Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Atrist:The Beach Boys
Song:Wouldn't It Be Nice
Album:Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys were probably the most popular American pop group of the 60s. It was a family group with the three Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl & Dennis), cousin Mike Love and high school chum Al Jardine. By 1964, Brian Wilson stopped touring and locked himself in his home recording studio. His audio experimentation resulted in Pet Sounds, considered by many to be their greatest album. It's still a landmark recording though at the time it didn't do as well as expected. Capitol has just released a 40th Anninversary Edition of Pet Sounds. As with previous reissues, this has mono & stereo versions (Brian is deaf in one ear so he recorded in mono) and also comes with a DVD with a documentary The Making Of Pet Sounds & an interview with Brian Wilson among other things. Pet Sounds is an essential CD for your collection.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pancrase adds womens match to Oct. 1 show

Pancrase has announced the addition of an Athena womens bout to their Oct. 1 show at Umeda Stella Hall in Osaka. Jiu jitsu expert Rin Nakai will make her MMA debut. She appeared on the recent Smackgirl Grappling tournament. Her opponent is Asuka Ito who is coming off a loss in June to SAYAKA. Ito is from Osaka. The match is scheduled for three three minute rounds.

M's Style to close

Michiko Ohmukai held a press conference on Aug. 30 and announced on her blog that M's Style will close after their Oct. 8 Shinjuku FACE show. M's Style was started in 2004 by Michiko Ohmukai, AKINO, Mariko Yoshida & Momoe Nakanishi. Their first show was in March 2004. There was speculation at the time that New Japan was bankrolling the company but M's Style had never really gotten off the ground when Momoe left in June 2004 and subsequently retired in Jan. 2005. After that, M's Style was just another zombie fed. The company has been even less active since Yoshida started concentrating on her Ibuki fed.

M's Style closing is not overly surprising. It's been rumoured for over a year that Michiko Ohmukai wants to retire and I suspect she will do exactly that. It's not yet known what any of the M's Style wrestlers will do but AKINO can go anywhere and be a main eventer and Ayumi Kurihara is a youngster with potential and will catch on somewhere. The others could freelance. I'll have more on this as details become available.

Fuuka & WINDY talk Smackgirl

Fuuka & WINDY Tomomi talked about their upcoming matches on the Sept. 15 Smackgirl show at Korakuen Hall. Fuuka will fight Mai and Tomomi will fight Seri.

This will be Fuuka's first Smackgirl appearance since Nov. 2005. Of course she is normally a wrestler for JD Star. Fuuka says she is very nervous about the match and isn't sleeping very well. She decided to return to Smackgirl in the Spring once the opponent was determined. She wants to have fun with the match and attract the MMA fans to JD Star. She says she is very proud of winning the POP title in June and it keeps her very busy. Fuuka believes she has improved since first appearing in Smackgirl in 2004 and has been training very hard and wants to put on a good show.

WINDY Tomomi's upcoming match will be her first Smackgirl appearance since her tough loss to Yuka Tsuji. She is looking forward to her match with Seri and feels Seri is an up and comer with a lot of talent. WINDY thought of retirement after losing to Tsuji but the big win on the Aug. 4 DEEP show by her pal Hisae Watanabe convinced her to stay. Both women have a kickboxing background and train together regularly. She says Hisae has been encouraging her. It appears that WINDY's loss to Tsuji humbled her but Watanabe's success has convinced her that she can do the same thing. WINDY Tomomi is a very good fighter already and renewed enthusiasm after defeat could make her better. All bouts are scheduled for two five minute rounds. Here's the card to date.

SMACKGIRL - 9/15/06 - Korakuen Hall
52KG BOUT-Fuuka vs Mai
48KG BOUT-Ayumi "Edge" Saito vs Ikuko Tamada
53KG BOUT-Akiko Naito vs Kyoko Takabayashi
54KG BOUT-WINDY Tomomi vs Seri

More silliness from T-1 president Futami

T-1 GP had their latest show on Aug. 26 at the Nishi-Chofu Arena. So I went looking for T-1 president Futami's latest blather on his blog on the Sportsnavi site. Guess what? The blog is gone. Maybe Sportsnavi got tired of him and kicked him out. Well, at least he's still posting on his T-1 website. So fortunately, I do have some details on the show. Maybe not so fortunate.

It looks like most of the show was yakking. Futami screened one of the T-1 GP DVDs and then he had some sort of talk show with rookie Yasusato Nakajima. He also brought out his troubleshooter Hikaru Shimohara. I guess he's setting up something for his next show. And of course the usual nonsense about destroying Yumiko Hotta.

The main event was a handicap match. Yumiko Hotta vs Hikaru Shinohara & Shark Tsuchiya. Hotta was disqualified for attacking Futami. After punting him around for a while, Futami promised revenge. Also, he challenged Kumiko Maekawa again. I know one thing. If I was one of the 156 fans in attendance, I'd want my money back. This guy's shtick is getting old.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Allman Brothers Band
Album:2oth Century Masters-The Millenium Collection:The Best of The Allman Brothers Band

This budget priced comp is a reasonable introduction to The Allman Brothers Band. Any fan is likely to have something a little more comprehensive. It's actually from their biggest selling record Brothers & Sisters. It was their first record after the tragic deaths of guitarist Duane Allman & bassist Berry Oakley. Like most of the songs on that album, Jessica was written by guitarist Dicky Betts and it's a really good rock instrumental track. The group kind of fell apart in the mid 70s when Betts & Gregg Allman started making solo records. I tend to stick to their early music when Duane was alive. I'm not as big on Betts.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Review of The Illusionist

With all the big Hollywood summer blockbusters getting all the hype, It's very easy to overlook a smaller film that doesn't have snakes on a plane. The Illusionist caught my eye as an interesting story a little off the beaten path. It's based on Steven Millhauser's short story Eisenheim The Illusionist. Neil Burger wrote and directed the low budget and barely released 2002 JFK assassination drama Interview With The Assassin but The Illusionist is his first film with a decent budget and cast. The film was produced by independent producer Bob Yari.

The time and place is early 1900s Vienna. Edward Abramowicz AKA Eisenheim The Illusionist (Edward Norton) is arrested by Police Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) after a performance. Flashback to Abramowicz as a teen (Aaron Johnson) playing with his friend Sophie (Eleanor Tomlinson). Because he's a commoner and she is royalty, her family won't allow her to be friends with him. Fifteen years later, Edward Abramowicz has become Eisenheim The Illusionist, an accomplished magician performing before spellbound Vienna audiences. Inspector Uhl is an amateur magician so of course he wants to know Eisenheim's secrets. But he also informs Eisenheim that he will be performing for Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) and he needs to watch himself.

At the command performance, Eisenheim recognizes that the young lady engaged to be married to Crown Prince Leopold is his childhood friend Sophie (Jessica Biel). The powerful Crown Prince is evil and feels he was embarassed by Eisenheim. He orders Inspector Uhl to do something about him. The film becomes a cat and mouse game between them. Meanwhile, future princess Sophie still has a locket given to her by Eisenhem when they were teens. They get together. Sophie decides to leave Leopold and then seems to get murdered. Uhl arrests a man for the murder but continues to hound Eisenheim at the behest of Leopold.

Meanwhile, Eisenheim becomes the sensation of Vienna by using his powers to raise the dead. When one of the dead he raises is Sophie, he is arrested and his show is closed. Further investigation by Uhl reveals Leopold to be the murderer and Leopold shoots himself in the head. Eisenheim disappears from Vienna and Uhl discovers as we do that nothing is as it seems. Eisenheim used his abilities to trick everyone. He's quite the illusionist.

A lot of period films made in modern times use the same type of bright colours seen in contemporary settings. Neil Burger and cinematographer Dick Pope (Nicholas Nickleby) have intentionally made The Illusionist in muted sepiatone colours. He wants to transport us to this time and place with no distractions. This is why the film was made in Prague. They wanted that old world atmosphere. Of course it's cheaper to film there too. Philip Glass's musical score adds to this and I felt the film was heavily influenced by silent films. Edward Norton gives a strong understated performance and Paul Giamatti is outstanding playing against type as the seemingly villainous Chief Inspector Uhl. It's his responsibility to sell the ending to the viewer and he does it all with facial expressions. Jessica Biel is mostly window dressing but Eisenheim & Uhl are understandably the focus of the film. The Illusionist is a film that will make you think about the how illusion can be made to seem real by a skilled performer. It transported me to a completely different world but was real enough so I could easily identify with the characters. I am looking forward to Neil Burger's next project. He hit a homer with The Illusionist.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Thelonious Monk
Song:April In Paris

It's always enjoyable when a jazz musician takes a standard and makes it his own. Such is the case with this version of April In Paris by the 1964 Thelonious Monk Quartet; Thelonious Monk on piano, Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, Larry Gales on bass & Ben Riley on drums. The interplay between Monk & Rouse is beautifully done. Monk plays the song like he wrote it but he didn't. Columbia released a remastered and expanded version of Monk in 2002 with some alternate takes. It's a must for jazz fans.

Monday, August 28, 2006

ZERO-ONE MAX very excited about Wesna Busic

It appears that ZERO-ONE MAX is very excited about the impending arrival of The Croatian Panther Wesna Busic to Japan. Wesna is the EWA Womens Champ and will have a title vs title match against NSG Champ Hikaru on the Sept. 3 Dream Catchers show at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. ZERO-ONE Max has been trying to get Wesna to Japan for a while but the schedules never seemed to work out.

Apparently Wesna was very impressive on DVD mostly wrestling men. They tried to get her to Japan in the Spring and were planning for her to have a match with Amazing Kong. Then they tried to get her for the Nanae Takahashi 10th Anniversary show in July. Finally, ZERO-ONE MAX has Wesna for the Dream Catchers show. It was also teased that Dadae Takahashi will be wearing a mask. The card for the debut of Pro Wrestling Sun will be announced on Sept. 3 and ZERO-ONE MAX is promising some new gaijins for the Real Evil Makers heel stable led by Amazing Kong.

Meiko Satomura update

Meiko Satomura had surgery for a herniated disc on Aug. 6 and was released from hospital on Aug. 14 and is convalescing at her parents home. I though she was going to make an announcement about the Sept. 29 Sendai Girls show but she didn't so I assume she will be on it. We'll know soon enough. I hope she's not coming back too soon.

Meanwhile here's the main event from the July 9, 2006 Sendai Girls debut between Meiko Satomura & Aja Kong. It's a very good match and you gotta love these Google players. Enjoy!

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Vanessa Bell Armstrong
Song:The Classics (Nobody But Jesus, Real, Peace Be Still)
Album:Verity Records:The First Decade, Vol. 2

Vanessa Bell Armstrong is another tremendous gospel singer from Detroit. This medley of hit The Classics is actually from her 1998 Desire Of My Heart-Live In Detroit CD. It was recorded at Marvin Winans' Perfecting Praise Church and the church choir backs Vanessa up. I find gospel artists really deliver live as opposed to studio recordings and Vanessa is no different. She's really great on this. Verity dropped Vanessa after this CD and she thought her career was over but she returned in 2001 with the great Dietrick Haddon produced CD Brand New Day on Tommy Boy Gospel. Unfortunately, Tommy Boy closed. I don't think Vanessa has a record deal right now but I did see her on the BET Celebration Of Gospel in February and she's lost a lot of weight. So hopefully we'll see a new CD from her in the near future.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Matt Kenseth wins at Bristol

With three races left before the Chase for the Nextel Cup starts, it's time for drivers in the top ten to build momentum for the stretch run. Though Jimmy Johnson still leads the points, Matt Kenseth won last week's Nextel Cup race in Michigan and Friday's Bristol Busch Series race. Can he keep it going at the Sharpie 500 at Bristol? Kurt Busch won the pole.

Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy started second and led most of the first half of the race. He faded and finished ninth. This has been a pattern for Burton but eventually he'll get it right. He's in the top ten and that's the most important thing. Chase contenders Kevin Harvick-#29 Reese's Chevy & Mark Martin-#6 AAA Ford both had trouble. Harvick blew a tire and hit the wall on lap 203. He recovered and finished 11th. Martin was penalized a lap for pitting outside the box on lap 65. In trying to get his lap back on the lap 211 restart, Martin ran into the back of Scott Wimmer-#4 Food City Chevy when Wimmer missed a shift. Martin finished 28th and dropped from fourth to tenth in the points.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.-#8 Budweiser Chevy started 40th but used pit strategy to get to the front. By lap 387, he was battling Burton & Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Tools Ford for the lead. Burton started to fade and Kyle Busch-#5 Kellogg's Chevy moved into contention. Elliott Sadler-#19 UAW Dodge Dealers Dodge hits the wall and brings out a caution on lap 445. Everyone makes final pit stops. Kenseth's crew gets him out first and his fresh tires are enough to hold off Busch & Earnhardt to get him the win.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth, crew chief Robbie Reiser & car owner Jack Roush for the win. Big top ten finishes for Scott Riggs & Ryan Newman. Kenseth gets to within 7 points of leader Jimmie Johnson but they're both locked in to The Chase so it doesn't matter. But things are very close from fourth to tenth place. Kasey Kahne is only 90 points out of tenth place. He has two races to move up. He finished 12th in this race and he needs to do better to get in and hope that somebody has another bad race. More will be told next Sunday night in California. Here's the top ten of the race.

1.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
2.5/Kyle Busch/Kellogg's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
3.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
4.10/Scott Riggs/Valvoline/Dodge/Ray Evernham
5.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
6.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
7.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
8.12/Ryan Newman/Alltel/Dodge/Roger Penske
9.31/Jeff Burton/Cingular/Chevy/Richard Childress
10.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:John Coltrane

Impressions was an album of 1961-1963 tracks from various sources. India is actually from the 1961 Village Vanguard recordings and is also available on the Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings 4CD box set. It features the classic Coltrane quartet; John Coltrane on tenor sax, McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass & Elvin Jones on drums with the addition of Eric Dolphy on baritone sax. It's a great track so it's kind of funny that Impulse just put it on a throwaway album.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
Song:Call Any Vegetable
Album:Absolutely Free

Frank Zappa was a rock musician whose influences ranged from Doo Wop to Stockhausen but he's probably best known for his humour and social satire. Call Any Vegetable is one of those songs that comes out of nowhere and doesn't seem to have much meaning. Zappa did that a lot in his early days just to mess with people and probably to mess with record company executives. His conflicts with MGM & Warner Bros. are legendary and eventually he got the rights to his own recordings and released them his way. Zappa turned out to be an excellent guitarist and showcased that a lot more in his later days. It's hard to recommend anything because there's so much available and many facets to Zappa's music. Frank Zappa died at age 53 of cancer in 1993.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fuuka returns to MMA on Sept. 15 Smackgirl show

Smackgirl has announced two more matches for their Sept. 15 Korakuen Hall show. JD Star's Fuuka will return to Smackgirl. Her last match was Nov. 29 when she defeated Emi Kuroda. Her opponent is 2004 Next Cinderella champ Mai. Mai lost to Hisae Watanabe last year and this is her first match since then. The other match features rising flyweight star Ayumi "Edge" Saito against grappling expert and Megumi Fujii teammate Ikuko Tamada. All matches are scheduled for two five minute rounds. Here's the card so far.

SMACKGIRL - 9/15/06 - Korakuen Hall
52KG BOUT-Fuuka vs Mai
48KG BOUT-Ayumi "Edge" Saito vs Ikuko Tamada
53KG BOUT-Akiko Naito vs Kyoko Takabayashi
54KG BOUT-WINDY Tomomi vs Seri

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Velvet Underground
Song:I'm Waiting For The Man
Album:The Velvet Underground & Nico

Today, The Velvet Underground is highly regarded as one of the big influences on the punk movement of the 70s. But they had trouble selling records in the 60s. The group was formed by New Yorker Lou Reed & Welshman John Cale. Reed wrote a lot of the songs and among other things, Cale played viola. That's a unique instrument for a rock band. Reed brought in his friend Sterling Morrison to play guitar and Maureen Tucker played drums. Then Andy Warhol decided to manage them and brought in French chanteuse Nico mainly for window dressing. Warhol gave the group some fame by designing an album cover with a peel off banana. I'm Waiting For The Man is one of their best known songs along with Heroin. Reed & Cale had differences in 1968 but the band stayed together for a couple of years without Cale. Both Lou Reed & John Cale have gone on to significant solo careers and Cale has even worked on films. Nico died in 1988 & Morrison died in 1995 but the others are still around. Today, The Velvet Underground are respected as ahead of their time and the music still stands up very well.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Weather protection products for the disabled

One of the many barriers to the disabled is the Canadian weather. Obviously I try to avoid the rain and snow at all times. But there are times when I have to go out when it's raining and I'm not going to stay indoors all winter. Nothing will stop me from doing anything. So I have a couple of products to help me deal with the weather. And with winter fast approaching, it's appropriate to share those products with you.


This is not a product specifically for the disabled. But it is a very useful product for me. It's a Wetskins hydra rainsuit. It's a two piece waterproof suit and easily fits over clothes. It has a nylon outer shell with a lightweight nylon lining. All seams are heat sealed. The jacket has a zippered hood and an elastic draw cord at the waist. The pants have an elasticazed waist with drawstring and gusseted leg cuffs with zippered closure. You can put them on over your shoes and then zip up the cuffs. This will keep you dry in the rain. It retails for $59.99 and is in the Camping section of all Canadian Tire stores. There are cheaper rainsuits available but you get what you pay for.


Many wheelchair users use a traditional blanket to protect their legs from cold weather. The problem with that is the blanket isn't attached to anything and will frequently get caught in the wheels and wind up in the snow. What do you do then? Toronto resident Jeff Edelist designed a polar fleece blanket designed specifically for wheelchair users. It's called the B-Kozy. Jeff is in a chair himself. I have a B-Kozy and it's great. It's a piece of fleece that wraps around my lap and legs and is attached around my legs by velcro closures. It takes thirty seconds to attach and keeps my legs warm in the middle of winter. Every wheelchair user should have a B-Kozy and if a family member is disabled, it's a great gift. At a retail price of $69.95, it offers great protection and value for a minimal cost. It's available in Toronto at Medichair at 416-222-5281.


I'm a parapelegic so I can wear a regular winter coat but a regular winter coat is a big problem for quadrapeligics. They need help dressing and can't adjust a winter coat if it rides up while in the chair. Jeff Edelist to the rescue again. The B-Kozy Jacket is a fleece winter coat with special features designed specifically for quads. The jacket has velcro on the sleeves for those who have lost motor control in their arms. It also has an eight inch shirttail and will not bunch up in the back. So if you want to stay outside longer, you can do that and and the B-Kozy Jacket will keep you warm. The retail price is $129.99 and is also available at Medichair at 416-222-5281.

This is Canada, folks. Winter is coming. Make sure you're prepared for cold weather. I know I am.

Frank Pozen is a CPA member and writes the weekly Joshi Dreams column at You can check out his Big Bad Blog at If you have any products for the disabled that you would like Frank to review, contact him at

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Sam Cooke
Song:Having A Party
Album:Best Of Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke is one of the all time greats of pop music and is considered by many as the man who invented soul music. He started as lead singer of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers. When he left, he decided to handle his own music publishing and start his own record company. This was very unusual at the time. He did sign with RCA but continued to control the publishing. Having A Party was part of a long string of hits for Cooke in the early 60s. He also was involved in the civil rights movement and wrote A Change Is Gonna Come. The Best Of Sam Cooke is now available in a remastered version. It has all his hits. Sam Cooke died on Dec. 11, 1964 at age 33 during an altercation in a Los Angeles motel with a woman & the motel manager. Supposedly, the manager shot Cooke in self defense. There has been speculation over the years that Sam Cooke was a mob hit but no one knows for sure. Sam Cooke's music is still great today and that says a lot about his talent.

Mark Martin wins Bristol Craftsman Truck race

There wasn't much to Wednesday's O'Reilly 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol. Mark Martin-#6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford won the pole, dominated the race and no one could touch him. Martin pitted on lap 30 and regained the lead when Mike Skinner-#5 Toyota pitted. That was it. Martin became the first driver to win Nextel Cup, Busch Series & Craftsman Truck races at Bristol. Todd Bodine finshed second and still leads the points. These guys will be in big trouble when Martin joins the Craftsman Truck series full time in 2007.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Drifters
Album:Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters/Rockin' & Driftin'

The Drifters had such a long history and so many incarnations that you need a scorecard. This twofer has one album with Clyde McPhatter and one recorded after he left in 1955. Adorable is a beautiful song sung by his replacement Johnny Moore. The song was written by Buck Ram for his group The Colts. He would wind up with The Platters. Adorable was Moore's first song with The Drifters. He was drafted in 1956 and left but would eventually return to The Drifters in 1963 and sing Under The Boardwalk. Rhino has issued a Drifters box set and I'm sure that deals with their complicated history. They sure made great music.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yoshiko Tamura wins WWWC tournament at Wrestle Expo

There was a joshi show on Aug. 20 as part of Wrestle Expo 2006. The main attraction of the show was an international tournament called World Womens Wrestling Classics. There were six wrestlers in the tournament so a couple got a bye. There was Kyoko Kimura, Yoshiko Tamura, Ms. Chif from the US, Vanessa The Mountain (Vanessa Kraven) from Quebec, Rebecca Knox from Ireland & Amapola from Mexico. The promoters decided to put Yoshiko Tamura's NEO Singles/NWA Pacific Titles up for grabs. While that might have seemed like a good idea, it's not like they're going to let a gaijin win the title because none of them are staying in Japan. So it was unnecessary and it tips off who is going to win. There was also a Commando Bolshoi produced battle royal, A NEO Machine Gunz dissoulution match & Mima Shimoda's very final match in Japan.

Ms.Chif & Vanessa The Mountain got tournament first round byes. Kyoko Kimura defeated Rebecca Knox in 5:19 and Yoshiko Tamura defeated Amapola in 7:12 in first round matches. Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki are known as the NEO Machine Gunz. They are known for their annoying comedy antics. They said if they lose this match to Haruka Matsuo & Rika Takahashi, they will split up forever. We can only hope. Miyazaki won over Takahashi in 9:47. Next was the 10 woman battle royal. There was Commando Bolshoi, Toshie Uematsu, Etsuko Mita, Tsubasa Kuragaki, Ran YuYu, KAZUKI, Leon, Misae Genki, Moekai Haruhi & Amazing Kong. Uematsu won over Bolshoi in 17:26 when she spit watermelon in Bolshoi's face and gave her a Dragon Suplex. Uhh, right. Uematsu's prize was a watermelon which she shared with the audience.

The tournament semi finals had Ms.Chif over Kyoko Kimura in 7:14 and Yoshiko Tamura over Vanessa The Mountain in 6:44. Mima Shimoda teamed with Kyoko Inoue against Azumi Hyuga & Sakura Emi. There's been some confusion about this but this is supposed to be Shimoda's final match in Japan before her permanent move to Mexico. Shimoda caused some of the confusion by announcing that her final match would be on Manami Toyota's 20th Anniversary show. It looks like Kyoko Inoue talked her into staying a couple more weeks. The fans paid tribute to Shimoda by throwing pink streamers. Shimoda got a chair from a fan while outside the ring and nailed Hyuga with it and then used a Tiger Suplex on Sakura Emi to win at 18:26. Kyoko Inoue said that Shimoda would be missed and she has to return to Japan for a show occasionally. Shimoda said something about getting Kyoko to come to Mexico.

Though Yoshiko Tamura hurt her back earlier in the show, she won the tournament final over Ms. Chif with a running elbow. Tamura got $10000 for winning the tournament and of course retained the NEO Singles/NWA Pacific Titles. She then named Chikayo Nagashima as the top challenger to the titles. She tried to defend the decision to defend the belts in this tournament by claiming anyone could have won. As I always say, never let logic get in the way of a good story.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Five Satins
Song:To The Aisle
Album:The Doo Wop Box 2

The Five Satins were the Doo Wop group best known for In The Still Of The Night. To The Aisle was a lesser hit in 1957 while group leader Fred Parris was in the service in Japan. Bill Baker sang lead vocals. Parris reformed the group when he returned and they're probably still playing oldie concerts somewhere. The Doo Wop Box 2 is the second 4CD box set issued by Rhino a few years ago. It's probably not as essential as the first one.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dadae Takahashi?

So Nanae Takahashi had a press conference on Aug. 18 to promote the final Dream Catchers show on Sept. 3 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Amazing Kong barges in and attempts to stop the press conference. It's like deja vu all over again. Takahashi yells at her and wants to know what she's doing there. After some yelling back and forth, Takahashi suggests that Amazing Kong should have a match with Nanae's sister Dadae Takahashi. What? They are saying that Nanae Takahashi's half sister is a wrestler from Mexico. I believe it. Don't you? I don't know if it will be Nanae Takahashi in a mask or if they're actually bringing someone else in but the match was accepted and will be the main event of the final Dream Catchers show.

Megumi Yabushita breaks wrist at Ring Of Combat

Things did not go well for Megumi Yabushita in her match against Ring Of Combat Welterweight Champ Laura D'Auguste in Atlantic City on Aug. 18. It started even and then Yabushita threw D'Auguste with one of her trademark judo throws. But D'Auguste was able to get her on the ground and wear her down. D'Auguste also hit several unanswered punch combinations at the end of the round. The match was stopped after round one when it was discovered that Yabushita had broken her wrist. Congratulations to Laura D'Auguste on retaining her Ring Of Combat Welterweight Title.

Strange happenings at G-Shooto Joshi Puroresu vs Womens MMA show

As part of Wrestle Expo 2006, womens MMA company G-Shooto decided to do a joshi puroresu vs womens MMA on Aug. 19 at the Tokyo Waterfront Center. G-Shooto usually puts on straightforward MMA shows but this one had goofy written all over it. And sure enough, that's exactly what it was. Pro wrestlers participating included Amazing Kong in her MMA debut, Chie Ishii in her pro debut, Kaoru Ito, Ayako Sato, Atsuko Emoto & Yoko Yamada. Yoko Yamada? Yeah, she's not really a pro wrestler. She's an arm wrestler who has fought in MMA and has had exactly one pro wrestling match. It just gives you an idea of some of the silliness that went on here.

The big news on this show was the pro debut of Hustle supported amateur wrestling champ Chie Ishii. Her opponent was karate expert Miyuki Ariga. There were a couple of Hustle characters ringside. Ishii got Ariga on the ground and basically pounded her and won by TKO at 4:38 of round one. Afterwards, Ishii said she hopes to have more MMA matches in the future but intends to concentrate on her career in Hustle. She will debut on Hustle 20 on Oct. 19 and will also appear on Hustle Mania on Nov. 23. Ishii says she wants to fight 2004 Olympic Bronze Medal winner Kyoko Hamaguchi on Hustle Mania. That would be interesting if it were to happen. Never say never but I dunno.

The problem with Amazing Kong in MMA is they have to find someone big enough to fight her. A lot of the Japanese MMA fighters are very small. So they came up with sumo wrestler Rika Shimizu. Amazing Kong's strategy was very simple. She got Shimizu on the mat and then beat the living crap out of her with punches. She won by TKO at 1:14 of round two. I'm sure she had fun. Kaoru Ito lost to Bihana by arm bar at 3:31 of round one. Ito said afterwards that she was unfamiliar with some of the rules and had been busy with her wrestling school and didn't have time to train. Maybe she should concentrate on that and forget about MMA. Ayako Sato & Atsuko Emoto also lost their matches. As for Yoko Yamada, she lost to Maho Muranami by armbar at 1:14 of round one and ran from the ring in tears. The pro wrestlers were 2-4.

Of course I don't want to forget the MMA debut of bikini model Misato Nishijima. Her opponent was Asuza Anzai. Nishijima came to the ring with four dancers and danced in the ring. Now, that kind of stuff is going to upset most fighters. And sure enough, Anzai started with a punch to Nishijima's belly and proceeded attack her with punches to the head and body. The match was stopped at 2:20 of round one after the third knockdown. Welcome to MMA, idol girl. Nishijima left the ring in tears and said she trained hard for six weeks and wanted to win. But she also said this would be her final MMA fight. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. All matches were scheduled for two five minute rounds. Here's the results of the show.

G-SHOOTO - 8/19/06 - Tokyo Waterfront Center
CLASS C+ 48KG-SACHI def. Megumi Imagawa by unanimous decision
CLASS C+ 50KG-Asuza Anzai def. Misato Nishijima by TKO at 2:20 of round 1
JOSHI PURORESU VS MMA:60 KG-Mamitora def. Ayako Sato by armbar at 2:04 of round 2
JOSHI PURORESU VS MMA:63 KG-Chie Ishhi def. Miyuki Ariga by TKO at 4:38 of round 1
JOSHI PURORESU VS MMA:75 KG-Michiko Takeda def. Atsuko Emoto by unanimous decision
JOSHI PURORESU VS MMA:47 KG-Maho Muranami def. Yoko Tamada by armbar at 1:14 of round 1
JOSHI PURORESU VS MMA:100 KG-Amazing Kong def. Rika Shimizu by TKO at 1:14 of round 2
JOSHI PURORESU VS MMA:OPEN-Bihana def. Kaoru Ito by armbar at 3:31 of round 1

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Miles Davis
Song:All Blues
Album:Miles Davis & John Coltrane:The Complete Columbia Recordings 1955-1961

This 5CD box set is a must for jazz fans but All Blues is actually from the Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue and that is something that even newbies can get into. It's one of the all time classics of jazz. Davis & Coltrane have tremendous chemistry as the box set illustrates. And Davis put together a killer band for Kind Of Blue. In addition to Miles Davis on trumpet & John Coltrane on tenor sax, there is Cannonball Adderley on alto sax, Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers on bass & Jimmy Cobb on drums. And the amazing thing is Kind Of Blue was completely improvised. Kind Of Blue is extraordinary music and one of the cornerstones of jazz.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Matt Kenseth wins at Michigan

The NASCAR Nextel Cup returned to Michigan International Speedway for the GFS Marketplace 400 on Sunday. It's coming down to the wire for drivers to make The Chase. Some guys will strengthen their position and others will have problems. Jeff Burton won the pole.

Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy smacked the wal on lap one. It could have been a bad day for the pints leader but Johnson came back and finished 13th. On the other hand, it was a disastrous day for pole sitter Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy. He blew an engine on lap 20 and finished 42nd. Burton dropped from 4th to 9th in the points. Kyle Busch-#5 Delphi Chevy had similar problems. He was running fourth when he hit the wall on lap 41. He finished 39th and dropped to 7th in the points.

Meanwhile, the lead is swithing around a lot because of varying pit strategies but Carl Edwards-#99 Office Depot Ford is leading for the most part. Dale Earnhardt Jr.-#8 Budweiser Chevy inherits the lead when Edwards pits on lap 104. Then Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge hits the wall because of a flat tire on lap 129 and finishes 40th. This puts him out of The Chase. On the ensuing caution, Earnhardt has trouble in the pits and restarts 19th. He never really recovers from that and finishes sixth.

Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Ford, Ken Schrader-#21 Little Debbie's Ford & Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge stayed out and it's the track position that put Kenseth in the position to win. J.J. Yeley-#18 Husqvarna Chevy hit the wall and brought out a caution on lap 149. Everyone made final pit stops but Clint Bowyer-#07 Jack Daniels Chevy & Elliott Sadler-#19 UAW Dodge Dealers Dodge took two tires to get track position.

Bowyer led when the green came out but Matt Kenseth wasted no time taking the lead on lap 164. Bowyer appeared to have third place locked up when he blew an engine with three laps left and finished 33rd. Jeff Gordon-#24 Dupont Chevy moved up to second but Kenseth was able to hold him off for the win.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth, crew chief Robbie Reiser & car owner Jack Roush on the win. Kenseth is still second in the points but closed up on leader Jimmie Johnson. Kasey Kahne's fourth place finish brings him closer to the top ten. Big top tens for rookie Reed Sorenson & Elliott Sadler in his first race in the #19. It's Bristol time next Saturday night. Here's the top ten of the race.

1.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt/Ford/Jack Roush
2.24/Jeff Gordon/Dupont/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
3.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
4.9/Kasey Kahene/UAW Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham
5.6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
6.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr/Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
7.16/Greg Biffle/National Guard/Ford/Jack Roush
8.41/Reed Sorenson/Target/Dodge/Chip Ganassi
9.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
10.19/Elliott Sadler/UAW Dodge Dealers/Dodge/Ray Evernham

Team Blondage is finished

Amber O'Neal announced today that she has decided to end her popular Team Blondage tag team. It seems that her partner Lollipop has decided to retire. Their final match was on the recent WEW show. They lost to April Hunter & Talia, known as T & A. Team Blondage became very popular on the indy circuit with Amber teaming with Krissie Vaine. When Krissy signed with the WWE earlier this year, Amber brought in Lollipop who is primarily known for her eye candy appearances in TNA. She has trained to wrestle but she isn't going to be hired for her ring skills. Amber O'Neal is a mat veteran and used the name Amber Holly before she had reconstructive knee surgery a few years ago. It looks like she will be a singles wrestler.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:The Coasters
Song:Smokey Joe's Cafe
Album:50 Coastin' Classics:Anthology

With their mix of doo wop and humour, The Coasters are one of the most enduring & memorable groups of the 50s. The basis of the group are the songs of Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller, one of the most important songwriting/producing teams in pop music history. The Coasters started in Los Angeles as The Robins in 1949. The group started working with Lieber & Stoller in 1953 on their Spark Records label. Lieber & Stoller brought The Robins with them when they signed with Atlantic in 1955 and they became The Coasters. The Coasters became even bigger after they moved to New York with Lieber & Stoller in 1957. They had a lot of personnel changes and the only Coaster who remained with the group through their history was Carl Gardner. Many of the changes allowed The Coasters to become known for their comedy in songs like Charlie Brown and Lieber & Stoller adjusted the songs accordingly. 50 Coastin' Classics is a 2CD comp from Rhino. It has all their hits and even includes some Robins hits. Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller wrote tons of great songs over the years and The Coasters are just the tip of the iceberg.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Mary Mary
Song:I Try

Mary Mary are gospel singing sisters Erica & Tina Atkins from Inglewood, CA. In 1999, they already had a songwriting deal when they met up with producer Warryn "Babydub" Campbell. They got a contract with Columbia and the 2000 top ten R & B hit Shackles. Erica married Warryn Campbell and the three continue to write & produce great gospel that has crossed over to the mainstream. I Try is a beautiful song and very typical of Mary Mary.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Smackgirl announces Next Cinderella Tournament final

Smackgirl has announced that the final for the 2006 Next Cinderella Middleweight Tournament will be on Sept. 15 at Korakuen Hall. The Flyweight Tournament semi final will also be on the show. WINDY Tomomi will appear on the show as well. She will try to rebound from her recent loss to Yuka Tsuji and face Smackgirl veteran Seri. The middleweight tournament final will have Sakura Nakamura vs Kaneko Takeshita and the flyweight semi final will have KM-MAKI vs Fukuko Hamada. All matches are scheduled for two five minute rounds. Here's the show so far.

SMACKGIRL - 9/15/06 - Korakuen Hall
53KG BOUT-Akiko Naito vs Kyoko Takabayashi
54KG BOUT-WINDY Tomomi vs Seri

Date announced for LLPW 20th Anniversary show

Rumi Kazama posted on her blog that the date for the LLPW 20th Anniversary show for Harley Saito, Eagle Sawai & Shinobu Kandori at Sumo Hall will be Nov. 21. She also said that the comedian Toshino who does the Inoki impression will be on the show. The regular fans should like that.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Anita Baker
Song:Caught Up In The Rapture

Anita Baker is a great singer combining jazz, R & B and gospel influences. I think she sounds a lot like jazz legend Dinah Washington. Rapture is the album that made her a star. She also writes and produces a lot of her own material though she didn't write this song. It's a classic and a must for R & B fans. Anita took several years off in the 90s to raise a family but returned in 2003 with You're My Everything on Blue Note. She's still got it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:John Coltrane
Song:A Love Supreme:Acknowledgement
Album:The House That Trane Built:The Impulse Records Story

Of course A Love Supreme is one of John Coltrane's greatest works and any jazz fan already has it in his collection. I have it as part of the Classic John Coltrane Quartet box set. A Love Supreme is also available on an expanded 2CD version with added alternate takes. They all faeture Coltrane on sax, McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass & Elvin Jones on drums. I even have A Love Supreme as a ringtone on my phone. It's a must for anyone who wants to know about jazz.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

OZ has round robin tournament to set up 10th Anniversary show

The Aug. 12 OZ Academy show at Shinjuku FACE had a round robin tournament to set up the main event at Aug. 19th's 10th Anniversary show. The paricipants were Mayumi Ozaki, Dynamite Kansai, Chikayo Nagashima & Carlos Amano. It appears that it was a tie after Kansai & Ozaki wrestled to a 15 minute draw and they're going to do something at the start of the next show to break the tie. The main event had Dynamite Kansai & Chikayo Nagashima vs Mayumi Ozaki & Carlos Amano in a street fight with weapons. Nagashima was arrested for gimmick infringement when she pulled out a guitar and played a tune on Amano's head a la Jeff Jarrett. The end came at 18:26 when Ozaki beat Kansai over the head with a flourescent light tube. Don't you love these technical matches?

Hotta in handicap match on T-1 GP show

To the surprise of absolutely no one, T-1 president Futami announced the main event of the Aug. 26 T-1 GP show at Nishi-Chofu arena. It will be Yumiko Hotta vs Shark Tsuchiya & his troubleshooter Hikaru Shinohara. He also announced that Yasusato Nakajima would be on the show and he is still trying to sign Michiko Ohmukai. The show is next week so he'd better get on it.

A funny thing happened after this announcement. It seems that Hotta's reaction to this announcement was that she would snap Futami's pencil neck. As many fans are aware, many wrestlers own their own businesses outside wrestling. Hotta is no different. She owns a shop called Hotty. Futami says on his blog that he went to Hotty in the middle of the night and trashed it. Shouldn't he be arrested? There's a picture on his blog of Futami in front of the store holding a roll of pallet wrap. But there are no pictures of him doing any damage. So obviously it's another silly angle. Futami doesn't understand that these kind of angles don't draw and the media doesn't want to cover it. Sportsnavi gave him a blog so they wouldn't have to bother with him anymore. So when he wants to do something like this, he can do it on the blog and on the T-1 website and he'll leave them alone.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Al Green
Song:My Problem Is You
Album:I Can't Stop

Al Green was one of the most popular soul singers of the 70s in partnership with producer Willie Mitchell. They split up and Green made gospel & R & B records with other producers but never achieved the same results. In 2003, Green signed a contract with Blue Note and reunited with Willie Mitchell. I Can't Stop is the result and it's a killer record. They didn't miss a beat. If you like Al Green from the 70s, you need to check out I Can't Stop.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lita wins WWE Womens Title

So yesterday afternoon, the WWE announced that there would be a WWE Womens Title match on RAW between Mickie James & Lita. There were two reactions to this. The first one was why Lita because she really hasn't been a wrestler for the last year and a half. The other is that they're both heels. Last night's RAW was near Mickie's home town of Richmond, VA so she would get a face pop anyway. Second, Lita is more over as a heel than Mickie. She draws a lot of heat. So the match itself was OK. Mickie did get cheered. She had to wrestle a different style because of that. Lita won the title when she heelishly hit Mickie in the head with the belt. So why Lita? Well, with the liklihood that both Trish Stratus & Lita are leaving the WWE by the end of September, the WWE wants to milk one last feud out of them. I can't say I blame them for that. They're both over and deserve to go out with a bang. Later in the show, Trish told Carlito that she was going after the title. So that's where they're going with it.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

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

The word "enigma" usually comes up when discussing jazz pianist Thelonious Monk but there's no question of his impact on jazz. This live version of In Walked Bud is from the 4CD comp The Complete Blue Note Recordings. It's actually from a date at The Five Spot in New York in 1957 that was recorded by John Coltrane's wife. The newly discovered recording was remastered for this box set. Along with Coltrane on sax, the musicians are Ahmed Abdul-Malik on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. It's well worth checking out. Also you should check out the documentary Thelonious Monk:Straight No Chaser. Monk retired in 1973 due to mental problems and died in 1982 at age 64.

Monday, August 14, 2006

NASCAR revises Watkins Glen finishing order

After reviewing video footage, NASCAR penalized revised the finishing order in Sunday's Watkins Glen Nextel Cup race. Boris Said & Ron Fellows were penalized 30 seconds for missing the inner loop on the final lap of the race. Said is 31st & Fellows is 32nd. Ryan Newman was also penalized for the same thing but it was reversed when it was determined that he spun out when Said hit him in the rear end. Newman was lucky to finish the race because his motor mounts broke and the motor was flopping around. Other guys moved up accordingly. Here's the revised finishing order.

1.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress
2.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
3.26/Jamie McMurray/Crown Royal/Ford/Jack Roush
4.7/Robby Gordon/Jim Beam/Chevy/Robby Gordon
5.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
6.40/Scott Pruett/Lone Star Steak House/Dodge/Chip Ganassi
7.38/Elliott Sadler/M & M's/Ford/Robert Yates
8.12/Ryan Newman/Alltel/Dodge/Roger Penske
9.5/Kyle Busch/Kellogg's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
10.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

Gail Kim vs Sirelda at TNA Hard Justce

So TNA put a womens match on last night's PPV. I always get asked if TNA will do a womens division and I don't think it will ever happen. One match on a PPV isn't enough and based on the results, it seems doubtful. But first, in case you didn't know, the show itself was a fiasco mainly because the fire department had to evacuate the building when the pyro caught fire during the opening match. I'm sure there was chaos backstage. Gail Kim won the match over Sirelda in about five minutes. It appears that the match itself wasn't very good mainly because Sirelda is very inexperienced. Also, the crowd isn't reacting well to her. Gail is cheered though she is supposed to be the heel. And Sirelda is getting booed and "She's a guy" chants. That's not what TNA is looking for. So I don't know what TNA will do with Sirelda but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see her again. Sirelda is not to blame. It's TNA's fault for just throwing them out there without any buildup. And it's pretty clear that the fans in Orlando don't like Sirelda. They don't care about her and she's getting bad heat. For whatever reason, it's not working.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:New Direction
Song:Hold Out
Album:Get Your Praise On

New Direction is a very energetic gospel choir from Chicago. It's an offshoot of the Chicago Mass Choir started by Jeral Gray Sr. & Percy Gray Jr. Both choirs continue to record and share a lot of the same personnel. The CMC was doing very well on CGI Records but when that company went broke, the Grays signed with Word as New Direction. It appears that Word wanted a new name for the group. They're both great choirs and this is a tremendous song. New Direction now records for GospoCentric and the CMC is on New Haven Records.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Kevin Harvick wins at Watkins Glen

Sunday's AMD At The Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the Watkins Glen road course was typical for a Nextel Cup race on a road course. Pit strategy is always important and it actually decided this race. A couple of guys got killed by pit strategy too and hurt an already slim chance of getting into The Chase. Of course you always have the road course ringers to make things interesting. Kurt Busch won the pole.

We almost had a big problem at turn one of lap one. In an attempt to block Ryan Newman-#12 Alltel Dodge, Kasey Kahne-#9 SRT Dodge got into the back of Kurt Busch-#2 Miller Lite Dodge and almost spun him out. Busch got the lead back by lap 8. He clearly has the fastest car and leads the first part of the race. Greg Biffle-#16 Subway Ford busts his radiator when Kyle Petty-#45 Victory Junction Gang Dodge spun him into the inside guard rail. Biffle finishes 38th and is now a real long shot for The Chase.

One thing that's different about a road course is pit strategy. On an oval, if you make a green flag pit stop and a caution comes out, you're a lap down. On a road course, because the track is so long, if you make a green flag pit stop and a caution comes out, you lead the race. So Kevin Harvick-#29 GM Goodwrench Chevy, Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy, Jamie McMurray-#26 Crown Royal Ford, Scott Riggs-#10 Valvoline Dodge & Reed Sorenson-#41 Target Dodge made green flag pit stops on lap 53. A caution came out on lap 54 when Joe Nemechek-#01 Army Chevy hit the tire barrier. The pit stops during the caution put those guys up front and they weren't stopping again.

Kurt Busch's crew chief Roy McCauley saw Nemechek's spin and told Busch to pit before the caution came out to stay up front. The caution came out just as Busch hit pit road. Pit road was closed and Busch had to go to the back. Then it got worse. Kevin Harvick passed Reed Sorenson for the lead on lap 58. Then a big wreck on lap 62. Dave Blaney-#22 Caterpillar Dodge, Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Tools Ford, Sterling Marlin-#14 Ginn Resorts Chevy, Scott Wimmer-#4 Chevy, Joe Nemechek, Brian Simo-#34 No Fear Chevy and...uh oh...Kurt Busch were all involved. Kenseth & Busch were able to continue but Busch finished 19th & Kenseth finished 21st. Ouch!

Kevin Harvick still leads but Tony Stewart-#20 Home Depot Chevy passed Jamie McMurray for second. After a Casey Mears-#42 Texaco Havoline Dodge spin brings out a caution on lap 78, Stewart takes the lead from Harvick when the green comes back out on lap 82. Caution comes out again when Michael Waltrip-#55 Napa Auto Parts Dodge hit the tire barrier on lap 83. Harvick takes the lead from Stewart on lap 88 and wins the race. But pit strategy got that win for Harvick.

Congratulations to Kevin Harvick, crew chief Todd Barrier & car owner Richard Childress on the win. Harvick moves up to third in the points. Jimmie Johnson finished 17th but Matt Kenseth had trouble so Johnson still leads the points. Robby Gordon had a top ten finish. Kyle Busch & Elliott Sadler both had trouble early in the race but recovered for top ten finishes. And Sadler will replace Jeremy Mayfield in the #19 Dodge next week in Michigan. And top ten finishes for road race aces Boris Said, Scott Pruett and Mississauga, Ontario's Ron Fellows. Way to go Ron. Pruett & Fellows were filling in for regular drivers David Stremme & Travis Kvapil and both guys did a great job. The Nextel Cup boys are in Michigan next week. Here's the top ten of the race.

1.29/Kevin Harvick/GM Goodwrench/Chevy/Richard Childress
2.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
3.26/Jamie McMurray/Crown Royal/Ford/Jack Roush
4.7/Robby Gordon/Jim Beam/Chevy/Robby Gordon
5.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
6.60/Boris Said/No Fear Energy Drink/Ford/No Fear Racing
7.40/Scott Pruett/Lone Star Steak House/Dodge/Chip Ganassi
8.38/Elliott Sadler/M & M's/Ford/Robert Yates
9.12/Ryan Newman/Alltel/Dodge/Roger Pemske
10.32/Ron Fellows/Tide/Chevy/Cal Wells

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Lee Morgan
Song:Running Brook
Album:Here's Lee Morgan

Trumpeter Lee Morgan started out as a member of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. Blakey returned the favour by playing on this 1960 recording. It also features Clifford Jordan on sax, Paul Chambers on bass & Wynton Kelly on piano. Morgan was one of the most popular musicans of the 60s and was destined to have a long career when he was shot and killed by his common law wife outside a New York club. Lee Morgan died on Feb. 19, 1972 at age 33.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Johnny Benson wins Nashville Craftsman Truck race

At last year's Nashville Craftsman Truck race, Mike Skinner looked like he had the race won when he brushed the wall and lost to David Reutimann. Skinner has had that kind of luck all season but was looking to change it at Saturday's Toyota Tundra 200. Rookies Erik Darnell & Chad McCumbee were on the front row.

Jack Sprague-#60 Con-Way Freight led the start of the race Mike Skinner-#5 Toyota took the lead for a while and then Australian rookie Marcos Ambrose-#20 Team Australia Ford led for a while too. Skinner got the lead back after pit stops.

Several teams had tire problems. Dennis Setzer-#85 Flex Fuel Chevy, Ron Hornaday-#33 Chevy, David Starr-#11 Toyota Forklift Toyota all crashed after flat tires. Hornaday may have had the fastest truck in the race.

A flat tire crashed Rick Crawford-#14 Circle Bar Truck Stop Ford and set up a green/white/checker finish. Mike Skinner was leading and points leader Todd Bodine-#30 Lumber Liquidators Toyota was second. On the restart, Bodine bumped Skinner out of the groove and took the lead. On the front straightaway of the final lap, Skinner did more than that. He got the nose of his truck under Bodine's rear end and pushed them both into the wall. Johnny Benson-#23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Toyota was right there. He only led one lap but it was the right lap. Jack Sprague was second and Marcos Ambrose was third. Bodine was eighth & Skinner was 17th. That was a hell of a finish.

Bodine & Skinner blamed each other but it's pretty clear that Skinner let his frustration get the best of him and spun them both out. He was mad but crashing both guys was a dumb thing to do. And Bodine said that he & Skinner and their wives are going on holidays together in a couple of weeks. Then the trucks are at Bristol on Aug. 23. That should be good.

Kurt Busch wins Watkins Glen Busch Series race

This weekend the NASCAR Nextel Cup & Busch Series are at the road course at Watkins Glen in New York. The Zippo 200 Busch Series race was on Saturday. Generally speaking, pit strategy is very important on a road course. Kurt Busch won the pole.

Kurt Busch-#39 Penske Truck Leasing Dodge led early in the race. Points leader Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy led and decided to run the race on one pit stop. This didn't work out for Harvick as his car didn't handle very well after his pit stop and he finished seventh. He still leads the points.

The end of the race came down to a duel between Kurt Busch & Robby Gordon-#7 Harrah's Chevy. Jamie McMurray-#64 Top Flite Dodge was third but was overheating. A late race caution set up a green/white/checker finish. Gordon attempted to get by Busch but almost crashed both of them. Busch held on for the win.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Song:You've Really Got A Hold On Me
Album:The Ultimate Collection

William "Smokey" Robinson is one of the most important figures in R & B history. He was there when Motown started and not only performed some of Motown's biggest hits but wrote & produced plenty of songs for other Motown artists like The Temptations, Mary Wells & Marvin Gaye. 1962's You've Really Got A Hold On Me is very typical of Robinson's music and The Ultimate Collection is a worthwhile comp. Robinson left The Miracles in 1972 to become an executive with Motown and then produced a series of solo hits that established the "Quiet Storm" style of R & B. He's been very influential on today's R & B artists.

Friday, August 11, 2006

D'Auguste/Yabushita match rescheduled

Ring Of Combat has rescheduled Laura D'Auguste's Welterweight Title defense against Megumi Yabushita for August 18 in Atlantic City. This match was supposed to happen in early July.

Hustle supported female amateur wrestler making pro debut

A few months ago Hustle got some press for sponsoring a female amateur wrestler named Chie Ishii. It seemed odd because well...Hustle is Hustle and Dream Stage Entertainment has never used women on their Pride MMA shows. So in February Ishii won her weight class in the Japan Queens Cup and Friday Hustle held a press conference.

Chie Ishii will make her professional debut on the G-Shooto joshi puroresu vs MMA show on August 19 as part of Wrestle Expo 2006. Her opponent will be Miyuki Ariga. Ariga is 1-2 and lost to Yuka Tsuji in February. So will she be a pro wrestler or an MMA fighter? Well, Hustle is saying that this is her pro wrestling debut. But it looks like Ishii may be more interested in MMA. She said she went to the Hisae Watanabe/Satoko Shinashi DEEP match last week and thought she was stronger than both of them. Maybe she wants to be on the recieving end of one of Watanabe's punches. So maybe Hustle & Ishii aren't on the same page.

LLPW announces special 20th Anniversary show

LLPW has announced that they will run a show celebrating the 20th anniversries of Shinobu Kandori, Harley Saito & Eagle Sawai inNovember at Sumo Hall. We don't know the exact date because LLPW hasn't updated their website. That has been a big issue with their fans.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Aretha Franklin
Song:Dr. Feelgood
Album:Live At Fillmore West

This is an expanded 2CD version of a concert originally released in 1971. Aretha is fantastic. Period. And she's got a killer band; King Curtis on sax with the Memphis Horns, Cornell Dupree on guitar, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Billy Preston on organ & Bernard Purdie on drums. And Aretha plays piano on several tracks including this one. You can't beat that. This was rereleased by Rhino in 2006.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Cannonball Adderley
Song:Work Song
Album:Them Dirty Blues

Alto sax player Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was a little more commercial than most jazz musicians and therefore more popular. This is probably because Capitol Records wanted him to be more commercial as they were not known for jazz. Work Song written by his trumpeter brother Nat Adderley is a classic and one of his best known songs. Other musicians include Bobby Timmins on piano, Sam Jones on bass & Louis Hayes on drums. Them Dirty Blues was his first record for Capitol and consisted of master tapes he brought with him when Riverside Records went broke. Cannonball Adderley died at age 47 in 1975 of a stroke.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Meiko Satomura has surgery

Meiko Satomura has had surgery for a ruptured disc. Don't know how this will affect future Sendai Girls shows.

Manami Toyota's 20th Anniversary show

Manami Toyota had her 2oth Anniversary show at Shinjuku FACE on Aug. 6. Toyota appeared in every match. She started by defeating Natsuki*Head at 11:17 with the Japanese Ocean Suplex. In a comedy match, Toyota teamed up with Yumiko Hotta to defeat Stalker Ishikawa & Futoshi Miwa at 6:07 when Miwa accidently splashed Ichikawa. Next was a special 20th anniversary exhibition match against her old pal and tag team partner Mima Shimoda. It was a ten minute draw. It was supposed to be Shimoda's final match in Japan before moving to Mexico but she has added one more date and then she's leaving. Then Azumi Hyuga, Carlos Amano, Chikayo Nagashima & Tsubasa Kuragaki defeated Manami Toyota, Kaoru Ito, Mariko Yoshida & Tomoko Watanabe in 23:46. The main event had Toyota losing to her best pal Aja Kong with the back fist at 23:38. Maybe Toyota should have won that one. So she worked the whole show. 78 minutes of work shows a lot of stamina.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Ted & Sheri

Ted Winn & Sheri Jones are gospel artists who were both members of the Memphis choir Kevin Davidson & The Voices. Ted sang for Richard Smallwood & Sheri sang for Donald Lawrence. But they would sing together on the side They got noticed and got a record contract a couple of years ago and have become very popular in the black gospel market. Celebrate is from their latest CD on the revived Word label. It's a very energetic song written & produced by Donald Lawrence. They also work quite a bit with former Kirk Franklin collaborator Myron Butler. I like their sound and look forward to more from Ted & Sheri.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Song:Up For The Down Stroke
Album:The Best Of Parliament:Give Up The Funk

George Clinton and his cohorts Bernie Worrell & Bootsy Collins are considered icons of funk. They had two main groups; Parliament & Funkadelic. The difference between the two groups was that Funkadelic was more psychedelic based but the basic group was the same. Parliament was more successful and the outrageous nature of their live shows had a lot to do with it. The music still holds up very well today and this comp is a good introduction for beginners.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Chapparita ASARI gets married

I don't usually report on social events but 1990s joshi fan favourite Chapparita ASARI was married on the weekend. ASARI was very popular for her high flying style and her Sky Twister Press. Of course she missed it half the time but that was part of the fun of watching her. ASARI retired in May 2003 mainly because she was spinning her wheels as a freelancer. ASARI's real name is Mami Watanabe. She married a guy named Takashi Nakao. He's a musician and records under the name Nakao 1. The reception was held at the Tokyo Dome Hotel with 250 in attendance. Among those in attendance were Rumi Kazama, who went to the same high school as ASARI, Michiko Ohmukai, Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita. Shimoda caught the bouquet. Maybe she'll marry a luchador. Just kidding. Of course the bride was beautiful and everyone had a great time. Congratulations to Mami Nakao and on behalf of all joshi fans, I wish her a happy marriage.

Shark Tsuchiya on T-1 GP show

Great news for Shark Tsuchiya fans. T-1 president Futami announced that Shark Tsuchiya will appear on the Aug. 26 T-1 GP show. He's teasing that he's going to put her in a match with his troubleshooter MMA fighter Hikaru Shinohara but he's teasing right now. I'm sure all of Shark's fans will be thrilled. Wait a minute. I forgot she doesn't have any fans. Shark is one of the most disliked wrestlers in joshi history. Never mind. Futami is an idiot.

Mika Nishio goes home

I am pleased to announce that Mika Nishio was released from hospital on Monday August 7 and has gone home. Mika had emergency surgery three months ago after suffering a spinal cord injury during a match with Manami Toyota. Mika is walking but was recently fitted with a new body brace and will wear that indefinitely. Nishio announced on her blog that she will meet fans at this weekend's OZ Academy show. It is great news that Mika Nishio is at home.

More gaijins to Japan for Wrestle Expo 2006

Wrestle Expo 2006 held a press conference to announce most of the special joshi show on August 20 at the Obaida arena in the Tokyo Bay development. The show is being booked by JWP owner Commando Bolshoi and will feature wrestlers from all the joshi companies. It's called World Women's Wrestling Classics (WWWC) and the main attraction is a World Cup tournament. The tournament is to have eight wrestlers from Japan, North America, Latin America & Europe. They have only named six wrestlers with more to be announced.

The Japanese wrestlers are Yoshiko Tamura from NEO & freelancer Kyoko Kimura. Now it gets interesting. Amapola is coming from Mexico. She has been working a lot for CMLL lately and I think she has been to Japan before. Also returning to Japan is Ireland's Rebecca Knox, considered by many to be one of the best female wrestlers today. She was in Japan last fall for the IW*GP tour and was very impressive. She will also work one of GAMI's THE WOMAN shows the same week. The other two are making their Japanese debuts. First is Ms. Chif from the US. She has been getting strong reviews for her work in SHIMMER and her goth gimmick should go over very well in Japan. Maybe they should put her in the ring with LLPW's Eiger. Just kidding. The other wrestler is being called Vanessa The Mountain from Canada. Huh? It appears to be Quebec wrestler Vanessa Kraven. She's been in the wrestling business for two years and mostly works Quebec indy feds. She has also worked in the US Midwest as a bodyguard. She has the look to get over as a heel. There's two more to be named so I'll let you all know.

Other matches include a NEO Machine Gunz dissolution match. If Tanny Mouse & Yuki Miyazaki lose their match to Haruka Matsuo & Rika Takahashi, they will split up forever. I think we've been down this road before with these two. We can only hope they lose. They're also doing a special farewell match for the Mexico bound Mima Shimoda. Shimoda will team with Kyoko Inoue against Kayoko Haruyama & Sakura Emi. There will also be a battle royal with Commando Bolshoi, Azumi Hyuga, Tsubasa Kuragaki, Misae Genki, Leon, Toshie Uematsu, Kizahana & Ran YuYu with another few to be announced.

One other thing. For the August 19 G-Shooto Joshi vs MMA show, Amazing Kong's opponent will be sumo wrestler Rika Shimizu. I'm not kidding. There are female sumo wrestlers in Japan. Atsuko Emoto's opponent will be Michiko Takeda. That's in addition to the other matches already announced.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Kirk Franklin f/Dorinda Clark-Cole

Kirk Franklin is the most popular gospel performer today and has definitely crossed over into mainstream pop & hip hop. Franklin is from Dallas and has been honing his musical talents since directing a local church choir as a teen. When he first started recording, he did sing. But he's not a very good singer and now he hires really good singers and he just throws out lines to the audience to counterpoint the vocals. Kids follow him around like he's a Pied Piper or something. Hero is his latest CD and Hero the song features a guest vocal by Clark sister Dorinda Clark-Cole. She's tremendous. Kirk Franklin has figured out that if gospel music is going to appeal to a mainstream audience, you can't cut corners and you have to make music that hip hop fans will listen to and maybe get the message. Other gospel artists have followed Franklin and have been very successful.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jimmie Johnson wins Allstate 400 At The Brickyard

The Nextel Cup drivers consider the Allstate 400 At The Brickyard second only to the Daytona 500 in importance. Of course this is because of the legacy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The one concern in the race was possible tire problems. NASCAR mandated a minimum tire air pressure and called for competition cautions at lap 15 & 40 to be there would be no tire problems. It didn't turn out to be a factor. And of course The Chase is looming. One driver in particular would take a tumble today. I'll get to that later. Richard Childress drivers Jeff Burton & Clint Bowyer made up the front row.

Jeff Burton-#31 Cingular Chevy dominated the early part of the race. Jeff Gordon-#24 has a broken bolt in his sway bar on lap 9. He goes down a few laps but is able to get back on the lead lap and finished 16th. Gordon remained in the top ten in points. Jimmie Johnson-#48 Lowe's Chevy had a flat tire on lap 39. He brought out a caution so was able to stay on the lead lap but now he had to come from the back. Kevin Harvick-#29 Reese's Chevy takes the lead from Burton on lap 73.

Jeff Burton would lead the most laps but would lose the lead To Matt Kenseth-#17 DeWalt Tools Ford and Burton dropped back and finished 12th. Jimmie Johnson took over the lead on lap 116 and regained the lead on lap 128 after green flag pit stops. It certainly looked like Johnson had the race in the bag.

But a debris caution came out on lap 142. This would tighen up the field. Also, Kyle Busch-#5 Delphi Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Jr.-#8 Budweiser Chevy, Ryan Newman-#12 Alltel Dodge & Joe Nemechek-#01 Army Chevy stayed out for track position. Denny Hamlin-#11 FedEx Chevy & Clint Bowyer-#07 Jack Daniels Chevy took two tires. This worked out very well for Earnhardt. He finished 6th and got back into the top ten in points.

Jimmie Johnson got the lead back on lap 152 and won the race. A final lap crash killed Kasey Kahne-#9 UAW Dodge Dealers Dodge. He finished 36th and dropped out of the top ten in points. Ouch!

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, crew chief Chad Knaus and car owner Rick Hendrick. A big top ten finish for rookie Clint Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. got back into the top ten in points. Here's the top ten of the race.

1.48/Jimmie Johnson/Lowe's/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
2.17/Matt Kenseth/DeWalt Tools/Ford/Jack Roush
3.29/Kevin Harvick/Reese's/Chevy/Richard Childress
4.07/Clint Bowyer/Jack Daniels/Chevy/Richard Childress
5.6/Mark Martin/AAA/Ford/Jack Roush
6.8/Dale Earnhardt Jr./Budweiser/Chevy/Dale Earnhardt Inc.
7.5/Kyle Busch/Delphi/Chevy/Rick Hendrick
8.20/Tony Stewart/Home Depot/Chevy/Joe Gibbs
9.99/Carl Edwards/Office Depot/Ford/Jack Roush
10.11/Denny Hamlin/FedEx/Chevy/Joe Gibbs

Watanabe wins DEEP Womens Flyweight Title by KO

Things went as Hisae Watanabe planned in her DEEP Womens Flyweight Title match against Satoko Shinashi at the Aug. 4 DEEP show at Korakuen Hall. Watanabe lost to Shinashi in Smackgirl in 2002 and now it was time for revenge. Shinashi attempted to neutralize Watanabe's trademark strikes with a takedown but Watanabe proved that her ground game has improved and controlled Shinashi with armbar & triangle attempts. Shinashi had to escape and they were back on their feet. It was all over when Watanabe nailed Shinashi flush with a straight right hand. Shinashi was unconcious immediately and fell on her face. Hisae Watanabe is your new DEEP Womens Flyweight Champion at 3:54 of the first round. Here's a link to a gallery of the fight from Sportsnavi and video of the match itself on Youtube courtesy of the Complete Vale Tudo Access blog. Enjoy!

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Fred Hammond & Radical For Christ
Song:Let The Praise Begin
Album:Verity Records:The First Decade Vol. 1

Fred Hammond is one of the premier gospel artists today. He started as part of the group Commissioned in the early 90s but has gone on to be one of those guys who does everything from his studio in Southfield, Michigan. Writer, singer, producer, musician (he plays bass), record label owner. He even was executive producer of the film The Gospel. Let The Praise Begin is a live track from the 1998 2CD set Pages Of Life:Chapters 1 & 2. His backup singers Radical For Christ are great and Hammond delivers a great vocal. Another Detroit area gospel artist you should check out.

Kevin Harvick wins Indy Busch Series race

There were reports this week that most of the NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers running the 2006 Busch Series full time will stop doing that next year. That would probably be a good thing as the Buschwackers have made this season's Busch Series very predictable. Saturday's Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis was another good example. Denny Hamlin won the pole.

As already noted, it's very tough to pass at ORP. Denny Hamlin-#20 Rockwell Automation Chevy led early. Clint Bowyer-#2 AC Delco Chevy was running second when Ron Hornaday-#33 Outdoor Channel Chevy spun him into the inside wall. Bowyer finished 4oth.

Hamlin stayed out while everyone pitted but that strategy didn't work out for him. Kevin Harvick-#21 Coast Guard Chevy passed him for the lead on lap 84 and Hamlin was never able to get back to the front and finished 8th. Harvick extended his lead over Reed Sorenson-#41 Discount Tire Dodge and won the race. Another Buschwacker wins and Harvick leads the points too.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Rick Crawford wins Indy Craftsman Truck

NASCAR is in Indianapolis this weekend and the Craftsman Truck series is at O'Reilly Raceway Park. ORP is a short track whose main characteristic is it's tough to pass. Qualifying up front is important for a win. Pit strategy hasn't worked in the past. So the pole for the Powerstroke Diesel 200 was won by rookie David Ragan.

David Ragan-#6 Scott's Miracle Gro Ford led the first part of the race. David Reutimann-#17 Toyota short pitted and took the lead when everyone else pitted. But he was unable to maintain the lead on old tires. Reutimann crashed on lap 145, finished 34th and dropped to fourth in the points.

Mike Bliss-#16 Chevy stayed out to take the lead when Chad Chaffin-#59 Eaton Corp. Ford crashed and brought out a caution. But Bliss was unable to hold off the fresher tires of Rick Crawford-#14 Circle Bar Truck Stop Ford, Dennis Setzer-#85 Flex Fuel Chevy & Ron Hornaday-#33 Chevy. Crawford took the lead with 32 laps left and won easily. Todd Bodine finished 9th and continues to lead the points.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Cece Winans
Song:Out My House
Album:Cece Winans

Cece Winans is another great gospel singer from Detroit. She doesn't have Karen Clark-Sheard's vocal range but Cece has a purity in her voice and clarity in her message and diction that is unmatched. Of course she's part of the Winans family and originally sang with her brother Bebe. Her solo albums have shown that Cece has a real knack for placing gospel in an urban music setting. Out My House is a good example. Cece wrote & produced it with her pal Tommy Sims and if anyone else was singing this song, you'd think she was kicking some guy to the curb. Not Cece. She's talking about kicking Satan out of her house. But that's the wide appeal of her music. If you haven't heard Cece Winans, you need to do so. Once you listen to her, you won't care that she's a gospel singer and you'll just want more.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

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

Karen Clark-Sheard goes right to the top of the list of great singers. She is a gospel singer with legit four octave range and jazz chops. I don't know where she got the jazz chops because growing up in Detroit with sisters Jacky, Dorinda & Twinkie and as daughters of gospel pioneer Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, they weren't allowed to listen to secular music. We almost lost Karen in 2001 because of complications during hernia surgery. Since her recovery, her music has been smokin'. We Acknowledge You was recorded live at her pastor husband's church in Detroit and kicks off the CD in energetic fashion. The song was written and produced by frequent collaborator Donald Lawrence. Karen signed with Word and released a new CD earlier this year. She's one of the best singers anywhere.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
Song:Sakeena's Dream
Album:The Big Beat

Art Blakey was a great drummer but his legacy is the musicians who came through the Jazz Messengers and became legends in their own right. This 1960 recording features Lee Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on sax & Bobby Timmons on piano. Shorter wrote Sakeena's Dream and all three went on to bigger things. That was the way Blakey did things. He'd school young musicians and then kick them out. Shorter is still one of the top names in jazz today. The band was always great straight ahead bop. Blue Note re-released The Big Beat as part of the Rudy Van Gelder series in 2005 with an extra track. It's a classic.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hisae Watanabe ready for title match in DEEP

The August 4 DEEP show will have a Womens Flyweight Title match between Hisae Watanabe & Satoko Shinashi. It's the semi main event which is very unusual for a men's MMA show. Also, there's quite a contrast of styles. Watanabe is a kickboxer and her strikes have knockout power. Shinashi is a grappling expert. Watanabe held a public workout Aug. 1 at the GUTSMAN dojo and it's clear she is well aware of that contrast. After some shadow boxing, GUTSMAN dojo president Naoki Sakurada donned the mitts and got a full taste of Watanabe's power.

Hisae Watanabe discovered combative sports in a magazine during high school. Though she made her professional debut in Smackgirl, her training in Muay Thai kickboxing is the basis of her fighting style today. Her powerful striking got her to this point.

Watanabe knows that Satoko Shinashi is the exact opposite of her. Shinashi is well schooled in judo, sambo and other grappling techniques. Watanabe could be in big trouble if Shinashi get her on the mat. So Watanabe's strategy is to avoid matwork and hammer Shinashi with her power. Shinashi's strategy is to dodge the strikes and get Watanabe on the mat. Watanabe says she will pace herself so she doesn't tire. It should be a very interesting match as it hinges on different strategies and whoever makes the first mistake will lose. Either way you look at it, they're both very tough.

Wesna going to Japan for Dream Catchers show

So with the formation of Pro Wrestling SUN, the Dream Catchers have decided to run one final show on Sept. 3 at Shin-kiba 1st Ring. Sometimes they do things that make no sense. Three matches have been announced. Nanae Takahashi & Saki Maemura vs Hikaru & Natsuki*Head and Natsuki*Head vs Ayumi Kurihara. The third match is interesting. It's a double title match. NSG champ Hikaru will face EWA champ Wesna. What? First the NSG title was won by Hikaru in M's Style a few months ago. Wesna is a girl from Croatia who wrestles for the EWA in Germany. It will be her first trip to Japan.

Wesna was interviewed by the ZERO-ONE MAX blog. Wesna says that she has wanted to wrestle in Japan since she started in the wrestling business. She doesn't know a lot of the names of joshi wrestlers but knows that they're very tough. Wesna says she is a fighter, not an entertainer. That's a good sign. I understand she's pretty good. Though she wrestles mostly in Germany, she is known as the Croatian Panther. She is sworn to defend the name of the EWA and intends to take the NSG belt home to Croatia. She hopes Hikaru is in top condition. For more on Wesna & the EWA, check out

Takahashi's new promotion to be called Pro Wrestling SUN

Nanae Takahashi has announced that her new promotion will be called Pro Wrestling SUN. This promotion will be managed by First On Stage, the parent company of ZERO-ONE MAX. The debut show will be October 1 at Korakuen Hall. Of course the Dream Catchers; Nanae Takahashi, Hikaru, Saki Maemura & Natsuki*Head will form the basis of the promotion. They are also taking applications for trainees and it looks like the training will be at ZERO-ONE MAX's dojo.

Takahashi said that Pro Wrestling SUN will shine a bright light on the darkness of the joshi business. We'll see about that. So ZERO-ONE MAX is still doing their joshi show on Sept. 27 and that will lead to the start of SUN. The plan is still to bring in gaijins to be led by Amazing Kong. They brought in Alison Corino & Panther Claw last month and I have another gaijin to talk about in the next related article.

Meanwhile, there is a promotion calling itself NEW All Japan Womens Pro Wrestling. Former AJW president Matsunaga has said this promotion has no connection to the old AJW. As I said before, I believe EWF/GIRLS DOOR is behind this as they are running a lot of shows and they have the money to do that. I guess the problem I have with them using the AJW name is it confuses people and I would prefer that any new promotion build its own identity and not live off the past.

Kyoko Kimura teaming up with Kobayashi

Kyoko Kimura made another appearance for the DDT fed on the weekend. She appeared in a flourescent lightbulb match against DDT veteran Abdullah Kobayashi. Kimura lost the match but Kobayashi was impressed enough with her to ask her to team up with him. She was reluctant at first but I'm sure you won't be surprised that she accepted his offer. This has real comedy potential depending on where DDT wants to go with it.

Shimoda moving to Mexico?

Recently Mima Shimoda spent an extended time period working for CMLL in Mexico. Shimoda has returned to Japan has now announced that after the Manami Toyota 20th Anniversary Show she is moving to Mexico permanently.

Shimoda announced this on a July 29 show in Nagaoka. It looks like the show was a one off show done strictly to allow her to make this announcement. There were some good matches on the show. Yoshiko Tamura defeated Sachie Abe with the Patriot Buster at 13:54. Saki Maemura defeated rookie Yasusato Nakajima with a German Suplex at 12:17. Apparently Nakajima worked very hard.

The main event had Yumiko Hotta & Kaori Yoneyama over Mima Shimoda & KAZUKI. Hotta pinned KAZUKI with a Pyramid Driver at 18:45. The main thing is that Shimoda got to reunite with her old pal and A To Z partner Hotta. Shimoda attempted to jump start A To Z by giving Hotta a Shimoda retirement show in 2003. That didn't work out because Hotta did other stupid things and then Shimoda had to return to the ring. But it was an unselfish thing for Shimoda to do. Let's hope things work out for her in Mexico.

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Roy Hargrove
Song:Devil Eyes
Album:Nothing Serious

I've talked before about trumpeter Roy Hargrove straddling jazz & neo soul. This year he released two CDs simultaneously. One is by his neo soul group RH Factor called Distractions. Nothing Serious is straight ahead jazz. Take your pick. The musicians include Justin Robinson on sax & flute, Dwayne Burno on bass (he wrote Devil Eyes), Ronnie Mathews on piano & Willie Jones II on drums. It sounds great and I don't have a preference for either style of music. But it's interesting that Verve has asked him to make separate recordings and they'll market them to different audiences.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day

Artist:Clifford Brown & Max Roach
Album:Study In Brown

Clifford Brown was one of the best jazz trumpet players of the bop era on a par with Miles Davis & Dizzy Gillespie. Unfortunately, he is largely forgotten because he died tragically in a car accident on June 26, 1956 at age 25. But his recordings are available and they still sound great. Brownie did a series of recordings with drummer Max Roach for EmArcy. Study In Brown was released in 1955 and also features Harold Land on sax, Richie Powell on piano (he also died in that car accident) & George Morrow on bass. It's available on CD and you can also get a 2CD Clifford Brown/Max Roach comp on Mercury. Despite not being around for very long, Clifford Brown is one of the all time greats of jazz.