Puroresu Show Reviews
Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection
Friday, March 26, 2004
New Japan Wrestling World 2004 Tokyo Dome Show
New Japan’s version of WrestleMania and the show that kicks off the new year, and new beginnings as well. But unlike WrestleMania, Wrestling World actually takes place at the beginning of the year instead of in March!
My buddy, TenzanTeam2K, reckons Wrestling World 2004 to be the best Puroresu show he’s ever seen. To that end, I’ve had a chance to watch the show myself, and I’ve decided to compare my match thoughts with that of TT2K. And if you’ve read my article on how I feel about New Japan, you could probably guess my views will not be as kind as his. Let’s get to it!
Masayuki Naruse VS Tadao Yasuda
If Yasuda is wondering whatever happened to his push, he should just take a look at this match.
My Rating: DUD
Ryusuke Taguchi VS Akiya Anzawa
I’m gonna be fair and not even rate this match since I took a snack break and it was over when I got back.
TT2K’s Rating: **1/2
My Rating: -
Heat & Tiger Mask VS Jado & Gedo – IWGP Jr Tag Titles
This was pretty good, but not really excellent. And I don’t fully put the blame on the rudo team’s cheating tactics. Had some good spots to it though.
TT2K’s Rating: ***
My Rating: ***
Jushin Thunder Liger VS Takashi Sugiura – GHC Jr Heavyweight Title
Was it just me or did Sugiura seem to out-wrestle Liger at every turn? Sugiura is definitely being primed for greatness down the road. I’m hoping it was NJPW that paid NOAH to put the belt around Liger’s waist as Sugiura just looked way better than him here. At this point I’d also like to see Sugiura as the man that gets the belt back from him.
TT2K’s Rating: ***1/2
My Rating: ***1/2
Yutaka Yoshie VS Hiroshi Tanahashi – U30 Openweight Title
I had a MAJOR problem watching this match. Sure it was good, but was I the only one that noticed Tanahashi not selling much of Yoshie’s offence? Yoshie dropped his huge frame on him dozens of times throughout the match, but it didn’t seem to bother him as he could still effortlessly lift up Yoshie and drop him without any kind of rib or chest pain whatsoever. The only thing that effected him were straight shots to the head. Not a good idea unless your looking for brain-damage down the line. Props to Yoshie for making Tanahashi look like a million bucks, and a slap to the back of the head for Tanahashi for making Yoshie look so much below his level.
TT2K’s Rating: ****1/2
My Rating: ***1/2
Katsuyori Shibata & Kazunari Murakami VS Josh Barnett & Takashi Iizuka
I felt this match went longer than it should have. Murakami is not one of those guys to have 10+ minute matches with as he has very limited offense. And geez, did Barnett and Iizuka looked like someone already beat them up in the back or what?
TT2K’s Rating: ***1/2
My Rating: **1/2
Minoru Suzuki VS Osamu Nishimura
This was pretty good, though for the record I’m not a real big fan of extended mat work. But this is what Nishimura excels at. Suzuki still need some work translating to puroresu from the shoot style.
TT2K’s Rating: ****1/2
My Rating: ***
I’ll skip the dark matches that were clipped since TT2K didn’t rate them as well. They didn’t look all good either.
Gen’ichiro Tenryu VS Manabu Nakanishi
Due to his age, Tenryu is suffering a severe case of ‘man-boobs’. That aside, this was a good match. I’ve noticed Tenryu is slowing down and isn’t as tough as he used to be. Which is good I guess if it means he’ll put more younger guys over. Nakanishi was his good old enjoyable to watch self. The fisherman’s suplex seem to come out of nowhere at the end though.
TT2K’s Rating: ***
My Rating: ***
Kensuke Sasaki VS Yuji Nagata
To call this match a BLOODBATH is an understatement! I’ve seen my fair share of death matches, but I have NEVER seen a match where to the two opponents literally beat each other to a bloody-pulp like they did here! Both guys were literally covered from head to toe in blood and the crowd was eating it all up! Great effort and truly a sight to behold!
TT2K’s Rating: *****
My Rating: ****
Keiji Mutoh & Bob Sapp VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Masahiro Chono
This was a good match. Mutoh wasn’t lazy and Sapp was just himself, an unstoppable monster. I can’t really tell if Sapp has improved his ring work, but he did quite well, though I’m sure in the US they’d call him green or just a bad worker altogether. Tenzan and Chono also carried their parts well here, and I still really wanna see a Sapp VS Tenzan singles match.
TT2K’s Rating: ****
My Rating: ***3/4
Yoshihiro Takayama VS Shinsuke Nakamura – IWGP & NWF Unification Title Match
Nakamura came out looking like an underdog, and even wrestled like one. Takayama really went to work on Nakamura’s face here, and though he didn’t bleed, you could tell some serious damage was done internally. But give Takayama credit for actually tapping out and putting over Nakamura’s submission skills. But in his post match interview, did Nakamura sound a bit heelish or just plain drunk?!?
TT2K’s Rating: ****
My Rating: ***1/4
Obviously this was a great show, though I wouldn’t rank it as the best ever (But that’s just MY opinion). I do highly recommend watching this show however. Go to the Puroresu Thoughts section of TenzanTeam2K
's blog for his more detailed review of the show.
Now the bad news, due to technical difficulties and unforeseen circumstances, I have to order a new copy of the tape. Only then will I have it in stock for sale. I’ll be ordering it after I get back from KL in about 2 weeks, so I expect to have in stock by mid-May. So check back often for updates.
Monday, March 22, 2004
If your reading this blog for the first time, this is just to let you guys know that all the tapes I review are for sale in VCD format. You can check the archives for all the shows I have, Or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a complete show and price list.
I order tapes from overseas (new and old shows) every other month so check back constantly for updates.
Friday, March 12, 2004
NOAH Navigation Over The Date Line 9/12/2003
Richard Slinger & Masashi Aoyagi VS Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata
- It’s always fun watching Eigen. Everyone else was OK. Aoyagi seems better here than when I saw him in FMW VS Atsushi Onita, and the time line of that match was 10-years before this! Rating: *
Mitsuo Momota, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi& Takeshi Rikioh VS Kotaro Suzuki, Takuna Sano & Tamon Honda
- This was OK. Honda’s hype seemed to have died down a bit even though he was currently one half of the tag champs. Several fun bits where they teased the Dead End on Momota. Suzuki was working inured but still worked most of the match for his team. Rikioh played the big thug that could only be halted be the equally sized Honda. I’m still waiting to see Kikuchi use his big head-butts. Momota himself showed he can still work despite his age. And Sano seemed to sit out most of the match. Rating: **
Mohammed Yone, Daisuke Ikeda & Akira Taue VS Masao Inoue, Yoshinari Ogawa & Mitsuharu Misawa
- This started out a bit slow. I did not enjoy seeing Ogawa pull a comedy spot out of Taue & Ikeda. The matched really picked up pace later on and everyone hit their spots. Yone is returning from injury, though now he really looks like a young Hiroshi Tanahashi (who was in the audience). Though one could argue this was one of Misawa’s ‘lazy’ matches. Ikeda even paid tribute to the late Kodo Fuyuki when he used a Screaming Lariat! Rating: **
Bison Smith, Donovan Morgan & Yoshihiro Takayama VS Jun Izumida, Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama
- Now this was a fun match! On one team you have the top heel of NOAH, and on the other you have the then top heel and IWGP champion, and they both start the match against each other! Lots of stiff shots and big bumps in this one, and the spot of the night up to this point of the show in Bison’s Iron Claw Slam on Izumuda off the top rope!! Rating: ***
WLW World Title Match
Takeshi Morishima VS Ron Harris
- I still wonder why Harley Race would put his world title on a guy like Ron Harris, and he also probably wonders when any of his workers will take back the title for WLW. This match was under WLW rules (US rules) and wasn’t really that big of a train-wreck like I’ve read about all over the internet. You could probably sum this up as a standard big man match, American style. The problem here was that they let Harris carry the match, and as big and strong as both men were, they had problems pulling out the power moves on each other. Harris’ timing was a bit off at the beginning, but made up for it later when he powerbombed Morishima on the entrance ramp! He even managed to get Morishima up for a sweet chokeslam. Morishima’s backdrops were less impressive though. Rating: **1/4
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Makoto Hashi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji
-Another AWESOME Junior tag bout! This was just off the charts as everyone gave it there all to the point of physical exhaustion! Some incredible spots include Marufuji & Kanemaru’s always incredible move exchange, Marufuji’s Shiranui on the floor, Marufuji & KENTA’s double team Doomsday Busaikyo Knee and Kanemaru & Hashi’s killer double-team moves. Definitely a MUST SEE match! Rating: ****1/4
GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Takashi Sugiura VS Michael Modest
- This match slowed things down a bit from the previous bout, but was a good way to rest up the crowd for the upcoming main event. Sugiura was all business and Modest looked like underestimated his opponent during the opening minutes. A lot more mat work in this one, but the closing saw a few INSANE bumps, including Modest giving Sugiura a Reality Check off the apron to the floor! Rating: ***
GHC World Heavyweight Title Match
Yuji Nagata VS Kenta Kobashi
- I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, they may have been a bit too high. Most of the match consisted of the two aces stiffing the hell out of each other with kicks and chops, and Nagata keeping Kobashi grounded. At one point Nagata even hit SIX consecutive jumping head kicks! Kobashi used the standard fare of half-nelson suplexes and a sleeper suplex. Great match overall and you could just tell Nagata loves playing the heel in NOAH. Rating: ****
This is a great show. The awesome Junior tag title bout alone makes this show worth getting as it was literally the show stealer. Though I can honestly say I was expecting more out of the main event, I still highly recommend getting this show.
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Two New Japan videos
Here are the matchlists for the two NJPW tapes I recently received from my good buddy, TenzanTeam2k. For match reviews, please feel free to check the puroresu thoughts
section of his blog.
NEW JAPAN "YOKOHAMA DEAD OUT" 11/3/03 PPV
Osamu Nishimura, Jinsei Shinzaki & Jushin Thunder Liger VS Tadao Yasuda, Makai #1, & Ryota Chikuzen
Kazunari Murakami VS Koji Kanemoto
Montanha Silva VS Yutaka Yoshie
U-30 Openweight Title
Hiroshi Tanahashi © VS Toa
Tomo VS Jadamba Narantongaragu - K1 Rules
Jan Nortje VS Ivan Rudan - K1 Rules
Hiromi Amada VS Katsuyori Shibata - K1 Rules
Bob Sapp & Shinsuke Nakamura VS Manabu Nakanishi & Osamu Nishimura
Yuji Nagata VS Minoru Suzuki
IWGP Heavyweight Title Match
Yoshihiro Takayama © VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan
NEW JAPAN ULTIMATE CRUSH II 10/13/2003 TOKYO DOME
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match - 11-man Super Junior Rumble
Participants: Masayuki Naruse, Masahito Kakihara, El Samurai, Heat, Jushin Liger, Gedo, Katsushi Takemura, X, Jado, Tiger Mask © & Koji Kanemoto
U-30 Openweight No. 1 Contenders Match
Blue Wolf VS Yutaka Yoshie
TOA VS Shinya Makabe
Tadao Yasuda VS Osamu Nishimura
Osami Shibuya VS Khaliun Boldbaatar – Ultimate Crush Rules
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka VS Ricardon – Ultimate Crush Rules
King of Pancrase Openweight Title Match
Josh Barnett © VS Yoshiki Takahashi
Kazunari Murakami ¥2,000,000 Bounty Match
Katsuyori Shibata VS Kazunari Murakami
Super Dream Match
Masahiro Chono VS Hulk Hogan
10-Man Elimination Match
Yoshihiro Takayama, Kazuyuki Fujita, Minoru Suzuki, Shinsuke Nakamura & Bob Sapp VS Seiji Sakaguchi, Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroshi Tanahashi
Coming soon, I'll be posting a review of NOAH's 9/12/03 show featuring the Nagata/Kobashi GHC title match and an excellent GHC Jr. tag title match. So check back soon.
Friday, March 05, 2004
New Japan Wrestling World 2002 Tokyo Dome Show
The real fun thing about this show was that New Japan introduced their new Matrix-type camera that takes 360 degree footage for the replays! It’s really fun watching a move like the Shinning Wizard being done as the camera rotates around the ring giving us a view from all sides! All the matches also had a sub-title, which I've included.
Vol. 1 – Strong Style Neo Creation
Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse VS Wataru Inoue & Katsuyori Shibata
Two up and coming young lions VS two established young lions. Inoue and Shibata look like jobbers in their matching black tights and boots, and it was cute watching them race each other to the ring from the entrance ramp like two kids rushing to the canteen during recess. Match itself was ok by the numbers. Rating: **
Vol. 2 – Destiny Target
El Samurai & Minoru Tanaka VS Koji Kanemoto & AKIRA
- This was much better than the big 6-man match later in the card, mainly cause they kept a quick pace. Samurai was on form here, though Tanaka did most of the work. I never tire of watching Tanaka (the future Heat) miss his spinning heel kick and land on his feet! AKIRA & Kanemoto were both awesome as well, playing up their heel roles to a tee. Rating: ***1/2
Vol.3 – New Year Rival’s Tag Match
Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Yuki Ishikawa & Kazunari Murakami
- Pancrase star Yuki Ishikawa shows here why some shoot fighters don’t make good pro-wrestlers. But they don’t seem to care in Japan. You just had to know he could have finished this match anytime he wanted too due to his shoot experience. Tanahashi makes a complete ass out of himself trying to match strikes with Murakami, and pays for it by getting KO’d! Say what you want about Murakami, but I like his no-nonsense style. Rating: *1/2
Vol.4 – Breakthrough The Jr!!
Jushin Thunder Liger, The Great Sasuke & Tiger Mask VS Dick Togo, Jado & Gedo
- I was expecting more considering the talent involved here. Togo has “Dick” written on the back of his tights, I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere. One scary spot in the match where Togo gave Sasuke a release German suplex on the entrance ramp, Sasuke landed right on top of his head and his body immediately went limp! Jado & Gedo almost seem to break character to want to go check on him, but the ref beats them to it and confirms he’s ok, so the match continues leading to the usual big spot fest at the end. Rating: ***
Vol.5 – Fight In Strange!!
Manabu Nakanishi vs. Giant Silva
- This was fun, though too short. Silva is definitely the better worker of the two giants. High spot of this match was when Nakanishi managed to lift Silva off his feet in the Argentine Back-Breaker! **
Vol.6 – Problem Institution
Kendo Kashin vs. Daijiro Matsui - IWGP Jr. Title
Kashin does his old handshake fake out and Matsui accepts only to get low-kicked by Kashin! But being the shoot fighter he is, Matsui was wearing a protective cup! Match itself sucked once again due to Kashin being lazy. Rating: DUD
Vol. 7 – Translate Trading Pure Pro-Wre’s Love
Keiji Mutoh & Hiroshi Hase vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura
- This match was slow due to all the muga and old-school mat work. In one of the coolest spots ever, Mutoh has Nishimura in a cobra-twist, an Fujinami comes out of nowhere and gives Mutoh a Shinning Wizard! Rating: **1/2
Vol. 8 – Be In The Ring!!
Kensuke Sasaki vs. Naoya Ogawa
- This match had A LOT of heat. Not because it was good, but because it SUCKED! Just some brawling, than Nakanishi and Murakami start brawling as all the cornermen try to break it up, than Ogawa walks out! The referee rules it a no contest and the live crowd booed the hell out of it, you could actually see the hate and disgust on the crowd’s faces! Rating: DUD
Vol. 9 – Internal Trouble of Team 2000
Masahiro Chono & Giant Singh VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima
- Chono was smart to carry most of the match for his team as Singh is just so green, pausing after every move and strike he does as he looks unsure of what to do next. Some good spots include TENKOJI double back dropped Singh, The Tenkoji Cutter on Chono, Singh’s high-angle powerbomb and Kojima’s lariat taking down the giant! The ending of the match didn’t go quite as smooth as it should have though. Post match sees the beginning of dissention between Singh & Silva. **1/2
Vol. 10 – The Dream Has Realized
Jun Akiyama vs. Yuji Nagata - GHC World Title
- Don’t know why, but Akiyama had a HUGE bald spot on his head in this match and it really distracted me! Match itself was pretty good as they stiffed the hell out of each other and traded moves that they stole from each other (Exploders, Nagata Lock II, etc). Unlike the crowds that hate Nagata in NOAH, the New Japan crowds reacted well to Akiyama. Rating: ***1/2
This was a good, ok show despite two duds. At a glance, the card looks really good on paper, but after watching it, you do get the feeling that this shouldn’t have been a Dome show.