This is a collection of matches where the title simply says what it’s all about – Taking it to the Mat. These matches are some of my favorites that were recently discovered, some recently re-discovered and some just recent – all of them are great… ~Approx. 2 hours
: 7/11/89 Dean Malenko vs. Joe Malenko – PWF Junior Title - Malenko vs. Malenko – is there really any description needed?
: 9/23/95 Chris Benoit vs. Lord Steven Regal – New Japan - A lost classic from New Japan as Benoit and Regal go 20 incredible minutes! The subtleties and attention to detail make this match with a leg thrown in for control here, the perfectly placed forearm there and note the angle of Regal’s head on the diving headbutt. Both men work for the holds, not just run through them, and without question bring the pain. Regal gets busted hardway from his ear and also hammers his knee once the match opens up, but he perseveres on to finish the match. Incredible!
: 5/18/01 Shocker vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. – Opening Night Super Junior 2001 - This was my favorite match from the Super Junior this year as it showed how great lucha can translate into the Japanese context. Smooth transitions, strong stretching, and some rudo vs. rudo action thrown in only ups the ante (Shocker’s grand tope con hilo is can’t miss too). Fantastic and seamless work.
: 8/10/01 Jushin Liger vs. Osamu Nishimura – G-1 Climax Final Night - A 30 minute broadway that had the crowd popping huge for old school wrestling. Nishimura’s training with Dory Funk Jr. has been time well spent as in combination with some opportunity in 2001, Nishimura has really raised his game. Liger continues in his tradition of working for the match as 2001 has once again found him involved in some great ring action and booking arguably Japan’s deepest junior division. Don’t miss Nishimura’s nasty armbar and leg tie combo that nearly gains him the win early on!
: 9/14/01 American Dragon vs. Tony Kozina – ECCW Pacific NW Junior Title - The second meeting of these two great workers from the Pacific Northwest. Rudo Dragon brings the stiffness ripping up Kozina’s arm, so Kozina counters working some great legs trying to take some steam out of the Dragon’s offense. Some excellent hold for hold and submission based wrestling.
: 11/16/01 Shuji Kondo vs. Takayuki Yagi (highlights) and 1/23/02 Shuji Kondo vs. Jun Ogawauchi – T2P - Shuji Kondo is my favorite wrestler emerging out of the T2P class with cool leg submissions, great cobra twist and backbreaker variations and a wicked suplex or two in the mix. Ogawauchi steps up his work in this match from prior outings showing some growing potential. T2P has some great work based in lucha submissions – check it out!
Otani and Tanaka have worked all over Japan in 2001 as both are essentially freelancers of the best kind (though they are both based in Zero-One). They have represented Zero-One, been opponents and also been tag partners (current NWA Intercontinental Tag Champions) working in New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan, FMW, IWA, Battlarts, NOAH, Onita Pro, Rainbow Festival and Masato even held his own show under the Complete Players banner. I believe these two have been brought together out of respect and the fighting spirit that burns inside of them. Otani and Tanaka can both take a huge amount of punishment only to keep coming back to bring their opponents more pain and the fans great matches. This is the first volume in what I hope can be a several tape series. ~Approx. 2 hours
:Opening clips – one past, one present
:Tanaka/Gedo vs. Ishikawa/Yone – 6/2/01 Battlarts
:Otani/Takaiwa vs. Hidaka/Otsuka – 6/2/01 Battlarts
:Otani vs. Tanaka – 7/13/01 Zero-One
:Tanaka vs. Samoa Joe – 9/15/01 Zero-One
:Otani/Omori vs. Misawa/Ogawa – 10/13/01 NOAH
:Tanaka/Gedo/Jado vs. Otani/Hoshikawa/Sato – 11/11/01 Complete Players
:Tanaka vs. Honma – 1/20/02 Rainbow Festival
The title says it all really, NOAH really picked their shows in late 2001 between working with Zero-One, bringing in some new foreign blood and giving some of their younger workers the time to light up the undercards. NOAH is carrying a lot of momentum into 2002 and these matches are a few examples of why… ~Approx. 2 hours
:Omori/Otani vs. Misawa Ogawa – 10/13/01 GHC Tag Title Tourney - Otani is king sized in this match!!! The crowd is super hot and Misawa takes a pounding. Great finish and best match of the tourney by far.
:Otani/Ikeda vs. Omori/Asako – 10/19/01 - The intros are priceless (showing Otani’s quirky sense of humor that has emerged of late). The match has a really strong effort from all four men (Ikeda even juices) – surprise match of that show.
:Takaiwa vs. Kanemaru – 10/19/01 GHC Junior Title - The starting sequence sets the tone for the entire match – huge brutality, heel one-ups-manship and head dropping. Shockingly better than anyone could have expected.
:Takaiwa/Hoshikawa vs.Modest/Morgan – 11/18/01 - What you’d expect from these four – strong, stiff work with the crowd loving it. Modest finishes big with the Reality Check V.2!
:Marifuji vs. Suguira – 11/27/01 - Super hot match between NOAH’s two best prospects. The match has a real big match feel to it with Suguira bring some huge offense and Marifuji showing why he is incredibly and deservedly over with the NOAH crowd. AWESOME!!!
:Modest/Morgan vs. Vader/Scorpio – 11/27/01 - If you have Donavan Morgan hate, this is the match for you as Vader KILLS HIM - DEAD! An example of why Vader is still a monster. The crowd eats this match up as Modest/Morgan try to avoid Vader at all costs.
:Marifuji vs. Takaiwa – 12/9/01 GHC Junior Title - Match of the Year quality re-match. They stole the show, monster crowd heat and some incredible spots tied together with some good psychology! GREAT!!!
In the last half of 2001, DDT became my favorite Japanese indy promotion. In the past DDT had shown flashes of greatness with some excellent high flying junior action and some amazing characters. As the company worked it way through 2001, they added some great new workers to their constantly improving roster and further developed some strong (often hilarious) characters they had created bringing more of a balance to their shows. The KO-D Tag Titles brought some focus to their stables and hot tag matches, that got better and better as the year moved on into 2002. I highly recommend you check out DDT if you love junior flying, high workrate, a touch of indy sleaze and even some crunching strikes and suplexes in the mix. ~Approx. 2 hours
:GREATEST PROMO EVER into intro…
:MIKAMI/Super Uchu Power vs. Takashi Sasaki/TOBA – 8/30/01 KO-D Tag Title Tourney
:MIKAMI/Super Uchu Power vs. Sanshiro Takagi/Fake Sanshiro (Ichinomiya) – 9/30/01 KO-D Tag Title Finals (JIP)
:MIKAMI/Super Uchu Power promo
:Sanshiro/MIKAMI/TOBA vs. Asian Cougar/Asian Condor/Takashi Sasaki – 9/23/01 Onita Pro
:Asian Cougar vs. Takashi Sasaki – 10/30/01 Iron Man Heavy Metal Title
:Fake Sanshiro/Tomohiro Ishii/GENTARO/YOSHIYA (X-RAB) vs. MIKAMI/TOBA/Super Uchu Power/Tomohiko Hashimoto (Team DDT) - 10/30/01 Elimination match (Uchu joins X-RAB)!
:GENTARO/YOSHIYA (X-RAB) vs. MIKAMI/TOBA (Suicide Boys) – 11/1/01 KO-D Tag Titles (MIKAMI was able to pick a new partner to defend the title with after Uchu betrayed him)
:GENTARO/YOSHIYA (X-RAB) vs. MIKAMI/TOBA (Suicide Boys) – 11/30/01 KO-D Tag Titles re-match (MIKAMI hand injury angle)
:GENTARO/YOSHIYA vs. MIKAMI/Takashi Sasaki –12/11/01 KO-D Tag Titles (JIP)
:Hebikage’s best promo ever after winning the Iron Man Heavy Metal Title – 12/11/01
:MIKAMI/TOBA vs. Poison Sawada/Takashi Sasaki – 12/28/01 Sam TV 5th Ann Show
This is the best DDT block to date delivering strong in the ring as well as in all the other twisted things that make DDT great – highly recommended and picks up where the DDT’s Best 2001 tape leaves off…
:Showa vs. Ken Ohka
:Tomohiro Ishii & Issei Fujisawa vs. Fushicho Karasu & Konica-Man #2
:GENTARO & YOSHIYA (X-RAB) vs. TOBA & HERO! – Best I’ve seen X-RAB look as a team as they continue to gel nicely, the knee is the key and TOBA is great as always!
:Sanshiro Takagi vs. Poison Sawada Julie vs. Poison Ichinomiya Fake – Surreal from the very start as Sawada is upset upon his ring entrance that his snake coat has been stolen by Fake Sawada and the promo addressing it may be his best yet in tandem with all that follows – gimmick/spot swiping galore in a real sleaze MOTY 2002 contender!!!
:KO-D Tag Team Champions, MIKAMI & Takashi Sasaki vs. KO-D Heavyweight Champion, Super Uchu Power & Iron Man Heavy Metal Champion, Asian Cougar - GREAT MATCH with all titles on the line, loser of the fall, loses his title(s)!!!
~Approx. 2 hours
The GAMI/Yoshida match is can’t miss, another example why these are two of the top three workers Arsion has to offer right now (Noki-A being the other). This was also Ayako Hamada’s final show with Arsion, and she leaves on a high note in terms of her match quality.
:Rie Tamada vs. Yuko Yamagata
:Lady Pentagon & PIKA & Reina Takase vs. Chaparita ASARI & Ai Fujita & baby
:Reina Takase vs. Noki-A
:GAMI vs. Mariko Yoshida - Queen Of Arsion #1 Contender Tourney
:Michiko Ohmukai vs. Lioness Aska – Ohmukai’s 10th Anniversary Match
:Etsuko Mita & Mima Shimoda vs. Ayako Hamada & Faby Apache - UWA Mexico Women’s Tag Title match & Hamada’s final match in Arsion
~Approx. 2 hours
This show put together by Masato Tanaka may have been my favorite show in 2001 in terms of being “completely” solid top to bottom. Cougar and Hidaka is an indy dream match, good Joshi, the DDT & MPro boys work full on as always, Honma tears it up hitting a big time gusher and the main event is true display of hard hitting, rudo one-ups-manship.
:Ikuto Hidaka vs. Asian Cougar
:Kaori Nakayama vs. Azumi Hyuga
:Hideki Nishida & MIKAMI vs. Takashi Sasaki & Tomohiro Ishii turns into Nishida & MIKAMI vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Psychic
:Atsushi Onita, Hideki Hosaka, & Dick Togo vs. Honma, Hidoh, & Shoji Nakamaki – Street Fight
:Masato Tanaka, Jadoh, & Gedoh (The Complete Players) vs. Shinjiro Otani, Naohiro Hoshikawa, & Kohei Sato (Team Zero-One)
~Approx. 2 hours
:Kaori Nakayama & Sakura Hirota vs. KAORU & Police
:Chikayo Nagashima vs. Carlos Amano
:Aja Kong & Lioness Asuka vs. Mayumi Ozaki & Chigusa Nagayo
:Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima, & Mayumi Ozaki vs. Takako Inoue, Toshie Uematsu, & The Bloody
~Approx. 2 hours
: Tiger Mask vs. Ryuji Ito
: Ran Yu-Yu vs. Akyuto Sae
: Super Rider vs. Takeshi Ono
: Katsumi Usuda vs. Carl Malenko
: Masato Tanaka/Gedo vs. Ishikawa/Mohammed Yone
: Otani/Takaiwa vs. Alexander Otsuka/Ikuto Hidaka
~Approx. 2 hours
This show features the invasion of Arsion by Lioness Asuka who has a great match against the submission master of Arsion, Mariko Yoshida. Ayako Hamada defends her Queen of Arsion title in a bloody and intense battle against Michiko Oumaki in the show's main event. Complete match listings to be added… ~ Approx. 2 hours
The Spanish Announce Team (SAT) ~ Red, Joel & Jose Maximo ~ are the buzz of the Northeast independent wrestling scene for very good reason. This trio was trained by the red-headed menace Mikey Whipwreck and combine great high flying spots with incredibly innovative double team tactics all at an unbelievable pace. Be it in singles action, as a pair or as an out of control trio, the SAT are a must see as they take wrestling into the new millennium! ~Approx. 2 hours
: 1/26/01 UCW - Red vs. Chris Devine
: 1/26/01 UCW - Red vs. Joel Maximo
: 2/10/01 CZW - Red/Joel Maximo vs. Briscoe Brothers
: 2/16/01 IWA (PA) - Red/Joel/Jose vs. Trent Acid/Christian York/Joey Matthews
: 3/15/01 PWF - Joel/Jose (w/ Red) vs. Acid/Kashmere
: 4/7/01 CZW - Red vs. Joel vs. Jose
: 5/10/01 PWF - Joel/Jose (w/Brian XL) vs. Acid/Kashmere vs. The Damned for PWF Tag Titles (JIP)
: 5/12/01 CZW - Red/Joel/Jose vs. Briscoe Brothers & Ric Blade
: 5/19/01 CZW - Red vs. W*inger vs. Ric Blade (BoB Tourney Round 1)
: 5/19/01 CZW - Red vs. W*inger (BoB Tourney Round 2)
: 6/8/01 CZW - Red/Joel/Jose vs. Chris Divine/Quiet Storm/Brian XL - watch out for the Storm Cradle Driver!
Naomichi Marufuji is the fastest rising junior heavyweight in Japan. This tape gives you a taste of his All Japan roots and then you can watch him grow facing competition from MPro, FMW, Battlarts, Osaka Pro, New Japan and of course NOAH. Marufuji has flash and quickness that set his up near falls, counters and also the huge air assault which is the center of his offense. Marufuji is a hot young talent whose matches are often the highlight of any card he works on. ~Approx. 2 hours
: 9/18/99 AJPW - Marufuji/Kobashi vs. Omori/Hashi
: 10/8/00 MPro - Marufuji vs. The Great Sasuke
: 12/23/00 NOAH - Marufuji/Honda vs. Kuroda/Fuyuki for WEW Tag Titles (clips)
: 2/18/01 NOAH - Marufuji vs. Sano
: 3/2/01 Zero-One – Marufuji vs. Hoshikawa
: 3/3/01 NOAH – Marufuji vs. Misawa
: 4/18/01 Zero-One – Marufuji vs. Takaiwa
: Ono vs. Hijikada
: Taira/Ken vs. Junji.com/Super Rider
: Usuda vs. Jun Kasai ~ Ind. Jr. Title
: Super Crazy vs. Ikuto Hidaka - renewal of a great ECW rivalry!
: Tiger Mask IV/Fujiwara vs. Ishikawa/Malenko
: Alexander Otsuka vs. Mohammed Yone
~Approx. 2 hours
This show features a tremedous tag match as Carlos Amano and Chikayo Nagashima face off against Meiko Satumura and Sumie Sakai in a match boasting fast paced counters and near falls combined with hot submissions and stiff kicks all beautfully strung together. The show closes with a solid 6-woman tag as The Bloody/Aja Kong/Nagayo take on Ozaki/Nagashima/Dynamite Kansai. Complete match listings to be added… ~ Approx. 2 hours
This show features the ARS 2001 Tourney with opening round matches joined in progress, but the semi-finals and finals are complete. The show stealer is the semi-final match with GAMI getting seriously brutal with Ayako Hamada… Complete match listings to be added… ~ Approx. 2 hours
: Misawa & Rikio vs. Ogawa & Murakami
: Hashimoto & Yasuda vs. Honda & Inoue
: Sean McCully vs. Otani
: Alexander Otsuka vs. Takashi Seguira
: Hoshikawa vs. Mr. X (Original Cobra)
: Marufuji vs. Takaiwa
This is the Yumi Fukawa retirement show and the show focuses clearly (deservingly) on her. The undercard is very clipped - her very emotional retirement ceremony and final match against Mariko Yoshida are shown in full!!! ~Approx. 2 hours
This tape includes a great Queen of Arsion Title match as Ayako Hamada defends against Azumi Hyuga and is the night the Aja Kong quit the company she started!!! Complete listings to be added... ~Approx. 2 hours
: Ayako Hamada vs. Akino ~Queen of Arsion Title~
: Azumi Hyuga vs. Mari Apcahe
: Candy Okutsu Retirement Ceremony
: Aja Kong, Mariko Yoshida & Ryu Miyuki vs. Etsuko Mita, Mima Shimoda & Michiko Oumaki
: GAMI, Piko & Pika vs. Chapparita Asari, Fabi Apache & Ai Fujita
: Rie Tamada vs. Bionic J
: You Yamagata vs. Rena Takase
: Opening digest from 1/5/01 show
~Approx. 2 hours
Zion Tounrey 10/17/00
:Mari Apache vs. Lynx
:Mariko Yoshida vs. Piko
:Rie Tamada vs. Michiko Oumaki
:Ayako Hamada vs. Mima Shimoda
:Aja Kong vs. Mari Apache
:Ayako Hamada vs. GAMI
Bonus tag match :Akino & Ai Fujita vs. Fabi Apache & Linda Starr
:Mariko Yoshida vs. Aja Kong
:Ayako Hamada vs. Rie Tamada
:Mariko Yoshida vs. Ayako Hamada ~Great Match!
Twinstar of Arsion Tag League 10/29/00
:Linda Starr vs. Reina Takase
:Akino & Ai Fujita vs. Lynx & Piko
:Mari & Fabi Apache vs. Etsuko Mita & Bionic J
:Mariko Yoshida & Chapparita Asari vs. GAMI & Rie Tamada
:Ayako & Xochi Hamada vs. Mima Shimoda & Michiko Oumaki
~Approx. 2 hours
This tape includes the best tag match in Arsion history as Ayako Hamada & Akino fight a bloody 20 minute battle against Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita for the Twinstar of Arsion Tag Titles... Complete listings to be added... ~Approx. 2 hours
This tape includes what most consider the greatest singles match in Arsion history as Yumi Fukawa and Mariko Yoshida deliver some serious pain and stretching to each another at a furious pace... Complete listings to be added... ~Approx. 2 hours
: Misawa & Akiyama vs. Hashimoto & Nagata
: Omori & Takayama (Team No Fear) vs. Otsuka & Takaiwa
: Murakami vs. Otani
: Yatsu vs. Gary Steele
: Yu-Ikeada vs. Takeshi Tosho (kickboxing)
: Akitoshi Saito vs. Tadahiro Fujisaka
: Marufuji vs. Hoshikawa
: Kobashi & Taue vs. Vader & Akiyama
: Misawa & Ogawa vs. Hashimoto & Otsuka
: Omori, Takayama & Satoru Asako vs. Suguira, Honda & Inoue
: The rest of the undercard is shown in highlight form includes 3-way dance w/ Scorpio, Marufuji & Kanemaru as opener...
~Approx. 2 hours
: Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama
: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader
: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Takao Omori
: Akira Taue vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
: Daisuke Ikeda & Yoshinori Ogawa vs. Akitoshi Saito & Masaji Aoyagi
: Naomichi Marufuji & Tamon Honda vs. Kodo Fuyuki & Tetsuhiro Kuroda – WEW Tag Titles
: Kentaro Shiga, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Morishima vs. Masao Inoue, Takeshi Rikio & Sagiura~Approx. 3:00-Available as 2 tape set in SP mode for $16 or as a single tape in EP mode for $12
Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa – The Series 1995 – 2000
This is my favorite series of matches from All Japan in the late 90’s, better in my opinion than the more often talked about Misawa/Kawada fued. This series contains incredible psychology as across a span of 5 years as these matches build off each other with increasing intensity and head dropping brutality. If you’re looking for a place to start checking out All Japan, this is as good as it gets. ~Approx 5 hours.
: Kobashi vs. Misawa 10/25/95 – Triple Crown Title
: Kobashi vs. Misawa 1/20/97 – Triple Crown Title
: Kobashi vs. Misawa 10/21/97 – Triple Crown Title
: Kobashi vs. Misawa 10/31/98 – Triple Crown Title – Match of the Year
: Kobashi vs. Misawa 6/11/99 – Triple Crown Title
: Kobashi/Akiyama vs. Misawa/Ogawa – 10/99 PWF & Int Tag Titles – Tag Match of the Year
: Kobashi vs. Misawa – 4/11/00 Champion Carnival - Final singles match under All Japan banner
Best of Kaientai-DX
Dick Togo, Men’s Teioh, Taka Michinoku, Sho Funaki & Shiryu (Kaz Hayashi) – collectively known as Kaientai-DX – the group that re-defined heels, high flying & tag team wrestling in Japan. This collection is non-stop action as Kaientai-DX terrorizes Michinoku Pro. ~Approx. 6 hours.
: Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada vs. Shiryu & Sato (Togo) 12/17/95 (clips)
: Dick Togo vs. Danny Collins 5/6/96
: Great Sasuke vs. Shiryu 7/20/96
: Kaientai DX vs. Sasuke, Naniwa, Delphin, Tiger Mask IV & Hamada 12/9/96 *elimination
: Kaientai DX vs. Sasuke, Delphin, Naniwa, Hamada, Yakushiji 12/16/96
Kaientai DX vs. M Pro Best of 5 Series 3/1/97
1: Togo vs. Yakushiji
2: Sho Funaki vs. Gran Hamada
3: Men’s Teioh vs. Great Sasuke
4: Shiryu vs. Super Delphin
5: Taka Michinoku vs. Naniwa
: Teioh, Togo, Funaki, Nakajima vs. Sasuke, Oriental, TM IV & Hoshikawa 8/17/97 *elimination
: Dick Togo vs. Great Sasuke 8/31/97
: Dick Togo & Super Boy vs. Men’s Teioh & Sho Funaki 11/1/97
: Togo, Super Boy & Funaki vs. Sasuke, Tiger Mask IV & Hamada 1/16/98
: Kaientai DX vs. Sasuke, Hamada, Naniwa & Yakushiji 1/21/97 Battlearts – greatest Naniwa match ever!
: Kaientai DX vs. Team M Pro 10/10/96 – arguably the greatest 10 man tag ever!: Dick Togo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger 7/96 NJ Sky-Diving J
NOAH 8/6/00 Tokyo, Differ Ariake(Second Show)
: Kobashi vs. Akiyama
: Misawa/Ogawa vs. Ikeda/Shiga
: Omori/Takayama vs. Taue/Izumida
: Inoue/Morishima vs. Marifuji/Rikio
: Kimura/Momota/Hashi vs. Eigen/Kikuchi/Kanemaru: Asako vs. Kobayashi
~Approx 2 hours.
All Japan Summer Action Series 99 (Part 1)
: Ace, Barton & Smith vs. Albright, Omori, Takayama (last 5 mins)
: Ace & Barton vs. Omori & Takayama
: Misawa vs. Kawada 7/23/99 Triple Crown Title Match
: Kobashi/Akiyama vs. Vader/Albright 7/23/99
Burning vs. Untouchables Series 7/16/99
: Shiga vs. Misawa
: Kobashi vs. Kakihara
: Akiyama vs. Ogawa
: Kawada vs. Takayama 7/17/99
~ Approx. 2:15
All Japan Excite Series 2000
: Vader/Steve Williams vs. Takao Omori/Yoshihiro Takayama
: Kenta Kobashi vs. Steve Williams
: Vader vs. Toshiaki Kawada
: Vader/Williams vs. Kobashi/Jun Akiyama Unified Tag Title Match
: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama
: Vader vs. Kenta Kobashi Triple Crown Title Match
All Japan Champion Carnival 2000
: Opening Ceremony(sashes are swank!!)
: Johnny Smith vs. Tamon Honda(highlights)
: Jun Akiyama vs. Takao Omori
: Steve Williams vs. Akira Taua
: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada
: Kenta Kobashi vs. Johnny Smith
: Takao Omori vs. Steve Williams--Semi-Finals
: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi--Semi Finals(last 10 minutes only)
: Kenta Kobashi vs. Takao Omori--Finals 4/15/2000
~Approx 2 hours