WCW/NJPW Supershow II Review (1992)

WCW/NJPW Supershow II Review

January 4, 1992
Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan

Fresh from their first well-received outing to Japan the year prior, World Championship Wrestling returned to the country in January '92 for WCW/NJPW Supershow 2. 

The show didn't air in the United States until March of that year, and, when it did, it omitted several matches. 

The following bouts were all left out of the PPV show, and thus, out of this review: 
  • Black Cat vs. Hiroyoshi Yamamoto
  • Osamu Kido & Kuniaki Kobayashi vs. Kengo Kimura & Kantaro Hoshino
  • Tony Halme vs. Scott Norton
  • Shinya Hashimoto vs. Bill Kazmaier
  • Antonio Inoki vs. Hiroshi Hase.
That leaves us with seven matches to review, all from a VHS copy of this show which, quite frankly, is in terrible condition. 

Still, let's head to the Tokyo Dome and get on with it, shall we?

Welcome to the Second Annual WCW / NJPW Supershow

We began tonight's broadcast with a lengthy opening credit sequence showing us most of the stars who would be appearing on tonight's show. 

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1992 Review - Eric Bischoff

This faded into shots of the fans piling into the arena before taking things up to the WCW Control Center, where Eric Bischoff welcomed us to the show. 

Bischoff ran down tonight's card and then sent it straight to our announce team of Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone, who were standing by with our opening contest. 

Six-Man Tag Team Match
Masashi Aoyagi, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, and Akira Nogami vs.  Hiro Saito, Super Strong Machine and Norio Honaga

Things kicked off with all six men charging at each other before Hiro Saito and Masashi Aoyagi squared off to represent their respective teams. 

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 - Masashi Aoyagi, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, and Akira Nogami vs.  Hiro Saito, Super Strong Machine and Norio Honaga

From there, the match settled into a steady pace, giving Ross and Schiavone ample opportunity to explain the subtle differences between Japanese and American pro wrestling to US viewers. 

The action was relatively decent yet void of excitement until the finish. At that point, things broke down into a mass brawl, during which Akira Nogami took out Hiro Saito with a dragon suplex for the win.
Your Winners: Masashi Aoyagi, Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, and Akira Nogami 

Following a quick word from Schiavone and Ross, it was straight into our next match.

The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zybysko) vs. Michiyoshi Ohara & Shiro Koshinaka

Paul E. was absent from this one, but that didn't stop Dangerous Alliance members Arn Anderson & Larry Zybysko from doing what they do best.

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 - The Enforcers

The two heeled it up in a solid yet instantly forgettable tag match with Michiyoshi Ohara & Shiro Koshinaka.

Clocking in a little under 15 minutes, both teams went back and forth multiple times with neither gaining a clear advantage for very long. 

That all changed when Anderson blasted Ohara with a powerful spinebuster to capture the victory.
Your Winners: The Enforcers

Following more 'tween-match banter from Schiavone and Ross, it was onto our next contest.

Dustin & Dusty Rhodes vs. Masa Saito & Kim Duck

I don't know if it was a lack of experience, nerves, or communication problems, but the usually smooth and competent Dustin Rhodes had a few problems in the early going, botching both a basic head scissor takedown and a simple leapfrog.

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 - Masa Saito hurts Dusty Rhodes

Not long after, he succumbed to the offense of Kim Duk. The Japanese star grappled Rhodes to the mat, but every time he time tried to tag out, Masa Saito refused, waving Duk away as if to say "no, you go on, you got this."

Not long after, Dusty got the tag and urged his old rival, Saito, to enter the fray. 

He did so, and from that moment on, the match took a major nosedive into full-blown snoozefest territory. 

I get that Japanese wrestling is very different from the US style, but surely the Japanese fans could not have found this one entertaining?

The bout was 90% arm holds and nerve holds, then it just ended with a bulldog by Dustin Rhodes to Kim Duk. 

It was monumentally tedious. 
Your Winners: Dustin and Dusty Rhodes

I should note that Dusty came out of retirement for that match. What a waste.

Big Van Vader vs. El Gigante

Working without his famous mask, Big Van Vader was clearly the crowd favorite here. 

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 - Big Van Vader

Of course, he worked as a heel in World Championship Wrestling, so Jim Ross tried to convince us that the fans rooting for Vader wasn't because they actually liked him, but simply because they respected him. 

If you can believe it, this match was actually one of the most exciting bouts in the first hour of this show. 

That's not to say it was necessarily good or anything. The two basically just clobbered one another then spilled to the outside for a double count-out finish. Still, it was better than a bunch of arm bars and was surprisingly fun to watch.
Double Countout. 

The two continued brawling after the bell, with Vader gaining the upper hand. The future WCW champion then grabbed that super-cool headpiece he used to wear, set Gigante on top of it, and used it to blow smoke in the giant's face.

With that over, we went back to Eric Bischoff. 

Easy E plugged the upcoming Wrestlewar 92 Pay Per View before sending us back to the arena for part 2 of WCW/NJPW Supershow 1992. 

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship 
WCW Word Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. Masahiro Chono 

And so, we kicked off the second hour of this show in fine fashion with a gripping match for the WCW title. 

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 - Lex Luger

Masahiro Chono was as excellent as he always was, while Lex Luger proved that he always did his best work as a heel. 

Together, the two gave us an enjoyable back-and-forth match that this fan would have been happy to see more of. 

Toward the finish, the match toppled to the outside where Luger applied his torture rack. Of course, he wasn't going to win on the outside but, as Ross explained, he could certainly use the move to hurt his opponent. 

Alas, once the bout got back between the ropes, Chono decided to no-sell the offense. 

That made the move look completely ineffective, so Luger simply kicked his opponent in the bollocks and pinned him. 
Your Winner and Still WCW Champion: Lex Luger 

After a quick word from Ross and Schiavone, it was straight on to our next contest. 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship and Greatest 18 Championship 
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Greatest 18 Championship Riki Choshu

I'm the first to admit that there's a huge gap in my pro wrestling knowledge when it comes to Japan, so I had to do a little research on the Greatest 18 Championship. 

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 Review - Riki Choshu vs Tatsumi Fujinami

To commemorate Antonio Inoki's 30th year in the business, New Japan Pro Wrestling created the "Greatest 18 Club," essentially a Hall of Fame including 18 individuals who had made a significant impact on the world of pro wrestling.

The company also launched the Greatest 18 Club Championship, a short-lived title that was originally represented by the beautiful WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship belt.

The title was awarded to Riki Choshu in much the same way that, years later, Triple H would be awarded the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. In other words, he was simply given the belt and declared the champ. 

Choshu would only make three defenses of this belt before losing it to The Great Muta, who immediately retired the title.

Tonight was his second defense against Tatsumi Fujinami, with Fujinami's IWGP Heavyweight Championship also on the line. 

Jim Ross described this one as a "no-frills," wrestling match. That's a fair assessment, though it doesn't by any stretch mean that the match wasn't good. 


I'm a big fan of matches that look like genuine athletic contests.

Don't give me spots where guys stand outside the ring idly waiting to catch a guy doing a springboard. 

Give me spots like Choshu and Fujinami grappling around on the mat looking like they're legitimately trying to hurt one another.

Give me massive suplexes that look realistic and a sense that this is an actual fight between two guys who want to be the best.

After a slow start, this match gave me both of those things in spades, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The end came when Choshu hit three of those huge suplexes to put his opponent away and claim another title.
Your Winner, Still Greatest 18 Champion and NEW IWGP Champion: Riki Choshu

 Finally, it was time for our main event.

The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Sting & The Great Muta

The Steiner Brothers were the best tag team in the world in the early 1990s, while Sting and The Great Muta were up there among the most popular wrestlers of all time. 

WCW/New Japan Supershow 2 Review - Sting & The Great Muta vs. The Steiner Brothers

Put the four of them together, and what you got here was a match that failed to live up to its potential.

Sure, compared to a large portion of this card, it looked like a five-star gem. Compared to an actual five-star gem, however, it certainly fell short. 

After making separate entrances (Muta's including a random acrobatic show), Sting and Muta took the fight to their opponents in the early going. Rick and Scott Steiner then took charge, isolating Muta for a solid beatdown. 

Following the tried-and-tested tag team formula, Sting and Muta made a strong comeback, taking down Scott Steiner with a big-time double bulldog that caused the usually reserved Japanese audience to whoop and cheer.

Following an explosive closing sequence, Sting covered Scott Steiner while, at the same time, Rick Steiner covered Muta. 

Referee Bill Alfonso made the cover and -after much confusion- awarded the match to Sting and Muta, because of course he did.
Your Winners: Sting & The Great Muta

And that was pretty much that. 

The two teams shook hands and the show was over save for a lengthy recap of the show which showed that it had been Rick Steiner who was the legal man for his team and, thus, The Steiners should have won.

They should have, but they didn't. 

If you ask me, that's pretty much the best way to sum up WCW/NJPW Supershow 1992: 

They should have delivered, but they didn't.

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When El Gigante is involved in one of the most entertaining things on your card, you know you're in trouble. 

The Rhodes' match was boring, the opening two matches were decent but hugely unremarkable, and if it weren't for the last two matches, I'd be slating this as one of the most tedious wrestling shows of all time. 

Even then, the Steiners vs. Sting/Muta match had the potential to be so much more than it was.

That, of course, begs a very important question: 

If these are the matches World Championship Wrestling chose to leave on their PPV broadcast, how bad were the ones they left out?

Join me next time as we start our journey through WCW's 1993 shows. Until then, here's some other stuff you might enjoy.

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