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Gli-San Puroresu

22 November 2017 - 02:19 AM

Gli-San Puroresu
Kayfabe-breaking introduction:
My favourite style of wrestling is late-80s to mid-90s Kings Road style: Jumbo, Tenryu, Misawa, Kawada stiff, violent, manly, heavy on in-ring story-telling and long-term character development
The best time I have ever had as a wrestling fan was the period from 2009 through 2014, from when I first got settled here in Japan until the sad day when my beloved local indy, Osaka Pro Wrestling, ceased to operate as a regular promotion.
On the surface, Osaka Pro could not be much different from peak-years AJPW. With an emphasis on entertainment, high-flying action, variety, comedy, and nostalgia Osaka Pro drew a small but loyal crowd of men, women, and families from a wide variety of age groups and social backgrounds.
The idea of Gli-San Puroresu is to combine some of the things I love about peak years AJPW with some of the things I loved about the last few years of Osaka Pro.
So, in drafting my roster my hope was that everyone on the card would be capable of working in a believable manner with great stiffness and intensity but also a willingness to bump and sell so that every wrestler in every match has the chance to shine. I also want everyone I drafted to be capable of telling a story in the ring and of working a match that builds to a satisfying conclusion.
I'm also hoping that everyone on the roster can bring their own personal "something extra" to the basic requirements of stiffness, intensity, bumping, selling, and story-telling. For example: John Nord's big bumps, Bam Bam Bigelow's amazing agility for his size, Rusher Kimura's grizzled toughness, or Mayumi Ozaki's eagerness to go toe to toe with much larger and stronger opponents.
I want to de-emphasize the unfortunate trend to do "too much" in the ring and the tendency to take unnecessary risks. In 1988-1992, that wasn't as much of a problem as it would become by the late 1990s, but still...
While I have great respect for the fairly rigid and hierarchical way that Japanese pro wrestling was booked in the 1988-1992 time frame, my hope was that pretty much every wrestler on the Gli-San roster would have a realistic chance to work the main event at a big show, (even if it's as the third member of a three-person tag team).
I loved the many different ways that Osaka Pro used Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru and Apple Miyuki on their shows. That inspired me to include a joshi division in Gli-San.
Its possible that mixing female wrestlers, more egalitarian booking, and some light entertainment and nostalgia aspects into the Kings Road formula might dilute it too much, but my hope is to end up with a fantasy promotion that features the best of both worlds. 

Adam Flash, Danny Rose & Jake Daniels vs. Don Montoya, Dino Divine & Mike Quack...

10 November 2017 - 09:29 AM

There were a lot of things I liked about this. Mostly the extremely indy touches: Guys who don't own any actual ring gear, the one heel who actually showed some fire on the stick, goofy announcers tripping over their own tongues, only having three guys per side in a War Games match... I'm not trying to be funny. I like that stuff.


I really liked that they threw each other into the cage and got busted open, and booked it so that the good guys were at a a constant disadvantage. 


What put me off, though, was the "Money Mark who is also a Huge Mark For Himself" booking: Quackenbush faces down impossible odds alone against the heels inside the cage, hits the huge high spot, and then, on the verge of death-from-exhaustion, is forced to face down the heel champion  for his belt and yet SOMEHOW AMAZINGLY the dude in charge manages to overcome impossible circumstances yet again to triumph. FFS. I can imagine Jeff Jarrett at the peak of his Stone Cold Cosplay Fantasy Booking EgoMania period watching this and going, like "Dude... really???"


It was a bit much, in my opinion. 



10-Man Mask Cage Match (IWRG 11/02/2000)

10 November 2017 - 08:12 AM

The cage is a very cool-looking, double-tall lime green chain link job. A couple of minutes in we get a helpful graphic explaining that the Good Guys are: Hijo de Lizmark, Black Dragon, My Boy Felino, Ultimo Vampiro, and Super Parka. The Bad Guys are: Enterrador (who is very large and wearing a Misfits t-shirt), Super Mega and his tag partner Mega, Blue Panther and Oficial (who has a police-style outfit and mask that are kinda reminiscent of early Osaka Pro, so I like him even though he doesn't seem to be all that good at the pro wrestling part of his job). 


They all kind of mill around for nine minutes and 59 seconds, tossing dudes into the corner and doing some half-hearted mask ripping... but at the ten minute mark there is some kind of explosion, and then everyone goes nuts, scrambling to escape or to stop dudes from escaping.   It gets pretty exciting, as dudes don't climb up slowly so that the other guy can catch them. They look for a free corner and fly up there as quickly as possible... you know, like dudes who are actively trying to escape a cage might do. Black Dragon is the first man free, he pulls an amazing athletic leap half-way up the cage and is up and over like Spider-Man, except that he seems to slip going over the top of the cage and just plummets straight to the floor, dead weight style. 


After that, understandably, most of the other dudes climb up very quickly but then go over the top kind of gingerly and make sure they have secure footing before climbing back down outside the cage. 


A quick Google search reveals that this is the first ever El Castillo del Terror match. It's become an annual event. The last guy to escape loses his mask or hair. Presumably, nobody is allowed to try to escape until ten minutes have passed. That's a pretty good idea. The problem is that you are left rooting for your boys to escape but then you are left watching the guys who are not your boys, if you get what I mean. 


The Final Four end up being Ultimo Dragon, Oficial, Super Mega, and Super Parka. They do a nice job of story telling for each of the last four eliminations. One of the tecnicos escapes first, leaving the other tecnioco to take a nasty double team and earn some sympathy, then there is a classic malfunction at the junction spot that evens things up, then outside interference and a turn-about is fair play spot...


Overall, pretty unique and very entertaining from the ten minute mark on. 

JWA July 1985 - JWA Japanese Championship Tournament

08 June 2017 - 12:47 AM

JWA Press Release: JWA Japanese Championship Tournament, July 1-28, 1985


Japan Wrestling Alliance is pleased to announce the 16 first-round match-ups for our July Tournament:


Antonio Inoki vs Shiro Koshinaka


Riki Choshu vs Blade Runner Sting


Tiger Mask Sayama vs Kazuo Yamazaki


Umanosuke Ueda vs Samson Fuyuki


Tatsumi Fujinami vs Anoaro Atisanoe


Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Siva Afi


Adrian Adonis vs Isamu “Carpenter” Teranishi


Ashura Hara vs Phil Hickerson


Jumbo Tsuruta vs Toshiaki Kawada


Shinya Hashimoto vs Tastustoshi Goto


Akira Maeda vs Masakatsu Funaki


Osamu Kido vs Yoji Anjo


Bruiser Brody vs Tiger Mask Misawa


Seiji Sakaguch vs Keiji Mutoh


Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Nobuhiko Takada


Kengo Kimura vs Rusher Kimura



So: Who do you think will make the Final Four? What do you think will be the best matches of the first round? 


We look forward to your feedback!




JWA President and Founder, Shohei Baba

JWA Vice President, Motoko Baba

JWA Managing Director, Hisashi Shinma

JWA Booker, gordi

JWA June 1985 - Factions Draft! Festival of Champions!

31 May 2017 - 11:58 PM

JWA Press Release: JWA Factions Draft, June 1, 1985


Captains: Giant Baba, Tatsumi Fujinami, Antonio Inoki, and Riki Choshu


The JWA factions are intended to be loose affiliations. Members of a particular faction can and occasionally will fight members of the same faction. Members of a particular faction can and occasionally will team with members of a different faction. In general, however, Members of a given faction will usually team up together, and fight against members of other factions.  


In the televised portion of the JWA Factions Draft, only the first three rounds were shown. Each captain chose a singles wrestler for their faction in the first two rounds, and a tag team in the third round. The results were as follows:


Giant Baba chose JWA Champion Tenryu, Jumbo Tsuruta, and The Tiger Masks (Sayama and Misawa).


Tatsumi Fujinami chose Kengo Kimura, Shiro Koshinaka, and The Young Lions (Shinya Hashimoto and Keiji Mutoh).


Antonio Inoki chose Seiji Sakaguchi, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, and Mighty Animals (Mighty Inoue and Animal Hamaguchi).


Riki Choshu chose Akira Maeda, Umanosuke Ueda, and The South Pacific Islanders (Anoaro Atisanoe and Siva Afi).


In general, the alignment and fan appeal of each group will hopefully work out as follows:


Team Giant Baba are good guys leaning slightly tweener. They will tend to have a lot of big names and hold major belts. Their appeal will be to fans of AJPW, to fans of hard-hitting action, and to “front-runners” who like to support the winning team.


Fujinami’s Family are pure good guys. They will generally be the loveable underdog group. We hope they will appeal to fans of NJPW, people who like classic pro wrestling, and people who like to root for the underdog.


The Inoki Federation are tweeners. They will hopefully appeal to fans of Inoki and anyone who likes shoot style wrestling and martial arts.


Choshu’s Army are straight up bad guys. That rebellious image holds appeal for certain young men, and office workers who are dissatisfied with their bosses.


Thus, our hope is that each group will be able to draw fans and sell merch, regardless of alignment.


The remaining composition of each faction will be decided by negotiation between individual wrestlers and team captains.  The unwritten expectation is that each group will have at least a couple of guys who can work Shoot Style, and around five guys who can work in the Middleweight Division.


The final composition of all four factions will be published shortly in the Asahi Shinbun newspaper.



JWA President and Founder, Shohei Baba

JWA Vice President, Motoko Baba

JWA Managing Director, Hisashi Shinma

JWA Booker, gordi