It was with great sadness that I heard the news of the death of the great Shinya Hashimoto. He was my little brother Randy's favorite wrestler and one of my best friend's, Phil's, favorite wrestler. Here is everything we wrote about him. - DEAN ------------------------ SHINYA HASHIMOTO vs. STEVE CORINO vs. DYLAN NIGHT vs. GARY STEELE MH: At first, we’re bummed because this isn’t a round-robin, but we’re willing to see what develops – BTW, it’s a four-way Iron Man match. That patience is rewarded as this is easily the best four-way match I’ve ever seen, and one of the best matches I’ve seen live this year.
(As all four guys face off in the ring and the ref holds up the belt, Hash takes off his headband and throws it at the belt. As we all wonder what kind of symbol of honor/manly challenge this is, he smiles, picks up the headband, and throws it right into the crowd, where Phil Schneider grabs it. So this coming Friday night, Phil will be in the Karaoke Bar where he DJs, putting the blast on every lady that comes in while wearing his signed Hash headband.)
PS: The best pre-match antics was Corino verbally destroying one of the sign guy putzes, just making him look like an idiot, to the point where all he could do was pathetically whine “I used to like you man.” Corino is gold on the mike.
TKG: As a rule, I dislike 3ways and 4 ways. As a rule I dislike Iron Man (most pinfalls in allotted time) matches. I thought whole night was going to work Starcade 1990 Iron Man style. That said this was smarter and provided a far better match. As all I had formerly expected was some fun Hash beatings and maybe a goofy angle where Rapid Fire Maldonado interferes in Gary Steel match. This also meant 30 minutes of Hash. I can’t think of the last time I’ve seen Hash go that long on tape and here I was going to see it live standing next to Dylan Knights kids and their friends yelling “Go Daddy” and trying to help them get better angles on the action. I also want to say that the too long mic segment by Legrande was probably necessary as Steele needed to be established as a face and his work alone wasn’t going to be able to do it. Cheap heat sucks, but Steele is such an anonymous worker that he at least needed to be established as a face somehow. The segment could have been shortened but it was a good move. I still don’t understand Randazzo’s claim that Hash is the Japanese Rock. In contrast, Hash seemed to have a thick head of flowing hair…no thinning at all.
MH: There’s so much to discuss about this match, but the best place to start – obviously – is with Hashimoto. He projected this aura that said “We can wrestle, but don’t make me mad or I’ll chop your left nipple off and then kick it back on.” It was if all of the other guys knew that they were in over their heads, but were determined to go down fighting. And all four guys delivered in spades. I have never seen Steve Corino wrestle a better match, having the conniving heel thing down cold, and trading blows with Hash throughout. Gary Steele is fine in this, but blows a couple of things and honestly gets outclassed by Dylan Night. Night is up for this one, working up to everyone’s level and taking the requisite beating for daring to wear a kicker’s outfit in the same ring as Shinya Hashimoto. But then, all these guys take an absolute shitkicking, with big highlights being Hash’s Cringe-inducing senton onto poor Dylan, and the One True Move From Hell – Hashimoto’s TOP-ROPE DOUBLE-STOMP onto what was once Gary Steele’s stomach. The falls don’t come quickly, but come in bunches when they do. And in true fashion, it comes down to the last seconds, with everyone tied up at 3 falls apiece and Hash kicking the fuck out of Corino and locking on a sleeper to get the deciding fall with 2 seconds left. Great match, I need a tape of it and so do you.
PS: This was incredible, I was initially weary of the stipulations, but it worked well, in that it allowed a sense of drama, without Hash having to ease off on what makes him Hashimoto. All four guys ratchet up the stiffness, with even the non Hash sections being super stiff. Corino has great, great punches; they look like Bob Sweetan at this point in his career. Dylan Night had the match of his life, as he stepped it up big and took a beating like a man, also doing some nice heel shtick, stealing the pin from Hashimoto after Hash demolished Steele with the double stomp. He also had a really nice mat section with Corino, as they did stereo submission reversals with Steele and Hash working each other and Corino and Hashimoto working. Hash seemed to be enjoying himself in America, as he worked in some American heel spots, including chasing after Candi (Night’s valet) with a chair, doing a log roll on Night, and even doing a three stooges nose pull. At one point he is pounding on Night and Candi slaps him, and he sells it more then he sold anything for Otsuka.. The end of the match was great, everyone is tied at three falls (although no one pinned Hashimoto) Hash just destroyed Corino’s arm, and it is limp at his side, he has to just throw headbutts. I disagree with Marcel as Corino was clearly the babyface in this match, the match is counting down and Night piledrives Steele on the floor (which looked like it might have concussed him) and Corino yells at Hash “COME ON MOTHERFUCKER” and they just have a hellacious exchange of chops, with Corino going down to a Hash sleeper choke at the bell. I felt spent, I was on a serotonin high, I have never enjoyed a live wrestling match as much. So much greatness, plus I have Hash’s bandana. The punishment they took was incredible, Corino’s chest looked like someone had left a steak out in the sun.
TKG: Corino totally credibly pulled off “tough shit kicker character” which I didn’t expect him to be able to pull off. I have seen Taz live (who Corino worked cowardly heel against) and Tazz was never able to work tough guy as credibly as Corino did here. Part of what made him look so tough was that unlike Tazz he sold and took punishment. Corinos arm gets worked on a lot in match and he sold it to the point that he started holding his arm limp and sold as though he were forced to give up on the arm and move to headbutts. Corino looked world class here, like he could be one of the top twenty workers in the world.
Dylan Knight also stepped up to the plate huge. Knight worked a more conniving semi chicken shit heel character, and was able to pull that off within the context of this match. His strikes and matwork looked good. And he ate a hellacious beating, including a chair shot on the floor from Hash and the senton on floor from Hash. I tried to comfort one of his daughters friends at one point as Knights arms looked beat red. At one point Hashimoto began running the ropes back and forth about four or five times before building up enough momentum to hit Knight with the meanest shoulder tackle I’ve ever seen.
Knight also leans in for a Corino superkick for a pin and eats a Hash DDT for another pin.
When Knights mom (filming) accidentally took a bump for one of the workers, Schneider went over to check on her: Phil: Are you ok? Mother: yeah, thanks Phil: Is your son ok? Mother: Don’t worry, he’s tough.
Knight was not only able to absorb punishment and show off his offense, he also was able to project his character, in a way that would make a member of the audience want to see him have a singles match with any of the other three guys in the ring. He got over his heelish character stealing a quick roll up on Steele after Hash hit Steele with a double stomp. Steele later avenged this when all the participants held Knight down for a pin and Steele got on top of the pile to steal that win. Smartly laid out, and worked.
Steele was the least of the guys in the ring but threw some nice suplexes and had some neat submissions. Steele needs to find a way to make the process of moving into the submissions look smooth or interesting. With Steele’s submissions, only the ends looked cool but the process of applying them was visually uninteresting.
Hash was charismatic as all hell and just a monster heel. He was Aja like in his willingness and ability to sell for everyone else in the ring enough that no-one left this match looking weak. Everyone was working strong here. No one looked to be aiming at happy medium, they were all aiming at the HAPPY-STRONG. I could have bought into any of the participants winning this match, and I would have left happy.
EPILOGUE MH: We manage to not get too lost while raving about the match on the way back. We were all just so excited about what we had just seen that we couldn’t stop raving about it in the car. We were so high on the match we had just seen, we didn’t even care about the morons behind us or anything. The Hash-head thing gets reaffirmed. I am so glad I went to the show, and folks who were going to come and for some reason didn’t really missed out. We eventually make it back to DC just in time to put an end to the Politics discussion that had somehow popped up after we finished talking about wrestling. There’s no way I could make it home to bed after dropping off Tom and Phil to get anything resembling a decent night’s sleep, so I stay up and get to writing up my Weekend On The Road.
PS: Best overall wrestling show I have ever been too. Everything was good, and the main event was transcendent. When Hashimoto comes back to the U.S. you owe it to yourself as wrestling fans to go see him. --------------------- New Japan "Battlefield Yokohama" 9/23/93 - PART TWO (by PHIL RIPPA)
SHINYA HASHIMOTO vs. JAKE "THE SNAKE" ROBERTS While Hashimoto is the IWGP champ, this match isn’t for the belt (despite some internet sites to the contrary. I mean, if I can’t trust the internet, what can I trust?) The fact that this is a non-title match is rather sad as I was all geared up to try and figure out if Jake fucking Roberts in 1993 was the most preposterous person to challenge for the title. Was Black Bart busy? Did Big Bully Busick miss a flight? Did Ranger Ross have prior commitments? Was Van Hammer on tour? Was the Nightstalker unable to get a work visa? I mean this match is so trumps Hash vs. Booker T on the weirdness scale it isn’t funny. How is it possible that Brutus Beefcake vs. Black Cat was not the strangest, how-did-this-not-take-place-in-WAR-or-IWA match on this card? Nope, you get Jake Roberts with whatever incarnation of Damian taking on the current IWGP champ. Of course, the match sucks. I spent the first five minutes or so trying to figure out if the snake bag was gimmicked (by the way, I am leaning on the side of gimmicked). Then Hashimoto backs off from the snake. And then Roberts runs the fake blown out knee spot which goes over like a lead balloon. The highlight/lowlight is Jake using the DDT almost as a throw away spot to no reaction. Ooof… this match goes on and on and on and you start to wonder if maybe this is some elaborate rib on Grizzly Smith. I guess I should mention that SHINYA HASHIMOTO – CURRENT IWGP FUCKING CHAMP has to sell for a good minute so HE CAN RUN FROM THE FUCKING SNAKE after the match. You really can’t make this up. I half expected Ron Bass to charge out from the crowd and brand Hashimoto just for the hell of it. Oh yeah – Jake gets bitten by his snake... again. --------------------- !@!@!@!@ NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING "RISING THE NEXT GENERATION" (Osaka Dome - 8/29/98) (by REV RAY DUFFY) J-1 Title match: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Tenryu Last DVDVR, I reviewed Hashimoto/Tenryu from the G-1 and boy, did it kick ass. This is from the Osaka Dome... and boy, does it suck ass. I don't know what happened. Maybe Hashimoto decided to not totally kick Tenryu's old ass. It seems like they're trying to be all high spotty. Tenryu does his worst move, his enzugiri, about 4 times in a row. This is capped off with Hashimoto doing a flying avalanche into a corner and Tenryu catching him, walking out and giving him the weakest powerbomb in the history of weak powerbombs. I was hoping Hash would just kick out, Tenryu would punch him right in the face and then get pinned. I would buy that. It was an incredibly bad finish. YOU DON'T WANT ALL THIS. --------------------- #$#$#$#$#$#$#$#$ NEW JAPAN TV 11/21/98 (by DEAN RASMUSSEN)
Scott Norton vs Shinya Hashimoto I watched this twice. The second time, I realized that- though there were major flaws in Norton's selling- this was actually Close To Good considering it's Scott Norton in 1998. The story is that Hashimoto is working on Norton's shoulder and sets up two cross-armbreakers that are sold in the traditional New Japan way by Norton (like Dusty Rhodes selling a sleeper hold in 1988). It is the usual simple Hashimoto story that he is the TRUE master at telling (though they do have Norton get his first offensive flurry by going after Hash's knee that he injured in the 95 G-1). The big problem is that Norton tries to sell the shoulder effectively but he has no middle gears of selling- in that he goes from "immobilized With Pain" to "no-Selling Monster within seconds." Norton takes a pretty king-sized ass-kicking but the ending sucked because it ends in a countout and the spot setting it up wasn't particularly devastating. I mean Shinya Hashimoto gets posted and that's gonna keep him out for a twenty count? That doesn't make him look very strong or much of a contender. If he went through a table and there was a bunch of blood, I could see if. To make this ending work, you needed blood and something spectacular to make Hash look strong going down for 20 seconds. Other than that and the one large batch MENGinizing by Norton, I could live with this as quite acceptable wrestling. Plus it was only 11 minutes long.
--------------------- BEST OF JAPAN 1989, VOLS. IV- VI Vader vs. Shinya Hashimoto was not nearly as good as it should have been. It was a good wrestling match in every traditional sense of a match but after watching the Tsuruta and Hansen matches and Considering that this was Vader before he got old and not good and then there is freakin Shinya Hashimoto, one would come to expect a veritable mountain of stiffnes, delivered with gusto, until one of these big boys dropped. Instead we get the highflying Vader hitting a dropkick. Good but still disappointing. -------------------- ^&^&^&^&^&^& NEW JAPAN TV 11/28/98 (by DEAN RASMUSSEN) Shinya Hashimoto/ Tatsumi Fujinami vs Manabu Nakanishi/ Yuji Nagata THIS was GREAT. THIS was Hashimoto doing what Hashimoto does best, which is to bring the skewed and simplistic New Japan psychology to the table and Yuji Nagata is SO up for the challenge. The story is that Yuji matches up with Hash in a lot of categories- they both kick like motherfuckers, they both approximate shootstyle really well, Yuji can match Hash's Brainbusters and DDT's with his assorted, sundry and always cool suplexes- but Hash has one BIG advantage: an AMAZING supply of fat. Hash utilizes his ever expanding girth to its most hurty and bone-crushing utmost. Hash whips out TWO fat and I mean FATASS sentons and one TRULY HIDEOUS toprope stomp on the Young Rising Star Who Has Finally Wrestled His Way Out US Wrestling Shape. Nakanishi is quite the comical whipping boy for Hash and Fujinami- as Hash seems to take great glee in potatoing the fudge out of the Steinerized Former Kurasawa. Yuji Nagata is just what the doctor ordered for Fujinami- as Yuji sells Tatsumi's offense so well that you don't actually dwell on the fact that Fujinami is SO the Bobby Eaton of New Japan right now. Nagata gets in the superimpressive Belly-to-Belly Suplex on the mountain of pudge that is Hash right now. Hasha and Nagata really beat the hell out of each other until Hash hits two SWANK DDTs after crushing Yuji's skull with a NASTY urican. GET ALLL THIS. -------------------- @#@#@#@@# NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING 1/4/99 Tokyo Dome (byREV RAY) Naoya Ogawa v. Shinya Hashimoto : You'd think with a cool name like UFO, they'd come up with some grandiose entrance for these guys, like stealing the set from ELO's Out Of the Blue tour, but they don't. Ogawa yells some smack at Hashimoto as he comes to the ring, probably requesting he perform "Burnin' Love" tonight. Each exchange starts with them throwing kicks and punches at each other with Hash pushing Ogawa into a corner. On the third time, Tiger Hittori, the ref, tries to break it up and gets on the receiving end of a chop to the face by Hashimoto. Ogawa starts elbowing Hashmoto in the back, gets him in the mount and punches away before hitting the cross armbreaker, which Hashimoto rope saves out of. They tie up again and end up in the ropes, Tiger goes to break it up, but Hashmoto kicks him this time. Hashimoto goes down and gets backmounted, but he escapes the choke, rolls to his back and escapes a keylock wristlock. Ogawa stomps away on Hashimoto and kicks him out to the ramp where he seconds check on him. All of a sudden, we've got fights breaking out between the seconds. The bell rings, I assume counting out or DQing Hashmoto. Ogawa celebrates by doing the Eric Bischoff "I'm flying!" move around the ring. He gets the mic and yells out some more shit, which sounds goofy because his mouth peice is still in. Of course, the New Japan crew take acception to this as Nakanishi gets in Ogawa's face (I bet Judo boy is REEEEEAL scared.) So now we've got both groups in the ring, with a lot of trash talking and shoving going on when Choshyu hits the ring (and kicks a camera man out of the way before getting in the ring, I'm not joking). After a stare down, Ogawa leaves, but a fight breaks out when Ohara throws a punch at Tiger Mask, leading to a brawl on the floor. Ogawa gets back in the ring and Choshyu throws a few punches at him. The crew have to come back to restrain him as now he wants a piece of Ogawa. Dean loved this angle, I was sort of indifferent about it, but it was fun watching guys like Ohara, Nakanishi and Yasuda getting up in the face of all the shooter guys. ---------------------- NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament : Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes v. Hiroshi Hase/Shinya Hashimoto : (REV RAY! DUFFY!) You know, Hashimoto just isn't nearly as cool without his Elvis sideburns. Laugh as Jesse Ventura and Jim Ross suggest that Hashimoto could be a good pulling guard. Hash and Hase control early. The focus on the arms seem to be the order for both teams early. Hashimoto slaps on a triangle scissors lock and dumbs it down a little before slapping on the armbar on Windham. At one point, Hashimoto challenges Rhodes to fight and gets dropped with jabs and the bionic elbow. Hashimoto answers with a jab to the throat and follows it up with his spinning heel kick and looks like it gets all eye socket on Rhodes. They follow it up with a spiked piledriver. Rhodes tries to fight back with elbows, but Hase drops him with a chop. Windham comes in to break up a double team, but the NJPW team continues to control. Hase hits an overhead belly to belly, but takes too long going for a double knee from the top and allows Rhodes to make the hot tag to Windham. Windham works both men down with punches. He slaps the abdominal stretch on Hase and works on his ribs. Hashimoto comes in for the save, but Windham decks him. They get a 4 man brawl. Hase gets whipped to the ropes by Rhodes who leap frogs him and runs right into a Windham flying lariat and Windham gets the pin. It was kind of short, but still a pretty cool match. Considering it was the second match each team had that night and Windham/Rhodes were going to follow it up with Doc and Gordy. --------------------
SHINYA HASHIMOTO vs. NOBOHIKO TAKADA- NEW JAPAN- 4/29/96 (SCHNEIDER) This match was the climax of the UWFI v. New Japan feud and was one of the biggest money matches of all time. The match itself was excellent, though short and was quite a show of both men's versitility. Takada had won the IWGP title and Hashimoto was attempting to return it to New Japan so the drama was built-in. The psychology of the match was pretty simple: Takada wanted to knock out Hashimoto with kicks, while Hashimoto wanted to hit his brainbuster, both men used counters, Hashimoto countering a Takada high kick with a brutal leg sweep, and Takada countering the brainbuster with a Fujiwara armbar. Takada got some close falls with submissions, however after several tries Hashimoto hit the nasty brainbuster and immediately slapped on a triangle choke for the tap out. They never had a rematch, as Takada left New Japan after this show. It was interesting to watch how both men adapted to the styles of their opponent, with Takada using more pro style moves (back suplex, boston crab) and Hashimoto worked a shootstyle match (no pin attempts, submission based.) --------------------------- TENRYU vs. SHINYA HASHIMOTO: 2nd Round, G-1 Climax Tournament '98 (REV RAY) This is a big old batch of fun. This is a whole lotta chops... STIFF chops and Tenryu gets all super grumpy and decides to bring the pain to Elvis Hashimoto who serves up a hunka-hunka-burning chest pain as they just pound on each other. Moves can get old. Stiffness doesn't get old and this match as a result has the potential to age very well. Tenryu decides he's old and the only years he's cutting off are the wearing an adult diaper years so he dives FACE FIRST into Hashimoto leg lariat. Enjoy this and avoid their truly awful J-1 Title match later in the year. ------------------------- SHINYA HASHIMOTO vs. NAYOA OGAWA - NEW JAPAN- 1/4/99: (SCHNEIDER) Bizarre match that appeared to be a partial shoot, Ogawa representing UFO, demolishes Hashimoto, beating him brutally which sets off a riot between UFO and New Japan (a riot highlighted by Yasuda punching UFO boys in the face) Ogawa acts the part of the perfect dick, by putting his arms out and doing the Bugsy McGraw airplane. It is unclear whether this was a shoot or not, but the beating and the riot make it compelling television. ------------------------ New Japan- Bam Bam Bigelow/Larry Cameron vs. Ricki Chosu/Shinya Hashimoto-(phil rippa!): This is another of those matches Phil stumbled across going through the tapes Dean is too lazy to watch. In all of my years of wrestling watching, this is the very first time I have ever seen Cameron. I remember the Apter mags moistening their panties over him back in the day. He developed this Steve Disalvoian level of following on the Net and now here he is on my TV screen. If this match is any indication of how he wrestled his entire career, I can safely say he stunk. Maybe it was just because this was one of his final matches. I don't know. (He seemed a little unsettled in the ring). He's offense was quite Headbutt-erific. Choshu doesn't do much except throw a bunch of lariats so the bulk of this matches falls on the shoulders of Hashimoto and Bigelow which is fine by me. Hashimoto is WAY smaller than he is now and it is really weird watching him lay in the kicks. I guess it is a whole matter of perception since watching skinny Hash deliver the kicks doesn't look as nasty. Still he rightly kicks Cameron in his pretty boy face. Bigelow bumps a bunch in an attempt to save the match but his partner drags him down. Cameron rightfully does the job and I think I was better off not ever watching him wrestle. ---------------------------- Zero One Refusion 11/7/03 (by PHIL SCHNEIDER)
Shinya Hashimoto vs. Masato Tanaka This was one of the most fun matches of 2003. Just great stuff, and a reminder that when he isn't wrestling useless So-Cal Roid boys, Shinya Hashimoto is the best wrestler around. The first Hashimoto vs. Tanaka singles match (9) was a barrel of fun, but was basically an extended Fit Finlay Worldwide squash (10), with Hashimoto finding new and interesting ways to maim someone, and Tanaka getting a couple of hope spots. In this match Hashimoto is still the unquestionable master at kicking your ass, but his injured shoulder allows you to actually buy that Tanaka could win the match. This really told a great story (11) as there was big drama, could Hashimoto crush Tanaka, or will his body fail him. Everytime Hashimoto layed in one of those overhand chops, you had the damage it was doing to Tanaka, and the wear and tear on Hashimoto. You wouldn't think being crippled would make someone a better wrestler, but it really does add a dimension to Hashimoto's matches that make them even greater. --------------------------- WORLD ENTERTAINMENT WRESTLING - THE KODO FUYUKI FAREWELL SHOW (5/18/2003) (by DEAN RASMUSSEN) Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kintaro Kanemura: This match makes up for the death match Hash and Fuyuki were planning to have before Fuyuki lost his own personal death match with cancer. Fuyuki's widow brings his ashes to the ring and it's pretty fucking intense when I think about it. W*ING Kanemura does the Team No Respect dance listlessly, heavy from the loss of Kodo Fuyuki. Hashimoto hits the ring hellbent on making his fallen comrade proud. He is ready to beat the living dogshit out of Kintaro Kanemura. Hashimoto takes the ashes of Kodo Fuyuki and DIVES BACKWARDS INTO THE EXPLODING BARBED WIRE - AS IF KODO FUYUKI'S FIGHTING SPIRIT WAS IN THE RING - and the barbed wire EXPLODES in a huge ball of flame AND HIS WIDOW AND SISTER START CRYING. Hashimoto hands it to Kanemura and he DIVES BACKWARDS and the barbed wire explodes and Kanemura bows in front of Hashimoto. I start to cry at the manly beauty of the gesture.(13) Hashimoto prays and they ring the bell. The praying is over, the killings begun. Hashimoto just beats the living shit out of Kanemura - kicks to the face, chops and STRAIGHT fucking punches to the face, a fucking HELLISH full body weight Elbow Drop. Kanemura finally sends Hashimoto into the barbed wire and starts beating on him with a baseball bat. They carry out Fuyuki's widow. Kanemura lariats him to the ground and keeps driving the barbedwire baseball bat into Hash's throat. Hash gets back to his feet and just starts kicking the living fuck out of Kanemura and throws him into the previously exploded barbed wire. He then throws him into barbed wire that explodes and hits a DDT for two. Fuyuki's widow has returned. Hash hits a fucking SKULLCRUSHING DDT and it's over. Kanemura look legit destroyed. Hashimoto bows before Kodo Fuyuki's ashes and Goddamn was that weird.
(13) My dad had a full military funeral- which was perfect because he was pretty hardcore when it came to full use of military ceremony (I remember him giving MPs shit for not saluting correctly and not wearing white gloves when checking people at the front gate.)- so I was affected pretty deeply at age twelve by military ceremonies honoring the dead. Bagpipe music can affect me too. It's weird. Hashimoto going into the the barbed wire with his friends ashes in his hands is SO a fucking ritual sealed in blood. So fucking foreign but the gesture is crystal clear. Just fucking awesome. ------------------------ - Hashimoto vs Masato Tanaka: Tanaka is super game taking the full force and fury of Hashimoto's mauling offense. I loved when Tanaka is against the ropes and Hashimoto tees off and crushes him with just ungodly stiff kicks. Tanaka's offense is still too much Misawa-worship and second rate in that aspect, but Hashimoto brings out the greatness in the match with the stiffness and intensity and Tanaka sells it like Ricky Morton in a maximum security prison. great fucking match. ------------------------ MASA CHONO vs. SHINYA HASHIMOTO - New Japan "LAST BATTLE OF SUMMER" (8/2/99) (by ANTONY GANCARSKI) A warm summer day in March, saw me editing a piece , listening to Augustus Pablo, with this tape as ambient wallpaper. A couple of ladies came over for greens. One of them, a fly girl by any description, marked out like a monkey for the strikes. She thought the match was real, and I spent a long time explaining to her how the ending was still predetermined even though the strikes were like outtakes from Vader/Inoki or Benoit/Regal. She was taken with Chono, started babbling about the Yakuza. I think she left my apartment not believing that an NJ main event was a work -- incredible. Yes, the woman who loves Chono and Hash is a woman I should get closer to -- that's a given. --------------------------- !@!@!@!@!@!@!@! NEW JAPAN TELEVISION- 1/4/2001, TOKYO DOME (by DEAN RASMUSSEN) Riki Choshu vs Shinya Hashimoto: This match I went in assuming would deepthroat the beefdart to great excess- but it actually has moments that are really great, but these moments of greatness are more offset by HUGE goatblowing wads of suck that is the ending of this. Up until that point, this is a pretty spirited batch of major league ass-beating. Hashimoto is half a step from being back in the top ten because the outsider asshole role is really suiting him- a role that he is lifting from the bizarre near-career-ruining feud with Ogawa- with Hash himself reprising the Ogawa ass-beating dick role- but with the TRULY inspired stable of Zero One, the stable with the promise of totally fabulous Hasimoto and Otsuka invasion angles all over the Noah-New Japan-All Japan landscape. Hash starts the match as the Puroresu Lawler, making with the stall of stalls- refusing to come to the middle ring, generating huge wads of old fashioned heel heat. Riki is suitably unamused and Hash takes it to the Zbysko-esque level by actually getting out of the ring and walking down the ramp. Hash is all pissed but subtle in his hatred and need for revenge and when he explodes into Chosyu and starts beating Grampa to within an inch of his life by just punching him in the face forty times. It's obvious that Hash has re-invented himself into an ass-stomper that will make him the number one wrestler in my heart for the rest of this decade. When the ass-stomp kicks in, it is motherfucking beautiful as Chosyu gets Hash over big by inhaling a gigantic beating before firing back on Hash's much less fatter ass and moving the match along. Chosyu gets in some stiff cranky shots in before collapsing back to sell the damage. Hash reapplies the ass-stomp and Chosyu counters out of a no-win situation by hitting a backdrop to set up a Riki Lariat- all of which Hash sells perfectly like one would expect from a master. Hash gets the fucking gnarley transition back to offense with a truly UGLY looking DDT. Then Hash starts teeing off until Chosyu desperately garners the spirit to chop his way out and buy some time with a lariat. Hash fucking NAILS Chosyu in the motherfucking throat with the point of his boot and follows up with a just as vicious of a kick to the chest. Riki gets in one final flurry before Hash really starts to REALLY start beating the fuck out of him. Chosyu gets one last lariat before Tatsumi Fujinami somehow calls for bell and the inexplicably shitty non-finish ruins what was a billion star ass-beating in progress. This match was so good up to the finish that the ending will really piss off any viewer. It was a really shitty booking decision that is indefensible and then to top it off then was poorly executed because I'm guessing Fujinami was supposed to make it look like Riki was in danger of losing or something. I'm guessing because there is NO WAY they wanted what they got for an ending because this ending sucks donkey balls. Great Great Great turns into complete shit shit shit. --------------------- NEW JAPAN vs UFO- Kazumi Murakami/Nagoya Ogawa vs. Shinya Hashimoto/Takashi Iizuka- (PHIL SCHNEIDER) : This was part of the big UFO v. New Japan feud, which was sort of manufactured by Inoki. UFO was his shoot style federation that actually ran a couple a shows , but was mainly used to get Ogawa over and provide a faction for NJ to oppose. It worked because the crowd was absolutely losing their shit. They made this match because Iizuka was doing some asskicking in the brawl after the Hashimoto v. Ogawa dome show quasi-shoot. Iizuka and Murakami start out and just blister each other with kicks and punches, Murakami briefly got mount, but Iizukawa is able to get to the ropes, where Murakami just pastes him with a kick, swelling up the side of his face and knocking him out. Murakami gets on the mike and starts screaming, and the New Japan crew rush the ring, and brawl with Ogawa and Murakami (with Yasuda whomping ass as usual), with Fujinami and Inoki coming in wearing suits, to calm things down. They restart the match and they have a UWFI style tag match, full of really stiff realistic work, the end is great as Ogawa and Hashimoto are brawling on the floor and Iiziuka slaps on a nasty choke sleeper to KO Murakami, both sides have to be seperated at the end as they talk shit and shove each other. I am not sure how much the interpromotional aspect added to atmosphere of the match, but the Ogawa v. Hashimoto feud is so hot that the UFO v. NJ aspect is sort of overshadowed. Murakami looked the best in this match, and Iizuka also looked great, their singles match should be the biscuits. --------------- NEW JAPAN TV 9/19/98 (by DEAN RASMUSSEN) Hirata/Hashimoto vs Bryan Adams/NWO Sting Well, whaddyaknow! They get the Hash-Hirata Connection back together because they were fun-loving when they were first together and it makes good sense for the nWo Sting push to be against something with substance. The pin over Hirata is bigger for the Better Sting because it's over Hash and Hirata and thus over Hash by proxy. Schneider told me that Bryan Adams trained at the NJ dojo for a while and I was ready to make with the snide "I couldn't tell" comments but actually Adams takes a couple of shots from Hash like a man and sells a Hash DDT like he's been there before. He does fine until he does his superweak looking clotheslines and punches. Bryan. Big Man. Some folks in Japan do clotheslines so stiff that it's a credible enough finisher to win championships. Halfstep with that move here and they'll laugh you out of the parking lot. They didn't show enough to see if nWo Sting is still progressing into the freakish good little worker he's becoming, but the Cobra Sting Push is definately in FULL EFFECT. And 'im all for it DINGDANGIT! ------------------------ NEW JAPAN: Shinya Hashimoto/Masahiro Chono vs Antonio Inoki/Seiji Sakaguchi -1990 (REV RAY!) - This is a battle of the old guard versus the new guard. They take it to the mat early until Chono starts doing stomps on Sakaguchi. I'm sure this match has some historical significance or something and I am a history minor... but it lost me... Inoki wins with the Enzugiri because he's old and he founded the company, so you job,Chono- you young whippersnapper! -------------------------- WRESTLE-1 (11/17/2002) (by ANTHONY GANCARSKI) Shinya Hashimoto vs. Josh Dempsey: In contrast to the formulaic, spotlight-hogging Hase, Hashimoto is a real man and a motherfucker of a worker. Hash/Corino in Tampa was a barrelfull of fun, watching it at the apron's edge as I was, able to feel the smacks of the blows as I put the mack on the ___ ; That Tampa match is relevant because the backstory here is the Hash/Corino feud, since Corino and CW Anderson second Hash. The psychology here is basic enough; Hash can't hang with Dempsey on strikes so he attempts to ground him with matwork. In this match, as in life, each party is successful when he can camouflage his weaknesses. Zbyszko may have been thinking of this match when he said a good rassler would beat a good striker every time, as yet another gaijin takes a fall. --------------------------- &*&*&*&* NEW JAPAN TV G-1 CLIMAX '98 (REV RAY) Tenryu vs. Shinya Hashimoto: You want all this? YOU NEED ALL THIS! Stiffness? We got some of that. Tenryu and Hash decide to have a match where they chop each other until one of them wets themselves. It's a 9.5 on the Flair chest reddening scale (a ten would be drawing blood like Flair/Sting from the first Clash of the Champions). Be bedazzled by Hashimoto's Ode to Pete Townsend Gargantuan Windmill Chops of Pain! You'll wet YOURSELF as you watch Tenryu dive FACE FUCKING FIRST into a Hashimoto leg lariat! Psicosis would even say NO to that bump. Tenryu gets dumped on his head off the second rope via a DDT as well. It ain't fancy, it's two guys beating each other’s asses, your ass, my ass and the people down the street's asses. And what else do you want?
I'd love to vote for Bryan/Dolph...but that HBK/UT match really WAS good and probably deserves the praise that it gets, considering how much pressure was put on both of them to put on a good follow-up to last year's blockbuster.