Spotlight on Japan

‘Sup true believers, your new VS. heavyweight champion Jake Mulligan here with a big batch of puro goodness, straight fromt he oven. We got news on ROH stars in NOAH, whose shining, whose winning, and whose losing. Also, news on All Japan’s big PPV, with a true blood feud coming to a head. Then, a bunch of awesome matches you all should really check out. This is a MUST READ for ROH fans, because there’s a show this weekend your ALL gonna wanna see. So come on in, while the gettin’s good!

ROH Shines in NOAH, Budokan Preview
The NOAH tour has continued this week, with the tour ender in Budokan Hall coming up this Sunday. Since last week, ROH wrestlers have continued to shine, with word being that Chris Hero, in particular, has been getting really over with crowds. On the show on the 24rd, the Briscoes defeated Kotaro Suzuki and Atsushi Aoki, and the Kings of Wrestling (Hero and Claudio) defeated one-half of their Budokan opponents, Akira Taue, and Ippei Ota, Hero pinning Ota with the Hero’s Welcome: KOW Edition. NOAH’s sister promotion, SEM, then ran a very interesting show at Differ Ariake. The relationship with Kensuke Office continued, as top students Katsuhiko Nakajima and Ryuji Yamaguchi came over, defeating Kotaro Suzuki and Ippei Ota. In the semi-main, the Kings of Wrestling scored another big win, defeating Naomichi Marufuji and Shuhei Taniguchi, with Hero getting the fall. And in the main event, ROH reigned supreme again, the Briscoes defeating Atsushi Aoki and KENTA. SEM’s next show is another interesting card, and occurs on March 5th. It features a long awaited confrontation between KENTA and Nakajima, as it will be KENTA/Akihiko Ito vs. Nakajima/Yamaguchi. Also on the card, Magnitude Kishiwada comes to face evil student Genba Hirayanagi, and Marufuji has a sure to be epic match with Kikutaro. NOAH held their next show on the 26th, and celebrated a couple anniversaries. Kishin Kawabata won his Anny match, defeating Momota. The Briscoes and Chris Hero defeated a strong team of Akitoshi Saito, KENTA, and Aoki, the Briscoes pinning Aoki. Unfortunately, Claudio dropped another fall on this show, losing against Morishima and Yone with partner Doug Williams. In the main event, Kenta Kobashi lost his Anniversary match, his team lost an 8 man tag to a team captained by Misawa. NOAH’s last show occurred the other night, and Takeshi Rikio returned to action, and picked up a fall. Also, Claudio dropped another fall, this time to Takashi Suguira. In the main event, the Briscoes/Hero team lost to a very strong team led by Misawa, Hero getting pinned by Ogawa.

NOAH will present their tour ender in Budokan Hall on March 2nd. It’s a great looking card that all ROH fans should check out, including the Kings of Wrestling taking on legend Akira Taue and partner, Izumida. I see the Kings coming out on top their, Hero taking the fall. Also, Kobashi returns to Budokan, as he teams with KENTA and Tamon Honda to take on KENTA’s rival Takayama, Takuma Sano, and Atsushi Aoki. I see Kobashi’s team winning here for a feel-good moment in Budokan. Marufuji and Suguira defend their tag titles against the Briscoes in the semi-main, while they are sure to retain, it should be an excellent match. And in the main event, Misawa makes his eight defense of the GHC title against Takeshi Morishima. I will fully explain my reasoning in Ditch’s roundtable that should be up Friday, but I see Morishima winning here, and ending Misawa’s over year long reign. This should be a great show, and all ROH fans should check it out and get a feel for their favorites in Japan.

KO vs. VM feud in AJPW heats up, Sumo Hall Preview
The war between Kensuke Sasaki and his trainee’s against Satoshi Kojima’s Voodoo Murderers has massively heated up in the past few weeks, peaking just in time for their Triple Crown matchup. Recently, Kojima has attacked everyone from Kensuke’s friends, to his trainees, even to his wife. Each side has declared all-out war, and will not stop till the other side is dead and buried. AJPW presents their PPV from Sumo Hall on March 1st, and it is a very nice card. Future star Suwama will take on VM’s TARU, and I see Suwama winning and continuing his rise to the top. Also, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Silver King fight for the vacant Jr. Title, I see Nakajima regaining what’s his and taking a win for the KO side. Next up is a very special tag match, Tanahashi and Mutoh vs. Kawada and Kea. I see the Mutoh/Tana tandem taking this, pinning Kea after a series of combos ending in the High Fly Flow. Next, Dory Funk wrestles his retirement match, teaming with Nishimura against Tenryu and Fuchi. Based on results from this tour, I see Dory taking the win, and the fall, with his Spinning Toe Hold. The main event sees the Triple Crown decided between Kojima and Sasaki. Again, I will go into detail in Mr. Ditch’s roundtable, but I see a title change here, with Kojima taking the straps.

Puroresu News/Notes Extravaganza!
Zero-One: Mochizuki defended his Jr. Title against the amazing El Blazer, defeating him in about 15 minutes. Afterwards, he invited Blazer to work in Dragon Gate, and it seems Blazer has accepted. Zero-One also has a big show this week, a warfare card against NJPW. Talents coming include IWGP Champ Shinsuke Nakamura, who will re-dedicate the IWGP2 belt to Shinya Hashimoto.

New Japan: NJ is creating a 4th IWGP title for Nakamura to hold, signifying its new unification. Also, Nagata is fine but is taking a month or so off, and will be replaced by Karl Anderson in the NJ Cup, the first of what could be many NWA talents invading NJPW.

Kensuke Office: Their next show in March was recently announced, it will feature Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Magnitude Kishiwada and Kensuke Sasaki/Jun Akiyama vs. Minoru Suzuki/Yoshihiro Takayama.

Dragon Gate: Shingo Takagi, BxB Hulk, and Cyber Kong won the trios title, defeating the long reigning Mochizuki/Fujii/K-ness team. A #1 contender match will occur on 3/20, Susumu/Saito/Kidou vs. Gamma/Doi/Kanda.

Awesome Stuff I’ve Watched Recently, and Now You Should Too
I’ve watched a few awesome matches lately that I would like to pimp here, be sure to see me, email me at jmull911@yahoo.com if necessary for info on how to find them. First, from NJPW, I really enjoyed the IWGP Jr. Tag Title match from 2/17, Jushin Liger and AKIRA against Minoru and Prince Devitt. It’s really exciting, and the RISE juniors come off as stars, and hopefully this division can continue to deliver throughout 2008. Also, NOAH had a great six man tag recently, as the young guns team of Marufuji/Morishima/Suguira took on Kobashi/Honda/Taniguchi. I don’t want to spoil much but this was really epic and really awesome. Finally, I’ve really loved anything the Kings of Wrestling have done in NOAH this tour, not as classic puro matches but as really fun spectacles, so be sure to check those out.

That’ll do it this week, back next week with massive amounts of results!

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