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Spotlight: Dragon Gate USA - Open the Untouchable Gate 2009

Here we are back trying to watch some of my DVD backlog. This is/was a pretty well known show for the Danielson and Davey matches. I didn't give two shits back at the time but I have mellowed out about DGUSA (it took 10 years) :D. I was able to get a few of the more praised shows for cheap on eBay a few years ago. Like FIP a couple years ago, I might skip a match and I will definitely watch these out of order for the best viewing experience. Also I watched this with commentary off (nice to have

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 9 - Mid to Late 2001

This is a big post today so let's get going! Kyoko Inoue vs Lioness Asuka (04/29): So these two have had a couple/few acclaimed matches in other companies. I think it was fun but definitely not up to standard set by the others (or so I've heard). Where the best GAEA matches remind me of the best that FMW/ECW offered, this one felt like a TNA match. It was like half the match was Lioness on offense and then the second half was Kyoko. And honestly I don't this Inoue did that much whereas Lion

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 8 - 2001

I am going to keep going with GAEA for the New Year. As I've done for the past few posts I'm going to split the wrestling year up. So let's look at early 2001! Akira Hokuto & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Chigusa Nagayo & Lioness Asuka (01/27): This was a great under 10 minute match. The energy of the bout is what makes this so enjoyable. Its in Korakuen Hall, its noisy, there's blood, chairs flying, dives etc. Its not out of control but there's that energy. And even when the match is over, that

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 7 - Late 2000

I'm just jumping right in:  Sonoko Kato vs. Akira Hokuto (09/15): Waaayy too short of a match but it was fun. Seems like more of an angle than a match. I dig it though. Meiko Satomura vs. Devil Masami (09/15): I liked this pretty well. They did a good job telling the story that Satomura couldn't go toe to toe with Devil. So she uses her quickness and technique to weaken Devil's arms. Masami sells this pretty well and although she's able to power bomb Meiko, we can tell there's some

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 6 - 2000

We're almost at the end of the year and we're going to take a look at the first part of 2000 in the GAEA promotion. 1999 was great so let's hope that they keep it up! Lioness Asuka & Aja Kong vs. Akira Hokuto & Mayumi Ozaki (01/16): Great start to 2000! 10 minute sprint of chaos. Heel team has their gang, face team has there's, all kinds of crap is going on. This isn't what you would expect if they met in '95 but it is still super enjoyable and exciting wrestling. The fans were goin

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 5 - Late 1999

Let's just jump right in! LCO vs Hokuto and Ozaki (09/15/99): This is one I hadn't seen recommended. It's a battle of badasses...it's worth a try, right? Oh yes, its so very worth it. Oz & Akira ambush LCO at the entrance way. And it is mayhem from that until the finish. Chairs, blood, guard rails, no actual tagging, 16+ minutes long...if you're a FMW, ECW fan then this exactly what you want. It isn't always pretty. Everyone looks legitimately beat up. It's '99 so if definitely is more

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 4- 1999

We're FINALLY on to 1999 which has some of the best matches in the company's history according to many fans. I've got access to all of those but there are a couple others that are right out of that top tier that I can't seem to locate. Therefore I'm going to do my best to find some reasonable replacements. It's been so long since I made my watch list that I'm not sure which these are though Also I'm at my busy season with work so I'm going to break it up into two parts. Lioness Asuka &

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - December

I thought I would give myself some time and wait til after Thanksgiving to post this. So here we are at the end of 1985, we've got a bunch of tag matches. Let's get going! Dynamite Kid/Davey Boy Smith v. Yoshiaki Yatsu/Norio Honaga (12/04/85): Good match but not really anything special here. I'm sure you can guess the outcome. If this is on a . compilation for the Bulldogs then, its enjoyable enough. Jumbo Tsuruta v. Curt Hennig (12/04/85): Good match but boy was the crowd dead for thi

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - November

Here we are just a couple days past due but, finally November 1985 is ready to go. A couple of the matches were longer this week and therefore made my list a little slower to get through. It was worth it as you'll see. Let's dive in! Riki Choshu vs Jumbo Tsuruta (11/04 aired 11/09) Long time limit draw match...in my younger days I would have watched this. Anymore, I just don't want to devote this much time to one match especially knowing that it's a draw. But I did jump around (as does the

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - October

And we're back with AJPW 1985. We're looking at October. Riki Choshu vs Ashura Hara (10/04 aired 10/12): I noticed I had no Riki Choshu this post. The booking has separated Riki/partner from Jumbo & Tenryu for a little bit. Presumably to build to another encounter for RWTL drama. Anyway this was blazing right out of the gate. Full speed ahead ass kicking. Unfortunately it didn't get too far in before a DQ was called but Damn! this was a blast while it lasted. Dory and Terry Funk

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - August & September

Sorry for the delay! I'll get to that in a minute. It's nothing dramatic. So here we are in August & September of 1985 All Japan Pro Wrestling! The Funker...the late great Terry Funk is here. Lots of Stan Hansen and yeah this one is pretty star studded. Let's begin! Riki Choshu/Killer Khan vs Genichiro Tenryu/Jumbo Tsuruta (08/02 aired 08/03): A great match without a doubt! Things started out with Jumbo and Riki having a technical fight. Once Khan started slapping people in the face, th

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - July

A shorter post this week but still going strong with All Japan 1985. Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa & Haru Sonada vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Animal Hamaguchi (07/08 aired 07/13): Oh man excellent finish! Yeah this was a really good match. It's not top of the line effort since Jumbo isn't in there but that's an observation and not a criticism. Ishikawa really thrives in these matches since he's functioning as Tenryu's #2 rather than Jumbo's #3. Ashura Hara v

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - April - June

Back with more 1985 AJPW goodness! Let's get going with April! Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase (04/21 - aired 04/27): This from the Roy tapes as well. I needed to get some Stan Hansen in my life. This is a fine way to introduce him and Ted DiBiase into 1985. They make an excellent team (not my first time seeing them together) that has a different dynamic than the Brody or Gordy teams. Ted is more technical and has a calmer more calculated approach that makes

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Spotlight: All Japan Pro Wrestling 1985 - January - March

Sorry for anyone who checks in regularly for posts! Got a little overwhelmed with stuff and wrestling wasn't a priority. However I have begun my look into 1985 All Japan as a result. I needed some low stakes stuff to watch and I figured I could chip away at some stuff. That led me to the more substantial stuff and I'm on the project now.  Everything Riki Choshu comes from Roy Lucier's '85 AJPW TV. For some reason all of his matches are omitted from the AJPW Samurai Classic tv episodes (although

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 3 - 1998

Here we are with Part #3 of the very best of GAEA. We are looking at '98 which features a lot of Meiko Satomura and not so much Chigusa Nagayo. Don't think that's intentional just Meiko along Sonoko Kato seem to be the featured in the best stuff.  Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs Meiko Satomura & Sonoko Kato (01/15/98): Great match with Satomura and Kato getting plugged into the LCO vs young team equation. So this is very much Mita and Shimoda's match with the youngster team hanging on

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 2 - 1997

I'm back with part #2 of the Very Best of GAEA. This time we're looking at 1997 which is a big year in Joshi. The whole landscape changes and you'll see that here with more familiar faces from AJW. Akira Hokuto & Toshie Uematsu vs KAORU & Kiyoko Ichiki (01/19/97): Wow! That was awesome! For a good portion there they had a classic match on their hands. Things got a little loose with the younger wrestlers towards the end (disruption to the flow and not so much unforgivable sloppiness)

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Spotlight: The Very Best of GAEA - Part 1 - 1995 & 1996

I am really glad to be watching more Joshi this year. I got burntout/jaded a few years back when  watching some of the 1996 AJW tag matches with Double Inoue and my 1997 AJW DVD purchases weren't exactly as expected. See the previous post. So I just turned of the whole thing for years. I'd watch a match here and there but other than a couple odds & ends matches, I figured I'd seen what I wanted. Clearly this year, I've found out that I was wrong. 1997, 2000-01 AJW, Megumi Kudo, 1990-91 JWP h

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Spotlight: AJW - Summer 1997

All Japan Women's Wrestling in 1997 is something I've been interested in from a far. It features many matches that have been favorably reviewed but there's something very different than '92-'96 AJW. The roster is pretty similar but they're finally pushing some of their younger wrestlers to the top. Mima Shimoda and Etsuko Mita (Las Cachorras Orientales) go full heel and become the chair swinging baddies. Kaoru Ito and Tokoko Watanabe were always great in mid card tags and 6 mans are elevated as

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Spotlight: KAI in Wrestle-1

This post came about by accident but it's been a fun one. KAI is one of my favorite new guys from watching 2010's AJPW. So here we're going to take a look at some of his bigger matches while in W-1. His arc here probably reflects his booking had Muto & his loyal pals not left and formed Wrestle-1. Anyhow all but the last match are readily available on the 'tube. Let's take a look   vs Seiya Sanada (09/08/13): I think this might be clipped a few minutes based on the time they give

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Spotlight: The Briscoe Brothers in NOAH

This is a small project that I've been pushing back for awhile. No big plans for June so let's take a look at the Briscoe Brothers in NOAH. Briscoes vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura (01/07/07): I'm not sure if the fans knew what to make of The Briscoes. This looks like it might be their first appearance in NOAH. They dominated the home team early on with their high energy offense and team work. Eventually the NOAH team has their chance for some payback. The fans are into this and

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Spotlight: Michinoku Pro - 1994

I'll be looking at the breakout year for Michinoku Pro - 1994. This is the year where the Great Sasuke won over fans during the Super J Cup in NJPW. Many consider that to be one of the best shows of the 1990's. From 1994, we continue to see the wrestlers of Michinoku Pro featured in New Japan, AJW, WAR and FMW. Eventually many will make it over to the U.S. in ECW, WCW and WWF. That's pretty amazing when you consider M-Pro was a regional promotion with no big nationally known star to anchor the p

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Spotlight: Christopher Daniels in Michinoku Pro

This installment covers Christopher Daniels/Curry Man in M-Pro or representing M-Pro. This is from the RF video DVD set but there's a Curry Man set out there that has many of the stuff. Christopher Daniels & Pablo Marquez vs Magnum Tokyo & Kendo - This one Daniels appears as The Fallen Angel instead of Curry Man. My guess is that this takes place early 1999 as Marquez was doing M-Pro then and Curry Man hadn't yet appeared. I can't find this on Quebrada or Cage Match though. Anyhow,

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Spotlight: Michinoku Pro

I'm going to be looking at Michinoku Pro Wrestling for the rest of May. Much like FMW, it's one of the first Japanese promotions I really was familiar with. In some part this has to do with Kai En Tai DX coming over to WWF around when I got back into wrestling as a teenager. Then from there its probably WCW vs The World on PS1 where they had TAKA, Shinzaki who I remembered as Hakushi (but also from clips of he & Hayabusa vs RVD & Sabu shown on ECW) and the Great Sasuke who I saw very bri

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Spotlight: FMW 1999 - Final

Here we go with the final entry in my FMW 1999 project. Let's see what we've got! Darkside Hayabusa & Tetsuhiro Kuroda & Hisakatsu Oya vs Koji Nakagawa & Yukihiro Kanemura & Hido (08/20/99): jip. This looked to be like a graveyard match or something as there were big banners up, a coffin and wooden grave markers (which were used as weapons). This was fun! Hayabusa is sporting a different mask here which shows some of his face plus his hair is bleached orange. Both were ways

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Spotlight: FMW 1999 - Part 2

Back with Part 2 of FMW in 1999. Got some cool pics (too many actually...maybe I'll post those later). All grainy & shit like we watched our Japanese wrestling back in the day son! This time it is all tag and 6 man wrestling. Fans of this stuff, you are going to find out about some good stuff. Let's go! Gannosuke/Kanemura/Oya/Hosaka/Hido vs. Ishikawa/Ikeda/Yone/Usuda/Hijikata (05/05/99): Big cross promotion elimination match for the anniversary show! BattlArts vs Team No Respect/Gannosu

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