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Union of Wrestling Force Internation Thread


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#1 elliott

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 12:50 AM

Gonna start by reposting my post in the hype thread because it really works better as a starting off point here...

 

Before I dive in, I wanted to say I plan on covering my UWFi via Dave Meltzer style coverage of press conferences, card announcements/previews/reviews etc. So expect lots of snark, grammar errors and run on sentences like Dave. Anyway, moving on to Dave's coverage of UWFi's first press release....

 

UWFi, arguably the hottest promotion in the world after this month’s unprecedented worldwide talent draft, sent out a press release announcing 2 shows to be held in September. The first will take place Saturday September 9th at Tokyo’s Kourakuen Hall and will be a one night tournament to crown a new UWFi World Light Heavyweight Champion. According to the press release the light heavyweight title will be for wrestlers under 215lbs and as of now 7 participants have been named: Kazushi Sakuraba, Naoki Sano, Masahito Kakihara, Yuki Ishikawa, Takeshi Ono, Alexander Otsuka and Carl Greco.

 

Even though this is another one night junior heavyweight tournament involving a lot of potential match-ups that have never happened before, this should be a very different junior heavyweight tournament from last year’s Super J-Cup that won this Newsletter’s “Best Major Show” award. There won’t be any of the spectacular high flying moves showed off by Great Sasuke and others in this tournament. But everyone entered so far is a good young worker so the matches should be fun if not spectacular. One big name missing from the tournament is Kiyoshi Tamura who usually fights at around 185 pounds, which would make him eligible for the division. Instead, Tamura will be headlining the 2nd show announced in the UWFi Press Release.

 

The 2nd show will take place at the legendary Sumo Hall in Tokyo and will be headlined by the aforementioned Kiyoshi Tamura against former Sumo Legend Koji Kitao. While no other matches were officially announced, the press release said there will be singles matches involving Vader, Volk Han and Shinya Hashimoto. UWFi will hold a major press conference later this week to announce the full cards and officially address the Japanese wrestling media for the first time since the talent draft. 

 

Even though UWFi is most talked about promotion in the wrestling industry, it seems like a bit of a risk to run the first show with Tamura vs Kitao as the headliner. Kitao's name doesn't mean as much as it did 3 years ago and Tamura isn't the draw Takada was when he had his big match with Kitao. Although the size difference makes the match-up intriguing, this isn't the sexiest main event UWFi could put on with their first show. They are clearly planning on holding off on their big matches as Takada vs Hashimoto or Takada vs Maeda could sell out the Tokyo Dome or a big baseball stadium with little else on the card. But Akira Maeda wasn't mentioned at all in the press release and sources are saying that UWFi management has been unable to get in touch with him so far. We expect a lot of questions to be answered in the upcoming press conference and we'll have full coverage when it occurs.

 

 



#2 elliott

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 12:53 AM

From the 8/25/95 Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

 

UWFi sent out another press release this week releasing the seedings for the World Light Heavyweight Title Tournament taking place on 9/9/95 from Korakuen Hall and the full list of matches for the 9/23/95 Sumo Hall show.

 

There will be 8 wrestlers competing for the World Light Heavyweight Title as Hiromitsu Kanehara was the rather anticlimactic final participant announced. Kanehara is the 8th rated light heavyweight in the tournament and he will face Kazushi Sakuraba, the #1 overall seed, in the first round because we are all pretending that Kiyoshi Tamura is heavier than 215lbs and thus can’t compete in the division. The winner of Sakuraba vs Kanehara will face the winner of a match between Yoshiaki Fujiwara trained wrestlers Yuki Ishikawa and Alexander Otsuka. The other side of the bracket will have the winner of Masahito Kakihara vs Takeshi Ono face the winner of Naoki Sano vs Carl Greco.

 

I think it is safe to expect a final of Kazushi Sakuraba vs the winner of the inevitable Kakihara vs Sano match. UWFi management (Takada) has always loved Sakuraba and Kakihara. Naoki Sano, who made his name in the late 80s and early 90s in New Japan wrestling Jushin Liger in one of the best in-ring feuds of that time period before going to Yoshiaki Fujiwara’s old promotion and later the previous incarnation of UWFi, is a possibility to make the finals as well because he is the most accomplished wrestler in the tournament. I’ve heard good things about the non-UWFi guys in the tournament but they are all young wrestlers and aren’t nearly as spectacular as the wrestlers in last year’s Super-J Cup so I think it was a good decision to put this tournament on in a small venue instead of trying to fill Sumo Hall like the J-Cup. This will likely be full of good matches and maybe one or two great matches depending on the results.

 

UWFi Light Heavyweight Tournament 9/9/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Kazushi Sakuraba (1) vs Hiromitsu Kanehara (8)

Masahito Kakihara (2) vs Takeshi Ono (7)

Naoki Sano (3) vs Carl Greco (6)

Yuki Ishikawa (4) vs Alexander Otsuka (5)

Semi Final Match 1

Semi Final Match 2

Finals

 

 

The full card was also announced for the September 23rd show at Tokyo’s legendary Sumo Hall. The main event was already announced as the 6’7, 350lb Koji Kitao against the much smaller (some might say light heavyweight) Kiyoshi Tamura. Other matches on the card include the Russian Sambo master from RINGS Volk Han against longtime UWF/UWFi wrestler Kazuo Yamazaki who is one of the more underrated wrestlers in Japan and has been for the past decade. World Heavyweight Champion Nobuhiko Takada will take part in a 6 man tag teaming with Yoji Anjoh & Yoshihiro Takayama against older wrestlers Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Osamu Kido and Yoshiaki Yatsu. Vader returns to UWFi to face long time UWFi jobber Yuko Miyato and the much ballyhooed first draft pick Shinya Hashimoto is in an equally uninteresting match against Tatsuo Nakano. Steven Regal & Fit Finlay will take on young wrestlers Minoru Tanaka and Kenichi Yamamoto in the final announced match so far.

 

This is a pretty disappointing lineup and you almost think they’d do a better job selling out Sumo Hall if they just printed their roster out instead of announcing the actual matches. Koji Kitao doesn’t mean as much as he did 3 years ago and Kiyoshi Tamura isn’t the draw Takada was when he had his big match against Kitao. The major size difference makes the match-up a little more intriguing but this isn’t the match fans are clamoring for. Top star and World Champion Takada is in a 6 man tag against 3 washed up wrestlers. Yoshiaki Fujiwara’s antics at the draft, attacking and bloodying Takada and then taking over as UWFi spokesman at the draft making picks the rest of the night was interesting and there is a long history between the two. But guys like Kido and Yatsu, even though Yatsu was an Olympic Wrestler and Kido was an original UWF wrestler and even Fujiwara are way past their prime and I don’t expect Takada to be able to carry this. 

 

Shinya Hashimoto and Vader are two of the biggest stars in Japan and they are in matches against long time jobbers that won’t matter at all at the box office. Regal & Finlay should be a good working midcard tag team but their opponents are so inexperienced and small, I’m not sure how this could be a competitive match which makes for at least 3 squash matches on a show with the top star in a 6 man against a team of geriatrics and a main event that isn’t very compelling.

 

The only match that seems guaranteed to be good is the match between Volk Han and Kazuo Yamazaki who are two of the most underrated wrestlers in Japan. Especially Volk Han is probably the best mat wrestler of this generation.

 

I would be very surprised if they were able to sell out the 11,000 seat Sumo Hall with such a weird lineup. Still no word on Akira Maeda or Dr Death Steve Williams who may not even be able to go to Japan ever again. UWFi is scheduled to hold a press conference later today and we will have an update in the next issue.

 

UWFi 9/23/95 Sumo Hall

Koji Kitao vs Kiyoshi Tamura

Nobuhiko Takada & Yoji Anjoh & Yoshihiro Takayama vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Osamu Kido

Volk Han vs Kazuo Yamazaki

Vader vs Yuko Miyato

Steven Regal & Fit Finlay vs Minoru Tanaka & Kenichi Yamamoto

Shinya Hashimoto vs Tatsuo Nakano

 

 

 



#3 gordi

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 01:48 AM

To me, that is one hell of a good job of imagining how the WON would have reacted to that card in 1995. It's cool how everyone is taking somewhat different approaches to this.

#4 elliott

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 02:43 AM

To me, that is one hell of a good job of imagining how the WON would have reacted to that card in 1995. It's cool how everyone is taking somewhat different approaches to this.

 

Thanks!

 

Its fun trying to write like Dave. I have a real rambling way of explaining myself anyway so it sorta comes naturally once you read enough of his stuff. I'm especially proud of that Naoki Sano sentence in the analysis of the light heavyweight tournament. I was in the Meltzer Zone there.

 

I'm going to try and stay as true to Dave as possible. But I'm going to tweak things here and there. I might start calling Kiyoshi Tamura the best wrestler in the world soonish and I don't think Dave ever did. Dave's never been a Fujiwara fan, but I think properly utilized, I can help "Dave" move past the "washed up" comments and into more of an "aging not quite legend but former star who is actually still pretty dang good." Same sort of thing with the young PWFG/BattlArts guys. I don't believe for a moment that Dave was watching PWFG in 1994 and 1995. That isn't a knock on him, there were SO many promotions back then and so much happening that I just can't imagine Dave had time to sit down and watch PWFG to the point that he would know Yuki Ishikawa or Carl Greco weren't "solid young wrestlers" but were already super workers.

 

I have cards booked until April including 2 Dome Shows (Tokyo & Fukuoka) and I'm really looking forward to writing them all up. There are big things to come. :)



#5 dexstar

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Posted 25 August 2016 - 04:47 AM

Writing like Dave is a blast. Really saves time too since you can skip the revision process

#6 elliott

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:01 AM

From the "8/29/95 issue of the WON"

 

There was a major press conference held by UWFi Founder Nobuhiko Takada and company “President” Nobuyuki Sakakibara who is invested in the company financially, but is really in a ceremonial role similar to Jack Tunney or Gorilla Monsoon, and veteran wrestler Yoshiaki Fujiwara who was the talk of the wrestling industry for his attempted coup of UWFi the night of the worldwide talent draft.

 

Fujiwara, you may remember, interrupted the draft as Nobuhiko Takada came out to make UWFi’s 7th round pick. Fujiwara then attacked Takada with stiff headbutts and kicks bloodying Takada before taking over as UWFi’s spokesperson for the rest of the draft as no other representatives were present that could physically stop him. Fujiwara proceeded to load the UWFi roster with his friends Osamu Kido (a former New Japan wrestler who defected with Fujiwara, Maeda & Takada to form the original UWF), Yoshiaki Yatsu (a former Amateur Wrestling Olympian who played a key part in the 80s Japanese wrestling scene teaming with Riki Choshu but has aged poorly) as well as Fujiwara’s own trainees like Yuki Ishikawa, Alexander Otsuka Takeshi Ono, and Minoru Tanaka. Fujiwara also drafted Volk Han and proclaimed Han to be the 2nd best shoot wrestler alive, presumably after Fujiwara himself.

 

 We do no presently know who is the new silent billionaire owner of UWFi but there is definitely someone pulling the strings (and paying all these guys) behind the scenes who isn’t Takada or Sakakibara. In addition to Takada, Fujiwara & Sakakibara, appearances were made at the press conference by: Shinya Hashimoto, Kiyoshi Tamura, Kazuo Yamazaki, Vader, Volk Han, Steven Regal, Fit Finlay, and Koji Kitao

 

The press conference lasted around 3 hours in total and answered a lot of questions while avoiding just as many. Sakakibara started by addressing the room of reporters introducing the full 28 member roster and running down the cards for the first 2 shows.

 

He then announced that Yoshiaki Fujiwara would be fined 2 Million Yen  (about $20,000) for his unprofessional conduct at last month’s worldwide talent draft. Fujiwara laughed unimpressed and said “I’ll give you this now, but we both know you’ll be giving it right back to me when the cameras turn off.” Fujiwara then said he didn’t deserve to be fined he deserved a raise because he is going to save UWF style Wrestling. He said Takada has always been a coward and you could tell. He was drafting a bunch of guys who were either fake pro wrestlers like Shinya Hashimoto and Steve Regal, pro wrestlers he had already beaten like Vader and guys he knew Takada would never fight like Akira Maeda because he’s afraid and Dr Death because he may never even be allowed to come to Japan again. Fujiwara said always knew Takada was a coward and he wasn’t going to let him bastardize what Fujiwara and Maeda worked so hard to build. Fujiwara said if Takada was a real man he would have drafted Akira Maeda first and challenged him. Or Volk Han who is the RINGS Mega Battle Tournament Champion and the best fighter in the world but Takada was ducking him too. So Fujiwara said he had to take matters into his own hands and make it his mission to take out Takada for the good of Shoot Wrestling. At one point in a hilarious line Fujiwara screamed “my armbar is better than your leglock and my head is stronger than your feet!” Fujiwara also delivered the classic line “I taught you everything you know but I didn’t teach you everything I know!” which has been around as long as there were trainers and interviews. I was told by those watching that this was an incredible promo and there was clear tension for the rest of the press conference between Fujiwara and Takada, who sat silently looking straight ahead throughout Fujiwara’s entire rant.  This promo combined with his attempted coup at the draft put Fujiwara on the front page of all the Weekly Japanese Wrestling Magazines after this press conference making him the most talked about wrestler in Japan ahead of Misawa, Kobashi, Muto, Tenryu and even Hulk Hogan…for a week at least.

 

When asked about Fujiwara’s accusations Takada said he has always stepped up to every challenge and he will step up to any challenge out there. He said he always challenged the world champs in other promotions and everyone was ducking him. He said the fans know that he isn’t ducking anybody. Takada said that he would fight Fujiwara, Akira Maeda, Volk Han, Shinya Hashimoto, Mitsuharu Misawa, Hulk Hogan and anyone else who dared to challenge him.

 

Before bringing out any other wrestlers, Sakakibara told the reporters they may ask follow up questions. Immediately hands shot up asking about the status of Akira Maeda and Dr Death Steve Williams. Regarding Dr Death, Sakakibara said they are working with representatives from the Japanese and United States government and are confident Williams will be allowed back in the country. Takada said it was all a big misunderstanding and that it wasn’t even Williams’ bag that was searched. Fujiwara had an incredible line when asked about it saying “The bag belonged to…I don’t remember his name….Jimmy Axe?...No…Johnny Ace. Unfortunately Mr Ace didn’t have the honor and courage to admit his mistake and Dr Williams stepped up for a friend down on hard times. Of course, Mr Baba always knew Mr. Ace lacked honor and now the rest of the world knows too." All were confident the issue would be resolved quickly without much problem. We here at the Observer aren’t as convinced.

 

Regarding Akira Maeda, things remain as unclear as they did in the weeks following the draft. Sakakibara said that Akira Maeda hasn’t returned any of his phone calls. Fujiwara accused Sakakibara of not calling Maeda because Fujiwara can always get him on the phone. He said Maeda wants a match with Takada and if Maeda wins he gets control of UWFi so Takada doesn’t try and turn it into his pro wrestling vanity project like Inoki did with New Japan. Takada said he’d fight Maeda anywhere anytime but Maeda has to answer the phone or actually show up for the fight. When asked if he would agree to Maeda’s terms of control for the company, Takada said he hasn’t heard from Maeda so there’s been no discussion of a match and therefore no terms to agree or disagree to.

 

At this point Sakakibara interrupted and said they wanted to bring out UWFi’s first overall draft pick Shinya Hashimoto. Hashimoto said he was honored to be UWFi’s first pick and he was going to work hard to prove that he is the best fighter in the world. Hashimoto said that he is new to the style but he knows he is the toughest fighter in the world (and he does have a rep as a tough guy) and is willing to prove it by starting from the bottom and beating everyone he needs to beat. This presumably explains why Hashimoto, one of the biggest stars in wrestling, is working an opening match at his first UWFi show. Takada thanked Hashimoto for his professionalism and his work ethic. Said he looks forward to training with Hash and mentoring him in the art of shoot style. Fujiwara audibly scoffed into the microphone at this point and said if Hashimoto was really a tough guy and wanted to prove it he would prove it by challenging Takada to a match. Fujiwara said Takada was just brainwashing Hashimoto because he doesn’t want to fight him. Hashimoto says he knows he can beat anyone in the world in a pro wrestling match but UWF wrestling is different and he is willing to prove he’s the best before grandstanding.

 

After Hashimoto’s time was up, Kazuo Yamazaki came out to join Takada, Sakakibara & Fujiwara at the press table. Yamazaki said how thrilled he was to stay in UWFi. Fujiwara kept leaning in and trying to talk to Yamazaki but Yamazaki tended to brush him off until Fujiwara finally gave up. Takada & Sakakibara said they were excited for many more years of Kazuo Yamazaki in the UWFi. Fujiwara mumbled “Takada just keeps you around because he always beats you” as Yamazaki exited the press room.

 

After Yamazaki left, Kiyoshi Tamura, who will main event the first UWFi show of this new era came out to address the media. Tamura was asked if he was worried because Kitao was about 7 inches taller and weighed almost twice as much. Tamura said he was the best fighter in the world and he wasn’t afraid of anyone no matter how big they were. Takada started to say how Tamura is full of fighting spirit but Tamura continued talking saying about Kitao it doesn’t matter how big someone is, once Tamura takes him down it will be over. Fujiwara started to pat Tamura on the back with an “Atta Boy” but Tamura brushed him off saying “Hands off, old man.” Tamura was asked if he had any interest in the Light Heavyweight Title. Tamura quickly said he had no interest in it. Said the other wrestlers in the tournament were beneath him and he said “why not just hand me the belt instead of put me in that tournament? They are all great fighters don’t get me wrong, but I am the best fighter in the world and will take on anybody. I don’t want to be held back by a weight limit. I really wish we could stop talking about this and move on.” Tamura said he wanted to prove he could fight anybody no matter how big so he wanted a shot at Kitao. Said he also wants another shot at Vader and also challenged Takada to a title match, which Takada kinda laughed off.

 

Vader came out next and said he’s happy to be back in Japan where no one is named Orndorff. Oops he didn’t actually say that. He said he would love to fight Tamura but doesn’t think Tamura is going to survive the fight against Kitao. Vader said he wanted a shot at Takada to prove that he was the man. Vader also said to Fujiwara that he might be a pro wrestler but he was also a pro football player and a pro fighter and he would kick his ass any day of the week. Fujiwara said, “anytime, anyplace fat boy.”

 

Koji Kitao came out next to speak to the reporters. He said he was shocked that he wasn’t drafted until the 18th round. Said he was the toughest guy in the world and he was going to take it out on Tamura and then beat Takada. Kitao said Takada owes him a rematch and he’s been ducking him for years. Kitao thanks Fujiwara for taking over and giving him this chance. Kitao said not to miss the Sumo hall match. He said some of the best moments of his life happened at Sumo Hall and this is going to be another. He also threatened it will be the worst night of Kiyoshi Tamura’s life.

 

Russian Sambo master Volk Han, who is probably the best mat wrestler in the world, came out next and thanked UWFi for selecting him and said he looked forward to showing off his skills and unique style of fighting to the UWFi fans. Fujiwara thanked Volk for coming all this way and said it was an honor to draft him. Said more wrestlers should try and wrestle like Volk instead of that loser Takada. Volk sort of awkwardly laughed at this probably not actually realizing the history between the two and the current tensions. Fujiwara said he think as reigning RINGS Mega Battle Tournament Champion, Volk should get the first title match against Takada. Volk said that sounds like a great idea. “How about it Takada-san?” Takada said he already had a match signed for the next UWFi card. Fujiwara chimed in “What about the next card?” Takada started to say something about official rankings and Fujiwara interrupted “There are no rankings anymore! Volk is the best fighter in the world and he just challenged you. Are you going to duck him in front of everybody?” At this point Takada had no choice but to accept and he agreed to face Volk Han for the title at an upcoming UWFi show. Volk thanked everybody again as Fujiwara grinned like a maniac and Takada & Sakakibara sat there silently probably fuming.

 

Lastly Steven Regal & Fit Finlay came out together last and were announced as a “tag team” and training partners. Fujiwara made fun of them the entire time calling them fake pro wrestlers and saying UWFi needed to do away with tag teams (perhaps forgetting that he was signed to a 6 man tag team match on the upcoming show). Said Regal & Finlay didn’t stand a chance in UWFi. Regal fired back that he was trained in the snake pit and was the toughest motherfucker in the world and loved proving loudmouths like Fujiwara wrong. He asked Fujiwara how effective his armbar would be if Regal broke all his fingers. Finlay said he was Irish and everyone around the world knows the Irish are the toughest fighters and the world and he was going to show that in the toughest promotion in the world. Fujiwara rolled his eyes as Takada & Sakakibara happily clapped.

 

So even after all that there’s no real clear idea what is going on with Dr Death or Akira Maeda. This is either all a work and will lead to a huge match between Maeda and Takada or it is a shoot and they really can’t get Maeda on the phone which would be a disaster. Fujiwara has been the talk of the wrestling world in the aftermath of the draft and press conference and what looked like a meaningless 6 man might actually be a heated affair. It also seems like they are building to a match between Takada & Volk Han, which would almost certainly be a match of the year candidate caliber match when it happens.

 



#7 gordi

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Posted 29 August 2016 - 11:14 AM

So many possible story-lines going forward from here!

Very nice job of show- don't-tell re: explaining your thinking to start things off. Looking forward to reading what comes next.

#8 elliott

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Posted 30 August 2016 - 07:46 PM

So many possible story-lines going forward from here!

Very nice job of show- don't-tell re: explaining your thinking to start things off. Looking forward to reading what comes next.

 

I kinda feel like I should have hot-shotted Hash vs Takada at the Dome for a major show. But I like the idea of Hashimoto being a humble & gracious team player in this world where everyone is mad at Takada. It helps solve my "too many top stars/who is going to job" problem. 

 

I also really enjoy referring to Dr Death Steve Williams as "Dr Williams." Expect that to continue :)



#9 elliott

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 06:18 PM

From the "9/9/95 Wrestling Observer Newsletter:"

 

UWFi: Light Heavyweight Title Tournament 9/9/95 Tokyo Japan, Korakuen Hall (Sellout 2,200 drawing $100,00)

1.    Kazushi Sakuraba submit Hiromitsu Kanehara 14:30

2.    Carl Greco submit Naoki Sano 1:30

3.    Masahito Kakihara submit Takeshi Ono 14:25

4.    Yuki Ishikawa submit Alexander Otsuka 20:12

5.    Intermission

Semi-Finals

6.    Carl Greco submit Masahito Kakihara 13:23

7.    Kazushi Sakuraba submit Yuki Ishikawa 18:45

Finals

8.    Carl Greco submit Kazushi Sakuraba 17:20 to become the first ever UWFi Light Heavyweight Champion.

 

The results are in from UWFi’s first show of the new era and in a major upset, Florida born and Malenko family trained wrestler Carl Greco (real name Carl Ognibene) was crowned the new UWFi Light Heavyweight Champion after beating Kazushi Sakuraba in the finals of a one night tournament in front of a sold out Korakuen Hall (drawing 2,200). Reports from those at the show have been extremely positive thus far with no reports of bad matches and several matches being called **** level matches or bette. I’m told the heat was very good for the entire show as these fans are the hardest of hardcores and are familiar with all of the wrestlers. The basic storyline of the tournament was Carl Greco having a surprisingly easy path to the finals and Kazushi Sakuraba having a surprisingly difficult path. Greco scored a quick submission win over the over confident Naoki Sano in the first round getting a victory in 2 minutes. He then faced Masahito Kakihara in the semi-finals and won in a much more competitive match before going to the finals. Sakuraba on the other hand had much harder fought matches against Hiromitsu Kanehara in the first round and Yuki Ishikawa in the 2nd round. Even though he lost in the Finals, Sakuraba came out of the tournament looking very good for having already fought for over 30 minutes before the start of the finals while Greco’s matches had lasted less than half that. That Sakuraba was able to hang on as long as he could against a fresher opponent made him look like a champion in the eyes of the fans. Fans afterwards were clamoring about the Greco and Sakuraba match leaving the show convinced that Sakuraba could take him. But Greco was over huge with these same fans for beating Naoki Sano so thoroughly and for how good the Kakihara and Sakuraba matches were. So we would count on a rematch happening sooner or later. Apparently the other wrestler fans were talking about after the show for his performance was Yuki Ishikawa, a Yoshiaki Fujiwara trainee who has tried to pattern himself after his hero, Antonio Inoki. Ishikawa beat fellow Fujiwara trainee Alexander Otsuka in what has been called the best match of the first round. Ishikawa then went on too push Sakuraba further than fans expected in what was called the best match of the semi-finals.

 

We should have a tape of this show within the next week.

 

 



#10 Grimmas

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 08:06 PM

I wish we had his tape

#11 gordi

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:06 PM

Nice-looking tourney. I'm with Grimmas on this one. I can imagine picking that tape up from Tabe or Verne or someone back in '95 and being blown away. 



#12 elliott

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 02:01 AM

Dave got a copy of the tape quickly. From the 9/12/95 WON

We got a copy of UWFi’s Light Heavyweight Title Tournament from 9/9/95 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo won by Carl Greco and if it weren’t for the unprecedented Weekly Pro Tokyo Dome Show from April, this show would be a runaway favorite for Card of the Year with no bad matches and four straight matches hitting **** or better to close the show. 

 

Opener was Kazushi Sakuraba beating Hiromitsu Kanehara in 14:30 with a cross-armbreaker. Sakuraba is the #1 ranked wrestler in the tournament and is a favorite of UWFi management. Sakuraba was one of UWFi’s 3 protected wrestlers in the draft ahead of Yamazaki, Anjoh & Sano. Sakuraba was originally Kiyoshi Tamura’s training partner but they split up due to personal reasons and now Sakuraba trains exclusively with Takada and Yamazaki who see him as the future of the company and created the Light Heavyweight title in part for Tamura and Sakuraba to feud over. As we know Tamura is refusing to compete in the division and is fighting the 350lb Koji Kitao at the upcoming Sumo Hall Show. With Tamura out of the tournament, Sakuraba was the heavy favorite to win and the crowd favorite throughout the tournament due to his all around ability on the mat and striking as well as a unique babyface charisma that should help him overcome his lack of size in the future like Tamura.

 

As for the match itself, it was a much tougher than expected match. Kanehara was the 8th seed so to speak by virtue of being the lowest draft pick competing in the tournament. But Kanehara, at only 25 (and a year younger than Sakuraba) is actually the more experienced wrestler having debuted in December 1991 while Sakuraba didn’t make his debut until August of 1993. Kanehara pushed Sakuraba to the limit and this was one of the stiffest matches I’ve ever seen with both guys taking and delivering brutal punches and elbows to the face. Sakuraba had a bloody nose and Kanehara’s left eye was swollen shut after the match. Sakuaraba ended up getting the scoring the victory with a cross armbreaker submission hold, but took a beating along the way. ***1/2

 

 

Up next was the biggest surprise of the tournament (well, other than the finals) when Carl Greco (Carl Ognibene) beat veteran Naoki Sano in 1:30.  Carl Greco was the #7 seed by virtue of being UWFi’s second to last pick of the draft competing in the tournament. Greco is a Florida born wrestler trained by the Malenko family who has been competing in Japan since June of 1993 for PWFG. Greco was picked by UWFi in the 19th round of the draft as part of Yoshiaki Fujiwara’s takeover attempt. He is mostly an unknown to the UWFi’s larger audience but this crowd knew who he was as most of his matches in Japan have taken place at Korakuen. Greco looks like he could be on Melrose Place with his haircut and earring but as we found out watching this tape he can really wrestle so maybe he should be on NYPD Blue instead.

 

Naoki Sano was the #2 ranked wrestler in the tournament because while he wasn’t protected before the draft like Sakuraba, he was the first overall draft pick by UWFi entered in the tournament. Sano is the most experienced wrestler in the tournament at age 30 and having joined the New Japan Dojo in 1984. He rose to fame in the late 80s feuding with Jushin Liger of New Japan for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. It was a classic feud that finished 4th in Feud of the Year in the 1989 Year End Awards and ended with Liger regaining his title in January 1990 in what was voted the Match of the Year at the time. After that Sano sort of disappeared before going to Yoshiaki Fujiwara’s PWFG promotion in mid 1991 and eventually UWFi in early 1992. Sano is considered a very well rounded wrestler by the Japanese media and fans and is well respected by “smart” type fans (Newsletter readers). He was expected to win this match on his way to the finals against Sakuraba.

 

Sano showed Greco no respect and actually slapped him before the bell rang. Sano wasn’t even looking as Greco started to charge at the bell and only turned at the last moment as Greco shot in for a double leg takedown. Greco then proceeded to get the mount and slam Sano with palmstrikes as Sano struggled for a rope break. Sano shook his head as if to say “come on, I’m ready now” when they were back standing and Greco took him down again right away and started smashing Sano with palmstrikes again. This time as Sano was going for the ropes Greco was able to slip in a sleeper for the submission to a huge pop from the Korakuen fans. After the match Sano shook Greco’s hand and said he wanted a rematch and Greco he’ll beat him anytime he wants. Sano shook his hand again and said it’ll be different next time. **

 

Next up was UWFi #3 overall Masahito Kakihara, who atually participated in the first ever UWFi match against Kiyoshi Tamura, against Yoshiaki Fujiwara trained wrestler 20 year old Takeshi Ono. Ono was the 6th seed by virtue of being selected by Fujiwara before Greco and Kanehara but there was some controversy surrounding Kakihara being named the #3 seed of the tournament. Kakihara was picked after 4th & 5th ranked Yuki Ishikawa & Alexander Otsuka. The only time in the tournament the seedings didn’t line up with draft picks. When asked about this at the press conference, company “president” Nobuyuki Sakakibara said this was because Kakihara was the more experienced wrestler having debuted in 1990 before both Ishikawa & Otsuka. He also said that Kakihara would have been selected earlier than Ishikawa & Otsuka had Fujiwara not taken out all the UWFi representatives at the draft. Fujiwara said Kakihara was a great fighter and he drafted him anyway. But Ishikawa & Otsuka are better fighters and that Takada & Sakakibara are rigging the tournament for their favorites by making Kakihara the #3 seed and lining him up to fight the rookie Ono who only debuted in January of this year. 

 

The match itself was very good wit both wrestlers looking strong and Kakihara getting the win in 14:25 with an ankle lock. Ono got a surprise knockdown at the start of this hitting Kakihara with a stiff jumping knee to the chest. This settled down after that with Kakihara taking Ono down and having a a relatively easy time controlling Ono on the mat causing Ono to desperately rush for several rope breaks. Kakihara mostly controlled the match standing as well but Ono did score another knockdown later in the match with an incredibly stiff punch to the temple. Ono looks to have a lot of potential as he was able to keep up with Kakihara on the mat at times and he has great heel charisma even in losing. The finish was spectacular with Kakihara reversing a high kick into an ankle lock for the win. ***1/2

 

The last match of the first round was a battle between Yoshiaki Fujiwara trainees Yuki Ishikawa and Alexander Otsuka with Ishikawa getting the win at the 20:12 mark with an Octopus Hold in a grueling match. These wrestlers are both Fujiwara trainees and look like excellent young prospects. Ishikawa’s favorite wrestler is Antonio Inoki and he comes to the ring with the towel wrapped around his neck and does all of Inoki’s signature spots. But he still looks like a good wrestler in spite of this. Otsuka is a bald wrestler with an unfortunate powder blue wrestling singlet who does some of the most spectacular suplexes I’ve ever seen. This match was a stark contrast to the earlier matches as the mat work was much slower paced and grittier than the quick exchanges we’ve seen so far. There were more suplexes than all the previous matches combined as Alexander Otsuka is apparently the real human suplex machine hitting a Dragon (Full Nelson) Suplex, Tiger (Reverse Double Underhook) Suplex, and breathtaking deadlift German and Gut Wrench suplexes. Ishikawa fought back with Inoki’s signature enzugiri and sleedper holds mixed with extremely stiff headbutts and punches. Ishikawa finally scored the win with Inoki’s signature Octopus Hold. This was a great match with Ishikawa ending up with a blood lip but his hand raised. Both wrestlers received a standing ovation after the match and you really have to hope there will be a rematch soon. ****1/4

 

Next was a brief 10 minute intermission before the semi-finals.

 

The first semi-final match was another Carl Greco upset this time beating Masahito Kakihara, one of the favorites to win the tournament, in 13:23 with a cross-armbreaker. Obviously this was a more competitive match than his match against Sano, but Greco really dominated most of the way taking Kakihara to the mat with suplexes and takedowns seemingly at will which really took the crowd by surprise. Kakihara was able to mount a defense standing  using quick striking combinations scoring a couple of knockdowns. The crowd picked up on the fact that Kakihara was able to beat Ono on the mat but had success standing and striking in this match even though he eventually lost. But Greco’s ground game, which is incredible by the way with some of the fastest moves and most impressive (if you can imagine that) submissions you’ll ever see, proved to much for Kakihara. ****

 

In the other semi-final, tournament favorite Kazushi Sakuraba beat Yuki Ishikawa in a tough 18:45 contest by submission with a kneebar. This was a spectacular match. It didn’t have as many suplexes as the Otsuka match, but it saw both guys take extremely hard strikes to the head, body and legs and some incredible mat work. Ishikawa’s lip was cut again and Sakuraba had a black eye. Ishikawa hit several extremely stiff headbutts and elbows while Sakuraba mostly tried to work over Ishikawa’s legs with kicks, which led to a nasty bruise on Ishikawa’s left leg. Sakuraba was much quicker on the mat using his speed and agility to look for counters or dash for the ropes when Ishikawa locked in a submission. Ishikawa was more powerful able to drag Sakuraba away from the ropes on a few occasions to reapply holds and in one spectacular spot Ishikawa reversed a triangle choke by lifting Sakuraba up off the ground and dropping him back down in an almost Powerbomb type move. After brutalizing Ishikawa’s leg with kicks throughout the match Sakuraba managed to finally put him away with a kneebar. Excellent match with both wrestlers looking like winners at the end of the match. ****1/2

 

Next was a 5 minute intermission before the Finals. 

 

In the finals of the tournament Carl Greco beat Kazushi Sakuraba by submission after 17:20 with a sleeper hold. This was another fantastic match with Sakuraba basically doing his impression of Great Sasuke from last year’s Super J-Cup by having back to back classic matches. The psychology of the match was the Greco had walked over Sano & Kakihara while Sakuraba had two brutal matches already. So Sakuraba wanted to end this quickly by going right after Greco knowing the longer the match went the more trouble he’d be in since Greco was comparatively fresh. Sakuraba scored a couple of early knockdowns with punches and knees to the chest before Greco took control by taking this down to the mat. The mat wrestling was incredible here with both guys working at a lightening fast pace early on. Eventually as the match wears on though, Sakuraba starts to slow down. He starts looking for rope breaks instead of counters. His striking doesn’t have the same effect and Greco just wears him down before finally scoring the submission. Both wrestlers looked incredible here with Sakuraba able to hang-on for such a long time and Greco showing some of the most incredible submission holds and counters I’ve ever seen. Fans were chanting for a rematch and applauding both wrestlers after the match. ****1/2

 

This was a small show but a huge victory for UWFi, who after being the talk of wrestling after the worldwide talent draft, has spent more time answering questions about the wrestlers who won’t be on their Sumo Hall show than the wrestlers who will be on the show. This was certainly a step in the right direction. I wouldn’t say this is as good as the Super-J Cup from last year, which had more great matches and better matches, but this was a great show. What makes this show perhaps more impressive than the J-Cup is that the J-Cup was an interpromotional tournament with the top juniors in the world, while this show was this good with only UWFi signed wrestlers and it didn’t even have arguably the 3 best wrestlers in the company in the tournament (Takada, Tamura and Russian Volk Han). Not only are all the wrestlers in this tournament now UWFi wrestlers, only one of them (Naoki Sano) is 30 years old. So while the present looks somewhat murky with questions surrounding Akira Maeda & Dr Death Steve Williams, the future couldn’t look brighter after a show like this

 

UWFi’s next show will take place on September 23rd from Tokyo’s legendary Sumo Hall.

 

1.    Kiyoshi Tamura vs Koji Kitao

2.    Nobuhiko Takada & Yoji Anjoh & Yoshihiro Takayama vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Osamu Kido

3.    Volk Han vs Kazuo Yamazaki

4.    Carl Greco vs Naoki Sano

5.    Vader vs Tatsuo Nakanko

6.    Shinya Hashimoto vs Shigeo “Yuko” Miyato

7.    Steven Regal & Fit Finlay vs Minoru Tanaka & Kenichi Yamamoto

 



#13 elliott

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 07:09 PM

Dave's WON Coverage of Today's UWFi Show

 

UWFi 9/23/95 Tokyo Japan Sumo Hall (Sellout 11,000)

 

We got a tape of UWFi’s 9/23 show, which sold out Tokyo’s Legendary Sumo Hall to the tune of 11,000 people for a gate of just over $700,000. The main event has been already and will certainly continue to be the source of much controversy as for the 2nd time, a UWFi wrestler has publicly double crossed Sumo Legend Koji Kitao when 5’11 185lb Kiyoshi Tamura apparently went into business for himself and legitimately choked out the 6’7 350lb former Yokozuna. This is a repeat of the infamous Nobuhiko Takada vs Koji Kitao match from UWFi’s first ever Budokan show on 10/23/92 (two days after the first ever Misawa vs Kawada Triple Crown match with UWFi drawing the bigger gate) where after 3 rounds of minimal activity, Takada knocked Kitao out legit in the 4th round with a roundhouse kick. Kitao was furious and refused to work with UWFi ever again. But Yoshiaki Fujiwara drafted Koji Kitao when he took over as a rib on both Kitao and Takada. This match was scheduled for Five 5-minute rounds like the Takada match but only lasted 4 minutes before Tamura choked Kitao out legitimately. It took several minutes to wake Kitao up and get him to the back by which point he had fully regained control of himself and started to realize what happened. Reports from those backstage say Kitao confronted Tamura and things started to get physical but Kitao was again put in a sleeper but Tamura was pulled off and the two were quickly separated before any more damage could be done to Kitao physically, his reputation, on the other hand, may never recover. Kitao was fired as he was escorted out of the building and we’re being told this is not an angle and that Tamura really shot on him and choked him out in the ring before getting the better of Kitao again backstage. If this was indeed a shoot (and in the ring it certainly looked like a shoot and if it was worked backstage, then the only people in on the work are Kitao and Tamura) it basically destroys Kitao’s rep in wrestling. To get double crossed in twice by the same promotion and even worse to get beat by a man 8 inches shorter and 165lbs lighter is a disaster. Tamura on the other hand ends up looking like a million bucks for taking down a guy of that size twice (and there were reporters backstage interviewing wrestlers after their fights who saw the whole thing happen) so easily and choking him out.

 

The fight itself started with Tamura throwing low kicks at Kitao’s legs and slaps without pulling anything back at all and Kitao getting noticeably upset. He rushed at Tamura a few times but Tamura side stepped out of the way each time and continued to throw low kicks. Kitao then tried the old trick Antonio Inoki used in his famous boxer vs wrestler work that turned into a shoot against Muhammad Ali in 1976 by lying down on his back and daring Tamura to come grapple with him. This was a terrible strategy that made Kitao look completely clueless because he was such a big guy and a Sumo and couldn’t figure out how to stand and fight and Tamura is such a technically skilled grappler that it was only a matter of time. Tamura quickly worked Kitao into a sleeper and Kitao refused to tap but the ref stopped the match when Kitao passed out. The crowd exploded with an “OHHH” before breaking into chants for Tamura after the match as the show ended.

 

The main event wasn’t the most talked about match leading up to this show but it was certainly the most talked about match after the show. The most anticipated match on the show was the 6 man tag with UWFi World Champion Nobuhiko Takada teaming with long time UWFi wrestlers Yoji Anjoh & Yoshihiro Takayama to beat the veteran team of Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Yoshiaki Yatsu & Osamu Kido in 22:13 when Takayama KO’s Yatsu after several brutal knees to the head. Two months ago this would have looked like a terrible match on paper but Fujiwara has done such a great job of making himself relevant again and there is so much history involved with everyone in the match that the educated crowd knew about, this match had tremendous heat which made up for the lack of athletic prowess on the veteran team. As much as a UWF style match can be a brawl, this was a wild brawl with almost no downtime and lots of kicks, slaps, headbutts, and suplexes. Everyone in the match except Takada ended up juicing either with a blade like Fujiwara & Kido or hardway like Anjoh, Takayama & Yatsu. Takada didn’t juice but his forehead was covered in blood from Fujiwara headbutts. This wasn’t the best “UWF style” match but it was a heck of a spectacle. ****

 

The other big match on the show was Russian Sambo Master and the reigning RINGS Mega Battle Tournament Champion Volk Han beating longtime UWFi wrestler and theoretically #2 ranked wrestler in the promotion Kazuo Yamazaki (I say theoretically because that’s what they ranked him but in reality he’s about the 8th ranked wrestler in the company) in 12:31 with a cross armbreaker in what was announced as a #1 Contender’s match with the winner going on to face Nobuhiko Takada for the UWFi World Heavyweight Title at the next show October 18th at Budokan Hall. This was a short but very good match spent almost entirely on the mat. Both guys are great mat workers with Han being probably the best mat wrestler of his generation. Yamazaki had some success when standing getting a knockdown with his axe kick but when he went for it a second time, Han caught his leg, kicked Yamazaki’s other leg out from under his leg (as Owen Hart might say) and secured Yamazaki in an ankle lock for the submission. ***1/2

 

Coming off his big night at Korakuen Hall, new UWFi Light Heavyweight Champion Carl Greco defended his title against Naoki Sano who was embarrassed by Greco in the first round of the Light Heavyweight Tournament. This was a much more competitive match than the first round squash at the tournament with Sano actually getting a couple of knockdowns. But Greco was able to end this quickly dominating on the mat and finishing Sano off with a sleeper hold. Greco seems to be getting a major push after winning the light heavyweight tournament and getting another quick win over Sano. He certainly has the technical skill for it but I dunno if I can take him seriously with that hoop earring and terrible haircut. ***

 

Also on the show was the UWFi return of Vader who KO’d longtime UWFi jobber Tatsuo Nakano in 3:24 with a powerbomb after several quick knockdowns. I expect they’re just biding their time with Vader and he will get a big push soon as he was the UWFi’s second overall pick, is a great worker and headlined a card drawing 36,000+ against Takada as recently as 18months ago. You have to feel for Nakano watching a match like this even if it only lasted 3 and a half minutes. *

 

This show also marked the debut of former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and New Japan 3 Musketeer; Shinya Hashimoto. UWFi shocked the wrestling world by selecting Hashimoto with their first draft pick even though Hashimoto doesn’t have any experience in the style. However, Hashimoto does have a tough guy rep and is a major star and a potential match against Takada or Maeda could be enormous. Because of the logjam on top (although you wouldn’t know it looking at this card leading into it), UWFi is running an angle where Hashimoto has to “prove himself’ by starting from the bottom and working his way up the ladder. So here he was like Vader beating the snot out of longtime UWFi jobber Shigeo “Yuko” Miyato. Hashimoto didn’t do his famed DDT or Brainbuster spots, but his chops and kicks were on display including his incredible spin kick that scored a knockdown at the start of the match. Hashimoto put Miyato away after 4:08 with a cross armbreaker. *

 

Lastly was the debut of Lord Steven Regal of WCW fame and Irish wrestler Dave “Fit” Finlay who mostly wrestles in Europe but has made several tours of Japan for New Japan and was actually in talks to sign with WCW before the World Wide Wrestling Draft shook up the wrestling world 2 months ago beating young wrestlers Minoru Tanaka and Kenichi Yamamoto. Yamamoto is a UWFi/Takada trainee who debuted last October while Tanaka is actually a Fujiwara trained wrestler who Takada, Yamazaki & Anjoh have embraced and welcomed into their training sessions after watching him work. This was basically a squash with Regal & Finlay taking turns hitting Tanaka & Yamamoto with hard European uppercuts and knee strikes and Regal working in some nasty finger breaking submission attempts before getting the win by beating Yamamoto with his Regal stretch. **

 

This looked like a pretty boring show for UWFi going in but they managed to sell out Sumo Hall with elevated ticket prices based on the strength of Fujiwara’s recent antics, the intrigue of the size difference between Tamura & Kitao in the main event, and the goodwill coming off the incredible Light Heavyweight Tournament at Korakuen Hall on 9/9. This show wasn’t as good as the Korakuen Hall show (most shows aren’t), but this turned out to be if not a good show certainly an interesting one with one great match, one very good match and a memorable moment in the main event. It will be interesting to see where they go from here with Tamura after the main event. Vader and Hashimoto should certainly start to have more interesting matches. Right now the only match we know for sure will be on the 10/18 Budokan Hall show will be UWFi World Champion Nobuhiko Takada defending against Volk Han in what is sure to be a classic match. We’ll hopefully have reports on more matches in next week’s issue of the Observer.

 

1.    Kiyoshi Tamura beat Koji Kitao 4:00 Round 1

2.    Nobuhiko Takada/Yoji Anjoh/Yoshihiro Takayama beat Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Yoshiaki Yatsu/Osamu Kido 22:13 when Takayama KO Yatsu

3.    Volk Han beat Kazuo Yamazaki 12:31 when Han submit Yamazako

4.    Carl Greco beat Naoki Sano 10:11 when Greco submit Sano

5.    Vader vs Tatsuo Nakano 3:24 when Vader KO Nakano

6.    Shinya Hashimoto beat Shigeo “Yuko” Miyato 4:08 when Hashimoto submit Miyato

7.    Lord Steven Regal & Fit Finlay beat Minoru Tanaka & Kenichi Yamamoto 9:49 when Regal submit Yamamoto



#14 Grimmas

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 08:53 AM

Oh man, oh man! Love this shit. Love the Dave style writing. Love the booking. 

I'm really excited for UWFi going forward.



#15 SirEdger

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 11:09 AM

Yeah, the Dave Meltzer review style is perfect for your promotion. Stands out from the rest!



#16 elliott

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 10:56 PM

UWFi News:

-We’re getting word that Kiyoshi Tamura may have been “encouraged” to shoot on Kitao by UWFi officials in the main event of the company’s 9/23/95 show at Sumo Hall. In the first round of what was scheduled to be a 5 round fight, the wrestlers stopped cooperating with each other (if they ever were) which led Tamura choking Kitao until he was unconscious in the middle of the ring. After he came to, Kitao stormed to the back and confronted Tamura who ended up almost choking Kitao out a second time in the dressing room in front of a group of reporters and cameramen who just happened to be there. Lucky for them. Not so lucky for Kitao who was shown on the cover of all the newspapers with the smaller Tamura on top of Kitao and several UWFi wrestlers (including Takada, Vader, Takayama and Fujiwara even) struggling to pull Tamura off. Whatever credibility Kitao had left has pretty much been destroyed as Tamura is practically half the size of Kitao and showed him up twice in a matter of minutes. UWFi announced that Kitao had been fired for unprofessional behavior. The sent out a press release that Tamura beat Kitao fair and square in the ring and he simply defended himself when attacked again backstage and they can’t punish a fighter for using their martial arts to protect themselves when they’re being assaulted. UWFi is apparently banking on the fact that they promote their wrestling as “real wrestling” to say that Tamura didn’t do anything wrong. He simply had his fight and beat Kitao, and whatever happened backstage was Kitao acting unprofessionally and Tamura protecting himself. According to sources who would know, before officially firing Kitao, UWFi fined him more than he was paid to work the show. So Kitao paid UWFi to kill his legacy and then fire him. Unbelievable.  

 

 

-In other UWFi news, company officials are working with members of the Japanese Government to discuss allowing Dr Death Steve Williams to return to the country.

 

-There has been no update on the whereabouts of Akira Maeda. Maybe he’s Lost in Cleveland with Cactus Jack and Carmen Sandiego

 

UWFi did announce their next two shows will take place October 14th in Osaka Japan at Castle Hall and November 4th in Tokyo at the legendary Budokan Hall; Home of All Japan and some of the best matches to ever take place.

 

The Castle Hall show is being promoted as a “#1 Contenders” Showdown as Kiyoshi Tamura, fresh off his Kitao fight, will face Vader in the main event to determine to the #1 contender for the UWFi Heavyweight Title. These two had a match in June of last year that was a short but very good match and this has the potential to be a great match that should draw very well with Tamura being the talk of the business lately. Also announced for this show is a battle of Yoshiaki Fujiwara trainees Yuki Ishikawa and Alexander Otsuka battling to become the #1 contender for the UWFi Light Heavyweight Title.  Ishikawa was one of the most talked about wrestlers in the company after his 2 matches at the Light Heavyweight Title Tournament after having great matches against Otsuka and Sakuraba. Also announced is the return of Victor Zangiev to UWFi. Zangiev was the best worker of the Soviet athletes used at the first Tokyo Dome show in 1989. Zangiev has wrestled in UWFi on and off for the past several years. He will take on longtime UWFi wrestler Yoji Anjoh. Apparently Shinya Hashimoto, Yoshihiro Takayama, Steve Regal and Fit Finlay will also be on the show. We hope to have the full card in next week’s issue.



#17 gordi

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Posted 30 September 2016 - 01:52 AM

"Lost in Cleveland" is such a great mid-90s reference. The more I get into this project, the more I enjoy the small details like that.



#18 elliott

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 12:55 AM

From the 10/5/95 WON

UWFi announced the full card for the 10/14/95 shown from Osaka's Castle Hall. The show is being billed as a "Number 1 Contenders Battle" with the already announced main event of Vader against Kiyoshi Tamura. These two met in June of 1994 in a very good match and Tamura has only gotten better since then and there is major intrigue about this match and whether or not Tamura will try and shoot on Vader after choking out Sumo Legend Koji Kitao for real at UWFi's Sumo Hall show last month. If Tamura ends up double crossing Vader and shooting on him, things could be very interesting. Vader isn't a trained fighter, but he's tough and weighs almost 2.5 times more than Tamura. But he has no submission defense. So Tamura could possibly take him if he can get Vader down. If Tamura does cooperate with Vader, these two have great chemistry and could end up having the best Vader match since Starrcade 93 against Flair or maybe even one of the Sting matches. I expect Tamura to cooperate and work with Vader though. Vader is a major star and the size difference is such that Tamura wouldn't really hurt himself if he shot on Vader and ended up getting embarrassed. But Vader means more to UWFi's business than Kitao did and Vader was a UWFi Officials/Takada pick from the draft. Kitao was selected when Yoshiaki Fujiwara took over and put his influence on the company. If Tamura ends up shooting on Vader, it could make certain gaijin nervous about signing with UWFi because they wouldn't know if they'd be double crossed or not. So, I will be very surprised if Tamura doesn't cooperate and I suspect them to have at least a very good match. 

 

The other previously announced match is the battle of Yoshiaki Fujiwara trainees Yuki Ishikawa and Alexander Otsuka battling for the right to be the #1 contender for the new UWFi World Light Heavyweight Title. These two had a tremendous first round match at UWFi's soon to be legendary Light Heavyweight Title Tournament at Korakuen Hall and we have high hopes for the rematch. These two being announced as the #1 contenders is interesting because they aren't Kazushi Sakuraba, Masahito Kakihara or Naoki Sano, one of whom (probably Sakuraba) will be facing Champion Carl Greco at the 11/4 Budokan Hall show. This is a great opportunity for these two young wrestlers to perform in front of what should be a large crowd.

 

The UWFi's current theoretical #1 heel and would be president (in storyline), Yoshiaki Fujiwara will take on long time UWFi wrestler Yoji Anjoh in what is being billed as a "Real Death Match." I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I can only assume that the winner will have to actually kill his opponent to win. Actually, the original UWF used to promote "Real Death Matches" and there wasn't much different than the usual matches. Its kind of a neat trick to build interest to a match that wouldn't ordinarily have much.

 

Also announced on the card is a battle of Fujiwara's hand picked veteran minions, former Olympic Wrestler Yoshiaki Yatsu and original UWF wrestler Osamu Kido will take on Yoshihiro Takayama and Shinya Hashimoto respectively. Hashimoto asked specifically for a match against one of these two to "show his worth" to UWFi officials.

 

Victor Zangiev makes his return to UWFi to face longtime journeyman and criminally underrated Naoki Sano. Zangiev is a former amateur wrestler for the Soviet Union who was the best worker of the group of Soviet wrestlers who came to New Japan in 1989.

 

Also on the card Steven Regal & Fit Finlay take on long time UWFi jobbers Yuko Miyato & Tatsuo Nakano.

 

Also announced was a match between Masahito Kakihara and Takeshi Ono.

 

Full Card:

Kiyoshi Tamura vs Vader

Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Yoji Anjoh

Yuki Ishikawa vs Alexander Otsuka

Shinya Hashiimoto vs Osamu Kido

Yoshihiro Takayama vs Yoshiaki Yatsu

Victor Zangiev vs Naoki Sano

Steve Regal & Fit Finlay vs Tatsuo Nakano & Yuko Miyato

Masahito Kakihara vs Takeshi Ono.

 



#19 gordi

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 07:05 AM

Now I'm all, like, actually wondering what's gonna happen in the Vader match.



#20 elliott

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 06:16 PM

Now I'm all, like, actually wondering what's gonna happen in the Vader match.

 

:)






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