Written by: Bob Colling
New Japan Pro Wrestling presents Super Warriors In Tokyo Dome
From: Tokyo, Japan
Opening Contest: Hiroyoshi Yamamoto vs. Black Cat: They slap each other rather viciously to start the match until Cat takes Yamamoto down to the mat with a headlock. Yamamoto monkey flips Cat out of the corner and knocks Cat off the middle rope to hit a dropkick. Cat gets knocked to the floor where Yamamoto hit a slingshot cross body. Cat returns to the ring and controls Yamamoto with a headlock. Yamamoto slams Cat but isn’t able to get a three count. Cat delivers a jaw breaker and gets a two count. Cat nails Yamamoto with a clothesline and plays to the crowd before getting a near fall. Yamamoto nearly wins with a German suplex. Yamamoto slams Cat and delivered a few falling headbutts for another two count. Yamamoto staggers Cat with a standing spin kick. Cat plants Yamamoto with a quick DDT for a two count. Cat flapjacks Yamamoto and rams Yamamoto upside down in the corner before hitting a running power slam. Cat nearly wins with a running senton but Yamamoto got on the ropes. Cat locks in a standing figure four but Yamamoto counters with a leg lock and a modified surfboard. Cat drops Yamamoto with a side suplex but only gets a near fall again. Cat slams Yamamoto but misses a senton splash. Yamamoto comes off the top hitting a head butt for a near fall. Cat surprises Yamamoto with an inside cradle for another two count. Yamamoto nearly won with a backslide. Cat boots Yamamoto in the corner and slams him before hitting a middle rope senton but still can’t win. Cat hit another DDT but again only gets a near fall. Cat puts Yamamoto on the top turnbuckle hitting a middle rope DDT which gets the three count. (**1/2. It started kinda slow, but the finishing sequence was pretty good. I like Black Cat’s style.)
Second Contest: Norio Honaga, Hiro Saito & Super Strong Machine vs. Akira Nogami, Masashi Aoyagi & Jushin Liger: Saito, Honaga and Machine quickly go on the attack before the bell even sounds. Saito and Aoyagi legally start the match with Saito driving Aoyagi down with a back breaker. Honaga gets tagged in and continues to work over Aoyagi. Aoyagi tries to fight back with strikes but is taken down quickly. Machine tags in and puts a sleeper hold on. Aoyagi kicks his way free and drops Machine with a kick. Here comes Nogami but Machine takes him over with a back suplex. Honaga tags back in as well and kicks Nogami before dropping him gut first across the top rope. Saito delivers a quick scoop slam on Honaga. Honaga sends Saito to the corner and Liger gets tagged in. Liger hit a top rope double stomp on Saito and knocks the other opponents off the apron. Saito stops Liger with a jaw breaker a couple of times. Saito backdrops Liger and Machine tags in to try his luck. Machine drives Liger down with a gut buster. Liger comes off the ropes avoiding Machine to hit a somersault kick. Aoyagi gets tagged in as does Honaga. Honaga rakes Aoyagi eyes but Aoyagi came back with a knee lift in the corner. Nogami enters to double team Honaga and puts the sharpshooter on in the middle of the ring. Machine tags in and casually slams Nogami followed by a clothesline. Machine and Saito hit clotheslines in the corner on Nogami for a two count.
Nogami fights back with a dropkick on Saito and all three men chop Saito with Liger hitting a rolling senton for a near fall. Liger drives Saito down with a back breaker and hit a middle rope moonsault for a two count. Aoyagi comes back in and chops Saito several times followed by a kick. Aoyagi goes for a submission with a Boston Crab but doesn’t get a submission. Nogami hit a top rope elbow drop on Saito. Saito gets out of an abdominal stretch but can’t make the tag out. Saito plants Liger with a spine buster and tags in Machine. Machine hooks Liger up with a delayed vertical suplex and an elbow drop for a two count. Liger gets lifted into the air and is dropped gut first to the canvas. Honaga gets stopped on the top rope and Saito clubs Liger causing him to fall off. Honaga hit a top rope clothesline but Liger kicked out on the cover. Liger connects with a tilt a whirl back breaker. Liger puts Honaga on the top turnbuckle and takes him over with an overhead suplex. Nogami tags in but gets trapped in the wrong corner. Machine is now in and hammers away on Nogami. Machine and Honaga spike Nogami down with a spike piledriver. That advantage lasted very short as Aoyagi is back in and working over Machine with kicks in the corner. Liger and Nogami spike Machine with a spike piledriver of their own. Liger tries to scoop slam Machine, which gets countered with a power slam. Saito gets a two count on Liger with a suplex. Liger dropkick Saito and Honaga allowing him to tag in Aoyagi. Machine gets tagged in and is met with a series of kicks. Machine clotheslines Aoyagi and power slams him. Machine heads to the top missing a diving head butt. Liger hits a head butt off the top, though. Machine is held to allow Nogami to connect with a missile dropkick. Saito is met with a dropkick but backdrops Nogami into a double team power bomb, which was neat. All six men are brawling now and they go to the floor. Saito slams Nogami and hit a middle rope denton for a two count. Nogami manages to pin Saito with a dragon suplex. (**1/2. The action was pretty consistent and everyone had a moment to shine, so that’s always fine. It was just a solid match nothing memorable. Pretty clear that the fans really do adore Liger, though.)
Third Contest: Kim Duk & Masa Saito vs. Dustin Rhodes & Dusty Rhodes: Duk and Dustin start the match trading arm drags and they run the ropes botching a leapfrog before Dustin scoop slams and head scissors Duk. Dustin hip tosses Duk and dropkicks him to the apron. Duk has a top wrist lock on Dustin taking him down to the canvas wanting to tag in Saito, but Saito is content with watching his partner in the ring instead. Dusty tags in and sends Duk into the corner wanting Saito and taunts him by strutting around. Saito tags in and is fired up as well. Dusty tosses Saito to the ramp and scoop slams Saito! Dusty delivers an elbow drop and returns to the ring. Saito offers to shake hands with Dusty but attacks Dusty instead with strikes and Rhodes sells the strikes over the top. Saito stomps on Dusty on the apron. Saito wants to tag in Duk, but Duk is content with watching Saito in the ring. Dusty delivered a few head butts, however he falls down because Saito has a hard head. Dusty drops Saito with an elbow strike. Dusty takes Saito over with a vertical suplex for a two count. Duk tags in and works over Dusty with a series of strikes. Saito accidentally clotheslines Duk and Dustin gets tagged in to clean house. Dustin nails Saito with a leaping clothesline. Dustin rams both men into each toehr and continues to battle both men in the ring. Dustin gets stuck in the wrong corner though and is worked over by Saito with several chops.
Dustin is taken over with a double vertical suplex. Duk plants Dustin with a piledriver and almost gets a three count on a cover attempt. Dustin is sent to the ramp where Dusty goes and protects his son from any further punishment. Duk hit a vertical suplex back in the ring but Dustin kicks out at two. Duk slams Dustin again before heading to the top but Dustin is up and slams Duk to the canvas. Dustin gets a near fall after an elbow drop and here comes Dusty and Saito again. Dustin comes off the middle rope to deliver an axe handle to Saito. Saito battles back with a Saito suplex on Dustin but doesn’t get a three count on the cover. Saito hits a second Saito suplex but Dusty makes the save on the cover. Saito and Rhodes collide in the middle of the ring both crashing to the canvas. Dustin dropkicks Duk for another near fall. Dustin plants Duk with a running bulldog and gets the win. (*1/2. Well, Dustin’s style didn’t seem to really work with the opponents and made for some awkward moments. Saito was enjoyable in there and the interactions with Dusty were probably the most entertaining aspects of the match.)
Fourth Contest: Tony Halme (Ludvig Borga) vs. Scott Norton: Norton starts the match chopping Halme in the corner and delivers a big splash. Norton keeps a headlock on Halme for a few moments until Halme breaks free and power slams Norton. Norton runs over Halme with a leaping shoulder block. Norton has the fans heavily behind him as he ran over Halme with another shoulder block. Norton clotheslines Halme to keep control of the match. Norton decks Halme and puts a sleeper hold on Halme, who has a cut on his forehead. Norton continues his offense with a neck breaker but only gets a near fall. Norton tries a press slam but Halme punches free with body shots and hit a Samoan Drop. Halme continues to work over Norton with body shots in the corner. Halme splashes Norton in the corner and drops Norton with a right hand. Halme power slams Norton and came off the ropes to hit an elbow drop for a two count. Norton nails Halme with a clothesline and a backdrop for a two count. Norton almost gets a win with a spine buster. Norton clotheslines Halme again and goes to the top rope. Halme crotches Norton on the top rope. Halme slams Norton off the top and leaps off the top to hit a clothesline for the win. (**. I liked it simply because of the stiffness that Norton had. The match was clunky in moments, but it was kept relatively short which is ideal here. Norton sure came across like a bigger deal in Japan and worked far better here than I ever saw in WCW.)
Fifth Contest: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Bill Kazmaier: Bill starts the match by shoving Shinya down to the canvas and shows off his strength advantage. Bill continues his advantage with a power slam. Shinya delivers a body kick a few times but Bill doesn’t budge. Bill decks Shinya with a forearm and Shinya rolls to the outside. Shinya is sent hard chest first into the corner and Bill works over the lower back of Shinya with strikes. Bill traps Shinya’s arm under the top rope and yanks on it. Bill works over Shinya with some kicks to the lower back. Bill backdrops Shinya and delivers a back breaker. Bill decks Shinya with a clothesline as well. Bill catches Shinya coming off the ropes to connect with a power slam for a near fall. Bill locks in a bear hug but Shinya tries to fight out of the hold. Bill puts the Torture Rack on Shinya but Shinya gets out of the hold. Shinya takes Bill down with a leg sweep a couple of times. Shinya kicks Bill and takes him down with a headlock slam. Shinya staggers Bill with a spinning heel kick and knocks him down on the second one but only gets a near fall. Shinya plants Bill with a DDT but Bill kicks out! Shinya jumps up and hits a DDT for the win. (*1/2. Not a fan of Kazmaier but feel that I should see more of Shinya just against a different opponent. It was kept fairly short, which is appreciated.)
Sixth Contest: Antonio Inoki vs. Hiroshi Hase: Inoki tries going right after Hase, but Hase sidesteps Inoki and takes him down to the canvas. Hase takes Inoki down to the mat and controls the arm briefly. Hase takes Inoki over with a nice overhead belly to belly suplex. Inoki takes Hase down to the mat and stomps him. Inoki counters a snap mare attempt with a sleeper hold and Hase is selling it like he passed out after a second in the hold. Hase spits water and gets a kick by Inoki followed by a backdrop and a double under hook suplex. Hase gets to the ropes when Inoki went for another sleeper hold. Inoki slaps Hase several times but Hase comes back with headbutts taking Inoki down to the canvas. Inoki gets up and kicks Hase’s legs before putting a leg lock on but that doesn’t a submission. Hase gets out of the hold and goes for an Indian death lock trying to get a submission on Inoki, but doesn’t get one either. Inoki has a chin lock on Hase and counters the hold while in the hold! Inoki rolls over and puts the same hold on Hase briefly. Hase plants Inoki with a twisting Rock Bottom, twice! Hase hits the move a third time but Inoki kicks out! Hase hits the move a fourth time! Inoki has kicked out of his finishing move after three times taking it. Hase didn’t cover Inoki after the fourth. Inoki blocks a fifth attempt at the move and wrenches Hase’s arm followed by a kick. Inoki locks in a sleeper hold for a moment and lets go to nail Hase with a kick! Inoki traps Hase with Cobra Twist! Hase is able to reach the ropes to break the hold. Inoki nails Hase a few times with a kick to the head and goes back to the Cobra Twist. Hase is forced to submit this time. (***. I liked this one as the crowd was totally into the action and both men looked good kicking out of finishers or getting out of the holds. This was a fun watch and breezed right by. Hase is another guy I’ll probably have watch more of as his style seems enjoyable.)
Seventh Contest: Kantaro Hoshino & Kengo Kimura vs. Kuniaki Kobyashi & Osamu Kido: Kido and Kimura kick off the match. They trade some mat wrestling at the start and have a standoff. Kimura takes Kido over with a head scissors at the start of the match. Kido tries to get out of a head scissors and is able to do so. Kido monkey flips Kimura and the fans appreciate the action. Kobyashi and Hoshino tag in and Hoshino tossing Kobayashi to the floor and delivers a running baseball slide kick. Hoshino quickly hits a DDT for a two count and controls Kobyashi on the canvas. They trade slaps in the corner with Kobayshi getting the better of the exchange. Kido enters and shoulder blocks Hoshino. Kido nails Hoshino with a flurry of right hands but Kimura tags back in. Kobayshi and Kimura trades shots until Kimura got control on the canvas with a leg lock. Kobyashi gets worked over in the corner by Hoshino. Kido comes off the top rope to hit a knee drop on Hoshino. Kido keeps control of Hoshino on the canvas with a head scissors. Kobayashi enters again and gets taken down by Hoshino. Kobyashi gets worked over in the corner as Kimura tagged back in. Kobyashi runs into a kick from Hoshino a couple of times. Kobyashi nearly wins with a power bomb. Kimura locks in an arm bar but doesn’t get a submission. Kobyashi kicks Kimura and Kido came off the top with a missile dropkick. Kido almost gets pinned with a rollup. Kimura gets the kimura lock on but the hold is broken by Kobyashi. Kimura plants Kido with a suplex for a near fall. Kimura gets a rollup and pins Kido. (*1/2. Yeah, I didn’t find this all that interesting or entertaining. Felt like a match used as filler.)
Eighth Contest: The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko) vs. Michiyoshi Ohara & Shiro Koshinaka: Zbyszko and Ohara kick off the match. Ohara arm drags Zbyszko but doesn’t followup on the advantage. Ohara shoulder blocks Zbyszko but holds onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick. Anderson tags in and works over Ohara with a knee lift. Zbyszko is yelling at the referee. Shiro tags in and works over Arn with strikes but Anderson delivers a knee drop and a rolling neck snap. Zbyszko tags back in and puts an abdominal stretch on Shiro before getting a two count with a rollup. Shiro hip tosses Zbyszko who gets up and is frustrated. Anderson gets tagged in and works over Shiro with a few strikes. Shiro backdrops Anderson followed by a couple of dropkicks causing Anderson to retreat to his corner to regroup. Ohara tags back in and Anderson controls Ohara in the test of strength. Ohara takes Arn down to the canvas but Arn gets control of the left arm even after taking a scoop slam. Zbyszko enters and keeps Ohara on the canvas but Ohara hit a side Russian leg sweep. Shiro hit a snap suplex and Ohara entered again to clotheslines Zbyszko. Anderson delivers a few knee strikes and a back breaker on Shiro. Anderson plants Shiro with a neck breaker and tags in Zbyszko who hit a vertical suplex for a two count. Zbyszko puts Shiro in a Boston Crab but isn’t able to get a submission as Ohara broke up the hold. Anderson enters and puts the same hold on with Zbyszko assisting in an advantage. Shiro kicks Anderson down and tags in Ohara who cleans house and almost pins Arn. Ohara puts a Boston Crab on Anderson but is stomped by Zbyszko. Ohara hit a running elbow drop a couple of times on Arn. Ohara slams Anderson and hit an elbow drop off the top for a two count. Shiro hit a leaping butt splash to both Anderson and Zbyszko. Ohara slams Anderson and the same for Zbyszko. Anderson plants Ohara with a spine buster and wins the match. (*1/2. The final sequence was okay, but the match was way too slow and this never felt like it got out of the first gear.)
Ninth Contest: Big Van Vader vs. El Gigante: Gigante works over Vader in the corner with strikes but Vader counters with clubbing blows of his own. Vader splashes Gigante but the big man doesn’t go to the canvas. Vader takes Gigante down to the mat and kicks the big man a few times. Vader works over Gigante but is stopped by a big boot. Gigante clubs away on Vader with strikes. Gigante puts the claw on Vader! Vader gets to the ropes to break the hold but runs into a clothesline. They battle on the ramp trading shots. Vader splashes Gigante into the ropes and splashes Gigante again. They continue to brawl leading to a double count out. After the match, Vader has his headgear and smokes shoots out to blind Gigante. (DUD. Yeah, that was just awful. It’s a clash of styles and it didn’t lead to a good result.)
Tenth Contest: WCW World Champion Lex Luger vs. Masahiro Chono: Luger gets control with a side headlock and runs over Chono with a shoulder block. Luger press slams Chono and plays to the crowd by flexing. Luger misses a clothesline and Chono goes for the STF after a drop toe hold but Luger reaches the ropes quickly. They go for a test of strength with Chono dropping to his knees. Chono takes Luger over with a suplex to break the hold. Chono takes Luger down to the canvas but Luger is able to deliver a knee lift to regain control. Chono hip tosses Luger followed by an arm drag. Luger is sent into the corner and has an awkward collision with Chono leading to a near fall. Chono works over the left knee of Luger for a period of time. Chono backdrops Luger and follows up with an arm drag again. Chono has control of Luger’s left arm but Lex is able to break free and works over Chono with strikes. Luger misses a splash in the corner and Chono takes Lex over with an arm drag. Luger pokes Chono’s eyes and delivers a few strikes and kicks. Luger charges out of the corner with a clothesline to take Chono down. Luger drops Chono across the top rope throat first. Luger clotheslines Chono again and gets a near fall. Luger connects with a vertical suplex but Chono kicks out. Chono works over Luger with a leaping kick but Luger staggers. Chono takes the champ down with a back suplex. Luger catches Chono with a power slam. Luger spikes Chono with a DDT. Luger goes for the Torture Rack but Chono counters with a backslide for a near fall. Chono drops Luger with a running big boot and goes for the STF! Luger is able to reach the bottom rope to break the hold.
Chono drops Luger with a knee and goes to the top rope. Chono connects with a shoulder block. Luger avoids a charging Luger but returns and nearly wins the match with a rollup. Luger gets a rollup and almost pins Chono. Chono nearly wins with a rollup of his own. Chono goes to the top but misses a splash and crashes to the canvas. Luger puts the Torture Rack on Chono and they both crash over the top to the floor. Luger puts the Torture Rack on Chono on the floor but he can’t win the match there. Luger rolls back into the ring at the count of eleven and Chono is in danger of being counted out. Chono gets back in just before twenty. Chono counters a suplex but is met with a low blow! Luger comes off the middle rope with a forearm drop and pins Chono. (*1/2. A slow plodding match as you’d expect from Luger. I do like the cheat finish by Luger, though.)
Eleventh Contest: Steiner Brothers vs. Sting & The Great Muta: Scott and Muta start the match with Muta playing to the crowd by misting. Muta nails Scott with a kick to the face. Scott takes Muta down with a spine buster. Muta comes back with a spin kick and a dropkick. Scott avoids another dropkick and Sting gets tagged in. Rick works over Sting with a knee lift and a hip toss. Rick runs over Sting with a clothesline and hit a middle rope bulldog for a two count! Sting comes running out of the corner to clothesline Rick. Sting comes off the ropes and plants Rick with a bulldog. Sting has Rick over his shoulder and rams Rick gut first into the corner. Sting misses the Stinger Splash and Scott gets tagged in. Scott hooks Sting and hit a sit down double under hook power bomb. Scott follows up with a twisting slam but Sting kicks out at two. Scott puts Sting over his shoulder looking for a tombstone but Sting counters with one of his own and plays to the crowd. Muta comes off the top to strike Scott on the ribs with an axe handle. Muta comes off the ropes and delivers a twisting elbow drop. Scott tosses Muta with a t-bone suplex. Rick enters and hit a middle rope overhead belly to belly suplex. Rick continues with a release German suplex for a near fall. Scott tags in and pump handle slams Muta. Scott puts Muta on the top rope and it a middle rope Samoan Drop! Scott puts a dragon sleeper on Muta. Scott has Muta over his shoulder and Rick hit a top rope elbow drop for a two count. Rick rams Muta into the corner gut first while over his shoulder. Scott takes over Muta with a belly to belly suplex. Scott tosses Muta to the floor where Rick hit a belly to belly suplex on the floor. Muta takes Scott over with a German suplex and tags in Sting. Rick tags in and Sting clubs away on Rick quickly. Sting hits the Stinger Splash this time. Muta goes for a handspring but Rick catches Muta hitting German suplex instead! All four men are in the ring brawling at this point. Scott gets met wIith a double bulldog from Sting and Muta! Sting press slams Muta into Rick and they go over the top t the floor. Sting takes Rick out with a cross body off the top to the floor. Muta takes Scott out with a suicide dive! Rick and Scott go to the top and hit double clotheslines in the ring. Sting pins Scott by countering a head scissors to win the match. (****. Constant action and these two teams worked extremely well together. The finish was kind of lackluster, but the action was really good throughout.)
Main Event: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Greatest 18 Club Champion Riki Choshu: They have a slow start to the match focusing on the mat wrestling and headlocks. Choshu slams Fujinmai to break away. Fujinmai takes Coshu down to the mat but gets ran over with a shoulder block moments later. Choshu slams Fujinmai but they get into the ropes. Coshu plants Fujinmai with a back suplex and a knee lift. Coshu appears to be going for a sharpshooter and soon gets the hold locked in after a few moments of not stepping over. Fujinmai gets out of the hold and puts the sharpshooter on Coshu. Fujinami kicks Coshu several times and went for a back suplex but Coshu lands on top. Coshu comes off the top rope to double stomp Fujinami. Coshu plants Tatsumi with a piledriver. Coshu puts an abdominal stretch on Fujinami but doesn’t get a submission. Fujinmai slams Coshu and goes to the top but is met by Coshu who hit a superplex. Coshu dropkicks Fujinmai for a near fall. Coshu takes Fujinmai over with a back suplex a couple of times. Choshu gets the win with a lariat. (*1/2. That hardly felt like a worthwhile main event to a big show. That was kind of a disappointment, really.)
This felt like an average wrestling show that had a great tag match and the Inoki/Hase match was solid, too. I mostly got this because of the WCW names, but I was entertained by some of the Japanese wrestlers that I had not know prior to this viewing.
Thanks for reading.