Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

Blogs

 

NOW ON PWO DATABASE PLUS: Newsreel Archive!

PWO Database Plus is coming along nicely! We have found a way to leverage our old Match Discussion Archive and the informed, thoughtful voices in our community by adding a one-stop shop for wrestling information. We hope you'll follow along as we continue building and expanding on this resource. The newsreel archive is in progress. This will be a full archive of all of the pro wrestling newsreels, mostly from before the 1950s, that we know about, compiling information from the Moving Image Research Collection, Associated Press, MyFootage.com, Getty Images, and other newsreel databases in one searchable place. The newsreels from British Pathe before 1930 have been catalogued with the film numbers, official titles, and when possible, embedded video here!  While many of the clips are wrestling related but do not contain matches, in cases of actual matches, we've also added topics to the Matches section so that you can watch and share your thoughts. We also have threads for all pro wrestling footage that we know of before 1930 added to this section. Stay tuned for more updates!

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

NOAH You Might Have Missed - 2006

Pro Wrestling NOAH was probably the first puro promotion that I actively followed in "real time." They had an English language website, top talent appearing on ROH DVDs, and of course Misawa, Akiyama, Taue & Kobashi. Having never seen any of their 5 star classics, keeping tabs on NOAH was the closest thing for me at the time. They had great photos of fights & a nice archive of results. Looking back, I think I got in at the tail end of their golden period in 2006. However, it wasn't until years later that I got to see the actual matches from that year. I'd like to sort of pull back from the 2010's for a bit and this seems like a good start...even if it is just 4 years earlier Naomichi Marufuji & Kotaro Suzuki vs KENTA & Ricky Marvin (01/08/06): This match was just what I wanted. It was really quick and right on point with execution. The middle segment controlling Marvin and breaking apart his knees fell a little flat because the crowd wasn't really buying it. Marvin was screaming though which was a nice touch. Of course, as most of his offense is dependant upon his legs, the long term selling of the damage wasn’t great. Still, he limited his activity to one or two bursts of energy. Plus he did hobble and slow his running down…so I think this was more of an “audience not getting it” situation. Ricky did what he needed to in order to keep up the excitement level but not brush off the damage. The small town fans just wanted to see Marufuji and KENTA. They were not disappointed.   Akira Taue vs Jun Akiyama - (GHC Title) (01/22/06): This was as fantastic as it needed to be. It was very brutal in the spot oriented match sense. Two of my Dad’s least favorite (in a sense) wrestlers murdering one another. It was fun to show him this one! This was quite gruesome at times especially when there were a couple occasions where I thought each guy was crippled. Still, I admire both guys and it warmed my heart when people were cheering for Taue at the opening. Here we saw Akiyama as dominant ace...if only for a moment. Yeah NOAH, yeah! Great match Low Ki vs Kotaro Suzuki (02/17/06): A fun Junior contest between two guys who are brilliant on offense. Their defense was less than developed although Low-Ki showed an avenue of genius. Still this was a fun, highly athletic and competitive bout. Ki was going to win because he out ranked Kotaro but, it was dramatic and exciting. Kenta Kobashi, Tamon Honda & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Takeshi Morishima, KENTA & Mohammed Yone (02/17/06): Oh sweet Jeebus this match was all kinds of fun. It was a drag with Yone as the crowd seemed to collapse when he was in there, the same with Honda & Kanemaru too for that matter. Eventually, it turned into K-Hall pandemonium. It was as if the Funks with Jumbo were fighting Abby, the Sheik and Brody. I never thought that they’d get back in the ring! The highlight and focus was KENTA vs. Kobashi, they brought Budokan level stiffness for sure. Oh my goodness this was brutal. Eventually, Honda and Kanemaru were getting hot and Morishima was pure ruler here too. I mean, Morishima vs. Kobashi seemed just as great. If they could have held the excitement in the slow parts in the beginning, this would have been one of those secret Korakuen gems. It’s one of those matches where Kobashi is Mr. Puro!  Austin Aries vs KENTA (ROH 06/24/06): My formal introduction to the awesome talents of Austin Aries and KENTA and boy, is this a match! Just an athletic Jr. weight match that is so damn stiff at just the right times. And the crowd is electric and both guys just eat it up and go for broke.  The commentators make note that they’re mirror images and I was thinking, “Now let’s get real…” but, man Aries is great here and matches the future Mr. Itami. This truly may be one of Aries' best bouts.  A proper "swing for the fences" match with a great enthusiastic crowd. Nice build, great crowd reactions, beautiful execution; just an awesome match…this is an overlooked ROH classic. I loved it the first time I saw it but, was surprised just how good it is on the rewatch. See this if you want to remember who KENTA was! More 2006 NOAH rewind to come! Gonna try to be a chronologically consistent as I can Thanks!

G. Badger

G. Badger

 

SHOW REVIEW: Starrcade '83: A Flair For The Gold

16 months before the first Wrestlemania, Jim Crockett Promotions decided to go big, broadcasting Starrcade '83: A Flair For The Gold on closed circuit in eight states and flying in talent from the Puerto Rico and Florida territories to really give this the ultimate supercard feel. One could argue the first Starrcade as the night wrestling stopped being what it was and started being what it is, since from here on, the biggest and most notable shows were delivered to a much broader audience than just those attending live. It was a card that predicted the pay-per-view model for pro wrestling, even if it wasn't a pay-per-view itself. Soon after, the famed "War of '84" hit pro wrestling with Hulk Hogan (who was briefly advertised to appear on this card) debuting on WWF television as the WWF began an aggressive national expansion campaign, making this show the end of something every bit as much as it is the beginning. Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine, both of whom would be in the WWF within a few months, stole the show with a bloody dog collar match and the popular Ricky Steamboat-Jay Youngblood tag team regained the NWA World Tag Team Titles from Jack and Jerry Brisco in a very good semi-main event. However, it's the main event that's the most memorable match from the show, with Ric Flair winning his second NWA World Title from Harley Race, ostensibly a full passing of the torch. While Flair was already established as the top NWA star and had great success, this title win was much higher profile than his first one and is arguably the point when he truly became The Man. The show is a bit clumsy in its audio problems and excessive backstage interviews, just as Gordon Solie's performance isn't his best. Those issues fall aside as the historical importance and audacity of even doing the show take center stage; an idea that was prompted by a massively successful Greensboro card in March became an annual staple in JCP and WCW that continued until the company's final days. The Assassins vs Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin vs Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee Abdullah the Butcher vs Carlos Colon Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood vs Bob Orton Jr. & Dick Slater NWA TV Title, No DQ, No Time Limit: Great Kabuki vs Charlie Brown Dog Collar: Roddy Piper vs Greg Valentine (Discuss) NWA World Tag Team Titles No DQ: Jack & Jerry Brisco (c) vs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood (Discuss) NWA World Heavyweight Title, Cage:  Harley Race (c) vs Ric Flair (Discuss) Bold matches are PWO Recommended. Provide your comments in the Show Discussion thread.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE SHOW: Alpha-1 Battle by the Big Apple (07-15-18)

Powerbomb.tv has uploaded a limited-time free show to their network: Alpha-1's Battle by the Big Apple from July 15 in Colbourne, Ontario, Canada. The card: Brett Michael David vs Justin Sane Jody Threat vs Gisele Shaw Gregory Iron vs Kobe Durst vs Mark Wheeler vs Space Monkey Bushwhacker Luke vs Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham A1 Zero Gravity Title: Alex Daniels vs Eric Cairnie Monster Mafia (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) vs Riot Makers (Holden Albright & Stratos Fear) A1 Alpha Male Title: Rickey Shane Page (c) vs Shane Sabre Watch the show here, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE MATCH: Will Rood vs Virgil Flynn vs El Chupacabra vs Jeff Cobb (05-04-14)

Gold Rush Pro Wrestling has added a match to their YouTube channel from their archives. On May 4, 2014, Dynamite Division Champion Will Rood defended the title in a four-way match against El Chupacabra, Jeff Cobb, and the late Virgil Flynn.  Gold Rush Pro also added a description to the video that included ways to support Flynn's family: "Help support the family of Virgil Flynn during their time of loss by either donating to the GoFundMe page or buying Virgil's merchandise along with numerous other wrestlers who have graciously donating all their merchandise to Virgil's family! www.gofundme.com/virgil-flynn-iii-family-fund If you want to donate directly to the Flynn family, you can. 
Their @PayPal is [email protected] brownbutterwrestling.com/VFIII.html  www.prowrestlingtees.com/renoscum www.prowrestlingtees.com/wrestlingwithwregret www.ProWrestlingTees.com/WPW" Watch the video below and share your thoughts in the comments!  

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE MATCH: Jerry Lawler vs Kevin Thorn (07-06-18)

YouTube user FanCam Guy has uploaded a new Jerry Lawler match to his channel from Memphis Redbirds Wrestling Night on July 6. Lawler's opponent is Kevin Thorn, formerly Mordecai in WWE. For many PWO readers, "The King" is a bit of a timeless wrestler who can still go in his 60s. If you're a fan of Lawler, this channel has plenty of under-the-radar matches featuring Lawler and other Memphis talent that you might find interesting. Let us know your thoughts on this or anything else on this channel in the comments.  

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE MATCH: Larry Zbyszko vs Masa Saito (02-10-90)

New Japan Pro Wrestling has uploaded a match to their YouTube channel from one of the earliest Tokyo Dome shows, this one on February 10, 1990. In this match, Larry Zbyszko defended the AWA World Title against Masa Saito, who recently passed away. Here are some testimonials from the thread in PWO's Match Discussion Archive. "I really love the matwork they pull off in the early stages of this and how Saito is able to get the crowd so solidly behind him while he has Larry tied up like a pretzel. Zbyszko heels it big time with a low blow on Saito right after he's pumped up the crowd in such a big way. The nearfalls in this are really good. Short match, but not a wasted moment." -- Me
  "How was this match completely slept upon (to my knowledge) until now? Zbyszko kicking out of *two* Saito suplexes and then getting in another run of offense of his own gave this a downright AJPW feel. The very closing stretch had that feel too, with one suplex not putting him away but the second being enough. Also I can't say enough about Saito's little running-man dances to pump the crowd up. Worth watching just to see Saito working as a gladhanding babyface but the match holds up, too." -- PWO member Pete F3
  "Fun match with both guys really knowing how to rile up the crowd and get them invested. Zbysko's timing of the low blow was magically done and Saito getting the crowd behind him was really fun. I have not seen the Saito AWA stuff yet but of what I have seen of him this was my favorite match of his." -- PWO member soup23
  "This was not just a neat toss-off between two guys who have gained esteem in our little circle. It was an excellent match that built from nicely contested matwork all the way through some great near falls at the end. I loved Saito's expressiveness as a babyface, which really seemed to pull the crowd into the match. Then I got even more fired up by Zbyszko's series of punches near the end. Loss called this a short match, but it actually felt longer and more epic than I expected." -- PWO member Childs
  "Felt this was going to be a flat match but they manage to turn this into a good match. Larry goes all heel with the low blow that the fans don't like. They really had me on some of the later small package pinfall attempts. Nice moment for Saito." -- PWO member Kevin Ridge
  "Good, borderline great match. Zbyszko doesn't do much on offense, but like Loss said, there isn't any wasted movement either. He has almost a Jimmy Connors thing going with all the screaming and yelling he is doung, both on offense and while he is selling. Saito as a babyface is interesting, and he does a great job getting the crowd behind him. Maybe the last truly great AWA World title match?" -- PWO member Cox
  "I really dug this match. Some wonderful classic wrestling matwork here which is refreshing to see considering today's trend of doing MMA style matwork. Crowd was really into this as well and Zybyszko did a good job of hitting a low blow, which isn't done too often in Japan. Nicely worked match here and one I would probably view again." -- PWO member Laney
  Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments, or add your thoughts in the Match Discussion Archive!

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

UPDATED: NEW MATCH: Daniel Bryan vs The Miz (WWE Summerslam Heatwave Tour 07-21-18, St. Louis, MO)

YouTube user Master of Muppets has added a match from last night's house show in St. Louis to his YouTube channel. This appears to be the first Daniel Bryan vs The Miz singles match to make tape since Bryan's comeback, even though they've been slowly gearing up the rivalry at arena events for months. Pretty good camerawork considering that it was shot via smartphone in the audience. You can watch it below. Let us know what you think! UPDATE Reader Wahoo's Leg pointed out that this also hit YouTube a few months ago. The Miz vs Daniel Bryan from Newcastle, England, on May 17.  

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE SHOW: PWX PURE 3 (06-23-18)

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based Premiere Wrestling Xperience has uploaded PURE 3 to their YouTube channel, which took place on June 23. The card appears to be a strong one for fans of the current Southern indy scene: Jake Manning vs Mykrin Ballard Joey Lynch vs Patrick Scott Big Country vs Elijah Proctor Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) vs Mason Myles & Mr. Sleaze Ian Maxwell vs Andre Guhn vs Cam Carter John Skyler vs Drew Adler Slim J vs Darius Lockhart Check out the full card below and let us know what you think in the comments.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

NEW TV: MLW 'Fusion' Episode #14

Major League Wrestling has posted the latest episode of Fusion to their YouTube channel. This show taped on July 12 in Orlando, FL, and looks on paper to be a card with solid potential. The matches: Kahuna Khan vs Kiki Roberts Anything Goes Grudge Match: Tom Lawlor vs Jimmy Havoc MLW World Title: Low Ki (c) vs Shane Strickland You can watch the show below. Let us know what you think in the comments!  

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

NEW TV: CWF Mid-Atlantic 'Worldwide' Episodes 155 & 156

CWF Mid-Atlantic has posted two new episodes of Worldwide to their YouTube channel. The match lists looks like this. Episode 155 Kernodle Cup Semi-Finals: Trevor Lee & Chet Sterling vs The Carnies (Nick Iggy & Kerry Awful) Kernodle Cup Semi-Finals: Redemption (Michael McAllister & Nick Richards) vs The Closers (Sloan Caprice & Rick Roland) RGL Title Match: Kool Jay (c) vs Mace Li vs Jeff Castro vs John Castro Roy Wilkins vs Dirty Daddy Episode 156 Kernodle Cup Finals: Trevor Lee & Chet Sterling vs The Closers Mike Mars vs Aaron Biggs The Gym Nasty Boys (White Mike & Timmy Lou Retton) & The Cross Brothers (Aden Cross & Christian Cross) vs Corruption (Cain Justice & Ethan A. Sharpe) & High Profile (Shea Shea McGrady & Will Demented)     Anything the rest of us should go out of our way to check out? Let us know what you think of both episodes in the comments.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

NEW STREAMING: Best of Sherri Martel in SSW

Beau James has recently launched the Southern States Wrestling network on Pivotshare, which should be a nice addition of some classic pro wrestling many of us haven't seen. One of the most recent additions that is likely well worth checking out is a Best of Sherri Martel in SSW video, which includes footage of her both wrestling and managing and includes her induction in the East Tennessee Hall of Fame. Sherri is most remembered for her run as a WWF manager from 1989-1993, first paired with Randy Savage and then with Ted DiBiase. When Shawn Michaels became a singles heel, he was quickly paired with Sherri, perhaps as a signal to fans that Shawn was someone worth watching, as she only managed top heels in the company. Sherri would go on to manage Ric Flair in WCW after Hulk Hogan jumped ship and she later managed Harlem Heat as well.  Despite mostly being remembered for her work as a manager, Sherri was also a more-than-capable worker in her own right, with a frequent line from Wrestling Observer Newsletter correspondents in the late 80s and early 90s being that on WWF house shows, even just in the corner, she was often the best worker on the show. In a bit of trivia, Sherri was also the first wrestler ever to be managed by Jim Cornette. Before coming to the WWF, Sherri also worked as a ringside second for Doug Somers and Buddy Rose in the AWA during their legendary feud with Michaels and Marty Jannetty in 1986-1987. During the USWA vs WWF feud of 1993, she returned to Memphis to briefly reunite with Savage for his feud with Jerry Lawler. Other recent additions to the SSW channel include: Death and Destruction (Roger Anderson and Frank Parker), a great and overlooked Southern tag team, against Ricky Morton and Dan Cooley Two episodes of SSW TV from the summer of 2003 SSW's 1999 International Wrestling Cup Have you watched anything on the SSW channel yet? If so, we'd love to hear from you in the comments.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE MATCH: Shane Strickland vs Austin Aries from DEFY Wrestling (04-13-2018)

DEFY Wrestling has posted a new match to their YouTube channel between Shane Strickland and Austin Aries. The match took place on April 13 in Seattle, WA, at DEFY Vibes.  This was a title vs title match with Strickland putting up the DEFY 8xGP title against Aries' Impact World Title. Watch it here and share your thoughts in the comments! If there's enough buzz around it, I'll take a look.  

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

NEW MATCH: AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan vs Samoa Joe & The Miz (WWE Summerslam Heatwave Tour 07-16-18, Reading, PA)

The incomparable Master of Muppets has added a match to his YouTube channel from the house show on Monday night (July 16) in Reading, PA. The match sees AJ Styles team with Daniel Bryan against Samoa Joe and The Miz as part of the awkwardly-named Summerslam Heatwave Tour. The camera quality isn't great in this particular case, but if you can tough it out, it's a good chance to see Bryan and Miz opposite each other -- a matchup that has evaded us on television since Bryan's spring return and will likely happen at Summerslam.  RELATED MATCH: Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson (ROH Midnight Express Reunion 10-02-04)

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

NJPW vs CHAOS 2010 tags

So, this little project came about by searching for Tanaka vs Makabe matches on YouTube. How I got to that is a bit of a mystery. If I had to guess, I'd say it was out of curiosity alone. I don't think I found a singles encounter on the 'tube. However, there was a crap ton of tags available. Investigation revealed that a whole chunk of house show matches from the Fall of 2010 were recorded and uploaded by NJPW. These matches show some of the early battles between NJ main roster & CHAOS.  CHAOS is or perhaps was one of the most popular stables but, it is a splinter group from Togi Makabe (Tenzan was originally leader) Great Bash Heel (Great Big Head, Grievous Bodily Harm or GBH) group. Nakamura staged a coup (he was an outsider who agitated the GBH members) and ousted Makabe (Honma sided with Makabe). So here we see an alliance of Makabe with Tanahashi and Hirooki Goto to combat Nakamura and his group of badasses. This begins about right after when Togi Makabe wins the IWGP Heavyweight title in May 2010. This series of matches reminds me of 1996 Michinoku Pro or 1990 AJPW tag matches. We have roughly the same parties for each encounter but, its exciting and interesting every time. Or at least to me  I'll list full names as they first appear but, will use last names after that. Let's do the wrestling!!! Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Hirooki Goto, Yuji Nagata & Wataru Inoue vs Shinsuke Nakamura, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, Tetsuya Naito & Yujiro Takahashi (05/08/10): 10 man fight, alrighty then! This could be a mess but, everyone really clicks and no interactions overstay their welcome. Inoue really shines in this match. That maybe surprising since he's been off most fans radars since day one but, he brings it here. He's the Kikuchi on the NJ squad. A very excellent start where we learn that anyone can lose and anything can end it. Again, very M-Pro like or lucha like. Highly recommended Tanahashi, Makabe & Goto vs Nakamura, Tanaka & Ishii (09/04/10): Seemingly an upgrade but, a hair below the previous match in quality. It should be checked out nonetheless. Goto & Nakamura get into a mat scramble that leads to them fighting after a tag. The ref has to break them up and Shinsuke spits at Goto's feet. Very nasty stuff. Also, Takahashi and Nakamura's work together was subtle but very good. It reminded me of Misawa and Kawada in their 6 man matches. The work was organic to the point where it was understood that this was only one battle in a much larger war. So, Nakamura really excelled here but, Makabe the champ did as well. When he came in like a fucking berserker at the end, I was loving it! He sure as hell looked like the World Champ to me. 14 minutes of great wrestling. Tanahashi & Makabe vs Tanaka & Satoshi Kojima (09/10/10): Not sure if Kojima is CHAOS affiliated here. There was some good action but, Kojima & Tanaka's bland knee focused offense hurt this match. Generally, predestrian match. There are a couple other Kojima matches that I avoided because of this one. Too bad because I do like Kojima but, I feel like he may have lost "it" by this point. Nakamura, Naito & Takahashi vs Tanahashi, Makabe & Goto (09/19/10): Naito was first introduced to me as part of No Limit with Takahashi on TNA when they were fighting Motorcity Machine Guns for the IWGP Jr. belts. That was cool that TNA was having Japanese talent on TV. That's how I first saw Tanahashi too. Anyhow, Jr. team are with Shinsuke tonight to take on the NJ A-Team. Tana works the crowd up from the start. I get the feeling that this is a smaller, less hardcore crowd as they're all very pro Tanahashi. He starts of with some nice wrestling with Naito but, we soon get Goto & Naka which leads to a slow Tanahashi babyface in danger segment. Now, the ACE is pretty darn good in peril but, this felt a bit more lethargic then the previous encounters. Again, I chalk it up to the venue/event/crowd size. Goto & Nakamura get back into it and that leads to the hot stretch to a finish portion.  It's a recommended match as it stokes the feud's fire but, it's a little formulaic. Hey, the 90-92 Misawa/Jumbo 6 mans went there a few times too (Not that this is on THAT level) ;P Tanaka & Ishii vs Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (11/03/10): Wished we got some stuff from October but, maybe that was the Kojima stuff I skipped. Anyhow, this is from the G1 Tag League. There are some expected long strike exchanges that hurt the flow of the match but, this was a nice battle nonetheless. The real standout was Tanaka. He nearly beats the GBH remenants on his own and goes straight psycho-killer on the Unchained Gorilla Makabe on the floor. I'd highly recommend this match to Dangan fans for sure! Ok so now we get a little Jr. participation. I want to go in depth on this series at another date but, here is a little taste as it fits into the timeline very well. Inoue, Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt vs Nakamura, Naito & Davey Richards (11/19/10): Yup, Davey was in NJ for a year or two. I totally forgot about it but, thought it was a great move for him at the time. He really should have focused more on a career in Japan. That being said, this had good reason to be a train wreck as I'm wasn't confident in Davey's ability to work with the NJ natives. Sure, he had NOAH experience but, he usually was on a gaijin team. I was expecting some bungling but, nope! This was some fast paced magic. Davey was great yelling shit in English too Taguchi though...damn. 13 minutes of action. Naito, Takahashi & Richards vs Tanahashi, Taguchi & Devitt (11/27/10): Naito taking Tanahashi to the canvas and grappling is something to always I'll enjoy. Frankly, if Tanahashi scrapped the leg focus stuff and was a matworker like Osamu Nishimura yet threw in his highspots, I'd probably be a giant fan of his. That being said, his performance in this series has made me a bit of a convert. Also my Ryusuke Taguchi appreciation continues to grow. Um, I don't have too many notes on the action as I really dug this one. Davey is in there more often than the previous encounter and it works well. He and Apollo 55 go at it. Tanahashi finally goes Super Saiyan and unloads. It really means something though as he has not needed to do so until now. There really is something to NOT doing big moves all of the time. I think the ACE is as guilty as anyone from what I've seen but, in this series (and because these are mainly house shows) he has showed the restraint and discernment of a true veteran. Great match Tanahashi, Makabe & Manabu Nakanishi vs Tanaka, Yano & Nakamura (12/02/10): Maybe it was Yano being back in the mix but, this was another really good 6 man. Nakanishi played his caveman part well and added a nice dynamic at this point in the series. Admittedly, these are running together especially, as Makabe and Tanaka aren't changing their routine up too much. But, it's all good. This feud is giving me a WAR vs NJ vibe. Sweet finish, highly recommended match. Nakamura, Tanaka, Takahashi & Naito vs Tanahashi, Makabe, Nagata & Inoue (12/04/10): This venue looks like the classic Michinoku Pro gym from the 90's. It's not but, I think I'm wanting to be. This feud/program has been just so much fun. This one starts with Tana vs Tranquilo-to-be on the mat but quickly has all 8 men fighting. Wataru taking on Nakamura- hells yes, dude! Obviously, it doesn't work out in the end and CHAOS isolate and destroy. When, Togi Makabe gets that tag, watch out! The man cleans house. He lariats the shit out of Tanaka but, payback is a bitch. Tana's still killing it and when Yuji Nagata comes in like a MF-ing veteran- holy shit! Insane stretch run and fantastic finish. Great, great match. Makabe & Honma vs Nakamura & Tanaka (12/05/10):I love the single floor camera that most of these matches feature. It is great for this type of stuff as you can hear how hard the blows are & you're ringside and even in the middle of the action. You wouldn't belive these are house shows based off how hard they are going at it. Dangan and the Gorilla do their routine but, again it fucking works. Its so intense and you never can tell if there's gonna be a twist. Their brawling outside and after the bell is just pure pro wrestling. And damn 2010 Nakamura is the optimal version to me. I like the Beat It tribute act but, there's something about the straight forward confidence of this character. Another great match. In conclusion, these small show mathces put things back into perspective. Most fans especially overseas only really get the opportunity or make the time to watch the BIG shows and BIG matches. Myself included. We compare Big Show A to Big Show B (not Paul Wight). But, damn, it's these gems in between that are where it's at to me. There's no excessive finishers or kickouts or resthold masking as psychology. There's only enough time to get your simple but, engaging story across. Its 15-20 minutes of a struggle, of "fighting." This batch of matches felt like Choshu-Tenryu style for the 21st century. Who knows if they're still doing this or if this really was just the rare product of having so much talent peaking in the ring. This has been probably my longest blog entry so, if you've made it this far. I want to mention where my next little exploration into NJ from nearly a decade ago is going. I think the start of the resurgence in interest in NJ was with the influx of gaijin Jrs. like Devitt, Omega, Shelley/Sabin, Romero & Koslov and others (Davey & Low-Ki for example). Their pairing with talent like Taguchi, Tiger Mask IV, bringing in Kota Ibushi (along with Omega), Marufuji and eventually KUSHIDA helped brings eyes back to New Japan in the early 2010's. NOAH was a shell of itself after Misawa died and AJPW had lost it's interest after Muto changed it (although early 2010 AJ is another shiny bit of seaglass on the beach that I am investigating). So, it was only natural that someone had to fill the void.  I'd like to check  this period out a bit more. There were certainly people in the know back then but, I think 8 years later and with giant interest in NJ, it's important to look back.

G. Badger

G. Badger

2000's NJPW You Might Have Missed

Part 2 to my Fire Pro World prepubescent-like obsessive compulsive hype up. This entry was going to have a couple more matches but, I ended up going down a NJ rabbit hole. So, my next post will cover that, hint its CHAOS vs NJPW house shows in 2010. In the meantime, we've got a couple Fire Pro Returns dream matches that I never knew happened. I mean, for real, these are some FPR match maker multi-man battles. And a couple single bouts as I'm a Nagata & Tanaka fan. Genichiro Tenryu, Minoru Suzuki & Kensuke Sasaki vs Masahiro Chono, Manabu Nakanishi & Jushin Thunder Liger (11/21/04): Yeah, I felt like writing Liger's full name out. Why not? It makes the match seem older and grander, doesn't it? Well, maybe Akira Hokuto's presence makes it more grand. Its not like it needs it. You've got the legend freelance team from hell here. If this was an 8 man match, they'd get Takayama, I bet. Onto the review! This is just that heated puroresu you don't see very often anymore. This felt like Tenryu had been carrying the WAR vs NJ feud in his lumpy Grinch heart all of this time. He & Chono made their time count while allowing the (somewhat) younger members to take the brunt of the beatings. Smart veterans! Speaking of beatings, Sasaki and Nakanishi's chop & lariat battle was badass. Nakanishi doesn't get the respect that he deserves. He is a helluva clean-up hitter in these type of bouts. Also, Suzuki was his charismatically crazy self. So, you know you gotta see this for that psycho bastard in his prime. This was a great match for sure. I know I'm leaving stuff out but, you're going to want to see it for yourself! Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Kazayuki Fujita & Kendo Kashin vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shinsuke Nakamura, Osamu Nishimura (05/19/05): Random ass Fire Pro Battle for sure...toped by the fact that Nagata's team comes out wearing Super Strong Machine masks. This combination and style is so weird based on what I have been watching during this year's G1. But to that point, remember emoting in wrestling? Fuck yeah, me too! Let's take a trip back in time and witness some!  Perhaps it is nostalgia permeating my brain but, Fujita was an awesome beast of a human being that should have been champ for life There is a simple joy watching him destroy Nakamura who many people think of as King of Strong Style. Yuji Nagata too should wear that crown before Nak' (and I like the dude)! Case in point for the Blue Warrior-watch the part where Tanahashi stiffly slaps & elbows him. The man just absorbs punishment and re-channels it unto his opponent (Wasn't that Bishop's power from X-Men?). Anyhow, I'm going through my notes, and I'm gushing about everything (except Tenzan-no gripes either). So, here's another great match that time may have forgotten if NJPW archivists didn't post this on YouTube. If you're a fan from the 2000's, maybe you don't watch a ton of wrestling, do yourself a favor & watch this match. Or the one above...or walk on the wild side and watch both! Yuji Nagata vs Togi Makabe (03/21/07) NJ Cup. This started off decently but, Makabe and his pal Honma started cheating-hardcore. Now, I'll say I really was sick of cheating heels in 2007 since TNA at the time was swimming in that bullshit. Oftentimes, its a cover up for a lack of athleticism, narrative direction, or talent. A cop out But, damn! It worked here. Nagata's getting choked with the chain, bleeding and man, he's gotta make the comeback! Enough bull Makabe, kill him or pin him! Sure enough, Mr. Blue Justice gets his opportunity and blazes King Kong Makabe with hard kicks. Eventually, he sinks in the step over arm breaker. Blood dripping down his face, eyes rolled back like The Deadman ©®™ and I'm hooked!! A great moment for fellow Nagata fans and a great match. Maybe newer fans won't appreciate the lack of arm hooking spin around moves but, this was pretty sweet to me. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Masato Tanaka (08/15/09) G1 Climax match. I've come to appreciate Tanahashi in multi man tags but, this restores some faith that he's a fantastic singles wrestler. I say that because they fucking obliterated each other. On top of that, more heel interference that means something, believable false finishes, and Tana leg work from underneath that provides transition rather than weigh the fight down. Classic G1 match? Classic match all around to me. 22 minutes doesn't hurt either There's more for next time...

G. Badger

G. Badger

2010's NJPW You Might Have Missed

The Fire Pro World and NJPW partnership has got me really psyched up. The glut of posts I've made on the forum is evidence of that  Its all good though because I thought Fire Pro was done after Fire Pro Returns. Its funny because its a little bit of history repeating as I bought a PS2 back in 2007 specifically for FPR and I'll be buying a PS4 for the sole purpose of playing FPW. Admittedly, Fire Pro Returns was a bigger deal as the game never had a US release and I could only mod my PS1 so much and could only admire the awesomeness of Fire Pro D from afar. I would say Fire Pro Returns is a big reason that I became a fanatic for Puroresu. I printed name guides and move lists for all of the wrestlers and studied them against my old VHS tapes and incoming DVDs (plus WCW vs the World PS1).  So with this release for the PS4, Fire Pro has got to up the ante. The NJPW partnership is the first chip and new moves, expanded Create-a-Wrestler, and story mode have sweetened the pot for me. However, 08/28 is a little bit away so, I've got to keep the fires stoked somehow. What better way than by combing through free NJ matches on YouTube? What's great (in a way) is the relatively recent stuff from NJ's boom period is at a premium and most likely available on the NJPW World streaming service. The YouTube stuff is perhaps the stuff "no one" cares about anymore . And by "no one", I mean mainstream wrestling fans...people who perhaps have the streaming service and know Okada, Bullet Club etc. but have no clue who Inoki, Hashimoto, or Fujinami are. I'm rambling...onto the matches. The Fire Pro World and NJPW partnership has got me really psyched up. The glut of posts I've made on the forum is evidence of that  Its all good though because I thought Fire Pro was done after Fire Pro Returns. Its funny because its a little bit of history repeating as I bought a PS2 back in 2007 specifically for FPR and I'll be buying a PS4 for the sole purpose of playing FPW. Admittedly, Fire Pro Returns was a bigger deal as the game never had a US release and I could only mod my PS1 so much and could only admire the awesomeness of Fire Pro D from afar. I would say Fire Pro Returns is a big reason that I became a fanatic for Puroresu. I printed name guides and move lists for all of the wrestlers and studied them against my old VHS tapes and incoming DVDs (plus WCW vs the World PS1).  So with this release for the PS4, Fire Pro has got to up the ante. The NJPW partnership is the first chip and new moves, expanded Create-a-Wrestler, and story mode have sweetened the pot for me. However, 08/28 is a little bit away so, I've got to keep the fires stoked somehow. What better way than by combing through free NJ matches on YouTube? What's great (in a way) is the relatively recent stuff from NJ's boom period is at a premium and most likely available on the NJPW World streaming service. The YouTube stuff is perhaps the stuff "no one" cares about anymore . And by "no one", I mean mainstream wrestling fans...people who perhaps have the streaming service and know Okada, Bullet Club etc. but have no clue who Inoki, Hashimoto, or Fujinami are. I'm rambling...onto the matches! Ok this first one is 2009 but, close enough... Shinsuke Nakamura vs Hirooki Goto (08/07/09): G1 match. People didn't really care about the G1 until a couple years ago when Dr.Dave and others started rating these highly. AJ vs Minoru Suzuki, I think is the big one. Otherwise, there were probably only like a handful of G1 matches that got uber pimped. Nonetheless, the tournament always produced a few great battles. This has got to be one for '09. Smart, violent Nakamura vs Tank like Goto in 16 minutes of vicious strikes, suplexes, and slams. There was a miscommunication early or in the middle, I believe but, it was quickly forgotten. As much as I like the psycho Beat It Nakamura, this iteration is best because he's not so predictable. For instance, there is an awesome ground work sequence at the end that had me saying, "Damn I need more of this in my NJ!" Go see this and you'll want Nak' back in NJ immediately. Ryusuke Taguchi vs Kota Ibushi (06/10/11): 18 minutes of perfectly executed action. Ibushi was flashy here with a cartwheel move but, I'm OK with the rest of his offence. He made it look natural. However, the real talent of the match was Taguchi. He employed a strong abdomen focused attack on Ibushi from beginning to end. Unfortunately, Ibushi doesn't go very deep in selling this psychology. He lets you know how tired and hurt overall but, doesn't so much as clutch his ribs or chest to convey the strategy of Taguchi...Doing this may have put this into classic Jr. canon contention. Alas, we just get an excellent fireworks match. Or an excellent Fire Pro World match Still, no one really recalls how Devitt & Taguchi  were hot shit back then. Their matches with Golden Lovers & Motor City Machine Guns were what got people excited about NJ. Then, the Tanahashi stuff started up. Anyway, great match here. Probably will dig back into the early 2010 NJ Jr. Tag scene next post. Tomohiro Ishii vs Hirooki Goto (05/20/12): I'll be honest. The IC and Never contenders are the real heavyweights in NJ. The IWGP heavy stuff (especially Tanahashi & Okada) is like WWE Japan at times. There are exceptions for sure as I really dug Omega vs Okada at WK12 and Naito is the man. I just think the Nakamura-Ishii-Goto combo was the bees knees for a few years. You can throw Makabe, Nagata, and a couple others in there and you've got a winner in my book. I say this because people no longer associate NJ with this beat guys into a pulp style but, before the Jr. Elevation Explosion, it was Kensuke, Hashimoto, Choshu, Kojima, Tenzan, Nagata and others doing straight forward physical matches. Goto and Ishii carry on that tradition. No surprise as Goto is the pupil of Tenzan and Ishii is Choshu's. Put simply, there are strike battles and no-sells that are the hallmark of the period but, they can be overlooked when it cannot be determined if Ishii is bleeding from giving or receiving a straight headbutt. Moderation is the key to this style but probably no more than the spot and sequence heavy style in vogue. Highly recommended match. Kazushi Sakuraba vs Shinsuke Nakamura (01/04/13 WK 7): I'll guess that I personally would like this better than the Okada vs Tanahashi main event of this super show of super shows. I'm ragging on NJ a lot for allegedly wanting to buy their game so bad This bout starts polite until Nak' slaps Saku. Then, it gets blown open like old corduroy pants! The Gracie Killer unloads with palm strikes and aggressive grappling. Shinsuke is just trying to stay alive until he can deliver his patented knees  and make some space to breathe. This fight is Strong Style Evolved in the true sense. Slaps, knees, armbars all while Nakamura is able to insert his character and Saku is able to smash Nakamura's head like an egg! Awesome stuff man. Part 2 featuring tag matches and multi-man matches should be up soon. Tenryu in 2004 anyone? Thanks for reading! Hope this pumped you up for watching NJ and playing Fire Pro!  

G. Badger

G. Badger

 

LISTEN: Beau James Interviews Randy Hales

Beau James, a.k.a. King of Kingsport, has posted an episode of an old podcast called "Do You Wanna Be A Wrestler, Kid?" to his YouTube channel where he interviewed Randy Hales.  Hales was the promoter of Power Pro Wrestling in Memphis, TN, from 1998-2001 and worked for many years before that for Jarrett Promotions, making him a mainstay in the Memphis wrestling scene of the time period. Topics include the USWA-WWF working relationship of the 1990s, Monday Night Memories, and Hales booking the USWA. You can listen below. Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: UPDATE, July 15: Part 4 has also been added above. As Beau James mentioned to me on Twitter, he also conducted a two-part interview with Bill Dundee.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

FREE MATCHES: FTWW Breakin' It Down

YouTube user carlos lucha has posted matches Fight The World Wrestling's Breakin' It Down show on July 7 in Tampa, Florida to his channel. Links are included below. Full card: Damien Darling & Jack Gallow vs Alex Todd & Apolo Jr. Luis Adams vs Tony Ortega Amber Nova vs Layne Rosario vs Natalia Markova vs Rosalie Valle Max Power vs Josh Grady Chico Adams & Spectacular JC vs Kevin Powers & Salazar Austin Gunn vs Ricky Arness Bryan Idol vs Mike Reed Deondre Motion & Zebediah Cole vs Kayden Greene & Ronnie Rios Billy Gunn vs Deimos Let us know what you think of these matches by starting threads to discuss them at the Pro Wrestling Only forums! Are you one of the wrestlers or promoters involved with this card? Contact us and we'll help put a spotlight on your matches and promote your merchandise to our readers.

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

 

'Locals To Legends Radio' Podcast Interviews Madman Pondo

Gene Jackson of the Locals To Legends Radio podcast posted an interview with Madman Pondo yesterday that's worth a listen, especially for fans of death match wrestling. Topics covered include Pondo's stints in Herb Abrams' UWF and Kick Ass Wrestling in Memphis. Pondo also reflects on Insane Clown Posse, how Girl Fight was formed, $5 Wrestling, and more.  Pondo recently released his autobiography, Memoirs of a Madman, that looks to be a must-read. With a foreword written by Vanilla Ice, Pondo dives into his career both as a pro wrestler and as a casting agent for the Jerry Springer Show.  Pondo was a BJW mainstay for a decade and was also a long-term death match scene regular in IWA Mid-South and Combat Zone Wrestling.   

Charles (Loss)

Charles (Loss)

×