AJPW ALL JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING 2002 DVD VHS
Zen Nihon Puroresu Tapes Videos


AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #32 2/23/02 2002 Shinshun Giant Series
-1 1/2hr. Q=TV Master

1/3 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen: Gran Naniwa vs. Yasu Urano. 1:23 shown

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen: Hideki Hosaka vs. Hi69. Enjoyable for the 2 minutes it lasted.

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen: Tomoaki Honma vs. Masato Tanaka. 7 minute sprint with all the big spots. Had the problems you'd expect from such a match, but the work to back up doing it anyway. Best spot was Honma turning Tanaka's diamond dust into a reverse DDT. ***

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen: Mitsuya Nagai vs. Ryuji Hijikata. Fast intense match with nasty strikes. They have a silly scoring system in this Baba league where you get 5 points if you win in under 5 minutes, 4 if you win in under 10, 3 if you win in under 15, 2 if you win in under 20, and 1 if you draw. Unfortunately, they took what should have been a hot match and made it into a 2 minute special.

Junior Heavyweight Battle Royal. Lots of speed and quickness. At least there were a few good moves before the requisite lame pileup pins. 3:05 shown

1/11 Osaka Shi Cho Taiikukan

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen: Mitsuya Nagai vs. Shigeo Okumura. Okumura is in the best shape of his career. He's trying to fight more like Akiyama, using the exploder and all. Back and forth battle that certainly had better sequences and counters than I expected. Same type of mathc as Honma vs. Tanaka. The wrestlers aren't nearly as good, but they worked over their heads. ***

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen: Masato Tanaka vs. Nobutaka Araya. Slower than Tanaka vs. Honma with more submissions. Araya is probably the worst of the "younger" guys AJ has right now because he's out of shape and his size doesn't help him any. Tanaka did just about everything here, but with Araya being so bland it still came off rather flat. **

Steve Williams & Mike Barton & Jim Steele vs. Abdullah The Butcher & George Hines & Ryuji Hijikata. Hijikata was really good here even working with the questionable opponents. His work made it passable, but everyone else was a non factor or typically bad. Abdullah bled within 20 seconds. His stuff with Williams was wretched, but luckily Abdullah hardly "wrestled." *1/2

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Arashi. Arashi is so bad that Kawada didn't go too far out of his way. He did put Arashi over well for a while, which pissed me off in a way because this lousy lardass gets treated with respect while Honma is a job boy. Anyway, Kawada had good striking segments, but had a hard time gaining the advantage from the mighty Arashi. Then Kawada hit his enzuigiri and it was over in two moves. *3/4

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #33 3/9/02 2002 Shinshun Giant Series taped 1/14 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan
-1 1/2hr. Q=TV Master

Mike Rotundo & Masato Tanaka & Tomoaki Honma vs. Steve Williams & Shigeo Okumura & Nobukazu Hirai. What aired that didn't involve Rotundo looked good. Honma was the main source of interest, but the bookers killed him off immediately by considering him a junior. 4:06 of 15:12.

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu Leaguesen Yushosen: Nobutaka Araya vs. Mitsuya Nagai. Nagai made what aired look good, but the match was probably no better than average. Araya hit his head doing his moonsault again, but luckily he cleared enough that he didn't snap his neck a second time. Araya did a nice lariat that Nagai took a great bump on. 3:57 of 18:35.

Genichiro Tenryu & Yoji Anjo vs. Arashi & Koki Kitahara. No one was particularly motivated, with Anjo seeming even less interested than the rest. Tenryu & Kitahara were pretty good. Anjo just got beat on. Arashi was as lousy as always. 6:33 of 13:36.

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Hiroshi Hase. This match combined Kawada's stiffness with Hase's amount of action. They used the right moves, including a few I didn't expect like Hase doing a rolling German suplex and Kawada powerbombing Hase on the floor. The thing is they didn't deliver the psychology and build or generate the drama to make it the match they should be able to have. Hase seems to be getting better at working stiff, although obviously he's not close to the wrestler he once was. Ironically, the area he's probably declined the most in is getting the crowd involved. This is a guy that was always really over in the NJ heavyweight division not because he was the best wrestler in it, but because he was so charismatic he made the fans care about the excellent wrestling he was presenting (or at least trying to). Here, he showed no charisma at all. 13:06. ***1/2

Sekai Tag Senshukenjiai: Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele. This was about what you'd expect from a way too long Muto match. The early portion was slow and dull, just plain bland to the point I almost fell asleep. After 13 minutes, Muto's team began their requisite knee attack. Now that it got going, the match was good, mainly due to the Kea vs. Barton portions. Steele has no business in a title match; he's robotic and his acting sucks. The end had good drama. Kea now does the shining wizard, and his knee even hits his opponent. 26:38. **1/2

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #34 3/23/02 2002 Excite Series
-1 1/2hr. Q=TV Master

2/9 Tokyo Korakuen Hall

Kendo Kashin vs. Kazushi Miyamoto. 0:17

Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo vs. Mitsuya Nagai & Kazushi Miyamoto. Nagai didn't have much help because Miyamoto was hurting from the previous match, but having Nagai get pinned in 1:12 was yet another terrible misstep by AJ toward a newer guy that could instead be built into an important player. 1:12

Mike Barton & Jim Steele vs. Double Iron Sheik #1 & #2. Steele has short Kool Aid red hair now. Sheiks seem to be under the dilusion that a shaved head makes you Iranian. The match seemed endless, particularly because Steele vs. Sheiks was terrible. Barton at least chops well. 15:26. 3/4*

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Tomoaki Honma. About 5 times as disappointing as Kawada's first match with Kakihara. It's the same problem with Honma being a guy you know could have at least a damn good match with Kawada, but the bookers decide he's too small so the stars give them no respect and just squash them. Part of the problem was Kawada, who confined Honma to his style even though he's more of a Misawa type in a straight match. Honma's only offense was striking, but obviously he lost all the striking sequences to Kawada. Thus, he wound up selling strikes and submissions the whole time. 6:24. *3/4

Genichiro Tenryu & Arashi vs. Taiyo Kea & George Hines. Tenryu & Kea were pretty laid back early on, but finally got into it in the last few minutes. Hines was most of the excitement because he's at least interested when he's out there. 11:46. **

2/12 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

Nobutaka Araya vs. Arashi. Slow boring inept match dominated by Arashi. Arashi blew up quickly, so he just stood around after each move 12:11. *

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL 2002 Excite Series Saishusen 2/24/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-3 1/2hr. Q=TV Master

Read Rundown

Nobukazu Hirai vs. Ryuji Hijikata 9:32. **

Triple Threat Match: Gran Naniwa vs. Yasu Urano vs. Hi69 6:56. *1/2

Masato Tanaka & Hideki Hosaka vs. Double Iron Sheik #1 & #2 10:33. **

Shigeo Okumura & Tomoaki Honma vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo 10:05. **3/4

Kendo Kashin vs. Kazushi Miyamoto 2:47

Yoji Anjo & Arashi & Nobutaka Araya vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele & George Hines 17:22. *3/4

Taiyo Kea vs. Mitsuya Nagai 17:23. ***1/2

Genichiro Tenryu vs. Satoshi Kojima 17:51. ****

Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Keiji Muto vs. Toshiaki Kawada 27:37. **1/4

Battle Station AJ 4/26/02 2002 Champion Carnival Kaimakusen taped 3/23 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Hideki Hosaka vs. The Cedman. Cedman was looking something like Foley, but was at least 3 times worse in a straight match. Hosaka tried, but he's a guy with a few good moves that's willing to take punishment, neither of which he was able to show here. 5:51. 1/2*

Kendo Kashin & Gran Naniwa & Ryuji Hijikata vs. Kaz Hayashi & Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto. Pretty good match, but I expected more. They didn't build it or go close to full force. Hayashi was the best, but no one really distinguished themselves. I liked the spot where Hijikata countered Honma's running elbow with a suimengiri (spinning leg sweep). 14:18. **1/4

Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura vs. Yoji Anjo & Nobukazu Hirai. They didn't do anything special, but they kept it moving and at least decent throughout. Okumura was better than usual. Nagai was extra stiff, but unfortunately Anjo didn't follow suit and was the one subpar performer. 14:35. **3/4

2002 Champion Carnival B Block Koshiki Leaguesen: Nobutaka Araya vs. George Hines. These guys are better in tag since that requires less offense. They gave all they had, but they relied too heavily on deliberate and not overly stiff striking. Hines was cut above the left eye and on the right cheek, but that was more due to inaccuracy than stiffness. Araya was slow and deliberate, but Hines did look good down the stretch. 16:15. **

2002 Champion Carnival B Block Koshiki Leaguesen: Toshiaki Kawada vs. Arashi. Arashi jumped Kawada when Dangerous K stepped through the ropes. This brought an intensity to the match you'd expect to be missing since Arashi isn't that over and certainly has no chance. Kawada just beat him up once he took over, busting Arashi open a little bit on the forehead. It was good while it lasted, which is the most you can ask of a singles match with Arashi. 3:20.

2002 Champion Carnival B Block Koshiki Leaguesen: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Mike Rotundo. Fast-paced but pointless match. I realize it's been close to a decade since we had any reason to expect much from AJ at Korakuen, but is one match that wets my appetite for the rest of the Carnival too much to ask? If Tenryu is going to win in less than 2 1/2 minutes can't we at least see him crush a young guy that will hopefully improve to the point he can give him a match rather than a guy that was on wall street before we learned greed was good? 2:09.

Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea & Satoshi Kojima vs. Steve Williams & Mike Barton & Jim Steele. As usual, the match was good when Kojima was in, and luckily that was often. Kea was pretty good since he still shows up for these kind of matches. Williams & Barton looked good since they were in with the right people. Muto barely wrestled, which helped, as did Steele not being given the opportunity to be as irritating as usual. 18:10. **3/4

Battle Station AJ 5/3/02 2002 Champion Carnival taped 4/1 Nagaoka Kosei Kaikan
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Gran Naniwa & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang. Not much of an effort. It was alright because Hayashi & Yang are good wrestlers, but everyone went through the motions until the final minutes. Yang then did a few impressive moves, but it was too little and too late to care about the match as a whole. 11:46. **

Yoji Anjo & Nobutaka Araya vs. Shigeo Okumura & Ryuji Hijikata. Again they did as little as possible to make it passable. The difference is these guys don't have as much ability as the previous guys. 12:16 of 13:12. *3/4

Taiyo Kea & Tomoaki Honma vs. Steve Williams & Kendo Kashin. Kea & Honma were their usual good selves. It seems like Williams likes working with Honma because he was even rewarding him for making him look 5 years younger by selling for him. Williams gave what he could, which against Honma was a positive, leaving only Kashin as an invisible non contributor. The others put enough thought and effort into it to make up for him, with the main detriment being the lack of build because Honma "has to" go down easily. 14:26. ***

2002 Champion Carnival A Block Koshiki Leaguesen: Mike Barton vs. Jim Steele. Once Steele took the Lacrosse/Hawkfield mask off he went from bad to totally intollerable. Now he "has to" try to "stand out" by having flaming orange hair and the most laughably fake facials in Japan. This was way too much like watching the WWE - slow plodding "action" with terrible acting - except it lasted forever and didn't have the vaunted run ins. They tried to pick it up in the last few minutes, but it was too deliberate and mechanical. 16:31. 1/4*

2002 Champion Carnival A Block Koshiki Leaguesen: Satoshi Kojima vs. Arashi. Even Kojima couldn't stop the spread of the rash. A stationary match that lasted way too long. Fans rooted for Kojima, but with little enthusiasm outside of Arashi kicking out of the Diamond cutter and a few big moves in the last minute. 13:05. *1/4

2002 Champion Carnival A Block Koshiki Leaguesen: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Keiji Muto. All big moves, but they didn't seem to have the usual energy after a week of league matches. Muto bled almost immediately, slashing down twice after "hitting his head" on the ring post when Tenryu avoided the shining wizard, but the blood played no part in the match. Several other spots weren't overly convincing, and that was all the match was offering. 14:15. **3/4

Battle Station AJ 4/12/02 2002 Champion Carnival Yushoketteisen taped 4/10 Sapporo Tsukisamu Green Dome
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Masa Fuchi & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Kendo Kashin & Kaz Hayashi. They did a good job of building the rivalry. For instance, Fuchi wanted to start with Kashin, so Kashin tagged out "to tie his boots on the floor". Unfortunately, the wrestling left a lot to be desired as the match basically never got started. It looked like it was going long then ended before 10 with Hayashi being the only one that did anything. The best stuff was after the match with Fuchi getting in his backdrop and Kashin & Hayashi breaking up already (I hesitate to start a sentence with that stupid booking with the best) even though they won. 9:35. *1/2

2002 Champion Carnival Kessho Tournament Ikkaisen: Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto. Kojima's chance to come in and be a star was quickly pissed away with this loss to Muto following his loss to Tenryu at the 1st PPV. This was as good a time as any for the upset because Muto, who is untouchable anyway, shouldn't be working on those knees twice in the same night. It seemed like Muto had to preserve himself, so Kojima was put in the role of sacrificial lamb. Outside of blocking each others finishers early, they did nothing of note. At 8 1/2 Muto began his knee attack, but for once quickly switched to the arm, which made more sense given the lariat is Kojima's best weapon. Now Muto's offense wasn't so annoying and repetitive, and Kojima was making it dramatic putting it over like crazy. What really ruined this match is that Kojima didn't even compete. He was "even" for quite a while since they weren't really doing anything, but once the match really started Kojima fell way behind and never came back. He got an occasional 2 count, but there wasn't even one point where the biggest rube might be fooled into thinking he had Muto beat. The match itself is worth seeing because it is well done if you look past its limitations and stupidity, but it wasn't competitive enough to approach its potential and it sent Kojima back to the level he was at 7 years ago rather than propelling him forward. 15:46. **3/4

2002 Champion Carnival Kessho Tournament Ikkaisen: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Mike Barton. To make things worse, they give the upset to a guy that not only doesn't deserve it but has no upward mobility. Williams growled something about Tenryu being no sweat then gave him a cheap shot and dangerous backdrop. Barton wasn't expecting this and didn't try to take advantage. This is where the situation gets confusing because Tenryu came back, but I guess he never recovered because otherwise he wouldn't lose in 5 1/2 minutes. No explanation can be good, but since this was such a big upset the problem is I don't know whether to think Barton is supposed to be that good or he got a shady win by being in the right place at the right time. The booking of the final would have to answer that. 5:38. *1/2

Taiyo Kea & Mitsuya Nagai & Hideki Hosaka vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Jim Steele. A long match to give the finalists some rest that seemed endless because it was so uninspired. To be fair, Kea & Nagai did show up as usual, but they couldn't get their effort to rub off. Williams team dominated with dull brawling. Finally Nagai made a hot tag, but he was getting beat on soon enough. 20:48. *1/2

2002 Champion Carnival Kessho Tournament Yushokettesen: Keiji Muto vs. Mike Barton. Completely unsatisfactory final. It was Muto by numbers with Barton actually managing to be a lot less competitive than Kojima was. I don't think there was any chance for Barton, but this match showed his win over Tenryu was just luck. He could have lost this match and still gained a good deal, but as usual Muto only cares about himself and now it's that much worse because he doesn't have to answer to anyone. While Barton got to use most of his offense against Tenryu even though the match was around 1/2 as long, he got to use almost none of it in this virtual squash. Muto was more interested in holding a headlock than doing anything that might help Barton, and once that got old he did the knee stuff that's truly old. Bart Gunn showed up in the cartoon selling of the later. At best, Barton would get a move or two in before Muto came back with a shining whiff. 9:50. *1/4

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL Grand Champion Carnival 4/13/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-3hr 35min. Q=TV Master

Read Rundown

Nobukazu Hirai vs. Yasu Urano. *3/4

Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang & Hi69 vs. Kazushi Miyamoto & Gran Naniwa & Ryuji Hijikata. **1/2

Hiroshi Hase & Hideki Hosaka vs. George Hines & Tomoaki Honma. **1/4

Sekai Junior Heavykyu Oza Ketteisen: Kendo Kashin vs. Masa Fuchi. *1/2

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu 6 Man Tag Tournament Ikkaisen: Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Yoji Anjo vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele & The Cedman. 1/2*

Asia Tag Oza Ketteisen: Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura vs. Arashi & Nobutaka Araya. **1/2

Sankan Chosensha Ketteisen: Satoshi Kojima vs. Taiyo Kea. ***1/2

Sankan Heavykyu Oza Ketteisen: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Keiji Muto. ***

Battle Station AJ 5/24/02 2002 Super Power Series taped 4/27 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Arashi & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Jim Steele & Ryuji Hijikata. Steele & Arashi sucked as much as you'd expect. Hirai got a pretty good segment out of Steele and part of a good segment out of Hijikata before it died for the finish. 13:31. *1/4

Hideki Hosaka vs. Mike Barton. I don't understand why this was the match they chose to edit because it seemed very passable and the best outside of the big two. Hosaka has the better moves, but Barton executes much better. Hosaka lost easily. 4:17 of 8:25.

Kendo Kashin & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Shigeo Okumura & Gran Naniwa. Abdullah was in way too much, especially early on where he set his terrible immobile tone. Okumura actually tried to monkey flip him, which wasn't wise considering Abdullah is more like an elephant. There were maybe two minutes with Kashin in the ring vs. Naniwa then Okumura that were decent, but the rest was Butchered. 8:21. 1/2*

Johnny Smith & Mitsuya Nagai & The Cedman vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Yoji Anjo. Williams & Rotundo will probably never get any more tollerable, and Cedman is a bad green wrestler. As at least one of these scrubs always seemed to be in, mainly because Cedman was the whipping boy, so it was sometimes bad and never good. Boring, slow, uninspired, and never improving. Nagai was the only one that showed life, but he seemed kind of hesitant and deliberate. 19:07. 3/4*

Genichiro Tenryu & Nobutaka Araya vs. Taiyo Kea & Kazushi Miyamoto. Araya accidentally caught Miyamoto in the nose with his elbow off the ropes, causing a blood splurt. Araya tried to pass off the illusion that he was hitting the nose without harming it any further, though this didn't wind up being a key point probably in part because they could do what they wanted to the young punk and in part because they didn't know the extent of the damage. In any case, Miyamoto won respect for his spunk. He was overpowered and overmatched, pummelled throughout, but he wouldn't quit and kept trying to come up with some way to gain an advantage. A couple times he surprised the opposition by no selling. Once he came back from a whip into the security rail, hopping onto the timekeepers table and leaping off with a forearm. Later, Araya thought he was going to finish with his moonsault, but before Araya could ascend the ropes Miyamoto came up from behind and dropped him on his head with a German suplex. Miyamoto finally had not only an advantage but Tenryu was "trapped" in a sankakujime, only to have Araya come in and stomp on his face. The Tenryu vs. Kea rivalry was kept strong with intense heated exchanges. The final minutes had sustained heat, and at one point Miyamoto almost pulled off the upset with a last ditch effort. 19:01. ***1/2

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu 6 Man Tag Tournament Ikkaisen: Keiji Muto & George Hines & Kaz Hayashi vs. Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma & Jimmy Yang. Hines & Hayashi adopted Muto's look and did a few of his signature moves. Fast-paced match tat was never dull, but also never turned into anything and ended too soon. Hayashi made the early portion, but wasn't really involved after that. Kojima's team was all good, with Yang being particularly active, while Muto & Hines were fine. 13:35. **3/4

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #40 6/8/02 2002 Super Power Series taped 5/12 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #45 7/13/02 2002 Super Power Series taped 5/12 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 45min. Q=TV Master

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu 6 Man Tag Tournament Junkessho: Keiji Muto & George Hines & Kaz Hayashi vs. Taiyo Kea & Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu 6 Man Tag Tournament Junkessho: Genichiro Tenryu & Arashi & Nobutaka Araya vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Yoji Anjo

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu 6 Man Tag Tournament Kesshosen: Keiji Muto & George Hines & Kaz Hayashi vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Arashi & Nobutaka Araya

#45

Nobukazu Hirai vs. Ryuji Hijikata

Johnny Smith & Jimmy Yang vs. Jim Steele & Cedman

Abdullah the Butcher & Kendo Kashin vs. Masa Fuchi & Kazushi Miyamoto

Mike Barton & Hideki Hosaka vs. Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #41 6/15 & #42 6/22/02 2002 Super Power Series taped 4/30 Iwate Ken'ei Taiikukan
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

#41

Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang vs. Kendo Kashin & Ryuji Hijikata

Giant Baba Hai Sodatsu 6 Man Tag Tournament Ikkaisen: Taiyo Kea & Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura vs. Masa Fuchi & Hideki Hosaka & Gran Naniwa

Genichiro Tenryu & Arashi & Nobutaka Araya vs. Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima & George Hines

#42

Tomoaki Honma vs. Abdullah The Butcher

Yoji Anjo & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele

Johnny Smith & The Cedman vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #44 7/6/02 2002 Super Power Series taped 5/10 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-1hr. Q=TV Master

Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo vs. Abdullah The Butcher & The Cedman

Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele & Johnny Smith

Satoshi Kojima vs. Nobutaka Araya

Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea & George Hines vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Arashi & Nobukazu Hirai

Battle Station AJ 6/23/02 BAPE STA!! PRO WRESTLING taped 6/9 Tokyo Zepp Tokyo
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Triple Threat Match: Hideki Hosaka vs. Ryuji Hijikata vs. Kazushi Miyamoto

Shigeo Okumura & Tomoaki Honma vs. Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai

Mitsuya Nagai vs. Arashi

Kendo Kashin & Kaoru Uno vs. Kaz Hayashi & Mr. Problem

Satoshi Kojima & THE APEMAN vs. Yoji Anjo & Gran Naniwa

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL 2002 Summer Action Series 7/17/02 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-3hr. Q=TV Master

Masa Fuchi & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Shigeo Okumura & Hideki Hosaka 6:40.

Johnny Smith & Ryuji Hijikata & Gran Naniwa vs. George Hines & Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang 11:26.

Arashi & Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Yuto Aijima 7:05.

World Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Kendo Kashin vs. Gran Hamada 11:38. Liger spent years trying to make something of Kashin only to have him become the first graduate of the Keiji Muto school of stalling and pointless matwork. The first half of the match showed Kashin watched a bunch of U.W.F. tapes... and absorbed none of it. Finally Hamada got bored and went through his usual routine of highspots, interrupted by some Kashin cheating that caused friction between seconds Hayashi & Fuchi. The second half was entertaining enough, but the whole thing felt very disjointed because a Lucha match broke out in the middle of some lame "shooting". There was one creative near fall where Kashin kicked out of the Hama-chan cutter by lifting his arm to block the ref from hitting the canvas for 3. *3/4

30th Anniversary Special Match in Osaka: Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Yoji Anjo 8:20

Mitsuya Nagai & Tomoaki Honma vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele 5:52

World Tag Title Match: Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea vs. Brian Adams & Bryan Clark 14:59

Triple Crown Heavyweight Title Match: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Satoshi Kojima 28:55. Kojima was more dangerous here because he wasn't intimidated by Tenryu. He may not have defeated him on 2/24/02, but he now knew for certain that he belonged in the big match with the legend. Kojima wasn't allowing Tenryu to dictate to him. When Tenryu started to get going with his gu punch and a big chop, Kojima took a breather, which irked Tenryu to the point he took the top off his water bottle and tossed it at Kojima. The body of the match once again saw Kojima attack Tenryu's knee, using it as the great equalizer for Tenryu's blistering blows. It quickly becomes a contest of who can out prick who with Tenryu going further out of his way to disrespect the "young" punk, only to have Kojima come right back with another cheap shot to the bad knee. Tenryu's selling wasn't the most naturalistic, but he certainly made a concerted effort to put the knee over. The problem with the match is they just didn't seem to know how to make the fans believe Kojima could win, so it kind of degenerated into the Misawa vs. Akiyama mode of the challenger burning through every spot in their arsenal. The fans began to genuinely believe in Kojima when he survived 2 suichoku rakka brainbusters and came back with a lariat for a near fall, but it was just goofy that they redid this segment a minute later, with Kojima doing the Kobashi style groggy pop up. I love long matches, but it gets to be overkill when they just do the same things over and over. They certainly tried to make this better than 2/24/02, and you may well think they succeeded, perhaps even that they easily topped the predescessor, but I felt like the final minutes simple became counterproductive. ***3/4

AJ Puroresu Special 8/8/02 Odo 30 GIANT BATTLE in Budokan 1st BATTLE taped 7/20 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-3hr 25min. Q=TV Master

Masa Fuchi vs. Kazushi Miyamoto 8:55

Kokushi Muso (Keiji Muto) vs. Kaz Hayashi 9:37. Muto's character is patterned after Jinsei Shinzaki.

Shigeo Okumura & Jimmy Yang vs. Hideki Hosaka & Ryuji Hijikata 14:07

Tomoaki Honma vs. Yuto Aijima 10:59

Keiji Muto & Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Gran Hamada & Gran Naniwa 9:44

Kendo Kashin & Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai vs. Arashi & Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai 12:10

Stan Hansen Cup 4 Way Tag Battle: Mike Barton & Jim Steele vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo vs. Johnny Smith & George Hines vs. Brian Adams & Bryan Clark 26:30

Great Muta vs. Great Koji 16:57

Taiyo Kea vs. Genichiro Tenryu 15:15

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL Odo 30 GIANT BATTLE in Budokan 2nd Battle Muto Produce DAY 8/30/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-3hr. Q=TV Master

Tomoaki Honma vs. Kazushi Miyamoto 2:26

Triple Threat Match: Hideki Hosaka vs. Nobukazu Hirai vs. Ryuji Hijikata 4:16

Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura vs. Arashi & Nobutaka Araya & Yuto Aijima 10:36

Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Gran Naniwa vs. Johnny Smith & George Hines & Gran Hamada 12:46

Masanobu Fuchi & Mr. Problem vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Kendo Kashin 8:12

World Junior Heavyweight Title Challenger Decision Match: Kaz Hayashi vs. Jimmy Yang 13:58. Nice spots and good stiffness, but there was no attempt to go beyond exchanging spots. Hayashi did everything well, but Yang didn't look like he belonged. He isn't the best at going from one spot to the next, and his execution was rather haphazard. Highlight was Yang turning Hayashi's Frankensteiner off the top into a Ligerbomb off the 2nd. Yang also did two of his Yang time corkscrew moonsaults, but that was only because the first one was so far off the mark. **1/2

Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hiroshi Hase 14:32. Tenryu was a good sport here, showing Hase a lot of respect. He sold a lot for Hase, taking whatever offense Hase was interested in dishing out. Hase showed his usual nice moves and there were several nice strike exchanges that Hase was able to hang with Tenryu in. The match was not great when Hase worked technically, as that is not Tenryu's strength, and seemed devoid of atmosphere no matter how much Tenryu sold or how hard they hit each other. It was like the fans are so conditioned to Hase losing every big match they couldn't bring themselves to believe. The finish was pretty lame with Hase stopping Tenryu's soccer kick with crawling headbutts to the bad knee then throwing one standing Fujiwara style headbutt after another, but getting cutoff on the top and pinned with a brainbuster even though they Tenryu hadn't done many near falls and it didn't seem like they'd exactly progressed to the finishing segment. ***

Satoshi Kojima vs. Bill Goldberg 4:02

World Tag Title Match: Brian Adams & Bryan Clark vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele 17:25

Keiji Muto vs. Taiyo Kea 19:47. As with the Hase/Tenryu match, this was a good match that really felt as though it was missing that certain something - heat and a finishing sequence would have helped - and just came off kind of flat. Kea accidentally cut Muto's mouth, elbowing him on a wristlock takedown. Later, he busted it open further with his Hawaiian crush on the guard rail. Muto began his typical comeback, but shockingly did one of his low trajectory dropkicks to a downed Kea's elbow and went after it with an armbar and Kimura. **3/4

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL Odo 30 GIANT BATTLE in Budokan 3rd Battle Tenryu Produce DAY 8/31/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-3hr. Q=TV Master

Nobukazu Hirai vs. Ryuji Hijikata 7:01

Masanobu Fuchi & Gran Hamada & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Mike Barton & Johnny Smith & Gran Naniwa 16;19

Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Kendo Kashin 9:32

Masaaki Mochizuki & Dragon Kid & Jimmy Yang vs. Magnum TOKYO & Susumu Yokosuka & Darkness Dragon 13:39. Yang fit right in with the Toryumon guys, and the fans were into Yang, to the match turned out really well. They started off lighthearted with Kid accidentally unmasking Darkness with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors, prompting Darkness to avenge by unmasking Kid. However, Kid also pulled Darkness' mask off again at the same time. Realizing their face was bare, they put each other's masks on, and after some hesitation as to whether they'd be better off unmasked, dragged each other down by the mask and did an exchange. The fans stayed with the match as it got serious, and were ultimately reacting to every high spot. I'm not sure if the match was really any better than usual, but it seemed that way because the fans gave it added energy. The faces were all on with Kid being super spectacular, Mochizuki interjecting himself whenever it was necessary or the opposition least expected it, and Yang popping the crowd extra with every flying move. ***1/2

Tomoaki Honma & Yuto Aijima vs. Brian Adams & Bryan Clark 5:55

Shigeo Okumura & Hideki Hosaka vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele 4:10

Satoshi Kojima vs. Nobutaka Araya 12:00. Tenryu always wanted Araya to reach the level Kojima has, but he never capitalized on his early promise and became something more than a decent worker with a few nice junior style highspots. Kojima is a good opponent for him because he likes to push the pace and do more spot oriented matches. He sold a lot for Araya, taking the moonsault, avalanche style Frankensteiner, and so on. As the match was rather short, Araya didn't have to really extend himself or become dull, but ultimately Araya wasn't much of a threat to Kojima, who won without much difficulty once he went on the offensive. Still, Araya did show he was capable of stepping up somewhat, if nothing else having one of his more entertaining singles matches in AJ. **1/2

Taiyo Kea vs. Bill Goldberg 3:56

5 vs. 5 Elimination Match: Genichiro Tenryu & Steve Williams & Arashi & Koki Kitahara & Masao Orihara vs. Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase & Jinsei Shinzaki & George Hines & Kaz Hayashi 37:59. The big tag matches were among the highlights of the old WAR vs. NJPW fued since Tenryu lent credibility to the whole team, and lesser guys such as Kitahara & Orihara would bust it. This didn't approach that level of heat or intensity, but it had some superior work early. Orihara hadn't seen a big show main event in years, and was really showing his stuff. This meant a lot of Hayashi & Shinzaki since they were his logical opponents. The match started fast and action packed, and seemed as though it wasn't going to relent, and was thus going to be a classic. The problem is they booked it in the most predictable manner, pretty much just eliminating from the bottom up. Tenryu's team had the stars with Williams & Arashi, but those were the two stiffs in the match. As it began to seem as though the best wrestler left was always the next one eliminated, the match progressively went downhill. It was an excellent match for 24 minutes with high marks to Orihara, Hayashi, Kitahara, and Shinzaki, but they began to lose the crowd because they were all eliminated and the big names either sucked or became unreliable. Once Hase, who was good but not outstanding, was elimated at 29:19, leaving Muto against Tenryu, Williams, & Arashi, there wasn't much hope for the finale. Tenryu & Muto were effective when they were spotted early, but became sloppy when they were needed down the stretch, obviously putting a damper on things. Still, bad Frankensteiners and all, I give credit to Muto for trying to actually wrestle rather than simply relying upon his knee attack. Arashi was dreadful as ever and Williams just punched until the final stages, but as he completely whiffed on an enzuigiri, his offense was no improvement. The final nine minutes were average at best, sadly killing what started out to be the best All Japan main event in a long time. ***1/2

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #53 10/12/02 Odo 30th Anniversary Fan Appreciation Tour taped 9/15/02 Fujikyu
-55min. Q=TV Master

Shigeo Okumura & Yuto Aijima vs. Hideki Hosaka & Ryuji Hijikata

Gran Naniwa & Dark Guerrera vs. Masa Fuchi & Gran Hamada

Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima & Taiyo Kea & Jinsei Shinzaki vs. Arashi & Nobutaka Araya & Hideki Hosaka & Nobukazu Hirai

AJ Samurai 10/8/02 Odo 30th Anniversary Fan Appreciation Tour taped 9/23/02 Hokkaido Sapporo Teison Hall
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomoaki Honma 9:19

Triple Threat Match: Ryuji Hijikata vs. Dark Guerrera vs. Nobukazu Hirai digest of 6:44

Shigeo Okumura vs. Kazushi Miyamoto digest of 7:37

Gran Hamada & Masa Fuchi vs. Gran Naniwa & Hideki Hosaka 11:01

Kendo Kashin & Rob Brookside vs. Jinsei Shinzaki & Yuto Aijima 9:46

Asia Tag Title Match: Nobutaka Araya & Arashi vs. Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang 16:24

Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroshi Hase vs. Taiyo Kea & Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai 25:18

Jiai Chukei AJ 10/31/02 2002 Giant Series taped 10/14 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Gran Hamada vs. Kazushi Miyamoto. Clip

Hideki Hosaka & Gran Naniwa vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Kendo Kashin. Clip

Mike Rotundo & Tomoaki Honma vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele. Clip

Taiyo Kea & Johnny Smith & Jimmy Yang vs. Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai & Ryuji Hijikata

Muto Gumi vs. WAR 5 vs. 5 Single Match:

Kaz Hayashi vs. Nobukazu Hirai

Hiroshi Hase vs. Nobutaka Araya

George Hines vs. Steve Williams

Satoshi Kojima vs. Arashi

Keiji Muto vs. Genichiro Tenryu

AJ 2002 Giant Series Part. 2 Commercial Tape
-1 1/2hr. Q=Master
AJ 2002 Giant Series Pt 2

10/19 Niigata

Sekai Junior Heavykyu Senshuken: Kendo Kashin vs. Jimmy Yang

Keiji Muto & Terry Funk & Masa Fuchi vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Abdullah The Butcher & Nobutaku Araya

MLW World Heavyweight Title: Satoshi Kojima vs. Mitsuya Nagai

10/20 Miyagi: Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea & Terry Funk & Tomoaki Honma vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Abdullah The Butcher & Nobutaka Araya & Hideki Hosaka

10/21: Terry Funk & Masa Fuchi & Kaz Hayashi vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Kendo Kashin & Gran Naniwa

10/24: Keiji Muto & Satoshi Kojima & Taiyo Kea vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Nobutaku Araya & Nobukazu Hirai

10/25 Hamamatsu: Keiji Muto & Taiyo Kea & Tomoaki Honma vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Arashi & Nobutaku Araya

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL Odo 30 GIANT BATTLE in Budokan Final Shin Odu Densetsu 10/27/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-3hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Gran Hamada & Masa Fuchi vs. Shigeo Okumura & Kazushi Miyamoto

Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang vs. Hideki Hosaka & Gran Naniwa

Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai & Ryuji Hijikata vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Johnny Smith

Arashi & Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Mike Barton & Jim Steele & George Hines

AJ 30th Anniversary Memorial Match: Terry Funk & Abdullah The Butcher vs. Tarzan Goto & Tomoaki Honma

Shukan Big Comic Spirits Presents: Kendo Kashin vs. Agnes Kamen

Satoshi Kojima vs. Hiroshi Hase

Sankan Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Genichiro Tenryu vs. Great Muta

WRESTLE-1 SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL 11/17/02 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena
-2hr 40min. Q=TV Master

SATA...yarn (Masaaki Satake) vs. Abdullah The Butcher

La Parka & Super Parka vs. Kendo Kashin & The Apeman Higo

Sam Grecaras (Greco) & Dos Caras, Jr. vs. Taiyo Kea & Kaz Hayashi

Kevin Randleman & Mark Coleman vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroshi Hase

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Josh Dempsey

Bill Goldberg vs. Rick Steiner

The Great Muta vs. Bob Sapp

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu # 12/28/02 2002 Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen taped 11/28 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2
& Zen Nihon Puroresu #
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Shigeo Okumura vs. Hideki Hosaka

Arashi & Nobutaka Araya & Nobukazu Hirai vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo & Ryuji Hijikata

Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen: Genichiro Tenryu & Big John Tenta vs. Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka

AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu # 1/11/03 2002 Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen taped 11/28 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2
& AJ Zen Nihon Puroresu #
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Kendo Kashin & Exteme Blade (Elix Skipper) vs. Gran Hamada & Gran Naniwa

Keiji Muto & Animal Warrior & Kaz Hayashi vs. Yoji Anjo & Mitsuya Nagai & Jimmy Yang

Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen: Mike Awesome & PJ Friedman vs. Taiyo Kea & Satoshi Kojima

AJ SKY PerfecTV! LIVE SPECIAL 2002 Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen 12/6/02 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2 1/2hr. Q=TV Master

Triple Threat Match: Gran Naniwa vs. Nobukazu Hirai vs. Gran Hamada

Masanobu Fuchi & vs. Nobutaka Araya & Hideki Hosaka

Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang vs. Mr. Problem & Extreme Blade

Shigeo Okumura & Ryuji Hijikata vs. Mike Awesome & PJ Friedman

Sekai Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Kendo Kashin vs. Tatsuhiro Takaiwa

Yoji Anjo & Kazushi Miyamoto vs. Steve Williams & Mike Rotundo

Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen: Keiji Muto & Animal Warrior vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Big John Tenta

Sekai Saikyo Tag Kettei Leaguesen: Satoshi Kojima & Taiyo Kea vs. Shinjiro Otani & Masato Tanaka

BACK TO QUEBRADA DVDs