NEW JAPAN TAPES 1998

NJ TV Special 1/4/98 & AJ TV 1/4/98
-2hr. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 1/4/98 FINAL POWER HALL IN Tokyo Dome taped 1/4

IWGP Jr. Title: Shinjiro Otani vs. Ultimo Dragon. ****1/4

Riki Road Final Message 5: A) Choshu vs. Kazuyuki Fujita

B) Choshu vs. Yutaka Yoshie

C) Choshu vs. Takaiwa

D) Choshu vs. Iizuka

E) Choshu vs. Liger

Frye vs. Ogawa. **

Hashimoto vs. Dennis Lane. DUD

Koshinaka vs. Chono. **1/2

IWGP World Heavyweight Title: Sasaki vs. Muto. *3/4

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 1/4/98 taped 1/2 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Kobashi & Kanemaru vs. Kawada & Inoue. Crowd was into Kanemaru trying to pin Inoue. Kanemaru did pretty well for himself, but it was clear he was just a spot wrestling at this point. Kawada & Kobashi were stiff, but didn't work all that hard. **3/4

Heavyweight Battle Royal. Hideously awful. Most of the guys just stood around and did nothing. -*

NJ FINAL POWER HALL in Tokyo Dome Commercial Tape Part 1 1/4/98 Tokyo Dome
-1hr 35min. Q=Master

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Shinjiro Otani vs. Ultimo Dragon 17:06. ****1/4

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura 12:39. Solid but unspectacular. A lot of little flaws. Kojima is the only one of the four that can get the crowd to pop. Kojima was also, not surprisingly, the best worker in the match. **

Shiro Koshinaka vs. Masa Chono 15:05. Shiro didn't have his normal stamina because he was returning from injury and Chono didn't seem to want to do anything. Turned into a good match in the second half. **1/2

Riki Road Final Message 5: A) Riki Choshu vs. Kazuyuki Fujita 3:57. Terrible.

B) Choshu vs. Yutaka Yoshie 1:42. Just like the Fujita match, a quick win for Choshu. Terrible.

C) Choshu vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa 1:21. Takaiwa doesn't get to do any of his regular spots. A dud.

D) Choshu vs. Takashi Iizuka 2:02. Cool finish with Iizuka turning Choshu's sasorigatame (scorpion) into an Achilles tendon hold. Other than that, the match sucked like the previous 3.

E) Choshu vs. Jushin Thunder Liger 5:09. Liger worked really hard, but Choshu couldn't come close to matching him . Choshu did a pescado, though it was far from a good one. Average match due entirely to Liger. Overall, the match failed to be good and didn't try to elevate the youngsters. Choshu just didn't have anything left.

Choshu's retirement ceremony follows.

NJ FINAL POWER HALL in Tokyo Dome Commercial Tape Part 2 1/4/98 Tokyo Dome
-1 1/2hr. Q=Master

Super Junior Spirit: Koji Kanemoto vs. Kendo Ka Shin 12:01. Very good UWF style match. Koji's ability in shoot style really showed here. Stiff match with cool submission holds, and smooth transitions into them. No psychology and neither had a focused attack, but it's a Koji match so that should be no surprise. ***1/2

WCW vs. NWO Special Japan War: Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 11:33. Good stiff match with very little heat. ***

Ishu Kakutogisen: Don Frye vs. Naoya Ogawa 8:47. Good heat. Frye's heel tactics are so basic, yet so effective. **

Ishu Kakutogisen: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Dennis "Hurricane" Lane R1 1:34. Lane breaks his leg practically as soon as it starts. DUD

IWGP World Heavyweight Title Match: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Keiji Muto 25:18. This match had a ridiculous amount of dead time. It was way too long for these bums to work, so they filled the time with rest holds or just standing around. Didn't have heat. Selling was long, but wasn't advancing the match, but really nothing they did was. Match eventually got good, but it was too little too late. *3/4

Jd' #21 1/13/98
& NJ TV 1/17/98
-1hr 40min. Q=1st Gen (NJ doesn't look too good though due to reception problem)

Jd' #21 1/13/98 STIR THE BLOOD '97 taped 10/22 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Alda Moreno vs. Yuki Lee. Highlights.

Ryuna & Fang Suzuki vs. Yuko Kosugi & Kazuko Fujiwara. Highlights.

Jd' Junior Title: The Bloody vs. Megumi Yabushita. Submission oriented. Bloody looked good, but the match was too short and didn't amount to anything. *1/2

TWF Tag League Bout: Cooga & Leoga vs. Esther Moreno & Sachie Abe. Last 5 minutes aired. Esther and Abe did a lot of flying. A few missed spots, but a surprisingly decent match.

TWF Tag League Bout: Kyoko Inoue & Sumie Sakai vs. Chikako Shiratori & Michiko Omukai. Reviewed in Quebrada #39. **1/2

TWF World Title: Lioness Asuka vs. Jaguar Yokota. Jaguar wins title. Reviewed in Quebrada #39. ****

NJTV 1/17/98

Choshu, Choshu and yet more Choshu

AJ TV 1/18/98
& NJ TV 1/24/98
-1hr 25min. Q=1st Gen (NJ is only pretty good VQ though)

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 1/18 '98 New Year's Giant Series taped 1/10 Hakata Star Lanes

Asunaro Cup League Bout: Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. Taue & Shiga. Less than one third aired, but it looked good.

Kobashi & Ace & Mossman vs. Williams & Albright & Hawkfield. Boring match with no one stepping up or looking good. Had some stiffness, but nothing beyond that. Mossman and Wolf tried, but Mossman is a lot better than Wolf so he was the best of the 6 just because he put forth some effort. *1/4

NJTV 1/24 POWER HALL FOREVER...

Choshu's career highlights.

NJ Tokon V Special Premium Issue NWO Chono
-1hr. Q=Master

12/20/97 Germany: Masahiro Chono vs. Eki Eckstein

1/27/98 Fukushima Shi Taiikukan: Masahiro Chono & Keiji Muto & nWo Sting & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara & Akira Nogami

1/28/98 Miyagi: Masahiro Chono & Keiji Muto & nWo Sting & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima & Osamu Nishimura

NJPW Classics FIGHTING SPIRIT '98 taped 2/7/98 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center
-2hr 30min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Akitoshi Saito vs. Yutaka Yoshie 10:35

El Samurai & Kendo Kashin vs. Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa 13:29

Heisei Ishingun (Kengo Kimura & Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto) vs. Kazuyuki Fujita & Kenny Kaos & Rob Rage 12:51

Osamu Kido & Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Heisei Ishingun (Akira Nogami & Shiro Koshinaka) 9:45

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Shinjiro Otani vs. Jushin Thunder Liger 23:08

2/3 Falls: nWo Japan (Big Titan & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & nWo Sting & Scott Norton) vs. Junji Hirata & Kazuo Yamazaki & Shinya Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda 15:38

IWGP Tag Title Match: nWo Japan (Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono) vs. Bull Powers (Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima) 21:25

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Osamu Nishimura 25:20

NJPW Classics FIGHTING SPIRIT '98 taped 2/8/98 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center
-2hr 25min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Norio Honaga vs. Shinya Makabe 9:01

Kenny Kaos & Rob Rage vs. Black Cat & Yutaka Yoshie 10:45

Heisei Ishingun (Akira Nogami & Akitoshi Saito & Kengo Kimura) vs. El Samurai & Junji Hirata & Osamu Kido 10:52

Heisei Ishingun (Michiyoshi Ohara & Tatsutoshi Goto) vs. Kazuo Yamazaki & Kazuyuki Fujita 13:16

Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Hayato Nanjyo 14:35

Kendo Kashin vs. Shinjiro Otani 11:05

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto 22:30

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Shiro Koshinaka 11:45

2/3 Falls: nWo Japan (Big Titan & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono & nWo Sting & Scott Norton) vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Manabu Nakanishi & Osamu Nishimura & Satoshi Kojima & Shinya Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda 26:21

NJ World Pro Wrestling 2/14/98 & 2/21/98 & Liger & Wagner Jr. vs. Otani & Kanemoto from 3/14/98 show
-1hr 35min. Q=Ex

World Pro Wrestling 2/14 FIGHTING SPIRIT '98 taped 2/7 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

IWGP Junior Title: Shinjiro Otani vs. Jushin Thunder Liger. This appeared to be the annual February classic, but NJ only showed a little more than 1/3 of the match so it's hard to put a rating to it. The roles were reversed for the first time, as this was Otani's first attempt at defending against Liger. Awesome heat. Incredible work with bombs back and forth. Excellent selling. Liger takes title. ****1/2 range

Shinya Hashimoto & Kazuo Yamazaki & Junji Hirata & Tadao Yasuda vs. Scott Norton & NWO Sting & Big Titan & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Too many stiffs here. Appeared to be an awful match.

IWGP World Heavyweight Title: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Osamu Nishimura. No heat. No aura of a title match. Nothing happened early. Nishimura did all his big spots, but no one bought them as finishers. With a hot crowd this would have seemed like a pretty good match, but since one bought Nishimura having any chance of winning, the match totally failed even though the work was average. *1/2

World Pro Wrestling 2/21 FIGHTING SPIRIT'98 taped 2/7 & 2/8 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

2/7

IWGP Tag Titles: Keiji Muto & Masa Chono vs. Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi. Fans really bought that Kojima could pin Chono, so there was major heat. Finish was quite good, but the 1st 15 or so minutes (most of which didn't air) didn't appear to be anything special. **3/4 range

2/8

Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Hayato Nanjyo. Takaiwa broke Hayato's nose when he messed up a lariat, so Hayato bled from the nose. These two just didn't work well together, and the match was made worse by the fact that neither can carry. Sloppy as hell, although partly because they weren't familiar with one another. Takaiwa's repeated powerbomb to Death Valley bomb spot was all screwed up, which resulted in Takaiwa hurting his knee. I can't believe they aired this debacle. *

Kendo Ka Shin vs. Shinjiro Otani. A pretty good match, but it was really short and definitely nothing special. Ka Shin got his win back from December, but obviously it wasn't for the title this time. **1/2

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto. This was a non-title match. This was definitely **** or better, as you'd expect, but only 6:46 of 22:30 aired because they "had to" air that Takaiwa vs. Hayato embarrassment. Pacing & selling were so right on and we didn't see Koji's typical quick comebacks because Liger was carrying this, as always. Koji's mannerisms were excellent. He would reassure the crowd that he was going to win even after Liger would kick out of one of his big spots. The one problem was that, even though they did a lot of near falls, it never seemed like Koji had the match won. Kanemoto looked really good so Liger said he earned a title shot even though he lost the match.

From World Pro Wrestling 3/14

Otani & Kanemoto vs. Liger & Dr. Wagner Jr. Great match. Excellent work and one great spot after another. Otani's mannerisms were great. He should just be the cocky and arrogant rudo all the time. Strong showing by Wagner, especially in the charisma department. Looked like it could have been ****1/2, but only 1/3 aired so who knows. ****

AJ TV 2/22/98 & NJ TV 2/28/98
-1hr 20min. Q=TV Master (NJ has fuzzy picture)

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 2/22 '98 Excite Series taped 2/14 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Jado & Gedo vs. Ogawa & Kanemaru. Kanemaru was the only excitement in the match, and he didn't hit all his spots. Jado & Gedo didn't try anything or do anything to get over in their first AJ match. *1/4

Kawada & Honda vs. Hansen & Duncum Jr. Only highlight was that it ended quickly. Fans popped pig for old man Stan pinning Kawada. Kawada had a great shocked look on his face after he was pinned. 1/2*

Omori & Taue vs. Williams & Albright. Nothing special. Williams vs. Taue wasn't bad, but wasn't good either. Williams pinned Taue, so we had two surprise finishes in a row. *3/4

NJ TV 2/28/98 taped 2/8 Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center & 2/15 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

2/3 Falls: Muto & Chono & Norton & Titan & NWO Sting & Tenzan vs. Sasaki & Hashimoto & Kojima & Nishimura & Nakanishi & Yasuda. Believe it or not, Titan tried to Frankensteiner Yasuda. Do I need to tell you how badly this was blown? Hashimoto was good, but most of the other clowns sucked it up. Too chaotic with so many guys involved and, of course, brawling at once. *1/4

Liger & Samurai & Ka Shin vs. Otani & Kanemoto & Takaiwa. The typical excellent work. A ton of great spots with great execution. ***3/4

Naoya Ogawa vs. Don Frye. Frye did all of his heel tactics, and they worked as this had a lot of heat. Match was still mediocre because Ogawa is horrible and never improves, and Frye isn't much either. Not exactly making people forget Kiyoshi Tamura. *3/4

NJ TV 3/7/98 & AJTV 3/8/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 3/7 FIGHTING SPIRIT '98taped 2/15 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

*All matches from NWO JAPAN SINGLE COMBAT 7 series*

Highlights of Nakanishi vs. Tenzan, Nishimura vs. NWO Sting, & Kojima vs. Hennig

Keiji Muto vs. Yamazaki. Muto attacked Kazuo's knee including refusing to break his figure 4 when Yamazaki made it to the ropes. Yamazaki's selling was very realistic. Yamazaki attacked Muto's bad knee and they had a doctor at ringside to tease they would stop the match. Strong performances by both with Muto adapting to Yamazaki's realistic style well. ***1/4

Hashimoto vs. Big Titan. Hashimoto worked really stiff, but Titan was just bad in every way. Hashimoto tried, but what can you do with a poor clueless worker? *1/4

Koshinaka vs. Chono. Good match. Both men worked hard, but neither was in top form. Chono did a tope. Koshinaka scores a surprise win with a low impact (because Chono had a bad back) powerbomb to make clinch the series for NJ. ***

Norton vs. Sasaki. Norton was awful here, sucky bumps, hideous selling, etc. Sasaki tried to carry him, but he can't because he's Sasaki. This was stiff, but had nothing else going for it. *1/4

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 3/8 '98 Excite Series taped 2/28 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Jado & Gedo vs. Shiga & Ogawa. Solid match, but not that exciting. It was going along ok, but then it just abruptly ended. *3/4

World Tag Titles: Kawada & Taue vs. Williams & Albright. Pretty lame for a tag title match. Kawada tried, but it was nothing more than an average sprint with 3 oversized goofs and one great wrestler. **

NJ Strong Style on FIGHTING TV SAMURAI! 3/14/98 & 3/21/98
-1hr 45min. Q=VG

3/14/98 Fighting Spirit '98 taped 2/7 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Akitoshi Saito vs. Yutaka Yoshie

Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. El Samurai & Kendo Ka Shin

Kengo Kimura & Tatsu Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. High Voltage & Kazuyuki Fujita

3/21/98 Fighting Spirit '98 taped 2/7 (first match) & 2/8 (rest) Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Akira Nogami

Noriyo Honaga vs. Shinya Makabe

High Voltage vs. Black Cat & Yutaka Yoshie

Junji Hirata & Osamu Kido & El Samurai vs. Kengo Kimura & Akira Nogami & Hiro Saito

NJ TV 3/14/98 & AJ TV 3/15/98
-1hr 20min. Q=TV Master

NJ World Pro Wrestling 3/14/98 HYPER BATTLE '98 taped 3/6 Niigata Shi Taiikukan

El Samurai vs. Ka Shin. This was good for a few minutes, but fell apart when they blew the finish. **

Otani & Kanemoto vs. Liger & Dr. Wagner Jr. Great match. Excellent work and one great spot after another. Otani's mannerisms were great. Strong showing by Wagner, especially in the charisma department. Looked like it could have been ****1/2, but only 1/3 aired so who knows. ****

Nakanishi & Kojima & Nishimura vs. Koshinaka & Goto & Ohara. Very good match when Shiro was in, especially when he was opposing Kojima. Nishimura also had a strong showing here. Exciting sprint with a hot crowd. Way better than it sounds on paper. ***3/4

Sasaki & Yamazaki & Hirata vs. NWO Sting & Muto & Tenzan. **

Fujinami & Hashimoto vs. Chono & Wallstreet. Good when Hashimoto was in, but boring the rest of the time. Fujinami pins Chono, which makes him look stronger going into his title match at the Dome. *1/2

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 3/15/98 '98 Excite Series taped 2/28 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Omori & Izumida vs. Hansen & Duncum Jr. Good psychology with Hansen injuring Omori's shoulder then continually working it over, but the match was just boring. Izumida finally made the hot tag and his big offense is headbutts so it was so lame. 1/2*

Kakihara & Takayama vs. Akiyama & Kobashi. Match was good when Kakihara was in. Kobashi was nothing special since he was working with shooters, but Akiyama looked good. Closing minutes were really heated. Kakihara does the job, which is mystifying, at best. **

NJ TV 3/28/98 & AJ TV 3/29/98-1hr 15min. Q=TV Master

NJ World Pro Wrestling 3/28/98 THE FINAL INOKI TOURNAMENT taped 3/22 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

THE FINAL INOKI TOURNAMENT Ikkaisen: Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Igor Meindert. 1/2*

THE FINAL INOKI TOURNAMENT Ikkaisen: Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Brian Johnston. 1/4*

THE FINAL INOKI TOURNAMENT Ikkaisen: Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Don Frye. Yamazaki did a good job of carrying Frye, and Frye's simple heel tactics always work because fans "expect" sportsmanship in this style of match. The match was too short to really amount to much though. *3/4

THE FINAL INOKI TOURNAMENT Ikkaisen: Naoya Ogawa vs. Dave Beneteau. 1/2*

Sparring: Antonio Inoki vs. Nobuaki Tsunoda

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 3/29/98 '98 Champion Carnival taped 3/21 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

'98 Champion Carnival Koshikisen: Akira Taue vs. Giant Kimala. 1/4*

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama & Satoru Asako vs. Steve Williams & Wolf Hawkfield & Johnny Smith. The last 6 minutes aired. Wolf was not good at all, but Akiyama, Smith, and Misawa were and that was enough to make it enjoyable.

'98 Champion Carnival Koshikisen: Stan Hansen vs. Gary Albright. -1/2*

NJ World Pro Wrestling 4/4 & 4/11/98 & AJ Pro Wrestling 30 4/5/98
-2hr. Q=Ex

NJ 4/4/98 Antonio Inoki Retirement Show taped 4/4 Tokyo Dome

Clips of first round of Inoki Final Tournament

Antonio Inoki sparring with Nobuaki Kikuta of K-1

Inoki Final Tournament semifinal: Naoya Ogawa vs. Brian Johnston. Really short. Johnson has a lot of potential in worked shoots, but Ogawa never improves. 1/2*

Inoki Final Tournament semifinal: Don Frye vs. Igor Meindert. Bad match. Only thing of note was Frye's pull apart with Meindert's second Gerard Gordeau. 1/4*

Inoki Final Tournament final: Naoya Ogawa vs. Don Frye. Frye once again got heat, but that was the only plus. Frye's punches were way too pulled. Sayama threw in the towel, but Frye kept punching Ogawa anyway. 1/2*

NJ 4/11/98 taped 3/21 Amagasaki & 3/22 Nagoya

3/21

Hashimoto & Nishimura vs. NWO Sting & Michael Wallstreet. Hashimoto was good, as always, but no one else did anything special. *1/2

Fujinami & Kojima vs. Chono & Tenzan. Seemed like a good match due to Tenzan working with Kojima for almost the entire portion that aired.

3/22

Liger & Samurai & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Kanemoto & Takaiwa & La Fiera. Only 2:40 aired, but it was everything you'd expect from these guys.

Ka Shin vs. Otani. Again less than 3 minutes air, but it was very good while it lasted.

Hashimoto & Kojima vs. Muta & Wallstreet. Everyone came to wrestle. Hashimoto vs. Muta was real good. Muta eggs on and attacks Nishimura, and eventually Nishimura winds up interfering. This was to build heat for the tag title match at the Tokyo Dome. ***

Fujinami & Sasaki vs. Chono & Titan. Fujinami & Chono did nothing wrong, but they are boring and the other two were bad. In another angle to build heat for the Dome, Sasaki walked out after the match and let NWO/Aristrist beat on Fujinami, but Fujinami made a comeback and ran them off. *1/2

AJ 4/5/98 '98 Champion Carnival Taped 3/29 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

Akiyama & Inoue vs. Takayama & Kakihara. *1/2

Champion Carnival League Bout: Misawa vs. Kawada. ****1/4

NJ Antonio Inoki Retirement Special 4/6/98 taped 4/4 Tokyo Dome
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Reenactments of the important events in Inoki's life. Highlights of 21 of Inoki's most famous matches.

The Final Inoki Tournament Final: Ogawa vs. Frye

Antonio Inoki Retirement Match: Don Frye vs. Inoki

NJ TV 4/18/98 & AJ TV 4/19/98
-1hr 15min. Q=TV Master

NJ 4/18/98 Antonio Inoki Retirement Show taped 4/4 Tokyo Dome

Antonio Inoki Retirement Match: Inoki vs. Frye. DUD

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Sasaki vs. Fujinami. Fujinami wins IWGP title. More nostalgia than anything else. Fujinami tried his best and was the better of the two, but a 44-year-old man can only play Inoki's youthful understudy so well. Fujinami revived and teased some of his old spots. Technically sound, but somewhat dull. **1/4

AJ 4/19 '98 Champion Carnival taped 4/18 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Champion Carnival Final: Misawa vs. Akiyama. Misawa wins Carny. ****

NJ World Pro Wrestling 4/18 & 4/25/98 & AJ Pro Wrestling 30 4/12/98
-2hr. Q=Ex

NJ 4/18/98 Antonio Inoki Retirement Show taped 4/4 Tokyo Dome

Antonio Inoki Retirement Match: Inoki vs. Frye. DUD

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Sasaki vs. Fujinami. Fujinami wins IWGP title. More nostalgia than anything else. Fujinami tried his best and was the better of the two, but a 44-year-old man can only play Inoki's youthful understudy so well. Fujinami revived and teased some of his old spots. Technically sound, but somewhat dull. **1/4

NJ 4/25/98 Antonio Inoki Retirement Show taped 4/4 Tokyo Dome

IWGP Jr. Title: Liger vs. Ka Shin. Typical Ka Shin style match. Stiff match. Liger's selling was generally excellent, but his offense wasn't much and these two didn't seem to be on the same page at points. Overall, disappointing even considering you expect worse due to the Dome. ***

Takaiwa vs. Kanemoto. Clip

Otani vs. Yasuraoka. Clip

IWGP Tag Titles: Muta & Chono vs. Hashimoto & Nishimura. Really hot crowd. Nishimura got pounded, but kept coming back. A couple of Nishimura's finishers were actually seen as very credible. Hashimoto was good and Muto actually put some effort in for once. The match would have been very good, but Muto hit his head on the canvas accidentally doing a Frankensteiner and he had to tag Chono. Chono and Nishimura had to improvise from there and they showed what kind of workers they really are by blowing some spots. ***1/4

AJ 4/12 '98 Champion Carnival

Champion Carnival League Bout: Kobashi vs. Omori. Omori's best singles match in quite some time, though pretty much all due to Kobashi doing a good job carrying him. Stiff early portion and Omori got his spots in before jobbing. ***1/2

Champion Carnival League Bout: Williams vs. Hansen. Hansen is so slow these days that Doc looks like a speed demon in comparison. Slow paced with no heat until the end. Stiffness is all these two can supply. *1/2

NJ TV 4/25/98 & AJ TV 4/26/98
-1hr 20min. Q=TV Master   

NJ 4/25/98 Antonio Inoki Intai aped 4/4 Tokyo Dome

IWGP Jr. Title: Liger vs. Ka Shin. Typical Ka Shin style match. Stiff match. Liger's selling was generally excellent, but his offense wasn't much and these two didn't seem to be on the same page at points. Overall, disappointing even considering you expect worse due to the Dome. ***

Takaiwa vs. Kanemoto. Clip

Otani vs. Yasuraoka. Clip

IWGP Tag Titles: Muta & Chono vs. Hashimoto & Nishimura. Really hot crowd. Nishimura got pounded, but kept coming back. A couple of Nishimura's finishers were actually seen as very credible. Hashimoto was good and Muto actually put some effort in for once. The match would have been very good, but Muto hit his head on the canvas accidentally doing a Frankensteiner and he had to tag Chono. Chono and Nishimura had to improvise from there and they showed what kind of workers they really are by blowing some spots. ***1/4

AJ 4/26 '98 Champion Carnival taped 4/18 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Kawada & Taue vs. Ace & Smith. Smith was the best here. The match was build around Smith, and he showed he belonged in top matches before jobbing in the end. Kawada was nothing special, but still was considerably better than Taue and Ace. **1/2

Kobashi & Takayama & Kakihara vs. Williams & Albright & Hawkfield. Takayama gets dropped on his head at a terrible angle accidentally by a Gary suplex. He was very lucky that he wasn't seriously hurt here. Kakihara has a strong performance that really stands out here, but no one else is very good. *1/2

NJPW Samurai PPV Special 8/16/98 Antonio Inoki Retirement taped 4/4/98 Tokyo Dome
-3 1/2hr. Q=VG-Ex

The Final Inoki Tournament Semifinal: Naoya Ogawa vs. Brian Johnston 3:30

The Final Inoki Tournament Semifinal: Don Frye vs. Igor Meindert 3:57

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito 12:04

Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Kazuo Yamazaki & Junji Hirata & Tadao Yasuda 9:26

Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Koji Kanemoto 17:05. An odd, surprisingly conservative match from these two. They didn't wrestle like teammates, instead going out of their way to agitate each other with slaps and general punkish roughhousing. The early portion was carried by this ego and intensity. It started to heat up when Takaiwa avoided a moonsault and hit a couple lariats and a Death Valley bomb, but it never really caught fire, largely remaining a technical match with dickish striking. Kanemoto looks good in pretty much any style, but was a bit annoyed they weren't getting much reaction. Takaiwa wasn't having one of his finer days, blowing a couple power moves and destroying Kanemoto's reverse Frankensteiner off the top. Takaiwa had a wicked double powerbomb into the corner to set up his avalanche style Death Valley bomb for an upset win it was difficult to feel he quite deserved. **1/2

Shinjiro Otani vs. Yuji Yasuraoka 12:10

The Final Inoki Tournament Final: Don Frye vs. Naoya Ogawa 5:00

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kendo Kashin 15:28

IWGP Tag Title Match: Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Osamu Nishimura 18:27

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami 18:21

Antonio Inoki Retirement Match: Antonio Inoki vs. Don Frye 4:09

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 1
-3hr 10min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Dory Funk Jr. - NWA World Title (60-minute match, 12/2/69)

Antonio Inoki vs. Jack Brisco - UN Title (8/5/71)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Dory Funk Jr. - NWA World Title (60-minute match, 8/2/70)

Antonio Inoki vs. Dick Murdoch - UN Title (12/4/71)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 2
-3hr 45min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Karl Gotch (3/6/72)

Antonio Inoki/Sakaguchi vs. Karl Gotch/Lou Thesz (10/14/73)

Antonio Inoki vs. Johnny Powers - NWF Title (12/10/73)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Seiji Sakaguchi (4/26/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Killer Karl Krupp (5/8/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Lou Thesz - NWF Title (10/9/75)

Antonio Inoki vs. Billy Robinson - NWF Title (60-minute match, 12/11/75)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 3
-3hr 25min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Strong Kobayashi - NWF Title (3/19/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Kintaro Oki - NWF Title (10/10/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Strong Kobayashi - NWF Title (12/12/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Seiji Sakaguchi (4/21/78)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Hiro Matsuda (12/16/78)

Antonio Inoki vs. Rusher Kimura - Kimura left bloody! (11/5/81)

Antonio Inoki vs. Masa Saito - Island Death Match (10/4/87)

Antonio Inoki vs. Genichiro Tenryu (1/4/94)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 4
-4hr 15min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Wilhelm Ruska (2/6/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Wilhelm Ruska (12/9/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Monsterman (8/2/77)

Antonio Inoki vs. Chuck Wepner (10/25/77)

Antonio Inoki vs. Lumberjack Johnny Lee (4/4/78)

Antonio Inoki vs. Karl Mildenberger (11/9/78)

Antonio Inoki vs. Mister X - World Martial Arts Title (2/6/79)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Left Hook Dayton - World Martial Arts Title (4/3/79)

Antonio Inoki vs. Willie Williams - World Martial Arts Title (2/27/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Leon Spinks (10/9/86)

Antonio Inoki vs. Shota Chochoshvili (4/24/89)

Antonio Inoki vs. Shota Chochoshvili (5/25/89)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 5
-4hr 5min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (5/30/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (3/19/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (9/19/85)

Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura - IWGP Tag Final (12/12/85)

Antonio Inoki vs. Akira Maeda (5/27/83)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami (60:00 minute match, 8/8/88)

Antonio Inoki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara (2/6/86)

Antonio Inoki/Kevin Von Erich vs. Keiji Mutoh/Kengo Kimura (11/3/86)

Antonio Inoki vs. Hiroshi Hase (1/4/92)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 6
-3hr 45min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu (4/19/84)

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu (5/18/84)

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu (8/2/84)

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu - IWGP Title (2/4/88)

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu (7/22/88)

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu (2/22/89)

Antonio Inoki vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu (11/3/83)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Strong Machine (9/7/84)

Antonio Inoki & Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido - Tag Final (12/11/86)

Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi & Keiji Muto & Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kantaro Hoshino vs. Riki Choshu & Tatsumi Fujinami & Akira Maeda & Kengo Kimura & Super Strong Machine - Elimination Match (8/19/87)

Antonio Inoki & Riki Choshu & Kantaro Hoshino vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Masahiro Chono & Shinya Hashimoto - Tag Final (12/7/88)

Antonio Inoki vs. Shiro Koshinaka (4/13/89)

Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi vs. Masahiro Chono & Shinya Hashimoto (2/10/90)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 7
-4hr 10min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (6/20/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (6/26/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (3/13/75)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (6/26/75)

Antonio Inoki vs. Stan Hansen (2/8/80)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Stan Hansen (4/3/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Stan Hansen (9/25/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Stan Hansen (4/23/81)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bruiser Brody (4/18/85)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bruiser Brody (8/1/85)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bruiser Brody (8/3/85)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 8
-4hr. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Andre the Giant (10/7/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Andre the Giant (6/1/77)

Antonio Inoki vs. Andre the Giant (6/17/86)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bob Backlund - 60:00 (7/27/78)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Bob Backlund (11/30/79)

Antonio Inoki vs. Hulk Hogan (6/2/83)

Antonio Inoki vs. Hulk Hogan (6/14/84)

Antonio Inoki vs. Hulk Hogan (6/13/85)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 9
-3hr 50min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Pak Song (10/10/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Akuram Pedwam (12/12/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger Jeet Singh (2/10/77)

Antonio Inoki vs. Great Antonio (12/8/77)

Antonio Inoki vs. Roland Bock (11/26/78)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki & Bob Backlund vs. Stan Hansen & Hulk Hogan (12/10/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Rusher Kimura & Isamu Teranishi & Animal Hamaguchi (11/4/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Masa Saito (3/26/87)

Antonio Inoki vs. Riki Choshu & Big Van Vader (12/12/87)

Antonio Inoki vs. Ric Flair (5/1/95)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 10
-4hr. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Ernie Ladd - NWF Title (3/20/74)

Antonio Inoki vs. Brute Bernard (2/4/75)

Antonio Inoki vs. Frank Monte (12/15/75)

Antonio Inoki vs. Inferno #2 (2/5/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Victor Rivera (5/11/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Majeet Akra (8/4/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Ricky Hunter (8/14/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Superstar Billy Graham (9/10/76)

Antonio Inoki vs. Pat Patterson - NWF Title (12/1/77)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. Jerry Brown (2/2/78)

Antonio Inoki vs. Chris Markoff - NWF Title (11/1/78)

Antonio Inoki vs. Texas Red - Martial Arts Title (12/18/78)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bob Roop - NWF Title (1/12/79)

Antonio Inoki vs. Jack Brisco - NWF Title (5/10/79)

Antonio Inoki vs. Leroy Brown (7/6/79)

Antonio Inoki vs. Dusty Rhodes - NWF Title (11/1/79)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 11
-4hr. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Pedro Morales - NWF Title (12/4/79)

Antonio Inoki vs. Ken Patera - NWF Title (9/30/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bobby Duncum - NWF Title (12/9/80)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bad News Allen (8/2/81)

Antonio Inoki vs. Masked Superstar (8/6/81)

Antonio Inoki vs. Roland Bock (1/1/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Abdullah the Butcher (1/28/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Jesse Ventura (4/21/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Scott McGhee (6/18/82)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki vs. El Canek (7/6/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Sgt. Slaughter (9/19/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. Adrian Adonis (12/9/82)

Antonio Inoki vs. King Kong Bundy (2/6/85)

Antonio Inoki vs. Dick Murdoch - IWG Final (6/19/86)

Antonio Inoki vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - IWGP Title (8/2/87)

Antonio Inoki vs. Steve Williams - IWGP Title (10/25/87)

Antonio Inoki vs. Van Vader (7/29/88)

NJPW The History of Antonio Inoki Box Set Vol. 12
-3hr 10min. Q=Perfect. 2 DVDs

Part 1

Antonio Inoki vs. Great Muta (5/1/94)

Antonio Inoki vs. Wilhelm Ruska (9/23/94)

Antonio Inoki vs. Gerard Gourdeau (1/4/95)

Antonio Inoki vs. Sting - Tournament Final (1/4/95)

Antonio Inoki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara (3/19/95)

Part 2

Antonio Inoki & Koji Kitao vs. Riki Choshu & Genichiro Tenryu (5/3/95)

Antonio Inoki vs. Big Van Vader (1/4/96)

Antonio Inoki vs. Willie Williams (1/4/97)

Antonio Inoki vs. Tiger King (Satoru Sayama) (4/12/97)

Antonio Inoki & Tiger King vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuyuki Fujita (7/6/97)

Antonio Inoki vs. Nobuaki Tsunoda - sparring (3/22/98)

Antonio Inoki vs. Don Frye - Inoki Retirement Match (4/4/98)

NJ Tokon V Special Vol. 45 NWO vs. Muga Shuryo tai Genten Taiketsu (Mainstream vs. Roots Showdown) Commercial Tape
-1hr. Q=Master

3/8/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Keiji Muto & Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Big Titan vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Shinya Hashimoto & Kazuo Yamazaki & Osamu Nishimura

3/9/98 Kyoto Furitsu Taiikukan: Keiji Muto & Masa Chono vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura

3/13/98 Mito Shi Min Taiikukan: NWO Sting vs. Osamu Nishimura

4/16/98 Kumamoto Shi Min Taiikukan: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Osamu Nishimura

4/17/98 Nagasaki-ken Itsu Taiikukan: Masa Chono & Big Titan vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura

4/19/98 Beppu Peekon Plaza: Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Osamu Nishimura

NJ World Pro Wrestling 5/2 & 5/9/98
-2hr. Q=Ex

NJ 5/2 taped 4/14 Kagoshima

Liger & Ka Shin vs. Otani & Takaiwa. Ka Shin was lagging behind, but the other three looked great. Otani vs. Liger was the highlight of the match. More blown or partially screwed up spots than normal. ****

Hiro & Tenzan vs. Sasaki & Nakanishi. Sprint. Sasaki was the hot worker, so obviously it wasn't that great. Hiro scored the big upset, pinning Sasaki with his diving senton. **1/4

Hashimoto & Yasuda vs. Chono & Titan. Titan was horrible and only Hashimoto was good. Heated, but otherwise it was crap. *

Tenryu & Koshinaka vs. Fujinami & Kojima. Kojima takes a tremendous beating here as they purposely break his nose. Fans get behind him as he's getting pulverized. Kojima eventually makes a hot comeback, though not getting as much offense as I expected, but winds up getting pinned in the end. Still, the great show of fighting spirit helps him get over. Brutal match. ****

NJ 5/9 BATTLE RISE taped 4/21 Ube

Liger & Samurai & Ka Shin vs. Kanemoto & Otani & Takaiwa. Exciting match with great work and near perfect execution, but certainly not a match of the year. Basically just a spotfest with no real selling or psychology. ****1/4

clips of Honaga's retirement matches

Hashimoto & Kojima vs. Kimura & Goto. Kimura & Goto just suck. *3/4

Fujinami & Nishimura vs. Sasaki & Hirata. Sprint. Stiff match. **3/4

Chono & Tenzan & Saito vs. Koshinaka & Tenryu & Ohara. Fast-paced with great heat. Very stiff match. Strong showing by Tenryu. ***1/4

NJ World Pro Wrestling 5/2 & 5/9/98 & AJ Pro Wrestling 30 4/19/98
-2hr. Q=Ex

NJ 5/2 taped 4/14 Kagoshima

Liger & Ka Shin vs. Otani & Takaiwa. Ka Shin was lagging behind, but the other three looked great. Otani vs. Liger was the highlight of the match. More blown or partially screwed up spots than normal. ****

Hiro & Tenzan vs. Sasaki & Nakanishi. Sprint. Sasaki was the hot worker, so obviously it wasn't that great. Hiro scored the big upset, pinning Sasaki with his diving senton. **1/4

Hashimoto & Yasuda vs. Chono & Titan. Titan was horrible and only Hashimoto was good. Heated, but otherwise it was crap. *

Tenryu & Koshinaka vs. Fujinami & Kojima. Kojima takes a tremendous beating here as they purposely break his nose. Fans get behind him as he's getting pulverized. Kojima eventually makes a hot comeback, though not getting as much offense as I expected, but winds up getting pinned in the end. Still, the great show of fighting spirit helps him get over. Brutal match. ****

NJ 5/9 BATTLE RISE taped 4/21 Ube

Liger & Samurai & Ka Shin vs. Kanemoto & Otani & Takaiwa. Exciting match with great work and near perfect execution, but certainly not a match of the year. Basically just a spotfest with no real selling or psychology. ****1/4

clips of Honaga's retirement matches

Hashimoto & Kojima vs. Kimura & Goto. Kimura & Goto just suck. *3/4

Fujinami & Nishimura vs. Sasaki & Hirata. Sprint. Stiff match. **3/4

Chono & Tenzan & Saito vs. Koshinaka & Tenryu & Ohara. Fast-paced with great heat. Very stiff match. Strong showing by Tenryu. ***1/4

AJ 4/19 '98 Champion Carnival taped 4/18 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Champion Carnival Final: Misawa vs. Akiyama. Misawa wins Carny. ****

NJ World Pro Wrestling 5/16/98 & 5/30/98
-1 1/2hr. Q=Ex

5/16 BATTLE RISE taped 4/26 Hakata Starlanes

Liger & Samurai & Ka Shin vs. Kanemoto & Otani & Takaiwa. Typical exciting match from start to finish. Samurai was the featured performer here. Kanemoto was excellent. ***3/4

Tenzan vs. Nishimura. Exciting match with Nishimura getting one near fall after another. Looked to be around ***1/4, but only 4:43 or 17:43 aired so that's almost certainly on the high side.

Fujinami & Hashimoto vs. Chono & Big Titan. Bad and boring match. Hashimoto had one good sequence, but that was it for the good in this match. Hashimoto challenged Fujinami to a title match after the match. 3/4*

Sasaki & Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tenryu & Koshinaka & Ohara. Kojima was the best of the six. Tenryu was very solid and worked real stiff. ***1/4

5/30/98 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. V taped 5/23 Shizuoka

Liger & Samurai & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Takaiwa & Shiryu & Felino. Shiryu & Wagner looked good here. Felino was really the weak link, and didn't look too good. Very good match except when Felino was in. Only 1/3 aired, but it looked to be around ***

SUPER Jr. V League Bout: Shinjiro Otani vs. Masakazu Fukuda (Wrestle Yume Factory). Otani used to be the man in the junior division at carrying guys he's not familiar with, and he worked his magic once again. Otani's best performance of the year, carrying this to almost a 4 star match even though Fukuda was no better than average. ***3/4

SUPER Jr. V League Bout: Koji Kanemoto vs. Kendo Ka Shin. The stakes were high here as the winner would advance to the finals. Koji stepped up to the plate and delivered his typical brand of excitement against a wrestler who has been questionable in singles. Excellent work with all the spots being smoothly executed. Ka Shin's best singles. Koji's carrying was worlds better as the selling and comebacks in this weren't typical Koji. ****

Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito. Not bad, but quite mediocre. *3/4

NJ TV 5/23/98 & AJ TV 5/24/98
-1hr 25min. Q=TV Master

    NJ World Pro Wrestling 5/23/98 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. V taped 5/16 Matsudo

Super Junior V League Bout: Kaz Hayashi vs. Felino. They did some really fast Lucha sequences. Match had some great spots, but the pacing seemed off. Selling wasn't all that good. ***1/4

Super Junior V League Bout: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Match continued the story between the two, picking up right where they left off in their last singles match. The spots were hard to come by here. Takaiwa had nothing to bridge to his high spots though. Still, the Teases and counters of the big spots were excellent. Everything was so well planned and it seemed like each spot put them in perfect position to do the next spot, so there was no wasted motion. Liger worked stiff. ***3/4

Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Masa Chono & Big Titan & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Bad sprint with too much punching and kicking. Koshinaka looked pretty good, but Goto, Titan, & Ohara all sucked. 3/4*

Tatsumi Fujinami & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Osamu Nishimura. Sasaki & Nishimura sucked, blowing spots and everything. Fujinami was destroyed by Hashimoto to make it look like Hashimoto would easily defeat him in their 6/5 title match. Hashimoto had Fujinami in an udehishigigyakujujigatame on the floor after the match and didn't want to release it. *1/4

    AJ Pro Wrestling 30 5/24/98 taped 5/1 Tokyo Dome

Giant Baba & Hayabusa & Kentaro Shiga vs. Jinsei Shinzaki & Giant Kimala & Jun Izumida. Shinzaki looked good doing his spots to Baba and Hayabusa & Shinzaki worked well together. Kimala & Izumida dragged the match down. Baba did too, but to a much lesser extent since the fans were obviously popping when Jinsei was doing his spots to Baba. **

Jumbo Tsuruta & Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Masa Fuchi & Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Not as horrible as usual due to Kikuchi & Jumbo working some passable serious sequences. Eigen teasing a tope then chickening out was actually somewhat funny. 1/4*

NJ Tokon V Special Vol. 46 & 47 Best of the Super Junior V Commercial Tapes
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

Vol. 46

5/17/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Koji Kanemoto vs. Yuji Yasuraoka (WAR). *

5/18 Chiba Sogo Taiikukan: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Masakazu Fukuda (Wrestle Yume Factory). **3/4

5/19: Shinjiro Otani vs. El Samurai 6:02 of 14:55. Starts a bit slow and standard, but Otani is super pumped up, and that helps get the crowd into it and make it feel as though it's something more than their typical goodness. They used all their favorite holds in the second half, avoiding and countering back and forth. Samurai was good as always, but it was really Otani's effort and energy that were making the match. You felt he was going over here, and that it really meant a lot to him. In fact, he nearly tumbled over the top to the floor when he lost his balance climbing the ropes to celebrate. ***1/4 range

5/21: Samurai vs. Takaiwa. ***1/2 range

5/30: Kendo Ka Shin vs. Kaz Hayashi (Shiryu). **3/4 range

5/31: Shinjiro Otani vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa. **** range

6/1: Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. El Samurai. 2 minute clip

Vol. 47

5/17 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Shinjiro Otani vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. ***3/4

5/18 Chiba Sogo Taiikukan: Kendo Ka Shin vs. Hayato Nanjyo (Free). *3/4 range

5/26: Masakazu Fukuda vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa. *3/4

5/28: Otani vs. Liger. ****1/2 range

5/28: Kanemoto vs. Hayato. *

5/30: Liger vs. Samurai. Looked great, but only 1/4 was shown.

5/31: Kaz vs. Kanemoto. Less than 1/3 aired.

NJ TV 6/13/98
& AJ TV 6/14/98
& AJ TV 6/28/98
-1hr 50min. Q=1st Gen

World Pro Wrestling 6/13 IWGP Tag Title Tournament taped 6/3 Osaka Shi Nakajima Taiikukan

IWGP Tag Tournament 1st Round: Nakanishi & Kojima vs. Goto & Ohara. As always, Kojima's charisma was incredible and Goto & Ohara weren't good. Fans were really into this, but the match sucked other than Kojima, whose offense wasn't even that great due to lack of stiffness. *1/2

IWGP Tag Tournament 1st Round: Sasaki & Yamazaki vs. Wallstreet & Big Titan. Match had no beauty to it. It was just a slugfest that lacked stiffness, if that makes any sense. Yamazaki was the best of the four, but he couldn't come close to dragging this one out of the gutter. 1/2*

IWGP Tag Tournament Semifinal: Tenryu & Koshinaka vs. Nakanishi & Kojima. Kojima was fierier than ever before. Tenryu hit Kojima and Nakanishi with ridiculously stiff punches. Fans really pulled for Nakanishi & Kojima. Nakanishi was by far the worst as he got lost sometimes and wrestled rather robotically. Very good match, but finish could have been better. ***1/2

IWGP Tag Tournament Semifinal: Sasaki & Yamazaki vs. Chono & Tenzan. They didn't blow anything, but the match was pretty dull. Sasaki accidentally KO'd Yamazaki on the floor with a lariat then Chono put Yamazaki in the STF and Tenzan tried to make Sasaki submit. Sasaki didn't submit, but his leg was badly damaged, and his partner was "out" on the floor. *1/2

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 6/14 '98 Super Power Series

6/5 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center: Satoru Asako & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Super Delfin & Gran Naniwa (Michinoku Pro team). Kanemaru made fun of Naniwa's mannerisms. They did a lot of nice things, but the execution wasn't perfect and it just kind of fell flat. ** range

6/12 Tokyo Nippon Budokan World Junior Heavyweight Title: Mossman vs. Asako. Not as good as their 9/15/97 match, mainly because the execution was down. They tried really hard and Mossman's spots looked good, but it just didn't come together. **1/2

Mighty Inoue Retirement Ceremony

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 6/28 '98 Super Power Series taped 6/12 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Baba & Kimura & Momota vs. Fuchi & Eigen & Izumida. Lowlights.

Omori & Masao Inoue vs. Steve Williams & Wolf Hawkfield. Even worse than expected. No one else did much. 3/4*

NJ World Pro Wrestling 6/20/98 & 6/27/98
-1 1/2hr. Q=VG-Ex

6/20 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. V

6/3/98 Osaka Shi Nakajima Taiikukan: Fujinami & Nishimura vs. Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda. Highlights.

6/3 Osaka Shi Nakajima Taiikukan: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara & Akitoshi Saito vs. Masa Chono & Michael Wallstreet & Big Titan & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Clip.

6/5/98 Tokyo Nippon Budokan: Don Frye vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara. Punches looked terrible, especially considering this was a worked shoot. Heat wasn't as good as normal due to Fujiwara not being all that over these days, and the work was horrible as this was obviously fake. *

6/3 Osaka Shi Nakajima Taiikukan BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. Final: Koji Kanemoto vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. This was a great match, almost entirely due to an excellent performance by Wagner Jr. Wagner did a great job of carrying this and keeping Koji's flaws to a minimum. He also displayed a lot better moves than you would expect. Koji took the whole way like Misawa, but his selling and comebacks fall far short of the man's. In fact, a lot of the problem was that Koji didn't look all that dead even though Wagner used like every move in his arsenal. ****1/4

6/27 taped 6/5/98 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

IWGP Tag Tournament Final: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. A shocking great match where everyone brought their A game and had the fans going nuts. This had an AJ level of stiffness. Selling and comebacks were very strong. Tenryu actually did an elbow off the apron that knocked Chono over the security rail and KO'd him. This left Tenzan to go it alone, and he showed great fighting spirit in hanging on long enough for Chono to recover. Chono and Tenzan took the belts. ****1/4

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Shinya Hashimoto 14:03 of 20:38. The Fujinami/Hashimoto series started off well with Fujinami's title victory on 4/4/94, but then their more famous follow up where Hashimoto recaptured the title before 53,000 fans at the Fukuoka Dome was a mere 6:04. Luckily, this third title meeting was an updated & expanded version of the original match, and given ample time to lay out a suitable match, they delivered a high end brutal psychological war that played around with their initial ideas. Hashimoto is always the wrecking ball here, with Fujinami surviving on skill & guile. In the 1st match Hashimoto mainly used high kicks that should have knocked Fujinami out but somehow never did. Here he mercylessly destroyed Fujinami's leg, kicking him until he was down & then going back to the 1st match, when he was down. Fujinami's mobility was hampered, so he was leery to attack & just kind of hoped Hashimoto, who was in raging violent mood, would rush into a mistake if Fujinami hung back long enough (which won him the 1st match), particularly that he'd telegraph a kick that Fujinami could counter with his Dragon screw. Fujinami soon got frustrated that when he was able to catch the leg, he still wasn't able to hit the counter he wanted, and made the mistake of instead firing up & standing toe to toe with Hashimoto for an intense striking exchange, which only served to piss Hashimoto off & make him brutalize Fujinami that much more. It was quickly apparent that Fujinami was going to get incapacitated if he tried to match force with Hashimoto, who was leveling him with high kicks, but Fujinami realized this too, and did a better job of staying disciplined & patient, returning to his strength, technical skill, & staying relevant with counters into hope spots. Finally hitting an ugly Dragon screw (probably botched but they called it a "new Dragon screw") followed by a clean one, Fujinami returned the favor injuring Hash's knee with a diving kneedrop to the knee. The match was top notch up until this point, but they just lost the plot from here as Fujinami still wasn't able to turn the tide despite a figure 4, and Hashimoto quickly came back looking full strength except even angrier, sticking it to Fujinami by taking the leg out once again with his suimengiri. I liked that this match had a much more shoot style bend than their previous ones, adapting well to the changes in the overall landscape since their '94 meetings. However, the problem with this mixing a shoot style approach with pro wrestling booking is you wind up with a match that the much younger, bigger, stronger, & tougher Hashimoto should dominate to the one-sided finish, but then you aren't letting him win, so you have to concoct something to explain a result that, dramatic as it might be (and as with the previous Fujinami win this really was more false thus anticlimactic), goes against all logic & reason. They effectively teased the logical possibilities for Fujinami winning, a flash finish like his 1st win or actually doing something with the knee injury this time, but they just abandoned the workable reasons & instead had Hashimoto unable to escape a chinlock & standing around taking repeated enzuigiris because it "was time" for Fujinami to make his run to the finish. Technically, the idea was Fujinami countered Hashimoto's vertical drop brainbuster into a sleeper & soon after jumped on Hashimoto's back for another. A similar spot worked in their 4/4/94 match because Fujinami pounced as Hashimoto was struggling to get up after injuring his knee missing a wheel kick in the corner & very quickly transitioned to the Dragon sleeper, but today Fujinami failed to actually do the sleeper in even the fake pro wrestling application both times, and there was just no reason for Hashimoto, who had once again been an indomitable monster up until this point, to just be trapped in a cheesy no body control or neck squeeze chinlock long enough for Fujinami to eventually turn it into his Dragon sleeper & later a rear naked choke for the win. At least Fujinami won with a legitimate finisher, but the whole finishing segment from Hashimoto's knee being okay after all was, in a match that was largely good because of its credibility, just not very believable. Fujinami being able to outgrapple an injured Hashimoto because he couldn't get up leading to the rear naked choke would have been a far more reasonable way to deliver the same finish. Overall, this was the best match of their series because there was more too it all around, but simple & effective is what's worked for them throughout, no need to get too cute with the finish. ***3/4

NJ World Pro Wrestling Complete taped 6/5/98 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr 45min. Q=Ex. 2 DVDs

Tadao Yasuda vs. Yutaka Yoshie 9:01

Satoshi Kojima vs. Kazuyuki Fujita 8:10

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Osamu Nishimura 13:17

Super Junior Special Elimination Match: Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Samurai & Hayato Nanjyo & Jushin Thunder Liger & Kendo Kashin vs. Kaz Hayashi & Koji Kanemoto & Masakazu Fukuda & Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa 27:40. A wonderful celebration & summation of the 1998 Super Jr League won by Kanemoto on 6/3, putting 10 of the 12 competitors (no Felino or Yasuraoka) into a giant elimination match ceremonously started by the two finalists. Essentially it was the same high level junior tag we've seen all year as the style & pairings were identical with a few extra guys filling out the sides, but having a lot more time & everyone involved in the same match (rather than having a singles match & using the other four or six guys in a junior tag) allowed them to eliminate the early matwork & instead work a super fast pace early on because they could keep rotating in & constantly double, triple, quadruple, or quintuple team. Hayato & Fukuda were predictably the first men eliminated, but the other non-regular, Shiryu, who has all the experience in the legendary big Michinoku Pro tags, made his mark. I enjoyed the more purely lucha sequence he worked with Liger capped by a cool no touch dive where he rotated 180 degrees (rather than the usual flip). The match tended to follow the pattern of wrestler who scored a pin very quickly being the next one pinned, but after the initial eliminations, the match didn't exactly go as predicted in terms of order of elimination, with Otani being the 3rd one out & Liger the 5th (Kanemoto eliminating him to further set up his 7/15/98 challenge). There was focus on Kanemoto vs. Wagner as Wagner wanted to avenge his loss from 2 days ago. Wagner did a really good job again here, but given the quality of their final, I was shocked they didn't try to capitalize on the momentum & save this for last as a way of turning it into some kind of program going forward rather than having Wagner make Kanemoto the 6th man out & move on to well, nothing in particular. The problem with this match is it wasn't doing a whole lot to tell stories or generate drama. At some point the surprise eliminations were no longer surprising because you knew they were coming, nor were they cute because they were taking the best talent out, and in a match that was essentially just workrate, it was a major downer that Kashin/Takaiwa were the final 2 given they're the really distant 7th & 8th best performers involved by default of young Fukuda & not well trained Hayato filling out the lineup. To make things more anticlimactic, the eliminations were coming so quickly at this point it didn't much matter that it was Kashin/Takaiwa down the stretch as the final fall was 1:06 and the entire time between Wagner pinning Kanemoto for the 6th elimination & Kashin tapping Takaiwa for the match ending 9th elimination was a mere 3:04. Normally these big tags get better & better as the match progresses, but I felt this was the oppositite, starting off great but losing steam because they couldn't figure out how to make the audience care beyond oohs & aahs. ***1/2

Kazuo Yamazaki & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Big Titan & Michael Wallstreet 11:39

Don Frye vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara 6:19

IWGP Tag Title Tournament Final: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan 19:51. A shockingly great match where everyone brought their A game and had the fans going nuts. It was fantastic right off the bat as Tenzan had the guts to call out Tenryu, something you don't do if you want to return to the locker room with some skin on your chest that isn't beat red, disrespectfully waving Koshinaka off, but before they locked up Tenryu walked over to Chono in his corner, disrespecting Tenzan. Everyone was good & annoyed before the opening lockup, and and they just laid into each other from the outset. It's rare that you'll ever find AJ level stiffness in 90's NJ, but with weak style doing their annual invasion of Baba's home base, they stepped it up & had 2 matches in row that were all out wars. The one thing you have to love about Tenzan is he'll never back down from anyone. Tenryu did a whole series of his most brutal chops, & Tenzan just stuck his tongue out at him & begged for more. The one problem with this style is it essentially made the match Tenryu vs. Tenzan. Tenryu was great, one of his best performances outside of AJ, & this is the type of match Tenzan is made for. Koshinaka is by far the best of these 4 on a day in, day out basis, but he was far from his most effective in the early portion because you can't really decide to hit any harder when your hip is your main weapon. This was really Tenryu's show though, and he had everyone raising their levels to meet him. I mean, Chono even took a suplex to the floor, and this is really where the drama kicked in as Tenryu actually did an elbow off the apron that knocked Chono over the security rail and "KO'd" him. This left Tenzan to go it alone (again making the match seem more like AJ than NJ), and Tenryu & Koshinaka brought everything they had, double teaming him with their signature moves to seal the deal. However, Tenzan showed great fighting spirit, doing little more than surviving long enough for Chono to recover. Though Chono was effective enough early, the match was mostly Tenzan, so Chono gave his big burst here, going all out for a few minutes after saving Tenzan . The crowd was already excited by all the near finishes on Tenzan, but were thrilled to finally get the big Chono/Tenryu encounter the match had only had flashes of earlier. I loved how long the finishing sequence seemed to be. I mean, they effectively managed to transition the match from a slugfest to a big action match with Tenryu & Koshinaka's run on Tenzan, but from there the energy & urgency kept increasing as they went through pairing after pairing with no one able to get a finish despite constant attempts, often because their partner managed to save. The change in style also greatly increased the effectiveness of Koshinaka & Chono. You could never tell who was going to win the match, as they did a great job of making everyone down & out at one point or another, but finding a good reason for them to survive. Ultimately, Tenzan, the man who took by far the biggest beating, managed to finish Koshinaka. Chono was so excited they took the belts & proud of his protege that he gave him a winning kiss. Definitely one of the best NJ heavyweight matches of the decade. ****1/4

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Shinya Hashimoto 20:38. The Fujinami/Hashimoto series started off well with Fujinami's title victory on 4/4/94, but then their more famous follow up where Hashimoto recaptured the title before 53,000 fans at the Fukuoka Dome was a mere 6:04 domination. Luckily, this third title meeting was an updated & expanded version of the original match, and given ample time to lay out a suitable match, they delivered a high end brutal psychological war that played around with their initial ideas. Hashimoto is always the wrecking ball in this matchup, with Fujinami surviving on skill & guile. In the 1st match, Hashimoto mainly used high kicks that should have knocked Fujinami out but somehow never did. Here he mercylessly destroyed Fujinami's leg, kicking him until he was down & then going back to the 1st match, when he was down. Fujinami's mobility was hampered, so he was leery to attack & just kind of hoped Hashimoto, who was in raging violent mood, would rush into a mistake if Fujinami hung back long enough (which won him the 1st match), particularly that he'd telegraph a kick that Fujinami could counter with his Dragon screw. Fujinami soon got frustrated that when he was able to catch the leg, he still wasn't able to hit the counter he sought, and made the mistake of instead firing up & standing toe to toe with Hashimoto for an intense striking exchange, which only served to piss Hashimoto off & make him brutalize Fujinami that much more. It was once again quickly apparent that Fujinami was going to get incapacitated if he tried to match force with Hashimoto, who was leveling him with high kicks, but Fujinami remembered this too, and did a better job of staying disciplined & patient, returning to his strength, technical skill, & staying relevant with counters into hope spots. Finally hitting an ugly Dragon screw (probably botched but they called it a "new Dragon screw") followed by a clean one, Fujinami returned the favor injuring Hash's knee with a diving kneedrop to the knee. The match was top notch up until this point, but they just lost the plot from here as Fujinami still wasn't able to turn the tide despite a figure 4, and Hashimoto quickly came back looking full strength except even angrier, sticking it to Fujinami by taking the leg out once again with his suimengiri. I liked that this match had a much more shoot style bend than their previous ones, adapting well to the changes in the overall landscape since their '94 meetings. However, the problem with this mixing a shoot style approach with pro wrestling booking is you wind up with a match that the much younger, bigger, stronger, & tougher Hashimoto should dominate to the one-sided finish, but then you aren't letting him win, so you have to concoct something hopefully not nonsensical to explain a result that, dramatic as it might be (and as with the previous Fujinami win this really was more false thus anticlimactic), goes against all logic & reason. They effectively teased the logical possibilities for Fujinami winning, a flash finish like his 1st win or actually doing something with the knee injury this time, but they just abandoned the workable reasons & instead had Hashimoto unable to escape a chinlock & standing around taking repeated enzuigiris because it "was time" for Fujinami to make his run to the finish. Technically, the idea was Fujinami countered Hashimoto's vertical drop brainbuster into a sleeper & soon after jumped on Hashimoto's back for another. A similar spot worked in their 4/4/94 match because Fujinami pounced as Hashimoto was struggling to get up after injuring his knee missing a wheel kick in the corner & very quickly transitioned to the Dragon sleeper, but Fujinami doesn't do the sleeper in even the fake pro wrestling application, and there was just no reason for Hashimoto, who had once again been an indomitable monster up until this point, to just be trapped in a cheesy no body control or neck squeeze chinlock long enough for Fujinami to eventually turn it into his Dragon sleeper & later a rear naked choke for the win. At least Fujinami won with a legitimate finisher, but the whole finishing segment from Hashimoto's knee being okay after all was, in a match that was largely good because of its credibility, just not very believable. Fujinami being able to outgrapple an injured Hashimoto because he couldn't get up leading to the rear naked choke would have been a far more reasonable way to deliver the same finish. Overall, this was the best match of their series because there was more to it all around, but simple & effective is what's worked for them throughout, there was no need to get too cute with the finish. ***3/4

NJ Tokon V Special Kendo Kashin Tokushu (special edition) Dangerous Shooter Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

9/15/97 Tokyo Korakuen Hall Kenka Match: Kendo Kashin vs. Shinjiro Otani

9/21/97 Hamamatsu Shi Taiikukan: Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai & Kendo Kashin vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa

10/16/97: Kendo Kashin vs. Koji Kanemoto

10/23/97: Kendo Kashin vs. Shinjiro Otani

11/23/97 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Kendo Kashin vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa

3/8/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Jushin Thunder Liger & Kendo Kashin vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani

3/9/98 Kyoto Furitsu Taiikukan: Kendo Kashin vs. Koji Kanemoto

5/18/98 Chiba Koen Taiikukan BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. Koshikisen: Kendo Kashin vs. Hayato Nanjo

5/26/98: Kendo Kashin vs. Kazuyuki Fujita

5/30/98 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. Koshikisen: Kendo Kashin vs. Kaz Hayashi

6/25/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani & Kendo Kashin vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai & Dr. Wagner, Jr.

NJ World Pro Wrestling 7/4/98 & 7/11/98
-1 1/2hr. Q=Ex

7/4 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 6/24 Yamagata Shi Sogo Sports Center & 6/28 Nagano M-Wave

6/24

Liger & Samurai vs. Kanemoto & Ka Shin. Kanemoto & Ka Shin didn't function well as a team. ***1/2 range

Scott Norton & Michael Wallstreet vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Tadao Yasuda. Norton didn't sell anything and made short work of Nakanishi. DUD

Fujinami & Kojima & Nishimura vs. Chono & NWO Sting & Tenzan. Kojima & Nishimura showed a flash or two, but mainly it was crappy brawling. Sting sucked & his partners didn't do anything. *1/4

6/28

Ka Shin vs. Kanemoto. Ka Shin totally dominated the 4 minutes that aired. Nothing special.

Liger & Wagner Jr. vs. Otani & Takaiwa. Liger & Wagner looked great. Based on what aired, it was another very good match.

Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Match was nothing special as no one stepped up. Not bad, but rather uninteresting. *1/2

7/11 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 6/28 Nagano & 7/2 Iwate-ken Taiikukan

6/28 Nagano: Fujinami & Sasaki & Kojima vs. Norton & NWO Sting & Hiro Saito. Clip. NWO team, especially Norton, sucked. NWO tried to intimidate Fujinami since he had to defend against Tenzan a few weeks later.

7/2 Iwate Ken-ei Taiikukan

El Samurai & Kendo Ka Shin vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani 6:53 of 13:37. Well worked junior match that wasn't particularly back and forth because it featured Kanemoto & Otani's prickish antics. Kanemoto & Otani dominated the match, beating on the legal man (usually Kashin) while jawing with and taunting his helpless partner on the apron. Kanemoto was having a lot of fun, holding a downed Kashin's limp wrist out to Samurai. Samurai didn't fair a whole lot better when he finally did get in. Kashin saved him from Otani's German suplex, so Kanemoto took it to the floor and restained him. Samurai actually kicked out of Otani's Dragon suplex though, and suddenly came to life. He hit his swinging reverse DDT off the 2nd, and it was Kashin who was able to hold Kanemoto so he couldn't make the save. Kashin was nothing special, as usual, but the others were typically excellent. ***1/2 range

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. 5:28 of 12:32. They set the moves up and countered each other well. It was a slower paced match, which was somewhat surprising given the lack of length, but one of the reasons they pulled off the short match is they made an effort to sell the moves. Wagner threw everything he could at Liger, but couldn't get the win even in a non-title match. Liger's comeback win came too soon and easily, but otherwise the match appeared to be really good. ***1/2 range

Shiro Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito. Very mediocre match with no one looking particularly good or bad. *3/4

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takashi Iizuka. Clip

Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Scott Norton & Masa Chono & Michael Wallstreet. Hashimoto kicked everyone's ass, but eventually he was overmatched by double-teaming and succumbed after taking Hiro, Tenzan, & Chono's finishers in succession. **1/2

NJ TV 7/11/98
-1hr. Q=TV Master

7/11 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 6/28 Nagano & 7/2 Iwate

6/28 Nagano: Fujinami & Sasaki & Kojima vs. Norton & NWO Sting & Hiro Saito. Clip. NWO team, especially Norton, sucked. NWO tried to intimidate Fujinami since he had to defend against Tenzan a few weeks later.

7/2 Iwate

El Samurai & Kendo Ka Shin vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. Excellent work. Tons of great spots and everyone but Ka Shin gave a strong performance. Samurai actually kicked out of Otani's Dragon suplex. ****

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. Wagner threw everything he could at Liger, but couldn't get the win even in a non-title match. Liger's comeback win came too soon, but otherwise the match appeared to be excellent. ***3/4

Shiro Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito. Very mediocre match with no one looking particularly good or bad. *3/4

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takashi Iizuka. Clip

Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Scott Norton & Masa Chono & Michael Wallstreet. Hashimoto kicked everyone's ass, but eventually he was overmatched by double teaming and succumbed after taking Hiro, Tenzan, & Chono's finishers in succession. **1/2

NJ Tokon V Special Vol. 48 Tenryu vs. New Japan Commercial Tape
-1hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

4/13/98: Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka. **

4/16/98: Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Big Titan & Hiro Saito vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara. 1/3 shown.

5/31/98: Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka. ***

6/1/98: Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka. ***

7/9/98: Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & NWO Sting vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinka & Tatsutoshi Goto. **1/2

7/11/98: Masa Chono & Hiro Saito & Michael Wallstreet vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara

NJ TV 7/25/98
& AJ TV 7/26/98
-1hr 20min. Q=TV Master

NJ World Pro Wrestling 7/25 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 7/14 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto & NWO Sting. This was Muto's first back match from knee surgery. Even though he clearly wasn't in top form, he tried to carry his team because Sting sucks. Unfortunately, Muto wasn't able to carry this. The match had no heat and no one looked very good. *

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. The same goodness as always. Heat was a lot better than the Muto match. Unfortunately, only 1/3 aired. ***1/2 range.

Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda. Tenryu & Hashimoto blasted each other back and forth with stiff chops to set up the style of their G1 match. This wasn't as stiff as AJ, but Tenryu's chest was welted up from the accumulation of the blows. When Koshinaka came in, Hashimoto blew him away with kicks. Tenryu seemed to burn out in the midst as he began working really slow, and he barely has any athleticism left. ***

IWGP World Title: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Match was 20 years out of date. It didn't work on any level. It was boring as hell with no heat, and mainly a bunch of rest holds submissions, kicks, and punches. A joke of a Japanese world title match. *

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 7/26 '98 Summer Action Seriestaped 7/24 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Triple Crown: Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama. ****1/4

NJ TV 7/25/98 & 8/1/98 & AJ TV 11/24/96
-2hr. Q=Ex

World Pro Wrestling 7/25 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 7/14/98 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto & NWO Sting. This was Muto's first back match from knee surgery. Even though he clearly wasn't in top form, he tried to carry his team because Sting sucks. Unfortunately, Muto wasn't able to carry this. The match had no heat and no one looked very good. *

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. The same goodness as always. Heat was a lot better than the Muto match. Unfortunately, only 1/3 aired. ***1/2 range.

Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Tadao Yasuda. Tenryu & Hashimoto blasted each other back and forth with stiff chops to set up the style of their G1 match. This wasn't as stiff as AJ, but Tenryu's chest was welted up from the accumulation of the blows. When Koshinaka came in, Hashimoto blew him away with kicks. Tenryu seemed to burn out in the midst as he began working really slow, and he barely has any athleticism left. ***

IWGP World Title: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Match was 20 years out of date & didn't come across on any level. Mainly a bunch of rest holds submissions, kicks, and punches without much heat or intensity. *

World Pro Wrestling 8/1 SUMMER STRUGGLE '98 taped 7/15 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto 11:42 of 28:27. The expected excellence with Liger doing all the thinking and dragging Koji along as best he could. Unfortunately, Koji has a mind of his own that he puts to poor use. He chose not to follow Liger's lead with the selling, especially when it came to selling when he was on offense, and pacing at times, which hurt the match. Still, Koji is such a great worker that it was one of the best matches of the year even with those problems. When healthy, Liger has been the best junior in the world for the entire decade, and he probably isn't capable of a better performance at this point. He isn't going to fly like Mr. Aguila, but who cares? He was perfect in the mental aspects and both of these guys were spot on. Liger's story was so strong, focusing on knee injuries, that he had a great stand alone piece in the 40% that aired, so imagine how good this was unedited. I believe this was the Jr. match nominated for match of the year in the 1998 Puroresu Awards (Kobashi vs. Misawa 10/31 won). What was so great about the match is they managed to make it as spectacular as any other Koji match without compromising the knee attacks too much. They picked up the match with Koji working Liger's knee, including a kneebreaker on the guard rail. Liger came backwith a kneecap dropkick and neither could move well. From here, they started doing all their great moves, but found ways to make half of them play off or into the knee injuries. Koji turned Liger's abisegiri into his ankle lock, Koji reinjured his knee when Liger avoided his moonsault then Liger figure 4'd him, but Kanemoto reversed and both simultaneously rope escaped. With all this in mind, I would have preferred a finish that revolved around the knee, but neither really win that way, so it wasn't surprising to see Kanemoto go down from running into Liger's shotei. ****1/2 range

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Don Frye & Brian Johnston. A bad and boring nothing match with the main focus being Frye simply refusing to square off with Sasaki. Frye and Sasaki had a pull apart after the match to build heat for their singles match. 1/2*

IWGP Tag Titles: Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka. A good match entirely because of Chono & Koshinaka. Tenryu was old and slow here. Tenryu wasn't bad, but definitely a big step down from Shiro. Hot crowd. ***1/4

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 11/24/96 '96 World's Strongest Tag Team League taped 11/22 Okayama Budokan

*all tag league matches*

Stan Hansen & Takao Omori vs. Gary Albright & Sabu. Bad and boring match. Hansen brought a table into play, but Omori got mad and threw it. Sabu blew the finish, so he had to redo it. 1/2*

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Steve Williams & Johnny Ace. A very good match, but only 1/4 aired because they wasted their time with Sabu.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi & Patriot. A great match that was far better when Kobashi was in. Hot crowd. Misawa was great with Kobashi and Jun did a good job of carrying Patriot. Too bad only 1/3 aired. ****1/2 range.

AJPW & NJPW Genichiro Tenryu Retirement Commemoration Path of Violence Box Set
-20hr 20min. Q=Perfect. 12 DVDs

Discs 1 & 2

Intro from Genichiro Tenryu

10/15/76: Press conference with Genichiro Tenryu and Giant Baba

12/9/76: Knot cutting ceremony

3/20/77: Genichiro Tenryu & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. The Mafia. 4:11 shown

6/11/77: Genichiro Tenryu & Giant Baba vs. Mario Milano & Mexico Grande 12:04

12/2/77: Genichiro Tenryu & Rocky Hata vs. Dory Funk & Terry Funk 4:59 shown

7/30/81: Genichiro Tenryu & Billy Robinson vs. Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta 7:43 shown

10/6/81: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Ric Flair 2:40 1st fall, 1:32 2nd fall, 2:00 3rd fall

2/4/82: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Mil Mascaras 3:00 shown

4/16/82: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta 5:53 shown

3/1/83: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Umanosuke Ueda 5:01 shown

2/23/84: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Ricky Steamboat 5:12 shown

2/5/85: Genichiro Tenryu & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Riki Choshu & Masa Saito 5:13 shown

3/9/85: Genichiro Tenryu & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Road Warriors 11:29 shown

6/21/85: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu 19:01 shown

4/26/86: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Ted Dibiase 15:21 shown

6/12/86: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Super Strong Machine 4:10

9/3/86: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu 19:59 shown

Discs 3 & 4

2/5/87: Genichiro Tenryu & Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yoshiaki Yatsu 17:02 shown

6/8/87: Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Hiroshi Wajima & Takashi Ishikawa 12:16 shown

6/11/87: Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Tiger Mask 7:02 shown

8/21/87: Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & The Great Kabuki 7:40 shown

4/15/88: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Bruiser Brody 30:00 shown

6/4/88: Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu 5:47 shown

7/27/88: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Stan Stan Hansen 14:34 shown

6/5/89: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta 24:04 shown

7/11/89: Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu 21:28 shown

8/19/89: Genichiro Tenryu & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Kenta Kobashi 3:36 shown

Disc 5 & 6

11/29/89: Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen vs. Giant Baba & Rusher Kimura 20:22 shown

12/6/89: Genichiro Tenryu & Stan Hansen vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu 28:56

1/26/90: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Isao Takagi 5:40 shown

4/19/90: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Jumbo Tsuruta 12:34

1/28/01: Genichiro Tenryu & Hiroshi Hase vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Toshiaki Kawada 23:48

1/8/05: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio 6:24 shown

4/24/05: Genichiro Tenryu & Jun Akiyama vs. Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiozaki 5:30 shown

7/18/05: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Yoshinari Ogawa 10:24 shown

10/8/05: Genichiro Tenryu vs. KENTA 11:37 shown

11/5/05: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Mitsuharu Misawa 14:25 shown

Discs 7 & 8

2/10/90: Genichiro Tenryu & Tiger Mask vs. Riki Choshu & George Takano 19:00 shown

10/23/92: Genichiro Tenryu & Koki Kitahara vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura 8:51 shown

11/23/92: Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa & Koki Kitahara vs. Shiro Shiro Koshinaka & Kengo Kimura & Aoyagi 4:46 shown

12/14/94: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shiro Koshinaka 20:43 shown

1/4/93: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu 18:15 shown

2/5/93: Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara & Takashi Ishikawa vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Keiji Muto & Akira Nogami 6:56 shown

3/23/93: Genichiro Tenryu & Takashi Ishikawa vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Riki Choshu 4:26

4/6/93: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Riki Choshu 14:51 shown

5/3/93: Genichiro Tenryu & Riki Choshu vs. Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami 19:23 shown

7/14/93: Genichiro Tenryu & Ashura Hara vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Masa Chono 10:44 shown

8/3/93: Genichiro Tenryu & Koki Kitahara vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Tatsumi Fujinami 5:37 shown

Discs 9 & 10

8/8/93: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto 21:25 shown

9/23/93: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hiroshi Hase 8:54

12/10/93: Genichiro Tenryu & Super Strong Machine vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto 5:27 shown

1/4/94: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Antonio Inoki 13:56

4/29/96: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Tatsumi Fujinami 9:16 shown

7/15/98: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan 15:01 shown

8/1/98: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto 13:12 shown

5/3/99: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Keiji Muto 25:36 shown

6/8/99: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto 14:10 shown

10/11/99: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Kensuke Sasaki 13:36 shown

11/1/99: Genichiro Tenryu & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuhiko Fujita 9:08 shown

Discs 11 & 12

12/5/99: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Takashi Iizuka 7:15 shown

12/10/99: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Keiji Muto 26:31

1/4/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Manabu Nakanishi 7:14 shown

2/15/04, IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament 1st Round: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Masahiro Chono 6:25

2/15/04, IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament Semifinal: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 10:32

2/15/04, IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament Final: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 13:01

3/21/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Tadao Yasuda 6:56 shown

3/28/04: Genichiro Tenryu & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Minoru Suzuki & Yoshihiro Takayama 6:43 shown

5/3/04: Genichiro Tenryu & Meng vs. Dolgorsuren Sumiyabazar & Dolgorsuren Serjbudee (Blue Wolf) 4:14 shown

6/5/04: Genichiro Tenryu & Tadao Yasuda vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Osamu Nishimura 10:26 shown

8/8/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Yuji Nagata 11:28 shown

8/15/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Kensuke Sasaki 8:10 shown

8/15/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 6:34 shown

10/9/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Katsuyori Shibata 4:45 shown

11/13/04: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Katsuyori Shibata 9:09 shown

NJ TV 8/15/98
-1hr. Q=1st Gen (1st half of NJ has lousy reception)

NJ World Pro Wrestling G1 Climax '98 Round 2 taped 8/1 Ryogoku Kokugikan

Satoshi Kojima vs. Tadao Yasuda

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kazuo Yamazaki

Shiro Koshinaka vs. Masa Chono

Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto. ****1/4

NJ G1 CLIMAX '98 TOURNAMENT IN RYOGOKU JULY 31-AUGUST 2, 1998 Complete Version
Commercial Tape 7/31/98 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
-4 1/2hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen. 3 DVDs
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

G1 Climax 1st Round

Tadao Yasuda vs. Big Titan. 1/2*

Satoshi Kojima vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan. ***

Osamu Nishimura vs. Shiro Koshinaka. **

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Michiyoshi Ohara. **

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Tatsutoshi Goto. *1/2

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. ***1/4

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Masa Chono *3/4

Keiji Muto vs. Genichiro Tenryu. ***3/4

8/1 2nd Round

Tadao Yasuda vs. Satoshi Kojima. ***

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. ***

Shiro Koshinaka vs. Masahiro Chono. ***3/4

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Genichiro Tenryu. ****1/4

8/2 Semifinals

Masa Chono vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. ***

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Satoshi Kojima. ****1/4

8/2 Final

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kazuo Yamazaki. ****1/2

New Japan RISING THE NEXT GENERATIONS in OSAKA DOME Commercial Tape Part.1 8/8/98 Osaka Dome
-1hr 55min. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

El Samurai vs. Kendo Ka Shin. Ka Shin focused his attack on Samurai's arm to set up his jujigatames. Samurai wrestled Ka Shin's style, and did well because he's such a great worker. Match dragged in the middle because they didn't do as many high spots as you'd think, but it was a good opener even though it had absolutely heat. ***

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Kazuyuki Fujita. Nagata's first match back from WCW as a full-time NJ regular. Fujita has short blond hair and is roided beyond belief. Nakanishi looks roided too, but he doesn't even look muscular in comparison to Fujita. Match didn't have much heat. Match focused on Fujita despite the main draw being Nagata's return. This hurt the match a lot because Fujita isn't good at all. Fujita did do a Frankensteiner into an udehishigigyakujujigatame. Finish was dumb, as it killed off Fujita, the guy with the new look and new moves. *1/2

Super J Single Match: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. The Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro). Given that both men were all banged up, with Liger coming in with a bad knee and Sasuke being held together by string, it was probably better than expected although not close to what they did in 1994 and worse than the typical Liger singles match. Liger carried the match, and Sasuke instilled some of his famous flying. Since it was at a dome, this lacked heat. It was pretty sad seeing Liger do everything he could think of before the match to build heat and get some kind of reaction, but still no one popped. Started off hot, shifting to matwork, but really Liger's shoulder attack was designed to make him the heel and garner some heat through his refusal to honor the rope break rule. The problem with the match is Sasuke never had any consistent offense. He had a nifty counter here and there during the body, but basically all he did was an occassional hot move to break up Liger's perpetual offense, so he never had a chance to find his rhythm. When Sasuke finally elevated himself to the point of trading, they went to the finishing sequence. Though Liger was on offense pretty consistently until that point, since Sasuke never pushed him or had him in any trouble, he didn't wind up using most of his better, certainly not his big match offense. In the end, what they did looked good and held together well, but was neither spectacular nor riveting. ***1/2

Don Frye vs. Kensuke Sasaki. The fans were really into this, mainly because they hated Frye. Frye did all his basic heel tactics to further endear himself to the fans. The shoot style stuff was actually decent as Sasaki was like Ogawa with some ability and Frye's blows didn't look as fake as they have in the past. Finish was beyond awful as Frye wound up getting DQ'd for doing two low blows, which made less than no since because they are a staple of Chono's offense and he never gets DQ'd for them. For that matter, NJ doesn't even do DQ finishes. Frye went nuts attacking Sasaki after the bell, and Nagata and Frye almost went at it. Later Nagata & Brian Johnston had a little fight. Post match lasted about 3 minutes and was excellent, much better than that actual match. *1/2

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Masa Chono. Typical slow, boring, 20 years out of date, Fujinami match. Match was submission oriented, and never seemed to pick up. What they did was well done, but that doesn't mean anyone wanted to watch it. Chono wins title. *

New Japan RISING THE NEXT GENERATIONS in OSAKA DOME Commercial Tape Part.2 8/8/98 Osaka Dome
-1hr 55min. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

Kazuo Yamazaki & Osamu Nishimura vs. Takashi Iizuka & Tadao Yasuda. Yamazaki & Nishimura & Iizuka were fine, but no one did all that much. Yasuda was too goofy for this style match. He was the worst, and Yamazaki was the best. Looked more like a house show match than a dome match. *3/4

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Shiro Koshinaka. Match was alright, but it was so short. Tenzan didn't seem to want to do anything. Koshinaka finally pushed the pace, but not until the last minute. Big disappointment. **

IWGP Junior Tag Titles Decision Match: Koji Kanemoto & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa. Very exciting match. It built well to one great spot after another in the second half with perfect execution throughout. Match could have gone either way, although there weren't enough near falls where you thought it could be the finish. Everyone was on here and they did all their big spots. Either Wagner or Kanemoto could be called the best, although Otani was no slouch. Otani & Takaiwa 1st ever champs. ****1/4

The Great Kabuki (IWA Japan) & Great Muta vs. Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara. When Great Muta is by far the best in the match you know it is going to suck. Suck is too good to describe this, although it was more of a spectacle for nostalgia purposes than a match. Kabuki looked every bit his age, if not older, and Goto worked most of the way and was horrible as always. Muta had son painted on his head to show that the crappy Muta gimmick is the son of the crappy Kabuki gimmick, and actually Muta was billed as Kabuki's son when he came to the NWA in 1989, but the US fans for once were smart as they didn't care, and thus that billing was dropped. The big "highlight" of the match was Kabuki & Muto spewing mist together. 1/4*

J1 Title: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto. A very good match, but a huge step down from their 8/1 match. The timing, selling, pacing, and build were excellent. The problem was Tenryu's execution was slow and unconvincing. It was his physical limitations, the old age and lack of athleticism, that took this down *. The stiff strikes were great, but Tenryu's spots looked lame rather than explosive. The difference in the Tenryu enzuigiri and the Hashimoto enzuigiri was really striking in this regard. ***1/2

NJTV 8/22 & 8/29/98
-1hr 45min. Q=1st Gen

World Pro Wrestling 8/22 G1 Climax taped 8/2 Ryogoku Kokugikan

G1 Climax Semifinal: Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Masa Chono

G1 Climax Semifinal: Satoshi Kojima vs. Shinya Hashimoto

G1 Climax Final: Hashimoto vs. Yamazaki

World Pro Wrestling 8/2 RISING THE NEXT GENERATIONS IN OSAKA DOME taped 8/8 Osaka Dome

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Don Frye

J-1 Title: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Masa Chono. Chono wins title

NJ TV 9/5/98 & AJ TV 9/6/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 9/5

8/2 Ryogoku Kokugikan Jr. Tag League: Kanemoto & Wagner Jr. vs. Ka Shin & Yasuraoka

8/2 Ryogoku Kokugikan Jr. Tag League: Liger & Samurai vs. Otani & Takaiwa

8/8 Osaka Dome Jr. Tag League Final: Kanemoto & Wagner Jr. vs. Otani & Takaiwa

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 9/6 taped Tokuyama

Kawada/Taue vs. Kobashi/Mossman

Misawa/Akiyama/Asako vs. Albright/Takayama/Kakihara

NJ TV 9/12/98 & AJ TV 9/13/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 9/12 RISING THE NEXT GENERATIONS in Osaka Dome taped 8/8 Osaka Dome

Nagata & Fujita vs. Nakanishi & Kojima

Koshinaka vs. Tenzan

Liger vs. Great Sasuke

Great Kabuki & Great Muta vs. Goto & Ohara

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 TV 9/13 taped 9/11 Nippon Budokan

Triple Crown: Kobashi vs. Taue. ****

NJ TV 9/19/98 & AJ TV 9/20/98
-1hr 20 min. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 9/19 taped 9/10 Omiya Shi Min Taiikukan

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. The Great Sasuke

Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Koji Kanemoto & Kendo Ka Shin

Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Bryan Adams & NWO Sting

Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Scott Norton & Michael Wallstreet

Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata vs. Keiji Muto & Hiro Saito

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 9/20 '98 Summer Action Series II taped 9/11 Nippon Budokan

Akiyama vs. Ogawa

NJ Tokon V Special Vol. 49 The Junior-ism
-1hr. Q=Master
NJPW The Juniorism

9/11/98 Utsunomiya Shi Taiikukan

Kendo Ka Shin & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai. **1/2

9/14/98 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center

El Samurai vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa 8:31 of 15:17. Power vs. speed match. They mostly traded spots early with Samurai using his athleticism to counter Takaiwa's attempts to throw him around. Samurai tried to take Takaiwa's power offense away by working his knee, but could only keep him down for so long. Takaiwa tried to storm back, but Samurai turned his avalanche style Death Valley bomb into a swinging reverse DDT then hit 2nd one for the win. ***1/4 range

Shinjiro Otani vs. Koji Kanemoto. ***3/4

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kendo Ka Shin. **1/2

9/18/98 Gunma Arena

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. About 1/4 shown.

NJ Tokon V Special Vol. 50 Fukkantsu! Keiji Muto
-1hr. Q=Master

3/8/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Big Titan vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki & Osamu Nishimura

3/9/98 Kyoto Furitsu Taiikukan: Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura

9/14/98 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center: Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata

9/15/98 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Keiji Muto & Hiro Saito vs. Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara

9/16/98 Niigata Shi Taiikukan: Keiji Muto & Hiro Saito vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka

NJ TV 9/26/98 & AJ TV 10/4/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 9/26 taped 9/19 Nagoya

Liger & Samurai vs. Otani & Takaiwa

Fujinami & Hirata & Nakanishi vs. Norton & Muto & NWO Sting

Sasaki & Nagata vs. Tenryu & Koshinaka

Hashimoto & Yamazaki vs. Chono & Tenzan

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 10/4

Misawa & Ogawa vs. Taue & Honda

Hansen & Duncum Jr. & Smith vs. Albright & Takayama & Kakihara

Jd' #30 10/17/98 & NJ TV 10/17/98
-1hr 50min. Q=1st Gen (NJ is fuzzy)

Jd' #30 10/17/98 FIREWORKS~Summer Presents 2st~taped 8/2 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Megumi Yabushita & Kazuko Fujiwara & Obatchi Iizuka vs. Ryuna & Fang Suzuki & Hechicera. Match had a lot of action. The heels carried this and pretty much dominated this. They looked decent. Jd' Junior Title Challengers Match: Sumie Sakai vs. Keiko Aono (LLPW). Sakai was pretty good, but Aono was bad again.

Jaguar Yokota vs. The Bloody. They did a poor job of editing this match, as it looked like Jaguar totally dominated Bloody when in actuality, Bloody lasting nearly 20:00 with Jaguar means she must have made a good showing. Appeared to be a good match, but only 3:45 was shown.

Cooga vs. Mayumi Ozaki (Oz Academy). Slow paced match. Cooga was very slow and deliberate. Her work wasn't fluid. Even Ozaki couldn't get any goodness out of her. Only decent because of Ozaki, and I'm probably being generous by giving it **

TWF World Singles Title: Lioness Asuka vs. Kyoko Inoue. A very good match, but not on the level of their previous two. Lioness didn't take control like she did in their first match, and Kyoko didn't find some of her old ability like she did in their second match. Lioness dominated with brawling tactics. The match was at it's best when she was on offense, but it was hurt by Kyoko's weak selling and quick comebacks. Another problem was the gimmick spots took too long to set up. Lioness hung Kyoko off the balcony with a chord around her waist. She also powerbombed Kyoko off the 2nd through a table. She then debuted a powerbomb with the table draped across the top rope instead of the second. This should have been the finish, but the actual finish where Kyoko makes a ludicrous comeback and takes the title was one of the worst finishes of the year. ***3/4

NJ World Pro Wrestling 10/17/98 '98 Big Wednesday taped 9/23 Yokohama Arena

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Liger vs. Kaz Hayashi

Tenryu & Koshinaka vs. NWO Sting & Brian Adams

Hashimoto vs. Muto

NJ G1 CLIMAX SPECIAL BIG WEDNESDAY '98 IWGP 4 Title Match Commercial Tape 9/23/98 Yokohama Arena
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect 1st Gen

IWGP Jr. Tag Titles: Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Black Tiger & Chris Jericho. ***

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Don Frye & Igor Meindert. 1/2*

G1 Special Single Match: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto. **1/2

IWGP Jr. Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kaz Hayashi. ***1/4

IWGP Tag Titles: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. NWO Sting & Brian Adams. 3/4*

IWGP Heavyweight Title Decision Match: Scott Norton vs. Yuji Nagata. No-sell Norton wins title. *1/2

NJ TV 10/31/98 & NJ TV 11/7/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen (fuzzy reception)

NJ World Pro Wrestling 10/31/98 nWo typhoon taped 10/18 Kobe World Kinen Hall

Akitoshi Saito vs. Don Frye

Koji Kanemoto vs. SASUKE

Jushin Thunder Liger & Kendo Ka Shin vs. Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Takashi Iizuka & Yuji Nagata

IWGP Tag Titles: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Keiji Muto & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

NJ World Pro Wrestling 11/7/98 NWO typhoon taped Nagasaki Kenritsu Sogo Taiikukan

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai & Dr. Wagner, Jr. vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Brian Adams & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito

Tatsumi Fujinami & Shinya Hashimoto & Yuji Nagata vs. Keiji Muto & NWO Sting & Satoshi Kojima

Hiroshima Sun Plaza: Yuji Nagata & Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Don Frye & Brian Johnston

NJ TV 11/14/98 & NJ TV 11/21/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen (1st show is louse VQ, 2nd show is a bit liney)

NJ World Pro Wrestling 11/14/98 nWo typhoon taped Hiroshima Sun Plaza

Dr. Wagner, Jr. vs. Kendo Kashin

Koji Kanemoto vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani

Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Keiji Muto & Brian Adams & Satoshi Kojima

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Scott Norton vs. Shinya Hashimoto

NJ World Pro Wrestling 11/21/98 SG TAG LEAGUE VIII taped Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan

Jushin Thunder Liger & Kendo Kashin & Dr. Wagner, Jr. vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki & Tadao Yasuda vs. NWO Sting & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Big Titan

SG Tag League Match: Tatsumi Fujinami & Shinya Hashimoto vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata

SG Tag League Match: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima

NJ TV 11/28/98 & NJ TV 12/12/98
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen (1st show liney)

NJ World Pro Wrestling 11/28/98 SG TAG LEAGUE VIII taped Nagaoka Shi Taiikukan

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa

Keiji Muto & NWO Sting & Hiro Saito vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Tatsutoshi Goto & Michiyoshi Ohara

Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima

SG Tag League Match: Tatsumi Fujinami & Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki

NJ World Pro Wrestling 12/12/98 SG TAG LEAGUE VIII taped 12/4/98 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukan

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa 11:58 of 18:02. Takaiwa's standing is rising through his losses to Liger, though I'm not sure it was making for the greatest wrestling this time. Technically, the wrestling itself was excellent as usual with Takaiwa using brute strength to counter Liger's athletic moves, for instance catching him in the air doing a pescado and dropping him on the guard rail. The problem was once Liger decided he had to switch to his strikes and power, Takaiwa pretty much decided he wasn't going to sell any of it, including screaming off a top rope fisherman buster and kicking out of an avalanche style brainbuster at 1. Takaiwa was just so jacked up he was banging his head on the turnbuckle for motivation. Liger did a nice job of selling Takaiwa's knee attack, but this played no part once Takaiwa moved on, and ultimately, Liger returned the favor on a kick out a 1 spot and put Takaiwa away with the shotei. The actual wrestling may have been better than in any of their previous excellent matches as Takaiwa is improving in that department, but this was pretty much the bottom of the barrel do to the sort of superhuman goofiness I'd expect from Kanemoto.

SG Tag League Match: Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima

SG Tag League Match: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Shinya Hashimoto

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Scott Norton vs. Manabu Nakanishi

NJ TV 12/19/98 & AJ TV 12/20/98
-1hr 10min. Q=1st Gen

NJ World Pro Wrestling 12/19/98 SG TAG LEAGUE VIII taped 12/4 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan (1st match) & 12/6 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

Yuji Nagata vs. Don Frye

SG TAG LEAGUE VIII Semifinal: Genichiro Tenryu & Koshinaka vs. Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima

SG TAG LEAGUE VIII Semifinal: Tatsumi Fujinami & Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki

SG TAG LEAGUE VIII Final: Tatsumi Fujinami & Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima

AJTV aired 12/20

World's Strongest Tag Team League highlights

Jd' #32 & NJ TV 1/9/99
-1hr 50min. Q=1st Gen (NJ is fuzzy)

Jd' #32 12/22/98 OFF beat Stoam (should be Storm) taped 10/2 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2

Battle Royal

TWF World Championship Tag Tournament Semifinal: Cooga & Sumie Sakai vs. Hiromi Yagi & Megumi Yabushita

TWF World Championship Tag Tournament Semifinal: Mayumi Ozaki & Sugar Sato vs. The Bloody & Ryuna

Battle for the Next Jd' Queen: Lioness Asuka vs. Yuko Kosugi

TWF World Championship Tag Tournament Final: Cooga & Sumie Sakai vs. The Bloody & Ryuna

NJ World Pro Wrestling 1/9/99 '99 Wrestling World in Tokyo Dome taped 1/4 Tokyo Dome

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Atsushi Onita

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Naoya Ogawa

AJ TV 1/10/99 & NJ TV 1/16/99
-1hr 20min. Q=1st Gen (NJ is fuzzy)

AJ Pro Wrestling 30 1/10/99 '99 New Year's Giant Series taped 1/2 Tokyo Korakuen Hall & 1/7 taped Kochi-ken Min Taiikukaikan

Heavyweight Battle Royal

World Tag Titles: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama. Kobashi & Akiyama win titles.

NJ World Pro Wrestling 1/16/99 '99 Wrestling World in Tokyo Dome taped 1/4 Tokyo Dome

IWGP Jr. Tag Titles: Shinjiro Otani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Kendo Ka Shin & Dr. Wagner Jr. Ka Shin & Wagner win titles.

IWGP Jr. Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto

IWGP Tag Titles: Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Scott Norton vs. Keiji Muto. Muto wins title

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