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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Friday, December 31, 2004

 

BAPE STA!! Pro Wrestling 5/3/2004

All Japan / Osaka Pro BAPE STA!! Pro Wrestling
Day 1 – 5/3/2004

Footage of fans arriving and buying the cool looking BAPE gear with images of Mutoh, Kojima, Hayashi & THE APEMAN on them, as well as a few fun action figures. There's even a live DJ in the arena playing some funky beat.

Show starts with Kojima, Hayashi, THE APEMAN and the owner of BAPE coming out to welcome the fans to the show. Funny moment when Kojima was announcing the card for the night and forgot the names of some of the OPro guys, leading to Hayashi having to whisper the names in his ear.

AKINO & Momoe Nakanishi VS THE APEWOMAN & Michiko Ohmoukai
Fun joshi opener. AKINO has developed quite nicely since she was Ayako Hamada’s tag partner in ARSION, almost cute looking even. And she actually got a bit of a comedy spot out of veteran referee Kyohei Wada! Momoe is the living definition of “quicker than a hiccup” as she just moves so fast! The masked APEWOMAN did some nice acrobatics, but was mostly the punching bag for the happy face team. And Ohmoukai looked hot in her red leather outfit while she dished out the pain like the veteran she is. Seeing her all sweet and such after the match, you probably wouldn’t know it was the same person! This was a great fun match, probably marred by the cameras missing a great spot when AKINO & Momoe did stereo dives on the opposite sides of the ring.
Can’t wait to see what they can do with Ebessan & Kuishinbo Kamen on day 2!
Match Rating: **1/2

Taichi Ishikari VS Miracle Man
Clipped a bit, but didn’t look like we missed much as the match wasn’t all that good. Bit sloppy in places even. Ishikari still needs some work, and Miracle looked like he was slacking a bit, but his corkscrew twisting splash is way cool!
Match Rating: *


Tsubasa, Tigers Mask & Billy Ken Kid VS Gamma, Kazushi Miyamoto & Tomoaki Honma
This was a fun match that had a fast paced, high flying team against a more ground based, hard hitting unit. I’m not sure why, but Honma & Miyamoto seemed to have trouble getting along here, with Honma badmouthing Miyamoto several times and even during the post match interview where they almost came to blows. I haven’t seen Gamma in awhile and he was just ace here as well. I love his cruicifix-powerbomb-facebuster move (I think it’s the Gamma Slash). Billy Ken Kid even sorta reminded me of a more buff Rey Mystero, and he did show the qualities of a champion here as well! Tigers Mask was more or less the punching bag of the match, but what offense he managed to get in was cool. Really good match overall.
Match Rating: **1/2

Nobukazu Hirai & Nobutaka Araya VS TAKA Michinoku & Kintaro Kanemura
This was a really fun match thanks to Kanemura pulling off a few comedy antics! It was weird watching TAKA get bullied around and play second fiddle to Kanemura. And you had to know that with Kanemura involved, there were gonna be a few hardcore spots, and he didn’t disappoint! Brawling into the audience then driving a table into Hirai’s privates!
Araya was just a monster here compared to everyone else. I’d really like to see the big man get some kind of upper-mid card push cause he definitely has the look and the style to go with it. Hirai looks average, but definitely has to do something about his look.
This was the best match of the night so far next to the joshi match.
Match Rating: **1/2


Perro VS Arashi
Arashi had a serious game face on, but still pulled a few comedy spots with Perro and even groped his female sidekick at one point! There was nothing here to show what Pero could do other than his comedy bits though, and the small clipping didn’t help either. Match was good for a cheap laugh though.
Match Rating: *

Hideki Hosaka & Ryuji Hijikata VS Takehiro Murahama & Toshiaki Kawada
Kawada’s first match back since breaking his finger in the opening match of the AJPW 2004 Champion Carnival. His right hand is still heavily bandaged, but he’s still at throwing a devastating punch with his left as Hosaka found out! And of course, there’s Kawada’s arsenal of kicks. Hijikata VS Murahama is a singles dream match I’d like to see, especially if a title was on the line! Watching these two go at it sorta reminded me of the Murahama/Naruse match from the 2002 NJPW Cross Road show, but wasn’t as boring since it was a tag match.
Kawada was all business here as usual, even leaving almost immediately after the match. What? He’d goof around for Hustle but not for BAPE???
Match Rating: ***

The Great Kosuke, THE APEMAN & Ebe-tosan VS Keiji Mutoh, Super Delfin & Kuishinbo Kamen
Bow down to the greatness that is Ebessan & Kuishinbo Kamen! After watching the Florida Bros for some time, it was good to see some fresh material from the true Gods of Comedy! And the fact that they were in big game mode made it all more entertaining as they pulled everything together to make it look more natural and not worked. And Keiji Mutoh VS Ebetosan = Must See TV (even though it was short)!
This match wasn’t all just fun and laughs. Mutoh & Kosuke went at it hard and brought the stiffness with some great exchanges and counters, and Delfin & APEMAN (Kaz Hayashi) pulled off some great technical mat moves too. APEMAN even pulled off one of the coolest spots ever when he switched masks with Tigers Mask at ringside and then started wrestling like him!
The main event was definitely the best and most entertaining match of the night!
Match Rating: ***
Entertainment Rating: MUST SEE!


Show ends with some funny comments from Ebetosan and Great Kosuke thanking the fans for coming to the show. Everyone together then shouted Kojima's signature,"Ichiaozo Bakayaro!" catchphrase.

OVERALL: If your looking for a change from the usual hard-hitting, high-impact puroresu style and want some great entertaining wrestling that's guaranteed to give you a laugh or two, this is definately a must see show! I can't wait to watch Day 2 of the tour and review it here!

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