Sapporo Show a Success, Tanahashi Holds Back Sugiura for the Title
New Japan continued to receive more strong results at the box office this past Sunday, as the company showed out the Sapporo Alpha Court Dome for their big show for the month of July, bringing in an estimated 5,300 fans for the event. Pro Wrestling NOAH ran the venue earlier for a show headlined by Jun Akiyama defending the GHC title against Go Shiozaki and barely drew over 2,500. This has to be good news for New Japan.
The show was headlined by an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match as Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Pro Wrestling NOAH invader Takashi Sugiura to retain his title. Fans at the show said it was pretty memorable, with Sugiura being given heaps of offense and in a few cases, looked like a sure fire bet to win the title. Finally, Hiroshi Tanahashi was able to connect with two high fly flows to keep the belt in the home promotion.
The big news came after the match, as HUSTLE star Tajiri appeared in the ring out of nowhere and blinded Tanahashi with green mist. With the recent addition of Tajiri to the G1 Climax Tournament, one has to think their match will be a big one. Also, Tajiri has been teased as Tanahashi’s next title contender. The angle was very well received by fans in Japan, especially for the way that its putting Tanahashi over the top, while using certain challengers to help keep other promotions on the map. Between Masato Tanaka (Zero-1) and Tajiri chasing his belt as outsiders, it makes Tanahashi look important, and like a figure who transcends just New Japan. So far, the plan has worked.
New Japan has been very aggressive in pushing Tanahashi, giving him wins over Keiji Muto, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kurt Angle, Hirooki Goto, Manabu Nakanishi and now Takashi Sugiura. Of that list, there are three G1 Climax winners, and four former world champions. Its a pretty big list to say the least. Should Tanahashi defeat Tanaka at the G1, it will be his fifth victory over a current or former World Champion this year. Tanahashi put over the fact that in 2006, he won the title for the first time in Sapporo, in front of a much smaller crowd. He said that night marked the revival and beginning of the turnaround of New Japan. Today, they are the most stable and visible wrestling promotion in Japan by a long shot, largely due to their commitment towards building new, interesting stars.
In other news, Togi Makabe was finally able to put away his former tag partner Toru Yano in a rematch from last month’s Osaka show. Makabe cut a promo in the back afterwards, putting over how the win gives him momentum heading into the G1, and that finally, he’s got something going for him this year.
The let-down match of the night was said to be between Tiger Mask and Koji Kanemoto. The crowd was said to be pretty dead for the lion’s share of their match, that was said to have received a pop at the end just for ending. Yikes. Tiger Mask’s next opponent will be Mistico from CMLL. The defense was Tiger Mask’s fifth since winning the belt last January at the Tokyo Dome.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan also gained some momentum heading into the G1, finally getting revenge on long-time rival Takashi Iizuka, defeating him in a chain match. Tenzan needed the win, and will look to notch his fourth tournament championship which would put him second all time behind Masahiro Chono, who won five G1’s. Also on the card, Prince Devitt and Ryosuke Taguchi defeated Milano Collection AT and Taichi to make their first successful defense of the belts, a week and a half after dethroning former champions the Motor City Machine Guns in Tokyo. The match was said to be pretty entertaining and a good way to open the show, with the finish featuring Taguchi rolling up Milano for the win.
In related news, New Japan credited Team 3D’s title defense against the British Invasion at TNA’s Victory Road this past Sunday as the fourth for the team.
Tsukisamu Alpha Court Dome
5,300 Fans?- No Vacancy
1.?IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title: Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt (c) beat Milano Collection AT & Taichi?(17:09)?when Taguchi used a small package hold on Milano (1st defense).
2. Giant Bernard, Val Venis, Karl Anderson, Tomohiro Ishii & Jado beat Manabu Nakanishi, Takao Omori, Wataru Inoue, AKIRA & Kazuchika Okada?(9:44)?when Bernard used the Bernard Driver on Okada.
3. Shinsuke Nakamura beat Tomoaki Honma?(7:24)?with a flying cross armbreaker.
4. Yuji Nagata, Hirooki Goto & Mitsuhide Hirasawa beat Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono & Jushin Thunder Liger?(11:58)?when Goto used the Sho-Ryu Kekkai on Liger.
5.?Chain Death Match – TENZAN vs. IIZUKA Phase-3: Hiroyoshi Tenzan beat Takashi Iizuka?(15:34)by KO.
6.?IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Tiger Mask (c) beat Koji Kanemoto?(11:32)?with a Destroy suplex hold (4th defense).
7.?Special Singles Match – Northern Dispute in Sapporo: Togi Makabe beat Toru Yano?(13:59)?with a top rope King Kong kneedrop.
8.?IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) beat Takashi Sugiura??(24:14)?with the High Fly Flow (1st defense).
Tanahashi Speaks After Attack
Hiroshi Tanahashi was able to successfully defend his title on Sunday against Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Takashi Sugiura, but the match took a toll on the champion. After the match, he was surprised by Tajiri, who popped up after the match and spit green mist in his face, leaving him ‘blinded’ in one eye. The match seems to be a lead in to the G1 Tournament.
President Sugabayashi apparently was played off as being hesitant to add Tajiri to the mix, but Tanahshi ‘demanded’ he be placed in the competition and sure enough, he was. Tanahashi spent most of the press conference putting Sugiura over as a genuine threat to win the G1. No outsider has ever won the G1 tournament. Rick Rude (WCW) in 1992 and Jun Akiyama in 2003 (Pro Wrestling NOAH) are the only two outsiders to ever reach the championship round, however both were defeated by Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan respectively. Yoshihiro Takayama reached the finals in 2002 in his first month in the promotion, but was pretty much a full-time roster member by that time, although he was fresh off a run in Pro Wrestling NOAH as GHC Champion at the time.
G1 Climax Tournament Field Completed With Surprise Addition, Schedule Announced
On the heels of his appearance this past weekend on the Sapporo show, former ECW and WWE talent Tajiri has been named the final participant in this year’s G1 Climax Tournament and will wrestle under the HUSTLE banner. It’ll be interesting to see the dynamic in Group A, as IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi will have not just Zero-1 World Champion Masato Tanaka chasing him, but Tajiri as well. With both the Giant Bernard and last year’s second place finisher Togi Makabe also in the group, some are thinking that the group phase might not be as easy a walk through for Tanahashi as originally thought.
Also, the schedule for the G1 was announced today, with the tournament scheduled to kick off on August 7th in Hiroshima before concluding in the Sumo Hall on the fifteenth. Also of note, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Tiger Mask will attempt to make his fifth title defense in a row, as he’ll take on CMLL sensation Mistico for the strap at the 8/15 show. Also, the tournament will feature the return of the semi-final stage, where the winners of each block will face the second place finishers of the opposite group. The winners will then meet in the final to determine the 2009 G1 Tournament Champion
Here is a list of G1 Tournament championship matches year by year.
1991: Masahiro Chono def. Keiji Mutoh
1992: Masahiro Chono def. Rick Rude (WCW)
1993: Tatsumi Fujinami def. Hiroshi Hase
1994: Masahiro Chono def. Power Warrior (Kensuke Sasaki)
1995: Keiji Mutoh def. Shinya Hashimoto
1996: Riki Choshu def. Masahiro Chono
1997: Kensuke Sasaki def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
1998: Shinya Hashimoto def. Kazuo Yamazaki
1999: Manabu Nakanishi def. Keiji Mutoh
2000: Kensuke Sasaki def. Manabu Nakanishi
2001: Yuji Nagata def. Keiji Mutoh
2002: Masahiro Chono def. Yoshihiro Takayama
2003: Hiroyoshi Tenzan def. Jun Akiyama (Pro Wrestling NOAH)
2004: Hiroyoshi Tenzan def. Hiroshi Tanahashi
2005: Masahiro Chono def. Kazuyuki Fujita
2006: Hiroyoshi Tenzan def. Satoshi Kojima
2007: Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Yuji Nagata
2008: Hirooki Goto def. Togi Makabe
NJPW, 8/7/09 (SXW)
Hiroshima Sun Plaza
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Karl Anderson
2. Yuji Nagata & Kazuchika Okada vs. Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Toru Yano vs. Masato Tanaka?
4.?G1 Climax – Block A: Giant Bernard vs. TAJIRI?
5.?G1 Climax – Block B: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Takashi Iizuka
6.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Takashi Sugiura?
7.?G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Takao Omori
8.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
NJPW, 8/8/09 (Samurai! TV)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs. Milano Collection AT & Taichi
2. Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask & Kazuchika Okada vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Karl Anderson & YAMATO?
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Toru Yano vs. TAJIRI?
4.?G1 Climax – Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Takao Omori
5.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Takashi Iizuka
6.?G1 Climax – Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Hirooki Goto
7.?G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Giant Bernard
8.?G1 Climax – Block B: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Takashi Sugiura?
NJPW, 8/9/09 (Samurai! TV)
Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs. Jado & YAMATO?
2. Tomoaki Honma vs. TAJIRI?
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Giant Bernard
4.?G1 Climax – Block A: Masato Tanaka??vs. Takao Omori
5.?G1 Climax – Block B: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hirooki Goto
6.?G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano
7.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
8.?G1 Climax – Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Sugiura?
NJPW, 8/10/09 (Samurai! TV)
Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
Tiger Mask & Kazuchika Okada vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii
2. Hirooki Goto, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs. Wataru Inoue, Milano Collection AT & Taichi
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Masato Tanaka??vs. TAJIRI?
4.?G1 Climax – Block A: Giant Bernard vs. Takao Omori
5.?G1 Climax – Block B: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Takashi Iizuka
6.?G1 Climax – Block B: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Takashi Sugiura?
7.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yuji Nagata
8.?G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Togi Makabe
NJPW, 8/11/09 (Samurai! TV)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii & Karl Anderson
2.?G1 Climax – Block A: Toru Yano vs. Takao Omori
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Togi Makabe vs. TAJIRI?
4.?G1 Climax – Block B: Takashi Iizuka vs. Takashi Sugiura?
5.?G1 Climax – Block A: Giant Bernard vs. Masato Tanaka?
6.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Hirooki Goto
7.?G1 Climax – Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi
NJPW, 8/13/09 (WPW)
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
Tiger Mask & Mistico vs. Tomohiro Ishii & OKUMURA
2. Super Strong Machine & Kazuchika Okada vs. Takashi Sugiura??& Atsushi Aoki?
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Toru Yano vs. Giant Bernard
4.?G1 Climax – Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Masato Tanaka?
5.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi
6.?G1 Climax – Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
7.?G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. TAJIRI?
NJPW, 8/15/09 (SXW)
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Wataru Inoue & Kazuchika Okada vs. Giant Bernard, Karl Anderson & OKUMURA
2.?IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Tiger Mask (c) vs. Mistico
3.?G1 Climax – Block A: Takao Omori vs. TAJIRI?
4.?G1 Climax – Block A: Togi Makabe vs. Toru Yano
5.?G1 Climax – Block B: Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Iizuka
6.?G1 Climax – Block B: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
7.?G1 Climax – Block B: Hirooki Goto vs. Takashi Sugiura?
8.?G1 Climax – Block A: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Masato Tanaka?
NJPW, 8/16/09 (WPW/PPV)
Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
1.?G1 Climax – Semi Final: Block A 1st place vs. Block B 2nd place
2.?G1 Climax – Semi Final: Block B 1st place vs. Block A 2nd place
3.?G1 Climax – Final:
TONYAMACHI Big Sight
800 Fans?- Super No Vacancy Full House
1. AKIRA beat Nobuo Yoshihashi?(9:57)?with a Musasabi press.
2. Super Strong Machine & Jushin Thunder Liger beat Riki Choshu & Kazuchika Okada?(8:26)?when Machine used a Devil Windmill suplex hold on Okada.
3. Giant Bernard, Val Venis & Karl Anderson beat Manabu Nakanishi, Takao Omori & Mitsuhide Hirasawa(12:32)?when Venis used a Blue Thunder on Hirasawa.
4. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata & Hirooki Goto beat Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii & Jado?(14:27)when Goto used the Sho-Ryu Kekkai on Jado.
5. Shinsuke Nakamura & Toru Yano beat Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma?(12:44)?when Nakamura used a knee kick on Honma.
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Wataru Inoue, Koji Kanemoto, Milano Collection AT & Taichi?(18:12)?when Tanahashi used the High Fly Flow on Inoue.
Muroran City Gymnasium
1. Jushin Thunder Liger beat Nobuo Yoshihashi?(5:53)?with a brainbuster.
2. Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada beat Riki Choshu & AKIRA?(9:09)?when Goto used the Shouten on AKIRA.
3. Manabu Nakanishi, Takao Omori & Wataru Inoue beat Val Venis, Karl Anderson & Jado?(12:17)when Nakanishi used an Argentine backbreaker on Venis.
4. Giant Bernard & Tomohiro Ishii beat Yuji Nagata & Mitsuhide Hirasawa?(12:52)?when Bernard used the Bernard Driver on Hirasawa.
5. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma beat Shinsuke Nakamura, Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka?(13:55)?when Iizuka was DQ?d.
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Masahiro Chono, Koji Kanemoto, Milano Collection AT & Taichi?(20:08)?when Tanahashi used the High Fly Flow on Taichi.
NJPW ?LEONIS III?, 7/21/09
223 Fans?- Super No Vacancy
1. Tomohiro Ishii beat Tomoaki Honma?(11:24)?with a hammerlock.
2. Milano Collection AT & Taichi beat Wataru Inoue & Nobuo Yoshihashi?(13:19)?when Taichi used a head kick on Yoshihashi.
3. Val Venis & Karl Anderson beat Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada?(12:41)?when Venis used the Money Shot on Okada.
4. Shinsuke Nakamura beat Mitsuhide Hirasawa?(7:59)?with a knee kick.
5. Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tiger Mask?(15:25)?when Taguchi used an inside cradle on Tiger.
Asahikawa Local Industry Promotion Center
1,300 Fans?- No Vacancy
1. Jushin Thunder Liger & AKIRA beat Tiger Mask & Nobuo Yoshihashi?(10:35)?when AKIRA used a Musasabi press on Yoshihashi.
2.?Apollo 55 vs. Unione I: Milano Collection AT & Taichi beat Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt?(9:23)when Milano used a cradle on Devitt.
3. Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto beat Yuji Nagata & Mitsuhide Hirasawa?(12:39)?when Inoue used a double-arm facebuster on Hirasawa.
4. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada beat Takashi Iizuka, Tomohiro Ishii & Jado(12:37)?when Ishii was DQ?d.
5.?GBH vs. CHAOS I: Shinsuke Nakamura & Toru Yano beat Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma?(12:17)when Nakamura used a flying cross armbreaker on Honma.
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi & Takao Omori beat Giant Bernard, Val Venis & Karl Anderson(17:25)?when Tanahashi used the High Fly Flow on Anderson.
Mitsuo Momota Leaves NOAH
Former Vice President and son of Japanese Wrestling Icon Rikidozan, Mistuo Momota, quit NOAH last week after losing out on a power struggle within the promotion following the death of Mitsuharu Misawa. Momota, 60, claimed to be the oldest full-time active wrestler in Japan and served as the company’s Vice President under Misawa.
There wasn’t said to be any real animosity. In fact, both Kenta Kobashi and Jun Akiyama called a meeting to attempt to keep Momota on board but were unsuccessful in their attempts to keep the aging star. When Akira Taue was named President, Momota was demoted to an advisorial role within the company, a position that didn’t hold much power. Momota is known to have a very old-school view on wrestling, and was said to have strongly supported Kenta Kobashi for company President as it was his belief that the top star should always take over. Kobashi wasn’t interested despite Momota’s efforts.
Momota showed up at the July 12th show to say his good-byes to everyone in the company, and said from time to time, he’d still wrestle. Momota, Yoshinari Ogawa and Haruka Eigen all lost power in the new regime as did Ryu Nakata. Nakata is thought to still wield a great deal of power however, his role has been reduced. Momota is planning on selling his company stock and leaving wrestling altogether. Despite the jostling for power, Momota is apparently leaving on very good terms with the company and didn’t feel forced out or let out to pasture at all. He had been dabbling with the idea of stepping down, and while losing his spot wasn’t planned, it wasn’t exactly crushing news. He was said to be planning on selling his stock to Mayumi Misawa, the wife of Mitsuharu Misawa, as she is the controlling interest in the company.
NTV Cup Rolls Along
NOAH’s annual junior heavyweight tag team tournament, the NTV Cup, continued on Tuesday night. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki continued their dominance, defeating Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards to bring their point total to five, and put them in the driver’s seat in Block B. The main event of the evening featured KENTA and Taiji Ishimori defeating the all-gaijin team of Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong. The other big match of the night was for the GHC Hardcore Openweight title. Kenta Kobashi defeated Masao Inoue in a rematch of their Budokan Show from earlier in the year. Kobashi defeated Inoue via a ref stoppage following a half-nelson suplex.
Akita Municipal Gymnasium Sub-Arena
1,100 Fans?(Super No Vacancy)
1. Takeshi Morishima beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi?(2:20)?with a backdrop.
2. Akira Taue & Yoshinari Ogawa beat Akitoshi Saito & Akihiko Ito?(11:07)?when Taue used the Ore Ga Taue on Ito.
3. Go Shiozaki, Takashi Sugiura & Takuma Sano beat Takeshi Rikioh, Mohammed Yone & Genba Hirayanagi?(13:48)?when Sano used a Northern Light Bomb on Hirayanagi.
4. Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara beat Jun Akiyama, Kentaro Shiga & Atsushi Aoki?(20:01)?when Sasaki used a Northern Light Bomb on Shiga.
5.?GHC Hardcore Openweight Title: Kenta Kobashi (c) beat Masao Inoue?(15:54)?by referee stop after a half nelson suplex.
6.?NTV Cup – Block B: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki  beat Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards (17:26)?when Suzuki used the Tiger Driver on Edwards.
7.?NTV Cup – Block A: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori  beat Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong ?(21:32)when KENTA used the Go 2 Sleep on Danielson.
Kuji Civic Gymnasium
1. Mohammed Yone beat Kentaro Shiga?(7:33)?with a Muscle Buster
2. Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong beat Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi?(10:43)?when Strong used the Stronghold on Hirayanagi.
3. Akitoshi Saito & Takuma Sano beat Akira Taue & Kishin Kawabata?(10:24)?when Sano used a Northern Light Bomb on Kawabata.
4.?NTV Cup – Block B: Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards  beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Akihiko Ito (11:44)?when Marvin used a cradle on Kikuchi.
5. Jun Akiyama, Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue beat Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara?(17:18)?when Akiyama used the Exploder on Miyahara.
6. Go Shiozaki & Takeshi Morishima beat Takeshi Rikioh & Kotaro Suzuki?(16:32)?when Morishima used a backdrop on Suzuki.
7. Yoshihiro Takayama, Takashi Sugiura & Atsushi Aoki beat Kenta Kobashi, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori(23:51)?when Sugiura used the Olympic Slam on Ishimori.
Akita Village Hall
900 Fans?(No Vacancy)
1. Masao Inoue vs. Takuma Sano went to a draw?(15:00)?when the time limit expired.
2.?NTV Cup – Block B: Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara  beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Akihiko Ito (11:39)?when Nakajima used the Twister (revolution-style brainbuster) on Kikuchi.
3. Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong beat Kotaro Suzuki & Genba Hirayanagi?(15:08)?when Strong used a modified powerbomb on Hirayanagi.
4. Eddie Edwards beat Kentaro Shiga?(13:59)?with a cradle.
5. Akitoshi Saito, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori beat Yoshinari Ogawa, Takashi Sugiura & Ricky Marvin?(19:41)when Saito used the Sickle Death on Marvin.
6. Kensuke Sasaki & Takeshi Morishima beat Go Shiozaki & Akira Taue?(15:05)?when Sasaki used the Strange Hold Gamma on Taue.
7. Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama & Atsushi Aoki beat Takeshi Rikioh, Mohammed Yone & Yoshinobu Kanemaru?(24:18)?when Akiyama used the Wrist-Clutch Exploder on Kanemaru.
1,000 Fans?(Super No Vacancy)
1. Masao Inoue vs. Takuma Sano went to a draw?(15:00)?when the time limit expired.
2. Yoshinari Ogawa & Takashi Sugiura beat Bryan Danielson & Roderick Strong?(13:53)?when Sugiura used a German suplex hold on Strong.
3.?NTV Cup – Block B: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki  beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Akihiko Ito (16:18)?when Kanemaru used the Touch Out on Ito.
4. Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Eddie Edwards?(20:37)?with an ankle hold.
5. Jun Akiyama, Akira Taue & Atsushi Aoki beat Akitoshi Saito, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori?(16:57)?when Akiyama used a vertical-drop Exploder on Ishimori.
6. Kenta Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga beat Go Shiozaki & Ricky Marvin?(18:58)?when Shiga used a backslide on Marvin.
7. Takeshi Rikioh, Mohammed Yone & Genba Hirayanagi beat Kensuke Sasaki, Takeshi Morishima & Kento Miyahara?(17:12)?when Rikioh used the Muso on Miyahara.
Akita Station First Floor
1,300 Fans?(Super No Vacancy)
1. Omachi Man beat Genba Hirayanagi?(10:05)?with the Superstar Omachi elbow.
2. Roderick Strong beat Akihiko Ito?(11:10)?with a jumping high kick.
3. Atsushi Aoki vs. Ricky Marvin went to a draw?(20:00)?when the time limit expired.
4. Go Shiozaki beat Eddie Edwards?(11:25)?with the Go Flasher.
5. Takeshi Rikioh & Mohammed Yone beat Takeshi Morishima & Bryan Danielson?(17:01)?when Rikioh used the Muso on Danielson
In quite the surprise move, the big main event at the Sumo Hall show on July 26th has been announced. If you can believe it, it will feature the team of Abdullah the Butcher & Tiger Jeet Singh (no, seriously) taking on the team of HG & RG. Singh was a pretty decent draw with Inoki in the late 70’s and early 80’s, while Abby is Abby. Still, its almost surreal to imagine these two in a team main eventing a show in 2009.
Antonio Inoki’s IGF announced that it’ll host a show on August 8th at the Ariake Coliseum. Its said to be headlined by Josh Barnett, but with the possible steroid allegations made against Barnett, it may be unlikely. Also, Yoshihiro Takayama is scheduled to appear on the show.
Real Japan held a show on the 20th in Sagamihara. The main event featured Tiger Mask and Tatsumi Fujinami teaming together. This was the company’s first event outside of the Korakuen Hall and the news was positive, as they were able to sell the venue out. The New Japan legends team defeated Alexander Otsuka and the Great Sasuke in the main event. Real Japan promoter Sayama said he planned to promote all over the country, saying he’d likely headline the shows with himself, Fujinami and Choshu.
Nobuhiko Takada has been recently featured on a television ad for Asahi beer that’s been a pretty big hit in prime time thus far.
Terry Funk’s birthday was on June 30th. He’s now 65.
Just in some interesting notes on the Misawa fallout. The Japanese Baseball championships are a big deal in Japan. The School Misawa graduated from, Ashikaga Kodia Fuzoku High School, defeated Kashinuma High 3-2 in 14 innings, and the coach said they got the inspiration to win from Misawa in heaven. The team played Misawa’s ?Spartan X? entrance music as their intro theme for every game in the tournament.
Bill Eadie, also known as the Masked Superstar showed up and wrestled at an independent show at the Differ Ariake on July 4th. Its the first time Eadie has wrestled in Japan since 1993.
Hunter’s Mindless, Ongoing, Who-Cares-what-he-thinks!? Best Puro Matches of 2009
I’m hoping by that at the end of this nonsense, I’ll have a nice 10-15 match list for you guys to check out at the end of the year. Heck, maybe even a top 20~. Just so you guys know, I hate star ratings. I just do. I used to love them, had great affection and maybe even got caught by my wife with them i n the past, but hey, I just don’t think ******** is a replacement for actually knowing what you’re talking about and wish to communicate. Take them with a grain of salt, but anything that pops up on THIS list, you should probably check out.
1.) Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Shinsuke Nakamura, IWGP Heavyweight Championship, New Japan 2/15 ****
2.)Shinsuke Nakamura & Hirooki Gotoh v. Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Suguira, New Japan 1/4 ***3/4
3.) Alexander Otsuka vs. Yujiro Yamamoto, BattlARTS 2/15 ***3/4
4.) Minoru Suzuki & Taiyo Kea v. SUWAMA & Shuji Kondo, World Tag Team Championship, All Japan 3/15 ***1/2
5.) Go Shiozaki vs KENTA, NOAH 7/5 ***1/2
6.) Takashi Suguira & Go Shiozaki v. Shinsuke Nakamura & Milano Collection A.T., NOAH 3/1 ***1/2
7.) Jun Akiyama v. KENTA, NOAH 5/17 ***1/2
8.) Go Shiozaki & Kenta vs Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiku Nakajima, NOAH 6/22 ***1/2
9.) Katsumi Usuda vs. Yuta Yoshikawa ? BattlARTS 2/15 ***1/2
10.) Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada vs. Takashi Sugiura & Atsushi Aoki, New Japan 5/5 ***1/4
11.) Hirooki Gotoh v. Giant Bernard, New Japan Cup Semi Finals, New Japan 3/22 ***1/4
12.) KENTA v. Ricky Marvin, NOAH 6/5 ***1/4
13.) Mammoth Sasaki & Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Shinya Ishikawa & Yoshihito Sasaki, Big Japan ? ***1/4
14.) Ricky Marvin v. Taiji Ishimori, SEM 5/18 ***
15.) Alexander Otsuka v. Daisuke Sekimoto, IGF 3/15 ***
16.) Giant Bernard v. Yutaka Yoshie, New Japan Cup Semi Finals, New Japan 3/22 ***
17.) Yuki Ishikawa vs. Alexander Otsuka, B-Rules, BattlARTS 1/10 ***
18.) Milano Collection A.T. vs. Prince Devitt, New Japan 5/30 ***
19.) Takashi Iizuka v. Yuji Nagata, Chain Match, New Japan 4/5 ***
Go Shiozaki vs KENTA, Pro Wrestling NOAH 7/5
This was pretty darn great. Its not exactly the smartest match in the world, but in the context of things, the smart-ness of the move selection really isn’t that bad.
The build here is a lot of fun. They start off nice and respectfully, as they should. After all, this is a champion v. champion match. Then things head south in a hurry with a nicely build strike exchange that’s eventually won by Shiozaki. Kenta can’t win the straight up strike exchanges with the Champion and anytime he tries to buy himself a little time with kicks, Shiozaki just overwhelms him even more. Lucky for KENTA, he catches a break as Shiozaki clatters into a ring post and busts up his shoulder. Kenta’s kicks have an effect, but for them to give him a chance to win, he needs to get a little help and the shoulder injury gives him just that.
KENTA zeros in on the shoulder and is able to build a really fun control segment working it over. What’s best here, is that the right shoulder is Shiozaki’s money maker. His Kobashi chops, the Go Flasher, his lariats… it all comes from that right arm. In essence, Kenta’s getting a two for one deal here. The crowd buys it too, as Shiozaki’s chops have considerably less mustard than they did before and he struggles with his lifts.
Yes, in case you were wondering, Go Shiozaki decided to sell. Sell his A$$ off.
The next part of the match is going to be a bit controversial, IMO. They basically begin the back and forth parts here, and the move selection isn’t as hot as it could be, especially with Shiozaki uncorking some rather big lariats. You’d figure after having your shoulder busted up like that, you wouldn’t do it. He’s not the greatest at selling it, but he does most of the time. Kenta at least kicks out of all the lariats, and they seem to have a lot less of an effect. There’s definitely a sense that had Go’s shoulder not been busted up, that one or two lariats would likely get the job done. Here, he tries four or five. In a weird way, it works, even though its not the smartest strategy. Some people will like it, others won’t, but its definitely the ‘red flag’ in the match that isn’t really that big of a deal. Worth noting and it might cause some people to not dig this as much as others.
There’s only one Go 2 Sleep attempt and one Busaiku knee attempt from Kenta, and one Go Flasher. The move that ends the match. There’s not a lot of head dumping, there’ve little to no ‘no selling’, the strike exchanges are never overdone and are well built to and the match progresses soundly from them as well.
Right now, this is probably the best match I’ve seen from Pro Wrestling NOAH this year. Its this or the Akiyama/KENTA match. That one could’ve been trimmed own five minutes, but this felt built well, large in part because of the SELLING. Thank God for the selling. Either way, if this is a preview of things to come in the Akira Taue run Pro Wrestling NOAH, then sign me up. They’ve been awesome this month.