NJPW Wrestling World 1997
The video above is sourced from a Youku, which is why it is kind of shitty. The gifs are sourced from the NJPW World versions of the matches, which cut out all entrances and extra stuff. Kind of tricky getting videos from NJ World. You get what you get.
Super Liger vs Koji Kannemoto
Super Liger is Chris Jericho in an all white version of Liger's gear. I suppose it was probably meant to be a similar idea to Tiger Mask/Black Tiger. Not sure why WCW would send Jericho over to NJ to do the gimmick. Jericho had wrestled for years in Japan, so it isn't like people didn't know who he was. The match itself is very weird, with Koji looking like he doesn't give a fuck about anything, Jericho looking lost, and a deafening silence from the crowd. Jericho messed up the triangle dropkick so bad that the announcer openly laughs at him. Both guys had the match won at various times, only to pick the other off the mat. Jericho eventually wins with a tiger suplex. The Super Liger gimmick was dropped on the spot and never returned to NJPW.
Michiyoshi Ohara vs Jinsei Shinzaki
Ohara has some kanji painted on his body, no where near the extent of a normal Hakushi match, though. He hits a praying powerbomb on Hakushi pretty much right away, which seems pretty rude. Is Ohara supposed to be a dark version of Shinzaki? Similar look and moves, just in black pants instead of white. Heisei Ishingun get involved, and if Hakushi is cool after a spike piledriver on the floor, I'm writing him off forever. He also got posted and sent into the guard rail, but was beating up Ishigun members two minutes later. Walking the ropes and doing Vader Bombs and shit. Fuck outta here, Hakushi. Then he has the temerity to do a nerve hold as the face. Fuck outta here. This is very boring. Hakushi wins with a powerbomb.
Shinjiro Otani (NJPW) vs Yoshihiro Tajiri (BJW)
The NJ/UWFI feud was so hot for NJ that they tried to do another inter-promotional feud. Except this time, NJPW wasn't feuding with another huge company capable of running the Tokyo Dome. No, this time they were "competing" with a tiny, low budget promotion that had only been around for less than 2 years and was mostly known for death matches. An odd choice. Tajiri is such a baby, and Otani looks like he's prepared to ruin that dude's life. Tajiri offers a hand shake to start the match. Otani takes a while but agrees to the shake...only for Tajiri to pull away. SWERVE! Not sure it was a good idea to piss off notoriously cunty Otani, but it seems to be working for Tajiri, as he dominates the opening minutes with kicks. What the hell, Tajiri does a rolling arm bar. Like the rolling abdominal stretch...but with an arm bar. Weird. Tajiri definitely paid for pissing Otani off once Otani went after the leg. After a lot of fight from the youngster, Otani wins with a springboard wheel kick. Fun match. Otani taking Tajiri lightly and Tajiri lighting his ass up for it.
Tatsutoshi Goto (NJPW) vs Kendo Nagasaki (BJW)
Don't imagine this to be good at all. Kendo has dropped the paint and hair, and basically looks like Goto's brother. Two bald, portly Japanese men in black gi pants with light facial hair. Kind of strange to have such a plodding match after a stiff, swift juniors match. This is bad. Goto keeps pulling his pants up, Kendo looks like he's completely averse to taking bumps. Goto got busted open by a chair shot, then lost to a piledriver on a chair.
Masahiro Chono (NJPW) vs Shoji Nakamaki (BJW)
Nakamaki comes out with a bed of barbed wire. Chono slaps the shit out of him before beating his ass around ringside. Once they get into the ring, Nakamaki already bleeding, and Chono wins in about a minute. Chono lets the dude superplex him just so he can no sell it. Then he boots him in the face to win. Post match sees the STF applied and Nakamaki being sent into the barbed wire. Then Nakamaki takes his shirt off and starts taking bumps on it by himself as Chono walked out. Weird.
Masa Saito (NJPW) vs The Great Kojika (BJW)
Kojika was (and still is as of July 2016) the president of BJW. He's also wearing a vest of grenades. I'm not sure that is safe to wrestle in. He does finally take it off, instead wrestling in just a tux. Saito beats his ass. And the asses of three BJW guys who interfered. One of them slipped in a chain, which is used to choke Saito. The ref slaps Kojika to break it up, and Saito immediately goes back to beating the shit out of him. Kojika taps to an angle lock. A host of BJW guys hit the ring and are all disposed of. Again. NJ wins 3-1. BJW looked like absolute dog shit except for Tajiri. Chono squashed a dude, Saito destroyed the PRESIDENT plus 4 other guys on the roster by himself, and Kendo was a well established vet many years before BJW became a thing beating a long time NJ mid carder of little to no value.
Willie Williams vs Antonio Inoki MMA Match
Wacky ass Inoki shit. Willie Wilson was a super heavyweight karate fighter. He and Inoki had a match in 1980 that was seen as an early MMA match. This was also part of Inoki's Final Countdown, where he was having his own personal dream matches, and also having rematches of some of his more famous bouts. I think it went on for 4 years. By this time, Williams had joined RINGS and had been doing actual MMA. I mean...whatever you'd consider MMA to be in the early-mid 90s. He had also retired from competition, karate and MMA, about 3 years prior to this. He hits a big flurry on Inoki as soon as the bell rings. Inoki EASILY gets side control and full mount. Not a good look for an actual MMA fighter. I'm not sure what the rules are, exactly. There are rope breaks and standing 8 counts. Inoki wins via submission in under 5 minutes with a seated abdominal stretch. Willie tapped as soon as the hold was locked on.
Ultimo Dragon vs Jushin Liger J-Crown Championship
Ultimo had just won the WCW Cruiserwight Championship at Starrcade to add to his collection, and WCW specifically hyped this match at that show. It was the only one they hyped, actually. He's going to look really stupid if he loses. He'll probably look stupid anyway, based on how poorly their previous dome show match went. Liger is in a dope gold version of his gear. Lots of fast paced scrambling and pin attempts to start the match. At least there wasn't a respect stand off. Then things stay on the mat, with Liger apparently tweaking his knee. Probably good to keep it on the mat since Ultimo can't slip off the ropes down there. Stiff shotei in the corner. Koppo kick! Another one sends Ultimo to the floor. Ultimo looks like he breaks Liger's arm countering a suplex with a Fujiwara armbar take down. Fuck. This match is weird. It has no flow whatsoever. Ultimo does eat shit on a dive, of course. Liger kicks out of everything you've ever seen Ultimo win a match with. He then wins with a bad looking Steiner Screwdriver that had a bad camera angle and zero impact. New champion. Ultimo is still the WCW Cruiserweight Champion, however...but he'll lose that in a few days to Juvi...on Thunder.
Cho-Ten vs Kengo Kimura/Tatsumi Fujinami IWGP Tag Team Championships
Chono is already in a surly mood, so we'll see how that impacts the match. Cho-Ten attack before the bell, so I guess that answers the question. Kengo gets a beat down. Fujinami won't stand for that shit. This match also has a weird flow. Dope mountain bomb, though. It seemed like the obvious idea here would be for Kengo to get worked over for most of the match, and that's how it started it, but then it just went to normal tags back and forth before getting back to Kengo as FIP over half way through the match. Dragon screws for all! Kengo accidentally hits Fujinami with a flying knee. Kengo hits that fucking knee thing about 5 more times, and Fujinami makes Chono tap out to the dragon sleeper. New champions!
Power Warrior vs The Great Muta
Man, Kensuke is wearing fucking Iron Man Mk I gear. Muta is is wearing what appears to be a golden tiger skull mask. Kensuke has his hair dyed silver. Muta shoots red and green mist early on to show his power. Just in the air. Seems wasteful. Big lariat and press slam from Kensuke early on. Muta is being a fucking weirdo and clawing his paint off. The power game is frustrating Muta, so he takes things to the floor and hits a gross piledriver on a table. Face first. Then he buries Kensuke in tables and chairs. But he's THE POWER WARRIOR and pops up like Jason, then does his own piledriver/facebuster on a table. Muta throws a chair in the ring, and I'm sure he regretted it when Kensuke used it as a shield from the mist and then blasted him in the head with it. Muta kicks out of the powerslam, lariat, and powerslam. Kensuke kicks out of the moonsault, so Muta brings a table into the ring. Are there no rules on this show? It's put flat on the mat and Muta hits a super rana. Kensuke, by sheer bad luck, landed right on the line of his spine on the edge of the table. Fuck. Another moonsault misses. Northern Lights Bomb on the flat table. Again, fuck. That was enough to keep Muta down for 3. Those table bumps had to suck.
Shinya Hashimoto vs Riki Choshu IWGP Heavyweight Championship
I predict there will be at least one very hateful exchange of strikes that border on shooting. Some intense locking up. Just headlocks and wrist looks are hateful. Choshu gets HEATED at at Hashimoto's leg kicks and punches the shit out of him. Repeatedly. Not only is he punching the shit out of Hash, he's also throwing him around. Then Hash gets pissed and starts throwing chops and kicks. This is exactly what I had hoped it to be. Choshu goes after the legs because getting kicked repeatedly by Hashimoto must fucking suck. It takes 3 lariats to put Hashimoto down, but damn was he struggling to stay up even after the first one. Then it takes another 3. And another 3 (including one to the back of the head. Chohsu has hit so many it hurt his own arm. And that opens Hashimoto to chop and kick the shit out of that arm. ROPEADOPE! More lariats. Dueling superplexes. A series of DDTs. Brainbustaaaaaaah puts Choshu down. Title retained.
Another pretty meh dome show. I keep thinking one will be awesome, but they end up being like early Wrestlemanias where everything was short and disappointing besides one or two big matches. Really enjoyed Muta/Kensuke, Hashimoto/Choshu, and Tajiri/Otani. The rest of the show was a waste of time.