All blog entries and photos © their respective owners.

As always, my annotations are in [], and additional explanations will be provided where I can.

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS


Nakazawa

1/4 2010
The Shrine of Nakazawa


(images: Nakazawa Michael)

This is the first journal entry in the new year, so first of all, happy new year! I’m looking forward to working with everyone this year as well.

So, today was DDT’s New Year Hidden Talent Wrestling show1 in Kôrakuen Hall. Well, we entered the new year with a match on Dec 31st as well, but I guess this is formally the first match of this year.

So, what happened at the first event of the year…? I don’t know whether to call it messy, slow or what. Well, as long as it’s only once in a while, I think there’s going to be events like this too. (sweats)

According to the President, the Hidden Talent Wrestling was the first and last show of its kind. (lol)

Oh, speaking of, I heard that a worshipper’s idol looking like my spitting image was revealed at the event. I heard from my wife later at the store that it was crowded with people on their first shrine visit of the year. My wife showed me a photo she took of the idol, and with such a divine visage, I’m sure it bestowed many blessings upon the worshippers!

After the matches, I went with little Maruko and Maruo2, er, I should say, Ibushi and Kenny, together to eat, and we had a blast talking and joking around. Next is the Nagoya event on the 10th. Let’s kill it this year as well! Also, I’m glad I could see Matsuno for the first time in a while today as well. He had a beautiful singing voice3. [I hope] he takes his time recovering. We’ll wait for him in the ring.

[URL]

1 A type of show DDT did only once due to negative feedback. The name directly referenced a Fuji TV New Year’s special that ran every January from the 70s to 2010, and saw two teams of performers compete against each other in a variety of sketches, songs, stage plays etc. Similarly, the wrestlers were divided into a red and a blue team for this show.
2 Two characters from the manga and anime series Little Maruko, which chronicles the everyday life of a young girl in the 70s. Maruo goes to the same school as Maruko, and is a serious, eccentric class representative to contrast with Maruko’s relaxed, unbothered personality.
3 Gorgeous Matsuno has a background as an enka singer among other talents, and in this case he sung a song for the ending of the event, as he wasn’t fit enough yet for wrestling.


Matsui [excerpt]

1/4 2010
Hidden Talent Wrestling!


(images: Matsui Yukinori)

The Hidden Talent Wrestling show is a wrap!
Urgh, it really was a hard show in every sense of the word.
Thank you all so much for coming so early in the new year!
And also, I’m so sorry!

The opening saw the red and blue teams come in, and [the place] was filled with a sense of anticipation.
Only until the opening though…

[…]

The main event was the Sunday 6 pm vs 6:30 pm [elimination match]1!

Looking back, I think everyone’s cosplay was perfectly all right.
Or, do I…?
No, no, it was really all right…

[…]

The pictures are of the two people who looked rather different in the 6 am vs 6:30 am [match].

[…]

Since there’s nothing to be afraid of anymore after today, I’m going to smoothly weather the storm. Exactly, that’s right2!

[URL]

1 Like touched on in the entry above, two teams competed against each other for this show, and in the case of this match it was as characters of the two back-to-back Sunday evening programs on Fuji TV, Little Maruko and Sazae-san.
2 References the manner of speech the character Maruo from Little Maruko has, often saying sentences like “Exactly, it’s […] !”.


Matsui [excerpt]

1/6 2010
The New Japan office gets invaded…!?

(images: Matsui Yukinori)

Looks like Ibushi suddenly showed up in the New Japan office today.
To tell them to let him have [a match] with Gedô.
Without an appointment.
Despite them being still on holiday.


Somehow, this reminds me of that time from two or three years ago, when [Ibushi had appealed to TAKA Michinoku] for the restoration of the Independant [World] Junior [Heavyweight belt]1.
At that time, [he] had been out of all control as well, I think…
At any rate, I apologize to Mr Nishizawa1 for the disruption during work.

[…]

The picture I received from a staff member who happened to be present [to take it]. Tomorrow’s meeting day!
…or that’s the plan, anyway.

[URL]

1 A title formerly held by FMW that then went into TAKA’s possession when FMW folded. Ibushi did go on to become its first champion after the restoration.
2 Nishizawa Michiaki. Former board member and head of management, and also former interpreter for English backstage promos and press conferences and such.


New Japan Pro Wrestling

1/6 2010
DDT Wrestler Ibushi Appeals for Appearance at New Japan Office During the “New Year’s Holidays”! [He] Mistook the Head of Management for the President?

[…]

Ibushi: “Excuse me. (suddenly pulling out a cheat sheet) …Happy New Year. I’m Ibushi Kôta from DDT. Is the President here?”
Employee1: “Uhmmm, well…There’s a sticker at the entrance too, but the whole company is on holiday after the Tôkyô Dome [show]. And, as you can see, no one’s here…I’m here to handle the general affairs of management. What’s your business, sir…?”
Ibushi: “(without listening, pulling out a new cheat sheet) Head of Management. I have come to appeal for an appearance [in New Japan]. I lost against Gedô in the J-CUP. It sucks. It really sucks a lot. I want to have another singles match. Please let me have a singles [match] with Gedô. Thank you!”
Employee: “Uhm. Thank you as well, but…as I said earlier, there’s no one else here but me, so what shall we do? Can you come again another time? What should we do? For now, I shall convey this to the higher-ups, is that okay?”
Ibushi: “(without listening, taking out another cheat sheet) Thank you for giving me the OK.”
Employee: “Huh?”
Ibushi: “I’m going to have a match that surprises the Head of Management, and get my revenge against Gedô no matter what. I leave the date and place to you. Thank you.”
Employee: “Uhhh….First of all, I’m going to convey this to the higher-ups, as I can’t say anything. Thank you.”

At this point, Ibushi was about to leave the company, but…

Employee: “Ah, are you going home…? Please, please wait… (coming back with a colored paper) Since you’re here, or should I say, since you so suddenly came, I was surprised, but I’m a fan of yours (laughs). Please, if it’s no trouble, an autograph.”

Ibushi quickly signs. In the end, he firmly shakes hands with the President at the request of the media! Ibushi takes a commemorative photo and leaves the offices. What follows is a on-the-spot press conference given at the entrance of the company.

[…]

Ibushi: “(flatly) I received the OK!”
There was only one person in the office, though [and you still] got the OK?]
Ibushi: “Yeah. I received the OK from the President (brimming with self-confidence).”
From the president?
Ibushi: “I can get my revenge now. I’m glad!”
The person from general [management] affairs said they’ll tell it to the higher-ups, though.
Ibushi: “Oh, really? [But] the President gave the OK [so…].”
Was that person the President?
Ibushi: “I got the OK from the President, so. Enough already, it’s all right. Yes!”
Have you ever met the Head of Management?
Ibushi: “I have had the opportunity to meet him many times, but today I was able to directly speak to the President. Yes. I don’t mind where [the match will be]. I’m satisfied that I was already able to speak to the President, yes.”

And like this, Ibushi mistook Nishizawa for the President until the very end. Will his wish come true after the end of the New Year’s holidays?

[URL]

1 i.e. Nishizawa.


griffon [excerpt]

1/12 2010
Report: DDT “New Year! Fierce Tiger Style – Great Fart Cannon1 In Nagoya 2010”, in Nagoya, Imaike Gas Hall
, 1/10 2010

[…]

Main event: Ibushi Kôta and Kenny Omega (v) vs Francesco Tôgô and Antônio Honda [23:14 via PK Kokoro α]


(image: griffon591)

When the referee check-up was done, Kenny requested a handshake, but naturally, Tôgô and Anton refused that. Ibushi dragged Kenny’s arm, who looked disappointed, and returned him into their corner.

Kenny and Tôgô went first. When Kenny went out of the ring to hype up the crowd, they cheered for him loudly. Tôgô went against that, leaving the ring as well and appealing to the crowd, which was unusual for him. The fans cheered for him loudly as well, but because his cheers were a little bit less [than theirs], Kenny and Ibushi looked pleased with themselves.

[…]

After the match, Ibushi had an embarrassed expression on his face after ring announcer Shindô threw him the mic and left the tying-up [of the event] to him. Ibushi was unusually hesitant, but he brought out his cheat sheet from his shoes while holding the mic anyway, and started the ending speech. Anton repeatedly threw harsh “Fuck you!”s at him as he left, but Ibushi ignored those for the most part.  


(image: griffon591)

Ibushi: “Despite DDT’s Imaike Gas Hall show taking place on the same day as many other events…”

Apparently, he couldn’t read what was written down and asked Kenny of all people lol

Kenny whispered something into his ear, and Ibushi asked again, “What?” And then…

Ibushi: “…Yet I, Ibushi Kôta, cannot answer in gratitude…[corrects the misreading] would like to express my gratitude to you. (…) While Takagi and many other wrestlers were absent today, I, CEO Nakazawa Michael, did a more than admirable job at filling in.”

Matsui and Shindô, who both watched this unfold, [said] at the same time, “Who wrote this cheat sheet?!”

Ibushi: “Please, everyone, great applause for your grand CEO…(loud boos from the crowd, Ibushi ignored those and continued reading) Okay, we’re going to end [the event] with the usual now.”

Lastly, Ibushi and Kenny ended the event together by [yelling,] “Let’s go! 3, 2, 1…The end! The end!” [and doing backflips.]


(image: griffon591)

The [event] ended at around 3:30 pm. It was about two and a half hours long.

* First of all, Ibushi felt like his usual self in his movements, and had removed the taping as well. In the match, he made full use of his masterful teamwork together with Kenny, and they brought the ebb and flow of offense and defense to the leading tag team in DDT, and in the end, Kenny won with a tempestuous Hadôken after kicking out of the combined attack of the Italian Four [Horsemen]. I think it was a good match, but there wasn’t anything to write home about aside from that…those are my honest impressions.

[…]

[URL]

1 An “attack” used by the character Torumaru Ryûji in Otoko Juku. Get it? Imaike Gas Hall?


Nakazawa [excerpt]

1/13 2010
The Latest Updates

1/3
I was worshipped as the idol of the Shrine of Nakazawa.

1/4
Was stiff throughout the whole show, so I lay awake with every muscle in my body hurting.

1/5
I will be working as a personal trainer at Renaissance Kyôdô1 this year, and that was my first day there. Members of the Renaissance club can make reservations on the web. The [gym] I’m working at is in the Ryôgoku-Kameido-Kyôdô area, so if you’re nearby, don’t hesitate [to visit].

1/6
First day of working at the sports center for the disabled since last year. Afterwards, I trained together with Kenny and then we went [to eat] at Sekai no Yamachan2 in Shin’ôkubo. A super secret (lol) meeting with a certain person from Capcom.

1/7
We celebrated the DDT new year party at Ebisuko. Enjoyed the food. Stuffed.

1/8
Interview for Weekly Pro Wrestling at Dropkick.


(image: Nakazawa Michael)

1/10
Show at the Nagoya Imaike Gas Hall3! I’m struggling hard as the CEO who’s filling in for everyone who’s missing due to cold and flu? I get the feeling I might become a little bully and lash out in the evening.

The photo is of the Golden Lovers drying some jeans that got wet with the ice from the ice bag. They’ve really bonded. (lol)

1/11
Again [working at] the sports center for the disabled.
I unexpectedly [was able to] end work early, so I went to Mitsuboshi for lunch. Inokuma and KUDO were there. Kenny came to eat curry as well. Stayed a long time, chatting.
In the evening I had a little bit to drink with my wife at a newly opened bar in Kagurazaka.

1/12
After working at Renaissance, I went to the DDT office to renew my contract. But Takagi had left early due to feeling unwell. Getting stood up by the President! What the hell!
In the evening Kenny came to my house and we all ate dinner my wife had cooked. The whole roast chicken was so good.

1/13
The Weekly Pro [issue] with the interview I did at Dropkick was released. And wow, a 2-page spread!


(image: Nakazawa Michael)

Again at Renaissance Kyôdô. This picture was taking while at work at Renaissance. That’s why I’m in work clothes. However, no matter how you look at it, it’s “Too Much Salt”4. (lol)

After, I went again to the office to renew my contract, but Takagi had said that he wanted to spend at least his birthday with his family, so he had left early?! Oh my God! Will my contract be put on hold until after I return from America?

1/14
Taking off together with Ibushi to America! This time, we are appearing for Evolve! Well, I’ll just be interpreting. (lol)

[…]

…so, as I’ll be away from Japan until the 20th, please be advised that it may take some time for me to reply to email and messages. And for those who have not yet received a reply from me about tickets, please wait until I have returned. I’m working on arranging everything!

When I return, I’ll definitely [renew] my contract!

[URL]

1 A sports club and spa.
2 A restaurant chain serving mostly Japanese fast food.
3 Venue in Nagoya, about 400 capacity in its biggest room.
4 The spread for the interview with Nakazawa had the headline “Too Much Salt is Just Enough Salt”.


Nakazawa

1/15 2010
Landed Safely in New York!


(image: Nakazawa Michael)

Took a picture at Madison Square Garden. One day I wanna have a match here. Just kidding. (lol)

[URL]


Nakazawa

1/16 2010
Finally Tomorrow!


(image: Nakazawa Michael)

About New York: yesterday and today I went with Ibushi to the gym to move around and prepare our bodies.

We were lucky they had sandbags. It looks like he got a workout in even without using a ring. But it seems like [Ibushi] mistook miles for kilometers on the treadmill, and exhausted himself by running way too much. I hope he’s okay… (Miles are 1.6 times the distance of kilometers)

In any case, tomorrow is finally bell time for Ibushi Kôta vs Davey Richards in the main event of the Evolve show!

[URL]


1/17 2010
Imaike Pro Wrestling, Imaike Gas Hall (2nd Half)

This is the match report of the second half of [the] Imaike Pro Wrestling [show].

[…]

5th Match
Ultraman Robin1, HERO!2, Oxenman3 vs Great Umaike, Zetton, Death Locker

[…]

To save Imaike from such a crisis, our heroes appear!


(images: masa8050)

If Robin is here, that must mean there’s an invasion of space monsters.
[And] like clockwork, the Alien Mefilas has intruded this time too!
However, this Alien Mefilas possessed super strength!

[…]

Meanwhile, Oxenman attacks Death Locker, and [thus], safely, Imaike’s peace was protected!


(image: masa8050)

And, as always, they end with [saying,] “1, 2, 3, Destiny!”
…As expected, Robin is one beat too fast (lol)

[…]

It was fun enough to be an early contender for best show of the year ♪

[URL]

1 A masked wrestler who founded and is now with SGP (Specialist Global Wrestling). (last picture, middle)
2 i.e. HARASHIMA.
3 i.e. Kenny.


Nakazawa

1/18 2010
Well then, what’s the result of the match that’s been on everyone’s mind…?



(images: Nakazawa Michael)

Sawa took a picture of Ibushi, who emerged exhausted from the match with Davey. They both went off in their matches!

I think this might become an ad for this promotion (Evolve), but please everyone, look up the match results for yourselves! (lol)

Today we did something secret in the warehouse district of Brooklyn. The second picture is a hint. (lol)

[We] plan to go listen to jazz tonight. I’m looking forward to that!

[URL]


Nakazawa

1/19 2010
Safe and sound back home!


(image: Nakazawa Michael)

Seems like Ibushi played through the entirety of EarthBound on this journey alone (for the 8th time in total1). He’s playing too much. (lol)

[URL]

1 Nakazawa has a cute typo here, writing 通産 (Ministry of International Trade) instead of 通算 (total).


Sugiuchi Isamu

1/20 2010
Kenny Omega


(images: Sugiuchi Isamu)

Last night I invited Gobe and co., and we drank together with DDT’s Kenny Omega!!
After eating yakiniku, I sang karaoke for the first time in forever and killed my voice!!
Kenny Omega is an extremely talented singer!!
He belted his heart out for us with [songs from] Michael Jackson and Metallica!!
It was a fun time!!
Let’s drink again!!!

[URL]


Takagi [excerpt]

1/21 2010
Final Day of DDT Contract Renewals, State of Morohashi Seiya’s Contract, Ibushi Kôta to Miss Events, and Announcement of the MIKAMI Event

■ Final Day of DDT Contract Renewals

On the 20th, which was the final day of DDT contract renewals, the trio of Ibushi Kôta, Nakazawa Michael and Inokuma Yûsuke had planned on dealing with their contracts, but due to the great tardiness of Ibushi Kôta, there was no time for Nakazawa Michael’s contract [talks], and Nakazawa Michael’s contract has been frozen. He plans on setting aside a contract day at a later date. The comments of the wrestlers who resigned are below.

Ibushi Kôta: “I told the company that I would like to take about a month off, aside from [doing] shows I’m currently being announced for. My chest injury has mostly healed, and my cold has gotten better as well, so I want to take some time off. I don’t want to do anything. Takagi said it was okay, so I signed. This year I want to have a match in a rice field. And on a train. When my time off is over I’ll do it. Thank you. That’s all.”

[…]

■ Ibushi Kôta to Miss Events

For physical maintenance reasons, Ibushi Kôta will be missing all matches aside from those he’s already scheduled to appear for at this time, starting with the Kôrakuen Hall show on 2/11. His return is planned for the 4/4 show in Shinjuku Face. We apologize sincerely to all fans for the inconveniences caused by this.

[…]

[URL]


Weekly Pro Mobile

1/24 2010
Dramatic 2010 January Special

Match Report and Comments


(image: BBM)

[…]

As Ibushi took the mic, he took a cheat sheet out of his shoes. “Thank you for coming today. It was fun to have a match in Tôkyô for DDT again after so long. We’ll win against Jadô and Gedô on January 31st in Differ Ariake, and then we’ll win easily against HARASHIMA and Mashimo on February 11th in Kôrakuen. After that, I’m going to take a break for a bit.”

Then, HARASHIMA came into the ring. HARASHIMA: “Wait a moment! ‘Take a break’, are you shitting me? But there’s someone who’s even more pissed [at this] than me!” Then Mashimo appeared on the ramp. Mashimo also took a cheat sheet out of his shoes. Mashimo: “DDT fans, hello. I’m Mashimo, HARASHIMA’s true1 partner. I thought I’d take it as easy as possible, and I have come to introduce myself since I have been added to [the show on] 2/11. It sounds like Ibushi thinks they’re going to win against us and then take a break. He’s making fun of us…(throwing the cheat sheet away) What a pain in the ass. Ibushi, you were saying you’re gonna take a break? In that case I’ll fulfill your wish. I’ll make it so you’ll have no choice but to take a break. Don’t fucking take this too lightly. If you do, I’ll kill you for real, so get ready!” Even as Mashimo approached, Ibushi didn’t look at him, just at the ground. At the end, Ibushi and Kenny closed the show with “3, 2, 1, the end (backflip), the end (backflip)”.

(Was [this match] hard to do?) Ibushi: “Well. This is the second time, but I think [Kenny] is the best partner with whom I can have the best matches, whether we fight or team up.”
([What about] Mashimo?) “He was scary. I might have said a little bit too much. That’s why I’m going to stay silent until the day [of the match].”
([What did you think] about Mashimo reading from a cheat sheet?) “That was the best. I want him to continue doing that. But he’s scary, so I can’t say it to his face.”

[URL]

1 Pun on the first character of Mashimo’s name (真, truth).


Matsui

1/28 2010
Meeting!


(image: Matsui Yukinori)

Today was a complete meeting day.
I don’t feel like we made much progress.
I looked at myself from the outside, thinking, it must be fun to chatter loudly.
I’m going home now.The picture is of the superior foreigner who came swaggering into our office in the evening.
I want him to kill it at Differ on Sunday!

[URL]


Nakazawa

1/31 2010
Differ Ariake Today


(image: Nakazawa Michael)

Today I was in Ibushi and Kenny’s corner at Differ for the New Japan event.
In the middle of the match, just when things were about to start, Jadô was injured and the match ended via referee stoppage…

Even though [Ibushi and Kenny] won, it was a sad victory, and I think a disappointing ending. As expected, they were a little down, but it seems after eating something they got the energy back to mess around. (lol)
Anyway, here’s to hoping Jadô’s injury isn’t too bad…Oh, right, I got a Twitter. Search for MichaelNakazawa! I’ll tweet about whatever I want. (lol)

[URL]


Matsui

1/31 2010
Differ!


(image: Matsui Yukinori)

Today, we went to New Japan’s Differ show.
Even though [they] just [had a show] in Kôrakuen Hall yesterday, the place was packed.
Incredible…!

Ibushi and Kenny fought Jadô and Gedô in the fourth match.
[They] worked on Ibushi over and over again, but [Ibushi and Kenny] broke through when [Ibushi] did an overhead kick to both men and Kenny demonstrated his own moves, [bringing] them both to the outside.
Then, [Ibushi and Kenny] brought out the Cross Slash, but…

In doing so, when the [opponents] collided [with one another], Jado became unable to continue the match, and Ibushi and Kenny won.
Even though it was an accident, and they were able to capture victory from a world class tag team, the two of them didn’t look happy at all.
Seems like they had wanted to truly exert themselves in the match, and give the fans a satisfying performance.

It seems Ibushi expressed his wish for them to “have a rematch at perfect condition”, and surely Jadô won’t just sit back and let this be the end, either.
Let’s wait for what will happen with this next.

The Lovers were disappointed after the match because of this, but it looked like their mood lifted a bit after they heard the cheering from the crowd when they left the arena.
On the way home we stopped by a family restaurant, and they returned to their usual disgusting selves.
I’m glad, I’m glad.
Jadô is a Goliath1 in his own right, so I’m sure he will make a comeback as though nothing happened at all.
It was a day of ups and downs. I’m going home now.

The pictures are of:

1. the two idiots flirting like always, fully ignoring the wide eyes from the child next to them.
2. the CEO who took the hint too much and happily exclaimed “Yay!” when he got the last Differ Curry, fully ignoring the wide eyes from the customers standing in line behind him.

[URL]

1 The literal word used here is ジャイアン, “gian”. It’s a reference to a character from Doraemon, and describes someone who’s a bully, but tough, persevering and enduring.