Puroresu Pulse, issue 115: Misawa vs Joe and Dave vs Davey

I just realized that a month ago marked my third anniversary with Inside Pulse. So um I love you baby?

Section 1- Results

Dragon Gate: Lots of gold was up for grabs on the 9/22 show. CIMA retained over Doi, Mochi/Fujii/Kness retained the trios titles over New Hazard & Ibishi, Iwasa & Arai won the WAR tag titles, and Yoshino won the lightweight title from Kanda.

New Japan: Two title matches took place on 9/24. Taguchi retained against Tiger Mask, and Bernard & Tomko retained against Nagata & Nakanishi.

NOAH: Misawa retained over Marufuji on Saturday, while Suzuki & Marvin retained the junior tag titles against Doi & Horiguchi.

Section 2- News

All Japan: Two title matches are set for the semi-big show on the 18th. On top is Sasaki defending the Triple Crown against Kawada. Preceding it will be Nakajima defending the junior strap against Silver King.

Dragon Gate: The new Dragon Gate tag titles will be determined on the 12th when Iwasa & Arai face Doi & Yoshino. Later in the month we’re likely to see Yoshino defend against Kness.

New Japan: The upcoming tour focuses on a tag league, including Chono & Akebono, Bernard & Tomko, Nagata & Nakanishi, and two from GBH. Oddly no team from the ‘legends’ stable.

NOAH: The tag titles will be determined in a 4 team round-robin taking place over the course of the tour. The teams are: Morishima & Yone, D-Lo Brown & Buchanan, Saito & Bison Smith, and Taue & Shiozaki. Samoa Joe’s debut match will be Misawa & Morishima vs Joe & Smith. The Budokan show, in addition to Misawa vs Joe, will have Mushiking Terry vs Kanemaru for the junior title, following Kanemaru’s spirited performance at last month’s Budokan show. I guess they dropped the “Ogawa turns on Terry” feud. Oh, and some Kobashi guy says he’ll return at the December 2nd Budokan show.

Section 3- Beating me to the punch. Again.

Phil is a lot less skeptical about Misawa vs Joe.

Two months left for you to voice your opinion on the best decade in wrestling history!

Section 4- Joe’s future in NOAH

It would be one thing if TNA had ever put the main title on Joe, but for reasons only the morons running it know they haven’t. It would be one thing if Joe came in as TNA’s champ, but he’s not. TNA isn’t going to bat an eyelash at Joe coming into NOAH just to be a one-off title challenger so that things can be stretched out until Kobashi returns. In fact, I was sure Joe wouldn’t come back to NOAH, but one thing changed my mind: the tag match.

Misawa & Morishima vs Joe & Bison Smith is a ‘big’ tag. NOAH isn’t the least bit shy about Bison losing at big shows, but somehow I can’t see that happening here. Why bring Joe in as a Budokan-level challenger and not give him a win to show the fans he’s a threat? Since beating Misawa is out of the question, that means Morishima. If that was a one-off job it wouldn’t effect anything, but because it’s Joe there’s some significance; he beat Morishima in the big man’s ROH debut.

I have a sense that at some point, maybe not on the next turn but within the next six months, they’d bring Joe back and do Joe vs Morishima II as a semi-final on a big show, with Morishima getting the win. The fact that they’re flying Joe and pushing him right away tells me that they can see him becoming a ‘regular non-regular’ like Takayama.

As far as Misawa vs Joe goes, the winner is obvious. The real question is whether it’ll draw better than the recent lackluster Budokan main events, and whether Joe and Misawa will bring the kind of fire that made them world-class wrestlers. Neither of them sets the Japanese press on fire, but an outing even close to Joe vs Kobashi would change that.

Section 5- Dave Ditch chats with Davey Rich(ards)

Following Davey’s debut on the July NOAH tour, I asked him to answer a few questions. And he did. My comments are in parentheses.

Q: How and when were you first introduced to puroresu?

A: Through Pancrase, I was a big Frank Shamock fan and through that I got into New Japan and watched Benoit and Owen’s stuff alot.

(Pancrase has a funny history, having been started by Minoru Suzuki and Masa Funaki. Both of the Shamrocks made a mark there, and there has been a mix of work and shoot. Josh Barnett holds their main title and hasn’t defended it in years.)

Q: Are there any particular wrestlers from Japan that have most influenced you? Why did they?

A: Pegasus Kid, Dynamite Kid because they looked so intense and realistic, it really captivated. Kanemoto, Hoshikawa is a badass too.

(Dynamite and kickers, that sums up Richards fairly well.)

Q: -What was it like to team with and face KENTA?

A: A pleasure, such a great wrestler that doesnt F- around in the ring, he’s right up my alley.

Q: What was your reaction to being offered a tour in NOAH?

A: Finally! It was a great honor and the 2 months couldn’t go by quick enough until I left.

(By that he means he was told around April or May, which makes sense because if NOAH wants to bring someone in they need time to get a passport and arrange schedules.)

Q: What was your initial impression of wrestling and touring in Japan?

A: How big the ring is, how great all the talent is and how much better the crowds are.

(I guess that “Da-vey Rich-ards (clap clap clapclapclap)” gets tiring after the ten thousandth time?)

Q: Over the course of the tour you had the chance to mix it up with the likes of Misawa, Takayama, Marufuji and CIMA. Any particular thoughts on those experiences?

A: Misawa, is well Misawa, his elbows hurt like hell! Takayama is freakin huge and kicks so hard I was crapping out my ears. CIMA and Marufuji are in my mind the 2 best juniors in the world, I’ll still kick their ass, but they’re awesome at what they do.

(“Crapping out my ears”. I can’t possibly add to that.)

Q: What was it like wrestling at Tokyo Nippon Budokan?

A: Sweet Jesus it was incredible.

Q: -What other Japanese wrestlers are you most interested in taking on?

A: Kanemoto, Kota Ibushi, Morishima!

Q: -There’s been a lot of talk about concussions in wrestling over the last few months, and along with it has been criticism of the hard-hitting Japanese style. What’s your take on it?

A: It’s a man’s sport, if you don’t come prepared you will get hurt.

Q: You came a long way in the last two years. Where do you see yourself in 2009?

A: Firefighting, stealing my friend Tony’s car, and kick the sweet feathery hell outta any and all that get in the way of old DR.

(“Sweet feathery hell” is maybe even better than the line about Takayama.)

Q: Anything else you’d like to say to the reader?

A: I’d like to thank all the message board fans for their undying support and man love for me, but I’ll tell you all something that you may not like: I’m doing this interview with my clothes off, that’s right, I’m not wearing any pants. It’s nothing sexual, its just what we do in Fusion. Thanks!

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