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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The WWF, All Japan, New Japan Wrestling Summit

September 7, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: The WWF, All Japan, New Japan Wrestling Summit  

WWF, All Japan & New Japan Wrestling Summit
by J.D. Dunn

Well, sort of. This is the WWE-ized version of the event. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. It’s not canonical to the WWF, much like those Global Warming and Rebellion shows they used to do abroad. The difference here is that it’s a big show with All Japan, New Japan and the WWF co-promoting in front of a huge Tokyo Dome audience.

On my tape, the New Japan and All Japan only matches have been dropped in favor of the WWF matches, and even all of those are not included as I don’t see Greg Valentine vs. Great Kabuki anywhere. Oh well. It’s an interesting curio, so you get a review.

  • April 14, 1990
  • Tokyo, Japan.
  • Japanese commentary.

  • Opening Match: Kenta Kobashi & Masanobu Fuchi vs. Jimmy Snuka & Tito Santana.
    Well this is an interesting match-up. Kenta is still learning the ropes here as All Japan was *very* conservative about when they elevated talent. At this point, they were teaming him with just about anyone they could find just to get him experience. Jimmy Snuka used to be one of the most over heels in All Japan, but the years have not been kind. A young Shane McMahon is your referee. Tito and Kenta start out with a decent little technical match until Tito gets in his face about something. Snuka tags in and chops Kobashi down, but Kenta comes back with a crossbody for two. Things get sloppy as Fuchi trips over Snuka on a drop-down. It gets worse as Snuka wants to do a sunset flip, but Fuchi tries to backdrop him over anyway. Snuka just winds up no-selling. Tito tags in and hits Fuchi with the Flying Forearm. Snuka finishes with the Superfly Splash at 8:28. Tito and Kobashi looked okay. The other two…not so much. *

  • Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask II.
    This should have been a dream match, and were it held in 1995, it would have been “off da hook” as Tazz might say. If you didn’t know, Tiger Mask is Mitsuharu Misawa, current NOAH head and one of the all-time greats of Japanese wrestling. Bret is really not a fan of the style, though, so he just kind of does what he does when he’s in there with workers he doesn’t like – he just lets them do what they want and goes on about his business. Tiger Mask controls with a lot of armbars early, and I have to look closely to make sure it’s not Ricky Steamboat under that mask. Bret misses a dropkick and takes a weak slingshot into the corner. TM spin kicks him to the floor and hits a plancha. Back in, Tiger Mask grabs a cross armlock near the ropes. This is about as snoozy as snoozefests get. Bret works in that “trick knee” spot that all beginning heels learn and suckers Tiger Mask into a clothesline. Big heel heat for that. Bret applies a chinlock. Oh my God! Somebody stop this madness! Bret goes with an abdominal stretch, reversed by Misawa. Finally, Bret works in the “Bret Bump,” which I had been waiting for. I don’t know why, but that always seems to wake him up to either start selling or kick it into high gear. Unfortunately, it comes at about 19:50, and the time limit expires at 20:00. Horrible effort from both guys. I don’t think Misawa was ever comfortable with the gimmick, and Bret just didn’t like working that style, so this had disaster written all over it. The only saving grace is that most of the moves were at least nicely executed. 1/2*

  • In the back, the Ultimate Warrior nearly scares the poor Japanese version of Gene Okerlund to death.
  • Jake Roberts vs. The Big Bossman.
    Both guys are babyfaces in the WWF at this point, but Bossman is reverting to his heelish ways for this match. Bossman overpowers Jake early but misses an elbow and nearly gets DDT’d. Jake goes to work on Bossman’s arm but runs right into his spinebuster. Bossman works Jake’s back in between making faces at the crowd. In a funny moment, the camera cuts away, and we see a handful of American fans chanting something at the Bossman. This must be what ECW fans did before ECW. The match just grinds to a halt when Bossman is on offense. Finally, after solid minutes of inaction, Bossman misses a splash off the top. Jake suddenly roars back with the short-arm clothesline. Bossman avoids his running knee, but Jake slips over his shoulder and finishes with the DDT at 10:25. Jake unleashes Damien, prompting the Japanese announcer to scream “DAMEEEEEN!” 1/2*

  • Jumbo Tsuruta & King Haku vs. The Model & Mr. Perfect.
    Haku and Tsuruta were both disciples of Giant Baba, although obviously they had different career paths. Hennig and Martel were both long-time AWA guys, so this pairing makes a little more sense in that context. The heels doubleteam Haku and send him out. Tsuruta tags in and takes absolutely no shit from Hennig. JUMPING KNEE! JUMPING KNEEEEE IN THE TOKYO DOOOOOOOME! Martel tags in after more Hennig bumping and gets a huracanrana on Haku. He tries again, though, and Haku drops him right on his face. Mr. Perfect comes back in and hits Haku with a dropkick, and they settle back into American tag formula with Haku as the face-in-peril. He gets his knees up to block a Martel splash, though, and Tsuruta gets the hot tag. Haku kicks Perfect to the floor, and Tsuruta hits Martel with the jumping knee. That sets up the Backdrop Driver on Martel at 10:52. **1/4

  • Genichiro Tenryu vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage (w/Queen Sherri).
    This is the “King” Randy Savage, which is normally bad, but he’s in there with Tenryu, which is good! Things get acrimonious right away as Tenryu tosses his kick-ass Revolution jacket at Savage, and Savage tosses it right back at him! Savage stalls for a bit, so Tenryu backs him into the corner and cuts him in half with machine gun chops. HEAVEN FALLS ON YOUR HEAD TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER! Okay, I don’t know if that’s what he said, but I definitely saw him mouth the words “Fuck you!” Tenryu goes after Sherri and gets hit from behind by Savage. They fall to the floor where Sherri gets a cheapshot in. Savage knees him from behind and tosses him into the crowd. Savage is about to come off the top into the crowd, but one of the officials gets in his way. That would have been cool. Back in, Savage takes an enzuigiri but recovers long enough to throw the ref down. They head back out where Savage gets his double ax-handle off the top. Sherri gets in another cheapshot. Back in, FLYING ELBOWDROP! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Savage gets caught coming off the top rope, but he backdrops out of a powerbomb. He appears to mess up his knee on a crossbody attempt, though, so Tenryu hits an enzuigiri and finishes with the powerbomb at 10:49. Not as fun as I thought it was years ago when I first watched it, but still the best match on the card. ***1/4

  • WWF Heavyweight Title: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted Dibiase.
    I think they missed the boat by not having Ted re-team with his old mentor Stan Hansen to take on the team of the Warrior and Hulk Hogan instead of splitting them into separate matches. Dibiase attacks during Warrior’s entrance, but Warrior clotheslines him over the top. They criss-cross, and Warrior steamrolls Dibiase. Finally, Warrior misses a flying shoulderblock, and Dibiase spikes his face into the mat. Dibiase gets a piledriver for two, but the Warrior hulks up. He hits a series of clotheslines and finishes with the splash at 6:11. Meh. It was basically Dibiase taking clotheslines for six minutes. 1/2*

  • Andre the Giant & The Giant Baba vs. Demolition.
    This is a dream tag team pairing for Baba and Andre. The team was so popular that they reformed during the Real World Tag League and would have torn through the tournament had Baba not gotten injured. In retrospect, it wound up being a blessing in disguise because it allowed All Japan to focus on their younger stars. But enough about that. This is basically a rematch of WrestleMania only with Baba subbing for Haku, although this is quite a different match. Demolition, normally psycho-killer badasses, are given zero respect from the big men here, and the crowd loves it. Baba smacks Smash around for a few minutes. Andre comes in and stands on him before missing a butt splash. Demolition pounds on Andre until he just rolls over and tags Baba. Baba gets strangled with the tag rope but makes his own save. Demolition can’t hack it in a one-on-one, so they doubleteam as much as possible. Andre and Baba whip them together, and Andre drops an elbow on Ax for the win at 6:39. Not much of a wrestling match, but just seeing Andre and Baba work together is kind of cool, especially when they’re kicking the crap out of two of the WWF’s toughest guys. *1/2

  • Hulk Hogan vs. Stan Hansen.
    This is a much sought-after match mainly due to the fact that Hogan drops his usual American style and actually works with Hansen rather than following a template. Hansen knocks over Howard Finkel during ring entrances, and it’s on! They pay lip service to actual wrestling early, but that gives way to a brawl that goes out into the crowd. Hansen nails Hogan with a chair, busting him open. Hansen bleeds too moments later. Back in, Hogan fights back and hits a crossbody! SAY WHAT?! It gets two. Hogan finishes moments later with a lariat (cruel irony) at 12:30. It’s not nearly the squash the short review probably indicates, but most of the match is punching and kicking, so it’s hard to recap that without being repetitive. Anyway, this was a violent, intense brawl, something you don’t really associate with Hogan, and certainly not at that time. **3/4
  • The 411: It's an interesting show for curiosity seekers. Hogan versus Hansen has developed a cult-like following, but it's not all that different from the usual Hansen match. There were a number of big-time stinkers in there, so I don't think I can recommend it from a wrestling standpoint. Some people may get a kick out of seeing the once-in-a-lifetime match-ups, though.

    Thumbs down for everyone else, though.

     
    Final Score:  4.5   [ Poor ]  legend

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