December 12, 1991
From the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan
Jerry Flynn vs. Masa Funaki
This is the same Flynn who wrestled in WCW during the late 90’s. They trade kicks to start as neither man can gain an advantage. Funaki takes Flynn down and works the arm. Funaki switches to the leg then Flynn makes the ropes. Flynn drops Funaki with a kick to the side of the head as Funaki gets up at eight. Funaki then drives Flynn to the mat and works the arm then takes him down again and uses a chicken wing for the win (5:19) 1/2*.
Thoughts: Slow-paced, worked-shoot style match that did not excite anyone. Well, both guys did wrestle for the shoot-style PWFG promotion. Most of the match was on the mat and what they did there was dull.
Jerry Estrada vs. Ultimo Dragon
Both men are representing CMLL. Dragon has one elaborate headdress. Estrada attacks Dragon but Dragon lands on his feet after a back drop and takes control. Dragon hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and spinning heel kick before running into a clothesline. Dragon floats over on a back suplex then comes back with a headscissor takedown. Dragon works the arm on the mat but soon after that falls to the floor while attempting his turnbuckle headstand. Estrada hits a clothesline then Dragon sends Estrada outside and teases a dive. Back inside, Estrada takes down Dragon but is sent outside after a pinfall reversal sequence. Dragon flies out with a springboard corkscrew moonsault then heads inside only for Estrada to take him out with a dropkick. Estrada wipes out Dragon with a dive. Dragon then suplexes Estrada to the floor and hits an Asai Moonsault that takes both men over the guardrail and on top of the announcers table. They finally crawl back inside and have a pinfall reversal sequence. Estrada sidesteps a quebrada then uses a Romero Special. Estrada then hits a slam and heads up top but misses a senton. Estrada catches Dragon with a powerbomb for two but Dragon floats over and hits a bridging German suplex for a nearfall. Dragon hits another German but floats over and uses a bridge that gets the win (10:15) **1/2.
Thoughts: Dragon did some great stuff for the time but these two guys had problems getting on the same page and both men had their moments of sloppiness. Estrada was really slow here and I’m not that familiar enough with all his work in Mexico but do know he beat his body up a lot over the years and that appeared to be the case in this match. Again, the stuff Dragon did was great for the time but this match does not hold up as well today.
Haku & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Ashura Hara & British Bulldog
This match was edited from the original, which went for Hara beats on Haku to start. Haku fights back then tags out as Yatsu hits a DDT. Yatsu and Hara trade chops then headbutts with Hara winning that battle. Yatsu comes back with an enziguiri but Hara blocks a bulldog attempt the Bulldog runs in for an attack. Bulldog tags and beats on Yatsu before using a chinlock. Yatsu comes back with a suplex then Bulldog gets beat down. Hara makes the save on a double-team move but Haku dropped Bulldog on his head anyway. Yatsu & Haku cut off the ring and slow things down a lot. Yatsu hits a piledriver for a nearfall then tags out as Haku hits three straight backbreakers. Bulldog floats over on a slam then collides with Haku and falls on top for a two count. Bulldog finally tags out as Hara hits Haku with a brainbuster. Yatsu comes in for the save but accidentally hits his partner. Haku ducks a clothesline from Hara but Bulldog uses a small package and gets the win (7:36) *3/4. After the match, Bulldog is hit with a powerbomb/elbow drop combo.
Thoughts: The condensed version was fine but the crowd did not seem to care at all. The finish was pretty bad, IMO. Haku was pretty much done in the WWF and spent the next few years primarily in Japan but also worked some in Mexico. Yatsu & Hara were old and slow but could still hit hard.
Clips of other matches that were not shown on this version of the show. They include Goro Tsurumi & Apollo Sugawara & Fumihiro Niikura d. Kenichi Oya & Don Arakawa & Akira Katayama, Minoru Suzuki d. Wellington Wilkins Jr., and Great Kabuki & Takashi Ishikawa & Samson Fuyuki d. Kendo Nagasaki & Shinichi Nakano & Tatsumi Kitihara.
The Rockers vs. George & Shunji Takano
This match is joined in progress with Marty grounding George. They go back-and-forth for a bit until George works a headlock. Shunji is in but The Rockers take him over with a double hip toss then take George outside. Shawn catches Shunji with a kick for two but Shunji takes him down with a back suplex. George tags and hits a German suplex before grabbing a front facelock. George now works over Marty and hits a dropkick. Shunji misses a corner charge but boots Marty in the face before tossing him outside. George tosses Marty over the guardrail then Shawn runs out to help his partner. Back inside, George & Shunji work over Marty. George hits a tombstone then heads up top for a splash but Shawn makes the save. Marty tries to head up top and gets dropkicked. However, Shawn runs in and takes down George then yells at Marty to climb quicker then decides to shove him off but George got his feet up then covers Marty for the win (7:32) *3/4. After the match, Shawn yells at Marty and blames him for losing the match.
Thoughts: Weird match as it appeared neither team really wanted to work with each other and they kept trying to establish the rift between Shawn & Marty.
Texas Tornado vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Sensational Sherri
Christ does Tornado look even more zonked than usual. Tornado backs DiBiase into the ropes then breaks clean but DiBiase cheap shots Tornado and fires away. Tornado comes back with the claw as the crowd cheers but DiBiase escapes then heads out for a breather. DiBiase returns and tries a sunset flip but Tornado blocks that with a claw as DiBiase once again bails. Back inside, Tornado grounds DiBiase with a side headlock. DiBiase is able to back Tornado into the corner and hits a few chops. DiBiase catches Tornado with a back elbow smash then tosses him outside. DiBiase sends Tornado over the announcers table and hammers away before beating him with a chair. DiBiase brings Tornado back inside and hits a suplex for a nearfall. He then heads up top and taunts the crowd but misses falling back elbow smash. Tornado gets up and fires away. Tornado hits a suplex then hits a discus punch. Tornado signals for the claw but gets blocked as Sherri screams even louder. Sherri is now up on the apron and Tornado puts her in the claw but DiBiase knees Tornado from behind then hits a DDT for the win (9:18) *1/2.
Thoughts: DiBiase completely carried Tornado to a serviceable match. I’m a huge fan of him as a worker and he hit another groove here in late ’91. Tornado still had some name recognition in Japan and had a good reaction but he’s just an embarrassment in the ring. And Sherri screamed for basically the entire match at ringside.
WWF/SWS Light Heavyweight Title Match: Rick Martel vs. Naoki Sano
This is to establish the first-ever WWF/SWS Light Heavyweight Title The match starts off on the mat and ends in a stalemate. Martel uses a reverse rollup for a two count after a reversal sequence then works the arm. Sano knocks Martel outside then flies out with a somersault senton. Back inside, Sano targets the leg. Martel is able to shove Sano outside then heads out and rams him into the post. Martel taunts the fans then brings Sano back in with a vertical suplex and covers for two. Martel now uses a reverse chinlock then hits a gutwrench suplex for two. He heads up top after a backbreaker but takes too long and gets knocked off. The crowd gets behind Sano, who flies out with a somersault plancha and nearly kills himself in the process. He really overshot Martel. Sano rolls Martel inside but is cut off with a knee smash. Sano fights back and flips over Martel before putting him away with a bridging German suplex (7:30) **1/2. Sano receives a trophy then poses with the belt.
Thoughts: Solid action. Martel looked smaller than he did when last seen on WWF TV shortly after WrestleMania VII but could still go in the ring and did more wrestling than the model shtick. Sano’s German to win the match looked great and he had the support of the crowd.
Ishinriki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
Fujiwara backs Ishinriki into the corner then messes with his hair as he seems to be toying with his opponent. They now tie up then Ishinriki unloads on Fujiwara in the corner to the delight of the crowd. Ishinriki backs Fujiwara into the corner once again then Fujiwara comes back with a few kicks including one that knocks Ishinriki through the ropes. Fujiwara teases a dive but Ishnirki comes back in and lands a bunch of slaps but Fujiwara counters a suplex and uses his armbar but Ishniriki is able to reach the ropes as the fans applaud. Ishniriki comes back with an uppercut and an enziguiri but it just seems to anger Fujiwara. Ishnirki takes Fujiwara down and stomps his head then climbs up top but jumps down after Fujiwara stood up. Fujiwara backs Ishinriki into the corner and breaks cleanly but Ishinriki takes him down and kicks his back. Ishinriki rushes Fujiwara and slaps him around in the corner but Fujiwara comes back and sweeps Ishinriki before using an arm lock for the win (11:12) **3/4.
Thoughts: These guys really did do more with less. It had a lot of heat and the story of the grizzled old vet fucking around with the young lion who refused to back down was fun. Sure, there were not a lot of moves and Ishinriki is not a particularly good wrestler but what they did worked for this match and Fujiwara has tons of charisma.
WWF Tag Team Title Match: Natural Disasters w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Legion of Doom (c)
Earl Hebner is the referee. Both teams brawl before the bell then end up in the crowd. We finally end up back in the ring where Typhoon and Hawk fight over a lockup. Animal assists Hawk by dropkicking him on top of Typhoon for a two count. Earthquake accidentally knocks down Typhoon then Hawk takes them both down with a flying shoulder tackle. Both teams stare each other down then Animal and Earthquake officially tag into the match and try to knock each other down. They end up on the mat after clotheslining each other. Hawk tags but is backed into the corner. Typhoon lifts up Hawk for a choke then follows with a backbreaker. The Disasters cut off the ring as the crowd tries to get behind Hawk. Earthquake heads out and slams Hawk on top of a table before bringing him back inside. The Disasters stay in control until Typhoon eats boot on a charge. Hawk hits a flying elbow smash then tags out as Animal runs wild. Typhoon holds up Animal in the corner but is accidentally splashed by Earthquake. LoD take Earthquake outside with a double dropkick then hit Typhoon with a double back suplex. Hart jumps up on the apron then Hawk drags him in only to toss him out at Earthquake then LoD put Typhoon away with a lifting clothesline (9:15) *1/2
Thoughts: The brawling was decent but most of what took place inside of the ring failed to excite. The table spot was not something you’d see on WWF TV. Plus, the outcome was never in question. No way was LoD losing in Japan, especially to these two. Well, primarily Typhoon.
Genichiro Tenryu vs. Hulk Hogan
We start off with a handshake. Hogan works an armbar on the mat then Tenryu switches and targets the legs until Hogan is able to reach the ropes. Back inside, Hogan grounds Tenryu for a bit. Tenryu strikes Hogan then both men pace around the ring before slugging it out. Hogan reaches the ropes after Tenryu grapevined the leg then Hogan runs back in and hammers away. He takes Tenryu down with a big boot for two then uses a reverse chinlock. Hogan briefly uses a Boston Crab but Tenryu makes it to the ropes. Hogan avoids a somersault then hurts himself with a high knee. Tenryu knocks him outside then grabs a chair and whacks Hogan’s knee a few times. Tenryu nearly puts Hogan away with a powerbomb but Hogan hits him from his knees. Hogan then hits a slam and follows with his leg drop but Tenryu kicks out. Hogan then hits the Axe Bomber but Tenryu kicks out of that and the crowd goes nuts. Tenryu catches a boot attempt then stretches out Hogan’s legs on the mat. Hogan then comes back with a clothesline and three straight elbow drops before hitting another leg drop but Tenryu kicks out of that too. Hogan then hits an enziguiri and three more Axe Bombers and finally puts Tenryu away (13:59) **1/2. After the match, Hogan helps up Tenryu and raises his hand. The show ends with Hogan posing in the ring.
Thoughts: This match started off slow but the falls at the end got the fans into the match. Its always interesting to see Hogan work in Japan and do stuff on the mat.
Final Thoughts: There were a handful of decent matches but nothing going out of your way to see. This show was also a disappointment at the box office apparently with a lot of those in 40,000 in attendance got in for free. I believe this was also the last major WWF/SWS show that featured top WWF talent. I actually watched this on YouTube (separated into two parts) and you can go there if you’re interested but I would recommend something else to watch.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Thursday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/14/91
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/15/91
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 10/20/83
Sunday: WWF Prime Time Wrestling 12/16/91
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/21/91
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 12/22/91
Wednesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/28/91