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NJPW Young Lions Cup, March 1985


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#1 gordi

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 08:47 PM

NJPW Young Lions Cup Night One, March 8th, Tokyo Korakuen Hall

 

Black Cat and Enrique Vera vs The Cobras

This is my first time in Korakuen as part of the crew. You have to love the Korakuen crowds. Hard core fans. My kind of people. Black Cat and Enrique Vera are both under six feet tall, so the sight of Shunji Takano towering over them made them natural under-dogs. On the other hand, the hard core fans love Shunji’s brother George, AKA The Cobra, a lot. So, we got the strange spectacle of one member of a tag team being booed while the other was cheered. The Cobra took a great Quebradora Backbreaker from Vera for a near fall, but came back to win it with his Tombstone variation.

 

The Strong Machines vs Mr. Pogo, Kendo Nagasaki, and Umanosuke Ueda

The crowd’s loyalties weren’t nearly so torn in this one. Pogo, Nagasaki, and Ueda just cheated like crazy, even tearing SM#3’s mask up a bit. Eventually SM#1 got the hot tag and took some revenge on the heels before putting Ueda down for the count with the Majin Fusha Gatami.

 

YLC Round 1 - Steven Regal (AWA) vs Naoki Sano

The first match of the first round of our Young Lions Cup. Sano and Regal just tore into each other from the opening bell. Sano threw kick after kick and Regal answered back with a flurry of stiff European Uppercuts. Then they took it to the mat where they seemed to be legitimately trying to stretch each other. There were some nice counters and reversals and Sano caught Regal in a dangerous-looking Lotus Hold Can Opener. Regal made it to the ropes, however, and once the wrestlers were back on their feet the young Brit took over, nailing a Double Underhook Suplex followed by a Bridging Belly-to-Back for the pin.

 

YLC Round 1 - Masa Chono vs Hirokazu Hata

This match was basic, solid chain wrestling with Chono on offense for the majority of the eight minutes, wearing Hata down and eventually transitioning from a Stepover Toe Hold into a Sleeper Hold that put Hata away.

 

**BREAK**

 

YLC Round 1 - Owen Hart (MACW) vs Shunji Kosugi

The young second-generation Canadian only started training seriously in 1983, and he has had just a few months of experience working for his father in Canada and for Max Crabtree in England. In the ring against a fine carpenter like Kosugi, however, he looked like a seasoned veteran. The two worked a technical match that would have made Karl Gotch proud, trading holds and counters for almost fifteen minutes. Hart took the match with a gorgeous Northern Lights Suplex, bridging to hold Kosugi down for the pin.

 

YLC Round 1 - Keiichi Yamada vs 2 Cold Scorpio (MACW)

I gave these two the green light to go out there and steal the show, and they drove the crowd into an absolute frenzy with over fifteen minutes of non-stop fast-paced action. Both men bumped like crazy as they flew in and out of the ring. Yamada showed real flashes of the truly *GREAT* wrestler that he is destined to become, and the young American was with him every step of the way. Scorpio almost won by count-out after nailing Yamada with an insane Corkscrew Plancha, but the NJPW dojo graduate beat the count and then took the match after nailing Scorpio with three consecutive Abisegeri Kicks. After taking a moment to recover, the two wrestlers met in the middle of the ring for a show of mutual respect while the crowd showed their appreciation.

 

Tatsumi Fujinami, Kengo Kimura, and Shiro Koshinaka vs Canek, Dos Caras, and Fishman

Following their somewhat disappointing performance in the Tag Festival finals, Fujinami, Kimura, Dos Caras and Canek approached me to ask for a second chance. After discussing it with Yuka and consulting Doriya-mon’s Good Advice Doll I offered them a chance to wrestle a six-man tag on Night One of the young Lions Cup and – if that went well- an opportunity for a re-match on the Final Night.

Later, word got back to me that Inoki was furious that I had made this booking decision. He never said anything to me directly, and I never heard anything from any of the people that I know I can trust… but, still, I felt a lot of pressure as this match was about to start. There was a chance that, if they performed poorly again and Inoki was unhappy about it, I would have to face the consequences of his anger. The tension actually got to me, and I went backstage to avoid watching the match unfold.

From the dressing room, I listened to the crowd. They were quiet at first, but eventually there was scattered cheering and applause and a few people here and there calling out their favourite wrestler’s name. The crowd noise continued to build and around the 20-minute mark I could hear them stomping and cheering loudly. I popped back inside in time to see Canek and Kimura brawling on the floor and Koshinaka Holding Dos Caras back as Fujinami locked in the Dragon Sleeper and squeezed down on Fishman.

Yuka ran to my side. “They did well,” she told me, “Look at Inoki.”

He was smiling. 



#2 kevinmcfl

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

I continue to enjoy this even though I am not as familiar with wrestling in Japan.  Tournament style wrestling just makes it all seem so much more real and important.



#3 gordi

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 10:00 PM

Thanks. Tournaments are both fun and challenging to (armchair) book, as I am sure you are finding with your own Tag Tournament in USWA right now. 



#4 SirEdger

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 11:46 PM

Great start to the Young Lions Cup!



#5 GeneJackson95

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 03:23 PM

Great stuff here, I've spent some time in recent years going back watching Japan from this time period and they was a lot of things going on that was years ahead of American wrestling...this brings another fun aspect to the game.

#6 agentofenton

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 08:09 PM

Great start to the Young Lions cup. I love how this is written and the concept.  Fun read.



#7 gordi

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:27 AM

Thank you, gentlemen!
 
NJPW Young Lions Cup Night Two, March 10th, Hiroshima Pref. Gym
 
Shiro Koshinaka and Kantaro Hoshino vs Black Tiger and Black Cat
A fast-paced, all-action opening match to fire up the crowd. Everybody got a near-fall, with Black Cat hitting a Bridging German on Koshinaka, Kosh hitting a Fisherman Driver on Black Tiger, Hoshino almost pinning Black Cat with a Diving Crossbody, and Rocco finally taking the win with a Black Tiger Bomb on Hoshino.
 
YLC Round 1 - Keiji Mutoh vs Akira Nogami
Both men worked the leg in this one, hitting Dragon Screws and Low Dropkicks in addition to the requisite mat work. Mutoh sold a lot for Nogami, but at around the 14 minute mark he took over with a Leaping Clothesline followed up by two more Dragon Screws and a Figure Four in the middle of the ring to earn the victory.
 
YLC Round 1 - Sting (Lutte Int.) vs Tatsutoshi Goto
Sting dominated the first five minutes of this match with his size and power, but Goto got his revenge in the middle section of the match after dodging a Splash in the corner. Goto hit a series of backdrops but was unable to keep the big man down for the count. Desperate to put Sting away, the blonde Japanese heel went up to the top corner, but Sting beat him to the punch and threw Goto half way across the ring with a huge Press Slam from the top. He nailed Goto with a Running Leaping Elbow Drop, then stepped through the ropes and stood on the ring apron, waiting. As Goto unsteadily got back to his feet, Sting flew at him with a Slingshot Crossbody for the one, two three!
 

**BREAK**

 
YLC Round 1 - Rick Steiner (AWA) vs Masakatsu Funaki
This match was short but intense. Funaki hit Steiner with a series of very stiff kicks, enraging the massive American. The Dog Faced Gremlin came back with a couple of huge suplexes, tossing Funaki around without any apparent care for his safety. The two men then traded stiff strikes in the middle of the ring. When Funaki started to get the better of the strike exchange, Steiner simply took him down to the mat. Funaki surprised his larger opponent, though, by working quickly from the bottom position to secure a Triangle Choke that nearly put Steiner away. As he was starting to fade, however, Steiner struggled to his feet, lifted Funaki high into the air, and slammed him to the mat with all his strength. The Triangle Choke was broken and Funaki had the wind knocked out of him. Steiner hooked the leg, and three counts later the match was finished.
 
YLC Round 1 - Shinya Hashimoto vs Anoaro Atisanoe
This bout went twice as long as Funaki vs Steiner, but was worked at nearly the same level of intensity. Hash and Atisanoe threw bombs at each other right from the opening bell Chops, kicks, head-butts, elbows, forearms you name it, they threw it. Atisanoe kept working Hashimoto into position for the Samoan Drop, but Hash kept fighting his way out of trouble with knees and elbows. After sixteen minutes of Big Man Bomb Throwing action, Atisanoe finally hit his big move but he was too close to the ropes and Hash managed to get his foot up to break the pin. As Atisanoe yelled angrily at the referee, Hashimoto got back to his feet. The moment Atisanoe turned around to face him, Hashimoto threw a devastating High Roundhouse Kick that put the big Hawaiian-born fighter down for the count.
 
Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi vs Dave Taylor and David Morgan
With Inoki, Sakaguchi, and Taylor already in the ring, an announcement was made that David Morgan was unable to participate in this match and a substitute wrestler was going to take his place. All eyes turned to the entranceway as John Williams famous Main Theme to Star Wars played and a very stocky man wearing black trunks and boots, a leather biker jacket and cap, and mirrored shades sauntered into the arena.
アドリアンアドニスです,ね Adrian Adonis desu, ne!
NJPW's latest gaijin addition bumped and stooged and sold like crazy for Inoki and Sakaguchi, but he and Taylor kept interfering to save each other whenever the Japanese team got close to a pinfall or submission. After twenty minutes of this, the frustration got to be too much for Inoki and Sakaguchi and the match devolved into an out of control brawl. The action spilled out of the ring, where Adonis was able to grab a folding chair. He rammed it into Inoki's gut and when Inoki bent over he brought the chair down across his back, knocking the ace to the ground. He was about to bust Inoki again, but Sakaguchi dove on top of his tag team partner, sacrificing himself to protect Inoki.
Adonis paused for a moment as if to consider his options, then simply dropped the chair and walked backstage with Taylor like the two of them didn't have a care in the world. 
 
Adrian-Adonis.jpg



#8 rainmakerrtv

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

Adonis sure does know how to make an entrance. Exciting stuff, for sure.



#9 SirEdger

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 01:26 PM

Yeah, great entrance for Adrian Adonis. Great addition to your roster. He was on my shortlist of free agents from the Memphis draft to bring back to Lutte but he'll do great with you for sure!



#10 kevinmcfl

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 09:20 PM

Adonis is a great fit for you and plays the major heel well here.  YLC is off to a great start and can't wait to see the next set of matches. 



#11 gordi

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 07:39 AM

Appreciate the kind words, as always. I'm pretty excited to write scenarios for Adonis and Bigelow... and maybe one more... 

 

Also: Keep it kayfabe, but:

 

Giant Baba has been coming to meet me, in Tokyo and on the road, the last couple of weeks. 

 

babababa.jpg

 

It's still a little too early to say 100 per cent for sure, but the two of us (and - this is totally top secret:  Tiger Mask Sayama) have been working on a plan that could change the entire landscape of pro wrestling in Japan. 

 

I'll let you know more as soon as things are confirmed. 



#12 SirEdger

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 01:38 PM

Oh man, as we say in our neck of the woods; shit's about to get real in Japan!



#13 kevinmcfl

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 04:18 PM

Very interesting news here!



#14 agentofenton

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:33 PM

Love it.



#15 GeneJackson95

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:38 PM

Great stuff and the addition of Adonis and Bigelow can only add to the excitement!



#16 gordi

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 08:49 PM

NJPW Young Lions Cup Night Three, March 15th, Miyazaki Pref. Gym

 

2 Cold Scorpio and Shunji Kosugi vs Akira Nogami and Hirokazu Hata

For about eight minutes, Hata sold for Scorp and Kosugi sold for Nogami. Then Scorpio nailed Hata with a Superkick, tagged Kosugi, knocked Nogami off the ring apron and flew after him with a Spinning Plancha… allowing Kosugi to pick up a rare-for-him clean pinfall win after crushing Hata with an Oklahoma Stampede.

If there is a downside to the blockbuster deal with Giant Baba, it’s that good wrestlers like Nogami and Kosugi are going to be stuck down at the very bottom of the super-stacked roster we are going to build.

 

YLC Round 2 - Keiichi Yamada vs Owen Hart (MACW)

So, kind of a personal mark-out moment for me:  The man who will become Jushin Thunder Liger vs the 20-year-old Owen Hart. Their selling and transitions will get better as these guys grow and develop, but their athleticism and energy are already at an early peak and they showcased that with an incredibly fast pace and several mind-blowing exchanges. The crowd was definitely into this match, but I wonder if anyone else watching was aware that they were getting a glimpse of the future of professional wrestling. Yamada went over with a Bridging Wrist-clutch Leg Hook Belly-to-back Suplex after 17 minutes of sublime action.

 

YLC Round 2 - Sting (Lutte Int.) vs Keiji Mutoh

Yamada vs Hart was a tough act to follow, but these guys seemed inspired by the challenge. This was a match of athleticism, strength and speed vs athleticism, strength and speed. Each guy busted out their complete arsenal of power moves. Sting came very close to taking the match when he hit a Jumping DDT then applied a Scorpion Deathlock on Mutoh, but the NJPW Young Lion managed to roll through the hold so that Sting was face-down in the middle of the ring and Mutoh was standing, with their legs still entangled. Mutoh then bridged over backward and applied a Reverse Facelock to the prone Sting, who could not power out of the hold and was forced to tap.

 

**BREAK**

 

 

YLC Round 2 - Steven Regal (AWA) vs Masa Chono

This was a good solid technical match with lots of mat work, reversals, and counters. Regal worked a lot of Half-nelson variations and kept trying to catch Chono in the Crossface Chickenwing. Chono worked over Regal’s legs and neck and eventually managed to sink in a Stepover Toehold Facelock to make it into the semi-finals.  

 

YLC Round 2 - Shinya Hashimoto vs Rick Steiner (AWA)

Unsurprisingly, this was the stiffest and most violent of the second-round YLC matches. Hashimoto managed to fight his way out of most of Steiner’s suplex and powerbomb attempts. The big American had more success working headlocks and going from there into takedowns and other manoeuvres. After getting a 2.999 near-fall off of a Bulldog, Steiner went to the top corner to attempt a Diving Bulldog to finish off the dazed Young Lion, but Hashimoto caught him with a desperation Spinning Heel Kick as Steiner was in mid-air, giving Hashimoto a come-from-behind victory and setting up an all-NJPW dojo graduate Final Four.

.

Antonio Inoki, Tatsumi Fujinami, and Seiji Sakaguchi vs Adrian Adonis, Umanosuke Ueda, and Tatsutoshi Goto

Inoki was still furious after having been attacked with a chair. He went after Adonis from the opening bell and almost ended up disqualified or counted out a couple of times. Adonis took everything that the company ace could dish out and kept coming back for more, like some kind of unstoppable monster.

The rest of the match kind of played as background material for the developing Inoki vs Adonis feud. Ueda and Goto took frequent advantage of the distracted referee to attack Inoki’s partners with cheap shots and foreign objects. Fujinami got busted open fairly early in the match, but that only seemed to make him angry. Unlike Inoki, however, Fujinami managed to keep his cool, and in the end Sakaguchi hit Goto with an Atomic Drop and tagged in Fujinami, who finished things off with a Flying Cross Body. 



#17 gordi

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:01 PM

NJPW Young Lions Cup Semi-Finals, March 20th, Kagoshima Pref. Gym

 

Sting, Owen Hart, and 2 Cold Scorpio vs Shunji Takano, Black Cat, and David Morgan

 

Steven Regal and Masakatsu Funaki vs Rick Steiner and Naoki Sano

 

Kengo Kimura and Shiro Koshinaka vs Canek and Fishman

 

The Machines vs Adrian Adonis, Anoaro Atisanoe, and Mr. Pogo

 

** BREAK**

 

YLC Round 3 - Keiji Mutoh vs Keiichi Yamada

 

YLC Round 3 - Masa Chono vs Shinya Hashimoto

 

Tatsumi Fujinami vs Dos Caras



#18 gordi

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:10 PM

NJPW Young Lions Cup Final Night, March 23rd, Fukuoka Sports Center

 

Akira Nogami vs Siva Afi

 

(YLC Tournament runners-up) vs Hirokazu Hata and Shunji Kosugi

 

Special Guest Referee: Rick Steiner and Naoki Sano vs Masakatsu Funaki and Steven Regal

 

Pat Patterson, Ray Stevens, Umanosuke Ueda and Tatsutoshi Goto vs Sting, Owen Hart, 2 Cold Scorpio, and Kantaro Hoshino

 

**BREAK**

 

Young Lions Cup Final Match: Participants TBD

 

Antonio Inoki, Seiji Sakaguchi, and Strong Machine #1 vs One Man Gang, Great Kokina, and Anoaro Atisanoe

 

IWGP Tag Titles First Defense: Canek and Dos Caras © vs Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura



#19 kevinmcfl

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:36 PM

Interesting Young Lions Cup you got going.  Enjoyed the Sting-Mutoh match the most.  I think it was smart to have all Japanese final 4.  Makes the people of Japan think that their future is so bright.  



#20 gordi

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:52 PM

Interesting Young Lions Cup you got going.  Enjoyed the Sting-Mutoh match the most.  I think it was smart to have all Japanese final 4.  Makes the people of Japan think that their future is so bright.  

 

 

Yep. That's exactly 100 percent my thinking behind booking it that way. 

 

Also, I tried to give every visiting gaijin some good footage they could use "back home" Steiner, Regal, Sting, and Owen each got a win their promoters can show on TV if they want, and Scorp got to work a **** match with Liger... hopefully everyone is happy. (and there is a little more still to come).






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