All Japan Wrestle-1
review by Kevin Wilson

The Date: November 17th, 2002
Location: Yokohama, Japan
Attendance: 12,807

I wanted to watch something "different" then the usual Japanese tapes, and the obvious choice was the All Japan Wrestle-1 Show (well, that or Hustle, which I hope to watch soon).  Wrestle-1 was a strange idea by Mutoh (the All Japan booker) and was promoted by All Japan, so even though it wasn't "officially" an All Japan event it might as well have been.  As you can see from the match list below, it used a handful of American wrestlers that were not on the All Japan roster as well as quite a few shoot fighters and three Mexican wrestlers.  The card for this event was as follows:

- Abdullah the Butcher vs. SATA...yarn (Masaaki Satake)
- Kendo Kashin and Apeman Nigo (Kaoru Uno) vs. La Parka and Super Parka
- Dos Caras Jr. and Sam Grecaras (Sam Greco) vs. Taiyo Kea and Kaz Hayashi

- Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman vs. Satoshi Kojima and Hiroshi Hase
- Josh Dempsey vs. Shinya Hashimoto
- Bill Goldberg vs. Rick Steiner
- Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta

I feel the need to say a bit more about the show.  It is very "American-ized," including having some parts in English (such as some of the music, match announcements, wrestler names, and displaying how much time has passed) and also having loud and sometimes tacky entrance music.  It is almost like the show isn't supposed to be taken too seriously.  It is somewhat hard to explain, but I'll talk more about it as the event goes on.

Abdullah the Butcher vs. SATA...yarn
Abdullah is still extremely over in Japan, and as soon as he enters the ring he attacks the referee and tosses him out of the ring.  Tie-up to start, Abdullah pushes SATA...yarn into the corner, tries for the sneak attack, but SATA...yarn ducks it and connects with a plethora of kicks.  Tie-up again, SATA...yarn hits a series of chops, but Abdullah punches him down and chokes him as he sits on the mat.  SATA...yarn kicks Abdullah in the head to get out of it and continues to kick him as Abdullah slumps in the corner.  We see Abdullah is bleeding, but of course he is always bleeding.  SATA...yarn continues his slow attack of Abdullah and hits a running knee to the midsection.  Reverse chops by SATA...yarn, but Abdullah finally blocks one and gives SATA...yarn a thrust to the throat. SATA...yarn rolls outside and gets a big metal bowl.  He hits Abdullah in the head with it twice, but the third time it is blocked and SATA...yarn gets the metal bowl to the face.  SATA...yarn chops on Abdullah some more, but Abdullah fights back with another thrust to SATA...yarn's throat.  More chops by SATA...yarn, he hoes up to the second rope, but Abdullah blocks the chop and knocks him down with a.... thrust to the throat.  Abdullah drops the big elbow on SATA...yarn, and mercifully this one is over.

Match Thoughts:  Oh my, that must be one of the worst matches I have ever seen.  Never mind the fact that Abdullah is supposed to do poor matches, I can respect that.  But SATA...yarn (Masaaki Satake) was just as bad as Abdullah was.  Satake is (was?) a shoot fighter who had a MMA record of 1-8-1, but a better record in kick boxing.  The fact that they only did chops and thrusts to the throat was boring as all hell, and really Abdullah should only be used in tag matches or hardcore matches with multiple wrestlers.  He is obviously still popular in Japan so his inclusion is understandable, but he wasn't put in a situation to shine here against a MMA fighter with little professional experience.  Score:  2.0

Kendo Kashin and Apeman Nigo vs. La Parka and Super Parka
Cool points go to the Parkas for having Thriller as their theme music.  Should I mention I am a La Parka mark?  It's probably only fair.  After dancing down the entrance way, La Parka and Super Parka attack Kashin and Nigo with steel chairs while the lights are turned off.  They then do a little dance in the ring as the crowd claps along.  Finally the lights come back on, Kashin and Nigo start to get the advantage, but then they turn back off as the fighting continues.  This time when it comes back on, all four men are up and glaring at each other from opposite sides of the ring, but Apeman Nigo's mask is now off.  Finally the match starts... oh wait, never mind, the four wrestlers instead take turns standing in the corners to see who gets cheered louder.  Ok, now the match starts as Nigo and La Parka square off.  Nigo tries to connect with a series of punches, but La Parka backs up into the corner.  A kick by Nigo stuns La Parka, but Nigo can not capitalize.  Nigo comes after La Parka again, but La Parka dives into the bottom rope, causing the referee to call a break.  Clothesline by La Parka and he kicks on Nigo while he is down.  Chop by La Parka, Irish whip, reversed, and after a brief sequence it is Nigo that armdrags La Parka to the mat.  Off the ropes again goes Nigo, and this time he hits a reverse hurricanrana.  Nigo tags in Kashin, and La Parka tags in Super Parka.  La Parka tries to get the crowd to chant for Super Parka, but it doesn't work.  Waistlock by Super Parka, but Kashin gets out of it.  Super Parka takes Kashin down, but Kashin kicks free and the two exchange shoves.  Super Parka then challenges Kashin to a three point stance football challenge, which Kashin accepts.  Kashin wins that battle and gives him a few sarcastic chops in the corner and challenges him again.  This time, Kashin sidesteps Super Parka, Irish whip by Kashin, but Super Parka does the handstand of DEATH in the corner.  While Kashin is confused with what to do with Super Parka, La Parka flies over the top rope with a headscissors.  La Parka and Super Parka do a few choreographed flips (some done right, some botched), and Super Parka catapults La Parka for a double dropkick on Kashin and Nigo.  La Parka does the La Parka dance, confusing his opponents, and after a brief attack, La Parka and Super Parka link arms and merrily walk to the other side of the ring.  Double kick by Kashin and Nigo as they single out La Parka in the corner.  They then throw Super Parka into the corner, straddle him over the ropes, and Kashin kicks him in the lower groin area.  Now they work over La Parka again, Irish whip, but Super Parka places La Parka on the top turnbuckle and assists him in hitting an elbow attack off the top rope onto Nigo.  Kashin runs over at this point, but Super Parka picks him up and La Parka hits a great running front kick.  Super Parka and La Parka place Kashin and Nigo in the middle of the ring, go up top on different turnbuckles, and hit splashes down on their opponents.  Covers, but both get two.  Super Parka and La Parka hit double dropkicks, which sends Kashin and Nigo out of the ring.  Super Parka follows them out with a pescado, then La Parka comes flying out with a corkscrew plancha over the top rope.  La Parka recovers first and tosses Kashin back in the ring, positions him in front of the turnbuckle, and hits a split legged moonsault for two.  Kashin fights back with elbows, but La Parka dances around and punches him to the mat.  A poor man's F-5 by La Parka follows (what?), cover, but Kashin kicks out at two.  Chop by La Parka, he puts Kashin up on the top turnbuckle, but Kashin low blows him and pulls on his mask.  Kashin then applies his reverse triangle choke over the top rope, but Super Parka comes over to help La Parka.  Super Parka gets back in the ring and clotheslines Nigo.  Cover (the ref counts it so I guess they are legal now or they using lucha libre rules), but it only gets two.  Irish whip by Super Parka, reversed, dropkick to the face by Nigo, cover, but Super Parka kicks out at two.  La Parka is back now, double Irish whip, and Super Parka hits a clothesline.  A double faceplant by Super Parka and La Parka follows, cover by La Parka, but Kashin breaks it up.  Super Parka chops Kashin in the corner as Nigo is knocked out of the ring.  Kashin sneaks in a roll-up on La Parka, but Super Parka breaks it up.  Super Parka holds Kashin for La Parka, but La Parka accidentally hits a spinning heel kick on Super Parka which sends him from the ring.  Uppercut by Kashin, Irish whip, reversed, but Kashin avoids the spear by La Parka.  La Parka goes up top, but Kashin jumps and pulls La Parka off the top turnbuckle while also applying the jujigatame.  La Parka tries to hold off, but he can't and taps!  Your winners:  Kashin and Nigo

Post match:  Thriller plays, Kashin tries to get Nigo to leave the ring, but he decides to stay.  La Parka and Super Parka try to teach Nigo how to dance, but he can't, so they beat him up and dance by themselves. 

Match Thoughts:  Just to help clarity, "Apeman Nigo" is Kaoru Uno, veteran of UFC and Shooto.  Super Parka is La Parka's uncle.  They were easy to tell apart, since Super Parka had a Superman logo on the front of his skeleton suit.  I can already tell that "rating" this event is going to be the hardest thing I have done since having to choose between watching Family Guy and Roseanne.  Take this match, for example.  It is basically a comedy match, but with occasional wrestling thrown in.  As stated, I love La Parka and his antics, so I found it amusing.  They were a few little miscommunications, but nothing too major.  But there was utterly no flow whatsoever, and it really just seemed like spot after spot (whether it be wrestling or comedy) followed by an ending.  I was at least mildly entertained, so lets just keep it at that.  Score:  6.0

Dos Caras Jr. and Sam Grecaras vs. Taiyo Kea and Kaz Hayashi
Grecaras and Hayashi start things off. Tie-up to kick things off, and Grecaras flips Hayashi down to the mat.  Back up, waistlock by Hayashi, reversed by Grecaras, reverted into an armbar by Hayashi, which is reversed by Grecaras, but Hayashi breaks out of it and both men are on their feet again.  Hayashi applies a side-headlock, Irish whip by Grecaras, but Hayashi shoulder blocks him down.  Hayashi bounces off the ropes again, but this time he is superkicked by Grecaras.  Grecaras charges Hayashi, but Hayashi gives him a drop toehold right into the bottom rope.  Coming from the far end Hayashi charges Grecaras, but Grecaras ducks and Hayashi goes flying over the top rope.  Grecaras gives Hayashi a baseball slide and then throws him back into the ring.  Grecaras punches Hayashi against the ropes and tags in his partner Casas.  Kick to the leg by Casas, Irish whip, reversed, sunset flip attempt by Casas, but Hayashi rolls through.  A kick to the gut by Hayashi follows and he hits a spinning heel kick before tagging in Kea.  Irish whip by Kea and he chops Casas down.  Cover, but it only gets two.  Kea scoop slams Casas, hits a second rope splash, cover, but he only gets two again.  Irish whip again by Kea, but Casas hits him with a flying clothesline.  Casas tags in Grecaras and together they hit a double flying forearm.  Grecaras gives Kea a scoop slam and tosses his partner down on top of him.  Knee to the gut by Grecaras and he applies the abdominal stretch.  Kea manages to hiptoss out of it though and he dropkicks Grecaras out of the ring.  Kea follows Grecaras out with a pescado before tossing him back into the ring.  Kea goes for the mask of Grecaras and rips it around the eye.  Hayashi is tagged in and he continues trying to get the mask off.  Hayashi slams Grecaras into the turnbuckle, Irish whip, but when he charges all he gets is a boot to the face.  Tired of the mask, Grecaras rips it off and clotheslines Hayashi down.  Grecaras tags in Casas who goes to work on Hayashi with a series of kicks.  Irish whip by Casas and he hits a dropkick in the corner.  A double armed suplex by Casas follows, cover, but it only gets a two count.  He tags Grecaras back in, Irish whip, and Grecaras gets a drop toehold.  After struggling, Grecaras finally manages to apply the Romero Special, but Kea breaks it up.  Recovered, Hayashi hits a flying forearm on Grecaras and tags in Kea.  Kea hits Grecaras with a dropkick, Irish whip, and a flying forearm smash in the corner.  Northern Lights Suplex by Kea, but it only gets two.  Back up, Kea hits Grecaras again with a series of kicks.  Kea bounces off the ropes, but Grecaras powerslams him down and tags in Casas.  Casas hits Kea with a series of kicks, Irish whip, reversed, Casas runs up the corner and flips back and then kicks Kea in the face.  Casas places Kea on the top turnbuckle and nails the Frankensteiner.  Kea tries to fight back, but he gets an enzigieri for his trouble.  Fisherman Suplex by Casas, but it only gets a two count.  Irish whip by Casas, but Kea reverses it with a DDT.  Kea tags in Hayashi, who goes to the corner and goes for a flying crossbody.  Casas catches him though and gives him a fall away slam.  Casas tags in Grecaras, Irish whip by Grecaras, Casas goes for a sunset flip, but Grecaras rolls through and kicks him in the face.  Cover by Grecaras, but it only gets a two count.  Irish whip by Grecaras, Hayashi hits the corner hard, and Grecaras comes off the top with a flying front kick.  Cover, but Kea breaks it up.  Grecaras tags in Casas, Irish whip, and he gives Hayashi a powerslam.  Casas hits a powerbomb, cover, but Hayashi kicks out.  Irish whip by Casas, reversed, but Casas gives Hayashi a military press slam into a german suplex for the three count!  Your winners:  Dos Caras Jr. and Sam Grecaras

Match Thoughts:  A surprisingly good match, I guess that when you have low expectations for an event that matches like this can sneak up on you.  Sam Greco was a K-1 fighter who has posted a 12-9-2 record in MMA.  Dos Caras Jr. hails from AAA and is the son of famous wrestler Dos Caras.  As I said, this was a very well put together match and while it obviously couldn't main event a card, it worked very well in the midcard.  Greco was quite good, and Dos Caras Jr. showed more then I was expecting.  The military press into a German suplex to end the match was quite impressive.  Kea and Hayashi were of course solid.  There were not any botches or noticeable mistakes in the match, and it flowed pretty well.  Nothing that will blow your mind, but certainly a big plus on the card.  Score:  7.0

Mark Coleman and Kevin Randleman vs. Satoshi Kojima and Hiroshi Hase
This is an odd combination of wrestlers.  Coleman and Hase start things off.  Tie-up, Coleman gets Hase into the ropes and gives a clean break.  Another tie-up, waistlock by Coleman and he gets Hase to the mat.  Coleman applies a modified STF, but Hase squirms out of it and tries to reverse position with Coleman.  His attempt fails, Coleman applies a reverse chinlock, but Hase eventually makes it over to the ropes.  Tie-up again, single leg takedown attempt by Coleman, but Hase gets on top and goes for the cross armbreaker.  Coleman slams Hase into the mat to avoid the maneuver and applies a single leg Boston crab.  Hase makes it to the ropes, and Coleman tags in Randleman as Hase tags in Kojima.  Tie-up between the two, Randleman pushes Kojima into the corner and punishes him with punches.  Kojima manages to get out of the corner and delivers the chops, but Randleman is unphased and fights back.  Kojima grabs Randleman's leg to get him down and tags Hase back in.  Hase drops an elbow on Randleman's leg, Randleman goes for the cross armbreaker, but Hase gets out of it and applies a back waistlock.  Randleman struggles to his feet and reverses it, tossing Hase to the mat.  Randleman tags Coleman back in as Hase tags in Kojima.  Tie-up, and Coleman hits a series of punches and knees to Kojima.  Coleman tags Randleman in and they take turns punching Kojima.  Randleman drops an elbow on Kojima, but Kojima tosses Randleman into the turnbuckle.  Chops by Kojima in the corner, Irish whip, and he hits the flying forearm smash before flinging Randleman to the mat.  Elbow off the top by Kojima, cover, but it only gets two.  Kojima picks Randleman up, but Randleman springs back with a (real) hurricanrana for a two count.  Reverse chinlock by Randleman and he tags Coleman back in the ring.  Coleman scoops up Kojima, slams him to the mat, and applies a Boston crab.  Hase tries to break it up with kicks, but Coleman simply gets up and punches Hase to the mat.  Randleman is tagged in and he gives Kojima a headbutt.  Kojima applies a side headlock, but Randleman gets out of it with a side slam.  Randleman goes for a suplex, but Kojima reverses it into a vertical suplex of his own.  Kojima tags in Hase and Randleman tags in Coleman.  Hase goes to work on Coleman in the corner, which brings Coleman to tag Randleman back in.  Hase chops on Randleman and hits a side Russian leg sweep.  Time for the big swing!!  25 times goes round Randleman (by my count) before Hase finally tosses him to the mat.  Randleman doesn't seem to phased however, and while Hase is doing his hip swivel he gets hit from behind by Randleman.  Belly to belly suplex by Randleman, but Hase fires back with a uranage.  Both wrestlers tag out, as Coleman and Kojima trade punches.  Coleman wins that dual and scoop slams Kojima to the mat.  Elbow drop by Coleman followed by two more, then he nails a snap belly to belly suplex.  Coleman kicks on Kojima and gives him another overhead suplex.  A third suplex by Coleman follows, and then he hits a powerbomb.  Cover, but Hase breaks it up.  Hase and Coleman trade forearm shots, Coleman puts Hase on his shoulders, and Randleman comes off the top with a flying clothesline.  Randleman drops a big elbow on Kojima as does Coleman, then another elbow drop by both of them.  Coleman puts Kojima on his shoulders again, but this time he fights out of it and gives Coleman a dragon screw leg whip.  While Hase hits a superplex on Randleman from the second rope, Kojima hits a Coji Cutter on Coleman.  Hase grabs Coleman, Kojima hits a lariat on Randleman, and Kojima gets the pinfall.  Your winners:  Kojima and Hase

Match Thoughts:  In a "who's who" in shoot wresting, Coleman and Randleman are two of the better known names.  Coleman has victories over Severn (UFC, 1997) and Don Frye (Pride, 2003) while Randleman has a victory over Cro Cop (Pride, 2004), a match which I have seen and enjoyed tremendously.  Anyway, they both did pretty well with professional wrestling in this match, which certainly wasn't bad even though it wasn't good.  An utter lack of flow/psychology, as they seemed to just take turns tagging in/hitting a few moves/tagging out.  The match got plenty of time (over 16 minutes), but they did not use that time to have any one wrestler be focused on for too long a period like you would expect to see.  Again, it wasn't bad by any means, but there really wasn't much to it.  Score:  5.5

Chono comes down to chat, but I really can't comment since I have no idea what he said.

Josh Dempsey vs. Shinya Hashimoto
Looks like Dempsey is wearing small boxing gloves, which is somewhat interesting.  They start the match trading strikes, but neither can land a clean punch.  Dempsey gets Hashimoto into the ropes, but Hashimoto gets away and kicks Dempsey in the legs.  Hashimoto gets too close to Dempsey, and Dempsey knocks him down and out with a punch.  Hashimoto rolls out of the ring to compose himself before finally getting back in.  Hashimoto gets a single leg takedown and goes for an ankle lock, but Dempsey makes it to the ropes and rolls out of the ring.  Back in again, Hashimoto goes for another single leg, but Dempsey side steps it.  Dempsey gives Hashimoto a quick punch, Hashimoto goes for a dropkick, but it misses.  Dempsey clubs on Hashimoto while he is on the mat, but Hashimoto manages to reverse positions with him and apply an arm submission into a cross armbreaker.  Dempsey reverses it into his own cross armbreaker, Hashimoto reverses that into an ankle submission, but Dempsey makes it to the ropes.  Back in the middle of the ring, Hashimoto applies another leg submission and hits an elbow drop.  Kick to the chest by Hashimoto, but Dempsey fights back with body shots.  A hard right hook to the head by Dempsey kicks Hashimoto out, but Hashimoto gets up before the referee reaches the ten count.  Hashimoto kicks Dempsey in the leg upon getting back up, sending Dempsey to the mat.  Chop to the back of the head by Hashimoto, Dempsey tries to fight back, but Hashimoto kicks him in the chest.  A kick to the face by Hashimoto follows and he takes Dempsey down.  Hashimoto goes for the brainbuster, nails it, and he applies a triangle choke hold.  Dempsey is out and the referee calls for the bell!  Your winner:  Hashimoto

Match Thoughts:  Dempsey was a shoot fighter with limited success that also wrestled in Zero-One.  This was at least different then what we had seen, because here they tried to a match that looked like a shoot fight instead of a professional wrestling match.  While I like that they tried to do something different, I don't think they did a great job at it.  The match was mostly boring, and many of Dempsey's strikes didn't connect well.  Not a problem in most matches, but in a "shoot style" match it didn't really work.  I think that the UWF ruined shoot-style matches for everyone else, for compared to them this match seemed disjointed and awkward.  Also, it was odd in a match that was mostly shoot-style that Hashimoto would occasionally go for a professional wrestling move, such as the brainbuster.  So while I like that it was different, it wasn't particularly entertaining.  Score:  4.0

We see Goldberg arriving by plane and helicopter to the arena.  How exciting.

Bill Goldberg vs. Rick Steiner
Whoa, I just had a flashback to WCW Road Wild 1999.  Does Steiner have a chance?  Tie-up to start as they struggle for position, Steiner gets Goldberg in the corner, but Goldberg applies a front facelock.  Clean break by Goldberg, he pushes Steiner back into the corner, Steiner reverses the positioning and punches Goldberg, but Goldberg punches him back and clotheslines him down.  Irish whip by Goldberg, he ducks a clothesline and hits a flying shoulderblock on Steiner.  Steiner rolls out of the ring to catch his breath and invites Goldberg out to the ramp.  Goldberg doesn't bite, so Steiner gets back in.  Tie-up, knees to the gut by Goldberg, Irish whip, Goldberg goes for a leapfrog, but Steiner catches him and slams him down to the mat.  Goldberg gets back to his feet and Steiner clotheslines him over the top rope.  Steiner gets a chair and hits Goldberg with it numerous times outside the ring.  They continue their way out to the crowd and Steiner throws Goldberg into the guardrail.  Goldberg gets a fire extinguisher and Steiner runs from him and back into the ring.  Goldberg soon follows him and Steiner hits a belly to belly suplex.  Cover, but it only gets two.  Irish whip by Steiner, reversed, and Goldberg clotheslines him down.  Steiner is up quickly, both men bounce off the ropes and run into each other, and Steiner stumbles back.  Goldberg hits a military press slam, but Steiner catches him from behind with a German suplex.  Goldberg is up quickly though and hits the spear followed by the Jackhammer.  Cover, and of course this one is over.  Your winner:  Bill Goldberg

Match Thoughts:  Eh.  You have seen Goldberg and Steiner, and thus you know what this match was like.  I really got the impression that the two met up about 10 minutes before the match started, threw out a few vague ideas, and went out to do their thing.  There was at least one botched spot, and considering these two don't do a lot of spots, that doesn't say much for them.  I imagine at some point the idea was that All Japan was going to use Goldberg for something more important down the line and was using this as a way to show him squashing someone to the Japanese fans.  Goldberg looked fine actually, but Steiner by this time was past his prime.  Just a typical Goldberg semi-squash match. Score:  3.0

Bob Sapp vs. Great Muta
Sapp's entrance is quite a site, as he comes down with dancers and does a dance himself while wearing a white boa.  Muta's entrance is equally cool, as smoke shoots up around the ring and suddenly he is standing inside of it, relaxed in the corner still in full gear.  I mentioned earlier that I am a fan of La Parka's, well Muta is probably my favorite wrestler in the world today.  Again, just a fair warning, I am not going to try to pretend that my biases won't effect my match thoughts.  Muta starts by quickly dropkicking Sapp in the knee twice and hitting a dragon screw leg whip.  Sapp gets up quickly though and slams Muta hard to the mat.  Elbow drop by Sapp and he tosses Muta back into the corner.  Clothesline by Sapp, followed by shoulder tackles in the corner.  Sapp hits a few clubbing blows in the corner and chokes Muta with his foot.  The referee tries to push Sapp back, and while he does, Muta comes off the referee's back with a Shining Wizard.  Muta clotheslines Sapp over the top rope, exits the ring himself, and throws Sapp into the guardrail.  Back in the ring, Muta picks Sapp up and snapmares him down.  A quick elbow drop by Muta follows and he goes for the cross armbreaker.  Sapp slams Muta down to get out of it however and shoulder blocks Muta out of the ring.  Big Bob Sapp then comes flying out of the ring with a pescado, flooring Muta.  Muta slowly makes his way back into the ring, but Sapp shoulderblocks him down.  Another shoulderblock by Sapp, he goes for the powerbomb, but Muta spits green mist in his eyes.  Shining Wizard by Muta, Sapp gets up quickly, so Muta gives him another one.  Cover, but Sapp kicks out at one.  A scoop slam by Muta follows and he nails the moonsault.  Cover, but Sapp manages to kick out at two.  Muta goes for another Shining Wizard, but this time Sapp catches him and throws him to the mat.  Dropkick by Sapp, he then climbs up to the top turnbuckle and hits a flying headbutt.  Cover, and he gets the three count victory.  Your winner:  Bob Sapp

Post match:  Muta leaves first, and uses his magic powers to blow up the ring and make a curtain fall over it, Coving Sapp up inside the ring behind the curtain.  We then get a recap of the winners of the card, and that is all she wrote.

Match Thoughts:  First of all, allow me to say that Muta's aura and image is second to none, and just him being in a match automatically makes it seem better.  I love Mutoh's new Muta mask, and since he doesn't wrestle as Muta often it is always a special occasion to see him wrestle.  That being said, I can't say I enjoyed Sapp take two Shining Wizards and a moonsault, only to win with a diving headbutt.  I know they were trying to get over how tough Sapp was (a few months later, Mutoh and Sapp would win the tag titles), but I didn't buy the method in which they did so.  Sapp is actually fine in shorter matches, since he doesn't blow up as he would have if the match had lasted more then ten minutes.  But seriously, shouldn't a main event on a major card go longer then six and a half minutes?  And if that is all Sapp can go, maybe this should have been the semi-main event.  Regardless, this was a strange way to end a strange card, and I still don't know what I think about the whole thing.  Score:  5.0

Final Thoughts:

Well any time that I give the highest rating to a mid-card tag team match with no storyline (and even that is under a 7), you know that I am not going to recommend the event.  There were really only three matches worth seeing at all (La Parka for comedy, Hase/Kojima for consistency, and Muta/Sapp for the spectacle of it), but none were must-see by any stretch of the imagination.  The other matches ranged from awful to pointless.  The reason I did not give it my lowest grade is I think the Sapp/Muta match does have some value, and 4 of the 7 matches were at least average.  So while I wouldn't recommend it to the average fan, the event isn't unwatchable if you like the entertainment aspect of wrestling and the show is only seven dollars at excellent VQ, which is a good price. 

Not Recommended


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