205 Live #146 – 10/09/2019

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So more 205 Live again, with a notable debut this week that I’m mucho looking forward to!

The event is emanating from Madison Square Garden

Calling the action are Vic Joseph and Aiden English. With NXT now going up on USA, Nigel McGuinness has sadly departed the announce desk. However, it’s apparently essential to have three commentators for whatever reason, so former NFL player Dio Maddin steps into the chair as the replacement.

Read more205 Live #146 – 10/09/2019

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #333 – 11/09/1999

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Back again with some more Hardcore TV. Once again, if you’d like to read a recap of the TNN show that preceded this one then you can read Scott Keith’s take on it by clicking right HERE (He’s a bit further ahead than I am currently)

Last week’s show was kind of miserable from an in ring perspective, but we at least got a good promo from Taz to build up his ECW Title match with Masato Tanaka at Anarchy Rulz 99 on the 19th of September. Hopefully we’ll get confirmation of some more matches for the show this week, although I imagine most of that sort of stuff will be dedicated to the TNN show now, with Hardcore TV playing more of a Sunday Night Heat/Velocity role in the ECW schedule.

Anyway, let’s drop toe hold ourselves right onto the comfiest chair in the house and get ready to take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #333 – 11/09/1999

New Japan Pro Wrestling Royal Quest – 31/08/2019

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As of checking today the 2019 J Cup isn’t up on New Japan World yet, but the Royal Quest show from last week in London is, so that’s what we’ll look at today. I’ve actually managed to avoid all spoilers for it, so this will be a complete surprise to me. I’m fully expecting J Cup spoilers though, mainly because this show happened after that tournament concluded, but I’ll refrain from writing them here in case you are also holding out to find out what happened (Kind of weird from New Japan actually, you’d think that they’d upload the shows in order because watching this show kind of ruins the J Cup?) If everyone else could please kindly refrain from J Cup spoilers in the comments then that would be nice as well, just in case we have some readers here who are waiting to watch it and don’t want it spoiled. Cheers!

The big match on top of course will be Kazuchika Okada Vs Everyone’s Favourite Angry Old Man Minoru Suzuki, in a match which I am mightily excited for!

So let’s quit my jibber jabbering and watch some chuffing wrestling!

Read moreNew Japan Pro Wrestling Royal Quest – 31/08/2019

205 Live #145 – 03/09/2019

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The Copperbox show from 31/08/2019 is up on New Japan World now, so I’ll give it a look this week at some point, probably at the weekend. In the meantime, here’s some more of 205 Live, the show that WWE might do a big LOST like twist for one day and reveal that it was all really a nightmare of Vince McMahon’s following a particularly heavy lunch in the 80’s.

Read more205 Live #145 – 03/09/2019

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #332 – 04/09/1999

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Here we are with the second Hardcore TV show of the TNN Era, with the last TNN show actually being both noteworthy and rather entertaining to boot. You can read what Scott Keith thought of it by clicking right HERE!

So without further ado, let’s pour ourselves a nice refreshing glass of thumbtacks and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #332 – 04/09/1999

Six of the Best – New Japan Pro Wrestling Entrance Themes

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I’ve got some free time and I’ve wanted to do this one for a while, mainly because I love entrance music. Sometimes the best thing about an entire wrestlers act can be the entrance music they use, and when a promotion gets the music right for someone it can be utterly fantastic.

I decided to start out with New Japan because I often like having New Japan themes on in the background when I’m doing some work, just because for the most part they are catchy tunes that are fun to listen to. It was tough deciding which wrestlers to include and who not to in all honesty. For example, a guy like Tenryu worked New Japan countless times and has great entrance music, but he also worked All Japan, SWS, WAR, NOAH and others during his career, so really his music didn’t strike me as New Japan’s to claim.

Ultimately I decided to go with guys who I associate in my mind as being “New Japan guys”. In lots of cases these wrestlers will have worked in other places over their long and esteemed careers, but important periods of that career will have been spent doing battle inside a New Japan ring, using the particular music listed as their entrance theme. Indeed, on this list will be people who left New Japan and, with the exception of one, I think all of them ended up changing their music when they left anyway.

As always, these are just my own personal picks. This isn’t supposed to be some sort of objective list or anything. If I leave out a track that you think warrants inclusion, then please feel free to put it down in the comments section below.

So without further to do, let’s take a look at Six of the Best New Japan entrance themes!

Read moreSix of the Best – New Japan Pro Wrestling Entrance Themes

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #331 – 28/08/1999

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So here we are, the first Hardcore TV following the woeful debut of ECW on TNN. You can read Scott Keith’s review of that show by clicking right HERE.

As you can see from reading that, the first TNN show ended up being more of a “Welcome to ECW” kind of episode, which not only proved to be rather dull but also angered the TNN execs, as they had made it clear that they wanted original programming from the very first episode.

Despite the shaky start, I’m sure today’s Hardcore TV will be chock full of TNN recaps and references, kind of like when the WWF wouldn’t shut up about the XFL in early 2001 on episodes of Raw and Smackdown.

Anyway, let’s waste no further time and dust off our flaming tables so we can take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #331 – 28/08/1999

Mike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History Part 2

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Welcome back to the second part of this retrospective where we look back at Kenta Kobashi’s epic reign as the GHC Heavyweight Champion from Pro Wrestling NOAH in the early-mid 00’s.

Last time out we saw Kobashi defeat Mitsuharu Misawa to win the GHC Title in a classic match before defending it in a barn burner against fellow BURNING stablemate Tamon Honda. We closed out last time with Kobash having a decent but not thrilling bout with Masahiro Chono on a New Japan Pro Wrestling event at the Tokyo Dome.

This time we’ll see Kobashi go back to defending the belt against people from his home promotion, but don’t be too surprised if those pesky invaders from New Japan show themselves once again…

Part 1

Read moreMike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History Part 2

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #330 – 21/08/1999

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Back again with some more Hardcore TV, as we continue the march onto the debut of ECW on TNN. If you haven’t yet then I strongly suggest you check out Scott Keith’s reviews of those shows. I believe he’s something like 4 shows in now and it’s not only proving popular with the Blog readers but Scott seems to be somewhat enjoying it to a certain degree as well!

Sadly Hardcore TV has now kind of slipped into cruise control and is readying itself to play second fiddle in the ECW television hierarchy. But hey, I used to enjoy WWE Velocity back in the day, so if Hardcore TV becomes mostly a recap show with the odd good match chucked in then I can live with that.

So without further ado, let’s adorn our barbed wire hoodies and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #330 – 21/08/1999

Mike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History – Part One

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I thought I’d try something a bit different and actually cover some classic Pro Wrestling NOAH for a change. In the early to mid-00’s, NOAH was probably the most consistently great wrestling company in the world. It had a great Junior Heavyweight division anchored by the likes of KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Ricky Marvin and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, talented youngsters coming through the ranks such as Takeshi Morishima, Takeshi Rkioh, Mohamed Yone and Go Shiozaki, dependable veterans in the mid-card who could be relied upon such as Tamon Honda, Takuma Sano, Daisuke Ikeda and Akitoshi Saito, and most importantly a really good main event scene featuring the likes of Mitsuharu Misawa, Jun Akiyama, Yoshihiro Takayama and Minoru Suzuki.

However, the biggest star of them all was the man who held the GHC (The equivalent to New Japan’s IWGP) Heavyweight Title for two years from 2003 to 2005, having great matches with basically everyone along the way. That man was none other than Kenta Kobashi, the inventor of The Burning Hammer, an all-round elite level worker and a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. Not only was Kobashi superb in the ring, but he was also a hit at the box office and NOAH enjoyed a lot of success during his reign.

The zenith of Kobashi’s reign was likely headlining NOAH’s first ever Tokyo Dome show in 2004, but he also enjoyed a spate of sell outs at Budokan Hall and defended the belt in a number of classic bouts, dragging top level matches out of basically everyone he faced ala Ric Flair during his Title reigns during the 80’s.

Personally I’d say Kenta Kobashi is probably my favourite wrestler of all-time. Whether it was coming up with inventive suplexes, flying through the air with a moonsault or just destroying his opponent with hard knife edge chops, Kobashi could seemingly have an epic and enjoyable match with practically anyone and he almost always elevated the people he wrestled. Losing to Kenta Kobashi in an epic bout would almost always raise the defeated opponents stock, not lower it.

What I like most about Kobashi though is his selling, his facial expressions specifically. Kobashi’s facials are possibly some of the greatest of all-time, as he could convey a mixture of pain, desperation, anger and defiance like almost no one else. It’s one of the reasons why I think Kota Ibushi is so good as well actually, as he can do similar with his own expert facial expressions.

So with intro’s out of the way, I suppose I best explain what this is going to be all about. During the late 00’s G+ in Japan put together a compilation of all of the matches from Kobashi’s GHC Heavyweight Title reign. I eventually picked this up on DVD, but some kind uploaders on YouTube have uploaded the whole thing for public consumption. I won’t post the link here in case I accidentally drop them in hot water, but a quick search should be able to bring it up rather easily.

Obviously the full video is close to 9 hours long, so I won’t be doing it all in one sitting. Basically, whenever I get the time I’ll upload 2 or 3 matches when the opportunity arises. I’m not expecting this to be a particularly regular thing due to all the other commitments I have, but it will be a nice side project that I can bust out now and then when I can.

So, with the longest intro in Blog history completed, why don’t we watch some chuffing wrestling?

Read moreMike Reviews: Kenta Kobashi GHC Heavyweight History – Part One

Mike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #329 – 14/08/1999

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With G1 Climax finally coming to a close (You can find reviews of every night of the tournament in my archives) I can focus a bit more on Hardcore TV again. Thankfully Blog Head Honcho Scott Keith has started reviewing ECW on TNN, which is awesome because not only is it cool to see him review some ECW but it also means I won’t have to add an extra show to my schedule every week.

Buy anyway, let’s knuckle down and take things to The Extreme!!!

Read moreMike Reviews: ECW Hardcore TV #329 – 14/08/1999

New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 2019 – Final Night – 12/08/2019

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So here we are, after eighteen nights of action and however many stars, we’re here for the Final of G1 Climax 29. Who will leave the Nippon Budokan with the fabled G1 Trophy and a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Champ at Wrestle Kingdom on the 4th of January 2020? Will it be the devious Jay White? Will it be the Golden Star Kota Ibushi? Will White’s unscrupulous manager Gedo ultimately decide the fate of the Trophy? Will Ibushi be able to overcome the numbers game to win his first G1? Will the Title shot even be on 04/01/2020 or will it be on the 5th instead because they’re running the Tokyo Dome on consecutive nights next year? Will the G1 Final attain a 5 Star rating? Lemon Curry?

The suspense is killing me; let’s watch the ruddy show right chuffing now!!!

Read moreNew Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax 2019 – Final Night – 12/08/2019