This is another handheld show. It does not feature any commentary but does feature an 18-man Royal Rumble match.
May 9, 1994
From Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan
Fatu vs. 1-2-3 Kid
Kid offers a handshake that Fatu ends up accepting. We get a “1-2-3” chant as Kid ducks a kick from Fatu but ends up getting scooped up for a slam. They shake hands again this time with Fatu initiating things then Kid comes back with a spinning heel kick after an Irish whip sequence. Fatu whips Kid hard into the corner as Kid rolls out to the floor. Kid returns but Fatu roughs him up for a bit. Kid fights back and takes Fatu down with a clothesline then tries a pescado but Fatu catches that and rams Kid into the post. Fatu gets booed then taunts some fans before sending Kid hard into the guardrail. We head back inside with Fatu hitting three consecutive backbreakers but Kid was able to kick out before the three count. The crowd chants for Kid again as Fatu flattens him with a short-arm clothesline for another two count. Fatu now works a chin lock briefly then goes back to beating down Kid. Fatu gets another nearfall then brushes off some chops by Kid and sends him back to the mat. He piledrives Kid but taunts the crowd instead of attempting a pin then Kid lands a few kicks until Fatu comes back to drop him with a thrust kick. Fatu climbs up top but Kid cuts him off with a dropkick then hits a crossbody that gets two. Kid heads back up top but gets caught with a powerslam and surprisingly kicks out of that too. Fatu hits a hotshot for a nearfall but ducks his head and gets taken down with a mat slam. Kid tries for a Northern lights suplex but Fatu blocks that and hits a powerbomb for a nearfall. Kid floats over on a back suplex attempt then uses a victory roll for the win (9:48) ***. After the match, Kid uses the guardrail to help himself backstage as the fans cheer. The crowd then applauds Fatu before he leaves.
Thoughts: Really fun match here that was ahead of its time in terms of pacing and moves. More like something you’d see on American TV a few years later. The crowd was really into Kid and Fatu got his respect at the end. Good way to open the show and a bit of a surprise to see Kid go over one-half of the Tag Team champions.
Adam Bomb & “The Rocket” Owen Hart vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage & Bret “The Hitman” Hart
The crowd is into Bret & Savage. We start off with Savage and Bomb as Bomb gets pissed at the crowd for booing him. Savage gets shoved down after messing with Bomb then Savage grabs the arm and tags out. Bomb tries to tag out too but Owen turns away and hugs the ring post. The crowd gets on Owen, who finally tags into the match and faces his brother. Owen taunts the crowd after shoving Bret during a lockup. Owen now keeps ducking underneath the ropes to avoid Bret then ends up getting grounded with a hammerlock. Bret stays on the arm until Owen reverses in a nifty sequence. Bret comes back with a crucifix for a two count then once again grounds Owen with a hammerlock. Owen now bails and heads up the ramp as the crowd boos. Owen finally returns and gets slapped across the face then rolled up for a two count. Savage tags in now and avoids an attack in the corner but misses a knee drop. Owen rams Savage into his corner and tags out as Bomb hammers away. Bomb drops Savage with a back elbow smash then tries for a suplex but Savage was able to drag him to his corner and tag out. Bret works the arm of Bomb now then hits a backbreaker. Bret tags out after a leg drop as Savage hits a flying double axe handle but Bomb backs Savage into his corner and tags out. Owen & Bomb now neutralize Savage then Owen takes Savage outside and drops him throat-first across the guardrail. Owen takes Savage inside and grabs a chin lock for a bit. Savage manages to turn Owen over for a backslide but Owen goes back on the attack. Bomb covers for a two count after a double clothesline then hits a snap suplex for another two count. Backbreaker gets two. Bomb now applies a chin lock briefly before kicking Savage outside. Bomb heads out to ram Savage into the ring apron as the ref was tied up with Bret and Owen. Owen & Bomb continue to cut the ring in half then Owen uses a reverse chin lock while taunting Bret in the process. Bomb switches out illegally for Owen as the ref was ordering Bret back to his corner. Owen & Bomb has some miscommunication that allows Savage to escape and tag out as Bret runs wild on Owen. Bret tries for a backbreaker but Owen flips out of that and hits a tombstone piledriver for a two count. Bomb tags but eats boot on a charge in the corner then Bret comes back with a flying clothesline and turns Bomb over for the Sharpshooter and gets the win (15:45) **1/2.
Thoughts: Solid, house show formula match. The ending was flat I thought but Owen’s heel work was pretty great. Savage did not do much at all but was over enough with the crowd.
Jinsei Shinzaki vs. The Undertaker
Big reaction for the Undertaker here. Undertaker shoves down Shinzaki but Shinzaki gets up and tries to run him over until he gets caught with a drop toe hold. Undertaker now stretches out Shinzaki on the mat until he decides to beat him down in the corner. Undertaker slams Shinzaki with one arm but misses an elbow drop. Undertaker sits back up but Shinzaki fires away then staggers Undertaker after a pair of dropkicks. Shinzaki then drops Undertaker with a missile dropkick but Undertaker sits up. Shinzaki lands some strikes then gets caught and hit with a tombstone as Undertaker picks up the win (3:31) *1/2. After the match, Undertaker leaves while whoever seconded Shinzaki checks helps him sit up as the crowd cheers. Shinzaki then rolls himself outside and gets up as the fans applaud.
Thoughts: Too short to be good and a letdown considering everything Shinzaki did looked good and Undertaker moved around at a much quicker pace than on WWF TV. The abrupt ending was certainly a let down. Shinzaki had a cool look though.
Bull Nakano vs. Alundra Blayze
This is a non-title match. We get a staredown then a shoving match until Nakano clotheslines Blayze, which draws cheers. Blayze comes back with a dropkick then hammers away but Nakano does not feel the effects. Blayze uses several kicks then covers for a one count. Nakano challenges for a test-of-strength. Blayze bridges Nakano for two but Nakano tosses her by the hair then applies a sleeper. Nakano beats down Blayze until she gets kicked off the top rope to the outside. Blayze flies out with a pescado that came up short but Nakano had to sell it anyway. They head back in where Blayze works a chin lock. Nakano gets her foot on the ropes to break the hold then Blayze starts kicking away. Blayze hits a few knee lifts but Nakano screams then drills Blayze with a clothesline. Suplex gets two then Nakano puts on the Bull’s Angelito (inverted sharpshooter/chickenwing combo) before going back to beating on Blayze. Nakano chokes out Blayze in the corner then she uses her nunchucks to beat on Blayze and that is apparently not a disqualification. Nakano roughs up Blayze on the outside before bringing her back in for more punishment. Piledriver gets two as Nakano pulls Blayze up by the hair, which draws cheers from the crowd. Blayze comes back with a hurricarana for a nearfall then surprises Nakano with a sunset flip but gets attacked once again. Nakano hits an avalanche in the corner but Blayze floats over on an inverted suplex attempt and gets a nearfall with a bridging German suplex. Blayze manages to get a victory roll for another nearfall as the crowd is now starting to cheer for her too. Blayze hits a powerbomb for two and nearly killed them both in the process as she fell backwards while Nakano was in the air. Blayze then heads on the middle rope and jumps but trips as her feet get caught and she falls on her face, prompting the guy holding the camera to laugh. Nakano slams Blayze but misses a seated senton from the top then Blayze hits a bridging German suplex for the win (12:26) **3/4.
Thoughts: They had a rough beginning and fought their way to having a good match until the messy ending. Blayze getting her feet caught up in the ropes and falling on her face is not what you want from a champion. Nakano was the fan favorite but Blayze gained the respect from the crowd and it ended up being an overall good match.
Yokozuna w/ Mr. Fuji vs. Genichiro Tenryu
Fuji is back to wearing a tuxedo and bowler hat here. Both men stare each other down before locking up. Yokozuna gets in a sumo stance then the two lock up again with Tenryu bouncing off of Yokozuna. Tenryu bails and paces outside then returns and gets slammed. However, Yokozuna turns his back and Tenryu gets up and chops him hard. Yokozuna comes back to drop Tenryu then hits an elbow drop before tossing him outside. The crowd chants for Tenryu as he gets back inside only for Yokozuna to beat him down. Yokozuna now takes Tenryu down and works the arm for a bit. Tenryu gets up and hits some chops then hits three enziguiris before taking him down with a Russian leg sweep. Tenryu heads up for a flying elbow drop that gets two then sets up for a piledriver but Yokozuna counters that with a back drop. Yokozuna clotheslines Tenryu then btakes a breather before hitting a leg drop, which gets two. The crowd rallies behind Tenryu as Yokozuna hits him with an uranage for another two count. Tenryu fights back with more chops that sends Yokozuna through the ropes. The two now brawl outside then Fuji whacks Tenryu with his cane. Yokozuna chokes out Tenryu then takes a breather but Tenryu comes back with a chair to attack Yokozuna and that is a DQ (12:25) **1/4. Tenryu starts flippng out and throwing tables while being held back by several people as Yokozuna is taunting him. Yokozuna then yells something on the mic as the crowd goes mental and gets on one knee in the ring. The crowd chants for Tenryu to come back out then Yokozuna rolls outside
Thoughts: This was about as good of a match as you were going to get out of Yokozuna at this point. He appeared motivated here and his rest spots were much shorter than usual for this era. I loved the ending too with Tenryu needing to be held back and Yokozuna getting the fans to go nuts by calling him out after Tenryu was ushered backstage. This set up for a future match but that never happened as the company did not go back to Japan in the fall as planned.
WWF Vice President JJ Dillon comes out to thank the Japanese wrestlers who have competed then the people responsible for WWF coming to Japan. However, and most importantly, he wants to thank the fans for coming out. He then talks about calling Vince McMahon to bring the WWF back to Japan for Yokozuna vs. Tenryu. Dillon was the agent for this tour. According to Sean Waltman in his 1994 WWE Timeline for Kayfabe Commentaries, Vince in fact did not make this tour. And Waltman said both Owen Hart and himself constantly ribbed Dillon throughout the tour.
18 Man Royal Rumble Match
#1 is Rick Martel and #2 is Bob Backlund. According to the Observer, Martel replaced Shawn Michaels, who “no-showed” this tour. Martel gets frustrated as Backlund works him over and embarrases him but the crowd does not seem to care. Martel fights back and tries to dump Backlund and celebrates but Backlund skins-the-cat and then puts Martel in an airplane spin. He tries to dump Martel but #3 is Jinzei Shinzaki and he breaks that up by kicking Backlund in the ribs. Backlund tries to dump Martel again but Shinzaki breaks that up too then both men try to get rid of Backlund. Shinzaki holds up Backlund for Martel then ends up getting hit by accident. Martel tries to dump Backlund but Shinzaki breaks that up to beat on Martel. #4 is Adam Bomb and he comes in to help everyone get rid of Shinzaki but that still does not work. Bomb & Martel beat on Backlund in the corner then Shinzaki joins in on the fun with a dropkick. Martel tries to get rid of Shinzaki but that fails. #5 is the 1-2-3 Kid and he kicks Martel before blending in with everyone else. We have everyone now on the same side of the ring trying to get rid of each other. Shinzaki & Kid try to eliminate Martel while Backlund is attempting to dump Bomb but they fail. Shinzaki and Kid now attack each other then #6 is revealed as Masashi Aoyagi. He is wearing an ugly yellow gi and does not look to menacing. Anyway, he teams up with Shinzaki to beat on Kid then Bomb. #7 is Tatanka then we see Aoyagi eliminated by Backlund. Kid is back to beating on Martel and the others pair off for some more slow brawling. Martel tries to dump Kid then gets pissed when Kid manages to land on the apron. #8 is Billy Gunn and he goes after Bomb. The action is still slow then we see Tatanka place Marel on the apron and hammer away but Martel manages to land on the apron. #9 is Nobokazu Hirai and he tries to dump Backlund. Bomb then beats on Hirai in the corner as we go back to more uninspired near eliminations until Kid and Shinzaki bust out a fun sequence on the side.
#10 is Bart Gunn but before he makes it to the ring we see Kid get rid of Shinzaki with a back drop to counter a charge. Backlund keeps holding onto the ropes to stave off elimination. #11 is Owen Hart and he goes after Kid. Martel eliminates Hirai then gets beaten down by Tatanka. Billy and Tatanka trade chops now and then Tatanka tries to dump him afterwards. #12 is Bam Bam Bigelow and he gets a great reaction from the crowd. Billy fires away but Bigelow knocks him down and the action slows down once again. #13 is Randy Savage and he goes right after Owen. Kid was almost announced at being eliminated but he did not go over the top rope. The ring is really clogging up with the only three eliminated the Japanese wrestlers in the match. Backlund continues to cling himself to the ropes while Bigelow fights off two men to stay alive. #14 is Samu then we see Billy get eliminated and right after that Bigelow dumps Bart. Samu & Owen now eliminate Kid as the action is starting to pick up a bit. #15 is The Undertaker and he gets attacked by Martel before getting into the ring but ends up eliminating Martel afterwards. Samu & Bigelow double-team Undertaker until Backlund goes nuts and makes the save then tries to throw Bigelow over the top rope himself as the crowd was into that a lot. #16 is Fatu and he goes after Savage. Backlund is able to hang on to the ropes and avoid elimination as the crowd cheers. #17 is Bret Hart and he goes right after Owen as those two slug it out. Bret almost dumps Owen but the latter skinned-the-cat and went back after his brother. The Headshrinkers & Tatanka work over Bomb then Savage almost gets rid of Backlund. #18 is Doink the Clown and he mixes it up with Samu.
Savage & Bret work over and we see Backlund once again cling himself to the ropes and stays alive despite getting kicked by Bigelow. The action picks up now with some more near eliminations then we get an actual elimination when Bomb gets rid of Doink. Backlund continues to stay alive by hanging on to the ropes as the crowd gets behind him while Bret eliminates Bomb with a clothesline. Tatanka beats on Bigelow but misses a charge and gets sent over the top rope. Owen finally gets rid of Backlund as the crowd is pissed but then the crowd gives Backlund a nice ovation. Bret and Owen fight near the ropes and end up eliminating each other to the shock of the crowd then Undertaker gets rid of Samu with a clothesline.
The final four are Bigelow, Fatu, Undertaker, and Savage. Bigelow catches Savage coming off of the top and rams him into the corner but Savage comes back with a clothesline. Savage fights off Bigelow and Fatu but ends up getting double-teamed and eliminated. However, Undertaker hits Fatu & Bigelow with a double clothesline. Fatu & Bigelow then beat on Undertaker, who keeps sitting up. Fatu holds up Undertaker but ends up getting dropkicked by accident and eliminated as we are down to Bigelow and Undertaker. Both men try to knock each other down then Undertaker catches Bigelow with a hip toss. Undertaker hammers away in the corner but eats boot on a charge. Bigelow comes back with a clothesline and stays on the attack but Undertaker sits up once again. Bigelow tries a diving headbutt but Undertaker also avoids that by sitting up. Undertaker then hits a chokeslam before eliminating Bigelow with a clothesline as he wins the match (45:28) ***. Paul Bearer comes into the ring as Undertaker raises his hands to celebrate victory.
Thoughts: Obviously not the best rumble match ever and the first half was kinda crappy but it did end up becoming fun in the final 15-20 minutes. The story of Backlund clinging to the ropes throughout the match to stay alive ended up getting over huge with the crowd too. Undertaker was a crowd favorite and I liked the final sequence with Bigelow too. Other highlights were the sequences between Kid and Shinzaki. And Shinzaki ended up getting a job based off of this tour. Plus, the Bret and Owen stuff was fun. The other two Japanese wrestlers in this match were booked like geeks.
Final Thoughts: This tour was not a rousing success but while some correspondent reports said the shows were not over with the crowds, I thought this was a solid house show. Nothing was blow away but the Rumble match is unique enough to check out. And there was nothing terrible, either. This show is available on YouTube (although my copy is the complete version and what is on YT is in a different order and omits the tag match) and worth a look if you need something to pass the time and fulfill your wrestling fix.