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The Royal Rumble made its debut in 1988, one year before its pay per view debut, as a special on the USA Network. Only 20 men participated then, and it was won by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

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Weekly Puroresu Report #2
This edition covers contract signings, the current NOAH tour, a big angle in AJPW and the debut show of King's Road.

The current NOAH tour continued with shows on 1/9, 1/11, 1/13, 1/15, 1/16, 1/17, 1/18 and 1/20. These will be leading up to the big show in Tokyo Nippon Budokan today. Note that all of these shows were non-televised (at least there was no live coverage). The biggest match of these was the tag encounter on 1/15 when Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji defeated Kenta Kobashi & KENTA when Misawa used the Emerald Frosion on KENTA. The match went on for 24:40 and guaranteed a sell-out crowd of 2,500 tickets for the show. Since few people claim that Misawa is better than Kobashi nowadays, would this mean that Marufuji has what it takes to defeat KENTA in their singles match for the GHC Junior Heavyweight title?

The full match-list for the Budokan-show was revealed:

1. Kentaro Shiga & Mitsuo Momota vs. Kishin Kawabata & Haruka Eigen
2. Takuma Sano, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Dakota vs. Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Tsutomu Hirayanagi
3. Yoshinari Ogawa & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Tamon Honda & Daisuke Ikeda
4. Takeshi Morishima, Mohammed Yone & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Scorpio, Minoru Suzuki & SUWA
5. Mitsuharu Misawa, Takashi Sugiura & Mushiking Terry vs. Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Mushiking Joker
6. Kenta Kobashi & Junji Izumida vs. Takeshi Rikio & Akebono
7. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title: KENTA (c) vs. Naomichi Marufuji
8. GHC Heavyweight Title: Akira Taue (c) vs. Jun Akiyama


It looks like the famous sumo wrestler Akebono will appear in a NOAH ring - and with Kobashi on the opposing team! The fans don’t expect to see a great in-ring performance from Akebono, but he is certainly welcome to NOAH due to his mainstream appeal and ability to draw huge TV-ratings.

Yutaka Yoshie has now officially quit as a full-time employee of NJPW. The contract negotiations were interrupted several times due to his overwhelming hunger (yes, these guys keyfabe this too!). He will most likely continue to wrestle on some tour when needed though. The 26-year-old Hiroshi Nagao also quit. It is unknown if he will continue to wrestle at all or if he might participate in other promotions. He is 6’4” though, which makes him very tall for a Japanese wrestler. Akiya Anzawa announced that he will retire from wrestling completely. He told the press that he is currently burned out and will go back to his previous profession as a cook. There may be even more wrestlers leaving NJPW soon, so stay tuned for updates on the contract negotiations! But there was also some positive signs for NJPW too, since Hiroshi Tanahashi’s appearance in TNA is getting a lot of attention. Tanahashi may defend his U-30 Openweight Title against Americans soon. He also mentioned that he was surprised by the big crowd support that he received from the fans on this trip to TNA.

AJPW is running a major angle with a heel turn from Kohei Suwama. Suwama has now joined the infamous Voodoo Murderers fraction and had a whole new change in attitude. He his now dressed as a street punk and changed his hair style into something more provocative. The heat on Suwama began after he attacked the current champion Satoshi Kojima on a show. Kojima commented the incident and it now appears that he might have to wear protection around his head (a fake injury, of course!). Rather than letting AJPW management punish Suwama for his action, Kojima plans to do it himself in the ring. The match will probably not be for the title though, since Suwama hasn’t done enough to deserve a shot.

King’s Road ran its debut show on 1/15 and claimed an attendance of 1,800 fans. This number is probably exaggerated by a bit, according to some sources. In the main event, Genichiro Tenryu defeated Kazushi Miyamoto. The show featured only 5 matches, so it’s to some extent a jumpstart. It is also official now that the former AJPW competitor George Hines has been booked for the next show on 2/28.

2006-Jan-22 11:20 pm by perkoff
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