1. Chris Benoit vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger - 5
2. Koji Kanemoto vs. Alex Wright - 4
3. Masahiro Chono vs. Lex Luger - 3
4. Johnny B. Badd vs. Masa Saito - 5
5. Eddie Guerrero vs. Shinjiro Ootani - 7
6. Tensan vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage - 4
7. Kensuki Sasaki vs. Sting - 5
8. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair vs. Sting - Triangle Match - 4
9. "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair - 5
It’s always a treat watching Liger and Benoit work, whether it be together, or separately. This was a nice sampling of their respective talents, but far from their best work. I’ve seen these two work with each other in Japan, in this is just a small taste of their ferocity. Still, besides a bungled hurricanrana by Liger as a finish, this was just dandy. Next, Koji, who’s typically (well, at least in ’95) just awesome, works a forgettable match against Alex Wright, who appeared here greener than She-Hulk’s pussy. Koji didn’t demonstrate any of the killer instinct that made him so notable, and Wright displayed all of the reasons why, at this point in his career, he was considered comparable to Steve Armstrong at best.
Luger and Chono, two typically tasteless competitors, had a match filled with weak kicks and groans, and little else. I wanted to see Chono crush Luger’s skull, but what we got was a big pile of suck that I wanted nothing to do with. I was interested in seeing surly Saito battle flamboyant Badd. And, it was actually pretty solid, until the offensively bad finish, as Saito got disqualified for tossing Johnny over the top rope.
Ootani (which is an interesting spelling of his name, but the one WCW supplied us) was actually one of my favorite wrestlers in the late ‘90s. I loved his work; unfortunately, over time, he gained facial hair and lost heart. Still, at this point, he was absolutely awesome, and his springboard moves were things of beauty. Eddie, as always, was solid, which means this was a near orgasm-inducing treat. Tensan (another odd spelling) is well known as being a bulky beast, the Japanese equivalent to Earthquake, give or take a couple moves and pounds. Here, he beat Savage’s ass for 95% of the match, in a rather methodical manner; before Savage scored a quick victory with the sloppiest flying elbow drop I’ve ever seen him do.
Sasaki, who these days, is having some of the best matches in the entire world, looked like a complete fucking idiot here. I’m not saying his wrestling was bad, I’m talking about his actual physical appearance. He was wearing these heinous neon green shorts, and sporting the most ridiculous haircut I’ve ever seen, some flattop/mullet hybrid that brought tears to my eyes. His match wasn’t bad, and the crowd exploded when Sting got the submission victory over the bizarre foreigner that looked like a street thug from Streets of Rage 2.
Sting, Luger, and Flair in a three-way is something I’ve often dreamed about – but they weren’t wrestling in it, if you catch my drift. This match is lengthy and never quite delivers with the goods. It mostly consists of Flair stalling, Luger’s obnoxious sells, and a very tired Sting trying to make it somewhat redeeming. Flair gets the win, thus leading to our main event, where he battles Savage in a match I quickly forgot. Seriously, when I think back, all I remember is Flair’s stupid hair, resembling a pompadour gone ghastly, and Savage’s fluorescent trunks and bodacious bulge. Flair wins the match, and championship, and celebrates while bleeding profusely like a Columbine student; all the while, his buddies accompany him in the ring, saluting him on his victory, while Brian Pillman whips Savage’s carcass with the title belt.
I was really excited to see this show, as New Japan Pro Wrestling is arguably the greatest federation of all time, but damn, mixing fine cuisine and dog feces will always result in bad news. Fuck Hulk Hogan, give me Masa Saito and I’m content.