Section 1- Results
Dragon Gate: Ryo Saito won the King of Gate tournament, beating Susumu Yokosuka in a highly touted final. Ryo beat Shingo Takagi, Horiguchi and Mochizuki to get there while Yokosuka overcame CIMA, Fujii, K-Ness and Dragon Kid. Other notable tournament results were Anthony Mori pinning Magnitude in the first round, Dragon Kid pinning Doi, Mochizuki going over Magnum Tokyo, and Takagi beating Yoshino in his biggest win to date.
New Japan: Tanahashi finally made a defense of the U-30 title against Hirooki Goto.
NOAH: KENTA defended the junior title in ROH against Low Ki, while Marufuji got cradled in an ROH title match against Danielson. NOAH’s lighthearted year-end show on Saturday was important due to four debuts from the NOAH dojo. That makes five this year, and the first time just about ever that New Japan didn’t generate the most dojo grads (outside the Toryumon family).
Section 2- News
All Japan: The Kings Road promotion is not as it seemed. Mutoh’s ‘Leglock’ office is openly working with them, which wouldn’t happen if they were anti-All Japan. Also there’s no sign of Kawada working there right now. The Dudleys claim that they’ll be returning to All Japan after the January tour, so some rare good news for All Japan there.
Dragon Gate: The trios titles will be on the line at the start of the year. On 1/8, the CIMA/Magnitude/Yoshino champion team will defend against Saito, Naoki Tanisaki and Dragon Kid. Tanisaki is getting a push and won a battle royal on the night of the tournament final.
New Japan: The big news is the addition of Akebono to the 1/4 card, as he teams with Yoshie against the MIGHTY MIGHTY tandem of… Hiro Saito & Black Strong Machine (Junji Hirata). Akebono vs Yoshie is right there and they don’t do it?! Another head-scratcher is a report that the Kaz Fujita situation might not have gone down the way it was reported, as he won’t be on the K-1 show. Meanwhile, New Japan and TNA seem to be trying to cooperate a bit, and Tanahashi could face AJ Styles at the next TNA PPV. I’m leery of that matchup to say the least because both of them usually need to be carried. Finally, New Japan is said to have sold 10,000 tickets for the Dome as of a week ago.
—BREAKING NEWS— WWE has apparently dropped its restraining order suit on Lesnar, clearing him to wrestle on 1/4
NOAH: Another set of Japanese year-end awards was very pro-NOAH, with them winning MVP (Kobashi), best match (Kobashi vs Sasaki), best promotion, fighting spirit (Taue), technique (Minoru Suzuki) and ‘outstanding performance’ (Rikio). NOAH’s fans made a bold statement and voted KENTA their MVP of the year.
Section 3- Shillage
Gordi reports from Japan! But he distinctly lacks discussion of all the fine ladies therein. Go here & here.
Next up, the newest Puroresu Power Hour features interviews with both Albert/Giant Bernard and Samoa Joe about their respective employment situations. Hie thee hence: PPH
Last but not least, a new Japan-focused group-blog has opened up at http://www.fightopinion.com, and I’ll be writing there from time to time.
Next Week: New Japan’s final Dome show! 2006 preview! 2005 review! Two big columns! BE THERE! Happy holidays from Yoshie!