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Thomas Bugg

The Official Masahiro Chono Appreciation Thread

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Saw the official Muta thread, so I thought I'd start one for my favorite of the Three Musketeers. 

Chono was my favorite ever since I saw him on a tape I got as a kid when he beat Rick Rude in the G1 Climax, but when he became Yakuza Chono it really shot him up in my eyes, and it pissed me off when he was treated like a ham-and-egger in WCW. Not even in a "oh he deserves a push" way, just doing more than he did there. 

I came across this clip of him telling Chins McMahon that the ring smells like shit, which is funny considering that NJPW is cleaning the ring in the middle of shows now.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

This rules

Hell yeah! After I watch the NJ Cup tonight, I'll definitely watch this.

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So it's been years since I went through my early 90's blocks of Japanese TV but one thing that really stood out about Chono pre-neck injury is that the company really trusted him to be the Weekly Workhorse guy, where almost every week for a long time Chono was the guy given a large block to fill either in a single or tag, with just about every heavyweight on the roster at some point. They trusted him to have a good match with basically anyone. This seemed to get lost in the shuffle talking about him a lot a few years ago because a lot of that stuff just isn't as instantly accessible as some of his later work (where honestly he isn't the same physically), combined with him not having as much flash in his game as either Muto or Hashimoto. He really didn't get as much credit as he deserved.

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While I'm at it, Chono had one of the best themes. This is so over the top, it rules.

 

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Blue Chono could go, Black Chono had the charisma. I have a couple of Japanese friends connected to wrestling who have the opinion of why is Chono with Muto and Hashimoto, he is lover level. I love him. I still enjoy when he does nostalgia stuff now.  

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Now THIS is a thread I can get into.

Chono's got the best G1 final of the 90s don't @ me

And here he is being king sized in AJPW against the fukin Danger Zone

 

also I have this in my library and dont feel like uploading it atm but if you want to see some big bully gatekeeping his match against the debuting Kazuki Hashimoto is good times

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Posted (edited)

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He's got connections to a few of my Osaka friends. and while we've never had the chance to hang out at length (the one time I was invited (as part of a group) to have dinner with him, he ended up being unavoidably delayed by travel issues) but I have had the good fortune to meet Chono several times. He certainly seems like an awesome guy. 

The first time I spoke to him was when he was the special guest at KUUGA's 15-year anniversary celebration in Wakayama, in April 2011. I wanted to buy an ARISTRIST t-shirt but he didn't have one in my size. 

He was also a special guest at Hurricane 2011, in August. When I arrived at the show, my friend Kenji ran up to me and yelled that he had a present from Chono. It was an XXXXL (which is about XXL in American sizes) ARISTRIST t-shirt, and a signed towel. I have never been sure if Chono gave it to Kenji to give to me or if (the extraordinarily generous) Kenji paid for it and never asked me for the money... but I choose to believe it was an actual gift from Chono himself.

At the very least, Chono remembered that I had wanted a shirt and went out of his way to bring one to Osaka four month later, and also he remembered that Kenjji is my friend... 

Here I am with Big Joe Doering, wearing that shirt:

NIXRn1X.jpg

 

Edited by gordi
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I knew Doering was big, but damn does it really hit me when looking at the two of you there together.

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Yeah Gordi, are you 4'11'' or is Doering 6'7''?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Eivion said:

I knew Doering was big, but damn does it really hit me when looking at the two of you there together.

 

5 hours ago, DEAN said:

Yeah Gordi, are you 4'11'' or is Doering 6'7''?

Yeah, Doering is massive. I'm 5'9" and I was maybe a cup of noodles away from hitting 250 lbs at that time. He's got to be every bit of a legit 6'5" and his frame is huge. Maybe the widest shoulders of any wrestler, powerlifter, bodybuilder, strongman, or football player I have ever met. I've taken pictures with Suwama, Zeus, Bodyguard, Abdullah the Butcher, Bob Sapp, Kyoko Inoue, Dump Matsumoto, Alexander Otsuka, Morishima... all kinds of big strong wrestlers, mass monsters and awesome freaks of nature... and Doering is the only one who ever made me feel small. (Although, also, when Abdullah and Sapp shook my hand, their hand completely engulfed mine, like when I take my six year old daughter for a walk. That was pretty awesome, too. And it's pretty crazy to be present and see the reaction when Zeus takes off his shirt. I mean, the room just stops for a minute while everyone freaks out a tiny bit. And Otsuka is much larger than you might think, he's another guy with a truly superhuman frame...) but Joe Doering might be the actual biggest guy I have met in Japan. Another super nice guy, too. He and Suwama came and hung out with my friend Yuji and I when the Champions Carnival came through Osaka in 2013. Like, we didn't have to shyly approach them, they came over and started conversations with us. Akiyama also came over, joked about our matching hairdos, and offered to take a picture with me if I wanted one. Then, later, Tiger Hattori helped me to order an AJPW warm-up jacket in my size when Yuji told him that I dreamed of having one. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that everyone from AJPW that I met in 2013 was genuinely extra nice to me. I'm happy to have memories like this at a time when it's being repeatedly brought to everyone's attention how many deeply lousy people there are in pro wrestling... I need to keep reminding myself that there are a ton of really good people in the business as well. 

To get back on topic, Chono is also a jam up guy and a damned fine pro wrestler. 

Another Chono story: He once came to an Osaka Pro show or a show promoted by one of the boys and handed out free cans of Strong Zero Chuhai. He was the face of Suntory's national advertising campaign for the beverage and also his face was literally on the cans.

5d93781d579b7b200da441be9702e1a7.jpg

I was freaking out. "It's Chono! It's Chono!" but my friends (who were strictly Osaka Pro fans as opposed to pro wrestling fans in general) had basically no idea why I was so excited. Then everyone started giving me their cans since it seemed like such a big deal to me. Somebody (probably Kenji and Kae) convinced somebody (possibly Chono) to give me the left-over cans as well. I seem to recall they were mostly half-litre tall-boy cans and 9% alcohol. I distinctly remember hauling two plastic bags full of chu hai on the train back to Nara. The grapefruit one tasted OK but the double lemon one was just brutal. Tasted like furniture polish (or at least like how furniture polish smells). It took me forever to finish off both bags. I gave away cans of the double lemon to people I knew who like pro wrestling. That's kind of a crummy gift but at least it had Chono's picture on the can so the people I gave them to seemed to be happy. 

Come to think of it, that might have been at the Pink Ribbon Charity pro wrestling show in November 2009, so it's possible that the first time I spoke to Chono was freaking out and profusely thanking him for the Strong Zero.

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Edited by gordi
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9 hours ago, Death From Above said:

While I'm at it, Chono had one of the best themes. This is so over the top, it rules.

 

I prefer the nwo version. Loved using it for CAW in TK4. 
 

 

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That’s Mister Chono to you 

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My main Chono memories are his squash matches on WCW C shows. I always thought who is this cool dude just kicking people in the face? Then I started watching more NJPW and got more into him. I need to go back and watch his older stuff one of these days.

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This is the coolest two wrestlers have ever been. 

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3 hours ago, gordi said:

I seem to recall they were mostly half-litre tall-boy cans and 9% alcohol. I distinctly remember hauling two plastic bags full of chu hai on the train back to Nara. The grapefruit one tasted OK but the double lemon one was just brutal. Tasted like furniture polish (or at least like how furniture polish smells).

There's this stuff called Four Loko here in the States that would compare

lok1-640x318.png

...only if you notice they are a whopping 12%. They also used to be filled with caffeine and the other energy drink stuff until our college-age folks got ahold of them. 

If anyone out there has ever managed to choke down a Coco Loko, I salute you

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Might as well get this one out of the way

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Besides that, what are his best singles matches? He's cool but I don't remember a lot of great wrestling matches from him. Lots of good-to-great tags though.

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I used to say that hase/Sasaki vs mutoh/chono match was the perfect tag match. 

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35 minutes ago, Thomas Bugg said:

I'm leaving this link here under the assumption that everyone here has NJPW World.....

nope. 🙂

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g1climax05.jpg

Masahiro Chono. Mr. August. 5X G1 Climax Winner.

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Remember Batista visited him after he Retired the first time? Two of the most fashionable wrestlers. Both holders of the Big Gold belt

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Can I just take a moment to introduce you to a tradition on a Japanese game show I watch called Gaki No Tsukai? Every year Chono enters with his entrance music, and entraps one of the comedians into taking an open handed slap to the face, if you like crazy, surreal, farcical humour, you'll enjoy their stuff immensely. It can be found with English subtitles quite easily.

 

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