新日本プロレスＷＲＥＳＴＬＩＮＧ ＷＯＲＬＤ ｉｎ闘強導夢
This is part two. Part 1 is here: http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/njpw-wrestling-world-1996-141996.html
|Masa Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan arrive|
|"And after 7 years, I'm back to Japan to prove that I'm still the strongest. I wanna wish Japan a happy new year and I wanna wish Inoki good luck. Gambatte." - Big Van Vader|
Satoshi Kojima vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Both guys are tag team partners and have similar backstories. Kojima debuted against Tenzan and they've been partners/rivals forever, even up to today where they are teaming as TenKoji. They once fought each other in a IWGP vs Triple Crown title match where Kojima won unifying both titles. Their team is the only team to win both the G1 Tag League and the Real World Tag League.
Masahiro Chono vs Shiro Koshinaka
Chono was an NWA champion and a one time holder of the IWGP title. He's one of the biggest stars in Japan.
Koshinaka never won the big one and was more of a midcard guy for most of his career. NJPW tried to make him a main eventer, but it really didn't work. However, I don't think anyone could ever hate him due to his butt bump.
Kazuo Yamazaki vs Shinya Hashimoto
This is another UWF vs NJPW match with UWF going 1-3 so far.
Kazuo Yamazaki was a NJPW trainee who switched over to UWF and became a main eventer. He's kind of like a poor-man's shoot style Toshiaki Kawada and is pretty similar character wise. In USA, you could compare him to an Arn Anderson. He now is a coach for NJPW and he sometimes commentates.
Shinya Hashimoto was one of the Three Musketeer's of NJPW and was a huge star. He's a kicker and always has alot of emotion. He had a huge series with Naoya Ogawa a few years after this show and ended up forming Zero-One after it. Unfortunately, Hashimoto passed away due to a brain aneurysm in 2005. In a funny note, near the end of his career he played an Elvis like character in HUSTLE.
Hiroshi Hase Retirment Match - Kensuke Sasaki vs Hiroshi Hase
This isn't really Hase's retirement match, but they pushed it as such due to him enterting politics and taking on a backstage role.
Hase and Sasaki were longtime tag team partners in the HaseKen team. Hiroshi Hase was a school teacher. He placed in Greco-Roman Wrestling in the 1984 olympics and he debuted in February of 1986.
Kensuke Sasaki also debuted in February of 1986, this time in Riki Choshu's rebel Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. He won the three major titles of Japan in NJPW, NOAH and AJPW and main evented a few dome shows. However, he's even more famous for marrying AJW wrestler Akira Hokuto. They can be seen always on Japanese television and are a famous couple in Japan.
Antonio Inoki vs Big Van Vader
|"Long time, December 20th of 1987, you remember?" - Big Van Vader|
"Yes" - Antonio Inoki
"Gambatte." - Big Van Vader
|Antonio Inoki's theme is played on a harp|
|Vader bleeds after a chairshot|
Antonio Inoki beat Big Van Vader with a cross armbreaker. Strong match. Not as good as I remembered it and really alot different than I remembered it but it was still good. Vader really stiffed Inoki and threw him on his head a few times. Both men did big blade jobs and Inoki honestly kind of won this out of nowhere. He didn't hit much leading to the finish, he just kind of put it on and that was that. Really good match here and one worth seeing. Rating:****
Overall thoughts: The show was mostly good. There were three really good matches and some others that were decent. It's a long show at about 3.5 hours but it is indeed enjoyable. There's a little something for everyone with technical bouts, shoot stuff and just plain wars. Good show and this is recommended.