Kingdom Come: The Wrestle Kingdom 10 Preview Series: The Champion vs. The Ace (Wrestling Observer Exclusive)

This match! This rivalry! Where do I even begin? How about with a fun fact, and we’ll see what happens from there? Wrestle Kingdom 10 marks the 7th time Okada and Tanahashi will have faced each other for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. They are currently tied with three wins a piece. Tanahashi got the last, tear inducing win over Okada earlier this year at Wrestle Kingdom 9. In a way, you can think of their next match as the final in a very long “Best of Seven Series” which started in 2012 and ends, assumedly, in 2016. Another fun fact is that Wrestle Kingdom 10 will be Tanahashi’s 6th straight Tokyo Dome main event (3rd against Okada). What’s even more impressive is that he’s 5 for 5! If this were NBA Jam, he’d be “on fire.”

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King Of Lingerie Style – NJPW Players Get Out Of The Ring And Onto The Runway

New Japan’s top players traded the squared circle for the rectangular catwalk when they surprised the lingerie world at Victoria’s Secret’s latest fashion show.Traditionally, Victoria’s Secret declines celebrity model requests, but Bushiroad – New Japan Pro Wrestling’s parent company – made an offer that the Secret of Victoria simply couldn’t refuse. The move is just one of the latest attempts by Bushiroad to increase its fanbase and appeal to the modern woman. The deal also gave Victoria’s Secret an opportunity to make up for past controversies. Some of you may remember the ill-advised Go East collection and the negative attention it brought Victoria’s Secret.

It wouldn’t be a fashion show without a little extra controversy. The word on the inside is that Bushiroad stole the idea of a Victoria’s Secret/NJPW cross promotion after viewing a leaked Super Sasadango Machine Powerpoint presentation on expanding the DDT Pro fanbase. Bushiroad refused to comment on the accusation.

Drama aside, the show was a huge success. Victoria’s Secret officials was reportedly very pleased with the style and grace of the New Japan players, and is rumoured to have signed at least two of them on as their latest Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Famed fashion photographer and world-renowned artist Tapla was the only member of the press invited to the show. Below are never before seen photos of the event.

First up! He’s more commonly known as  “The Wrestler”, but on this night, Katsuyori Shibata was “The Model”. Shibata really puts the Go 2 Sleep in sleepwear.

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Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Not anymore! It won’t be long before one lucky lady/fella snaps up the IWGP IC Champ if he continues rocking the Final Fantasy inspired numbers like this.

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Hiroshi Tanahashi literally High Fly Flew down the runway with his luscious angel’s wings.Victoria’s Secret noted that no angels were hurt in the making of the wings. One did die though, but it died painlessly. The screams were of delight.

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Next down the runway was resident Sex Bomb-aye Shinsuke Nakamura in classic red and black colours, but this time replacing the leather with lace.

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Finally, the highlight of the show, The Golden Angel Kazuchika Okada. The Rainmaker’s runway prowess put even the likes of Adriana Lima and Miranda Kerr to shame. Okada donned a, I don’t know, gold thing, complete with golden wings. Because angels! Just look at him work the audience. Not seen in the photo is Okada’s manager Gedo, who confused onlookers by constantly holding his hands up in the air and rubbing his fingers together.

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While the show was a massive hit, not everything went exactly according to plan. Former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Manabu Nakanishi was supposed to join the other New Japan stars in their catwalk debut. Sources say that during rehearsal, Nakanishi, let’s say, couldn’t quite handle the pace of catwalk life. You know, he’s slow. Togi Makabe also pulled out at the last-minute stating he had come down with the flu. However, everyone knows the real reason. Ol’ Sweets Makabe suffered a severe tummy ache just moments before showtime from eating too many delicious pastries.

A replay of the show will be airing on NJPW World’s streaming service for a limited time only. Don’t miss it!

Big thanks to Tapla for her amazing photographs. 

J-Shoot Podcast Episode 18: Pretend Villain

  • Hey, puropals! Listen to J-Shoot at these strong styling places: iTunesPodOmatic, and Stitcher. Maybe leave a nice review while you’re at it, eh?


  • This week, Bonski reveals his true identity, we come up with codenames for our favourite puroresu videos uploader, we review New Japan Cup 2015 and give our predictions for the finals on March 15th, we cover some recent Dragon Gate shows and talk about Uhaa Nation’s incredibly emotional graduation. And lots more, including the amazing Grocery Store Deathmatch recommended by Bonski.


  • Understanding my penchant for comedy matches, Bonski suggested I check out Suzuki Minoru vs. MechaMummy, and the rematch. I’m going to watch them this week and then we’ll discuss on the next show. If you haven’t seen them either, check ’em out!


  • No NJPW World recommendations this week. Usually if it’s a busy New Japan week with shows (NJ Cup), we just recommend checking them out. But I do suggest you check out the NJPW World SHORT x SHORT series which I’ve been covering here. They’re pretty fantastic.

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  • Zach’s got some pretty neat new rewards up on Patreon, including Shinsuke Nakamura iPhone cases, and Nakamura/Okada stickers. Check ‘em out!



  • As always, you can follow me on twitter here, and Bonski here, and PWN Radio here.


  • You can also shoot us questions and comments at, or use the hashtag #jshootqs on Twitter.


  • Don’t forget, Be the Wind! And Take the Dream!

Toru Yano: King Of Pins – And Other Things I Liked About The First Round Of The New Japan Cup

Hey there, puropals! No big, detailed New Japan Cup report here. There’s a million places you can go to read one of those. I just want to talk about a couple of few things I liked from the first round of the New Japan Cup.

All videos courtesy of SenorLARIATO, who is, as they say, the man!

Toru Yano: King of Pins

In one of the biggest surprises of the night, Toru Yano defeated former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Ace of the world Hiroshi Tanahashi in under five minutes. Even more surprising is that my prediction from last week’s J-Shoot came true. Well, the first part anyway. I predicted Yano would defeat Tanahashi and go on to win the Cup. So far so good. While it was a surprise, upset win, it shouldn’t come as total shock. Yano does have a pretty good track record in tournaments. In last year’s G1 he defeated quite a few tope names. Still, defeating Tanahashi with relative ease (and some great Yano cheating) is a pretty big deal. It wasn’t just the win that I enjoyed. I loved Yano pinning prowess during this match. He turned almost every Tanahashi maneuver into a pin attempt. All that marathon running must be paying off.

Tetsuya Naito: King of Unnecessary Bumps

Tetsuya Naito took one heck of a beating from Anderson in one of the more enjoyable matches of the night. Naito’s selling made Anderson look like a monster. In fact, Naito sold almost too well at one point when he landed right on the back of his head after running dropkick from Anderson.

You can see Naito expertly getting his arms into position just in time to cushion the impact. But even so, how he did not break his neck I do not know.

Another great spot in this match, and one of my favourite moves of the night, was when Anderson countered a top rope frankensteiner into the world’s biggest powerbomb.

In the end, Naito won the match, but my lord did he take some punishment to do so.

Bad Luck Fall

Honestly, I barely paid attention to this match. Okada is great, and Fale is incrementally improving as the monster of New Japan, but I just had very little interest in seeing these two go at it again. I’m only including this match here because I love Bad Luck Fale’s finisher.


I want this shirt right now!!!

Honma of course lost his first round match against Togi Makabe because losing matches is what Honma is here to do. That doesn’t stop him from always putting on an excellent performance and getting some of the best crowd reactions of the night. My favourite Honma moment of the match was his successive running Kokeshis into Makabe, and his joy when he successfully hits the move.

In true Honma fashion, he also missed his fair share of Kokeshi attempts. The most interesting being a crazy running corner Kokeshi. I like that he’s always trying Kokeshi variations, whether they work out or not.

All The Way Ibushi

The last thing I’d like to mention is Ibushi’s win over Gallows. I was worried going into the Cup that we’d have another strong Bullet Club showing. Thinks to Naito and Ibushi (BUT NOT YOU, OKADA!), both Anderson and Gallows are out. With two of the favourites, Okada and Tanahashi also out, the next round of the Cup just got very interesting. I know I jokingly said on J-Shoot that Yano’s going all the way, I’m actually putting my hat in with Ibushi, who I actually really want to see win the Cup and get a IWGP Heavyweight title shot against AJ Styles. I am not one of those who say Ibushi needs a long, slow push. I wanted him to go over Nakamura at WK9. A New Japan Cup win and a title shot would be a great accomplishment for the former super jr. Also, I just want to see Styles vs Ibushi really bad.

Okada & Nakamura Reward Stickers!

Hey Puropals!

As you may already know, I’ve got a Patreon page set up with the simple goal of raising a few bucks to keep going, and to stop my wife from stabbing me for spending so much time writing, making comics and recording podcasts with no financial reward.

Speaking of rewards, I’ve got some limited edition stickers available now as rewards for backing me my Patreon page. The stickers are designed by my younger, more artistic inclined brother, and aren’t available anywhere else.


For pledging $3 per month, I’ll send you one randomly selected sticker. For $5 per month, I’ll send you three randomly selected stickers.
Stocks are limited, so get ’em while the gettin’s good.