Pro Wrestling Crate August 2018 Unboxing / Review

DANG! seems like all of these subscription crates have lined up in such a way to where it looks like I get tons of them all the time. Truthfully, most of these are basically quarterly, but every one in a while it’s like Christmas over here at my house. So anyway, we’re once again looking at Pro Wrestling Crate, perhaps my favorite wrestling related crate that I’ve tried. I pay for these myself, and counting the embarrassing amount of Micro Brawlers that I now have, it shows that I have been a member for 18 months and they’ve never steered me wrong.

Pro Wrestling Crate always gives some of their proceeds to charity and this month is no exception. This time some of the money has gone to the Virgil Flynn III Family Fund GoFundMe plan. Flynn was a Northern California Wrestler and promoter that sadly suffered a stroke at age 33 and passed away.

If you’d like to see more reviews of the various subscription boxes I get, please head right on over HERE and check out the spoilers. If you’d like to get your very own Pro Wrestling Crate USE THIS LINK and use the coupon code “HOME” to get 20% off your first crate.

This month’s theme was:

big in japan


Mastodon Vader T Shirt

I absolutely LOVE this shirt! Intentional or not, it has this He-Man and the Masters of the Universe vibe. Really wish I would have had this on-hand when I met Vader a few years back before he passed away.


“The King” Ricochet T Shirt

As I type this, Ricochet perhaps just had the match of his WWE career at NXT Brooklyn 4 against The Velveteen Dream – what an amazing talent! I still think I enjoy his Lucha Underground work better, but having this shirt is cool.


Tama Tonga Micro Brawler Figure

I think I’m literally like 3 members away from having an entire line of Bullet Club figures at this point – maybe just Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Ishimori, Hikuleo and Tanga Loa and I’ll have all current members.Hell, at this point I hope they go back and grab former members as well. Anyway, not much else to say other than I love these things!


Ribera Steakhouse Custom Menu

This is what I assume to be a facsimile menu from Ribera Steakhouse – a legend to professional wrestling fans. Ribera is a Japanese professional wrestling, boxing and mixed martial arts-themed steak house restaurant with two locations. The original location is in Gotanda, and there is a second, larger location in Meguro. Professional wrestlers frequent the restaurant when touring in Tokyo, a rite of passage in the wrestling community. In addition, some wrestlers receive a satin Ribera Steakhouse Jacket from the owners which has become almost infamous to fans.


Road Warrior Animal Autographed 8×10

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This is actually like the third autograph I have from Animal as he frequents a local wrestling federation that I live near, but this is still cool. If you get a chance check out his podcast, he tells some good stories.


Joey Ryan “Big In Japan” Socks.

There isn’t much I can really say about receiving novelty socks in these things, yeah I could do my due diligence and wear them all day and do an elaborate review on some sort of sock comfort scale – but get real, that’s silly. Pretty nifty socks though!


Kenny Omega “Change the World” Exclusive Collectors Pin

Another fine lapel pin for my collection.


AJ Styles Making an Impact DVD

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I believe this DVD was originally called “Leaving an Impact” and was sold as a DV-R by High Spots.

The Phenomenal One, AJ Styles has been the face of TNA for the past 11 years, but that all changed on December 15th 2013 when his contract expired. Highspots caught up with AJ in his man-cave in Gainesville, GA on Jan 2, 2014 and he opens up about what led to those negotiations breaking down, his relationship with Dixie, what it feels like to be a free agent after all these years, returning to the indies and would he ever go to work for Vince. AJ also reflects on his classic matches and angles during his time in TNA and shoots on the “money” guys that didn’t care about the product. You don’t want to miss this over two hour interview with the Phenomenal AJ Styles.


Another Solid month from Pro Wrestling Crate, that Vader shirt is the MVP of this box by far and will likely be in my rotation quite a bit.

Join me again next month for another box review! the theme will be:

themeslider

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A Look at All the Cameos in Tiger Mask W

I’ve recently started watching the winter 2016/7 anime Tiger Mask W, a wrestling anime featuring stars from New Japan Pro Wrestling. New fans might think that all of the colorful characters are from the minds of producers alone, but I’m here to show that a handful of these grapplers are actual people! This has always been something cool when a wrestling anime comes out in Japan, as Jushin Thunder Liger had an anime show, and guys like Terry Funk appeared in Ultimate M.U.S.C.L.E. I’ll eventually review Tiger Mask W, but for right now check out some characters you’ll get to see if you start watching this.


 

 

TIGER MASK

Naoto Azuma is the main protagonist of the anime series, which is actually a sequel to a 1968 manga and 1971 anime series. While Naoto is a fictional character made for this show, many people have actually portrayed the character in real life. There have been a handful of wrestling anime characters that have spilled over into the real world, and Tiger Mask is perhaps the longest running.

  • Tiger Mask I Satoru Sayama
  • Tiger Mask II Mitsuharu Misawa
  • Tiger Mask III Koji Kanemoto
  • Tiger Mask IV Yoshihiro Yamazaki
  • Tiger Mask V Ikuhisa Minowa
  • Tiger Mask W Kota Ibushi

 

TIGER THE DARK

Takuma Fujii is a new character in the anime called “Tiger the Dark”. He is basically this anime’s version of the Black Tiger who has always been a rival of the Tiger Mask character. A lot of famous foreign wrestlers have portrayed “Black Tiger” through the years, even the legendary Eddie Guerrero once held the title! There is currently a version of the actual character of “Tiger the Dark” currently in NJPW and is feuding with the real life Tiger Mask W.


 

SPRING TIGER

Haruna Takaoka aka Spring Tiger is the female protagonist of the series. Like the previous two, she is a made up character, but is not wholly based on fiction. A female Tiger Mask iteration, called Tiger Dream, was played by female wrestler Candy Okutsu in the mid-1990s. unfortunately, Okutsu being injury-prone and having to take several sabbaticals from the ring, the character was easily forgotten by the fans and eventually abandoned.


 

KAZUCHIKA OKADA

Kazuchika Okada is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. Okada joins Naoto in his fight against GWM. In real life Okada is a very accomplished wrestler who has held the IWGP Heavyweight title on four occasions as well as a ton of other accomplishments. He did have a breif, and largely forgettable run in america in TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Wrestling.


 

HIROSHI TANAHASHI

Hiroshi Tanahashi is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. A wrestling ace who helps Naoto in training. In real life, he is a former seven-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion, one-time IWGP Intercontinental Champion, two-time IWGP Tag Team Champion and two-time NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion. Tanahashi holds the record for most reigns as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, while his fifth reign holds the record for most successful defenses, with eleven.


 

YUJI NAGATA

Yuji Nagata is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. Aside of wrestling, he’s also involved with the management of NJPW. Most American fans will recognize him for his tenure in World Championship Wrestling in 1997-8 during the height of the Monday Night Wars.


 

TOGI MAKABE

Togi Makabe is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. In the show, he has a sweet tooth and hosts a famous blog about sweets, being so obsessed with them that he can lack motivation without sweets. One cool tidbit – The character is voiced by the real Togi Makabe.


 

KIMIHIKO OZAKI

Kimihiko Ozaki is based on a real-life ring announcer in NJPW.


 

TOMOAKI HONMA

Tomoaki Honma is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. He is currently working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). He is a former one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion and a two-time World Tag League winner with Togi Makabe.


 

TOMOHIRO ISHII

Tomohiro Ishii is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name.Though pushed for most of his career as an undercarder without any major championship wins, Ishii gathered a cult following, until he was too popular to ignore. Since then he has gained tag championships, singles titles and even the ROH Television title.


 

YOSHI-HASHI

Yoshi-Hashi is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. While he was almost an enhancement talent of sorts in real life, he has slowly started to win occasional matches. a feat that earned him a PWI ranking of 314 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016.


 

BILLY THE KIDMAN

Billy the Kidman is a fictional character in Tiger Mask W, but it’s funny to note that there is a real-life wrestler from the late 90’s – 2000’s named Billy Kidman.


 

 

BULLET CLUB

Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale are real life members of the gaijin (foreigner) heel stable “The Bullet Club”. Also represented is Kenny Omega who is the current stable leader. Previous members of the group include WWE’s Anderson and Gallows, Finn Balor and AJ Styles.


 

QUEEN ELIZABETH AND PAYNE FOX

While not a direct cameo, Queen Elizabeth and Payne Fox are obviously modeled after WWE women’s champions Charlotte Flair (daughter of Ric Flair) and Becky Lynch.


 

TETSUYA NAITO

Tetsuya Naito is based on the real-life professional wrestler of the same name. Naito is currently in his first reign as the IWGP Intercontinental Champion, while also being a former IWGP Heavyweight and NEVER Openweight Champion as well as IWGP Tag Team and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion with former partner Yujiro Takahashi, with whom he teamed as No Limit. In addition to those, Naito is also a one-time winner of NJPW’s premier singles tournament, the G1 Climax, having won it in 2013, and the New Japan Cup, winning it in 2016. In 2016, Tokyo Sports named Naito the wrestler of the year.


 

BLACKOUT

Blackout is a robot (sure why not) from the Tiger’s Den, he serves as the gatekeeper of the Hell in the Hole match being the last challenge to face. He bares more than a passing resemblance to WWE’s wrestler The Undertaker.


 

METAL BROTHERS

Metal Brothers I & II are a couple of masked wrestlers that make an appearance. They bare a resemblance to the WWE’s legends the Road Warriors.


 

FUKUWARA MASK

Fukuwara Mask isn’t a real character, but his “gimmick” is very similar to a number of clownish wrestlers from Osaka Pro like Ebessan, Kikutaro and Kuishinbo Kamen. He dresses with a Hyottoko mask and common clothes, giving him a ridiculous appearance. Fukuwara Mask’s focus is in providing laughs and serving as a comic-relief by deliberately acting like a fool in his matches, which the audience enjoys.


 

And More!

There are other references and mentions like Jushin Thunder Liger, Captain New Japan, Toru Yano, and members of Los Ingobernables de Japon such as Evil and Bushi. Here’s hoping they do more of this show, as I would love to see a lot of of the real life wrestlers from NJPW! Stay tuned for a full review of this show soon, I still need to finish it up and I’ll let you know what I thought!

To see more of these, check out:

A Look at EVEN MORE Cameos in Tiger Mask W


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