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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Osaka Pro “OSAKA HURRICANE 2006 ~Starting Point Revolution~” 2/26/2006

Taped live from the Namihaya Dome in Osaka, it’s Osaka Pro Wrestling’s annual Osaka Hurricane show, this year celebrating seven years in the business! First thing you’ll notice obviously is that the show obviously isn’t a sell out, and on an even weirder note, there’s a kid in the audience dressed like a giant yellow turd!?! Yeah…

I should state right now the grave injustice Osaka Pro dealt it’s fans here since for some unknown reason they nixed the 8-man World’s No.1 Title match from the Samurai TV broadcast of the show! That one match was my main reason for wanting to check out the show, and was also the reason it took me this long to getting to watch the show since there wasn’t much to look forward to without it. With that rant out of the way, it’s on the show!

~Fight Future With Hope~: La Uchida VS Atsushi Kotoge
Uchida is the senior here with at least a year experience over Kotoge, yet he’s still wearing the plain black rookie trunks whereas Kotoge is at least wearing pants with a design on it, even if it is white and pink. Kotoge is still using the regular rookie arsenal though, but showed a lot of resilience taking some big moves from Uchida.
Uchida seems to have jacked up since the last time I saw him, and he’s got some nice moves added to his arsenal, like a big time tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, and he’s also probably the first person I’ve ever seen do a triple-rolling Samoan drop! I was fearful that this match was going to end with the “Boston Crab of Doom” that puts away so many rookies, but Kotoge was able to escape before finally being put away by a pari of Michinoku Drivers that Uchida calls the LED.
Your basic rookie match with a little more fire behind it since this is the biggest OPro show of the year.
Match Rating: *

~Starting Point Revolution – Monster Extermination!~: Miracle Man VS Kaiju King Mandora
Wow, this was BAD. Even if it was a comedy gimmick match for the kids, the execution of both guys here was just BAD. Early in the match Miracle almost completely misses a dive out of the ring and planted his face on the floor. Mandora seemed to miss his timing on a few spots, and everything all together was just plain sloppy. Add to that, after getting nearly ZERO offense in on the match, Miracle hits one weak looking snap suplex followed by the Miracle Tornado to win the match in short order. BAD.
Match Rating: 1/2* (for Miracle’s face plant on the concrete floor)

~WAR!~: Hisakatsu Ohya & Takaku Fuke VS Masamune & Hideyoshi
It was great to see Ohya in action again as he was always a favorite of mine from FMW. He didn’t get much offense in the match, but he what he did mattered as he hit several of his trademark killer backdrop suplexes, which also help scored the win for his team when he hit a pair of them on Masamune.
Former Pancrase fighter Fuke had been working a lot with OPro, and does show some promise even if his kicks are rather weak looking, but he delivers a great German suplex and I think he’s the only guy I’ve seen who’s been able to chain it into a chicken wing submission hold!
Masamune & Hideyoshi of the Vendaval heel faction are definitely good as a team together, and Masamune is also impressive in his own right as he moves with lightning speed as had some great moves in his arsenal like the one where he swings around his opponent’s arm into a reverse DDT from a standing position!
Fun match overall when things broke down in the final sprint.
Match Rating: *1/2

~True Justice For Osaka~: Osaka Pro Tag Titles Decision Match: Billy Ken Kid & Black Buffalo VS Tigers Mask & Flash Moon
Now this was a ton of fun! Nothing but none-stop action from bell-to-bell, and they literally didn’t let up for a minute! Flash Moon might be new on the scene, but he’s definitely a good high-flyer, and takes some good bumps. Hearing him scream in pain after the double stomp from BKK made me cringe.
But seriously, everyone put out their best for this one, and the new No.1 Heel of the company, Billy Ken Kid, gained momentum for his Vendaval group when he pinned Flash with his new Beltigo finisher, which is a safer version of the Joker Driver (Electric chair pick up into a head-drop cradle). Definitely the first match of the night that the crowd was heavily behind.
Match Rating: ***1/2

~Master-Apprentice Confrontation of Fate~ Osaka Pro Title: Super Dolphin (C) VS Super Delfin
Delfin is dressed all in black like a heel, and Dolphin looks like mini-Big Boss MA-G-MA!
This match was really one-sided with Delfin constantly attacking Dolphin’s bad leg with multiple-leg submission locks and attacks. Other than all the rest holds, this was a pretty good main event caliber match, with both guys pulling out some moves I’d never seen before, like Dolphin’s cross-legged death valley driver, and Delfin’s Delfin Special #0, which was a slingshot German suplex-hold he won the match with.
Solid effort from both, but it probably would have been a lot better if Dolphin wasn’t injured and the match wasn’t so one sided due to it.
Match Rating: **1/2

Overall: They couldn’t even give us CLIPS of the World’s No.1 Title match?!? The two main events really saved this from being a really mediocre show. It would have been three matches if they didn’t cut out the comedy match. A new chapter for Osaka Pro begins with this show every year, unfortunately they’ve changed so much that I’ve just lost interest.


Monday, August 28, 2006


Dragon Gate “Battle Junction” PPV 2/24/2006

Starts off with Blood Gen coming out to discuss the big night they have ahead of them, with Doi and Yoshino facing off against each other in the Brave Gate league match, CIMA & Fuji facing Mochi & Susumu, and the big Dream Gate title defense by Magnitude against Do-FIXER leader Ryo Saito in the main.

Magnum TOKYO, Kenichiro Arai & Jack Evans VS Genki Horiguchi, Anthony W. Mori & BxB Hulk
Genki is GOD. And one of the main reasons that I follow Dragon Gate. For some reason from the first time I saw him 2 years ago until today, he still remains one of the most entertaining workers in the squared circle, be it Japan or anywhere. Just too bad the bookers of Dragon Gate couldn’t do a better job of handling him and give him the push he so rightly deserved.
With that out of the way, this was the usual entertaining Dragon Gate 6-man tag, with some fun comedy bits between Magnum & Genki. There’s a lot of hate for Jack Evans from DG purists, but the live Japanese crowds respond to him well with his flippy-floppy high flying offense, which also helps make his selling of his opponents offense look a whole lot more brutal.
There wasn’t really a whole lot of Mori or Araken in the match, though I seriously would have preferred if Evans pinned Mori instead of Genki with that 630’ senton of his.
Match Rating: *1/2

Shingo Takagi VS Katsuo

Pointless squash match, even if Katsuo did manage to drop Shingo on his head with a dangerous backdrop as the only bit of offense he got in the match. But Shingo more or less didn’t sell it and hit a pair of Pumping Bombers for the win.
Match Rating: 1/2*

Open the Brave Gate Tourney: Super Shisa VS Tozawa

You got to know that if Tozawa was put up against anyone else, he probably wouldn’t have gotten in all the offense he did here. The match was a quick fast paced sprint, and ended after a long sequence of pin-exchanges which Shisa won out of in the end.
Match Rating: *

Open the Brave Gate Tourney: Naoki Tanisaki VS Dragon Kid

This was a fun brawl thanks to Tanisaki’s new found mean streak, bringing a garbage can with him to the ring to use as a weapon and not afraid to take a cheap shot or two. Tanisaki did take a rather sick looking DDT out of a head-scissors from DK though, but was able to pull out the win by count-out after brawling out into the crowd and giving DK the U-Tube onto a pile of chairs. Tanisaki, another missed opportunity of Dragon Gate.
Match Rating: *1/2

Open the Brave Gate Tourney: Naruki Doi VS Masato Yoshino

Now this was rather surprising. The match ended in a 20-minute draw, but the ride they took us on was a lot of fun as they didn’t slow the pace down for a minute with non-stop fast paced action. It more or less put over the fact that the duo were more or less even, and knew each other inside out since they were both in the same faction. They did seem to run out of gas a bit near the end as they didn’t seem to be able to kick out in time on 2 occasions but the referee called it a 2 anyway. It probably also didn’t make sense for Yoshino to take such a long pause to taunt after hitting the Lightning Spiral only to go for the Sol Nociente submission when he knew there was only seconds left on the clock.
It was still fun from bell to bell though.
Match Rating: **1/2

Intermission time and we are shown the tough guy Don Fujii’s abuse of referee Yasushi Kanda from the past few months, leading to the boiling point of Kanda having enough and actually fighting back. We know where this is heading…
After that is the build up of the Dream Gate title match between champion Magnitude Kishiwada and Ryo Saito.

CIMA & Don Fujii VS Masaaki Mochizuki & Susumu Yokosuka
Fujii again gets on Kanda’s case before the match begins and Kanda again fights back, leading to Fujii & CIMA spike piledriving Kanda on several chairs, leading to Mochi & Susumu running in to make the save and starting the match with Yagi as the referee.
The match became really fun once things picked up, ending in a hot sprint with Fujii surprisingly getting a clean pin on Mochi with a pair of Nice Germans. But the main story of the match is what happened AFTER the match, when Blood Gen continued to beat down on Mochi & Susumu, leading to Yasushi Kanda running out to make the save in full M2K gear, mohawk and blue-box included! This sets up Blood Gen VS Original M2K for the next PPV, which I’m really looking forward to watching.
Match Rating: **

Open the Dream Gate: Magnitude Kishiwada (C) VS Ryo Saito

Much like his title defense against Anthony W. Mori in January, a major flaw in this match is Magnitude’s inability (or downright refusal) to sell his bad shoulder. Seriously, that was the only thing that really bugged me about this match. After getting his arm worked over, being put in a jujigatame and a triangle, as well as multiple arm-breakers, Magnitude still throws lariats with wreckless abandon and show ZERO effects of any pain. And this is supposed to be the injury that he’s taking time off to heal! I’m all for pushing him as a monster, but there’s a difference between that and just plain not selling.
Ryo on the other hand is forced to do a million dollar sell job for all of Magnitude’s offense, so much so that I just had to shut off my brain when he once again put on a superhuman comeback from offense that would have put average guys away a lot sooner. Like the Mori defense, I found this to be a big booking mess as far as the ring-work went, and it was really hard for me to get into it. The final sprint and subsequent pinfall just seemed to come out of nowhere, with the Premium Bridge looking more like a flash-pinfall move instead of a last resort finisher.
Match Rating: **

Hate to say I was looking forward to the Dream Gate match but ended up being really disappointed. The show wasn’t all bad though, just be ready to shut off your brain for the Dream Gate match.


Sunday, August 13, 2006


NJPW New Japan Cup 4/16/2006

With the G1 Climax currently underway, I thought I'd better get around to watching this since the G1 shows should be coming out soon.

Yujiro VS Takashi Uwano (Highlights)
Yujiro seems to have beefed up quite a bit, as he almost resembles Nakanishi! They showed a lot of Yujiro in command, slamming Uwano multiple times for near falls. After one sloppily miss-timed STO, Uwano picks up the win with a German suplex-hold.
Match Rating: -

El Samurai VS Prince Devitt (Highlights)

Devitt’s NJPW debut. He showed some good form hitting a Pele kick and a big diving foot stomp for a near fall. Samurai hit the reverse DDT and a diving headbutt for a near fall, but scored the submission win with a kimura armlock.
Match Rating: -

Tiger Mask & Ryusuke Taguchi VS Jushin Thunder Liger & Sangre Azteca
Liger put Taguchi in one of the most gay looking submission holds I’ve ever seen in this one, and I’m not even going to try and describe it other than say that the live fans even chuckled when they saw it. The rest of his offense was vintage Liger: countering almost everything thrown at him or no-selling what he got hit with. And you guys wonder why I’m not a Liger mark like most of the internet?
Azteca’s look sort of reminds me of Super Demekin in Osaka Pro. The guy just doesn’t do anything for me. Why the heck would he stop dead in his tracks after rebounding off the ropes to hit a dropkick? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to use the momentum to make the move more effective?
I like Taguchi now that he’s more than just a “Dropkick Monster” for beating Liger with one in 10-seconds. He’s a good worker and a definite future ace for the junior heavyweight division of NJPW. Tiger Mask for some reason I couldn’t care much about either.
Asteca scores the win over Taguchi with a cradle to counter a tiger suplex. The live fans liked it, I didn’t.
Match Rating: *

Riki Choshu, Manabu Nakanishi & Takashi Iizuka VS Black Strong Machine, Tatsutoshi Gotoh & Togi Makabe
This was just one big train wreck. Choshu either needs to retire from active in ring duty, or at least stop with the no selling of everything thrown at him. He’s over 50, not a young ace anymore. SELL DAMMIT.
Match Rating: DUD

IWGP Jr. Tag Title No.1 Contender’s Match: Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue VS Jado & Gedo
Now this was a solid junior tag match. Lots of fan support and near falls, as well as false finishes! I only didn’t like how sometimes it seems like they have the signature submissions on for too long before it gets broken up by the partner. In some cases they were locked on so long that the guy in the hold just doesn’t act like he’s selling the pain of the hold anymore. The ending was a nice surprise though, with Jado pinning Inoue after the Crossface of Jado.
Match Rating: **1/2

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Giant Bernard VS Scott Norton & Toru Yano
It was good to see Norton back in action again, even if he’s obviously put on A LOT of weight! He did seem to stumble around a bit because of it, but could still go toe-to-toe with anyone, and just seemed to work well with Bernard here. Whey NJPW aren’t teaming the two together is beyond me. Norton showed he’s still a powerhouse when he was able to suplex Bernard on his own, where as Bernard needed Tenzan’s help to do it!
There wasn’t a whole lot to see from Yano, but Tenzan and Bernard did seem to function well as a team. Bernard even did the Mongolian Chops! Bernard also did probably one of the ugliest release Germans I’ve seen in a while.
This match was fun, mostly to see the big gaijins going at it. Norton pinning Tenzan with the powerbomb was a bit of a surprise, but I guess it made sense since they were building up the singles match between Norton and Bernard to pass to torch.
Match Rating: *1/2

New Japan Cup: Naofumi Yamamoto VS Ryouji Sai
These two had a great match at the Tokyo Dome in January, and this one wasn’t much different as their rivalry continues to boil. I’ve definitely got a soft spot for Yamamoto in NJPW and hope to see him raise his game and get the spot that Katsuyori Shibata turned down when he walked out of NJPW. Despite being in enemy territory, Sai still had his fair share of supporters in the crowd tonight too. The two of them put on a fun back and forth match which had a lot of crowd heat from start to finish. Sai was able to pull off the win with a diving double foot stomp off the top rope, but he spoiled his victory celebration when he lost his footing and fell off the top rope to the floor! Talk about embarrassing. A fight breaks out between the NJPW and Z1M camps after the match, which is broken up by Choshu, but he gets decked by Kohei Sato and the brawl continued for a bit more.
Match Rating: *1/2

New Japan Cup: Yuji Nagata VS Tomohiro Ishii
This was a lot of fun if you enjoy watching seniors slapping around juniors. Ishii attacked Nagata before the bell and rained a barrage of hard elbow strikes. Nagata gets all pissed and then starts to beat the crap out of Ishii himself, battering him all the way out of the ring and bloodying Ishii’s mouth. Nagata continues his relentless attack on Ishii, causing the referee to bring the doctor in to check on him. The match continues, and Ishii is able to comeback and score a near fall with a German suplex! Nagata fires more hard kicks at Ishii before putting him away with a rather sick looking backdrop-hold for the win.
Match Rating: *1/2

New Japan Cup: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Masahiro Chono
Hyped as the 2005 New Japan Cup winner versus the 2005 G1 Climax winner, this was clipped down to about 10 minutes from the original 25 minutes it went, which probably isn’t a bad thing when the match scored a lot of negative reviews as well as some really loud boos from the audience in attendance. Just a whole lot of the usual Chono Yakuza-kick offense and Tanahashi’s bursts of offense. Tanahashi SERIOUSLY needs a proper finisher as the Sling Blade just doesn’t cut it. At best it’s just a neckbreaker-drop, and nobody should score a pin with a neckbreaker drop if their name isn’t Giant Baba. It helps even less when the move looks like it has ZERO impact. Considering how quickly he beat Kazuyuki Fujita with a barrage of Yakuza-kicks, you’d think Tanahashi would have gone down after all the variations of the move Chono gave him.
I’m glad they didn’t air the whole match, as it really just looked like one big mess.
Match Rating: *


Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Pro Wrestling SEM 6/29/2006

Show starts off with a pre-recorded interview with Naomichi Marufuji where he’s asked about the 4 new bloods of the company. We than go to the first match.

Ippei Ota VS SUWA
A change of name for Ota, but no change or advancement in his abilities. After seeing what SUWA did to Hirayanagi at the first SEM show, you’d think the rookies would be a little wary about stepping into the ring him. Well, SUWA didn’t break Ota’s jaw or made him bleed, but SUWA did give him a heck of a beating, even smacking him across the back a few times with a folding chair. Ota managed to get in his airplane spin and swinging bulldog, as well as putting up a spirited fight, but SUWA was just to much for him putting him away with a big diving elbow drop after a big backdrop and lariat.
Match Rating: 1/2*

Akihiko Ito VS Mohammed Yone

I think of all the rookies so far, Ito is the only one without any defining features to stand out. He put up a spirited fight like the others, but other than a jumping frankensteiner off the second turnbuckle and a German suplex, really didn’t show anything special. Yone didn’t do a whole lot either since he stuck to mostly throwing rather weak looking kicks and such before finishing off Ito with the Muscle Buster.
Match Rating: 1/2*

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Charly Manson VS El Angel & Taiji Ishimori

Interesting to note that the ring announcer announced the minutes passed in both Japanese and Spanish for this one.
God, I thought the AAA luchadores were rather terrible here. Seems like they were moving really slowly just to not botch anything, but at the same time it made their offense looked really rehearsed and unrealistic. And note to Charly Manson: If you can’t do a good kip-up or backflip, you better just not do them at all! Manson might have a good running vertebreaker type move, but his version of the Canadian Destroyer is really sloppy and bad. But he did win the match with a rather interesting reverse figure-four move. I don’t think I saw anything good in Angel either, other than him probably being the first person I’ve ever seen do a handspring back-headbutt type move.
Luchadores may have been the ancestors to high-flying speedy action, but Kanemaru & Ishimori dominated it here in that department and really kept the pace up when the AAA guys were keeping it down. I’m not really looking forward to the AAA guys working the regular NOAH shows if the regular guys are gonna take a back seat to them after watching Angel and Manson here.
Match Rating: *

KENTA & Go Shiozaki VS Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura

It was great to see Shiozaki back in action, and all four men put on a solid tag match here which included another strong showing from Shiozaki in his continued development, as well some great exchanges between KENTA and Morishima! I hate to say despite Sugiura being one of my favs and having a solid showing here as well, seemed to be more of a second fiddle compared to watching Shiozaki and KENTA’s exchanges with Morishima.
I loved seeing Shiozaki get in some good offense on big Morishima, like a fisherman’s suplex as well as a German suplex. Heck, KENTA even managed to superplex Morishima’s massive frame off the top rope! Morishima was able to battle back and pick up the win after giving Shiozaki four hard lariats.
Match Rating: **

Bonus Match: TAKA Michinoku & Ricky Marvin VS Naomichi Marufuji & Atsushi Aoki

A solid bonus match to close out the show, this one was right up there with the junior tag matches you’d see on the main NOAH show cards. Aoki gave a good showing and again I see the potential in him, and he and Marufuji even came up with a cool tandem move where Marufuji hit Marvin with a tiger driver and then flipped Marvin over to Aoki who hit a beautiful German suplex for a near fall.
TAKA had some good exchanges with Marufuji too, and a singles match between them down the line would be a lot of fun. I especially loved the short superkick exchange they had, with TAKA winning out with his Super-K II kick. Seeing him with Marufuji in the Just Facelock on the corner apron was a good visual too as Marvin hit Aoki with a reverse spinning neckbreaker (roll the dice) before finishing off the youngster with Mike Modest’s California Roll finisher.
Match Rating: **1/2

We of course close out the show with a look at the fun goodies in the free DVD given out to fans who attended the event live at the Differ Ariake.
First we see Hirayanagi doing a weird dance followed by him sneaking around the dojo kitchen in the dark. He opens a container that’s filled with dirt, but when he shakes up the dirt a bit we see these HUGE sago-worms in it! The dojo students actually have to eat those?!? There were the size of Hirayanagi’s palm!!!
And closing it out is a fun look at Kikuchi and Izumuda on the road, and the funny antics they get up to while sightseeing. These two ring veterans sure enjoy their vanilla ice cream cones, as they seem to munch them down every chance they get, but the one thing I didn’t need to see was a bare shot of Izumuda’s ass as he stepped into a hot spring!

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Monday, August 07, 2006


Pro Wrestling SEM 5/07/2006

The second SEM show, and it starts off straight in the ring at the Differ Ariake.

Yoshinori Ota VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru
I’m all for putting over the new blood, but I thought Kanemaru was having way too much trouble with Ota in this one. So far, Ota’s defining moves are the old-school airplane spin and a swinging bulldog, but not a whole lot else. There’s always room for improvement though. Ota was able to fight off Kanemaru’s multiple brainbuster attempts, but fell to his moonsault in the end.
Match Rating: 1/2*

Akihiko Ito VS Takashi Sugiura
Sugiura’s new theme song so doesn’t match him. I preferred the Pearl Jam song he used before.
This match was a lot more fun than the opener since they didn’t do a lot of the mat work. Ito actually has a lot of similarities to Sugiura. Ito definitely has an amaresu background as he was able to hit a good side-suplex, and even did that cool butterfly suplex floatover into an armbar move of his. The most surprising thing he did however was when he picked Sugiura up in a Gory Special for a submission attempt! The only thing he definitely needs to work on are his elbow strikes, as they look really weak and lame here.
Sugiura definitely looked good playing the grumpy senior in this one, and scored the win with a dragon suplex-pin. I think Sugiura teaming with Ito would make for a fun tandem.
Match Rating: *1/2

Naomichi Marufuji & Atsushi Aoki VS SUWA & Taiji Ishimori
Three veterans in the match and the biggest slip up came from Marufuji when he completely missed a thrust kick on SUWA after avoiding the John Woo! Other than that one slip up, this was an ok match with some heated exchanges between Marufuji and Ishimori. The match was especially good when Ishimori kicked it into gear with his high speed offense. There wasn’t a whole lot to see from Aoki here, but the ending of the match was really interesting as SUWA gave Ishimori a blind tag when he hit the Superstar Elbow, and then tossed him out when he attempted the cover and pinned Aoki himself after hitting the FFF! Ishimori confronted SUWA after the match, which led to a short altercation with Ishimori taking out SUWA with a handspring back elbow and a hurricanrana off the second rope. They could build a nice feud off these ex-Toryumon graduates.
Match Rating: *

Shuhei Taniguchi VS Takeshi Rikioh
Another strong showing by Taniguchi as he goes toe-to-toe with the former GHC heavyweight champion in a rather competitive contest. It still surprises me that Taniguchi was able to dead-lift Rikioh off the mat into a German suplex-pin for a near fall! The look on Rikioh’s face as Taniguchi lifted him off the mat was rather priceless too. It even added more to Taniguchi’s stock when he was able to kick out of a chokeslam and Rikioh’s slap/lariat combo before finally being put down by the Muso.
Next to Go Shiozaki, Taniguchi’s star is definitely shining brightest amongst the new blood of NOAH’s roster.
Match Rating: **

Bonus Match: Scorpio & Ricky Marvin VS KENTA & Kikutaro
Now this match was just a ton of fun as Kikutaro received a big pop when he came out, and that was even before the spotlight was shown on him! There were a lot of fun Kikutaro moments in this match, from his breakdance contest with Scorpio, his fun exchanges with KENTA, and the one thing I thought I’d never see KENTA get involved in: a 4-way groin grab with everyone in the match including the referee! Kikutaro’s matches in AJPW are usually too short for him to do much, so it was great to see him take center stage here and go all out with his comedic antics! Kikutaro was even able to kick out of a fair amount of offense, like an huge diving splash and diving guillotine from Scorpio before finally being put away by Scorpio’s trademark 450’ splash.
It wasn’t all fun and games though, as there were some awesome high-speed exchanges between KENTA and Marvin, and Scorpio was fun to watch as well as he can still fly with the best of them.
Nothing to complain about with this one, I just thought it would have been more fun if they let it go to the 20-minute time limit.
Match Rating: ***

Post match, Kikutaro grabs the microphone and thanks the fans for coming out. He than says something that causes both KENTA and the ring announcer to take the mic from him, and KENTA has Kikutaro escorted out of the arena!
KENTA may have been all serious during the match, but he was finally able to let out a smile and a few laughs backstage during the interviews when Kikutaro said the two of them would be gunning for Morishima & Yone’s heavyweight tag titles!

The show ends with a quick look at a few of the fun contents in the free DVD given to the fans in attendance, which includes Taue looking all pimp backstage, Marufuji’s tour of New York, and Kentaro Shiga in the beginning stages of his turn into a Yakuza bad ass!

Overall: Another good showing by the rookies, but the main event was definitely a good bonus match for the fans and easily stole the show! They definitely need more Kikutaro in SEM!

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Sunday, August 06, 2006


Pro Wrestling SEM 3/21/2006

We kick off with a look outside the Differ Ariake where the event is being held, and the line of fans waiting to enter the event. We are then shown that all the fans who attend the event are given a free DVD containing information on the SEM wrestlers. After a quick shot of the purple and pink SEM ring, we get a short interview with NOAH president Mitsuharu Misawa discussing the concept of SEM before we go to our first match.

Tsutomo Hirayanagi VS SUWA
Misawa (as well as other NOAH seniors like Kobashi & Ogawa) was watching this match from the rafters, and I’m sure the last thing he wanted to see was Hirayanagi bleeding allover the new SEM ring mat! Hirayanagi was bleeding a gusher from his mouth after taking a hard right hand from SUWA, and it definitely looked like he may have lost a tooth judging from all the blood pouring out from his mouth. I haven’t seen anyone bleed from the mouth that bad since Wanderlei Silva KO’d Quinton Jackson in PRIDE with a knee to the mouth.
Hirayanagi definitely had some balls though, giving SUWA the finger during the ring introductions. Maybe that was the reason SUWA stiffed him till he bleed? Anyway, the match was the basic grumpy veteran beating the snot out of the young lion format match. Hirayanagi didn’t get much offense in, but from the looks of it this kid definitely needs to bulk up a bit as his missile dropkick hardly had any visible effect on SUWA, and he had difficulty just trying to turn SUWA over in a Boston crab. SUWA downs the youngster with a powerbomb-pin, but this was definitely a learning experience for the youngster as he can expect to be stiffed a lot while working NOAH shows.
Match Rating: 1/2*

We see Hirayanagi being led to an ambulance outside the arena and being sent to the hospital to get his mouth checked. I wonder why they had a fire truck on standby outside the Differ Ariake too?

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Yoshinori Ota VS Kentaro Shiga & Akihiro Ito
Funny start to this one as the referee found a wooden mallet hidden in Shiga’s pants when checking him! Shiga immediately used the mallet to bonk Ota on the head as Ito took Kanemaru to the outside, and Shiga whacked Ota on the head several more times with it! But Ota was able to fight back and disarm the yakuza wannabe and tossed the mallet out of the ring instead of using it himself when he had the chance. Kanemaru on the other hand wasn’t shy about using the foreign object as he hid it in the back of his trunks after receiving the tag and bonked Shiga on the outside while Ota distracted the referee! Kanemaru than tossed the mallet to Shiga and faked getting hit in the head himself so the referee ended up scolding Shiga for using it! Great stuff!
The crowd was in to this one since it was given good time and the youngsters got to show their stuff, including Ota hitting a nice half-hatch suplex-pin on Shiga, and Ito with a beautiful double-arm suplex-bridge pin attempt. The closing moments were really hot too as Ito survived a split-legged moonsault from Kanemaru and almost scored an upset on the veteran with a small-package, but was finally put away by Kanemaru’s brainbuster.
Match Rating: *1/2

Shuhei Taniguchi VS Mohammed Yone
Taniguchi is definitely getting the Shiozaki treatment as far as rookie pushes are concerned, as he put on a solid showing. Taniguchi actually beat Yone at a face kick battle, and score a near fall with a sweet German suplex-pin and a double-arm suplex. The look on Yone’s face when Taniguchi kicked out of his lariat was rather priceless too.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but Yone has been looking rather bland lately. Seeing him in the grumpy role somehow doesn’t suit him as he’s better at being the fired up youngster. Most of his offense in this match consisted of kicks too, which sort of wore thin after a bit. There was one cool spot where Yone caught Taniguchi in mid air off the second rope with a spinning heel kick though, before finishing him off with the muscle buster for the win. Would have liked if this was given more time.
Taniguchi definitely made this match worth watching, and I seriously hope they either team him with Shiozaki soon, or become his generation rival as Taniguchi has future greatness etched all over him like Go does.
Match Rating: **

Ricky Marvin & Atsushi Aoki VS Naomichi Marufuji & Dakota
Marufuji definitely did not like being shown up earlier in the match by Aoki, and beat him down mercilessly after Dakota took control of the match for their team! Like Taniguchi, Aoki definitely has the makings to be a great junior heavyweight, feud or rivalry with Marufuji based of this match could be the thing needed to help in Aoki’s progression. Aoki showed a good series of arm-submission locks, including a flying cross-armbreaker before being put out by a sick sounding thrust kick by Marufuji.
Marvin seemed to be holding back in this one as we didn’t see him unleash his all out aerial assault and fast paced offense like we’re used to. Dakota didn’t seem to get much time either, and I still wonder if NOAH will ever bring him back to tour since he’s rather fun to watch in the ring.
Match Rating: *

Bonus Match: Takeshi Rikioh & KENTA VS Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura
I wonder how long they let the about 500 fans in attendance wait before announcing the bonus match of the show?
Now this match was a ton of fun to watch. I’m not really sure why, but KENTA had a serious beef with Morishima and attacked him before the match even started, as well as taking every opportunity he got to cheap shot the big man, even if it left him open to be attacked by Sugiura from behind! Rather surprising that KENTA was able to take Morishima’s barrage of Vader-hammer style punches, and was even able to get Morishima’s massive frame up for a fisherman’s buster! The back and forth war between the two ended in a time limit draw with both men literally on their knees throwing strikes with whatever they had left in the tank. Apparently the feud between these two would carry on throughout future SEM shows to come, and I’m not complaining if it all results in fun matches like this one.
As far as trying to get over on a guy bigger than his size goes, Sugiura looked much more convincing than KENTA with his exchanges with former GHC champion Rikioh, using his mat skills to take down the big man on multiple occasions, and despite a having a taped up back, Sugiura was actually able to dead-lift Rikioh up into a Greco-Roman slam off the mat!
There wasn’t anything noteworthy between KENTA and Sugiura in the match, but Rikioh and Morishima had some good exchanges, especially the slap/hammer exchange that Rikioh won with his slap/lariat combo.
A great match marred only by the short 20-minute time limit.
Match Rating: ***

We end the show with a look at what was on the DVD given to the fans.
First we had Tsutomu Hirayanagi sneaking around Misawa’s office in the middle of the night! He tried on Misawa’s ring coat, than rummaged through the boss’s table before stealing something and play-acted as a big shot in the boss’s chair!
Than we had Shuhei Taniguchi’s 3-Minute Cooking Lesson where he prepared a beef stew in just three minutes!
And that was followed by Atsushi Aoki’s 3-Minute Eating where Aoki tried to finish a bowl of rice and Taniguchi’s just made beef dish! Unfortunately, Aoki failed to take into account how hot the meal would be since it was fresh off the cooker and he failed in his task. Kudos to whoever the cameraman was who pulled away his glass of water so he couldn’t cool down his mouth in the middle of the challenge!
And the final bit of footage we are shown is NOAH boss Mitsuharu Misawa staring us right in the eye as a thank you message is read out by an announcer, and ends with Misawa losing his cool and laughing cause even he couldn’t keep a straight face for too long.

Overall, definitely a successful fun little project by Misawa to help in the training and exposure of the future stars of the company. Simple fun from top to bottom.

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