This is the most notorious show in Michinoku Pro’s history. I’ve seen a few matches of the promotion and this is the only show I’ve seen in its entirety. This show is famous for many reasons. First, this is Dynamite Kid’s last pro wrestling match ever. He was in no shape to compete yet he was protected in a legend’s six man tag that seems like it would be epic but was somewhat of a let down. Second, this show features a 10 man tag match that would influence a young man named Mike Quakenbush and future junior heavyweight stars. The match created a new formula for multiple man tag matches. You can see this formula imitated in every multiple man tag match in CHIKARA, Dragon Gate, ROH, etc. Third, Johnny Saint is outside ofEngland. This card sounds epic for various different reasons. Let’s roll.
World of Sport Rules: Johnny Saint vs. Naohiro Hoshikawa
Saint was 55 when he wrestled this match, yet he would debut in the U.S.for CHIKARA twelve years later. Amazing. Hoshikawa unfortunately went into a coma after a botched clothsline to the head. He awoke a month after only to be in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. That was in October of 2004. Anyways, not to make everyone sad or anything, but this was a good match. This was usual Johnny Saint wizardry to impress the Japanese crowd. He did his usual spots like the Lady in the Lakeand the Russ Abott special. It went to four of five possible rounds. Saint won with a roll up at 2:03 of the 4th round. This was a fun special attraction for the crowd. ***
Wellington Wilkins Jr. vs. Lenny Lane
I’m pretty sure whoever this Wilkins guy is, he is not Biff Wellington, former Stampede wrestler. They look nothing alike. NOTHING ALIKE. Of courseLenny Lanewas in WCW for a few years and did nothing. He seems like aJerichoclone. This was clipped. It was boring. It had a few moments but nothing special. I have no clue why someone would book a random match like this, but Japan books weird matches like these all the time. I’m pretty sure Rob Van Dam, Necro Butcher and Kendon Kashin wrestled in a triple threat match inJapan. How random is that. Wilkins wins with an awkward looking leg submission at 10:06. This sucked. *
Yuki Ishikawa & Alexander Otsuka vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Satoshi Yoneyama
I have no clue who these guys are. This seemed like a typical young lions tag match. There were lots of kicks and lots of submissions. A few suplexes here and there and that was about it. Ishikawa makes Yoneyama submit to a cross arm breaker at 16:32. They only showed about 6 minutes of this and thank Jeebus because showing the whole thing would have been too brutal to watch. *1/4
Dos Caras, Kuniaki Kobayashi & Dynamite Kid vs. Mil Mascaras, Tiger Mask & Great Sasuke
Here is where the show picks up. The story here is that Tiger Mask recently made his comeback to wrestling after retiring prematurely in the mid 80’s and is rekindling his rivalry with Dynamite Kid. Kid never beat Tiger Mask. Dos Caras, Alberto Del Rio’s father, teamed with his sort of more famous brother Mil Masacras, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. They are on opposite sides in this match. Kobayashi and Sasuke were the two current junior wrestlers of the day to make this a past, present and future match. Also, Tiger Mask invented the Space Flying Tiger Drop (Springboard into a plancha over the top rope) which Sasuke adopted into the Sasuke Special (Springboard Into a Moonsault Plancha over the top). First off, Dynamite Kid looked like he was about to die. It looked like he weighed about 135 pounds maybe less. Scary what hard drugs will do to a person. Kid had to work old-school to get heel heat so he really didn’t have to bust out any tough spots. Everyone else in the match looked good and in shape, even Tiger Mask. Tiger Mask wasn’t as thin as he was when he was younger, yet the twenty or so pounds he gained didn’t hold him back. He just wasn’t as dynamic due to his age. This felt more like a showcase match than anything. The only real heat came from Dynamite Kid’s heel tactics. Everyone else wrestled for spots. It was still good though, just not electric or exciting as it possibly could have been. It ended with Sasuke getting triple teamed and pinned with a sit down powerbomb by Dos Caras at 15:30. This was a fun Japanese all-star tag showcase match. ***1/4
Masato Yakushiji, Gran Naniwa, Tiger Mask 4, Gran Hamada, & Super Delfin vs. TAKA Michinoku, Shoichi Funaki, Shiryu, MEN’S Teioh, & Dick Togo
This is the match the implanted the idea “Inception” style into Mike Quakenbush’s head on how to book a multiple man tag match successfully. I heard on Grizzly Bear Egg Podcast last year (I’m forget which exact one) but he anxiously waited for the mailman everyday until this tape came in and watched this match. After watching, he rewound the tape and watched it again. He said it’s the fastest thirty minutes he had ever seen in wrestling and it felt like 15 minutes. TAKA’s group is known as Kaientai DX, just a coincidence. Anyway, this match is amazing. It flowed so well. There was never a single boring moment in the match. I can’t even tell you what happened because there was just so much going on. There were constant frequent tags and the heels playing up the crowd like crazy. The crowd was super hot for this match as well. I’ve watched this match four times. It’s not a five star classic, but it comes close. This match created a blueprint on how to successfully book a show stealing tag match. I see this match imitated in Dragon Gate and CHIKARA constantly yet it’s not a bad thing. The last ten minutes just didn’t stop. It reminded me of the ROH Dragon Gate six man from 2006, yet this was eleven years before that match. I noticed that Kaientai DX were the only ones doing double team moves while the faces stuck to their individual move sets. That’s what gave Kaientai DX that slight edge to win this match. They truly worked together as a unit and it paid off in the end. The finish came whenTogogave low blow to Super Delfin when the ref was distracted and hit his sick top rope senton for the pin at 32:07. Trust me, this is not like a Davey Richards/Eddie Edwards match where 32 minutes feels like 45. This was a 32 minute match that felt like 15. It had the pacing of a “The Dark Knight” or an “American Gangster”. This match is a truly influential classic. ****3/4
Hayabusa vs. Jinsei Shinzaki
This was disappointing. This was a partners colliding storyline. Hayabusa was the ace of FMW while Shinzaki did his thing in Michinoku Pro. Both guys seemed way off in this match. The match had a bad flow and some sequences were clunky. There was just too much dead spots in between everything. The crowd didn’t seem too invested in this either. The only cool spot was Hayabusa did a springboard moonsault from the inside of the ring to the outside of the ring. Shinzaki dominated the end of the match completely. He hit a top rope chop, top rope shoulder tackle, three top rope head butts and the Razor’s Edge to end it at 15:16. Wow. This match had almost zero story to it and was not exciting to watch at all. Hayabusa seemed like he didn’t want to be there and hurt his knee at the end of the match. Bad way to end this show. **1/4
*I paid $1.50 for this show. It’s available for download from our pals at IVP Videos. For not even two bucks, this show is absolutely a must buy, even though it’s essentially a one match show. That one match though is truly historical. I truly believe that if this ten man tag didn’t happen, there would be no CHIKARA today, plain and simple. Ask Mike Quakenbush himself. This show is the “Inception” of CHIKARA.
Wrestling fan since 1985 but I was born in 1988. My favorite wrestler changes everyday. I love storytelling and wrestling is the perfect example of the classic three act story arc. Everything has a beginning, middle and end. Every hero hears the call. Every hero has a villain. Every hero has their darkest hour. Every hero must RISE.
Got a degree in film and television a year ago and have been doing the whole "Office Space"/"American Beauty" thing for now. Will get an industry job soon. Hopefully.
We are a collection of fans who just decided to start a website. We all have our favorite INDY promotion, but we also want to bring more attention to those indies you may not have heard of and may enjoy.