Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kay Noble dies

Weteran lady wrestler Kay Noble died April 27 of stomach cancer at age 67 in Amarillo, TX. Here's a link to Greg Oliver's obit from SLAM Wrestling. Condolences to her family. I have also included a link to a Living Tributes guestbook for fans to express their thoughts about Kay. The third link is also from SLAM Wrestling and includes memories of Kay Noble from her best friend, frequent opponent and second generation wrestler Marie Laverne along with opponents Jean Antone, Betty Niccoli & Barbara Baker. Marie's story about the fundraiser for her son's high school wrestling team tells you all you need to know about Kay Noble's professionalism.<id=1000

Todd Bodine wins St. Louis Craftsman Truck race

When Mark Martin isn't around, it's pretty clear that Toyota is set to dominate the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series this year. This is why Toyota's entrance into the Nextel Cup is a major concern. The feeling is that money is no object and they will do whatever is necessary to win. That's exactly what has happened with the trucks. Qualifying for the Dodge Ram Tough 200 at Gateway Raceway in St. Louis was rained out so the field was set by owner's points. Rookie David Ragan was on the pole driving the Ford that Mark Martin normally drives but he was surrounded by Toyotas.

Ted Musgrave-#9 ASE Toyota and his teammate Todd Bodine-#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota swapped the lead. Some pit strategy juggled the field but it wasn't long before Bodine & Musgrave went to the front. David Reutimann-#17 Toyota took the lead but Bodine & Musgrave passed him at lap 146. A flat tire and crash into the wall for Rick Crawford-#14 Circle Bar Ford brought out the caution with six laps left but Bodine held off Musgrave for the win. The top five finishers were all Toyota so the domination continues.

Brock Lesnar's MMA future

Brock Lesnar appeared on Saturday's K-1 show in Las Vegas and announced that he will participate in MMA. Lesnar is the current IWGP Champion in New Japan. Lesnar entered the ring and announced that he plans to fight in the mixed martial arts company HERO'S. No date has been announced. HERO'S is the MMA company owned by K-1 and Akira Maeda. He also said that he really enjoys watching K-1 and may work for them in the future.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Byron Cage f/J. Moss
Song:We Love You
Album:An Invitation To Worship

Byron Cage is a gospel artist known as The Prince Of Praise. On his latest CD, he enlisted the help of PAJAM, the hottest producers in black music today. J. Moss is a great singer in his own right and wrote, arranged & sang on this song. Like all of Cage's CDs, it was recorded live at Eddie Long's church in Washington, DC. As always, Moss adds a lot to anything he does so it's a hot track.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Martin Truex Jr wins Talledega Busch race

There were two streaks at stake in today's Aarons 312 Busch Series race at Talledega. Points leader Kevin Harvick was looking to win his third Busch Series race in a row. Two time defending Busch Series champ Martin Truex Jr Has won both Busch Series races he has competed in at Talledega. He's a Nextel Cup rookie but will run a few Busch Series races this year. Of course with Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s tribute this weekend on the late Dale Earnhardt's birthday, there's a lot of sentiment going for him too. All DEI cars are painted black this weekend.

With the cars running restrictor plates at Talledega, they run in packs. So we're always waiting for the big crash. That didn't happen but there was one spectacular wreck when Tony Stewart-#33 Old Spice/Talledega Nights Chevy clipped Kenny Wallace-#22 Auto Zone Ford on lap 66. Stewart flipped over on his roof and Danny O'Quinn-#50 Stonebridge Insurance Ford plowed into him. Tony was fine and afterwards blamed himself for the wreck.

Martin Truex Jr-#8 Bass Pro Shops Chevy took the lead from Brian Vickers-#57 Ore-Ida Chevy. Truex had to hold off Vickers and Hendrick Motorspots teammate Kyle Busch-#5 Lowe's Chevy along with Richard Childress teammates Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy & Clint Bowyer-#2 AC Delco Chevy. When JJ Yeley-#18 Vigoro Chevy crashed late in the race, that left two laps for someone to find a way to pass Truex. He held them off and won his third straight Talledega Busch Series race.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Flamingos
Song:I Only Have Eyes For You
Album:A Bronx Tale

Classic doowop from the 50s is from the soundtrack of the Robert Deniro film A Bronx Tale. Looks like a decent comp but if you're looking specifically for music from the 50s you might want to try something else. This is a little too wide ranging.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Smackgirl adds two matches to May 3 show

Smackgirl has added two matches to their May 3 Tokyo Kinema Klub show including a first round match in the Flyweight Next Cinderella Tournament. Here's the card so far. All bouts are scheduled for two five minute rounds.

SMACKGIRL - 5/3/06 - Tokyo Kinema Klub
NEXT CINDERELLA TOURNAMENT 2006 MIDDLEWEIGHT-Miki Morifuji vs Mizuho Sato 58KG BOUT-Seri vs Maki Koyagaya
62KG BOUT-Rie Murakami vs Benkei

Will Zero-One Max revive the AWA World Womens Title?

As many fans are aware, Zero-One Max has a working relationship with Dale Gagne's American Wrestling Association and have revived the AWA World Heavyweight Title currently held by Takao Omori. Last year Zero-One Max's parent company First On Stage attempted to get into the joshi business by purchasing all rights and trademarks of All Japan Women. It was their intention to revive AJW as an ongoing promotion in June 2005. This didn't happen because the AJW wrestlers didn't want to work for them. Things have changed.

First On Stage president Yoshiyuki Nakamura told Nikkan Sports Friday that they intend to run a joshi show on Sept. 27. So you might be asking why all these companies are looking to get into the joshi business when business is so bad. Part of the problem with the joshi business is all the wrestlers are freelancing so everyone works for everyone. This makes all the companies look the same. The goal here is for FOS to distinguish their product from everyone else.

It appears that FOS intends to use their partnership with the AWA to have a Japan vs USA tournament on this show and possibly revive the AWA Womens World Title. You might ask why they wouldn't revive the WWWA Singles Title since they own the rights to AJW. I don't know. Maybe they can but that's not the story I'm reading. Nothing has been decided yet and they may not do either scenario. But the alliance with the AWA certainly makes the revival of the AWA Womens World Title a possibility considering what FOS has already done in Zero-One Max.

So what got First On Stage interested in joshi? They've started using women on their shows. US wrestler Amazing Kong has worked for them frequently and Thursday's Zero-One Max show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring had several joshi wrestlers in mixed matches including Amazing Kong, Ayumi Kurihara, Manami Toyota, Saki Maemura, Hikaru & ASAMI. They've been very happy with the fan response to the women and Nakamura made the announcement the day after this show. Let's see where they go from here. Here's the results of the Zero-One Max show.

ZERO-ONE MAX - 4/27/06 - Shin-kiba 1st Ring
Rikiya Fudo def. Fuyuki Takahashi in 9:24
MASADA def. Isami in 10:33
Yoshihito Sasaki & Hikaru def. Masato Tanaka & ASAMI (Hikaru over ASAMI in 13:16)
Kohei Sato & Ayumi Kurihara def. Steve Corino & Amazing Kong (Sato over Kong in 10:44)Ikudo Hidaka & Manami Toyota def. Minoru Fujita & Saki Maemura (Toyota over Maemura in 23:33)

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Album:20th Century Masters:The Millenium Collection

Of course Martha Reeves & The Vandellas was one of Motown's biggest acts back in the 60s. This CD is part of a whole series of hits comps that MCA has issued over the last few years. It's a budget collection and it has all their hits on it so you can't lose.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Cece Winans
Song:More Than What I Wanted
Album:Cece Winans

Of course Cece Winans is one of the ten Winans siblings, musicians all. She sang with her brother Bebe for several years and earned a reputation as a superior singing talent. Nothing has changed for her as a solo artist. Cece is simply one of the finest singers working today and she also has a good ear for a groove and that really enhances her talent. I also appreciate Cece's diction. Her message is very clear. Forget the wannabe divas. Listen to a real singer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Two matches added to May 6 G-Shooto show

G-Shooto has added two matches to their May 6 show including a rematch between Megumi Yabushita and veteran US fighter Roxanne Modaferri. MIKU, Eri Kanetari & Ikumi Shibata are also scheduled to appear. All matches are for two five minute rounds. Here's the updated card.

G-SHOOTO - 5/6/06 - Shinjuku FACE
CLASS C+ 47KG MATCH-Youko Yamada vs Ryoko Sasaki
CLASS C+ 51KG MATCH-Youko vs Misaki Takimoto
CLASS B 60KG MATCH-Roxanne Modaferri vs Megumi Yabushita

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Booker Ervin
Album:Tex Book Tenor

Booker Ervin was a great tenor sax player forgotten mostly because of his premature death. He made his name in Charles Mingus' band and made several solo recordings before moving to Europe in 1966. 204 is a great hard bop track that also features Woody Shaw on sax, Kenny Barron on piano & Billy Higgins on drums. The album was recorded for Pacific Jazz in 1968, barely released in 1976 and issued for the first time on CD by Blue Note in 2005. Definitely worth getting for fans of the Texas Tenor. Booker Ervin died of kidney failure in 1970 at age 39.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Power chair has been fixed

The service guy was here today to make a couple of minor repairs to my power chair. He tightened up the screws on my footplate and left an Allen key so I could adjust it myself in the future. The other problem was with the base of the left side of the chair. The rails are attached to the base by a pin that can be removed if a lift is used to transport the patient. The pin broke. I don't need that feature so I had him bolt the connection so that won't happen again.

Wal-Mart is out of stock of the air conditioner so I'm going to Bad Boy on Finch to buy one that they have on sale. It's more powerful and more expensive but they deliver so I will go there tomorrow.

Ivory wins Supergirls title

Lisa "Ivory" Moretti became the new Supergirls champ by defeating Rebecca Knox at Sunday's ECCW show in Surrey, BC. Ivory won with a facebuster. Whether this is a good thing or not depends on what is done next. If the ECCW is using Lisa's star power and substantial fanbase to revive the Supergirls promotion and/or start a lengthy feud with Rebecca Knox to give her the rub and get her over, no problem. On the other hand, if they're putting Lisa over Rebecca for a one time cheap pop, it's not a good idea. Rebecca Knox is a young girl with unlimited star potential and the ECCW should look to get her over at every opportunity. Lisa lives in Washington so it's certainly possible that she will work for ECCW regularly. We'll see what they do with this.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Fred Hammond & Radical For Christ
Song:No Weapon
Album:Pages Of Life:Chapters I & II

Fred Hammond has built a gospel music cottage industry from his home in suburban Detroit. He started as a member of Commissioned but now he's everywhere. This song is from a 2CD set in 1998. This is from a live recording in Detroit. I love Fred's music but he sure gets around. He has his own record label and produces plenty of CDs for other singers. He was even executive producer of last fall's film The Gospel. So he's very talented and he can't be avoided anyway.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Another T-1 mask!!!!!

I know that T-1 president Futami isn't a wrestler but if he's not going to settle this feud with Yumiko Hotta by stepping into the squared circle himself, maybe he should go away. This nonsense is getting really irritating. There's an A To Z show the afternoon of May 3 and a T-1 GP show in the evening. So it's all going to go back and forth between Futami & Hotta and confuse everyone. So Futami was announcing the main event of the T-1 GP show and introduced T-1 Mask V.3. Guess what. It's another masked wrestler. She will team with a partner to be announced against Yumiko Hotta & Sachie Abe. They're just going overboard with masked wrestlers. Do they think they're in Mexico? Anyway here's a pic of her. She didn't say anything at Futami's press conference. I didn't recognize her but I am told that it's Gutsworld rookie Yuri Arai. I think she's been wrestling for maybe two months. Oy vey! Hey Futami! Get in the ring and get your butt kicked already. Your fifteen minutes are up.

Two womens matches on June 3 MFC show

Mixed Fighting Championship has announced USA vs Russia III at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on June 3. But there will also be two womens matches on the show featuring fighters with a global reputation. One match will have Tara LaRosa vs Japanese fighter Hitomi Akano. The other has Smackgirl Open Weight Champ Amanda Buckner vs Shana Basler. For more info check out the MFC website at

Smackgirl announces matches for May 3 show

Smackgirl has announced four matches for the May 3 show at Tokyo Kinema Klub. Three matches will be first round matches for the Next Cinderella 2006 Tournaments. The other match will feature Smackgirl veteran Seri. In additions to the matches it was announced that Yuka Okumura will appear on the show and the previously announced KM-MAKI has dropped out due to injury. All matches are scheduled for two five minute rounds. Here's the card so far.

SMACKGIRL - 5/3/06 - Tokyo Kinema Klub
NEXT CINDERELLA TOURNAMENT 2006 MIDDLEWEIGHT-Miki Morifuji vs Mizuho Sato 58KG BOUT-Seri vs Maki Koyagaya

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Clash
Song:Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Album:The Singles

The Clash was one of the better punk bands from the late 70s. This collection of singles is probably a decent introduction to their music. The 3CD Clash On Broadway comp is better but not for everyone.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Yuka Tsuji defends Lightweight Title at Apr. 22 Smackgirls show

Yuka Tsuji defended her Smackgirl Lightweight Title against US fighter Cami Hostetler at the Apr. 22 Smackgirl show at Taisho Azeriz in Osaka. Tsuji won with an arm bar submission at 4:19 of the second round. The match was scheduled for three rounds. Tjuji wore her down with a sleeper hold before applying the arm bar. Tsuji told Sportsnavi that Hostetler was much tougher than she expected and Hostetler earned her respect with her toughness. The show was sold out with 600 in attendance. Here's the results of the show. All matches were SGS rules and two five minute rounds unless otherwise noted.

SMACKGIRL - 4/22/06 - Taisho Azeria
NEXT CINDERELLA TOURNAMENT 2006 FLYWEIGHT BOUT-Fukuko Hamada def. Aya by armbar at 4:07 of round 1
NEXT CINDERELLA TOURNAMENT 2006 MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-Sakura Nakamura def. Kinuka Sasaki by split decision
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-SGG RULES (4 min. rounds)-Ryoko Ifuki def. Miyuki Ariga by arm bar at 1:35 of round 1
OPEN WEIGHT BOUT-Hari def. Kamei Natsuko by front choke at 2:58 of round 2
53KG BOUT-Ayumi "Edge" Saito def. Yoko Oyama by unanimous decision
54KG BOUT-SGG RULES (4 min. rounds)-MIKU def. Akiko Naito by front choke at 17 sec. of tound 2
TAE KWON DO EXHIBITION (2 two min. rounds)-Mari Tsuji - draw - Keiko Hanaoka
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-SGG RULES (4 min. rounds)-Nao Hazazwa def. Naoko Ohmuro by unanimous decision
50KG BOUT-Taeko Nagamine def. Yasuko Mogi by split decision
LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (3 rounds)-Yuka Tsuji def. Cami Hostetler by arm bar at 4:19 of round 2

Kevin Harvick sweeps Phoenix

Not surprisingly, the number one topic of discussion in the Nextel Cup garage is who will drive for Toyota's Red Bull Racing. Kevin Harvick's contract with Richard Childress Racing ends at the end of the 2006 season and it is well known that he has been dissatisfied with the RCR engines for the last couple of years. Of course Toyota will spend what they have to in order to get Harvick. Harvick said this week that a decision will be made soon but he's leaning towards staying at RCR. He says the RCR team performance has been a lot better this year and that's the main issue. He says he doesn't need the money and he's not crazy about joining a new startup team. Childress was on an African safari so wasn't in Phoenix. Expect Harvick's decision in a couple of weeks. It's also rumoured that Toyota is interested in Dale Jarrett & Robby Gordon. Meanwhile, Harvick won Friday's Busch Series race and leads the points. He's looking to win the Subway Fresh 300 and sweep Phoenix International Raceway.

Kyle Busch-#5 Carquest Chevy won the pole but ran into trouble when penalized for speeding on pit road. This led to Busch tangling with Casey Mears-#42 Texaco Havoline Dodge on lap 100 and hitting the wall. The red flag came out because a separate crash involving Kyle Petty-#45 Wells Fargo Dodge & Michael Waltrip-#55 Napa Auto Parts Dodge among others. The cars are supposed to stop but an irate Busch tried to ram Mears. I see a fine & probation in his future. Busch finished 36th.

The pattern for most of the race had Greg Biffle-#16 Subway Ford leading at the start of a run. Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford seemed to improve at the end of a run and usually took the lead by that time. Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy qualified third but started in the back because of a crew error regarding his tires. He made it to the front anyway.

A spin by Kyle Petty brought out the final caution. Everyone made final pit stops. The race remained green so fuel mileage became an issue. Who would last until the end of the race? Biffle was leading with Tony Stewart second and Kevin Harvick coming on strong in third. Harvick took the lead with ten laps left and then Biffle & Mark Martin both ran out of fuel to mess up their finishes. Martin was 11th & Biffle was 16th. Harvick hung on easily for the win and swept the weekend.

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, crew chief Todd Berrier & car owner Richard Childress on the victory. Clint Bowyer was fifth & Jeff Burton was tenth. So all three RCR cars finished in the top ten. Matt Kenseth took over the points lead with a third place finish and Bobby Labonte had a top ten as well. Here's the top ten.

1.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress
2.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
3.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
4.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
5.07/Clint Bowyer/Sylvania/Chevy/Richard Childress
6.9/Kasey Kahne/UAW-Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham
7.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
8.43/Bobby Labonte/Cheerios/Dodge/Petty Enterprises
9.31/Jeff Burton/Prilosec OTC/Chevy/Richard Childress
10.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Mavis Staples & Marty Stuart
Song:Twelve Gates To The City
Album:Voice of the Spirit:Gospel of the South

Mavis Staples is best known as the lead singer of The Staples Singers. They had hits like I'll Take You There etc. and you should get a Staples Singers comp. This is a traditional gospel song recorded with country star Marty Stuart. Mavis gives her standard great performance. The album is a recent various artists release from Dualtone with traditional gospel songs performed mostly by country artists like Johnny Cash & Rodney Crowell with a couple of gospel acts thrown in for good measure. I don't know if the songs are available elsewhere. I couldn't find this one so this may have been recorded for this CD. Mavis is great but I don't know about the rest of the CD.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Recent activities

Just a couple of things that have been going on around here lately. The co-op maintenance guy Marlon was in my apartment yesterday to change my smoke alarm. The old one was going off for no reason whatsoever. It went off three times on Thursday morning and then I have to wave something at it to get it to stop. Not a good thing. Marlon said it may have been installed incorrectly so he replaced it with a different one. No problem so far.

The one negative about this building is it doesn't have central air conditioning so I've been on the lookout for an air conditioner. Otherwise I'm going to sweat like crazy this summer. Wal-Mart has one on special this week so as soon as they get it in stock, I plan to go there and buy it. It wasn't in stock today. Of course Wal-Mart doesn't deliver so I'm not sure how I will get it home. Marlon said he would help me with it once I get it home. I don't think I can lift it. Everything is a big production. Geez!

I'm having trouble with the left footplate of my chair. It's loose and not staying up. The screws have to be tightened or replaced. I called Medi-Chair. It's not an emergency so they'll be over sometime this week. And if they leave me an Allan key, I can adjust it myself with no problem. I also have an appointment with an opthamologist in June and then I'll get new glasses.

Time to go watch NASCAR.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Marvin Sapp
Song:Not The Time, Not The Place
Album:Grace and Mercy

Marvin Sapp is a gospel artist from Grand Rapids, MI. He became popular as a member of Commissioned and then went solo when they split up. He's an excellent singer and is usually at his best when working with writer/producer Percy Bady. As this song demonstrates, they have a lot of chemistry together.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Yolanda Adams
Song:Still I Rise
Album:Verity Records-The First Decade Vol. 2

Yolanda became a crossover star after she left Verity but this is a great song that is actually from her 1997 album Songs From The Heart. It was written and produced by Fred Hammond.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Thelonious Monk
Song:In Walked Bud
Album:The Complete Blue Note Recordings

Great live track from this great 4CD box set.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yabushita to appear on May 6 G-Shooto show

G-Shooto announced a new match for their May 6 Shinjuku FACE show. It's a 47kg match with Youko Yamada vs Ryoko Sasaki. They also announced that Megumi Yabushita is scheduled to appear along with MIKU and Misaki Takimoto. The card so far.

G-SHOOTO - 5/6/06 - Shinjuku FACE
CLASS C+ 47KG MATCH-Youko Yamada vs Ryoko Sasaki

Ultimo Dragon promoting mixed tag tournament

For the first time, Ultimo Dragon's Toryumon is promoting a mixed tag team tournament with four wrestlers (3 men, 1 woman) on each side. This will be on June 23 at Korakuen Hall and will be part of Fiesta events in Tokyo.

Though I'm not a big fan of mixed tag matches, they're very popular with some fans and of course they do them better in Japan anyway. In recent years they haven't been a big part of the wrestling business in Japan since ARSION did the P-MIX tournament several years ago. El Gran Hamada & daughter Ayako Hamada were mixed tag champs back then. You see them occasionally but not that often. ARSION did them regularly and then just stopped doing them. K-Dojo is the only fed that has regular mixed matches.

At least it's something different and it will be on TV in Japan so you will be able to get it from your favourite video dealer. One interesting thing is that Fuuka will be teaming with her brother Daichi Kakimoto for the very first time. The main event mixed tag match appears to be seperate from the tournament and looks like a masked vs non masked match. AKINO is wearing her noki-A mask. I assume that tournament semi finals and finals are on the show too. Here's the announced card.

UD '06:ULTIMO FIESTA - 6/23/06 - Korakuen Hall
Mecha mummy vs TBA
Shu Sato, Kei Sato, Maguro Ooma & Nozomi Takesako vs TAKA Michinoku & K-Dojo wrestlers TBA
Poison Sawada, Isami, Shuji Ishikawa & Cherry vs Jinsei Shinzaki, Shinjitsu Nohashi, Yoshitsune & Shanaou (?)
Onryo, GOEMON, Ricky Fuji & Kyoko Kimura vs Dick Togo, Mori Bernardo, Antonio Honda & Francesca Applenya (Apple Miyuki)
Hiromi Horiguchi, Guillermo Chango Akiba, Amigo Suzuki & TBA vs Iifushi Kota, Seiya Morohashi, Daichi Kakinoto & Fuuka
Ultimo Dragon, Mil Mascaras & noki-A vs TAJIRI, El Gran Hamada & Ayako Hamada

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Bootsy Collins
Song:Munchies For Your Love
Album:Ahh...The Name is Bootsy, Baby!

If you're going to talk about funk, you had better start with George Clinton and his Parliament/Funkadelic crew. Bootsy Collins spun off with his own group Bootsy's Rubber Band. Clinton wrote & produced the music with Collins so it's as good as Clinton's own music. And Bootsy is a very funny guy and his mama dresses him funny. So if you're looking for funk, this is the guy to check out.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Yumiko Hotta announces next A To Z show

For two people who are supposed to hate each other, Yumiko Hotta & T-1 president Futami sure are working together a lot. Hotta held a press conference Tuesday to announce that the next A To Z show will be at Noon May 3 at Korakuen Hall. Futami announced previously that the next T-1 GP show will also be 6:30PM May 3 at Battle Sphere. What a coincidence.

Sachie Abe was at the press conference and Hotta announced that Abe will have a special match to officially commemorate her 10th anniversary in the joshi business. She will face three opponents in succession including Nanae Takahashi. Each match will have a ten minute time limit. Of course Hotta will appear against an opponent to be named and her rookies Nakashima & Mizunuma will face a T-1 team to be selected by Futami.

Hotta acknowledged that she will also appear on the T-1 GP show. She's still calling it a war though that's obviously not what it really is. There is speculation that Futami is Hotta's opponent on the A To Z show. Supposedly he will clarify that next week.

Rumi Kazama produced show this weekend

Rumi Kazama has been working in the LLPW front office since retiring in 2003. She's producing her first show on Apr. 23 at Korakuen Hall. She visited Nikkan Sports to discuss it. She's calling it Woman Pro Collection:Future Constructing Bridge. The idea is to build a bridge between the old and new generation of joshi. Other than having a few wrestlers on the show that normally don't work for LLPW, I don't know how this show is any different from a typical LLPW show. Oh, that's right. No Kandori. Even the transvestite Bachiko is on it. Also a couple of the matches don't adhere to her young vs old format. Here's the lineup.

Mariko Yoshida vs Yuri Arai
Mima Shimoda, Michiko Ohmukai & Azumi Hyuga vs GAMI, Amazing Kong & Bachiko
Tsubasa Kuragaki vs Cherry
Eagle Sawai & Harley Saito vs Eiger & Sayuri Okino
Jaguar Yokota & Devil Masami vs Kyoko Kimura & Ayumi Kurihara
Aja Kong, Dynamite Kansai, Mayumi Ozaki & Manami Toyota vs Ayako Hamada, AKINO & Mika Nishio

Chigusa Nagayo & KAORU return to the ring

Apr. 15 was the 11th anniversary of the debut of GAEA. Chigusa Nagayo decided to use this opportunity to make her return to active ring action after her retirement last year. KAORU returned as well after her latest year long injury layoff. Chigusa said she returned only as a favour to her old friend KAORU but it remains to be seen if this is a one time thing. The match was a goofy hardcore match with Big Japan guys. Barbed wire and flourescent light tubes abound. And there was another equally messy match on the show. Differ Ariake was sold out with 1200 fans in attendance.

With Chigusa Nagayo and Crush Gals partner Lioness Asuka looking on at ringside, youngsters Natsuki*Head and Ayako Sato wrestled to a 15 minute draw. Ayako was bleeding from her mouth. Chigusa shook hands with both wrestlers after the match.

Next was a GAEA birthday celebration featuring GAEA originals Chikayo Nagashima & Toshie Uematsu. Both debuted on that first GAEA show. Nagashima & Ran YuYu defeated Uematsu & Leon in 20:06 when Ran used a running elbow on Uematsu. After the match, GAEA veteran Sonoko Kato announced that she would return to the ring this summer. Kato has been on the shelf with serious knee problems for four years. She said the same thing last year. I'll believe it when I see it. Retired GAEA wrestlers Sugar Sato, Ayane Mizumura & Makie Numao entered the ring and there was birthday cake for everyone.

The next match probably gave them indigestion. It was Dump Matsumoto vs Shark Tsuchiya. In her day, Dump was probably one of the greatest heels in wrestling history. And of course she spent most of her time torturing The Crush Gals. Today she's a parody of herself. Shark was never any good in her FMW days. Chigusa has history with both of them but most fans don't want to see them anymore. It was a bloody mess with weapons and Shark lost though she apparently got her shoulder up before the three count.

Let's skip to the main event. It was a Flourescent Light & Barbed Wire Alpha Death Match. Chigusa teamed with Ryuji Ito & Takashi Sasaki. KAORU teamed with Abdullah Kobayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto. And those Big Japan guys do this hardcore stuff regularly. Chigusa brought flourescent bulbs to the ring and KAORU brought a ladder. KAORU was presented with a bouquet of flowers. Hopefully she didn't bleed on them when she got hit over the head with a light tube. KAORU did a lot of her trademark moves including a Moonsault off the ladder. KAORU pinned Chigusa with an Excalibur (Michinoku Driver 2). Of course I don't want to forget the power bomb on the barbed wire board. Chigusa and KAORU were all smiles and spattered with blood after the match. After all her injuries, KAORU was just happy to be back in the ring and working with her old pal Chigusa was the best way for her to return. Chigusa says she will produce a third show but doesn't think she will wrestle again. We shall see. Here's the results of the show.

CHIGUSA NAGAYO PRODUCE - 4/15/06 - Differ Ariake
Ayako Sato - 15 min. draw - Natsuki*Head
Chikayo Nagashima & Ran YuYu def. Leon & Toshie Uematsu (Ran over Uematsu in 20:06)Dump Matsumoto def. Shark Tsuchiya in 10:16
Dynamite Kansai & Carlos Amano def. Devil Masami & Ayako Hamada (Kansai over Masami in 16:11)
Aja Kong & Tomoko Watanabe def. Manami Toyota & Kaoru Ito (Watanabe over Ito in 14:39)FLOURESCENT LIGHT & BARBED WIRE ALPHA DEATH MATCH:KAORU, Abdullah Kobayashi & Daisuke Sekimoto def. Chigusa Nagayo, Ryuji Ito & Takashi Sasaki (KAORU over Nagayo in 18:37)

Sakura Hirota appearing in first stage production

As reported previously, everyone's favourite comedy wrestler Sakura Hirota has been taking acting classes. She has announced that she will be appearing in her very first stage production from June 2-4 at the Bratts Theatre at Shinjuku. She's working with a company called WAHAHAHA-Hompo. I don't know what the show is called but she's the star as her screaming face is in the middle of the poster. I guess it's a comedy about joshi.

Sakura told Livedoor Sports that though the play is about womens pro wrestling, she isn't planning a return to the ring. She also said the play is fictional though she is playing a wrestler. She is looking forward to a successful production followed by more success in her acting career.

Sachie Abe celebrates 10th anniversary at NEO show

NEO's April 12 show at Itabashi Green Hall turned out to be sort of an impromptu celebration of Sachie Abe's 10th anniversary in joshi. Sachie is a very pretty girl and a decent wrestler. She was trained by Jaguar Yokota at JD and spent the first seven years of her career there. She was fortunate to have a long feud with Naomi (The Bloody) Kato while working there. Like a lot of JD wrestlers, she left in 2003 when the JD obsession with the Athtresses got ridiculous. She joined Yumiko Hotta's newly acquired A To Z and is still hanging around with Hotta today. Abe is not a main event performer. She lacks intensity at times and her primary finisher is the Majistral Cradle, not exactly a power move. But she is fun to watch sometimes and is very good at taking a beating while smiling.

The show started with Misae Genki giving that goofy DJ Nira guy a choke slam to end a tag match. More about Genki later. NEO comedy wrestler Tanny Mouse announced that she would be teaming with Sachie Abe on her 10th anniversary. The opponents are Megumi Yabushita & Etsuko Mita. Mita has been having knee problems lately but she got through the match and won over Tanny Mouse with a fisherman suplex. This was followed by Kyoko Inoue & Toshie Uematsu vs Yoshiko Tamura & Yuki Miyazaki. Kyoko won over Miyazaki with the Niagara Driver. Kyoko spoke afterwards about NEO wrestlers wanting to work with Nanae Takahashi and Flash 7.

Misae Genki didn't get enough work earlier in the show so she decided to team up with rookie Tomoka Nakagawa against Nanae Takahashi & Hikaru. Takahashi & Hikaru wisely concentrated on the rookie as trying to attack Genki didn't get them anywhere. Putting a rookie in a main event wasn't smart. She doesn't cut it. After Hikaru pinned Nakagawa, Genki wasn't satisfied and confronted Takahashi & Hikaru. She challenged both of them. Kyoko Inoue is promising good matches for her wrestlers and fans. It remains to be seen if she can deliver.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Sly & The Family Stone
Song:Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)

Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) is considered today as one of the great innovators of black music and a major influence on hip hop music. His music was great back in the 60s and still sounds great today. What got Sly into trouble was unreliability. He wasn't showing up for gigs and promoters won't put up with that for very long. Other than his recent appearance on the Grammies, he hasn't done much in years. But this Anthology CD is worth checking out.

Raven Hiroka challenges for CMLL Feminil Title

It looks like we're finally going to have a CMLL Feminil Title match. On Sunday's Arena Coliseo show, Medusa, Raven Hiroka & Rosa Negra defeated Lady Apache, Marcela & Sahori. After the match, Raven Hiroka challenged Marcela for the CMLL Feminil Title. For those who don't know, Raven is a joshi wrestler who was trained by joshi legend Shinobu Kandori at LLPW. She worked there for a few years and now works for CMLL in Mexico full time. No date for the title match yet but I'll keep my eye on the situation.

Monday, April 17, 2006

More matches added to Apr. 22 Smackgirl show

Two more matches have been added to the Apr. 22 Smackgirl show at Taisho Azeria in Osaka. One will be MIKU vs Akiko Naito and the other is a first round match in the Next Cinderella Flyweight tournament between Fukuko Hamada & Aya. Also Yukiko Sugimoto is injured and has been replaced by Miyuki Ariga in the middleweight grappling match. Unless otherwise noted, all matches are for two five minute rounds. Here's the updated card.

SMACKGIRL - 4/22/06 - Taisho Azeria
LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (3 rounds)-Yuka Tsuji (Champ) vs CamiHostetler
OPENWEIGHT BOUT (2 rounds)-Hari vs Kamei Natsuko
50KG BOUT-Yasuko Mogi vs Taeko Nagamine
53KG BOUT-Ayumi "Edge" Saito vs Yoko Oyama
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-SGG RULES (two 4 min. rounds)-Miyuki Ariga vsRyoko Ifuki
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-Naoko Omuro vs Akiko Inoue
TAE KWON DO OPEN WEIGHT MATCH (two two min. rounds)-Mari Tsuji vs Keiko Hanaoka
54 KG. BOUT-SGG RULES-MIKU vs Akiko Naito

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Marvin Gaye
Song:Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Of course this song is actually from What's Goin' On, one of the greatest and most important albums in the history of pop music. There are a few Marvin Gaye comps out there. I have the 4CD box set covering his entire career and an extended 2CD edition of What's Goin' On.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Teddy Pendergrass
Song:Turn Out The Lights
Album:The Best of Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass made his name as lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes and their huge hit If You Don't Know Me By Now. He spun this off into a successful career as a major purveyor of "bedroom music". Even a car accident that landed Teddy in a wheelchair didn't slow him down. He's a great singer anyway but if you're looking for something to get "in the mood" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), this CD is a good place to start.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Miles Davis
Song:It Never Entered My Mind
Album:The Best of Miles Davis:The Capitol & Blue Note Years

Miles Davis recorded so much music that it's virtually impossible to get everything. He recorded for Columbia for almost 30 years so the emphasis is usually on that music. But in the early 50s he recorded for Capitol & Blue Note and you shouldn't overlook that music. This CD is a good collection of that music and this song is a wonderful ballad.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Willie Dixon
Song:Back Door Man
Album:I Am The Blues

Willie Dixon is one of most respected blues songwriters. This 1970 album is a collection of cover versions of his own songs that were popularized by other artists. The idea was you don't realize that he wrote them. If you're going to get into Willie Dixon you should probably start with his Chess recordings but this is pretty good too.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Steely Dan
Song:My Old School
Album:Citizen Steely Dan 1972-1980

Steely Dan was one of the best bands of the 70s. Donald Fagen & Walter Becker were basically jazz fans who decided to bring a jazz sensibility to rock. It made their music more mature than most rock bands. The is from the 4CD box set Citizen Steely Dan which contains all their MCA recordings.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Contours
Song:Do You Love Me
Album:Ultimate Dirty Dancing

Great Motown hit from the early 60s. Ultimate Dirty Dancing is BMG's attempt to revive the Dirty Dancing craze by reissuing all the songs from the soundtrack in a different format. It's a mixed bag and you're better off finding this song on any number of Motown comps.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:John P. Kee
Song:Patrapolis Mix
Album:The Color Of Music

John P. Kee is pastor of the New Life Community Church in Charlotte, NC and also music director of the church choir. He produces a lot of music and is one of the premier gospel artists in the world today. This is one of those songs that probably wouldn't be recognized as gospel unless you know who is performing it. You see a lot of gospel artists doing that in an attempt to reach a wider audience. Producer Rodney Jerkins was responsible for adding most of the funk to this track. Kee has a lot of music out there so if you're looking for an introduction you might want to try the Nothing But The Hits comp that Verity released a couple of years ago.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Drake Morimatsu retiring Apr. 16

Almost forgot about this. JD veteran Drake Morimatsu announced her retirement a while back and the show is happening on Apr. 16 at Differ Ariake. It's not surprising she's retiring considering her pals The Bloody & Fang Suzuki retired on New Year's Eve. But Drake wasn't as memorable as those two. I'd like to say she'll be missed but it's not true. It's not that I hate her. I just don't care about her. Drake will face her trainer & mentor Jaguar Yokota in her retirement match. Here's the card.

DRAKE PANIC FINAL - 4/16/06 - Differ Ariake
Drake Morimatsu & Guts Ijishima vs Megumi Yabushita & DAISUKE
Anya vs Yuna
Tarzan Goto vs Ricky Fuji
Sachie Abe & KAZUKI vs Obacchi Iizuka & Hiroyo Muto
Dump Matsumoto vs Tomoko Watanabe

Veterans win at GIRLS DOOR

Sometimes it's a good thing to get out of town. Such is the case with GIRLS DOOR. They've been running some out of town shows lately and they were in Fukushima on April 8. For those who don't know, GIRLS DOOR is the joshi company started by EWF Ltd., the same guy who owns the Smackgirl womens MMA company. Their early shows were a little shaky. They had trouble getting wrestlers to work for them so they had some of their wrestlers work a second time under masks. There were no masked wrestlers on this show. Dump Matsumoto was there but that's another story. GIRLS DOOR has a working relationship with Kaoru Ito so the hope is she will provide fresh faces down the road.

This Mimi Hagiwara redux look that Bambi has adopted is sure causing a buzz among fans. It's certainly a big improvement. Maybe she will develop some ring skills to complement that. She needs to keep listening to Yoshida. Bambi has been winning her matches lately but on this occasion her opponent was veteran Kaoru Ito. So Bambi wasn't going to win this match. Ito won with the Spiral Bomb at 8:46.

Dump Matsumoto and her sidekick Sasori were on the show. Sasori won her match over Kaoru Ito trainee Ayako Sato with the Scorpion Deathlock at 9:21. Then she proceeded to help Dump defeat Kyoko Kimura. Dump won with a lariat at 8:46. Dump is my number one choice for retirement. She never should have come back. She can't move anymore. I'm getting sick of seeing younger wrestlers squashed by her. Other than nostalgia and you all know how I feel about that, I don't see the point of it. Then another veteran vs youngster match with Tomoko Watanabe defeating Ayumi Kurihara with a German Suplex at 12:24.

The main event had Michiko Ohmukai & Ayako Hamada vs Mika Nishio & Bullfight Sora. Guess who won. From what I could tell, it doesn't look like Nishio was too thrilled about teaming with Sora because of Sora's reputation as a comedy wrestler. So Nishio spent most of the match in the corner and Sora got the crap kicked out of her by Ohmukai & Hamada. Ohmukai finished off Sora with a Tiger Suplex at 21:35. Ohmukai & Hamada worked very well together, not surprising considering they're very familiar with each other from their ARSION days.

So it was all veterans vs youngsters and the veterans won all the matches. Booker El Gran Hamada has to be more careful. It's too predictable. You have to throw fans a bone sometimes. Would it have killed them to have a younger wrestler win one match? This is the state of the joshi business these days. Here's the results of the show.

GIRLS DOOR - 4/8/06 - Big Palette Fukushima
Sasori def. Ayako Sato in 9:21
Kaoru Ito def. Bambi in 9:42
Dump Matsumoto def. Kyoko Kimura in 8:46
Tomoko Watanabe def. Ayumi Kurihara in 12:24
Michiko Ohmukai & Ayako Hamada def. Mika Nishio & Bullfight Sora (Ohmukai over Sora in 21:35)

Kansai Professional Jiu Jitsu announces debut

A new company calling itself Kansai Professional Jiu Jitsu has announced that its debut show on June 4 at the Osaka Round Hall. Yasuko Mogi & MIKU are already scheduled to appear. From what I can tell, it appears that this company is being started by the folks who took a bunch of Japanese women MMA fighters to Abu Dhabi for a tournament a few months ago. That seems to have sold fairly well on DVD so they're looking to produce more DVDs.

Updated Apr. 22 Smackgirl card

Smackgirl has added more matches to its Apr. 22 show at Taisho Azeria in Osaka. One is an exhibition tae kwon do match with a couple of local amateurs. I can't figure out the names. The other is a Flyweight match featuring Smackgirl veterans Naoko Omuro & Akiko Inoue. Here's the updated card. All matches are two five minute rounds unless otherwise stated.

SMACKGIRL - 4/22/06 - Taisho Azeria
LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (3 rounds)-Yuka Tsuji (Champ) vs Cami Hostetler
OPENWEIGHT BOUT (2 rounds)-Hari vs Kamei Natsuko
50KG BOUT-Yasuko Mogi vs Taeko Nagamine
53KG BOUT-Ayumi "Edge" Saito vs Yoko Oyama
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT-SGG RULES (two 4 min. rounds)-Yumiko Sugimoto vs Ryoko Ifuki
FLYWEIGHT BOUT-Naoko Omuro vs Akiko Inoue

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir
Song:Jehovah Reigns
Album:20/85 The Experience

Walker is the Brooklyn based choir leader known as The First Minister Of Hip Hop for his mixing of hip hop with traditional gospel techniques. This is a really great song from his most recent live CD. A tremendous choir well worth checking out.

Just a note to all you idiot spammers out there. I moderate all responses. Spam will not be approved. Stop wasting your time. Some idiot tried to post the same spam twice yesterday.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kasey Kahne wins Texas Nextel Cup race

In the ten years that the NASCAR Nextel Cup has been racing at Texas Motor Speedway, no one has ever won the race from the pole. Also Roush cars have been very dominant. Kasey Kahne-#9 UAW Dodge Dealers Dodge won the pole. Could he break this pattern and win. Oh and it's Kasey's 26th birthday tomorrow. So the incentive is there.

Kasey actually fell back at the start of the race. Greg Biffle-#16 Subway Ford led the first part of the race. He lost the lead after a debris caution and a few guys stayed out on the track for track position. Kahne took the lead at lap 69. Then disaster struck Biffle again. He tangled with Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge on lap 82 and hit the wall. It also ruined Busch's day as he had to go to the garage for repairs.

Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy takes the lead on lap 93 and would dominate the middle part of the race. Denny Hamlin-#11 FedEx Chevy got the lead after pit stops during a lap 146 caution. He would swap the lead for a while with Matt Kenseth-#17 Carhartt Ford & Carl Edwards-#99 Office Depot Ford. Kasey Kahne & Tony Stewart would both return to the front. Kahne would take the lead again at lap 250 after Kyle Petty-#45 Schwan's Dodge blown engine brought out a caution. Edwards spun and hit the inside wall at lap 257. His day is over.

Kahne leads when the green flag comes out at lap 264 but Stewart passes him immediately. These two would duel for the lead for the rest of the race. Kahne regains the lead at lap 308. With green flag pit stops looming, a debris caution on lap 313 allows for final pit stops. Kahne wins the race off pit road and easily holds off Kenseth & Stewart for the win.

Congratulations to Kasey Kahne, crew chief Kenny Francis and car owner Ray Evernham for Kasey's second win of the year. Also big top ten finishes for rookies Denny Hamlin & Martin Truex Jr. and for Scott Riggs & Bobby Labonte as well. Jimmie Johnson remains the points leader. The Nextel Cup boys have a week off and will be in Phoenix in two weeks. Here's the top ten of today's race.

1.9/Kasey Kahne/UAW Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham
2.17/Matt Kenseth/Carhartt/Ford/Jack Roush
3.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
4.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
5.29/Kevin Harvick/Reese's Caramel Cups/Chevy/Richard Childress
6.31/Jeff Burton/Cingular/Chevy/Richard Childress
7.10/Scott Riggs/Stanley Tools/Dodge/Ray Evernham
8.1/Martin Truex Jr/Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
9.6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
10.43/Bobby Labonte/Cheerios/Dodge/Petty Enterprises

WEW & DWOW need to stop using untrained refs

Yesterday I was reading Larry Goodman's review of the train wreck that was the Womens Extreme Wrestling PPV in Atlanta. Now anyone who writes about womens wrestling like I write about Japan or SHIMMER knows that WEW and it's sister company Dangerous Women Of Wrestling is distasteful misogynistic garbage. But the thing that jumped out at me is how unsafe it is to the workers. As it is, wrestlers put their lives on the line to entertain us. The last thing we need is wrestling companies doing stupid things that devalue the product and also make it more likely that a wrestler will get seriously injured. Before I get into that, be aware that WEW & DWOW used to be the same company. They split up but produce more or less the same product using many of the same people and they are equally guilty of the main issue that I will be talking about. Also, I have seen WEW as it is on The Fight Network here in Canada. It's unwatchable crap but the quality of the product isn't the issue here. I'm not planning on buying any of their product regardless.

The main issue is safety. WEW & DWOW have always used inexperienced untrained young women as refs. I don't know why they do this but they do. I have to presume they are used for their looks. At a recent DWOW show in Philly, Angel Orsini was seriously injured during a ladder match with Sumie Sakai when the young woman ref forgot to hold the ladder during a spot. Angel broke both heels. You would think a lesson would be learned but according to Larry's review of the WEW show, WEW is still using these women as refs. Larry told me that there weren't any injuries as a result of these women but they are incompetent and constantly screw up. Of course that hurts the product too.

This is not a gender issue. This is a competence and safety issue. SHIMMER uses Laura Mattano & Jennifer Carlisle as refs. Both are well qualified experienced workers. And in Japan, there have been female refs since the 70s ever since Miyuki Yanagi retired as a wrestler and became a ref. In fact, her daughter Tommy Ran has been a ref for many years and there are others too. As long as WEW & DWOW continue to use untrained women refs mostly for their looks, there is a liklihood that a wrestler could get seriously injured in the ring again. The wrestlers need to be able to trust the ref. These girls can't be trusted.

The bottom line is that WEW & DWOW need to stop doing this and both need to announce publicly that for safety reasons they will never use untrained incompetent young women as refs again. Now I know that most of the wrestlers work for WEW & DWOW mainly for the money and hate the product. Angel Orsini said exactly that in a recent interview. But I think it's time for workers to take a stand. If WEW & DWOW don't make a public announcement about this, chances are good they will continue to use these women regardless of what they say privately. And I know DWOW has made promises privately but have said nothing publicly. Forget the money and stop working for them. The life you save may be your own.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Donnie McClurkin
Song:We Fall Down
Album:Verity Records:The First Decade Vol. 1

McClurkin is a very popular gospel singer and We Fall Down was a big R & B crossover hit a couple of years ago. For some reason, it struck a chord with people. This is from a various artists comp but is actually from Donnie's Live In London And More CD.

Just wanted to mention that today is the first anniversary of my spinal fusion surgery. At the time, I certainly had no idea that I would get to this point. I've still got a long way to go but at least I won't be spending the summer in hospital this year. It's good to be free.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Kurt Busch wins Texas Busch Series race

As many NASCAR fans are aware, most Nextel Cup drivers spend some time in the Busch Series before graduating to Nextel Cup. 2004 Nextel Cup champ Kurt Busch didn't do that. He went directly from the Craftsman Truck series to Nextel Cup. So believe it or not, Saturday's O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway was Busch's first Busch Series race. Some rookie, huh. Denny Hamlin-#20 Rockwell Automation Chevy started on the pole.

The first half of the race was uneventful with Jeff Burton-#21 Coast Guard Chevy leading and Kurt Busch-#39 Penske Truck Rental Dodge in second. Busch took the lead during caution flag pit stops. Greg Biffle-#16 Ameriquest Ford was in second. He had one final chance to get the win when a Burney Lamar-#77 General Dollar Stores Chevy spin set up a green/white/checker finish. Busch held off Biffle and became the fourth driver in history to win his very first Busch Series start and the first since Terry Labonte in 1985. The Busch Series is in Nashville next week.

I guess Futami didn't mean it

It was announced Saturday that T-1 GP will hold their next joshi show on May 3 at the Battle Sphere at Saitama. Those scheduled to appear include Yumiko Hotta, Sachie Abe and the T-1 Masks 1 & 2. They are also planning a talk show and they will auction off Futami's broken sunglasses. I'll bet Hotta buys them and turns it into an angle.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Darwin Hobbs f/Shirley Murdock
Song:Nobody But Jesus

Darwin Hobbs is a very good singer but when you add someone as talented as Shirley Murdock to a song, that's just added value. Shirley makes him better. These two really work well together. The song was a big hit in the gospel market and there was even a good video released.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Cannonball Adderley
Song:Autumn Leaves
Album:Somethin' Else

Wonderful bop version of a the Roger Williams standard. It's a very good example of how jazz musicians can take any song and make it fresh. Of course Miles Davis appears on this too.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Song:Teach Your Children
Album:Deja Vu

Very popular supergroup back in the 70s, these were four guys who had careers as solo performers and also came from other popular groups. Stills & Young from Buffalo Springfield, Crosby from The Byrds & Nash from The Hollies. They were very inconsistent but Deja Vu was probably their best record and it still holds up very well today.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Big night for Hikaru at Apr. 2 Empress show

For those who don't know, Empress Produce is the joshi fed started by joshi legends Jaguar Yokota & Devil Masami. They had their third show April 2 at Shinjuku FACE. Jaguar & Devil have been calling some of their old pals from joshi of the 70s & 80s to appear. Last time around it was Mimi Hagiwara, possibly the most beautiful woman ever to appear in a joshi ring. She still has a huge fan following over twenty years after her retirement. On this show there was a special appearance by Tomi Aoyama, one half of the Queen Angels tag team of the late 70s with Lucy Kayama. Tomi was a great athlete who unfortunately was forced to retire prematurely due to a bad knee. She was fun to watch.

Though the main event was Aja Kong vs Devil Masami, Hikaru was scheduled to challenge for the NSG Title. The champ was determined at the Mar. 21 M's Style show. it would be the winner of the Leon vs Saki Maemura match. Leon won and would defend against Hikaru. After flowers were presented to Tomi Aoyama, Maemura teamed up with Azumi Hyuga vs Jaguar Yokota & Natsuki*Head. Jaguar pinned Maemura with a fisherman buster. This was followed by Nanae Takahashi over Toshie Uematsu and then Kaoru Ito & Ayako Sato def. Mariko Yoshida & Ayumi Kurihara.

AKINO faced Mayumi Ozaki next and of course that meant that she had to face Police & Chikayo Nagashima as well. Bullfight Sora came down to help AKINO but it was to no avail as Ozaki was the winner. This was followed by a talk show featuring Tomi Aoyama, Lioness Asuka & Jaguar Yokota. Talking about the good old days was very entertaining for the fans. Jaguar said she was supposed to be Tomi's partner in the Queen Angels but management thought she was too short and replaced her with Lucy Kayama. That was a pretty good team so that turned out very well. Next was Meiko Satomura & Dynamite Kansai vs Mika Nishio & Hiroyo Muto. Meiko said before the match that her four trainees will be ready to go on the Sendai Girls debut show on July 9. Satomura won the match over Muto with the Death Valley Bomb.

Next Leon defended her NSG Title against Hikaru. Hikaru won the title using the Tower Hacker Bomb and then said she would like to raise the value of the belt by defending it against Mika Nishio & Kaori Yoneyama. The main event had two joshi legends in Aja Kong & Devil Masami. Aja won with her back fist finisher. Aja said afterwards that she was very impressed with the performances by the younger wrestlers on the show. The Empress shows have been very well received so far and Jaguar & Devil announced that the next show will be in July.

Three bouts added to Apr. 22 Smackgirl show

Smackgirl has added three more bouts to their April 22 show atTaisho Azeria in Osaka. One will feature jiu jitsu veteran Yasuko Mogi attempting to rebound from her loss five months ago to Hisae Watanabe. The other two matches will feature a couple of local Osaka fighters, Yoko Oyama vs Smackgirl veteran Ayumi "Edge" Saito and Ryoko Ifuki vs Yumiko Sugimoto. The card so far. All matches are two five minute rounds unless otherwise stated.

SMACKGIRL - 4/22/06 - Taisho Azeria
LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE BOUT (3 rounds)-Yuka Tsuji (Champ) vs Cami Hostetler
OPENWEIGHT BOUT (2 rounds)-Hari vs Kamei Natsuko
50KG BOUT-Yasuko Mogi vs Taeko Nagamine
53KG BOUT-Ayumi "Edge" Saito vs Yoko Oyama
MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT (two 4 min. rounds)-Yumiko Sugimoto vs Ryoko Ifuki

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Lee Morgan
Album:The Best Blue Note Album In The World

Lee Morgan was a great jazz trumpeter in the 60s. He put out some great records including this one. Morgan died tragically in the 70s when he heard a noise outside his New York apartment, stepped outside and was fatally shot. This is from a Blue Note comp which would probably be a good introduction for newcomers. Morgan's albums are all available individually.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

JD STAR begins LEAGUE PRINCESS tournament

JD STAR began the League Princess tournament on their April 1 show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. This is a round robin tournament for eight wrestlers with less than three years experience. The tournament matches will be on the undercard of the usual JD STAR shows. The eight wrestlers have been divided into two blocks of four. A wrestler gets two points for a win and of course zero for a loss. If a match is a draw there will be a five minute overtime and the winner gets one point. This tournament will be going on for the next couple of months with the final on June 25. It fills up the undercard so I guess it's not a bad thing.

Of course as always JD STAR's motivation for doing this or anything else is suspect because they are committed to pushing the Athtress concept. So when their recent attempt to try and push Fuuka as an ace didn't turn out too well, they decided she might do better against less experienced competition. This bit them on the butt in Sunday's first round. Fuuka faced Bambi from K-Dojo. Until recently Bambi hadn't won a match in her career. However, it appears that this new look that she unveiled at the recent Ibuki show has given her new confidence. She won her match on that show. You know what? She won her match here too. Fuuka suffered a busted lip and a popped eardum. Bambi won with her new finisher the diving senton in 7:23. And she got blood all over her brand new white bathing suit. And of course I have photographic evidence for your enjoyment.

The other matches had Tomoka Nakagawa over Yuri Urai, Natsuki*Head over Ayumi Kurihara. Shuu Shibutani & Mai Ichii had a ten minute draw and Shibutani won in the overtime. The main event had AKINO & Hikaru over Saki Maemura & Bullfight Sora.

So a bit of a surprise in the first matches of the League Princess tournament but just keep in mind it's a long tournament and JD STAR could be doing a bit of a swerve so Fuuka comes from behind or some nonsense like that. They really have to prove that they're not trying to hoodwink fans all the time and their past behaviour tells us that's what they will try to do. I would like to be pleasantly surprised for a change. The next matches in League Princess will be on Apr. 15. Here's the results of the show and a link to three pages of pics.

JD STAR - 4/1/06 - Shin-kiba 1st Ring
LEAGUE PRINCESS:Tomoka Nakagawa (2) def. Yuri Urai (0) in 7:47
LEAGUE PRINCESS:Bambi (2) def. Fuuka in 7:23
LEAGUE PRINCESS:Shuu Shibutani - 10 min. draw - Mai Ichii, Shibutani (1) def. Ichii (0) in 2:22 of overtime
LEAGUE PRINCESS:Natsuki*Head (2) def. Ayumi Kurihara (0) in 8:04
GAMI & Yuki Miyazaki def. Nanae Takahashi & Kyoko Kimura (Takahashi counted out in 22:59)
AKINO & Hikaru def. Saki Maemura & Bullfight Sora (AKINO over Maemura in 18:45)

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Karen Clark Sheard
Song:We Acknowledge You
Album:The Heavens Are Telling

This song kicked off the live portion of this CD. It's an awesome song with a tremendous performance by Karen. She is one of the best singers anywhere with a legit four octave range. The song was written & produced by frequent collaborator Donald Lawrence. Donald really understands how to write for her. The live recording was at Karen's husband Pastor Drew Sheard's church in Detroit.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Big Walter Horton
Song:Jumpin' Blues
Album:Mouth Harp Maestro

Big Walter Horton was one of the most respected blues harmonica players in Chicago. But he wasn't as well known as others because he was shy and he also had a drinking problem. He worked a lot of sessions but didn't record under his own name very often. Jumpin' Blues is from some recordings Horton did for Sun Records in the early 50s using the name Mumbles. They were released by British blues label Ace Records and now available on CD from Virgin. Big Walter Horton died in 1981.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tony Stewart wins Matrinsville Nextel Cup race

2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup champ Tony Stewart has led a lot of laps so far this year but he hasn't had the finishes to show for it. He was hoping to change that at Sunday's DIRECTV 500 at Martinsville. After last week's demolition derby at Bristol and Jeff Gordon's $10,000 fine for pushing Matt kenseth, similar things were expected at another short track. Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy won the pole and was hoping to bounce back from his 30th place finish last week.

Among others, Dale Earnhardt Jr-#8 Budweiser Chevy was part of a big crash on the second lap. Earnhardt continued but Robby Gordon#7-Menards Chevy was out of the race and several other cars went to the garage for repairs. Jimmie Johnson was the leader when the green flag came out at lap ten. Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy took the lead on lap 34 and led for most of the race.

Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy cut down a tire on lap 90 but fortunately he was able to get to the pits but he had to start in the back. Dale Earnhardt Jr. destroyed his front right corner in the earlier crash. Ryan Newman-#12 Alltel Dodge taps Earnhardt into the inside wall on lap 316. It looks bad but Earnhardt stays on the lead lap.

Johnson would always lead the race off pit road because he had the first pit but Stewart would always get the lead after the green flag came out. Finally Johnson gets the lead from Stewart on the track at lap 378. Johnson used up his car and Stewart passed him for the lead on lap 473. Then Jeff Gordon moved into second on lap 482.

Could Stewart hold off Gordon? The red flag came out on lap 493 when Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Ford lost his brakes and hit the wall hard. There was a lot of fluid on the track. The green came back out with three laps left and Tony Stewart held off Jeff Gordon for the victory.

Congratulations to Tony Stewart, crew chief Greg Zipadelli and car owner Joe Gibbs on the victory. Big fourth place finish for Dale Earnhardt Jr. after crashing twice. And a big top ten for Scott Riggs. Jimmie Johnson got the points lead back. The Nextel Cup & Busch Series are in Texas next week. Here's the top ten.

1.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
2.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
3.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
4.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
5.5/Kyle Busch/Kellogg's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
6.38/Elliott Sadler/M & M's/Ford/Robert Yates
7.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress
8.25/Brian Vickers/GMAC/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
9.26/Jamie McMurray/Irwin Industrial Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
10.10/Scott Riggs/Valvoline/Do0dge/Ray Evernham

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:BeBe & CeCe Winans
Song:It's OK
Album:Greatest Hits

BeBe & CeCe Winans are part of a very large gospel music family. Believe it or not, they started singing together at the PTL Club. Eventually, they became very popular not only in gospel but in mainstream R & B too. BeBe is a tremendous writer/producer and CeCe is one of the finest singers anywhere. They eventually split up in the mid 90s but are still very popular as solo acts.

Amazing Kong MySpace

I'm not a fan of MySpace as it is too easy to do a phony one but our favourite gaijin Amazing Kong now has one so be sure to go visit her over there.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

David Starr wins Martinsville Craftsman Truck race

Bad news for Craftsman Truck series regulars. Mark Martin announced this week that he was going to increase the number of 2006 Craftsman Truck races from 7 to 14 in the #6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford. Martin won the first two races of the season. So he wasn't supposed to race the Krogers 250 at Martinsville but there he was on the outside of the front row. Bobby Hamilton Jr.-#18 Fastenal Dodge won the pole in his first race filling in for his father Bobby Hamilton who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

Nextel Cup rookie Clint Bowyer-#07 Jack Daniels Chevy ran his very first truck race mainly because he'd never raced at Martinsville before. Martinsville is a half mile flat track shaped like a paper clip. Pit stategy would be inportant in this race. Some trucks planned to pit twice and some trucks planned to pit once to get track position and use the numerous cautions to save fuel. The thinking is once you get the lead it's so difficult to pass that you can keep the lead. That was Bowyer's strategy and he led the first half of the race. Unfortunately, he spun out and hit the wall shortly after pitting. The truck was damaged but he did continue. He just wasn't the same and finished eighth.

David Starr-#11 Red Horse Racing Toyota used this one pit stop strategy to get the lead halfway through the race. Ted Musgrave-#9 ASE Toyota & Matt Crafton-#88 Menards Chevy used the same strategy but weren't able to pass Starr. So the one pit stop strategy worked perfectly for David Starr. Mark Martin had fresher tires but ran out of time and finished fourth. Starr's win moved him up to fifth place in the points standings. Mark Martin still leads. The next race is April 29 at Gateway Speedway in St. Louis. Martin won't be there.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:John Coltrane
Song:Giant Steps
Album:The Very Best of John Coltrane

This classic Coltrane track is from a collection of his Atlantic recordings that's actually a pretty good introduction for anyone not familiar with his body of work. Experienced listeners will probably already have the Giant Steps album or the Heavyweight Champion 7CD box set of all of Coltrane's Atlantic recordings.