wrestling / News

411’s International News Report #97 (WWF/New Japan Teaming Up? & More)

April 27, 2002 | Posted by Evan Zivin

Time for the International News Report yet again with news credit going out to Zach Arnold, Devin Cutting & myself of course. Oh by the way Zach said if I use his news to plug his site so here goes…www.PuroresuPower.com for all the latest Japan news and links to all the top promotions in Japan as well so check it out.

Before I get on with the news lemme plug that site I’m always hearing about…
www.WrestlinGods.com for all your wrestling video needs. Thousands of tapes from the States to Japan and everywhere in between, dating as far back as 1920!! so check it out. And remember there’s only one G in WrestlinGods.com :)

Extra thanks go out to Jose Pagan on the Lucha Libre report who has informed me that Galavision’s Lucha 3 hour block is now going to be shown on Saturday’s instead of Tuesdays. Jose also chimed in and said he would gladly do the LLL Lucha on Telemundo from Saturday evenings. Now Jose if you’ll just EMAIL me that list of tapes you have hehehe, we can rock ‘n’ roll. By the way a special prop to Jose whom has worked many a shows down in P.R. under an assumed named and a variety of masks. You go boy, wish I could say I’ve worked outside of Ohio much less the States.

Anyway, time for the lovely International news you come here to read, so here goes.

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New Japan is interested in using some Federation developmental talent on
selected tours in Japan and that conversation is ongoing with nothing
finalized. No doubt the Japanese media will fabricate something regarding
this matter, but that’s nothing new. They are very creative at times with
their reporting.

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Antonio Inoki gave Tiger Jeet Singh an invitation to appear at NJ’s 5/2 Tokyo Dome show. Singh said that he would show up and that he would bloody Inoki at the show. Singh said that he could never shake the hand of a smiling life-long enemy.

Controversial ex-head editor of Weekly Pro Wrestling, Tarzan Yamamoto, along with former NJ referee Mr. Takahashi have written a book about the pro’s and con’s of the wrestling business (for both fans and employees). It will be released soon. Yamamoto is the famous ex-editor of WP magazine because he tried to be a “smart” in a kayfabe business and got into hot water with Riki Choshu.

Kodo Fuyuki had surgery in Yokohama on the 18th. The surgeon who performed the operation on Fuyuki said that Fuyuki’s large intestines were bigger than the average human being’s, but that most of the cancerous parts in the intestine were successfully removed.

Kenta Kobashi has been given the go-ahead by his family doctor to start doing exercise and rehabilitation on his knees.

New Japan announced Scott Norton & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Naoya Ogawa & Shin’ya Hashimoto for their 5/2 Tokyo Dome show. Line-up now for the 5/2 Tokyo Dome show:

1. Katsuyori Shibata vs. Wataru Inoue
2. Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Kintaro Kanemura
3. Tiger Mask 3 (Kanemoto) & 4 vs. El Samurai & Black Tiger
4. Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta vs. Momoe Nakanishi & Kaoru Ito
5. Minoru Tanaka & Jushin Liger vs. Jadoh & Gedoh
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Scott & Rick Steiner
7. Giant Singh vs. Giant Silva
8. Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bas Rutten
9. Tadao Yasuda vs. Don Frye
10. (expected match) Shin’ya Hashimoto & Naoya Ogawa vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Scott Norton
11. Masa Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa
12. IWGP World Title Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

For those wondering as to what the situation is in regards to Jd’ wrestler Sumie Sakai coming to America, she will be arriving in Los Angeles on May 7th (American time) after leaving Narita Airport in Tokyo on the 7th (Japan time). She will then head for Boston after arriving in Los Angeles and will stay in the Boston area for two months. Here are the dates that Sakai has been booked for according to a source near the Jd’ office:

5/10 – Somerville, MA. (New England Championship Wrestling vs. Mercedes Martinez)
5/18 – Star-Wars Wrestling (Knuckles Nelson independent near Salisbury Beach, MA. – the Nelson bookings were done by Shun Yamaguchi)
6/08 – Star-Wars Wrestling
6/21 – Somerville, MA. (New England Championship Wrestling)
6/29 – Star-Wars Wrestling

Basically, the “angle” that the Jd’ office will be pushing with the Japanese fans is that Sumie Sakai is heading towards the same territory that had Killer Kowalski-created stars like Triple H & Chyna. She’ll probably end up at Kowalski’s school, learn a “new move,” and then come back to Japan. On 4/29, Sakai will be in a tag match against a TAKA Michinoku girl (well, more like beast) who’s from Hawaii and is 270 pounds. The girls’ gimmick, TSUNAMI, is that she was a former military pilot in Hawaii and now she’s a pizza-eating contest winner. She looks scary and almost as if Jd’ wants to push the girl as the next Aja Kong. I could see Sakai getting squashed by TSUNAMI on 4/29 at Korakuen, staying in America for two months, and then coming back in July for the blow-off match against TSUNAMI and winning. Oh, speaking of which, here’s the line-up for Jd’s 4/29 Korakuen Hall show in Tokyo:

1. Hiroyo Mutoh vs. MARU
2. Obacchi Iizuka & Yumi Ohka vs. Emi Tohjo & Mizuho Ishikawa
3. Chitose Yamamoto & Emi Tomimatsu vs. TAKA Michinoku team
4. Ran Maru vs. Noki-A
5. Sachie Abe vs. KAZUKI
6. Queen of the Ring Title Match: Fang Suzuki vs. Nanae Takahashi (AJW)
7. TWF Tag Titles Match: Sumie Sakai & Megumi Yabushita vs. The Bloody & TSUNAMI

Here are the official card line-ups for the 2002 Best of the Super Jr. tournament in May & June ’02 for NJ:

5/18 Kanagawa, Yamato Sports Center
– A Block: Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto
– A Block: Jadoh vs. Curry Man
– B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Akira Nogami
– B Block: Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Inoue

5/19 Mie, Tsu City Gym
– A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Masahito Kakihara
– A Block: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Black Tiger
– B Block: Masayuki Naruse vs. Akira Nogami
– B Block: El Samurai vs. Wataru Inoue

5/20 Iwade Municipal Gym
– A Block: Koji Kanemoto vs. Curry Man
– A Block: Jadoh vs. Black Tiger
– B Block: El Samurai vs. Gedoh
– B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Wataru Inoue

5/23 Shizuoka, Numazu Kila Messe
– A Block: Koji Kanemoto vs. Black Tiger
– A Block: Masahito Kakihara vs. Curry Man
– B Block: Masayuki Naruse vs. El Samurai
– B Block: Gedoh vs. Akira Nogami

5/24 Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
– A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Katsuyori Shibata
– A Block: Black Tiger vs. Curry Man
– B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Masayuki Naruse
– B Block: Tiger Mask IV vs. Gedoh

5/25 Saitama, Soka Sports Gym
– A Block: Koji Kanemoto vs. Jadoh
– A Block: Masahito Kakihara vs. Katsuyori Shibata
– B Block: El Samurai vs. Tiger Mask IV
– B Block: Akira Nogami vs. Wataru Inoue

5/26 Fukushima, Kooriyama City Big Palette
– A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Black Tiger
– A Block: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Jadoh
– B Block: Tiger Mask IV vs. Akira Nogami
– B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Gedoh

5/28 Sendai, Miyagi Prefectural Sporst Center
– A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto
– B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Tiger Mask IV

5/29 Miyagi, Kesennuma City Gym
– A Block: Masahito Kakihara vs. Jadoh
– A Block: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Curry Man
– B Block: Tiger Mask IV vs. Wataru Inoue
– B Block: Masayuki Naruse vs. Gedoh

5/30 Miyako Arena
– A Block: Masahito Kakihara vs. Black Tiger
– A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Curry Man
– B Block: El Samurai vs. Akira Nogami
– B Block: Gedoh vs. Wataru Inoue

6/2 Chiba, Matsudo City Park Gym
– A Block: Jushin Liger vs. Jadoh
– A Block: Koji Kanemoto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
– B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. El Samurai
– B Block: Masayuki Naruse vs. Tiger Mask IV

6/3 Saku Citizen Gym
– Best of 3 Falls, 30 minutes – Jushin Liger, Minoru Tanaka, El Samurai, Tiger Mask IV, & Curry Man vs. Koji Kanemoto, Akira Nogami, Black Tiger, Jadoh, & Gedoh

6/5 Osaka Prefectural Gym
– BOSJ 2002 Finals
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ARSION announced their final, full, and revamped line-up for their May 11th show in Tokyo at the 12,000-seat Ariake Colosseum. Line-up:

1. Jr. 4-way elimination match: Rena Takase & Kaori Yoneyama vs. Mika Nishio & Saki Maemura vs. MARU & Chitose Yamamoto vs. Mari Kuwada & Mako Ogawa

2. Mask vs. Mask – baby A vs. Lady Pentagon

3. Fabi Apache & Azumi Hyuga (Tomoko Kuzumi) vs. Mari Apache & Tsubasa Kuragaki

4. Bionic J vs. Tomoko Watanabe

5. Rie Tamada vs. Kumiko Maekawa

6. WWWA Super Lightweight Title Match: Ai Fujita vs. Kayo Noumi

7. All Pacific Title Match: Momoe Nakanishi vs. AKINO

8. Mariko Yoshida & GAMI w/ Hiroshi “Rossi” Ogawa as manager vs. Yumiko Hotta & Nanae Takahashi

9. Queen of ARSION Title Match: Lioness Asuka vs. Michiko Ohmukai
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PICTURE OF THE DAY

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/hochi/battle/apr/0422horgun.jpg – the way the Japanese see Hulk Hogan

Yomiuri Sports has published a report in today’s edition of their newspaper stating that Riki Choshu has handed in his resignation to New Japan management and will be effectively gone from the company after his last New Japan match on 4/25 (tomorrow) in his home area of Tokuyama city. In the report, Yomiuri Sports cites evidence of Choshu handing in his resignation to New Japan management last week. The paper also indicates that Choshu officially filed his resignation after learning that he was not to be incorporated into the important aspects of matchmaking plans for NJ’s 5/2 Tokyo Dome show. When the mass media in Japan asked for comments last week to Tatsumi Fujinami in regards to Choshu’s resignation filing, Fujinami said “I haven’t formally received the resignation yet, so I won’t comment until I know all the facts.” Choshu was officially replaced by Masa Chono in New Japan management after February 1st. According to Yomiuri Sports, New Japan offered Choshu a final farewell match at their Tokyo Dome show and he (Choshu) nullified the idea along with nullifying participation at the 4:30 PM commemoration ceremony, taking place 30 minutes before NJ’s official bell time for the first match. Also in the article, Yomiuri Sports hints at Choshu starting his own promotion and specifically targeting rural areas (instead of metropolitan areas) for running shows, but that All Japan is making a very large pitch to Choshu to come in and do a few Budokan dates (AJ runs Budokan on 7/20, 8/30, 8/31, and 10/27 for their 30th anniversary series).

K-1’s Survival 2002 show on 6/2 at Toyama City Gym will have a 5 vs. 5 series with K-1 vs. PRIDE. Also, it appears that the fight between Mirko Filipovic vs. Vanderlei Silva will now be under unlimited round rules.

New Japan has booked Riki Choshu for their 4/25 Shimonoseki, Tokuyama City show (which is Choshu’s home district). This is expected to be his last match.

LLPW announced that Harley Saito & Noriyo Tateno would face Rumi Kazama & Eagle Sawai at Fuyuki’s 5/5 Kawasaki Ball Park show.

ARSION President Hiroshi “Rossi” Ogawa announced that he will wrestle at ARSION’s 5/11 Tokyo, Ariake Colosseum (12,000 seats) show. Ogawa is pretty much a goof. He will now wrestle in the ring with Mariko Yoshida & GAMI vs. Yumiko Hotta & Nanae Takahashi (AJW) in a handicap match.

GAEA Japan mailed out notices to people on their customers lists that Aya Sakurai won’t be at the promotion’s Korakuen Hall show on 5/6. Long time GAEA-J fans have been cracking jokes about GAEA-J’s handling of Sakurai’s absence (she’s listed as having “mental trouble”), joking that Sakurai is suffering from “Rina Ishii syndrome.”

There is talk that GAEA Girls will be shown in Japan on June 22nd. Not exactly the most flattering movie on Chigusa Nagayo, but Nagayo also was kayfabing left and right on a lot of things. The 6/22 showing will be for everyone, although GAEA Girls has been available for preview to mass media in Japan since April 16th (and that will end on May 6th).

Shinobu Kandori did an interview on Japanese TV saying that she hopes that LLPW gets on American PPV soon and that she would be willing to train in Los Angeles. Kandori says that she sees PRIDE on US PPV and wants LLPW to be in the same position.

Atsushi Onita & The Great Sasuke vs. Shin’ya Hashimoto & Shinjiro Ohtani has been set-up at Fuyuki’s 5/5 Kawasaki Ball Park show.

ZERO-ONE is teasing run-ins by Masa Chono, Atsushi Onita, and The Great Sasuke at their 4/29 Fukuoka, Hakata Star Lanes show.

NOAH announced partial line-ups for their May 2002 tour. Line-ups:

5/6 Sendai, Miyagi Prefectural Sports Center (5,000 seats)
– Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura
– GHC Jr. Title Tournament: Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Richard Slinger
– Yoshinari Ogawa, Mitsuharu Misawa, & Naoki Sano vs. Akira Taue, Tamon Honda, & Makoto Hashi
– GHC Tag Titles Match: Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito

5/7 Fukushima, Kooriyama Big Palette
– GHC Jr. Title Tournament: KENTA (Kobayashi) vs. Yasuhiro Suzuki

5/9 Tokyo, Korakuen Hall
– GHC Jr. Title Tournament: Makoto Hashi vs. Juventud Guerrera
– Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura
– Kentaro Shiga vs. Vader
– Yoshinari Ogawa & Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue & KENTA (Kobayashi)
– Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

5/11 Tokyo, Differ Ariake
– GHC Jr. Title Tournament: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Terry Ray Gordy Jr.
– Takeshi Rikio vs. Bull Schmitt
– Takeshi Morishima vs. Donovan Morgan
– Yoshinari Ogawa, Mitsuharu Misawa, & Naoki Sano vs. Jun Akiyama, Akitoshi Saito, & Makoto Hashi

5/25 Sapporo Media Park
– GHC Jr. Title Tournament Semi-Finals

5/26 Sapporo Media Park
– GHC Jr. Title Tournament Finals
– GHC World Title Match: Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Akira Taue
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New Japan Pro Wrestling officially released a statement dated 4/26 that Riki Choshu has indeed handed in his formal resignation.

The statement claims that Choshu handed in his written resignation on April 8th (which completely goes against the public posture that the company claimed to the media all this week) and that his last day with New Japan will be on May 31st. Choshu will attend the 5/2 Tokyo Dome 4:30 PM pre-show legends ceremony.

In an unbelievable story (for many reasons I can’t or won’t say so I can stay out of trouble), Keiji Mutoh will work as The Great Muta and face Bam Bam Bigelow on 6/22 in Atlantic City, NJ. for the Road Warriors. The Road Warriors are claiming (or have made claims) that their 6/22 show would be a PPV show (there’s the first funny part) and the Japanese viewpoint is that they are embarrassed about the WWF drawing 16,000 on 3/1 at Yokohama Arena, so by having Mutoh work the Road Warriors’ show, it’s Japan confronting the WWF on their “home turf” and doing it on “PPV” (there’s the second funny part). Mutoh recently told a source in the video distribution field in Japan that the only reason he’s coming to America (in actuality) is that he’s getting his knees drained out and the annual WD-40 job for the knees in Minneapolis, MN. and then he’s doing the one-match deal for the Road Warriors. Furthermore, it’s been rumored for a long time that the financial backers for the Road Warriors show are both family members and a Taiwanese businessman, with the claim that one of the family members that was supposed to be involved recently died and that money is still up in the air. Other names mentioned for the 6/22 show are Jimmy Snuka, Terry Funk, and Kiss Demon (which sadly means that it could be Demon vs. Kojima). Also expected to be involved are infamous wrestlers from the Samoan family along with Vampiro.
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In regards to the last report on our web site about the now somewhat famous Road Warriors show on 6/22 in Atlantic City, NJ., here’s the latest information we’ve been told by the Japanese and by a few people close to wrestlers contacted to work the show:

– There were a couple of California wrestlers who were indeed contacted to work the show that are currently on tour with ZERO-ONE.

– According to a source close to Vampiro, Vampiro was contacted to work a match against Buff Bagwell and lose the match for a good amount of cash. No word on if that will take place or not.

– In regards to Keiji Mutoh’s status in America in June, we had a friend specifically contact a video distribution executive in Japan to FAX & contact Mutoh directly. When Mutoh was contacted directly, Mutoh said that the main reason he was coming to America was to get his knees drained and have the annual WD-40 job on them. Mutoh said that in addition to that, he was just going to try to get some publicity in the Japanese wrestling press by doing a match or two in America.

– In regards to the rumor surrounded a Taiwan business person having involvement in the 6/22 Atlantic City show, the same source that told us the Vampiro story told us that Animal of the Road Warriors has told people he’s contacted for the 6/22 show the same story.

– In regards to our initial notice on the web site on the show, we took a lot of heat from a lot of people in the Atlantic City, NJ. area and those who might cover the show. For the most part, the attacks were claims that the information on our web site was false. All information posted on our web site regarding the 6/22 Atlantic City, NJ. show and the circumstances were things directly told to the Japanese (Mutoh included), including the PPV idea. I have no interest in the Muta vs. Bigelow match on 6/22, as I’m not covering it at all – but I wish nothing but the best for those involved on the 6/22 show. I have no stake in the 6/22 show at all, nor do I have a stake in the show failing in the first place.

– For those wondering which shows I will be covering with some interest (either live or having a person at the show itself), those shows include the May 31st show in Ukiah, CA. (the debut show for Pro Wrestling Iron/NOAH US for Michael Modest), the June show in Philadelphia for Court Bauer’s MLW promotion, and the 6/21 show in Somerville, MA. with Sumie Sakai of Jd’.
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All Japan ran their tour-opening Super Power Series show on April 27th at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, claiming 2,100 paid. Results:

1. Nobukazu Hirai & Arashi defeated Jim Steele & Ryuji Hijikata in 13 minutes, 31 seconds when Hirai used an uranage on Hijikata for the win.

2. Mike Barton defeated Hideki Hosaka in 8 minutes, 25 seconds with a high-angle powerbomb.

3. Kendo Ka Shin & Abdullah the Butcher defeated Shigeo Okumura & Gran Naniwa in 8 minutes, 21 seconds when Butcher used a jumping elbow drop on Okumura for the win.

3. Steve Williams, Mike Rotunda, & Yoji Anjoh defeated Johnny Smith, Mitsuya Nagai, & The Cedman in 19 minutes, 7 seconds when Anjoh used a running high-kick on Cedman for the win.

4. Gen’ichiro Tenryu & Nobutaka Araya defeated Taiyo Kea & Kazushi Miyamoto in 19 minutes, 1 second when Araya used a brainbuster on Miyamoto for the win.

5. In the Giant Baba 6-man Tag Cup, Keiji Mutoh, George Hines, & Kaz Hayashi defeated Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma, & Jimmy Yang in 13 minutes, 35 seconds when Hines used a Shining Wizard on Honma for the win.

New Japan ran their April 27th show in Oita at Beppu Beacon Plaza, drawing a non-sellout of 2,600 paid. Results:

1. Wataru Inoue defeated Blue Wolf in 8 minutes, 3 seconds with the Triangle Lancer submission.

2. Danny Devine defeated Katsuyori Shibata in 6 minutes, 31 seconds with a double-arm screw driver.

3. Masahito Kakihara defeated El Samurai in 11 minutes, 11 seconds with a cross-arm scissors hold.

4. In an elimination match, the team of Jushin Liger, Shane (ex-WWC), & Minoru Tanaka defeated Gedoh, Black Tiger, & Koji Kanemoto.

– Shane over BT in 11 minutes, 37 seconds with a Michinoku Driver II.
– Kanemoto over Shane in 13 minutes, 54 seconds with a moonsault press.
– Liger over Kanemoto in 24 minutes, 59 seconds with a La Magistral cradle.
– Liger over Gedoh in 26 minutes, 2 seconds with a brainbuster.

5. Yutaka Yoshie & Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Hiro Saito & Masa Chono in 12 minutes, 43 seconds when Yoshie used a back-blow on Saito for the win.

6. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tatsutoshi Goto defeated Kensuke Sasaki & Rick Steiner in 10 minutes, 3 seconds when Tenzan used a diving headbutt on Sasaki for the win.

7. Osamu Nishimura & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Tadao Yasuda & Yuji Nagata in 15 minutes, 13 seconds when Nakanishi used a German Suplex Hold on Yasuda for the win.
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All righty that does it for today, sorry for the delay but I’ve been Mucho busy. Ya like that Spanish “Mucho”, I learned that from Jose Pagan, just kidding. Anyway I’ll be back soon with another International Report and remember we’re just a few Report’s away from the GIANT 100th Issue of the INR so stay tuned as I have some things planned. Til’ then this is Brian Cole saying I’ll see ya.

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Evan Zivin

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