Section 1- Important Results
Dragon Gate: They had a big show on the 1st. Kawada made an appearance as the mystery opponent of superjobber Stalker Ichikawa. Saito, Dragon Kid and Horiguchi defended the 6-man titles against PoS Hearts. In the main event, Doi defended the lightweight title against K-Ness. Then earlier today (Wednesday), they ran Korakuen Hall for an even bigger show. Tenryu was a surprise opponent for Magnum Tokyo, and the lumpy one won (this was Tenryu’s second match in the promotion). In the main event, Mochizuki defended the main title against Don Fujii.
NOAH: KENTA and Marufuji won the Differ Cup on Sunday, downing Zero-One’s Ikuto Hidaka and Minoru Fujita in a 45 minute final.
Section 2- News
All Japan: Rico, still one-half of the All Asia tag champions, has retired from wrestling after an ‘incident’. He’s also complained about not getting paid what was promised.
Dragon Gate: Two title matches were set up at the Korakuen show. First, Doi will defend the lightweight title in K-Dojo (Taka’s promotion) against a wrestler named Oishi at some point. Second, junior triple crown holder Taka himself will face Yokosuka on 6/22 to determine who challenges Mochizuki for the title on the big Kobe World Hall show.
New Japan: Lots of news. The Tokyo Dome card is set, and the big match added was Misawa teaming with Fujinami against Chono and Liger. Mutoh will also have a high-profile match, against Ron Waterman. Chono, Misawa and Mutoh are the bookers of the top three wrestling promotions in Japan; appearing on one show for one company is historical. The additions of Misawa and Mutoh did generate some press, but not a significant enough amount of ticket sales. Yoshie vs Jamal has been nixed. Several other people, such as Hashimoto, Maeda and Fujita will also be at the show in a non-wrestling capacity. Tenzan announced a new finisher, the Anaconda Hook, which is some sort of punch.
The Super Juniors tournament has been set, with participants and schedule announced. KaShin will not be in the tournament despite the RoH tournament that New Japan had him win. The semis and finals will be on 6/19 at Korakuen. Nakamura has unsealed the Under-30 title, and vacated it; a tournament will be held on the next tour to decide a new champion. Samoa Joe announced that he’s been jerked around by New Japan a bit in regards to circumstances of his going on tour in Japan, something which could lead to his leaving his position as a trainer at the Los Angeles dojo if it escalates. Finally, New Japan formed an ‘IWGP Executive Committee’ from various wrestling, sports, media, government, etc. groups, designed to improve amateur wrestling recruiting and media attention.
NOAH: The May/June tour will have three title matches. Kanemaru makes his first title defense since 1/8 against, oddly enough, Kotaro Suzuki on 5/17. KENTA and Marufuji have their first defense in Japan since *October*, and will wind up against the ‘strongest possible’ team of Kanemaru and Sugiura (I’ve been expecting this match to happen for a year and a half) on 6/5. Lastly, Yone will defend the openweight title on 6/7 against Kikuchi. This and the July tour both look very, very small. They might spice things up with a Kobashi vs Tenryu match to play off of their battle at the Budokan.
Section 3- On a personal note…
I’m in the midst of planning a trip to Japan in August to see the final night of the G-1 Climax (set for 8/14). While the G-1 is probably the only important wrestling I’ll see there, I do plan on seeing as many promotions as I can. I have two questions for you, the PuroPulse public. First, do any of you have experience in visiting Japan that you can pass along? Second, to what extent would you like to see my trip covered? I’ll be doing ‘side’ columns (so as not to distract from the news), and it could just be about the sights and sounds of a Japanese wrestling show… or it could be about my entire trip. Either way I hope to bring back some new insight; for what it’s going to cost me I’d better.
Next Week: New Japan’s Dome show and fallout from it.