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NJPW Young Lions Cup, March 1985


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#21 SirEdger

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:21 PM

Zero complaints whatsoever with the Young Lions Cup. Everyone in the tournament has their chance to shine, even in the non-tournament matches. Really liked Yamada vs Owen and Sting vs Mutoh.

 

And Adrian Adonis will sure prove to be a powerhouse in New Japan very shortly!



#22 LowBlowPodcast

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:47 AM

Young Lion cup isn't my biggest cup of tea but I like the movement and how New Japan is changing. If the rumors are true and change is on the horizon in the Orient... the wrestling world is going to be shaken to its very core.

 

 

On a side note, I am playing a 1988 mod of TEW 2016... In early 1989, Antonio Inoki dies... I had Misawa take over New Japan and they are still in the lead over All Japan... 



#23 SirEdger

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:08 AM

Damn, looks like Misawa had a good business acumen even at a young age then!



#24 gordi

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:41 AM

Zero complaints whatsoever with the Young Lions Cup. Everyone in the tournament has their chance to shine, even in the non-tournament matches. Really liked Yamada vs Owen and Sting vs Mutoh.
 
And Adrian Adonis will sure prove to be a powerhouse in New Japan very shortly!


Thanks. I'm learning from reading you and agentofenton's co-booked shows how to give visiting wrestlers the chance to shine.



  

Young Lion cup isn't my biggest cup of tea but I like the movement and how New Japan is changing. If the rumors are true and change is on the horizon in the Orient... the wrestling world is going to be shaken to its very core.
 
 
On a side note, I am playing a 1988 mod of TEW 2016... In early 1989, Antonio Inoki dies... I had Misawa take over New Japan and they are still in the lead over All Japan...

  

I love TEW. An All Japan legend taking over New Japan, eh? GIves me ideas...

Damn, looks like Misawa had a good business acumen even at a young age then!


I would bet he actually did. Just seems like that kind of guy. Giant Baba made a fortune in real estate. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the boys learned a thing or two about business from him.

#25 gordi

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 06:45 AM

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

A fun showcase for our visiting Young Lions. The 6’7” Takano sold and bumped all over the ring making Sting’s power moves look particularly awesome, and he paid tribute to Stu Hart by selling like crazy for his son Owen. David Morgan also brought out thoughts of The Dungeon as he and Owen took it to the mat and worked through a variety of submission holds and creative reversals. Then Black Cat and Owen picked up the pace with a little high-flying offense, and finally 2 Cold Scorpio took it into overdrive by working a crazy five-minute sprint against Black Cat that ended with a Flying Somersault Legdrop for the win.

 

Steven Regal and Masakatsu Funaki vs Rick Steiner and Naoki Sano

A stiff, nasty match that quickly grew out of control. Steiner seemed to lose his temper about nine minutes in, after Regal held him open and Funaki blasted him with several stiff kicks to the gut. The Dog Faced Gremlin started throwing closed-fist punches and when the ref tried to stop it, Steiner punched him, too. With the ref down things went absolutely bonzo gonzo, and Inoki, Sakaguchi, The Strong Machines, Sting, and Dave Taylor had to come to ringside to restore order.  Inoki announced to the crowd that the two teams would meet again on March 23rd, at the Fukuoka Sports Center, with a special guest referee who Inoki *guarantees*   will be able to keep control of the match.

 

 Kengo Kimura and Shiro Koshinaka vs Canek and Fishman

About five minutes into this match, Kengo Kimura took a bad bump off of a Running Drop Kick and his shoulder popped grotesquely out of the socket. He bravely tried to continue the match, but it was obvious that something was seriously wrong. Referee Verne Siebert made an audible in the ring and called for the boys to go home early. Kimura tagged Koshinaka in, The Lucha Legends trapped Kosh in their corner, and a couple of minutes and one Dos Caras Clutch later they made their way backstage where Kimura could get some medical attention.

Fortunately, the dislocation won’t require surgery, but it looks like we are going to have to make a change in our main event on the 23rd, as there is no way Kimura will be good to go by then.

 

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

A short, violent brawl that ended when Adonis nailed SM#3 with a DDT while the other four men were mixing it up on the floor. Atisanoe and Strong Machine #1 got into another heated exchange after the bell, drawing Seiji Sakaguchi down to ringside to help restore order. Atisanoe shoved Sakaguchi and demanded that he and SM#1 find a partner to face him and two BIG friends in Fukuoka on the 23rd.

 

** BREAK**

 

YLC Round 3 - Keiji Mutoh vs Keiichi Yamada

It was tough not to think of this as “Great Muta vs. Jushin Liger” but these are still two young boys, learning their trade. Through “I know what these guys will someday become” eyes, the match was OK but nothing too special. Through “These guys were still in the dojo a year ago” eyes, the match was amazing. Mutoh really is a lot bigger than Yamada, by about seven inches of height and thirty pounds of muscle. I think what they did best was keep the crowd believing that Yamada had a real chance to win it all, right up until the end. It was a pretty dammed good ending too: Yamada managed to get the larger man up into position for a power bomb, but Mutoh reversed it into a Head Scissors Take-down and from there grabbed a Double Leg Cradle for the pin.

 

YLC Round 3 - Masa Chono vs Shinya Hashimoto

This was the longest match in the tournament by several minutes. The match built and built, along classic NJPW lines: Starting with mat-work, which Chono got the best of, the progressing to strikes, where Hashimoto came out on top, the finally to the big power moves, which Hashimoto more or less dominated. Chono got a near-fall off of a Kenka Kick around 20 minutes in, and hooked in the STF about 5 minutes later, but they were too close to the ropes. After that, Hashimoto clubbed Chono around the ring, threw him into the corner and kicked him again and again, then put him down for three with the Vertical Drop Brainbuster.

 

Tatsumi Fujinami vs Dos Caras

A nice, twenty-minute, back-and-forth technical wrestling match. Like their thirty-minute draw in Nagoya back in January, they worked everything as a real struggle, with lots of defensive wrestling and a ton of interesting reversals. They stayed on the mat for the first two thirds of the match, and then spent the last seven minutes escalating through their big moves. Dos Caras got near falls off of a Quebradora con Giro and a Diving Cross-body. Fujinami returned fire with a Dragon Backbreaker and a Diving Cross-body of his own. In the end, it was the Dragon Suplex that put Dos Caras away.

 

carasfujinami2.jpg



#26 Grimmas

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 08:10 AM

This whole thing has been delightful with the right people going over the at the right time. Really well laid out.



#27 GeneJackson95

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 11:14 AM

While I'm not a huge fan of Japanese wrestling from the era, I find your shows very enjoyable and the way you mix in the American stars draws my interest and keeps me tuning in to see what's next. Great work!

#28 SirEdger

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:36 PM

Am I down for a Mutoh vs Hashimoto finals? YES.



#29 kevinmcfl

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 01:57 PM

I agree with Gene.  I know absolutely nothing of wrestling in Japan unless they spent so time in the U.S. but I find your style of writing, the mix of American wrestlers on each card and the whole thing about the Japanese focusing on tournaments really fun to read.  You have been a wonderful addition to our game!  What took you so long to hop on board?



#30 gordi

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:45 PM

This whole thing has been delightful with the right people going over the at the right time. Really well laid out.

 
Thanks, I find that doing tournaments really helps provide structure. Also, it gives me something to think about between lessons.  :)
 

...the way you mix in the American stars draws my interest and keeps me tuning in to see what's next. 

 
 

... the mix of American wrestlers on each card and the whole thing about the Japanese focusing on tournaments really fun to read.  ...What took you so long to hop on board?

 
As long as you all keep generously sending wrestlers to Japan, I'll keep working them into story-lines. 
 
I've wanted to try Armchair Booking for years, I finally had the time to give it a go this year. 
 

Am I down for a Mutoh vs Hashimoto finals? YES.

 
Thanks. I'm excited to write it up.

#31 gordi

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:51 PM

***Revised and Updated Card**

 

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

 

Akira Nogami vs Dave Taylor

 

(YLC Tournament runners-up) Masa Chono and Keiichi Yamada vs Hirokazu Hata and Shunji Kosugi

 

Special Guest Referee Yoshiaki Fujiwara: 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: Keiji Mutoh vs Shinya Hashimoto

 

Tatsumi Fujinami, 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 Antonio Inoki and Mystery partner "X"



#32 agentofenton

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:37 PM

I love tag team wrestling, and the teams that are mixed in to this Young Lions Cup, are pretty wild, knowing how they turn out.  Sting/Owen/Scorpio...Yes, please! Just so many fun different combinations. It would be very interesting to see some of these when they were in the early years like this.  Great stuff.



#33 gordi

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:27 AM

I love tag team wrestling, and the teams that are mixed in to this Young Lions Cup, are pretty wild, knowing how they turn out.  Sting/Owen/Scorpio...Yes, please! Just so many fun different combinations. It would be very interesting to see some of these when they were in the early years like this.  Great stuff.

 

Thanks. That's one of the element of this that I really enjoy, too, w/r/t both writing and reading about it.  



#34 gordi

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:29 AM

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

 

Akira Nogami vs Dave Taylor

Dave Taylor has shown real flashes of talent and potential in his short time in New Japan, and he has helped our younger wrestlers in their development and growth. Unfortunately, with the massive influx of talent that is coming soon we simply have no room for him on our roster going forward. This match was sort and sweet, a chance for Taylor to say goodbye to our fans. After a few minutes of back and forth action, he put Nogami away with a Float-over Butterfly Suplex. We wish him well in his future endeavours.

 

Masa Chono and Keiichi Yamada vs Hirokazu Hata and Shunji Kosugi

Another short showcase match. Going forward, Hata and Kosugi will almost certainly be stuck doing jobs in the lower card. They are both good pro wrestlers, but there will be too much talent above them in the hierarchy. Chono and Yamada are being groomed as future stars, so in the future they will be given more opportunity to look good in the ring. Knowing this, Chono and Yamada sold for Hata and Kosugi for most of this match, giving them one more chance to shine a little. The finish, though, was never really in doubt. Kosugi had Chono in position for the Oklahoma Stampede, but Chono slipped out, shoved Kosugi into the ropes, and caught him coming off with a boot to the face, then finished him with the STF.

 

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

Inoki promised to find a referee who could keep these bad-asses in order, and I have to say he absolutely succeeded. This match was witheringly stiff, but Fujiwara made sure it stayed clean. He went so far as to slap Sano right in the face when he refused to break a hold. Sano looked like he was going to return fire, but Steiner came into the ring to hold him back. Imagine a situation where Rick Steiner is the voice of reason: that was this match. After fourteen minutes of strikes, suplexes, and submissions, Regal caught Sano in a Fujiwara Armbar and earned not only the victory but also a respectful handshake from the guest referee.  

 

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

There is a pretty good chance that this will be the very last time that Patterson and Stevens appear in a Japanese ring as active wrestlers. A lot of our older fans have fond memories of the veterans as energetic cheating blonde heels that they loved to hate. This match was a chance for our fans to enjoy their antics one last time and also for Ray and Pat to pass a bit of the torch to our own blonde cheating heel duo on their way out. It was clear that Ueda and Goto got a huge kick out of tagging with the classic heel team, and Sting, Owen, Scorp, and Hoshino all had a blast bumping and selling for them. They, in turn, bumped and sold for Sting a little bit (it turns out Sting will be sticking around in Japan for a few months to get some experience). The Blonde Bombers still looked good in there, using body language and facial expressions to get even the most basic manoeuvres over with the crowd. In the end, Hoshino did the honours, getting pinned by Stevens after a Double Diving Knee Drop.

 

**BREAK**

 

Young Lions Cup Final Match: Shinya Hashimoto vs Keiji Mutoh

In five or ten years’ time, if all goes well, this will be a headlining match in any arena in Japan. I have to say, it was a fitting end to our Young Lions tournament. The boys skipped right over the usual mat-work and spent the first five minutes of the match going toe to toe in the middle of the ring. Unsurprisingly, Hashimoto came out on top of the strike exchange, which allowed him to take control. For the next six minutes, he just tossed Mutoh around the ring with power moves. Mutoh showed his resilience by refusing to be pinned and came right back at Hashimoto with seven minutes of high-speed, high-risk offense. After knocking Hashimoto down with a series of Dropkicks, Mutoh went to the top and tried to finish the match with a Backflip Splash, but Hashimoto rolled out of the way at the last second, which knocked the wind out of Mutoh and gave Hashimoto time to recover.

As both men were struggling to their feet, Hash threw a powerful Overhand Chop to knock Mutoh down, and then absolutely crushed him with a spike DDT followed by a Vertical Drop Brainbuster to get the pin and win the Young Lions Cup.

After the match, an announcement was made that Hashimoto would be allowed to choose any wrestler on the roster to be his partner, and that they would be given the opportunity to fight for the Tag Team Titles in Tokyo on April 26th.

Hashimoto immediately responded that he chose Keiji Mutoh to be his tag team partner.

 

 

younghasi.jpg

 

 

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

I feel like Atisanoe learned a lot about being aggressive and relentless in the ring from watching and working with The Islanders during our Tag Festival. This match was a chance for him to learn more about being a big monster heel, by working with two of the very best in the business at playing that role. As you might expect, the first twelve or so minutes of this match were an absolute clinic in big-man offense and selective no-selling. Then, things got out of control and all six men started fighting inside the ring. That built up to a huge high-spot where Sakaguchi picked up One Man Gang, Strong Machine picked up Kokina, and Fujinami picked up Atisanoe. The simultaneous Body Slam moved the ring about four feet, and got the crowd rocking (in polite Japanese fashion). The Japanese team tried for the Triple Pin, but all three men got tossed out of the ring by the big men’s high-powered kick-outs. That led to more brawling, and eventually to Atisanoe facing down with Fujinami one on one in the ring while the other four men battled on the outside. Atisanoe got Fujinami up in position for a Samoan Drop, but Fujinami hooked his arms around Atisanoe’s neck, slipped out the back, and transitioned into a Dragon Sleeper. Trapped in the middle of the ring with no way to escape, Atisanoe was forced to submit. Fujinami offered him a handshake after the match, but Atisanoe slapped his hand away and stormed off to the back with his giant friends.

 

IWGP Tag Titles First Defense: Canek and Dos Caras © vs Antonio Inoki and “X”

Inoki’s mystery partner wore black trunks and boots and a plain black mask and was about the same height as the company ace, with a slightly stockier but still athletic build. He fought with a very stiff and realistic style, throwing many different kinds of kicks and tossing the champions around with various suplexes.

The Lucha Libre Legends clearly had more experience working together as a team and though Inoki and his partner kept the pressure up from the opening bell, Canek and Dos Caras were able to use quick tags and sly team-work to stay on even footing with the challengers for over twenty minutes.

As such, the ending kind of came out of nowhere. Canek threw a slow-ish kick at the mystery partner’s midsection, but the masked man caught Canek’s leg and tossed him overhead with a nasty Capture Suplex. Inoki flew across the ring and took Dos Caras down to the floor as Canek struggled to get back to his feet. While Caras and Inoki battled on the outside the mystery man peppered Canek with a flurry of kicks to his legs and chest then finished him off with a High Roundhouse Kick to the head.

There was an elaborate ceremony afterward where Inoki and his partner were awarded the Championship belts, and then Hashimoto and Mutoh were presented as official challengers for the titles.

It seemed like a fitting end for what could very well be the last-ever show fought under the banner of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

But… that wasn’t how it ended. As the ceremony was concluding, Adrian Adonis stormed the ring accompanied by Umanosuke Ueda, Anoaro Atisanoe, Siva Afi, Mr. Pogo, Kendo Nagasaki, a very large bald man with a ball of flame tattooed on his head, and a raw-boned blonde-haired gaijin wrestler wearing black trunks, kneepads, and boots and a big red pad on his right elbow… Bah Gawd! That’s… that’s Dick Murdoch! All of the heels were carrying chairs or other weapons.

The giant with the tattooed head went right after Hashimoto, screaming “I am the real Young Lion! You are nothing!”   Adonis and Murdoch went after Inoki, yelling that they deserved the title shot. Ueda and Pogo took Inoki’s partner out of the ring and started tearing at his mask… it looked like the man under the mask might be Akira Maeda, but it was hard to be sure with all that blood. Atisanoe waffled Mutoh with a chair and Afi kicked him while he was down. Nagasaki stood guard with his kendo stick at the ready... So our final NJPW show ended in a chaotic, bloody brawl rather than a formal ceremony… maybe that’s more appropriate? 

 

inkoiki%20blood.jpg



#35 kevinmcfl

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:36 AM

Great card!  I love how you were so kind to those wrestlers going out!  Bam Bam is a perfect fit here for you and hope Murdoch gives you what you want.



#36 SirEdger

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:41 AM

The next few months will be really interesting. Great way to end the Young Lions Cup!






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