Date: February 7th, 1984
Place: New Japan at Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan
This will be the shortest review I ever do, since only three matches are on the show. This is the semi-finals and finals of the WWF Jr. Heavyweight Championship in New Japan. I think you all know who Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid are, but The Cobra was also a very respected Jr. Heavyweight wrestler at the time. I should go ahead and say I have no idea how this tournament works... you'll see what I mean in a minute. The matches on the event are:
- Davey Boy Smith vs. The Cobra
- Davey Boy Smith vs. Dynamite Kid
- Dynamite Kid vs. The Cobra
I know you are all chuckling at the idea of Davey Boy Smith being in a Jr. Heavyweight Tournament, but he was much smaller back then. Still a big guy, but not the size he was by the time he and Dynamite Kid became regulars in the WWF years later. Let's get things started.
The Cobra vs. Davey Boy Smith
They circle each other to start, Smith catches a Cobra kick and pushes him into the corner, Irish whip, and he snapmares Cobra to the mat. Cobra quickly comes back with a wristlock though and applies an armbar. Smith struggles to his feet, but Cobra keeps the hold applied. Elbow to the arm by Cobra, but Smith flips out of the hold and reverses it. Cobra reverses it back and goes for a monkey flip, but Smith lands on his feet. Tie-up, Irish whip by Smith and he goes for a back bodydrop, but Cobra over-rotates like a mofo and ends up landing on his stomach. Back up, takedown by Cobra and he pulls back on Smith's leg. Scoop slam by Cobra and he hits a running senton. Cobra applies a reverse chinlock before slapping on the headscissors. Smith gets out of the hold after a moment and applies a modified bow and arrow, but Cobra reverses it with an armbar. Knee to the chest by Cobra, he picks up Smith, Irish whip, and he connects with a flying elbow strike. Backbreaker by Cobra, cover, but it gets a two count cover. Both wrestlers are back up now, waistlock by Cobra, reversed by Smith, but Cobra armdrags his way out of it and goes back to the arm. Knee to the stomach by Smith, he Irish whips Cobra into the corner, but Cobra rebounds out with a crossbody. Irish whip by Smith, he goes for a back bodydrop, but Smith lands on his feet. Smith then side steps a Cobra dropkick attempt and throws Cobra out of the ring. Cobra gets back on the apron, shoulder tackles Smith through the ropes, and then he drills Smith with a missile dropkick from the top turnbuckle which sends Smith out of the ring. Cobra measures Smith, goes off the ropes, but Smith is back on the apron and he blocks the Cobra attack. Smith chokes Cobra from the outside of the ring before finally getting back in. Elbow to the back of the head by Smith, but Cobra hits a series of kicks to the head. Cobra goes for the Scorpion Deathlock, but Smith grabs the rope. Takedown by Smith and he applies a leg submission to Cobra on the mat. Back up, Irish whip by Smith and he goes for an armdrag, but Cobra reverses it into one of his own. Irish whip by Cobra and he armdrags Smith to the mat before applying an arm submission hold. Smith lifts Cobra up into the air to get out of the move and slams him down to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Smith tosses Cobra out of the ring before going out himself and he throws Cobra into the guard rail. Press slam by Smith on the outside and he throws Cobra back into the ring. Cobra is up quickly however and dropkicks Smith as he gets on the apron. Cobra then goes off the far ropes and sails out onto Smith with an insane plancha suicida. Cobra gets back in the ring, and Smith eventually follows. Irish whip by Cobra, but Smith avoids his attack. Tie-up, side headlock by Cobra, Smith Irish whips out of it, but Cobra shoulderblocks him down. Cobra goes off the ropes again, but Smith catches him with a lariat and Cobra rolls out of the ring. Smith then goes over to the ropes and flies out onto Cobra with a pescado. Cobra is up first and hits a tombstone piledriver, but Smith grabs his leg as he tries to get back in the ring as the count gets high. As the count is at around 18, Smith gets up, but instead of trying to get back in the ring he hits a vertical suplex on Cobra and both men are counted out.
Match Thoughts: What an odd little match. It had plenty of bumps and big moves (this is the first time I have seen Cobra, he is kickass), but they were in such sprint mode that nothing at all was sold. Nothing. Not the plancha, not the pescado, and not even the tombstone piledriver outside the ring was sold for more then five seconds. I enjoy a sprint as much as the next guy, but really a little selling would have been ok. Plus the ending was a little lame, and why did Smith decide to suplex Cobra instead of getting back in the ring? Like I said I don't really know what the rules were for the three man tournament, but regardless I think winning is better then drawing. I enjoyed the action, it seems so far ahead of its time, but the structure of the match was a bit puzzling from a logical standpoint which took away from the match. Score: 6.0
Davey Boy Smith vs. Dynamite Kid
Tie-up to start, but they break cleanly. Side headlock by Dynamite Kid, Smith Irish whips out of it and they collide with neither man going down. Tie-up, side headlock again by Dynamite Kid, and he takes Smith to the mat. Smith struggles to his feet, but Dynamite Kid gives him a headbutt. Uppercut by Dynamite Kid, snapmare, and he applies a crucifix pin for a two count. Headscissors by Dynamite Kid, but Smith gets out of it and applies a bow and arrow until Dynamite Kid reaches the ropes. Back up, tie-up, wristlock by Smith, but Dynamite Kid rolls out of it and gets out of it. Armdrag by Smith and he press slams Dynamite Kid to the mat. Another armdrag by Smith and he maintains the hold for a submission. Dynamite Kid gets back to his feet and rakes Smith in the eyes to break the hold. Irish whip by Dynamite Kid, but he fails in his two attempts to take Smith down and Smith armdrags Dynamite Kid to the mat. An arm submission hold is applied by Smith and he modifies it into a hammerlock. Smith gets up while holding Dynamite Kid, but Dynamite Kid gets Smith into the ropes. Forearms to the head by Dynamite Kid, but Smith reverses positions with him and clubs Dynamite Kid in the face. Dynamite Kid replies by back bodydropping Smith over the top rope and sails out after him with a pescado. Dynamite Kid then Irish whips Smith into the guard rail before returning to the ring. Smith follows, but Dynamite Kid slaps on a reverse chinlock. Back up, Dynamite Kid chops Smith into the corner, Irish whip, but Smith sneaks in a victory roll that might have worked if they had not landed in the ropes. Dynamite Kid punches Smith into the ropes and delivers the snap suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. A headscissors is applied by Dynamite Kid, but Smith gets out of it after a minute. Club to the back by Dynamite Kid, he applies a side headlock, Smith Irish whips out of it, but Dynamite Kid shoulderblocks him down. Dynamite Kid goes off the ropes again, but this time Smith catches him with a lariat. Cover by Smith, but it gets a two count. Smith picks up Dynamite Kid and hits a piledriver, cover, but again he only gets a two count. Vertical suplex by Smith, another cover, but again it only gets a two. Smith applies a reverse chinlock, but after a moment Smith struggles to his feet and elbows out of it. Tombstone piledriver by Dynamite Kid, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the diving headbutt. Cover, but Smith somehow kicks out. Dynamite Kid kicks Smith into the corner, Irish whip, and Smith collapses upon impact with the other corner. Dynamite Kid applies a reverse chinlock on the mat and then applies a headscissors. Smith eventually gets out of it and applies a modified Mexican surfboard. After releasing it, Smith picks up Dynamite Kid, but Dynamite Kid delivers an enzigieri. Cover by Dynamite Kid, but Smith kicks out. Headbutt by Dynamite Kid, he picks up Smith, snapmare, and he hits an elbow drop. Club to the chest by Dynamite Kid, he gets Smith up, but Smith elbows him to get out of his grip. Smith goes off the ropes, but Dynamite Kid delivers a knee lift and re-applies the reverse chinlock. After a moment Smith gets up, he picks up Dynamite Kid, and he nails the running powerslam. Cover, but it gets a two count. Smith then goes over to the ropes and suplexes Dynamite Kid over the top rope to the floor, but Dynamite Kid takes Smith down with him. The referee count gets high, Dynamite Kid rolls back in the ring, and Smith barely doesn't make it back in time. Your winner by count out: Dynamite Kid
Match Thoughts: Besides the weak ending I thought that this was a really fun match. Dynamite Kid talks about this match in his book, but even if I hadn't read that I still would have been able to tell that he was the one that controlled this match. There were a few transition problems (the wrong guy being fine after a move being hit), but that seems to be normal for this type of match as the next match was the worst of the bunch in that regard. Dynamite Kid is a great wrestler and he carried Smith very well here. There were also a lot of rest holds, but since Smith had just wrestled a 12 minute match right before this one that is understandable. To Smith's credit, he did his part, and even though the end was a little lame (especially after the last match was a count out as well) it was probably necessary since the two were tag team partners and they didn't want one to come out looking too much stronger then the other one. Score: 7.0
Dynamite Kid vs. The Cobra
This is the Finals of the WWF Jr. Heavyweight Tournament. Cobra kicks Dynamite Kid back into the corner as soon as the match starts, Irish whip by Cobra, but when he charges Dynamite Kid he gets kicked hard in the chest. Slap by Dynamite Kid and he dropkicks Dynamite Kid before nipping up and dropkicking him again. Cobra goes out to the apron, but Dynamite Kid brings him back in with a snap suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Cobra regains control and hits his own vertical suplex, cover, but it gets a two as well. Club to the chest by Cobra and he drives a knee into Dynamite Kid's chest. Knee drop by Cobra, cover, but it gets a two count. Backbreaker by Cobra, another cover, but Dynamite Kid kicks out. Cobra applies a reverse chinlock, he drags Dynamite Kid to his feet and clubs him in the back. Dynamite Kid punches Cobra in the stomach and applies a side headlock, Cobra Irish whips out of it, but Dynamite Kid shoulderblocks him down. Dynamite Kid goes off the ropes, leapfrog by Cobra, and he monkey flips Dynamite Kid to the mat. Dynamite Kid is back up, but Cobra delivers an enzigieri. Scorpion Deathlock by Cobra, but he can't get it quick locked in and Dynamite Kid pushes him off. Missile dropkick from the top turnbuckle by Cobra and he drops an elbow onto Dynamite Kid. Cover, but it gets a two count. Cobra gets Dynamite Kid up, but Dynamite Kid immediately picks him up and delivers a tombstone piledriver. Dynamite Kid goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Cobra is up and delivers a heel kick, sending Dynamite Kid out of the ring down to the floor. Dynamite Kid gets back on the apron, but Cobra elbows him back off. Dynamite Kid gets on the apron again, but Cobra grabs him and snapmares him back into the ring. Cobra picks up Dynamite Kid and tosses him back out of the ring, he goes off the far ropes, and he delivers a Sasuke Special! Holy shit! Where did that come from? Smith encourages Dynamite Kid from ringside as Dynamite Kid gets back into the ring first. Cobra follows, but Dynamite Kid grabs him and hits another tombstone piledriver. Cover, but it gets a two count. Dynamite Kid argues with the referee, and Cobra sneaks up from behind and hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Cobra goes to the top turnbuckle, but Dynamite Kid is up and nails a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Cobra is up first, he picks up Dynamite Kid, Irish whip, leapfrog, he goes for a monkey flip, but Dynamite Kid blocks it and covers Cobra for a two count. Backdrop suplex hold by Dynamite Kid, and he picks up the three count pinfall! Your winner and new champion: Dynamite Kid
Match Thoughts: For a six minute match, this was pretty damn good. Both wrestlers were on fire here and went non-step from bell to bell even though you know that Dynamite Kid was tired after his match with Smith. My only complaint is they really didn't transition logically at all. For example, Cobra hits a missile dropkick on Dynamite Kid, and Dynamite Kid immediately hits a tombstone piledriver without doing anything else first. Same as with after the Sasuke Special or after Dynamite Kid's snap suplex. It isn't a big deal, but its one of those little things that pushes my buttons when they keep doing it. But I still enjoyed the match quite a bit, I can imagine if they had more time then they could tear the house down. Score: 7.0
For a three match event, this was a fun show to watch. Dynamite Kid, Cobra, Black Tiger, and Tiger Mask during this time period were tearing it up in Japan, and we ignorant people in the States had no idea what we were missing. Planchas, top rope moves, and the fast paced action that these wrestlers excelled in was so far ahead of its time that even watching it 20 years later it seems like something we could watch on TV today. This was my first time seeing Cobra and he impressed the hell out of me. I left out Davey Boy... it wasn't that he was bad, but he wasn't the innovative high flyer that the other wrestlers during that time period were. If you want to watch a fun (albeit short) event showcasing some of the best Jr. Heavyweight wrestlers from the early 1980s, you might want to pick this up.
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