WAR 2nd Anniversary of Revolution: Super Battle of 6 Man 7/17/94
Could that show title be more Japanese wrestling? It's the second year of WAR, and they're celebrating it with random six man tags. As is typical of Tenryu promotions, the talent is from various promotions, including the WWF. Most of the show will be based around a 6 man tag team tournament.
Ashura Hara/Jinsei Shinzaki/John Tenta vs Gedo/Hiromichi Fuyuki/Jado
Look at this shit. FMW, WWF, Michinoku Pro, WAR. This starts with Jado/Gedo/Fuyuki attacking during introductions. They all had title belts and used them as weapons. Oh shit, team WAR/FMW hit the Rougeau Brothers flying tea bag on Hara right away. Hakushi gets hit with a spike piledriver on the floor. These dudes are wrecking shop. Triple super bomb! OH FUCK high angle powerbomb from Fuyuki. That was almost a Ganso Bomb. Gedo and Jado had such horrible looks. Hilariously bad looks. Fuyuki is put over huge as being super strong, hitting multiple suplexes on Quake, who looked like he had put on quite a few pounds from the end of his WWF run. Quake ends up splattering Gedo for the win, but the story here was Fuyuki is strong as fuck and should be taken as seriously as possible.
Akio Kobayashi/Koji Kitao/Masaaki Mochizuki vs Koji Ishinriki/Koki Kitahara/Takashi Isiwaka
Tenryu, despite his stern and stoic nature, is apparently a very forgiving man, allowing Koji Kitao back into his company after shooting with Tenta and telling the audience wrestling was fake. This is mostly because Kitao went into karate, then ended up in UWFI, where Takada legit KO'd him in a match. Tenryu came calling after, and now Kitao has his own martial arts stable and persona in WAR. For a legitimate karate and sumo dude who has tried to shoot in the ring before, he has bad looking strikes. I think Ishinriki has jumped up to heavyweight since the last show I saw him on. There's a lot of stiff strikes and battles in this. Hilariously, Kitao's martial arts group gets fucking WASHED when it comes to karate and striking stuff. And then the short, but action packed match, ends with an Oklahoma roll. Your martial arts team ain't shit, breh.
Arashi/Kendo Nagasaki/Masashi Aoyagi vs Animal Hamaguchi/Nobukazu Hirai/Shoichi Funaki
Funaki! Kendo Nagasaki :( Funaki's hair is amazing. Animal starts out tossing the much bigger Arashi around like he ain't shit. It's weird that at one time, Funaki was a little shooty type guy. Arashi spends a LOT of this match in the ring. I guess it makes sense, since his partners are either old or barely wrestlers. Or both, in the case of Kendo. Fucking Funaki and Kendo doing shoot style scrambles. The fuck were you on, Tenryu? Old ass Kendo eats him alive, too. There's a whole lot of karate kicks in this. Dying at Funaki trying to get into fights with Arashi, who is a 100 pounds bigger than him. Anyway, Aoyagi won with a head kick to Hirai.
Atsushi Onita/Bam Bam Bigelow/Genichiro Tenryu vs Lionheart/The Warlord/Vampiro Canadiese
Now, THIS is the money match. Ontia, the face of FMW. Tenryu, the face of WAR. Bam Bam, the WWF representative. Young Chris Jericho. Young Vampiro. THE WARLORD. This type of match is why WAR has the reputation it has for bizarre and nonsensical match ups. At this point in his career, Jericho had caught on in SMW as part of the Thrillseekers with Lance Storm, while also successful in Mexico as Corazon de Leon, where he happened to team up with Vampiro a few times and work with a good number of guys he'd work with in WCW a few years later. Vampiro was a superstar in CMLL, but had done little if anything, outside of it, UWA, and WAR. Warlord had basically left the United States in 1992 after the WWF steroid scandal brought actual testing to both the WWF and WCW. He had spent most of the time working in Europe and a handful of USA indie dates where he definitely wouldn't be tested. And looking at him, he clearly did not stop taking steroids. Tenryu started the year defeating Antonio Inoki at the 1/4 NJPW dome show and appearing in the Royal Rumble. Onita had spent the last few years making FMW into the premier hardcore promotion in the world, including a no rope exploding barbed wire cage death match with Tenryu just 2 months before this. Bam Bam had mostly been feuding with Doink or Tatanka, with his biggest matches being title matches against Jerry Lawler in the USWA and a Japanese house show title match against Bret Hart.
So that's where we're at. Tenryu/Onita/Bam Bam is obviously the favorite to win. Jericho and Tenryu begin. Tenryu chops the shit out of him after getting kicked in the head. Bam Bam wants Warlord. HOSSES! Christ, Warlord might be even bigger here than at any point in the WWF. Warlord is in his WWE gear, but with PoP face paint. It's weird, but still a great look. LOL at Vamp trying to be a hard ass with Tenryu. There is definitely something satisfying seeing Tenryu light Jericho up. But then you have Jericho doing triangle trust falls to Tenryu, which is pretty bizarre. The Lionsault drills Onita right in the fucking face with a knee. Jesus, Chris. There's a scary botched powerbomb/neckbreaker combo from Tenryu/Onita to Jericho. Probably revenge for that shitty Lionsault. Onita pins Jericho after two powerbombs.
Ashura Hara/Jinsei Shinzaki/John Tenta vs Koji Ishinriki/Koki Kitahara/Takashi Ishikawa
Quake is so much bigger than everyone else in this match. Might as well do an Andre 3-1 handicap match. Quake doesn't look good. He was always big, obviously,m but he looks tired and out of shape on this show. Hakushi is in full Hakushi paint and gear. I thought that was a WWF thing, but I guess I was incorrect. He gets dumped on his damn dome with a German suplex. Hara wins with a lariat OUTTA NOWHERE in what seemed like a very short match.
Atsushi Onita/Bam Bam Bigelow/Genichiro Tenryu vs Arashi/Kendo Nagasaki/Masashi Aoyagi
I hope Tenryu tries to murder Kendo. This match sees Onita heading into the crowd and Tenryu wearing a shirt. OH SHIT, here comes the Tenryu/Kendo stand off. Chop him in the fucking throat, Tenryu. Please. Do it. Hurt Kendo. They immediately head out to the floor and then into the crowd as well. Kendo BERRIES Tenryu in rows of chairs. Hit him in the balls with the ring bell. Onita pops up with chairs of his opwn, and now everyone is out in the crowd. ECDUB! Tenryu is busted open and appears to be spitting blood out as well. Looks like Onita is bleeding, too. Tenryu just gets REKT in this. Beyond FIP. He's just getting the shit knocked out of him by everyone. Bam Bam pins Arashi with a HOSS moonsault.
Ultimo Dragon vs Great Sasuke UWA World Middleweight Championship
I expect Ultimo to have at least 3 major botches. Sasuke to fall on his head. The fuck? This starts with Ultimo doing a Flair Flop and immediately bouncing up. Then they go into flashly flippy shit that made about as much sense as Riccochet/Ospreay. Then Sasuke slows it down with leg work, but Ultimo is running around and doing Pele knee attacks and shit. Lots of stand off spots. This is probably pretty state of the art for the time. I'm sure this would get THIS IS AWESOME chants today, actually. A crazy sprint. Ultimo's look is weird for this. His tights are above his knees, no chest guard thing, and the top of his mask is exposed like Hayabusa's. Both dudes do Asai moonsaults into the crowd, but shitty camera work missed the impact BOTH TIMES. Fucking photographers in the way. Hey brehs, KICK OUT OF EVERYTHING. Spotfest flippy shit at its finest. Might as well be a PWG match. It's pretty interesting to see in the context of 1994, on a show where Earthquake has 3 matches. Ultimo eventually wins with a twisting moonsault thing. Title retained. IMagine a 20 minute PWG match in Japan in 1994. That's what this was.
Atsushi Onita/Bam Bam Bigelow/Genichiro Tenryu vs Ashura Hara/Jinsei Shinzaki/John Tenta
Bam Bam and Quake start. HOSSES! Bam bam tries to slam Quake. It doesn't work. But a suplex does. The second attempt works. There's a bug or something in the ring. The ref starts double stomping it. Fucking weird. This match better have a Tenryu/Quake sumo spot. I guess I'll settle for Hara and TEnryu beating the sht out of each other and Quake splattering people. Chop to the FUCKING THROAT. Lots of lariats, lots of powerbombs. Tenryu eventually pins Hara with what I think was the 3rd powerbomb in 2-3 minutes.
WAR is just like SWS, but sleazier. Which is great.