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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Sunday, October 23, 2005


AJW "Rising Generation" 12/12/2004

Takako Inoue VS Haruka Matsuo
This was your classic senior VS young lioness match, with veteran Inoue putting the beat down on Matsuo throughout the match. Matsuo gets in those good bursts of offense to make it look like she has a chance, but it doesn’t work quite as well as it sounds when Inoue shrugs off everything thrown at her to continue her semi-squash of a match. Inoue looked hot though.
Match Rating: *

Tag League The Best '04 - Round 1: Yumiko Hotta & Kana VS Tomoko Watanabe & Emi Tojyo

Te premise of this tag league is teaming up a senior with a young lioness. Tojyo is not a young lioness, but this was when she was literally rebuilding herself from scratch, going through the young lion process all over again. She did most of the work in the match along with Kana.
Which brings us to Yumiko Hotta. This right here is a good example of her throwing her weight around as she sold NOTHING for anyone, including the other senior in the match, Watanabe.
Match Rating: *

Tag League The Best '04 - Round 1: The Bloody & Fang Suzuki VS Dump Matsumoto & SASORI

I REALLY wish Dump Matsumoto would go back into retirement. She’s just horrible on so many levels: She’s morbidly overweight and can hardly do anything because of it. All she can do is choke, kick and punch, and no sell any of her opponents moves. Sasori doesn’t have the size of Matsumoto, but is just as horrible to as she is by the way.
The match was mostly a big brawl, with Fang and Bloody playing the underdogs despite being two of the top talents in J’d. I really wonder what kept the referee so long to disqualify Dump & Sasori when they were blatantly cheating throughout the match.
Match Rating: *

Momoe Nakanishi VS Saki Maemura

I’m not really sure what the backstory of the match is, but I’ve heard the word “costume” being thrown about throughout the build-up video as well as during and after the match. I think it was something along the lines of Maemura wanting a match with Nakanishi before she retires.
The match itself was a fun back and forth, faced paced match. Note Nakanishi is the senior going into the match, but she didn’t put herself so far above Maemura in the match unlike many of the other seniors on this show. Than again she also isn’t as big as many of the other seniors on the show.
Still a fun match overall.
Match Rating: **

Lioness Asuka VS Hikaru

This match is another good example of all the things I hate about the current joshi scene. It was bad enough Lioness was squashing Hikaru, but she also had to use weapons, as well as cheat with help from The Bloody! Every time Hikaru would get some offense going, Bloody would get involved to cut her momentum. I know the Japanese system is different from everywhere else, but I also don’t get how after winning with help from Bloody that Lioness can tell Hikaru to try harder next time and Hikaru would shake her hand and bow in respect to accept that advice.
It’s just BS to me that Hikaru would accept the loss when the odds were heavily stacked against her like that.
Match Rating: *

WWWA World Singles Title #1 Contender: Kumiko Maekawa VS Amazing Kong

Amazing Kong has a lot of similarities to Aja Kong: They both have size and power, and even a few similar moves. But a big difference between them is that Amazing isn’t made to look as unstoppable as Aja, like she was here against Maekawa.
Not a lot to the match, they went from brawling out into the audience (even though the building was far from sold-out, they just had to toss each other into the sections where fans were sitting <_<) to a stiff trade of strikes in the ring. Maekawa has some hard kicks, but I didn’t buy her axe-kick which she threw a lot of. They just didn’t look like they had any impact and Kong had to sell them like getting hit with a hammer.
OK match, but nothing too good.
Match Rating: *1/2

WWWA World Singles Title: Ayako Hamada VS Nanae Takahashi

The story behind this match was that Ayako won the title off Nanae’s best friend, Momoe Nakanishi, and Ayako had already beaten Nanae twice before, with the tide turning once when Nanae pinned Ayako in a tag match. So this was the match to settle the score.
This was a wild match from the opening bell when they tore into each other with hard hitting, high impact moves, including both hitting their finishers almost right a the start and doing so over a dozen times throughout the match. But here is where we have a problem with the match as it lacked structure. The two of them were throwing out their finishers all over the place without building up to them. I lost track of the number of times Hamada used her AP Cross (Ki-Krusher ’99) and Takahashi used her Falcon Arrow, and who knows how many more they did in the 10 minutes of the match that was cut out.
There were a few really crazy spots in the match though, like when they brawled all the way up to the first floor and Nanae actually managed to drop Ayako off the balcony before diving down on her! And a really sick spot where Ayako gave Nanae a super-frankensteiner off the top out to the floor!
Just a good match overall which I felt was a bit anti-climatic in the end.
Match Rating: ***

I case you didn’t get it from looking at the card, the them of the show was the young generation against the senior generation. It would have worked if some of the seniors actually did something (like Momoe and Ayako) to make the young generation look good. This is an obvious problem in the joshi industry where seniors like Hotta refuse to budge from their position of power in the industry (Hotta has been compared to Triple H a lot recently and I can see why).
Overall, this show was just passable.


Saturday, October 08, 2005


Big Japan Death Match Wars #35, #36 & #37

Welcome to a very special Puroresu review! In addition to my usual views of the match, I’ve added comments from my lovely significant other, Trish! She’s no stranger to watching wrestling, but this is her first time watching Japanese death matches!

Big Japan Death Match Wars #35
6/8/2005 pt.1
MEN'S Teioh & MASADA VS Daikokubo Benkei & Abdullah Kobayashi

That’s funny, I don’t remember MASADA being a gaijin??? This match was clipped a bit, but was surprisingly fun. Kobayashi did most of the work for his team, but Benkei was actually entertaining for the bits he was in the ring and the crowd loved him for actually attempting a suicide dive! Not really a lot from this one, but what was shown was passable.
Match Rating: *
Trish’s comment:
How old is that bald guy in the coveralls?

BJW Death Match Title - 300 Light Tube Death Match: Ryuji Ito VS Takashi Sasaki
This was one of the most BRUTAL death matches I’ve ever seen! You had 300 light tubes surrounding the ring ropes and lining the ring mat, and they just about used ALL of them including the home made toys they brought with them! Just seconds into the match and already they are bleeding from having light tubes smashed over each other’s heads, and of course there was broken glass all over the ring as a result of it making even the simplest move hurt more as well as both guys taking damage from doing the most basic moves like dropkicks and suplexes, but that didn’t stop them from doing them anyway! They just went at it with no concern for their own well being, and you could see the results from all the cuts and how bloody their backs and arms were!
You got to have a high level of respect for these guys to do what they were doing here, suplexes, brainbusters, splashes and powerbombs all on broken glass! You really cringe at some of the things they were willing to put their bodies through to have an incredible match. I truly believe all the hype behind Ryuji Ito now, and give Sasaki a lot of credit as well as both men put on a fantastic contest that wasn’t just a spotfest. Even if it wasn’t a death match environment, these two have the talent to pull out an awesome contest. It truly deserves the rating I give these two for the match.
Match Rating: *****!!!
Trish’s comment: These two guys are crazy! Eric, if you ever get involved in pro wrestling, you better NOT take part in anything that involves light tubes and broken glass!

Big Japan Death Match Wars #36
6/8/2005 pt.2
Hadcore Match: Daisuke Sekimoto & Kintaro Kanemura VS Bad Boy Hido & GENTARO

The story of this match was Sekimoto trying to avenge a loss over Hido from one of the previous shows. Sekimoto is jacked, like a Japanese Brock Lesner, but I noticed it hinders his mobility. The mass really helps when he’s throwing STIFF lariats though! He also has a good rolling German as well as a slow high angle German. He even did this really cool spot where he lifted GENTARO in a torture rack with a ladder! Sekimoto is a little green, but is being pushed as the future of the company, and I can definitely see him there in a few years having great matches with Ryuji Ito.
Kanemura has lost some serious weight since the last time I saw him. It’s good to see him working full speed and injury free for a change. The man can definitely still go and has a lot of good years left in him.
I haven’t seen much of GENTARO, but much like his AkaRangers tag partner, Takashi Sasaki, he showed a lot of potential here! The guy would make a great addition to any promotion’s junior heavyweight division. He’s a great high flyer and even had the balls to do a balcony dive to put Sekimoto through a table! He also did a sweet Van Terminator to Kanemura who was hung upside down on a ladder!
Hido sucks. That’s probably the reason why they made this a tag match instead of a singles match. The guy didn’t really do anything, and even his Hido-chan Bomber lariat is lame. Hido sucks.
Overall, the match was entertaining with the crowd heavily behind Sekimoto and GENTARO did an ace job of carrying the work load for his team.
Match Rating: *1/2
Trish’s comment:
Sekimoto’s got a lot of muscle, but he can hardly move because of the mass. I don’t get the lame dance Kanemura did in his intro. GENTARO is nuts for jumping off a balcony. Hido sucks and didn’t deserve the win.

Madness of Massacre Death Match: “Kokusenshi” Jaki Numazawa VS Jun Kasai
A little Chainsaw Charlie action from Numazawa as he comes out with a chainsaw and causes havoc in the audience on his way to the ring! I love Numazawa’s gothic Dark Angel look. Kasai comes out with a little toy of his own: a board of RAZORS attached to a crucifix! Bare in mind these two are best friends (they even started off the match with a big KISS in the centre of the ring!), but they tried to KILL each other here!
The match started off really slow with Numazawa selling a hurt back after Kasai splashed him through a table, but then business really picked up after Numazawa powerbombed Kasai on the razor board! You could instantly see a whole lot of cuts on his back and the match became a blood bath from there! Numazawa just went psycho and even covered the ring with a bucket of THUMBTACKS! And we’re barely halfway through the match! What follows are a whole lot of sick and bloody spots which are definitely not for the weak of heart. For example, Numazawa stuffing tacks into Kasai’s mouth before slapping them out! And of course every move they did after hurt both of them since the ring mat was littered in tacks, but they didn’t seem to care! Can you even imagine what it’s like to do a German suplex-hold and a frog splash onto thumbtacks?!? I just watched the CZW Tournament of Death a few weeks ago, but even this was a new level of SICK!
After the match, they had a fun in ring interview where Kasai said something that actually got bleeped out, and than the fans started chanting it, so we got a chant of bleeps! You gotta give the Crazy Monkey credit for leaving normal wrestling in Zero-1 and actually coming back to do this death match madness.
Match Rating: ****1/4
Trish’s comment:
These two guys are even more insane than the other two! Eric, you better stay away from razor boards and thumbtacks as well!

Big Japan Death Match Wars #37
6/8/2005 pt.3
Katsumasa Inoue & Hiroyuki Kondo VS Hyoma & Hajime Ishikawa

This was actually the opening match of the whole show. Kondo & Inoue are the young lions of the company and work well as a team. Inoue has got this really unique submission hold that’s like a sharpshooter, but he locks the guy’s arms instead!
I really like Hyoma’s punk look. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a decent indy worker as well. His partner Ishikawa is also from the indy scene if I’m not mistaken, and just looked decent.
Not really a lot to the opener, but there was this one cool spot where Kondo and Inoue gave Hyoma a triple decker superplex, while Inoue gave Ishikawa piledriver at the same time!
Match Rating: ½*
Trish’s comment:

Shadow WX & Yuichi Taniguchi VS Mammoth Sasaki & Tetsuhiro Kuroda
Kuroda was just SUPER-over in this one! Even more than local hero WX it seemed! Rookie Taniguchi did some fun comedy bits which combined with Kuroda’s unmatched charisma and overall overness in the match, made it entertaining at least. I thought it was hilarious the way Taniguchi screamed “Okasan!” (mother) when he got kicked in the balls.
There was one MAJOR f*** up by Sasaki in the match where he swung a chair at Taniguchi and lost his grip on it, and the chair flew into the audience somewhere! Don’t know if the chair hit anyone, but Sasaki did some big apologizing in his interview after the match, which was watchable overall.
Match Rating: *1/4
Trish’s comment:
These guys suck. Sasaki needs to lose the jersey and dress like a wrestler.

Baka Gaijin Falls Count Anywhere Street Fight: Mad Man Pondo VS Necro Butcher
I am a HUGE fan of the Necro Butcher! Especially after seeing him in the CZW Tournament of Death 4, and he’s a big reason I’ve decided to check out Big Japan. The guy is a bump machine, much like Mick Foley. I just hope his career isn’t cut short by all the big falls and bumps he takes. The Japanese fans also react well to the guy,
This was a great American style street fight match which had it’s share of sick spots like using a staple gun on each other! They sort of took it a step further when Pondo stapled Butcher’s lip to the turnbuckle! But overall, Butcher made this match by bumping and blading for Pondo big time, taking a slam off the top turnbuckle to the floor, taking a load of unprotected chair shots including Pondo dropping a table on his head, getting tossed off the stage through a pile of chairs, as well as getting his forehead carved by Pondo with a jacknife!
Pondo himself took some bumps, including a sick frankensteiner off the top out of the ring through a pile of tables and chairs! You’d probably find it hard to believe that despite all the carnage they put each other through, the match was won with an actual wrestling move!
I like what Pondo said after the match about how even though they are friends, they are willing to kick each other’s ass for the fans, the yen, the beer and the chicks!
Match Rating: ***
Trish’s comment:
These guys look old, and Butcher is crazy for bumping like he does.

Overall: Eventhough this event was separated into three parts, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of wild and bloody death matches, or are keen to check out something different. It seems I always stumble into something new in Puroresu no matter how long I’ve been following it. And this is just another example of it.


Sunday, October 02, 2005


DDT Dramatic Dream Fantasia #31: Max Bump 5/4/2005

Iron Man Heavy Metal Title: Lingerie Mutoh VS KENSHIN VS Futoshi Miwa
We’ve got Lingerie Mutoh who’s supposed to be Keiji Mutoh in lingerie, KENSHIN who’s a knock off of Kensuke Sasaki, and Miwa is dressed up as Shinya Hashimoto, so essentially this is a parody of a New Japan dream match!
KENSHIN uses his power to take the advantage early on, even withstanding Miwa’s attempts at Hashimoto’s kicks! One cool spot in the match had Mutoh hitting a Shining Wizard on KENSHIN when he had Miwa locked in a strangle-hold.
There really wasn’t much to this one, but it was fun while it lasted. I’m still surprised how flexible and agile Miwa is for a man his size.
Match Rating: **

KUDO & Iifushi Kota VS Riki Sensyu & Daichi Kakimoto

This match gave Kota & Kakimoto a good showing. I can definitely sees great things in store for Kota in his future as he’s got a great look and arsenal. Who knows where he’ll be once he develops in a few years. Kakimoto looks like Makoto Hashi or Masaaki Mochizuki. He’s got good size to him, and still has a lot of time to develop himself.
KUDO still rules and is seriously one of the underutilized talents of DDT. They should definitely be pushing him into the main event and give him a run as champion either as a heel or a face cause I believe he’d be good either way. Sensyu is just awkward to watch, much like Riki Choshu is. I wouldn’t call him the best worker in the world either for the same reasons, but the fans respond to him well.
An ok match overall.
Match Rating: *

Losing Captain Becomes Normal: Dansyoku Dieno (C), Muscle Sakai, & Yusuke Inokuma VS Poison Sawada JULIE (C), Jun Inomata & Shuji Ishikawa
The losing captains of this match (Dieno & PSJ) have to become “normal” if they lose the match, meaning either no more gayness from Dieno, or no more snake magic from PSJ.
YOSHIHIKO and Cherry were at ringside and got involved in the match. YOSHIHIKO is the infamous blow-up doll, and he/she/it is dressed up as the Undertaker and was referred to as the Dead Man! It was just hilarious watching this blow up doll give Inokuma a choke slam and a swinging DDT!
This was a great match which had all the weirdness DDT is known for, and some great work to go with it. There was a hilarious exchange between Dieno & Ishikawa where they traded punches while on wobbly legs. They did a great job with the finish of the match too as it came down to the two team captains with their necks on the line going at it.
I’ve noticed Dieno doesn’t gay as much as he used to, but that’s not really a bad thing since he really is a great worker behind his hilarious gimmick, and he picked up the win over PSJ with his trademark Dansyoku Driver.
Match Rating: **1/2

KO-D Tag Team Titles: Tomohiko Hashimoto & Nobutaka Moribe VS Tanomusaku Toba & Seiya Morahashi VS Macho Pump & Sho Kanzaki
The build up to this match was that former tag champions Toba & Morahashi had already lost twice to current champions Hashimoto & Moribe of Dick Togo’s Far East Connection faction. So they wanted one last shot, and since it was their 3rd challenge, the match was made into a 3-way match with Macho Pump (who looks like a cross between Masahiro Chono & Magnum Tokyo) and Kanzaki added to the match.
The match itself was a lot of fun with Morahashi & Toba playing the underdogs and taking a heck of a beating from the two FEC teams. I like Morahashi, he reminds me of Togi Makabe. Toba still looks awkward wrestling with boxing gloves on, and you can still easily see his limited ability because of it. Tomohiko Hashimoto plays the powerhouse role really well. I like his XCT jumping chokeslam finisher.
Match Rating: ***

Dieno, Inokuma and Sakai come out to the ring dragging a now “normal” Poison Sawada with them. Sawada now dresses normally with no make up and a nice hair cut! From what I could gather from the interview they gave, Sawada is now starting over as a rookie, and even held the ropes open for the team that beat him so I guess he’s also going to be their ring second! Should be interesting to see how things go from here.

One final tribute to Sawada: After the ending credits, they show a clip of Sawada using his powers to beat Ultraman! I gotta find me that match!

Overall: A really fun show overall, with all the elements DDT has come to be known and loved for: Bizarre angles and characters along with some great wrestling when they get serious. Definitely recommended to check this one out.



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