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  December 14, 2000



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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

New Japan Pro Wrestling's "2nd Judgement" Pay-Per-View
New Japan Pro Wrestling's
"2nd Judgement" Pay-Per-View

Osaka Prefectural Gym -- Osaka Japan
Thursday, December 14, 2000.


As part of SLAM! Wrestling's continued commitment to provide in-depth coverage of international wrestling, we are pleased to provide a preview of New Japan Pro Wrestling's second pay-per-view event, "2nd Judgement" from Osaka this Thursday. SLAM! Wrestling previewed New Japan's first pay-per-view back in July and the results were so positive that we've decided to do it again. The main event is an inter-promotional match as New Japan's Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka take on the All Japan team of Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi. And in another special inter-promotional match, Jushin Liger captains a team of New Japan Junior heavyweights against an Osaka Pro Wrestling contingent, led by Super Delfin. And because this is a special event, we've hooked up with our colleagues at Live Audio Wrestling, as Jeff Marek & Dan "The Mouth" Lovranski join SLAM's international wrestling expert John Molinaro with their full predictions for the card. We'll have a full report on the show Thursday.

ALL JAPAN VS NEW JAPAN


Yuji Nagata

Rising star of New Japan
Best Moves: Northern Lights Suplex, figure-four.
Major titles held: IWGP World Tag
What's 2000 been like?: Not quite a breakthrough year, but pretty close. He's found a solid spot in the semi-main events and should be elevated to the next level by this time next year.

&


Takashi Iizuka

Under-rated midcarder
Best Moves: Iizuka kick
Major titles held: IWGP World Tag
What's 2000 been like?: Best push he's received in years. A solid mid-carder who's been mixed in with the main eventers from time to time.

VS.


Toshiaki Kawada

The best in All Japan
Best Moves: Jumping High Kick, Stretch Plum
Major titles held: Triple Crown title, All Japan World Tag
What's 2000 been like?: Turmoil with the split between All Japan and Misawa. He's been the glue that's held the promotion together.

&


Masa Fuchi

Aging Veteran
Best Moves: Chops
What's 2000 been like?: Best year he's had in a while. Went from lower-card comedy worker to main eventer and getting a bug push thanks to Misawa and company leaving.


What the experts say

  • John Molinaro: I'm looking forward for to this one as I want to see how Kawada and Nagata will work together. I think if they work the bulk of the match, this could be off the charts. If Fuchi stays in there for long periods of time, this match will die a slow death. Hard for me to imagine All Japan sending a team to this show just so they can put over a New Japan team when it's expected that Kawada will likely put over someone from New Japan next month in the tournament for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight title. Look for Fuchi and Kawada to go over.

  • Jeff Marek: Tough call. Again, Masa Fuchi on top of a major show (if you would have told me a year ago that this was going to happen I would have laughed but it just goes to show you never to say never in wrestling). I think for the AJ vs NJ angle to continue they should put Kawada and Fuchi over. This should steal the show especially when Nagata and Kawada are in there together.

  • Dan "The Mouth" Lovranski: To keep the All Japan invasion angle strong, they have to have Kawada and Fuchi go over in this match. They have to really show that All Japan is a threat to them. Besides, New Japan will win the undercard matche against the Osaka Pro guys, so they won't be completely shut-out. This has the potential to be a good match as long as you keep Masa Fuchi out of the ring as much as possible. I'm very curious to see how well Yugi Nagata and Kawada work together in the ring.


    LEGEND VS THE UP-START


    Tatsumi Fujinami

    Career winding down
    Best Moves: Dragon Suplex, Octopus
    Major titles held: IWGP World, IWGP World Tag
    What's 2000 been like?: Taking up space on the roster. Biggest news was his part in the Hashimoto-retirement angle.

    VS.


    Koji Kanemoto

    Best junior heavyweight in Japan
    Best Moves: Northern Lights Suplex, lethal stiff kicks, moonsault
    Major titles held: IWGP Jr Heavyweight, IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag
    What's 2000 been like?: Stuck in a holding pattern. With the decline of new Japan's junior heavyweight division, this was the first mediocre year Kanemoto has ever had.



    What the experts say

  • John Molinaro: Why is New Japan placing Fujinami in the semi-main event? I'm absolutely dumbfounded. What's more is the fact that they'll likely have Kanemoto put him over. Fujinami is a major power broker in the New Japan front office which explains why he's still competing even though he's a shadow of his former self. This match will rest in the hands of Kanemoto. It'll be up to him if he wants to carry Fujinami to something decent.

  • Jeff Marek: I figure the thinking going into this one is that due to his age and health there is only so much that Fujinami can do but they need the match to look good so they'd better put him with one of the best workers in the company. Kanemoto, when he's on his game, is the best in the world and should be able to carry Fujinami to a good match with the end result being Fujinami going over for the win.

  • Dan "The Mouth" Lovranski: This is a match that is being included for its "elevating potential" of a young star rather than seeing a good worked match in the ring. I would expect Kanemoto would get the nod here because that is Fujinami's job at this point in his career to put over younger talent, but I don't know how well the two will work together in the ring. But if he beats Fujinami, he can move up into the upper echelon and get out of the junior heavyweight division. Plus, Kanemoto just jobbed to Kendo Ka Shin at a show on the weekend.

    Undercard Matches

      John Molinaro Dan "The Mouth" Lovranski Jeff Marek
    Super Strong Machine & Kensuke Sasaki vs. T-2000 Machine & Masa Chono Super Strong Machine & Kensuke Sasaki T-2000 Machine and Masa Chono Super Strong Machine & Kensuke Sasaki
    Yutaka Yoshie vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan Tenzan Yoshie Tenzan
    Kendo Ka Shin vs. Michiyoshi Ohara Ka Shin Ka Shin Ka Shin
    Kenzo Suzuki vs. Satoshi Kojima Kojima Kojima Kojima
    Shin'ya Makabe, Minoru Tanaka, & Jushin Liger vs. Tsubasa, Takehiro Murahama, & Super Delfin Liger et al Liger et al Liger et al
    Minoru Tanaka vs. Osamu Nishimura Nishimura Tanaka Tanaka


    More on New Japan:

    '2nd Judgement' ends in stalemate
    Preview: New Japan's 1st PPV
    SLAM! International Wrestling




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