|[New Japan] More notes leading up to Tokyo Dome show||Brandon on 4/29/2003|
Antonio Inoki pubicly said that he dislikes the idea of NOAH wrestlers being involved in New Japan. NOAH's Kenta Kobashi will face Chono on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome, as well as Takashi Sugiura will be in the Best of the Super Junior tournament.
Emelianenko Fedor is in Japan and will be in attendance for the show, most notably to watch Kazuyuki Fujita's match with Manabu Nakanishi. Fujita will fight Fedor on 6/8 at PRIDE 26.
Masahiro Chono did miss the tour-ending show in Kagoshima Arena on 4/29 as expected due to knee injury. It was New Japan's last show before the 5/1 and 5/2 Dome shows.
|[ZERO-ONE] OH Gun regain NWA IC Tag Title||Brandon on 4/29/2003|
As expected, Shinya Hashimoto and Naoya Ogawa won back the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title from Tom Howard and Matt Ghaffari in Nagoya International Conference Hall on 4/29. The show sold-out with 3000 in attendance.
Hashimoto got the pin on Howard after 14:03 and one of OH Gun's STO-German suplex combinations.
Hashimoto and Ogawa will now defend the tag title against Keiji Muto and Satoshi Kojima on 5/2 in Korakuen Hall.
|[New Japan] Chono & Tenzan succeed in 7th defense; Nakanishi injured; Matches announced for ULTIMATE FESTIVAL||Brandon on 4/29/2003|
Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defended their IWGP Tag Team Title for the seventh time on 4/29 in a sold-out Hakata Star Lane. They defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie when Chono submitted Tanahashi after 19:45.
Also on the show, Jushin Thunder Liger and Takehiro Murahama defended the Osaka Pro Tag Team Title for the second time, beating Ebessan and Tigers Mask (not to be confused with Tiger Mask IV) in 13:44 when Murahama pinned Tigers Mask after a brainbuster.
With Chono wrestling on this show makes it certain that his match with Kenta Kobashi on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome will go on. The injury to his left knee still does appear to be serious, since he is not scheduled to wrestle on the Kagoshima Arena show tonight.
Manabu Nakanishi has been reported to have suffered a knee injury while training for his 5/2 vale tudo match against Kazuyuki Fujita. The injury is not expected to keep him out of the match.
In addition to the Battle Royal of Legends, New Japan announced two other matches for the 5/1 "ULTIMATE FESTIVAL" show. Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Pinoy Boy and AKIRA and Masahito Kakihara vs. American Dragon and Rockey Romero. There will also be some kind of slot machine competition and the ever-exciting Inoki leg wrestling. All tickets for the show are 2000 yen, or fans who have bought tickets to the 5/2 show can get in for free. The first 5000 people to enter the Dome will receive a commemorative medal (I have a feeling there may be some medals left over).
|[PRIDE] Yoshida to fight on 8/10||Brandon on 4/28/2003|
Hidehiko Yoshida made a public appearance on 4/29 where he said he would fight on PRIDE's Opening Round Grand Prix show on 8/10. He said he would be interested in fighting Mirko CroCop.
|[New Japan] Chono to wrestle tonight||Brandon on 4/28/2003|
With apparent torn ligaments in his left knee and after missing the previous night's show in Nagasaki, Masahiro Chono will defend the IWGP Tag Team Title with Hiroyoshi Tenzan. They will take on Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie in Hakata Star Lane in their seventh defense.
|[WWS] Mr. Pogo loses election||Brandon on 4/27/2003|
|In an attempt to do the thing of the month and become a wrestling politician, Mr. Pogo was not elected city assembly in Isesaki. He was endorsed by diet member Atsushi Onita.|
|[ZERO-ONE] OH Gun vs. Kojima & Muto to be title match||Brandon on 4/27/2003|
Naoya Ogawa and Shinya Hashimoto will challenge Matt Ghaffari and Tom Howard for the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title on 4/29 in Nagoya. There, they will win the tag title back and will defend title three days later in their match against Satoshi Kojima and Keiji Muto on 5/2 in Korakuen Hall.
Muto said that after the match on 5/2, he wants to see Ogawa in the All Japan ring.
|Sunday Results||Brandon on 4/27/2003|
4/27 - New Japan - Nagasaki Prefectural Gym (Drawing 2,000)
1. Gedo defeated Naofumi Yamamoto in 8:05 with the superfly.
2. El Samurai defeated Ryusuke Taguchi in 7:49 after a diving headbutt.
3. Shinya Makabe, Minoru Fujita defeated Makai #2, Makai #4 in 8:24 when Makabe pinned Makai #2 after a lariat.
4. Heat, Super Delfin, AKIRA, Tiger Mask defeated Ultimo Guerrero, Rey Bucanero, Koji Kanemoto, Jushin Thunder Liger in 11:52 when Heat pinned Guerrero after a fisherman buster.
5. Makai #5, Ryushi Yanagisawa defeated Masahito Kakihara, Takashi Iizuka in 8:01 when Makai #5 pinned Kakihara after the hyper knee.
6. Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara defeated Makai #1, Tadao Yasuda in 8:23 when Goto pinned Makai #1 after a backdrop.
7. Yutaka Yoshie, Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Hiro Saito, Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 13:17 when Yoshie pinned Saito after a back blow.
8. Osamu Nishimura, Yuji Nagata defeated Mike Barton, Dan Devine in 16:15 when Nagata pinned Devine with a backdrop hold.
--At this point, Masahiro Chono is still scheduled to defend the IWGP Tag Team Title with Tenzan tomorrow against Yoshie and Tanahashi
|[New Japan] Chono injured; match with Kobashi in jeopardy||Brandon on 4/26/2003|
At New Japan's 4/26 show in Beppu Beacon Plaza, Masahiro Chono twisted his knee badly throwing a Yakuza kick in a singles match with Shinya Makabe. The match was the main event, ending on a countout with Chono having to roll out of the ring, losing to Makabe.
It's expected that Chono has torn a ligament in his left knee and will need surgery. Chono will not wrestle on the remaining three shows on the "Strong Energy 2003" tour. Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan are scheduled to defend their IWGP Tag Team Title against Yutaka Yoshie and Hiroshi Tanahashi on 4/28 in Hakata Star Lane. So it appears that that match is off. And this leaves some serious questions as to whether or not his scheduled 5/2 Tokyo Dome with Kenta Kobashi will take place.
|[New Japan] Super Junior entrants announced||Brandon on 4/26/2003|
New Japan announced the participants for the tenth annual Best of the Super Junior tournament. The tournament will include NOAH's Takashi Sugiura, Osaka Pro's Ebessan as well as Stampede Kid. Masayuki Naruse also makes his return after shoulder surgery. Participants are: Stampede Kid, Ebessan, Takashi Sugiura, Minoru Fujita, Masahito Kakihara, Masayuki Naruse, Jado, Gedo, El Samurai, AKIRA, Koji Kanemoto, Heat, Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger.
The Best of the Super Junior tour opens on 5/23 in Yamato Sports Center.
The tournament will have a two-block format, seven in each. Which wrestlers are in which block will be announced later.
|[LLPW] Rumi Kazama to retire on 8/3||Brandon on 4/26/2003|
|Rumi Kazama announced after the
LLPW show on 4/26 that she would be retiring at LLPW's
8/3 show in Tokyo Korakuen Hall.
Kazama announced she planned to retire late last year.
|Saturday Results||Brandon on 4/26/2003|
4/26 - New Japan - Beppu Beacon Plaza (Drawing 2,100)
1. Jado, Gedo defeated Rey Bucanero, Ultimo Guerrero in 10:23 when Gedo pinned Guerrero with the superfly.
2. Super Crazy, Dan Devine defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiro Saito in 12:38 when Crazy pinned Taguchi with a moonsault.
3. Mike Barton defeated Makai #1 in 7:10 with the Barton buster
4. Tadao Yasuda, Ryushi Yanagisawa defeated Tatsutoshi Goto, Michiyoshi Ohara in 9:50 when Yasuda pinned Goto after a tiger driver.
5. Jushin Thunder Liger, El Samurai, Koji Kanemoto defeated Heat, AKIRA, Tiger Mask in 11:47 when Liger pinned Heat after a brainbuster.
6. Makai #4, Makai #5 defeated Masahito Kakihara, Takashi Iizuka in 9:06 when Makai #4 submitted Kakihara with a Haneorichou hold.
7. Osamu Nishimura, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata defeated Toru Yano, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yutaka Yoshie in 16:09 when Nishimura submitted Yano with the figure-four.
8. Shinya Makabe defeated Masahiro Chono in 3:34 by countout.
|[Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review||Brandon on 4/26/2003|
|Ichiban Puroresu Review:
In a world with only one truly thriving pro wrestling promotion, it's probably not a coincidence that that one promotion is the only one that still has any kind of real focus (granted, not 100% of the time) and an ample amount of stars that the fans still believe in. Meanwhile, the rest, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they don't have one of the two or both of the above, searching wildly for the quick answer that will suddenly shoot their ratings, houses and popularity through the roof. Unfortunately, by the time they realize the quick answer doesn't exist, it may be too late.
|[New Japan] Fujinami and Uei hold roundtable with 11 fans; Kobashi-Chono to have no time-limit||Brandon on 4/25/2003|
New Japan President Tatsumi Fujinami and Director Fumihiko Uei held a roundtable discussion with eleven New Japan fans on 4/25. They explained to the fans and the press their vision of New Japan Pro Wrestling and the goal of the upcoming Tokyo Dome show on 5/2. Uei then surveyed the fans on a few questions until the fans were allowed to ask questions of their own to Fujinami and Uei. Much of the talk was about the vale tudo matches on the 5/2 card.
Uei said that company has been planning for the 5/2 Tokyo Dome show since the 1/4 Dome show ended with the goal of this show being a "regaining of New Japan's strength." He said New Japan needs to bring back wrestlers/fighters with a "strong heart" and "tough body." He suggested that fighters who do well in vale tudo matches in New Japan may go on to fight in PRIDE. Fujinami also said there was a good possibility that New Japan would create a title for a vale tudo champion, all but making it clear that there will continue to be vale tudo matches on big shows after this one.
Uei then asked the eleven fans a few questions, asking them to answer by raising their hand. Uei asked, "Do you approve of vale tudo matches in New Japan?" Three out of the eleven raised their hand. He asked, "Do you think Nakanishi will win against Fujita?" Three raised their hand. Then, "Do you think Nagata will beat Takayama?" Six raised their hand. And he asked, "Do you think Chono will win the GHC Title from Kobashi?" Only one raised their hand.
They next took questions and comments from the fans. The first fan said, "I think New Japan Pro Wrestling is already strong enough. Worrying about these things is unnecessary." Fujinami replied, saying, "When Inoki-san started New Japan Pro Wrestling, different style mixed martial arts matches were performed as a part of pro wrestling. There many different kinds of pro wrestling, and New Japan must not just have one."
When asked if there was anyone other than the wrestlers in the scheduled vale tudo matches that wanted to fight, Uei said that Makai #4 (Katsuyori Shibata, who also wanted to fight at Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye), Masayuki Naruse, Blue Wolf and Tiger Mask. He said there are many wrestlers who are smaller, who want to fight bigger fighters. But he said that because of the U-30, many of thme, like Makai #4 and Blue Wolf, wouldn't have time to prepare.
Uei also added that Naruse has recovered from shoulder surgery this past January and will be returning soon. So there's a good chance he'll be in the Best of the Super Junior tournament that starts in late May.
Uei said that in doing these vale tudo matches, they do not plan to separate weight classes. He compared this to the WWE of all things, talking about how smaller wrestlers often bravely challenge bigger opponents.
Fujinami and Uei were asked if Yuji Nagata would be fighting in any vale tudo matches after what happened in his fight with Mirko CroCop at the end of 2001. Uei said he knows Nagata wants to get revenge and win a fight in the name of New Japan. He said that since Nagata is carrying New Japan and is IWGP Heavyweight Champion, it would be up to him.
One fan who said he was in his 40s brought up the fact that there are fewer parents bringing their children to the wrestling shows. Fujinami didn't have much of a response, only saying that it was something that is an issue.
In other New Japan news, it was announced on 4/25 that the GHC Heavyweight Title match between Kenta Kobashi and Masahiro Chono will have an unrestricted time-limit, since both have said that's what they wanted. The match was originally announced to have a 60-minute time-limit.
|[New Japan] Kobashi requests unrestricted time-limit||Brandon on 4/24/2003|
After the Kobashi vs. Chono match was given a 60-minut time-limit, Kenta Kobashi said at the contract signing that he wants there to be an unrestricted time-limit as Chono and Kobashi talked about in the last week.
And a note on ticket sales. The ZERO-ONE starts at 6:30PM and New Japan's Tokyo Dome show starts at 5:00PM. The Korakuen Hall (where the ZERO-ONE show is), if you don't know, is right next to the Tokyo Dome. The two buildings might be attached, actually. ZERO-ONE's show on 5/2 has sold-out in advance. The building holds about 2,000 people at the maximum capacity, which will mean there will be an extra 2,000 people that won't be going to the Tokyo Dome show. I don't know how much of a difference it'll make, though, since advance for the Tokyo Dome show still isn't good a week and a half after Chono vs. Kobashi was made official.
For added drama, I figure I'd put up the tale of the tape that SANSPO does for big matches. Yes, they even include hobby. So here they are for the top two matches in the Tokyo Dome on 5/2.
|[All Japan] Official LEGLOCK site||Brandon on 4/24/2003|
The official site for Keiji Muto and his LEGLOCK office went up today. There's nothing more than a front page with a really cool picture of Muto on it right now, though. The address is http://leglock.nifty.com/.
|[New Japan] 5/2 card order announced||Brandon on 4/24/2003|
New Japan announced the order of their 5/2 Tokyo Dome card, making it official that the Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Yuji Nagata title unfication match will main event the show above Kenta Kobashi vs. Masahiro Chono for the GHC Heavyweight Title.
And after all the talk about how long Chono and Kobashi could wrestle each other for, the match has been given a standard 60-minute time-limit for a title match.
1. IWGP Heavyweight
Title #1 Contender: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiroyoshi
|[ZERO-ONE] OH Gun vs. Kojima & Muto||Brandon on 4/23/2003|
Next store to New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 5/2, in the Korakuen Hall, Shinya Hashimoto and Naoya Ogawa will face Keiji Muto and Satoshi Kojima in another ZERO-ONE vs. All Japan match.
|[K-1] Sapp has surgery||Brandon on 4/23/2003|
Bob Sapp underwent eye surgery on 4/23 in his hometown of Seattle to repair his twice-broken orbital bone. After the operation, Sapp was released from the hospital to return to his home.
Sapp's doctor told him it would be at least a month and a half before he can train again, so that cancels his scheduled 7/13 Fukuoka fight with Francisco Fihlio. Sapp's return will probably end up happening in October at the opening round show of the K-1 World Grand Prix in Osaka Dome.
|[New Japan] 4/23 Hiroshima results||Brandon on 4/23/2003|
1. Ultimo Guerrero, Rey
Bucanero defeated Gedo, Jado in 11:00 when Guerrero
pinned Gedo after a top-rope reverse brainbuster.
2. Takashi Iizuka,
Masahito Kakihara defeated Super Crazy, Dan Devine in
8:12 when Iizuka submitted Crazy with a sleeperhold.
3. Ryushi Yanagisawa,
Makai #4, Makai #5 defeated Toru Yano, Yutaka Yoshie,
Osamu Nishimura in 10:43 when Yanagisawa submitted Yano
with the Yana keylock.
4. El Samurai, Minoru
Fujita, Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Ryusuke Taguchi,
Heat, AKIRA in 13:44 when Samurai submitted Taguchi with
the chickenwing armlock.
5. Tatsutoshi Goto,
Michiyoshi Ohara, Hiro Saito defeated Makai #1, Makai #2,
Kazunari Murakami in 0:37 when Goto pinned Makai #1 after
6. U-30 Final: Hiroshi
Tanahashi defeated Shinya Makabe in 12:44 with a dragon
7. Masahiro Chono,
Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Mike Barton, Yoshihiro Takayama
in 10:47 when Chono pinned Barton after a Yakuza kick.
8. IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Title: Tiger Mask defeated Koji Kanemoto in
14:46 with a tiger suplex hold.
9. IWGP Heavyweight
Title: Yuji Nagata defeated Tadao Yasuda in 22:55 with a
wrist clutch exploder.
|[Toryumon] 4/22 Yoyogi results||Brandon on 4/22/2003|
1. Dragon Scramble
Battle Royal: Genki Horiguchi and Susumu Yokosuka
survived after 17:01.
2. El Numero Uno -
Quarterfinals: YOSSINO defeated SUWA in 3:31 with the sol
3. El Numero Uno -
Quarterfinals: CIMA defeated Susumu Yokosuka in 7:46 with
4. El Numero Uno -
Quarterfinals: Masaaki Mochizuki defeated Milano
Collection AT in 8:29 by countout.
5. El Numero Uno -
Quarterfinals: Genki Horiguchi defeated Magnum TOKYO in
3:41 with a backslide.
6. Yoshihiro Takayama
defeated Stalker Ichikawa in 2:15 by submission when he
had Stalker ready for an Everest German Suplex hold,
Takashi Okamura threw in the towel.
7. El Numero Uno -
Semifinals: CIMA defeated Masato YOSSINO in 3:55 with the
8. El Numero Uno -
Semifinals: Genki Horiguchi defeated Masaaki Mochizuki in
2:52 with a backslide.
9. Kenichiro Arai,
Dragon Kid, Anthony W. Mori, Second Doi, Ultimo Dragon
defeated Brother YASSINI, Condotti Shuji, Don Fujii, Ryo
Saito, TARU in 10:46 when Ultimo used the Dragon Sleeper
10. El Numero Uno -
Finals: CIMA defeated Genki Horiguchi in 19:07 with the
|[New Japan] 5/2 Tokyo Dome show on PPV||Brandon on 4/22/2003|
It was announced on 4/22 that New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 5/2 will be broadcast live on SKY PerfecTV! pay-per-view.
New Japan was apparently done with PPV, having their last one on 10/26, featuring Yuji Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono going to a one-hour draw. This will be New Japan's eleventh PPV since their first on 7/30 from Yokohama Arena for the Riki Choshu vs. Atsushi Onita deathmatch.
|[Content] This Week in Pro Wrestling||Brandon on 4/20/2003|
|Ichiban Puroresu Review:
This won't be something that's done regularly at all. This is just a special one-time thing. I might consider doing this again in the summer. I think the HTML version, which you'll find by click above isn't as easy to read, so I've uploaded the .doc version, too, which is better formatted, or I don't know if anybody wants to print it out, it'll be easiest to do with with the .doc file. The only thing is, if you don't have Microsoft Word it won't show up with the separated columns, but I guess it'll still work. You can to download the .doc file.
|[WJ] Vader to wrestle on 5/31||Brandon on 4/20/2003|
After much speculation and even controversy involved the Yakuza, WJ announced Vader will debut for WJ on 5/31 for their show in Hiroshima.
|[NOAH] Kobashi agrees to no seconds; Marufuji and Suzuki wrestle on IWA Japan show; WEW show||Brandon on 4/20/2003|
After Masahiro Chono said on a radio show on 4/17 that he wants there to be no seconds/cornermen for his match with Kenta Kobashi on 5/2, Kobashi agreed to this on 4/20. Tamon Honda had originally said he would be Kobashi's second for the match in the Tokyo Dome. Kobashi also said in an interview that his match with Chono on the show would overshadow the vale tudo matches.
It was announced that NOAH will have a six-man tag match on WEW's 5/5 Kawasaki show. The match will be Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki vs. Akira Taue, Daisuke Ikeda and Naomichi Marufuji. Also announced for the is Jado and Gedo vs. Ikuto Hidaka and Dick Togo.
|[Zenjo] Takahashi and Mita win WWWA Tag Title||Brandon on 4/20/2003|
Nanae Takahashi and Etsuko Mita became the 116th WWWA World Tag Team Champions on 4/20. They defeated the defending Takako Inoue and Mima Shimoda in Tokyo Korakuen Hall, taking two out of three falls.
The show was aired later in the day in a three-hour timeslot on Samurai TV.
|[New Japan] New tag team||Brandon on 4/19/2003|
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yutaka Yoshie defeated Dan Devine and Shinya Makabe on 4/19 in Kira Messe Numazu in Shizuoka. The show was taped for ESPN SXW. After their match, Tanahashi and Yoshie said they have started a tag team and want to challenge Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan for the IWGP Tag Team Title. The tentative name for their team is "HIROSHI & YUTAKA." Yoshie and Tanahashi will tag again on a untelevised show in Ube Tawarada Memorial Gymnasium against Makai #1 and Makai #2.
|[Content] Whole Alfin' Review||Brandon on 4/19/2003|
|Whole Alfin' Review:
Wrestling moves often are the main focal point of a match. Having a finishing move that looks cool, that makes the fans pop like crazy, can help propel you into their hearts. Throughout the decades in which wrestling has taken, usually the moves that draw the biggest pop are the high-flying ones. The sentons, the moonsaults, the planchas and the pescados are all guaranteed to pop a crowd, however its possible to gain just a big reaction from a ground based move, as the jujigatame has proved in Japan.
|[WJ] Power Hall in TOKYO results||Brandon on 4/19/2003|
WJ rain their "Power Hall in TOKYO" show on 4/19. This leads up to their "MAGMA 01 Power Hall" tour which starts on 4/29 in Yonago Industrial Gymnasium. Yuki Ishikawa was scheduled to be on the card, facing Yoshiaki Yatsu, but he did not appear due to injury, so the match was scratched. The show was likely a sell-out, since I think they had a good advance for it.
1. Takashi Uwano
defeated Masamitsu Kochi 13:36 with a Boston crab.
4. Kensuke Sasaki
defeated Jinsei Shinzaki in 14:56 after a Norther Lights
5. Genichiro Tenryu
defeated Shiro Koshinaka in 12:09 after the 53 years old.
|[WRESTLE-1] Fuji Television gives W-1 weekly 10-minute slot||Brandon on 4/10/2003|
|Fuji Television will now be airing a weekly late night 10-minute segment for WRESTLE-1, apparently building up to their later big shows which will be airing on the network. The 10-minute airings will go on every Saturday at 1:45AM.|
|[New Japan] Ryoto "LYOTO" Machida injured||Brandon on 4/9/2003|
Antonio Inoki returned from Los Angeles on 4/9, reporting that his latest pupil, LYOTO (Ryoto Machida) has been injured in training. Inoki would not get into any details of the injury, only saying that after the initial injury, LYOTO is doing better and Inoki thinks he will still be able to fight Pancrase's KENGO on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome.
On a related note, New Japan's USA site () has posted a statement from Public Relations Director Fumihiko Uei about the Tokyo Dome show, including what some of the goals of the show are. Click here to read it.
|[PRIDE] Yoshida to fight this summer||Brandon on 4/8/2003|
Hidehiko Yoshida made a public appearances on 4/8 at a motorboat race and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game. In interviews, Yoshida said he isn't very interested in fighting in the PRIDE Grand Prix in August, as new figurehead for PRIDE Nobuhiko Takada requested, but does want to fight for PRIDE this summer.
He said he would be interested in fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko CroCop, Bob Sapp and PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Emalianenko Fedor.
|[New Japan] Chono sets 4/14 deadline||Brandon on 4/8/2003|
On 4/8, Masahiro Chono demanded that NOAH make their final decision about whether or not Kenta Kobashi will face him on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome. He said he wants an answer by 4/14, which is the day after NOAH's current tour ends.
Out of kayfabe, the reason they're going to wait until 4/14 is so they can announce the match and make it a GHC Heavyweight Title match, the day after Kobashi defends his title against Tamon Honda on 4/13, instead of announcing Chono vs. Kobashi as a title match when Kobashi still has a title defense to make.
You can expect both Chono (to do an angle with Kobashi) and Yuji Nagata (to do an angle with Yoshihiro Takayama) to be in attendance for NOAH's tour-ending show in Ariake Colosseum.
|[K-1] K-1 negotiates with ESPN||Brandon on 4/8/2003|
Leading up to K-1 running a show in Las Vegas on 5/2, MMAWeekly.com has reported that ESPN and K-1 are negotiating a deal for ESPN to become co-promoters with K-1 in the US. They report that ESPN is more willing with K-1 than any MMA organization because K-1 is kickboxing, which doesn't have the politcal history MMA has.
ESPN is reportedly interested because they feel they might be able to capitalize on the success of Bob Sapp. While Bob Sapp has more market potiental than just about anyone, Sapp gets over in Japan for reasons and by doing things he would probably wouldn't be taken seriously doing in the US, but who knows what could happen.
|[Zenjo] Makai Club to participate in 35th Anniversary show on 5/11||Brandon on 4/8/2003|
Makai Club President Kantaro Hoshino had a meeting with Chairman of All Japan Women Takashi Matsunaga on 4/8 in the Zenjo offices. There, Hoshino said that two wrestlers would represent Makai Club, Makai Witch #1 and Makai Witch #2 in a tag match against undecided opponents. It was also decided that Amazing Kong having a mixed tag match with a male partner, who will likely be someone in the Makai Club from New Japan. He revealed that Amazing Kong has been training in Inoki's LA Dojo and will become a part of the Makai Club.
|[WJ] Great Nita vs. Hase set for 5/3||Brandon on 4/8/2003|
WJ announced their lineups for the next tour, "MAGMA01 Power Hall" which begins on 4/19 in Korakuen Hall. It was announced there that for the first time, pro wrestling's two diet members, Atsushi Onita and Hiroshi Hase will meet in a singles match on 5/3 in Osaka. Onita will be wrestling the match as his Great Nita gimmick.
Kensuke Sasaki, who teams with Shiro Koshinaka to face the "Unholy Alliance" of Genichiro Tenryu and Atsushi Onita on 5/3 declared that he "cannot be defeated" by the unique tag team and would put up a "complete blockade" against them.
Major matches set to happen are Koshinaka vs. Tenryu on 4/19 in Korakuen Hall, in a rematch from their 3/1 debacle, Koshinaka will also face Onita on 4/29 in a barbed wire deathmatch, Koshinaka vs. Omori on 4/30, Dan Bobish vs. Hase on 5/2, Bobish vs. Kenzo Suzuki and as mentioned, Nita vs. Hase on 5/3.
|[New Japan] Rules for Vale Tudo matches on 5/2||Brandon on 4/7/2003|
On 4/7, Masayuki Naruse and Ryogaku Wada hosted a press conference in the New Japan offices to describe the rules for the five vale tudo fights that are to take place on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome. Ryogaku Wada (who is a former UWF-I referee, not to be confused with All Japan referee Kyohei Wada) will be one of the referees for the vale tudo matches, which include Ryoto Machida (now being billed as LYOTO) vs. Kengo, Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jan Nortje Jimmy Ambriz vs. Josh Barnett and Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Manabu Nakanishi.
outline of the rules are as follows:
Wada and Naruse stressed that the rules of these vale tudo matches would make the matches "intense," as such things as knees on the ground will be allowed, something that isn't allowed in UFC. As Hisashi Shinma said on 1/4 in the Tokyo Dome about "bringing violence and anger back to New Japan," Wada said that these "severe rules" aim to show "the violence of fighting." Naruse added to this, saying that these rules have been decide upon to prove that New Japan is as their motto says, the "King of Sports."
|[All Japan] Hase, Low Ki, Tanaka, Otani on 4/12 card||Brandon on 4/7/2003|
All Japan formally announced on 4/7 that ZERO-ONE wrestlers Low Ki, Masato Tanaka and Shinjiro Otani will be wrestling on 4/12 Tokyo Nippon Budokan card. Otani and Tanaka will face Shigeo Okumura and Hideki Hosaka in a tag match, while no match has been announced for Low Ki yet. Hiroshi Hase will also be on the show in a tag match. The 4/12 card thus far is (match order is undetermined):
Smith, Hiroshi Hase vs. Gigantes, George Hines
|[K-1] "THE BEAST" rating; Kakuda to fight on 5/2; Sapp to see doctor in US||Brandon on 4/7/2003|
K-1's "THE BEAST" show, which took place on 4/6, billed as a show produced by Bob Sapp, drew an impressive 17.4 rating on NTV.
It was announced on 4/7 that long-time K-1 referee, Nobuaki Kakuda will have his "retirement" fight on 5/2 in Las Vegas. He said he wants to have the match against either Dick Vrij or Stan The Man.
Bob Sapp, who of course was at the press conference where this was announced, said he would be going back to the US soon to have a doctor check out his eye. Sapp has been wearing either a big pirate eye patch or sunglasses since having his right orbital bone broken in two places in his defeat to Mirko CroCop on 3/30. He said he would get a CAT scan, which will determine whether or not he will need surgery. If no surgery is necessary, Sapp hopes to fight in Las Vegas on 5/2.
|[U-STYLE] 4/6 Differ Ariake results||Brandon on 4/6/2003|
Tokyo Differ Ariake
Announced Drawing 1,582 (sell-out)
1. Hiroyuki Ito defeated
Tomohiko Yoshida in 7:23 by submission with a cross
2. Manabu Hara defeated
Ryo Echigo on points in 15:00 when time expired (3-2).
3. Katsuhisa Fujii
defeated Naoki Kimura in 2:10 by referee stoppage after a
series of kicks.
4. Takehiro Murahama
defeated Kyosuke Sasaki in 8:49 by submission with a
6. Kiyoshi Tamura
defeated Dokonjonosuk Mishima in 10:06 by submission with
a cross armbar.
|[K-1] 4/6 "THE BEAST" results||Brandon on 4/6/2003|
Yamagata City Sports Center
Announced drawing 4,645 (sell-out)
1. Tatsufumi Tomihira
defeated Chad Bannon at the end of 3R by unanimous
decision (30-27, 30-28, 30-27).
2. Yusuke Fujimoto
defeated Kerry Karena at 0:20 in 3R by KO (right
3. Maurice Smith
defeated TSUYOSHI at the end of 3R by majority decision
(30-29, 30-29, 30-30).
4. Cyril Abidi defeated
Shingo Koyasu at the end of 5R by unanimous decision
(50-42, 50-43, 50-43).
5. Hiromi Amada defeated
Tom Erikson at 1:14 in 4R by KO (right hook).
6. Mike Bernardo
defeated Tsuyoshi Nakasako at 1:02 in 2R by TKO (towel).
7. Musashi drew Gary
Goodridge at the end of 5R by majority decision (49-49,
|[Zenjo] Matches announced for 5/11 Yokohama Arena show||Brandon on 4/6/2003|
After Zenjo's show on 4/6 in Shizuoka Twin Messe Shizuoka, they announced the first of three matches for their 35th Anniversary show, which takes place on 5/11 in Yokohama Arena:
fight: Hikaru vs. Erica Montoya
Also, in a rematch from the match GAEA held today, Yumiko Hotta is expected to face Aja Kong. Ayako Hamada, who is officially on the show is also expected to challenge Momoe Nakanishi for the WWWA Singles Title.
|[GAEA] 4/6 5th Anniversary Yokohama results||Brandon on 4/6/2003|
Yokohama Bunka Arena
1. Chikayo Nagashima defeated Carlos Amano in 17:12 with a huracanrana.
2. Toshie Uematsu, Ayako Hamada defeated Ran Yu Yu, Sugar Sato in 18:59 when Hamada beat Sato with the AP Cross.
3. Etsuko Mita, Dynamite Kansai, Toshiyo Yamada defeated Mima Shimoda, Lioness Asuka, Devil Masami in 17:35 when Kansai pinned Masami after a kick to the head.
4. GAEA Boyz: Mac, Simpson defeated Miller, David in 12:31 when Simpson pinned Miller.
5. Aja Kong drew Yumiko
Hotta in 10:00 when time limit expired.
6. Hair vs. Hair: Sakura Hirota, Chigusa Nagayo defeated KAORU, Mayumi Ozaki in 23:42 when Nagayo submitted Ozaki with an Argentine backbreaker.
7. AAAW Singles Title:
Manami Toyota defeated Meiko Satomura in 26:28 with a
Japanese Ocean Queen Bomb.
|[PRIDE] Sakuraba to move up to heavyweight?||Brandon on 4/5/2003|
On a talk show in Kawasaki on 4/5, after his PRIDE 25 loss to Nino Schembri, Kazushi Sakuraba said he wants to gain weight and advance to PRIDE's heavyweight division. He said he as a heavyweight, he would like to fight Bob Sapp or PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Emelianenko Fedor. Sakuraba, who is known to weigh about 180lbs would have to gain 25lbs to qualify as a heavyweight.
Sakuraba also said he plans to fight at PRIDE 26, which there is still no official date for, but is expected to happen in early June.
|[NOAH] Akiyama and Saito succeed in fifth defense||Brandon on 4/5/2003|
GHC Tag Team Champions Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama successfully defended their title for the fifth time on 4/5 in Ishikawa Industrial Exhibition Hall III. In 24:46, they defeated Naomichi Marufuji and Takeshi Morishima in 25:58 when Saito pinned Marufuji after the Death Brand. Akiyama said after the match that he'd be interested in have a title match with Saito against Yoshihiro Takayama and Shinya Makabe.
Also on the show, GHC Heavyweight Champion Kenta Kobashi and NWF Heavyweight Champion Takayama brawled after a six-man tag match, possibly building up for a future match. A week ago, Takayama said that after he wins the IWGP Heavyweight Title on 5/2, he wants to unify the IWGP and NWF titles with Kobashi's GHC Title to create a "real Triple Crown."
|[Content] Ichiban Puroresu Review||Brandon on 4/4/2003|
|Ichiban Puroresu Review:
-CM Punk vs. Chris Hero
-The Climax: Kawada vs. Misawa
-Hogan vs. Hansen (4/13/90)
-Hogan vs. Tenryu (12/12/91)
-Kanemaru/Kikuchi vs. Jado/Gedo (12/7/02)
-Inoki vs. Vader (1/4/96)
-Liger vs. Sano (1/30/90)
You'd hafta watch Raw and Smackdown for two months to get that much in-ring action... this is something everyone should see, simply to learn how to appreciate this style. This is so similiar to the old broadways, but they had higher highs and fewer lows. This is wrestling as art.
|[All Japan] Kawada and Omori pose for magazine cover; BAPESTA!! tour to feature tag tournament||Brandon on 4/4/2003|
Toshiaki Kawada and Takao Omori met for the first time in almost three years, posing for pictures together for a magazine called SABRA, presumably for an article about the two. Not many other details are available. The issue Omori and Kawada are featured in is released on 4/10.
Satoshi Kojima debuted as a promoter last May, promoting his very unique "BAPESTA!! PRO WRESTLING" show in Zepp Tokyo. This year, Kojima will promote an entire seven-show tour, featuring an 8-team elimination tag team tournament and the participation of Keiji Muto, not to mention numerous mysterious APEMAN gimmicks.
The tour opens on 4/26 in Zepp Osaka with Arashi and Kendo Kashin vs. Nobukazu Hirai and Ryuji Hijikata in the first round of the tournament.
They return for a second straight show in Zepp Osaka on 4/27 with Nobutaka Araya and APEMAN GOLD vs. APEMAN DASH and Gran Naniwa in the first round.
They go to Zepp Fukuoka on 4/29 with the first round match of Kaz Hayashi and APEMAN PLATINUM vs. THE APEMAN and Satoshi Kojima.
The first round is finished in Zepp Sapporo on 5/3 with Hideki Hosaka and Shigeo Okumura vs. Kazushi Miyamoto and Tomoaki Honma.
Both semi-final matches are held on 5/5 in Zepp Sendai.
The tournament is finished on 5/11 in Zepp Tokyo with the final round.
Then the tour is ended with another show in Zepp Tokyo on 5/12. The show has two matches announced, one a joshi match of THE APEWOMAN & baby A vs. Command Bolshoi & noki-A. And the main event is scheduled to be THE APEMAN, Great Sasuke and Great Kosuke (Kojima) vs. TAKA Michinoku Kaz Hayshi and Keiji Muto.
|[Site] Board back to normal||Brandon on 4/3/2003|
|There isn't a lot of news to report today, but everything should be back to normal. I wasn't able to make a lot of posts of the last couple days, but everything's fine now. It looks like my old host for the board, reVamp Scripts is down for good. So the way I'm doing posts now has changed a little, but not enough so that most will probably notice. For news archives from when the board began (July) to about the beginning of March, you can click on the link below the last post. Everything opens up in one page, but I'll probably split it up into two or three or more pages soon.|
|[K-1] Sapp interviewed||Brandon on 4/2/2003|
On 4/2, Bob Sapp made his first public appearance since his fight with Mirko CroCop.
Sapp wore a large eye patch over his wounded eye, which he suffered a broken orbital bone in two places at the hands of CroCop on 3/30. Sapp said the shot that beat him in the fight was a 1 in 10,000 shot and that nothing like that would ever happen again.
He said he would be interested in a rematch with CroCop either in a kickboxing or MMA fight.
|[New Japan] Shamrock vs. Iizuka||Brandon on 4/2/2003|
Makai Club President Kantaro Hoshino announced that Ken Shamrock would be facing Takashi Iizuka on 5/2 in the Tokyo Dome. He will be doing so representing the Makai Club.
|[Content] Credenza||Brandon on 4/1/2003|
This article focuses on some great mid-card or semi-main event matches, back when the in-ring quality depth of All Japan cards was much greater than in future years. Then again, when you had a young Kobashi, a rising star in Kawada, one of the most underrated teams ever in the Can-Am Express, and everyones favorite underdog Kikuchi, how could you go wrong?