Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NJPW 12/31/1989 - NJPW in Russia

NJPW 12/31/1989 - NJPW's first and only trip to Russia

This show came about due to Antonio Inoki being involved in politics and due to Russia's USSR starting to collapse. These shows were failures of the highest magnitude and NJPW never returned to Russia.

Victor Zangiev vs Riki Choshu
Victor Zangiev was an amateur russian wrestler. He competed in NJPW, WCW(for the Pat O'Connor Tournament) and in UWFi. He was actually a pretty good worker and had some fun charisma to him. He's probably most famous for having Zangief off of Street Fighter being created after him. He's one of my personal favorites and always a joy to watch.
Riki Choshu beat Victor Zangiev with a lariat and a suplex. Decent match here with Zagiev looking like a pro. This was short at only about 7 minutes and didn't have anything too much to speak of. Just a quick little fun match. Rating:**

Antonio Inoki and Shota Chochishvili vs Masa Saito and Brad Rheingans
Shota Chochisvili was an olympian in judo who won a gold medal at half-heavyweight at the 1972 Olympics. He died in 2009 and didn't have much of a wrestling career than a pair of matches against Antonio Inoki in which Inoki lost the first one.

One neat fact about this is that everyone in the match minus Inoki had competed in the Olympics.
The lone highlight of this match
Shota got the win here with a backdrop on Brad Reingans. Not a good one here. They had a bunch of people laying on each other at a slow pace and no one gave much effort. They didn't go with the obvious booking of having Shota making a comeback or getting the hot tag for his team and pretty much blew it with that. The crowd liked Inoki's comeback, but Shota should have been the hero here, not Inoki. Anyway, pretty boring match and not good at all. Rating: DUD

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