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U-COSMOS

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At a press conference outside their offices in Tokyo, Japan, Nobuhiko Takada and Akira Maeda came together to announce the formation of U-COSMOS, the spiritual successor to the UWF. In many ways, U-COSMOS will keep the traditions of the UWF alive and well, while at the same time, embracing the modern evolution of professional wrestling. Under traditional "pro-wres" rules, a match can be won by scoring a fall by pinning an opponent's shoulders to the mat for a count of three, a submission victory, a ten count knockout, or via countout (twenty count). A wrestler is given one warning for breaking the rules (yellow card) and repeat offenders will be disqualified (red card). Under "UWF Rules",  a match can be won by a ten count knockout, total knockout, or submission only. Open handed strikes to the head are allowed; however, closed fist punches are prohibited. The use of a closed fist punch or illegal hold will result in a warning (yellow card), followed by disqualification (red card) for a second offense. Exiting the ring will result in a warning (yellow card) followed by disqualification (red card) if the wrestler re-exits the ring, or does not return to the ring after a ten count. Each wrestler is given a total of three ropes breaks. After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submissions under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.

When discussing talent, Takada said that U-COSMOS will bring together athletes from across Japan and abroad, from both the worlds of pro-wrestling and MMA. Talent announced include Toshiaki Kawada, Jun Akiyama, Kiyoshi Tamura, Shinya Hashimoto, and Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Takada also indicated that they had signed the 2000 NCAA Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, who he believed would make a big impact in Japan. The promotion has already secured a television deal with Fighting TV Samurai, with the first live show, "Fighting Art", scheduled to broadcast from Korakuen Hall on Saturday, August 1, 2000. The main event was revealed for the show and will see Masakatsu Funaki in his first match since leaving Pancrase, wrestling the "World's Most Dangerous Man", Ken Shamrock, under UWF Rules. This marks Shamrock's return to Japan and will be a reunion of sorts between Shamrock and Funaki, who both competed against each other in PWFG and Pancrase. In addition, Maeda announced that they had come to an agreement with one of the hottest fighters in Pride Fighting Championships, Kazushi Sakuraba! Sakuraba will make his in-ring debut for U-COSMOS on August 12th against a "mystery" opponent. Maeda teased that Sakuraba had yet to face this mysterious opponent in any form of competition.

In regards to a top promotion title, Takada did say that they plan on implementing an openweight title, dubbed the  U-COSMOS Crown, and while a tournament is likely to take place, Takada said it will not happen until September at the earliest. But it was revealed that the title will and can be defended under both sets of rules. In closing, Maeda was proud to announce that they would be holding future events in Seoul, South Korea. No dates have been announced for the Seoul debut but Maeda said it would be a special celebration. Takada and Maeda thanked those in attendance, and jokingly promised to put aside any former grievances in order to work together to produce the best wrestling in Japan. 

 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art", 1/8/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

UWF Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Ken Shamrock
 

 

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Absolutely digging your logo, man. Wish I had the skills to create one for Can-Am Pro myself. Shamrock vs Funaki in the premiere show should be a great fight.

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Love the effort put into this. Mine will be coming soon, still working out the kinks for the overall theme and startup 

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Great stuff, here!  As someone who is only vaguely familiar with Japanese wrestling (mostly through watching various things on Youtube), the breakdown of the rules is appreciated.  Certainly a unique product compared to the stateside version.  Even without familiarity, your prose gives good descriptions of some of the wrestlers to set a character.  It will be fun to read your shows and see how they differ from typical shows!

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The fact that I know so few of the guys on your roster makes this a fun project for me. I am going to look these guys up as you promote them to get a better idea of what you have going on.

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With the big announcement of U-COSMOS yesterday, Japanese fans and media have been buzzing with anticipation for the new promotion. With the dissolution of several major promotions only a couple of months ago, the pro-wrestling landscape in Japan had been razed. While some of the bigger names have traveled west to try their luck abroad, others vowed to remain in Japan in order to help re-build the industry. One such wrestler is veteran Toshiaki Kawada, who spoke to the press earlier today regarding his decision to sign with U-COSMOS. Kawada said that both he and Jun Akiyama resigned from AJPW prior to the promotion's collapse but when approached by Nobuhiko Takada and Akira Maeda regarding their vision, Kawada was intrigued. He admired the original UWF pioneers as a young boy and is now at an age where he wants to explore new styles in the ring. Once he and Akiyama came to an agreement, they immediately began training at the converted Fighting Network RINGS gym (now the U-COSMOS Gym) to adapt their styles to the new influx of wrestlers and fighters.

Kawada said his fighting spirit is motivated once again and he vows to bring his very best as he makes his debut this Saturday, August 1st, in tag team competition. Kawada announced that he and Akiyama would be teaming together against Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase under traditional tag team rules. When asked if he would be competing for the previously announced U-COSMOS Crown, Kawada said if he earned the opportunity, he would seize it. He thanks the fans and invited everyone to the debut show at Korakuen Hall.

 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art", 1/8/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

  1. Toshiaki Kawada & Jun Akiyama vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase
  2. UWF Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Ken Shamrock

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What a freaking talent base you are working with here man. Like the tape trades would be trading any show you run around like candy on Halloween. Super Excited to see the direction.

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A tag team of Kawada & Akiyama is scary enough but then, you pull out Hashimoto & Hase as their opponents and I know I wouldn,t want to get in the ring with either of those teams.

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Tully Blanchard arrived in Tokyo earlier this morning, accompanied by none other than the 2000 NCAA Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, Brock Lesnar. Reporters at Haneda Airport caught up with Tully to ask about his involvement with U-COSMOS and his relationship with Lesnar. Tully said that while he won't be competing in U-COSMOS as an active wrestler, he will be managing Lesnar and mentoring him as he embarks on his first professional wrestling venture. In addition, Tully said he would be working with co-owners Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada to help globally expand the company's brand, especially in regards to working events in the United States and new talent acquisition. Blanchard revealed that Lesnar would be making his debut on Saturday, in a singles match against Naoki Sano. When Lesnar was directly asked a question regarding his experience, Tully intercepted the question and said that Lesnar would be ready for Sano this weekend. 

 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art", 1/8/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

  1. Brock Lesnar vs. Naoki Sano
  2. Toshiaki Kawada & Jun Akiyama vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase
  3. UWF Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Ken Shamrock

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Talk about a low-key major acquisition, Tully will do wonders with Brock Lesnar as his manager! Great move on your part!

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Minoru Suzuki in 2000 : njpw

Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada opened the show with the traditional gallery of the evening’s competing wrestlers, all sporting very dope U-COSMOS track suits. Maeda and Takada thanked the fans in attendance for supporting their vision, and promised an exciting showcase of athleticism. The night opened with Tully Blanchard dressed in a classy suit and tie leading the 2000 NCAA Heavyweight champ, Brock Lesnar, to the ring for his debut match against veteran Naoki Sano. Lesnar’s size and agility played a major factor in the match as he was able to overpower Sano with takedowns and suplex throws. Sano got in a few big kicks, including a rolling solebutt to the gut, and he even managed a nice backdrop suplex. But in the end, Lesnar overwhelmed him and after a big belly-to-belly, Lesnar scored the pinfall with a folding powerbomb. Backstage, Tully hyped up Lesnar's debut and guaranteed Brock would be a dominant force in U-COSMOS.

Exciting tag team action followed as Minoru Tanaka and Koji Kanemoto teamed up to take on Shinjiro Ohtani and Masanobu Fuchi. Plenty of back-and-forth action, stiff strikes, and even a signature facewash from Ohtani on Kanemoto. The final few minutes exchanged between Minoru and Fuchi was very good, with some great counters and reversals by the wily Fuchi until Minoru was able to snag the jujigatame for the submission victory. 

Under UWF Rules, Alexander Otsuka and Mitsuya Nagai put on a hard-hitting match with plenty of nasty knee strikes and mid kicks from Nagai and Otsuka doing what Otsuka does best – SUPLEXING! Nagai was able to survive a release German suplex, getting back to his feet at the count of 8 but the follow up dragon suplex throw was enough for the KO, earning Otsuka his first win in U-COSMOS. 

Prior to his tag match, Kensuke Sasaki said that he thought Takehiro Murahama would be a breakout rookie in Japan, and would back him fully as he picked up more experience in the promotion. Likewise, Yuji Nagata teamed with a rookie of his own in Katsuyori Shibata. Both Murahama and Shibata looked very polished in the ring, with Murahama showing a little bit more in regards to his versatility. He took out Shibata with a dive to the outside, utilized plenty of strong kicks and nifty takedowns, and tried to end the match with a brainbuster, which was countered by Shibata into a guillotine choke. While the rookies got more time to shine, Sasaki and Nagata didn’t leave fans disappointed with their exchanges. Sasaki was able to turn Shibata inside out with a lariat to finish the match.

Submission wrestler, Carl Malenko, was put to task against Kiyoshi Tamura under UWF Rules. The two put on a mat-based clinic and while Tamura seemed to have the upper hand throughout, Malenko kept pace with Tamura managed to counter many of Tamura’s early attempts. Malenko sent Tamura scrambling to the ropes with a front necklock, and nearly had Tamura’s number with an arm triangle choke. Tamura, however, was able to escape the hold and turn the tables on Malenko with a double wristlock. The two shook hands after the match in a mutual show of respect. 

Fans were treated to a big tag team match in the semi-main event, with the former AJPW favorites, Toshiaki Kawada and Jun Akiyama, teaming together against Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase. Hase, who hasn’t been as active of late due his political obligations, didn’t hold back when he squared off against Akiyama, laying into him with some big open hand slaps to the face. The fans, however, were ecstatic with the initial interaction between Kawada and Hashimoto. They beat the snot out of each other, and even after the match, following Akiyama pinning Hase with the wrist-clutch Exploder, the two couldn’t keep their hands off of one another, and had to be pulled apart. Backstage, Kawada said that Hashimoto’s pride would be his downfall, and warned him to keep his distance unless he wanted a fight.

The main event didn’t disappoint…well, that is, until the end, but prior to that, Ken Shamrock and Masakatsu Funaki put on a hell of a fight. Funaki isn’t quite in the same shape he once was but he didn’t let Shamrock’s size and strength overcome him . His kicks were on point, and his groundwork was slick, as he managed to take Shamrock to the ropes quite a few times. Shamrock, on the other hand, worked a style reminiscent of his days in PWFG, taking Funaki with some nasty suplex throws and working his ankle over to set up his signature ankle hold submission. At one point, he tried for a full nelson suplex but Funaki was able to slip out and roll Shamrock up into a kneebar. Shamrock countered that into the ankle hold but as he was struggling for the ropes, the match was interrupted by…Minoru Suzuki! Suzuki, a former companion of both Funaki and Shamrock in PWFG and Pancrase, slid into the ring. As the referee tried to intervene, Suzuki slapped him down and the match was thrown out. Both Shamrock and Funaki confronted Suzuki, who grinned widely, opening his arms as if in a welcoming embrace. Suddenly, Shamrock and Funaki were attacked from behind by Kazunari Murakami, Kazuyuki Fujita and Daisuke Ikeda. Suzuki than joining in on the beatdown and ended the assault with a Gotch-style piledriver on Shamrock. Suzuki grabbed a microphone, declaring the arrival of the Suzuki Army as the fans booed him to close out the show.

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art", 1/8/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

2,000 Fans – Super No Vacancy Full House

1.    Brock Lesnar (w/ Tully Blanchard) beat Naoki Sano (9:58) with a folding powerbomb. 
2.    Minoru Tanaka & Koji Kanemoto beat Shinjiro Ohtani & Masanobu Fuchi (12:07) when Tanaka used a cross armbar on Fuchi. 
3.    UWF Rules: Alexander Otsuka beat Mitsuya Nagai (7:50) by KO (dragon suplex).
4.    Kensuke Sasaki & Takehiro Murahama beat Yuji Nagata & Katsuyori Shibata (10:26) when Sasaki used a lariat on Shibata.
5.    UWF Rules: Kiyoshi Tamura beat Carl Malenko (9:19) with a double wristlock. 
6.    Jun Akiyama & Toshiaki Kawada beat Shinya Hashimoto & Hiroshi Hase (16:40) when Akiyama used a wrist-clutch Exploder on Hase.
7.    UWF Rules: Ken Shamrock vs. Masakatsu Funaki – No Contest (14:23)
 

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Suzuki Army making their presence felt immediately on the first show. Couldn't have started more with a bang than this!

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First off, I love your format.  Idk why, but match times are important to me and I like that you included them in your summary at the end.

This was a great show, and way to kick off the first show of the Millenium Project!

I am still unfamiliar with a number of your competitors but I can get an idea of who they are from the match descriptions.  

Finally, the Suzuki Army made a pretty big statement here.  They seem like a take no prisoners type of outfit.  I can't wait to see how they shake up the foundation of U-Cosmos!

Great first show!

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Ken Shamrock return 2000 - YouTube

 

"The World's Most Dangerous Man" Ken Shamrock issued a response to the unprovoked attack by former friend and colleague, Minoru Suzuki, and his Suzuki-gun. First and foremost, Shamrock said he felt betrayed by the assault, owing to almost 10 years of friendship. Suzuki, who most recently was working in Pancrase, assembled a crew of some of the toughest athletes in Japan prior to "invading" U-COSMOS but Shamrock isn't scared. He said Masakatsu Funaki has his back, and in fact, the two will be teaming together this Saturday when U-COSMOS returns to Korakuen Hall for another installment of Fighting Art. They'll take on Suzuki and Kazunori Murakami under standard tag team rules. Shamrock vowed to extract revenge on Suzuki, and said he dismantle all of Suzuki-gun in order to get his hands on Suzuki one-on-one. 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 2", 8/8/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1.    Ken Shamrock & Masakatsu Funaki vs. Minoru Suzuki & Kazunori Murakami

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Pound for pound, one of the best fighters in mixed martial arts is returning to his wrestling roots this Saturday as Kazushi Sakuraba will make his debut for U-COSMOS. With multiple scandals crumbling the blossoming MMA scene, Sakuraba decided to leave Pride alongside Nobuhiko Takada and others with his integrity intact. Regardless, Sakuraba is excited to return to his hybrid style, and believes U-COSMOS will revitalize the professional wrestling landscape in Japan, and abroad. Speaking with media at a sparring session at the U-COSMOS Gym, Sakuraba revealed that when he met with Takada about joining the new promotion, he had one request for a singles match. With the dissolution of Fighting Network RINGS and Akira Maeda's newfound association with U-COSMOS, Sakuraba asked for his first match to be against who he considered to be one of the best in the world...Volk Han! Sakuraba confirmed that the match would be taking place this Saturday in the main event, under UWF Rules. This will mark the first time these two competitors have come together in the ring and for many, this is considered a "dream match". 

U-COSMOS "Fighting Art 2", 8/8/2000                
Tokyo Korakuen Hall

1. Ken Shamrock & Masakatu Funaki vs. Minoru Suzuki & Kazunari Murakami
2. UWF Rules: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Volk Han
 

 

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Lots of good stuff here. I definitely recognize a couple more names after doing some searching. I personally like the strong style format that adds some legitimacy. I think it'll be fun to see who kind of rises the top and how you handle Brock. there's no doubt that he would be a legitimate threat at this point just learning the basics but also with the way that your product is presented. Lots of good stuff here..

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