9/23 Update: CroCop vs. Fedor title match official; Sasuke keeps mask; Tiger Mask vacates title Brandon on 9/23/2003

*Nobuhiko Takada spoke to the media in a press conference to announced that Emelianenko Fedor will defend his PRIDE Heavyweight Title against Mirko "CroCop" Filipovic the Grand Prix Finals show on 11/9 in the Tokyo Dome. But first, CroCop will fight (and probably desimate) an unnamed Japanese opponent on the 10/5 PRIDE Bushido show in Saitama Super Arena. Takada held up his phone, saying he was making a "call" to any Japanese fighter who want to fight him. Also added to the Bushido card has been Emelianenko Fedor's brother Alexander, facing Chute Boxe's Assueiro Silva in Alexander's PRIDE debut. Another Chute Boxe fighter, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (brother of Murilo "Ninja" Rua) will fight Akira Shoji on the show. Takada also mentioned he would going to Las Vegas for Friday night's UFC 44 show.

*Michinoku Pro announced drawing a sell-out 8,000 fans to the outdoor Appi-kougen Skiing Area for their show main evented by an exploding barbed wire deathmatch between Atsushi Onita and Great Sasuke. Also on the show, both New Japan junior heavyweight titles were defended. Jushin Thunder Liger and Koji Kanemoto beat Minoru Fujita and Ikuto Hidaka to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title. Tiger Mask retained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title over Dick Togo, beating him in 14:33 with the tiger suplex hold. Great Sasuke kept his mask, beating Onita in 21:59 with an inside cradle of all things. The match saw Mr. Pogo do a run-in, blowing fire at Onita. Immediately after the match, both Sasuke and Onita were taken to the emergency wounds. Onita, who had bad burns on his finger and right upper arm said that he wants to have a rematch with Sasuke. Sasuke said he was open to the idea.

*It seems that after beating Dick Togo to keep the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, Tiger Mask is no longer IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. A new champion will be decided with the 10-man "Super Junior Rumble" on 10/13 in the Tokyo Dome.

9/22 Update: Tenzan vs. Takayama pushed back Brandon on 9/22/2003
*New Japan announced that the scheduled Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshihiro Takayama IWGP Heavyweight TItle match for 10/13 in the Tokyo Dome has been postponed. The match will likely take place on 11/3 in Yokohama Arena. The angle is Takayama wants there to be a "New Japan vs. Inoki" series of matches on the Tokyo Dome show or he was going to vacate the title.

*Bob Sapp celebrated his birthday on Monday. Sapp told the press that it's not certain if he's 29 or 30 as of his birthday. He explained that his parents were divorce. The birth certificate his mother had said he was born in 1974 while his father's birth certificate for him said 1973. Sapp said he believes he was born in 1974. Talking about fighting, Sapp said he wants to fight Francisco Botha on 10/11 at the Opening Round Grand Prix show in the Osaka Dome.

*K-1's airing of their 9/21 Yokohama Arena show did a 20.2 rating on NTV at 9:30pm. The rating peaked with a 25.9.

9/19 Update Brandon on 9/19/2003
*Seiji Sakaguchi suffered a broken rib in his match on 9/14 where he teamed with Masahiro Chono to beat Yoshihiro Takayama and Shinya Makabe in Nagoya.

*There's a possibility that Jerome LeBanner will fight Bob Sapp on 10/11 in the Osaka Dome as part of the Opening Round of K-1's World Grand Prix tournament. LeBanner was asked to comment on this. He said he would have no problems knocking Sapp out.

Chono vs. Hogan official Brandon on 9/19/2003

Masahiro Chono held a press conference to officially announce that he will face Hulk Hogan on 10/13 in the Tokyo Dome. Chono suggested that Hogan could wrestle as Mr. America while he could wrestle as Mr. Japan. The match will be Hogan's first in Japan since September 1994. Chono said there are also plans to use Hogan again for the 1/4/04 Tokyo Dome show.


[Content] Credenza Brandon on 9/18/2003
He combined the best aspects of in-ring gems such as Shinjiro Otani, Koji Kanemoto and even Rey Misterio Jr., and at times came across as just as great a worker as any of them. Yet Taka Michinoku was always trapped in the shadows of his peers, primarily Michinoku Pro franchise star Great Sasuke. Few wrestlers stole the show in tag team matches as much as Taka did, and that was at a time when just the main events of Michinoku Pro cards often contained as much talent as many of the more prominent puroresu groups in general.

9/18 Update Brandon on 9/18/2003
*WJ's business problems don't appear to be letting up as they announced that their scheduled Korakuen Hall show for 10/22 has been cancelled.

*Josh Barnett will defend the Pancrases' Open-Weight Title against Yoshiki Takahashi at New Japan's Tokyo Dome show on 10/13.

*Montanha Silva and Sadaharu Tanigawa did an angle today, building up the Silva vs. Musashi rematch on 9/21. They said that if Silva wins, advancing to the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament, he will be representing Japan.

*Satoshi Kojima did an angle saying he would be representing an "evil" faction in All Japan to oppose Triple Crown champion Toshiaki Kawada.

*Dream Stage Entertainment (parent company of PRIDE) formally announced that PRIDE would begin some kind of business agreement with DEEP.

*Great Sasuke decided today that he would put his mask on the line. If he loses to Atsushi Onita in their exploding barbed wire deathmatch on 9/23, he will take off his mask. I'm guess that means he's going over.


[NOAH] Live 9/12 Budokan results Brandon on 9/12/2003


Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall
Announced Drawing 16,300 (sell-out)

1. Richard Slinger & Masashi Aoyagi defeated Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata in 8:46 when Slinger pinned Aoyagi with an inside cradle.

2. Tamon Honda, Takuma Sano & Kotaro Suzuki defeated Takeshi Rikio, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuo Momota in 13:06 when Sano pinned Momota after a Northern Lights bomb.
-Hiroshi Tanahashi was watching at ringside.

3. Akira Taue, Daisuke Ikeda & Mohammed Yone defeated Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue in 15:35 when Ikeda pinned Inoue after a death valley bomb.
Match photo

4. Yoshihiro Takayama, Bison Smith & Donovan Morgan defeated Jun Akiyama, Akitoshi Saito & Jun Izumida in 15:08 when Smith pinned Izumida after a top-rope iron claw slam.
Match photo

5. WLW Heavyweight Title: Takeshi Morishima defeated Ron Harris in 14:29 after a lariat.
Match photo
-Takeshi Morishima becomes new WLW Heavyweight Champion.

6. GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi in 25:31 when KENTA pinned Hashi after a kick to the back of the head.
-KENTA and Marufuji's first defense.

7. GHC Junior Heavyweight Title: Takashi Sugiura defeated Michael Modest in 19:11 after the Olympic slam.
-Takashi Sugiura becomes the seventh GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion.
-Sugiura coughed up blood outside the ring at one point.

8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kenta Kobashi defeated Yuji Nagata in 30:13 with a short-range lariat.
-Kobashi's fourth defense.
-Nagata entered to loud boos, seconded by Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano.

9/11 Update: Nagata vs. Kobashi tonight; two sons to be in Sakaguchi's corner Brandon on 9/11/2003

*Seiji Sakaguchi announced that his son Yukio would also be in his corner along with his son Kenji on 9/14 in Nagoya. Yukio knows karate so you can probably expect him to get physically involved some way.

*NOAH's seventh Budokan Hall show will take place tonight with Yuji Nagata vs. Kenta Kobashi for the GHC Heavyweight Title. The last press on it is Nagata saying he's planning on eating a "Kobashi steak." I plan on staying up to do live results. The show starts at 5:00AM Eastern, 2:00AM Pacific, 1:00AM GMT.

[Content] Scout Report Brandon on 9/7/2003
Scout Report:
Surprisingly, it didn't develop until after the Civil War. What were crucial factors? For starters, European thought applied to the European world, which is distinctively different than America. The vastness of the country and the variety of persons in it made creating something radically new necessary. However, it wasn't until the European system just couldn't work anymore and the majority of America was largely established that a new system was created. The foremost characteristic of this new system was its openess. No longer was it the closed, ethnocentric Europe brand, it was something far more evolved.

[Content] Credenza Brandon on 9/7/2003
Before the era of the Monday Night Wars made us take competitive matches and good quality TV matches for granted, a few times a year NWA/WCW would give us such matches for free on TBS. Not all these shows were good, and a few were pretty atrocious, but many of them produced some of the best non-PPV matches ever televised.

9/6 Update: Kawada wins Triple Crown Brandon on 9/6/2003

*Toshiaki Kawada won the Triple Crown for the fifth time (record tied with Mitsuharu Misawa) in the Nippon Budokan before an announced non-sell out of 12,800 fans. Kawada won a four-man tournament, in which he beat The Gladiator in 3:26 with a ganmen kick and Shinjiro Otani beat Satoshi Kojima in 17:07 with a dragon suplex hold in first round matches. In the main event, Kawada won the vacant Triple Crown, beating Otani in 21:34 with an enzuigiri with Otani sitting. In the semi-main event, Keiji Muto and Arashi retained the Unified World Tag Team Title against TAKA Michinoku and Gigantes when Arashi pinned TAKA. Also on the card, Kohei Sato and Hirotaka Yokoi retained the All Asia Tag Team Title over Tomoaki Honma and Kazushi Miyamoto. Great Sasuke also lost to Kendo Kashin for Kashin to retain the PWF World Junior Heavyweight Title. After the show, Kawada was talking about defending the title against Naoya Ogawa.

9/1 Update: Sakaguchi wrestling; 9/12 Budokan card Brandon on 9/1/2003

*Following Yoshihiro Takayama laying him out in Osaka, Seiji Sakaguchi announced that he will return to the ring on 9/14 in Nagoya Rainbow Hall. He will team with Masahiro Chono to face Shinya Makabe and Takayama with Sakaguchi's famous actor son, Kenji Sakaguchi in his corner.

*Yoshihiro Takayama will defend the NWF Heavyweight Title against Minoru Suzuki on 9/21 in Sagamihara City Gym.

*Katsuyori Shibata will not be fighting on K-1's 9/21 show, but expect him to be in a shoot on the 10/13 New Japan Tokyo Dome show.

*Full card for NOAH's 9/12 Budokan show:
1. Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata vs. Richard Slinger & Masashi Aoyagi
2. Tamon Honda, Takuma Sano & Kotaro Suzuki vs. Takeshi Rikio, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuo Momota
3. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue vs. Akira Taue, Daisuke Ikeda & Mohammed Yone
4. Jun Akiyama, Akitoshi Saito & Jun Izumida vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Bison Smith & Donovan Morgan
5. WLW Heavyweight Title: Takeshi Morishima vs. Ron Harris
6. GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi vs. Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA
7. GHC Junior Heavyweight Title: Takashi Sugiura vs. Michael Modest
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Yuji Nagata vs. Kenta Kobashi

*At K-1's press conference today, Bob Sapp predicted he could beat Mike Tyson with a high kick. I don't think Sapp's ever thrown a high kick in a fight. He said he's 70% prepared for Tyson.

*It doesn't look like Shinya Hashimoto will have any surgery on either his knee or shoulder.