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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Sunday, July 25, 2004


Kaientai Dojo 10/13/2002 - TAKA Michinoku 10th Anniversary

Taped on 9/30/2002 during the "Club-K Super Down Town" tour, the first thing that catches your attention is how they actually managed to fit a small WWE RAW type set into Korakuen Hall, complete with a Titantron, rampway and TWO entrance ways! They also have some very neat production videos as well as Titantron intros for the wrestlers.

Kunio Toshima VS Teppei Ishizaka
Pretty good opener. Mostly standard basic stuff, but still watchable as both were over with the crowd. Their intro videos made them look better than they actually were though.
Match Rating: *1/2

Ofune VS Ayako Hamada
One of the big reasons I bought this show, TenzanTeam2K’s favorite joshi wrestler VS My favorite joshi wrestler! For a person of her status in the business, Ayako put Ofune over big time! Usually in these types of matches, the senior (Hamada) would be putting the junior (Ofune) to schoold and dominate most of the match, but that wasn’t the case here! Hamada really let the cutesy Ofune get in a ton of offense as well as letting on that Ofune could have beaten Hamada. This match was clipped a bit but still looked good. Great stuff!
Match Rating: ***1/4

Kengo Mashimo VS Izumi Kidaka
This match was under shoot rules, so what you get is a lot of heavy striking and ground submission grappling. The big strikes kept this match alive.
Match Rating: **

Surround Force Match:
DJ Nira VS Sambo Oishi VS Yu Yamagata VS Yasu Urano VS Psycho VS Mike Lee Jr. VS Apple Miyuki VS Shiori Asahi VS Joe Aoyama

The rules of a Surround Force match are that you can tag anyone at anytime, but the first pinfall or submission wins the match. This was a non-stop, quick paced match where everyone got to show a bit of what they got. This is a good way to get the rest of the card on the show without resulting in big multi-person tag matches. DJ Nira isn’t really a pro-wrestler, but an actual DJ, and he did some of the themes for the K-Dojo wrestlers. He’s also credited with being one of the best mic-men in the promotion. Nira also did some really fun comedy spots though and is MEGA over with the fans! Yu Yamagata was here mainly to help out her man Sambo Oishi, even though it’s every man and woman for themselves. Psycho is just that, PSYCHO! He didn’t do much, but what he did was very impressive. Yasu Urano worked mostly standard stuff, as well as Mike Lee Jr. Apple Miyuki seemed to take the brunt of the punishment of the match. Shiori Asahi didn’t do much noticeable, and Joe Aoyama was booked as a monster heavyweight since he basically is almost twice the size of everyone else in the match. I just wished this match was longer, but I definitely have an interest to check out more of these mega-fun matches!
Match Rating: **1/2
UWA/UWF Intercontinental Tag Team Titles
Mr. X & X No. 2 VS X No. 3 & X No. 5 with Ms. X
Double X VS Double X. If you bet Double X win, go collect your prize! Seriously, they may have scrapped the bottom of the barrel for their gimmicks, but these guys put on a really good match! They even pulled off some innovative moves involving their X hand signals, including a killer cross-armed, cross-legged, double argentine back-breaker! One of the best matches of the show!
Match Rating: ***1/4
Hi69, Pablo, Yoshiya, Ryota Chikuzen & TAKA Michinoku with Ryoko VS Miyawaki, Daigoro Kashiwa, Silver Wolf, Minoru Fujita & Shinya Makabe - 2/3 Falls Match
This was VERY good! You’d usually expect somekind of clustered spot-fest when you got ten men in a fast paced match, but everything here was well placed to together! Everyone got their spots in and Makabe being the big name heavyweight from New Japan was just a monster here! A really solid, great match to end the show!
Match Rating: ****

The show ends with a cool highlight video of TAKA’s career, from his debut up to his feud with Minoru Fujita. Some fun stuff from his Kaientai years in Michinoku Pro included ramming his car into Great Sasuke’s before running off like a thief in the night as a MAJOR pissed off Sasuke tried chasing them down on foot! Too bad they couldn’t add any footage of his WWF/WWE run.

Overall: This was BIG TIME FUN! I haven’t enjoyed a puroresu show this much since my first Osaka Pro show! Definitely a great introduction for me to TAKA’s little promotion. There is A LOT of talent here, and I only hope their other shows I plan on getting are every bit as good as this one!


Sunday, July 18, 2004


All Japan Excite Series PPV 2/22/2004

The show opens with TAKA Michinoku and his RO&D faction coming out to rile up the crowd. TAKA pulled a very DX promo where he introduced each member of RO&D. The live crowd didn’t seem to ‘get it’ though.
Shigeo Okamura, Gran Hamada & Taichi Ishikari VS Ebedullah Butchan, Yasu Urano & Abdullah The Butcher
- This was a bit of a disappointment. Ebedullah was fine for what he did, but really wasn’t entertaining as Ebessan has been in the past. Abdullah surprisingly to me doesn’t look like a guy in his sixties, but then he starts MOVING and you can see his legs have trouble keeping up with the rest of him! Butcher is still as over with the Japanesse crowd as he's always been though. The match was just an ok opener.
Match Rating: *1/2 
Nobutaka Araya & Hideki Hosaka VS Nobukazu Hirai & Ryuji Hijikata
- This was a good look at the new blood of AJPW, and it still surprises me how much Hosaka has changed since his FMW days. There’s a lot of potential in Hirai & Hijikata for what I can see. The ending did seem rather sudden though.
Match Rating: **
TAKA Michinoku, The Gladiator & Bull Buchanan VS Arashi, Masayuki Kono & Hi69
- Another fun match. I like Kono. He’s a big guy (as big as Gladiator) and I see a lot of potential in him. This was also the first time I can recall seeing Gladiator do a running Awesome-bomb INTO the ring instead of OUT of the ring. Good stuff throughout.
Match Rating: **1/2
Hardcore Tag Match
NOSAWA & MASADA VS Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto

- This was a fun match where Honma returned to his garbage wrestling roots. For those of you who didn’t know, Honma was involved in some of the best death matches back in Big Japan Pro Wrestling. They did some innovative spots and one dangerous looking one when Honma took a killer bump off the entrance set and his back just grazed the table instead of him going through it. NOSAWA even looked really different here compared to his appearances in TNA. This was definately one of the best matches of the night.
Match Rating: ***1/2
They show highlight clips of Great Koji & Shiryu defending the All Asia tag titles against Honma & Miyamoto, and Kojima & Hayashi defending the tag team titles against Gladiator & Buchanan. This was a good way to fill in the intermission space on the live show. The All Asia title matched looked really good and the crowd there really wanted Honma & Miyamoto to win, even booing the champs at one point.
Masanobu Fuchi VS Genichiro Tenryu
- The battle of the grumpy old men. This was good, but I did not enjoy the way Tenryu wouldn’t sell for Fuchi at some points. Tenryu really needs to act his age and start selling a bit, even when he’s not in the main event picture. Fuchi is still one of my favs and the live crowd was way into him when he got his offense going.
Match Rating: **1/2
All Japan Junior Heavyweight Title (Vacant)
BLUE-K VS Kazu Hayashi

- BLUE-K grabs the mic and as soon as he speaks the whole crowd knows who he is! What follows is a pretty good contest to decide the new Junior champ after Kendo KaShin was stripped of the title. Good back and forth action with Hayashi going over his former Kaientai boss in the end.
Match Rating: ***
Taiyo Kea VS Satoshi Kojima
- This dragged a bit and the only way you can understand the finish is that you know Kea is using a loaded knee pad. He’s been doing it for a while now, but the finish of this match would leave you scratching your head if you didn’t know that bit of information. Kea is kinda like Triple H, in that being he hasn’t regained his form since being out on injury so long. It could also be said he was just lazy here. Kojima sold like the pro he is, but the pace of this match was just a bit too slow.
Match Rating: **1/2

D-Lo Brown & Jamal VS Bob Sapp & Keiji Mutoh
- This was surprisingly the best match of the show, and Jamal on record right now is the ONLY person I’ve seen make Sapp look human. And compared to Jamal, Sapp looked REALLY green here. Give D-Lo a lot of credit too for taking the Shinning Impact in the end which led to him getting a scary drop on his head. The end match brawl also set up one heck of a possible ten man tag which I don’t think they followed up, since Sapp also is currently MIA.
Match Rating: ***3/4
All Japan Triple Crown Title
Shinya Hashimoto VS Toshiaki Kawada

- This was the second best match of the show due to the incredible crowd heat it generated. Though the workrate probably leaves much to be desired, since about 85% of the match saw the two of them throwing stiff kicks and strikes at each other. The other 15 was mostly submission holds as they targeted each other’s weak spots. Give Hashimoto credit however, for pulling off probably the best avalanche-style brainbuster I’ve seen in a LONG time! I wasn’t that big on the towel being thrown in at the end though. This bar-none was Kawada’s BIGGEST title defense, and he was denied a decisive victory.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Overall: I was expecting this to just be a two match show, but everything was also surprisingly good and entertaining. Honma & Miyamoto are definitely a team to watch for, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they became future tag champions as they are very over with the fans. Jamal VS Sapp was also surprisingly fun as both big men would hardly sell for the other. And the main event could have been a lot better probably if Hashimoto was at 100%. Still, you can’t go wrong picking up this event.


Wednesday, July 14, 2004


NOAH Di Colosseo - 4/25/2004 "Encountering Navigation '04"

Daisuke Ikeda & Muhammed Yone VS Akitoshi Saito & Jun Izumuda
Joined in progress to start of the show. Ikeda and Saito are throwing elbow shots at each other like their going out of style. Fun opener with some comedy spots by Izumuda and a good showing from Yone who many have high hopes for as a breakout star.
Match Rating: **1/2

Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda VS Takuma Sano & Akira Taue
Another fun tag match with some comedy spots by Inoue where he shout “OI!” a lot. Honda even did the ‘pull the straps down’ routine ala Bret Hart, Jerry Lawler, etc. All four worked well and the Honda/Taue face-off (which would be awesome in a singles match) really got the crowd going.
Match Rating: **1/2

Ricky Marvin VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru
This match really surprised me! I’ve heard Marvin was known for blowing his spots, but he really put on a strong showing here. I think he only almost missed one springboard move, but everything else he did was on par with Rey Mystero or Amazing Red! Kanemaru himself is no slouch and is a treat to watch in singles action. Some might complain about Marvin’s lack of psychology and just being a ‘spot’ wrestler, but this match was genuinely entertaining and a good change of pace.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Kotaro Suzuki & Takeshi Rikioh VS Makoto Hashi & Jun Akiyama
Ikeda and Saito threw dozens of elbow shots in the opener, but there were probably a record number of slaps thrown in this one from all four involved! The juniors of each team had something to prove by trying to take down the heavyweights (I’ll let you guess how that ends up). Definitely another great tag match!
Match Rating: ***

GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji VS Yoshinari Ogawa & Mitsuharu Misawa

Misawa had a big target on his head as both GHC Jr tag champs wanted the big win on the big boss of NOAH! This match would definitely have been more enjoyable if Misawa had sold a bit more for the challengers (and the crowd even booed him at one point for it). Still, the challengers showed once again that it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but size of the fight he will bring. Definately a must see match!
Match Rating: ****

GHC Heavyweight Championship
Yoshihiro Takayama VS Kenta Kobashi

All my expectations were met in this match! Takayama again shows why he earned his current spot in the business and I definitely nominate this as a Match Of The Year candidate! The only thing that would have made this match better would be if it went just a little longer than 29minutes, but both men were physically spent by the end of it. I highly recommend this match!
Match Rating: ****1/2

Overall: The first NOAH show of 2004 I watch and it’s a MUST SEE SHOW!!! Everything from start to finish was fun and keeps your attention. You DEFINITELY want this show!


Wednesday, July 07, 2004


FMW 'Over The Legend' Kawasaki Stadium 9/28/97

This show picks off after Megumi Kudo's retirement show a few months prior. Why Kudo couldn't wait to have her last match at Kawasaki Stadium is beyond me (It was under renovation at the time). It should also be noted that the true show stealer was Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki VS All Japan's Kenta Kobashi & Maunakea Mossman. It was rated as one of the best matches NEVER seen. This was because Kobashi & Mossman were contracted under All Japan, and due to copyrights, FMW couldn't release the footage of the match.

Street Fight Royal Rumble
Match features The HeadHunters, Super Leather, Tetsuhiro Kuroda, Ricky Fuji, Flying Kid Ichihara, Hidoh, Hideki Hosaka, Alexander Otsuka, Minoru Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa, and Mr. Pogo II. They clipped out alot of action between entries, which wasn't so bad since it was mostly punching and kicking. Still a fun opener.
Match Rating: **

Miss Mongol & Crusher Maedori VS Miwa Saito & Kaori Nakayama
The joshi division is FMW severly deteriorated after Megumi Kudo and Combat Toyoda's retirements. Mongol & Maedori are just brawlers like their leader Shark Tsuchiya (More on her later). Nakayama was good, but still no where near as good as Kudo was.
Match Rating: *

Mr. Gannosuke & Hisakatsu Oya VS Jado & Gedo - FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Title Match
This was a standard tag, but got good a bit at the end as Gannosuke tried to out-rudo Jado & Gedo. Good match, but nothing really special.
Match Rating: **

Aja Kong VS Shark Tsuchiya - WWA Women's Title Match
This was VERY hard to watch. Tsuchiya is one of those people you really want to see get their ass whooped, and Aja Kong was the right person for the job. Problem was Tsuchiya pulled a Yoshinari Ogawa, escaping everytime Aja got some offense in, or Mongol and Maedori would get involved to halt Aja's momentum. This could have been ALOT better.
Match Rating: *

Kodo Fuyuki VS Terry Funk - NWA Texas Title
I'm not really sure if this was a title match or not. Funk cut a cool promo before the match about how Fuyuki is trying to make a name for himself against him. And if you were expecting a slow paced match out of these two, that's exactly what you get! Funk's age is definately getting to him here. Though the sports entertainment like finish was ok and liven things up.
Match Rating: **1/2

Vader VS Ken Shamrock - No Rope, Ultimate Fight Rules Cage Match
Both men are noted as representing the then WWF. Pancrase Mission's Yuki Ishikawa was the special guest referee. Unfortunately, the rules of this match really brought things down and I was dissapointed by the finish. Maybe WWF wanted to protect their product at the time?
Match Rating: **

Masato Tanaka VS The Gladiator- World Independent & Brass Knucks Double Title Match
This is the first time I've seen these two square off in a singles match in an FMW ring, and needless to say they didn't dissapoint. But I can't help but feel they rushed things a bit as they went for the big spots rather early and plenty of tables were broken in this one. The match itself was also just given 16 minutes. They should have at least given them 20 minutes. Still, a great match.
Match Rating: ***1/4

W*ING Kanemura VS Atsushi Onita - Exploding Barbwire Cage Time Bomb Death Match
Breakup of the W*ING Alliance VS Onita's Retirement

Kanemura beat Tanaka for the rights to face Onita here in an explosive barb wire match at the Shiodome. Onita came out of retirement to stand up to Terry Funk's Funk Masters of Wrestling faction. Onita would go into retirement for a 2nd time if he lost here and Kanemura would have to break up his W*ING faction (the W*ING promotion had closed long ago) if he lost here.
Just TWO minutes into the match and already they were colliding with the ever dangerous explosive wire! This was a really good death match with the two of the pioneers of the death match. Then again, Onita really can't do much outside of the environment, unlike Kanemura. The closing minutes was fun as they powerbombed the hell out of each other! Good death match overall and a great way to end the show.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Overall: This can be considered a good show. They clipped what was needed (most of the time) and the main events delivered. Definately recommended for fans of old-school FMW.



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