Joshi Spotlight: Mayumi Ozaki

Vintage Puroresu プロレス on Twitter: "The incredible career of Mayumi Ozaki is both prolific, now spanning 5 separate decades (1986 - present), and awe-inspiring, having appeared in an otherworldly 4 WON *****

JOSHI SPOTLIGHT- MAYUMI OZAKI:
Billed Height & Weight: 5’2″ 125 lbs.
Career Length: 1986-today (still wrestles!)

-One of the great wrestlers I consider JUST outside the “Pillars” of joshi’s all-timers is Mayumi Ozaki- some place her on that tier or near it, while she remains pretty obscure in the West despite STILL being around as an active wrestler (she runs her own micro-promotion, OZ Academy). Truth be told, she was one of the wrestlers who took the longest to really impress me, because she wasn’t as flashy as many of her top-tier contemporaries… but the more I watched, the more I considered her one of the very best, and possibly the most versatile of the elite workers, able to easily do technical, high-spot, and hardcore stuff without missing a beat. Her bloody brawls are spectacular, as unlike most garbage wrestlers, Ozaki was well-trained and had a great, natural sense of timing- the first “Dress Up Wild Fight” against Dynamite Kansai is one of wrestling’s all-time best Hardcore matches. She’s equally gifted at “GO GO GO!” move-fests, hardcore brawls, nasty heel dominance or being a scrappy underdog.

One of the highest compliments I can pay her is that I still enjoy her completely nothing midcard bouts against losers and bad workers- she even did the near-impossible and had a decent 18-minute match… with NUMACCHI! Anyone who’s seen the weak, clumsy offense of that comedy wrestler knows that should be impossible, yet Ozaki made the match work through selling, timing and building everything so that it wasn’t utter garbage. Her snide glee in causing damage was amazing to watch- she was just like Las Cachorras Orientales, but in a more Satanic, “you need to suffer more” kind of way that delighted in people’s pain (whereas LCO seemed more like they were just crazy unhinged lunatics)- she was called “Devilish” for a reason. Like, when people kicked out of Ozaki’s big moves, you actually saw this SMILE come across her face, like “Oh yay- now I get to do more nasty stuff to them”.

Like, some heels in joshi were unpleasant, but Ozaki treated opponents like they didn’t invite her to their child’s christening.

Read more

GCW For The Culture 2022

GCW For The Culture 2022
Date: April 1, 2022
Location: Fair Park, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: AC Mack, Suge D, Faye Jackson, Robert Martyr

This is part of GCW’s annual collection of shows and hopefully this year’s is a bit better than last time. Granted not having the show deep into the night in front of a few dozen fans when everyone was already burned out should help. I’m not sure what to expect from the show and I kind of like it that way. Let’s get to it.

Read more

Road Warriors WWF Question


Scott,


I hope you have recovered from the gravel roads of Calgary.  
If Vince McMahon had given The Road Warriors a destroy all tag teams in the company heel push when The Road Warriors debuted in 1990 could The Road Warriors vs. Hogan and a partner have sold out the LA Coliseum for Wrestlemania VII?
Which partner would have best match/best chance to sell-out teaming with Hulk Hogan in LA?

Roddy Piper: If he had been healthy.  Piper in LA would still have been big.
Ric Flair: If Vince had wanted it enough Vince would have found a way.
Randy Savage: If Vince wanted nuclear heat end with the Road Warriors retiring a MegaPower.
Ricky Steamboat:  A Steamboat hot tag to Hogan.
Ultimate Warrior:  The match would suck unless Hogan channelled Ricky Morton.
Andre The Giant:  If only it was 1986 instead of 1991.


They barely sold tickets for the LA Coliseum even with a rumoured Hogan-Warrior match.  No chance that a tag match does anything close.  That being said, Megapowers vs Warriors would have been pretty boss.  

Tony Khan Giving Bigger Pushes


After hearing Tonys interview recently, he seems a little more nervous now about losing some guys to WWE with Triple H now gaining power so do you think this leads to Tony giving even bigger pushes to former WWE talent? Like now does Adam Cole win the World Title in the next few months for example as a reaction from Tony to make sure none of these guys want to leave. Or does he give bigger pushes to homegrown talent to keep them example Sammy Guevara, Darby, Wardlow, Britt Baker ect..

Let’s be honest, they could stand to lose a good chunk of the roster right now anyway.  

Herb Abram’s UWF Fury Hour #43 08/19/91

August 26th, 1991
Taped July 20th, 1991
War Memorial Auditorium
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Commentators: Craig DeGeorge & Bruno Sammartino

Read more

Rock Star Gary reflects on WCCW 11-23-1985

Taped from Dallas, TX

Airdate: November 23, 1985 (taped 11/15)

Attendance: unknown

Hosted by Bill Mercer

Can Kerry get the better of Gang this week? How will the newcomer fare against the Texas champion? What’s going on with Kevin and Lance, and how are the Dynamic Duo involved? Will Sunny and Missy confront one another? Bear down and let’s enjoy some ‘rasslin’!

Read more

Smackdown – December 21, 2007

Smackdown
Date: December 21, 2007
Location: Blue Cross Arena, Rochester, New York
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Michael Cole

We have a new World Champion around here as Edge defeated Batista and Undertaker in a triple threat match at Armageddon. That is going to be a big change of pace as we head into the new year but now Edge needs a new challenger for the Royal Rumble. I doubt we find out who that is tonight but maybe there is something else out there. Let’s get to it.

Read more

G1 night 12

Scott,

Hope all is well in bod land

I’ve got to recommend night 12 from this years g1

Not all the tag matches just the last 3 tournament matches, they are everything that’s right with wrestling. So If you find the time check them out. Not even saying you should review them just watch for entertainment.

To be honest, I've been on vacation for the past three weeks and I haven't even been following along because generally I catch up on all that stuff via the Observer radio show on the way to work. 

If Warrior doesn’t get fired in 1992


Does Flair drop the belt to Warrior instead of Bret?

Does Vince still bring Hogan back?
Does Yokozuna defeat Warrior @ WMIX?
Do we eventually get Warrior vs The Narcissist?

Yes, rough plan was always Warrior getting the belt from Flair.  Warrior v. Luger is a fascinating dream match that I guess we never got and probably would have fueled Vince's wet dreams for months if it had happened.  We'd probably still be getting blog questions about it today!  

When should they have retired? Extra Quick

With big-time wrestling retirements (We're serious this time, we promise… pinkie swear!) being all the rage, if you had to pinpoint a year when the following individuals should have retired, what year should that be / have been?
McMahon
2010.  He should have taken the L in the Bret feud and it would have been a perfect way to bow out of the company and let his doofus son-in-law and idiot daughter run things. 
Triple H
Also 2010.  We really didn't need that last World title reign or pair of Undertaker matches, even though I'll fully grant they were great matches. 

Ric Flair
2002.  By the time he was doing the bloodbath stuff with Foley it was just embarrassing. 

Undertaker
The Brock loss.  Lose the streak, ride into the sunset.  Everything after that was DRASTICALLY diminishing returns and didn't help anyone, himself included. 

Stone Cold
I think he picked the right time. 

Hogan
2003.  There was just nothing left in the tank for drawing power or in-ring ability after that, aside from special cases like Shawn Michaels working an entire match on his behalf. 

Macho Man

1999 was a really sad time for him and he should have packed it in. 

Orton
He's still doing fine and relatively young.  I wouldn't make him World champion again but the RKO stuff showed that he still has juice as a character. 

Rock
Rock will retire when he's damn well ready. 

Edge
I think 2010 was way too early if not for the neck injury, but on the flipside his comeback has never really lit my world on fire so in a perfect world without crippling injury, I'd say 2015. 

…and what would you say the Mt. Rushmore of legit final wrestling retirements is?
I like the meta nature of you doing a fake retirement question and then sneaking in another question at the end.  I'm not gonna ANSWER it because I don't do Rushmore questions anymore, but I admire your moxie. 

Pop Preference

Hello Scott, 

There's many ways a wrestler can debut or return to a company. If choosing between the surprise or the built up anticipation (like weeks of promo packages beforehand), which do u personally prefer?

And take (for example) something like Kenny Omega coming back? Think it should be the surprise return, or establish a specific date like the PPV? Which gets the best pop?
I really liked the CM Punk debut, where you could figure out that it was him with a minimum of detective work, but no one actually came out and said he was debuting.  Kind of the best of both worlds, and it gives you plausible deniability if something falls through. 

Karrion Kross the Tribal Chief slayer?

So Scott rumor has it Karrion Kross was added to the Reigns/McIntyre feud to split up the world titles cause the USA Network is not to happy not having a world champion on Raw (shocking I know). While I think we can all agree that having a champion on each show is the best way to go, my question is will they really have Karrion F'N Kross be the one to give Roman his first loss as the Tribal Chief/HOFT? I know he is Triple H's boy but Kross beating Reigns seems pretty far fetched.

Yeah Kross's NXT title reign was so bad that it pretty much drove me away from reviewing the black and gold version of the show at the end, and I don't think he's magically gotten better since then.  He's got a cool entrance and hot valet and he's good in a midcard “destroying geeks” level, but I don't see a main event player.  

The G1 Climax 32 Night 13 Thread

Night 13 of the G1 Climax 32 from the Osaka Prefectural Gym for the second consecutive night. The full card can be found hereFive block matches tonight:

  • C Block: Aaron Henare (1-3-0, 2pts) v EVIL (1-2-0, 2pts)
  • A Block: “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (1-2-0, 2pts) v Bad Luck Fale (2-2-0, 4pts)
  • D Block: Juice Robinson (1-3-0, 2pts) v El Phantasmo  (1-2-0, 2pts)
  • B Block: Tomohiro Ishii (1-3-0, 2pts) v Chase Owens (1-3-0, 2pts)
  • A Block: Kazuchika Okada (3-0-0, 6pts) v JONAH (2-1-0, 4pts)

Complete updated standing can be found here.

The show starts at 14:00 local (Japan) time, 6:00am BST, 1:00am EST and 10:00pm PST (7-August).

The show is as always available on New Japan World. Talk about it all here!



Battle Of The Belts III

Battle Of The Belts III
Date: August 6, 2022
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Taz, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone

It’s time for another of these specials and I’m not sure what to expect from something like this. AEW does not seem to be the most interested in running these shows but that very well might have a lot to do with the shows being network mandates. At least we should get some good action so let’s get to it.

Read more

WCW Saturday Night – Jan. 01, 1994

A while back I had a look at the WCW Saturday Night show from 1991, with the return of Dusty Rhodes and the imminent departure of Ric Flair during a particularly dry reign. It was hard to continue due to availability of shows, but the Network has luckily uploaded some episodes from three years later, at the beginning of 1994, so I’m going to have a look at them. They’re missing three episodes in January, which I might or might not locate elsewhere, but for now here’s a slight return to WCW Saturday Night.

Read more

Nick Khan


So NXT guys like Kai & Kross get cut by Vince and rehired by HHH. Now I understand Vince was in charge during the cuts, but I thought the decision was made by Nick Khan. So, what gives? Did NK not have as much power to make roster moves as we
originally thought? Did they finally find some money to stop justifying the 'staying in budget' BS despite record profits? Is this maybe a sign that HHH is saying to him “you don't know what the hell you're doing” by rehiring talent? And does NK now have more
or less power now to butcher the staff like he's been doing the last couple of years?


Thanks as always for your great reviews.

Nick Khan never made the cuts, it was always Vince 100%.  Khan publicly said that he was happy to be hatchet man for Vince but ultimately he did whatever the boss wanted.  Same game Vince has been playing since JR was VP of talent.  I’d keep you if I could, pal, but that damn Jim Ross just doesn’t see it in you!  

“Why do wrestling fans care so much about Meltzer’s opinions and ratings?”

I mean…when Tony Khan raises a banner at Daily's Place to celebrate that he won Best Booker from Meltzer's magazine…and made sure that you saw it on Dynamite…

And one of the top AEW tag teams has a name literally called the Meltzer Driver…

That's what I always thought it was. For better or worse, the style of pro wrestling has been heavily influenced by his tastes because a lot of wrestlers care about his ratings.


Clearly that's the case, even down to FTR wearing “Seven Star FTR” gear.