NJPW NEW JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING 1995
Shin Nihon Puroresu Tapes DVD VHS Videos


NJ '95 Tokyo Dome BATTLE 7 Commercial Tapes 1/4/95 Tokyo Dome
-3hr 40min. Q=Master

WELCOME TO BATTLE FIELD: The Great Kabuki & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Akitoshi Saito vs. Osamu Kido & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka

THE GOLD RUSH: Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi

UWA World Junior Heavyweight Title: Shinjiro Otani vs. El Samurai

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Norio Honaga vs. The Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro)

SUPERHARD SYNDROME: Masa Chono & Sabu vs. Tatsumi Fujinami & Junji Hirata

IWGP Heavyweight Title: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kensuke Sasaki

THE GOLD RUSH: Koji Kanemoto vs. Yuji Nagata

THE SAMURAI SPIRIT: Shiro Koshinaka & Michiyoshi Ohara vs. Tiger Jeet Singh & Tiger Jeet Singh Jr.

THE STRONGEST: Hawk Warrior vs. Scott Norton

Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu vs. Kengo Kimura & Tatsutoshi Goto

IWGP Tag Titles: Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase vs. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner

FINAL COUNTDOWN BVD Tournament 1st Round: Sting vs. Tony Palmore

FINAL COUNTDOWN BVD Tournament 1st Round: Antonio Inoki vs. Gerard Gordeau

FINAL COUNTDOWN BVD Tournament Final: Sting vs. Antonio Inoki

NJ Tokon V History Vol. 12 DVD
Tokon V Special Vol. 26 IWGP Tag Champions vs. SG Tag Champions 11/23/94-12/12/94
Tokon V Special Vol. 27 Nightmare vs. Large Giant 2/8/95 Sendai-shi Taiikukan
-2hr. Q=Master

11/25/94, IWGP Tag Title Match: Hellraisers (Hawk Warrior & Power Warrior) vs. Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase

12/6/94, Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Keiji Muto

12/12/94, New Japan Strongest Tag Decision Match: Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase vs. Steiners (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner)

11/23/94: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Osamu Kido

2/8/95

Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Takashi Iizuka & Manabu Nakanishi

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Scott Norton

Great Muta vs. El Gigante

NJPW WPW 3/4/95 taped 2/12/95 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
& NJPW WPW 3/11/95 taped 2/17/95 Hamamatsu Shi Taiikukan & 2/19/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
-1 1/2hr. Q=VG

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Michiyoshi Ohara

2/3 Falls: Shiro Koshinaka & The Great Kabuki & Tatsutoshi Goto vs. Masa Saito & Yoshiaki Yatsu & Junji Hirata

Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito vs. Riki Choshu & Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata

3/11/95 taped 2/17/95

Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Shinjiro Otani & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Gran Hamada 6:05 of 12:44. Typical short junior match of the time period that was fine early then got really impressive and spectacular in the final minutes with great chemistry and excellent offense. I thought they'd do more to set up the junior title matches on 2/19, but it was mostly just strong work with the main heat was on Otani vs. Kanemoto (which was coming down the road) rather than the immediate opponent Hamada. *** range

taped 2/19/95

UWA World Junior Heavyweight Title: Shinjiro Otani vs. Gran Hamada 4:24 of 13:27. Nice match, but very underwhelming by the standards of NJ's junior titles. Both the chemistry and the offense were nowhere's near the Otani's work with Liger, Kanemoto, Samurai and neither wrestler really stepped up to carry the match or give it some shape and direction. Hamada was fine, but is much more effective as a short bursts tag wrestler than trying to do even a shorter length singles match.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Norio Honaga vs. Koji Kanemoto 10:43. Effective Honaga match. Heated early with Honaga determined not to allow Kanemoto to out punk him. They quickly settled into the body with Honaga working Kanemoto's left knee. The problem is they then transitioned right to the finishing sequence. Honaga actually pulled out an avalanche style Frankensteiner, but went down remarkably quickly and easily. I prefer the belt on Kanemoto obviously, but I didn't really buy the way they put the title on him. **1/4

NJ Fighting Spirit '95 2/3-4 Sapporo & 2/19 Ryogoko Kessen! Commercial Tape
-2hr 15min. Q=Master

Note: Matches without times listed are digested

2/3/95 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Shinjiro Otani & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Gran Hamada 14:12

Masahiro Chono & Hiro Saito vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Junji Hirata

IWGP Heavyweight Next Challenger Decision Match: Keiji Muto vs. Scott Norton 20:31

2/4/95 Hokkaido Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Kensuke Sasaki & Koji Kanemoto vs. Shinjiro Otani & Hiroshi Hase

Riki Choshu & Junji Hirata vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiro Saito

Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs. Scott Norton & Mike Enos

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 17:02

2/19/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

Kantaro Hoshino Retirement Match: Osamu Kido vs. Kantaro Hoshino 10:00

IWGP Junoir Heavyweight Title Match: Koji Kanemoto vs. Norio Honaga

UWA World Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Shinjiro Otani vs. Gran Hamada

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Scott Norton 15:35

NJ Destructive King Shinya Hashimoto CHAMPION ROAD STORY Debut 10th Anniversary Part 2 Commercial Tape
-1hr 55min. Q=Master
NJPW Shinya Hashimoto Champion Road Story Part 2

Note: All bouts listed below are IWGP Heavyweight Title Matches. Some other clips tossed in, but everything seems to be digested

12/10/93: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto 28:57

12/13/93: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Power Warrior 25:17

1/4/94: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Masahiro Chono 28:00

3/21/94: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Scott Norton 18:55

4/4/94: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto 14:53

6/15/94: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Riki Choshu 10:52

9/23/94: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Power Warrior 19:08

12/13/94: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiroshi Hase 29:11

2/4/95: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 17:02

2/19/95: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Scott Norton 15:35

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #696 6/18/01
NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #722 9/15/01
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #696 taped 10/30/94 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Norio Honaga vs. Shinjiro Otani

Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs. Scott Norton & Ron Simmons

Wonderland #722 taped 3/7/95 Kanazawa Ishikawa Sangyo Tenjikan

Wild Pegasus & Shinjiro Otani vs. Black Tiger & Koji Kanemoto 14:20. Good rivalries where with Pegasus vs. Tiger and Otani vs. Kanemoto adding to the heat. Smooth match with crisp execution. The little things were so well done that you didn't care when they went to the big moves. In the end though, it was somewhat disappointing because it didn't deliver like I expected once it did pick up. It seemed like the big minutes were just starting, but instead the match ended. At 20 minutes this would have been great or at least damn close, but without those last 5 1/2 minutes it was very good and something of a let down. My favorite spot saw Koji being a punk stepping on Pegasus's throat, so Otani gave him his swandive missile kick to the back. Otani really had a lot of attitude here. ***3/4

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Matthew Rambo 10:04. As bad as a Hashimoto match from this period could be. Rambo - with his 80's WWF offense and the cartoon selling that goes with it - showed no signs of ability. Basic boring match taken down by communication problems between the two. *

3/13 Kyoto Furitsu Taiikukan 6th Young Lion Hai Koshikisen: Shinjiro Otani vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa 12:31. Takaiwa took Otani down to his level with the basic offense more than Otani was able to raise Takaiwa up. Too much unimpressive meandering wear down and submission before the few good minutes at the end. **

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #723 9/17/01
NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #724 9/24/01
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #723 taped 3/13/95 Kyoto Furitsu Taiikukaikan

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Koji Kanemoto vs. Wild Pegasus 16;41. New star Kanemoto is the champion, but still the underdog against the junior division’s long time top gaijin Pegasus, currently the division's ace with Liger on the shelf. He’s a little overmatched, trying to use his quickness and athleticism to counteract Benoit's power, but getting blasted after a move or two. The match is very back and forth, and Kanemoto manages to stay with the Wild one, though Pegasus keeps getting the last word, and thus Kanemoto is the one who is increasingly making you believe he’s in trouble. The excellent work is no surprise, but Kanemoto backing the story with one of his best selling jobs to date leads to a better than expected match, though they’d certainly top it with their great 9/25/95 rematch. This is one of Benoit's best performances, perhaps not in terms of his actual wrestling, but certainly the manner in which he guides Kanemoto, who is very inexperienced at the top level, through the match, always cutting him off before he can get out of control. The match built consistently, but there were no fireworks from Kanemoto, as he’s unable to sustain an advantage. I'm not sure whether Pegasus gets more offense, but certainly he has the quality, the meaningful offense that ends the rally, stopping Kanemoto's athletic moves by hammering him with a lariat or ending a flurry of kicks by Dragon screwing him. Though it may sound like the match is set up to serve Pegasus, his offense is also setting Kanemoto up to counter into one of his numerous brief comebacks. The opening portion was built out of the test of strength with leverage, balance, and athleticism counteracting one another, and they continued doing a nice job of using one hold to set up the next. Though there were numerous quality moves, this was still a fairly patient match with Pegasus letting Kanemoto do his offense, but never for too long at a stretch, thus keeping him in check. As the crowd is pulling for Kanemoto, this layout also helps add to the drama, which is pretty high. Though nothing points to Kanemoto being victorious, his belief in himself never wavers, and thus the crowd stays with him. Kanemoto just keeps thinking of ways to get a move or two in, and finally is able to grasp victory from the cusp of defeat, countering Pegasus’ mighty top rope powerbomb with a (sort of) super Frankensteiner (his legs hook Benoit's upper body rather than neck). This victory really validated new champion Kanemoto as Pegasus was the obvious champ, but they again passed him over (he also lost to the man Kanemoto won the title from, Norio Honaga, in the finals of the vacant Jr. Title tournament on 9/27/94), creating new stars in Liger's absence rather than biding time with the veterans ****

Riki Choshu & Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata & Hiroshi Hase vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito & Sabu

Wonderland #724 taped 3/13/95 Kyoto Furitsu Taiikukaikan

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Matthew Rambo

3/19/95 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

6th Young Lion Hai Koshikisen: Yuji Nagata vs. Tokimitsu Ishizawa

Koji Kanemoto vs. Shinjiro Otani

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #730 10/15/01
NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #731 10/16/01
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #730 taped 4/16/95 Hiroshima Sun Plaza

IWGP Junior Heavykyu & UWA World Junior Heavyweight Title Unification Match: Koji Kanemoto (IWGP champ) vs. Shinjiro Otani (UWA champ) 18:05. Both were coming into their own, but neither were prepared to do it on their own. While a nice match between the new stars that showed their growth, it wasn't near the level of what they were able to do with veterans Liger, Pegasus, & Samurai around this period. The partners stood toe to toe and stared each other down upon entering the ring then Kanemoto chest bumped Otani when they announced him. The first half was more UWF oriented with Kanemoto instilling his attitude, while the second half was spectacular. Both halves were good in and of themselves, but unfortunately had nothing to do with each other. They did a lot of parity spots, and were more or less equal until the end. It was supposed to be the Tiger suplex master (Kanemoto) against the Dragon suplex master (Otani), but in the sort of goofiness these two would become known for, they decided to have Kanemoto pin Otani in his own specialty. ***1/2

Kensuke Sasaki & Hiroshi Hase vs. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner

Wonderland #731 taped 4/16/95 Hiroshima Sun Plaza

Keiji Muto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Lord Steven Regal

NJ 95 WRESTLING DONTAKU in FUKUOKA DOME Commercial Tape 5/3/95 Fukuoka Dome Part 1
-2hr 20min. Q=Master

Junji Hirata vs. Hiro Saito 6:04

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Koji Kanemoto vs. Sabu 16:39

Rick Flair vs. Hiroshi Hase 22:52

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan 11:20

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Keiji Muto 21:13

AJ & NJ TV 6/95
-3 hr. Q=VG

Misawa vs. Hansen, Steiners vs. Hawk & Norton, 6/9/95 Budokan Hall Double Tag Titles: Kobashi & Misawa vs. Kawada & Taue *****, 6/9 AJ Junior title: Kroffat vs. Van Dam-Kroffat shows just how great he is by carrying the spot machine to an excellent match, Sabu vs. Black Tiger, Kanemoto vs. Hamada, Muto vs. Sasaki, more!

New Japan TV 6/10/95-7/8/95
-4 Hours. Q=Gd

Arn Anderson vs. Muto, Austin vs. Muto, Black Tiger vs. Sabu, Kanemoto vs. Hamada, Muto vs. Sasaki, Sabu vs. Kanemoto, Chono & Tenzan vs. Hashimoto & Junji Hirata (SS Machine)-Chono & Tenzan win IWGP Tag titles, Chono & Hiro Saito vs. Sasaki & Choshu, Muto vs. Tenzan, more!

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #741 11/20/01
NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Showa Hen~ #45 2/6/02
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #741 taped 6/12/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

Manabu Nakanishi vs. Mike Enos 9:14. Enos was among NJPW’s most tolerable heavyweight gaijins of the mid 1990’s because he was unselfish and a hard worker. He did his best to work with his robotic no-charisma bore of an opponent, making it passable. It wasn’t pretty, but considering the lack of flexibility it was well executed. *1/2

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Sabu vs. Black Tiger 15:44. Liger breaking his ankle on 9/24/94 should have necessitated the much awaited second Wild Pegasus run as IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, as none of the other veterans could carry the younger wrestlers the way he could. I don’t have a problem with their choice to give Koji Kanemoto his first reign because, even if he wasn’t quite ready, greatness was very clearly in his future. However, Benoit was the one who was really capable of bringing it out, as displayed by their excellent match on 3/13/95 and great one on 9/25/95. Instead, the transitional wrestlers to Kanemoto were Norio Honaga, a quality wrestler and good company man who was hardly the great a 3 time champion would imply, and Sabu, a US indie darling that wasn’t technically sound or proficient enough to even warrant consideration for the Best of the Super Junior tournament. These choices were simply making Koji look that much less ready, particularly Sabu, whose title win over Kanemoto on 5/3/95 is a top candidate for the worst IWGP Junior title change ever. Black Tiger would have been another good choice to hold the title. His great performance was enough to turn this into half a match, executing his offense that didn’t require much if anything from Sabu on a level Sabu could only imagine, and even doing a very good job in spite of Sabu on the stuff that required a decent amount of cooperate. This match really shows the difference between major and minor league wrestlers, as we can see that Sabu essentially works independently of his opponent. Either he’s on offense or they are, but there’s no real development, they just give or take, setting each other up for single moves but not really advancing beyond that into the realms of chaining holds or working back and forth counter laden sequences to get to the same point. This just wasn’t the junior heavyweight wrestling we have come to expect, and I don’t mean the tables and chairs, which like anything else can be a plus or a minus. I don’t mean that Sabu actually beat a fan up before the match, even if he was kind of asking for it by stealing Sabu’s turban as he was walking to the ring. Back and forth submission work is one of the elements that sets the New Japan juniors apart, but this matwork was an utter disgrace. Sabu actually had to take a rope break on a scorpion that wasn’t even turned over and his offensive contributions were a chinlock and front facelock! Sabu was so lacking in anything usable early on that they had to kill time, turning Sabu’s diving leg pick into a comedy spot where they’d try to distract each other to pull it off. In the end, all they could do was run around and hope Sabu didn’t miss his spots too badly. Sabu only debacled one spot beyond recognition, but it’s more that his offense isn’t performed to the level of credibility. For instance, he wins with his Arabian press, which is a really cool move except his knees so obviously took the entire impact of the moonsault it’s laughable that Guerrero was unable to kick out. **1/2

UWA World Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Koji Kanemoto vs. Gran Hamada 13:07. Wily veteran Hamada was a good opponent for Kanemoto even if it made for a shorter match since he’s more of a tag specialist than someone who has the offense for a 20 minute singles war. That’s not a bad thing with Kanemoto, who is a bit of a spot merchant anyway. Koji really brought the offense in this one, not only adding spectacular moves but displaying eye opening athleticism, body control, and crispness in his execution. Hamada always does everything well, he wouldn’t improperly execute the cross armbar finisher the way Koji did, but he’s simply incapable of reaching the heights Kanemoto can when he’s on like he otherwise was. Hamada is a bit old school and lucha oriented in the submission portion, too content to grab an appendage, but the lucha background also provides the benefit of making his running sequences better than most. They largely did Hamada’s match with Kanemoto instilling his dickishness wherever applicable. He was in Hamada’s face before the match began, and wound up dropkicking him before the bell. Though there was some decent interplay, I thought they could have done more with the idea that, belt or not belt, Hamada wasn’t going to let the young punk get away with disrespecting him. Generally, the match was better than expected with the somewhat low rating being a product of finishing about 5 minutes before expected without kicking into the final gear. ***1/4

Wonderland #45

8/13/78 Mexico City Palacio de los Deportes, 2/3 Falls WWWF Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Rey Mendoza 8:59, 3:31, 5:22. It was weird seeing Fujinami doing moves such as the flying headscissors and enzuigiri. He worked a more Lucha oriented style, but ultimately it was more his match than Mendoza's. A good, highly technical match where both men did a good job of working in and out of the holds that was much more interesting to me than mid 90's and beyond Fujinami. They started out using a simple hold such as an armbar as the basis of a series, working some athleticism in through their counters. Fujinami took the first fall, but Mendoza’s persistent stretching began to break the champion down. Fujinami’s left leg was injured in the second, a hobbling title holder giving the crowd some real hope their boy could outlast him. Mendoza worked the injury, setting up his Mendoza special (kind of a standing figure 4 where he splits his legs and squats forward) to take the second fall. Mendoza continued his leg attack in the third, but they inexplicably scrapped the injury when Fujinami came back with his Dragon missile (tope). The action was quite good from this point forward, but the failure to transition from Mendoza’s legwork to Fujinami’s finishing sequence in a remotely believable manner was a glaring liability. Fujinami crashed the turnbuckle trying a jumping tackle when Mendoza reentered, but although Mendoza had dominated the last fall and a half, the suplex this set up was his final hope spot with Fujinami running around as though his leg were fine during the finishing segment. The moves were nothing special by today's standards, and I felt let them down during the fast-paced running segments though that’s more a product of the times than a specific liability of the particular wrestlers whose offense was certainly above average. More importantly, they got pretty good mileage out of the moves and the leg injury greatly added to the drama and fan interest before they dropped the ball in scrapping it. ***1/2

10/6/78 Niigata Shi Taiikukan: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Tony Rocco 13:02. This match aged pretty well because Rocco's offense was crisp and believable. Even if the moves themselves weren't that interesting, a side suplex was one of the big highlights from Rocco, he at least made me believe they did some damage. They played the leverage game early, but although Fujinami began hobbling after escaping the Romero special, they never really developed any sort of storyline or body. The hold and counter hold was solid, and the finish was energetic with several dropkicks from Fujinami, but the match didn't really build and wasn't very dramatic. ***

NJ Tokon V Special VOL. 28 BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. II Commercial Tape
-1hr. Q=Master
NJPW BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. II

6/13/95 Shizuoka: Norio Honaga & Sabu vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani. A little over 4 minutes shown with the main focus being Kanemoto & Otani not getting along like they do today as a way to heat up their upcoming singles.

6/23/95 Niigata Shi Taiikukan Super Jr. II League Bout: Otani vs. Kanemoto. This was a lot better than their J Crown match from 97. The match didn't tell any kind of a story, but it wasn't goofy with illogical no sell spots and the like. The work was excellent as you'd expect, with crisp execution and good stiffness for juniors. The selling, mainly how much they put over the previous damage (although considering how long this was they couldn't exactly spring right back up), and comebacks was a lot stronger than I expected. They went at it hard for 30 minutes (a little over 20 shown here) and still had a lot left, actually more in the worked sense than they should have. ****

7/4/95 Aomori Shi Min Taiikukan

Super Jr. II League Bout: Wild Pegasus (Benoit) vs. Black Tiger (Eddy Guerrero). Everything you'd expect from these two greats. Great execution, excellent timing and pacing, stiff work, strong selling for juniors, and so on. Just excellent. ****1/2

Keiji Muto & Tadao Yasuda vs. Hawk Warrior & Power Warrior. Highlights

Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Scott & Rick Steiner. Highlights

Riki Choshu & Akira Nogami & Takayuki Iizuka vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiro Saito. Highlights

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #746 12/10/01
& NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #748 12/17/01
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #746 taped 6/25/95 Saitama Omiya Skate Center

Gran Hamada & Norio Honaga vs. Dean Malenko & Tokimitsu Ishizawa. It seems like every match from this period involving Malenko, Benoit, or Guerrero was really smooth and crisply executed. Malenko was on top of his game here, but it was probably more important toward the overall quality that Honaga & Hamada were able to carry Ishizawa well enough. Of course, Ishizawa lacked the moves and charisma to get himself noticed, but he didn't prevent it from being a really solid match. With Ishizawa not being on the level it was treated as a minor match, so it could only be so good. ***1/4

Best of the Super Junior II Koshikisen: Shinjiro Otani vs. Wild Pegasus. The poster match for why you can't rate based on a few minutes of TV. Edited down to the final 4 1/2 minutes, this would look like a major candidate for match of the year. Unfortunately, the first 10 minutes were contested extremely patiently on the mat. I wouldn't mind this if it led somewhere, but Benoit just started manhandling Otani and they did one impressive move after another until the finish. The execution during the final portion was superb, and there was some brutal throws made that much more impressive by Otani's awesome bumps, but you couldn't help but think this match should have been so much more. ***3/4

Best of the Super Junior II Koshikisen: Koji Kanemoto vs. Black Tiger. Also started slow, but the beginning was much more interesting than the previous match because they did some excellent counters and inserted a high spot or two when necessary to keep the interest up. There were far more highlights than the previous match, but it was not as well performed and there were some false moments. They didn't do a great job of pacing the match or making the moves meaningful, but Tiger did a strong job of carrying it along and keeping Koji from getting goofy. ****

Wonderland #748

6/25/95 Saitama Omiya Skate Center: Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Osamu Kido & Akira Nogami 10:41. Nogami worked the majority of the match, giving a valiant effort though largely getting destroyed. He got some offense in on Hirata, but simply had no chance against Hashimoto, as Nogami had to get a running start to simply match Hashimoto’s standing impact, and then Shinya would just kick Akira in the gut. **

7/7/95 Hokkaido Iwamizawa Sports Center, Best of the Super Junior II Koshikisen: El Samurai vs. Wild Pegasus 30:00. An excellent match, but almost on talent alone. It was very obvious these two are great wrestlers who were on top of their physical game, but disappointing that they didn’t utilize the extra time to incorporate any semblance of a mental game. This should have been a great match, in fact it would have been if they simply did their regular length match starting with the portion where Pegasus brutalizes Samurai. I love long matches, but while the final 17 minutes were top notch, the first 13 were merely above average because rather than tell a story and/or set up the body, they essentially just lengthened the technically fine but not particularly meaningful or inspired mat portion. They didn’t make any mistakes, and the fact they were able to maintain such clean execution throughout one of their most draining matches of the year, which obviously required them to dig a lot deeper into the toolbox, is extremely impressive. ****

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #742 11/26/01
& NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #749 12/18/01
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #742 taped 6/12/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

IWGP Tag Oza Ketteisen: Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Major heat and intensity. Nothing fancy, but good hard-nosed fighting. It had the aura of a big match, and the near finishes to sustain it. There was never any doubt that these guys wanted the titles. No one was great, but everyone was at least good. Tenzan was certainly worlds better in a stiffness program like this than battling moonsaults with Muto. ***3/4

Keiji Muto vs. Kensuke Sasaki. Sasaki got off to a fast start, so Muto started stalling. Muto did a lot of uninspired knee work, and it was almost 11 minutes before the match became interesting again. By then, my mind was wondering all over the place and I could have cared less. It's not like this was an hour match, it only lasted a little over 20 although that seemed like 40. I guess it was supposed to be a story match, but it was so dull and lifeless because neither invested themselves in selling it. Actually, Sasaki did a pretty good job of putting over the knee when they were standing, but on the mat he mainly followed Muto's lead and lied in the hold. Both these guys can give you explosive moments, even if Sasaki can only do it with pedestrian high spots like the powerslam. When they were running or jumping it was good. *3/4

Wonderland #749 taped 7/7/95 Hokkaido Iwamizawa Sports Center

Best of the Super Junior II Koshikisen: Black Tiger vs. Dean Malenko

Tadao Yasuda vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Keiji Muto & Junji Hirata vs. Scott Norton & Mike Enos

NJ BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIOR II LEAGUE HIGHLIGHT & 7.13 Sapporo Commercial Tape
-2 1/2hr. Q=Ex. 1 DVD

6/25/95 Omiya Skate Center

Super Jr. II League Bout: Alex Wright vs. Brian Pillman. Highlights

Super Jr. II League Bout: Wild Pegasus vs. Shinjiro Otani. Appeared to be over **** even though it was rather one-sided in Benoit's favor and only 6:40 was shown. Technically excellent match with Benoit carrying Otani. Benoit's execution was just perfect. Otani did his young babyface routine, which worked during this time period.

Super Jr. II League Bout: Black Tiger vs. Koji Kanemoto. Another technically excellent bout. Eddy carried this so Koji didn't get goofy. 6:02 was shown and it appeared to be a very good match.

7/7/95 Iwanizawa Sports Center

Super Jr. II League Bout: Black Tiger vs. Dean Malenko. Another technically excellent bout, but only 3:41 is shown.

Super Jr. II League Bout: Pegasus vs. El Samurai. 10:07 of a 30:00 draw is shown. This has all the makings of a strong MOTYC. Pegasus was just vicious, and Samurai takes a beating better than most.

7/13/95 Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center

Super Jr. II Semifinal: Wild Pegasus vs. Black Tiger. The whole match is shown (as is the case with the other semi and the final) and it ruled hard. State of the art technically match with really crisp and precise execution. A number of great spots before Tiger sets up Pegasus for a nadare shiki no Frankensteiner only to have Pegasus turn it into a nadare shiki no tombstone piledriver for the win! Tiger does a stretcher job to put over the deadliness of the finisher. Might be Eddy's best match in Japan. ****1/2

Super Jr. II Semifinal: Shinjiro Otani vs. Koji Kanemoto. The whole match aired and even though it was half the length of their league bout, which for those two and most others would be a plus, it didn't seem to be as good. Match got great 12:30 in, but the problem was that the beginning wasn't the greatest and the execution was disappointing because Koji has his flaws but hitting just about ever spot isn't one of them. ***1/2

Super Jr. II Final: Pegasus vs. Otani. This was really hurt by the fact that they had worked earlier in the night. The early portion was slow and there was too much dead time. 5 great minutes stretched out to 19. Pegasus wins tournament. ***1/2

Riki Choshu & Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata vs. Shiro Koshinaka & Akitoshi Saito & Michiyoshi Ohara. Shiro worked most of the way, which was a big plus, but it was too short to amount to anything. **

IWGP Tag Title Tournament Final: Scott Norton & Mike Enos vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata. Boring match. Norton sucked. Hirata wasn't good. Enos was no better than average. Hashimoto wasn't much of a factor. Hashimoto & Hirata won titles. *

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~G1 Retsuden~ #27 5/2/00
& NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~G1 Retsuden~ #28 5/9/00
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~G1 Retsuden~ #28 5/9/00 originally aired 8/26/95 taped 8/12/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

A Block: Ric Flair vs. Shiro Koshinaka

B Block: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kensuke Sasaki

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~G1 Retsuden~ #28 5/9/00 taped 8/12/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

B Block: Scott Norton vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

A: Block: Masa Chono vs. Shiro Koshinaka

8/13/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

A Block: Ric Flair vs. Keiji Muto

NJ '95 G1 CLIMAX Commercial Tapes 8/11-15/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
-7hr 15min. Q=Master

8/11/95 league matches

Masahiro Chono vs. Ric Flair

Shiro Koshinaka vs. Keiji Muto

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Scott Norton

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kensuke Sasaki

8/12/95 league matches

Ric Flair vs. Shiro Koshinaka

Keiji Muto vs.Masahiro Chono

Scott Norton vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Shinya Hashimoto

8/13/95 league matches

Keiji Muto vs. Ric Flair

Masahiro Chono vs. Shiro Koshinaka

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Scott Norton vs. Kensuke Sasaki

8/14/95

G1 CLIMAX Junkessho: Keiji Muto vs. Scott Norton

G1 CLIMAX Junkessho: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Masahiro Chono

8/15/95 GI CLIMAX Yushoketteisen: Keiji Muto vs. Shinya Hashimoto

8/11: Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani

8/12: Yuji Nagata & Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani

8/12: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kazuo Yamazaki

8/13: Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani

8/13: Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Osamu Kido

8/14: Ric Flair vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

8/14: Osamu Kido & Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Riki Choshu & Takayuki Iizuka

8/15: Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Shinjiro Otani

NJ Tadakai No Wonderland ~G1 Retsuden~ #30 5/23/00
-55min. Q=TV Master

NJPW Wonderland G1 #30 taped 8/14/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

G1 CLIMAX Semifinal: Keiji Muto vs. Scott Norton 17:05. *1/2

G1 CLIMAX Final: Keiji Muto vs. Shinya Hashimoto 24:05. ***3/4

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #760 1/28/02
& NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #765 2/12/02
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #760 taped 8/12/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kazuo Yamazaki

'95 G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshikisen: Shinya Hashimoto vs. Kensuke Sasaki

'95 G1 CLIMAX B Block Koshikisen: Keiji Muto vs. Masahiro Chono

Wonderland #765 taped 8/14/95 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

Masa Saito & Junji Hirata vs. Michiyoshi Ohara & Akitoshi Saito

Jushin Thunder Liger & El Samurai vs. Koji Kanemoto & Tokimitsu Ishizawa

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Ric Flair

NJ '95 G1 CLIMAX SPECIAL Commercial Tape 9/23/95 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena & 9/25/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-2hr 45min. Q=Master

9/23

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Sabu. Liger wrote Sabu off as hopeless, and just let him do his usual exhibition of spots. Sabu was slipping all over the place in addition to his usual execution problems. My favorite spot was Sabu trying to tope Liger into a table, but Liger pulling the table in front so Sabu cracked his head on it (which opened Sabu up around the eye) then going into the ring and mocking the Sabu bows. Another cool spot was Sabu Frankensteiner Liger over the top rope to the floor. This wasn't one of those spots where the guy just hops over the top rope to take the bump, it was the kind of spot Sabu is all about where he crashes the floor too trying to inflict more punishment on his opponent. The finish was terrible because it was obvious that the guy kicked out at 2 1/2. *3/4

Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Shiro Koshinaka. Koshinaka did a great job working within the confines of what Yamazaki's style allows, as well as showing credible ways to expand them. The counters between Koshinaka's pro style and Yamazaki's shoot style were impressive. The match had excellent high points and the fans were into it. The middle wasn't nearly as good as the beginning and end though. ***

Keiji Muto vs. Sting. Too much down time with Sting getting into his American timewasting and Muto never being above his put us to sleeper hold. The excessive stalling for an 11 minute match was balanced off though by the good jumping and flying moves. Sting's execution isn't nearly as sharp as Muto's. The fans didn't get into it, but I thought there was enough athleticism to enjoy it. **3/4

IWGP Tag Senshukenjiai: Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Took forever to get going. Very simple match, but not the good Hashimoto beats the shit out of you with kicks kind of simple that I expected. Eventually picked up and got stiffer, but lacked heat and was never that interesting. I was satisfied with Chono's work, but Hashimoto and to a lesser extent Tenzan were disappointing and Hirata did nothing. **

Riki Choshu & Yuji Nagata vs. Yoji Anjo & Tatsuo Nakano. Opening the NJ vs. UWF-I feud, this had major heat. A lot more attitude than substance, but that was okay given it was mainly a tease for the 10/9 Tokyo Dome show. It had the intensity and the stiffness. The stiff blows were from in close, so it was hard to appreciate just how brutal this match was. You could tell more by the marks it was leaving on the performers. Anjo's face was particularly battered and bloodied, with his eye swollen at least close to shut. Nagata was by the most impressive performer, throwing the most glamorous strikes as well as some bone crunching suplexes. ***

9/25

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani. The best thing about this match was they constantly had an answer for their opponent's moves. They didn't have a focus, just reacted and let the match go where the counter took it. Smoothly and cleanly worked, although there were a few more execution problems than I expected. Liger was doing everything he could to prevent getting caught by Otani's swandive missile kick, but in being so aggressive hitting Otani through the ropes to try to knock him off the apron the ref stepped in, thus giving Otani the opening to hit the spot. Otani was able to compete with Liger, but there was little if any sense that he was ready to take it to the next level. ***3/4

Riki Choshu & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kazuo Yamazaki & Osamu Kido. In kind of a play off Maeda's infamous shoot kick, Yamazaki gave Choshu a cheapshot high kick before the bell. This got surprisingly little reaction, but Choshu losing his temper and charging Yamazaki got a pop. The cheap shot set the fiery fierce tone of the match, which was not good as a wrestling match but effective as an intense fight. The problem is all the interest was placed on the Choshu vs. Yamazaki pairing. Not that it wasn't the matchup to watch anyway, but now it was like who cared about Sasaki & Kido (then again, that's been my thought since I first saw those two). In contrast to this, an argument put the post match heat on Yamazaki vs. Sasaki. I think the goal of the match was simply to put more heat on Yamazaki, but in any case I was surprised that the Yamazaki vs. Sasaki post match got more reaction than anything with Yamazaki vs. Choshu. **1/4

IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Koji Kanemoto vs. Wild Pegasus. Beautiful, sometimes poetic match built completely off of counters to show their equality. Excellent chain wrestling. They kept hold of each other and did the same move right back or went into a different one. Smooth, flowing match with precise execution, great balance and movement. Benoit was at the top of his game here. He did more junior movies like Frankensteiner off the top, missile kick, and backdrop off the top rather than being Mr. Intensity and Stiffness with the too tight moveset like in later years. They didn't get into selling or psychology, which totally played into Kanemoto's hands. Kanemoto did some nice counters like a surprising huracanrana for a lariat that was potentially going to take him out and landing on his feet for a superplex. ****1/2

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Keiji Muto vs. Junji Hirata. 6 1/2 minutes of nothing, a few spots, then some more restmissions. Hirata wasn't made credible. I realize Hirota is a weak throwaway challenger, but don't run a title match just to tell me that. Not surprisingly, this had little heat. I appreciated the high spots, unfortunately about the only thing Muto decided to bring to the table, but half the match was wasted and the other half did little to engage me. The awkwardness of Hirata's style clashed with the smoothness of Muto's. Suddenly at 13 it turned into a hot match with Hirata hitting his big moves, but by then it was almost over. **1/4

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Showa Hen~ #49 3/6/02
NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #775 3/19/02
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #49

10/30/78 Okayama Budokan 2/3 Falls NWA International Tag Title Match: Seiji Sakaguchi & Strong Kobayashi vs. Kill Karl Crupp & Brute Barnard. Really dull match between a bunch of old slow guys. Killer & Brute were really unskilled and unathletic to the point they didn't even fall well. Lots of exciting moves like the bear hug and ground claw, though the gaijins at least focused on Sakaguchi's knee. 17:32 & 3:27

4/5/79 Tokyo Taiikukan WWF Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Perro Aguayo. Fujinami once again worked Lucha style to suit his opponent. Unfortunately, Perro did nothing to change my mind about him probably never being any good. His selling was comical, and offensively he relied totally on low impact and elevation sentons. All the quality came from Fujinami, who gave a really good performance that was different for him because he relied on his flying to keep it interesting. Fujinami was actually exciting, doing some nice sequences like a cartwheel to avoid Perro's monkey flip then 2 flying headscissors and a dropkick in rapid succession. Short match and Perro was still a dog though. ***1/2

Wonderland #775 taped 10/9/95 Tokyo Dome

9/25/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan IWGP Junior Heavykyu Senshuken Jiai: Koji Kanemoto vs. Wild Pegasus. Smooth fluid match with impressive counters and transitions. Pegasus has serious impact on his moves, especially a jackknife that set up his diving headbutt. His top rope backdrop was awesome. In these days, his offense was really diverse though, and he pulled out spots like the Frankensteiner off the top. Kanemoto didn't use so much "shoot offense" at this time, so it was a very athletic match from both men. The offense was excellent, but they also worked the moves in so well. The fans were won over by the high quality of the match. 17:14. ****1/2

Yuji Nagata & Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara & Kazushi Sakuraba. Match was alright, but it should have been better. They worked out a few key spots, but not much happened in between. 10:47. **

Shinjiro Otani vs. Kenichi Yamamoto. Otani was much better at exciting the crowd in the mid 90's. Yamamoto wasn't even a threat, but the crowd was into seeing Otani hit a dropkick against a "shooter" and they stayed with it throughout. Yamamoto did a really quick German suplex. 7:17. **1/4

NJPW IWGP Chronicle Commercial Tapes 1-6 1987-1995
-6hr. Q=Near Perfect. 3 DVDs

Highlights of the IWGP Heavyweight title matches from the IWGP League to create the title in June 1987 through 9/25/95.

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #776 3/25/02
NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #777 3/26/02
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Wonderland #776 taped 10/9 Tokyo Dome

Takashi Iizuka vs. Yoshihiro Takayama. You have to feel sorry for Iizuka. Not only do they give him the biggest stiff opponent, he's like the one guy that actually has to put him over. Takayama's ineptness basically undermined Iizuka's attempt at decency. Most of his strikes looked pathetic, as always. Where it got funny was when Takayama tried to dropkick Iizuka as he was getting up, but he dropkicked over Iizuka. Match wasn't the least bit believable because Takayama was so off the mark. 7:39. *

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yuhi Sano. Liger was out to excite the crowd early, so he missed an abisegiri at the bell, hit one a minute later, then teased a dive. They used a number of fake moves, but they incorporated them as believably as possible into a credible setting. Sano did a monkey flip takedown into an udehishikigyakujujigatame, but Liger blocked it. Liger missed a pescado, but then as he got up Sano hit a tope. This was by far the most exciting match of the night. It obviuosly wasn't the most believable, but it was still more believable than the matches where the "real" stuff was done poorly and more importantly the fake stuff added a lot to the match. Ironically, perhaps the realist move of the night was a nasty DDT that appeared to legitimately injure Sano's neck. 10:14. ***1/4

Yoji Anjo vs. Riki Choshu. This disgrace was one of Choshu's grossest exercises in ego feeding. Choshu was unphased by Anjo's knees, and apparently his body punches bounced off Riki's gut. Then Choshu went on offense and Anjo was stuck selling even the blows that were off the mark. Choshu no sold a knee bar, though I can excuse this because Anjo applied it so poorly. The place exploded when Choshu hit his vaunted Riki lariat, and again when he applied his sasorigatame. Maybe you could argue that Choshu sold one move. 4:45. DUD

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Masahito Kakihara. Sasaki might not be a good wrestler, but at least he's always up for interpromotional matches and he respects his opponents and their style. Here, he did strikes like the shotei and high kick and submissions like the ankle lock. Sasaki wasn't fluid and looked lost at times, but his attitude and the effort he put forth allowed it to be about as good as it possible. Their lack of familiarity hurt, as they didn't go with the holds the way the other hoped, but the main thing that kept the quality down is they didn't do as much as they could have. I mean, no one really hurt the other or anything. Big time heat though. 9:12. *1/2

#777 taped 10/9/95 Tokyo Dome

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Tatsuo Nakano. More realistic with little success, but brief explosions. It was exciting when Hashimoto opened it up, but he didn't let that rush take over, instead quickly went back to the match he'd been doing. Hashimoto actually didn't have to adjust his style that much; it's more that he had an opponent that allowed him to explore it rather than forcing him to do a bunch of spots. 7:20. **1/2

IWGP Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Keiji Muto vs. Nobuhiko Takada. Takada came out expecting to steal the show, which absolutely happened considering the competition. Unfortunately, Muto decided to give what I'd rank as the #1 dog performance of all time. He didn't want to do anything. He wouldn't take Takada's openings unless they were to disengage. You could see Takada's frustration growing, including giving Muto a quick funny look, but Muto kept dancing around and running away. There weren't any holds early on, with Muto using ground but no pound. Finally, after 7 minutes he threw some headbutts and kicks for a knockdown. Takada then tried to unload, but Muto moved so their impact was minimized, although he did fall for them. It was quickly back to the mat though, with Muto just holding on. The fans went nuts when something actually happened, but since Muto had no respect for Takada or his style that was usually a poor unbelievable of what Liger did to excite the crowd. The hear grew more and more disappointing since Muto was hell bent on giving the fans nothing to cheer about. There was no sustained action because Muto would do something to break up any momentum they might have gained. Muto did take some good kicks, but they were mainly to the thighs and Takada went easy on him. Muto "injured" Takada's knee with a Dragon screw then put on the figure 4, but Takada got the ropes. Takada tried kicking, but Muto would catch his leg. In a really stupid spot, after Takada countered with an enzuigiri Muto no sold and applied the winning figure 4 before Takada could get back to his feet. What's so disgusting about this match is Muto totally ruined it but came out more popular than ever, while Takada gave one of his last inspired performances but came out at an all-time low for losing in a fake submission applied by a fake aerial wrestler. 16:17. *3/4

10/29/95 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka: Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Tatsuo Nakano. Intense. Lots of strikes from close range, including headbutts from Yamazaki that opened up his own head and Nakano's face. It was short and rather uneventful with a submission out of nowhere though. Hardly the match they are capable of doing, although most of the blame for that should not be placed on them. *1/4

NJPW vs. UWF-I All-Out Contend Battle Commercial Tapes 10/9/95 Tokyo Dome
-3hr. Q=Near Perfect/Master. 2 DVDs

Yuji Nagata & Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara & Kazushi Sakuraba 10:47

Shinjiro Otani vs. Kenichi Yamamoto 7:18

Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Takashi Iizuka 7:39

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Keiji Muto vs. Nobuhiko Takada 16:16

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Naoki Sano 10:14

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Masahito Kakihara 9:03

Riki Choshu vs. Yoji Anjo 4:45

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Tatsuo Nakano 7:20

NJ vs. UWF-I Zenmen Taikosen Daisansen OCTOBER SURPRISE Commercial Tape 10/29/95 Fukuoka Marine Messe Fukuoka
-1hr 50min. Q=Master

Highlights of the first two rounds of NJ vs. UWF-I from 9/23/95 & 10/9/95

Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Tatsuo Nakano. Intense. Lots of strikes from close range, including headbutts from Yamazaki that opened up his own head and Nakano's face. It was short and rather uneventful with a submission out of nowhere though. Hardly the match they are capable of doing, although most of the blame for that should not be placed on them. *1/4

Shinjiro Otani vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara. Otani sacrificed his style to do Kanehara's match. This was actually more realistic than most UWF-I matches. Beginning was all positioning and failed attempts at submissions. When they started getting submissions on, the fans were into them. Otani did work in a couple of high spots, and this took some creativity. For instance, he faked an injury then popped up and dropkicked Kanehara in the back as Kanehara was walking toward the corner (since he thought he'd scored a knockdown). Spots like this allowed Otani to make it exciting without hurting the credibility. Really nice transitions on the mat, and dramatic near submissions. Not that long, but really impressive stuff. ***1/2

Takashi Iizuka vs. Kazushi Sakuraba. Everything they did looked good, but they definitely didn't do as much as they could have. The problem was that Iizuka wasn't supposed to give Sakuraba much respect, so the match wound up being short and not that dramatic. *3/4

Jushin Thunder Liger & Koji Kanemoto vs. Naoki Sano & Kenichi Yamamoto. Liger & Koji switched to the "realistic" style, but they tried to keep as much excitement in their matches as possible. They were able to create situations where fake spots were believable by doing simple things like having their partner hold their opponent so they could give him a dropkick without him moving out of the way. Subsequently, the fans popped for the moves more in this match than in any other on the show. It really wasn't very realistic, but how realistic is a tag shoot to begin with? It was submission oriented, but the ironic thing is that made the few highspots more memorable. Yamamoto was a weak link because he's not even that good in UWF-I much less combining it with pro style elements that he's not familiar with, but everyone else did a good job. ***

Masahito Kakihara & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Keiji Muto & Yuji Nagata. Definitely more intense and realistic than the previous match, but it certainly was not as exciting. Nagata did most of the work for his team, and was very realistic and solid technically. Muto pretty much did the same things he always does, except he cut out some of his fakest moves. Obviously, Kakihara vs. Nagata was the highlight. Match seemed like it was going to be much better than it turned out to be, as it ended a lot sooner than it appeared it would. **1/4

Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yoji Anjo. Dull match. They didn't screw up or do spots poorly, but nothing they did was particularly well done or interesting either. Anjo focused on Sasaki's knee, and one thing Sasaki is pretty good at is putting over a body part. Sasaki soon came back with a couple of moves and that was it though. It's not like it was going to be a great match or anything, but matches like this that could have been much more than they turned out to be are what defined this whole feud. *1/2

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Jushin Thunder Liger Hen~ #15 7/16/00
& NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Jushin Thunder Liger Hen~ #16 7/23/00
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

5/1/94 Fukuoka Dome Dream Exhibition Match: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Satoru Sayama

6/13/94 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan BEST OF THE SUPER Jr. II Yushoketteisen: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Super Delfin

9/23/94 Kanagawa Yokohama Arena: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Wonderland Liger #16

8/4/94 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Gran Hamada

10/9/95 Tokyo Dome: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Naoki Sano

10/29/95 Fukuoka Marine Messe: Jushin Thunder Liger & Koji Kanemoto vs. Naoki Sano & Kenichi Yamamoto

NJ TV 11/11/95 & AJ TV 11/12/95
-1 1/2hr. Q=Gd

Liger & Kanemoto vs. Sano & Yamamoto, Kroffat & Furnas & Anthony vs. Ace & Patriot & Smith, more!

NJ Tokon V Mania Vol. 5 WCW World in New Japan Commercial Tape 11/14/95 Hamamatsu Arena
& AJW Sakie Hasegawa Retirement Road Commercial Tape 2/12/96-3/20/96
-2hr. Q=Ex

Akira Nogami vs. Koji Kanemoto

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani

The Giant vs. Tadao Yasuda

Booker T vs. Shinya Hashimoto

Yuji Nagata vs. Kurosawa

Lord Steven Regal & Bobby Eaton vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Osamu Nishimura

Nasty Boys vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Sting & Keiji Muto vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson

Sakie Hasegawa Retirement Road

2/12/96 Korakuen: Sakie Hasegawa vs. Bison Kimura

3/9/96 Korakuen: Sakie Hasegawa & Tomoko Watanabe & Kaoru Ito vs. Takako Inoue & Toshiyo Yamada & Aja Kong

MPW 3/15/96 Osaka Rinkai Sports Center, Blizzard Yuki Retirement Match: Blizzard Yuki vs. Chaparrita ASARI

3/20/96 Hakata Starlanes: Sakie Hasegawa vs. Manami Toyota

NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #788 6/11/02
& NJ Tadakai no Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #789 6/8/02
-55min. Q=TV Master

#788 taped 12/10/95 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan

Tokimitsu Ishizawa vs. Kazushi Sakuraba

Yuji Nagata vs. Kenichi Yamamoto

Nagoya Scramble 3 Big Single Match: Keiji Muto vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan

12/11/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan: Wild Pegasus & Dean Malenko vs. Sabu & Hiro Saito

#789 taped 12/11/95 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata vs. Kazuo Yamazaki & Takashi Iizuka

Riki Choshu & Akira Nogami & Osamu Nishimura vs. Kengo Kimura & Michiyoshi Ohara & Masashi Aoyagi

IWGP Tag Titles: Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs. Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

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