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By PWINSIDER.COM STAFF on 2004-02-08 20:00:00



New Japan Pro Wrestling ran Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan on 1/28 drawing an announced sellout of 1,607 fans. Koji Kanemoto finally returned from injury, teaming with Jushin Liger and El Samurai to defeat Gedo, Jado, Gedo, and Katsushi Takemura. U-30 (Under 30 Years Old) Openweight champion Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned Masayuki Naruse with a Dragon Suplex to retain his championship. The promotion also held a 13 man Royal Rumble on the undercard with Shinya Makabe emerging victorious. The order of elimination featured Manabu Nakanishi, Blue Wolf, Hiro Saito, Tatsutoshi Goto, Yuji Nagata, Osamu Nishimura, Masahiro Chono, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tadao Yasuda, Makai #1, and Yutaka Yoshie. Other results from the show saw Naofumi Yamamoto beat Akiya Anzawa....Tiger Mask beat Ryusuke Taguchi.... Heat beat Hirooki Goto....Mitsuya Nagai & Katsuyori Shibata beat Toru Yano & Wataru Inoue

Masahiro Chono told the Japanese media that if he won the IWGP Provisional championship tournament on 2/15 at Sumo Hall, he would resign as New Japan's Director to devote his time to in-ring activities. Chono has yet to sign a new contract with the company, but they are negotiating. Jushin Liger will defend the Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Honored Crown Junior Heavyweight championship on 2/15 against Mitsuo Momota.

Buck: Momota is the son of the legendary Rikidozan.  He is coming to the end of his career, and has only worked comedy matches for All Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH in the last few years.  This will probably be one of his last notable singles matches. 

Speaking of contracts, Tatsutoshi Goto and Junji Hirata have signed new deals with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Expect Dustin Rhodes to debut for ZERO-ONE in February.

ZERO-ONE will present its ZERO-ONE USA events this weekend. The scheduled lineups feature Spanky's first appearance in Japan since returning to the promotion.


Rey Bucanero is expected to miss about three weeks from his knee ligament injuries, which means he could always come back early and work hurt. It wouldn't be wise, but wrestlers often gut it out. Bucanero will end up missing the LXW event in Miami. Florida on 2/29.

There is a long article up at ICChesireOnline looking at the wrestling scene in Great Britain, featuring quotes from All Star Wrestling promoter Brian Dixon. Dixon said that while many expected the local scene to die when it lost TV coverage on ITV, it actually helped the live gates. As it was explained to me, it hurt the local companies but many still draw a few hundred per show as opposed to the larger crowds from the era when names like Fit Finley and Giant Haystacks were TV stars and fans came to see the stars. Dixon noted that when names like Finley and Steven (William) Regal migrated to the United States, it hurt as well, so he began importing talent from the States. Dixon avoids the "real vs. fake" issue as well. To read the complete article, click here.

Dreamstage Entertainment will be bringing PRIDE to Las Vegas in September 2004.

Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling returns to The Polish Hall in Niagara Falls, Ontario with Eric Young & Derek Wylde & Lazz vs. JT Playa & Jace Fury & The Hacker, Cody Steele vs. Tyson Dux, Pee Wee Kastles vs. Kinkaid in a Hardcore Match, TJ Harley vs. Crazzy Steve, The Italianos vs. Team Wrestleplex, Kris Chambers, Angel, Ruffly Perfect, Floyd Osbourne, The All Knighters and others scheduled.

I've heard Kevin Nash is negotiating with Dreamstage Entertainment to appear on HUSTLE-2, their second joint show with ZERO-ONE on 3/7 in Yokohama, Japan. That show is expected to be headlined by Bill Goldberg vs. Shinya Hashimoto. I expect that Nash will be teaming with Scott Hall on that show if a deal if made, as they were negotating for the HUSTLE-1 show as well, but were unable to come to terms.

Buck: Nash to me is a "one and out" when it comes to Japan.  I can't see his appeal lasting for long once fans see the quality of his work these days. 

Also, I just received all the major shows from January in Japan, but do to the site making it's sudden debut, I really haven't had time to watch any of them yet.  Hopefully I will have a column on some of them this week! 


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