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All Japan Pro Wrestling 2000


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Please Note: Some dates and events have been altered for this diary. While much of the backstory remains fact, I have embellished or altered certain events to my liking. Thanks to www.picksi.com for providing much needed info, and DoubleX for the great translation. Enjoy.

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Since its inception in the early 70’s All Japan Pro Wrestling had been the epicenter of the Japanese “puroresu” world. Legendary wrestler Shohei “Giant” Baba owned and operated the company from its very beginnings up until his death in early 1999. From there, owner and All Japan superstar Mitsuharu Misawa was left with the task of filling Baba’s enormous shoes, taking over the duties of active company president. For over a year, the All Japan empire continued to soar under Misawa’s guidance.

But that empire would come crumbling down one day in June…

June 12th, 2000

With seemingly no warning, the world of puroresu was set on its ear with the announcement that Mitsuharu Misawa had stepped down as president of All Japan Pro Wrestling. The decision apparently came after a rift with Motoko Baba, widow of Giant Baba. Rumours abounded as to what Misawa's role, if any, in the company would be and the reason behind his resignation. Details would not be far behind, but for the moment, the entire Japanese wrestling community would have to sit on its hands.

June 13th, 2000

All Japan's board of directors held an emergency meeting, making Misawa's resignation official. Various theories were bandied about the internet, that Misawa had resigned as far back as May 28th or that Misawa had been fired by the board of directors. The point was moot though, as Misawa had left the company entirely. With Misawa went the AJPW Triple Crown Champion Kenta Kobashi, one half of the AJPW World Tag Team Champions Akira Taue, and puroresu legend Mitsuo Momota. The remaining wrestlers were undecided, with only Toshiaki Kawada and Masanobu Fuchi declaring loyalty to Motoko Baba. Both Misawa and Mrs. Baba announced press conferences for June 16th. The future of Japan's most famous and prolific organization hanged in the balance.

June 15th, 2000

Misawa jumped the gun on Mrs. Baba, holding a small but publicized meeting where he laid the groundwork for his new promotion. Numerous All Japan workers attended the meeting, 22 in total. Akira Taue, Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Rusher Kimura, Haruka Eigen, Mitsuo Momota, Yoshinari Ogawa, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Satoru Asako, Masao Inoue, Jun Izumida, Takao Omori, Yoshihiro Takayama, Masahito Kakihara, Tamon Honda, Kentaro Shiga, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Takeshi Morishima, Makoto Hashi, Masamichi Marufuji, Kenta Kobayashi and Takeshi Rikio all pledged their allegiance to Misawa's cause. Toshiaki Kawada remained the sole survivor of All Japan, with Masanobu Fuchi's mind still not made up. All Japan was, by all appearances, dead. It was expected that at the next day's press conference, Mrs. Baba would announce the closure of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

June 16th, 2000

Mrs. Baba and Kawada shocked the media at their press conference, announcing that All Japan would stay open, and that the promotion's next tour (Summer Action Series 2000) would go on as scheduled from July 1st to July 23rd. Mrs. Baba said she was willing to fight for her promotion and that it would survive in the future. Mrs. Baba announced the gaijins for the tour as Steve Williams, Johnny Ace, Mike Barton, Wolf Hawkfield, Johnny Smith, Scorpio, and Giant Kimala. The status of Hawaiian worker Maunakea Mossman was still undecided, though he seemed to lean towards Misawa.

At the same time, Misawa held his own press conference, formally introducing his roster with the addition of Daisuke Ikeda, a surprise as Ikeda was seen as a good friend of Kawada. Misawa said he wanted to try and lure indy talent into his promotion, and was hoping to start up by the fall. He also expressed interest in a potential working relationship with New Japan in the future. There was seemingly nowhere to go but up for Misawa's fledgling promotion.

June 19th, 2000

Mitsuharu Misawa officially gave his promotion a name, dubbing the company Pro Wrestling NOAH.

June 20th, 2000

All Japan took another huge hit as Nippon TV, the station that had aired All Japan's weekly TV shows since 1972, cancelled their recently renewed contract with the promotion, opting instead to work with NOAH as soon as they start up. Jinsei Shinzaki offered to lend a hand to All Japan by participating on some upcoming tours and his offer was graciously accepted. As well, All Japan trueborn Atushi Onita and former foe Tarzan Goto offered their assistance to the struggling promotion. Kawada remained undecided on the two, presumably because of either man's reputation as a 'garbage' worker.

June 24th, 2000

Stan Hansen wrote a fax to AJPW and to the Japanese fans. It read as follows:

"To the Fans of All Japan Pro Wrestling. Long live All Japan Pro Wrestling! I want everyone to know that no matter what happens, Stan Hansen is coming to Japan and wrestle for All Japan Pro Wrestling Company on July 23rd. Giant Baba is and always will be All Japan Pro Wrestling. I have total loyalty to All Japan and want wrestling fans to support a company that Baba worked his whole life to build. I want to also support Ms. Baba as she tries to continue to keep All Japan going. All Japan is part of the history of wrestling in Japan. As Baba-san's wife, she to me represents Baba-san. If Baba-san had confidence in her to be involved in his business, then his judgment of her is fine enough for me. I too support her during this time. I just want the fans to know that I will support All Japan and no other company. There was and will be only one Giant Baba, and only one All Japan Pro Wrestling. I look forward to being involve in some great and exciting matches in the future with Kawada and others, both gaijin and also Japanese. I look forward to seeing you all in the Budokan on July 23rd."

And so the mission begins. With a tour only days away and a roster of only 12 wrestlers, All Japan must prove that it has the strength to withstand the NOAH walkout and remain the dominant force in puroresu. Can it be done? Tadanariyuki o mitte kudasai!

As a sidenote, this is not the end of my CZW diary. This diary is merely a break from writing it, as I wanted to change up styles as much as possible. This diary will feature shorter match writeups which allows me to get shows out faster and keep myself interested without burning out. I'll try my best to keep both going at once.

Edited by caucasianheat
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All Japan Title/Tournament Histories

Titles

AJPW Triple Crown

Current Holder: Vacant

Kenta Kobashi [3]

* Title vacated in June 2000 when Kobashi left the promotion *

Vader [2]

Mitsuharu Misawa [5]

Vader

* Vader defeated Akira Taue for the Triple Crown *

Toshiaki Kawada [3]

* The Triple Crown was vacated on January 23, 1999 after Kawada broke his arm after winning the Triple Crown from Mitsuharu Misawa *

Mitsuharu Misawa [4]

Kenta Kobashi [2]

Toshiaki Kawada [2]

Mitsuharu Misawa [3]

Kenta Kobashi

Akira Taue

Mitsuharu Misawa [2]

Stan Hansen [4]

Toshiaki Kawada

Steve Williams

Mitsuharu Misawa

Stan Hansen [3]

Jumbo Tsuruta [3]

Stan Hansen [2]

* Stan Hansen defeated Mitsuharu Misawa to win the Triple Crown *

Terry Gordy [2]

* Terry Gordy was stripped of the title in July of 1990 after being hospitalized *

Stan Hansen

Terry Gordy

Jumbo Tsuruta [2]

Gen'ichiro Tenryu

Jumbo Tsuruta

* Jumbo Tsuruta, current NWA International champion, defeated Stan Hansen, PWF World and NWA United National champion, to unify all three titles to become the "Triple Crown" champion *

All Japan World Jr. Heavyweight Title

Current Holder Vacant

Yoshinari Ogawa [3]

* Yoshinari Ogawa defeated Satoru Asako in a tournament final to win the title. Title vacated in June 2000 when Yoshinari Ogawa left the promotion *

Maunakea Mossman

* The title was vacated on June 12, 1998 when Maunakea Mossman moved up to the heavyweight division *

Yoshinari Ogawa [2]

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Masanobu Fuchi [5]

Yoshinari Ogawa

Dan Kroffat [2]

Masanobu Fuchi [4]

Dan Kroffat

Masanobu Fuchi [3]

Joe Malenko [2]

Mitsuo Momota

Shin'ichi Nakano

Masanobu Fuchi [2]

Mighty Inoue

Joe Malenko

Masanobu Fuchi

Kuniaki Kobayashi

Hiro Saito

* Hiro Saito defeated Bread Armstrong in a tournament final to win the title *

All Japan World Tag Team Titles

Current Holders: Vacant

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue [6]

* Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue defeated Takao Ohmori and Yoshihiro Takayama in a 4-team tournament final to win the titles. Titles vacated in June of 2000 when Akira Taue leaves the promotion *

Vader & Steve Williams

* Tag Team Titles were vacated in April of 2000 when Vader was injured *

Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama [2]

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Johnny Ace & Bart Gunn

Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue [5]

Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace [2]

Steve Williams & Gary Albright

Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue [4]

Steve Williams & Johnny Ace

Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue [3]

Stan Hansen & Gary Albright

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue [2]

Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi

* Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi won the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament to win the titles *

Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase

* The titles were vacated in December of 1993 for the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament *

Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue

Terry Gordy & Steve Williams [5]

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada [2]

* Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada won the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament to win the titles *

Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue

* The titles were vacated in December of 1992 when Jumbo Tsuruta was hospitalized for liver problems *

Terry Gordy & Steve Williams [4]

* Terry Gordy and Steve Williams won the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament to win the titles *

Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada

* The titles were vacated on December 6, 1991 for the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament *

Terry Gordy & Steve Williams [3]

Stan Hansen & Dan Spivey

Terry Gordy & Steve Williams [2]

* Terry Gordy and Steve Williams won the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament to win the titles*

Jumbo Tsuruta & Great Kabuki

* The titles were vacated in July 27, 1990 when Great Kabuki jumped to Super World Sports *

Terry Gordy & Steve Williams

Stan Hansen & Gen'ichro Tenryu [3]

* Stan Hansen and Gen'ichro Tenryu won the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament to win the titles *

Stan Hansen & Gen'ichro Tenryu [2]

* The titles were vacated on November 29, 1989 *

Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu [5]

Stan Hansen & Gen'ichro Tenryu

Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu [4]

Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy [2]

* Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy won the annual Real World Tag Team Tournament to win the titles *

Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu [3]

* The titles were vacated in December of 1988 after losing to Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy in a non-title match on November 30, 1988 in Takasaki, Japan *

Gen'ichro Tenryu & Ashura Hara

Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu [2]

Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy

Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu

* Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatsu, reigning PWF World Tag Team champions, defeated The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), the NWA International Tag Team champions, to become the unified All-Japan World Tag Team champions *

All Japan All Asia Tag Team Titles

Current Holders: Vacant

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

* Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue defeated Johnny Smith and Maunakea Mossman in 5-team round-robin tournament final to win the titles. The titles were vacated in June of 2000 when Tamon Honda and Masao Inoue left the promotion *

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa

* Mitsuharu Misawa vacated the title after the match in order to give other wrestlers a chance to hold the title *

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki

Tamon Honda & Jun Izumida

Johnny Smith & Wolf Hawkfield

Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori

Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori wins a tournament for the titles.

Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat [5]

* The titles were vacated on December 4, 1994 *

The Patriot & The Eagle

Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat [4]

Joel Deaton & Billy Black

Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace [2]

Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat [3]

Dynamite Kid & Johnny Smith

* Dynamite Kid and Johnny Smith defeated Kenta Kobashi and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi for the titles *

Kenta Kobashi & Johnny Ace

* Kenta Kobashi and Johnny Ace defeated Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton for the titles *

Shin'ichi Nakano & Akira Taue

* Shin'ichi Nakano and Akira Taue defeated Davey Boy Smith and Johnny Smith for the titles. The titles were vacated on June 19, 1990 when Nakano jumps to Super World Sports *

Kenta Kobashi & Mitsuharu Misawa

* Mitsuharu Misawa vacated the title on May 15, 1990 to concentrate on singles *

Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat [2]

Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki [3]

Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat

Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki [2]

Shunji Takano & Shin'ichi Nakano

Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki

Takashi Ishikawa & Mighty Inoue [2]

* Takashi Ishikawa and Mighty Inoue defeated Isamu Teranishi and Masanobu Kurisu for the titles *

Ashura Hara & Super Strong Machine

* The titles were vacated when Super Strong Machine jumped to New Japan in 1987 *

Takashi Ishikawa & Mighty Inoue

Isamu Teranishi & Norio Honaga

* Animal Hamaguchi was injured and was replaced by Norio Honaga *

Isamu Teranishi & Animal Hamaguchi

Takashi Ishikawa & Akio Sato [2]

* Takashi Ishikawa and Akio Sato defeated Animal Hamaguchi and Masanobu Kurisu for the titles *

Ashura Hara & Takashi Ishikawa

* Ashura Hara and Takashi Ishikawa defeated Jerry Morrow and Thomas Ivey for the titles. Ashura Hara vacated the title in October of 1984 *

Ashura Hara & Mighty Inoue

* Ashura Hara and Mighty Inoue defeated Great Kojika and Motoshi Okuma for the titles. Mighty Inoue vacated the titles in February of 1984 to concentrate on the World Junior Heavyweight title *

Takashi Ishikawa & Akio Sato

* Titles were vacated in January of 1983 when Akio Sato was injured *

Kevin Von Erich & David Von Erich

Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma [4]

* Great Kojika and Motoshi Okuma defeated Butch Miller and Sweet William for the titles *

Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma [3]

* The titles were vacated when Great Kojika and Motoshi Okuma did not defend the titles in three months *

Mighty Inoue & Animal Hamaguchi

Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma [2]

* Tiger Jeet Singh and Umanosuke Ueda win New Japan's version of the tag team titles from Seiji Sakaguchi and Strong Kobayashi on July 15, 1966 in Sapporo, Japan, but they were abandoned on May 21, 1981 *

Akihisa Takachiho & Samson Kutsuwada

Jerry Oates & Ted Oates

Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma

* Great Kojika and Motoshi Okuma defeated Korean represenatives for the titles. Seiji [sakaguchi and Strong Kobayashi were recognized as champions by New Japan by defeated Tiger Jeet Singh and Gama Singh on August 4, 1976 in Sendai, Japan *

Great Kojika & Gentetsu Matsuoka

* Great Kojika and Gentetsu Matsuoka defeated Kurt Von Steiger and Karl Von Krupp for the titles. The titles were vacated when the JWA closed on April 20, 1973 *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Seiji Sakaguchi

* The titles were vacated when Michiaki Yoshimura retired and Seiji Sakaguchi jumped to New Japan *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki [3]

* Michiaki Yoshimura and Antonio Inoki defeated Buddy Austin and Mr. Atomic in a rematch for the titles. The titles were vacated when Inoki was expelled from the JWA in December of 1971 *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki [2]

* Michiaki Yoshimura and Antonio Inoki defeated Crusher Lisowski and Al Mahilik for the titles. Titles were held-up on October 10, 1969 after a match against Buddy Austin and Mr. Atomic in Yamagata, Japan *

Kintaro Ohki & Antonio Inoki

* Kintaro Ohki and Antonio Inoki defeated Buster Royd and Tom Jones for the titles. Ohki vacated the titles in July of 1969 *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki [3]

* Michiaki Yoshimura vacated the titles in January of 1969 *

Skull Murphy & Klondike Bill

Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki [2]

* Michiaki Yoshimura and Kintaro Ohki defeated Bill Miller and Rick Hunter for the titles *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Antonio Inoki

* Michiaki Yoshimura and Antonio Inoki defeated Fritz Von Erich and Ike Eakins for the titles. Antonio Inoki vacated the titles in January of 1968 *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Kintaro Ohki

* Michiaki Yoshimura and Kintaro Ohki defeated Eddie Morea and Tarzan Zorro for the titles. The titles were then vacated in April of 1967 when Ohki was injured in a car accident *

Michiaki Yoshimura & Giant Baba

* Giant Baba vacated the titles in November of 1966 *

Killer Karl Kox & Eddie Graham

Michiaki Yoshimura & Hiro Matsuda

Killer Karl Kox & Joe Carrolo

Toyonobori & Giant Baba [2]

* Toyonobori was expelled from the JWA (Japan Wrestling Association) *

The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons

Toyonobori & Giant Baba

Gene Kiniski & Ciclon Negro

Toyonobori & Michiaki Yoshimura

* Toyonobori and Michiaki Yoshimura defeated Prince Curtis Iaukea and Don Maoukian for the titles *

Rikidozan & Toyonobori [4]

* Rikidozan and Toyonobori defeated Killer Kowalski and Fred Atkins for the titles. The titles were then vacated on December 15, 1963 when Rikidozan died from stab wounds that he suffered on December 8, 1963 in Tokyo *

Rikidozan & Toyonobori [3]

* The titles were vacated in January of 1963 when Toyonobori was injured *

Mike Sharpe & Buddy Austin

Rikidozan & Toyonobori [2]

Luther Lindsay & Ricky Waldo

Rikidozan & Toyonobori

Dan Miller & Frank Valois

* Dan Miller and Frank Valois defeated Rikidozan and Michiaki Yoshimura for the titles *

Tiger Jokinder & King Kong Czaya

* Tiger Jokinder and King Kong Czaya defeated Rikidozan and Harold Sakata in a tournament final to win the titles *

Tournaments

Champion Carnival (annual singles tournament held in May)

Year: Winner (Runner Up)

1973: Giant Baba (Mark Lewin)

1974: Giant Baba [2] (Mr. Wrestling)

1975: Giant Baba [3] (Gene Kiniski)

1976: Abdullah the Butcher (Giant Baba)

1977: Giant Baba [4] (Jumbo Tsuruta)

1978: Giant Baba [5] (Abdullah the Butcher)

1979: Abdullah the Butcher [2] (Jumbo Tsuruta)

1980: Jumbo Tsuruta (Dick Slater)

1981: Giant Baba [6] (Bruiser Brody)

1982: Giant Baba [7] (Bruiser Brody)

* The Champion Carnival was postponed from 1983to 1990 *

1991: Jumbo Tsuruta [2] (Stan Hansen)

1992: Stan Hansen (Mitsuharu Misawa)

1993: Stan Hansen [2] (Mitsuharu Misawa)

1994: Toshiaki Kawada (Steve Williams)

1995: Mitsuharu Misawa (Akira Taue)

1996: Akira Taue (Steve Williams)

1997: Toshiaki Kawada [2] (Kenta Kobashi)

* A three way tie between Kawada, Kobashi, and Misawa was settled with a round robin style mini-tournament between the three *

1998: Mitsuharu Misawa [2] (Jun Akiyama)

1999: Vader (Kenta Kobashi)

2000: Kenta Kobashi (Takao Omori)

Real World Tag League (annual tag team tournament in December)

Year: Winners (Runners Up)

1977: Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. (Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta)

1978: Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta (Abdullah the Butcher & The Sheik/Tor Kamata)

* Abdullah the Butcher had two partners throughout the tournament *

1979: Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. [2] (Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta)

1980: Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta [2] (Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.)

1981: Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka (Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr.)

1982: Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. [3] (Stan Hansen & Bruiser Brody)

1983: Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen (Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu)

1984: Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu (Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen)

1985: Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase (Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu)

1986: Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu [2] (Stan Hansen & Ted DiBiase)

1987: Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu (Bruiser Brody & Jimmy Snuka)

1988: Stan Hansen & Terry Gordy (Genichiro Tenru & Toshiaki Kawada)

1989: Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu (Jumbo Tsuruta & Yoshiaki Yatsu)

1990: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy (Stan Hansen & Danny Spivey)

1991: Steve Williams & Terry Gordy [2] (Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada)

1992: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada (Akira Taue & Jun Akiyama)

1993: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue)

1994: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi [2] (TIE: Giant Baba & Stan Hansen/Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue)

1995: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi [3] (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue)

1996: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue (Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama)

1997: Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue [2] (Mitsuharu Misawa & Jun Akiyama)

1998: Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (Vader & Stan Hansen)

1999: Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama [2] (Stan Hansen & Akira Taue)

So that about covers tournaments and titles. I'll add to this as the game progresses, makes for a quick reference. Thanks to www.titlehistories.com/, www.puroresufan.com, and www.prowrestlinghistory.com for providing the needed info.

Edited by caucasianheat
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Guest Azrael

This looks to be pretty good, haven't really read a puro diary before so don't really know what to expect or hope for. One question though, in the World Junior Heavyweight histories is it supposed to read that Saito defeated Bread Armstrong?

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This looks to be pretty good, haven't really read a puro diary before so don't really know what to expect or hope for. One question though, in the World Junior Heavyweight histories is it supposed to read that Saito defeated Bread Armstrong?

That's how I had it copied from titlehistories.com, didn't even really notice that. Good eye, though I would assume it's Brad Armstrong. As a sidenote, I'll have 7/1 up tonight, so keep your eyes open for that.

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Fascinating. It would be a wonderful diary venture if this year was translated into TEW and we had two guys run a diary - one guy as NOAH and one as the babyface AJPW! Babyface because well.. they were left in the lurch!

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All Japan Summer Action Series 2000 (Day 1, 1/7/00)

Tokyo Differ Ariake

1,500 in attendance (Sell Out)

The Beginning of a New Era...

New AJPW president Motoko Baba entered the arena to start off the show, garnering applause from the audience. With her was Toshiaki Kawada, who held the ropes as Mrs. Baba entered the ring. Mrs. Baba thanked everyone for coming and then dropped a blockbuster announcement. "Thunderstorm" began blaring over the speakers of Differ and the crowd exploded as Genichiro Tenryu entered the arena. He walked slowly up the the aisleway with his lowered, then walked up the steps and saluted the sell-out crowd. He shook hands with Kawada and embraced Mrs. Baba who was quite tearful, given the history her husband and Tenryu had (for the record, Baba swore that Tenryu would never enter an All Japan ring after he defected from the promotion to form SWS in 1990). Mrs. Baba announced that Kawada and Tenryu would revive their old Revolution team on 7/23 at the Budokan against Stan Hansen and Maunakea Mossman. Tenryu gave a brief but emotional speech, saying he was honoured to have returned to All Japan, and that he would fight to the end for the company. Kawada and Tenryu again shook hands before Kawada helped Mrs. Baba to the back. Tenryu saluted the fans again and headed off as "Thunderstorm" played once more.

Mohammed Yone vs. Maunakea Mossman

After the very emotional opening to the show, it was straight to action with the first match of the new era. Battlarts star Mohammed Yone took to the ring to do battle with Hawaiian fan favourite Maunakea Mossman. Yone dominated early on, working in various strikes to ground Mossman and then applying several arm submissions, trying to force a tap. Mossman was able to battle back, stopping Yone dead in his tracks with a crushing lariat and gaining a near fall. Mossman kept the pressure on, working over Yone with a series of suplexes, gaining another near fall after an impressive German suplex hold, though Yone was able to lift the shoulder and get away. Yone mounted another small striking offense, but Mossman was able to shut him down after a series of stiff forearm smashes to the head, finishing off Yone with his patented Hawaiian Smasher, a swinging Ace Crusher out of a fireman's carry, for the pin and a big victory.

Winner: Maunakea Mossman (8:19)

The Aftermath

Mossman spoke briefly to the press, pleased with his victory. He was excited about pairing with Stan Hansen on 7/23 at Budokan, saying he thought they made a formidable duo.

Yone made a very quick statement, claiming that Mossman was a challenging opponent. He expressed interest in a possible rematch down the road.

Giant Kimala vs. Scorpio

Up next was pure gaijin action as Somalian star Giant Kimala took on the wily American Scorpio. Scorpio tried using his speed to gain an advantage in the early going, scoring on Kimala with a simple hit and run strategy of strikes to the head. Scorpio's plan fell to pieces though, when he took to the top rope and missed a front dropkick when Kimala was able to move out of the way. With Scorpio down, Kimala took control, using a very narrowed offensive style of simple punches, chops, and low kicks. Scorpio was able to recover and sent Kimala to the outside with a side dropkick straight to the chest, forcing Kimala to stumble back and fall through the ropes to the floor. Scorpio signaled to the crowd and darted towards his target, delivering a picture-perfect tope con hilo over the top and down onto Kimala. The crowd applauded generously as both men recovered on the ground, Scorpio up first. He was able to roll the considerably larger Kimala back into the ring and once again take down the monster with a flurry of elbows to the head. Scorpio then ascended to the top rope and scored with a moonsault press for the victory.

Winner: Scorpio (6:41)

The Aftermath

N/A (neither man was able to speak to the press)

Jinsei Shinzaki & Johnny Smith vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshiaka Fujiwara

This match pitted two of All Japan's most senior members, Fuchi and Fujiwara, against an odd couple of outsiders, Shinzaki and Smith. Fujiwara and Shinzaki started off with Shinzaki taking control quickly, snapping on a side headlock and taking his opponent over for a quick cover and a two count. Shinzaki tried to keep Fujiwara grounded, working in a series of leg holds before tagging out to Smith. Smith picked up where Shinzaki had left off, slowly picking apart Fujiwara by dropping him with a body slam and applying a rear chinlock. Fujiwara was able to slip away and make to his own corner to make the hot tag to Fuchi who immediately squared off with Smith. The two locked up and Smith was able to power Fuchi onto the ropes before a forced break by the referee. The two locked up again, and it was Fuchi who took the advantage the second time around, bringing Smith into an open corner and firing off with a series of blistering chops to the chest. Smith stumbled and fell to his knees, but Fuchi was unrelenting, throwing a series of sharp kicks to the face and head of Smith. The referee forced the two apart and allowed Smith to get to his feet. As he stood up, Fuchi charged and scored with another boot to the head, knocking Smith down again. Fuchi made a fast cover but Smith was able to get out at two and a half. Fuchi backed away as Smith crawled to his corner and tagged in Shinzaki who went quick to the attack and stunned Fuchi with a lariat. Shinzaki scooped up Fuchi and bent him over at the waist, stuffing his head in between his thighs. Shinzaki then brought Fuchi into the air and drove him down back first, hitting a crushing sitout powerbomb, keeping Fuchi in place for another near fall before he could get a shoulder up just before three. Shinzaki brought Fuchi to his feet and worked him over with low kicks and chops before tagging back out to Smith. Smith scored on Fuchi with a brainbuster and signaled to the crowd as he mounted the top turnbuckle. Smith took to the air in perfect form, driving an elbow into the chest of Fuchi for the cover and the three count.

Winners: Jinsei Shinzaki & Johnny Smith (16:18)

The Aftermath

Shinzaki did the talking for his team and said that he enjoyed teaming with Smith, but that he wanted to pursue singles competition from here on.

Fuchi and Fujiwara expressed their displeasure in losing the match, but agreed to tag together again, in hopes of a better outcome.

Mike Barton & Wolf Hawkfield vs. Johnny Ace & George Hines

In another anticipated tag contest, four of All Japan's best gaijin wrestlers went at it, with the more familiar team of Barton & Hawkfield taking on Ace & Hines. Wolf started things off against Hines, each man exchanging blows in the center of the ring from the sound of the bell. Wolf managed to stifle Hines with a vicious elbow shot to the skull, knocking Hines down flat onto his back. Wolf went to work, applying a grounded armbar on his foe to try and soften up the arm for later in the match. Hines struggled and found his way to the ropes, forcing Wolf to break the hold. The two tied up and Hines went on the offense, snapping on a side headlock on Hawkfield. Hawkfield moved fast in defense, wrapping his arms around Hines' waist and scoring with a backdrop driver, much to the approval of the fans. As Hines lay on the mat clutching his head, Hawkfield made the tag out to Barton, who went to work on the downed Hines with a series of mounted punches. After a forced break by the referee, a hunched over Hines managed to stand up with help from the ropes, though he was quickly taken down again with a single punch to the head by Barton. Ace tried to get into the ring, though he was quickly stopped by referee Kyohei Wada. The distraction Ace provided allowed Barton to continue brutalizing Hines, laying in heavy kicks to the head. By the time Wada was turned around, Barton had already inflicted enough damage on Hines and made the tag back to Hawkfield. Wolf slowly stalked his prey like an animal, living up to his name. Wolf reached down to bring Hines to his feet, but Hines made a desperate last effort and steamrolled Hawkfield with a running lariat before making the tag to the fresh Johnny Ace. Ace charged into the ring and flattened Hawkfield, who had only a moment earlier gotten to his feet, with a fist to the face. Ace brought Hawkfield to his feet again and began clubbing him across the back of the neck with forearms, bringing Hawkfield to his knees. Ace the dashed towards the ropes behind him and leveled Hawkfield with a low dropkick to the face on the rebound, to the approval of the crowd. Ace let Wolf slowly find his feet before striking again with a kick to the chest. Hawkfield hunched over in pain, allowing Ace to set up for the Ace Crusher. Hawkfield scouted the move though, and shoved Ace away, waited until he turned, and knocked Ace flat onto his back with a shoulder tackle. Hawkfield then made the quick tag back to Barton, who made a fast cover for another near fall. Barton began hammering away on Ace, who started throwing wild fists of his own, stifling Barton and then taking him down with a snap suplex. Ace then got Barton into position, setting up for the Ace Crusher once again. Before Ace could finish, Barton slyly reversed, swinging under into position for his own rendition, the Barton Cutter. Before Ace could react, he was flat faced on the mat and easy prey for a three count by Barton.

Winners: Mike Barton & Wolf Hawkfield (21:39)

The Aftermath

Barton & Hawkfield bragged to the media that they were the strongest team in All Japan, as well as the two strongest gaijin. They laid down a challenge to any other gaijin duo to face them at the Budokan on 7/23.

Ace expressed his displeasure with the loss, citing a loss of focus as the reason for his defeat. He said he would like another shot at Barton or Hawkfield, or perhaps both. Hines did not respond to questioning, as he was being examined for possible head injuries.

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Steve Williams

This match would stand as a testament to the old style of All Japan, with two hard hitting stars going at it and holding nothing back. Kawada received an incredible reception as he entered the arena once again with the fans chanting his name as he walked. Williams' response was equally loud, though it took a more negative tone. Williams virtually ignored the fans as he entered, until one fan laid a hand upon him down the aisle. Williams turned and pushed the fan to the floor and the continued walking down the aisle, laughing all the way. The introductions served as another reminder of the old world All Japan, as fans threw yellow streamers into the ring as Kawada's name was announced, and red for that of "Dr. Death". As the bell sounded, these two opened up on another, trading violent elbow smashes that had the crowd screaming for more. Williams capitalized by faking an elbow smash and slapping on a standing side headlock. Kawada attempted to wrap his arms around Williams' waist and lift him for a backdrop driver, but Williams kept himself grounded and would not move, laughing at Kawada's efforts. Kawada managed to break the hold and shoved Williams towards the ropes, then shut Dr. Death up with a kick to the face on the rebound. Williams was able to sit up, but Kawada had already perched himself behind Williams and began firing off a series of kicks into the back of Williams. Williams hurried back to his feet to escape Kawada's and backed himself into a corner, staring hatefully across the ring as the crowd cheered wildly. The two met in the middle of the ring again, though Williams was somewhat cautious to tie up. Kawada knocked any doubt (and a few brain cells) out of his head with another stunning elbow shot. Williams responded with a lariat into the chest, but Kawada stood perfectly still. The crowd popped for both men as they traded their respective blows, with Williams gaining the advantage by stifling Kawada with a series of blows. Kawada backed off and Williams advanced on him, giving Kawada the chance to take to the air and hit Williams with a gamengiri (jumping kick to the head). Williams blocked it, getting his arms up and pushing Kawada away, who crashed down to the mat. Williams attempted an elbow drop onto Kawada, who rolled away just in time to send Williams flat backed to the mat. Williams again made the mistake of sitting up far too quickly, as Kawada opened up on him once again with a series of crushing kicks to the skull, much to the crowd's approval. Williams fell back down onto the mat, allowing Kawada to make the cover for a count of two. Kawada led Williams back up to his feet and, keeping hold of his arm, unloaded with a series of chops to the chest. Every time Williams was about to fall, Kawada would pull him back to a standing position and continue chopping away. Finally, Kawada relented and released Williams, who somehow managed to stay standing. Kawada then set up Williams for his powerbomb finisher, tucking Williams' head between his thighs and wrapping his arms around Williams' midsection. Kawada tried desperately to lift Williams, who simply would not have it and managed to once again keep himself weighted onto the mat. Williams then used Kawada's own momentum against him, tossing him over backwards onto the mat. Williams took hold of Kawada on the mat, sending him through the ropes and crashing to the floor on the outside. Williams followed his opponent to the outside, driving a series of forearms into the small of Kawada's back before irish whipping him into the guardrail. Kawada recoiled but managed to summon some fighting spirit, charging at his attacker for a lariat. Williams managed to duck under Kawada's arm and used the opening to tuck his head under Kawada's arm and lock his arms around Kawada's waist, hoisting him in the air and dropping him on the floor with a backdrop driver! The crowd cheered and grimaced all at once as Kawada clutched his head in pain while Williams raised his arms triumphantly to the crowd. Williams rolled Kawada back into the ring and nonchalantly made the cover, but miraculously got only two, as Kawada was able to lift a shoulder from the mat. The crowd came to life again, chanting Kawada's name from one end to the other as Williams stood up and repeatedly kicked away at Kawada's head before covering again. Again, Kawada got the shoulder up and Williams slapped the mat in frustration. Williams then grabbed Kawada by the hair and stood him up and applied a gutwrench. Williams then hoisted Kawada in the air, setting up for the infamous Doctor Bomb, but Kawada broke the hold in midair, landing cleanly on his feet. As Williams turned, he was met by Kawada's foot, scoring with the gamengiri to the side of the head. Williams lurched backward, ready to fall, but Kawada stopped that effort, grabbed Williams by the shoulders and bending him at the waist. Kawada then set Williams up for the powerbomb, pulling with all his might to get Dr. Death into the air. One lift, no success. Two lifts, still nothing. Kawada then bent at the knees, hunkering down with everything he had, and let out a might cry, finally bringing Williams off the ground and dropping him with the powerbomb. Kawada then rolled forward, pinning Williams' shoulders to the mat for the three count, to the great approval of the audience. Yellow streamers again flew into the ring as Kawada had his hand raised in victory as Williams lay flat-backed on the mat.

Winner: Toshiaki Kawada (28:16)

The Aftermath

Kawada applauded Williams' effort and made a point of thanking everyone that came once again, fans and wrestlers. He said tonight was an example of the strengthening of the new All Japan.

Williams was livid with his loss, throwing furniture around his area of the locker room. He stopped long enough to tell the media that he wanted Kawada in the ring again.

Quick Results

1. Maunakea Mossman def. Mohammed Yone (8:19) with a Hawaiian Smasher

2. Scorpio def. Giant Kimala (6:41) with a moonsault press

3. Jinsei Shinzaki & Johnny Smith def. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshiaki Fujiwara (16:18) when Smith pinned Fuchi

4. Mike Barton & Wolf Hawkfield def. Johnny Ace & George Hines (21:39) when Barton pinned Ace

5. Toshiaki Kawada def. Steve Williams (28:16) with a powerbomb

The Report

Best Match: Tied between Kawada/Williams and Barton-Wolf/Ace-Hines

Crowd Favourite: Kawada/Williams

Show MVP: Toshiaki Kawada - He pretty much single-handedly put the entire show together, and brought Williams to a very enjoyable old-school All Japan matchup.

Road Agent Notes

- Giant Kimala did not sell for Scorpio in their match, which was undoubtedly the stinker of the night because of it.

Edited by caucasianheat
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WOOT~!

This should be heaps of fun to watch...

Just a quick question. Are you going from the original cards that were held, or are you making your own?

As Kawada Vs Williams is a pretty big match for the time, to only hold it at Differ.

Also, for more realism, you should post the cards for the tour beforehand. You don't have to do all the matches, but at least half the card. Over in Japan, if you don't do this, then you won't really draw, as the fans wouldn't know what to expect from the shows.

Puroresu ICHIBAN~!

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Even with my limited (read: I recognize names, and now most of the 'legends' of puro) knowledge of wrestling in Japan, I will be reading this intently, as its easy to follow, and allows a decent jumping on point.

Plus, you have Stan Hansen ;)

Bring in Atsushi Onita though, even if he is a 'garbage' worker, he's a known name, and has some ties to the US, as during this time he was trying to get XPW to run a certain type of deathmatch for the first time in the US, but for the life of me I can't remember which.

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Just a quick question. Are you going from the original cards that were held, or are you making your own?

I used a few of the matchups from the original tour (ie. Kawada/Tenryu vs. Hansen/Mossman) but the majority of the matches are my own.

As Kawada Vs Williams is a pretty big match for the time, to only hold it at Differ.

I thought so too, but I wanted to close out the first show with a bang, if you weel.

Also, for more realism, you should post the cards for the tour beforehand. You don't have to do all the matches, but at least half the card. Over in Japan, if you don't do this, then you won't really draw, as the fans wouldn't know what to expect from the shows.

In the future, it is my intention to post all the cards beforehand. The reason I didn't for this tour was to play up the sense of surprise or unpredictability at this point in time with All Japan. Starting with the next tour, Summer Action Series II, all cards will be posted beforehand.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone, I'm going to try and get 7/2 up by the end of the day today.

Edited by caucasianheat
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Even with my limited (read: I recognize names, and now most of the 'legends' of puro) knowledge of wrestling in Japan, I will be reading this intently, as its easy to follow, and allows a decent jumping on point.

Plus, you have Stan Hansen ;)

Bring in Atsushi Onita though, even if he is a 'garbage' worker, he's a known name, and has some ties to the US, as during this time he was trying to get XPW to run a certain type of deathmatch for the first time in the US, but for the life of me I can't remember which.

I think it was the Exploding Ring.

Good first show Cauc. The set up was nice, but with my little knowledge of puro, I think you might have gaijaned it up a little too much. Very few matches were with the AJ guys.

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I edited lukeip's 1998 puro stats to my liking, basically just working on All Japan and sorting out a few minor roster details for the other promotions.

Yeah.

That scenario was a quick job. I think it took me around 3 days to totally do.

I really only did it so I could do my Toryumon 1998 diary, and now that is no more because I found complications converting to TEW.

Good first show Cauc. The set up was nice, but with my little knowledge of puro, I think you might have gaijaned it up a little too much. Very few matches were with the AJ guys.

Unfortunately, that's the way All Japan was just after the split. They had a heap of Gaijin and a few indy talent. So, it's still realistic at this point. Let's hope there's no mutohnization. :shifty:

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  • 2 months later...

How dare you speak badly about mutoh :shifty:.....oh is this dead now? Shame if it is.

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  • 1 year later...
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