Sitdown interview with the great Dick Togo!

Naohiro Hoshikawa Appreciation Reviews – Part 3

Hoshikawa, Yakushiji & Tsubasa vs Togo, Buffalo & QUALLT, Osaka Pro 11/6/00

Man, Hoshi and Yakushiji are just inseparable. Dick Togo is back as the thorn in their side again and he’s rockin’ the Grunge gear he found in America (when not attempting to chop off the Big Valbowski). Trivia Note: Daio QUALLT is the mist spewing robotic alter-ego of our friend Masaru Seno that we were introduced to in the last match. I preferred him as Seno but whatever.

So this was a change of pace from the prior two matches. Quite literally in fact, as this was filled more with high speed run-the-ropes lucharesu than prolonged rudo beatdowns. The was one exchange between Hoshi and Togo which was so smooth and so fast that I rewound it about five times. It was beautiful.

Loads of cool back and forth stuff down the stretch such as Yakushiji and Hoshikawa hitting their German Suplex/Missile Dropkick combo perfectly. Black Buffallo was dishing out the running lariats from all angles as he is wont to do, Dick hit his picture perfect senton and QUALLT…… blew mist. It wasn’t enough though as the faces rallied to get the duke when Hoshi pinned B-Buff with a German Suplex. If you like Dragon Gate you’ll LOVE this match. ****1/4

Hoshikawa vs Hidaka, Zero-One 7/12/01

A match between two men who took different but very similar roads to this point in their careers. Hoshi broke in with Michinoku Pro and moon-lighted in BattlARTS before going to Osaka Pro and then to Zero 1. Hidaka broke in with BattlARTS, had a stint in ECW, then became a freelancer mainly working Michinoku Pro and eventually ended up as a Zero 1 regular. Oh and he still had his goofy 90’s haircut here. Hoshi of course was rocking his trademark Mafia Druglord slicked back hair, which screams bad ass.

And yeah if you haven’t guessed by the fact that I’m discussing hairstyles – there’s not too much to say about the actual match here. That’s not to say it wasn’t good, because it was DAMN good, but it was just two awesome guys doing awesome technical wrestling and you just kind of sit back and bask in the glory of it as opposed to writing a page of notes disecting it. So yeah we got reversals, we got counters, we got some of the prettiest chain wrestling you’ll see, we got some of the ROUGHEST strikes you will see (Hoshi upped the stiffness factor bigtime at the turn of the century) and we got a couple of sweet dives with Hoshikawa hitting his missile topé and Hidaka hitting a nice twisting plancha.

However the best thing about this match came near the end as Hoshikawa, who had his leg ripped off by Hidaka sprinkled some majestic selling onto proceedings. He hit his trademark top rope enziguiri and was unable to follow up because of the impact on his leg. Then he hit his German Suplex but couldn’t hold the bridge. Awesome! After shutting down a Hidaka fight-back, Hoshi kicked him square in the face and hit another German THIS TIME WITH A ONE-LEGGED BRIDGE!!!!!!!!! to get the win.

Great match, and we’re now four out of four for ****+ matches.

****1/4

Naohiro Hoshikawa Appreciation Reviews!

I feel like watching alot of Naohiro Hoshikawa matches over the next 10 days or so, and as a result all you readers are going to be forced to read my thoughts (I’m proficient in water-boarding, don’t test me).

So for those who don’t know, Hoshikawa is a wrestler whose extremely awesome (and under-appreciated) career was cut short due to an accidental injury while wrestling for the Zero 1 promotion in 2004. He fell into a coma and had severe brain and nerve damage. It looked really, really bad for him for a while. However he has made a really promising recovery in recent years, to the point where he visited a Zero 1 show this past Christmas and was able to stand and talk to fans. He was said to be in really great spirits as can be seen from this picture with his great partner and rival Ikuto Hidaka:

Hoshi and Hidaka

While there is no chance of Hoshi ever wrestling another match again (walking will be a miracle and that’s something he’s really trying for), he was able to assemble a catelogue of matches in his career that from what I have seen, compares admirably with the best juniors of his era. So lets dive right in, with a match from Hoshi’s first promotion – Michinoku Pro.

Super Delfin/Naohiro Hoshikawa/Masato Yakushiji vs Dick Togo/MENS Teioh/Shoichi Funaki (10-10-97)

OH MY GOD, This match ROCKED BALLS!!!!!!
Continue reading