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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

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

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - SEMI-FINAL: Kenzo Suzuki vs.Takao Omori
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. **

WJ STRONGEST TOURNAMENT - FINAL -
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.

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