Puroresu Show Reviews
Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Pro Wrestling SEM 7/22/2006
Taiji Ishimori VS Atsushi Aoki
Aoki was acting all tough getting into Ishimori’s face off the bat, but the rookie kid who favored armbar submissions found himself being schooled on the mat by Ishimori who worked his leg with several impressive leglocks and holds. It was impressive the way Aoki just barely managed to keep his balance while catching Ishimori out of the Superstar Elbow and giving him a German suplex-hold for a near fall. Aoki also tried for the rolling Northern Lights suplex, but Ishimori spiked him with a DDT to counter before hitting a 619 and an impressive modified piledriver to pick up the win.
I gotta find out what Ishimori calls that piledriver he uses where he crosses his opponents arms on their back before spiking them with the piledriver.Match Rating: *1/2
KENTA VS Ippei Ota
You could almost see KENTA enjoying stiffing and stretching Ota all over the ring in this one, but at least give him credit for selling the after effects of a 32-rotation airplane spin! Ota was barely able to put two moves together before KENTA was able to rebound every time. After putting up a spirited fight, KENTA was able to put away Ota with a tiger suplex-holdMatch Rating: *
Takeshi Morishima VS Mammoth Sasaki
Damn, I knew Sasaki was big, but I didn’t think he could actually match size with Morishima! He didn’t have any problems matching power either! They could have had this match at the Budokan if Sasaki was a bigger name in the industry. Morishima actually tried to wrestle Sasaki with mat work, but Sasaki only needs one big lariat to rebound! Sasaki even managed to chokeslam big Morishima! The referee actually got bumped in this one, which gave Sasaki the chance to hit the Mammoth Homerun chair attack, but there was no referee to make the count! He even muscled up big Morishima for a brainbuster, but again no referee! Morishima makes the comeback and hits a hip attack smashing a chair into Sasaki’s face, and follows with a big backdrop suplex before locking on a cobra-clutch backbreaker stretch for the abrupt referee stop.
I’m really not a big fan of Referee Stop finishes and felt it killed the momentum of the match here. I would have preferred if Morishima did a second backdrop or ended it with a big lariat.Match Rating: ***
Mohammed Yone VS Go Shiozaki
Go put on the best fight out of all the rookies tonight, probably due to him having months more experience than them. He took it straight to Yone and didn’t back down for a minute. I don’t know why, but Yone on the other hand looked a little lost in there more than once. He seemed hesitant and like he was off his timing at some points, something I’ve noticed from him for a while now. This was still a great back and forth contest though, with Yone picking the win after slamming Go with the muscle buster.Match Rating: **1/2
Naomichi Marufuji & Mushiking Terry VS SUWA & Mushiking Joker
Interestingly enough, before the show started they had a one of those mushiking beetle arcade game contests in the middle of the ring, with the eight participating kids getting VIP seats on the stage to watch the match as well as being part of Terry’s entrance. SUWA and Marufuji were the mystery partners in the match, and it was sort of odd to see SUWA coming out carrying a ladder and wearing a tool belt!
This was a great junior style tag match with a ton of near falls and some really fun spots, like Marufuji countering the John Woo with one of his own, and he managed to connect with SUWA’s feet at the right time for both men to push off each other! I probably would have preferred if Joker & SUWA didn’t heel the kids so much, but Joker & Terry worked each other to the point of near exhaustion before Terry finally scored the win with a high-speed crucifix-hold. They sort of teased a feud between Marufuji & SUWA also, since they brawled a lot during the closing moments of the match and even brawled to the backstage area after the match!Match Rating: **1/2
The SEM DVD bonus for this episode was Ricky Marvin giving the rookies a Spanish language lesson, and Ippei Ota got scolded by Abismo Negro when he tried to communicate with him in Spanish while Marvin and the others ran for it!
And finally we had Tsutomu Hirayanagi walking through the woods when he suddenly looks up and sees Mushiking Terry up in the trees, and gets an impromptu training session!
Labels: NOAH, SEM
Friday, December 15, 2006
Zero-One MAX Fantastic Fighting #55
NWA Intercontinental Tag Titles: ROWDY (Kohei Sato & Hirotaka Yokoi) VS Pink Force (Steve Corino & Y2P-160kg) [C]
They either had a tough crowd today, or both teams really weren’t trying hard enough. I personally go with the later. You really expect more when there are titles on the line in Japan, and this worked out more like a tag match you’d see in WWE. It didn’t seem to build up to anything, and I don’t think it would have been any different if they didn’t cut out the 3 minutes that was clipped off.
Colt Cabana was in the Pink Force corner, all decked out in pink himself! It’s too bad this was a short term tandem, as it was a really fun looking gimmick. I like the variation of the 3D they did when Yoshie picked up Yokoi and passed him to Corino, before swinging him in mid-air into a TKO. Too bad the match ended with Corino rolling up Yokoi with a cradle. And why give the belts to them anyway if Yoshie was only contracted to work a handful of shows? Than again, Z1M has so many hand me down titles from defunct organizations that they really don’t mean much to hold them anyway.Match Rating: *
Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita VS Kota Ibushi & Crazy Boy
I’m not really sure what the backstory to this match was, seems as if LAW wrestler Crazy Boy has been trying to beat Hidaka & Fujita with different partners and always coming up short, so this time he’s brought in Kota Ibushi from DDT, and he more or less made the right choice since they put on a very strong performance here.
Kota did this really fun spot where he tried for a moonsault, but Fujita rolled out of the way, but Kota landed on his feet and immediately did a standing moonsault to hit his target! Kota also gave the reigning GHC Jr. tag champions a lot of trouble with his hard kicking skills as well as his other aerial offense. He even did an awesome bridging German suplex-hold where he held a perfect bridge and his own head never touched the mat!
Crazy Boy was also rather impressive. The masked luchador has a penchant for chain combinations out of face busters, making for some great looking sequences. He even did the one manned Spanish Fly and a Diamond Dust for a pair of near falls. I really wouldn’t mind seeing more of the guy, though I wonder why he has to job so much considering he’s a champion in LAW and even brought his belt with him.
Hidaka and Fujita were at their bests as always. Even though this wasn’t a title match, both teams gave it their all and held nothing back. Hidaka scored the win for his team with his trademark Shawn Capture submission move.Match Rating: ***
Atsushi Onita Pro-Wrestling Dedication Match: Atsushi Onita, Masato Tanaka & Lingerie Mutoh VS Ichiro Yaguchi, Yase Yaguchi & Kerberos
This was just a big brawl like the classic six-man street fight matches in FMW. Onita still looked like he could go even if the only wrestling moves he did was a piledriver on a table and his trademark Thunder Fire powerbomb. Tanaka didn’t do much other than splash Yase through a table and hit the Superfly Splash, and at least Mutoh hit the Shining Wizard for a big pop from the crowd.
Ichiro Yaguchi is an indy favorite of mine, it’s just too bad we didn’t get to see much of him in the match since most of it centered around Yase getting his ass whooped by Onita. I’m not sure who Kerberos is, but he’s a giant of a man and did an impressive iron-claw Exploder! Why we don’t see more of him in the minor league promotions is beyond me.
Overall, a nostalgic brawl of a match, with Onita scoring the pin on Yase with the Thunder Fire. Back to retirement and politics for him now.Match Rating: *
AWA Heavyweight Title: Takao Omori VS Shinjiro Ohtani [C]
I really would have liked to have seen this match in full, as they clipped it down to about half the actual match time. Ohtani worked over Omori’s arm to take away the Axe Bomber, and tries to powerbomb him off the apron to the floor, but Omori counters it into an Axe Guillotine Driver on the apron! Why he didn’t jump off to the floor is beyond me. Back in the ring, Omori does a rolling dragon suplex into a full nelson buster for a near fall. Omori signals for the Axe Bomber, but Ohtani ducks it and hits a release German suplex! Omori pops right up and tries for the Axe again, but Ohtani again counters, this time into a full nelson suplex! Omori still doesn’t stay down and pops right up to finally hit the Axe Bomber! Both men stagger to their feet and trade strikes. Ohtani tries for the Spiral-bomb, but Omori counters it into a running Axe Guillotine Driver! It only gets him a near fall though, so he tries again for the Axe Bomber. Ohtani absorbs one and asks for another, which Omori obliges and flips Ohtani inside-out with another hard Axe Bomber to keep him down for the 3 count and crown a new champion!
Seriously though, what is it with Ohtani and lariats? He was smart enough to avoid it the first time and counter, but the second time he just stands there and takes it, like all the times he lost to Satoshi Kojima. That would probably be the only complaint I have from the match, other than the length it was cut down to. I’d probably give it a higher score if it was shown in full.Match Rating: **1/2
Labels: Zero-1 MAX
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Dragon Gate Battle Junction PPV 3/17/2006
Starts off with a look back of the feud between Don Fujii and Yasushi Kanda, culminating at the 2/24/2006 Korakuen Hall PPV where Kanda had enough of Fujii’s abuse and finally fought back, only to be given a spike piledriver on a chair by Fujii and CIMA. But Kanda would have the last laugh that evening as he made a triumphant return in his M2K gear to smash a blue box over the head of a shocked Fujii! Kanda than issued the challenge to Fujii and Blood Generation to face him and fellow original M2K members Masaaki Mochizuki and Susumu Yokosuka, which will finally settle the score at tonight’s PPV!Kenichiro Arai & King Shisa VS Anthony W. Mori & Turbo
What the Hell? Anthony gives Araken a missile dropkick to the head, and he hurts his legs instead while Araken doesn’t budge or feel anything? I think it was supposed to be comical, but I think that’s just ridiculous. Araken looks like he’s 45 instead of 33 for crying out loud, and he even blew a few spots cause he couldn’t keep up with Turbo!
King Shisa and Turbo at least keep the match interesting, with Turbo’s flip-floppy offense and Shisa still impresses me the way he moves around for his size. The tandem tombstone piledriver by Araken & Shisa was a cool spot though, before Araken hit a high diving headbutt off Shisa’s shoulders off the top rope for the win.Match Rating: *
Open the Brave Gate Tourney: Naoki Tanisaki (2pts) VS Super Shisa (4pts)
The more aggressive Tanisaki controlled most of the match, which is a good thing cause the kid was long due for a push. He added some ground ‘n’ pound to his mat game, and was able to counter the Yoshi Tonic into a face-plant. He hit a great looking DDT off the top rope also, and after a few near falls from Shisa, was able to hit the Implant reverse piledriver followed by the Casanova running knee for the quick win.
Shisa should NOT have kicked out of the Implant since Tanisaki pinned him right after hitting it. Too bad Tanisaki ended up quitting after finally getting a push some time later.Match Rating: *1/2
Open the Brave Gate Tourney: Tozawa (0pts) VS Naruki Doi (5pts)
Good to see Tozawa finally coming into his own. He attacked Doi off the bat sending him to the outside and hitting a big suicide dive throught the ropes. Doi came back breaking a chair over his head and dominated some more in the ring. I don’t know why, but the referee totally let Shingo Takagi come in ring and pummel Tozawa for a bit and double team him with Doi. Araken evens the odds for a bit spitting alcohol in Doi’s eyes, leading to a near fall for Tozawa with a hurricanrana. Shingo tries to interfere again with a powder attack, but accidentally hits Doi instead leading to another near fall with a roll-up. The referee gets distracted as Tozawa grabs the bag of powder and throws several hands full of it into Doi’s face before placing the entire bag over his head and rolling him up with a small-package to score the HUGE upset!
Araken offers Tozawa a spot in M2K, but Tozawa turns down the offer. Probably cause of all the abuse Araken has been laying on him and not letting him have any fun?Match Rating: **
Open the Brave Gate Tourney: Dragon Kid (2pts) VS Masato Yoshino (5pts)
Man, how bad is the ringside crew at doing their jobs tonight? Every match so far had one spot where the wrestlers flew into the audience (there’s no guardrail) and the crew couldn’t get the fans out of the way in time.
The ending of this one really came out of nowhere, as after some quick counters, Kid scored the flash win with a crucifix-hold. I thought the match sort of lacked structure, as after working on Kid’s legs for a bit, they just started going for big moves out of nowhere. Kid even hit the Ultra Hurricanrana out of nowhere for a near fall, totally wasting that finisher.Match Rating: *1/2
Intermission time and they show clips of M2K VS CRAZY MAX from August 2000, though the footage looks like it’s from 1995. Some good team work between Kanda & Susumu, including a double team Exploder on Fujii. Sucks that the match ended on a double count-out. We than get the November 2001 match where CIMA debuted the Schwein against Chocoflake K-Ichi, which was also the last match K-Ichi had in Toryumon before disappearing off the wrestling map.
Next up is a quick retrospective of Kanda’s wrestling career in Toryumon, including his retirement match against Stalker Ichikawa, which was mostly an exhibition in double team moves with Susumu on poor Stalker before he hit his diving elbow finisher.
After the intermission we get an in ring segment with K-ness, Stalker Ichikawa and the Florida Brothers. I skipped the whole thing since I had no idea what they were talking about.Ryo Saito & Genki Horiguchi VS BxB Hulk & Magnum TOKYO
Even teaming with the Dream Gate champion, Genki can’t get a break. It pains me that they give Genki an awesome finisher like the Beach Break, but never let him pin anyone with it. Sucks even more that he has to job to Hulk here after his E.V.O finisher. Didn’t help any that this match went way longer than necessary.Match Rating: *1/2
Original M2K (Yasushi Kanda, Masaaki Mochizuki & Susumu Mochizuki) VS Blood Generation (Don Fujii, CIMA & Shingo Takagi)
Kanda leads out the crew, and they are flanked by original M2K members Chocoflake K-Ichi and Darkness Dragon (so much cooler looking than K-ness!)! Easily the best match of the show with a ton of crowd heat for everything.
Kanda had his neck work over a lot by Blood Gen, but he showed he could still go in the ring and can still pull off his great double-team moves with Susumu, like the double-Exploder, the double modified-suplex and their tandem finisher where Susumu does a rolling Samoan drop and Kanda comes off the top with a big diving elbow drop, which they used to put away Fujii with for the win. Good to see Kanda get his rightful revenge, and also a fun bonus that Darkness Dragon and Chokoflake got involved, and K-Ichi got a small measure of revenge on CIMA when he escaped the Schwein and put on the iron claw!
Great match overall.Match Rating: ***1/2
I didn’t get the ending though. Blood Generation were supposed to be these bad ass heels, and the whole night when they lost they still punked out their opponents, but after this one they actually bowed their hats to M2K and give Kanda his props. Both faction stood in the ring and didn’t lift a finger at each other and chatted over the mic like nothings been happening these past few months.
Susumu than declared his challenge for the Dream Gate against Ryo for the next PPV, but it sort of came off as an afterthought here.Overall:
Even though he eventually made a full time return to in-ring action, I guess it’s good they only did the Original M2K reunion for just one night and didn’t drag it out like DX is in WWE now. An OK show overall, next to the main event, seeing Naoki’s new mean streak and Tozawa’s big upset win were the best parts of the show.
Labels: Dragon Gate
Friday, December 01, 2006
AJPW Battle Banquet #108
Covering the finals of the CROSSOVER Tour Junior Heavyweight Singles League on 7/03/2006. It kicks off with a quick look at the rise and fall of “Strong” YASSHI, where he lost all his League matches, but is taking it to the next level by challenging Kensuke Sasaki tonight!Kensuke Sasaki VS “Strong” YASSHI
YASSHI comes out to Sasaki’s old Power Warrior theme, and is even wearing the shoulder pads and face paint! He can’t match power with Sasaki, so he calls out for the Voodoo Murders to help him, but instead Akira Hokuto comes out in full make-up! The only bit of offense YASSHI is able to get in the match is a crotch-claw, but he gets distracted by Hokuto, and that leads to Sasaki & Hokuto giving him the Doomsday Device, with Hokuto diving off the top with her wooden sword to put away YASSHI on Kensuke’s shoulders and give him the win!
I was expecting YASSHI to take some heavier punishment than what he received, as he got off relatively light other than one stiff lariat from Sasaki, but he also sold the Doomsday Device by getting carried out on a stretcher! Fun match for a short burst of entertainment.Match Rating: *1/2
A quick look at the two finalist of the Singles League, with Kaz Hayashi making a clean sweep of Block A and Katsuhiko Nakajima taking block B with 2 wins and a draw. The finals is billed as the junior heavyweight ace of All Japan VS future star of puroresu.Junior Heavyweight Singles League Finals: Kaz Hayashi (Block A) VS Katsuhiko Nakajima (Block B)
Nakajima had a bad knee, and Kaz constantly attacked it to take away his striking ability, since Nakajima really can’t do much without his kicks. The wonderkid is still able to fight off the pain and unload some sick kicks at Kaz. The crowd was heavily behind Nakajima and Kaz heeled him for it. The pace picked up when Nakajima was able to make a come back, which lead to a sprint of near falls and big moves from both before Kaz was finally able to put the youngster away with the Final Cut after a hard fought contest.
The match ended up being a whole lot better than I thought it would be, and it’s good that Kaz won cause he arguably is the best junior heavyweight in All Japan.Match Rating: ***
The following matches were clipped heavily, so I won’t rate them but just give a few thoughts.Masanobu Fuchi & Nobutaka Araya VS Naoshi Sano & Toshiyuki Moriya
So the only way Araya is going to have a serious match these days is to put him in against a bunch of near-unknown indie workers? Fuchi at least looked good delivering his killer backdrops the way I wish Momota in NOAH would. Araya scored the win with a brainbuster, and it’s good to see him doing something other than comedy matches with Kikutaro.Virus & MAZADA VS Kikutaro & Hayabusa-cito
Hayabusa himself came out to introduce Hayabusa-cito, and it was great to hear Hayabusa’s old theme again. The mini-Hayabusa was basically a carbon copy of the original, save for his size, and he did most of Hayabusa’s old high-flying spots like the Firebird Spalsh. Unfortunately he was teamed with Kikutaro, who despite looking serious for a bit, dropped the fall to Virus with a modified ankle-lock.TAKA Michinoku & RO’Z VS Nobukazu Hirai & Akira Raijin
They only showed big RO’Z squashing Raijin, withstanding Raijin’s headbutt and slamming him down hard before finishing him with an impressive springboard moonsault!