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Found 25 results

  1. Honorable Mention: Dory Funk Jr. vs Stan Hansen (11/28/83) Near Classic Matches: Mitsuharu Misawa & Masahiro Chono vs Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue (01/10/03 NOAH) Jun Akiyama, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki vs Takao Omori, Manabu Soya & Kaz Hayashi (02/10/13) Jun Akiyama vs KAI (04/29/13) Suwama & SUSHI vs Go Shiozaki & Kotaro Suzuki (07/21/13) Kensuke Sasaki, Jun Akiyama & Go Shiozaki vs Suwama, Takao Omori & Kento Miyahara (08/31/13 Diamond Ring) Classic Matches: Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka (01/10/03 NOAH) Jushin Liger & Takehiro Murahama vs. Tsubasa & Black Buffalo (02/1/03 Osaka Pro) Masato Tanaka v Togi Makabe (08/03/08 Zero One) Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka (c) vs Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki (03/17/13) Suwama vs Go Shiozaki (04/18/13) Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki (04/25/13) Akiyama & Shiozaki vs Omori & Suwama (2/3 falls 07/28/13) Go Shiozaki & Jun Akiyama vs. Suwama & Takao Omori (08/17/13) Go Shiozaki vs Suwama (Triple Crown, 08/25/13)
  2. Hi, not taking a break from 2013 AJPW but wanted to share something in the meantime. This is a review of ZERO1 07/31/08 & 08/03/08 from Samurai TV. Its the last 2 days of their Fire Festival which is their Champion Carnival or G1Climax. A side project that I'm working on is checking out Zero One, Zero1, Zero- One Max and every iteration of that company. Its not going to be a deep dive since there's no ready made compilation that I'm aware of. In fact there's not a ton out there in general...at least hype or talk save a few early matches or cross over matches. The dvds are out there but you're trusting your instincts on which shows to check out. I decided to go with a selection of mainly Fire Fests since it features the most well-known stars of the company as well as others from outside organizations. From there its a scavenger hunt on different comps and what's available online. Its nice though because it reminds me of my early days of hunting for puro and being happy with what I could find. Let's get going! Shinjiro Otani v Masaaki Mochizuki 7/31/08 - Dynamic all action match with some really fantastic sequences and exchanges. This was a blast to watch. Its been awhile since I've seen some Otani. Slight clipping but very good stuff. Manabu Nakanishi v Takao Omori 7/31/08 - Yeah here we go, two dudes just clubbing the heck outta each other. Manabu throws Omori through a door from the Torture Rack position. Lots a lariats - very good stuff. Slight clipping Kohei Sato v Togi Makabe 7/31/08 - Quick violent stuff and a fantastic finish. Manage is very underrated but he does take some getting used to. My 2010 NJ project CA couple years ago made me a believer. Masato Tanaka v Ryoji Sai 7/31/08 - This was a great match IF you gloss over the excellent leg work Tanaka did. I was on my way to saying Sai put on a Kawada worthy sell job but then he proceeded to blow it off at every chance he got including after a missed double stomp. So I can't say this was anything other than a good match that could have been great. When a guy just sells his ass off and then acts like nothing's wrong that's silly and I don't want silly wrestling. But maybe fast forward those bits and you'll really enjoy the hard hitting action. I don't know maybe I'll rewatch with lowered standards? Masato Tanaka v Takao Omori v Manabu Nakanishi 8/3/08 *3 Way Match* - A really fast paced and effectively built 3 man match to determine who was going to the finals. Nice sequences and spots...yeah I thought this was great stuff for 7+ minutes. -Spoiler alert for the Tournament Finals Matchup - Masato Tanaka v Togi Makabe 8/3/08 *Fire Festival Tournament Finals Match* - Makabe is the violent cheating outsider and Tanaka is the home promotion hero. Can he withstand the punishment the bigger and younger NJ villain can dish out? What about his trusty chain and flunky Honma? If anyone can Dangan can! Seriously, this was some classic shit if you're an ECW/FMW fan from way back like me. Brawling, blood, hard hits, table spots, fake outs, fighting spirit... But this wasn't just a bunch of those things thrown in a blender. No, it was built very well in an old school type of way and that made everything that much better and more meaningful. I loved this battle. ----- This was a very good start. The finals were totally my cup of tea despite not being a traditional macho he-man slugfest like the Strong BJW guys do or a fireworks show. It was a more Southern brawl (with heel cheating) than a late 00's puro match. It had a couple hardcore spots but in the ways of later ECW/FMW plus it was intense and hard hitting as you wanted for 2008. Glad I took a chance on this one! Thanks for reading! I hope that you will enjoy this side project and we'll both find out more about Zero-One.
  3. I've been in a bit of a down period with wrestling the last month or so. I got a Highspots Best of 2003 compilation off eBay a little while ago and I thought it might be the thing to get me back into things. It starts out with matches from the January 10th show. A couple of them are ones that I always wanted to see but never got around to. Looks like a good place to start. KENTA & Takashi Sugiura vs Takuma Sano & Kotaro Suzuki - Man alive this was a Jr. tag fireworks display. Kotaro just set the tone early showing Tiger Mask like speed & agility. Sugiura was the powerhouse while KENTA & Sano were the violent artists. 14 minutes of Jr. action without being contrived or "out of order." There is a difference between this and what was going on in the U.S. at the time. Guys would catch up but this was crisp, clean and engaging Jr. tag wrestling. The finish was the only flaw of this great match. Even then, it doesn't diminish the work. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka - This is a WAR lover's match. More potatoes than Idaho. Some might more moves but this burns bright with inter-promotional hate. That coupled with a brutal finish makes this a classic tag match in my book! Mitsuharu Misawa & Masahiro Chono vs Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue - So I thought the above match was the final but no! We have this dream bout with NJ's Chono getting in the mix. His interactions with Kenta & Taue were like a Fire Pro match come to life. Its different than what came before it and was very much a big time main event style match where you get what you came for. The tanks aren't emptied out but you're still grinning at the end. It's been awhile since I've seen Misawa, Kobashi & Taue so this was a treat. I feel very comfortable calling it a near classic match... ----- Its no secret that I'm a big fan of tag matches and these were totally up my alley. Each was different stylistically yet each was dynamic and engaging. I'm sure these are available online somewhere or maybe you have them on DVD or saved somewhere on a computer, take the time and check these out. If you're a newer fan, its some great stuff from the not too distant past. If you were watching NOAH take shape 20 years ago (holy cow!), these matches will take you back in time to a period of excitement and possibility. Thanks for reading!
  4. Isami Kodaka vs Kenji Fukimoto (03/05/17 BJW) - Gusset Plates & Sawed Off Cans 2-Sided Death Match: Stumbled across this match online and the sawed off cans (as in tin cans) caught my attention. Surprisingly un-gory (as modern death matches go) and tons of fun to watch. A ladder shows up and the tin can board spots are cringe inducing. As an infrequent deathmatch watcher, I would highly recommend this. I've been watching death matches more since I first watched this and it has been on the short list of must see matches. Speaking of death matches, we've got the master of the death match, Atsushi Onita, doing his 4th (?) comeback tour. Here are a couple wacky ones: Atsushi Onita vs Masakatsu Funaki - Triple Weapons Explosion match (07/24/16 Zero-1): I think this is odd for the mere fact that grappling guru Funaki is in a fucking death match. Who would have thought that looking back upon the King of Pancrase, he'd be in an exploding match with Onita!? So, we've got a table, chairs, a barbwire board that explodes, and barb wire bats that blow up! Holy frijoles! Coming in at around 10 minutes, it is all spots...but what spots they are It's a ton of fun. I even had to show my fiance the exploding bats part. Gather the family! Atushi Onita, Aja Kong & Okamoto vs Bob Sapp, Jaguar Yokota & TARU - Explosion match (05/12/17 Zero-1): I'm going to hazard a guess that the match stipulation is more than just explosion match but, screw it! That's what I wrote down! Ok, so this is the best kind of sleazy that I could hope for. None of that Joey Ryan crap. We've got everyone over the hill first off. Onita is so far over the hill that he's under it. We've got a guy with his name in all CAPS, a chubby dude that I've never heard of, two joshi legends, and then Bob *fucking* Sapp. On top of that we have exploding bats (again), aimless shitty brawling, botched moves, actual wrestling by the joshi, and then Bob *fucking Giant Baba* Sapp. This is the polar opposite of that slick sterile stuff that gets passed off as wrestling today. Bless Onita & bless Zero-1.
  5. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Masato Tanaka

    Masato Tanaka was pretty much responsible for me getting into puroresu. His matches in the States with ECW were eye opening to me. He was tough, intense, and innovative. I would say he, Mike Awesome, and Tajiri were the 3 guys that convinced me that wrestling in Japan was something worth seeking out. After ECW folded, so did my interest in newer wrestling at the time. It was another 5 years before I got back into it. I've never really looked at what "Dangan" Tanaka was doing in that time when I was away. Masato Tanaka vs Samoa Joe (Zero-1 2001 or 2002): There was no date on this from the Youtube video but, based on the size of Joe and his attire (cut off tee & track pants), this was pre-ROH Joe. I believe per Quebrada.net that it's from BURNING HEART League 09/15/01. All that being said, this was 8 minutes of spots but, I'll be darned if this wasn't a blast! Joe was pulling out all kinds of stuff like a Fosberry Flop dive and Pedigree type move. Obviously Tanaka was going over but, you'd be surprised. Cool finish too! vs Shinjiro Otani (Zero-1 07/31/02): A classic 16 minute tournament match. It's like in that **** 1/4 - **** 1/2 range to me. It's best described as NJPW Jrs. style with 2000 era hard hits, a hot Korakuen krowd, and tourney match urgency. Tanaka & Otani don't go for epic, they go for the win. Dangan gets busted open from a Tree of Woe baseball slide if that's any indicator. Plus, Otani's facial expressions are as top shelf as ever. He takes the drama to another level with his emoting. Totally surprised by this match since no one really talks about Zero One especially in 2018...if you're a fan of either guy, see it. It'll be one of the best bouts you'll watch this week. Tanaka & Shinjiro Otani vs Steve Corino & Low Ki (ROH 11/09/02): This was the main event to the inaugural All Star Extravaganza. Otani & Tanaka kept this a lean mean contest. Otani damn near put Ki's face into the back of his head with a kick. Not to be outdone, Dangan hit a brutal lariat and shotgun stunner. Sure, it was Philly but, no chairshots needed. Corino & Ki were excellent as well. Highly recommend checking this out. vs Mike Awesome (Zero-1 02/29/04): Holy shit...wow. For an Awesome vs Tanaka match this might be the most dangerous one. I don't know if the match quality is the tops since they really do just run through the spots but, what spots they are! Highly recommended match for those missing this rivalry. I had no clue this existed especially since their One Night Stand match from 2005 was touted as their most recent battle since ECW. But that's WWE history for ya! Go see this Zero One match and witness the brutal spots for yourself! vs CM Punk (Wrestling-1 04/09/04): I'm not 100% on the promotion title as it appears to be a US indy with affiliation to Zero-1 or a US offshoot when they were trying to do a global wrestling thing. I read in the comments online that Punk was sick at the time but, this was a very good hotel banquet hall level match. Punk focused on Masato's arm amd gave the match a good sound body. It was really solid when they could have just winged a bunch of moves. It felt good because they eventually got into a nice little finishing run. Some big moves were hit and some were countered but, they never gave it all away. These two worked really well together. vs Samoa Joe (1PW 2005?): Again, the poster didnt' put a date but, this looks around the time Joe had the bleached brown/red bit in his hair while in TNA. This was a 10 minute sprint of wonderful stiffness. If the above match was about moves, this was about hitting each other. They go bat shit with it. This pairing is really, really good and I wish there was more available. Match goes to a double DQ but then we get... vs Steve Corino: ECW rules type of match. They're in the crowd and being a little cute for the people that loved ECW back in the day. I'm sure I would have dug this at the time but, the let's take a tour without actually fighting isn't as interesting anymore BUT it's not all of that. It's brutal at times too. So, this is a 2 in 1 or Gauntlet match for Tanaka and a must-see. Dangan all the way man! Tanaka to my knowledge only wrestled in ROH the one time but, he seemed like a perfect fit for early ROH from his performances above. 2002-2004 Tanaka in ROH would have been great and is certainly fodder for fantasy bookers out there. These matches are a hint of what could have been. Next time, I want to tackle what I'll call the Tanaka revival- from my estimates late 2000s to early 2010s. I'll see what I can find on the web.
  6. You may be in for a bit of a surprise if you haven't seen Tanaka in awhile. He's like 50 lbs. lighter and tan as river clay. Nevertheless, he still kicks ass and is still the Dangan! vs Yuji Nagata (03/19/11 NJPW): NJPW Cup 2011. This be a badass bout without a doubt. There's no commentary so, you can hear every strike land. This was as brutal as Electric Wizard. Knees, elbows, lariats all hit with with precision and intensity. The few suplexes and brainbusters were just bonuses. The strike battles felt authentic and were quickly resolved. They didn't need to buy time in order to figure out their next step. Clocking in around 15 minutes, this is an all time classic to me. This is in the top 5-10 matches that I've seen this year. vs Tomoaki Honma (12/23/11 NJPW): It's noteworthy that we have 2 deathmatch bred wrestlers wrestling a straight match for the IWGP IC belt in NJ. A lot can happen in 10 years! They paid homage to their hardcore roots and so, it was pretty enjoyable. I did feel the pacing and no-sell bits kind of took me out of the match at times though. vs Tomohiro Ishii (11/19/12 NJPW): Never Belt contest. Well, if you wanr 12 minutes of jaw bruising, chest welting, vertabrae shifting action then, this is the bout for you! Seriously, all jokes aside...this is essentially two guys hitting each other back and forth. There are some throws but, this IS the macho strike battle. It gets repetitive but, if you need to release some aggression or get psyched up for something. This is the match for you! Masato Tanaka & KENTA vs Naomichi Marufuji & Tetsuya Naito (03/08/14 NOAH): I've seen some self indulgent NOAH matches in the 2010's but 'Fuji's great showing at the 2018 Champion Carnival convinced me to give this a try. So, glad that I did! I could have done without a couple elbow battles but, overall this was too sweet. It is exactly the match you want it to be. Naito is cheeky yet tough, Marufuji is crafty without being cute, KENTA is badass but, not having to be spunky/plucky, and Tanaka is the old time killer. I would have liked a definitive finish but, this was a fiercely competitive battle. Great match! vs Daisuke Sekimoto (08/02/15 Zero-1): I think this is a semi final for the annual Zero One Fire Festival. These foes delivered 12+ minutes of intense combat perfection. They may as well have stopped the show and burned the ring after this match...it was a thing of beauty. All of the small twists, variations, surprises, all while knowing when to bring it down only to bring it back even hotter later. Another all time classic match that's in the top 5 matches I've viewed in 2018. Masato Tanaka is lining up to be the best wrestler for the matches viewed in 2018. If you're a Dangan fan, check some of these out. You will be so glad you did Be sure to check out my other Tanaka entry a few posts back as well. If you think Masato Tanaka was done after ECW then, you will be gladly be mistaken.
  7. Wow, I loved this match. Anderson and London are an odd looking team on paper, but actually complement each other very well. London is FIP for a while and does a great job of it, and the Togo/Hidaka team is wise enough to know how to adapt the American tag formula to the Japanese audience. I loved CW's surprise spinebuster in the finishing stretch too. Ki-Styles was a great match that should have been better, while this was a match that overachieved.