have a singles match with Ultimo Dragon in the future. He said it didn't matter if it was in a ZERO-ONE ring or a Toryumon ring.

Takaiwa said he felt regretful that he lost in the tournament final, but that he has found a new rival.

 [New Japan] IWGP Tag Team Title Contender Tournament final determined
Brandon on 2/9/2003 @ 19:25 

<> 2/9 <> Osaka Seaside Sports Center <> 2200 fans

After Kazunari Murakami and Tadao Yasuda defeated Masahito Kakihara and Takashi Iizuka in 9:42 when Yasuda pinned Iizuka on 2/9 in Osaka, Yasuda and Murakami have advanced to the tournament final.

Yasuda and Murakami will fight Jim Steele and Mike Barton on 2/11 in the final round of the IWGP Tag Team Title Contender Tournament. The winner will face IWGP Tag Team Champions, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono in a title match on 2/16 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.

 [NOAH] Differ Cup Scramble Junior Tag Tournament Final results
Brandon on 2/9/2003 @ 11:42 

2/9/03
Tokyo Differ Ariake
Drawing 1,800



1. The Great Takeru defeated Kappa Boy in 10:28.

2. Masao Orihara defeated Ikuto Hidaka in 12:47 with a small package.

3. Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Chocoball Mukai defeated Jun Kasai, Gran Naniwa in 21:25 when Kuroda pinned Naniwa after a lariat.

4. KENTA, Kotaro Suzuki defeated MIKAMI, KUDO in 24:52 when KENTA pinned KUDO after a knee kick.

5. Differ Cup Scramble Tournament Final: Ultimo Dragon, YOSSINO defeated Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Yoshito Sasaki in 20:27 when Ultimo submitted Sasaki with the dragon sleeper.
-Ultimo Dragon and YOSSINO win the Differ Cup Scramble Junior Tag Tournament.

 [NOAH] Differ Cup Scramble Junior Tag Tournament results
Brandon on 2/8/2003 @ 22:06 

2/8/03
Tokyo Differ Ariake
Drawing 1,800 (sell-out)



1. First Round: MIKAMI, KUDO (DDT) defeated Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Chocoball Mukai (WEW) in 18:11 when MIKAMI pinned Mukai after the swanton bomb.

2. First Round: Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Yoshito Sasaki (ZERO-ONE) defeated Ikuto Hidaka, Masao Orihara (FEC/Michinoku Pro) in 16:11 when Takaiwa pinned Hidaka after a death valley bomb.
-Takaiwa and Sasaki advance to face MIKAMI and KUDO in the semi-finals.

3. First Round: KENTA and Kotaro Suzuki defeated The Great Takeru, Kappa Boy in 20:44 when KENTA pinned Takeru.

4. First Round: Ultimo Dragon, YOSSINO (Toryumon) defeated Jun Kasai, Gran Naniwa (Freelance) in 15:44 when Ultimo submitted Naniwa with the dragon sleeper.
-Ultimo and YOSSINO advance to face KENTA and Suzuki

5. Semi-Final: Yoshito Sasaki, Tatsuhito Takaiwa (ZERO-ONE) defeated MIKAMI, KUDO (DDT) in 16:21 when Takaiwa pinned MIKAMI after a death valley bomb.

6. Semi-Final: Ultimo Dragon, YOSSINO (Toryumon) defeated KENTA, Kotaro Suzuki (NOAH) in 11:49 when Ultimo submitted Suzuki with the dragon sleeper.
-Ultimo and YOSSINO will face Takaiwa and Sasaki on 2/9 in the Differ Ariake in the final round.

 [All Japan] Excite Series opens; Sheik Tribute; Kojima defends; ZERO-ONE appears
Brandon on 2/8/2003 @ 21:45 


<> 2/8 <> Tokyo Korakuen Hall <> 2100 fans (sell-out)

To open All Japan's Excite Series tour on 2/8, Masanobu Fuchi held a picture of the late Sheik, while he was given the ten-bell salute.

In the first match of Tenryu's "Royal Road Initiation Series," Genichiro Tenryu defeated Nobutaka Araya in 5:14 after a brainbuster.


In the main event, Satoshi Kojima succeeded in defending his MLW Heavyweight Title, defeating Big John Tenta in 9:19 after a lariat.


After the match, ZERO-ONE's Ryouji Sai, Kohei Sato and Hirotaka Yokoi appeared and confronted Shigeo Okumura and Hideki Hosaka, who they will fight on 2/9.

 [Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review
Brandon on 2/7/2003 @ 21:55 
Ichiban Puroresu Review:
-Kanemoto/Liger vs. Kanemaru/Kikuchi (1/26/03)
-Hayashi/Kojima vs. Hirai/Tenryu (10/6/02)
-Hoost vs. Sapp (12/7/02)
-Hansen vs. Hogan (10/5/82)
-Theme Song Review I
-The History: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa
-Is the WWE a racist company?
Hoost was obviously not happy with how the fight was stopped. He was definitely in trouble, and soon would have been out if it was not stopped, though, if this was not Bob Sapp, the fight would not have been stopped as promptly as it was. This was a real war, and after being eliminated from the tournament in dramatic fashion for the second time, we somehow hadn't seen the last of Ernesto Hoost on this night.

 [NOAH] Misawa formally challenges Kobashi; NTV to expand for Budokan
Brandon on 2/7/2003 @ 21:47 


GHC Heavyweight Champion, Mitsuharu Misawa appeared on Daisuke Miura's TBS sports radio show on 2/7, where he finally formally challenged Kenta Kobashi for the already sold-out 3/1 Tokyo Nippon Budokan show.

When the 3/1 Budokan show airs on NTV on 3/9, NTV will give it a special 60-minute airing (airings are usually 30 minutes). This is likely a result of the very successful rating for NOAH's 1/10 Budokan show, which scored a 6.3 rating.

 [WJ Pro] Dan Bobish to be Frye`s partner; 3/1 to be on PPV
Brandon on 2/7/2003 @ 21:41 


WJ Pro announced on 2/7 that Don Frye's parnter against Kensuke Sasaki and Hiroshi Hase on 3/1 in the Yokohama Arena would be King of the Cage fighter Dan Bobish.

Bobish is being put over heavily as Mike Tyson's former bodyguard. Bobish was recently in the main event of a King of the Cage show that aired in the US on satellite pay-per-view where he lost to Dan Severn.

When this was announced, Kensuke Sasaki commented, saying he wants there to be special rules for this match. He said that he wants "full conclusion" rules so the match as a definitive finish.

WJ Pro's first ever show on 3/1 in the Yokohama Arena will be airing live on SkyPerfecTV pay-per-view. The charge will be 2000-yen, which is the going rate for pro wrestling PPVs in Japan.

 [New Japan] Notes: Hawaii, Kanemoto defends, Kimura to retire
Brandon on 2/6/2003 @ 22:12 

-Masahiro Chono said on 2/5 that New Japan plans on doing a show in Hawaii this summer. It would the first time New Japan has held a show in Hawaii since 1985.


-In the Sendai Dream Messe on 2/6, Koji Kanemoto succeeded in his fifth defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, defeating Minoru Fujita in 17:06 with an ankle hold. Kanemoto said he would next like to fight a heavyweight wrestler to increase the value of the title.

-After wrestling for the first time in three months, taking Shiro Koshinaka's place on New Japan's Fighting Spirit Series, which began on 1/31, Kengo Kimura revealed on 2/6 that he would retire at the end of this tour. A ceremony for him may be held on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome. After retiring, Kimura will likely return to his place as color commentator for New Japan's television broadcasts.

 [PRIDE] Fedor vs. Nogueira at PRIDE 25
Brandon on 2/5/2003 @ 16:13 

Two matches were announced for the PRIDE 25 show on 3/16: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura and in the match that was supposed to happen at PRIDE 24, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will finally defend his PRIDE Heavyweight Title against Emelianenko Fedor.

 [New Japan] Hoshino declares PRIDE advance
Brandon on 2/5/2003 @ 01:02 


On 2/4, Makai Club President, Kantaro Hoshino (59) (whose autobiography was published on 2/2) declared that the Makai Club would soon "take a break" from New Japan in order to take some of his fighters to PRIDE.

Hoshino has taken credit for the recent increase in TV ratings for New Japan and bragged about how his book sold out in 30 minutes at a convention in Sapporo.

 [K-1] Ishii evaded 177-million yen
Brandon on 2/5/2003 @ 00:52 

It was revealed in the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office that former K-1 promoter, Kazuyoshi Ishii hid about 535-million yen ($4.4M) in income from the Japanese government, evading about 177-million yen ($1.46M) in taxes.

Ishii may also be charged with destruction of evidence, stemming from his false invitation to Mike Tyson in April.

 [Maeda] Maeda fined 300,000 yen
Brandon on 2/5/2003 @ 00:08 
In a Tokyo District Court on 2/4, former President of RINGS, Akira Maeda was fined 300,000 yen (about $2,500 US) for more or less assault. This is resulted from an incident about a year ago when he was involved in a fight with a former pro wrestler.

 [WJ Pro] Koshinaka, Honga, Kenzo officially join
Brandon on 2/4/2003 @ 23:50 


Shiro Koshinaka, Norio Honga and Kenzo Suzuki were finally officially announced as members of WJ Pro on 2/4 in an interview in Tokyo.

Suzuki said he wanted to "advance" to the US and attempt to become involved in the WWE.

Of course, many wrestlers have said they want to wrestle in the WWE in the past, and it rarely ever actually happens.

 [New Japan] Yasuda vs. Barnett to determine next challenger
Brandon on 2/4/2003 @ 02:01 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata (34) suggested that there be a match between Tadao Yasuda and Josh Barnett to determine who will face Nagata in his nineth defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Title. If Nagata succeeds in his nineth defense, he will have tied Shinya Hashimoto for most defenses as champion.

Nagata said that in his tenth defense, to break Hashimoto's record, he would like to face Hashimoto himself.

 [WJ Pro] Tenryu vs. Choshu; Kensuke/Hase vs. Frye
Brandon on 2/3/2003 @ 15:36 


In a press conference on 2/3, Riki Choshu's WJ Pro announced two new matches for their debut show on 3/1 in Yokohama Arena.

It was announced that Kensuke Sasaki will tag with his former tag team partner, Hiroshi Hase to go against Don Frye and an undecided partner.

And also, what is likely to be the main event, Riki Choshu will wrestle Genichiro Tenryu. The gimmick is that this will be a "maturity" match, as Choshu and Tenryu's collective age is 104 years.

Though more matches (included a match for Kenzo Suzuki) are still to be announced, the complete card looks like:
1. Tomoaki Honma vs. Masahiko Kochi
2. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Takashi Uwano
3. The Crushers (Todd and Mike) vs. The Road Warriors
4. Yoji Anjo vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu
5. Explosion Deathmatch: Shiro Koshinaka vs. Atsushi Onita
6. Undecided/Don Frye vs. Kensuke Sasaki/Hiroshi Hase
7. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu

 [ZERO-ONE] All Japan intrudes in Differ Ariake
Brandon on 2/2/2003 @ 22:39 


At the end of ZERO-ONE's Differ Ariake show on 2/2, Keiji Muto made an appearance as was expected. However, as Muto said on the microphone, "The families are coming together today," the entire native All Japan roster (excluding Genichiro Tenryu and Toshiaki Kawada) showed up to declare "all out war" on ZERO-ONE. A big pull-apart ensued, as All Japan and ZERO-ONE continues their interpromotional war.

Muto: Hashimoto. ZERO-ONE. All Japan Pro Wrestling and Keiji Muto call you out. We declare all out war.

Hashimoto: We're right here, come on! You and All Japan are disconnected. You won't be able to do anything. Come on!

Muto: All Japan is disconnected? All Japan is disconnected? They're here somewhere. I brought my whole family with me today.

(Every member of All Japan with the execption of Tenryu and Kawada enters the ring.)

Fuchi: All Japan is one. As a major organization, ZERO-ONE will be crushed. Hashimoto, what do you have to say?

Hashimoto: Everybody here, we'll show you what we can do.


(Brawling ensues.)

Fuchi: I want to know if you're ready, Hashimoto. Please tell me.

Hashimoto: All Japan, listen. If you want all-out war between All Japan Pro Wrestling and ZERO-ONE, come on!


(Low Ki and Kaz Hayashi staredown.)

Kojima: I came to study [your wrestlers] today.

Otani: Kojima! I fight with Hashimoto.

The All Japan wrestlers left the ring and supposedly all got on the All Japan bus for the Excite Series tour.

 [New Japan] Nagata succeeds in 8th defense
Brandon on 2/2/2003 @ 22:29 


2/2/02
Sapporo Green Dome
Announced drawing 6,000 (sell-out)


Before the show, Hiroshi Nagao and Yoshihiro Takayama spoke to the press and explained that Nagao would be wrestling tonight on a last-minute decision.

1. Naofumi Yamamoto defeated Ryusuke Taguchi in 7:25 with a half boston crab.

2. Tatsutoshi Goto defeated Toru Yano in 4:15 after a backdrop.

3. Makai #1, Makai #2 defeated Kengo Kimura and Shinya Makabe in 7:45 when Makai #1 submitted Kimura with the Makai windmill hold.

4. Jado, Gedo, Koji Kanemoto defeated Curry Man, Super Crazy, Minoru Fujita in 12:01 when Gedo pinned Curry Man with the superfly.

5. Ryushi Yanagisawa, Makai #4, Makai #5 defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, Blue Wolf, Takashi Iizuka in 7:53 when Yanagisawa pinned Nakamura after a jumping knee.

6. Takehiro Murahama, El Samurai, Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Tiger Mask, Masahito Kakihara and Heat in 12:18 when Murahama pinned Tiger Mask with a reverse armbar.


During intermission, Antonio Inoki slapped fans and did "ichi, ni, san, daa!"

7. IWGP Tag Challenger Determination - Round 1: Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami defeated Hiroshi Nagao, Yoshihiro Takayama
-'s debut.

8. IWGP Tag Challenger Determination - Round 1: Mike Barton, Jim Steele defeated Yutaka Yoshie, Manabu Nakanishi in 11:07 when Barton pinned Yoshie after the Barton buster.

9. Josh Barnett, Perry Saturn defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono in 12:49 when Barnett submitted Tenzan with a cross heel hold.
-Barnett's second pro wrestling match.
-After the match, . Koji Kanemoto made the save for Chono.

10. IWGP Heavyweight Title: Yuji Nagata defeated Osamu Nishimura in 20:01 with the Nagata Lock III.
-,
-Nishimura wrestled in bare feet.
-Nagata's 8th defense. Nagata needs one more defense to tie Shinya Hashimoto's 1996-97 reign for most defenses of the title.
-Nagata said after the match, "I didn't go along with his pace this time."

 [New Japan] Nakamura`s team wins Teisen six-man tournament
Brandon on 2/2/2003 @ 22:21 


Though an untelevised show, New Japan held their one-night Teison Six-Man Tag Tournament on 2/1 in the Sapporo Teisen Hall. New Japan announced a sell-out 1,350 in attendance.

Before the show, Masahiro Chono hinted that Hiroshi Nagao may not be able to make his scheduled debut tomorrow on 2/2 due to a knee injury suffered during a brawl with the Makai Club on 1/30 in the Korakuen Hall.

The team of Hiro Saito, Tatsutoshi Goto and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated the team of Makai #1, Makai #2 and Ryushi Yanagisawa in 10:25 when Saito beat Makai #2 with a diving senton to open the show.

The team of Kazunari Murakami, Makai #4 and Makai #5 then defeated Masahito Kakihara, Takashi Iizuka and Yuji Nagata in 12:49 when Murakami submitted Kakihara with a flying cross armbar.

Heat, Osamu Nishimura and Manabu Nakanishi defeated Super Crazy, Jim Steele and Mike Barton in 17:15 when Heat pinned Crazy after a fisherman buster.

Yoshihiro Takayama, Minoru Fujita and Shinya Makabe defeated Koji Kanemoto, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono in 16:55 when Takayama pinned Kanemoto after a knee kick.

The semi-finals began with Nakamura, Saito and Goto beating Makai #4, Makai #5 and Murakami by disqualification after 6:50.

Fujita, Makabe and Takayama then advanced to the finals, beating Heat, Nishimura and Nakanishi in 12:34 when Fujita pinned Heat after a Michinoku Driver II.

In the finals, Goto, Saito and Nakamura beat Makabe, Fujita and Takayama in 10:18 when Goto pinned Makabe after a backdrop. This main event was refereed by Hiroyuki Unno, who is the new top referee for New Japan (now that Tiger Hattori is gone), has been given the red shoes and has been renamed Red Shoes Unno.


On 2/2 in Sapporo, Osamu Nishimura will challenge Yuji Nagata for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. When asked about the match, Nishimura gave "no comment." Though it was talked about that the match might be given a 90-minute time-limit because of Nishimura's ability to wrestle long matches, the match scheduled to have a sixty-minute time-limit.

 [Osaka Pro] Attendance
Brandon on 2/1/2003 @ 22:45 

Attendance number for biggest show in the history of Osaka Pro was announced as what is probably the legit number of 7,868 fans.

Promoter Super Delfin (Hiroto Wakita) said that he wants to see Osaka Pro continue to be successful throughout the country.

 [Osaka Pro] Osaka-jo results
Brandon on 2/1/2003 @ 13:41 

2/1/03
Osaka-jo Hall
No attendance currently available

1. Azteca defeated Black Tigers in 7:42 with a brainbuster.

2. Monster King Mandora, Policewomen defeated Night Master, Tortuga in 11:05 when Mandora pinned Tortuga.

3. Kintaro Kanemura defeated Daio QUALLT in 11:51 with a thunder fire powerbomb.

4. Miracle Man, Billy Ken Kid, Tigers Mask beat Super Demekin, Kengo Takai, Yutaka Fukuda in 12:49 when Miracle pinned Fukuda.

5. 2/3 Falls: Ebessan defeated Kuishinbo Kamen (2-1).
-Kamen loses the right to keep the clown gimmick.

6. TAKA Michinoku defeated Gamma in 14:26 with a just facelock.
7. Osaka Pro Tag Team Title: Takehiro Murahama, Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Tsubasa, Black Buffalo in 17:01 when Murahama pinned Tsubasa after a Kaga Hyakumangoku uppercut
-Murahama and Liger become the 8th champions.

8. Osaka Pro Title: Super Delfin defeated Big Boss MA-G-MA in 14:13 with the Delfin Special #1
-Delfin succeeds in his third defense.
-Immediately after the match, Delfin vacated the Osaka Pro Title.
1