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Everything posted by Gordlow

  1. Ryan: Oddly enough, from my perspective it seems like everything is going right...
  2. Ryan, you are right about that. They survived the loss of Zero and Gaina and MA-G-MA and by the time I had moved here they were thriving again... But the loss of JOKER (Their heel stable) and Kotoge and Harada (Their best young workers) just took too much out of the promotion. Also, the new Arena simply lacked the charm and appeal of the old one. For me in particular, the move from a convenient (for me) location in party central to a less convenient location in a busy shopping area really hurt as well. Kyle, I have been to Okinawa twice. It's REALLY far from where I am (It's a whole other archipelago - you have to take a plane to get there). I LOVE Okinawa. The food, drink, flora, fauna, music,fashion, atmosphere, climate, and pace of life are all completely different from Kansai. First time I went, Okinawa Pro was closed for their annual one-week vacation. Second time, they were in transition from Okinawa Pro to Ryuukuu Dragon Pro Wrestling or whatever it is they are called now. Hopefully, they will be in business and hopefully Apple will be in town the next time I go to Okinawa (Maybe this year, and if not this year definitely next).
  3. About a year ago, Harada moved to NOAH, Kuuga left the company, and Osaka Pro moved to their new arena in Umeda. I am far from the only Osaka Pro hardcore fan who stopped going regularly this past year. Now there has been an announcement that they are closing up the new arena and will only be doing occasional shows. It's hard for me to express how sad I am to hear this news. Osaka Pro Wrestling was such a huge part of my life for the first three years I lived here. I will always treasure the many happy memories I have of the shows and parties and events...
  4. I guess he just changed his Facebook status yesterday, then.
  5. Thank you Kyle. Yuji's tall and naturally strong (he could hang-clean 130 kilos in high school) but he's a basically gentle person. He's more into music and film-making than fighting. I'm sure if he was into it, the guys at AJPW would bend over backwards to make it happen. From the sound of things, he's actually the only one of Jumbo's kids who is even into watching pro wrestling these days.
  6. So... as I was saying when we were so sadly interrupted, life in Japan is pretty much a never-ending series of events so hilarious, awesome, improbable, amazing, and/or insane that you actually have to tone down your stories so as not to make everyone who hears them think you're full of shit and/or hate you because of justifiable envy. OH!saka Pro Wrestling (the kinda toned-down version): So my friend Yuji Tsuruta came out from Kobe to meet me in Umeda and go to his first-ever Osaka Pro Wrestling show. I was talking to him about how Osaka Pro Wrestling is different from AJPW: How it's less violent and not as hard-hitting, much more focused on entertainment, comedy,good-vs-evil, and fast action... and how it's a real family-type atmosphere where you don't just show up with a friend or two and sit in a hall full of strangers, but instead show up and say hello to all of your friends... I was just explaining how we sometimes bring drinks for each other, when my gorgeous friend "California Girl" showed up with a shopping bag full of beer and gave me one, thus perfectly illustrating my point. She offered Yuji one, but he turned it down, thinking he might be expected to pay for it... When I explained that, no, we just often bring bags of drinks and snacks and hand them out to our friends at the show, like a picnic or something... I think at that point Yuji understood what's so special about Osaka Pro. Yuji met Kenji and Kae and AZ and some of my other friends. Driving the point home, Kenji brought beer, too, in giant cans. I was so happy to see my old friends talking happily with my relatively new friend. That wasn't the bizarre "Oh, really, Life In Japan?!?! You're going to go there, now?" moment, though. That was all everyday-awesome stuff, the kind of thing I just about take for granted by now. What knocked this one out of the park in the only-in-Japan department was that Yun Gang Chul, the Korean wrestler who often works for Osaka Pro, chose today to debut his new comedy character: Jumbo Tsuruhashi. So, yeah: On the day my friend Yuji came to his first ever Osaka Pro show, one of the wrestlers worked his whole match as an affectionate tribute to my friend's late father.
  7. *whispers* I'm pretty sure that's not quite how it's meant to be taken... Edit: I just re-read your post, The Z, and now I see that you already knew that. Apparently some people haven't fully picked up on that,though... that's why I'm still whispering.
  8. Thanks, guys! I actually discussed the possibility of making a comeback with some of my Osaka Pro friends, and they were all really supportive (of course) particularly Spider, Harada, and the bodyguard... but I cracked my tailbone practicing flat-back bumps and then I badly bruised my heel and partially crushed my achilles when I switched to arched-back style bumps... So I kinda took that as a sign that my body's just not up for it any more. It would have been a dream come true... but really I was lucky to even have had the chance to take another shot at it at my age (I'm turning 48 tomorrow). I'm more than content just watching the shows now.
  9. If the booking ever requires his team to just get destroyed in every match, I'd be more than happy to lend a hand. I've always thought that "standing on the apron, watching my partner dominate, tagging in, immediately getting demolished, being pinned, and apologizing profusely to my politely-pretending-to-not-be-frustrated-that-this-keeps-happening partner" would be a great role for me. I think Suwama would be pretty damned great in the "Buck up little camper, we'll win the next one!" role, too.
  10. My guess would be that a win over "Suwama plus whomever" is a nice way to put over whichever team actually wins the tourney. Suwama is a genuinely good dude (Based on the one time I met him, anyway). It always seems to me that he has no problem putting other wrestlers over. If anything,he seems to love doing that.
  11. A little over four years. I'm still far from fluent, but I can get by with my Japanese. I sometimes need help with the details, though. People like Kotoge, Harada, Asian Cooger, the bodyguard, Tigers Mask, Ebessan, Apple, Spider and my friends Kenji and Kae seem to understand this, and so there's always someone keeping me clued in. The first couple of years, I needed a ton of help, and I have to imagine it wasn't easy to communicate with me then, but someone always made the honest effort. I never even needed to ask for help, someone always offered it. I I'll never forget that, I'll always appreciate it.
  12. For what it's worth, regardless of his image, Kotoge in real life is one of the sweetest and least obnoxious people I've ever had a drink with in my entire life. He's actually humble and shy outside of the ring. He and Harada both are just genuinely good human beings. When they were working for Osaka Pro, both of them regularly went out of their way to communicate with me and help me understand stuff like where and when the party or event was going to be. With my crappy Japanese, particularly in those first few years, I often would have missed out on the good times if someone hadn't gone out of their way to let me know I was invited. Kotoge and Harada were among those who always made sure I knew, and both of them have helped me out in other ways as well. I couldn't be prouder of their success in NOAH. As you said, those kids work hard and they love pro wrestling.They deserve all the success in the world.
  13. How in Baba's name did you find that out?
  14. Ho. Lee. Fu*k! Also: You can clearly see how Jumbo influenced Yone!
  15. Big bowling alleys in Japan are often multi-floor complexes with bowling, darts and billiards, games arcade, karaoke, and so on, all in separate areas and generally on separate floors. Very different from any bowling alley I've ever seen in Canada. Hakata Star Lanes also has an Exhibition Hall, and that's where the wrestling shows are held. It's separate from the entertainment stuff, on it's own dedicated floor as far as I know. Unfortunately, it's inaccurate to imagine groups of people getting ten frames in as a background to the action in the ring.
  16. This is an actual photo of Hakata Star Lanes: Hope that answers your question.
  17. I'm almost positive that one was in Osaka, Alan. I reached out to someone with M-Pro connections and they told me it was Hakata Star Lanes, and to be honest it does look like Hakata to me. What are your reasons for thinking Osaka? My mistake: It was the elimination match from Dec '96 that was in Osaka.
  18. I'm almost positive that one was in Osaka, Alan. Nice one! Thanks for the link, Kurt!
  19. hit up Gordi. He lives there. Missed this one! Actually I live in Nara, about half an hour by train from Osaka, but close enough... There used to be a New Japan shop in Metro Hotel in the Doutonbori area of Namba, but I think it's closed now. Mr. Hito had a small shop, also in Namba, but he passed away in 2010 (RIP, my friend). As far as I know, there are sadly no puroresu shops in Osaka any more. Bodymaker Colosseum is the new name for Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium. It's also in Namba. Lots of cheap hotels there. Definitely recommend going to an Osaka Pro show (in Umeda) and a Kuuga Produce show (in the old Osaka Pro arena in, you guessed it, Namba) while you're here!
  20. Yes. Absolutely. Lose weight and build muscle and you will almost certainly wake up feeling much, much better. There's bound to be an adjustment period, but if you man up and get through the rough spots it'll get easier and easier to keep eating better and exercising regularly. Your body wants to move,and it wants to get some real nutrition. It will reward you if you give it those things. It will punish you if you do not. Me in 2006: Me in 2008: Me in 2011: Me, yesterday: It comes down to consistent effort over a long period of time, persistently getting back on track every time you fall off... I feel great now, I'm healthy, I'm enjoying my life more than I thought would be possible at my age (47)... It sucks at first, but it gets easier and eventually your body just starts craving exercise and good food... and it's totally worth it.
  21. Glico's a HYUUGE candy and processed food conglomerate. They own Pocky. That alone gives them essentially unlimited money to throw away on ego projects. Also: Pretz, Cheeza, Papico, Juku Curry, Happy Pucchin Pudding... all of their proprietary brands are hugely popular, plus they make breakfast meats, sausages, instant noodles... You see the Glico logo on every kind of unhealthy and tasty thing over here. I doubt a week has gone by since I moved to Japan when I didn't consume some kind of Gliko product. If they are really into supporting Muto, that's gigantic news. I'd have to assume they are the kind of company that could literally throw millions into this and laugh it off as a tax dodge.
  22. I screwed up. Months ago, I had promised to do security for a reggae festival that was being promoted by a group of friends. Doing concert security is pretty easy in Japan. People almost never get seriously violent in public here. Also, reggae fans in general tend to be pretty mellow. It was fun. I enjoyed it, and I'm always happy to help out my friends. Only... that festival was on August 4th. My heart sank when I figured out that keeping my promise meant I wasn't going to the G-1. Also, I figured Murphy's Law being the way it is more or less guaranteed it would be a great show and that Ishii vs. Shibata would be a MOTYC. I was afraid to look in this thread because I didn't want to know what I'd missed. Serves me right for humble-bragging about it.
  23. I keep meaning to try it. You can even buy it in convenience stores over here.
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