Rising Sun Soliloquy Newsletter #16
March 18, 2009
By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com

All Japan Pro Wrestling

Sumo Hall Draws Well, Takayama wins Belts
Yoshihiro Takayama became only the second man in history to win Japan’s ‘grand slam’, winning All Japan’s Triple Crown Championship by defeating the Great Muta this past Saturday night in Tokyo. Takayama’s Triple Crown victory helps him complete the trifecta of top titles in Japanese wrestling, as he has already held both the GHC Heavyweight Championship in 2002 (NOAH) and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in 2003 (New Japan). The victory took place before 6,500 fans at the Sumo Hall, a decent crowd considering the company’s limited reach. The show however, left much to be desired.

Takayama has been battling a ton of injuries over the years, largely from the immense physical beatings he took working in UWFi, NOAH and his forays into Mixed Martial Arts. Its an obvious mix of working main events for all of the top companies for nearly 10 years straight now, without much of a break. Perhaps the scariest incident, was in 2004 when Takayama developed a blood clot in his brain during a G1 Climax Tournament match with Kensuke Sasaki, that kept him on the sidelines for two years. When he came back, he came back at about half speed and has been obviously protected. His most recent accident was with KENTA in Pro Wrestling NOAH earlier this year, where he was legitimately knocked out with a kick.

The title change was done primarily to get over the new ?Gurentai? heel stable of Takayama, Minoru Suzuki, Taiyo Kea, Nosawa Rongai and Mazada. With Tak’s win, every championship in All Japan is with the exception of the junior title, is now under Gurentai’s control: The Triple Crown, World Tag Team Championship, All Asia Tag Team Championship All in all, its nine belts: The Triple crown, composed of the PWF title that Giant Baba practically owned in the 1970s; the United National title, that was primarily Antonio Inoki’s claim to fame in the early 70s; and finally the International heavyweight title that was held in the 60s by Rikidozan. The World Tag team championships are a combination of the PWF World tag titles and the NWA international tag title are held by Suzuki and Kea. The All Asia Tag team belts, which are the oldest title belts in Japan, are now held by Suzuki and Nosawa Rongai. Takayama also put over the fact that he’d be competing in the Champion’s Carnival this April.

Some other big happenings on the card was Riki Chosu’s first appearance on an All Japan card since 1987, when he left the company to rejoin New Japan. The move was huge at the time, and took All Japan from a position of being dominant in Japan, to New Japan not only being a player, but perhaps bigger than All Japan. Choshu was in a match where he was paired with Tatsuhito Takaiwa taking on the team of Manabu Soya and Chosu’s real-life nemesis Osamu Nishimura. While the two have patched up their past, but a rift grew between the two over Nishimura constantly playing second fiddle to Choshu. In the promos leading up to the match, they ran down all that past history and after the match, Nishimura jumped Choshu and slapped a figure four on him.

Also, perhaps the fattest team in the history of Wrestling made its debut on the show, as Akebono and Ryota Hama teamed up to take on The All Japan Skyscrapers of Joe Doering & Zodiac. Akebono and Hama weighed a combined 900 pounds. The match itself… well, slow.

Champion’s Carnival Coming in April

Japan’s oldest wrestling tradition, the Champions Carnival tournament, which goes back to the 1959 World League, will be returning and running from April 5th through April 12th. Japan Pro Wrestling started the tournament back in 1959 and it remained such until 1972, when Giant Baba split from the organization to form All Japan Pro Wrestling. The even was renamed the Champion’s Carnival in 1973.

In 1982, after declining attendance, Baba decided to put the event on the shelf. Between that and Baba having to book a million draws between his top guys per tournament, he felt it was best to put it away for a period of time. In 1990, they brought the event back to great success, and the event was wildly popular through the 1990s. Even through the NOAH split and a hit in terms of viewer ship, its still considered one of the more important events on the Japanese wrestling calendar.

The blocks have been determined already, so here’s a look at the pools:

Block A
Keiji Mutoh (Winner in 02, 04 and 07)
Osamu Nishimura
Kaz Hayashi (World Jr. Champion)
Seiya Sanada
Yoshihiro Takayama (Triple Crown Champion)
Joe Doering

Block B
Satoshi Kojima (Winner in 03)
Suwama (Winner in 08)
Minoru Suzuki (World Tag Team Champion, All Asia Tag Team Champion)
Taiyo Kea (Winner in 06, World Tag Team Champion)
Ryota Hama

The rules are pretty straight forward. The two highest point getters in each block advance to the semi finals. The first place in block A faces the second place in block B, while the first place in block B faces the second place from group A. The winners advance to the finals which this year, will be held at the JCB Hall in Tokyo. JCB Hall is a new arena in Tokyo that holds roughly 3,200 fans. Here’s the schedule:

AJPW, 4/5/09
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Champion Carnival – Block B: Ryota Hama vs. ZODIAC
2. Champion Carnival – Block B: Taiyo Kea vs. Minoru Suzuki
3. Champion Carnival – Block B: Satoshi Kojima vs. Suwama
4. Champion Carnival – Block A: Osamu Nishimura vs. Seiya Sanada
5. Champion Carnival – Block A: Kaz Hayashi vs. Joe Doering
6. Champion Carnival – Block A: Keiji Muto vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

AJPW, 4/7/09
Hive Nagaoka
1. Champion Carnival – Block B: Minoru Suzuki vs. ZODIAC
2. Champion Carnival – Block B: Suwama vs. Ryota Hama
3. Champion Carnival – Block B: Satoshi Kojima vs. Taiyo Kea
4. Champion Carnival – Block A: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Joe Doering
5. Champion Carnival – Block A: Osamu Nishimura vs. Kaz Hayashi
6. Champion Carnival – Block A: Keiji Muto vs. Seiya Sanada

AJPW, 4/8/09
Act City Hamamatsu
1. Champion Carnival – Block B: Ryota Hama vs. Minoru Suzuki
2. Champion Carnival – Block B: Suwama vs. Taiyo Kea
3. Champion Carnival – Block B: Satoshi Kojima vs. ZODIAC
4. Champion Carnival – Block A: Seiya Sanada vs. Joe Doering
5. Champion Carnival – Block A: Kaz Hayashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
6. Champion Carnival – Block A: Keiji Muto vs. Osamu Nishimura

AJPW, 4/9/09
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2
1. Champion Carnival – Block B: Suwama vs. ZODIAC
2. Champion Carnival – Block B: Ryota Hama vs. Taiyo Kea
3. Champion Carnival – Block B: Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki
4. Champion Carnival – Block A: Seiya Sanada vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
5. Champion Carnival – Block A: Osamu Nishimura vs. Joe Doering
6. Champion Carnival – Block A: Keiji Muto vs. Kaz Hayashi

AJPW, 4/11/09
Yokkaichi Australia Memorial Hall
1. Champion Carnival – Block B: Taiyo Kea vs. ZODIAC
2. Champion Carnival – Block B: Suwama vs. Minoru Suzuki
3. Champion Carnival – Block B: Satoshi Kojima vs. Ryota Hama
4. Champion Carnival – Block A: Kaz Hayashi vs. Seiya Sanada
5. Champion Carnival – Block A: Osamu Nishimura vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
6. Champion Carnival – Block A: Keiji Muto vs. Joe Doering

AJPW, 4/12/09
Tokyo JCB Hall
1. Champion Carnival – Semi Final: A Block #1 vs. B Block #2
2. Champion Carnival – Semi Final: B Block #1 vs. A Block #2
3. Champion Carnival – Final: Winner of Semi #1 vs. Winner of Semi #2

Sumo Hall Match Reviews YAR~

MATCH #4: The Voodoo Towers v. Akebono & Ryota Hama
As long as Akebono and Hama stay a tag team, no Japanese people can ever make fun of Americans being fat. These two look like they ate 20 Ricki Lakes. They couldn’t be on ‘Biggest Loser’ because they’d eat everything. Holy fat. Seriously, you need to see that mounds of fat in this ring. You know what? Screw that. You should have seen the media photo Hamma was in last week for the champion’s carnival. He took up 1/3 of the picture and like 8 guys were in the picture. And these dudes come out to Reggae music. I’m down with the fatness.

Anyways, this is ok stuff. Some people I was talking to were burying the crap out of this, and sure, Hama is f-ing GASSED about five minutes in and is clearly in need of some cardio, but there’s nothing totally terrible about this. Zodiac and Doering being unusually outmatched in the size department is ok. We get some great fat man spots, with Hama squashing Joe with a big splash… heck at one point, he had Doering in a dragon sleeper that looked like Doering was getting sucked into Hama’s body. Like his head had totally disappeared. Akebono and Hama do a nice standing double squash… So there’s plenty redeeming about this if you can get past the pace, which really wasn’t as bad. Don’t get me wrong, don’t go too out of your way to see this or anything, but its fun for what it is. *3/4

MATCH #5: Riki Choshu & Tatsuhito Takaiwa v. Osamu Nishimura & Manabu Soya

A pretty darn fun match right here. This isn’t going to blow anyone away, but it sure is a heck of a lot of fun.
They do a pretty darn good job of keeping Chossu and Nishimura away from each other the vast majority of the match. Choshu and Takaiwa essentially just use Nishimura’s obsession with Choshu against him, constantly hitting big double teams on Soya behind the referees back and an awesome spiked pile driver that pretty much does the trick.

Soya’s a lot of fun here as a plucky, yet over-matched baby face. He hits a vertical suplex where he literally just lifts Takaiwa all by himself. Its pretty awesome. The crowd’s pretty hot for this too, and considering that they’re pretty dead the rest of the night, it helped a pretty mediocre match come off perhaps a little bit better than it was, but still a lot of fun. *3/4

MATCH #6: Kaz Hayashi v. Minoru, All Japan Junior Heavyweight Championship

Man, so far the response to this has been pretty polarizing. Some people liked it, some people hated it. Falling somewhere in the middle might be a cop-out, but that’s where I guess I’d be. For one, lemme be clear, anyone who thinks junior matches should be going longer than 20 minutes is out of their mind. Smaller guys shouldn’t be working slower matches, and they’re almost all the same kind of thing to the point where one match just runs into the next; 10-15 minutes of ‘technical’ work, 10-15 minutes of strike exchanges and then 10 minutes of finishing stretch, and sure, 10 minutes of finishing stretch sounds pretty lame, especially when you’re not the main event.

So with that in mind, I headed into this being pretty skeptical, especially after watching Nakajima and Kenta go into overkill/no sell overload in two matches in the last month. KENTA-Suzuki went 35 minutes and jesus christ, so did the last Marufuji-Hayashi match. I’ve just had it with long juniors matches at this point, and frankly, I don’t think there are any junior heavyweights in Japan right now good enough to go this long.

The opening was, surprise, surprise, some pretty boring mat work. We get arm work on one guy, leg work on the other guy, but none of it is terribly interesting especially when you get that sneaking suspicion that its not going to go anywhere. That being said, I’ll give these two credit where its deserved, they both took the time to sell the work, or at least sell the work ‘for the most part’. While the work is kind of boring, there’s nothing really WRONG with it per sae. Hayashi uses the leg work to distract Minoru long enough so he can begin dumping him on his head. And that’s where things start falling apart a bit. We get three final cuts, Hayashi kicks out of a fireball splash and heck, even has to let two Celtic crosses out of the bag to get the job done. And that’s inherently where the problem is. This just didn’t know when to end. They could have knocked this down to 20 minutes and it’d have been awesome. Just too much overkill. Again. **1/4

MATCH #7: Minoru Suzuki & Taiyo Kea v. Suwama & Shuji Kondo, All Japan World Tag Team Championship

This was easily the best match on this card. There isn’t hardly a down moment, Kea & Suzuki look like a really well oiled machine, and well heck, Suwama and Kondo bring some thunder, too.

Its a shame this crowd was so dead, because I swear on any other night, this would have really had a big reaction. Suzuki and Kea have really become as cohesive a unit as anyone out there in the world these days. Their double team spots are really creative and they pop up all over the place here. They work spots where whenever Suzuki gets into a criss cross, Kea will run in from the outside and dish out a lariat when the opponent isn’t expecting it. Suwama gets hit with the move the first time, then the second time he thwarts it. The third time there’s a criss cross, Suwama turns around expecting Kea, and instead gets tattooed by Suzuki. There’s another lariat sequence where Suzuki runs at his opponent with arm outstretched and then just drops to his knees at the perfect moment, and Kea comes exploding out from behind him. They’re constantly confusing opponents and targeting one dude and making sure he’s the guy they’re constantly going after. Suzuki can do damage, but he usually stalls on the finishes (keeps the other guy away), while Kea powers em to pieces.

Kondo is the focus of the attack here, and they spend the whole time frustrating and confusing SUWAMA, in order to keep control and man is it effective stuff. Its not only smart strategy, but when Suwama pops and loses his cool and kills everyone, it makes its even more awesome. Eventually though, Suzuki and Kea just flat outsmart Suwama and are able to get their paws on Kondo again, and man, the best part of this match is the two of them literally swapping Suwama and Kondo, so Suzuki could do his sleeper routine and Kea could try and put away the guy who had been worked over more. Not a down moment, and one of the better tag team matches so far this year. Probably the best All Japan match I’ve seen thus far this year. ***1/4

MATCH #8: Yoshihiro Takayama v. The Great Muta, Triple Crown, All Japan 3/14

These two really lay it in, especially Muta with the extra-extracurriculars. He hits some stiff-ish chair shots to the face, busting Tak open, choking him out with the camera cables on the outside, and generally being his surly, wild and unpredictable mist-spitting self. He does a good job of working within his physical limitations, staying away from a lot of mat work, which frankly Mutoh just can’t pull off anymore. We get our token Muta spots, and heck, even an awesome power-drive elbow that looks as good as it did in ’95.

The good part is that when the mat work gets boring (there’s a really listless figure four spot that’s super anti-dramatic), they get the clue and just transition to Tak’s bulldoze-a-b!tch offense and they kick it off in a big way, with Muta getting SMASHED with a chair and sticking himself something fierce. Tak whips out some nasty post shots, a couple of whips into the barricade then does a little overtime on Muta’s cut. Mutoh de-masked by the way was kind of weird. He’s done it more than a couple times now, but still, it makes me feel weird.

From there its on to a pretty unspectacular stretch run. Muta goes right back into shining wizard blowout mode before the usual AWFUL looking back breaker and moonsault to cap it off, yet this time, Tak kicks out. We get a stretch run with Tak basically caving in Muta’s face with knees before hitting the Everest German Suplex hold to win the match and the belts.

While there’s nothing actively bad about this match, its just pretty flat and getting through most Muta matches these days is sadly a chore. Tak’s OK, but really, the crowd only really reacts to the final fall, which of course is a big moment in history because Tak is only the second guy to win all three major Japanese wrestling championships (IWGP, GHC, and Triple Crown), but other than that, this match just had such a feeling of inevitability to it, that it was hard to get into. **1/4


Marufuji Suffers Big Injury, Differ Ariake Show Results

Marufuji tore his ACL during a match on last Wednesday’s SEM show. He was working a tag match with Akiihiko Ito in a losing effort against the team of Katsuhiko Nakajima & Naoki Tanizaki. He’s schedule for total re constructive surgery on April 9th and is expected to be out for at least nine months.

The injury of course, meant that Marufuji was forced to miss the show that he was responsible for promoting on Sunday at the Differ Ariake. The show didn’t do so hot, only drawing around 1,400 fans. The main event was interestingly weird, as Kenta & Akiyama faced Go Shiozaki & Makoto Hashi. Kenta was able to pin Hashi to earn the victory, however after the match, attacked Akiyama, but was unable to get him up for a Go 2 Sleep because the black masked man attacked him from behind, yet again. Yoshinobu Kanemaru is said to be the man under the mask, even though the company is covering it in kayfabe, saying Kanemaru was in the shower during the attack.

The other big storyline piece was during the Kensuke Office v. NOAH six man tag. NOAH was made up of the new heel faction with Takeshi Rikio, Mohommed Yone and Kotaro Suzuki. The NOAH team won the match, however they continued to beat down the Kensuke Office team after the match. Takeshi Morishima came running down and made the big save.

What stemmed from this, was the announcement that Kensuke Sasaki and Takeshi Morishima will be forming a tag team that will be competing in the big April tag league. Their addition is huge, as it is widely felt that the lineup was very poor. Also recently added to the tournament is recently crowned Triple Crown Champion Yoshihiro Takayama teaming with Takashi Suiura.

Marufuji Produce/NOAH 15/03/09
Differ Ariake
1400 fans (No Vacancy)

1. Legendary Singles Match: Yoshinari Ogawa?d. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (0:59) with a Jacknife Hold.
2. Former Sumo vs SDF Original: Takashi Sugiura & Shuhei Taniguchi d. Akira Taue & Jun Izumida (12:30) when Sugiura used an Ankle Hold on Izumida.
3. Heavy vs Junior: Mitsuharu Misawa, Takeshi Morishima, Akitoshi Saito & Kishin Kawabata?d. Taiji Ishimori, Atsushi Aoki,?Akihiko Ito & Ippei Ota (15:52) when Kawabata used a Diving Senton on Ota.
4. Kentaro Shiga 15th Anniversary: Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda d. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (17:34) when Honda used the Rolling Olympic Hell 2 on Kanemaru.
5. Yone Army vs Kensuke Office All Out War: Takeshi Rikio, Mohammed Yone, Kotaro Suzuki & Legend Heel Momota?d. Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Takashi Okita & Kento Miyahara (22:37) when Suzuki used a Rear Naked Choke on Miyahara.
6. Takuma Sano 25th Anniversary: Takuma Sano & Taiji Ishimori d. Naomichi Marufuji? & Maruvin (17:02) when Sano used the Northern Lights Bomb on Marufuji?.
7. GHC Title Holders & Go: Jun Akiyama & KENTA d. Go Shiozaki & Makoto Hashi (25:59) when KENTA used the Go2Sleep on Hashi.

Akiyama to Make First Defense Against Go Shiozaki

Last Friday, Jun Akiyama’s first challenger was named, and it’ll be Go Shiozaki. The match will take place on April 19th in Sapporo. The show will also feature a GHC Tag Team Championship match, as Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito will be defending the belts against the newly formed team of Kensuke Sasaki & Takeshi Morishima.


New Japan Hosts Wrestling Summit with Various Wrestling Promoters

Back on the 10th of this month, New Japan decided it would be a good idea to bring the major wrestling promotions to the table in Tokyo to discuss the future of the ailing industry in Japan, and how they can best help each other move forward without compromising their own promotion’s interests. Officials from All Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH came to the meeting and we were told the results were very positive.

There has been a strong commitment to continue the talent exchanges, which have drawn well thus far, especially sending the well-established and popular New Japan talent to other promotions. NOAH in particular has advocated for the continued use of Shinsuke Nakamura and Hirooki Gotoh. There has been talk of a Gotoh-Sugiura match down the line. Also, its felt that a Nakamura-Akiyama match may draw some big interest for the guys in the green ring.
All Japan has set their Champion’s Carnival schedule and showed little interest in adding an outside talent to the card like they did last year with New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi. They’re looking for some high profile title defenses for Takayama over the course of the summer. One possibility is said to be Giant Bernard and or Val Venis. In addition, Hiroshi Tenzan’s name has been tossed around in circles.

After spending most of 2008 touring through various promotions, New Japan is looking to hold on to Hiroshi Tanahashi for the remainder of the year, so don’t expect to see him popping up elsewhere. Yuji Nagata has just concluded a big program with Zero One, which saw him win their World title, and they’re looking to set up the summer plans around Nagata and Tanahashi, who are probably the biggest faces in the company at this point. The two All Japan names being thrown around to possibly make New Japan appearances later this year is Toshiaki Kawada and maybe even Suwama. Both would be fresh names and interesting challengers for Tanahashi and Nagata. NOAH names have been tossed about as well, but right now there hasn’t been much progress in terms of who that’ll be. A ton of ideas have been tossed around, but nothing has been settled on nor confirmed as definite. Just some of the names tossed around; Takeshi Morishima, Mitsuharu Misawa and Go Shiozaki.

The three big names at the event were New Japan President Naoki Sugabayashi, Masayuki Uchida, who is the VP of business affairs for All Japan, and Ryu Nakata, whose the VP of business affairs for NOAH.

New Japan Cup Quarter Final Results, Semi-Final Match Ups

The New Japan Cup Quarter Finals took place at the Korakuen Hall this Sunday in front of a sellout crowd of 1,800 fans. The big upset in the quarter finals was Hirooki Gotoh upending RISE Captain and highest ranking wrestler in the tournament, Shinsuke Nakamura. The win is a big one for Gotoh, and his second win over the RISE captain in the last year, the last victory coming at last year’s G1 Climax Tournament, a competition which Gotoh eventually would go on to win.

Yuji Nagata escaped with a victory over Takashi Iizuka by Disqualification thanks large in part to some outside shenanigans from the GBH. Yutaka Yoshie pinned Tomohiro Ishii in his match to become the only non-contracted New Japan talent to advance past the Quarter finals. Giant Bernard easily dispatched of Milano Collection AT in the final quarter final match up, to set up an interesting lay out for the Semi Finals, which will be held on March 22nd in Amagasaki. Bernard will face Yoshie in the first Semi-Final, with Nagata facing Goto in the second Semi Final. The finals are scheduled for later in the evening. Also, Hiroshi Tanahashi will be taking on Val Venis in a non-title match.

NJPW, 3/15/09 (SXW)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1,800 Fans

1. Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Jushin Thunder Liger & Kazuchika Okada (9:49) when Devitt pinned Okada after a Dodon & Prince’s Throne combination.
2. Toru Yano, Black Tiger, Jado & Tomoaki Honma beat Super Strong Machine, Tiger Mask, Koji Kanemoto & Taichi Ishikari (11:39) when Black Tiger used a tombstone piledriver on Ishikari.
3. New Japan Cup – Round 2: Giant Bernard beat Milano Collection AT (9:13) with the Bernard Driver.
4. New Japan Cup – Round 2: Yutaka Yoshie beat Tomohiro Ishii (13:38) with a diving body press.
5. New Japan Cup – Round 2: Yuji Nagata beat Takashi Iizuka (14:49) by DQ.
6. New Japan Cup Special 6 Man Tag Match ~ Soul of KORAKUEN: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi & Wataru Inoue beat Togi Makabe, Val Venis & Karl Anderson (13:53) when Nakanishi used an Argentine backbreaker on Anderson.
7. New Japan Cup – Round 2: Hirooki Goto beat Shinsuke Nakamura (19:00) with a lariat.

NJPW, 3/22/09 (Samurai! TV)
Amagasaki Memorial Park Gymnasium

1. Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs. Milano Collection AT & Taichi Ishikari
2. Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Karl Anderson, Black Tiger & Jado
3. New Japan Cup – Semi Final: Giant Bernard vs. Yutaka Yoshie
4. New Japan Cup – Semi Final: Yuji Nagata vs. Hirooki Goto
5. Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono & Super Strong Machine vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Tomoaki Honma
6. New Japan Cup Special Tag Match ~ Soul of AMAGASAKI: Shinsuke Nakamura & Wataru Inoue vs. Togi Makabe & Tomohiro Ishii
7. New Japan Cup Special Singles Match ~ Soul of AMAGASAKI: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Val Venis
8. New Japan Cup – Final:

April 5th Sumo Hall Show Begins to Take Shape

The scheduled Sumo Hall show for the 5th of April is beginning to take shape. As reported a few weeks ago, the main event will feature IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi putting his title on the line against Kurt Angle.

In addition to that, two more matches have been added. Togi Makabe has challenged Shinsuke Nakamura to a rematch from their New Japan Cup encounter. Nakamura has accepted and the match will be on the card. Also, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title will be on the line as Tiger Mask will take on long time rival Black Tiger.

New Japan Results

Here’s the latest results from New Japan over the course of the last week:

NJPW, 3/16/09
Tsubame Citizen Gymnasium
1,150 Fans – Super No Vacancy Full House

1. Jushin Thunder Liger & Kazuchika Okada beat Koji Kanemoto & Nobuo Yoshihashi (9:29) when Liger used a brainbuster on Yoshihashi.
2. Val Venis beat Milano Collection AT (11:16) with the Money Shot.
3. Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono, Wataru Inoue & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma (12:30) when Chono used a Shining Yakuza kick on Honma.
4. Manabu Nakanishi & Yutaka Yoshie beat Hirooki Goto & Taichi Ishikari (13:42) when Nakanishi used an Argentine backbreaker on Ishikari.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura & Prince Devitt beat Togi Makabe & Jado (13:21) when Nakamura used the Landslide on Jado.
6. New Japan Cup Special 6 Man Tag Match ~ Soul of NIIGATA: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask beat Giant Bernard, Karl Anderson & Black Tiger (15:19) when Tanahashi used the High Fly Flow on Anderson.

NJPW, 3/17/09
Kumagaya Citizen Gymnasium
1,000 Fans

1. Milano Collection AT & Taichi Ishikari beat Jushin Thunder Liger & Prince Devitt (11:51) when Milano used a cradle on Devitt.
2. Super Strong Machine & Wataru Inoue vs. Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii went to a draw (13:32) when Inoue & Ishii were counted out.
3. Toru Yano & Tomoaki Honma beat Riki Choshu & Masahiro Chono (9:34) when Yano pinned Choshu
4. Manabu Nakanishi, Yutaka Yoshie , Tiger Mask & Koji Kanemoto beat Giant Bernard, Val Venis, Karl Anderson & Black Tiger (11:00) when Nakanishi used an Argentine backbreaker on Anderson.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura & Hirooki Goto beat Yuji Nagata & Kazuchika Okada (15:24) when Nakamura used the Landslide on Okada.
6. New Japan Cup Special Tag Match ~ Soul of KUMAGAYA: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi beat Togi Makabe & Jado (16:40) when Tanahashi used the High Fly Flow on Jado.


IGF Draws Strong for Sunday Show
Antonio Inoki’s IGF show in Hiroshima drew surprisingly strong numbers this past Sunday. The Show was a sellout crowd of 5,278 fans for a relatively blah main event between Naoya Ogawa & The Predator (Sylvester Terkay) defeating Yoshihiro Takayama & Montanha Silva. With Takayama and Ogawa continued to brawl after the match and Inoki came out to break the scene up and shopped the idea of a single’s match between the two. Also, Josh Barnett defeated Foscera and The Original Tiger Mask was victorious, defeating Masked X.

Zero One Korakuen News, Ohtani Makes First Title Defense

Zero One World Heavyweight Champion Shinjiro Otani retained his title defeating Orlando Colon in the main event. Colon is a cousin of WWE Superstars Carlito & Primo Colon. Also, Osamu Namiguchi & Ryoji Sai won the vacant NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championships, defeating Mr. Wrestling III & Steve Corino. The whole coincidence is kind of funny, because Corino’s usually the guy who plays Mr. Wrestling. There’s no word on who played him at the show.

Former TNA talent Sonjay Dutt made his debut for the promotion, defeating Ikuto Kidaka to win their NWA International Junior Championship. Also, Ultimo Dragon showed up, and looks like he’s ready to go after left knee surgery.

Also announced on the show, is that Otani’s next challenger will be Akebono.