All texts 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
Japan Indie Awards 2008: Best Bout Award
When [we] told Kenny Omega, who was playing around with [our] beloved dog, the news that his match with Ibushi Kôta (DDT Beer Garden, 8/6) had won the Best Bout Award in the “Japan Indie Awards 2008” broadcast on Samurai! TV, he gleefully [exclaimed] in a high-pitched voice, like a child getting their first video game, “Really? Oh my God, I’m so happy!”. He added, “I put all the strength that I had into that match, so I’m really happy that it won an award”. Now that he’s won the Best Bout Award, Kenny feels even better about his [next] tour to Japan. What is he going to do in Japan next? Stay tuned.
(image: Takagi Sanshirô)
Today, Kenny Omega came to Japan. (there were rumors that he came to Japan and appeared at Pro Wrestling Summit1 on Dec 31st last year, but those were false)
He had lost his Nintendo DS in Canada, but it appears a very kind person sent him a new Nintendo DS, and he was overjoyed.
Thank you so much!
I’m looking forward to what he will accomplish this time during his stay in Japan! Please stay tuned!
1 Defunct indie wrestling supercard event held multiple times a year.
Finally, Kenny Omega has come back to DDT!
(image: Nakazawa Michael)
I went to Narita to pick up Kenny. We just arrived in the office, but somehow there is already a parcel for him from the fans…? Inside was a DS! Turns out, Kenny had just lost his DS yesterday on the plane, and a fan had known about that from reading it on the blog!
Kenny was very grateful. Thank you!
Well, maybe we’ll go out to eat something after this!
MUSCLE1 [show] Tomorrow!
(image: Matsui Yukinori)
Starting today I’m back for work [after the New Year’s vacation].
[Working on] this and that for [the] MUSCLE [show], and various things for other events.
I’m antsy, as always.
So I’m going home now.
Well, well, well, tomorrow, or I should say, today, is the Kôrakuen Hall MUSCLE [show] at 7 pm!
Some tickets will be sold on the day of the show.
It seems that we will be able to hand out standing room tickets to a certain extent, so to those who haven’t bought tickets yet, please take the opportunity to do so!
We eagerly await you all!
The picture is of Kenny, who arrived this evening in Japan.
I don’t know why, but for some reason he was unusually excited!
1 A brand of DDT shows that focused more on theater-like stage performances, and adhered to kayfabe even more strictly than is already common in puroresu. Largely succeeded by (now also defunct) Hiragana Muscle.
New Year! Shinkiba Expo 2009
Omega: “Ôwashi, HARASHIMA…no Abe. Ôwashi, HARASHIMA, I came back to Japan for two reasons: one is because I love DDT and I love the fans. Second reason, the second reason is because [of] my good friend, Kota Ibushi. Not to have any more match[es], no. Me and Ibushi want the tag tram championships!1“
Ôwashi: “You’re right, our chanko restaurant has the best one2. If you come to Nagano, I’ll let you have some.”
Omega: “Give us the belts! Ibushi, Kenny Omega, next tag team champions. Give us the belts, fatty!“
Ôwashi: “Hey, you! [Saying] you want the belts is okay, but [saying] ‘fatty’ is going too far! HARASHIMA and I, we’re always accepting challenges, anytime. All right, gaijin3, if you want it, we’ll give it to you. Get ready. Cause they’re not gonna fly you in a second time [after this].”
Omega: “Next Shinkiba, tag team titles!“
1 All of Kenny’s parts and some of Ôwashi’s I could make out taken from the actual promos, rather than the Japanese translation or transcript.
2 A type of broth stew with many different ingredients like vegetables and tofu, staple food for sumo wrestlers. The joke here is that Ôwashi, who has a legitimate sumo background, is mishearing “champion[ships]” as chanko.
3 The less nice, insulting version of gaikokujin (“foreigner”), but often gets used by foreign wrestlers themselves who have worked in Japan for some time.
(image: Matsui Yukinori)
After yesterday’s expo, the President gave the final word in the office and said, “Tomorrow, [we] take the day off in the office!”, and so, [I] don’t work today!
However, I remembered there was something I needed to do, and thus [went] to the office in the evening, doing [some] light work until I was done.
After that, I met up with Ibushi, Kenny, and the pervert who’s no longer a pervert1, and we went to the bar of the person who always takes care of [us].
We ate delicious food, Kenny sang songs in English during karaoke, and we played bowling and tennis on the Wii.
Thank you for the food!
I’m going home now.
The picture is of the number one KO-D Tag Team Championships contenders, and the pervert who’s no longer a pervert.
1 Unsure what this is referring to.
Latest Info on Kenny and Other News
(image: Nakazawa Michael)
Jeez, the Shinkiba show on 1/4 was really a chaotic party, huh? It was my first time eating an entire Matsuya1 gyûdon2 in the middle of a match. (lol) However, the “Tower of Shinkiba”3 was quite the sight to behold. It’s separation was an omen. Thanks to that [it] shall be sacrificed quickly around New Year4…
Two days, or I should say at this time, three days ago, we went to drink at the bar of the person who always looks after Kenny, Ibushi, Matsui and me in Ikebukuro. Well, Kenny doesn’t drink. We had a lot of fun singing karaoke together, playing Wii like in the picture, etc.
Then, when it became near the time for the last train, and because Kenny goes home with the Seibu Shinjuku line, I dropped him off at Takadanobaba and told him “You can take the local train and get off at the █th stop!”, but my explanation wasn’t very good, and he accidentally took the express train.
He ended up at a station well past [where he needed to get off], and there were no more trains [to take]. (sweats)
He didn’t know the way and so he thought of walking home, jogging along the tracks for about an hour. He suddenly had a weird sensation and somehow stepped away from the tracks, an extremely fast train passed him, a hair’s breadth away from him. (sweats) He seems to have given up on walking after that and called a taxi to get home.
And yesterday we went together to train at Midbreath and afterwards we went to Yodabashi Camera in Shinjuki to go shopping. He wants to put not only his own matches, but also everyday scenes in Japan and his own country on DVDs, so he wants to buy a camera that can take videos. And also he needs a mobile phone. Before he used to stay here without a phone, but it’s just so much more useful to have one, after all. We got a phone, but put [they buying of] the camera on hold. There were lots to choose from and he couldn’t decide. He’s willing to spend about 15,000 to 25,000 Yen5 on it, so if you have any recommendations, please tell us.
Now, Kenny’s next match is on the 11th [on the] New Beijing Wrestling6 [show] in Shinjuku FACE7. He seems pretty excited for his match against Long River Yellow River8. It starts at 6:30 pm. There also seems to be rumors of a Chinese slave [on the card] who somewhat resembles me, and not just any slave but a “great” slave (I hear his name is Nuruhachi9 (lol) ) so please everyone cheer him on! Don’t hesitate to inquire about tickets also.
The next day after that, there’s an event at Takashimadaira that will be a one-time [match] between Kenny vs DSL (Dragon Soldier Law). Anyway, Ibushi is really excited, more than usual. These two really have something in common, don’t they? I can’t miss this match, so naturally I’m coming along to watch it too!
Well, tomorrow I have my first training [instruction session] in the gym in a while. I wish the New Year’s vacation was longer…But I gotta sleep soon. Good night!
1 A restaurant chain serving mainly don.
2 Rice bowl topped with beef.
3 A costumed apparition consisting of one wrestler on the shoulders of another who separated during the match. I can’t reliably identify who they are, though.
4 Refers to the former practice of burying human sacrifices near or under the construction site of large buildings so they wouldn’t collapse or get destroyed by natural disasters.
5 About $100 – $200.
6 A fake promotion parodying Chinese history and characters and New Japan Pro Wrestling, with the various DDT wrestlers wearing costumes and playing different roles.
7 Venue in Kabukichô, around 600 capacity.
8 An enormous river god Kenny “fights” in a green-screen pre-tape.
9 Play on Nakazawa’s nickname.
Kenny and Ibushi Rematch?
(images: Nakazawa Michael)
…although, that’s only in sparring practice and in video games in the arcade. (lol)
Luckily, yesterday other wrestlers came to practice as well so I didn’t end up as a guinea pig. But they developed one hell of a move. I wouldn’t wanna take that [move], no matter how many thick soft mats there were laid out or how much protective head gear I wore…Well, that’s just how much of an amazing move it is.
After that, the two swapped knowledge about their own weak points, and Kenny taught Ibushi jiu jutsu techniques while Ibushi taught Kenny strikes in preparation for Hard Hit. They sparred with different pinning and standing moves. Kenny’s way of teaching was polite and easy to follow. I used to do judo as well and I know a couple pinning techniques, but Kenny’s so good at it. Apparently he won a jiu jutsu tournament in the past and stuff.
So, actually, there was a kotatsu1 in the dojo, and halfway through [practice] I gave up trying to fight the cold and buried myself in the kotatsu while the two eagerly trained and gave me sideway glances. f(^_^;)
But kotatsus are the best! I want one at home too. (lol)
After that we all played Initial D against each other and helped each other to play through Let’s Go Jungle! Hmm, Tatsunoko vs Capcom might be fun. Looks like it’ll be out on the Wii. Should I buy it?
Well, tomorrow is DDT’s New Year show. Kenny and Ibushi are coming too, so there might be something happening? (lol)
1 A low table with an attached blanket to retain the heat of an electric heater.
Contract Renewals Day Three!
(image: Matsui Yukinori)
Well, the third day [of contract talks] is a wrap.
It was a bustle of wrestlers coming and going.
Morohashi, Ôka, Futoshi1 and Ibushi came to resign, [but only] three of them [actually] signed.
It’s unbelievable, but Ôka said that he had only come today to listen to negotiations, and that he hadn’t brought a seal2. It seems his contract was put on hold.
That’s the Lion King for you!
The picture shows Ibushi after the contract [talks].
After five minutes or so, he came out of the other room, and signed it.
Seems like tomorrow is the last day [of the contract talks], and there are two meetings!
Four Great Trials of Terror3!
1 Miwa Futoshi; mostly freelance and DDT wrestler, and TV personality.
2 In Japan, contracts and such are “signed” with special stamps representing one’s name, called seals.
3 A seemingly deadly trial in the Otoko Juku (“Guy Cram School”) manga and anime, a series about a hellish private school full of delinquents who get trained to become the next elite of Japan.
(image: Matsui Yukinori)
Had sudden work in the office today.
After, I met up with Kenny and Ibushi at 4 pm and we went to take part in a bowling game in Ikebukuro, at the bar of the person who always looks after us.
Our interpreter Michael had the gull to not show up, but I’m glad that we somehow managed to communicate anyway.
Our results were terrible for all three of us.
It was so bad that I won’t even tell you the score in order to protect the honor of Kenny and Ibushi.
However, it was fun!
After the bowling was over we went to the bar, and met up with everyone for the first time to promote [the] Ryôgoku1 [show]2.
Isn’t it a little early for that?
Nope, it’s not!
Then I returned to the office and just now finished preparations for tomorrow.
Well, well, well, tomorrow beginning at 6 pm we’ll be at the Delphin Arena3 in Ôsaka!
This is our first shot at Ôsaka this year.
If you have the free time to spare, please come!
And now I’m going home.
Pictured: The excellent foreigner who kept [yelling] “Fuck!” while bowling, and the sulking prodigy who narrowly lost against me in total points.
1 Short for Ryôgoku Kokugikan, legendary venue in Tôkyô traditionally hosting sumo and pro wrestling events, about 10,000 capacity.
2 Refers to the Ryôgoku Peter Pan show later that year (typically DDT’s biggest show of the year).
3 Now called Dôtonbori Arena. About 300 capacity.
Dramatic 2009 January Special
Match Report and Comments
Ibushi: “I’m so happy!”
Omega: “Me too! It feels like a dream has come true, tagging with Ibushi and taking the titles. Now that this dream has come true, I have to decide on the next one. Ibushi and my belts aren’t everything. We should ask Takagi and co about this, but I want us to defend in DDT and outside [of DDT], against anyone!”
([You used] a bunch of [new] moves)
“There are some we haven’t even shown yet. Even when I don’t practice [these] with Kenny, we can coordinate on the spot and make them work, and it’s so much fun to do this together.”
([What about] the finisher?)
“[It’s] Golden Shower! Kenny named it that.”
Omega: “I was torn between naming it Golden Shower or PK Comet1. PK Comet is a move that appears in Mother (video game).”
Ibushi: “The crossing double quebrada is [called] Cross Slash.”
Omega: “That name I took from Chrono Trigger (video game).”
Ibushi: “I have only practiced with Kenny at OPG (Oretachi Puroresu Gundan)…once.”
Omega: “Normally, tag teams only use a set [amount of] moves and combinations. I think the fans watching those got used to that. We always want to innovate. We’re going to come up with a lot of different moves one by one. HARASHIMA is my rival in DDT. I’m not surprised by their strength, or that my nose got wrecked today. But it really is tough to fight with an opponent bigger than me, like Ôwashi. Take those two together, and today was a big challenge.”
(Will you return to Japan now that you have the belt?)
“Of course. To defend these.”
1 No such move in EarthBound. Maybe he was thinking of PK Starstorm?
Shinkiba! And Hard Hit Tomorrow!
(image: Matsui Yukinori)
Today’s Shinkiba [show] is a wrap.
I was a little worried about [there being] two title matches on the card and only [space] for about 200 people…Well, it was certainly packed!
This was [the first time] since the Muscle Sakai show1 that there were four [extra] rows [of chairs] lined up in the east and west [parts of the venue].
Thank you very much everyone for coming!
The tag team championship match in the main event was an amazing match during which you never knew what was going to jump out [next].
They successfully hit the double alien[-like] quebrada after [crossing each other] in diagonal lines2, and in the end, putting HARASHIMA away with the double Firebird [Splash]3, Ibushi and Kenny became the new champions!
Oh, these two have the makings of greatness in them.
Kenny’s returning to Canada at the beginning of February, but he’s coming back to Japan soon, and I hope [they] can fully defend [the titles] then!
After the match, Ibushi challenged for the KO-D [Openweight Championship] [by saying,] “There is one more belt I want”. The President immaturely commented, “I had thought that if [I] would crush anyone, it would be you”, and accepted [Ibushi’s challenge]. It seems that the title match has been decided for the 2/22 Kôrakuen [show]. I’m looking forward to this one too!
The picture is of the new champion team wearing their belts after a hard-fought battle. [They’re] cheerful at [their] arrival in this new landscape!
1 Muscle Sakai began doing his own productions in 2004, and from his series of shows would eventually spawn the MUSCLE brand of DDT shows. This event was rather independent from that though, and featured a different flair and cast of characters.
2 i.e. Cross Slash. Technically they are doing double moonsaults. A quebrada is a springboard moonsault off the rope.
3 i.e. Golden Shower.
Recent Happenings and Kenny Omega Night and More
Well, I was unable to have my match for various reasons the other day at the Shinkiba show, but a lot happened. (sweats)
The main event that day was amazing…They hit it home with the Golden Shower (lol) they developed at OPG too. According to Kenny, [he] named it the Golden Shower because “Ibushi is the Golden Star, and a shower is something that streams down from above. [I] called it that because this is a move that looks like we are raining down from the heavens at the same time.” …Well, let’s leave it at that. (lol)
So, today I go with Kenny to Midbreath, then we go to the bar in Ikebukuro of the person who [always] takes care [of us] and then we go to Dropkick where Ibushi works. [We] have been talking with Ibushi, and come to a decision what the amazing auction item for tomorrow’s Kenny Omega Night will be! We’re going to have girls form tag teams of two and bid on the auction, and believe it or not, the item will be a double date with Kenny and Ibushi! This auction is limited to women, so we are awaiting your eager participation. We also plan on doing tournaments on the Wii, and I think there will be a Kenny original cocktail as well!
Oh, I’ll be going to Dropkick as an interpreter too, so I look forward to that. I won’t be [there to go] on a date, so don’t worry. (lol) The event is tomorrow, or rather, today, starting at 7 pm! Please be there on time so you don’t miss anything!
(image: Thanomsak Toba)
Today Kenny came for kicking practice.
After joint practice, we had a spar of pinning techniques together with other members of the club.
Everyone was impressed by Kenny’s technique and power.
Yeah, look at that, my kicking class is getting more international!
I went to Kenny Omega Night
(for pictures of these, see the original URL)
This time, it’s about the Kenny Omega Night at Dropkick I went to.
After I finished watching the show at Shinjuku Face, I forced a friend to come with me to Dropkick.
…Actually, it was my first time at Dropkick.
We arrived at the bar at around 9:40 pm.
When we entered…there was already no free sitting space anymore. And before us stood…
DSL, who had fought to the death at Takashimadaira.
By the way, the person who had instigated that match had also come.
Unfortunately, they were replaced and went home.
By the way, before we arrived, it seems that everyone watched a video of Takashimadaira 9 Chome Pro Wrestling that DSL had brought with him.
Around the time we arrived, the game tournament began. I was told by the guests that this time it would be a tag tournament. The subject was “Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars”.
While we enjoyed ourselves with games, Kenny diligently produced his original cocktails.
By the way, aside from Kenny, the staff this time consisted of Matsunaga, Abe, and Michael as interpreter. Later, Kakimoto also came to help out.
The picture shows the Canadian Waffle [drink]. By the way, the Canadian Pancake I ordered…was already out because they had run out of alcohol…orz
…huh, or was it the other way around?
Two women won the tournament among guests (evidently having experience with video games), and in the end they faced the final boss Kenny. [Whoever] won 4 rounds would win, and if Kenny lost, Abe and Michael would take off their clothes…those were the rules, but as time was running out, they had to change the rules in the middle of the tournament.
The result was…Kenny was deemed the loser after going 2 vs 1. He was very childlike and innocent, appearing truly defeated [and saying,] “Shit!” when he lost, and striking a winning pose when he won, and such lol
By the way, as Abe was part of the photo taking team, he was unable to take his clothes off.
Michael took his shirt off without further ado lol
After the game tournament, [next was] the auction where you could win a [double] date with Kenny and Ibushi.
Kakimoto also came forth with a problematic comment (as someone bidding in the auction), saying, “I have money from the bar”. Inside the bar, there were chants of “Embezzlement!”, and Kakimoto withdrew obediently.
So, the result was…two peopled continued to bid against each other, and the organizers couldn’t decide, so it ended in a draw. It was settled…by taking into account that both would be in a better state [to continue] at a later date.
…Oh my God, money worth an office worker’s monthly salary was flying around…Incredible.
Unfortunately, my last train was soon, so at this point I had to go home.
When I went to give Kenny a gift and say goodbye, Kenny’s final goodbye [speech] inside the bar made leaving so hard for me.
It seems that this [Kenny Omega Night] was more laid back than last time, but this time he was a lot busier, maybe because his popularity had gone up and he wielded authority over the Ibushi [double] date and such. Unfortunately, because he was extremely busy and hurried around, I didn’t have an opportunity to talk to him properly.
Well, I still think this was an interesting enough event that showed Kenny’s personality.
That’s it. Thank you to Kenny and the [other] staff, and every Kenny fan who came to share this space.
Ibushi Day at Dropkick
(for pictures of these, see the original URL)
[I went] to Ibushi Staff Day at Dropkick (not an event, but a day when Ibushi was working [at the bar]). Ibushi gave advanced notice of him being late today as well, and he came at 7 pm “because there were no empty seats at Matsuya”. Even on staff days [such as these], there are two people, assistant bar manager Kakimoto and first response helper Matsunaga, who work [at Dropkick] in order to help capture Ibushi [so] the fans [can see him]. Well, Ibushi isn’t much of a valuable asset, even if you do make him work.
It was a good opportunity, so I talked to Ibushi. It seems that the “Golden Shower” really is a dirty joke. Apparently, Matsunaga (the main culprit [in teaching Kenny indecent Japanese]), was fuming when he saw on Weekly Pro Mobile that they had really adopted [this name]. And also [Ibushi said], that he is nervous, because Kenny often uses the dirty Japanese taught to him by Matsunaga in the ring (like when he’s calling for a double team). About the Ironworks Wrestling [event]1 broadcast on the 29th, he said, ”I had to wait for a long time for my match, so I fell asleep. When I was suddenly woken up and told my match was on, I did [the match] while still being sleepy, so I don’t remember much”. About the [spot] where he plunged in front of the forklift, he said, “I could have died. It [was] dangerous”, [as though talking about] someone else’s problems.
About the status of his contract with Kaiju Big Battel2, it seems he wants to be in Kaiju [Big Battel]. But there are talks to coordinate the dates with the CHIKARA Pro tour in March (Ibushi, KUDO and Michael), and if they can time it right, he might tag with Kenny in there as well.
And, when asked if he has given up on wrestling in a supermarket, as he demanded last year, he said with sparkling eyes, “I will make that a reality”. The [upcoming] “Bookstore Wrestling” in the Aeon Chigusa Shopping Center in Nagoya on 3/7, according to Ibushi, “looks fine, as long as it’s not just in the bookstore”. He wasn’t sure if he was going or not, but he has to go to this. It seems he wants to do the “Beach Wrestling”, which he also demanded last year, not in the summer, but in the winter…
Watching Ibushi and Kenny talking, [I saw that] they form a conversation with Ibushi talking Japanese and Kenny English. It sounded like [they were speaking] Japanese and English [at least], but there’s no doubt these two converse via radio waves.
1 DDT sometimes does matches at the Miyaji Ironworks.
2 The misspelling is on purpose. Kaiju Big Battel is a performance act that sits somewhere between pro wrestling and tokusatsu parody, featuring costumed wrestlers fighting as kaijû (gigantic monsters prominent in tokusatsu) and mechas and such.
Kenny Eats Soba
(image: Thanomsak Toba)
After practice, I ate dinner with Kenny.
When I asked
“You okay with Japanese food?”
“Yes! Nattô1, miso2 soup, all good!”
And so we went to Ôtoya3.
Kenny ordered the soba meal, and there is something I got to confirm with this again.
Like, seeing foreigners try so hard to use chopsticks to eat makes me laugh.
Is that just me?
1 A dish and basis for other dishes prepared by letting soy beans ferment with additional bacteria for a long time. Has a sticky, stringy consistency.
2 A thick sauce made from soybeans and various ingredients used as stock for soup and other dishes.
3 Restaurant chain that specializes in Japanese style combo meals, see picture.