'Brawls' kick off All Japan Pro-Wrestling event

Prolonged death stares, violently flipping over chairs and a side of vicious hair-pulling should be expected at the 2011 All Japan Pro-Wrestling (AJPW) Love in Taiwan event kicking off today, and if it is anything like what erupted at the press conference Friday, audiences are in for a chair-gripping weekend.

Performing at the National Taiwan University (NTU) Sports Center today and tomorrow are over 20 menacing pro-wrestlers from Japan, the United States, Canada and Mexico. The lineup pits the All Japan wrestlers with their Western counterparts.

The array of single matches, tag teams and six-man matches will feature world-renowned Japanese wrestler Keiji Muto, AJPW Unified World Tag Team Champions "Dark Ozz" and "Dark Cuervo," heavyweights "Akebono" against "Big Daddy" and doll-like "Makoto" against fierce "Cheerleader Melissa."

Tensions were high at the press conference yesterday, with the Dark Duo sending death stares under their signature painted faces to opponents Kazu Hayashi and Shuji Kondo.

Holding up their AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship belts, Dark Ozz and Dark Cuervo mocked the All Japan team, with Dark Cuervo quipping, "pro-wrestlers do not come from Japan."

Tensions were high when female pro-wrestler Makoto, clad in full-Cosplay uniform, was forced to pose with an attitude-clad Melissa, who proceeded to tear the Japanese woman's hair like a proper catfight.

"She doesn't stand a chance, I can see it in her eyes," declared the American professional wrestler, real name Melissa Marie Anderson.

In response, Makoto giggled and said she was not scared at all.

Big Daddy and Akebono got into each other's faces, with the former bellowing threats and obscenities while the latter chuckled in response.

Muto, for his part, said the "fights" erupting at the press conference actually scared him a little.

Although the 2011 AJPW Love in Taiwan competition is billed to be the former AJPW president's last, Muto said he may not be retiring after all.

"I always say each match is my last, because I always fight as if it is the final competition. It puts me in the right spirit," he said.

The lineup also includes favorites such as (ring names) Masakatsu Funaki, Yasufumi Nakanoueno, Seiya Sanada, Manabu Soya, Masayuki Kono, Joe Doering, Ultimo Dragon, Bushi, Dark Dragon, Mazada, Great Muta, Suwama, Kai, Tajiri, Bambi Killer and Ryota Hama.

The 2011 AJPW Love in Taiwan matches will take place at the NTU Sports Center at 7 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. tomorrow. For more information, visit: http://wrestling.ishow.gmg.tw