NJPW NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING 2002 DVD VHS
Shin Nihon Puroresu Tapes Videos


NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #42 1/18/02 NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING 30th ANNIVERSARY VOL.1 WRESTLING WORLD 2002 taped 1/4 Tokyo Dome
-4hr 10min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

STRONG STYLE NEO CREATION: Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Inoue & Katsuyori Shibata. UWF-I style for the most part with some running off the ropes added in. Disappointing because Kakihara was the only one that was all that good, and this was hardly one of his great performances. Naruse's timing isn't that good. **

DESTINY TARGET: El Samurai & Minoru Tanaka vs. Koji Kanemoto & AKIRA. All the great spots you'd expect. No one stood above the pack, perhaps because they are all so good. Tanaka is a lot quicker than the others though. I got excited when Kanemoto got the match going earlier than I expected thinking maybe it would be something special for a junior match in the Tokyo Dome, but it wound up being 5 minutes too short. ***1/4

NEW YEAR RIVALS TAG MATCH: Kazunari Murakami & Yuki Ishikawa vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi. Surprisingly good because Murakami wrestled a lot longer and took a lot more offense. I wouldn't say he sold nor than an 8 minute tag match approaches long, but here he showed some willingness to be a wrestler rather than a 2 minute screw job. Murakami vs. Suzuki was stiff and intense. Suzuki was throwing Murakami around even though Murakami was giving him as little help as possible. Tanahashi also gave Murakami a fast German suplex. The high kick Murakami KO'd the kneeling Tanahashi with was wicked. **3/4

BREAKTHROUGH THE Jr.!!: Jushin Thunder Liger & The Great Sasuke & Tiger Mask vs. Jado & Gedo & Dick Togo. Very good well worked match. Started off spectacular then had it's ups and downs. Some sensational moves, mainly by Sasuke. He did his quebrada where he lands over the guard rail and a senton atomico over the top onto the ramp that Togo avoided. Despite his skull cracks and concussions, that nut Sasuke took this insane dangerous German suplex on the ramp from Togo. Togo's team did a lot of brawling, including trying to rip Tiger's mask off, but they worked very well together while Liger's team was three individuals. ***3/4

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Giant Silva. Nakanishi actually did a plancha, but this was a terrible matchup because Nakanishi had to use moves like that. He's a big strong guy, but he can't do his power moves to Silva. In a totally ridiculous spot, both men "fell" over the top rope to the floor when Nakanishi couldn't hold Silva up for his Argentine backbreaker. Nakanishi then did the afformentioned plancha and Silva was counted out, a finish that was occassionally acceptable...20 years ago! Silva got back into the ring and beat Nakanishi up. DUD

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Kendo Kashin vs. Daijiro Matsui. This was such an odd match it was almost entertaining. It started out with some cheap tactics then became something of a shoot style match. It quicky degenerated into a brawl with Kashin crotching Matsui on the top rope. In a hilarious sequence, Matsui tried to do a pescado but lost his balance pulling the ropes back to help project himself. When he regained his balance he decided to go through the middle ropes instead, but did it more like he was diving into a swimming pool and cracked his head on the floor. Matsui didn't sell this at all though, instead he mounted Kashin and threw several punches. I don't want Matsui to get hurt obviously, but sometimes it's funny seeing a guy that has absolutely no idea how to work pro style. Unfortunately, that carried over to his striking. He's one of those martial artists that fakes them by using way overexaggerated body motions to "mask" the fact that he's barely hitting his opponent. DUD

TRANSLATE TRADING...PURE PRO-WRES LOVE: Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura. Fairly traditional well worked match. It didn't last as long or build as slowly as I expected, which may or may not be a good thing. They did a good job of taking the match up and down. A great example is when Muto had Nishimura in the cobra twist and Fujinami ran in and gave Muto his own shining wizard. The match had more action than I expected. Hase carried it with Nishimura making strong contributions as well. Muto worked short segments, so he was fairly explosive and din't stall. ***

BE IN THE RING!!: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Naoya Ogawa. The only match on the show that had major heat. It had it's good points and it's moments, but ultimately it was another short Ogawa screw job. Instead of the usual Ogawa staredown before the bell Sasaki surprised him with a headbutt, knocked him down, and mounted. Murakami tackled Sasaki to get him off. After the match started Ogawa didn't respect Sasaki's rope break. Rather than let him up he started punting him in the head until Nakanishi jumped in. Murakami nearly intercepted Nakanishi then everyone hit the ring and it was the usual no contest. Ogawa was separate from the group, walking around bragging, so Sasaki gave him a German suplex. Ogawa & Murakami started to leave, so Sasaki hopped out after them. Unlike the Ogawa vs. Hashimoto matches, this one did a very good job of getting Sasaki over as the tough guy. He was always the aggressor, so if anyone Ogawa was the person that backed down or shied away.

INTERNAL TROUBLE OF TEAM 2000: Hiroshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Masahiro Chono & Giant Singh. This disproved my theory that Tenzan & Kojima could make any wrestler look decent. Then again, calling Singh a wrestler is something of a stretch. He did some moves, but otherwise all he did was stand there while they hit him going "rah" and flexing his muscles. Chono needed to take this match because he Silva can't log many minutes, but Chono didn't look up to it. He looked old and was clearly protecting himself physically. Thus, Tenzan & Kojima had no chance to save this because no one would take their offense. The finish where Singh accidentally knocked Silva off the apron and Tenzan rolled him up after a Kojima lariat was botched beyond belief. Singh had an argument with Chono and was going to beat him up, but Silva backed Chono up. DUD

GHC Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Jun Akiyama vs. Yuji Nagata. High end match for a NJ main event at the Tokyo Dome, but low end for what they should be capable of together. They did a good job getting crowd reaction. I wouldn't say heat, but regular pops for the moves. The match had no build or psychology though. Like Akiyama's matches against Misawa & Kobashi have become, it was all about the spots. There were plenty of nice ones like Akiyama going a DDT on the ramp and a tombstone on the floor. For what they tried to do it was excellent, but the match looked like a big NJ junior match with Kanemoto against maybe Otani in goofy mode. They execute so well, the match was very fast paced, and even stiffer than expected, but it's hard for me to get too excited when I know they should be getting so much more out of it. 19:58. ***1/2

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #47 2/22/02 EXTREME 2 DAYS taped 1/25/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr 35min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Katsushi Takemura 6:16

Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Inoue 9:09

El Samurai vs. Gran Naniwa 10:04

Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo 30:00 + 2:51. Consistently good match dominated by Kanemoto's team. Liger's knee was massively abused then when he finally tagged, Tanaka sold a long time as well. A hobbled Liger finally lost his temper and piledrove Gedo on the floor then used a table and chair on him, not that it gained much momentum for his unit. There match was largely strikes and submissions, but never fully clicked, probably because Jado & Gedo were their usual selves, but even Kakihara wasn't finding a groove. I'm not sure if the length helped the match or not, as on one hand it led to better body work, but on the other hand the pace was more measured. There were some highspots mixed in, but it didn't get too fancy until the overtime, which came after Kanemoto thought he submitted Tanaka. ***1/4

12 Man Heavyweight rumble 33:09

4/17/93 Minneapolis, MN American Indian Center (Ex VQ): Lightning Kid (X-Pac) vs. Sabu. This match really had its moments, as both men did some great spots. A lot of the spots weren't perfectly executed though, and at points they didn't seem to be on the same page. Kid blades heavily. A great indy match. ***1/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #49 3/8/02 FIGHTING SPIRIT 2002 Kaimakusen taped 2/1 Hokkaido-ken Sogo Taiiku Center
-2hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Chris Candido vs. Giant Singh

Yutaka Yoshie vs. Blue Wolf

Masahito Kakihara & Katsuyori Shibata vs. El Samurai & Wataru Inoue

Osamu Nishimura & Dan Devine vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi

Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & Tiger Mask & Masayuki Naruse vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo & GOKU-DO

Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Riki Choshu & Shiro Koshinaka

IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Rick Steiner vs. Kensuke Sasaki

IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Tadao Yasuda vs. Giant Silva

IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Yuji Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #50 3/15/02 FIGHTING SPIRIT 2002 taped 2/8 Hyogo Sangyo Kaikan
-2hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Chris Candido vs. Katsushi Takemura

Wataru Inoue vs. GOKU-DO

El Samurai & Tiger Mask vs. Masahito Kakihara & Katsuyori Shibata

Giant Silva & Giant Singh vs. Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie

Yuji Nagata & Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto

Shiro Koshinaka & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Masahiro Chono & Koji Kanemoto

Kensuke Sasaki & Dan Devine vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Rick Steiner

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Tag Senshukenjiai: Jado & Gedo vs. Minoru Tanaka & Masayuki Naruse

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #51 3/22/02 FIGHTING SPIRIT 2002 taped 2/11/02 Osaka Maishima Arena
-2hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Hiro Saito vs. Blue Wolf

El Samurai & Masayuki Naruse & Chris Candido vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Wataru Inoue & Katsushi Takemura

Giant Silva vs. Tatsutoshi Goto

Rick Steiner vs. Osamu Nishimura

Jushin Thunder Liger & Masahito Kakihara vs. Jado & Gedo

Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Yutaka Yoshie

Giant Singh vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Masahiro Chono & Koji Kanemoto vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Minoru Tanaka

Yuji Nagata & Tadao Yasuda vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Dan Devine

NJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL FIGHTING SPIRIT 2002 Saishusen 2/16/02 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
-3hr 15min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Handicap Match: Giant Singh & Giant Silva vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Dan Devine & Chris Candido

Daijiro Matsui vs. Katsuyori Shibata

IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Junkessho: Yuji Nagata vs. Rick Steiner

IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Junkessho: Masahiro Chono vs. Tadao Yasuda

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai & Masayuki Naruse & Wataru Inoue vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo & GOKU-DO

Tatsumi Fujinami & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi

Jiki IWGP Oza Chosensha Ketteisen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Osamu Nishimura

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Minoru Tanaka vs. Masahito Kakihara

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Kensuke Sasaki

IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Kesshosen: Yuji Nagata vs. Tadao Yasuda

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #53 4/6/02 HYPER BATTLE 2002 Kaimakusen taped 3/8 Niigata Shi Taiikukan
-2hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Hiro Saito vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Blue Wolf

Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Inoue & Katsushi Takemura

Minoru Tanaka & Eddy Guerrero & Black Tiger vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo

Giant Silva & Giant Singh vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & El Samurai

Masahiro Chono & Scott Norton & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Shiro Koshinaka & Yutaka Yoshie

IWGP Tag Champion Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Osamu Nishimura

IWGP Tag Champion Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tadao Yasuda & Dan Devine

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #54 4/13/02 HYPER BATTLE 2002 taped 3/14/02 Kyoto Shi Taiikukan
-2hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Katsushi Takemura 8:52

Hiro Saito vs. Blue Wolf 8:19

Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Wataru Inoue 2:50

Shinni Jr. vs. T2000Jr. Sanban Shobu (2/3 falls) Elimination Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & El Samurai & Masayuki Naruse & Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto & Eddy Guerrero & Black Tiger & Jado & Gedo 27:46. This could have been an excellent match if more wrestlers showed Kakihara's energy and enthusiasm. He wasn't great, but he was at least totally into it. The others killed the 1st half with mostly roughhousing from T2000, though Kanemoto & Tiger were interesting more often than not. Liger, Guerrero, & Tanaka also had their moments later on. It was disappointing because they certainly had the numbers to deliver from start to finish, but at least everyone showed up for the 2nd half. It turned into a nice match, but even when they were trying you never felt like it was clicking the way it should have been. ***1/4

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Dan Devine 8:55

Yuji Nagata & Osamu Nishimura vs. Tadao Yasuda & Yutaka Yoshie 23:00

IWGP Tag Champion Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Giant Silva & Giant Singh vs. Scott Norton & Super J 6:43

IWGP Tag Champion Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen: Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroyoshi Tanahahi 18:57

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #55 4/20/02 HYPER BATTLE 2002 taped 3/17 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
-2hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Masayuki Naruse vs. Katsushi Takemura. Takamura was more aggressive here, which didn't always work in his favor but kept the match going and made him more interesting to watch. He attacked before the bell, knocking Naruse to the floor with a dropkick and following with a tope. He was actually in this match. Naruse did some good body punches. The big problem was the sequences were awful because they would just stop and waiting for the other guy, but luckily there were only a couple. 8:06. *3/4

Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Dan Devine. Wasn't painful, but Goto isn't the guy to call on when the goal is to make the opposition look good. 6:59. *

Osamu Nishimura & Super J vs. Scott Norton & Hiro Saito. Beginning was the best because Nishimura's influence was greatest. Saito did his best to go with Nishimura on the mat. When Saito countered his hammerlock by grabbing a headlock, Nishimura did a headstand into a bridge and spun around Hiro's body until he could pull out and go back to applying pressure on the hammerlock. Unfortunately, the match also had Norton & J, who just no sold each other. 12:48. *3/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kensuke Sasaki. Stiff match. Tanahashi was getting brutalized then he made a surprising comeback and "came close to beating Sasaki a few times. Sasaki no sold his jumping elbow and flattened him with a lariat for the win though. Still, Tanahashi made a good showing even if only for a brief period. 8:41. **1/2

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai & Katsuyori Shibata & Wataru Inoue vs. Koji Kanemoto & Eddy Guerrero & Black Tiger & Jado. Much more energetic than the 8 man on the 4/27 show. Good from the start with lots of teamwork. Heels dominated with Tiger & Kanemoto being the standouts. Samurai was trapped in the ring, so Inoue decided to stomp some life in him after making a save. Shibata & Inoue were a big reason the faces were overmatched, both due to their low standing and Inoue having some trouble keeping up with the others, so though the match was well built it was somewhat surprising that Shibata scored the victory. Shibata & Inoue had thrown Liger & Samurai out so they could start the match, and after the match Inoue got into it with Samurai both in the ring and in the locker room. The two young faces had proved something even if they didn't look the best doing it. 16:53. ***1/2

Tadao Yasuda & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Designed to build up the Yasuda vs. Tenzan title match. Tenzan kept calling Yasuda out, but Yasuda would only fight Chono. Weird to see the face be the one tagging out to avoid a matchup. I doubt the matchup could have produced anything that would have made people want to see their title fight, so maybe it was better that they were mainly kept apart. Tenzan had Yasuda on the floor in the hadakajime when Chono finished Yoshie off. However, Yasuda laid him out with a punch before leaving the ring. 12:50. **

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Minoru Tanaka vs. Gedo. Tanaka went after the knee right away. A hobbling Gedo then turned it into a brawl, ramming Tanaka's arm into the post then wrapping it around the guard rail. These early injuries were pretty much left in favor of meandering. They worked well with each other, but what they did left something to be desired, especially for a title match. A good match that was disappointing because it came off as a house show match rather than a big title match. 14:50. ***

IWGP Tag Champion Kettei Tournament Junkessho: Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Giant Silva & Giant Singh. Upright match, especially with Singh, whose growing muscles make it even tougher for him to bend at all. Nagata & Nakanishi mainly used low kicks, but of course nothing could hurt the mighty giants. Thus, in order for them to win, the giants had to have a lame little fight amongst themselves. Silva put Singh down for the first time with a lariat then Nakanishi German suplexed him for the win. Match was so slow and deliberate with the giants no selling all the good strikes and making even the most basic strikes, which the natives were of course forced to put over, look pathetic. Giants fought each other after the match until T2000 tried to break it up. Singh attacked a few of those guys until they surrounded him, and Silva just walked off on his own. 9:23. -*

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #56 4/27/02 HYPER BATTLE 2002 taped 3/21 Tokyo Taiikukan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master. 1 DVD

Masayuki Naruse vs. Katsushi Takemura. Considering all Naruse did was strike, this was pretty unbelievable. The problem is Naruse is so deliberate with his punches his opponent would have to be out on their feet to not be able to avoid or counter them. Takemura did a tope. 4:32. *

Minoru Tanaka & El Samurai & Katsuyori Shibata & Wataru Inoue vs. Eddy Guerrero & Black Tiger & Jado & Gedo. Awfully lethargic for an 8 man junior match. Instead of sequences, they punched and kicked. They gave it enough time and it did get better during the last 7 minutes, but no one wrestled to their capability and the match never came close to taking off. 16:59. **1/4

Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Dan Devine & Blue Wolf. Everything was done well, but nothing difficult or particularly interesting. Certainly had more life and effort than the previous junior match though. 11:45. **

Tatsumi Fujinami & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Masahiro Chono & Koji Kanemoto. Chono & Kanemoto didn't want to wrestle, they wanted to piss the opposition off and beat them up. Liger's knee was the main focus, with Jado & Gedo chipping in as well from the outside. Chone & Kanemoto just stomped the knee repeatedly. Even though it was pretty simplistic, with Chono setting the tone by spitting on Fujinami early, it worked because they got over hatred and the mean spirited nature of the heels rather than just seeming to be taking the easy way out by doing the least energetic and risky things they could. The idea was better than the implementation because it was all evenly paced with nothing dynamic or dramatic about the implementation. Part of the problem was that Liger role was just to get beat on, so only Kanemoto was bringing energy and life to the match. 18:27. **3/4

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Osamu Nishimura. I didn't know Nakanishi could wrestle technically. He did Nishimura's match for once though, and it wasn't half bad. They mainly reversed and countered each other, and although Nakanishi isn't as smooth or quick reacting as you'd like, it was all very acceptable old school flashback stuff. I liked the idea of Nakanishi using his power to escape Nishimura's technique, but it was dropped early when Nakanishi started wrestling Nishimura's match. 14:56. **1/2

Giant Silva & Hiro Saito vs. Giant Singh & Tatsutoshi Goto. Well, here we finally have tag match where there are two wrestlers considerably worse than Scroto. The battle of the Giants was hilariously bad, a 7 foot girl fight with pitiful flailing and one of the lamest tackles. But of course, bigger is better. 6:22. DUD

IWGP Jiki Chosensha Ketteisen: Yuji Nagata vs. Scott Norton. This matchup doesn't work because Nagata is a supposed shooter, but Norton is a no sell monster. Thus the credibility of the guy that isn't on offense is seemingly always taking a hit. Norton injured Nagata's arm early and continued to dominate the one armed man for the first 10 minutes. Nagata made a big recovery and used kicks for most of the remainder, blasting the chest of Norton each time he tried to get off his knee and back to his feet. It would have been a lot more exciting if there was some give and take. 14:51. **

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Tadao Yasuda vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan. They didn't know what they wanted this match to be. You had one guy fighting from the guard and side mount, and the other running the ropes and doing moonsaults. Either can work, but in combination they negate each other. They seemed to think Tenzan doing more shoot stuff was going to help even though the shoot stuff negates his ability, but it's all or nothing. Tenzan doing no shoot stuff would actually have been much better, not only from the sense of his offense, but more importantly because he'd be trying to repell Yasuda's style. 13:25. *1/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #57 5/4/02 HYPER BATTLE 2002 Saishusen
taped 3/24/02 Hyogo Amagasaki-shi Kinen Koen Sogo Taiikukan
-2hr 10min. Q=TV Master. 1 DVD

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Blue Wolf. Short nothing match. Almost no high spots, but the execution was good. 6:28. *

Wataru Inoue vs. Dan Devine. Devine is very watchable for a "worked shooter" in New Japan, probably because he runs around rather than trying to do matwork that his opponents don't understand and/or aren't interested in. Devine has some good suplexes including his finisher - a doublearm where he spins his opponent 180 degrees and drops them on their back. Problem with this match was he totally dominated. 5:34 of 9:35.

Osamu Nishimura & Katsushi Takemura vs. Giant Singh & Tatsutoshi Goto. Even Nishimura couldn't get anything out of Singh. Singh's fallaway slam is so inept his back hit while Nishimura was landing on one leg. Nishimura had to purposely try not to get his balance so he could make a belated bump out of it. Despite being 7 foot, most minis have more impact on their moves because they don't move like molasses traveling uphil and can actually bend so they can throw their opponent down instead of placing them on the canvas. Singh's power moves would be way better if he just dropped his opponent. Singh did do a few moves that were at least passable, but it was the usual brief domination. Goto got to sell most of the time to make up for Singh not selling at all, and due to the opposition this brief portion was pretty good. 4:43. 1/2*

Scott Norton vs. Super J. More like T2000 vs. J, as they were trying to teach him a lesson for defecting. Luckily it was short. After the match the T2000 juniors stomped on J and Norton put the T2000 towel on him. Norton raised J's hand to show he forgave him and was willing to let him back in the fold, butJ double crossed him. 5:10. 1/2*

Tadao Yasuda & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Tanahashi. Sasaki brought energy to the match, and Yasuda & Yoshie followed that lead. Fans were into it once they were working hard. Clumsy bout, but at least the intensity was there and they did a few good near finishes. 12:04. **

Shin Ni Jr. vs. T2000 Jr. Sanbon Shobu Saishusen 5 vs. 5 Single Kachinogisen: Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & El Samurai & Masayuki Naruse & Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto & Eddy Guerrero & Black Tiger & Jado & Gedo. Damn good match with everyone but Naruse looking good and Guerrero making a fine, standing increasing showing. ***3/4

a) Liger vs. Jado 9:48. Longest, and nearly the best, portion of the match. Liger went for the quick win, but couldn't put Jado away and Jado came back attacking the knee. Good counters here, with Jado turning the shotei into an inverted atomic drop, crossface of Jado, and so on. They did a really good job of teasing the near finishes. Even though a fresh Liger & Jado should go the 10 minute time limit with no problem, the way they struggled for the win made it dramatic. Jado wasn't so much here to beat Liger as to get the New Japan captain out of the way, so Jado was happy to concede the double ring out, and his teammates were quick to jump in when Liger had Jado in a potential submission finisher. Jado failed on the first ring out attempt, but got it just before the time limit, which added steam to the rivalry, but sucked for the quality of the rest of the match. Very good.

b) Naruse vs. Tiger 7:59. Tiger isn't a striker, but the impact on his blows was so much more impressive than kicker Naruse's. It looks like Naruse is just concentrating on not really hurting his opponent, which results in him losing much of the momentum on his spinning strikes and telegraphing his strikes that the opponent was supposed to avoid. Naruse was better here than in some of his other matches from the period because he focused more on submissions. He's certainly a fine technical wrestler, but as with most of the former shoot wrestlers his credible style doesn't always blend with the looser pro style. It was an above average segment almost solely because Tiger was able to make things work. Tiger's performance was all the more impressive considering he's a lucha guy that was primarily doing Naruse's "shoot" style. Tiger did have a good run of flying once he got himself off the mat to finish Naruse off. Above average.

c) Kakihara vs. Tiger 3:56. The difference between Kakihara & Naruse is Kakihara has transformed into a pro wrestler while Naruse is still trying to get over the fact that RINGS closed. Kakihara was energetic and charismatic as ever, and generally impressive wrestling junior style despite a broken finger. He made a nice move when Tiger had him in running powerslam position to counter into a DDT. Tiger worked on Kakihara's broken finger, but perhaps because they wanted Kakihara to do two segments while injured they kept this awfully short to the point it mainly just showed potential. Good for what it was.

d) Kakihara vs. Guerrero 5:12. Guerrero owned this match from the second he stepped foot in the ring. Kakihara looked good offensively, but this segment was Guerrero through and through. Kakihara was back to his impressive kicks until Guerrero put the ref in the way, pushed him into Kakihara, and caught his off balance opponent with a kneecap dropkick. Guerrero worked the finger as well, but he also showed he actually does remember a lot of wrestling moves, and looked like the guy everyone raved about in the mid 90's. Good.

e) Samurai vs. Guerrero 6:28. Samurai needed to win this for the New Japan team, and brought out the big guns. They kind of did a finishing sequence, but it didn't feel that way because they did a nice job of working the big moves in. They started off brawling, but they knew when and how to use the flying and pinning moves that were a nice compliment to the high impact stuff. Nice finish where Samurai had an avalanche style move set up, but Guerrero pushed him off the top and hit the frog splash. The best portion for pure wrestling, but not as dramatic as Liger vs. Jado. Very good.

f) Minoru vs. Guerrero 4:48. One good thing about these matches is you can give a big push to a guy that doesn't survive, in this case Guerrero. It's amazing what he can still do when has reason to do something beyond embarrass himself and his race. This segment was disappointing though. Minoru was the last hope for team New Japan, and came in fired up, but that shockingly dissipated after the opening burst. Tanaka did little to show the necessary desperation or get the fans behind him, and Guerrero seemed uncertain how to work with him, whether to keep doing his usual thing or do a submission oriented match. The finish wasn't done right, but Guerrero takes such good bumps he wound up in the right position anyway, so Tanaka just had to make a little adjustment to save it. Above average.

g) Minoru vs. Kanemoto 7:48. Minoru & Kanemoto work really well together, but this was a rather odd way to cap the match. They were going for the high drama Minoru vs. Guerrero lacked, but both were dead way too early. Kanemoto came out on fire, igniting the crowd even though they were supposed to be rooting against T2000. Minoru could barely stand up from surviving nearly 5 whole minutes with Guerrero, so Kanemoto did most of the work, controlling the match and setting up Minoru for hope near finishes such as the flying armbar, Shawn capture, and rollup. Kanemoto was actually into long selling, and it didn't take long before he was looking way too exhausted and worn down as well. The near finishes were plentiful and well done though. Gedo, who thankfully didn't get the opportunity to screw up the match, was used to break up Tanaka's armbar. It was a really well worked match, but they had an even harder time making the quick finish work, perhaps because you expected more now that it was crunch time. Minoru was good, but you felt like Kanemoto had to try not to outwork and especially out charisma him. Good.

IWGP Tag Champion Kettei Tournament Kesshosen: Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. A lot of wasted time, but they did enough by the end to make you forget how dull the beginning was. Long feeling out process followed by too many submissions that weren't worked to and didn't have any chance of ending it. Nakanishi's Argentine "backbreaker" would be a lot more impressive if his opponent wasn't sideways bent at their waste around his neck. Last 10 minutes were quite good, especially the final Nagata vs. Tenzan segment. Fans were really into it by the end since the stakes were high and the match kept getting better and better. 23:16. **3/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #58 5/11/02 Inoki-ism FIGHTING SPIRIT SPECIAL taped 4/5/02 Tokyo Budokan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master. 1 DVD

El Samurai vs. Masayuki Naruse 8:46

Hiro Saito vs. Blue Wolf 7:16

Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 6:45

Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo 15:05

IWGP Ranking Satei (revision) Match: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yutaka Yoshie 9:24

IWGP Ranking Satei Match: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 20:00

IWGP Ranking Satei Match: Masahiro Chono vs. Osamu Nishimura 19:06

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Tadao Yasuda vs. Yuji Nagata 15:01

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #61 6/1/02 Inoki-ism BIG FIGHT SERIES 2002 taped 4/16/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Osamu Nishimura vs. Blue Wolf 8:29

El Samurai vs. Shane 5:01

Dan Devine vs. Hiro Saito 6:35

Rick Steiner vs. Tatsutoshi Goto 5:30

Shinni Jr. vs. T2000Jr. Sanban Shobu II Elimination Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & Masayuki Naruse & Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto & Black Tiger & Jado & Gedo 30:00 + 5:37. I want to love the current jr tag matches, but they just don't have right mix. Three shooters on the NJ team against a lucha guy (albeit a great one in Tiger) and two lazy unskilled brawlers who should have graduated to the heavyweight division a long time ago because they don't resemble juniors stylistically just doesn't work. The really disappointing thing is no one really stepped up to make up for the weaker wrestlers. It was one of those matches with a lot of average to good performances, but I really couldn't single anyone out as being particularly impressive. The 1st 8 minutes were weak, as they didn't do much and when they did either the time, rhythm, or execution was a little off. They picked it up for Tiger's elimination at 9:35, and the match was generally well wrestled from there, although they still stalled from time to time. Jado & Gedo set the tone of charging at the opponent and doing the least interesting and imaginative thing possible early, but the match became much more consistently good as Kanemoto attacked Liger's knee, setting up the theme of their 5/28/02 Super Jr. match. Jado & Gedo did a nice job of continuing this thread, and the NJ team was soon looking to be in serious trouble with only Tanaka, who possibly had a rib injury, and a gimpy Liger remaining. I began to get annoyed again, as it wasn't bad enough that Tiger was the 1st one out, but also the shocking upset fall was Kanemoto falling to a Tanaka right high kick, leaving Jado & Gedo. The match seemed to be laid out to get really good in the final 10 or so minutes, but with those two, that wasn't really possible, and the match continued at the good but hardly outstanding level until the time limit expired. As they were tied 2-2, they went into overtime with the next fall winning, ending when Jado upset Jr. champ Tanaka with the cross face of Jado because you know everyone is just pining for a Jado title shot. ***

Yuji Nagata & Tadao Yasuda vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Tanahashi 13:40

Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Yutaka Yoshie 21:33

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #62 6/8/02 BIG FIGHT SERIES 2002 taped 4/26/02 Fukuoka Kurume Kenritsu Taiikukan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Masahito Kakihara vs. Wataru Inoue. Kakihara looked to make easy work of Inoue, but Inoue would manage to kick out. He soon mounted a comeback, though in the end Kakihara did beat him rather easily. Somewhat deliberate with Inoue not looking particularly good and little chemistry between the two. Kakihara did a nice wakigatame counter for a verticle suplex. 8:04. **

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shane. Shibata dominated and looked good. Shane looks something like Jerry Lynn. He did a few good suplexes, but that was about it. These two did work well together though. 5:50. **1/4

Blue Wolf vs. Tatsutoshi Goto. Wolf got more moves in, but since Goto is the veteran his moves supposedly do more damage. 5:36. *1/4

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Gedo. Everything was well executed, but the level of difficulty is way down from where it was in the second half of the 90's. They just don't do that much with sequences and timing anymore. Steady pace and always good, but never better. 16:36. ***

Yuji Nagata & Tadao Yasuda & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Rick Steiner & Dan Devine. Slow very basic match. Not much of an effort here. Nagata vs. Sasaki and Devine was good, but those were the final segments. 13:53. *3/4

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Minoru Tanaka vs. Black Tiger. It's amazing how Silver King was an old man when he was wasting away in WCW in '97, yet 5 years later he's the best flyer in the world's most respected junior division and has a good match every time. Tiger controlled the match. Tanaka would try to comeback every few moves, but Tiger would make a clever counter to stay in control. Match was quite good except it was too short with Tanaka winning out of nowhere. Tanaka winning in that manner was fine given he could never sustain an offensive, but they left some really good minutes in them. Tanaka was nothing special, but Tiger's flying and countering made the match. 13:54. **1/4

Manabu Nakanishi & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Shockingly good. Had the look of a long match. Some good technical stuff early, but sometimes they were just dragging it out. At 14:00 it started looking like it could end soon, and they were able to keep this up for most of the next 21 minutes by turning the tide to keep the match going. Basic, but well executed and sold. The moves weren't so important because they made you care about them. Though it was no surprise it went the distance, they really fought hard in the last few minutes to make you think they might avoid it. Chono gave one of his good efforts. Nishimura, who was in most of the time carrying the match, easily gave one of his best. Nishimura was obviously able to do more with Tenzan, but the stuff with Chono was more than acceptable and of course got much better crowd response. I figured they'd get lazy and cut corners, but they kept wrenching the holds and struggling throughout. 30:00 + 5:00. ***3/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #59 5/18/02 NJPW 30th Anniversary Tokon Memorial Day Part 1 taped 5/2/02 Tokyo Dome
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Kintaro Kanemura vs. Daisuke Sekimoto 8:03

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Wataru Inoue 6:26

Tiger Mask III & Tiger Mask IV vs. El Samurai & Black Tiger 12:54

Manami Toyota & Yumiko Hotta vs. Kaoru Ito & Momoe Nakanishi 12:16

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Tag Senshukenjiai: Jado & Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka 17:44

Scott Norton & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Naoya Ogawa & Shinya Hashimoto 12:02

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #60 5/25/02 NJPW 30th Anniversary Tokon Memorial Day Part 2 taped 5/2/02 Tokyo Dome
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Tadao Yasuda vs. Don Frye 1:51

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bas Rutten 6:00

Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Scott Steiner & Rick Steiner 14:38

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Yuji Nagata vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 15:36. NJPW was more concerned with what PRIDE and K-1 were doing at this point than anything that was going on in the wrestling business. That mostly led to negatives, but here was a rare instance where they got a "shoot" right. They paired this down as much as possible, each man keeping his pro style suplexes, but that was about it. Nagata did run the ropes once, but was promptly greeted with a big knee. The match worked so well because they kept it simple. It was easy for the fans to understand, shoot style spectacle, but there also wasn't too much for Takayama to think about or screw up. They exchanged hard hits until someone seized the advantage and went for a suplex or a submission. Takayama had the advantage because he was so much bigger, so Nagata played the underdog role even though he was champion. This allowed him to show his heart and determination, and gave the fans, who erupted whenever something important happened, a big payoff in the end. Definitely one of Takayama's best matches. ***1/2

Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa 30:00

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #63 6/15/02 Yuji Nagata Special
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

6/6/01 Tokyo Nippon Budokan IWGP Heavykyu Senshuken: Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Yuji Nagata. Semi shoot style match with both guys wearing open hand gloves. Match wasn't believable despite staying within the confines of UWF-I. It was totally spot oriented with no tme spent setting anything up or getting positions. Fujita did a lot of strikes, but they were often off the mark and even if not looked fake, especially his knees from the side mount where the canvas takes most of the impact. Granted the shoot offense Fujita used wasn't the easiest to fake since it was mainly knees, but he could have used just about anything doable in a shoot since his actual matches are just him taking nasty shots to the head and laying on the opponent. At least Nagata's strikes were fast and generally impressive. His energy and the crowd heat were basically the good points. 10:57. *3/4

8/12/01 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan GI CLIMAX Yushoketteisen: Yuji Nagata vs. Keiji Muto. I wanted to convince myself they were building anticipation, but it was nothing more than the typical Muto stalling with almost nothing happening in the first half. The match lacked intensitity and I didn't believe in the submissions, in good part due to the laid back way Muto sells them that makes them seem like they hurt some but are no real threat. Basically, he sells an udehishigigyakujujigatame like one might sell a chinlock. The crowd was fantastic, but that was the only thing. The match was better when Muto did his pro spots. Unfortunately, most of the match was Muto trying Nagata's world, a place where he's never been effective. 22:03. **1/2

1/4/02 Tokyo Dome GHC Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Jun Akiyama vs. Yuji Nagata. High end match for a NJ main event at the Tokyo Dome, but low end for what they should be capable of together. They did a good job getting crowd reaction. I wouldn't say heat, but regular pops for the moves. The match had no build or psychology though. Like Akiyama's matches against Misawa & Kobashi have become, it was all about the spots. There were plenty of nice ones like Akiyama going a DDT on the ramp and a tombstone on the floor. For what they tried to do it was excellent, but the match looked like a big NJ junior match with Kanemoto against maybe Otani in goofy mode. They execute so well, the match was very fast paced, and even stiffer than expected, but it's hard for me to get too excited when I know they should be getting so much more out of it. 19:58. ***1/2

2/16/02 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan IWGP Oza Kettei Tournament Kesshosen: Yuji Nagata vs. Tadao Yasuda. This wasn't just a collection of shoot spots like the 6/6/01 Fujita match. It was more believable because, among other things, not much happened early. The thing with worked shoots is if you want to be realistic it's not about when the moves are done, but that the portions where something happens are broken up by parts where someone is simply trying to set something up and parts that are simply a stalemate. They mainly used submissions. It wasn't too exciting, especially since they were kind of laid back, but it was well worked considering NJ and Yasuda. 15:15. **

4/5/02 Tokyo Budokan IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Tadao Yasuda vs. Yuji Nagata. Started off much faster and more intense. However, after a minute it began looking a lot like their previous meeting. Overall, it was more exciting and less realistic with more desperation and slightly less disappointing heat of a few extra big spots. Nagata did his exploder in this one. Match was pretty well done, but their quasi shoot style didn't appeal to me much. Takayama attacked Nagata after the match and beat up a few undercarders that tried to save. 15:01. **1/4

5/2/02 Tokyo Dome, IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Yuji Nagata vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 15:36. NJPW was more concerned with what PRIDE and K-1 were doing at this point than anything that was going on in the wrestling business. That mostly led to negatives, but here was a rare instance where they got a "shoot" right. They paired this down as much as possible, each man keeping his pro style suplexes, but that was about it. Nagata did run the ropes once, but was promptly greeted with a big knee. The match worked so well because they kept it simple. It was easy for the fans to understand, shoot style spectacle, but there also wasn't too much for Takayama to think about or screw up. They exchanged hard hits until someone seized the advantage and went for a suplex or a submission. Takayama had the advantage because he was so much bigger, so Nagata played the underdog role even though he was champion. This allowed him to show his heart and determination, and gave the fans, who erupted whenever something important happened, a big payoff in the end. Definitely one of Takayama's best matches. ***1/2

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #64 6/22/02 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX taped 5/24/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Toru Yano vs. Wataru Inoue. Shorter but not as basic as expected. Inoue let Yano stomp him then beat him with two moves. 5:17. *

El Samurai & Blue Wolf vs. AKIRA & GOKU-DO. Sluggish match. Wolf and GOKU-DO, who is pretty slow these days, weren't on the level. AKIRA did look good. 8:35. *

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX Koshiki Leagusen A Block: Black Tiger vs. Curry Man. Good matchup for Curry because Tiger has all kinds of offense and isn't afraid to use it. Should have been a killer match, but it was all spots so they were "dead" quickly and went home. Tiger pulled out all his best moves, and Curry was doing some cool stuff as well. Tiger did one extremely impressive spot where he pressed Curry straight up after whipping him into the ropes and dropkicked him in the chin before Curry landed. Curry did a neat slingshot Oklahoma side roll. 8:46. ***1/4

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX Koshiki Leagusen B Block: Tiger Mask vs. Gedo. Gedo dominated, so it was slow and basic. Tiger looked extremely quick and was excellent offensively with a real burst to his moves and such crisp execution. Unfortunately, it ended soon after Tiger finally went on offense. 10:57 of 14:49. **3/4

Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Scott Norton & Tatsutoshi Goto. Couldn't end quick enough. Nishimura wasn't in much, and couldn't do much when he was in given the opposition. Mainly Yoshie was beat on, but suddenly one deadly back blow and Goto was done. 7:22. 1/2*

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX Koshiki Leagusen B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Masayuki Naruse. With the bottle hair and the white tights, these guys seem to be trying to look like twins. The matwork was just okay. They weren't just laying around, but there wasn't much in the way of countering or transitioning either. They graduated to doing the same move back and forth, with Tanaka of course doing it better. It wasn't until the final minutes that they differentiated themselves. From there it was good, but the majority of the match seemed to be biding time. 12:14. **1/2

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX Koshiki Leagusen A Block: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Katsuyori Shibata. When Liger was busy doing his pre match pose on the top, Shibata launched a sneak attack with a shotei and superplex. He stayed on Liger, even overpowering Liger's attempted comebacks. Finally, Liger came back with a shotei when Shibata was too busy posing. All of this played perfectly into the angle they've been doing where Shibata & Inoue are faces but oppose the methods of their older counterparts. Shibata is like the new Takaiwa in that he's in the junior division despite not having the typical body type or being made for the traditional style, but again that can make the matches more interesting since they realize that and don't try to be something they aren't. The problem with this match is Liger wound up taking most of Shibata's offense, but once Shibata got close to winning Liger took him out with a couple big moves. 9:45. ***

Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tadao Yasuda & Kenzo Suzuki. Tanahashi looked good here, but otherwise the match was pretty week. Yasuda & Suzuki did little. Kenzo couldn't even throw a good chop, for some reason always keeping his elbow bent. 11:07. *1/2

Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Masahito Kakihara vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Koji Kanemoto. Minoru Fujita invaded the ring before the match and cut a promo. Consistent quality. Chono seems to wrestle better when Tenzan is his partner, and shows up more often. Unfortunately, Tenzan is nowhere near the tag wrestler he was with Kojima. He works much slower now and has no teamwork with Chono. His stuff vs. Nagata was good, as was Kakihara vs. Kanemoto, who battled over whose striking was superior. Kakihara was in a lot and was the primary positive facto, though he got a lot of help with all his opponents giving good showings. Instead of making the guy that shows up in the main event a whipping boy, they put Kakihara over, which gives him reason to be there again. Kakihara even got to do his Kaki cutter to Tenzan & Chono after the match when Chono was jawing with Nagata. Then Fujita showed up again and stomped Chono untl T2000 ganged up on him. 19:08. ***

NJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL 30th Anniversary Sendai Tokan Memorial Day 5/28/02 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center
-3hr. Q=TV Master

Masayuki Naruse & Masahito Kakihara & Curry Man vs. Black Tiger & Gedo & GOKU-DO 8:29

The Bloody vs. Sachie Abe 7:21

Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Blue Wolf & Wataru Inoue 6:22

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX Koshiki Leagusen B Block: Minoru Tanaka vs. Tiger Mask 10:22

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX Koshiki Leagusen A Block: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto 17:17. Probably the most focused and disciplined match these two have had. Kanemoto totally dominated, disseminating Liger's knee with kicks and submissions. He was simply relentless, preventing Liger from establishing any foothold in the contest. The fans went nuts when Liger finally came back with his avalanche style brainbuster and shotei for a near fall, but his gimpiness prevented any further immediate aggression, and a "Kane-moto" chant broke out by the time Liger brainbustered Koji to the floor. Liger had sold for so long that his offense in the bout was all heavy artillery seeking the finish. He had one big run, but it was interrupted by a great spot where Liger wasn't in a huge hurry because he'd just laid Kanemoto out with a running shotei in the corner. Kanemoto was still down, but shocked Liger by recovering enough to hook a kneebar out of nowhere, bringing the main theme of the contest back to halt Liger's big run. Liger managed to survive, but was badly hobbled and never recovered, with Kanemoto soon scoring the upset with his standing heel hold. ****

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Yoshiaki Yatsu 13:17

Shinni vs. T2000 Go-dai (5 big) Single Match 1: Tadao Yasuda vs. Tatsutoshi Goto 0:49

Shinni vs. T2000 Go-dai (5 big) Single Match 2: Kensuke Sasaki vs. AKIRA 0:38

Shinni vs. T2000 Go-dai (5 big) Single Match 3: Kenzo Suzuki vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 9:41

Shinni vs. T2000 Go-dai (5 big) Single Match 4: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Scott Norton 15:00

Shinni vs. T2000 Go-dai (5 big) Single Match 5: Yuji Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono 12:36

 

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #66 7/6/02 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. IX taped 6/5/02 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Inoue 3:29

Tatsutoshi Goto & Hiro Saito vs. El Samurai & Blue Wolf 8:38

Shiro Koshinaka & Kenzo Suzuki vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Katsuyori Shibata 8:27

Jushin Thunder Liger & Yon-dai Tiger Mask & Curry Man vs. Black Tiger & Gedo & GOKU-DO 13:29

Yuji Nagata & Masahito Kakihara vs. Scott Norton & AKIRA 10:34

Bas Rutten vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 3:41

IWGP Tag Title Match: Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Osamu Nishimura 60:00

IWGP Heavyweight Title Next Challenger Decision Match: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Tadao Yasuda 5:35

BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. Final: Koji Kanemoto vs. Minoru Tanaka 14:12. A nice little league match, but certainly not up to the standards of past finals. Stiff kicks and submissions were the basis, but they were trying to entertain rather than be credible, which was a good move, but one they didn't truly commit to. The execution was crisp and explosive with Tanaka in particular pulling some complex, speedy counters, but there was nothing really awe inspiring to counteract them not really making you believe in it. It all looked nice, but there was no special drama, no real surprises, nothing to elevate the importance or atmosphere to what you'd expect from a big time final. ***1/2

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #67 7/13/02 BATTLE ZONE taped 6/7/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

El Samurai & Blue Wolf vs. Katsuyori Shibata & Wataru Inoue 7:24

DDT Provided Match: Takashi Sasaki & MIKAMI vs. Poison Sawada JULIE & Kage Hebi 14:39

ARSION Provided Match: Michiko Omukai & Mariko Yoshida & Rie Tamada & Ai Fujita & baby A vs. Lioness Asuka & GAMI & noki-A & Bionic J & Faby Apache 19:02

Tadao Yasuda & Osamu Nishimura vs. Hiro Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto 2:21

Koji Kanemoto & AKIRA & Black Tiger & Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & Yon-dai Tiger Mask & Curry Man 12:36

Yutaka Yoshie vs. Minoru Fujita 6:16

Bas Rutten vs. Masayuki Naruse 6:37

Masahiro Chono & Scott Norton vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi 11:59

Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Manabu Nakanishi 17:50

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Kensuke Sasaki 22:44. They tried to do a great match, but it was kind of goofy. Bas Rutten was at ringside, and it started out as a credible quasi UWF Nagata style match. Nagata's kicks were absolutely fabulous. I mean, rip roaring awesome, perhaps the most brutal he's ever been. The matwork was on the dull side as they weren't feeding each other to say the least, but at least I knew what this match was, for better or worse. After Sasaki took a series of ferocious kicks, he totally changed the match up, coming back with his power moves. From here, the match lacked direction and focus. They did throw everything they had at each other, at one point or another, but the match was inconsistent and the selling was also across the board. I loved the spot on the floor where Sasaki charged with his lariat, but Nagata made a flash counter into his exploder, and there were some other moments of brilliance, and dramatic near falls. On the other hand, after Sasaki has removed all credibility by using most of his power moves in the middle, he's suddenly going back to the kick and submission stuff 20 minutes in, using a series of outside leg kicks (not something we ever see from him) to set up the scorpion. They emptied their arsenal, and did all sorts of near falls. The announcers were screaming best bout, but I found it a bit too muddled. ***1/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #69 7/27/02 SUMMER FIGHT SERIES 2002 taped 6/23/02 Nagaoka Shi Kosei Kaikan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Wataru Inoue vs. Toru Yano. Yano was better, looking more sure of what he was doing, but the result was the same with Inoue taking him out with two moves. Yano looked very competent, working Inoue's appendages looking for a submission since he's not allowed to do highspots. 6:35. *1/4

El Samurai vs. GOKU-DO. Tanaka is a heavyweight trapped in the junior body that wastes too much time between holds like he's still in the WWE. He was on offense the majority of the match just killing time. Samurai was fine when he was actually on offense, but mainly just went along with Tanaka's stalling. 7:50. *1/2

Takemura Jr. 7-bon Shobu #2: Tiger Mask vs. Katsushi Takemura. Takemura is getting his first push now that he returned from Mexico as a rudo. Now he bleaches his hair so he can be "special" like everyone else, though at least his blue dragon pants are pretty nice. Takemura suddenly has offense. He was doing well until Tiger caught him in a submission. Match was entertaining enough, but they aren't used to working with one another and it really showed. 6:05. **1/4

Jushin Thunder Liger & Masayuki Naruse vs. AKIRA & Gedo. I'm really beginning to dislike Gedo. His matches are better than they've been since WAR, but he was more tolerable when he was a pretty good wrestler that was generally lazy. I didn't expect much from him then, and even if he did give the effort he should the match wasn't going to be much. Now he's fighting guys that can do things and can go, but he mainly does unskilled stuff anyone willing could take and slows the whole match to a crawl. Naruse's leg was the primary target of AKIRA & Gedo's offense. The match picked up at 9:30 when Liger went on offense, but he inexplicably tagged out by 11 and the match was over just after 12:30. Those last 3 minutes were good, even in spite of Naruse screwing up just before the end and not being able to recover, but the rest should have been much better. 12:33. **1/2

Osamu Nishimura & Rob Rage vs. Scott Norton & Tatsutoshi Goto. Another waste of Nishimura putting him with guys that don't care about what he offers. Norton is a bad opponent for Rage because, although his vaunted muscles are notably bigger, Norton's height exposes how short Rage is. Rage actually shows flashes that make me think he might have turned into a pretty good athletic wrestler if he didn't "spend all his time pumping iron". In any case, this disaster was defined by one sequence where Rage eventually figured out how to apply the scorpion then refused to release despite Goto coming in and pounding him repeatedly. Goto was only saved from total embarrassment by the ref, who forced him out so he didn't have to DQ him for breaking the 5 second rule. 10:28. *

Kensuke Sasaki & Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Blue Wolf vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Shiro Koshinaka & Super J & Yutaka Yoshie. Koshinaka was more like his old self bringing energy and life to the match. Otherwise, there wasn't much to get excited about. Sasaki & Nakanishi tried, but were mainly no selling each other. Wolf is getting better, but Tanahashi isn't bringing the energy he used to. Tanahashi & Yoshie got into a fight after the match then most of the others joined in. 17:56. *3/4

6/5 IWGP Tag Senshuken: Chono & Tenzan vs. Nishimura & Nakanishi. 4:26 shown

Yuji Nagata & Minoru Tanaka & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Masahiro Chono & Koji Kanemoto & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. It's rare to see the IWGP Heavyweight and Junior champs teaming up in a 4 man tag. We didn't again because Tenzan, who was at the table to announce, decided to be part of the match instead so Nakanishi soon came out to even the sides. They delivered a match that did a good job keeping the current rivalries alive. It was kind of short, but with quick tags and good energy. One major lowlight where Nakanishi mounted and gave Tenzan a series of the worst Mongolian chops ever, often not even making contact, but otherwise it was good. 12:56. **3/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #70 8/3/02 SUMMER FIGHT SERIES 2002 taped 7/4/02 Hyogo Kenritsu Budokan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

El Samurai vs. Toru Yano. Almost entirely on the mat. Yano was allowed to get the better of it, but of course lost as soon as Samurai did anything. 5:57. *

Takemura Jr. 7-bon Shobu #3: Masayuki Naruse vs. Katsushi Takemura. Amazingly, this was one of Naruse's best New Japan matches. It was more realistic with Takemura being rightfully leery of Naruse's strikes. He kept faking so Naruse didn't have an easy target, and wasn't afraid to simply back away. Takemura used the early portion to try to time Naruse's kicks so he could get the takedown. They didn't do many spots, but it was interesting because they were working toward something big, but the opponent was more legitimate in his resistance. Takemura is using some Lucha pinning moves and high spots now, but these moves didn't come easily. Naruse's kicks were actually pretty good. It got less realistic as the match progressed, which is typical, but Takemura got good reactions when he did something semi big largely because he was the underdog trying to break into the main card. 12:58. ***

Tiger Mask & Wataru Inoue vs. Gedo & GOKU-DO. Tiger did a good job, but otherwise this was putting me to sleep. Gedo once again did nothing, at least beyond trying to make the eye rake a motif. Maybe a decade or two ago Inoue's strikes might have seemed good, but with shoots being so visible these days when I see a guy loading them up I just think fake and hope the opponent avoids this Marconi special. 11:23. *1/4

Osamu Nishimura & Rob Rage vs. Hiro Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto. Replacing Norton with Saito made for a more technical match. Not good technical, but at least there was some back and forth. Saito & Goto still did a lot of brawling, of course. Rage wasn't involved much. 11:20. *3/4

Manabu Nakanishi & Yutaka Yoshie & Dan Devine vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Blue Wolf. Dull stompfest. Wolf was taken a bit more seriously, with Nakanishi even "needing" to be saved from his finisher. 17:38. *1/2

G1 SPECIAL TAG A Block vs. B Block: Kensuke Sasaki & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Masahiro Chono. Not too inspired. Either they punched and kicked or applied a rest hold. 10:03. *1/2

Yuji Nagata & Super J vs. Scott Norton & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Tenzan needs a role or something to motivate him. With his best partner Satoshi Kojima in All Japan and his best opponent Shinya Hashimoto in ZERO-ONE, he just seems to be going through the motions. Nagata was good, but Tenzan didn't hold up his end with J. Tenzan & Norton did show some teamwork that was similar to Tenzan & Kojima except slower. Norton worked fast with Nagata though. 15:28. **

IWGP Junior Tag Title Match: Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka vs. Koji Kanemoto & AKIRA 22:42. More of a heavyweight story match based around Kanemoto & AKIRA's kneework that would pickup with Liger & Tanaka's hot offense. No one was at their best, but everyone made good contributions. The heels carried the match, working over Tanaka for long periods then sprinting with Liger for short ones. Kanemoto was the best, doing some excellent stuff with Liger, as always. The first half had too much unimaginitive stalking, but the second half was excellent, and they were bringing the house down toward the finish. Tanaka was beat on forever, largely focusing on his knee. Of course, that would be a better strategy if their submission wasn't the ankle lock and STF. I didn't like that Tanaka finally made the hot tag moments after he failed to come back with a missle kick, but the match picked up at 12 with Liger cleaning house. Liger's advantage didn't last that long, as Kanemoto kneed him after a series of counters and AKIRA dropkicked him when Kanemoto matadored his charge. Tanaka had a hizajujigatame, but T2000 distracted the ref. On the other hand, AKIRA had Tanaka in the STF, but Liger couldn't save because Kanemoto had him in the ankle lock on the floor. Kanemoto holds his opponent so high for the ankle lock that it's irritating when the opponent doesn't just roll him immediately. There were several points where the match looked like it would end in 30 seconds, but they always found a way for it to continue. The second half was very dramatic, particularly with all the spots where the partner was unable to save. ****

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #72 8/17/02 30th Anniversary Memorial #6 taped 7/19 & 7/20 Hokkaido-ken Sogo Taiiku Center
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Note: longer matches are joined in progress

7/19/02

Masahito Kakihara vs. Tatsutoshi Goto 0:42

Minoru Fujita vs. Blue Wolf 10:00

GI CLIMAX Shutsujosha (participants) Ketteisen: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Tadao Yasuda 5:30

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Minoru Tanaka vs. Koji Kanemoto 9:28 of 22:02. Pretty sweet technical wrestling and countering here, with both showing impressive speed. The basis was quasi UWF style, but Kanemoto was still doing his moonsaults. Kanemoto tended to dictate, with Minoru hitting a super fast counter to set off a brief flurry of offense. Kanemoto worked Minoru's knee and ankle, and Minoru was attacking the knee some as well, though he never seemed to sustain an advantage. Minoru was able to twist or spin his way out of so many Kanemoto submissions, but finally when Kanemoto had him in the heel hold, he ducked Minoru's enzuigiri and dragged him to the center to become the 43rd champion. ***1/2 range

IWGP Tag Senshukenjiai: Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Rick & Scott Steiner 19:08

7/20/02

Manabu Nakanishi & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Tadao Yasuda & Yutaka Yoshie 6:59

Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi 13:42

Kazuyuki Fujita Return Match: Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Masahito Kakihara 1:09

G1 Special Tag ~A Block vs. B Block~: Masahiro Chono & Osamu Nishimura vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yoshihiro Takayama 28:40

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Yuji Nagata vs. Bas Rutten 8:10

NJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL G1 CLIMAX 2002 Kaimakusen 8/3/02 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-3hr. Q=TV Master

Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse vs. Wataru Inoue & Blue Wolf

Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & El Samurai

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shiro Koshinaka

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yutaka Yoshie

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Kenzo Suzuki vs. Tadao Yasuda

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Osamu Nishimura

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Yugi Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #75 9/7/02 GI CLIMAX 2002 taped 8/3 & 8/4 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

8/3

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Osamu Nishimura

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Yugi Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

8/4

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tadao Yasuda

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

Full match list coming soon

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #76 9/14/02 GI CLIMAX 2002 taped 8/7 Fukuoka Kokusai Center
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Blue Wolf vs. Wataru Inoue

Tiger Mask & Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo

Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka & El Samurai vs. Azteca & Cosmo*Soldier & Diablo

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Yutaka Yoshie

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Osamu Nishimura vs. Tadao Yasuda

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Masahiro Chono vs. Kenzo Suzuki

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Shiro Koshinaka

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Yuji Nagata

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #77 9/21/02 GI CLIMAX 2002 taped 8/8 Hiroshima Green Arena
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

El Samurai & Blue Wolf vs. Wataru Inoue & Toru Yano

Minoru Tanaka & Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo

Jushin Thunder Liger & Super Delfin & Ebessan vs. Tiger Mask 4 & Billyken Kid & Kuishinbo Kamen

Masahiro Chono vs. Mysterious Masked Man X

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yutaka Yoshie

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Kenzo Suzuki

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Shiro Koshinaka

G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshiki Leagusen: Osamu Nishimura vs. Yuji Nagata

G1 CLIMAX A Block Koshiki Leagusen: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kensuke Sasaki

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #78 9/28/02 GI CLIMAX 2002 taped 8/10 & 8/11 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

8/10

G1 Advance to Semifinals Decision Match: Osamu Nishimura vs. Manabu Nakanishi

G1 CLIMAX Junkessho: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Masahiro Chono

G1 CLIMAX Junkessho: Osamu Nishimura vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

8/11

Manabu Nakanishi & Masayuki Naruse vs. Tadao Yasuda & Ryushi Yanagisawa

Yuji Nagata & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Osamu Nishimura

G1 CLIMAX Kesshosen: Masahiro Chono vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

NJPW G1 CLIMAX 2002 Vol. 1 8/3/02-8/5/02
-4hr 15min. Q=Perfect. 2DVD

8/3/02 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

G1 Climax A Block: Shiro Koshinaka vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 8:52

G1 Climax A Block: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 15:53

G1 Climax A Block: Kenzo Suzuki vs. Tadao Yasuda:37

G1 Climax A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Osamu Nishimura30:00

G1 Climax A Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono 16:00

G1 Climax A Block: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 12:11

8/4/02 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

G1 Climax A Block: Shiro Koshinaka vs. Yutaka Yoshie 10:54

G1 Climax A Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Kenzo Suzuki 14:51

G1 Climax A Block: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 1:40

G1 Climax A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tadao Yasuda 2:15

G1 Climax A Block: Osamu Nishimura vs. Masahiro Chono 30:00

G1 Climax A Block: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 13:18

8/5/02 Takamatsu Shi Taiikukan

G1 Climax A Block: Osamu Nishimura vs. Kenzo Suzuki 18:10

G1 Climax A Block: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yutaka Yoshie 0:41

G1 Climax A Block: Shiro Koshinaka vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 11:02

G1 Climax A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 9:24

G1 Climax A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Masahiro Chono 16:17

G1 Climax A Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Tadao Yasuda 11:10

NJPW G1 CLIMAX 2002 Vol. 2 8/7/02-8/11/02
-4hr 15min. Q=Perfect. 2DVD

8/7/02 Fukuoka Kokusai Center

G1 Climax A Block: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 11:28

G1 Climax A Block: Osamu Nishimura vs. Tadao Yasuda 1:36

G1 Climax A Block: Kenzo Suzuki vs. Masahiro Chono 17:33

G1 Climax A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 14:49

G1 Climax A Block: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Shiro Koshinaka 8:33

G1 Climax A Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi 17:21

8/8/02 Hiroshima Green Arena

G1 Climax A Block: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 10:38

G1 Climax A Block: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Kenzo Suzuki 11:17

G1 Climax A Block: Shiro Koshinaka vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 12:00

G1 Climax A Block: Yuji Nagata vs. Osamu Nishimura 30:00

G1 Climax A Block: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 15:52

8/10/02 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

G1 Advance to Semifinals Decision Match: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Osamu Nishimura 5:49

G1 Climax Semifinal: Masahiro Chono vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 22:03

G1 Climax Semifinal: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Osamu Nishimura 22:38

8/11/02 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan, G1 Climax Final: Masahiro Chono vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 20:23

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #79 10/5/02 CROSS ROAD taped 8/29/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

El Samurai & Tiger Mask vs. PABLO & Hi69 9:07

Jado & Gedo vs. Curry Man & Ikuto Hidaka 13:27

Shin Nihon vs. NOAH Jr. Sanbon Shobu ~NO.1: Wataru Inoue vs. KENTA 9:56

Shin Nihon vs. NOAH Jr. Sanbon Shobu ~NO.2: Koji Kanemoto vs. Makoto Hashi 15:41

Masayuki Naruse vs. Takehiro Murahama 20:00. Murahama once again proved he can do any style. It was almost as if he and Naruse were still in RINGS. As a theme match, it more strictly adhered to shoot style than almost anything that's been seen in NJ rings. For the first 15 minutes, the only real difference is there were a couple of pin attempts. Murahama killed the illusion toward the end with a tope con hile, suichoku rakka brainbuster, small package and schoolboy. Still, the positions they used throughout and they way they got in and out of them were a lot more credible than most of the UWF and UWF-I stuff, which was pro wrestlers trying to do something that looked like a shoot rather than martial artists trying to work. Murahama didn't show up in RINGS until the worked days were over, but he showed a ton of potential in the style. The match was pretty much at Naruse's typical RINGS level, quality but not exactly memorable. It wasn't particularly dramatic, which can be okay, or complicated, which I felt dragged it down. I believe they had a lot more capability to feed each other, especially on the mat, than they showed here. But obviously it's very hard when one guy is suddenly going back to a style with entirely different goals and mindset without any practice, and the other guy is sort of doing it for the first time. **3/4

Giant Silva vs. Giant Singh 10:30

Super Rookie Debutsen: Tadao Yasuda vs. Shinsuke Nakamura 4:26

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Minoru Fujita 1:12

Shin Nihon vs. NOAH Jr. Sanbon Shobu ~NO.3: Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru 22:16

KING OF GLADIATOR semi-Final: Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Kazuyuki Fujita 8:28

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #80 10/12/02 G1 WORLD 2002 taped 9/6 Ishikawa Sangyo Tenjikan 3
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Wataru Inoue vs. Toru Yano

Kenzo Suzuki & Blue Wolf vs. Tatsutoshi Goto & Hiro Saito

Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo vs. Minoru Tanaka & Masayuki Naruse & Tiger Mask

Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Yutaka Yoshie

Mixed Tag Match: Yuji Nagata & Jushin Thunder Liger & Masahito Kakihara vs. Joanie Lauer & Shane & Justin McCully

GI SPECIAL: Osamu Nishimura vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Masahiro Chono & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tadao Yasuda & Hiroshi Tanahashi

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #81 10/19/02 G1 WORLD 2002 taped 9/13/02 Miyagi-ken Sports Center
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

El Samurai & Masayuki Naruse vs. Minoru Tanaka & Masahito Kakihara 9:53

Hiro Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Toru Yano 9:02

Koji Kanemoto & Gedo vs. Tiger Mask & Wataru Inoue 14:19

Joanie Laurer & Justin McCully & Shane vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Blue Wolf 8:41

G1 Special: Yuji Nagata vs. Yutaka Yoshie 15:00

Tadao Yasuda & Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai #1 & Makai #2 vs. Masahiro Chono & Yuji Nagata & Osamu Nishimura & Jushin Thunder Liger 6:14

G1 Special: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 10:38

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #82 10/26/02 GI WORLD 2002 taped 9/16 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Blue Wolf vs. Toru Yano

Masahito Kakihara & Justin McCully vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Masayuki Naruse

Shiro Koshinaka & Kenzo Suzuki vs. Tatsutoshi Goto & Hiro Saito

Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo vs. El Samurai & Tiger Mask & Wataru Inoue

Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka vs. GREAT MUTA & Shane

GI SPECIAL: Osamu Nishimura vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi

Yuji Nagata vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa

Masahiro Chono vs. Tadao Yasuda

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #83 11/2/02 GI WORLD SPECIAL taped 9/22 Osaka Namihaya Dome
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Blue Wolf vs. Wataru Inoue

Shiro Koshinaka & Masayuki Naruse vs. Tatsutoshi Goto & Hiro Saito

El Samurai & Minoru Tanaka vs. Jado & Gedo

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kenzo Suzuki vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Masahito Kakihara

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Osamu Nishimura

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Koji Kanemoto vs. Tiger Mask

4 vs. 4 Single Kachinogisen: Masahiro Chono & Yuji Nagata & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tadao Yasuda & Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai 1 & Makai 2

Masahiro Chono & Yuji Nagata & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Tadao Yasuda & Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai 1 & Makai 2

NJPW SXW 10/28/02 2002 Muga in Tokyo taped 10/6/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Masahito Kakihara vs. Toru Yano 4:33

Tatsuo Nakano vs. Nobuyuki Kurashima 8:19

Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes vs. Pinoi Boy & Jack The Bull 11:00

American Dragon vs. Wataru Inoue 8:19

Kenzo Suzuki vs. Blue Wolf 11:42

Manabu Nakanishi & Masayuki Naruse vs. Yuji Nagata & Minoru Tanaka 15:10

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 7:30

Takashi Iizuka Return Match: Osamu Nishimura vs. Takashi Iizuka 24:14

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #84 11/9/02 THE SPIRAL taped 10/14 Tokyo Dome
NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #85 11/16/02 THE SPIRAL taped 10/14 Tokyo Dome
-4hr 20min. Q=TV Master. 4 DVDs

Shin Ni Jr. vs. Los Jr.: Jushin Thunder Liger & Masahito Kakihara & Tiger Mask vs. Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes & American Dragon

Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shinya Makabe & Minoru Fujita

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Koji Kanemoto vs. Heat

KING OF GLADIATOR NWF Heavykyu Oza Kettei Tournament semi-Final: Tadao Yasuda vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun (enemy army) Single 7-bon Shobu: Yutaka Yoshie vs. Ryushi Yanagisawa

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun Single 7-bon Shobu: Osamu Nishimura vs. Bas Rutten

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun Single 7-bon Shobu: Masayuki Naruse vs. Kazunari Murakami

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun Single 7-bon Shobu: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. GREAT MUTA

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun Single 7-bon Shobu (Mixed Match): Masahiro Chono vs. Joanie Lauer

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun Single 7-bon Shobu: Manabu Nakanishi vs. Bob Sapp

Shin Nihon vs. Gaitekigun Single 7-bon Shobu: Yuji Nagata vs. Kazuyuki Fujita

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #86 11/23/02 2002 MUGA IN TOKYO taped 10/6/02 Tokyo Korakuen Hall Kinen Hall
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Masahito Kakihara vs. Toru Yano 4:33

Tatsuo Nakano vs. Nobuyuki Kurashima 8:19

Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes vs. Pinoi Boy & Jack The Bull 11:00

American Dragon vs. Wataru Inoue 8:19

Kenzo Suzuki vs. Blue Wolf 11:42

Manabu Nakanishi & Masayuki Naruse vs. Yuji Nagata & Minoru Tanaka 15:10

Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 7:30

Takashi Iizuka Return Match: Osamu Nishimura vs. Takashi Iizuka 24:14

NJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL 30th Anniversary Fukuoka Fighting Spirit Memorial Day 10/26/02 Fukuoka Kokusai Center
-3hr 35min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

Toru Yano vs. Jack The Bull 1:49

Shiro Koshinaka & El Samurai & Wataru Inoue vs. Hiro Saito & Jado & Gedo 7:21

Scott Norton vs. Blue Wolf 4:37

Shinya Makabe & Minoru Fujita vs. Masayuki Naruse & Masahito Kakihara 3:58. I'm at a loss to explain why you'd pair your junior shooters in a pro style match where they were immediately squashed. It's like 1995 NJ vs. UWF-I all over again, except at least in those days they did the match in a somewhat credible style for the UWF-I guys. This had nothing to do with anything legitimate, and was simply an enhancement match to make Makabe look mighty. DUD

Jr. Triathlon Survivor Ikkaisen: Jushin Thunder Liger & Heat (Minoru Tanaka) & Tiger Mask 4 vs. American Dragon & Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes 15:00. Kind of an odd best of 3 format, starting with a singles match between Heat and Dragon then moving on to a tag match involving the other four and culminating with a six man tag match. The 5 minute Heat vs. Dragon opener was a really nice sprint even though it wasn't really in either style, as they didn't have time for much development. The tag was the worst, as it was mostly Cubanitos using their teamwork on Tiger. Cubanitos elevated each other through their teamwork, but these was the least motivated segment and it was disappointing that Liger didn't seem particularly involved in this or even the 6 man version. It was mainly Heat and Danielson that were on top of their game in their two portions, though everyone was at least fine and contributed when they were in. The match really picked up with the 6 man, starting with a 4 dive sequence. This portion was also really good, but overall the format was a detriment, as the matches lacked build and seemed to end after 5 minutes simply so they could move on. ***1/4

Mixed Gender (?) Tag Match: Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. GREAT MUTA & Joanie Laurer 4:52

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Koji Kanemoto vs. Bas Rutten 10:11. A remarkably good match considering Rutten's experience level. Usually real fighters have a hard time transitioning because they are either afraid to hurt the opponent or the choreography is no unnatural they freeze. Rutten was able to translate his entire MMA game into a RINGS style match that held more water than any of the NJ vs. UWF-I stuff. The one hole in his game was perhaps bumping, as he really only took one bump on the Dragon screw, and it didn't look natural. Kanemoto is one of the better NJ wrestlers at the worked shoot style, but he doesn't get to do it that often, and this was a much more serious attempt at realism than he'd ever attempted before, so loads of credit to him as well. He was mostly on the receiving end in standup, but there were some nice counters and transitions on the mat. Even though Rutten isn't an experienced pro wrestler, he's one of th most recognizable faces in the history of shoot fighting, so it was a great win for Kanemoto. I'm glad every NJ junior match doesn't look like this, but it was certainly one of their more successful attempts at branching out. ***

NJ vs. Makai (hell) 5 vs. 5 Sanban Shobu Single Kachinogisen: Takashi Iizuka & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi & Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Tadao Yasuda & Kazunari Murakami & Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai 1 & 2 23:48. Singles style survivor match.

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Yuji Nagata vs. Masahiro Chono. 60:00. A major effort from both that's as good a long singles match as Chono is capable of in the 00's. They did a great job in the first 15 minutes of making it appear to be the usual 15-20 minute match. This portion had the highest workrate and they were using some of their favorite moves, with kenka kick exchanges and Chono using his STF and even dusting off his diving shoulderblock (which he also used again later). They mostly kicked each other in standup and used submissions on the mat, but it felt as though they were working toward the finish rather than the usual Chono biding time. The match slowed in the middle portion, but they'd do something important or interesting every few minutes. Nagata threw a flurry of kicks, injuring Chono's knee, to set this story line in motion. They surprised with some special big match spots such as Chono piledriving Nagata through a table and Nagata using an exploder on the outside and off the middle rope. They picked it up again in the final third, and I suppose it was a bit repetitive as neither has the largest move set, but they set up and incorporated the moves well, and I felt it was logical to keep striking and reuse some of the favorite moves. Chono can make a move look subpar now and then, but really the only downside was the crowd was just plain awful I mean, it was one of the worst NJPW crowds I can ever remember. It was as though the memo that they were going the distance, so they refused to react to the big moves, the near finishes, really anything. There was dead silence for Nagata illegally abusing Chono's injured knee with a figure 4 around the post, for Nagata using Chono's own STF on him. Really there was nothing that could get the crowd to make a peep, which was a shame because the match was so much better than it came off as being. ***3/4

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #88 12/7/02 Tokon Series taped 10/27 Kobe World Kinen Hall
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Toru Yano vs. Naofumi Yamamoto

Heat & Tiger Mask & Wataru Inoue vs. Ricky Reyes & American Dragon & Rocky Romero

Tatsutoshi Goto & Hiro Saito vs. Scott Norton & Jack The Bull

Jr. Triathlon Survival Ikkaisen: El Samurai & Masayuki Naruse & Masahito Kakihara vs. Koji Kanemoto & Jado & Gedo

Shinya Makabe & Minoru Fujita vs. Yutaka Yoshie & Blue Wolf

3Min 10R: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Osamu Nishimura

Shin Nihon vs. Makai 5 vs 5 Sanban Shobu: Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka & Manabu Nakanishi & Kenzo Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tadao Yasuda & Kazunari Murakami & Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai 1 & Makai 2

IWGP Tag Senshukenjiai (Mixed Tag Match): Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Joanie Lauer & Great Kabuki

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #93 1/11/03 TRIATHLON SURVIVOR taped 12/4/02 Hiroshima Sun Plaza
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Hiro Saito vs. Toru Yano 5:07

Jushin Thunder Liger & Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse vs. Koji Kanemoto & Stampede Kid & Super Crazy 16:51

Shiro Koshinaka vs. Makai #2 5:01

Shinya Makabe & TAKA Michinoku & Minoru Fujita vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & El Samurai & Heat 11:30

Scott Norton & Rick Steiner vs. Kenzo Suzuki & Blue Wolf 11:03

Kazunari Murakami & Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai #1 vs. Masahiro Chono & Takashi Iizuka & Hiroyoshi Tenzan 15:02

Triathlon Survivor Final: Manabu Nakanishi & Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Yuji Nagata & Mike Barton & Jim Steele 37:33

NJ World Pro-Wrestling Zenmen Han #94 1/18/03 TRIATHLON SURVIVOR Final taped 12/10/02 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-2hr 5min. Q=TV Master

Toru Yano vs. Naofumi Yamamoto 4:55

Hiro Saito & Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Takashi Iizuka 8:43

Masahito Kakihara & Masayuki Naruse & Tiger Mask vs. Koji Kanemoto & Stampede Kid & Super Crazy 11:12

El Samurai vs. Curry Man 9:51

Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Nishimura vs. Makai #1 & Makai #2 6:51

Jushin Thunder Liger & Heat vs. TAKA Michinoku & Minoru Fujita 12:16

Kenzo Suzuki & Blue Wolf vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele 20:00

Manabu Nakanishi & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Scott Norton & Shinya Makabe 13:46

IWGP Tag Title Match: Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Tadao Yasuda & Ryushi Yanagisawa 21:28

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Kazunari Murakami 14:53

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