Can anyone recommend the greastest Japanese matches for someone who has never been exposed to it? I have read about Misawa, Takwada, Hayabusa, Tarzan Goto, but have no what matches best represent the strong style mostly seen in ALL Japan Pro Wrestling.
Ok, here goes: go to goldenboytapes.com and get the best of Japan 2001 and the Best of Japan 2002 sets. They're 6-tape, 36-hour journeys into the land of **** matches and above. Scott Keith and Mike Campbell will frequently review puroresu stuff for 411. The following is a link to the SmarK Rant for BoJ 2002 Vol. 5. At the end is a list of videos and matches that Scott Keith and Rob Hunter of goldenboytapes have recommended for beginners. http://www.411mania.com/ wrestling/videos/article.php? videos_id=760 As a general rule, anything involving a combination of Nagata, Misawa, Muto, Kawada, Kanemaru, Kikuchi, Akiyama, Liger, Tenzan, Nishimura, Takayama, Tanaka, Kobashi, Kanemoto or Tiger Mask is gold. Enough from me, though. Peace.
Basically any Misawa-Kawada/Misawa-Kobashi/Misawa-Tsuruta(seeing a pattern here?). You want All Japan 90-2001 for heavyweights and New Japan for light heavys. Do you use abpw? Stuff pops up there from time to time. And check the torrents too. And like El Nino says the goldenboytapes comps are pretty sweet as well. Highspots.com is also excellent.
cool, I'll check it out. I recall listening to Wrestling Observer Live one time and Dave Meltzer was talking about a match from 2001 maybe...it involved Yuji Nagata vs I cant remember, but apparently Dave said it was arguably the greatest match in the history of wrestling. That was a mighty big claim, and Ive been curious of Japanese wrestling ever since.
For some fine Junior action, check out the IWGP Tag Title Series of matches between Yoshinobu Kanemaru/Tsuyoshi Kikuchi v Jushin Liger/Minoru Tanaka (2002 methinks). The two that I know of are both rated ***** by various reviewers. Also, the Super J Cups from 1994 and 1995 are great. You will see familiar faces, too, like Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, under different names.