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If I have learned anything at all, it's that the vision I have for Pro Wrestling Only will never be achieved if I continue operating this as a one-man show. I have quite a few great ideas for how to make the site rock, but having the idea and having the skills to execute it are two different things. That's where help come in.
I am looking for two CO-FOUNDERS to join me in getting Pro Wrestling Only off the ground. In exchange, you'll each get 25% ownership of the site. In the future, you could choose to retain that ownership and continue profiting as the site grows, or you could sell it back to me after we get the site off the ground and move on to other opportunities. That would be your choice. If we can work together to make the site a success, the rewards could be quite lucrative. If this type of risk-taking venture sounds up your alley, please keep reading.
The way I see it, there are three things PWO needs in order to be successful: vision, execution, and promotion. The vision part I have covered. However, I am looking for a FULL STACK ENGINEER and FULL STACK MARKETER as co-founders. For now, I want to refrain from publicly sharing too many of the details, but if you happen to be skilled in one of these roles, we might be able to work together. Please contact me privately and I'm happy to share more information and answer any questions you might have. I should be clear that this requires no financial investment. The investment would be a time investment. It's important to me that I find co-founders who are serious about this, who have some real skin in the game, and who are willing to make this a top priority in their lives. I also want to find partners who have the background they need to hit the ground running.
I plan to pursue this through traditional channels if I have to do so. However, if there's a chance that honest-to-God wrestling fans who are just as passionate about this as I am could partner with me, I'd MUCH prefer to go that route.
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We open with Queen of Heat, Vickie Guerrero out who is so sincere in wishing us a Happy New Year to absolutely deafening boos. As expected, we don't have long until HHH wanders out, in what can only be described as an outfit to ask if he can be in the Royal Rumble. So, I guess this was the start of guys just declaring themselves, rather than having to work their way into it. Vickie declines so HHH makes a bunch of fat-shaming jokes, implies that he got turned on by Vickie's action figure and that he discovered nude photos of Vickie on "eBay". Yeah, I don't know either. Anyway, Vickie lets him in the Rumble and runs off to outbid "ChavoG2009" for the photos. Man, WHAT a fucking start. This sort of putrid, shitty HHH comedy was godawful at the time and a decade has not been kind to it. Lest we forget that corporate HHH, king of NXT, still finds punch-down humour to be the funniest thing in the world.
Great Khali and Finlay vs. Hawkins and Ryder
I guess Hawkins and Ryder are now without Edge's backing but man, here's a babyface team I didn't know existed but the tallest guy on the roster next to the smallest is WWE undercard to a T. This is right into Hornswoggle's period as an impossibly over act so the match is largely based around Finlay working spots to get him into the match and, as you'd expect, Finlay is absolutely fantastic at it. Khali knocks Hawkins and Ryder's heads together so Finlay distracts the ref to allow Swoggle to do it for a big pop. Just because it's a comedy match doesn't mean Finlay is going to stop being Finlay as he's still full of nasty touches like stomping on Hawkins' hands, lacing into uppercuts and just never giving guys any time to settle. Khali remains a training dummy on wheels as he exists for the heels to bump around big for him. For a match based around heels bumping for both a giant and a mini, the bumps were good and this was perfectly fine.
We cut to Edge and his outrageously bad acting as he literally rocks back in forth at anger and balls his fists up to convey rage at HHH. Just a stellar night for promo segments right now.
Jesse and Festus vs. Brian Kendrick and Ezekiel Jackson
Ah yeah, my man, Kendrick. He was just an absolutely fantastic asshole at this point and I was, for sure, certain that they were running the HBK/Diesel playbook with he and Zeke. Festus was a fun gimmick that I felt they did about all they could with. Once you've had the heels ring the bell to sedate him and kick the crap out of him or had him stay snapped for a heel turn, there's really nothing else to do. It's telling how much faster Gallows/Festus was here, even though Jesse is about as bland and uninteresting as you can get in-ring. What Festus needed was a better tag partner so they could come up with some more interesting offense. This match is, strangely, based around Festus being the FIP as he tweaks his knee which Kendrick goes after with nice kicks but it isn't given a chance to go anywhere before the hot tag. Zeke tags himself in and hits a Uranage for the finish but this was really far too short to matter much. It was obvious that Zeke was going to get the rocket strapped to him at some point but the act really needed Kendrick.
Vladimir Kozlov vs. Hurricane Helms
I guess this is post-main event Kozlov but they're still talking of him being undefeated and feuding with HHH so I dunno. Helms is "Hurricane Helms" which I have no memory of since I assumed that he returned as The Hurricane post-neck injury. Anyway, this is a minute of Kozlov grabbing a key lock, Helms rallying a comeback with a decent uppercut before Kozlov uses his head, literally, for another minute before locking in another key lock. Helms sells the headbutts to the chest in a great way, as it looks like they're sending shockwaves through his body but Kozlov was pretty terrible, especially as he struggled to fill a 3 minute squash match. As far as European terminators go, Tony Halme was a much better worker and they didn't persist with him half as long.
JR runs down the Smackdown Rumble participants which feels like a really low-effort version of the old Rumble promo montages. US Champion Shelton Benjamin interrupts with an...ok promo. The disembodied voice of The Undertaker interrupts him, lights go off and Taker appears to chokeslam him, putting himself in the Rumble. If there's a "lights off and then on" angle in the history of wrestling that hasn't gotten over, I haven't seen it.
Michelle McCool comes out to apologise to Maria or something? And holy shit, McCool is an awful promo. Eve comes out and the poor lamb, new to the world of professional wrestling, doesn't realise what's coming and who'd have thought it? McCool's apology to Maria and Eve was insincere and she's now a heel. To be fair to McCool, she does an awesome sneak attack, barrelling Eve into the barricade before fish hooking her mouth in a super nasty way. Mark your WWE bingo card down for "pulls at hair to signify anger" also.
The Vickie Guerrero nude picture saga has now stretched to three segments, involving HHH, Vickie, Edge, Big Show and now Chavo Guerrero. This is like the nWo angle of offensive WWE humour. Vickie finally gets some measure of revenge by announcing Triple Jeopardy for next week. Wow thanks, I get to watch HHH wrestle three times.
MVP vs. Kizarny
Ah yes, the losing streak that absolutely killed off MVPs chances at being a top guy. I'm not sure but that's probably the first instance of the modern era of them truly fucking up a guy who could have made them money. Great worker, great promo, great character and they truly ruined it. And now, the dude has to wrestle Kizarny who, I think, was a buddy of Edge? If so, here's another reason to hate what he has wrought upon wrestling. OK, maybe that's harsh since he has a distinctive look but his dives and splashes look super weak, his bumping is pretty anaemic and his selling during MVPs control segment is underwhelming to say the least. I feel that the best MVP matches always had him working over a body part but this has him utilising a lot of body scissors and bear hugs which really lead nowhere as Kizarny is up and hitting running dropkicks in no time before winning with a Double arm DDT. Not a great match and an even worse way to debut someone as a would-be face, considering there were pockets of chants for MVP and absolutely nothing for anything Kizarny did. The lowlight being him trying to start a clap during a bear hug and receiving nothing for his attempts. I guess they wanted to keep MVP looking halfway competitive but nothing Kizarny did looked impressive and he spent a large time of this selling. They should have gave him the Helms match and gave Kozlov to MVP. Not that it matters since even here, you can tell that Kizarny was DOA. They should have him had do carnival stunts in front of live crowds for weeks before getting him in the ring, really.
Mr Kennedy comes out with his terrible promos and his terrible facial hair and his terrible fashion sense and holy shit, they put him in a WWE film! Can we fast forward to the part where he fails to catch Randy Orton and they fire him?
The Hardys vs Edge and Big Show
Is Edge the worst top WWE guy ever? He's certainly in the mix as far as promos and character work go with his dumbass hair clutching and overacting and his weak, shitty offense in this match definitely adds to the cause. Matt Hardy's punches remain incredible, Jeff Hardy continues to throw himself into complete danger and this is Big Show at his slimmest, quickest and he was probably in his peak so Edge's shittiness stands out like a sore thumb. This is a WWE TV main event tag all ends up and everyone works it well, to be fair. We have a double FIP segment, Big Show hits great power spots and The Hardys get to show all of their great southern wrestling knowledge as Matt sells and cuts himself off like a pro. Show is fantastic; they're really selling his right hand as death and Matt is just collapsing after every chop. Show is just in fantastic shape, hitting suplexes and elbow drops and cutting an awesome pace for a guy his size and Big Show/Jeff Hardy feels like a real missed opportunity as a PPV main event. Jeff is an awesome apron worker, running up and down to get people into it and, while no part of this match raises above "good", all four guys know how to work this to perfection and the crowd ends up super into it for the ending stretch. Show ends up deserting Edge, which leaves him at the mercy of the Hardys and they get to run through their spots for the win.
This was a decent enough show but WWE shows around the Royal Rumble tend to focus entirely on the Rumble match with feuds specifically designed to build to spots in the Rumble itself. Jeff Hardy was almost next-level over at this point so the tag is worth a watch for his popularity alone but this was pure Rumble build with a feel-good finish.
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I'm going to watch all Toshiaki Kawada's matches from 1994 and give a rating and possibly some comments to almost each of them. They all took place in AJPW.
1. Kenta Kobashi & Satoru Asako vs Takao Omori & Toshiaki Kawada - 2/19
2. Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Akira Taue, Takao Omori & Toshiaki Kawada - 1/20
3. Stan Hansen vs Toshiaki Kawada - 3/24
4. The Patriot & The Eagle vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada - 2/24
5. Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi & Giant Baba vs Akira Taue, Masanobu Fuchi & Toshiaki Kawada - 1/29
Unfortunately, there are some boring parts.
6.Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori - 3/5
7. Toshiaki Kawada vs Johnny Smith - 3/19
8. Stan Hansen, John Nord & Brian Costello vs Akira Taue, Masanobu Fuchi & Toshiaki Kawada - 1/25
9. Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams - 3/29
Unranked matches :
The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) vs Akira Taue and Toshiaki Kawada - 1/2
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Masanobu Fuchi & Toshiaki Kawada - 1/7
Stan Hansen & John Nord vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada - 1/12
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I exhumed a load of reviews from the grooveyard for this one. I'm psyched to do it though. Jun Akiyama is one of my favorites I hope you enjoy reading and you take the time to go back to good old days of 1990's AJPW!
OK let's get this started!
vs Al Perez, vs Ted DiBiase (1/15 & 10/23/93): Both of these are worth checking out for that fun house show type of match. Both opponents kept the action and pace going for a couple entertaining matches. Its especially cool to see DiBiase back in AJPW after his very good run back in '87.
Akiyama & Takao Omori vs The Fantastics (01/29/95): This was a highlight reel match for both teams. It wasn't heavy on the drama or story but damn! it featured quick action Watch for when Jun gets some Hashimoto nose blood. Good match and fans of these guys should take the time to watch it.
Toshiaki Kawada vs Jun Akiyama (Champ Carnival 03/21/95): This seemed like that match people were talking about when they were discussing Kobashi vs. Jumbo back in '91. Just an excellent match that really made Jun look like the future star and it made Kawada look tough yet beatable. Really cool match with Kawada getting really stiff at times. Great Match perhaps a Near Classic
Toshiaki Kawada, Johnny Ace & Takao Omori vs Stan Hansen, Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (04/15/95): All Japan had some of the best six-man matches that you'd think they were M-Pro in '96. But yeah AJ was doing it in the late 80's & early 90's and if you didn't know they were even doing them in 1995 too. This was a surprise for me but, I'm not going to fawn over it. 4 out of the 6 guys are bonafide greats, and Omori has got the chops and Ace knows how to hang with the group too. I mean he's got some 5 star matches to his credit, right? So, you put all of them together you're going to get something enjoyable. That's always been my rating scale on all of these...how much I enjoyed them There were so many neat stories here with everyone being Champ Carny runners-up for one then you've got: Hansen beating Kawada a month earlier for the belts, Kobashi & Ace at the same show went toe-to-toe during their tag war, then you've got Kobashi against Kawada who not only went to a draw in Jan. but they went to one during the Carny, and then you've got Akiyama vs. Kawada which is always awesome and the story of him & Omori as up & comers as well as being All-Asia tag partners (either around this time or in the past.) AND you've got Hansen, the last of the old guard showing he can still go. Whew! The fact of the matter is that with all of this they didn't need to do too much to make this great but, being the best promotion of the 90's they sure as hell did AND then some. The more AJPW you watch the better the match is. Classic stuff!
Mitsuharu Misawa/Jun Akiyama vs Steve Williams/Johnny Ace - (06/07/96 Tag Team Titles): A pure 20 minute plus spree of excitement and near falls. Ace has never looked better, and his chemistry with Akiyama is what made this match so great. Doc once out of the limelight really showed his strength as a brilliant tag wrestler. He and Ace were such a standout team because of this dynamic. Akiyama played his role brilliantly and Misawa was ace but also senpai. This was his role here and it was masterful as ever and touched an emotional nerve. The dynamic with Doc and Akiyama was rough in the early going but as it became more heated, one forgot this segment of the action. It was clear this match was for Ace and Akiyama to shine and they did not disappoint. A classic for sure!
Kenta Kobashi, Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith vs Mitsuharu Misawa, Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako (08/22/97): This started out pretty routine although Johnny Smith was the clear bright point. He was very adamant about making the arm work something special. It was different and helped slow down Akiyama who was the fireplug of his team. Jun wanted to take it to Ace and Kobashi but, Smith wasn’t going to be ignored. He darn near ripped the Blue boy’s arm out of the socket. That’s alright because he was pumped and gave the match a little depth. Stop the burgeoning contender! Now, that’s not to say the other guys were slouches but, no one else brought the intensity like he did. That is to be expected in a match like this. Akiyama, Smith, and Asako are the one’s with something to prove. The story was about ranking and status but, ultimately the athletic competition. This set the outcome in question and was exciting as all hell. The execution, pacing and timing was flawless from all. Great final match for a TV episode…I’d love to be a teenager again and see this at 10:30 at night before going to bed and thinking about it all the next day at school! Reminds me of ECW Hardcore TV in that way. Very good match.
vs Mitsuharu Misawa (04/18/98 Champ Carnival): Whoa! Blue Bomber coming in with the game plan! This might be the birth of Akiyama - the genius. Here he is precise like a surgeon opertating on Misawa. Elbows, dropkicks, leg locks etc. but, the Emerald ace is double tough & plenty dangerous. This 20 minute match showcases excellent timing and pacing that crescendos with a badass finishing segment. A near classic match, damn might even be a classic in my book. Smart and violent wrestling in the AJ tradition.
vs Kenta Kobashi (07/24/98): What a match! I really enjoyed Jun's persistant focus on slowing Kobashi down. He had a slew of surprising attacks against the Orange Crush's knee. They felt so organic. Of course, this all would be meaningless if it wasn't for Kenta's masterful selling. This is the timeless Kings Road 'blurred reality' selling where its very difficult to tell if the damage is real or imagined. I liked this match much more than than the Kawada vs Kobashi 06/12/98 bout. I feel that match-up had been done to death. Besides, I felt Kobashi never fully clicked in singles encounters with Kawada. Also, Kobashi refrained from hulking up which always has to be noted at this point in his career Anyhow, I thought this match was a classic!
vs Yoshinari Ogawa (09/11/98): Two geniuses go at it in the squared circle! This is an all action bout with lightning counter moves from Ogawa with Jun keeping pace and selling just enough to keep Ogawa in the fight. Rat Boy is underrated a hell and such a breath of fresh air. I loved this match and so did the fans. Great match!
Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (10/11/98) – This was a great little tag match. Kawada was just pissed and brutal. He was beating Akiyama, he was beating Kobashi, and he himself got beaten for good measure too! We all win! Akiyama had a spirited showing as well. Kobashi and Taue do show their wear and tear so, this wasn’t exactly everyone in their prime but, this still kicked a fair bit of ass. It’s that unpredictable appeal of very late 90’s AJPW that had me interested in this one for sure. Anyone can win in these matches and more importantly- anyone can lose. Great bout.
Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (01/07/99) – The first few minutes (?) were clipped from this match. I’m a little bummed of that but, in all honesty I think AJPW’s clippings are superior to let’s say NJ or M-Pro’s clipping of things. They always seem to pick a nice point to pick up the action and ride it on out. Ok so, it starts with the original “Burning” picking apart Kawada’s knee. From there Taue gets in and brings the fire like it’s 1995! He must have gotten a good night’s sleep because he’s kicking with pep. The man’s throwing dropkicks like he’s a youngster. I love it! This is especially the case since Kobashi is all taped up…I think from a bout with Vader perhaps. Anyhow the Holy Demon Army go rabid over this. Akiyama’s there doing his spots and sequences and it’s nice but, Taue really brought the shit tonight! This is an all action match with bags full of energy and pep. The teams were really feeling the electricity in the air on this one. It wasn’t hall of fame stuff but, I still don’t think anyone was doing matches this exciting in 1999 Japan. Great!
Burning (Kobashi & Akiyama) vs Untouchables (Misawa & Ogawa) (03/06/99 AJPW): This was a fantastic must see match. That’s not just for very late 90s AJPW either. This was surprisingly awesome. Misawa and Ogawa’s chemistry is great. Burning has come together as a team in their own right and were equally impressive. Plenty of great tag team maneuvers and teases. This was an AJPW style that went back to the early 90s in terms of surprises and timing. This was not the King’s Road pinnacle style yet, there was a glut of excitement and drama nonetheless. I could see anyone who would want to get into the 90s All Japan style to start out here. It’s got everything. It really encourages me to checkout the late 90s AJ scene more. This was a true gem.
vs Takao Omori (09/04/99): If you are a fan of either guy then, damn man, you need to watch this!! Knees, lariats, armbars, attacks off the top rope, man! Why did people thing AJ sucked in '99? It has a big match feel, it has a nice early focus on grappling then, organically transitions to big moves but no MKII finishers which was refreshing. This is very similar to 2012-2015 actually Great match!
Burning (Kobashi & Akiyama) vs Untouchables (Misawa & Ogawa) (10/23/99 Tag Titles): This maybe one of the greatest action style tag match ever done. Now they did edit out a portion at the beginning but, I can’t think it was too much. The combat here was hot and hard hitting throughout. Ogawa of course brought his chicanery but, worked so fast and tight that he deserved to be in a true title fight. Misawa was not a slouch either, proving he still has it with multiple dives and splashes. Kobashi was Japanese Hercules and Akiyama had finally grown into his boots. The Blue boy brought the moves and stiffness we didn’t really think he had until NOAH. Other than that I can’t say enough good things about the match. So, I will declare it’s not the same match you would expect in the heydays of 93-96 but, it is just an awesome display of grit, drama, and courage. I would seek this match out without hesitation. One of those matches I slept on for awhile but, so glad I finally got it - classic match!
Burning (Kobashi/Akiyama) vs NO FEAR (Omori/Takayama) (10/30/99): I hadn’t heard too much chatter about this match until the 1999 PWO Yearbook. It’s certainly one of those matches an AJPW junkie wants to see just in case it’s an overlooked gem. Well, this is an overlooked gem for sure! Takayama is just about on par with the blonde haired bastard from the 2000s. Omori is just a beefier version of the ass kicker from 95-96 that was giving guys a run for their money. So, to give a summary- This was heated and intense. NO FEAR showed they belonged by handing Burning’s ass to them. Takayama was especially brutal. It’s as we’ve come to expect just, a few years earlier that he’s given credit for. It’s a quick match for AJ standards but, it delivers just how you want it to. Very good!
Vader & Steve Williams vs AJ Tag Team Champions Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (02/20/00 AJPW): Vader & Dr. Death are a hell of a team and Akiyama was ready to bring it. Kobashi dogged it a bit but, took some good shots and nice bumps so it didn't matter too much. This is the time and place where Vader & Dr. Death shine. Near Classic to classic match.
Thank you for reading!!! Now go watch some wrestling!
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Torneo Cibernetico (CMLL PPV 03/17/00)
I thought this was a terrific Cibernetico. The famous Ciberneticos from '97 featured well-known names and high profile feuds. This threw a spotlight on the midcard, showcasing how much depth there was on both the rudo and tecnico sides. The most interesting thing about the bout for me was that even though it felt like a pure lucha libre bout with the rapid-fire exchanges and the off-kilter submission and pin attempts, you could feel how heavy the juniors influence was. Workers like Dr. Wagner Jr. had been working regular dates in Japan and bringing back Japanese moves throughout the late 90s, but Ultimo Guerrero was one of the first workers from his generation to be exposed to those moves and regularly tour Japan. You can see the influence in his offensive set. Instead of the usual armdrags and rolling bumps, he has a barrage of suplexes and other high impact moves. He wasn't the only one, though. This could have easily been a Japanese juniors match with Japanese wrestlers or perhaps an MPro or Toryumon match with a lucha flavour. It managed to keep its identity, though, in large part to Mr. Mexico furthering his feud Rivera. Mr. Mexico vs. Rivera! Let there be blood. Olimpico had a nice run in this, too. But how good was Ultimo Guerrero? I know I'm late to the party, but Ultimo Guerrero was very, very good in 2000. Thus far, he's been biding his time looking solid in Infernales trios but here he got a chance to shine and ran with the ball. Maybe not a game-winning touchdown, but he definitely made some yards. Really solid undercard to this PPV.
Brazo de Plata, Emilio Charles Jr. & Mr. Niebla vs. Apolo Dantes, Cien Caras & Universo 2000 (CMLL 03/17/00)
If you love Porky then you'll love this match as it was really a showcase for him to entertain the fans. And entertain the fans he did. I was kind of surprised that Los Capos were the rudo foils for Porky's Looney Tunes schtick since they'll be moving onto bigger things soon, but they were good sports. It was nice to see Apolo Dantes too. An underrated pro who had all the tools but lacked the charisma of the upper tier rudos. He did a good job holding this together. Pretty good match for a comedy bout. The humour was good natured and much more enjoyable than the stinkface et al. Still the King of Comedy, i wonder if anyone can top Porky for best comedic performance by year's end? Meanwhile, "The Game" Emilio Charles Jr looks like he is chomping at the bit for someone to feud with.
Mascara Ano 2000, Scorpio Jr. & Shocker vs. Rayo de Jalisco Jr., Perro Aguayo & Tarzan Boy (CMLL 03/17/00)
This was such a wonderful Arena Mexico crowd. The reverse angle shot of people packed to the rafters made it seem like one of the last truly old-school Arena Mexico crowds, In fact, this entire event feels like the closing chapter of the period of lucha that ran from Atlantis' debut in 1983 through to March 2000, the only real historical period we have footage from and consequently my favourite era of lucha. The match was simple and formulaic but the crowd heat was a treat. Perro was such a beloved legend that all the rudos really had to do was mug for the audience, which I thought they did really well. Tarzan Boy kind of suck (let's be honest), but at least Shocker showed him up wonderfully. I always enjoy it when rudos get the better of chump tecnicos. It makes it seem as though there's a natural balance. Perro's comeback was fun and I loved the throwback to the MA2K match. Best of all, we got to see a complete match for a change which made this seem much more special than the regular Televisa bouts. Nice bout. Arguably the best trios match of the year thus far.
Atlantis vs. Villano III (CMLL PPV 03/17/00, Mask vs Mask)
I wasn't a huge fan of the buildup to this match. There are countless other apuesta builds I've enjoyed more. But the match itself is incredible. As soon as Villano Tercero enters the arena, you can feel the knot that must have been in his stomach and the goosebumps on his arms. You can feel the magnitude of the stip bearing down on you like a weight. Think of how many matches end with bloodied wrestlers demanding apuesta matches. Tempers flare, torn masks and bloodied foreheads leave wrestlers' enraged and they lose their heads over what they're proposing. Rarely do the matches reach fruition and only a scant few can be called legendary. This is a legendary apuesta match. I don't know if it's the greatest apuesta match of all-time, but it may be the closest thing our generation has come to a wager match on the level of Black Shadow vs. El Santo,
Has Atlantis ever been more popular than he was this night? For one evening he was an idol on the level of the great Golden Era stars of lucha libre. The match was built to along strong rudo vs. tecnico lines but transcended those battle lines. There was too much at stake for it to simply be about good vs. evil. They set this up nicely with Villano Tercero agreeing to Atlantis' demands to change the ref. If they had followed their WWF inspired booking to a tee, Baby Richards would have made a run-in at the end and Atlantis would have screwed Atlantis, but this was as traditional a lucha libre mask vs. mask match as you will see with a wonderful Arena Mexico crowd that was in full voice. The ringwork was simple and effective and they squeezed everything they could out of the gigging they did. Atlantis' selling, which is so often hammy and overwrought, was nigh on perfect. The drama with the doctor was outstanding and the rest of the match was awash with amazing visuals and phenomenal nearfalls. People often complain about the referees in lucha but I thought Rafa El Maya was fantastic in this, especially his finger wagging and bobbing from side to side during the submission nearfalls. That added extra drama to whether the combatant would submit. It also illustrated how the quick submissions in regular matches provide a norm that is transcended in important matches where both men refuse to quit. The crowd shots were wonderful. The blood was a gruesome and fantastic visual especially when soaked up by the white of Atlantis' mask and offset by the pink of Villano's attire. I liked the knee strike transitions and I thought Atlantis' plancha was an extremely effective sequence that provided a nice piece of symmetry to the initial VIllano tope. The finishing stretch after the plancha with all of its counters and nearfalls was an inspired passage of work and the finish was a thing of absolute beauty. That may be the best finishing stretch I've seen in lucha. The part where Villano escapes from La Atlantida is an incredible moment in the match and his desperate, lunging clothelines are incredible. The nuanced back sell and Atlantis dropkicking the injury were wonderful details that further illustrated the high level they were working at. Just tremendous lucha.
And of course, there was the post-match. Arguably, the most emotional and genuine post match aftermath of any recorded lucha we have. The outpouring of passion and joy and endurance from everyone in attendance was spine tingling. The workers sold the post-match beautifully and the narrative turned to themes of family, pride and time-honored traditions. Villano Tercero gave the speech of his life, the crowd supported him wonderfully and the entire unmasking was magnificent. My favourite moment was a slightly doddery Ray Mendoza overcome by emotion and receiving a kiss from Dr. Morales. That moment transcended any comment anyone could ever make about the silliness of fake fighting. It was a small but touching moment on an incredible night for lucha libre. One of the greatest matches of all-time and a true lucha classic. Match of the Year, Match of the Decade, maybe even the Match of the Century. And now I've run out of words.
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Katsumi Usuda vs Masanobu Kurisu-Big Mouth Loud 29.12.2005.
This is my kind of wrestling right here, I was coming in hoping for this to be a festival of ultraviolence but they chose to work the mat which I would have also accepted, I don't really ever remember watching Kurisu roll, he looked good here, doing neat stuff like using his knee to bend Usuda's ankle which you'd expect to see from Fujiwara. This "matwork" section also included Kurisu shoot headbutting Usuda like ten times. The crowd didn't seem to pick it up but I sure did. Just as I was accepting this match for what it was Kurisu fucking threw Usuda out of the ring and started blasting him chairshots, this culminated with him shoot chairshotting Usuda so hard you got one of those situations where you aren't sure if the guy bladed or he just hit him that hard, this was a blast, can't imagine a more fun way to spend six minutes.
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I didn't really feel like I had anywhere else to post this thought, it wasn't worthy of a thread reply anywhere that I could think of. However, I've realized that I get enjoyment from WWE, especially RAW, the same way that I get enjoyment from watching bad movies.
I can get on Netflix and watch shit like Wolf Cop and it cracks me up. I can live-Tweet about a new Sharkado movie & be entertained for hours.
That's what I do with WWE & RAW. I get enjoyment & fun from making fun of it. That's where my entertainment from it comes.
There's still good matches and funny moments and what not. However, I don't still follow WWE despite hating it. I don't hate it. I just enjoy it differently than some. I like cheesing on it. It's like a campy horror movie to me in that way.
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I'll figure dates out later and will probably do a lot of editing as I go.
Ric Flair vs Butch Reed (TV, Non Title, Mid South) - This had a great set up with Butch goading Flair into attacking him to set up the non-title match. Flair had hired Slater ($50K) to take Reed out and had hurt Reed's knee but that doesn't come into play here. It did in the next match. Flair's great in this, which is sub-ten minutes without a real opening stretch. He's very aggressive with his heel tactics. One thing he does better than anyone is shoot them out so He kicks out the double stomp. Reed's very good selling on the outside.quickly. The fastest draw in the west when it comes to eyepokes or the cheap knee. Flubbed backslide towards the end but it wasn't the finish so it's ok. The fans are viscerally into this. Reed wins with a shoulder block, but gets ambushed by Slater and spike pile-driven after the match. Watts wonders if Flair didn't sacrifice the fall so Slater could ambush. Very effective TV match to set up a live show.
Ric Flair vs Butch Reed (WHC, Mid South, New Orleans, JIP) - What I saw was after the fact with Joel Watts and JR announcing to set up the no DQ match. I liked how Flair did the belly to back reversal out of a sleeper in the TV match and out of a headlock here. Variation like that is important to me. He brought back the knee drop instead of the double stomp too. I didn't get enough here to get a great sense of the match but it felt more like a Flair match and less like the TV one. Attacking the leg, figure four, reversal, but really the sense of Reed powering it over. Well done ref bump with Reed chasing Flair back in the ring and Flair trying to ambush him with a flying knee. Phantom backslide fall. Reed sent flair over the top and Fergie saw it. Reed suplexed Flair back in and pinned him (Second ref). Fans had the moment but then it was Dusty finished. It was okay since it set up the no DQ match the next week. Good from what i saw.
Ric Flair vs Butch Reed (WHC, No DQ) - This is the last 15 mins of a supposedly hour long match. The No DQ is only evident here in over the top rope tosses and one transition crotching by Flair. It's hard to get a sense of what happened before this, which is a shame. There may be a full version out there. I have no idea. Reed's jabs are great. Flair takes over with said crotching and he's really vicious. Obvious disdain in his stomping and what not. He does some legwork and puts on the Figure Four. I'm not a big fan of Reed's struggle here, though Flair's great in it. The turn over happens sort of undramatically. Flair breaks the hold, sells huge, goes for it again, and gett rolled up. Then he stops selling. It was a little annoying since it was all to set up the spot. Reed's selling after this, but it kind of sort of looks to me like he's blown up. Flair even has to maneuver him into a spot or two towards the end. Reed takes back over with a nicely filmed post reversal on the outside. Flair takes it awesomely which is really evident the camerawork is so close. Reed doesn't show me as much as I was hoping here. There's a moment where Flair comes back in forcibly and I wish that was the off the top rope toss because that would have been fresh. It's not. That happens a minute or two later on Flair trying to do a top rope move. There's an overwrought ref bump to set up the big shoulder block off the top (a normal version pinned Flair in the non title match) which Flair kicks out of the delayed count WAY too early on. Anyway, they meander to the draw, without that really palatable moment that he MIGHT win at the last moment. He does get the press slam in at the end but times it poorly. This was disappointing to me.
Ric Flair/Dick Slater vs Butch Reed/Jake Roberts (TV) - Towards the end of Flair's run in the territory. Dark Journey on the outside. Flair uses her to assist in his Figure Four, which is great since he wasn't used to working with her. Slater's really good in this, cutting off the ring during tags and distracting to allow Flair to take over. It's mostly Flair and Reed with Reed playing FIP. We miss the transition and come back from commercial with Flair on top over Reed with Dark Journey jawing at him. It's a joy to watch Roberts punching Flair, stomping around in a circle, and it's a super heated DDT tease. Flair's excellent at fighting back while getting overpowered during this Jake was great cheerleading outside of the ring due to his weird thin body shape and all but I don't get why he wasn't the FIP here. It all broke down in the end and he won it with a roll up. I liked the team of Flair and Slater. Shame we don't have more of them together.
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Kenta Kobashi Vs. Tamon Honda, GHC Heavyweight Championship, Pro Wrestling NOAH 4/13/2003
Underdog matches are great and all, but I particularly like the "Every dog has his day" type of underdog match. This match pulled that idea off very well and Kobashi being so selfless to Honda was cool to see.
The early mat work in this was killer. Honda goes for amateur throws and old-school submissions and Kobashi does a really good job of keeping up with him in terms of tricked-out mat wrestling. The headlock section around the 9:00 minute mark works so well after all the counters and submissions. Kobashi grinds Honda down a bit more before Honda manages to pull out THAT GERMAN SUPLEX on the ramp. That one suplex I felt was really important in setting the tone for the rest of the match. Kobashi was in control for much of the match, so every big suplex/throw/hold Honda was actually able to pull off carried a lot of weight. I don't know if that makes sense...
Very smooth escalation throughout the match that was helped by the selling. Honda very much looked like an old man who had been dropped on his head (which I'm sure wasn't hard to pull off). Kobashi's facial expressions were awesome as always. The finishing stretch is all kinds of painful looking and features one of my favorite near falls ever when Honda counters a lariat with a shoulder throw in to a pin. That was so awesome to see. Kobashi of course finally puts down Honda with a lariat and all is well.
All the important stuff about this match has already been written, so I'll just add myself to the people who dig it.
Where I'll have it: Top 30.
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Finally! I have first-run watched the entire decade and I'm so glad, because 2009 was a difficult thing to watch. So with that said, I'm going to end/suspend this blog and do my final run through (which will be much more fun/easy as it is only a limited subset of matches) and probably post my "results" in the main forum.
The blog didn't really help as much as I thought it would as it really became a hassle to remember to update it when I have excel files and assorted information here on my PC that I can update and reference without much effort.
So to recap ... End of Blog ... and I hope my final picks stirs a good discussion/debate in the main forum.
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Loss has requested that any willing PWO users start blogging, in an effort to make this a "calling card" for the forum. With that in mind, I've decided to write about the current WWE product, focusing on things like storyline direction, career progression/relegation of wrestlers, and any interesting happenings that might require further analysis.
So, without further ado, let the blogging begin!
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Big bomb throwing. This is a week all about big bomb throwing.
Jinsei Shinzaki vs. Mr. Gannosuke (FMW, 4/21/1998)
This is just a great bomb throwing festival between two guys with a long standing blood feud, who aren’t interested in dancing around, but instead a match where both guys are just playing for a KO from pretty much moment #1.
Shinzaki is a guy that a lot of the time does a pretty stoic, very methodical gimmick, but Gannosuke is a guy where he pitches that out the window. Right off the bat he tries to jump Gannosuke in the aisle, which is a mistake as our good friend Kintaro Kanemura hammers him with a chair, then Gannosuke jumps him while he’s distracted. Team No Respect decide to go right for the kill, set up a table at ringside, and the two of them powerbomb Shinzaki off the apron through the table on the floor. Shinzaki juices, and Gannosuke spends the next little while working over the cut, smashing at it with part of the table, and attacking it with various strikes, trying to really bust him up.
Eventually Shinzaki gets some control and tries to suplex Gannosuke right from in the ring out to the floor, which comes off looking sort of half botched, but it really still works for the story. I mean in a blood feud with two guys throwing bombs, trying to kill the guy by throwing him to the floor really shouldn’t always look that pretty anyway. Gannosuke gets back in the ring and when Shinzaki looks set to inflict more heavy damage, so how does Gannosuke respond? Punt him straight in the balls. This is a really simple match to understand and enjoy. Gannosuke then does one of his favourites, ripping off the Shinzaki praying power bomb for lots of booing, and a 2 count.
Shinzaki is in a lot of trouble, so he says “fuck it” and fights fire with fire, and ends up punting Gannosuke in the sac right back, then hits that really cool standing backflip kick that no one else makes look as good, and then a really really nasty looking second rope double stomp. That shit had to hurt.
Back and forth we go. Powerbombs. Knocked off the apron through a table. Big top rope move attempts, more powerbombs, big clubbing clotheslines, a crazy choke hold, more attempts to kick each other in the nuts. There’s really no matwork to be found in this at all, just two guys trying to knock each other out. The finish requires Shinzaki to dig deep into the well for an enhanced version of his powerbomb for a pin. This is not super long (though not really short either), but it’s just great. A really fun scrap with two guys looking for the KO at every single turn makes for an easy to enjoy ride.
Tom “Z-Man” Zenk vs. Vader (World Championship Wrestling, Great American Bash 1990)
This was Vader’s WCW debut and is he ever a guy that is capable of making an impression in a big hurry. Z-Man is about as white meat babyface as you get, then you get Vader’s really out there entrance when he still had the giant headgear (with smoke), and you really have the impression where this is going but you want to see it anyway. The bell rings… and it’s just total carnage in there. I love a really good squash match, you can really tell the difference between one that worked and one that just filled time. This is one that worked. Vader walks in as a new guy in WCW, and walks out as a really scary motherfucker.
Vader just destroys him with killer punches and forearms, the big splash in the corner, and a big clothesline. Zenk ends up on the entrance ramp and Vader just grabs him by the head with both hands and pulls him in over the top rope hanging him a few feet in the air. Zenk gets in a dropkick, but other than that it is all one way traffic and is over in a flash, he takes a military press, a huge elbow drop and the crowd has a buzz about them like “this guy isn’t here just to make up the numbers”. Vader gets in a couple more moves, then the big splash for the kill. The commentary does a good job selling this as an event worth paying attention to as well, so props to good ole’ JR.
An amazing squash. You’ll see one thing like this a year, if you’re lucky. I love this match.
Promo: Roddy Piper is ready to rumble. Just a little.
And just to keep them together here's the top Wrestling Observer MOTY voting for the 90's:
1. Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (1-31) Osaka
2. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (6-8) Tokyo
3. Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane vs. Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong (7-8) Baltimore
4. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (4-1) Toronto
5. Steiners vs. Nasty Boys (10-27) Chicago
6. Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto vs Dragon Master & Masanobu Kurisu (4-1) Tokyo
7. Keiji Muto vs. Hiroshi Hase (9-14) Hiroshima
8. Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger (2-25) Greensboro
9. Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton vs. Joe Malenko & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
10. Yoshihiro Asai vs. Negro Casas (6-7) Tokyo
11. Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit (8-19) Tokyo
1. Steiners vs. Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki (3-21) Tokyo
2. Bull Nakano vs Akira Hokuto (1-4) Tokyo
3. Ric Flair & Larry Zbyszko & Sid Vicious & Barry Windham vs. Steiners & Sting & Brian Pillman War Games (2-24) Phoenix
4. Cactus Jack vs. Eddie Gilbert (8-3) Philadelphia
5. Steiners vs. Sting & Lex Luger (5-19) St. Petersburg
6. Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko vs. Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes (11-18) Savannah
7. Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior (3-34) Los Angeles
8. Curt Hennig vs. Bret Hart (8-27) New York
9. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada & Kenta Kobashi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue & Masa Fuchi (4-20) Tokyo
10. Jushin Liger vs. Hiroshi Hase (5-6) Tokyo
11. Keiji Muto vs. Masahiro Chono (8-11) Tokyo
12. Jushin Liger vs. Chris Benoit (10-18) Hiroshima
13. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Kenta Kobashi (5-24) Osaka
14. Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (10-25) Oakland
15. Jushin Liger vs. Owen Hart (4-27) Okinawa
16. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Toshiaki Kawada (10-24) Yokohama
17. Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs. Esther Moreno & Manami Toyota (4-29) Tokyo
18. Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (3-21) Tokyo
1. Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas vs. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (5-25) Miyagi
2. Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman (2-29) Milwaukee
3. Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue (4-25) Yokohama
4. Jushin Liger vs. El Samurai (4-30) Tokyo
5. Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada (8-15) Tokyo
6. El Hijo del Santo & Atsushi Onita & Tarzan Goto vs. Negro Casas & Tim Patterson & Horace Boulder (5-16) Los Angeles
7. Sting & Nikita Koloff & Dustin Rhodes & Ricky Steamboat & Barry Windham vs. Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton & Steve Austin & Larry Zbyszko & Rick Rude War Games (5-17) Jacksonville
8. Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (8-29) London
9. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Yumiko Hotta & Suzuka Minami (3-17) Tokyo
10. Eddie Gilbert vs. Terry Funk (11-14) Wayne, NJ
11. Royal Rumble (1-19) Albany, NY
12. Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman (12-27) East Rutherford, NJ
13. Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (4-5) Indianapolis
14. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (11-27) Richfield, OH
15. Sting vs. Cactus Jack (6-20) Mobile
16. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Masa Fuchi & Yoshinari Ogawa (7-5) Tokyo
17. Sting vs. Big Van Vader (7-18) Albany
18. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue (4-20) Tokyo
19. Rick Rude vs. Masahiro Chono (8-12) Tokyo
1. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (4-11) Osaka
2. Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi (8-31) Toyohashi
3. Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori (4-2) Yokohama
4. Cactus Jack vs. Vader (10-24) New Orleans
5. Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi (7-29) Tokyo
6. Hikari Fukuoka & Cuty Suzuki & Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue & Sakie Hasgewa (7-31) Yokohama
7. Sting vs. Vader (2-21) Asheville
8. Lightning Kid (X-Pac) vs. Sabu 4-17 Minneapolis
9. Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty (7-10) New York
10. Stan Hansen vs. Toshiaki Kawasda (2-28) Tokyo
11. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (4-14) Nagoya
12. El Hijo del Santo vs. Heavy Metal (1-29) Mexico City
13. Winners (Abismo Negro) & Rey Misterio Jr. & Super Calo vs. Jerry Estrada & Heavy Metal & Psicosis (1-29) Mexico City
14. Bret Hart vs. Curt Hennig (6-11) Dayton
15. Mitsuhau Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (3-27) Kyoto
16. Atsushi Onita vs. Terry Funk (5-5) Kawasaki
17. Devil Masami vs. Bull Nakano (4-18) Tokyo
18. Steiners vs. Tom Prichard & Jimmy Del Rey (8-30) Auburn Hills, MI
19. Heavy Metal & Psicosis & Picudo vs. Winners & Serup Calo & Rey Misterio Jr. (2-14) Mexico City
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) (3-20) New York
2. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (6-3) Tokyo
3. Great Sasuke vs. Chris Benoit (4-16) Tokyo
4. Love Machine & Eddy Guerrero vs. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon (11-6) Los Angeles
5. Terry Funk vs. Shane Douglas vs. Sabu (2-5) Philadelphia
6. Ric Flair vs Vader (12-27-93) Charlotte
7. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (5-21) Sapporo
8. Nasty Boys vs. Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne (4-17) Chicago
9. Jushin Luger vs. Great Sasuke (4-16) Tokyo
10. Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. Nasty Boys (5-22) Philadelphia
11. Aja Kong vs. Manami Toyota (11-20) Tokyo
12. Akira Hokuto & Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada (12-10-93) Tokyo
13. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Steve Williams (7-28) Tokyo
14. Great Sasuke vs. Jinsei Shinzaki (4-29) Tokyo
15. Chris Benoit & Shinjiro Otani vs. Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero) & Great Sasuke (10-18) Odawara
16. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (8-29) Chicago
17. Steve Williams vs. Kenta Kobashi (9-3) Tokyo
18. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (3-20) New York
1. Manami Toyota vs. Kyoko Inoue (5-7) Tokyo
2. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (8-27) Pittsburgh
3. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (10-7) Philadelphia
4. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (1-24) Yamagata
5. Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (1-19) Osaka
6. Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (4-15) Philadelphia
7. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (6-9) Tokyo
8. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (9-22) Mexico City
9. Ultimo Dragon vs. Chris Jericho (7-7) Tokyo
10. Manami Toyota vs. Akira Hokuto (9-2) Tokyo
11. Oleg Taktarov vs. Tank Abbott (9-8) Casper
12. Cactus Jack & Head Hunters vs. Terry Funk & Shoji Nakamaki & Leatherface (Rick Patterson) (4-2) Tokyo
13. Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa vs. Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue (8-30) Osaka
14. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi & Stan Hansen vs. Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada & Johnny Ace (4-2) Tokyo
15. Shawn Michaels vs. Jeff Jarrett (7-23) Nashville
16. Sabu vs. Devon Storm (10-28) Woodbury, NJ
17. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (7-24) Tokyo
18. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue 4-15 Tokyo
19. Rey Misterio & Rey Misterio Jr. vs Fuerza & Juventud Guerrera (3-2) Xalapa
20. Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (5-13) Philadelphia
21. Eddy Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko (8-26) Philadelphia
22. Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong (6-27 Sapporo
23. Pit Bulls vs. Raven & Stevie Richards (9-16) Philadelphia
1. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (6-7) Tokyo
2. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera (3-9) Philadelphia
3. Dick Togo & Mens Teioh & Shiryu (Kaz Hayashi) & Taka Michinoku & Shoichi Funaki vs. Gran Hamada & Super Delfin & Tiger Mask & Gran Naniwa & Masato Yakushiji (10-10) Tokyo
4. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (5-23) Sapporo
5. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels 3-31 Anaheim
6. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis 7-7 Daytona Beach
7. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin 11-17 New York
8. Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (Kevin Nash) 4-28 Omaha
9. Ultimo Dragon vs. Shinjiro Otani (8-4) Tokyo
10. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis (12-13-95) Tokyo
11. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (9-22) Philadelphia
12. Bas Rutten vs. Masakatsu Funaki (9-7) Tokyo
13. Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada (10-18) Tokyo
14. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon (11-24) Norfolk
15. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko (10-27) Las Vegas
16. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (9-5) Tokyo
17. Don Frye vs. Amoury Bitetti (5-17) Detroit
18. Antonio Inoki vs. Vader (1-4) Tokyo
19. Manami Toyota & Mima Shimoda vs. Mariko Yoshida & Kaoru Ito (8-6) Hakata
20. Sabu vs Rob Van Dam (4-20) Philadelphia
21. Rey Misterio Jr. & Ultimo Dragon vs. Psicosis & Heavy Metal (6-1) Los Angeles
1. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (3-23) Chicago
2. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (1-20) Osaka
3. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (10-5) St. Louis
4. Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (10-26) Las Vegas
5. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (6-6) Tokyo
6. El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto (6-5) Tokyo
7. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12-6-96) Tokyo
8. Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji vs. Mens Teioh & Dick Togo & Taka Michinoku (4-13) Philadelphia
9. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (10-21) Tokyo
10. Jushin Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani (2-9) Sapporo
11. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (11-9) Montreal
12. Bret & Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith & Jim Neidhart & Brian Pillman vs. Steve Austin & Ken Shamrock & Goldust & Legion of Doom (7-6) Calgary
13. Ultimo Dragon vs. Dean Malenko (12-29-96) Nashville
14. Hector Garza & Juventud Guerrera & Lizmark Jr. vs. La Parka & Psicosis & Villano IV (7-13) Daytona Beach
1. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (10-31) Tokyo
2. Undertaker vs. Mankind (6-28) Pittsburgh
3. Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Tsuyoshi Kohsaka (6-27) Yokohama
4. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (5-1) Tokyo
5. Steve Austin vs. Dude Love (5-31) Milwaukee
6. Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12-5-97) Tokyo
7. Juventud Guerrera vs. Billy Kidman (11-16) Wichita
8. Rock vs. HHH (8-30) New York
9. Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada (6-12) Tokyo
10. Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama (7-25) Tokyo
11. Koji Kanemoto vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. (6-3) Osaka
12. Ric Flair vs. Bret Hart (1-25 Dayton
13. Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (3-29) Boston
14. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Koji Kanemoto & Dr. Wagner Jr. (8-8) Osaka
15. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Jushin Liger & El Samurai (8-2) Tokyo
16. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto (8-1) Tokyo
1. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi (6-11) Tokyo
2. Edge & Christian vs. Hardys (10-17) Cleveland
3. Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit (10-4) Kansas City
4. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (3-6) Tokyo
5. Steve Austin vs. Rock (4-25) Hartford
6. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (1-22) Osaka
7. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (10-23) Nagoya
8. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto (10-11) Tokyo
9. Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Yoshihisa Yamamoto (6-24) Tokyo
10. Juventud Guerrera vs. Blitzkrieg (4-11) Tacoma
11. Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (3-21) Asbury Park
12. Rey Misterio Jr. vs. Psicosis vs. Blitzkrieg vs. Juventud Guerrera (4-19) Gainesville, FL
13. Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn (5-16) Poughkeepsie
14. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader (5-2) Tokyo
15. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader (10-30) Tokyo
16. Great Sasuke vs. Magnum Tokyo (2-7) Yokohama
17. Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome (11-7) Buffalo
18. Jushin Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto (3-17) Hiroshima
19. Rock vs. Mankind (1-24) Anaheim
Recent EntriesLatest Entry
The guys over at WrestlingKO published a list of their Top 100 Wrestlers for 2009 and one of the points raised (amongst many it must be said - these lists always bring forth a myriad of opinion) was Shawn Michaels' abscence (on a list that featured, amongst others, Jerry Lawler , Bill Dundee  and, of course, Mark Henry ). Now, of course, as one of the seemingly few Shawn fans around on the internet (and, no, I don't think he's remotely in discussion for "Best Ever") it's par for the course, he's in that "Holy Trinity" of internet hate with HHH and Kurt Angle. Naturally I think it's a ludicrous suggestion that there're 100 better wrestlers working in the world right now who, all things considered, are better at it than Shawn. But one of the reasons raised, aside from the usual knocks on the guy that we've heard a million times before, was he "coasts" most Monday nights on Raw. As it happens I would agree with that, although I'd suffix it by saying that Shawn sleepwalking through "face in peril" is as good as most guys doing it at their best, and between adding his age into the equation for sympathy which he's used effectively for a couple of years, I'd wager he still is one of the best at it.
As for the knock on coasting itself, I mean, in Shawn's case he's in his mid-forties, already having came out of his initial retirement eight years ago, being all set to've retired two years ago, and been physically broken down for years. God knows how many painkillers he takes before an average match, never mind the upcoming WrestleMania main event with Undertaker (whose in a similar situation himself). I have absolutely no problem with him coasting, indeed I have no problem with any wrestler coasting, certainly when they're good enough doing so to have a solid enough match.
"Jumbo Was Lazy" is a famous debate where no one seemed to but in and say "so what?". Now if we take 1991 as an example, and obviously I realise the argument raised by Meltzer dated back earlier, working a house show six man w/Taue & Ogawa against Misawa, Kawada and Kikuchi. First of all he doesn't really need to do much anyway, and second of all he'd been wrestling at that point a few years shy of twenty, the majority of which as a main eventer which meant him working longer, and working many more big matches, than most. The style hadn't taken its toll on an early-forties Jumbo that, say, Kobashi's had taken on him by the time he reached that age, but if all wrestlers have a set x amount of bumps they can take in their career, I'd personally see Jumbo save them for the big matches, title matches, the inevitable (before his illness of course) big changing of the guard to Misawa. Whether Jumbo was lazy or not means very little to me because when it came time to deliver, he delivered. Would you really sooner see your NFL team bust their ass for 16 regular season games, finish in a high seed, but be too worn out and hurt to capitalise on it and get knocked out in their first playoff game?
Wrestling's littered with guys who worked too hard 24/7 (and it's an admirable and positive trait, I'm not diminishing the effort whatsoever) and cut their careers short. Misawa died in the ring, should've retired years ago, but if we take Kobashi as the example (and he's still going albeit not totally). Watch the first month of 1993's TV for All Japan. He works a set-up tag opposite Taue (it might be two), to set-up a singles match with Taue which'll determine (and in turn set up) the #1 contender for Misawa's TC at the February Budokan. In that initial tag match, setting-up the set-up match, he takes a fucking powerbomb on exposed concrete. Even Foley saved that for a months-off injury angle. I'm not diminishing the effort - Kobashi's a slam-dunk pick for my personal Top 5 All-Time at least - but God...
Perhaps it's hypocritical of me, getting excited about Shawn/Taker knowing how tough it's going to be on them physically in their state, but you can defend that on the grounds of it being a WrestleMania main event (and it should go on last), that'll make a lot of money for both guys (it might even be Shawn's retirement match). But I certainly don't want to see the guy taking big bumps every week on TV. I'm perfectly OK with the WWE implementing a "safer" level of working, the scheduling they have is crazy enough to begin with. I'm perfectly OK with wrestlers taking it easy when they can, and saving their bodies for the bigger shows and prolonging their careers. I know in their position I'd try and get away with as much matwork as possible, taking rolling bumps/front bumps when possible as opposed to flat back ones, and I'd take a longer career for myself over being unable to walk without assistance from middle-age.
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I downloaded Jericho vs. the Rock 10/21/2001 and skipped through the match making sure it was a legit file, which it was. A spot in the match caught my attention; it was when the Rock gave Jericho a dragon screw. He did the same unusual fall in that match as he did against Danielson on NXT.
I went through and watched the match anyway, and here are my thoughts:
Chris Jericho vs. the Rock 10/21/2001
• Match is for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship – a title that hasn’t had any credibility for about eight years prior to this match.
• The typical, yet excellent video montage of why we’re here, and why Jericho and the Rock are feuding with each other – the WWF has always excelled in this region. Their video packages can make or break a feud.
• I still find it surreal to hear anything WCW related on a WWF Pay-Per-View. I still think the WWF completely bombed the Invasion angle – and I am not alone in that thinking. It could have been a legendary success; instead, it turned out to be a legendary failure.
• Jericho was a man possessed in the opening minutes of the match, as he really took the fight to the Rock. I wish Jericho would have flairs of this aggressive side occasionally as a heel.
• Jericho acting all smug like in the match, like with the boot scrape and throwing his elbow pad in the Rock’s face was awesome.
• JR’s analytical observations and generally solid to excellent announcing is surely missed.
• Jericho’s flurry of offense including a nice hurricanrana up to the finisher theft was well scripted.
• The contrived announce table bump of the WWF’s. Yeah it is obviously planned, orchestrated and all of that jazz…but it is still neat.
• The People’s Elbow counter into the Walls of Jericho – it was extremely fluid and well performed.
What didn’t work:
• This is petty, but why did the Rock throw Jericho to the floor, only to toss him back in without brawling or making Jericho headbutt random things?
• The theft of finishers and subsequent abandonment of proper pacing, and selling was not scripted well. There was no drama behind it, and I think it cheapened the moves. Jericho hits the Rock Bottom and immediately hits the Lionsault, and then immediately covers the Rock for him to kick out. There should have been that pause, that momentary stall, and then Jericho crawls over and makes the pin attempt, only for the Rock to kick out at 2.9. The crowd would have erupted, and it wouldn’t have cheapened two finishing maneuvers – at the time, the Rock Bottom had pinned all of the mega stars (‘Taker, Austin, HHH), while the Lionsault covered all of the lower tiered guys (Angle, Benoit, Kane). The way things went down; I think it discredited both moves simultaneously.
• The Rock’s sharpshooter. Yep, I am a part of that camp. I have never liked the way he got his opponents in position for it, how he turned them over, how he locked it up, or the fact he does it standing up. The way he performs it makes it look phonier than it really is. Also, I find it disrespectful for him to be using it since it was Bret’s finisher. I find it very disrespectful. Outside of Eugene’s comically usage, no one else uses the Rock Bottom. No one will be doing tombstone piledrivers after the Undertaker is gone. I know damn well that Pedigrees will not be seen after HHH stops doing them. I just think it is tasteless, like how HBK started doing the cripple crossface.
• The end of the match was a ball buster for me. I had never viewed this match prior to this, and only knew Jericho eventually won. I didn’t know he would win his first World title by stupid interference of a steel chair. This was a bad contrived spot. Obviously, Stephanie wasn’t going to use the chair, but conveniently placed in the ring so the Rock could get his head bounced off it. Jericho had already trapped the Rock in the Walls of Jericho, worked his back over a bit with backbreakers…so why couldn’t Jericho make him submit instead of the cheap finish?
• Stephanie’s abysmal selling with the Rock Bottom. She was on her feet too quickly post-match.
• No blood, and a poor false finish – those are absolutely crucial to huge matches of importance. The blood sells the violence and hatred of the match and the false finishes builds drama to intensify the crowds’ reactions - and while it did pop the crowd, the aforementioned finisher theft negated the effects in my eyes.
All the while, it was still a decent match.
I wrote this for my Intro to Creative Writing class...Like Superman vs. the HulkThe fans were like zombies, blood lusting as Dracula.The men in the ring sturdy as concretewere the martyrs of entertainment like sacrificial meat puppetsin an arena like an abattoir.The champion was typically aplomb in the squared circle like the Fonz,but tonight he was curt as search warrant.With hands like lead and bodies like diamonds,they battled as Gladiators, while howling like Wolf Men.Two men of epic proportions like Everest, struggling as single mother,I am stuck in time like Marty McFly, and my eyes deceive me like a hallucination.It was as though they were being controlled like marionettes,their fury and rage unquenchable like an F-5.Before long, the champion like Achilles was bleeding like a bank,I was smiling like a jack-o-lantern, nodding in approval as Caesar.The quasi Brad Pitt resorts to chicanery like Satan,and unleashes a whirlwind of violence like a wolverine.But Umaga refuses to be slain like a hydra,Cena must solve the puzzle as Sherlock Holmes,and uncover the weakness of his opponent like Lobo.Cena lifts Umaga like Sampsonand pauses like TIVO, but suddenly tosses the man like a hot potato.Umaga flies as a space rocket and floats like a feather,lost in space like Boba Fett, and crashes to the mat as a meteor.The white titanium laced ropes slither into play like an anaconda,and with a tormented smile like the Joker,Cena drapes the ropes around the throat of Umaga like a noose.I am marking out like a groupie!The announcer yells like a hyena,and the crowd wants resolution like an AA member.Even monsters have to breathe like Hannibal Lector,as Cena chokes Umaga like Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl,his eyes roll into the back of his head like a heroin junkie.The large Samoan’s tongue rolls out like Jabba the Hutt’s,but the war is far from over like chemotherapy.Cena presses on like a Marine and suffocates the fight out of Umaga like divorce,but Umaga’s will to stay awake is like an insomniacs,and he rises from the ashes like a phoenix.This is $44.95 well spent I think.With millions of fans’ support on Cena’s back like Atlas,he pulls out a miracle like on Elm Street.The beast has been bested like the Yamato,and I am at home testifying like Martin Luther King Jr.The square-jawed wrestler like a hit man has bested the Goliath as David,I am beside myself like a lottery winner.5 stars are what I wrote, the Starry Night of wrestling.
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So about a month ago, I picked up goodhelmet's MOTYC compilations and have begun to work through them in the hopes that I can determine my Match of the Decade. I have not liked to keep a lot of matches on my computer and I don't have access to most of my collection right now, but these comps have basically every really pimped matches from 05-08, I've been keeping up to date with 09, and I have a feeling most of the recommended stuff from 00-04 is available online.
I'm pretty slow at watching wrestling and there was a fair amount of content on the 2005 set. This is when the indy scene was really starting to peak, WWE was firing on a few cylinders, and NOAH was still hot. That said, here is my MOTY list for 2005:
1. 6/23/05 Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (SD!)
2. 12/16/05 Santo/Casas v. Mephisto/Averno (CMLL)
3. 12/17/05 KENTA vs Low Ki (ROH)
4. 9/18/05 KENTA vs SUWA (NOAH)
5. 4/3/05 Angle vs. Michaels (Wrestlemania)
6. 7/18/05 Kenta Kobashi vs. Sasaki (NOAH)
7. 10/1/05 Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi (ROH)
8. 5/14/05 CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave (ROH)
9. 5/2/05 Shelton Benjamin v. Shawn Michaels (RAW)
10. 11/5/05 Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong (ROH)
11. 1/8/05 Kobashi vs. Suzuki (NOAH)
12. 6/26/05 Angle vs. Michaels (Vengeance)
13. 11/5/05 Santo v. Atlantis (CMLL)
14. 5/7/05 Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal (ROH)
Nothing else I saw resonated with me enough to put it on the list. Thoughts on the matches:
1. 6/23/05 Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Misterio Jr. (SD!)
This is crazy good. They do a masterful job of building the heat and the crowd is going insane by the finish. The rest of their 2005 feud got too silly for me, with Dominic becoming the focal point of the feud and long stretches of Eddy staring at him. Here, they focus on each other and it's amazing. It's weird to think how they can have such a different match than their 1997 WCW classic but they pull it off, working a much slower pace but still fitting in tons of moves and spots. This is probably the peak for Eddy's facial expressions - featuring confidence, disgust, disappointment, anger, and finally worried and desperate. The crowd loses it for the finish.
2. 12/16/05 Santo/Casas v. Mephisto/Averno (CMLL)
For the first two falls, I was wondering why this was on the set, and then the third fall they just kicked it into gear hard. Santo in particular was amazing, just fluid and crisp to the max. Another great finish here.
3. 12/17/05 KENTA vs Low Ki (ROH)
4. 9/18/05 KENTA vs SUWA (NOAH)
I'm a big fan of KENTA, and these were two amazing performances. Low Ki was his usual self in their match, but the ROH crowd loved seeing him get stiffed back. Just a brutal, violent match. There are pointless NOAH Jrs matwork to keep it from really reaching that upper echelon, but they ditch that quickly and get into beating the shit out of each other. The SUWA match is completely different, built around SUWA being a huge dick. Getting into Joe Higuchi's face, spitting on a dude at ringside, and eating his comeuppance like a man. I loved these.
5. 4/3/05 Angle vs. Michaels (Wrestlemania)
12. 6/26/05 Angle vs. Michaels (Vengeance)
I wanted to rank the Vengeance match higher, just for the turnbuckle powerbomb (which was SWEET) but Michaels forgets how to sell in that one. I hate the "stay in the ankle lock forever" thing, but that happens in every Angle match so you kind of have to overlook it.
6. 7/18/05 Kenta Kobashi vs. Sasaki (NOAH)
7. 10/1/05 Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi (ROH)
Epic 2005 Kobashi is great, but there is little substance to these past the spectacle. Which is fine, spectacle is great to watch too. The chop war on 7/18 is basically the pinnacle of all chops ever. The Joe match is insane, huge heat, but the crowd pissed me off so fucking much. "THIS IS AWESOME" twice, "ROH!", "I CAN'T SEE SHIT!" when they're fighting on the outside, "SIT THE FUCK DOWN" as a continuation of that, "PLEASE DON'T TAP!" REALLY? for fuck's sake, and "ARIGOTO" after the match. But great desperate work from Joe and Kobashi puts him over huge.
8. 5/14/05 CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave (ROH)
This is their cage match, and like most of these matches it has huge heat. It's CM Punk's ROH climax and the best performance of Rave's career. Tons of comeuppance spots and pay offs, and thats really all you can ask for in this. The finishing superplex off the cage is bonkers.
9. 5/2/05 Shelton Benjamin v. Shawn Michaels (RAW)
Anyone who says Benjamin can't get over in WWE forgets this match. The crowd loves him and is begging for an upset. Tons of false finishes and a great spinning enziguri by Benjamin, followed by the infamous springboard-into-superkick finish. Great TV match that if followed through on would have made Benjamin a main eventer.
10. 11/5/05 Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong (ROH)
I hated when ROH found out Japan does time limit draws, because then they figured they had to do them all the time. It was cool for Joe/Punk, but the 2006 stuff and the 75 minute Aries/Dragon match were fucking retarded. I'd forgotten the result to this, and when the announcers (who are terrible, by the way) started going on about how "these men could go 60 minutes LOL foreshadowing~" 5 minutes in I figured I was in for a long borefest. They managed to suck me in anyways through some great near falls and when Dragon just murdered Strong with the elbows to finish it I was beside myself. Too much pointless opening stuff to rank higher though.
11. 1/8/05 Kobashi vs. Suzuki (NOAH)
I just love watching Suzuki do shit. He's awesome. Here he is being a bigger dick than usual and working Kobashi's chopping arm constantly and out of nowhere, and finally Kobashi will have none of it. Really good.
13. 11/5/05 Santo v. Atlantis (CMLL)
14. 5/7/05 Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal (ROH)
These are just really solid matches that did their genre to perfection that I couldn't justify ranking ahead of any of the above matches but were heads and shoulders above the rest of the discs.
So there's my 2005 thoughts. I think Rey/Eddy is the only one that will contend for MOTD, but we'll see. A solid year of wrestling.
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I just watched Buzz Sawyer & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami from sometime in February of 87 from New Japan. I was immediately excited for this because Bigelow comes in without his flame attire and is instead rocking the black gear from Memphis with the "I am a monster" t-shirt, and so I can see that he is going to be a complete bad ass in this.
Bigelow and Buzz attack before the bell and the ref looks legitimately scared of Bigelow and starts calling Buddy Rose in to try and get him under control. Buddy seems to be more of a handler than a manager here, which I dig. Once things officially get started Fujinama and Bam Bam start in the ring, and Fujinama holds Inoki back from getting in there with Bigelow and instead calls for Buzz to get in there. I am happy to see guys act like they want nothing to do with the monster Bam Bam so I approve. Buzz comes in laughing and screaming like a mad man as only Buzz Sawyer can but Fujinama gets the best of him and ends up in control after Buzz misses a psycho splash. Fujinama pulls him into the corner and makes the tag to Inoki so Buzz gets away and tags Bigelow back in. And now we have Bigelow and Inoki in the ring but Bigelow comes in fired up and Fujinama tries to hold Inoki back. Bigelow is tired of Inoki avoiding him and does a cartwheel which sends the Japanese team to the apron, possibly to ponder how to get in the ring with Bam Bam and not die.
Inoki finally gets in there and the crowd gets hot chanting for him. Bigelow and Rose are not pleased. Inoki runs the ropes teasing a shoulderblock but is hesitant and hangs back. Inoki backs into the corner and Fujinama tags himself in, leaving myself and Bigelow disappointed. Bigelow, tired of dealing with their fear, tags Buzz back in. The camera focuses in on Buzz's face as he looks totally unhinged in the face off with Fujinami. Rose on the outside asks "where is your champion now? why isn't he in the ring against Bigelow?" and I am left to ask the same thing. Buzz shoots Fujinama into the ropes and leapfrogs him, and is so proud of himself. Unfortunately he turns around into a Fujinama dropkick and goes SAILING out of the ring. God Buzz was never afraid to bump like a madman to the outside. Buzz is so frustrated he starts slamming his own head into the guardrail on the outside.
Buzz comes back inside and Inoki has gotten the tag in. Buzz and Inoki do a test of strength and Buzz gets the better of it until Inoki starts to power back and decides he's had enough of the test of strength and starts kicking Buzz in the leg. Buzz decides it's time to get out and tags Bigelow in, and I'm hopeful that Bigelow and Inoki will finally face off. And they do! Inoki charges Bigelow and nails him but Bam Bam is having none of that and throws Inoki into the ropes and crushes him with a shoulderblock. Fujinama tags himself back in and Bigelow and myself are frustrated once again. Bigelow just wants Inoki so Buzz comes back in to try his luck with Fujinama again. Buzz kicks Fujinama in the gut and sends him into the ropes and Fujinama tries to come back with a cross body but Buzz catches him and hits a NICE powerslam. Buzz goes up to the top rope for a splash and Fujinama moves and Buzz lands awkwardly on his feet and falls down holding his ankle. Inoki gets tagged back in and hits an enzugiri on Buzz, who can barely sell it and falls down very gingerly. Inoki goes for a cover and Bam Bam comes in and tries to break it up but Inoki moves and Bam Bam elbowdrops Buzz instead. Fujinama comes in after Bigelow and Bam Bam tosses him outside and goes after Inoki press slamming him to the outside as the ref calls for the bell, I assume to disqualify Bigelow and Buzz.
After the match Bigelow and Inoki face off in the ring but the ring fills up with people to hold back Inoki before they can go at it. Bigelow is pissed and starts tossing young boys around and calls for Inoki to fight him. Finally Fujinama and others get Inoki to leave the ring, and I am disappointed that I never got to see them go at it. It seems like this one came to an abrupt end as Sawyer seemed to legitimately injure himself coming off the top rope on that splash attempt. If Buzz hadn't gotten injured, it felt like this was building to an eventual confrontation between Bigelow and Inoki near the end of the match that would have been hot, but as it was this one left me a little disappointed. I will have to try and track down the eventual Bam Bam vs. Inoki singles match that I am sure happened soon after this, as they really built up Bigelow as a monster here and a very real threat to Inoki.
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For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the Guest Booker DVD series is an idea from KayfabeCommentaries.com where a famous wrestling booker is given the task of booking a promotion or territory form a particular point in time with the idea that things didn’t go exactly as they did in real life and this is their chance to show us what they would have done were they the booker at the time. The first DVD featured Kevin Sullivan booking the WWF from the beginning of 1984 but without Hulk Hogan, who, for whatever reason, never made the big jump from the AWA. It’s a very interesting DVD, and while some of Sullivan’s ideas seem a little out of place, it still gives a lot of insight into the mechanics of booking and you still learn a lot of things about the art of booking that you probably won’t learn anywhere else.
With the concept explained, I shall set out the premise for this version of ‘Guest Booker’;
In late 1989, the NWA and Ric Flair were making a play to bring Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard back to the company, but there was also talk of other names being courted to jump to the NWA, specifically Ted DiBiase, Curt Hennig, Bret Hart, The Rockers, Roddy Piper and Randy Savage. Of course, we know that the only name of all of those to jump was Arn Anderson; Blanchard would have jumped back too but Jim Herd withdrew his contract offer when Blanchard failed a drug test for cocaine, which coincided with his decision to leave the WWF.
But what if Tully and Arn had returned together? And what if those other big names had made the history altering decision to jump to the NWA as well? How would things have changed?
Well, this is where Guest Booker comes in, and I book the NWA in the 18-month period from August of 1989 to the end of 1990.
There will be six sections to this piece:
The NWA World Heavyweight title
The US Heavyweight title
The World Tag Team tiles
The US Tag Team titles
The World TV title
Hopefully this will inspire some intelligent debate about booking, and give us something to talk about.
I'd been thinking about doing this for awhile but have never gotten around to doing it. Basically, I"ve always wanted to do a long list of matches where I'd rate them. I had a couple of problems though as I'd always forget matches that I've matched. The second problem is that I"m kind of eh on the star ranking system. I like it and I don't. So after thinking about it, I"ve decided to rate all matches on a personal enjoyment scale. All marks will be out of 10 and even those aren't definite either. A match may also have the same enjoyment rating as another match on here but that doesn't mean I felt the same about both matches. Some matches I may enjoy for their flow while others for their athetic feats and so on.
I have watched an awful lot of wrestling but don't expect every match to be on here. Like I said, I can't remember everything and there will be no match here listed that's under a 6/10. This is a celebration of all my favourite matches and not a place where I"m going to diss matches hence the word favourite.
Leave comments if you want.
Resident Evil's Favourite Matches Ever. Continually updated
Antonio Inoki vs Chris Markoff, JWA 05/16/69 6.5/10 --- Really good spirited battle with the evil villan battling the classic face.
DYNAMITE KID vs TIGER MASK 8.5/10
-- The best bridge of all time? Tiger Mask certainly makes a case for it here.
DYNAMITE KID vs KEITH HART STAMPEDE 8.1/10
-- Very short match but still awesome enough for a lot of enjoyment. Dynamite and Keith go at each other so hard that it would make Kobashi, Misawa and company wince. Dynamite flies off the top of the ringpost onto the floor. I"m not sure on what year this is.
DYNAMITE KID vs TIGER MASK 4/21/83 10/10
-- The best of the series imo as it's easily the most emotional. A terrific ending that does give you a suitable conclusion to the seriesbut still leaves you with the biggest "what if" in wrestling history.
RICKY STEAMBOAT & JAY YOUNGBLOOD vs SGT SLAUGHTER & DON KERNODLE JCP 03/12/83, Cage Match 8/10 -- Very, very good cage match. I also really enjoyed the prematch contract signings.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs MACHO MAN 1987 MAPLE LEAF GARDENS 9.1/10
-- Excellent match from Maple Leaf Gardens which I think occured in 1987.
HULK HOGAN vs ANDRE THE GIANT WRESTLEMANIA III 8.5/10
-- Awesome match between two legends. The bodyslam heard round the world.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs MACHO MAN WRESTLEMANIA III 6.5/10
-- Two counts!
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs RICK RUDE ROYAL RUMBLE 6/10
-- Good solid bout
Rip Rogers vs Terry Taylor WCW 9.8/10 Im not sure of the date of this at all but it is one of my favourite matches of all time. I'm a mark for everything here. 2 undercard cards fighting a competitive match but yet there's still hierachary. (lease forgive the spelling of that word) Everything looks really rough with the lighting adding to the effect. This is something I always preffered over the non imposing lighting of the WWF at the time. And I love cheering for Rip Rogers! He should've been world champion.. I always wanted to see the Pillman matches from WCW.
BRIAN PILLMAN/BRUCE HART vs MIDNIGHT COWBOYS aka RIP ROGERS and STAMPEDE 1989 7.1/10 -- JIP big time but it's enough to show a really fun match. Pillman and Rogers both shine in this one with Pillman bringing some insane heigth (Pillman had already been having a lot of injury problems in Stampede) to his flying moves and Rogers working a smart match.
CACTUS JACK vs NORMAN THE LUNATIC aka MAKAHN SINGH aka a million other identities WCW 7.1/10 -- I've only seen limited Cactus Jack from his initial? run in WCW. Here he gets a lot of offense and proves that he can put a match together at this stage of his career. The very charasmatic Makahn Singh is always capable and proves here that he knows what he's doing too. He deserves much more than being remembered as Bastion Booger.
STEINERS vs NASTY BOYS Halloween Havoc 90 9.2/10
-- 2 tough teams just go out there and obliberate each other. The Steiners just look like they're from another world here if you're just used to watching the WWF. This is the best Nasty Boys match I've ever seen. But it's just not stiffness here. The match is put together well.
ULTIMATE WARRIOR vs MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE Career vs Career 9.9/10 -- This is one of the matches that really stirs me up emotionally. The ending with Savage just crawling out of the ring is epic. I don't know if the WWE will ever be able to top the angle afterwards which is helped tremendously by the match preceding it.
TED DIBIASE vs VIRGIL SUMMERSLAM 9.5/10
-- Very emotional. This was years in the making.
CACTUS JACK vs KENTA KOBASHI ALL JAPAN 6/10
-- The offense is what gets this match up here. Really good match energy on a fam cam. All Cactus Jack fans should make sure to check out the ending on this one.
RICKY STEAMBOAT vs RICK RUDE BEACH BLAST IRONMAN 9.1/10
-- What a bout that managed to put both men over. The ending was especially great with Steamboat surviving an excellent sleeper spot by Rude and than getting the pinfall. Than Rude wrestles "face like" in a last bit high paced desperation effort to tie the hockey game up which is what this felt like at the end. Ending gets a lot of points for being unique and smart.
BRET HART vs RODDY PIPER WRESTLEMANIA VIII 8.9/10
-- Rare face vs face match at the time with some nice storytelling. I love the ringbell spot
BRIAN PILLMAN vs Z-MAN WRESTLEWAR 92 7.1/10
-- Nice match and a good atmosphere. I loved seeing the crowd have sustained heat for a match with the Z-Man since I always was a fan.
NIKITA KOLOFF/RICKY STEAMOBAT vs DR. DEATH STEVE WILLAMS/TERRY GORDY 6.2/10
-- For the most part, one of the most realistic matches I've ever seen. Dr. Death always has these awesome looking amatuer exchanges with his opponents wether it's with Steamboat, Koloff or Kawada.
Sting/Steamboat/Windham/Rhodes vs Rude/Arn/Eaton/Zbyszko, WCW Saturday Night 02/22/92 6/10
-- What I enjoyed about this is how well everyone had their roles down pat in this bout. There is no noticable weak link here in the ring. This brings me back to the days where I was an absolute WCW and New Japan fanatic.
CHRIS BENOIT vs GREAT SASUKE JCUP 94 9.8/10
-- A different feel than the Lyger match earlier in the night and appropiately so. An epic way to end the tournament
JUSHIN LYGER vs GREAT SASUKE JCUP 94 9.8/10
-- This is one of my favourite puroresu matches and is their best match together by a long shot. Great underdog battle here with exciting action all the ways through. Looove the much talked about ending which actually adds to the match.
GREAT SASUKE vs EL SAMURAI JCUP 94 9/10
-- The ending sequence enthralls me especially with Sasuke's talking to the reff at the end which makes the match seem so competitive, real and important
Bret "The Hitman" Hart vs 1-2-3 Kid 07/11/94 9/10
-- Bret defends the title in a beautifully told story where the upstart 123 Kids attempts to take the title away from Bret.
MISAWA vs KAWADA 6/3/94 8.3/10
-- If you're reading this, odds are you know about this match!
CHRIS BENOIT vs GEDO JCUP 95 9.8/10
-- To me the best match of the tournament. I looooved Gedo's selling here of the match he just want through. Gedo crawls through the tournament by the skin of his teeth by getting "lucky" each time. First against Caras and now against Benoit. Fluke move at the end, a controversial 3 count and every mark/smark is cursing Gedo upside down. I really liked Gedo in this tournament.
CARAS vs GEDO JCUP 95 9/10
-- Gedo heels it up and I love it. Always a mark for Caras' submission moves.
BRIAN PILLMAN vs JOHNNY B. BADD FALL BRAWL 95 9/10
-- Face vs face battle where Pillman turns eventually turns into a heel for the match. I love the match finish as it's a fav spot of mine but also how it perfectly into what they were doing
Bret Hart vs Hakushi Raw 7/1995 9/10
-- Memories, this was the match that reminded me of how awesome Bret Hart could be. I enjoyed it as much as the KId match. The spot that has forever stayed with me is Bret deciding he can fly too and does that awesome rope aissisted splash from the ring apron to the floor. Space Flying Tiger Drop!
KOBASHI vs AKYIMA 12/2000 8.5/10
-- I enjoyed the long fought out battle here. Make sure to check out Kobashi's eye at the end of this. Ouch!
SAMOA JOE vs CM PUNK III ROH 7/10
-- Really good match here and one of my favourites from ROH. The work around the sleeper was pretty cool.
Chris Benoit vs MVP Backlash 8.7/10 -- It's hard to talk about any Benoit matches. This was a great match and I can't help but give any match that has the highspot of the flying splash only to be met by the knees a high mark
Chris Benoit vs MVP Judgement Day 9.3/10 -- My kind of match. The fans unfortunately didn't bite into it like they could have but still put together really well. It had a chance for me to be absolutely epic if it had gone on longer. Still a fitting end as this set up another rematch but unfortuanately they didn't get to finish the series.
Fit Finlay vs Ric Flair Smackdown 6/10 -- Really good little match and this makes it because I love how Flair gets revenge on Finlay for attacking his leg by doing what else? Attacking Finlay's leg! Good way to get the crowd into it. It also looks like Finlay has a new leg submission. Flair has improved since a few years ago but I still think he should retire for his own health.
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Stolen completely from Loss. I like putting together lists, so I'm going to do one of the top wrestling matches by year, according to me. I left out matches that were significantly edited. I'll post additions at the bottom and will occasionally change or remove the status of a match. Comments appreciated, because I'd love to re-watch some of these, but generally don't have the motivation to do so without a good reason (too many unwatched matches kicking around).
Antonio Inoki vs Dory Funk Jr. (9/2/70, ***3/4)
The Destroyer vs Mil Mascaras (10/9/73, ****1/4)
Mil Mascaras vs The Destroyer (7/25/74, ****1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Terry Funk (6/11/76, ****1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Jack Brisco (8/28/76, 2/3 Falls, ****)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Giant Baba (5/1/76, ****)
Jerry Lawler vs Bill Dundee (8/29/77, ***3/4)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Harley Race (6/11/77, 2/3 Falls, ***1/2)
Dynamite Kid vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (2/5/80, ****)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Dick Slater (5/1/80, ****)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Dick Murdoch (2/23/80, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Dick Murdoch (3/5/80, ***1/2)
Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka vs. Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. (12/13/81, ****1/4)
Bob Backlund vs. Sgt. Slaughter (3/21/81, ***1/2)
Bob Backlund vs. Adrian Adonis (1/18/82, ****1/4)
Bruiser Brody vs. Dory Funk Jr. (3/21/82, ***3/4)
Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask (8/5/82, ***3/4)
Tiger Mask vs. Bret Hart (7/30/82, ***1/2)
Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask (4/21/83, ****)
Stan Hansen & Brusier Brody vs Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu (12/12/83, ***3/4)
Tiger Mask vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi (1/6/83, ***3/4)
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs. Sgt Slaughter & Don Kernodle (3/12/83, ***1/2)
Ric Flair vs Harley Race (11/24/83, ***1/2)
Sgt. Slaughter vs. The Iron Sheik (6/16/84, ****)
Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch vs. The Brisco Brothers (12/28/84, ****)
Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada (12/5/84, ***3/4)
Super Tiger vs Akira Maeda (9/11/84, ***3/4)
Adrian Adonis/Dick Murdoch vs. Bob Backlund/Brian Blair (7/7/84, ***3/4)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Super Tiger (12/5/84, 25:36 of 27:19 shown, ***1/2)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Nobuhiko Takada (10/22/84, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Nick Bockwinkle (2/24/84, ***1/2)
Super Tiger vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (9/7/84, ***1/2)
Jaguar Yokota vs. La Galactica (2/27/85, ****1/2)
Devil Masami vs. Chigusa Nagayo (8/22/85, ****1/2)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki (9/11/85, ****)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Super Tiger (9/11/85, ***3/4)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Super Tiger (7/17/85, 10:23 of 15:15 shown, ***3/4)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Akira Maeda (3/2/85, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Super Tiger (9/6/85, ***3/4)
Dump Matsumoto & Rosy Moreno vs. Lioness Asuka & Chigusa Nagayo (1/5/85, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (7/8/85, 11:23 of 15:04 shown, ***1/2)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Kazuo Yamazaki (1/7/85, ***1/2)
Ricky Steamboat vs. Bob Orton Jr. (7/20/85, ***1/2)
Greg Valentine vs. Ricky Steamboat (6/21/85, ***1/2)
Super Tiger vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (6/24/85, ***1/2)
Akira Maeda/Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Osamu Kido/Nobuhiko Takada/Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami/Kengo Kimura/Umanosuke Ueda/Kantaro Hoshino (3/26/86, ****1/2)
Hart Foundation vs. Killer Bees (2/17/86, ****1/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Keiichi Yamada (5/1/86, ****)
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (7/27/86, ****)
Nobuhiko Takada & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido (12/8/86, ****)
Akira Maeda/Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Osamu Kido/Nobuhiko Takada/Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami/Kengo Kimura/Shiro Koshinaka/George Takano/Kantaro Hoshino (9/16/86, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. The Cobra (6/17/86,***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki (8/7/86, ***1/2)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Shiro Koshinaka (9/19/86, ***1/2)
Ricky Steamboat vs. Jake Roberts (8/9/86, ***1/2)
Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham (1/20/87, ****1/2)
Nobuhiko Takada & Akira Maeda vs. Keiji Muto & Shiro Koshinaka (3/20/87, ****1/4)
Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage (3/29/87, ****)
Yukari Omori vs. Lioness Asuka (4/15/87, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada & Akira Maeda vs. Keiji Muto & Shiro Koshinaka (3/26/87, ***1/2)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi (8/20/87, ***1/2)
Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy vs Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada (12/16/88, ****3/4)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Genichiro Tenryu (10/28/88, ****1/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Akira Maeda (11/10/88, ****1/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Hiro Hase (3/11/88, ****1/4)
Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada (8/13/88, ****)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Tiger Mask (3/9/88, ****)
Akira Maeda vs Gerard Gourdeau (8/13/88, ****)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Bob Backlund (12/22/88, ***3/4)
Akira Maeda vs Kazuo Yamazaki (5/12/88, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Shiro Koshinaka (2/4/88, ***3/4)
Hiroshi Hase vs. Shiro Koshinaka (2/7/88, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Akira Maeda (6/11/88, ***1/2)
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (6/5/89, ****3/4)
Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (4/2/89, ****3/4)
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (10/11/89, ****1/4)
Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (5/7/89, ****)
Yoji Anjoh vs Masakatsu Funaki (6/14/89, ****)
Masakatsu Funaki vs Tatsuo Nakano (7/24/89, ****)
Naoki Sano vs. Jushin Liger (7/13/89, JIP, 10:56 of 13:48 shown, ****)
Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (8/1/89, JIP 11:04 of 15:26 shown, ****)
Akira Maeda vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (8/13/89, ***3/4)
Yoji Anjoh vs Minoru Suzuki (10/25/89, ***3/4)
Akira Maeda vs Kazuo Yamazaki (5/21/89, ***3/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (9/20/89, ***3/4)
Kazuo Yamazaki vs Yoji Anjoh (8/13/89, ***3/4)
Kazuo Yamazaki vs Nobuhiko Takada (5/4/89, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Akira Maeda (1/10/89, ***3/4)
Shiro Koshinaka vs. Hiroshi Hase (3/16/89, ***3/4)
Riki Choshu & Masa Saito vs. Super Strong Machine & George Takano (3/16/89, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (10/25/89, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Kenta Kobashi vs. Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu (8/6/89, ***1/2)
Atsushi Onita vs Masashi Aoyagi (10/6/89, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada (1/7/89, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada (2/23/89, ***1/2)
Yoji Anjoh vs Minoru Suzuki (4/14/89, 13:41 of 19:39 shown, ***1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (9/1/90, ****3/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Naoki Sano (1/31/90, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi/Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta/Masa Fuchi/Akira Taue (10/19/90, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (6/8/90, ****1/2)
Southern Boys vs. Midnight Express (7/7/90, ****1/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Akira Maeda (6/21/90, ****)
Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams (4/19/90, ****)
The Great Muta vs. Hiroshi Hase (9/14/90, ****)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kazuo Yamazaki (2/9/90, ***3/4)
Steve Williams vs. Toshiaki Kawada (JIP, 13:27 of 16:22 shown, ***3/4)
Steve Williams & Terry Gordy vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen (3/6/90, ***3/4)
Genichiro Tenryu & Ricky Fuyuki vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Tiger Mask II (1/14/90, ***3/4)
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (4/19/90, ***1/2)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Akira Maeda (1/16/90, ***1/2)
Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen (4/13/90, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue/Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (10/21/91, ****1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Toshiaki Kawada (10/24/91, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue (11/29/91, ****1/2)
Keiji Muto vs. Masahiro Chono (8/11/91, ****1/4)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs Mitsuharu Misawa (4/20/91, ****1/4)
Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (3/3/91, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Terry Gordy (6/1/91, ****1/4)
Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue vs. Toshiaki Kawada/Kenta Kobashi (9/27/91, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada vs. Terry Gordy/Steve Williams (12/6/91, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams (07/24/91, ****)
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (8/26/91, ****)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Kazuo Yamazaki (10/6/91, ****)
Ric Flair/Larry Zbyszko/Barry Windham/Sid Vicious vs. Sting/Brian Pillman/Scott Steiner/Ric Steiner (2/24/91, ****)
Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue vs. Mitsuharu Misawa/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (9/1/91, ****)
Toshiaki Kawada/Kenta Kobashi vs. Akira Taue/Masa Fuchi (9/23/91, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (11/24/91, ****)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Masahiro Chono (8/9/91, ***3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue (1/15/91, ***3/4)
Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (5/24/91, ***3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Steve Williams (6/16/91, ***3/4)
Stan Hansen/Danny Spivey vs. Terry Gordy/Steve Williams (12/4/91, ***3/4)
Mitsuhara Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue (09/24/91, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Toshiaki Kawada (4/6/91, ***1/2)
Bull Nakano vs Yumiko Hotta (1/23/91, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue/Masanobu Fuchi vs. Toshiaki Kawada/Kenta Kobashi/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (10/27/91, ***1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta/Akira Taue/Masa Fuchi (1/27/91, ***1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue (4/18/91, ***1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada/Kenta Kobashi vs. Stan Hansen/Danny Spivey (9/1/91, ***1/2)
The Great Muta vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (9/23/91, ***1/2)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (11/26/92, ****3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada (10/21/1992, ****1/2)
Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada (8/15/92, ****1/2)
Jushin Liger vs. El Samurai (4/30/92, ****1/4)
Kyoko Inoue vs Akira Hokuto (1/4/92, ****1/4)
Kyoko Inoue vs Akira Hokuto (11/26/92, ****1/4)
Vader vs Sting (12/28/92, ****1/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Pegasus Kid (2/10/92, ****1/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman (2/29/92, ****)
Aja Kong & Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada (12/13/92, ****)
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (8/29/92, ****)
Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (4/5/92, ****)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Gary Albright (9/21/92, ****)
Pegasus Kid vs. Jushin Liger (8/12/92, ****)
Hiroshi Hase vs Great Muta (12/14/92, ****)
Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuhara Misawa (08/22/1992, ****)
Bull Nakano & Aja Kong vs. Akira Hokuto & Toshiyo Yamada (8/15/92, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama (12/04/1992, ****)
Stan Hansen vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (3/4/92, ****)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kenta Kobashi (3/22/92, ****)
Masa Chono vs. Keiji Muto (8/11/92, ***3/4)
Bull Nakano vs Aja Kong (11/26/92, ***3/4)
Vader vs. Sting (7/12/92, ***3/4)
Jumbo Tsuruta/Masanobu Fuchi/Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Mitsuharu Misawa/Toshiaki Kawada/Kenta Kobashi (1/12/92, JIP, 19:30 of 26:00 shown, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Gary Albright (5/8/92, ***3/4)
Stan Hansen vs Mitsuharu Misawa (4/17/92, ***1/2)
Kyoko Inoue & Mariko Yoshida vs Manami Toyota & Sakie Hasegawa (5/24/92, ***1/2)
Aja Kong & Bison Kimura vs Akira Hokuto & Etsuko Mita (5/24/92, ***1/2)
Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper (4/5/92, ***1/2)
Jumbo Tsuruta & Masanobu Fuchi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi (1/2/92, ***1/2)
Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori (4/2/93, *****)
Stan Hansen vs Kenta Kobashi (7/29/93, *****)
Toshiyo Yamada & Manami Toyota vs. Dynamite Kansai & Mayumi Ozaki (4/11/93, ****3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (06/01/93, ****1/2)
Terry Gordy & Steve Williams vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (1/30/93, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (3/27/93, ****1/2)
Aja Kong & Sakie Hasegawa vs. Toshiyo Yamada & Kyoko Inoue (10/10/93, ****1/2)
Stan Hansen vs Toshiaki Kawada (2/28/93, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue (2/28/93, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (7/29/93, ****1/4)
Steve Williams vs Mitsuharu Misawa (9/3/93, ****1/4)
Stan Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi (4/16/93, ****1/4)
Vader vs. Sting (2/21/93, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Stan Hansen (3/30/93, ****1/4)
Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi (1/26/93, ****1/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Genichiro Tenryu (8/8/93, ****1/4)
Kyoko Inoue vs. Shinobu Kandori (8/25/93, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12/3/93, ****)
Toshiyo Yamada vs. Dynamite Kansai (10/9/93, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi/Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada/Akira Taue/Yoshinari Ogawa (7/2/93, ****)
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (6/13/93, ****)
Steve Williams vs Kenta Kobashi (8/31/93, ****)
Aja Kong & Akira Hokuto vs. Shinobu Kandori & Eagle Sawai (4/11/93, ****)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto (12/10/93, ****)
Shinya Hashimoto vs Genichiro Tenryu (8/8/93, ****)
Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Cuty Suzuki (4/2/93, ****)
Aja Kong vs. Dynamite Kansai (8/25/93, ****)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Vader (12/5/93, ***3/4)
Akira Hokuto vs. Rumi Kazama (8/25/93, ***3/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Power Warrior (12/13/93, ***1/2)
Akira Hokuto vs. Yumiko Hotta (8/21/93, ***1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen (5/21/93, ***1/2)
Vader vs. Cactus Jack (10/24/93, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi vs Terry Gordy (5/21/93, ***1/2)
Kyoko Inoue/Takako Inoue/Toshiyo Yamada vs. Aja Kong/Kaoru Ito/Infernal Kaoru (8/21/93, ***1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (6/3/94, *****)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (5/21/94, ****3/4)
Super Vader vs. Nobuhiko Takada (8/18/94, ****3/4)
Aja Kong vs Yumiko Hotta (1/24/94, ****3/4)
Kenta Kobashi vs Steve Williams (9/3/94, ****3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams (4/16/94, ****1/2)
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (3/20/94, ****1/2)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda (1/24/94, ****1/2)
Wild Pegasus vs. Great Sasuke (4/16/94, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (4/11/94, ****1/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Steve Williams (10/22/94, ****1/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue (4/1/94, ****1/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiro Hase (12/13/94, ****1/4)
Kiyoshi Tamura vs. Gary Albright (8/18/94, ****1/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Great Sasuke (4/16/94, ****1/4)
Bull Nakano vs Kyoko Inoue (1/24/94, ****)
El Samurai vs. Great Sasuke (4/16/94, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (12/10/94, ****)
Akira Hokuto & Aja Kong vs Dynamite Kansai & Yumiko Hotta (8/24/94, ****)
Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong (11/20/94, ****)
Kyoko Inoue vs. Dynamite Kansai (11/20/94, ****)
Kenta Kobashi vs Akira Taue (3/27/94, ***3/4)
Giant Baba & Stan Hansen vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12/10/94, ***3/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Super Delfin (6/18/94, ***3/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Genichiro Tenryu (2/17/94, ***3/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Riki Choshu (6/15/94, ***3/4)
Manami Toyota & Toshiyo Yamada vs. Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue (10/9/94, ***3/4)
Aja Kong vs. Dynamite Kansai (11/20/94, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Gary Albright (6/10/94, ***1/2)
Bret Hart vs 1-2-3 Kid (07/01/94, ***1/2)
Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. The Nasty Boys (5/22/94, ***1/2)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Shiro Koshinaka (8/7/94, ***1/2)
Bull Nakano & Kyoko Inoue vs. Aja Kong & Manami Toyota (3/3/94, ***1/2)
Aja Kong vs Yumiko Hotta (12/4/94, ***1/2)
Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi & Mitsuharu Misawa (6/9/95, AJPW Double Tag Titles, *****)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (1/24/95, ****3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue (4/15/95, ****1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue (4/8/95, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (3/26/95, ****1/2)
Jushin Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon (12/95, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (7/24/95, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (4/6/95, ****1/4)
Kenta Kobashi vs Akira Taue (7/24/95, ****1/4)
Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog (12/17/95, ****1/4)
Koji Kanemoto vs. Shinjiro Otani (7/13/95, ****1/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Gedo (12/95, ****1/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Gary Albright (10/25/95, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue (4/12/95, ****)
Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi (3/21/95, ****)
Lionheart vs. Wild Pegasus (12/95, ****)
Ultimo Dragon vs. Shinjiro Otani (12/95, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue (9/10/95, ***3/4)
Kenta Kobashi & Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (10/15/95, ***3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (12/9/95, ***3/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto (5/3/95, ***3/4)
Bret Hart vs. Diesel (11/19/95, ***3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (10/25/95, ***3/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Gran Naniwa (12/95, ***3/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto (8/15/95, ***3/4)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kensuke Sasaki (1/4/95, ***1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (3/4/95, ***1/2)
Ric Flair vs. Keiji Muto (8/13/95, ***1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Jun Akiyama (3/21/95, ***1/2)
Nobuhiko Takada vs Vader (4/20/95, ***1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama (12/6/96, *****)
El Samurai vs. Shinjiro Otani (1/21/96, ****3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama (5/96, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (7/9/96, ****1/2)
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani (3/17/96, ****1/2)
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (11/17/96, ****1/2)
Shinjiro Ohtani vs. Ultimo Dragon (8/4/96, ****1/2)
Shinjiro Otani vs. Wild Pegasus (3/20/96, ****1/2)
Black Tiger vs. Wild Pegasus (6/11/96, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (11/29/96, ****1/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Akira Taue (3/31/96, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (3/31/96, ****1/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Black Tiger (6/12/96, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue (5/24/96, ****1/4)
Antonio Inoki vs. Vader (1/4/96, ****)
Chris Benoit vs. Dean Malenko (8/10/96, ****)
TAKA Michinoku/Koji Kanemoto/Shinjiro Otani vs. Gran Hamada/El Samurai/Jushin Liger (4/5/96, ****)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Riki Choshu (8/2/96, ****)
Kenta Kobashi vs Akira Taue (7/24/96, ***3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Steve Williams & Johnny Ace (11/22/96, ***3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs Kenta Kobashi & The Patriot (11/22/96, ***3/4)
Jushin Liger vs. Dick Togo (British Jr. Title, ***3/4)
Nobuhiko Takada vs. Shinya Hashimoto (4/29/96, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada (5/24/96, ***1/2)
1 Kenta Kobashi vs Mitsuharu Misawa (1/20/97, *****)
2 Kenta Kobashi vs Mitsuharu Misawa (10/21/97, *****)
3 Jushin Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani (2/9/97, ****3/4)
4 Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama (12/5/97, ****3/4)
5 Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (4/19/97, ****1/4)
6 Hiroshi Hase vs Kenta Kobashi (8/26/97, ****1/4)
7 Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (3/23/97, ****1/4)
8 Kenta Kobashi vs Jun Akiyama (3/30/97, ****)
9 Jushin Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon (1/4/97, ****)
10 Mitsuharu Misawa & Hiroshi Hase & Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama (9/26/97, ****)
11 Toshiaki Kawada vs Mitsuharu Misawa (6/6/97, ***3/4)
12 Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi (4/19/97, ***3/4)
13 Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama (9/6/97, ***3/4)
14 Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (4/2/97, ***1/2)
15 Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akira Taue (7/25/95, ***1/2)
16 Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto (6/5/97, ***1/2)
17 Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace & Johnny Smith vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako (8/22/97. ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada (6/12/98, ****3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (10/31/98, ****1/2)
Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (6/5/98, ****1/2)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kazuo Yamazaki (8/2/98, ****1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (3/29/98, ****)
Jun Akiyama vs Mitsuharu Misawa (1/26/98, Triple Crown, ****)
Jun Akiyama vs Kenta Kobashi (7/24/98, Triple Crown, ****)
Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada vs Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace (1/25/98, ****)
Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Stan Hansen & Vader (12/5/98, ***3/4)
Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada (10/11/98, ***3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama (4/18/98, ***3/4)
Shinjiro Otani vs. Ultimo Dragon (1/4/98, ***3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs Mitsuharu Misawa (5/1/98, ***1/2)
Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi (9/11/98, Triple Crown, ***1/2)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi (6/11/99, ****1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (1/7, 17:28 of 25:58 shown, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (10/23/99, ****1/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (1/22/99, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader (5/1/99, ****)
Bret Hart vs. Chris Benoit (10/4/99, ****)
Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (3/6/99, ****)
Vader vs Kenta Kobashi (4/16/99, ***3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Toshiaki Kawada (7/23/99, ***3/4)
Ayaka Hamada/Mika Akino vs Mima Shimoda/Etsuko Mita (12/11/99, ***3/4)
Kenta Kobashi & Toshiaki Kawada vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue (6/4/99, ***3/4)
Raven & Saturn vs. Dean Malenko & Chris Benoit (4/11/99, ***1/2)
CIMA vs Minoru Fujita (10/19/99, ***1/2)
Ryuji Yamakawa vs Tomoaki Honma (6/20/99, ***1/2)
1 Kenta Kobashi vs Jun Akiyama (12/23/2000, ****1/2)
2 Jun Akiyama vs Mitsuharu Misawa (2/27/00, ****)
3 Vader vs Kenta Kobashi (2/27/00, ****)
4 Jun Akiyama vs Kenta Kobashi (8/6/00, ****)
5 Kensuke Sasaki vs. Toshiaki Kawada (10/9/00, ***3/4)
6 Masa Fuchi & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka (12/14/00, ***3/4)
7 Jun Akiyama & Kenta Kobashi vs Vader & Steve Williams (2/20/00, ***3/4)
8 Kenta Kobashi vs Toshiaki Kawada (1/17/00, ***3/4)
9 Jun Akiyama & Kenta Kobashi vs Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue (8/5/2000, 2/3 Falls, ***1/2)
10 Toshiaki Kawada vs Genichiro Tenryu (10/28/00, ***1/2)
11 Genichiro Tenyru vs. Kensuke Sasaki (1/4/00, ***1/2)
12 Shinya Hashimoto & Takashi Iizuka vs. Naoya Ogawa & Kazunari Murakami (1/4/00, ***1/2)
1 Jushin Liger vs. Minoru Tanaka (6/4/01, ****1/4)
2 Minoru Tanaka vs. AKIRA (5/28/01, ****)
3 Toshiaki Kawada vs. Satoshi Kojima (6/6/01, ****)
4 Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele (12/11/01, ****)
5 Jun Akiyama vs. Mitsuharu Misawa (7/27/01, ****)
6 Naomichi Marufuji vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa (4/18/01, ****)
7 Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea vs. Osamu Nishimura & Tatsumi Fujinami (10/28/01, ****)
8 Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Yuji Nagata (3/2/01, ***3/4)
9 Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Toshiaki Kawada (1/4/01, ***3/4)
10 Keiji Muto vs Genichiro Tenryu (6/8/01, ***3/4)
11 Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yuji Nagata (1/4/01, ***3/4)
12 Toshiaki Kawada & Mitsuya Nagai vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (9/16/01, ***3/4)
13 Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs Naomichi Marufuji (12/9/2001, ***3/4)
14 Takehiro Murahama vs. Minoru Tanaka (4/20/01, ***3/4)
15 Keiji Muto & Jushin Liger vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura (10/19/01, ***3/4)
16 Yuji Nagata/Osamu Nishimura/Takashi Iizuka vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Satoshi Kojima/Scott Norton (4/20/01, ***3/4)
17 Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama (4/11/01, ***1/2)
18 Taiyo Kea vs. Genichiro Tenryu (3/3/01, ***1/2)
Masayuki Naruse & El Samurai vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (9/23/02, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Yuji Nagata & Jun Akiyama (2/17/02, ***3/4)
Kenta Kobashi & Kentaro Shiga vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito (10/19/02, ***3/4)
Satoshi Kojima vs. Genichiro Tenryu (7/17/02, ***3/4)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Osamu Nishimura (2/16/02, ***3/4)
Osamu Nishimura vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (8/10/02, ***3/4)
Jushin Liger/Great Sasuke/Tiger Mask IV vs. Dick Togo/Gedo/Jado (1/4/02, ***3/4)
Yuji Nagata vs. Jun Akiyama (1/4/02, ***3/4)
Great Sasuke/Jinsei Shinzaki/Dick Togo vs. TAKA Michinoku/Gran Naniwa/Kaz Hayashi (11/8/02, ***3/4)
Masahiro Chono vs. Yuji Nagata (10/26/02, ***1/2)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (8/4/02, ***1/2)
American Dragon vs Low Ki (3/30/02, ***1/2)
Samoa Joe vs Low Ki (10/5/02, ***1/2)
American Dragon vs AJ Styles (11/9/02, ***1/2)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Jun Akiyama (8/17/03, ****1/2)
Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito (6/06/03, ****1/4)
Makai Mask IV & Makai Mask V vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Hiroshi Tanahashi (7/09/03, ****)
AKIRA/Super Crazy/HEAT/Masahito Kakihara/Tiger Mask IV vs. Minoru Fujita/Gedo/Koji Kanemoto/El Samurai/Jushin Lyger (2/16/03, ****)
Jun Akiyama/Makoto Hashi/Akitoshi Saito/Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tamon Honda/KENTA/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi/Kenta Kobashi (5/14/03, ***3/4)
Doug Williams vs. Chris Daniels (3/22/03, ***3/4)
Tamon Honda vs. Kenta Kobashi (4/13/03, ***1/2)
Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle (1/19/03, ***1/2)
Kazunari Murakami vs. Yuji Nagata (12/10/02, ***1/2)
Osamu Nishimura vs. Yuji Nagata (2/02/03, ***1/2)
CM Punk vs. Samoe Joe (10/16/04, ****3/4)
Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Kenta Kobashi (4/25/04, ****1/2)
CM Punk vs Samoa Joe (12/4/04, ****1/2)
Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi (9/10/04, ****1/4)
Bryan Danielson vs Samoa Joe (10/2/04, ****1/4)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kensuke Sasaki (12/12/04, ****1/4)
Takeshi Rikio & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kenta Kobashi & KENTA (11/28/04, ****1/4)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (8/15/04, Final, ****1/4)
Mark Briscoe vs Colt Cabana vs Austin Aries vs Homocide vs Bryan Danielson vs Samoa Joe (6/24/04, ****1/4)
Low Ki & Bryan Danielson vs Samoa Joe & Jushin Thunder Liger (11/6/04, ****)
Brock Lesnar vs Eddy Guerrero (2/15/04, ****)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kensuke Sasaki (11/03/04, ****)
Austin Aries vs Samoa Joa (12/26/04, ****)
Low Ki vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (9/10/04, ****)
Austin Aries vs Bryan Danielson (8/7/04, ****)
Jay and Mark Briscoe & Jimmy Rave & John Walters vs Alex Shelley & Jack Evans & Austin Aries & Roderick Strong (5/22/04, ****)
Takeshi Rikio vs. Kenta Kobashi (3/06/04, ***3/4)
CM Punk vs Samoa Joe (6/12/04, ***3/4)
Great Sasuke & Dick Togo & Nobutaka Moribe vs Minoru Fujita & Ikuto Hidaka & Macho Pump (8/22/04, ***3/4)
SUWA vs. Magnum Tokyo (2/08/04, UDG Title, ***3/4)
Bryan Danielson vs Jushin Thunder Liger (11/5/04, ***3/4)
Yoshinari Ogawa & Kotaro Suzuki vs. Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA (4/03/04, ***3/4)
KENTA vs. Kenta Kobashi (10/09/04, ***1/2)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (12/5/04, ***1/2)
Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi (7/10/04, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi & KENTA vs. Akitoshi Saito & Takashi Sugiura (11/28/04, ***1/2)
Kurt Angle vs Eddy Guerrero (3/14/04, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiosaki vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima (11/5/05, ****3/4)
Kenta Kobashi & Makoto Hashi vs. Jun Akiyama & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (8/19/05, ****1/2)
Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA vs. Ikuto Hidaka & Minoru Fujita (5/7/05, ****1/2)
Low Ki vs. KENTA (12/17/05, ****1/4)
Bryan Danielson vs. James Gibson (9/17/05, ****1/4)
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (12/11/05, ****1/4)
KENTA vs. SUWA (9/18/05, ****)
Kenta Kobashi vs. Samoa Joe (10/1/05, ****)
Roderick Strong vs. Bryan Danielson (10/29/05, ****)
Kenta Kobashi & Homicide vs. Low Ki & Samoa Joe (10/2/05, ****)
Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (6/23/05, ****)
Mitsuharu Misawa/Kenta Kobashi/Jun Akiyama vs. Naomichi Marufuji/KENTA/Makoto Hashi (4/2/05, ****)
James Gibson vs. Austin Aries (4/16/05, ****)
Naomichi Marufuji & Minoru Suzuki vs. Akitoshi Saito & Takashi Sugiura (9/11/05, ****)
Chris Daniels vs. James Gibson vs. Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (8/12/05, ****)
KENTA vs. Mushiking Terry (10/28/05, ****)
CM Punk & Spanky vs. Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal (3/12/05, ****)
Kenta Kobashi vs. Takeshi Rikio (3/5/05, ***3/4)
Satoshi Kojima vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (3/26/05, ***3/4)
Satoshi Kojima vs. Toshiaki Kawada (2/16/05, ***3/4)
Satoshi Kojima vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2/20/05, ***3/4)
Chris Daniels vs. Samoa Joe (11/5/05, ***3/4)
KENTA vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (7/18/05, ***3/4)
Roderick Strong vs. Bryan Danielson (11/5/05, ***3/4)
Spanky vs. Bryan Danielson (4/2/05, ***3/4)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura vs. Richard Slinger & Low Ki (8/27/05, ***3/4)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yuji Nagata (4/19/05, ***3/4)
Mitsuharu Misawa & Mohammed Yone vs. Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiozaki (4/17/05, ***3/4)
Low Ki & Homicide vs. Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal (8/13/05, ***3/4)
KENTA/Naomichi Marufuji/Kotaro Suzuki/Ricky Marvin vs. Takashi Sugiura/Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Makoto Hashi/SUWA (4/17/05, ***3/4)
James Gibson vs. Homicide vs. Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe (7/8/05, ***3/4)
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle (4/3/05, ***3/4)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Minoru Suzuki (8/11/05, ***1/2)
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (8/7/05, ***1/2)
Satoshi Kojima vs. Kensuke Sasaki (11/19/05, ***1/2)
Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal (12/3/05, ***1/2)
Black Tiger vs. Koji Kanemoto (10/30/05, ***1/2)
Shinsuke Nakamura & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yuji Nagata (1/30/05, ***1/2)
Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Naomichi Marufuji (7/18/05, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi vs. Kensuke Sasaki (7/18/05, ***1/2)
Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (8/13/05, ***1/2)
Chris Daniels vs. CM Punk (7/23/05, ***1/2)
Minoru Suzuki vs. Mohammed Yone (9/18/05, ***1/2)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano (8/4/05, ***1/2)
Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura (6/5/05, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi/Mohammed Yone/Go Shiosaki vs. Takeshi Rikio/Takeshi Morishima/Naomichi Marufuji (2/20/05, ***1/2)
Takeshi Rikio/Mohammed Yone/KENTA vs. Jun Akiyama/Genichiro Tenryu/Go Shiosaki (5/17/05, ***1/2)
Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto (7/26/05, ***1/2)
Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide (2/19/05, ***1/2)
Colt Cabana vs. Austin Aries (2/19/05, ***1/2)
Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson (8/5/06, ****1/2)
Kenta Kobashi vs. Naomichi Marufuji (4/23/06, ****)
KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio (NOAH 7/16/06, ****)
Samoa Joe/Adam Pearce/BJ Whitmer/Ace Steel/Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Hero/Claudio Castagnoli/Nate Webb/Necro Butcher/Eddie Kingston (7/15/06, ****)
Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA (12/2/06, ****)
KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson (9/16/06, ***3/4)
Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson (8/12/06, ***3/4)
Roderick Strong vs. Bryan Danielson (3/31/06, ***3/4)
Kenta Kobashi vs. KENTA (3/5/06, ***3/4)
Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker (2/19/06, ***3/4)
Necro Butcher vs. Low-Ki (4/1/06, ***3/4)
Naomichi Marufuji vs. KENTA (10/29/06, ***3/4)
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Akira Taue (3/5/06, ***1/2)
Yuji Nagata vs. Giant Bernard (4/30/06, ***1/2)
Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson (6/3/06, ***1/2)
Colt Cabana vs. Bryan Danielson (8/26/06, ***1/2)
Abdullah Kobayashi vs. Takashi Sasaki (3/31/06, ***1/2)
Lance Storm vs. Bryan Danielson (4/1/06, ***1/2)
Edge vs. Mick Foley (4/2/06, ***1/2)
Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson (10/28/06, ***1/2)
Jimmy Rave vs. Bryan Danielson (2/25/06, ***1/2)
Genki Horiguchi/Ryo Saito/Dragon Kid vs. CIMA/Naruki Doi/Masato Yoshino (3/31/06, ***1/2)
William Regal vs. Chris Benoit (10/8/06, ***1/2)
Kenta Kobashi & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Katsuhiko Nakajima (2/11/06, ***1/2)
Samoa Joe vs. Christopher Daniels (4/13/06, JIP, ***1/2)
CM Punk vs. John Morrison (9/4/07, ***1/2)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito (3/4/12, ****1/2)
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (2/12/12, ****)
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazushi Sakuraba (1/4/13, ***1/2)