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NOAH You Might Have Missed - 2002 - Part 3 - Final

Sorry for the delay! Here we are with the fall & winter of 2002 and it is a doozy! KENTA & Kenta Kobashi vs Kotaro Suzuki & Mitsuharu Misawa (09/01): We get our first appearance of KENTA in his true form Gone is the surfer hair, orange trunks & white boots. He's in his dark grey tights with kick pad boots...and he is kicking. I know that sounds weird but up until now KENTA wasn't doing his shoot style kicks. This is a good match that gives us some good Misawa vs Kobashi mom

NOAH You Might Have Missed - 2002 - Part 2

So I found a Japanese YouTube channel that has some more obscure/hard to find stuff for 2002. Most of it is clipped but I'm happy to see at least some of these matches. Looks like this person has a lot of Ogawa/Misawa/Wave stuff...and in turn more Wave vs Sterness so I'm pretty psyched. So we're going to kinda start back at the beginning of 2002 with these videos. Jun Akiyama, Akitoshi Saito & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Naomichi Marufuji (01/16): 7 of

NOAH You Might Have Missed - 2002

Here we are back in Pro Wrestling NOAH! It's 2002 and the matches this year is known for are the NJ vs NOAH Jr tags. I did some digging and found the reviews - yay! I'll mix those in with this week's new stuff. Per the 2001 posts, this is mainly going to be stuff that is a little under the radar. The exceptions are Akiyama, Yuji Nagata vs Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa (02/17/02) & Misawa vs Takayama rematch from 09/02. I only ever saw highlights and dammit this is the time to finally see

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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NOAH You Might Have Missed - More of 2001

Here's more 2001 NOAH! Along with the Sterness post and my Zero One vs NOAH post, https://forums.prowrestlingonly.com/blogs/entry/862-spotlight-noah-vs-zero-one-2001/ , I feel like I've got a pretty good sense of the company in '01. There's a lot to like with the fresh match ups, up and coming wrestlers and new twists on old rivalries. With the benefit of hindsight we know that NOAH hadn't quite hit its stride yet. Of the big 3 puroresu companies in '01, I think it was the most consistently good

NOAH You Might Have Missed - Jun Akiyama & Sterness - 2001

This is a project that's been in the works for awhile. So long that a handful of matches I had bookmarked on YouTube are no longer available. This early NOAH stuff is hard to come by through the normal "free" channels. I'm guessing a lot of folks didn't pony up and buy the tapes/dvds. And I'm pretty much past that part of my life now...I've got a mountain of stuff that's in need of watching. Still, this along with joshi and supplementing my late 80's AJPW with Riki Choshu content, is all I'm rea

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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Best Matches Watched of 2023

It's the end of 2023 and it is time for the Best Matches Watched of 2023. I've been trying to stick to different themes/projects each month so I thought it right to organize my list accordingly. If you want to go back and read the reviews then this should help you out. Plus there's a lot of very good and great matches you'll be able to explore that are not included here. A plus sign (+) means its an all time classic match and a contender for Best Match Watched for '23. HM stands for Honorable Me

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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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Quickie: Happy Halloween - TNA, AJPW & W*ING

I'm taking a week break from 1985 AJPW to celebrate Halloween by watching some spooky wrestling. I'm going to look at some stuff you might have missed in TNA and Japan because that's more my jam. But there's plenty of Halloween/horror wrestling in lucha libre and lord knows there's always a spooky character in the WWE/F  Raven vs Vampiro (TNA PPV #68 2003): This was fun but maybe for the wrong reasons. The execution of moves was pretty lazy. Like only of handful of things beyond the dog col

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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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Quickie: AJPW Summer 1985 - Kuniaki Kobayashi

Hi folks! A short impromptu post this week. I actually wasn't going to have much of anything to post as this has been a stressful week. Sometimes a good wrestling match can help blow off some steam or whatever but, I wasn't feeling it. Much of the stuff scheduled for this week was more high stakes than I was in the mood for. So I thought I'd give some AJ Jr. wrestling a shot. It just so happens that everything I picked out features Kuniaki Kobayashi Mighty Inoue/Tarzan Goto vs Kuniaki Kobay

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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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You Might Have Missed: Bryan Danielson - Early Battles 2002-2005

This is a continuation of my "get through some DVDs I bought a couple years ago" project. Ha! Who am I kidding? That's 90% of my reviews I just can't seem to keep up. I'm starting to put a dent in it this year. This week I'll be looking at some early battles of Bryan Danielson. These ones are lesser known for one reason or another. For folks that are only aware of his WWE or AEW stuff, this might be something you'd be interested in checking out. My guess is you may have seen some of his better

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