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Obscure Japanese 90s Indies (Yume Factory, W*ING, KAGEKI, IWA Japan, Capture etc.)

Wrestle Dream Factory W*ING IWA Japan

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#41 G. Badger

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 12:41 PM

So, I started watching Kabuki & Matsuda vs Ishikawa & Okumura in an IWA vs Tokyo Pro chain match. Ugh...I just couldn't do it. I skipped around hoping it'd get better but, whew! This stunk!

Ishikawa vs Kabuki though...so I found IWA Japan - (Glass Crush) Matsuda, Yamada & Kabuki vs Ishikawa, Okamura & Kawabata - 2/2/97. Shit...that's what I'm talking about.

...but this was just OK. 'Buki & Ishi were too past their prime and the other guys too young for this to be good. Ishikawa came out in Mr. Pogo paint and tee & jeans. It was fun watching Leatherface pop up in the background during the backstage brawling...like some kind of macabre Where's Waldo? But really, it meandered until Yamada went through the 2nd glass box. He got cut bad as he went hands first and was freaking from the look on his face. Couple more minutes of decent action and it wraps up.

Man...bummed :\

#42 G. Badger

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 11:31 PM

I have high hopes for Tokyo Pro. Not really based off the IWA Japan matches but, from some of the random talent they've got on their cards. So, to start I picked Abdullah the Butcher & Daikokubo Benkei (who?) v Original Tiger Mask & Yoji Anjoh from 8/25 & 9/15/96, both jip.

First off Benkei looks like he'd be a cool guy to play as on the old blocky WCW video games. Big, bald and he's got a gi on. However, he does not make with the martial arts...unless a power slam is judo of some sort :\

He's a bigger dude and older so, pairing him with Abby makes sense from a similarity standpoint. But uh...kinda sucks from an fast heated action one. Nevertheless, Anjoh kicks the crap out of them (seriously Abdullah takes knees to the head and hard kicks to the Sudanese man-boobs), Tiger monkey flips the Butcher and they do their best to put on a fun match or two.

Its hard to get too excited as these are two really jip'd matches so it seemed like a 2/3 falls match while writing this. And its not bad...I wish there was a 3rd one as they were starting to click.

Good lead in to Tokyo Pro. Nothing deceptively awesome and nothing mortifyingly awful...

#43 G. Badger

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:38 PM

Tokyo Pro - Russian Roulette Handkerchief Death Match: Mr. Pogo vs. Takashi Ishikawa from 2/96.

OK I'm disappointed. This had fair reason to be pretty good even without the Deer Hunter possibility. Kidding!

No, really I had no idea what to expect. Ishikawa was dressed like anti-Pogo but nothing interesting happened until the carpentry tools were brought out. No clue what the stipulation was about. Not looking good for my brief exploration into TPW.

There looks to be some Sabu matches however, so there's something to look forward to yet!

#44 Tabe

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 01:51 AM

You haven't lived until you've watched the crapfest that is Abdullah vs Nobuhiko Takada for Tokyo Pro...

#45 G. Badger

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:06 PM

You haven't lived until you've watched the crapfest that is Abdullah vs Nobuhiko Takada for Tokyo Pro...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'm a fan of both guys but certainly know they have some faults. Surprisingly, neither set of problems came out too bad. Both were very professional...to a fault. They did 6 minutes of Abby choking Takada in some form, teased the fork then, 2 minutes of Takada laying in nice kicks. Kickout, more kicks, Pin, Bob's your uncle, we're done! Hahaha!

It was neat but, yeah craptastic. They could have tried for some kind of story but, ego was involved I'm sure. Still, really cool that it happened A good novelty match for sure.

I think that there's an Abby vs Sabu match from TPW...that might be my next match...there's bound to be blood :)

#46 Tabe

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 06:30 AM

My favorite part of Abby/Takada is that Takada clearly has no desire to actually make contact with Abdullah.  So he barely touches him during the pin, for instance.

#47 Jetlag

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:34 AM

I watched the W*ING 1/2/94 show (Handheld). Or, the last 3 matches, because only those were filmed. If you come across a pro-shot version of this show, grab it, because even the nearly unwatchable handhelf stuff was really fun.


Crypt Keeper & Nightmare Freddy vs. Jason the Terrible & Shoji Nakamaki

- this was a tornado tag and some of the best stuff I've seen from the horror creatures. That doesn't say much, but the layout was right, as Keeper & Freddy were the heels beating down on the faces, while Jason & Nakamaki were your charismatic babyfaces bleeding, being charismatic and making fun comebacks. Keeper was really spry here, doing a flip entrance to the ring and then landing huge boots to people's faces like he was Kawada or something. I feel like a hypocrite for it, but Jason is really fun to doing his Undertaker stuff and hitting absurd spin kicks.


Shinichi Nakano vs. The Winger

- post-SWS Nakano matches are rare as hen's teeth, which is awful because he is such an interesting worker, as his basic technical stuff looks tough as nails, and then he will stand up and kick you in the kidney. This was an extremely basic juniors match (that was half missed by the camera guy) where Winger added nothing, but was still a decent Nakano carryjob. Nakano made Winger struggle for everything, and at one point popped Winger straight in the mouth with a huge punch and then proceeded to stomp and kneedrop the back of his head as if trying to give him brain damage. Japanese sleazy unprofessionality at it's best.


Head Hunters vs. Jado & Gedo

- this was pretty much a sprint and made me think the Headhunters might be one of the most underrated tag teams ever. This was not just funny sleazy pro wrestling, it was basically like a Twin Towers vs. Rockers match, except far seedier, blood-drenched and violent. Headhunters were absolutely pasting the Twins with chairshots, powerbombs and their combined FATNESS, and I loved every second of it. Meanwhile Jado/Gedo were hitting superkicks and flying around, and the Headhunters did a really good job setting themselves up for their offense and bumping around like huge bowling pins. Also, the guy operating the camera finally gets his shit together and we get a full picture of this match. The only bummer was that the camera missed a huge Headhunter dive outside the ring. Watching this grainy footage zooming in on a Headhunter rampaging about in the stands of Korakuen Hall felt kinda like a found footage monster movie. The finish - a giant Headhunter moonsault - was one of the most ridiculous spots I've ever seen as the poor little japanese guy lying in the middle of the ring basically disappeared underneath as this giant fat dude splashed into the ring like free willy. Fantastic match

#48 Jetlag

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 05:15 AM

Let's make this a gauntlet of random 90s indies, shall we?


I watched : Kitao Pro 6/14/94 - Koji Kitao's fed. They have a drum instead of a bell!


Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Yuji Yasuraoka


AND – this was one of the best rookie vs. Rookie opening matches I've ever seen – and really the perfect opening match for this kind of fed: fast, short, brutal, to the point, and with purpose – as the audience was dying to see young Mochi make a dent and topple the slightly more experienced Yasuraoka. This match also shows how good Yasuraoka could be when he wasn't stuck in a spotfest with Lance fucking Storm, simply by not backing down from reckless kicker Mochizuki. Yasuraoka absorbing Mochi's opening barrage, creating an opening with a big headbutt and then downing Mochi with a huge slap was such a simple, but badass sequence. Both guys came across as aggressive, fast moving, and willing to bite a face off when necessary. Neither of them were afraid to get nuked with huge suplexes either, and did I mention Mochi recklessly kicks the shit out of Yasuraoka anyways? This was a bonafide sub 5 minute war.

Masanobu Kurisu vs. Takashi Okamura


YEAH~~! I cannot express how perfect Kurisu is on this card. Okamura is the next ultra-green reckless kicker from Kitao's Dojo and nowhere near as on-point as Mochizuki. This goes exactly how you imagine it to go from how it looks on paper: Okamura recklessly kicking Kurisu in the face a bunch of times, and Kurisu Kurisu'ing the fuck out Okamura. Because this fed is quasi-shootstyle, there's no brawling or chairs, so instead Kurisu mainly focusses on stomping and headbutting Okamura into a coma. Kurisu has about the most god awful stomps on film, as he puts the boots to Okamura's head, ears, and neck. To make things worse, Okamura even increases the trainwreck potential by blowing stuff and even trying a spin kick from the second rope. It eventually resolves into Kurisu almost popping Okamura's knee with a twisted Single Leg Crab. This match was ugly, grotesque, primitive, and fun as hell.


Akio Kobayashi vs. Nobukazu Hirai


Eh, this was alright too. Kobayashi is the least of the green kickers so far, but Hirai has nice suplexes.


Koki Kitahara vs. JR Carson


Okay, SOMEONE has to be able to tell me what the deal with the US guys on this card is. JR Carson is one of the most strip club bouncer looking wrestlers I've ever seen, and he seems to have no shoot ability whatsoever. Altough his pro style offense is admittedly pretty nice looking, but what do ya know, Kitahara kills him off very fast with a nasty neck crank because Koki Kitahara has no chill. And this leads us to...


Koki Kitahara vs. Akio Kobayashi


I liked that Kobayashi seemed to target Kitahara's weak spot that Carson softened up in the previous match. Kitahara actually sells a good deal for Kobayashi and this was about as good as a 4 minute match you can have with a dude as limited as Kobayashi.


James Magnum vs. Koji Kitao


WHO IS JAMES MAGNUM?? Magnum looks like Randy the Ram and I love him and the bullseye he has on his butt. They totally missed out not showing Randy the Ram getting KO'd in a 90s primitive MMA fight in that movie. Magnum pussies into the corner, to start but blindsides Kitao with a huge forearm to the eye and looks in a quasi stretch plum. Kitao NUKES him with a Uranage, but Magnum says fuck YOU and headbutts him in the jaw! Magnum follows with some more awesome headbutts holding Kitao's pants, but eats a knee to the face before Kitao cripples him with a series of low kicks. Awesome squash match.


Al Snow vs. Koji Kitao


Yeah, Al Snow. Snow says before the match that he's been watching Godzilla movies to prepare for this match. Snow looks jobber as hell, but makes the most of this match, acting like a shootstylist and hitting a huge palm rush and gigantic suplex on Kitao before he gets kicked in the eye and dropped with one of the most brutal piledrivers I've ever seen. Snow actually beats the count after almost getting Chono'd but squash monster Kitao immediately finishes him off with a choke. Al Snow, you gave your best.

#49 Jetlag

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 03:11 PM

Next up is: NSPW 9/24/1994. NSPW was a shootstyle indy that went for serious fighting ala UWFi. Now that's something you don't see everyday. That is just me guessing, because I can't find any mention of this fed anywhere, not even on the japanese wiki.



Hiroshi Osuma vs. Katsumi Hirano

Yukimasa Yokota vs. Shingo Shigeta

Takashi Hara vs. Masamitsu Kochi

Yoshiro Ito vs. Keisuke Yamada

Koichiro Kimura vs. Fumio Akiyama

Ricky Fuyuki/Jado/Gedo vs. Hiroshi Itakura/Hideo Takayama/Ichiro Yaguchi


Most of the fights were too clipped up to be assessed, but the fighters looked polished and worked plenty stiff, with Shigeta taking a pretty brutal beating in the second match but refusing to give up. Osuma vs. Hirano was a boxer vs. Wrestler match that was actually pretty good, which is a rare accomplishment. I assume most of these guys are from SAW given that Koichiro Kimura is also on this card, but that's pure speculation as I can't find any info at all on this fed.


Ito vs. Yamada was shown in full and was a pretty cool little clash, like a poor man's Vader/Tamura. Lots of potatoe shots, and Ito, who could still move well at this point, was slamming the fuck out of Yamada with pro style powerbombs and suplexes. Yamada is the future Black Buffalo (of all people) and had some cool judo throws on Ito's roided ass. Yamada looked the most talented of anyone on the card and it feels like a waste that he went on to do garbage wrestling for the rest of the 90s.


The main event was a typical Fuyuki/Jado/Gedo affair where they beat the shit out of the NSPW guys, bloodying and triple teaming them and waffling them with chairs. The NSPW all had kickpads (future face painted garbage brawler Yaguchi was doing a sambo gimmick at this point) and liked to kick hard, Itakura had a really nice dive aswell, but it seems most of their offense was clipped out which is a weird decision. They just got destroyed and the Fuyuki trio hit all their huge triple team moves including a powerbomb off the top and a huge assisted butt drop from Fuyuki. Fun stuff and Fuyuki is such a bastard in the match.

#50 Jetlag

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:40 AM

Oriental Pro 12/3/1992 – this was a very watchable handheld, the guy caught everything in ring and most of the brawling outside too.


Wellington Wilkins Jr. vs. Katsumi Hirano

Akihiro Mikada vs. Nobutaka Araya

Brian Lee vs. Masahiko Takasugi

Yukihiro Kanemura & Masayoshi Motegi vs.Kazuhiko Matsuzaki & Hiroshi Itakura

Ryuma Go & Jesse Barr vs. Ron & Don Harris (Texas Deathmatch in a cage~!)


Well, this show was super interesting to watch. Way more polished than you expect a handheld random indy show with a bunch of nobodies + Harris Bros (of all people) to be.


The opener was pretty great because PWFG Wilkins showed up to school his opponent with awesome takedowns, suplexes and stiff headbutts and shotais. It was a postively Negro Navarro performance from old Wellington. His opponent didn't look like much, but he didn't look lost in a match with a lot of grappling and he had a nifty leg trip. At one point, Wilkins went for a kick and fell over, to which Hirano rushed for an Achilles Hold. It was a minor detail, but about the only way Hirano could see any land in this match. Badass stuff from Wilkins.


The next match was an extremely young Nobutaka Araya (here's a guy who's been everywhere) and Mikada, a guy I've found no information on. Mikada had really sharp, stiff kicks and didn't let up. The match was pretty basic and two guys this green probably shouldn't have gone 15+ minutes, but they delivered a good finish with Mikada landing a huge crossbody off the top. Charming in parts. The next bout was veteran Takasugi vs. An ultra generic blonde Brian Lee. Takasugi was still pretty spry and they worked an IWE type match with Lee roughing up his opponent and then Takasugi fighting fire with fire. Basic stuff again, and they ended the match just as it seemed to get hot.


The co-main event was another match where you have no idea what to expect going and then you end up being positively surprised. I'd never seen pre-deathmatch Kanemura or Matsuzaki before, only snippets of Itakura and Motegi is a guy who is a notorious fuckup. All 4 guys won me over, though. Matsuzaki was a black trunks rookie, but he had really nice sharp kicks and headbutts, and Itakura was a fairly athletic tubby guy. Motegi looked pretty sharp, and everyone worked stiff and got the crowd into the match. They did flaring tempers nicely, leading to 3 guys hitting awesome dives and then a double countout which they turned into a restart and then did a really nice finish with Motegi hittig his awesome triple german into Kanemura getting the win.


The main event was a serious match and worked US style. Harris Bros came in with long flowing manes – and bah gawd they both look like Chris Hero!! Go and Barr were your babyfaces, and the Bros worked them over good. Harris Brothers had really nice punches and stomps, eventually hitting some huge double teams including a big powerslam off the top rope. Everyone bled, and eventually Go got the hot tag and ran wild on the nazi vikings as if they were space jews, hitting a bunch of flying clotheslines and eventually getting the win with an octopus hold. Barr didn't look like much, only hitting some stomps and kneedrops, but the crowd got into him when he refused to quit, and Ron & Don did a pro job here, knowing to fly headfirst into the cage when it counted. Won't make you forget Final Conflict and probably went a little long, but I thought it was a good little formula match.

#51 Jetlag

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:33 AM

Next in the gauntlet is one of the original sleaze classics - SPWF. Social Progress Wrestling sounds like a north korean propaganda fed, perhaps booked by Antonio Inoki, but the product was pretty interesting.


SPWF 9/5/1994

Shinichi Nakano vs. Kamikaze

Yoshiaki Yatsu & Masayoshi Motegi vs. Isao Takagi/Hirofumi Miura


This is from an episode of TV, which gives me some hope that there's more pro filmed SPWF out there.


Nakano vs. Kamikaze was a classic journeyman performance of Nakano to drag the shitty Kamikaze into a solid match. From what I've gathered about SPWF google translating their japanese Wikipedia page is that they made backyarders into pro wrestlers, and I assume Kamikaze was one of those backyarders because he exhibits all the traits of one: hesitancy, sloppiness, polished looking highspots but shitty looking everything else, and general lack of conviction. Also, at this point he was still wearing a mask, and the jacket he wore was without a doubt one of the ugliest pro wrestling attires I've ever seen. Nakano beats him up and stretches him good and is able to build a  solid by the numbers match around him with some nearfalls. Nakano even did the Fuerza punt. Seems SPWF had a lot of kids in the audience because Kamikaze got a lot of kiddie sounding pops.


The main event was a match I'm sure is good, but not exactly sure how good it was. Do you like formula wrestling? Because this was tag formula executed to a tee. If you find that boring, it was probably less exciting. It was worked a lot like an SWS match with 1992 WCW layout. Sharp basic wrestling, with a fast pace and few stiff shots. Motegi looked really sharp, playing his role of Yatsu's young partner well, hitting nice armdrags etc. and playing a good Ricky Morton when he got isolated and bloodied. Dare I say, is Motegi actually one of the underrated juniors of the 90s? Miura, for a guy who has been stinky in everything I've seen so far, was acceptable here and the old guys were really fun. Yatsu still had something in the tank, and the future Arashi was really spry.


Not exactly mind-blowing stuff here, but I'd love to see more SPWF.

#52 Jetlag

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:47 AM

Back to: Kitao Pro 2/21/95


Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Masanobu Kurisu

Koji Kitao vs. Richard Byrne

Akio Kobayashi vs. Hiroshi Itakura

Al Snow vs. Takashi Okamura

Akio Kobayashi vs. Koki Kitahara

Koji Kitao vs. Osamu Tachihikari

Al Snow vs. Koki Kitahara

Koji Kitao vs. Masaaki Mochizuki

Ryuma Go vs. Kazuhiko Matsuzaki

Koji Kitao vs. Koki Kitahara


Ohh boy this card. In case you are confused – this is a tournament, with Tachihikari and Kitahara getting a BYE for some reason to skip the 1st round. They removed the ring ropes for this show – smart move. Let's do it quick: Mochizuki/Kurisu was Mochi throwing really hard kicks and Kurisu throwing really hard headbutts and stomps for 3 minutes – so about what you expect. Then Mochi downs Kurisu, causing him to slip over the edge of the ring and almost land on his head outside, dear good. Kitao/Byrne – Byrne has an amazing Jerry Flynn/Bart Vale like american bullshido master look, but is squashed in 40 seconds when Kitao catches him with an admittedly pretty cool Volk Han like wrist lock. Itakura/Kobayashi – Itakura looks like the lost great talent of the 90s, as he wrestles like a tubby Kota Ibushi, fast, stiff, capable on the mat, cool spots – but gets kicked in the face by the lousy Kobayashi and fails to get up. Poor Itakura always gets the short end.


Snow/Okamura – it will never cease to amaze me how Snow got roped into doing this shit. Snow earns my respect by working a pretty solid 5 minute match against the not very good Okamura, hitting stiff palm rushes and actually getting the crowd behind him. Snow also eats one of the most brutal koppu kicks I've ever seen. Kobayashi/Kitahara – Kobayashi is a slimy hateable dipshit, and Kitahara kills him some in this match, but not nearly enough. Kitao/Tachihikari – for a few seconds this was two fat sumos clobbering each other, and all was right in the world, then Kitao wins another 1 minute squash. Don't exhaust yourself, Kitao.


Snow/Kitahara – this is the most promising matchup cause both these guys can actually work. Snow gets dropped on his shoulder with a german suplex and Kitahara painfully picks his shoulder apart. Snow tries hard, but at 3 minutes the match fell short just as it got good, 1 or 2 minutes longer and it would've been a pretty good bout. Kitao/Mochizuki – Mochizuki is next on Kitao's short pointless squash list. Ryuma Go/Matsuzaki – Go saves this show by beating the snot out of Matsuzaki with ultra stiff punches and headbutts and then tortures him on the mat and then some. Go is INSANE and I love him.God bless you, Champion of the Galaxy. Kitao/Kitahara – Kitahara is the first guy who gets to do actual harm to Kitao. They beat the shit out of eachother and Kitao throws these brutal Vader Hammers, and brings out the Kitao Driller again. Eh I guess this was solid, brutal enough to be worthwhile, altough with a match as short as 4 minutes you have to go a little more all out than this for it to be something special.


I dunno. The feel of these Kitao booked shows is kind of fun with the „anything can happen/match can end at anytime“ vibe, and every match is brutal as fuck, which is always a plus. But I feel they could've delivered a little more on some matches. You know there's something fishy when Ryuma Go and Al Snow are bringing the workrate. It was interesting and a breeze to watch, kind of like fast food shootstyle. The best match was Snow/Okamura, so now you know it – once upon a time, Al Snow carried a mediocre japanese karateka to a pretty decent 5 minute match.

#53 Jetlag

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 03:37 PM

Back to: W*ING 11/21/93


Moondog Spot vs. Ryo Miyake

Moondog Splat vs. Badboy Hido

Masayoshi Motegi vs. Winger

Crash the Terminator & Miguel Perez Jr vs. Leatherface & Boogie Man

Nightmare Freddy & Crypt Keeper vs. Nobutaka Araya & Shoji Nakamaki

Jado & Gedo vs. Headhunters A & B (Barbedwire Match)


W*ING seemed to be lacking in japanese stars at this time. All your sleaze heros (Araya, Hido, Nakamaki) were still in their infancy stage, Nakamaki even wearing the black trunks attire. Maybe that's why they introduced the horror characters. Anyways this show was kind of the downside to watching old indy houseshows. Almost every match here was a sloth like brawl. I actually kinda liked the brief Moondog squash to open the show. Motegi/Winger was the best match on the show as Motegi continues to look better than he has any right to be as he carries the almost completely useless Winger to a perfectly passable junior undercard match, busting out cool holds and all that. The first Horror monsters match had some cool power moves especially from Crash (Bill Demott?!) but ended on a very dry note. The other match was basically a squash. The main event was solid enough - Jado and Gedo wore their amazing Zubaz pants. These two teams have wrestled eachother a bunch and the barbedwire stip made them stay in the ring, all 4 guys have nice punches, and Headhunters always bust their ass breaking out their highspots and big bumps. Still the match was a little long and sluggish but the finish was cool with how the Headhunters set up their big Bulldog.


Another Motegi match that delivers beyond logical expectations. At this rate Motegi is pretty much my boy.

#54 G. Badger

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 09:22 PM

Headhunters vs anyone is likely to be a good match. They were the Holy Demon Army of the Indies :D

I'd like to check this match vs the NJ bookers out as they were also very game to put on a memorable match at this time.

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