PGHW: The Next Generation
by Ryan Jalda, GrappleFanatics.net

Over the past year, Sadaharu Jimbo's Pride Glory Honour Wrestling has been perhaps the single hottest entity in wrestling, making huge strides towards forming a prolonged challenge to the dominance of BHOTWG in Japan. One of the major reasons why PGHW has managed to take on the biggest promotion in the world is their "Fantastic Five" of Mito Miwa, Nobuatsu Tatsuko, Shuji Inukai, Yoshimi Mushashibo and Eisaku Hoshino, who make up perhaps the most talented main event scene ever assembled. However, with the brutal physical style employed by PGHW, many question how long they can last before one or more of the headliners goes down to long term injury. Sadaharu Jimbo, ever the master tactician, seems to already be in the process of dealing with this potential problem, and has several awesome young prospects just breaking into the promotion. Many feel that this "next generation" of stars are so good that they may be challenging for spots at the top of the card within a year or two. In this column we'll take a look at the names that will likely be challenging Miwa and friends in the main event by 2007.

Kazushige Matsuki
Kazushige Matsuki is a big muscular rookie who uses his amateur boxing skills a lot during his matches, battering opponents with punches. Although he is very young, he is already showing signs of being a potential star in the future. Judgement: While his boxing skills give him a unique style in PGHW, his technical skills are a weak, and unless they improve he's unlikely to have what it takes to unseat any of the major names, as they will simply out-wrestle him.

Kozue Kawashima
Kozue Kawashima is a rookie, but has already gotten a lot of attention as a potential superstar in the making. A true all-rounder, he is the sole protege of "The Pride Warrior" Mito Miwa, and the apparent leader of the next generation of PGHW. Judgement: One of the two brightest prospects in the pack, Kawashima is already under a long term deal, a sign that the company sees him as a future leader. The fact that the legendary Miwa has taken him on as a student shows exactly how good he can be.

Masaru Ugaki
Masaru Ugaki is a rookie with a flair for technical wrestling, who shows great promise for the future. He is a protege of Yoshimi Mushashibo, and seems set to have a glittering career. Judgement: Ugaki definitely has what it takes to be a major player, as was evidenced when after only three months as a professional he managed to last almost a quarter of an hour with his mentor Mushashibo, and even managed to have the former champion in trouble a couple of times.

PRIDE Koiso
Yasunobu "PRIDE" Koiso is a young, talented, brawler. His talent, along with his natural charisma, seem destined to make him a huge star. He is the only man to have been personally trained by Nobuatsu Tatsuko, who remains his mentor. Judgement: Along with Kozue Kawashima, Koiso is a lock to be a major player for PGHW in the future. He is the complete package in terms of connecting with a crowd and having the skills to go toe-to-toe with anybody. He is already showing flashes of his mentor Tatsuko's brilliance in his performances, which is a good sign.

Ryoma Muruyama
The high flying Ryoma "The Rocket" Muruyama is a talented youngster who is becoming more popular with each match. One of the exceptional class of PGHW students just starting their career, he should have a bright future. Judgement: The most naturally spectacular of the new batch of superstars, Muruyama was the first to turn pro, and already has some good performances under his belt. The only question mark about him is that he is the smallest of the group, and may not have the physical power to be a long-term main event player in the rough battleground that is PGHW.

Tetsunori Yasuda
Tetsunori Yasuda is a Japanese rookie, who is a protege of Eisaku Hoshino. He has only just begun his training, but is considered a good prospect based on his natural charisma and athletic ability. Judgement: The hardest of the pack to judge, as Yasuda hasn't yet completed his training, and so is the only one of them who has not yet wrestled as a professional. However, he is reportedly progressing at a rapid rate, and with Eisaku Hoshino as his mentor and main trainer he already has one of the best in the business in his corner.