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  March 18, 2001



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

Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global Honored Crowns tournament
Pro Wrestling NOAH's
Global Honored Crowns tournament

Differ Ariake, Tokyo -- Sunday March 18th, 2001
Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo -- Saturday April 15th, 2001.


As part of SLAM! Wrestling's growing commitment to provide in depth coverage of international wrestling, we are pleased to provide a preview of Pro Wrestling NOAH's Global Honored Crown Tournament. History will be made as Mitsuharu Misawa's promotion will crown its first world champion. And with a field of competitors including Vader, Jun Akiyama and Kenta Kobashi, the tournament will be sure to provide several match of the year candidates. SLAM! Wrestling's own John Molinaro takes a look at the top eight wrestlers in the tournament and offers his expert picks and predictions. We'll have results as the tournament progresses over the next few weeks.

A LOOK AT THE FIELD


Mitsuhara Misawa

Best move(s): Tiger Driver, Elbow Suicida
Major titles held: Triple Crown Hvywt, NWA Int'l Jr. Hvywt., PWF World Tag, All Asia Tag, All Japan World Tag.
Pro Debut: August 21 1981 vs. Shiro Koshinaka

Vader

Best move(s): Vader Bomb, Moonsault
Major titles held: All Japan Triple Crown, IWGP Hvywt, WCW Hvywt.
Pro Debut: 1985

Jun Akiyama

Best move(s): Northern Lights Suplex, Double Arm DDT
Major titles held: All Japan World Tag, All Asia Tag.
Pro Debut: September 17 1992 vs. Kenta Kobashi

Kenta Kobashi

Best move(s): Moonsault, Brainbuster
Major titles held: Triple Crown Hvywt, All Asia Tag, All Japan World Tag.
Pro Debut: February 26 1988 vs. Motoshi Ohkuma

Yoshinari Ogawa

Best move(s): Fisherman's Suplex, Tigerdriver
Major titles held: All Japan World Jr. Hvywt
Pro Debut: September 3 1985 vs. Shinji Sasazaki

Yoshihiro Takayama

Best Move: German Suplex, Sleeper & Guillotine Drop.
Major titles held: All Japan World Tag, All Asia Tag, WAR 6-Man Tag.
Pro Debut: June 28 1992 vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara

Akira Taue

Best move(s): Nodowa, Release German Suplex
Major titles held: Triple Crown Hvywt., All Asia Tag, All Japan World Tag
Pro Debut: January 2 1988 vs. Buddy Landel & Paul Harris (teaming with Giant Baba)

Takao Omori

Best Move: Axe Bomber, Diving Elbow Drop & Diving Knee Drop.
Major titles held: All Japan Wolrd Tag, All Asia Tag
Pro Debut: October 16, 1992 vs. Satoru Asako


PREDICTIONS

1ST ROUND MATCHES

Match John Molinaro
Mitsuharu Misawa vs Akitoshi Saito Misawa
Yoshinari Ogawa vs Masao Inoue Ogawa
Takeshi Morishima vs Takeshi Rikio Morishima
Jun Akiyama vs Takao Omori Akiyama
Akira Taue vs Vader Vader
Daisuke Ikeda vs Tamon Honda Ikeda
Yoshihiro Takayama vs Jun Izumida Takayama
2 Cold Scorpio vs Kentaro Shiga Shiga

FINALS

Match John Molinaro
Semi-finalist #1 Misawa
Semi-finalist #2 Akiyama
Semi-finalist #3 Vader
Semi-finalist #4 Takayama
Finalist #1 Akiyama
Finalist #2 Vader
Champion Akiyama


SLAM! Predictions

  • John Molinaro: Misawa and Akiyama should easily win their first round matches and advance to the semi-finals. Same for Vader who'll beat Taue in the first round. I think Takayama will get the fourth spot but I wouldn't be surprised if Kentaro Shiga sneaked in there. The Misawa-Akiyama semi-final will be the best match of the tournament with the aging veteran (Misawa) putting over the young up and comer (Akiyama). Vader and Akiyama in the final should be a dandy. As I see it, this tournament is all about setting Akiyama up as the torch bearer for the promotion and there's no better way to do that than to give him high profile wins over Misawa and Vader.

    More on Pro Wrestling NOAH:

    Kobashi king of NOAH PPV
    SLAM! International Wrestling




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