New Japan World Pro Wrestling, 9/24/94
review by Ryan Mancuso
Hello again, I am back with another review of New Japan TV from 1994. This is from September 24, 1994 episode of World Pro Wrestling. It was taped on September 19, 1994 in Ishikawa. This was in Hiroshi Hase's hometown, and he is in the main event facing Masahiro Chono. I think this was the debut of Masahiro Chono as a heel. After winning the 1994 G1 Climax, Chono changed his look from the white trunks to the black trunks that he is still wearing. He also changed his wrestling style to where he used more heelish tactics such as eye rakes and low blows. This turn helped make Chono a bigger star in Japan because he got to show off a lot of charisma that he seemingly lacked as a face. We'll see if his start as a heel was rocky because Hase will have his talent and hometown support to stop him. The review starts now:
Tatsumi Fujinami & Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Osamu Kido
This was a very spirited match because everyone was looking motivated. Hashimoto and Fujiwara had the best exchanges with strikes. Kido vs. Fujiwara was a lot fun as well with their takedowns. Fujinami vs. Kido was pretty good as well. At the pace they were going, they could have definitely gone a little longer than 9 minutes and still made it a good match. Fujinami won the match for his team when he made Kido submit to the Dragon Sleeper.
Hawk & Power Warrior vs. Scott Norton & Wild Pegasus
It was not total domination from the Hellraisers, but they controlled the offense for most of the match. They kept Benoit isolated because Norton could match them for power. Benoit relied on his speed to gain some close pinfalls with cradles, but the Hellraisers teamwork was too much. Benoit did a good job in making the Hellraisers offense look so painful. The Hellraisers won the match when they used Double Impact, the famous Road Warriors move when Animal would lift the opponents up on his shoulders while Hawk comes off the top with a diving lariat, on Benoit for the victory.
Masahiro Chono vs. Hiroshi Hase
If New Japan wanted to debut the heel Chono with a bang, then this was a great way to start. Take a very popular wrestler in his hometown, make that popular wrestler bleed a lot while making desperate comeback and you have yourself a monster heel nine times out of ten. Yes, this was one of the nine times. I thought Chono was quickly adjusting to his new role of being a heel quite well, and Hase did a great job at putting him over as one. Overall, this was just a really fun match that served its purpose in establishing Chono as a heel. Here is my play-by-play:
Chono attacks Hase before the bell. He whips Hase off the ropes and uses a Samoan Drop. Chono punches, kicks and stomps the downed Hase. He throws Hase to the floor, but does not go after him. Hase tries to get back into the ring, but Chono keeps cutting him off. The referee holds back Chono, and Hase reenters the ring. Hase kicks Chono in the midsection and throws him to the floor. Hase follows Chono, and they brawl into the crowd. They have a duel in which Hase has the ring announcers table and Chono has a chair. Hase throws the table down, but Chono gains the advantage by nailing Hase with a chair a few times. They exit the crowd area, and Chono throws Hase back into the ring.
Hase has been busted open really badly from those chair shots. Chono works over the wound with forearms and headbutts. With the fans chanting his name, Hase refuses to go down. Chono catches Hase with a Yakuza kick, and Hase is knocked to the floor. Chono stays in the ring to receive some boos from the crowd. The referee check on Hase’s cut to see if he can still continue. Hase gets on the ring apron. Chono meets him there with a few forearms to the head. A Yakuza kick sends Hase off the apron and back first onto the guardrail. Chono tries to continue his work on the floor, but Hase quickly reenters the ring. Chono takes his time on the floor. He even tries to pick a fight with Hase’s former IWGP Tag Team Championship partner in Kensuke Sasaki.
Chono enters the ring, and Hase chops his midsection a few times. Hase attempts an uranage, but Chono knees him in the midsection. Chono works over that wound, and gets more heel heat for raking Hase’s eyes. Chono wastes his times and Hase catches him with a backdrop suplex. However, Hase cannot quickly capitalize because the damage done to him earlier in the match. Chono bodyslams Hase down, and climbs the top turnbuckle. Hase gets up and meets him up there. He takes Chono down with a release Northern Lights Suplex from the top. Hase runs off the ropes and knocks Chono down again with a lariat. Hase uses two uranages in a row and goes for a pin. Chono barely kicks out at 2.75. Hase throws a few headbutts, but it just seems to fire Chono up. They trade headbutts and Hase goes down. Chono connects with two Yakuza kicks. He goes for another, but Hase catches it and throws Chono down.
Hase grabs Chono's legs and puts him in a giant swing. After a few revolutions, Hase lets go and swivels his hips to the delight of the crowd. Hase runs off the ropes and nails Chono with a lariat. Chono does not go down. Hase runs off the ropes again, and Chono side steps Hase. Hase goes through the ropes and crashes on the floor. Chono provokes Kensuke again. Kensuke nearly enters the ring to fight Chono, but referees and wrestlers hold him back. Chono exits the ring and attacks Hase’s wound more. Chono throws Hase back into the ring. Chono and Hase trade slaps. It was Chono who won that exchange because Hase went down.
Chono runs off the ropes and connects with a Yakuza kick. Hase shrugs off the kick and asks for another. Chono does it again, but Hase asks for more. They keep doing this until Chono decides to kick Hase in the midsection. This gets Chono some big heel heat. Chono locks in the STF. Hase is in serious trouble, but manages to reach the ropes after a lengthy struggle. Chono refuses to break the hold, to the dismay of the crowd, and the referee forces a break by pull Chono off Hase by his hair. Chono throws a few chops, but Hase gets an adrenaline rush by try for another uranage. However, Chono counters with a questionable knee to more crowd jeering. Chono runs off the ropes and connects with another Yazuka kick. Chono locks in the STF. Hase tried to fight it, but the referee decided that Hase had enough and called for the bell. After the match, Chono insulted Kensuke Sasaki and threw out a challenge to IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Shinya Hashimoto.
Final Thoughts: Another good episode of World Pro Wrestling from New Japan. Hase vs. Chono was great in getting Chono over as a heel in a big way. Both men looked great from this match. Plus, Hashimoto & Kido vs. Fujinami & Fujiwara was a lot of fun with everyone looking very motivated. Despite the result never being in doubt, Hellraisers vs. Norton & Benoit was enjoyable. Overall, I would recommend checking this episode out.
Final Score: 8.0 [Very Good]
Ryan Mancuso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org