I thought of going the extra step here with this review. While I have seen the WCW/NJPW Supershow many times, I've never seen the full japanese version. Now, that will change!
As I said in Starrcade 1991 post, Turner Home Video would often clip shows. Well, WCW clipped a ton of stuff from the original WCW/NJPW Supershow. They skipped full matches and clipped others, missing out on a ton of stuff. Since I've never actually seen the full show, I thought I would review it.
This show took place in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. While the Tokyo Dome does have legendary status for some of the matches held there, it is actually a terrible place to go see wrestling. The arena is a baseball stadium, and a japanese one naturally. This means that the seats are small and uncomfortable. The seats, especially as you get away from home plate are angled towards the outfield, so you have to sit in odd directions to actually see the show. Due to it being a baseball stadium, there is protective foul ball netting up everywhere, which is not taken down for wrestling. It makes taking pictures impossible. One final thing is that since it is a baseball stadium, the only tron is way in the outfield where there is no wrestling happening. Therefore if you don't get ringside seats, you should invest in a pair of binoculars. I actually passed up going to two or three Tokyo Dome shows due to how bad of a place it is to see wrestling.
This is your basic, let's get everyone a payday match. The big names here are Animal Hamaguchi who is a famous trainer in Japan and has a daughter named Miyum Hamauguchi who is attractive and an olympic wrestler in Japan. Almost all of these guys were big 80's names in Japan. If you notice, there is a Machine in there. The Machine's gimmick started out in Japan actually kind of as a joke and Super Strong Machine stuck around forever.
Scott Norton vs The Equalizer
Arn Anderson and Barry Windham vs Masa Saito and Masahiro Chono
Masa Saito was an olympian in amateur wrestling and an AWA heavweight champion. Chono became an international star in WCW and NJPW. He held the IWGP title just once but is a huge name and star.
They had an intermission after this in which Inoki basically beat up a few ring attendants. He looked fast and really sharp here. Too bad he wasn't on the card.
Sasaki would be a multiple time champion in almost every major federation in Japan and he would eventually marry Akira Hokuto. They became a famous celebrity couple in Japan and they often appear on television. Hase got involved in politics and booked New Japan.
|"He's down now." - Scott Steiner|
Crusher Bam Bam Bigelow and Big Van Vader vs Doom
http://prowresblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/wcw-wrestlewar-1991-review-part-2.html . At Wrestlewar, Doom broke up. This presented a problem because they were signed for a match and still had to do it even with the angle already happening. Therefore, NJPW covered by pretty much explaining it just like that. I guess that WCW didn't want to deal with that hassle and figured they would just never air it.
|"I signed up for this match many months ago and I came prepared to fight and I hope my partner feels the same way." - Ron Simmons|
|Ron and Butch turn on each other after the match|
Vader beat Butch Reed after a splash. This was a pretty good match. They gave it alot of time and maybe a little too much but it was good. Gotta love the Vader/Bam Bam team as they are just about the coolest. Doom worked well here together and didn't even fight with each other until after. Rating: **3/4
The Greatest 18 Club title - Riki Choshu vs Tiger Jeet Singh
Brian Pillman, Tim Horner and Z-Man vs Shiro Koshinaka, Takayuki Iizuka and Kuniaki Kobayashi
Koshinaka is the master of the butt-bump, Iizuka is still going strong as a brawling heel in NJPW over 21 years later and Kobayashi was famous for his feud with Tiger Mask.
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title - Jushin Thunder Liger vs AKIRA
AKIRA is Akira Nogami, a long-time NJPW affiliated wrestler.
Big Cat vs El Gigante
The Great Muta vs Sting
After the match, Sting got revenge and put The Great Muta in the Scorpion Deathlock.
This is one of the few places where the WCW version is better. While the Japanese one doesn't explain it, Jim Ross cut an interview with Tatsumi Fujinami in the back and with an enraged Flair who took his title off Fujinami. Fujinami was confused as he got the three count. WCW explained it as Fujinami not winning the NWA title due to him throwing Flair over the top. Japan recognized Fujinami as the champion while WCW did not. Confused? Yeah.
As for the main event, it was your typical Flair match. All the Flair spots, his usual working on the leg with him bringing Fujinami along for the trip who didn't really offer that much at all. This is no different than a match that Flair had with 100 other people and was actually a little boring. The crowd was not very into it and they even booed when the ref went down. My rating for this is ***.
Overall thoughts: This show was mostly good. Only one really bad match here with a few good ones and alot of different names. This show featured a little bit of everything and overall was good. As for the japanese version of this vs the american version, the japanese version is better. It had more matches and less clipping. The only good things about the WCW version is that it's in English, they make the matches seem to be better than they are(which could be a bad thing too) and there's not production music for everyone like there was here.