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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Wednesday, February 25, 2004


NOAH Di Colosseo 6/6/03

Kotaro Suzuki VS Makoto Hashi
- Good opener where the two youngsters get to showcase their individual abilities. Suzuki is working with injured ribs, so he plays the underdog role. One cool spot where Suzuki gave Hashi a heel kick as he ducked a clothesline! Looked like something out of a kung-fu movie. Good stuff from both. **

Takeshi Rikio, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Mitsuo Momota & Masaji Aoyagi VS Masao Inoue, Jun Izumida, Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata
- This match was FUN! And not just because Momota actually tripped down the steps on his way down the entrance ramp! You normally get a bit of a cluster in 8-man tags, but everyone had good chemistry and worked well together here. Comedy from the old guys, stiffness from the big guys, and good wrestling in between! Very entertaining match! ***

Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA VS Takashi Sugiura & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- This was an awesome contest! Suguira brought the technical expertise, Marufuji brought the daredevil acrobatics, KENTA brought the stiff shots and Kanemaru brought the rudo! Add all these elements together and you get one hell of a fun ride! You have got to see Kanemaru’s top-rope flying DDT! It’s one of the most awesome moves ever! ***1/4

Takeshi Morishima VS Yoshihiro Takayama
- Morishima must have learned something from watching Rikioh’s bout with Takayama, as the big man took it straight to Takayama! No rest or wear down holds like Rikioh, just loads of stiff shots and power moves! This match would have probably garnered a higher rating if it went longer. The ending really did come out of nowhere much to my dismay. **1/2

Daisuke Ikeda VS Yoshinari Ogawa
- This was an entertaining match, all thanks to Ikeda. But something bothered me about it after the match was over. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t right. So after I watched finish the tape, I re-wound to this match and watched it over again. Sure enough I found out what was bothering me. No, it wasn’t just because Ogawa undeservingly won as usual. It was that other than a few stiff kicks, Ogawa got through the match WITHOUT TAKING A SINGLE BUMP! Ogawa, you truly are an ASSHOLE! **1/4 (All points in this rating go to Ikeda alone)

Takuma Sano VS Mitsuharu Misawa
- Seeing this match, I could probably say Sano is a poor man’s Toshiaki Kawada. Misawa must have had some serious flashbacks of his old rival as Sano unloaded a barrage of stiff kicks at him! Ogawa should really take a look at his buddy Misawa here, THIS is how an ace is suppose to carry a match and make his opponents look good, and not just his selfish self. Sano looked very good here, delivering loads of stiff shots and Misawa was his good old self, hitting all his signature spots. They even pulled a false finish near the end when Misawa hit the triple elbow combo of doom! I’m guessing this match was what made Sano look good enough to get a GHC World title match later down the line. He was even dressed in shooter-gear instead of the lame looking white pants he usually wears. This match was good cause Sano looked like Misawa’s equal, and not just another opponent. ***1/2

Yuji Nagata VS Akira Taue
- The heat for this match was just off the charts! Taue probably received the biggest pop of the night up to this point. I’ve always said that Taue may be past his prime, but can still put on good entertaining matches with the right opponents. And Nagata was the right man for the job here! Nagata bumped his ass off for Taue here, taking Taue’s Last Stop early in the match, as well as multiple chokeslams and the always awesome Dynamic Bomb, which just looked KILLER here! Taue himself returned the favour as he took several backdrops and Exploders, including a WICKED top rope Exploder! The crowd was into this match from the opening bell and really let Nagata have it every time he got some offence in! This is a MUST SEE match! ****

GHC Tag Team Title Match
Tamon Honda & Kenta Kobashi VS Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama
- This was another match I just had to watch again, but unlike Ogawa’s match, I had to watch this again because it was THAT GOOD! The crowd was really into Honda here and wanted so badly to see him reach that next level. Everybody hit their spots here, but maybe it was Honda who really stood out and stole the show, bringing the fighting spirit he had in his GHC World Title match and reproducing it here, but with more intensity! There really was a story and a drama being told in this match. Some big spots include Honda getting spike-piledriven on the floor, Kobashi getting Explodered on the floor, Saito’s cool looking Shinning Wizard type move, Honda’s always cool-looking Dead-End Germans, and Kobashi’s always BRUTAL looking half-nelson suplexes! This is probably the best heavyweight tag match I’ve seen since the classic All Japan shows. ****1/2

Overall: This truly was one of the best overall shows of 2003 and certainly a must see! Every match has something worth watching in it and makes this show highly recommended! The GHC tag title match and the Misawa/Sano match are two prime examples of how to elevate your workers up the card. Ogawa/Ikeda on the other hand, is an example of what happens when you put a hard worker together with someone who’s lazy and selfish and probably wouldn’t put you over if the future of the company depended on it. For more examples of the later, watch WWE RAW every week and keep your eye on the jacked-up blonde guy that never loses his world title.

More tape reviews soon
I still have a few more tapes to watch and review, as well as a new order of tapes going out soon. There are 3 more shows left that I haven't watched and am currently waiting for some stuff in the mail that would allow me to do so. Hopefully I'll receive them soon, so keep watching this space for updates. I'm currently planning on trying to get at least 4 new tapes every month, mixture of both new and old.


Friday, February 20, 2004


NOAH Di Colloseo 4/13/03

Finally got around to finish watching this one, lets get right to it.

Akira Taue, Takuma Sano & Makoto Hashi VS Scorpio, Bull Schmidt & Vinnie Valentino
- This was an OK opener. Hashi played the young disrespectful punk when Scorpio wanted a pre-match hand shake. Schmidt and Valentino look kinda green. Bull looks like ZERO1’s Predator, but seriously needs to put on some weight to fill out his height. Taue was his usual self, but I still wonder whats so special about Takuma Sano. Standard six-man match all the way. **

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura VS KENTA & Kotaro Suzuki
- KENTA was working with a shoulder injury here, so things had to be slowed down a bit. Suguira showed more similarity to Kurt Angle here than just having the Olympic Slam finisher! Add the rolling-Germans and the Ankle Lock as similar moves to his repertoire. Only big diference is Suguira looks more like Gedo than Angle. Big story of the match was mostly Suguira working KENTA’s bad shoulder. Kanemura seemed to sit out most of the bout till the end and Suzuki played his part well. NOAH’s Jrs showed they could also work a good technical bout with this one. ***

Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue VS Daisuke Ikeda, Takeshi Morishima & Naomichi Marufuji
- Fun start to this one as Scorpio and two other gaijins (I think Modest was one but couldn’t tell who the other was) attacked Misawa’s team before the start of the match. Ikeda’s team helped to run off the gaijins, then turned on their opponents for that night. Ikeda than grabbed Misawa and dragged him to the back stage area followed by everyone else! Ikeda gets Misawa all the way back to his locker room before Misawa regains his senses and drags Ikeda back to the ring! Back in the ring, Marufuji pulled a few comedy spots out of Ogawa before things finally got serious. This was one of those bouts where Misawa was said to be a bit lazy and it showed. Most of the match was worked by Ikeda, Marufuji (who was excellent here) and Inoue. Great stuff near the end when Misawa’s team pulled some WICKED triple team combo attacks on Marufuji. Big spot also when Marufuji tried to plancha Misawa and Ogawa on the outside of the ring, they catch him in mid-air and Misawa Emerald Frosions him on the floor! **1/4

Steve Corino & Tom Howard VS Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama
- It was just EMBARASSING watching Steve Corino here. Former ECW champion? Current MLW Champion? Gaijin ace of ZERO1? He was just a BIG JOKE here! He’s suppose to be representing ZERO1, but all he could think to do was comedy and cheap heat spots. Corino’s partner, Tom Howard, even broke out of his usual tough-guy military character to laugh and shake his head at Corino’s antics. You could even tell Akiyama wishes he were somewhere else other than in this match, which is probably why he didn’t hesitate to drop Corino on his head with an Avalanche Exploder near the end. After this, I’m guessing it’s no wonder we never see Steve Corino in NOAH again! *1/2

Yoshihiro Takayama VS Takeshi Rikio - NWF Heavyweight Title
- The battle of two big bulls. Started off quick with Takayama ducking as Rikioh charges in and rams the corner, but comes back as he catches the big Takayama out of a jumping knee slamming him down hard! Pace slows down a bit for a while as they try trade submission holds, but picks up again near the end as they trade powermoves. Takayama did a good job of making Rikioh look like a credible challenger here. **1/2

Kenta Kobashi VS Tamon Honda - GHC Heavyweight Title
- I was really looking forward to this and was not disappointed. This was a very technical match early on before boiling down to the usual big spot ending. Honda showed his superb grappling ability using all manner of ground and submission holds to wear down the GHC Champ. I’ve never even seen some of the locks he uses here! Kobashi’s willingness to take big bumps to put over his opponents continues as Honda drags Kobashi over the top rope and dropped him on the ramp with a Dead End German and another killer Dead End off the top rope! Kobashi got his own in as he gave Honda two BRUTAL looking half-nelson suplexes and a sleeper suplex. Kobashi carried Honda to the best singles match of Honda’s career right here! Honda really worked his ass off in this one too despite his age and was made to look very credible by one of the best in the business. And I think this is the first time I've seen Honda not use any of his signature headbutts! ****

Overall: This was an OK show, the highlight of course being the excellant main event. Everything else was pretty average and I was really expecting more out of the two semi-main events. It would do you no harm to watch the whole event, but you also wouldn’t be missing much if you get just the main event on a compilation. And I hope to NEVER see Steve Corino in a NOAH ring again!


Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Two 2nd Gen Puroresu Tapes For sale!

For anyone interested, I've got a 2nd generation copy of the New Japan Vs All Japan Champion Carnival 2001 and All Japan New Year's Giant Series @ Korakuen '97 video tapes for sale. 2nd Generation meaning it was recorded off the original. Check the archives of this blog for the full match list.

Anyone interested to order the two tapes or any of the shows I have listed on this blog may enquire using the comments bar on this blog, or email me: eric_ecw@hotmail.com

Saturday, February 14, 2004


New Japan Complete Collection Vol.2

Taped 3/9/03:
Takayuki Iizuka VS Makai Club #5
Enson Inoue, Hiro Saito, Tatsutoshi Gotoh & Michiyoshi Ohara VS Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami, Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai #1 (Clipped)
Jushin Liger & Koji Kanemoto VS AKIRA & Heat - IWGP Jr. Tag Team Titles (clipped)
Yoshihiro Takayama & Shinya Makabe VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Masahiro Chono - IWGP Tag Team Titles (clipped)
Yuji Nagata VS Manabu Nakanishi - IWGP Heavyweight Title (60:00 DRAW, complete)
Taped 3/23/03:
Takayuki Iizuka VS Mitsuya Nagai (clipped)
Enson Inoue & Michiyoshi Ohara VS Tadao Yasuda & Kazunari Murakami (complete)
Koji Kanemoto VS AKIRA - IWGP Jr. Title (complete)
Scott Norton VS Takayama - NWF Title (joined in progress)

Since most of the matches on this tape are heavilly clipped down, I thought I'd just give my thoughts on the two main events that were shown in full since they were really the main focus of the tape and two of the best matches of 2003.

Yuji Nagata VS Manabu Nakanishi - IWGP Heavyweight Title Match
- This match really had an incredible pace to it. I found myself constantly checking the time and was suprised at the way it just seemed to go by. Nakanishi seemed to dominate most of the first thirty minutes. He hit a cool looking spear off the apron to Nagata on the floor. The two traded overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. Nakanishi even used Nagata's Exploder and Nagata Lock II against him! Most of the next half was Nagata working Nakanishi's legs with the figure-four and the Nagata Lock. But the big gorilla refused to give up, even kicking out of the Wrist Clutch Exploder! Nakanishi fough off the pain in his knees and manage to lift up Nagata in his Argentine Backbreaker, and then turned it into his high-angle German suplex for a two count! It wasn't untill the last five minutes that they really picked up the pace a bit and the crowd came alive. The last minute saw Nakanishi try all kinds of quick rollups but to no avail.
There you have it. Some would look at this as sixty minutes of pure wrestling, some would think the pace was a bit slow. I noticed how Nakanishi was in charge for most of the match and the crowd was really gunning for him to win. On that note, the crowd also seemed rather quiet for most of the bout. ****1/2

Koji Kanemoto VS AKIRA - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match
- Talk about a change of pace! AKIRA brought his A-game and was the true star in this bout! AKIRA was fighting like he really REALLY wanted the IWGP Jr title, going so far as to bite Kanemoto's knee till it bled to escape his ankle lock! This is one of those matches where you really wish you didn't already know who won since it happened so long ago. But even then this match was just off the charts and a joy to watch! ****


Thursday, February 12, 2004


World Japan "World's Strongest Tournament" 7/20/2003

There have been a lot of lows for Riki Choshu's World Japan, but this show was definately one of the few highs. Maybe the only one. First thing you'll definately notice here are all the empty seats for this show to crown the first WMG Champion. Next thing you notice is the announce team says 'double J' alot when they really mean to say W.J.

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - ROUND 1: Steve Williams vs. Shiro Koshinaka
Both guys seem to still be over with the crowd. OK match. Cool spot when Williams catches Koshinake out of his butt-bomb and backdrops him. Williams wins with an off angle Doctor-Bomb that drops Koshinaka on his shoulder. **

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - ROUND 1: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Riki Choshu
Student vs Teacher. Choshu looks really old but can still trade stiff shots with his No.1 student. Sasaki gets the win with two Northern Lights Bombs. **1/2

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - ROUND 1: Kenzo Suzuki vs. Dan Bobish
Suzuki comes to the ring doing a HORRIBLE Godfather gimmick, complete with two butt-ugly hoes. God knows why, but he gives the mic to one of them and this hideous man-like voice comes out of her! Bobish on the other hand looked far more impressive. This guy could be the next Vader or Scott Norton once he polishes his ring work. He already has the look and mannerisms of a monster. Fun spot at th begining when Suzuki tries a spear, but Bobish just shoulder blocks him out of it! Questionable call on the three count as it seemed Bobish had a shoulder off the mat when the ref counted 3. **

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - ROUND 1: Takao Omori vs. Genichiro Tenryu
This was the best bout of the quarterfinal rounds! Tenryu being the tough old bastard he is, actually hit a suicide dive out of the ring on Omori! He tries to powerbomb Omori on the floor, but the Wild Heart reverses it into the Axe Guillotine Driver on the floor! Tenryu manages a comback later on a hits the 53 Yrs Old but Omori kicks out. A pair of Axe Bombers get the win for Omori. ***1/4

Masamitsu Kochi vs. Takashi Uwano
Both are green. One guy beat the other guy with a boston crab. NEXT!

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Ichiro Yaguchi
Suprisingly this was one of the best matches on the show! When I saw Yaguchi's picture on the title graphic, I knew this might just be something special cause the man has a GIMMICK! Imagine a Fallen Angel holy man-type gimmick on a near 300lbs man! He did a good job of carrying the young WJ Dojo graduate Ishii to a good passable match, doing the old big man vs little man struggle, and the crowd was into it! Yaguchi did a few powermoves, including an Angle Slam, but Ishii gets the win with an awkward brainbuster as he had trouble getting Yaguchi's huge frame up in the air. **3/4

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - SEMI-FINAL: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Steve Williams
This was Ok for what it was worth. Dunno why the fans kinda laugh everytime Williams does his quick jab punch. Sasaki advances after Williams taps to a modified leg-lock-stranglehold combination. **1/4

Thankfully Suzuki leaves the ugly women in the back for this one. Suzuki has a cool variation of the Shinning Wizard. Omori hits the Axe Bomber, but Suzuki kicks out. Omori tries another and Suzuki counters it into a weak looking cradle for the win. This one had potential to be the show-stealer, but ended way too quickly. **

Big Vader vs. Don Frye
This one started slow with a lot of submission attempts by Frye, but got better later on when they actually start trading holds. Vader hits a modified backdrop-release German suplex! Frye comes back giving Vader a German suplex of his own! Frye even bodyslams the 400-pounder at one point. Questionable call at the end when referee Tiger Hatori DQ's Frye for low-blows, but looks to me like he was targeting the thighs. Then again, Hatori also counted Vader when he clearly had a shoulder off the mat. **

WMG HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE Match: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kenzo Suzuki

This was better than expected and a good closer for the tournament. At one point the two traded chops almost non-stop for about five straight minutes, reducing Sasaki's chest to a bloody pulp! Suzuki hits his Shinning Wizard but its not enough to keep Sasaki down. Sasaki wins after a plathora of killer lariats. ***1/4

Overall: This was an average show. The lack of fans in the seats didn't help either, but everyone working here had someone cheering them at least. I would recommend this if your a fan of the old-fashion one night single elimination tournament like me. Just don't expect too much workrate-wise though. This might be the last good show they put on, as six of the eight participants (basically all their big draws other than Choshu) have since left World Japan and became free agents, which is always the early signs of escaping a sinking ship.


Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Osaka Pro "Osaka Hurricane 2003"

The second tape I've watched and my first taste of Osaka Pro.
Show starts with a cool formal rundown of the card as the talent come out to the isleway as their matches are announced.

Azteca vs. Black Tigers
This match was clipped down to about a minute. Looked Ok for what was shown.

Monster King Mandora & Policewo~men VS Tortuga & Night Master
Mix-tag comedy match. Also clipped down quite a bit. Looked fun considering the weird characters involved.

Kintaro Kanemura vs. Daio Quallt - Hardcore Match
This was reminicent of the old FMW days. Some garbage spots mixed with some good power wrestling moves. Quallt looked like a dead cross between Kane and the Hurricane! **

Miracle Man, Billy Ken Kid & Tigers Mask vs. Super Demekin, Kengo Takai & Yutaka Fukuda
This was clipped down rather heavilly to the ending of the match. Looked OK.

Ebessan vs. Kuishinbo Kamen - 2/3 Falls match
THIS IS IT! The main reason I bought this tape and it lived up to every hilarious expectation! All three falls are shown in full as well as the pre and post match shenanigans. This match alone is the reason you should get this tape. Don't look down on these guys however, as when it comes down to it, they can go and pull out some great highspots of their own! Ebessan came out with a troup of priestesses and took donations and blessed the crowd in his intro (His gimmikc is based on Ebisu, the Japanese God of Prosperity). Than Kuishinbo Kamen comes out and does a complete choreographed dance number with a troup of fly girls! Another fun bit was when the Referee told them to finally go at it and they did, in SLOW MOTION! There is something seriously wrong with you if you don't laugh out loud while watching this one! Match Rating: **1/2, Entertainment Rating: PRICELESS!!!

Battle of the Rudos as Kaientai Dojo's TAKA takes on Osaka Pro's 'Master of Rudo' GAMMA! GAMMA looks so much like a miniature Masa Chono. This match was clipped down a bit but still fun to watch. Cool spot was when GAMMA had TAKA up for a Razor's Edge, and modified it flipping TAKA forward into a facebuster! Great match, though the finished seemed a bit sudden. ***

Jushin Thunder Liger & Takehiro Murahama vs. INFINITY (Tsubasa & Black Buffalo) - Osaka Pro Tag Team Titles
I swear I heard the announcer say this was a street fight match. The main story here was the rivalry between Liger and Buffalo. Buffalo is one of those guys that looks like he can't do much, but makes up for it by striking as HARD as he can throw a punch. Tsubasa was very impressive here as he carried the wrestling end for his team. Liger was his usual self, using his palm thrust of doom alot which everyone sold like a shotgun blast. Murahama seemed to be at the back of it all. Solid effort by all involved though. ***1/2

Super Delfin vs. Big Boss Ma-G-Ma - Osaka Pro Title
Watching this match, I really feel they should have went with the tag title match as the main event. This match just seem to plod along. Ma-G-Ma is kinda like a cruiserweight Vader. He's a big man, yet can pull some awesome moves and no sells most of his opponents offense. Delfin played up the underdog part well here, but like Jeff Jarrett in TNA, ultimately puts himself over in the end with a very sports entertainment-like finish. **1/4

Overall: This show was fun from beginning to end and a great introdution to Osaka Pro for me. I highly recommend it and will be searching out more Osaka Pro shows. One thing I did notice here is that Osaka Pro has something that most other major feds doesn't, and that's true entertainment value. They have something for the whole family to watch. I don't think I've ever seen so many kids in a Puroresu show audience (They were all there for the Ebessan/Kamen match). This is something I wouldn't mind seeing other feds try to replicate since everything is getting so serious these days in the wrestling world.


Tuesday, February 10, 2004


New Puroresu tapes!

Like I've mentioned before, I've got some new puroresu tapes and would put up the event and match listings. Since I don't receive new tapes as often as I'd like, I thought I'd post the tape and match list with a mini review as I watch each tape, So I'll have plenty to fill in this blog in the coming days. So lets get to it with the first of seven events I've watched. Tomorrow I'll post up the Osaka Pro "Osaka Hurricane '03" event.

NOAH Di Colosseo "Navigate For Evolution 2003" - 3/1/2003

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota Vs Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata
- Your standard old timer's comedy match. Nothing really special here.

Akira Taue, Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan VS Takuma Sano, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kotaro Suzuki
- This was an OK match carried mostly by Suzuki. Was a bit dissapointed that we didn't get to see Kikuchi use his headbutts of doom. Taue is definately destined for somekind of Hall of Fame as he is still quite over with the crowds and the everyone seems to sell his offense well. Taue is also getting more freakingly similar to the late Giant Baba! **

Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi
- Now THIS is more like it! Fists, feet and bodies flying everywhere! And that was all in the FIRST MINUTE of the match! This is a prime example of why NOAH's Jr. Division is every bit as good (or maybe better) than New Japan's! Also a good reason to watch this tape in addition to the upcoming main event. ***1/2

Takeshi Morishima, Takeshi Rikio & Daisuke Ikeda VS Bison Smith, Superstar Steve & IZU
- After watching this match I can finally understand why Bison Smith was a future challenger for the GHC World Title. He was just a monster here and it took both Takeshis to take him down! I'm actually a little intrigued to watch Bison's match with Kobashi after this. This match seemed to also build a singles feud between Smith and Morishima. Fun match though. **1/2

Scorpio VS Yoshinari Ogawa
- Two things made this match good for me: ONE - Ogawa LOST! TWO - It only took Scorpio SIX MINUTES to do it! The downside here was that Ogawa took out the whole gaijin faction at ringside as revenge single handedly! **

Yoshihiro Takayama VS Masao Inoue
- Fun bit before this match when Takayama convinced the interviewer fo cut a promo with him and do the trademark 'No Fear' pose/taunt! This match was all just to build the up-coming NWF title match between Takayama and Takeshi Rikioh, who was doing guest commentary at ringside. This was pretty entertaining cause they let the smaller Inoue match power with the bigger Takayama, even locking on his Argentine Backbreaker at one point. **

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito VS Tamon Honda & Takashi Sugiura
- This match begins with a good old-fashion blindside attack by the heels when someone dressed as Shura (Akiyama's alter ego), comes out distracting Honda & Suguira. Akiyama then runs in from the audience and attacks Honda, piledriving him on the concrete floor! Honda does manage to come back and hit his Dead-End German on both Sterness members. Suguira even hit his Avalanche Angle-Slam on Akiyama at one point which looked really cool. This was a fun match that showed how true a heel Akiyama really is, though I kinda question the ending of the match **1/2

Mitsuharu Misawa VS Kenta Kobashi (All Japan Triple Crown Title Match from 6/11/99)
- Now THIS is what you call a bonus match! And it's in FULL! All forty-two glorious minutes of this classic and a great prelude to the GHC Title match, as well as a reminder of the long history between two of the greatest pro-wrestlers on the planet! *****

Mitsuharu Misawa VS Kenta Kobashi (GHC World Title Match)
- THE main event! And it totally lived up to all expectations! This match is totally deserving of it's 2003 Match Of The Year award. Only wrestlers the caliber of Misawa and Kobashi can make a thirty-plus minute match go by effortlessly! Lots of dangerous spots and head drops as well as the feeling that it could have easily been Misawa taking the win here again based on their long history. *****

Overall: This was a good show topped off by an awesome main event (or is that two main events?). TWO Misawa/Kobashi matches on ONE show definately makes this a must see! Every reason why I consider Misawa and Kobashi among the best pro-wrestlers in the world are all right here. This also makes for a great overall introduction to Pro-Wrestling NOAH.

Friday, February 06, 2004


Tape Review: All Japan New Year's Giant Series 1999

Since I don't really update this blog much, I thought why not put up a few tape reviews? I still haven't gotten around to watching my new AJPW PPV tape cause I'm just too lazy to unplug the VCR from my PC and re-hook it up to the TV. The tape won't play on my other older model VCRs and I'm still waiting for the audio jack I ordered for my PC for the VCR that's hooked up to it to have sound.

So, for my first tape review, I thought it would only be fitting I review the first full Puroresu tape I ever watched, the All Japan New Year's Giant Series '99! I'll make it simple so as not to spoil it for anyone who's thinking of getting it.

Mitsuharu Misawa VS Toshiaki Kawada (Triple Crown Title Match 1/22/99)
I was almost shaking seeing these two in living colour for the first time instead of as 3D polygons in video games! They said this was one of the weaker matches these two have had, but it was just incredible to me! Lots of stiff shots, dangerous high spots and overall just great work! Not only that, but about 5 minutes in, Kawada fractured his wrist while giving Misawa a spinning back chop, but he still managed to work the rest of the match delivering some sick backsdrops, brainbusters and the now infamous Ganso-bomb. Misawa tried to hurricanrana out of a powerbomb, but Kawada held on and maintained his balance. Trying to flip the stubborn Misawa back up for a powerbomb, Kawada then decides to just drop him on his head in one of the most dangerous spots in wrestling history! Kawada would go on to win the match and his 2nd reign as Triple Crown champion, but would have to forfeit the belts due to his wrist injury.
MY Match Rating: ****

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue VS Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (Double Tag Title Match 1/7/99)
Despite cutting off the begining a bit, this was an awesome bout again with a lot of stiffness and near falls involved. You'd swear sometimes Kawada's kicks literally looked like they tear someones head off! It was a big up-hill battle for Team Burning, but Kobashi manages to rally back despite an injury to win the match and the tag belts.
My Match Rating: ****

Vader VS Kenta Kobashi (1/15/99)
The first singles meeting between these two and said to be their best, even better then their Triple Crown title match on 2/27/2000, Kobashi is selling an eye-injury inflicted by Vader earlier in the tour during a ringside brawl. A truly incredible match where Kobashi suplexes and slams Vader like the big man isn't a super-heavyweight! Vader also shows his stiffness and even brings out the old moonsault from his arsenal!
My Match Rating: ****

Yoshinari Ogawa VS Masahito Kakihara (PWF Jr. Heavyweight Title Match 1/15/99)
My first look at these two. This match was good thanks entirely to Kakihara! Though Ogawa actually did sell a bit and used every dirty trick in the book here to hold on to his precious Jr. Title. Eventhough lazy-Ogawa retained, Kakihara came very close here and carried it to being a watchable match.
My Match Rating: ***

Tamon Honda & Jun Izumuda VS Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki (All Asia Tag Title Match 1/16/99)
The only dud on the whole tape. This match was like 50% of Honda and Izu doing nothing headbutts! Shinzaki does an overkill blade-job, busted open by Honda's headbutt from hell. The ring was a total mess with Shinzaki's blood everywhere! The only saving grace of this match was Hayabusa as the pace quickened everytime he set foot in the ring. But even he and Shinzaki's buckets of blood couldn't save this match from being a stinker. Honda's killer Dead-End German did look good at the end though.
My Match Rating: *1/2

Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable tape and a great introduction to japanese puroresu for me. I highly recommend it.



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