新日本プロレスＷＲＥＳＴＬＩＮＧ ＷＯＲＬＤ ｉｎ闘強導夢
新日本プロレスＷＲＥＳＴＬＩＮＧ ＷＯＲＬＤ ｉｎ闘強導夢
Let's do a little backstory here before we get into the review. NJPW has held shows at the Tokyo Dome every year on January 4th since 1992. That day in Japan is usually one of the last days of the New Year's break so in theory, more people can come.
UWFi has a messy backstory. They formed in 1984 under the name of UWF. The promotion was formed out of NJPW as many of its wrestlers like Akira Maeda, Tiger Mask, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Nobuhiko Takada and Kazuo Yamazaki wanted to be more realistic in the ring. The UWF was extremely popular but also short lived. Akira Meada wanted a more submission based style and Tiger Mask aka Satoru Sayama wanted to focus on kicks. Those two ended up shooting on each other during a match 1985 and then again later that year. This caused Akira Maeda to get fired from UWF and caused Tiger to leave, pretty much ending the promotion. Sayama formed Shooto after this.
Some of the UWF guys were able to get their jobs back in NJPW which led to a famous and very good UWF vs NJPW war. There's a great Akira Maeda vs Tatsumi Fujinami match from it as well as a very good 10-man tag. This all lasted until about 1988 when Akira Maeda decided to throw a shoot kick at Riki Choshu breaking his orbital bone and causing himself to get fired. Again, Maeda got Takada, Yamazaki and Fujiwara to leave with him along. After Fujiwara left, they got his trainees Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki to leave with him as well.
This is UWF, so again, they ended up splitting. They ended up running the first ever Tokyo Dome wrestling/fighting show for any promotion ever during their two year open period. However, when they split in 1990, the split ended up being much worse. Fujiwara left and formed Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, Funaki and Suzuki left to form Pancrase, Maeda formed RINGS and Takada formed UWFi. These four promotions along with the other two UWF's created MMA in Japan which in different ways led to K-1, PRIDE and UFC in the United States.
UWFi formed in 1991 with Nobuhiko Takada as the main man. He beat pretty much everybody until Big Van Vader and Gary Albright came around. In a way, he killed his own promotion because nobody believed that anyone else could take him. UWFi died in 1995 and with all of the guys needing some work and NJPW's booker Riki Choshu sensing weakness, a UWFi vs NJPW feud was created leading to this. Choshu jobbed out most of the UWFi guys, making their "real wrestling" look worthless. This is the second of the UWFi vs NJPW dome shows and in the future, I will do all three. Eric Bischoff happened to see this feud and later used the idea to create the NWO, changing wrestling forever. Amazing how a handful of guys leaving NJPW in 1984 changed wrestling and fighting as we know it, eh?
This is live from the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan in front of 54,000 fans drawing $5,400,000. This is part of a three dome show series that drew 196,000 fans in total, making it the most profitable wrestling feud in history.
So without further ado, let's go to the ring!
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Jushin Thunder Liger vs Koji Kanemoto
Koji Kanemoto was the 3rd Tiger Mask but ended up being unmasked by Liger in a Mask vs Title match, so there's no love loss here.
|A release side german suplex. Ouch.|
Anjoh is one of the best jerk heels ever and is well known for getting his butt handed to him by Rickson Gracie after calling him out and challenging him at his gym. The results were not good for Mr. Anjoh.
Fuyuki started out in All Japan with Footloose and is most well known for being the head booker of FMW when they switched from their original hardcore roots to a WWF attitude era direction. At this point in time, Fuyuki was with the promotion WAR, Jado and Gedo.
UWFi feuded with WAR a little after this which led to two awesome Nobuhiko Takada vs Genricho Tenryu matches.
|Jado sprays something at Fuyuki's armpit|
|Gedo tapes Yoji Anjoh's head|
Riki Choshu vs Masahito Kakihara
Kakihara was a junior in UWFi and a great worker who never really got his due. He would later work for NJPW and other feds in the undercards.
Choshu is one of NJPW's biggest names ever and is one of the top stars of all time in Japanese wrestling. He also originated wrestling at a quicker pace which caught on big time in Japan. He may have also been the inventor of the Scorpion Deathlock/Sharpshooter. He was the booker of NJPW at this time.
Riki Choshu beat Masahito Kakihara with a sharpshooter in 5:46. This was all squash and all turd. Choshu didn't move at all and made Kakihara look like a total goof. This match was a terrible love letter from Riki Choshu to Riki Choshu with none of the fault going to Kakihara.
UWFi is now 0-3 here and 0-2 against NJPW.
IWGPヘビー級王座 高田延彦 vs 武藤敬司
Keiji Mutoh is the alter ego of the Great Muta. He was a big star in WCW and a much bigger star in Japan. He's the current president of All Japan Pro Wrestling and still going strong today.
This is a rematch as Mutoh and Takada fought each other at the previous dome show. I won't spoil the winner for you though.
|Antonio Inoki is bandaged up from his match with Big Van Vader. We will cover that in Part 2 of the review. The matches were shown out of order on the tape.|
|Nobuhiko Takada puts the heel hook on Keiji Mutoh|
|Nobuhiko Takada's wife Aki Mukai 向井亜紀 watches on. She was a gravure idol/model in the 1990's.|
|Shiro Koshinaka challenges Nobuhiko Takada after the match|
|Nobuhiko Takada challenges Shinya Hashimoto after the match|