Morishima and Sasaki Have a Big Return Match, Set Sight on GHC Tag Titles
Kensuke Office ran a show at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on Saturday, drawing a robust crowd of 1,080 fans. The main event featured Kensuke Sasaki taking on Takeshi Morishima in a rematch of last September’s GHC Heavyweight Championship match that saw Sasaki dethrone his opponent. Morishima got his revenge, pinning Sasaki with a back drop driver in about 20 minutes. Afterwards, the two gave a speech about how they respected each other and promised to rest the GHC Tag titles away from Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith soon. The other major match on the show featured Katsuhiku Nakajima defeating Dragon Gate Star Masaaki Mochizuki. The two also formed a tag team after the match and will compete in Dragon Gate’s annual tag team tournament.
Kensuke Sasaki also turned 43 this past week, and Akira Hokuto brought out a cake at the end of the show to celebrate.
Departure ’09 Results
NOAH’s annual ?Departure? show ran from the Differ Ariake in Tokyo this past Friday night in front of a sellout crowd of 1,800 fans. The main event featured KENTA defeating Taiji Ishimori in a non-title match. However, the real news of the night came in the third to last match of the night when Akitoshi Saito pinned GHC Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki in a tag match. After the show, the title match was announced for September 27th at the Budokan Hall, which will also be the big Misawa Memorial show. They’ve been taking a rather odd direction with Saito, who in the story lines, ‘was sighted drinking sake all night and staring at a picture of Misawa.’ Of course, Saito was the wrestler who delivered the back drop driver that took Misawa’s life. Kind of sick stuff.
In more upbeat news, Kishin Kawabata is set to challenge Kenta Kobashi for the GHC Hardcore title at the same show, and he won a seven man pin-fall battle royal, eliminating Kentaro Shiga last.
NOAH ?Departure?, 8/1/09
Tokyo Differ Ariake
1,800 Fans?(Super No Vacancy)
1. Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat Akihiko Ito?(8:13)?with the Touch Out.
2.?GHC Hardcore Openweight Title Battle Royal: Kishin Kawabata beat Kentaro Shiga?(17:07)?with an Axe Bomber. (Order of Elimination: Tamon Honda, Junji Izumida, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Makoto Hashi, Takashi Okita, Kentaro Shiga)
3. Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara beat Takeshi Rikioh, Kotaro Suzuki & Genba Hirayanagi?(17:16)?when Nakajima used the Death Roll on Hirayanagi.
4. Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama & Yoshinari Ogawa beat Akira Taue, Mohammed Yone & Ricky Marvin(22:05)?when Akiyama used a vertical-drop Exploder on Marvin.
5. Akitoshi Saito & Takuma Sano beat Go Shiozaki & Shuhei Taniguchi?(23:44)?when Saito used the Death Brand on Shiozaki.
6. Takeshi Morishima beat Atsushi Aoki?(10:19)?with a backdrop.
7. KENTA beat Taiji Ishimori?(25:41)?with the Go 2 Sleep.
NOAH, 7/25/09 (G+)
Tokyo JCB Hall
3,300 Fans?(Super No Vacancy)
1. Kentaro Shiga, Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Genba Hirayanagi & Kikutaro?(8:46)?when Strong used a modified powerbomb on Hirayanagi.
2. Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara beat Yoshinari Ogawa & Akihiko Ito?(12:47)?when Nakajima used the Death Roll on Ito.
3. Takeshi Rikioh & Mohammed Yone beat Akira Taue & Takuma Sano?(9:41)?when Rikioh used the Muso on Sano.
4. Kensuke Sasaki, Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura beat Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito?(21:28)?when Sasaki pinned Saito after the Double Impact.
5.?NTV Cup – Semi Final: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki beat KENTA & Taiji Ishimori?(19:28)when Kanemaru used the Touch Out on Ishimori.
6.?NTV Cup – Semi Final: Atsushi Aoki & Kota Ibushi beat Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards?(13:39)?when Ibushi used the Phoenix Splash on Edwards.
7.?Shuhei Taniguchi Ten Match Trial Series – Match Five: Go Shiozaki beat Shuhei Taniguchi?(16:03)with a lariat.
8.?NTV Cup – Final: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki beat Atsushi Aoki & Kota Ibushi?(19:49)when Suzuki used the Tiger Driver on Aoki.
Jado & Gedo to hold 20th anniversary show in Tokyo
Gedo & Jedo are scheduled to hold a 20th anniversaty show at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo on August 30th. They will face Pro Wrestling NOAH stars Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi in the main event. Also scheduled to the show is a big all star 8-man tag match. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Tiger Mask will team up with Jushin ?Thunder? Liger, The Great Sasuke & Kota Ibushi to take on the team of Koji Kanemoto, Tyusuke Taguchi, Dick Togo and Taka Michinoku. More matches will be announced in the coming week.
NJPW ?GET OUT OF MY WAY ~JG20FTW~?, 8/30/09 (Samurai! TV)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger, Great Sasuke??& Kota Ibushi??vs. Koji Kanemoto, Ryusuke Taguchi, Dick Togo & TAKA Michinoku?
2. Jado & Gedo vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru??& Genba Hirayanagi?
Tanahashi Submits the Original Tiger Mask at Major Kick boxing Show
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi carved another notch into his belt this past weekend, submitting the original Tiger Mask, Satoru Sayama during a trios match at the MA Japan Kickobxing show on Saturday. This was a big surprise, as Tiger Mask hasn’t dropped a decision in quite some time and that there were two ‘young lions’ in the match as well, who are usually the guys that take the fall in these things. Still, it was a good opportunity to portray Tanahashi as being on a totally different level from anyone else.
MA Japan Kick boxing ?KICK GUTS2009 BREAK THROUGH-12″, 8/2/09
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
– Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask IV& Kazuchika Okada beat Original Tiger Mask, Yuji Nagata & Nobuo Yoshihashi (14:46) when Tanahashi used a Texas Cloverleaf hold on Original Tiger Mask.
New Japan puts clamp on IWGP Title Change in TNA
New Japan Pro Wrestling issued a press release on Tuesday to formally invalidate the IWGP Tag Team Title switch that took place between Team 3D and the British Invasion on last week’s episode of iMPACT. Apparently, TNA went forward with the title switch without even asking New Japan officials.
As a result, things are a bit complicated.
Team 3D has been billed as undefeated in Japan by NJPW officials with the hopes of the team dropping
the belts eventually and giving the winning team a big rub. Had this been 15 years ago, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. However, with the advent of the Internet, its become virtually impossible for these ‘ghost title changes’ to occur without there being some sort of impact overseas.
In their written statement released Tuesday, New Japan stated that ‘Team 3D are still the IWGP Tag Team Champions and their next defense will be one -recognized- by the parent company of the belts, New Japan Pro Wrestling.
This is the second time in three years that the company has gotten in trouble putting belts on foreigners. In 2005, Brock Lesnar won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, defeating Masahiro Chono & Fujita in a triple threat match. When his deal ran out, he was still champion, but had brought the title back to the United States. He refused to return to defend it, leaving New Japan without a champion and a brand-new belt. Ironically, it was TNA who was able to get the company’s title back, as former New Japan and current IGF President Antonio Inoki sanctioned a match in Japan under the IGF banner allowing Lesnar to drop the title to Kurt Angle. Angle quickly dropped the title to Shinsuke Nakamura in February 2008 to unify the IWGP belt with the New Japan-recognized IWGP championship. One year later, and the company is struggling to control their own property overseas yet again.
Manabu Nakanishi, Movie Star
Former IWGP Champion Manabu Nakanishi is slated to star in the upcoming movie ?20th Century Boy? which will be released on August 29th in Japan. In the movie, his character is based loosely on Rikidozan, the legendary pro wrestling figure. Nakanishi has taken the character and begun using him in New Japan matches, wearing longer black tights and basing his matches around karate chops.
Juniors Tournament Enters Final Stages
As of today, the standings in the All Japan Junior Heavyweight Tournament are as follows:
Super Crazy – 5 Points
Kai ? 4 Points
Kaz Hayashi ? 3 Points
Nosawa Rongai ? 2 Points
Toshizo ? 0 Points
Minoru ? 8 Points
Shuji Kondo ? 4 Points
Hiroshi Yamato ? 2 Points
Petey Williams ? 2 Points
Mazada ? 2 Points
There will be one more night of matches scheduled for the sixth, followed by the semi-final and finals being held on the same night, August 7th, in the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Minoru Suzuki Set for Big Semi-Shoot Match
Minoru Suzuki has ‘vowed’ that on August 30th, he’ll gain a measure of revenge on Masakatsu Funaki for his 1994 shoot match loss at the Sumo Hall. The two faced each other in their Pancrase days, working many spots in the actual match, but then deciding to shoot the finish. Funaki was able to choke Suzuki out.
17 years later, the two are scheduled to compete against each other in a tag team match at the same place their match took place all those years back. Funaki will team up with Keiji Mutoh to take on Suzuki and his tag team partner, long-time Muta rival Masahiro Chono. Suzuki has promised to win the match with a rear-naked choke.
House Show Results
AJPW Results 7/28
Kamaishi Citizen Gymnasium
1.?Junior Heavyweight League – Block B: MAZADA  beat Hiroshi Yamato ?(11:55)?with the Shoda Drop.
2.?Junior Heavyweight League – Block A: Super Crazy  beat Toshizo ?(11:31)?by disqualification.
3. Masayuki Kono beat Manabu Soya?(10:22)?with a cross armbreaker.
4. Satoshi Kojima & KAI beat Ryota Hama & Petey Williams?(14:07)?when Kojima used a lariat on Hama.
5. Yoshihiro Takayama, Minoru Suzuki & NOSAWA Rongai beat Suwama, Shuji Kondo & Seiya Sanada(18:02)?when Suzuki used a Gotch-style piledriver on Sanada.
6. Keiji Muto, Osamu Nishimura & Kaz Hayashi beat TARU, Minoru & Hate?(16:48)?when Muto used the Shining Wizard on Hate.]
Nobutaka Araya Retires in Emotional Show at the Korakuen
The July 26th show was an eventful evening for All Japan Pro wrestling, as it marked both a beginning and an end. Nobutaka Araya called it quits on his career while the Junior Heavyweight Tournament kicked off.
Araya was put over by commentators as having made 4,993 unsuccessful attempts at the corner splash but on his 5,000th try, he finally hit it. Luck was finally on Araya’s side, as he pinned Masa Fuchi in the main event, catching him with an inside cradle for the win. After the match, the company held a big celebration for Araya, who was an important figure for the company after the 2000 split which would spawn Pro Wrestling NOAH. Araya gave a speech after the show, saying he’d continue to do his best for All Japan even outside of the ring. He said he would always be a part of the company.
During the Gurentai/Suwama & Kono tag, there was a pretty big brawl that broke out between Triple Crown Champion Takayama and #1 contender Suwama. The two brawled into the concourse of the arena and even into the concession stand, in a way, recreating the old Tupleo Concession stand brawls that were popular in the late 70s and early 80s.
In another piece of big news, Satoshi Kojima challenged Kenta Kobashi to a match at the Sumo Hall on August 30th. If Kobashi accepts, it would be his first match in All Japan since leaving in 2000. Kojima said his match with Misawa five years ago was ‘life changing’ for him, and he wanted to test himself against Kobashi.
AJPW, 7/26/09 (Samurai! TV)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
2,100 Fans?- Super No Vacancy
1.?Nobutaka Araya Retirement: Nobutaka Araya & Kikutaro beat Masanobu Fuchi & TAKA Michinoku??(7:07)?when Araya used an inside cradle on Fuchi.
2. TARU, Hate & Toshizo beat Osamu Nishimura, Ryota Hama & Hiroshi Yamato?(11:28)?when Toshizo used a right high kick on Yamato.
3.?Junior Heavyweight League – Block B: Petey Williams  beat MAZADA ?(6:55)?with the Canadian Destroyer.
4.?Junior Heavyweight League – Block A: Super Crazy  beat NOSAWA Rongai ?(8:37)?with a moonsault press.
5. Keiji Muto & Manabu Soya beat Satoshi Kojima & Seiya Sanada?(15:16)?when Soya used a vertical-drop Death Valley Bomb on Sanada.
6. Yoshihiro Takayama & Minoru Suzuki beat Suwama & Masayuki Kono?(13:56)?when Takayama used a running kneelift on Suwama.
7.?Junior Heavyweight League – Block A: KAI  beat Kaz Hayashi ?(12:02)?with the KAI Clutch (Oklahoma Roll).
8.?Junior Heavyweight League – Block B: Minoru  beat Shuji Kondo ?(19:10)?with the FIREBALL Splash.
Inoki Hints at Run for Japanese Parliament
Antonio Inoki speculated last week that he was thinking of running for re-election to the Japanese House of Representatives. He served on the body from 1989-1995. A few days later, Inoki renegged on the statement saying he decided it wasn’t the best idea. Essentially, the whole idea is a long-shot and or just a steaming pile (as is usually the case with Inoki), as he wouldn’t be elligible because he lives in New York City. Who knows.
DDT Runs the Sumo Hall
Dynamic Dream Team will run the biggest show in company history on August 23rd at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo. Hashima faces Kota Ibushi in the main event while Masahiro Chono and the Great Sasuke were featured as big names on the card as well. The sales for the show have been pretty poor. While most of the expensive seats have sold on the lower bowl, the middle and upper decks aren’t even close to half full.
The early 80s Golden Era tour held another show on July 23rd at the Shinjuku Face in Tokyo in front of 600 fans. Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami teamed with the Original Tiger Mask to defeat Toshiaki Fujiwara, Gran Hamada & Hiro Saito in the main event.
W*NG will be holding a one-day only show on August 21st in Tokyo. The main event will feature Mr. Pogo facing Wing Kanemura in ‘weapons bunkhouse death match’. There will also be a Ted Tanabe memorial at the show.
Vader Time, a promotion owned by Leon White aka Vader, held a show Monday night at the shinjuku face and only drew about 300 fans. The feature attraction was a tag team tournament that resulted in Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch defeating Aaron Neal & Takao Omori in the finals.