wrestling / Video Reviews

Views from the Hawke’s Nest: WAR’s Super J Cup 1995

February 15, 2015 | Posted by TJ Hawke
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Views from the Hawke’s Nest: WAR’s Super J Cup 1995  

Tokyo, Japan
December 11, 1995


Super J Cup 1995 First Round Match
Damien vs. Gran Naniwa

This match was all gaga. It was fairly well-executed. My favorite spot was Damien screaming “Misawa!” before hit a series of elbows. After missing a “Muta!” moonsault, Naniwa caught Damien with a hurricanrana pin for the victory.

This was a solid comedy match to start things off.

Match Rating: **3/4


Super J Cup 1995 First Round Match
Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Shinjiro Otani

If the last match was all gaga, this was all hot fighting. This is how you do a short match very well. Mochi was throwing huge strikes at Otani, but Otani kept focusing on the left leg. He then used an armbar. Mochi came back with a wild spinning heel kick and his leaping corner kick that I do not have the energy to google the official name for again. Otaini then kicked out the left leg, hit it with a springboard missile dropkick and applied a kneebar. Mochi tapped!

This is how you make a 4-5 minute match feel like it’s important and not a waste of time.

Match Rating: ***1/4


Super J Cup 1995 First Round Match
Shoichi Funaki vs. Ultimo Dragon

Funaki hit an early pescado. Funaki then grounded Dragon with a leg submission for a while. Well, this better go somewhere. Eventually, they just got up and started running around. Funaki cut him off again. Dragon then made a comeback. He hit a release Perfect-plex, DDT, Frankensteiner, moonsault, and then used La Magistral Cradle to win the match.

I have not watched Ultimo Dragon a lot, but he almost always fails to impress me. An entire match basically devoted to working a leg submission…and then you just run through all your shit like it never happened? That’s bad pro wrestling.

Match Rating: **


Super J Cup 1995 First Round Match
Gedo vs. Masayoshi Motegi

Gedo looks like Toru Yano at this point, which is not a good look for him. Toru Yano is the only person it is a good look for.

Motegi got control on the floor by going after the left arm. He then worked Gedo over. He was mostly targeting the arm. Gedo threatened to come back a few times, but Motegi kept cutting him off. Finally, Gedo avoided a diving headbutt and just applied a seated Cattle Mutilation…Motegi tapped out!

This was okay. Second straight match where the limb work had no payoff, but maybe it will come into play later in the tournament.

Match Rating: **1/2


Super J Cup 1995 First Round Match
Dos Caras vs. El Samurai

Caras was in control early and often, as he applied various submissions on Samurai. He hit Samurai with a tope suicida. Samurai finally just escaped a submission and then made a comeback. Caras eventually avoided a diving headbutt and then hit a diving crossbody for the win.

Solid match. Caras looked good here (especially since he was in his mid-forties). Samurai didn’t get to do much, but he was a good enough at taking Caras’ submissions.

Match Rating: **3/4


Super J Cup 1995 First Round Match
Hanzo Nakajima vs. Lionheart

This is the first time I’ve seen a Jericho match from his time in Japan.

Lionheart cut him off immediately and then worked him over. Nakajima fought back and hit a tope suicida. Lionheart cut him right off though and went back to work on him. Nakajima went for a crossbody, but Lionheart rolled through. Lionheart then hit the Lionsault for the victory.

This was basically a squash for Lionheart, as he got 90% of the offense before winning. It was fine.

Match Rating: **1/4


Super J Cup 1995 Quarter Final Match
Gran Naniwa vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

WOW, Naniwa jumped Liger with a dropkick during his entrance pose, hit a Frankensteiner, and then a fucking plancha. This match is off to a wild start! Naniwa was just running through him, and it was amazing. Things sadly cooled down a bit, but I am hyped now for this one. It looked like Liger was going to get control, but Naniwa continued to mostly dominate. Liger came back after a couple of koppou kicks. He finished Naniwa with a fisherman suplex.

This started out super hot, and that opening stretch was the best part of the whole show so far. Then it cooled down and never really picked back up.

Match Rating: ***


Super J Cup 1995 Quarter Final Match
Shinjiro Otani vs. Ultimo Dragon

Otani got control quickly and hit a couple of springboard movez. Ultimo came back and hit an Asai Moonsault. Otani went for some submissions in the ring. He was just generally in control. They did a no-sell tombstones sequence, which may just be the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever seen. They started going back and forth. Otani got a great nearfall with a bridging dragon suplex. Ultimo eventually completely overshot a corkscrew splash and then beat Otani with La Magistral Cradle.

This was a case of one sequence (the tombstone no-selling one) completely derailing a match for me. I was completely taken out of the match and lost all interest. Ultimo botching the finish was poetic for this match. Crowd was hot for it at least.

Match Rating: **


Super J Cup 1995 Quarter Final Match
Dos Caras vs. Gedo

Caras dominated Gedo to start the match. He applied various submissions. Gedo finally fought back and went for the mask. Caras quickly came back with a pescado. Gedo eventually caught him with a low blow, DDT, and a pinning combo to pick up the win.

This struck me as an incredibly stupid match. Caras dominated the whole thing. Gedo basically solely won because he got a low blow. That’s just annoying and unsatisfying.

Match Rating: *


Super J Cup 1995 Quarter Final Match
Lionheart vs. Wild Pegasus

They battled for control for a while. The match was basically just trading brief periods of being in control There was an insane spot where Lionheart did his Silver King plancha with a moonsault. It looked like he landed on his head. Pegasus came right back in the ring. He hit a nasty powerbomb and later hit a wild tope suicida. Adjectives. Lionheart then came right back in the ring. He went for something on the top rope, but Pegasus reversed it into an avalanche tombstone slam: 1…2…3

This was a total “movez” match. It was very entertaining, and it was certainly elevated by physicality at certain points. It was just wasn’t the pro wrestling clinic you would want or expect from these two.

Match Rating: ***1/4


Super J Cup 1995 Semi Final Match
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Ultimo Dragon

At the 1993 1/4 show, these two had a match, and Ultimo put on one of the worst performances that I have ever seen.

This got off to a rather methodical start. Liger got firm control by targeting the left leg. Ultimo came back by going after a leg of Liger. Liger immediately started selling his leg while Ultimo started doing gratuitous flips. Liger made a comeback with a rolling senton off the apron and a release powerbomb. They started going back and forth a bit. Liger avoided a moonsault and hit a Liger Bomb: 1…2…NO! Liger reversed La Magistral Cradle into a pinning comb to pick up the win.

This was not objectively worse than their 1993 1/4 match, but at least that was an entertaining trainwreck of a match. This was just so boring the great majority of the time.

Match Rating: **


Super J Cup 1995 Semi Final Match
Gedo vs. Wild Pegasus

This is a rematch of the 1994 Super J Cup semifinals that Pegasus won.

Pegasus dominated from the start. Must every Gedo match in this tourney be structured the same way? Gedo managed to get the seated Cattle Mutilation and then worked over Pegasus. Oh wow, is Gedo actually going to be allowed to look. Oh my gawd, Gedo nearly committed suicide on a suicide dive. He caught his feet on the ropes and seemingly dropped like a stone to the floor. Pegasus immediately came back. They started going back and forth. Gedo survived a number of big movez. Gedo came back with a brainbuster and diving headbutt to pick up the victory.

This was solid enough. Pegasus looked good as you would expect, and I’m glad that Gedo actually was made to look credible for once in this tournament.

Match Rating: **3/4


Psicosis vs. Rey Misterio Jr.

This was some non-tournament action. They went back and forth a while doing some really fun sequences. Rey hit a beautiful diving hurricanrana to the floor. Psicosis came back with a Deadman Suicida. Rey came right back with a springboard somersault seated senton to the floor. Springboard hurricanrana got Rey a nearfall. He then hit a perfect Asai Moonsault. Psicosis came back with a guillotine legdrop. Rey hit a springoard Frankensteiner and then hit a snap hurricanrana for the victory.

This was a beautiful flip exhibition. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but it was completely genuine. If you’re someone who subscribes to the idea that a wrestling show needs variety to be great, every major show should have a match like this that’s as well executed.

Match Rating: ***1/2


Super J Cup 1995 Final Match
Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

Gedo being in the finals is such trash. He’s looked horrible all night. Liger immediately went after the left arm that was injured earlier in the tournament. This went on for a while until Gedo hit a low blow. He then hit a shit moonsault to the floor. Liger fought back and hit a pair of koppou kicks. Liger went for a plancha, but Gedo blocked it with a dropkick. They did a pinning combination sequence. Liger hit the fisherman for a nearfall. He got another nearfall with a Liger Bomb. There was a really sloppy spot where Gedo deflected a missile dropkick. It looked terrible. They went back and forth until Liger finished him with an avalance brainbuster: 1…2…3

Well, I’m glad to see that Liger won, because Gedo kind of wrecked the tournament from an artistic standpoint. Liger did a good job of keeping me interested in this one, and he made it the most enjoyable Gedo match of the whole tournament. Kudos to him for that.

Match Rating: ***


Watch some NJPW for free!
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Masato Tanaka (G1 Climax)
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto (G1 Climax)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jun Akiyama (G1 Climax)
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Yuji Nagata (G1 Climax)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi (G1 Climax)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Prince Devitt (G1 Climax)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Milano Collection A.T. (G1 Climax)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toru Yano (G1 Climax)
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Togi Makabe (Chain Match)
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Hirooki Goto
Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Prince Devitt vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Karl Anderson
Masato Tanaka vs. Tomoaki Honma
Kota Ibushi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi [Fantastic Match]
Prince Devitt vs. Kenny Omega
Sin Cara vs. Averno
Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi (With thoughts from Prince Devitt)
Davey Richards vs. Kota Ibushi
Kota Ibushi vs. KUSHIDA
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto vs. Karl Anderson & Giant Bernard
Kurt Angle vs. Yuji Nagata
Christopher Daniels vs. Tetsuya Naito
Katsuyori Shibata & Scott Norton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Jushin Liger vs. Ebessan
Katsuyori Shibata &Wataru Inoue vs. Eddy Guerrero & Black Tiger

The final score: review Average
The 411
Oddly enough, a show built around Gedo instead of The Great Sasuke and Wild Pegasus didn't make for a great sequel! Seriously, Gedo really destroys any chance this tournament had to living up to the original. There's nothing in this tournament that you really need to go out of your way to see, but it's still decently entertaining all the way through.