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Tremendous Tirades: Super J-Cup 1994

September 6, 2004 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Tremendous Tirades: Super J-Cup 1994  

Welcome to a very special edition of Tremendous Tirades. It is special for 2 reasons, #1 I have a special friend along for the ride, and #2 it is a HUGE event! Ever since WM XX I have had the idea of a certain review, a special tournament. We are going back and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the night where the world’s greatest Juniors were assembled. The night New Japan Pro Wrestling would crown the best of the best. This is a night that Chris Benoit still calls the “one of the greatest honors of his career.” My Special guest and I would like to present to you, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Super J Cup 1994.

I will do the play by play, and my guest will be doing some analysis.

Pretext by friend and Puro-Expert Ryan Mancuso: April 16, 1994 was a huge day. Not only was the first ever Super J Cup held, but All Japan had a major show in the same city where Toshiaki Kawada took on Steve “Dr. Death” Williams to determine who would win the 1994 Championship Carnival. Wrestlers from New Japan (Liger, Otani, Benoit, Guerrero, Malenko, Casas, Samurai), FMW (Hayabusa, Fuji), WAR (Gedo), Michinoku Pro (Sasuke, Delfin, TAKA) and SPWF (Motegi) all participated. Since it was a 14-man tournament, 2 wrestlers (Benoit and Sasuke) got byes into the next round. I am not sure why they got byes.

To start our show, all of the participants are announced to the crowd and come to the ring. There is an insane amount of media surrounding the ring. The belt that the winner will receive is brought out and displayed to the 14 men.

Match #1 Gedo vs. Dean Malenko

Here we go, and Gedo attacks right away. Malenko gets a drop kick and Gedo goes to the floor. Back in now, and they lock up. Malenko with a go behind, reversed and he rolls out and grabs a leg lock. Gedo tries to escape, and gets an arm lock on Malenko. Malenko rolls and tries to get up and does but Gedo keeps the arm bar. Malenko with a reversal, snaps Gedo down and rolls through with the arm bar applied but Gedo kips up and gets an arm wringer of his own, but Malenko with a head scissors and they stand off. Single leg takedown by Gedo, and Malenko tries to get a chin lock. He grabs Gedo’s arm and gets an arm breaker but Gedo roll sand gets a 2 count on Malenko. Malenko grabs another arm lock and rolls and tries for a pin. Gedo fights out and they stand off again. Gedo with a kick to Malenko and now chops away at him. Malenko fires back with forearms and a snap mare and covers for 2. Rear headlock by Malenko, but then turns it in to a cross face chicken wing variation, then a pinning attempt for 2. Gedo rakes the eyes and goes to work on Malenko. Head buts to Malenko now, but Malenko sends him to the corner hard. High vertical suplex into a jackhammer for 2 but Malenko. Figure four head scissors by Malenko now, but Gedo slips out and gets an STF variation. Malenko crawls and gets the ropes. Chops by Gedo but Malenko fires back with rights. Gedo off the ropes, leap over Malenko then the both knock heads and are down. They are up and Malenko tries a tombstone, but Gedo reverses it into one of his own! Gedo goes up top…and MISSES a flying head but! Malenko is up, and takes off Gedo’s head with a clothesline for 2! Malenko to the corner, skips over the top and Gedo rams the corner and stumbles back which allows Malenko to hit a nice cross body off the top for a close 2. Malenko off the ropes, kicks Gedo, charges off the ropes and walks into a quick power slam, which is enough to finish Malenko!

Winner: Gedo @ 8:03 via Pin (Power Slam)
Ryan: I was surprised that the WAR promotion sent Gedo instead of Ultimo Dragon. This was the premier tournament of the best Jr. Heavyweights, and Ultimo was the top Jr. in WAR. I would not be surprised if Ultimo may have had a previously booking in Mexico at that time, and that is how Gedo got the big opportunity. I thought the wrong guy won here, but they needed someone from WAR to advance so Gedo got the nod. Pretty decent match; with Malenko performing well and Gedo carrying his own weight. Although I didn’t like the finish.

Match #2 Super Delfin vs. Shinjiro Otani

Drop kick to the knees of Delfin starts things as Otani goes to work on the left knee. He locks in a knee breaker then leaps on to it. Back to the leg submission and Delfin tries to escape, but Otani gets a single leg figure four. Delfin gets the ropes, but Otani back on the attack. Rams the knee into the mat, then locks in a single leg Boston crab until Delfin can get the ropes. Head lock by Otani, off the ropes and a reversal by Delfin who gets a nice drop kick. Tilt a whirl back breaker by Delfin! He tries another but Otani escapes and gets a spinning back kick. Delfin off the ropes and Otani gets a leg lariat, which takes Delfin to the floor. Otani to the top…but Delfin is smart enough to get away as Otani refuses to jump and heads back to the mat to wait. Delfin back in and Otani goes right after the leg again and leaps onto it. Single leg submission, stepped into a half Boston crab again, but Delfin gets the ropes. Otani stomps away then chokes Delfin in the corner. Stiff kicks by Otani now and he snaps on the ingle leg figure four again. Delfin gets to his feet and rakes the eyes of Otani. Delfin kicks away at Otani, then Delfin snaps off a sweet back suplex dropping Otani on his head for 2! Delfin on the attack…delayed vertical suplex, just holding Otani up there…brain buster gets 2! Otani looks out of it, as Delfin picks him up…tries a suplex but Otani reverses it and gets a drop kick and Delfin flies to the floor. Otani springs to the top rope, and gets a BIG cross body to Delfin on the floor! Otani back in the ring, then back out and tosses Delfin back in. Otani with a springboard missile drop kick to Delfin and that gets 2! Drop kick to Delfin knee, and Otani locks in a knee breaker submission but Delfin gets the ropes. He pulls him back center ring, and locks it on again! Delfin struggles and gets the ropes again. Delfin sent to the corner, catches Otani with a boot on the way in. He sits on the top and gets a Tornado DDT! He locks in the Delfin Clutch pinning combo and that finishes Otani.

Winner: Super Delfin @ 8:06 via pin. (Delfin Clutch)

Ryan: Excellent all-out action for the 8 minutes given. Otani was amazing here as a young lion, and would only get better in the future. Delfin was did a good job selling the knee before pulling out the win with the Delfin Clutch.

Match #3 Black Tiger (Eddie Guerrero) vs. Taka Michinoku

I’ll refer to Black Tiger as Eddie to keep things simple.

Lock up to start, and Eddie and Taka exchange reversals and arm drags, Eddie snap mares Taka down and grinds the boot on Taka’s face. Eddie slams him down, goes to the outside and gets the sling shot senton. He picks Taka up, and nails a stiff power bomb, holds on and gets a 2 count. Kick to Taka, off the ropes and Eddie with a nice back elbow to Taka. Hangmen’s neck breaker gets Eddie another 2 count. Abdominal stretch to Taka now, Taka tries to escape, but Eddie clotheslines him down. Eddie now chops away at Taka then nails a stiff European uppercut. Taka is down, and Eddie locks in the Sharpshooter! Taka tries to crawl and makes Eddie break the hold. Off the ropes and they knock each other down. Taka is back up and gets a headlock, off the ropes and knocks Eddie down again. Another shoulder charge by Taka and he then clubs away at Eddie. Taka off the ropes, duck under by Eddie and he then catches Taka on the way back with a vicious clothesline. Taka back up, sent off the ropes, he springs all the way to the top rope, moonsaults over Eddie who then leaps over Taka. Off the ropes again and Taka gets a tilt a whirl head scissors to Eddie which takes him al the way to the floor. Taka charges the ropes and Eddie quickly moves as Taka hits the top rope, and moonsaults back in the ring. Eddie buys some time on the outside, as Taka wants him back in… Eddie back in and he beats Taka back into the corner. Eddie nails a charging clothesline, then sends Taka to the other corner. Eddie follows but Taka leaps to the top and moonsaults over him again and nails a sweet release belly-to-belly suplex on Eddie! Drop kick by Taka takes Eddie to the floor. Taka charges the ropes, springs to the top and hits a big cross body to Eddie on the floor! Taka tries to suplex Eddie back into the ring, but Eddie floats over and Taka reverses that and gets a bridging German suplex for 2. Taka gets a RANA and rolls through to hold on and gets another 2 count! Taka off the ropes, he leaps for another RANA but Eddie KILLS him with a power bomb for a CLOSE 2. Slam to Taka, and Eddie heads up top…and hits an early version of the frog splash for 2! Eddie is clearly frustrated as he picks up Taka, Taka reverses it into a sun set flip for 2. Taka back up, kicks Eddie in the gut, Power bomb by TAKA for 2! Taka goes up top…nice moonsault gets Taka 2! He goes up again…moonsault to Eddie’s knees as he was waiting for him! Eddie picks him up…Brain buster gets another close 2! Eddie signals to the crowd, grabs Taka and goes to the second rope and DRILLS Taka with a tornado DDT to finish the match.

Winner: Black Tiger (Eddie Guerrero) @ 6:44 via Pin (Tornado DDT)

Ryan: Another really good match for 7 minutes. At 20 years old despite looking 14, TAKA showed a lot of potential. It is one of those discipline matches where the veteran beats up the youngster. Tiger did a great job with giving a beat down.

Match #4 El Samurai vs. Masayoshi Motegi

Motegi starts off with a drop kick right before the bell sounds and we are underway. Samurai off the ropes, and he eats another drop kick and rolls to the floor. Motegi hit the ropes and dives through with a suicide dive to Samurai on the floor. Motegi back in the ring, runs at the corner for a double springboard, but loses his balance and Samurai slides back in the ring. Lock up, and Motegi gets an arm drag and hold son. Samurai fights up, and takes Motegi down with a drop toehold and turns that into an STF. Motegi tries to fight out, but Samurai lets him go and stomps away. Back to their feet and they chop away, and Samurai gets the best of that taking Motegi to the mat. Samurai with a pile driver to Motegi gets 2. Back suplex by Samurai gets 2. Boston crab by Samurai now, but Motegi rolls through and gets a 2 count. They circle each other, and lock up again. Motegi gets a headlock and takes Samurai to the mat but Samurai escapes and locks in a head scissors. He lets Motegi up, and picks him up now for a NASTY looking tombstone pile driver! He picks him up and they slug it out with fore arms. Samurai off the ropes, and starts what looks like a reverse DDT, but turns it into a reverse suplex for 2. Motegi off the ropes, and kinda no sells a slightly missed drop kick. Samurai up, and Motegi off the ropes again but holds on to the ropes and Samurai misses a drop kick this time. Motegi gets a drop kick of his own, then charges Samurai but is dumped to the floor. Samurai charges and hits a suicide dive through the middle ropes. Samurai back up and in the ring and Motegi tries to follow, but Samurai grabs him on the apron and suplexes him back in then climbs the ropes. He nails a missile drop kick for 2. Samurai back up and tries a RANA but gets DRILLED with a power bomb for 2! Motegi locks in a rolling surfboard! He then turns it into a dragon sleeper with the legs still hooked. He lets him go, and both men are back up, Motegi off the ropes, ducks a clothesline and botches a tilt a whirl, which turns into a cross body for 2. Rolling Germans, but as he tries the 3rd, Samurai is able to roll him up for a close 2! Samurai off the ropes, slides under Motegi, the reverse each other and Samurai gets a bridging German for 2! Samurai back up, he picks up Motegi and plants him with a stiff power bomb to finish it off.

Winner: El Samurai @ 7:03 via Pin (Power Bomb)
Ryan: Motegi is representing the very small independent company, SPWF. I would have preferred someone else from New Japan, but the purpose of this tournament is to give wrestlers from small companies an opportunity to perform on a major stage. Pretty decent match, but you could tell from Motegi’s performance that he came from the indy’s. Samurai performed well here.

Match #5 Ricky Fuji vs. Negro Casas

They circle each other to start, Fuji looks to go for a lock up but Casas drop kicks him down. Snap mare by Casas, into a headlock and Fuji fights to his feet. Casas takes him to the mat again, and Fuji gets a head scissors counter. Casas slips out and ties up the legs and locks in an STF variation…and Fuji gets to the ropes. They lock up, and exchange reversals until Casas takes Fuji down with a head scissors, and keeps on the hold. Fuji tries to escape, does and gets a headlock on Casas. Fuji in control now, but Casas is able to escape and get the head scissors again. They are to their feet, and chop it out. Fuji off the ropes, and clotheslined down for 2. Fuji with a single leg take down, and kicks away at Casas left knee. He locks in a leg grapevine, but Casas is able to get a dragon sleeper to break that hold. Both men up, and Casas slams down Fuji, hits a standing senton and gets 2. Fuji off the ropes, and Casas connects with a drop kick that takes Fuji to the floor. Casas charges a corner, springboards off the second rope and gets a cross body to Fuji on the floor! Both men are down, and slowly get up and back into the ring. Chops by Casas, but Fuji sends him off the ropes and gets a back breaker. Slam by Fuji, and he goes up top…double ax handle to Casas gets 2. snap suplex by Fuji gets another 2. Tries another, but Casas floats over knocks him down and lock in the La Magistral cradle for 2. Snap mare by Casas and he goes up top…and gets a senton for 2. Up top again, and MISSES the senton this time. Fuji is up, off the ropes and a clothesline to Casas. Another clothesline followed by kicks to Fuji, double under hook…Tiger Driver by Fuji finishes it.

Winner: Ricky Fuji @ 5:53 via Pin (Tiger Driver)
Ryan: Casas is a legend in Mexico who is well known for his feud with Lucha Libre legend El Hijo Del Santo. He also had a feud with Jushin Thunder Liger in the early 1990’s during his tours in New Japan.
An interesting story about Ricky Fuji. He wanted to start out his pro wrestling career in New Japan, and went to the New Japan Dojo for training. However, the training was so tough for him that he quit the dojo by sneaking off in the middle of the night and never coming back. He finished his pro wrestling training in Canada, and went to FMW when they started up. He is a mediocre in-ring wrestler at best. He has a lot of charisma so it is easy to like him. The way he presents himself I think of him as Shawn Michaels, but minus the talent. He got into the tournament since he is friends with Liger, which goes back to their days in Canada. This match would technically be mediocre on another card, but with the wrestlers involved this was easily the worst match of the entire show. I didn’t like with Fuji winning. Just like WAR, FMW needed someone to advance to the next round.

Match #6 Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Hayabusa

Before the ref can talk to the wrestlers, Hayabusa attacks Liger with a drop kick, then a spin kick to take liger to the floor! Hayabusa hits the ropes, and gets a nice flip dive to Liger on the floor. Hayabusa decides to finally take his robe off, kicks Liger and sends him back into the ring. Hayabusa up top, and nails a missile drop kick to the back of Liger’s head. Hayabusa stomps away at Liger, then locks in a step over arm submission. Hayabusa slams Liger, then a leg drop follows. He locks in a single leg grapevine, and is in control. Hayabusa with a knee drop to Liger’s knee, misses when he tries another and Liger gets a drop kick to Hayabusa’s knees and locks in a figure 4-leg lock. Hayabusa struggles and finally gets the ropes. Liger goes rapid fire with some punches, then gets a power bomb for 2. Liger with an inverted figure 4-variation, and Hayabusa tries to punch out. Hayabusa still in the hold, as Liger chops him back to the mat. Liger lets Hayabusa up, then sends him off the ropes and levels him with a clothesline, which gets 2. Trip by Liger, and back to a single leg grapevine, but Hayabusa kicks his way out. Both men back up, and a nice back suplex by Liger takes Hayabusa down again. Liger sends Hayabusa to the corner, and follows close behind with the rolling kick. Hayabusa set on the top rope now, Liger follows…SUPERPLEX by Liger gets 2. Liger goes to work with stiff kicks and chops now, sends Hayabusa to the corner, but Hayabusa floats over and nails Liger with a spin kick, then a drop kick for 2. Hayabusa sends Liger off the ropes, gets a spin kick again for 2. Hayabusa goes up top…and gets a huge spin kick for 2. Hayabusa slams Liger, and goes up top and gets a moonsault for 2. Hayabusa up top again…Liger has his back turned, and Hayabusa spins in mid air and gets a RANA on Liger for 2. Hayabusa slams Liger down, and goes up top…and TOTALLY OVER SHOOTS A SHOOTING STAR PRESS and plants his face into the mat! Liger is up, he grabs Hayabusa and gets a sit out power bomb for 2. Liger picks up Hayabusa and sets him on top…but Hayabusa tries to fight back and knocks him down. Hayabusa off the top for a RANA, but gets PLANTED by Liger with a power bomb! Liger picks him up, FISHERMAN’S BUSTER finishes off Hayabusa.

Winner: Jushin “Thunder” Liger @ 10:11 via Pin (Fisherman’s Buster)
Ryan: A pretty big match as this would be the first time Eiji Ezaki wrestled as Hayabusa in Japan. He had been doing the gimmick in Mexico for the last few months. Another interesting note was that Liger and Ezaki became friends right before Ezaki’s learning excursion to Mexico. Liger suggested that Ezaki use a gimmick similar to his while in Mexico. That is how Hayabusa was created. Liger wanted Hayabusa to leave FMW for New Japan in 1996, but Hayabusa stayed loyal to FMW and refused Liger’s offer. That soured their friendship until Hayabusa’s unfortunate accident that left him paralyzed. A really good first impression for Hayabusa, but it was clear that he was still pretty green. He was still working on what moves he should keep using, and moves that he should ditch. Thankfully, he got rid of the Shooting Star Press as this match wasn’t the only time he had miscalculated the move. Liger was his usual excellent self.

Larry: I have to jump in, since I am a big Hayabusa fan. I enjoyed the match, and am also glad Hayabusa would ditch the SSP as he actually broke some vertebrae with one gone badly a few years later. (And some of you give Brock shit…lol) After the match, Liger gets a bottle of water and dumps some on Hayabusa’s neck and head to wake him up a bit, and demands he gets up. Hayabusa shakes Liger’s hand and bows, and Liger then raises his hand. To me this was awesome, because this was Liger going, “This kid is the next Generation, and I support him.” Just really cool.

Quarter-finals

Match #7 Gedo vs. Super Delfin

Lock up to start, and Delfin gets a quick arm drag but Gedo escapes. Single leg take down by Delfin, who gets a variation of the single leg crab, but Gedo escapes. Gedo with a single leg take down now, and into a crab as well. Delfin up and gets an Enziguri. Snap mare to Gedo, and Delfin gets a rear chin lock. Gedo up, and they chop it out with Gedo getting better of it. He tries to pick up Delfin, but he goes LOW and Gedo drops to the mat. Delfin kicks away at Gedo on the mat, then steps on his face. Choke now by Delfin, and the ref breaks it up. Delfin off the ropes and takes Gedo down with a shoulder block. Off the ropes again and a tilt a whirl head scissors takes Gedo down. Delfin throws Gedo to the ropes, reversal now and a drop kick by Gedo. Gedo misses a clothesline and Delfin gets a drop kick that takes Gedo to the floor. Delfin poses to the crowd, and Gedo makes his way back in. Delfin on the attack, and head buts Gedo. Punches in the corner now, but Gedo gets an atomic drop. Chops to Delfin, snap mare and stiff kick by Gedo. Again and Gedo locks in a double arm submission. Delfin fights up and rams Gedo to the turnbuckle. Snap suplex by Delfin gets 2. Hangman’s neck breaker gets 2 for Delfin. They chop it out again, but Gedo gets a forearm, sends Delfin off the ropes, but eats a drop kick and Gedo goes to the floor. Delfin up top…BIG cross body to the floor! Delfin gets back in the ring, as does Gedo and he gets a super kick and a clothesline to Delfin for 2. Delfin with a victory roll for 2. Gedo off the ropes, reversal and a power slam to Delfin for 2. Slam by Gedo, goes up top and gets a moonsault for 2. Delfin off the ropes and gets a crucifix for 2. Bridging back suplex for 2 by Delfin. Slam by Delfin, goes up top…flying elbow gets 2. Delfin to the corner, gets a boot to Gedo, goes up…TORNADO DDT to Gedo for 2! Delfin locks in the Delfin Clutch, but Gedo rolls him up for the WIN!

Winner: Gedo @ 8:17 via Pin (Roll up)

Ryan: Good match for the 8 minutes given. Gedo gets too much flack from people. He is not a bad wrestler. I think many people view Gedo in a negative light since he advanced far in J Cup tournaments even though there were better talent involved. Despite not being as good as Gedo, I notice there isn’t as much Motegi hate. That is because he gets zero push in J Cups. Most of these people haven’t seen a Gedo match since the 1995 J Cup. In all honesty, he deserves more flack now for being lazy despite being in great shape instead of being a chubby guy in pajamas who put out a lot of effort. As far as the match goes, nice job telling the story on how the Delfin Clutch may have worked to a victory in the first round but it wound up costing him here.

Match #8 Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) vs. Black Tiger (Eddie Guerrero)

Lock up to start, and they reverse each other a few times out of that, Eddie gets an arm bar, but Benoit cart wheels over and gets a single leg take down. Ankle lock variation by Benoit, but Eddie takes him down and gets one of his own. Eddie drops down with a single leg figure four, and then gets back up and stomps away at Benoit. Slam by Eddie, and he goes to the apron, sling shot senton onto Benoit and follows with a double foot stomp. NASTY back suplex gets 2 for Eddie. Figure 4 head scissors by Eddie now, and Benoit tries to roll out, and gets the ropes. Eddie stomps away, sends Benoit off the ropes, slides under him and trips Benoit flat of his face! Benoit stomps away again, picks Benoit up, tries a suplex, but Benoit floats over and gets a reverse vertical suplex! Kicks from Benoit now, Eddie off the ropes, reversal by Benoit then a stiff clothesline takes Eddie down. Flapjack to Eddie, then Benoit takes him off the ropes and buries a knee. Chops by Benoit, then drops Eddie belly first across the top rope. Picks him up, and PLANTS Eddie on his head with a bridging German for 2. STIFF power bomb by Benoit gets 2. Snap suplex by Benoit gets 2. Snap mare into a figure four head scissors by Benoit has Eddie center ring. Eddie tries to roll out and gets the ropes. Eddie off the ropes, Benoit tries a knee, but Eddie rolls him up for 2. Eddie off the ropes, Benoit tries the flapjack again, but Eddie turns it into a RANA mid air! Bridging German by Eddie gets 2. Camel Clutch by Eddie now, and he lets it go after about a minute. Nice fall away slam by Eddie, and he goes up top…and MISSES a missile drop kick! Benoit with a back suplex gets 2. He holds Eddies hands down, but Eddie bridges up…Eddie rolls through backwards and has Benoit by a hand, runs to the ropes, hits the top and gets a slingshot RANA to Benoit for 2! Eddie sets Benoit on the tope rope…RANA OFF THE TOP ROPE gets 2! Brian Buster by Eddie, and he goes for the Tornado DDT…but Benoit tosses him across the ring! Benoit has Eddie, sets him on the top rope…and Eddie shoves Benoit to the mat! Eddie flies with a cross body, but Benoit counters with almost an arm drag and covers him up for the win!

Winner: Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) @ via 10:21 Pin (Cross Body Counter)

Ryan: It is Benoit vs. Guerrero. Do I need to say more? Great match with everything move looking awesome. I just wish this was longer than 10 minutes.

Match #9 The Great Sasuke vs. El Samurai

A handshake to start and here we go. Some kicks by Sasuke to keep Samurai away, and the crowd LOVES Sasuke. Lock up, and Sasuke gets a single leg take down and locks in the single leg submission. Half crab, and Samurai gets the ropes. Back up and Samurai gets a Hammerlock, and Sasuke escapes with a snap mare. Single leg take down by Sasuke, and he goes to the mat and works the leg. Samurai escapes and gets a head scissors, but quickly turns it into an arm breaker. Sasuke tries to fight out, and does as he is able to go back to the single leg submission. Samurai gets the ropes, and they get back to their feet as Samurai gets an arm wringer, then stomps away on Sasuke. Elbows to Sasuke’s knee now, takes him down and locks in a standing ankle lock. Step over, then a leg drop to the knee of Sasuke. Samurai locks in an odd octopus/figure four-type move, then releases it and rams Sasuke’s knee into the mat. Sasuke takes a powder to the floor to try and walk off the knee pain. Back in and Samurai slams him down for 2. Stump puller now by Samurai, as he really pulls back on the knee of Sasuke. Sasuke kicks away and Samurai turns it in to a single leg figure four and they roll to the ropes. Sasuke again to the floor to try and walk it off. Back in now, and Samurai pounds away. Russian leg sweep into a bad ass submission which I really cannot describe! Samurai breaks it, and they chop back and forth now. Sasuke off the ropes, back flip into a handspring elbow takes Samurai to the floor! Sasuke off the ropes, and NAILS THE SASUKE SPECIAL! (Cartwheel into a moonsault over the ropes to the floor.) Both men are down on the floor as the crowd chants SASUKE, SASUKE! Back in the ring now, Sasuke tries to suplex Samurai back in, but he floats over, off the ropes and gets NAILED with a spin kick by Sasuke for 2. Samurai gets a reversal off the ropes and takes down Sasuke with a clothesline followed by a drop kick that takes Sasuke to the floor. Samurai off the ropes…FLIP DIVE TO THE FLOOR! Samurai back in the ring, and Sasuke is having trouble getting up. He beats the count in, and Samurai sends him off the ropes, reversal and a nice German suplex by Samurai for 2. Samurai though tit was 3, he slams down Sasuke, goes up top…FLYING HEADBUT for 2! Samurai tries a power bomb, but Sasuke reverses it into a RANA and gets 2! Slam by Sasuke, goes up top…but Samurai catches him, tries to take him down, but Sasuke gets a sun set flip power bomb form the top for 2! The crowd is WAY into this. Sasuke off the ropes, MISSES a spin kick, Samurai back up and PLANTS Sasuke with a power bomb for 2! Samurai off the ropes, gets a RANA, BUT Sasuke rolls through and holds on for the pin!

Winner: The Great Sasuke @ 11:40 via Pin (Reversed RANA)

Ryan: If you ever wanted proof as to why El Samurai is one of the most underrated wrestlers ever, then watch this match. The second half was like out of this world. For the 12 minutes they were given, this could easily be a consideration for match of the year.

Match #10 Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Ricky Fuji

Lock up to start, they reverse out a few times and Fuji gets a drop toehold to Liger, and locks in an arm wringer. Liger rolls out, and they reverse a few more times, and Liger gets a monkey flip and they stand off. Test of strength now, and Liger gets the advantage taking Fuji down, but Fuji rolls him into a pin for 2. Lock up and a take down by Liger, and he cinches in a headlock. Fuji fights to his feet, sends Liger off the ropes and gets a drop kick that takes Liger to the floor. Slingshot cross body by Fuji to the floor, and Liger is down again. Fuji tries, and gets a half hearted power bomb to Liger on the floor. Fuji back in the ring, and he celebrates. Liger tries to get to his feet, and makes his way backing. Liger off the ropes, and a back elbow by Fuji gets 2. Snap suplex by Fuji, and he goes up top…and they clothesline each other! Liger gets to his feet, off the ropes and a bulldog to Fuji. He tosses Fuji to the floor….then goes up top, and gets a double foot stomp on Fuji on the floor! Back in the ring, and a rolling kick by Liger gets 2. Power bomb to Fuji gets 2. Liger picks up Fuji and gives him a release German suplex for 2. Liger sends Fuji to the corner, and follows with a drop kick. Liger sets Fuji on the top rope…SUPER PLEX kind of countered by Fuji mid-air to a cross body, and he covers for 2. Fuji sets Liger on the top rope…and he DROP KICKS Liger to the floor! Baseball slide by Fuji and Liger is down. Liger back in now, back suplex by Fuji for 2. Fuji sets him on top again…goes up but Liger shoves him back to the mat. Liger up…RANA OFF THE TOP finishes it. After the match, Liger bows to Fuji and shakes his hand and they hug. Liger is cool like that, even for last bastards like Ricky Fuji.

Winner: Jushin “Thunder” Liger @ 7:52 via Pin (RANA off the top rope)

Ryan: Easily the weakest second round match. Liger was good here, and Fuji did a good job playing to his strengths.

Semi-finals

Match #11 Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) vs. Gedo

Lock up to start, Gedo with a headlock but Benoit sends him off the ropes, but shoulder blocks him down. Off the ropes again, and Benoit reverses him, and they stand off, but Benoit SLAPS him. Gedo slaps back and Benoit kicks away, sends Gedo off the ropes and takes his head off with a clothesline. Hangman’s neck breaker by Benoit followed by a leg drop from the second rope for 2. Benoit with forearms now, then chops to Gedo in the corner. Gedo off the ropes, but holds on and Benoit misses a drop kick. Gedo with a snap mare, and then locks in a double chicken wing. Benoit crawls and makes the ropes. Pile driver by Gedo for 2. Headlock now, and Gedo is in control. Gedo releases the hold and chops down Benoit, then chokes him out. Stiff kick to the back of Benoit, then he picks him up and chops away, but Benoit answers with chops of his own! Benoit off the ropes and Gedo gets a drop kick that takes Benoit to the floor. Gedo goes up top…and gets a MOONSAULT to Benoit on the floor! Rolls Benoit backing the ring, sends him off the ropes and gets a power slam for 2. Nothern-lights suplex by Gedo gets 2. Clothesline by Gedo and he goes back up top, and MISSES a flying headbut! Both men are down, back up and Benoit with a back suplex, but Gedo reverses it mid move and covers for 2! Benoit whips Gedo to the corner, he charges, misses, they reverse each other and Benoit gets a power bomb for 2! ANOTHER power bomb, and Benoit goes up top… FLYING HEAD BUT finishes off Gedo.

Winner: Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) @ 6:45 via Pin

Ryan: A great near 7 minute match here. It was all-action. Despite showing obvious signs of exhaustion, Gedo worked hard and put in a good performance. Benoit was again phenomenal.

Match #12 Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. The Great Sasuke

Here we go, lock up, and reversals but Sasuke gets a single leg take down, which is quickly reversed by Liger and then by Sasuke and they stand off. Test of strength, and Liger goes for a pin and gets 1 as Sasuke reverses it. Sasuke with a weird version of a surfboard and then takes Liger to mid-ring and tries an arm bar. Liger reverses, and gets the single leg submission, then into another surfboard variation. Liger up, and switches to a regular surfboard and locks it in nicely. He has Sasuke in mid-air, and locks in a dragon sleep with the legs still hooked! Sasuke grabs the ropes and they break. Sasuke off the ropes, and a back breaker by Liger gets 2. Camel clutch by Liger now, and he really sits back, and then rocks back and forth as he looks to break Sasuke in half. Liger releases the hold, and then drop an elbow to Sasuke. Sasuke gets up, and Liger has a rolling kick for him and Sasuke is down again. The ref checks on Sasuke and the crowd chants for him. Sasuke gets up, and Liger back on the attack with a stiff forearm. The ref checks on Sasuke again, and he is ok. Liger has him up, and gets a leaping tombstone! Cross face chicken wing with the body scissors now by Liger! Sasuke inches his way and finally gets the ropes. Liger grabs his left arm, and rams it over his own shoulder, as Sasuke screams in pain. Again with the arm breaking motion, and Sasuke is in visible pain. Liger back to work, and locks in a rolling hammer lock and tries the submission again. Liger is in complete control now, lets go of the hold, and locks in a cross arm breaker now. The ref checks Sasuke as the crowd chants for him. Liger breaks the hold again, and stalks Sasuke. Back suplex by Liger, and Sasuke is down. Liger back to work on Sasuke, slams him down and goes up top…MISSILE DROP KICK that is COUNTERED by a drop kick from Sasuke and Liger rolls to the floor! Sasuke goes for a cross body, fakes out Liger by landing on the apron, kicks him and gets an Asai moonsault on Liger! Both men are down on the floor now. Sasuke still favoring his left arm as both men try to get back in the ring. Back in the ring, Sasuke tries to suplex Liger back in, they battle and Sasuke knocks Liger back to the floor. He charges the corner, runs up and does an INSANE Flip dive onto Liger! Sasuke back in, and as Liger rolls back in, Sasuke attacks with knee drops and takes control. Liger off the ropes and Sasuke nails a spin kick for 2. Piledriver by Sasuke for 2. Gut wrench into a STIFF power bomb by Sasuke gets 2! Sasuke back up delivers a leg drop to the back of Liger’s head. Sasuke picks him up, and lands a leaping tombstone! Sasuke goes up top…misses a senton, but rolls through, off the ropes and Liger drops him with a clothesline for 2! Liger picks him up and gets a sit out power bomb for 2. Liger sets Sasuke on the top rope…RANA OFF THE TOP gets 2 as Sasuke rolls through and gets a 2 count of his own! Release German suplex by Liger gets 2! Liger picks up Sasuke, kick to the gut…FISHERMAN’S BUSTER! 1…2…NO! Sasuke kicks out! Liger can’t believe it! Liger picks him up again, goes to the apron and SUPLEXES SASUKE TO THE FLOOR! Liger up top…CROSS BODY TO THE FLOOR! Sasuke tries to get up as Liger celebrates mid-ring and waits. Sasuke up on the apron, and Liger hits a rolling kick and Sasuke is down on the apron. Sasuke goes for a springboard, and SLIPS! Luger mockingly claps at him and picks him up, Sasuke pushes him off, STANDING RANA, Sasuke holds on and THAT is all!

Winner: The Great Sasuke @ 18:07 via Pin (Standing RANA into a pin)

Ryan: All I have to say is WOW! A near-perfect match until the messed up ending. Even then, the way they played it off makes you think that Sasuke messed up on purpose to trick Liger and surprise him for the 3. Great buildup to the finish, and the execution of moves was great. This match showed Liger continuing to cement his legacy while Sasuke was building his.

Finals

Match #13 Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) vs. The Great Sasuke

So, Benoit has wrestled for 17:06, and Sasuke for 29:47 total. So they both have some fatigue going in, more so with Sasuke. Let’s see what they have left in the tank. Lots of media and the participants surround the ring.

Here we go with the final match, the shale and stare each other down and the bell rings.

Lock up to start, and Benoit locks in a full nelson, but Sasuke escapes and gets a hammerlock. Reversal by Benoit, he snap mares Sasuke over, but he lands on his feet. Kick to Benoit, but he catches it, Sasuke back flips out and kicks Benoit down and they stand off. Test of strength…but Benoit kicks Sasuke and gets an arm bar. Chops by Benoit now, then forearm shots. Sasuke to the corner, reverses, kick to Benoit and Sasuke back flips off of him, but Benoit scoops up Sasuke by the legs and Sasuke powers out and Benoit goes to the floor. Sasuke charges, but Benoit moves so Sasuke holds up. Back in the ring and they lock up again, and Benoit takes him down and locks in the figure four-headlock. Sasuke tries to battle out, does and gets a surfboard variation. Bow and arrow now by Sasuke, but Benoit gets out. Snap mare by Sasuke, and has a double arm submission on Benoit. Benoit escapes, and up and kicks away at Sasuke. Reversal series, and Benoit levels Sasuke with a clothesline. Bridging German by Benoit gets 2. Sasuke off the ropes gets a spin kick to Benoit. Another and Benoit is down. Slam by Sasuke, he drops an elbow for 2. Sasuke with a hammerlock tries for another pin, but switches to a cross arm breaker. Benoit fights out and kicks away at Sasuke. Forearm blows now, Benoit tries a power bomb, but Sasuke turns it into an arm drag but Benoit levels him with a back elbow. Benoit picks up Sasuke, and drops him gut first over the top rope. Sasuke on the apron, and Benoit pounds away at him. Chops now, and Benoit springs off the middle rope and gets a cross body to Sasuke! Benoit back in the ring and salutes the crowd. Taka urges on Sasuke as he tries to get to his feet. Back in the ring, Benoit locks in a full nelson…and then delivers a dragon suplex for 2! Benoit picks up Sasuke and slams him down. Benoit up top…FLYING HEADBUT gets 2! Benoit picks him up again and delivers a power bomb for 2! Slam by Benoit…SHARP SHOOTER!!!! He breaks after about 30 seconds, takes Sasuke off the ropes and gets a tilt a whirl back breaker for 2! Off the ropes, and Benoit misses a drop kick. Sasuke takes him off the ropes, Benoit reverses a tilt a whirl, and Sasuke ducks him and takes Benoit down with a clothesline. Sasuke off the ropes, Benoit reverses him and gets a bridging German for 2! Benoit tries another dragon suplex, Sasuke ducks out but Benoit gets a cradle for 2! Sasuke sent to the corner, springs off the 2nd rope and gets a cross body followed by a spin kick to Benoit that takes him to the floor. Sasuke off the ropes and NAILS THE SASUKE SPECIAL! Both men down on the floor as the other competitors rally them on and they get back in the ring. Sasuke with punches now, bridging German to Benoit gets 2! The crowd is going CRAZY! Fisherman’s Suplex gets 2 for Sasuke. Sasuke goes up top…MISSES a missile drop kick! Sasuke rolls to the apron as the battle and SASUKE SUPLEX’S BENOIT TO THE FLOOR! They pull themselves up and get back in the ring. Sasuke with a drop kick to Benoit that takes him all the way to the floor. Sasuke up top…MISSILE DROP KICK TO BENOIT! The crowd is rabid now as these 2 are going all out. The other competitors rally them again, and they crawl back to the ring. Kick to Benoit by Sasuke followed by a slam. Sasuke up top again…Moonsault to Benoit! 1…2…NO! Sasuke climbs to the top again… Benoit follows this time, and nails Sasuke. Sasuke knocks Benoit off to the mat. Benoit back up…he has Sasuke…GUT WRENCH SUPERPLEX! 1…2…3!

Benoit and Sasuke embrace as the other competitors come into the ring. Benoit is presented the Super J Cup Championship belt as well as a special gold jacket and trophy. Sasuke gets a sweet 2nd place trophy. Black Tiger, Liger and Gedo are also presented with trophies.

Winner and 1st ever Super J-Cup Champion: Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) @ 18:40 via Pin (Gut Wrench Superplex)

Ryan: I loved this match because it was the perfect tribute to the Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask matches of the 1980’s. They both used moves from those matches that made the Jr. Heavyweight Style so innovative, and then modernized for the 1990’s. What made this match more unbelievable was that both guys had two previous matches, and how they put out such a high quality performance for almost 20 minutes. Everything from the build to the closing sequence was awesome. Sasuke definitely deserved MVP for the night because he had a really great match with Samurai, and two career-making performances against Liger and Benoit. I don’t recall anyone ever having quality of matches that high in one night. Very few could match in-ring abilities with Benoit in 1994, as he could do anything at that time. This along with Liger/Sasuke set new levels for Jr. Heavyweight wrestling.

I know this was long, but I hope you enjoyed it. This tape is one of the single greatest nights of wrestling you can find on video. If you would like to know where to pick this gem up, send me an email and I’ll let you know. For Ryan Mancuso, I am Larry Csonka and we thank you for reading.

The 411Ryan: This was the greatest night of wrestling ever with Sasuke putting on the performance of a lifetime. No bad matches out of the 13 presented. A must have for anyone.

Larry: Ok, if you love wrestling, the drama and solid work, you want this tape. You basically get 2, ***** matches, and a great tournament. There is a nice amount of recognizable talent to the average fan; Malenko, Eddie, Benoit, Taka, Liger and probably Hayabusa and Sasuke. Benoit vs. Sasuke is just an amazing match, and I totally agree with Ryan that it is like watching The Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask the next generation. Sasuke was the star of the evening, putting on back-to-back 5* matches, both of them over 18:00. Yes, I call the Liger match a 5* match, one slip after 18 minutes doesn’t kill it for me! Ricky Fuji is a lazy bastard, just had to be said. This is a gem in my tape collection, and I would easily give it the “Totally Tremendous” rating, and the highest recommendation to pick this one up.

411 Elite Award
Final Score:  10.0   [ Virtually Perfect ]  legend

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Larry Csonka
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