Tokyo Dome; Tokyo, Japan
1) Masa Funaki v. Jerry Flynn- 3
Okay, Funaki looks like a killer (no, not Ichi) except for the pink do rag on his head. I swear Jerry Flynn played a goon in an 80's Schwarzenegger flick- his mullet is almost touching his ass. Oh, shit yea, this is going to be a "worked shoot", for those of you who don't know this is basically a UFC contest worked in the confines of wrestling logic where the winner is already pre-determined but they let the participants build the match. This one didn't go long but had a good story of Funaki just schooling Flynn on takedowns and completely controlling him on the mat. Flynn was known for his kicks, which one errantly caught Funaki in the eye and put him down, but not for long. Armbar submission and we out!
2) Ultimo Dragon v. Jerry Estrada- 5
Dragon comes out wearing one of the most foolish looking head dresses ever captured on camera- it's so damn big and lopsided he has to hold it on with two hands. Estrada is apparently Mexico's answer to Alice Cooper working out to the Oldies. This is worked Lucha style for the first few minutes but both men are green here, Estrada flubbing some simple arm drags and Dragon falling off the turnbuckle as he was trying to do his headstand; it was one of those pitiful but sad moments as he lay on the outside, looking stupider than Vince with his pants down and just puts his head onto the mat and feels sorry for himself. He definitley makes up for it in the remainder of the match, pulling off spectacular high flying moves, including an Asai moonsault that takes both men 3 rows deep in the crowd in an amazing spot. Dragon gets the win with the ultra-acrobatic German suplex with rolling cradle into a bridge.
3) Haku/ Yoshiaki Yatsu v. Davey Boy Smith/ Ashura Hara- 4
We got the intros here, but I think they may have jumped into the match a bit here as well, because Hara and Yatsu were sucking wind like they had been on the treadmill with the steep incline. Both guys threw some effective strikes though. There was a good sequence where Haku and Yatsu were both delivering bone crunching backbreakers and piledrivers to Davey. You could tell the WWF guys were put in as the young stallions to carry the old horses who should be taken behind the barn and shot. Still, a decent way to spend 8 minutes.
4) George & Shunji Takano v. The Rockers (joined in progess)- 3
Not sure if these guys are related but they looked nothing alike and neither one were really very good hands in the ring. This was definitley under way but not sure how long. Pretty bad stuff here, a lot of people jockeying for position, some no selling from both teams, particularly one part where Michaels had just tagged in and would not go with something, then lured the big one into their corner driving hard knees into the stomach. Marty looked real uncomfortable controlling a 6 foot Japanese guy who didn't like him. Jannetty hit a pretty cool superkick at one point but that's the highlight, they were running the Rockers breakup angle at this time so ole' HBK got to do some bad dramatic acting after the match. They left seperate but most assuredly found each other later on at a transvestite's coke party.
5) Kerry Von Erich v. Ted Dibiase- 5
God Von Erich looked like he had just left a clambake and he was the clam. He looked like he was using an Easy Bake Oven and he was the tasteless brownie you get at the end. He looked so disoriented but got a pop. Dibiase turned into Larry Z here with the stalling but all of his offense was really good, punches, chops, suplexes. Damn it I hate Kerry's bumps here, delayed protected shit that doesn't work at this level unless you're sixty years old. I do like he keeps teasing the claw on Dibiase, causing him to take a powder. Teddy gets all IWA Japan on the future suicidalist and throws his ass into the crowd for a quick beatdown with some chairs. Sherri takes the claw and Dibiase hits a DDT that even the high, embarrassingly lumpy, shriveled dick Jake Roberts of today would be ashamed of and that's it.
6) Rick Martel v. Naoki Sano (WWF/SWS Junior Title Match)- 6
Martel was fucking awesome here coming out from the entrance like royalty, brushing imaginary dust off of his spiffy ring jacket. Sano i recently discovered in his brutal affairs with Jushin Liger, here he slips on some gold confetti on the ground on his way to the ring and can't seem to let it go. I'd love to have the history of this Title on a disc somewhere. As soon as they get in the ring, Martel's pomp and circumstance turn into Baiscs 101 as he is snapping off armdrags and headlocks like nobody's business, lightning quick too. He came to rassle and he looked better here than in 6 years of the WWF characterized bullshit. Martel just dominating with tons of great offense, Sano only had the advantage in power and highflying, which he compresses Martels' chest with a front flip from the top rope to the outside at one point. We never see the Boston Crab but a lot of other back work from Martel who's hair, incidently, never moves an inch it's so geled down. Sano gets the surprising win with a German suplex thrown the way it was meant to be, sixty miles an hour and higher than Von Erich was earlier. Martel looks genuinely shocked as his head gets jammed into his chest. Very fun match.
7) Ishinriki v. Yoshiaki Fujiwara- 5
I think this is some kind of teacher v. cocky student match, lots of feeling out, Ishinriki does a ton of palm strikes and slaps but i found most of them quite pussy. Fujiwara doesn't sell much either but he's not quite the walking dead yet, as he knocks his opponent outside then runs the ropes as if he will hit a plancha, then stops and gives a sly grin in a funny moment. You old Jap Codger you! You got 'em on that one! He is probably still telling stories of that spot. He only sinks the famous armbar in once but quick escape to the ropes. The veteran ultimately wins with a nifty bow and arrow move; this match had a great story and it's almost recommendable except both guys can't really do much.
8) Legion of Doom v. Natural Disasters (WWF Tag Title Match) - 4
LOD come out to "Iron Man" and are real favorites here in Japan. I'm not sure if Disasters just don't lay their stuff in or not but both of them were going real easy on the strikes here. They really needed to exert their authority and drop a big fatty forearm down on these guys instead of just nice and easy strikes. Quake did get a little rowdy at one point dropping Hawk through a ringside table which he sold like he was going down a waterslide. The match was slow paced and pretty disorganized until the last sequence where LOD made their comeback and wrecked shop on their heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy........heavy opponents.
ps. hey brian, didn't you meet typhoon at a meijers store years ago, wearing some heinous threads?
9) Genichiro Tenryu v. Hulk Hogan- 6
Crowd reactions here were worth the price of admission. Don't let anyone ever tell you a man can't be a badass with a perm because Tenryu is the balls. Hulk looked motivated and started the match out with the quickest transition into a cross arm breaker I think i've ever seen. Hulk's ground work actually looked quite superb in most of this except his chinlock which looked more like he was holding the guts of a pumpkin before depositing them down his ex-wife Linda's pants. Tenryu didn't like getting schooled so he erupted with a thunderous chop across Hulk's chest that he didn't like too much. We got several more throughout the match and obviously Tenryu could have cared less how many shitty movies Hulk had made in the US and how much merch he pushed; millionaire or no millionaire, you better be able to work! Some great strong style clotheslines, weak enzugiri's (from both men; Hogan's looked like a senior citizen jumping out of a plane) and a folding powerbomb to Hulk were the highlights during most of the middle. Hulk adapted well and the crowd sounded torn a lot of times and really turned it up in the later stages of the match with hard right hands and a near decapitation of Tenryu's head with a lariat that would make JBL revert back to childhood, pissing his pants and collecting Cabbage Patch Dolls. Hogan followed up with a lousy head kick to win after that lariat and both men hugged after the brutal match. In a side note, Tenryu kicked out of 2 legdrops at a time when no one kicked out of Hogan's finish. Pretty impressive stuff.
2 recommendable matches, the rest is all decent with no match really getting the time it needed to properly have a classic, except the main.