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« | Home | »

Why Hiroko?Column about HUSTLE

By T2y-Sano | January 13, 2006

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Firstly I don’t know whether you as readers are interested in HUSTLE or not. *laugh* And please use yahoo or excite to translate my column. Sorry about writing in Japanese text. (Rough translation by Zach Arnold).


About the subject said in translation.


Hustle flows slowly, but surely.

はじめはかつて全日本プロレスとK1が企画したWRESTLE-1と大差がないイベントでした。「格闘家をプロレスのリングに上げ、海外の大物(like Goldberg)を日本のリングに上げる単発的なイベント」これが当初のハッスルの形だったと僕は思います。

The start of WRESTLE-1 event is planned before by All Japan & K-1. It is not a very different event from one another. An event driven by martial artists working in the pro-wrestling ring, integrated with important overseas wrestlers (like Goldberg) in Japan. This was the first shape of Hustle.

しかし、回を重ねるにつれ高田モンスター軍が結成され高田総統(≠Nobuhiko Takada”laugh”)が登場し、試合こそしないもののその抜群のマイクアピールで注目を集め始めました。

However (in Hustle), only the game was formed with the Takada Monster Army with appearances by Generalissimo Takada (Nobuhiko Takada *laugh*). It began to attract attention preeminently through mike appeal (microphone performances).


The purpose of the Takada Monster Army was to stand up to Naoya Ogawa and the late Shin’ya Hashimoto, who both opposed the annihilation of the pro-wrestling field. A very comprehensible theme of “defending the pro-wrestling field” was developed with a desparate struggle completed against Takada’s monsters.


However, the rebuttal of Hustle army captain Naoya Ogawa was pitted against the very skillful mouth of Generalissimo Takada. With this, fighting similar to Vince McMahon vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin became the nucleus. Because the undercard was not as focused as the top wrestlers in the main event, essentially the main point of the pro-wrestlers focused on a very unskilled Naoya Ogawa. The Hustle army had been defeated every time by Generalissimo Takada was the story.


Mr. Hashimoto left due to a shoulder injury and the Hustle army added Toshiaki Kawada to reinforce its war potential. The ending by Takada was its usual state. In addition, Yinling (Yinling of Joy Toy) was not completely suitable for the monster army either. Even if the matches are won, it is Takada & Yinling as representatives.


Having appeared as the savior of the Hustle army is Razor Ramon HG. Because he is the only talent who overwhelms Generalissimo Takada on the microphone, and he also has experience as a student of professional wrestling. He is as good (or better) than Ogawa at pro-wrestling. As a result, an equal Razor Ramon HG vs. Takada fight seemed to be born. However, Razor Ramon HG is a busy TV talent/personality and has a very active life.

そこで高田総統に対抗できる存在として白羽の矢が立てられたのが鈴木健想=Kenzo Suzukiの妻である鈴木浩子です。彼女はもともとテレビ局のアナウンサーであるため喋りは明瞭ですし語彙も豊富、またWWEで日本人初のDIVA(かどうかは微妙かな(笑))として活躍したその度胸は高田総統に勝るとも劣りません。また、狂言師の和泉元彌との対戦でリング上で戦った自分の夫以上にワイドショーでは注目を浴びました。なにより、彼女はHGと違って忙しくないためハッスルを最優先することが可能です。

For Takada, the wife of Kenzo Suzuki (Hiroko Suzuki) becomes available as opposition. Originally as an announcer for a Fukushima TV station, Hiroko is the WWE Japanese DIVA with superior courage to Generalissimo Takada. *laugh* Moreover, her husband fought in the ring with crazy talk trick master Izumi Motoya. This Hustle match was shown on variety TV. Above all, Hiroko can prioritize Hustle as a top goal because she is not busy unlike HG.


With top talent being exchanged and available temporarily, the Hustle army with Hiroko & Kenzo Suzuki vs. Takada Monster army might become reality.


I have only seen the Hustle 5 event, so therefore the quality of the matches in the Hustle ring is not totally, honestly understood. However, the quality and arrangement of fights with martial artists such as Mark Coleman is noticed. *laugh* Unpleasant matches were displayed at an awful Hustle 5 show.


The reader in the home of America who enjoys entertainment and pro-wrestling, please excuse this. *laugh* Even if a Hustle match like Kobashi vs. Kensuke from NOAH’s Tokyo Dome event is compared to, the fans cannot sincerely enjoy it if the quality is similar to Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg from Wrestle Mania 20 (the infamous MSG match where the fans turned on both men).


Does Hustle make the slow shift from a normal cast (of wrestlers) to a world of TV talent?


Nobuhiko Takada is not the same as Generalissimo Takada, and Yinling is not the same as Yinling of Joy Toy.


The end.

thank you for reading!!

For more (in Japanese), click here.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, PRIDE, Pro-Wrestling, Tetsuya Sano | 4 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

4 Responses to “Why Hiroko?Column about HUSTLE”

  1. Adam Summers says:

    Tetsuya, thank you VERY much for posting this. It is a very interesting insight into the perception of HUSTLE, and it is one that I share.

    Your point about the HUSTLE performers being “characters” rather than wrestlers is a very good one. In many ways, HUSTLE is even more of “sports entertainment” than WWE is. It seems that there is absolutely ZERO pretense that HUSTLE is a legitimate pro-wrestling/fighting event.

    I also agree about the absolutely terrible quality of wrestling in HUSTLE.

    I have a question for you…has HUSTLE damaged the reputation of the pro-wrestling business in Japan, in your opinion?

  2. T2y-Sano says:


    >I have a question for you…has HUSTLE damaged the reputation of the pro-wrestling business in Japan, in your opinion?

    When Motoya-Izumi beated Kenzo-Suzuki,
    in Variety tv prodrams ,MC and commentators said
    “that was a kind of pro-wrestling” with laughing.

    But I think NJ’falling is more serious than Hustle about pro-wrestling’image.
    Hustle is just a new power,but NJ is thought biggest pro-wrestling by people.

    I think pro-wrestling has been maniac sports in Japan since Inoki’retire
    PRIDE&K-1 are more popullar than puroresu very much.

    But Koriki-Choshu who is comedian mimic Riki-Choshu is very popullar now.

    I think the strong point of pro-wrestling is wrestler’character.
    Showing high quality matches(like NOAH) and good characters(like Hustle),
    pro-wrestling can be major again.

  3. Rich says:

    Awesome Hustle article indeed. Thats a great point about NJPW’s current state being more damaging than Hustle to Puroresu’s credibility.

    I always percieved Hustle as just a good comedy fed, I assumed Japanese fans basically saw it for what it was. Hustle matches are more like WWE mid to late 80’s, where matches were built more around characters then match quality.

    Testuya, I was wondering, this is more of NJPW question than a Hustle question. But it is your opinion, and or the general consensus, on Brock Lesnar as IWGP champion?

  4. T2y-Sano says:

    I like Brock Lesnar very much.
    And he is very popullar in Japan,when he was in WWE.
    He is very powerful and showed very ood matches,vs Kurt,vs Big show
    Japanese wrestling fans think so too.
    But we think “Lesnar may go back WWE soon=till Wrestlemania?”
    and “Who can make good match with Lesnar in NJ?”

    NJ’falling that I said is not Brock Lesnar is in IWGP champ.
    Causes of NJ’falling are many things.
    like IWGP title match Kensuke vs Fujita (10/9 2004)
    pushing Nakamura very strongly
    Nagata’complete defeats in New year’eve
    things happened in out of ring
    bad story in ring

    more and more and more…

    All those things hurt Japanese fan’confidence completely.

    I think so.

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