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Best of Japan 2000-2009 vote


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#41 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:21 AM

Hashimoto & Iizuka vs Ogawa & Murakami, New Japan January 4th, 2000 Wanted to see Iizuka here so as to compare to December match. Ogawa/Hash is interesting also as haven’t seen any of their singles matches. From what I read, the results were very one sided. Murakami goes all Lawler/Gilbert and gets on the mic to stall time. Hash beats up Murakami in return and then all the seconds run in and the bell rings. That can’t be it? Inoki with his spear to the rescue as match restarts. There’s the fake shoot stuff that I just don’t like in pro wrestling matches. Iizuka is pulling his punches. Murakami gets the full mount and fires of aimless punches at Iizuka’s head who has both hands up to block. How about a body shot? Hash hits a well timed headbutt in Ogawa’s face. But then because of the clumsy big gloves he is wearing his over hand strikes don’t look as good. Ha, just as I say that he yanks off one of the gloves. Ogawa owns everyone with STO’s but Iizuka out of nowhere with a big dropkick. Well, I did enjoy the finish with Iizuka picking up the win on choking out Murakami, who was very unlikable in this match. Yay, the wrestling guys win. Depending on how many of these matches I watch, this will struggle to make my top 100.

#42 Ditch

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 10:42 AM

New to this wrestling internet watching business and couldn't watch these AVI wrestling matches. Got Windows Media Player, restarted computer and appear to be good now. Nice. I watched a lot of 2001-2002 Japan and most of the big NOAH shows up to early 2007. Happy to revisit some of this stuff. Question, do the Kanemaru versus Liger and KENTA dome show matches not rate highly?

VLC player is the best, and free!

The Kanemaru matches often got initial praise but they rarely hold up; lots of finisher spamming and little beyond that. For a while there, you'd think Kanemaru was the best wrestler in Japan if you just went by Meltzer.

#43 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:28 PM

Kobashi vs Kawada from 1/17/00 fades out after 11:30. Is this right? *Edit* Second time around, I noticed the clock time was over 20 minutes. Kept freezing on me so I'll come back to it. The joys of watching stuff over the internet: :)

#44 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:05 PM

Tenryu vs Sasaki, New Japan January 4th, 2000 Big venues aren’t always the best for audio but the Dome seems so perfectly mic’d for guys chopping the hell out of each other. I like these guys punching each other in the face much more than what folks were trying to do in earlier tag match. The strikes are more convincing. The crowd is much quieter than the tag though which makes me weep for NJPW for the rest of the decade. I had totally forgotten about Tenryu’s wonderful Spider Suplex thingy! Tenryu has the balls to try a super hurricarana. And here is Sasaki doing the same but he connects! That was fun. Sasaki blocks and sumo rush multiple times. Don’t think it was necessary for Sasaki to do two Northern Light Bombs since he didn’t even attempt to pin Tenryu after the first one. Minor issue though and while they didn’t have the fans with them like the tag match, I enjoyed this much more.

#45 Ditch

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 06:12 PM

Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs Dr. Wagner Jr & Silver King, IWGP junior tag titles, New Japan February 3rd 2001 Background: With WCW behind him, Silver King joined real-life brother as a regular part of New Japan's foreign contingent. Wagner is a former junior tag champion, and it stands to reason he would do even better with King as his partner now. Why I think it's underrated: Another year, another under-the-radar match that Stuart put a spotlight on. This is carried by the luchadores. Their teamwork and interaction make the body of the match enjoyable, and a good finishing run is to be expected with the combined level of talent at work here. What it deserves: Top 100 consideration / on the bubble. The crowd could be better, and there are several superior junior tags, but it's on the list for a reason.

#46 NintendoLogic

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 02:17 PM

So I'm officially throwing my hat in the ring for this project. I've decided to start with the 103 bolded matches and subtract the three Big Japan deathmatches because the style makes me physically ill, leaving me with an even 100. We start off with a doozy. Jun Akiyama vs. Mitsuharu Misawa All Japan Pro Wrestling, 2/27/00 Misawa gains control in the opening minutes after an exchange ending with a dropkick. Akiyama catches his first break after countering a diving headbutt attempt by Misawa, and things really start going his way after he drop toeholds Misawa neck-first into the guardrail. Akiyama spends the next few minutes introducing Misawa's neck to various inanimate objects, culminating in an Exploder on the ring apron. Say what you want about Akiyama, but the guy knows how to target a body part. Once the action returns to the ring, Misawa tries to get back in it with some elbows, but Akiyama cuts him off with a DDT. From there, we get a lengthy stretch of Akiyama working various neck holds, from a quasi-Koji Cluth to a reverse cravate to a chinlock to a figure-four headscissors. The inevitable Misawa comeback begins when Akiyama applies a sleeper. Misawa pushes Akiyama into the corner and hits him with a back elbow and a springboard dropkick. After taking a few moments to recover from the beating he took, Misawa busts out the facelock, which gets two after they do the whole "guy passes out from a hold so the guy applying the hold goes for a pin" deal. Just when it seems like it's going to be just another day at the office for Misawa, Akiyama catches him with a dropkick on the top turnbuckle and knocks him to the outside. Akiyama then takes the opportunity to reintroduce Misawa's neck to the guardrail with a calf branding. Back in the ring, and Misawa's neck takes more damage from a Gotch-style tombstone piledriver and a diving elbow smash. Exploder gets two, and the Budokan is on the verge of exploding. Unfortunately, Akiyama then applies a neck crank, which sucks the air out of the building. After Misawa makes the ropes, Akiyama goes for a brainbuster, but Misawa hits a spinkick. German suplex hold from Misawa gets two, as does a subsequent Tiger Driver. Misawa then goes for the Emerald Flowsion but settles for a release German. A second Tiger Driver gets two. We then get a rolling elbow, Exploder, pop-up, second Exploder, delayed sell sequence. Akiyama makes it to his feet first and hits an Exploder and a brainbuster. He finally puts Misawa away with a wrist-clutch Exploder. They were working holds a bit too long for my tastes, and the no-selling at the end was pretty annoying, but this was still an incredibly well-worked and smartly structured match. It's not quite on the level of the 90s classics, but it's not that far off. I'd be shocked if this ended up outside my top five.

#47 NintendoLogic

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:58 PM

Kenta Kobashi vs. Takao Omori All Japan Pro Wrestling, 4/15/00 From what admittedly little I've seen of Omori, he strikes me as by far the lesser half of No Fear and a giant load in general. Kobashi, on the other hand, is still in his big moves overkill phase. The first few minutes are pretty uneventful with Kobashi doing chops, Omori doing European uppercuts, and both busting out chinlocks. Kobashi takes control after whipping Omori into the guardrail (it should be noted that Omori does the Bret Hart sternum-first bump) and works an abdominal stretch when they get back in the ring. Omori gets back into it with a football-style shoulder tackle. Things really start to pick up starting with a struggle over a vertical suplex. Omori eventually gets tired of struggling and dropkicks Kobashi's right knee. From there, he piles on the damage, ramming Kobashi's knee into the ringpost and doing a shinbreaker through a table. He goes for a chair, but KYOHEI~! ain't having that, so he settles for a leglock on the outside. Back in the ring, and Omori applies a figure four. After Kobashi makes the ropes, he goes for a scorpion deathlock. Kobashi puts up too much of a struggle, so Omori rakes his eyes. OK, that was pretty cool. After making the ropes again, Kobashi hulks up and makes his comeback by chopping Omori in the head. That couldn't have been too pleasant for either party. Omori eventually cuts him off with a swinging neckbreaker and a missile dropkick. Kobashi goes for a rolling chop, but Omori ducks and hits a pair of rolling dragon suplexes. Kobashi evens things up with some rolling chops and a release German. Running neckbreaker drop follwed by a half nelson suplex gets two. Scoop slam and fist pump from Kobashi, which means it's moonsault time. Omori cuts him off by going after his bad leg (nice to see the leg work wasn't completely forgotten) and powerbombs him. Diving knee drop from Omori gets two. We then get a do-si-do sequence as both duck the other's lariat attempts and Omori hits a spinning heel kick. He finally hits the Axe Bomber, but it only gets two. Omori goes for a second one, but Kobashi counters with a sleeper, leading to a sleeper suplex. He then goes for a powerbomb. Omori counters but runs into a LARIATO~! It only gets two, though. Kobashi goes for the powerbomb again, but then he just kind of drops Omori. It looked like a botched attempt to powerbomb him into the turnbuckle. Kobashi is unfazed, and his second attempt is successful. Some more rolling chops are followed by a second half nelson suplex. Omori wakes up with an Axe Bomber, but Kobashi completely no-sells it and blasts him with a LARIATO~! Normally, something like that would piss me off, but I can see it as Omori being so drained that he couldn't put anything behind it. Besides, it's Omori, so fuck him. Kobashi picks Omori up for another LARIATO~! and finally puts him out of his misery. The beginning was rather nondescript, and the end was quite excessive, but the middle portion was where it's it. You know, you could say that about a lot of Kobashi matches. There's a fair amount of Kobashi goofiness (as jdw would say) for those who hate that sort of thing, but the good far outweighs the bad. This will likely finish somewhere in my top half.

#48 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

Kawada & Tenryu vs Hansen & Kea, All Japan July 23, 2000 All Japan split has occurred with only a couple guys sticking around. Tenryu has arrived back since he left in 1990. This would be the latest match by date from Hansen I’ve seen. He’s still throwing stiff shots. Couple times he got Irish whipped didn’t look good. Hansen with a Tenryu like enziguri! Had to be a big push for Kea to be in there with these guys. Kea hits a big German suplex on Tenryu. Hansen doesn’t get enough ring time but I guess that is to be expected. He has some spirited involvement at the end. Kea took some big moves in the end but put up a decent fight. With most of their roster gone they were trying to build up new guys so they were trying at least. Good stuff though not great. Think this could be middle of the pack for me.

#49 Ditch

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 09:33 PM

Crazy MAX vs M2K vs Seikigun, trios titles, Toryumon August 14th 2001 Background: The three original factions duke it out for trios supremacy. This was the first multi-way trios match the company attempted, and it tended to be saved for special occasions until recent years. Why I think it's underrated: Toryumon wasn't nearly as well-known outside Japan as Dragon Gate is today. It was the 4th or 5th biggest promotion in Japan and got treated as such. Add in the fact that this wasn't at a big event and it was easy to miss, but I'd say it was the best spotfest that they produced in the first three years of the promotion. Plenty of fun sequences and excitement. What it deserves: Top 100. They went on to top themselves, but this set the standard.

#50 smitlick

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:13 AM

Ryuji Yamakawa vs Tomoaki Honma - BJW 1/2/00 Honma is one of my fave guys from the early BJW and hes pretty great here. One thing I noticed was that there was a surprising lack of blood in this match especially compared to current BJW. Maybe its just been too long since I've pulled out the old BJW matches but this one was really noticeable for me. Match was fun and I enhoyed it far more then the New Japan 1/4 matches a few days later which I'll probably be in the minority with. Also on the 1/4 Tag Match is there an eventual Ogawa vs Hashimoto match I should be watching after that because it felt like that was what was being built to.

#51 Graham Crackers

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:07 PM

Also on the 1/4 Tag Match is there an eventual Ogawa vs Hashimoto match I should be watching after that because it felt like that was what was being built to.

That match happened on 4/7/2000 and is an awesome spectacle.

#52 smitlick

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

Also on the 1/4 Tag Match is there an eventual Ogawa vs Hashimoto match I should be watching after that because it felt like that was what was being built to.

That match happened on 4/7/2000 and is an awesome spectacle.


Just finished watching it... Another question is do they rematch because to me without much prior knowledge it seems like Hashimoto was meant to get the victory in the end. I was pretty surprised Ogawa went over tbh.

#53 Ditch

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:19 PM

The April match was their last one, which makes the booking quite odd until you remember Inoki was behind it.

#54 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:40 PM

Misawa vs Akiyama, All Japan February 27. 2000 Jun doesn’t waste too long in trying the apron Exploder and ends up connecting! I figured we were just getting a tease there but Misawa lands neck first on apron. They just continue on as normal though. Need to sell that better. Not sure about this Akiyama armbar triangle thing he keeps trying to put on. Middle stretch is a bit slow but it picks up. Misawa takes two Exploders and I think he’s going to get up again and then falls down on his ass. He wanted to continue the fight but just had little left. Jun stays on him and hits some big moves to get the win. Akiyama looked great here and is ready to just take over this decade. We shall see. This should rate high for me.

#55 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:03 PM

SUWA vs Dragon Kid, Toryumon August 24, 2000 Nice dive by Kid who was sitting on turnbuckle but was still able to do dive to outside from that position. Suwa gets the pinfall with the use of the ropes at the 7 minute mark. Match ends up getting resumed though which makes sense since this is on the ballot. :) You should never attempt a top rope Splash Mountain powerbomb against an opponent who can do hurricaranas. A lot of guys get involved in the ring and outside and they disappear to back. Suwa does a video game type spinning powerbomb. I think that move was in that Def Jam Vendetta video game. I've found myself to prefer the tag matches from Toryumon/Dragon Gate. Suwa gets a hair cut after. I can see this ending up in last third of ballot.

#56 NintendoLogic

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:47 PM

From here on out, I'm going to forgo the play-by-play and just give my thoughts on the matches. Kenta Kobashi vs. Yoshihiro Takayama All Japan Pro Wrestling, May 26, 2000 One thing that stood out to me was the lack of head drops in this match. That's not to say they take it easy on each other, as the stiffness is off the charts. The problem is that Takayama isn't quite there yet, either as a worker or a serious threat to Kobashi. His arm work was good, but his offense wasn't all that compelling otherwise. And working on Kobashi's lariat arm didn't seem to bother him all that much, as he fended off Takayama with his left arm with little difficulty. Interesting as a precursor to their 2004 classic, but it'll probably finish in the middle of the pack. Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs. Shinjiro Ohtani & Tatsuhito Takaiwa New Japan Pro Wrestling, June 25, 2000 Straight up, I hated this match. The macho slugfest style of wrestling is pretty dumbed-down to begin with, and when you add spotty junior selling to the mix, you get two teams beating the hell out of each other for 20 minutes without any rhyme or reason that I was able to detect. There were a couple of nifty sequences where Kanemoto and Tanaka would counter Ohtani and Takaiwa's attempts at a powerbomb/missile dropkick combination, but that's about it. If you dig Kawada/Sasaki-style matches, this will be right up your alley. I don't, so this will finish low.

#57 smitlick

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:10 PM

The April match was their last one, which makes the booking quite odd until you remember Inoki was behind it.


Ah... It all makes sense now that you mention Inoki.

#58 tim

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:03 PM

Been watching a bunch for this the last week or so. My ongoing list that just reached a top 20, not exactly formatted for public inspection: Kobashi/Honda Kawada/Sasaki Nagata/Kawada tag Fujinami/Nishimura Kawada/Tenryu Shibata/Akiyama Akiyama/Inoue Honda/Ikeda Tamura/Ito Kanemoto/Hayato Ishikawa/Murakami Kobashi/Ogawa Ishikawa/Greco Hashimoto/Tanaka 02 Kobashi/Sasaki Hashimoto/Iizuka v. Murakami/Ogawa Taue/Marufuji Hashimoto/Nagata v. Misawa/Akiyama Tenryu/Kojima Bernard/Nagata

#59 Childs

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:19 AM

I think I'm going to try to get a ballot in. One thing that has struck me in watching a few matches from early 2000: All-Japan was still cranking out quality wrestling despite its impending demise. I really enjoyed Kawada-Kobashi, Kawada-Vader, Kawada-Misawa, Misawa-Akiyama and Kobashi-Takayama. It's not like any of those would push for a top 50 spot in the '90s but that's still plenty of good stuff for a five-month period. I could see most of those making my list of 100.

#60 goodhelmet

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:26 AM

Extend the deadline to Xmas next year and I will get one in as well.




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