Tokyo Pure Wrestling: A Retrospective part 2
We’ve already brought you a reminder of the results of the last two TPW shows, END STAGE. But now let’s take a look back at TPW’s final TV broadcast of PURE PURO POWER!
Tokyo Pure Wrestling presents ~ PURE PURO POWER!
Fuji TV, 11pm, Sunday November 25th 2012
This week PURE PURO POWER! focussed on the final two shows of Tokyo Pure Wrestling. With the news breaking late last week that the GFC’s Hanako Yamamoto had purchased TPW there was a mixed feeling in the air of Differ Ariake as fans discussed their hopes and fears for the future.
With the announcement of the changes that Yamamoto was planning on making one of the key members of the TPW roster decided that it was time to hang up his boots. Dragon Takeshi had been a big star for over 20 years, appearing for several big national promotions before returning to his Tokyo roots when he helped establish TPW alongside the late Akira Nagata. In his years with TPW he captured the Heavyweight Championship three times and the Pure Wrestling Championship a record seven times. He also brought current Heavyweight Champion Jun Ikeda into the company.
This week Dragon Takeshi completes his farewell tour with two special matches. First he forms a team with his son, Super Junior Champion Amazing Dragon, against Ryu Yamada & Suehiro Umesaka. And then his swansong, a one-on-one match with The Great Sato.
Takeshi has been open with his praise and respect for Great Sato, saying that he expects Sato to lead the company forward into this bold new era. Fans were excited to see these two great friends face off against each other and we are pleased to announce that it was a match truly befitting such an occasion.
Tatsuya Okada vs. Akio Kuriyama
The week started with a brutal and bloody Chivalry is Dead match. Apparently this is a staple of the new management’s European style, basically a no disqualification match; a style perfectly suited to Akio Kuriyama. Kuriyama beat Tatsuya Okada in a hard fought battle, ending things with a vicious chair shot to the head of the former MMA star who was making his pro-wrestling debut. Okada may have been caught out in this match but he showed signs of promise and the fans instantly warmed to his aggressive and hard hitting style.
Ikeda and Suzuki prepare for Battle!
Later in this show Jun Ikeda and Kazuki Suzuki head into battle with the TPW Heavyweight Championship being fought over. We had the honour and privilege of sitting down with both of these great rivals to discuss their upcoming match. Kazuki Suzuki seemed determined to regain former glories by once again winning the Heavyweight Championship and made it clear that beating this particular champion would only make the victory more sweet. He said “Ikeda-san will be my greatest victory. I have waited for this opportunity for many years.” Ikeda hit back at Suzuki, claiming he is not worth of being the flag bearer for TPW; “I don’t believe that Suzuki-san has what it takes to be a true champion. He may beat me and take my belt, but he’ll never gain the respect of the fans and if you can’t get their respect then you cannot truly be a champion.” Whatever happens tonight these two men will be sure to continue their historic rivalry!
TPW PURE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kenta Yamashita vs. Great Sato (c)
You may remember Yamashita from his earlier days with TPW. After rising to fame when he defeated his old tag-team partner Kazuki Suzuki for the Heavyweight Championship, Yamashita set off to the UK and later to the US in an attempt to further his career. His choice was to bear little fruit, he suffered a highly unsuccessful spell abroad and has now chosen to return home. Yamashita has a lot of work to do to win over the fans, who feel that he turned his back on them, as well as to get his career back on track. Great Sato, one of the biggest names in TPW, made easy work of Yamashita in this match and won it with the Koji Clutch inside 10 minutes to retain his Pure Wrestling Championship.
FATHER & SON UNITE: Amazing Dragon & Dragon Takeshi vs. Ryu Yamada & Suehiro Umesaka
Yamada and Umesaka are an unusual pairing, the fastest man in TPW and the slowest. They may know each other well but they were outclassed in this match by the father and son team of Dragons. Dragon Takeshi stole the show with an impressive performance, and left it for his son to finish things off with the rarely seen Dragonrana on Yamada. Amazing Dragon said afterwards that he was retiring the Dragonrana in honour of his father, who had pioneered the spectacular move earlier in his career.
GOLDEN BLOOD BATTLE: Kazuki Suzuki, Yoshihiro Ojima & Takeshi Genji vs. Jun Ikeda, Hiroshi Takahashi & Hiroki Kokubun
We end the first half of our weekly roundup with a massive six man battle between Gold House and Blood Circle. These two groups have been at each others throats for years and this was to be their last battle under the Tokyo Pure banner. The fan favourite Gold House, including Heavyweight Champion Jun Ikeda, were on top for much of this match. But some crafty work from Ojima and Genji left Hiroki Kokubun in a bad way against a fresh Kazuki Suzuki. The Blood General finished the old timer with a Blood Bomb for an emphatic team victory.
Other results from this show:
- Ren Itou beat Ryoichi Karasuma (11:46) with a Bridging Northern Lights Suplex.
- Kazushi Nanahara & Shinji Ishikawa beat Black Dragon & OMEGA (18:10) after Nanahara finished B. Dragon with a Rebound Lariat.
- G4 beat War Tigers (16:26) after Shinji Watanabe used the Shin-Bomb on Blood Tiger.
~ BREAK ~
The second of our two shows this week was a huge night of fantastic wrestling action. Our only sorrow is that we are unable to bring you all the action in full. But these highlights give a perfect picture of just what an incredible evening it was.
YOUNG VS. OLD: Ryu Yamada, Ryoichi Karasuma & Tokihiko Yokoyama vs. KAITO, Naoki Fujita & Shinji Ishikawa
Rising Sons may be full of young up and coming talent, but the team of Yamada, Karasuma and Yokoyama have almost a century of experience between them. KAITO is showing signs of improvement, but his flair still outweighs his talents. Fujita is beginning to adjust to life as a pro-wrestler and starting to look as confident as he did during his Olympic Judo days. And Ishikawa is slowly turning into a very solid performer. But, unfortunately for them, they are all still far from the finished article and the old timers put them to the sword in style as Yokoyama used the Armbreaker on KAITO for a submission victory.
Tim Worthington & Ren Itou vs. War Tigers
England’s Tim Worthington returned to TPW for the final time as he teamed with long time ally Ren Itou. Worthington has been one of the most popular gaijin over the years, appearing most commonly during the early 2000’s. He has aged since then and his body is slower, but it is clear that his mind is still as sharp as ever. The two old friends combined well as they defeated the War Tigers, Worthington using the Hope ‘n Glory on Tiger Beast to end the battle. After the match Worthington thanked the TPW fans and wished the company well in its future under new management.
SUPER JUNIOR WONDER: Tomo Nakamura vs. Kazushi Nanahara
These two young men are amongst the brightest young talents in Japan and they showed why in this classic encounter. Nanahara is by far the most promising member of the Rising Sons and Nakamura has clearly been learning from his mentor, Tokihiko Yokoyama. After a back and forth match with some spectacular exchanges both men seemed to be exhausted. But a resilient Nanahara connected with the Shining Wizard and won the match. He is expected to be the first to challenge for the Super Junior Championship when the company returns early next year.
DRAGON TAKESHI RETIREMENT MATCH: Dragon Takeshi vs. The Great Sato
This match was clearly an emotional affair for the usually composed Dragon Takeshi. He and Sato have a long and storied history, from their rivalry in the early 90’s to their more recent friendship and Tag-Team Title reign in 2010. Sato didn’t go easy on Takeshi though, not that he would have wanted him to. It was a tough physical battle and Sato almost scored the win with the Maximus Arm Bar Submission, but a battle hardened Dragon fought through it and ended up winning the match with the Dragon Sleeper. The two embraced after the match and Takeshi received a standing ovation from the fans as well as the rest of the roster, who stood on the stage and applauded respectfully. Amazing Dragon came to the ring and raised his fathers hand before handing him a retirement gift of a ceremonial Heavyweight Championship belt.
THE END GAME ~ TPW HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Kazuki Suzuki vs. Jun Ikeda (c)
To end the week, and the Tokyo Pure Wrestling era, Jun Ikeda defended his Heavyweight Championship against his most notorious rival Kazuki Suzuki. The Blood General threw everything he had at Ikeda, including an attempt at Ikeda’s own rarely used Burning Hammer move which didn’t come off. Ikeda did manage to successfully pull of the move and retained his Championship in a classic encounter. Streamers filled the ring at the conclusion and Ikeda was presented with a commemorative trophy for his triumph.
Other results from this show:
- Riki Sekimoto beat Ken20 (9:37) with a Bridging German Suplex.
- Shinji Watanabe beat Tatsuya Okada (16:29) when Watanabe used the Discus Lariat.
- Takeshi Genji beat Akio Kuriyama (11:12) with an Impant DDT.
- BATTLE OF THE DRAGONS: Amazing Dragon beat Black Dragon (14:37) with the Amazing Splash to retain the TPW Super Junior Championship.