Saturday, March 12, 2011

SWS in Tokyo Dome - 12/12/91

1. UWF Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Jerry Flynn – 1
Jerry Flynn and his mullet make an appearance in this brief, five-minute bout that felt more like a UWF exhibition than an actual match. In the highlight department, Flynn hit a nice outside-in kick and Funaki had some sort of weird hold on to get the submission. The norm in UWF matches in kicks and ground work and this had a ton of it

2. Ultimo Dragon vs. Jerry Estrada – 6
This was more lucha in flavor than puro. Ultimo did some arm work after a beginning that, as good ol’ JR would say, was quicker than a hiccup. Dragon attempted his handstand in the corner but not sure if he slipped or not but he took a nasty spill to the floor. Estrada actually took a fall that looked worse when Dragon monkey flipped him over the ropes. Dragon didn’t really seem to sure of himself when he was running the ropes at points. More fun from the aerial department included Dragon hitting a senton to the outside, Estrada doing a Cactus Jack-style running somersault flip off the apron, and Dragon hitting perfectly on one of the craziest Asai moonsaults I’ve ever seen in my life that resulted in both guys going three rows deep in the ringside fans. Dragon hit a German for the win but added to it by doing an awesome floatover. Some really good stuff here.

3. Yoshiaki Yatsu & Haku vs. Ashura Hara & Davey Boy Smith – 5
We are joined in progress at the 9 minute mark with Haku eating some nasty chops from Hara. Hara and Yatsu had a tremendous headbutt exchange with some goofy facials added in for good measure. Besides Bulldog almost knocking Yatsu’s block off with a sick clothesline when he ran in to save his partner, he didn’t really contribute much, althought I’m guessing he provided an amply supply of pre-match somas. Haku played this kind of game before and worked pretty stiff as well. Best parts of the match for me were the exchanges between Hara and Yatsu. Bulldog got a post-match beatdown from the opposition which delighted me. Maybe next time he’ll learn to lay that shit in. Grade is based on what was shown and had the whole match aired, it probably would’ve gotten a point higher.

4. The Rockers vs. George & Shunji Takano – 4
This is joined in progress as well with Jannetty and George doing some mat work that didn’t really go anywhere. Shunji is a big, lanky dude with a Terry Gordy haircut who moves really awkward. He hit a nice looking dropkick from the second rope that woke up Jannetty. Shawn’s superkicks were spot on. The Rockers seemed like they would rather be working a house show in Boise than working here but George and Shunji did their best to sell but they seemed light on offense as well. Post match saw Shawn and Marty work the split angle.

5. Ted DiBiase vs. Kerry Von Erich – 4
Kerry was completely gone. I lost count of how many times during the bout I saw a drug induced far away look in his eyes. DiBiase had to guide him through everything, even go up for him on suplexes and what not. Von Erich totally sandbagged when he was supposed to go up for a DiBiase vertical suplex. They did a brawling segment on the outside that I thought might lead to a double count out. Kerry’s offense was pretty much non-existent but what was there was supported by some great selling for DiBiase, such as the discuss punch sell where he went all the way back into a corner. He also made Von Erich look good even when he was selling one of his own moves, most notably when he missed a second rope back elbow and did a fantastic sell. Points here for DiBiase’s performance as this felt like a match that could be found in MSG during this period.

6. Naoki Sano vs. Rick Martel – 5
I know I’m probably doing myself a disservice by not watch much Sano but after seeing this I definitely want to watch more of bouts. He killed Martel with two wild high risk moves. First, a somersault to the outside from the top turnbuckle only to top himself by doing an insane running swanton over the top rope where he jammed his head into Martel’s shoulder. Martel didn’t do a lot of high impact stuff but his ground work had some effectiveness to it. Of course, it helped tons that Sano sold them like he was being tortured a la Mel Gibson at the end of Braveheart.

7. Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Ishinriki – 3
I didn’t really see a lot that I liked here. Ishriniki was on offense for the majority of the bout and had this constant “Holy crap I’m in the ring with Fujiwara” look on his face. His slaps looked like something you would see on a playground between two eight year old girls. Eventually, Fujiwara stopped messing around, trapped Ishriniki’s arm with his legs, and damn near ripped it off his body and ate it. Lesson #1 young Ishiriniki … Thou shalt not fuck with Fujiwara.

8. The Legion Of Doom vs. The Natural Disasters – 3
Started off pretty wild with some brawling outside the ring which was highlighted by Animal wailing on Quake with a few hard chair shots. Animal seemed to be the most energetic person throughout the bout. Disasters seemed content to no sell a lot of LOD’s early offense and do simple, sloppy power moves. The spot in the middle of the bout where Earthquake just dropped Animal through a table was pretty cool. Finish with LOD doing a Hart Attack type move with Hawk coming off the second rope was pretty sloppy.

9. Hulk Hogan vs. Genichiro Tenryu – 6
To me this didn’t seem like the typical Hogan match. He seemed more inclined to actually wrestle instead of going for his usual choreographed American style schtick. The strike exchange between the two was nice. Hogan got in a good elbow and a good knee that ended up hurting his own knee. Tenryu capitalized on said knee injury by working over it with a chair. Interesting spot where Hogan caught Tenryu with a couple short elbow that resulted in Tenryu giving him a hard Kawada kick right in the face. The nearfalls weren’t up to par with many Japanese main event bouts I’ve seen but they still had some heat behind them. Tenryu got in a nice powerbomb and reversed an attempted enziguri into a leglock. A crisp lariat finished Tenyru and capped off a really fun bout and a fun show overall.


Brian said...

interesting to read your review alongside Jess' fron '08 ( - you guys seem to agree on most of the stuff, though, save for the Fujiwara bout which he enjoyed decidedly more.. - 2 down and 4 to go, Mr. Knowledge!

Geo said...

"Rule number: thou shalt not fuck with Fujiwara."


Anonymous said...

Sadly, Hogan could actually go when he knew he had to, but he never really had to in the States.

Jessie said...

yeah i think i liked the model match more than you and yes....def. need to view more Sano! but overall I enjoyed it