The Furious Flashbacks – WCW Japan Supershow 1991
We’re in the Egg Dome, Tokyo, Japan. Also frequently known as the Tokyo Dome. Most of the huge New Japan shows were done there. Hosts are Jim Ross and Fat Tony. It’s the “Rumble in the Rising Sun”. Six matches have WCW v New Japan. Sting v Muta and Flair v Fujinami are the main events. Ringside was $250 when that was a lot of money. MASSIVE crowd. Looks to be around 60,000.
Tom Zenk/Brian Pillman/Tim Horner v Takayuki Iizuka/Kuniaki Kobayashi/Shiro Koshinaka
JR puts over Iizuka’s submission abilities. We’re under New Japan rules so over the top rope is legal and there’s a 20 count on the floor. APART from the Flair-Fujinami bout. I smell a swerve and so should you! Kobayashi straps the Shades of Wilbur Snyder on Zenk. Pillman comes in with a flying clothesline for 2. Koshinaka tags in and Pillman clubbers him. Horner comes in to work the arm into a sideslam high on the neck for 2. Crowd reacts to that. The US trio work over the arm and hit a double dropkick. Iizuka tags in though so there goes that advantage. Zenk hits a spinebuster with a Pillman dropkick and then Zenk lights up the crowd with a slingshot flying splash for 2. Kobayashi had to save. Pillman sets him up on top and dropkicks him off. Pillman follows with a PLANCHAAAA. Crowd now has one pop per US guy. Horner in with a snap suplex for 2. Back suplex gets 2. Pillman in with a Sidewinder for 2. Crowd applauds the kick out. I love Japanese crowds sometimes. Zenk comes in with a missile dropkick for 2. Horner with a fat guy moonsault that the crowd just laughs at. Heh. The Japanese always think if something looks lame it’s meant to be that way and it’s just a joke. No chants of “you fucked up” in Japan. Zenk comes in with a piledriver but Iizuka has the ropes. Pillman comes in for a chop duel but Iizuka wins that with a pair of dropkicks. Pillman spin kicks him in the face for his insolence. Koshinaka is in and the crowd gets very excited for the thump. HUGE donnybrook and Iizuka picks off Horner with a dragon suplex for 3 at 6.51. **1/2. Lots of stuff in such a short match. I think I shall be enjoying this evening.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight title – Jushin “Thunder” Liger (c) v Akira Nogami
Fat Tony mispronounces Liger’s name on the preview but gets it right in the match. Liger starts with the PALM STRIKES and a spinning heel kick. Nogami bails so Liger climbs – SENTON TO THE FLOOR. Boo Ya! PESCADO BUT NOGAMI DROPKICKS HIM IN MID AIR! Back inside and Nogami tries for a victory roll, screws it up and Liger improvises into a pin for 2. Liger tries for a tombstone but his ankle gives out. SELLING! Nogami senses it and goes after that ankle. Liger rolls him up again for 2. Nogami with a pair of dropkicks. Nogami tries for a Flying Wolverine but Liger gets up and drives his face into the mat. Powerbomb from Liger and Nogami lands hard. LIGERBOMB…for 2. He looks for another one but it’s avoided so Liger hits a lariat. SUPER DDT and Nogami is toast at 4.02. ***. It may have been short but it was just loaded with workrate and psychology. Shame Nogami was in such rough shape or Liger could have gotten a far better match out of those four minutes.
Masa Chono/Masa Saito v Barry Windham/Arn Anderson
Windham heels on Chono by not breaking in the corner so Chono goes all amateur on him on the mat. Arn bounces off Saito and its advantage to the natives in the early going. The Americans use tag work to get even. Windham back suplexes Chono and hangs on for the pin for 2. Windham slaps him with a DDT and in comes the Enforcer. He gets caught up top though and thrown off. Chono knocks him over with a flying shoulderblock. STF! Windham breaks right away, which gets him a dropkick. TOPE SUICIDA! Have it Windham! Shades of Wilbur Snyder from Chono but Windham breaks that up as well. Fans don’t like that. Windham suplexes him for 2. Sweet floatover. Arn hooks the Shades of Wilbur Snyder himself trying to cheat but the ref is all over him. Saito gets a hot tag but Arn beats the shit out of him. Saito no sells everything. SAITO SUPLEX! Windham in – SAITO SUPLEX! Ha, revenge for the fans. LARIATOOOOO on Saito from Windham though for the shock win at 7.43. **. Decent formula tag but nothing beyond that.
Big Cat v El Gigante
Crowd FREAKS OUT at the very sight of El Gigante. They mark for everything his does as he forgets to sell anything. Suplex and Gigante looks quite happy with his crowd reaction. Sidekick thing. Worst. Sidekick. Ever. The Claw goes right into a pin at 2.15. DUD. Barely in positive stars.
IWGP tag titles – Hiroshi Hase/Kensuke Sasaki (c) v WCW tag titles – The Steiner Brothers (c)
Winners get both sets of belts. Scott works on a leglace while Hase rolls through on it until they hit the ropes. They lock up again and Scott hits a belly to belly. Hase ducks a Steinerline and hits a cool back kick before LARIATOOOOOOOing Scott outside. Rick in now as well as Sasaki who takes Rick over with a legsweep. Rick tries to get out of his way but gets powerslammed and bulldogged. Rick is screwed and WHAM – LARIATOOOOOOOOOO and HOW. This match is for every opponent Rick Steiner ever stiffed! Scott and Hase back in. Scott hits a pumphandle slam and puts Hase up top – FALLAWAY SLAM FROM THE TOP. Scott jaws with the fans and Rick comes back in. He dumps Hase upside down in the corner. Steinerline and in comes Scott again. White Thunder belly to belly gets 2. DDT and Rick comes back in. To the ropes – BELLY TO BELLY SUPERPLEX and Rick drops an elbow for 2. Scott back in – TIGER DRIVER…for 2 (which Schiavone calls “a powerbomb”). Steiners try for a double team but Hase is up – EXPLOIDAAAAAA on Rick. EXPLOIDAAAAAAAA (well it looked more like a Sambo suplex) on Scott. In comes Sasaki to powerslam Rick for 2. Scott comes in to break and wail on Sasaki. Rick gets running slammed and the Japanese SUPERPLEX HASE ONTO RICK. No pin – NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX…for 2. Hase and Rick collide on a clothesline spot. Scott in with a dropkick and a whirl slam. Sasaki gets in though and hits a swinging neckbreaker. The Japanese duo look for a Doomsday Bulldog but it’s broken up. Steiners hit the DOOMSDAY BULLDOG. FRANKENSTEINER and the Steiner Brothers take all the gold at 9.49. ****1/4. Awesome 10 minute match. Crowd is a little disappointed at the lack of length/the result.
Sting v Great Muta
Muta jumps ahead of the bell. Handspring back elbow scores. Backbreaker and Muta calls for the moonsault but Sting moves. Muta kicks his head off for that. Sting bails, PESCADO! GREEN MIST! Back inside Muta comes off the top but gets booted in the chest. Sting presses Muta out of the ring. Sting follows out with a dive. They screw up a monkey flip of all things with Muta landing almost on his face. Sting front facelocks the match to death. Muta goes to the eyes and then kicks Sting in the ribs. Sting ducks another and hits a bulldog. Outside and Muta is dumped on the rail. Sting front facelocks again before slapping on the Scorpion Deathlock but Muta is right in the ropes. Muta kicks at Sting and hits a power elbow for 2. Handspring misses the second time but the Stinger Splash misses also. Muta hits a backbreaker and up he goes but the moonsault gets knees. Sting goes for a press slam but Muta falls on top for 2. Another backbreaker. He goes up again and Sting crotches him. Sting suplexes him off for 2. Sting misses off the top. Double clothesline. Dropkick duel. No one wins. Sting gets a backslide for 2. Muta gets a cheeky roll up for 2. SCORPION DEATHLOCK! Muta gets the ropes. Sting goes for the Stinger Splash but gets misted and a crossbody gets the pin. What does being blind have to do with kicking out and isn’t that a DQ anyway? Finish is at 11.41. *1/4. God, I hate Muta. Never really got his appeal.
WCW title – Ric Flair (c) v Tatsumi Fujinami
Nice to see that Fonzie is the referee for this one. Flair is dramatic/flamboyant in his movement even for him. Flair works on a headlock but Fujinami back suplexes him and looks for the Dragon Sleeper. Flair struggles in it but gets into the ropes. Flair leads Fujinami into the corner and CHOPS! Hip toss and a dropkick sends Flair outside. Flair takes his time and comes back with the CHOPS! Those seem to be his focus at the minute. Headlock from Fujinami and in a tip of the hat to earlier in the match Flair back suplexes out. Flair sidesteps a clothesline (that was either innovative or botched but it looked good). Flair goes to work on the leg. WHOO! Shinbreaker and Flair continues to work on the knee. Crowd HATES that btw. Every time Flair uses the ropes to assist they boo like crazy. Now Fujinami goes to the legs – SHARPSHOOTER! Fujinami drops down into a lower leglock. He carries on adding a reverse chinlock. That doesn’t work so Fujinami changes to a camel clutch but Flair snap mares out of that. Fujinami clotheslines him back down for 2. Flair heads up top but Fujinami climbs so Flair hangs him on the ropes. Nice variation there. Outside and Fujinami is shoved into the front row. Back in and Flair hangs him up on the ropes. Fonzie has to pull him off the fallen Fujinami. Flair responds by hanging him up on the ropes again. Back inside and they exchange CHOPS! Swinging neckbreaker from Flair gets 2 while Jim Ross points out how red Fujinami’s chest is. Butterfly suplex gets 2. Vertical suplex gets 2. Flair controls at around 15 minutes.
He drops an elbow for 2. Knee drop gets 2. They go to the CHOPS again. Flair goes to the eyes and climbs but this time Fujinami throws him off. Flair takes his corner bump and Fujinami dropkicks him off. Flair takes a header into the rail and GIGS on the floor. Back inside and the crowd enjoys Flair’s face bump. Flair catches Fujinami’s kick but an Enzuigiri gets 2. The bloody Flair begs off but that doesn’t help him. Fujinami gets a clothesline for 2. They exchange strikes with Fujinami getting sprayed with Flair’s blood. Fujinami gets a roll up for 2. Back suplex gets 2. Ref gets bumped by Flair and Fujinami gets a roll up (for nothing, obviously). Backslide but there’s still no referee. Another roll up as Fujinami tries to establish how many times he can pin him. Flair gets thrown over the rope (a DQ incidentally). Fujinami suplexes Flair back inside and a Japanese referee comes in to count 3 at 23.04. ****. Bit overbooked towards the finish to allow Fujinami to win while not taking the belt. He holds the WCW title up anyway while the crowd get very excited. That didn’t last with the title being returned to Flair for a match at Superbrawl.
POST MATCH We head backstage where JR is at a press conference. Fujinami is being interviewed but Flair runs in and steals his belt back claiming he won anyway. Everyone seems very upset.
Overall Show Thoughts – B-
Easy thumbs up thanks to the Flair/Fujinami and Steiners/Sasaki & Hase matches. The rest of the card is decent enough and the brutal El Gigante match aside there’s nothing bad. Well, I could have lived without Muta but that’s just my own personal opinion. It’s a pretty cool show having the WCW wrestlers over in Japan competing against the New Japan stars.