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AJPW TO ANNOUNCE PURCHASE OF 49% OF COMPANY BY PANASONIC; UWF-I BUYOUT IMMINENT

 

Matsushita Electric has officially announced that they have bought a plurality of Zen Nihon Puroresu. And their first order of business is to purchase the struggling UWF-i promotion, slowly integrating its talent into All Japan, before closing the promotion for good at the end of 1996. All wrestlers have the offer to accept a buyout-- Akira Maeda has vocally stated that he will never work for Giant Baba, even hinting that he'd rather "return" to Asahi Pro than wrestle for AJPW. Others, like Kiyoshi Tamura, are more conflicted. The biggest name of all in Nobuhiko Takada has decided nothing, but has said that he genuinely is open to working for AJPW if the situation was right and in guiding talent there if they so choose, such as the previously unsigned Wataru Sakata, now currently working for AJPW & WAR as a freelancer. "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Kazuo Yamazaki have already debuted for AJPW. And there is no sign that either Shinya Hashimoto or Vader will show any reluctance to join AJPW, though when is still a question.

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I always find it challenging to fantasy-book shot style guys into a straight pro wrestling promotion.

 

I don't know why, though. There have been a ton of shoot stylist vs pro wrestling stylist matches and several of them have been really very good. Matches like Vader & Tenta vs Yamazaki & Albright are among my absolute all time favourites... but for whatever reason I kinda struggle trying to write up a match like that when I am armchair booking.

 

Which is to say: I look forward to reading how you handle it.

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Yeah, it depends on the pro style level. I have no clue what to do with Han aside from Fujiwara & Tamura matches. You know, stuff he either already had had or would have. Bitsadze is a guy who never did pro who you could easily fit into a faction and make him a tag guy since he wasn't really a megastar anyway.

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Shame that Maeda was not brought in. Fujinami vs. Maeda was a great match and for more than just Fujinami's contributions.

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I could MAYBE see Tenryu getting Maeda to work WAR in real life had it continued, just businessman to businessman, cut him a check type of thing, so that remains a possibility but even in fantbook... no way he does AJ tours and even tries to deal with Baba, which is one of the biggest differences in how I want to use the two brands as one thing-- one is the actual promotion, one is the freakshow with superfights and Z1-style all cage shows and six-mans that'd even stretch sanity for the "WAR six-man".

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TENRYU MAKES SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT FIRST FOREIGNER TO ENTER THE "ADVANCED REVOLUTION TRAINING" DOJO

 

After it was revealed that Genichiro Tenryu had convinced the legendary luchador Dos Caras and current Japanese star Ultimo Dragon to join his Revolution stable and compete on his own WAR events that also would include working for him to develop new talent in the mold of the young stars who had been developed by Gran Hamada like The Great Sasuke, TAKA Michinoku, Dick Togo, and Ultimo Dragon himself, it had slipped unofficially that he was also interested in shaping the development of wrestlers who had yet to be involved with the SWS or WAR dojos who were older but intriguing prospects who would continue training with ones who had started or transferred there early like Nobutaka Araya, Masaaki Mochizuki, Shigeo Okumura, & Yuji Yasuraoka, under the guidance of tough veterans like The Great Kabuki, Takashi Ishikawa, & Masanobu Kurisu, and that he had no issue admitting foreigners.

 

And we now know who that first foreigner will be, and it may come to a surprise to many pro wrestling fans. 32 year-old Jerome Young, better known for his runs in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling as simply "New Jack" will be that entrant into the dojo. When asked for comment, Tenryu said that he had heard many things that he couldn't pretend that he didn't like about Young; his fearlessness and toughness being unparalleled. He knew that he had originally been trained by the late Ray Candy, a bruising man he had wrestled several times in both Japan and the United States, and of whom he recalled fondly. Through a translator, he said that he admitted that Young was a unique choice, but that he had the heart to do well and that "risks are worth taking".

 

As for Young, when he himself was contacted, he said that he had learned that "life is too fucking short" to not test yourself, and the worst thing that could happen was a "tremendous vacation where I'm just there to beat the hell out of any punk who tries to fuck with me".

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I mean, a lot of it is just stitching together stuff that got erased in the fictional draft and turning up the kayfabe a little in some places. so that Tenryu is this half-mad genius type who's basically his smirking prick character in real life instead of what he was in reality which, as far as I can really tell, was someone coming up with a million schemes to keep the actual WAR afloat, but if it's just a brand within the AJPW sphere, he can do whatever I want.

 

Takashi Ishikawa, who I signed to be a Tenryu flunky back in 2016 because he's a personal favorite from old WAR tapes, left in '94 or '95 to start a Tokyo Pro revival that never really took off and then bled into the other scum indies. As far as I know, Kabuki (who I already had as a wrestler) & Kurisu were its trainers; which is a pretty frightening combo of mean old dicks so them trying to mould NEW JACK into an old-school "AJPW in the chaotic days" type of brawler (can't HELP but think of Jack as the new-age Killer Karl Kox for the too obvious & in-poor-taste joke, but that guy was a hell of a brawler, too) is just... too good of a story. Plus I do have a sincere belief that New Jack was a lot more talented than he was ever able to show once he was really established in ECW, so it's all fun.

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CARD FOR DAY ONE OF THE 1996 NEW YEAR GIANT SERIES AT KORAKUEN HALL (JANUARY 2):

 

SATORU ASAKO & MAUNAKEA MOSSMAN vs. MASANOBU FUCHI & TSUYOSHI KIKUCHI

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GARY ALBRIGHT, DOUG GILBERT, THE PATRIOT, & RICHARD SLINGER vs. HEADHUNTER MANUEL, HEADHUNTER VICTOR, JOE MALENKO, & MIGUEL PEREZ, JR.

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FRANK ANDERSSON, TAKASHI IIZUKA, OSAMU NISHIMURA, & KAZUO YAMAZAKI vs. SAMSON FUYUKI, MARTY JANNETTY, YOSHINARI OGAWA, & GENICHIRO TENRYU

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NOBUTAKA ARAYA & KOKI KITAHARA vs. MASAO INOUE & AKITOSHI SAITO

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BLACK TIGER II & AKIRA TAUE vs. TOSHIAKI KAWADA & TIGER MASK IV

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JUN AKIYAMA, KENTARO SHIGA, & STEVE WILLIAMS vs. KENTA KOBASHI, MITSUHARU MISAWA, & TAKAO OMORI

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All-Asia Tag Team Championship: TAMON HONDA & JUN IZUMIDA © vs. HAKU & KONGA

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NEW YEAR HEAVYWEIGHT BATTLE ROYAL

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PRELIMINARY CARD FOR DAY TWO OF THE 1996 NEW YEAR GIANT SERIES AT KORAKUEN HALL (JANUARY 3):

 

GARY ALBRIGHT & MARTY JANNETTY vs. THE PATRIOT & RICHARD SLINGER

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BLACK CAT, BLACK TIGER II, & DOUG GILBERT vs. JOE MALENKO, MIGUEL PEREZ, JR., & TIGER MASK IV

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MASASHI AOYAGI, TAMON HONDA, & JUN IZUMIDA vs. ROBBIE BROOKSIDE, KENTARO SHIGA, ALEX WRIGHT

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NOBUTAKA ARAYA, TAKASHI ISHIKAWA, MASAO ORIHARA, GENICHIRO TENRYU, & YUJI YASURAOKA vs. TAKASHI IIZUKA, TOKIMITSU ISHIZAWA, AKIRA NOGAMI, TATSUHITO TAKAIWA, & KAZUO YAMAZAKI

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JUN AKIYAMA & KATSUMI USUDA vs. SATORU ASAKO & TOSHIAKI KAWADA

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All-Asia Heavyweight Championship: OSAMU NISHIMURA © vs. YOSHINARI OGAWA

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STAN HANSEN, STEVE WILLIAMS, & AKIRA TAUE vs. KENTA KOBASHI, MITSUHARU MISAWA, & TAKAO OMORI

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1/2/96

AJPW New Year Giant Series, Day One

Korakuen Hall

Tokyo

 

1) Masanobu Fuchi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi defeat Satoru Asako & Maunakea Mossman via a back suplex hold by Fuchi on Asako. (10:13)

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2) Gary Albright, Doug Gilbert, The Patriot, & Richard Slinger defeat Joe Malenko, Miguel Perez, Jr., & The Headhunters (Manuel & Victor) via submission after Albright applied a jujigatame on Manuel. (12:09)

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3) Frank Andersson, Takashi Iizuka, Osamu Nishimura, & Kazuo Yamazaki defeat Samson Fuyuki, Marty Jannetty, Yoshinari Ogawa, & Genichiro Tenryu via referee stoppage after Yamazaki applied a sleeper hold on Fuyuki. (14:25)

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4) Nobutaka Araya & Koki Kitahara defeat Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue via pinfall by Araya on Inoue after a moonsault press. (9:19)

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5) Black Tiger II & Akira Taue defeat Toshiaki Kawada & Tiger Mask IV via pinfall by Taue on TM4 after a sitout Nodowa. (15:06)

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6) Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, & Takao Omori defeat Jun Akiyama, Kentaro Shiga, & Steve Williams via pinfall by Misawa on Shiga after an Axe Bomber by Omori & a Rolling Elbow by Misawa. (19:52)

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7) Stan Hansen wins the New Year's Heavyweight Battle Royal, last eliminating Gary Albright. Order of elimination: Frank Andersson, Masao Inoue, Takashi Ishikawa, Joe Malenko, Takashi Iizuka, Kentaro Shiga, Nobutaka Araya, Akitoshi Saito, Marty Jannetty, Manuel, Victor, Koki Kitahara, Jun Akiyama, Samson Fuyuki, Akira Taue, Toshiaki Kawada, Osamu Nishimura, Giant Baba, Genichiro Tenryu, Kazuo Yamazaki, Takao Omori, Mitsuharu Misawa, The Patriot, Kenta Kobashi, Steve Williams, & Albright. (12:45)

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8) The Faces of Fear (Haku & Konga) vs. Olympus (Tamon Honda & Jun Izumida) for the All-Asia Tag Team Championship ends in a no contest after all four men are attacked by the members of Revolution. Genichiro Tenryu said that it was time to strike and it meant that certain people had to go. Haku passionately challenged Tenryu to a loser leaves town match, which Revolution accepted, and Tenryu said that Samson Fuyuki & The Great Kabuki would represent them, and that it'd be tomorrow. (13:43)

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FINAL CARD FOR DAY TWO OF THE 1996 NEW YEAR GIANT SERIES AT KORAKUEN HALL (JANUARY 3):

 

GARY ALBRIGHT & MARTY JANNETTY vs. THE PATRIOT & RICHARD SLINGER

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BLACK CAT, BLACK TIGER II, & DOUG GILBERT vs. JOE MALENKO, MIGUEL PEREZ, JR., & TIGER MASK IV

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MASASHI AOYAGI, TAMON HONDA, & JUN IZUMIDA vs. ROBBIE BROOKSIDE, KENTARO SHIGA, & ALEX WRIGHT

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NOBUTAKA ARAYA, TAKASHI ISHIKAWA, MASAO ORIHARA, GENICHIRO TENRYU, & YUJI YASURAOKA vs. TAKASHI IIZUKA, TOKIMITSU ISHIZAWA, AKIRA NOGAMI, TATSUHITO TAKAIWA, & KAZUO YAMAZAKI

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JUN AKIYAMA & KATSUMI USUDA vs. SATORU ASAKO & TOSHIAKI KAWADA

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All-Asia Heavyweight Championship: OSAMU NISHIMURA © vs. YOSHINARI OGAWA

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STAN HANSEN, STEVE WILLIAMS, & AKIRA TAUE vs. KENTA KOBASHI, MITSUHARU MISAWA, & TAKAO OMORI

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LOSERS LEAVE TOWN BUNKHOUSE STREET FIGHT DEATHMATCH: SAMSON FUYUKI & THE GREAT KABUKI vs. HAKU & KONGA

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1/3/96

AJPW New Year Giant Series, Day Two

Korakuen Hall

Tokyo

 

1) Gary Albright & Marty Jannetty defeat The Patriot & Richard Slinger via pinfall by Albright on Slinger with a bridging German Suplex. (11:24)

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2) Joe Malenko, Miguel Perez, Jr., & Tiger Mask IV defeat Black Cat, Black Tiger II, & Doug Gilbert via submission after Malenko applied a Texas Cloverleaf on Gilbert. (10:47)

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3) Masashi Aoyagi, Tamon Honda, & Jun Izumida defeat Robbie Brookside, Kentaro Shiga, & Alex Wright via pinfall by Aoyagi on Brookside after a Kick of Death. (9:32)

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4) Nobutaka Araya, Takashi Ishikawa, Masao Orihara, Genichiro Tenryu, & Yuji Yasuraoka defeat Takashi Iizuka, Tokimitsu Ishizawa, Akira Nogami, & Tatsuhito Takaiwa, & Kazuo Yamazaki via pinfall on Ishizawa by Tenryu after a folding powerbomb. (14:34)

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5) Satoru Asako & Toshiaki Kawada defeat Jun Akiyama & Katsumi Usuda via submission after Kawada applied a Stretch Plum on Usuda. (13:58)

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6) Osamu Nishimura defeats Yoshinari Ogawa via submission with a figure-four leglock to retain the All-Asia Heavyweight Championship. (20:07)

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7) Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, & Akira Taue defeat Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, & Takao Omori via pinfall by Williams on Omori after a Doctor Bomb. After the match, Williams made his official challenge to Misawa for the Triple Crown, 1/24 in Matsumoto, which Misawa accepted. (14:45)

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8) The Faces of Fear (Haku & Konga) defeat Samson Fuyuki & The Great Kabuki in a losers-leave-town bunkhouse street fight deathmatch via submission after Kabuki accidentally missed Haku with the green mist and hit Fuyuki, allowing Haku to immediately capitalize and apply the Asiatic Spike on Fuyuki, who immediately submitted while screaming in pain. Tenryu came out and immediately fired both Fuyuki & Kabuki from Revolution, only for Kabuki to successfully hit the mist on Tenryu, telling him to wait for the next WAR show. (12:19)

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FINAL CARD FOR DAY SIX OF THE 1996 NEW YEAR GIANT SERIES AT KOCHI PREFECTURAL GYMNASIUM (JANUARY 8):

 

TSUYOSHI KIKUCHI vs. TIGER MASK IV

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MASASHI AOYAGI & AKITOSHI SAITO vs. NOBUTAKA ARAYA & MASAO ORIHARA

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TAMON HONDA, JUN IZUMIDA, & KATSUMI USUDA vs. TOKIMITSU ISHIZAWA, OSAMU NISHIMURA, & KAZUO YAMAZAKI

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TAKASHI ISHIKAWA & YUJI YASURAOKA vs. AKIRA NOGAMI & TATSUHITO TAKAIWA

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KOKI KITAHARA & YOSHINARI OGAWA vs. TAKAO OMORI & KENTARO SHIGA

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TAKASHI IIZUKA vs. GENICHIRO TENRYU

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JUN AKIYAMA, MASANOBU FUCHI, AKIRA TAUE, & STEVE WILLIAMS vs. SATORU ASAKO, KENTA KOBASHI, MITSUHARU MISAWA, & MAUNAKEA MOSSMAN

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I can say again how cool it is to have The Faces of Fear in AJPW in the 90s?

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