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.