|6/29 Update: U-STYLE results; Updates on K-1, Toryumon, WJ; NOAH tour opens||Brandon on 6/29/2003|
Osaka, Umeda Stella Hall
Announced Drawing 1,082 (sell-out)
1. Ryu Echigo defeated Naoki Kimura in 9:44 with a cross armbar.
2. Katsuhisa Fujii defeated Tomihiko Yoshida in 2:53 by KO.
3. Manabu Hara defeated Kazuki Okubo in 11:57 with a flying cross armbar.
6. Kiyoshi Tamura
defeated Takaku Fuke in 3:08 by TKO on lost points (5-0).
In the main event, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Tamon Honda and Kenta Kobashi defeated Akira Taue, Daisuke Ikeda and Kishin Kawabata in 24:43 when Honda submitted Kawabata with a reverse shoulder hold.
The show aired live on the G+ satellite network.
|Live results: Toryumon in Kobe World Hall results; K-1 in Saitama Super Arena||Brandon on 6/29/2003|
Saitama Super Arena
Airing Live on NTV
1. Manabu Ito drew HIROSHI at the end of 3R by decision (30-30, 30-30, 30-29)
2. K-1 Japan GP
Qualifying: Tatsufumi Tomihara defeated Masahide Aoyagi
by unanimous decision after the overtime round (10-9,
3. K-1 Japan GP
Qualifying: Nobu Hayashi defeated Toru Oishi in 1:38 of
1R by KO with a right straight.
4. K-1 Japan GP
Qualifying: Horikei defeated Kazuhiro Nakamura in 1:58 of
2R by KO with a left high kick.
5. K-1 Japan GP
Qualifying: Hiromi Amada defeated TSUYOSHI at the end of
3R by decision (29-29, 29-28, 29-28).
-All the fighters in the Japan vs. Beast series came out, with Bob Sapp as the "chief" of the Beast Army and Sadaharu Kakuda as "chief" of the Japan Army.
6. Superfight: Hiroki Kurosawa drew Ivan Salaverry at the end of 3R by decision (29-29, 30-30, 29-29).
7. Japan vs. Beast
Series: Musashi defeated Montanya Silva in 2R by
disqualification when Silva attacked Musashi on the
8. Japan vs. Beast
Series: Shingo Koyasu defeated Azem Makstuaj at the end
of 3R by unanimous decision (28-29, 28-29, 28-29).
9. Japan vs. Beast
Series: Eric "Butterbean" Esch defeated Yusuke
Fujimoto in 1:02 of 1R by KO with a left hook.
10. Japan vs. Beast
Series: TOA defeated Manabu Nakanishi in 1:38 of 1R by KO
with a right hook.
11. Japan vs. Beast
Series: Peter Aerts defeated Tsuyoshi Nakasako in 1:42 of
2R by KO with a right high kick.
1. Pescatore Yagi, Brother YASSINI, Milano Collection AT defeated TARU, Don Fujii, SUWA in 14:17 when Milano submitted Fujii with the AT Lock.
2. Takamichi Iwasa, Anthony W. Mori defeated Second Doi, Raimu Mishima in 12:04 when Mori submitted Mishima with the Escargot.
3. Three-Way: Toru Owashi, JUN and Condotti Shuji drew in 11:25 after all three were counted out.
4. The Great Sasuke
defeated Stalker Ichikawa in 5:09 after Ichikawa failed
on a Sasuke Special.
5. NWA Welterweight
Title: YOSSINO defeated K-ness in 14:44 with a new
version of the Sol Naciente.
6. UWA Six-Man Tag Team
Title: Kennichiro Arai, Dragon Kid, Masaaki Mochizuki
defeated Ryo Saito, Genki Horiguchi, Susumu Yokosuka in
21:20 when Arai pinned Horiguchi with the Hanshin Tiger
7. Ultimo Dragon Gym
Title: Magnum TOKYO defeated CIMA in 27:25 with the AV
1. Takashi Uwano defeated Masamitsu Kochi in 13:00.
2. Dick Togo, Yoji Anjo defeated Tomohiro Ishii, Koichiro Kimura in 10:19 when Anjo pinned Ishii.
3. IPW Hardcore Tag Team
Title: Todd Shane, Mike Shane defeated Hawk, Animal in
11:35 when Todd pinned Animal.
4. Kenzo Suzuki defeated Hiroshi Hase in 12:38 by pinfall.
5. Vader and Dan Bobish went to a no contest after 12:45.
6. Kensuke Sasaki defeated Takao Omori in 22:32 by pinfall.
7. Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch: Atsushi Onita, Genichiro Tenryu defeated Shiro Koshinaka, Riki Choshu in 7:50 when Tenryu pinned Koshinaka.
|6/28 Update: K-1 vs. New Japan coming up, Momoe's statement, Akiyama on radio show||Brandon on 6/28/2003|
|The next three consecutive
Sundays in Japan (6/29, 7/6 and 7/13) all currently have,
count 'em, 17 shows booked each day. I'll be up to do
live results at least for tonight, since there are four
big shows happening with K-1, Toryumon, WJ and U-STYLE.
In Korakuen Hall, Zenjo runs in the afternoon, which will
feature Momoe Nakanishi addressing the crowd. That show
will probably sell-out. In the evening at Korakuen, NOAH
goes back on tour with their "Accomplish Our 3rd
Navigation" series. Other promotions running shows
are Big Japan, Osaka Pro, K-DOJO, JWP, GAEA, JD Star,
AtoZ, small-time MMA group GCM, NEO and yes, even
Nightmare. I'll do detailed reports for the K-1 and
Toryumon shows and possibly the NOAH show. Unfortunately,
it doesn't look like SportsNavi or Nikkan Sports is
planning on doing live reports from the U-STYLE or WJ
shows so I'll have results on those shows after they're
over. WJ starts at 2:00PM Japan time (1:00AM EDT, 10:00PM
PDT, 5:00AM GMT). Then live reports start at 4:00PM Japan
time (3:00AM EDT, 12:00AM PDT, 7:00AM GMT). U-STYLE and
K-1 start an hour later and the NOAH show starts an hour
and a half after that.
*Manabu Nakanishi said his chances of beating TOA are 100% and said he would win in the name of pro wrestling. Bob Sapp encouraged Nakanishi and said he wants to fight the winner of the match.
|[Zenjo] Follow up on Nakanishi||Brandon on 6/27/2003|
Daily Sports is now reporting that Momoe Nakanishi will have her final match for Zenjo on 7/6 in Kawasaki. She will take some time off from wrestling to rest her neck, which is giving her chronic pain, then return and wrestle as a freelancer for both AtoZ and GAEA. Nakanishi said, "We've talked and I let them know my feelings. I care about the fans, so I want to return to the ring as soon as possible."
The article also says that Kaoru Ito also wants to leave, but is still talking to the promotion about it.
|6/27 Update: Zenjo on the way down, Chono's last shot at IWGP Title, ZERO-ONE "STORM" opens||Brandon on 6/27/2003|
*While none of the major Japanese sports outlets are reporting it yet, there are strong rumors that Momoe Nakanishi and Kaoru Ito have left or will leave Zenjo. Ultimately, this will likely spell the end for Japan's oldest active promotion.
On the show, Steve Corino and CW Anderson defeated Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura to successfully defend the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title after 15:57 when Corino pinned Kuroda. Anderson and Corino now go on to defend the title against Kohei Sato and Hirotaka Yokoi on 7/6 in the Sumo Hall.
Alexander Otsuka ran in again after Shinjiro Otani's match and challenged him. When Otani ignored him, Otsuka got a fire extinguiser and sprayed him to loud boos from the crowd.
In the main event, Kazuhiko Ogasawara, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Naoya Ogawa beat Michael Shane, Matt Ghaffari and Tom Howard in 10:02 after Ogawa pinned Shane after the STO.
At this point, Hashimoto and Ogawa vs. Muto and Kawada is still officially on the card for 7/6.
|6/26 Update: Wataru Inoue returns; Shareholders' meeting; Asuka over Kandori||Brandon on 6/26/2003|
*New Japan announced the complete card for their 7/21 show in Sapporo, Hokkaido Green Dome, which will air on PPV:
Kanemoto vs. Minoru Suzuki
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata and a returning Wataru Inoue were there at the New Japan offices where the card was announced. Inoue, now with a lot more hair, will have his first match back since suffering an eye injury in late 2002. He'll face the winner of the Tiger Mask vs. Masahito Kakihara IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title match on 7/6. The Makai Club will face the Crazy Dogs in an elimination match, with the leader of the team that loses (either Ohara or Yasuda) being thrown in Ohara's dog house. Nakamura faces Murakami in a rematch from their 2/16 Sumo Hall match where Murakami won. Scott Norton and Josh Barnett fight in a worked shoot in a match billed to determine New Japan's top foreigner. And the biggest new match on the card, Enson Inoue vs. Yuji Nagata is official.
*At New Japan's regulary shareholders meeting, it was decided that there would be changes in office positions. Seiji Sakaguchi, who serves as chairman (which involves presenting the IWGP titles before title matches) and CEO will step down as chairman to serve only as CEO. It was also decided that the nine director positions would be cut down to three. The three directors now are Tatsumi Fujinami (who is also president), Tatsuo Kawamura and the new to the position, Haruki Kitazawa from Asahi National Broadcasting, Inc.
The company also established five "coporate officer" positions, who all have specific jobs. The five are Masahiro Chono (booker and transportation), Tatsumi Fujinami (in charge of sales and promotions), Fumihiko Uei (public relations), Simon Inoki (overseas), Hideaki Yamanaka (business). Doesn't sound like much was changed there o
*The Iwate Prefecture Assembly voted in favor to allow Great Sasuke to wear his mask during meetings.
|6/25 Update: Seven of eight in GP announced; ARSION finished... sort of; Shibata in G1; Chono may still miss shows||Brandon on 6/25/2003|
*PRIDE held a press conference where seven of the eight participants in the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix were announced. They are: Hidehiko Yoshida, Ricardo Arona, Alistair Overeem, Vanderlei Silva, Kazushi Sakuraba, Quinton Jackson and UFC's Chuck Liddell. The final place in the tournament is said to be between Kiyoshi Tamura, Sanae Kikuta and a representitive of the Gracie family.
Sakuraba joked, saying he would do his best not to get injured and said he would like to fight Yoshida in the final. Silva said he wants to win the tournament to prove he is champion. Liddell talked about proving UFC is the best and having wanted to fight Silva for a long time. Arona said he feels the fighter is is best prepared will win. UFC president Dana White was there. Quinton Jackson said to White that he likes UFC, but thinks PRIDE is number-one. He said he wants to fight Sakuraba again since Sakuraba defeated him at PRIDE 15. Dana White said, "PRIDE has declared war on UFC." Yoshida was the only one not in attendance for the press conference, so a cardboard cutout of him was used for photos.
No matches for the GP were announced. The four winners on 8/10 in Saitama will advance to the 11/9 show in the Tokyo Dome for the semi-finals and finals of the tournament. DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara talked about UFC and PRIDE having a possible double title match. Sakakibara said again that they plan on doing three or four heavyweight matches with Emelianenko Fedor, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko CroCop likely to be fighting.
*Antonio Inoki said he would like to run a "Jungle Fight" show in Las Vegas following his upcoming show in Brazil in September.
|[Content] This Week in Pro Wrestling||Brandon on 6/24/2003|
|This Week in Pro
-Tamon Honda vs. Kenta Kobashi (4/13/03)
-Itsuki Yamazaki vs. Bull Nakano (2/25/85)
-Zenjo in Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall (8/22/85)
-Jun Akiyama vs. Yuji Nagata on 7/16 in Osaka
-Empire State Wrestling, "Unsanctioned" (6/21/03)
-Ric Flair vs. Triple H (5/19/03)
-UFC 43: "Meltdown" (6/6/03)
-Puroresu History - Ad Santel: Judo World Champion
-Theme Song Review IX: "Real Thing Shakes"
|6/24 Update: Shimoda to retire, Hashimoto reveals broken knee, Sapp coming to a theatre near you||Brandon on 6/24/2003|
*Yumiko Hotta has new promotion, which appears to be working in some kind of conjuction with ARSION called "Major Girl's Fighting AtoZ." It's possible that ARSION may be phased out and absorbed by AtoZ. However, Mima Shimoda announced on 6/24 that she would be retiring from pro wrestling on 9/13 at AtoZ's show in Tokyo Ariake Colesium. Shimoda, who debuted in August 1987, will remain in the wrestling business and said she wants to train new wrestlers. No opponent has been announced for her retirement match. Both Shimoda and Mariko Yoshida have "director" titles in the front office of the AtoZ promotion while Hotta is president. Also at the press conference, AKINO challenge Hotta to a match on 7/25 at the first AtoZ show in Kawasaki City Gym.
*Bob Sapp is apparently negotiating to be in a movie where he could be co-starring with Jackie Chan, Ben Affleck and Jon Travolta. Or at least that's what the Japanese media is reporting.
|6/23 Update: TOUKON details, ZERO-ONE*USA to return, All Asia Tag Title, Tenryu in WEW||Brandon on 6/23/2003|
*According to those who were there live, the attendance for the "TOUKON" show in Inoki Dojo on 6/21 was not the 300 that they posted on the NJPW.com site, but instead 107. Much of the crowd was made up of Japanese and Japanese-Americans. Japanese media members of course were there. There were about 30 empty seats in the gym. Many of the official match times announced (see yesterday's update) appear to be made up or vastly incorrect. Puma (who is Pinoy Boy) vs. Bobby (who is Bobby Quance) were said to have had a ***1/2 match, which was the best of the show. That match was said to have gone about 16 to 18 minutes instead of the 11:05 that New Japan reported. Techno music played throughout the show. All matches were worked as expected. Antonio Inoki himself, who was in town, was no where to be found.
|Vote on Sasuke's mask, "TOUKON" results, Shimoda wins QOA Title||Brandon on 6/22/2003|
*The Iwate Prefecture Assembly will vote on 6/25 on a bill which if passed, will ban assemblymen from wearing masks. Obviously, this is directed at Great Sasuke as many are opposed to him wearing his mask at meetings. If the bill is passed it'll be interesting to see if Sasuke attends meetings unmasked or if he'll resign.
1. Shane Eitner defeated
Ice Man in 5:40 with a triangle choke.
|Kojima loses MLW Title, Enson wants match with Nagata, Inoki Dojo show notes, Takemura with hair||Brandon on 6/21/2003|
|Expect a long overdue TWIP on
Sunday or Monday. It'll include review of Kobashi vs.
Honda, another live indy show, other reviews, thoughts on
Akiyama vs. Nagata, All Japan vs. ZERO-ONE feud, Kakihara
winning the BOSJ, Yoshida in the Grand Prix and maybe a
short historical piece.
*Tomoaki Honma and Kazushi Miyamoto said they want to win the recently vacated All Asia Tag Team Title.
*Michiyoshi Ohara said that in the next tour, the Crazy Dogs will "erase" the Makai Club. Enson Inoue told the media that he's leaving the Makai Club to Ohara now, because he wants a match with Yuji Nagata. Enson also predicted that Manabu Nakanishi would beat TOA on 6/29 in two rounds.
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, who's in California for his match with Jimmy Ambriz in the Inoki Dojo tonight, said he wants to win the G1 Climax and become the youngest ever to win the tournament. Josh Barnett will be there for the show. It's not entirely clear whether this will be a pro wrestling show or if the matches will be shoots. Toru Yano is also in a match against Justin McCully. I would assume these matches will be works, but we should have a better idea after the show.
*Hashimoto underwent an MRI on 6/20. The results are not known yet.
|G1 Climax blocks, Kawada vs. Muto on 7/13, All Asia Tag Title vacated||Brandon on 6/20/2003|
*New Japan announced both partial cards for their "SUMMER STRUGGLE" and the blocks for this year's G1 Climax.
Foreign talent brought in for the tour that runs from 7/4 to 7/24 includes Mike Barton, The Swifter, Curry Man. Josh Barnett will be on cards from 7/15 to the end of the tour and Scott Norton will start on 7/18.
The "G1 Special Tag" matches, featuring wrestlers from Block A vs. wrestlers from Block B in tag matches will be used again this year.
Major shows on the tour. The New Japan website is not currently listing any of the shows as "Weekly Pro Wrestling" tapings (although 7/21 will be on PPV). I would expect at least some of these to be taped for television:
As always, participants will wrestle against everyone in their block. The top two wrestlers from each block will advance to the semi-finals. First place in Block A will face second place in Block B; first place in Block B will face second place in Block A. Of course the winners advance to the final to crown the G1 Climax tournament champion.
Also at that interview, Shinya Makabe was there. He complained that he was not included in any matches when the cards for the upcoming NOAH tour were announced. Makabe, who wants to challenge Kenta Kobashi and Tamon Honda for the GHC Tag Team Title with Yoshihiro Takayama demanded something be done about it.
|Takayama's 7/4 card, Toryumon in Korakuen, Musashi's new opponent||Brandon on 6/19/2003|
*Yoshihiro Takayama is "booking" New Japan's tour-opening Korakuen Hall show on 7/4. The lineup was announced today. Should be an interesting show:
1. Naofumi Yamamoto vs. Masahiro
*Masahiro Chono has gone to Hawaii for a preliminary visit before New Japan wrestlers including himself, Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger and Yuji Nagata go there for the opening of the HCW promotion on 7/26.
*Satoshi Kojima defends the MLW Heavyweight Title against Mike Awesome tomorrow night in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
*Ultimo Dragon should make his WWE debut in Madison Square Garden for Smackdown taping on 6/24 and airing on 6/26.
*Since Stefan Leko had to pull out due to injury, Musashi's new opponent on 6/29 for the Japan vs. Beast series is Montanya Silva from Brazil. He's being billed at 225cm (7'4"), the tallest fighter ever to compete in K-1.
|Akiyama vs. Nagata II, PRIDE press conference||Brandon on 6/18/2003|
*In what could be a tremendous match in Osaka Furitsu (Prefectural) Gym, arguably the most heated venue for wrestling in Japan, Yuji Nagata will face Jun Akiyama in a singles match for the second time on 7/16. Akiyama said he regards this match with Nagata as a number-one contenders match for a title bout with Kenta Kobashi. He also said that if he beats Nagata he should be worthy of a match for the IWGP Heavyweight Title.
They first met in a GHC Heavyweight Title match on 1/4/02 in the main event of New Japan's Tokyo Dome show, where Nagata was defeated.
To take an educated guess, the likely reason this match is made is to balance things out, with the winner of the 7/16 match (I'd go with Nagata, setting up Kobashi vs. Nagata for the belt) then losing in a third match in the G1 Climax.
Sakakibara was interviewed after the press conference. He said they plan on holding three heavyweight fights on the 8/10 aside from the GP (which I think would be a total of seven fights). He said he's come to an agreement with Dana White and UFC will send a fighter to represent them. When asked, he said it was DSE that came to Yoshida with the offer for him to go into the GP.
Names that were thrown around for GP participants that aren't already in were Yuki Kondo, Sanae Kikuta, Kiyoshi Tamura, Ricardo Arona, Ryan Gracie and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
*Sorry for the delay. The results are in the BOSJ 2003 pool. The winner is Till K. with 21 points, beating everyone else out by five points. His entry actually correctly predicted the Kakihara vs. Kanemoto final. To see the winning ballot, . Here are the top ten scores:
Top Ten Scores
|[PRIDE] Hidehiko Yoshida in GP||Brandon on 6/18/2003|
Hidehiko Yoshida, Nobuhiko Takada and Nobuyuki Sakakibara held a press conference where it was announced that Yoshida would be in the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix on 8/10 in Saitama Super Arena.
In a post-press conference interview, Sakakibara said he spoke with UFC President Dana White. He said they agreed that the UFC would send a fighter to represent their organization in the Grand Prix.
|OH Tag Festival, "Fujinami World," Kobashi vs. Nagata?||Brandon on 6/17/2003|
*With Shinya Hashimoto in a wheelchair, Hashimoto and Naoya Ogawa announced the participants for the "OH Tag Festival" with starts on 7/11. The ten teams are: Naoya Ogawa & Shinya Hashimoto, Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka, Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Yuki Ishikawa, Kohei Sato & Katsuhisa Fujii, Matt Ghaffari & Shivu Ghaffari, The Predator & Kevin Randleman (Real King Kong), Dos Caras Jr. & Lizmark Jr., Tom Howard & George K (US-French Special Forces), Jason The Legend & Jason The Dynamite and Steve Corino & Mr. X. The ten teams will be split up into two blocks of five teams. Hashimoto said he would wrestle in all of his matches in the tag tournament.
Nagata also promised he would get revenge on Katsuyori Shibata after losing by countout to him on 6/13 in the Budokan. He said he would unmask him as Makai #4 to show everyone that he really it really is Shibata under the mask.
*After Kazuhiro Hamanaka said he would like to have a match with Manabu Nakanishi, New Japan's PR Director Fumihiko Uei said that he could not comment on the matter, since a formal offer has not been made.
|Major matches for next New Japan tour, Hashimoto update, Hamanaka vs. Nakanishi?, Kashin in WJ||Brandon on 6/16/2003|
*On 7/6 in Gifu Industrial Hall: Masahito Kakihara vs. Tiger Mask for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title.
On 7/9 in Osaka Central Gym: Yutaka Yoshie and Hiroshi Tanahashi defend the IWGP Tag Team Title against Makai #4 and Makai #5.
On 7/21 for the biggest show of the tour in Hokkaido Tsukisamu Green Dome: Masahiro Chono vs. Yoshihiro Takayama for the IWGP Heavyweight Title, Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Heat and Koji Kanemoto vs. Minoru Suzuki.
*WWE announced they will be doing a show in Yokohama Arena on 7/17.
|Hashimoto injured, Takayama tears up poster||Brandon on 6/15/2003|
*Shinya Hashimoto suffered a knee injury at ZERO-ONE's special "Fantastic Fukushima" show on 6/14 as Hashimoto was tagging with Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Jun Kasai to beat Kohei Sato, Ikuto Hidaka and Hirotaka Yokoi. It's not expected that there is a tear, however, there haven't been reports from a doctor yet. Hashimoto was said to be at his home in Tokyo resting on 6/15. He's currently planning on wrestling through the injury on ZERO-ONE's next tour, "01 STORM," which starts on 6/27 in Korakuen Hall.
Also, on ZERO-ONE's last show before the 7/6 Sumo Hall show, on 7/4 in Niigata Gym, Keiji Muto, Arashi and Nobutaka Araya will be wrestling. They will be in the main event in a six-man tag going against Hashimoto, Kohei Sato and Hirotaka Yokoi. Also on that show, Steve Corino will defend his ZERO-ONE US Heavyweight Title against The Predator. Taichi Ishikari, from All Japan will also wrestle Shinsuke Z Yamagaza on the 6/27 Korakuen opener.
Foreign talent booked on the next tour include regulars Steve Corino, The Predator, CW Anderson, King Adamo, Tom Howard, Matt Ghaffari, and also King Adaba, Michael Shane (who has a singles match with Shinjiro Otani on 7/3 in Fukui Gym) and Paul London. Naoya Ogawa wrestles on 6/29 in Shimonoseki, 6/30 in Sasebo and 7/4 in Niigata and of course on 7/6 in the Tokyo Sumo Hall.
|OH Gun vs. MK Gun, post-match events of Hashimoto-Kojima, WJ tour opens, GAEA in Korakuen||Brandon on 6/14/2003|
*ZERO-ONE announced five matches for their 7/6 Tokyo Sumo Hall show. The main event of the show will be the "MK Gun" team of Keiji Muto and Toshiaki Kawada vs. "OH Gun" Naoya Ogawa and Shinya Hashimoto. The match will be Kawada's first in ZERO-ONE and his first match outside of All Japan since New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 1/4/01.
Kojima will be facing Takaiwa in what could be a very good match and the first NWA Super Heavyweight Champion will also be crowned.
The NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title will be defended by whoever wins the match on 6/27 in Korakuen Hall between champions Steve Corino & CW Anderson and Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura. The winners of that match will face Kohei Sato and Hirotaka Yokoi on 7/6.
The card is planned to have eight or nine matches total.
1. King Adamo vs.
The semi-main event saw Takao Omori beat Vader by disqualification after 6:06 when Vader attacked the referee. The big story comes out of the main event, where Kensuke Sasaki and Big Vito beat Riki Choshu and Shiro Koshinaka after 11:20 when Sasaki pinned Koshinaka after a lariat, buidling towards the Sasaki-Choshu tournament match on 7/20.
Vader talked to the media earlier in the day to answer questions about his match with Don Frye on 7/20. Vader said he's practicing punching and armbarring techniques. He said he has a lot of respect for Frye and that he will have to be in his best condition to win.
After Satomura lost in the main event, she declared that Chigusa Nagayo is also their enemies also. Nagoya, Dynamite Kansai and Toshiyo Yamada joined the Zenjo-ism group. Nagayo told Satomura if she wanted it that way fine, but to be prepared.
To end the show, Hashimoto praised Kojima, but then had words about his next opponent, "Kojima, you were strong. You fought and fought and pierced through my flesh and bones... Gochisou-san [Mr. Entertainment (Muto)], next time, whether it's Kawada or Muto -- it will not matter. Whoever this company finally decides on, I will kick their ass. I will be ready and I will win."
|[Michinoku Pro] Sasuke resigns as president; Shinzaki to take over||Brandon on 6/14/2003|
At a press conference on 6/14, it was announced that Great Sasuke has stepped down as president of the promotion he founded ten years ago, Michinoku Pro. Sasuke said he has resigned so he can concentrate on his duties as an assemblyman in Iwate prefecture.
Taking over as president of the promotion with be long-time wrestler for the promotion, Jinsei Shinzaki. Now the new president of Michinoku Pro, Shinzaki said, "I want to do things that do not just involve pro wrestling, but the entire society while keeping our connection with the people of the [northeastern] area."
|[Content] Tales From the Eastside||Brandon on 6/13/2003|
|Tales From the Eastside:
This seemed pretty average when I watched it live, but looking back it wasn't a bad hour of TV at all. The Sal Rinauro stuff, as usual, was hilariously great, and Kool/J & Cutting Edge/Lost Boys/Future Shock were fine for TV matches. Can't forget the Boogalou Crew angle, bringing back one of the more popular tag teams in Wildside history to improve what was looking like a pretty dreary angle.
|[New Japan] 6/13 Budokan results||Brandon on 6/13/2003|
Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall
Announced Drawing 8,500
-Before the show, Hisashi Shinma announced that he would also be involved in the "Jungle Fight" show in Brazil. He announced the show would take place on 9/14 and that Inoki's younger brother (who lives in Brazil) would also help in promoting. Shinma said that the show will be broadcast on satellite TV in Brazil.
1. Masahito Kakihara,
Ryusuke Taguchi, Stampede Kid, AKIRA defeated Gedo,
Minoru Fujita, Jado, El Samurai in 12:29 when Kakihara
pinned Gedo with the Kaki Cutter.
2. Jushin Thunder Liger,
Koji Kanemoto defeated Jushin Thunder Ebeiger (Ebessan),
Takashi Sugiura in 11:15 when Liger pinned Ebeiger after
3. Scott Norton defeated Blue Wolf in 3:45 after a powerbomb.
4. Minoru Suzuki
defeated Masayuki Naruse in 6:58 with a sleeperhold.
5. Enson Inoue defeated
Tadao Yasuda in 1:44 with a guillotine choke.
6. Katsuyori Shibata
defeated Yuji Nagata in 7:41 by countout.
7. Manabu Nakanishi
defeated Mitsuya Nagai in 1:51 with a cross armbar.
9. IWGP Tag Team Title:
Yutaka Yoshie, Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Hiroyoshi
Tenzan, Masahiro Chono in 26:08 when Yoshie pinned Tenzan
with a diving bodypress.
10. NWF Heavyweight
Title: Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Shinsuke Nakamura in
11:49 with a German suplex hold.
|[All Japan] 6/13 Nagoya results||Brandon on 6/13/2003|
Nagoya Aichi Gymnasium
Announced Drawing 6,800
1. Masanobu Fuchi defeated Taichi Ishikari in 8:22 with a keylock.
2. Ryuji Hijikata, Gran Hamada defeated Kazushi Miyamoto, Spriggin in 10:15 when Hijikata pinned Spriggin with a fisherman buster.
3. Genichiro Tenryu defeated Masayuki Kono in 7:35 with a brainbuster.
4. Kendo Kashin, Giant Kimala defeated Nobukazu Hirai, Tomohiko Hashimoto in 10:22 when Kimala pinned Hashimoto with a bodypress.
5. The Gladiator, Gigantes, Jimmy Yang defeated Keiji Muto, Arashi, Tomoaki Honma in 16:32 when Gladiator pinned Honma after a choke slam.
6. Nobutaka Araya, Shigeo Okumura, Toshiaki Kawada defeated Shinjiro Otani, Masato Tanaka, Hideki Hosaka in 17:24 when Kawada pinned Hosaka with a powerbomb.
7. Triple Crown: Shinya
Hashimoto defeated Satoshi Kojima in 21:54 with a
|Frye vs. Vader, Murakami injured, Kojima naps, Tanahashi vs. Ambriz||Brandon on 6/12/2003|
*It was announced that Don Frye will face Vader on 7/20 at WJ's Sumo Hall show, which also includes their one-night eight-man tournament. This will be Frye's first pro wrestling match since the WJ debut show on 3/1. The gimmick is that both Frye (in UFC and PRIDE) and Vader (in UWFi) will know mixed martial arts. It's being billed as a special match to determine WJ's top foreign wrestler.
*Kazunari Murakami injured his elbow in his 6/10 match with Enson Inoue in Osaka. He's out of his 6/13 match with Manabu Nakanishi and Mitsuya Nagai will take his place. The injury isn't very serious, as Murakami is expected to be able to wrestle again in three weeks.
*Minoru Suzuki (who faces Masayuki Naruse on 6/13 in the Budokan) told the media that he wants to win Yoshihiro Takayama's NWF Heavyweight Title. He also said he wants to be in the G1 Climax. There is currently one spot open for the G1, which is supposedly to be decided by Antonio Inoki. And very soon, there may be another spot open when they realize Ken Shamrock has a torn ACL.
*The day before his title match against Takayama for the NWF Heavyweight Title, Shinsuke Nakamura was very confident, saying he wants to finish off Takayama early in the match.
*Manabu Nakanishi will return to the LA Dojo, leaving Japan on 6/15 to continue to train for his 6/29 K-1 fight with TOA. He will comeback to Japan on 6/24.
*Hashimoto said that after he beats Kojima, he would be prefer to face Toshiaki Kawada rather than Keiji Muto on 7/19 in the Budokan.
*WWE is opening a shop in Odaiba, Tokyo on 6/14.
|Kakihara wins BOSJ, "Jungle Fight", All Japan 6/13 card, Hara to serve jail time||Brandon on 6/11/2003|
*New Japan drew an announced 4,500 in Kyoto City Gymnasium (which holds about 6,000) for their show on 6/11 with the Best of the Super Junior semi-finals and final. In the semi-finals, Masahito Kakihara beat AKIRA in 8:28 with a necklock, then Koji Kanemoto beat Takashi Sugiura in 12:48 with an ankle hold. And in the final Kakihara won in a big surprise, beating Kanemoto in 15:33 with the Kaki Cutter. Kakihara said after the match he wants to challenge Tiger Mask for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. The show will end up airing on ESPN SXW.
*All Japan's Arashi is official in the "Over 300" tournament to crown the first ever NWA Super Heavyweight Champion on 7/6 at ZERO-ONE's Sumo Hall show.
*All Japan has announced
the full card for their tour-ending show on 6/13 in
Nagoya Aichi Gym. The biggest new match announced is
Kawada, Okumura and Araya going against Hosaka, Tanaka
and Otani. I'm pretty sure this will be the first time
Kawada and Otani have ever been in the ring together:
*Hitomi Hara, the former Samurai TV employee who stabbed Hiroshi Tanahashi twice in the back with a kitchen knife on 11/28/02 was given a three-year jail sentence for attempted murder. Tanahashi actually commented on the matter saying that he hopes her friends and family give the support she needs.
*After the show on Kyoto, Masahiro Chono suggested Yoshihiro Takayama's next defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Title would be on 7/21 in Hokkaido Tsukisamu Green Dome, which is a show that's supposed to be on PPV. There's a good chance Takayama's challenger for that show could be Chono, especially considering that would be a place for Takayama to get the job back from the G1 Climax final last year.
|[New Japan] 6/10 Osaka Furitsu Gym results||Brandon on 6/10/2003|
Osaka Furitsu (Prefectural) Gymnasium
Announced Drawing 6,200 (sell-out)
1. Ebessan, Masayuki Naruse, Masahito Kakihara, AKIRA defeated El Samurai, Minoru Fujita, Jado, Gedo in 11:14 when Ebessan pinned El Samurai after a jumping Ebezard.
2. Takashi Iizuka, Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito defeated Dan Devine, Perry Saturn, Shinya Makabe in 8:54 when Iizuka submitted Devine with a sleeperhold.
3. Takashi Sugiura, Stampede Kid defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask in 8:43 when Sugiura pinned Taguchi after the Olympic slam.
4. Osamu Nishimura defeated Tadao Yasuda in 4:12 with a ground abdominal stretch.
5. Enson Inoue defeated Kazunari Murakami in 3:06 by referee stop with a front sleeper.
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yutaka Yoshie defeated Rick Steiner, Scott Norton in 14:35 when Tanahashi pinned Steiner with a front cradle.
7. Shinsuke Nakamura, Yuji Nagata defeated Blue Wolf, Manabu Nakanishi in 12:37 when Nakamura beat Wolf by referee stop with a front necklock.
-The participants for the 2003 G1 Climax were announced: Shinsuke Nakamura, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yutaka Yoshie, Osamu Nishimura, Tadao Yasuda, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Yoshihiro Takayama, Masahiro Chono, Jun Akiyama, and Ken Shamrock and a mystery X participant will represent Inoki Dojo. I know Shamrock was originally planned to be in the G1, but I don't know how that's going to go on since he tore his ACL in training for his UFC 43 fight. Blocks should be announced later.
8. IWGP Junior
Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Jushin Thunder Liger, Koji
Kanemoto defeated Kotaro Suzuki, Naomichi Marufuji in
20:06 when Kanemoto submitted Suzuki with an ankle hold.
9. IWGP Heavyweight
Title: Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan in
20:00 with a German suplex hold.
|Fedor vs. CroCop coming up?, Nakanishi back in Japan||Brandon on 6/8/2003|
*DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara addressed the media after the PRIDE 26 show was over. He said he wants to have Emelianenko Fedor vs. Mirko CroCop at the 8/10 Grand Prix show. He said he would talk to Fedor and CroCop about making the match.
|[PRIDE] PRIDE 26 "REBORN" / "Bad to the Bone" results||Brandon on 6/8/2003|
Announced Drawing 17,187 (sell-out)
1. Kazuhiro Hamanaka (89kg
/196lbs) defeated Nino "Elvis" Schembri (86kg /
190lbs) in 5:00 of 3R by unanimous decision (3-0).
2. Daiju Takase (84kg /
185lbs) defeated Anderson Silva (85kg / 187lbs) in 8:33
of 1R by submission (triangle choke).
3. Alistair Overeem
(94kg / 207lbs) defeated Mike Bencic (102kg / 225lbs) in
3:44 of 1R by submission (strikes/injury).
"Rampage" Jackson defeated Mikhail Illoukhine
in 6:26 of 1R by submission (knee to the body).
5. Mark Coleman defeated
Don Frye in 5:00 of 3R by decision (3-0).
"CroCop" Filipovic (104kg / 229lbs) defeated
Heath Herring (108kg / 238lbs) in 3:17 of 1R by TKO
(middle kick / punches).
-Antonio Inoki made his entrance. The crowd mobs him. Security really has to shove the crowd out of the way. "Genki desu ka!? Fujita, get out here!" Fujita then made his entrance.
7. Emelianenko Fedor
(107kg / 236lbs) defeated Kazuyuki Fujita (116kg /
266lbs) in 4:17 of 1R by submission (rear naked choke).
|[New Japan] BOSJ regular tournament finishes; Sugiura vs. Kanemoto, Kakihara vs. AKIRA on 6/11||Brandon on 6/8/2003|
New Japan finished up the regular tournament matches of the Best of the Super Junior tournament on 6/8 in Tottori, drawing 3,100 fans.
In Block B, Koji Kanemoto beat Masayuki Naruse in 10:56 with an ankle hold. Then in the other Block B match, Masahito Kakihara defeated Tiger Mask in 10:31, pinning him with the Kaki Cutter. So now, Kanemoto and Kakihara will advance to the semi-finals. Kanemoto wins the block, with Kakihara taking second place.
In the Block A match, AKIRA beat Jushin Thunder Liger in 16:04 with the Masasabi press. AKIRA finishes with 10 points and wins Block A; Takashi Sugiura ends up in second place.
So on 6/11 in Kyoto, it will be Koji Kanemoto (#1 in Block B) vs. Takashi Sugiura (#2 in Block A) and Masahito Kakihara (#2 in Block B) vs. AKIRA (#1 in Block A). The winners of those two matches meet at the end of the night in the final.
|[All Japan] 6/8 Yokohama results||Brandon on 6/8/2003|
Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
Announced Drawing 4,500
1. Tomoaki Honma defeated Masayuki Kono in 8:01 with a Boston crab.
2. Gran Hamada defeated Spriggan in 6:23 with the Hama Cutter.
3. Genichiro Tenryu
defeated Taichi Ishikari in 4:33 after a lariat.
4. Shigeo Okumura, Ryuji Hijikata defeated Kazushi Miyamoto, Tomohiko Hashimoto in 8:22 when Okumura pinned Hashimoto after a brainbuster.
5. World Tag Team Title Tournament - First Round: Keiji Muto, Arashi defeated The Gladiator, Gigantes in 20:17 when Muto pinned Gladiator after a frankensteiner.
6. World Tag Team Title Tournament - First Round: Satoshi Kojima, Jimmy Yang defeated Masanobu Fuchi, Toshiaki Kawada in 21:45 when Yang pinned Fuchi with an inside cradle.
7. Giant Kimala, Kendo Kashi defeated Nobutaka Araya, Nobukazu Hirai in 12:23 when Kashin pinned Hirai after Kimala hit a body press.
8. World Tag Team Title
Tournament - Finals: Arashi, Keiji Muto defeated Jimmy
Yang, Satoshi Kojima in 24:49 when Arashi pinned Yang
with a frog splash.
|PRIDE to establish "lightweight" division; New Japan wrestlers to fight in Pancrase||Brandon on 6/7/2003|
*DSE President Nobuyuki Sakakibara has said that PRIDE plans to start a lightweight division in October. Presumably, the lightweight division would be the equivilant to UFC's middleweight division (170 to 184.9 pounds, though their actual numbers may be different). PRIDE's show in October will be in the Tokyo Dome and will feature the finals of the Middleweight GP and will not apparently feature the crowning of the first PRIDE Lightweight Champion.
*At the rules meeting on 6/6, referee and rules director Yuji Shimada announced that fighters would now be allowed to put tape on their fists in PRIDE.
*As always, you can follow the PRIDE show late tonight/early tomorrow here with live detailed round-by-round results. The show starts at 5:00AM (US East Coast), 4:00AM (US Central), 2:00AM (US West Coast) and 10:00AM (GMT).
*Yuji Nagata said that since Jun Akiyama wants to be in the G1 Climax, he wants to have a "test" match with Akiyama, after which, he would determine whether or not Akiyama should be in the G1. Nagata also said he wants to wrestle match for NOAH in their next tour, which opens on 6/29. Nagata also commented on Manabu Nakanishi, saying that he approved of Nakanishi fighting on the 6/29 K-1 show because Nakanishi is trying to prove that pro wrestling is the best.
|[New Japan] BOSJ update and scenarios going into 6/8||Brandon on 6/7/2003|
Drawing 1,600 in Fukui, Obama, New Japan had their second to last day of regular tournament matches in the Best of the Super Junior X.
Gedo beat Ryusuke Taguchi in 8:39 with a necklock, leaving Taguchi to end the tournament winless in Block A.
In Block B, Masahito Kakihara defeated Jado in 6:56 with the Kaki Cutter, leaving himself still elgible to advance with a neccesary win over Tiger Mask on 6/8.
And in the other Block B match, Stampede Kid finished with two wins, beating El Samurai in 9:41 with a front rolling cradle.
So now, tomorrow, on 6/8 in Tottori, there will be AKIRA vs. Liger to decide Block A and Tiger Mask vs. Kakihara and Naruse vs. Kanemoto to decide Block B. No one has a spot clinched in Block B.
If Kanemoto wins and Kakihara wins, Tiger Mask is out, with Kanemoto and Kakihara tied with him in points and both holding wins over him. Kanemoto would take first place in that scenario because he has the win over Kakihara.
If Kanemoto wins and Tiger Mask wins, Kanemoto and Tiger Mask with advance, with Tiger Mask taking first place because he'll have 10 points.
If Naruse wins and Kakihara wins, Kakihara advances and so does Tiger Mask, since Tiger Mask and Naruse would finished tied with Tiger Mask having the head-to-head win. Kakihara would have first place.
If Naruse wins and Tiger Mask wins, then Tiger Mask and Naruse advance. Tiger Mask would take first because he would then have 10 points to Naruse's 8 points. This scenario is the only way Naruse advances.
And in Block A, in the AKIRA-Liger match, the winner is out and the loser is in. Sugiura and Fujita also hang in the balance with the match. They both have 8 points, so the winner will have 10, giving them the lead in the block. If AKIRA wins, Sugiura will advance, taking second place because he holds wins over both Liger and Fujita. If Liger wins, everything ends up in a three-way tie for second. AKIRA, Sugiura and Fujita would all finish with 8 points, but AKIRA has the win over Sugiura, Fujita has the win over AKIRA and Sugiura has the win over Fujita. So I wouldn't look for Liger to win, just to avoid the complexity, unless they rule that Sugiura would have the advantage because he was the only one that beat Liger.
|[NOAH] Photos from Budokan and other notes||Brandon on 6/6/2003|
Pro Wrestling NOAH claimed a sell-out 16,000 fans in Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall. It seemed unlikely that NOAH would sell-out the show, considering the weak advance ticket sales. Usually when they do sell-out, they announce at least 16,300 (the official capacity for the venue, before you start messing with elaborate sets is 16,483, although you can probably exceed that with standing room, as NOAH did on 3/1). I would suspect the actual number was at least a little under 16,000 with a decent amount of papering. But I can only speculate.
All pictures are taken from SportsNavi.
|[NOAH] 6/6 Nippon Budokan results||Brandon on 6/6/2003|
Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall
Announced Drawing (should be up later)
1. Makoto Hashi defeated Kotaro
Suzuki in 10:12 with the Gory Thunder.
2. Takeshi Rikio, Mitsuo Momota, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Masashi Aoyagi defeated Masao Inoue, Jun Izumida, Hakura Eigen, Kishin Kawabata in 12:31 when Rikio pinned Kawabata after a lariat.
3. Takashi Sugiura, Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Naomichi Marufuji, KENTA in 15:36 when Kanemaru pinned with a brainbuster.
-It was announced the eight teams that will compete in the tournament to become the first GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are: Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura, Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA, Makoto Hashi & Kotaro Suzuki, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuo Momota, Superstar Steve & Ricky Marvin, Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Yoshito Sasaki and Jushin Thunder Liger & Takehiro Murahama.
4. Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Takeshi Morishima in 5:12 with a triangle hold.
5. Yoshinari Ogawa defeated Daisuke Ikeda in 7:54 with a small package.
6. Mitsuharu Misawa defeated Takuma Sano in 15:21 with the Emerald Frosion.
7. Yuji Nagata defeated
Akira Taue in 15:53 with the Nagata Lock III.
8. GHC Tag Team Title:
Tamon Honda, Kenta Kobashi defeated Jun Akiyama, Akitoshi
Saito in 26:54 when Honda pinned Akiyama after the
Spinning Hell Olympic Special.
|Five big shows coming up||Brandon on 6/4/2003|
NOAH runs their sixth show in Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall on 6/6. It will probably turn out to be their first Budokan show in the promotion's history not to sell-out. With only a tag title main event of Kenta Kobashi and Tamon Honda against champions Akitoshi Saito and Jun Akiyama and a Nagata vs. Taue match, along with average ticket prices of 7667 yen/$64 none of the sections in the arena are even close to selling out.
Their Budokan show three days later on 6/13, advances are about the same for with an average ticket price of 5400 yen/$45. The main event will be Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the NWF Heavyweight Title.
|[Content] Scout Report||Brandon on 6/3/2003|
The new Toyota, finally in the grumpy old wench role (in her early 30s! that's awesome!), comes into GAEA and goes right after the champ. Toyota hasn't lost much since her prime nary a decade ago, in fact she's a little less all-over-the-place and is better at having a match than hitting a bazillion screaming dropkicks (not that that was ever bad haha). Nagashima is easily a top five women's wrestler and probably for pure work a top fiver in the world, she's just great and you know she'll sell an ass-kicking in a major way here.
|[Content] Tales From the Eastside||Brandon on 6/3/2003|
|Tales From the Eastside:
A little background is in order: In 2000, when IWA-MS was trying to vary its style up a bit with more wrestling in between all the hardcore, they decided to start a "Sweet Science" tournament as kind of an alternative to their yearly King of the Deathmatches tournament. Chris Hero won that tournament, beating Harry Palmer in the finals; ; I haven't seen that show so I can't comment on it. The 2001 Sweet Science 16 was an excellent show, hurt by the crappy deathmatches and too much Nova but the good was really good. Ace Steel took home that year's trophy, beating the Innovator of All Things in the Finals. The name change for this show is to honor Ted Petty (aka Rocco Rock), the good half of Public Enemy who died earlier in the year...
|"CLASSY" FREDDIE BLASSIE PASSES AWAY||Brandon on 6/3/2003|
One of the true legends and greatest heels of all-time, "Classy" Freddie Blassie passed away on the night of 6/2 after being hospitalized for heart and kidney problems. He was 85.
In the US, Blassie was one of the biggest names of his era. His career in California is highlighted by his classic feud with John Tolos, which drew record crowds. In Japan, along with Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer and Lou Thesz, he's among the three biggest foreign names of Rikidozan's JWA era.
When he arrived in Japan for the first time, he shocked people by sharpening his teeth with a file in front of media and fans, earning his nickname, "The Vampire." With television still new in Japan, in his matches, he would bite his opponents, leaving some elderly viewers so surprised, they suffered heart attacks. His bloody matches with Rikidozan, where they battled over the WWA World Heavyweight Title in 1962 remain some of the most famous matches in Japanese pro wrestling history.
|[K-1] He's back in Japan||Brandon on 6/2/2003|
Bob Sapp returned to Japan for the first time since 4/11, following his loss to Mirko CroCop on 3/30 where his orbital bone was broken.
There's a big K-1 show in Saitama Super Arena again on 6/29, which is being called "BEAST II," which he'll probably be in attendance for, but I'd imagine that'd be too for him to comeback yet. After that, there's 8/15 in Las Vegas and 9/21 in Yokohama Arena before the Opening Round Grand Prix in October in Osaka Dome and the Finals show in Tokyo Dome in December.
|[Osaka Pro] Murahama and Liger defend in Korakuen Hall||Brandon on 6/2/2003|
Osaka Pro ran their second ever show in Korakuen Hall on 6/2 (the first being last year in November, featuring Murahama vs. Liger). And for the second time, they sold-out the building.
In the main event, Osaka Pro Tag Team Champions Takehiro Murahama and Jushin Thunder Liger beat Tsubasa and Billy Ken Kid in 17:38 when Murahama pinned Kid after a brainbuster.
After the match, Murahama took the microphone and promised to beat Tiger Mask on 6/13 at New Japan's Budokan show and win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, so he could take it to Osaka Pro and defend it against Liger. Murahama joked in the back that the team he's afraid is Liger's team with Koji Kanemoto.
|[New Japan] Day 2 in Mie||Brandon on 6/2/2003|
New Japan drew 1,500 in Mie Ago Arena on 6/2. The promotion has still yet to sell-out a show on this tour other than the usually hot Korakuen Hall (however WJ still managed to draw a poor number there a couple weeks ago).
In Block B, El Samurai beat Jado in 12:26 with a chickenwing armhook, creating a four-way tie for second place between himself, Jado, Koji Kanemoto and Masayuki Naruse.
The only two wrestler under that in Block B, Masahito Kakihara got his first win of the tournament by beating Stampede Kid in 7:06 with the Kaki Cutter.
In the Block A match, AKIRA beat Gedo with an STF in 11:49.
At this point, Taguchi is mathematically eliminated, as he probably was a while ago. He only has one match left and that's against Gedo, where he'll probably end up going winless. Fujita is undefeated at the moment and has Sugiura, Liger and Gedo to face. I'd look for him to lose at least two of the three. Sugiura should be one of the ones that beats Fujita on 6/4, which will finish up his tournament matches, leaving him with 8 points. That would leave AKIRA (considering he beats Ebessan, which he will on 6/6) and Liger to battle it out for the final spot on the last day before the semis on 6/8, where as if AKIRA won, he would be take first place (because he beat Sugiura) and if Liger won he would take second (because he lost to Sugiura).
Tiger Mask should end up on top of the block, only have to face Kakihara and Jado, one of which he'll probably lose to only because it's usually a rule that no one gets out of a Japanese round robin tournament undefeated. The #2 spot could come down to Kanemoto and Naruse, since they have the last Block B match on 6/8.
Super Junior matches on
6/4 in Wakayama, Iwade:
|[Content] This Week in Pro Wrestling||Brandon on 6/1/2003|
|This Week in Pro
-PRIDE 26 - "Bad to the Bone" Preview
-IWGP Heavyweight Title: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Yuji Nagata (3/9/03)
-El Numero Uno Final: Genki Horiguchi vs. CIMA (4/22/03)
-NWA World Heavyweight Title: Giant Baba vs. Jack Brisco (12/2/74)
-Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Greg Gagne (4/19/84)
-Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. The Eliminators (Summer 1996)
-Thunder Sugiyama vs. George Steele (4/73)
-Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair (9/97)
-Theme Review VIII: "AO Corner"
It's amazing to go back only two years ago and try to imagine Manabu Nakanishi would have a match like this. I think people forget just how far he's come... For anyone who's still wondering why Yuji Nagata gets called one of the best wrestlers in the world, this a great example. For sixty minutes, it was the performance of his life.
|[Zenjo] Maekawa and Watanabe win WWWA World Tag Title||Brandon on 6/1/2003|
As expected, in Hokkaido, Sapporo Teisen Hall, Kumiko Maekawa and Tomoko Watanabe defeated Nanae Takahashi and Etsuko Mita, two falls to one to become new WWWA World Tag Team Champions. Maekawa got the final fall on Takahashi. It's expected Nanae Takahashi will leave the promotion at the end of the current tour.
That being at their afternoon show in the building, Amazing Kong posted on the Crazy Max Forum that Dump Matsumoto knocked out Kayo Noumi's front teeth at the evening show. Dump tagged with ZAP T to beat Noumi and Nanae Takahashi in 8:41 when ZAP T pinned Noumi.
|[NOAH] Nagata and Sano win; Burning wins 2/3 falls||Brandon on 6/1/2003|
Yuji Nagata had his last match for NOAH before his singles match with Akira Taue on 6/6. He and Takuma Sano beat Taue and Takashi Sugiura in 16:45 when Sano beat Sugiura with a Northern Lights bomb.
In the main event, NOAH held a 2/3 falls match between the STERNESS and Burning stables. KENTA, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Tamon Honda and Kenta Kobashi beat Makoto Hashi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Jun Akiyama in 39:02. Akiyama took the first fall with an Exploder on Kikuchi. Kobashi took the second fall with a lariat on Hashi. And going into the tag title match, Honda took the third and deciding fall from Saito with the rolling Olympic Hell IV.
The show was taped for NTV and G+, so should be available in its entirety.
|[New Japan] BOSJ in Mie||Brandon on 6/1/2003|
New Japan drew 3,000 in Mie Yokkaichi Gymnasium for another non-sell out.
In Block A, Jushin Thunder Liger beat Ryusuke Taguchi in 6:53 with the brainbuster.
In Block B of the Super Junior tournament, Tiger Mask beat Masayuki Naruse in 10:05 with a flying rolling cradle. With that win, Tiger Mask puts himself alone in first place in Block B.
In the second Block B match, Koji Kanemoto beat Masahito Kakihara in 11:07 with an ankle hold, keeping Kakihara winless in the tournament.
In the main event of the show, Makai #4, Makai #5 and Tadao Yasuda beat Takashi Iizuka, Osamu Nishimura and Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 10:49. On the day Yuji Nagata wrestled for NOAH, Makai #4 got the win by submitted Iizuka with the Nagata Lock III.
matches in Mie Ago Arena: