The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

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NiGHTS
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The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by NiGHTS » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:31 am

What are your guys favorite matches, storylines, feuds and wrestlers from this era? Also any thoughts and memories? I haven't been able to find any websites or other resources that cover this era. It'd be cool to learn about the interpromotional stuff they did with WCW, UWFI and WAR, and who was considered the ace and top young prospects of the company.

It seems like the 90's NJPW heavys are overshadowed by AJPW and the Jr. heavys. Probably with good reason, but from the little i've seen the Mutoh/Chono G1 match is up there with the AJPW stuff, and Hashimoto is just plain awesome. Is it worth digging into year by year, show by show or just picking out the best matches?

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x12iuvw_keiji-mutoh-vs-masahiro-chono-njpw-08-11-91_sport

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2pgcng_keiji-mutoh-vs-shinya-hashimoto-in-new-japan-on-8-15-95_sport

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6n80x_njpw-ric-flair-vs-shinya-hashimoto_sport
Last edited by NiGHTS on Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Chismo
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Chismo » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:29 am

NiGHTS wrote:Probably with good reason
Nah, nah at all. Bullshit. The "90s NJ heavyweights" is an old story here in the West, and another prime example of certain fandom cliques setting trends that others so blindly followed without even asking any questions. You have pretty much the same thing in every era (especially today), though. Just look at all the Best of NJPW in the 90s polls, there are like 10% of heavyweight matches. Ridiculous. Dave Meltzer was such an AJPW/NJ Juniors dickrider and it carried all over the West immensely. Just like nowadays, where most things are a matter of fads. One would think "it was the 90s, we didn't know any better", but nah, the more things change... Plato's Allegory of the Cave has never been more applicable.

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Alan4L
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Alan4L » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:27 pm

I loved that tags with combinations of Hase, Muto, Steiners, Chono, Bam Bam and Vader. Mind blowing stuff at the time!

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GOTNW
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by GOTNW » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:43 pm

The problem with 90s New Japanh heavyweights is that the second and third most pushed guys sucked (Mutoh and Chono) but were out of this world charismatic and warranted a huge push. Hashimoto, Choshu Hase, Koshinaka etc. were all awesome and the interpromotional feuds ruled.

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BillThompson
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by BillThompson » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:42 pm

The 90s New Japan scene gave us Hashimoto, and he's better than anything All Japan produced in the 90s. For that reason alone it's an era that is far too looked over, though the 90s All Japan scene is worthy of the praise it receives.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Joe Lanza » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:34 pm

I could never get into Chono, and Chono was all over the key stuff. And personally I have no use for the UWFI stuff or Takada.

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NiGHTS
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by NiGHTS » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:06 pm

Chismo wrote:
NiGHTS wrote:Probably with good reason
Nah, nah at all. Bullshit. The "90s NJ heavyweights" is an old story here in the West, and another prime example of certain fandom cliques setting trends that others so blindly followed without even asking any questions. You have pretty much the same thing in every era (especially today), though. Just look at all the Best of NJPW in the 90s polls, there are like 10% of heavyweight matches. Ridiculous. Dave Meltzer was such an AJPW/NJ Juniors dickrider and it carried all over the West immensely. Just like nowadays, where most things are a matter of fads. One would think "it was the 90s, we didn't know any better", but nah, the more things change... Plato's Allegory of the Cave has never been more applicable.
You got a point about Davey Boy Meltz setting trends, but 90s NJPW heavys being overshadowed feels like a natural reaction. The AJPW and JR heavy stuff was groundbreaking as we know. There's gotta be something to the NJ 90s heavys being overlooked. It's great on its own merit, but its a casualty to being around at the same time as those, so naturally people are gonna make the comparison. Whether its warranted or not is another story.


GOTNW wrote:The problem with 90s New Japanh heavyweights is that the second and third most pushed guys sucked (Mutoh and Chono) but were out of this world charismatic and warranted a huge push. Hashimoto, Choshu Hase, Koshinaka etc. were all awesome and the interpromotional feuds ruled.
Its crazy, your opinion on Mutoh and Chono is consistent with others throughout the years from what I've gathered from ghost town wrestling message boards . Mutoh following an erratic, unpredictable pattern of when he would decide to have a great match (was his body messed up?), and Chono never being the same after the neck injury. Hashimoto being GOAT as a few people in here mentioned.

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InYourCase
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by InYourCase » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:50 pm

Certainly didn't expect for this to become a Meltzer-bashing thread but whatever.

Love the heavyweight scene from this time period, with a few exceptions. I don't get Mutoh. Besides his G1 Final with Chono and his 1992 match with Hase, I don't understand the guy or his praise. Chono, besides that G1 Final with Mutoh and the 1992 Final with Rude, does absolutely nothing for me.

I've become a big fan of the Hase & Sasaki tag team recently. They seem to be forgotten as an all-time great team.

I'm not a huge Takada fan, but I really liked the absurdness of Yoji Anjoh in New Japan. Something totally different and fun. Not a UWFi guy, but the same can be said for Tenryu's run in the 90s.

I've been going through a lot of the WAR vs. NJPW stuff lately and I love it. Tenryu and his flunkies invading Sumo Hall and battling Fujinami, Hashimoto, Hase, Iizuka, etc. is a ton of fun. It's been nice to see Fujinami have some great outings in the 90s, also.

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Rich Kraetsch
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:26 pm

As others have mentioned in the thread, the big drag on the time period is Mutoh and Chono. Though I like them better than a lot of others, they just don't have the body of work to match up with the 90s All Japan heavyweights and thus, this entire time period feels like important, less historic and less praised. You won't find many people that have a bad word to say about Hashimoto and as Case said above, a lot of the invader angles were great, including UWFi. At the end of the day, two of their biggest heavyweight stars (Chono and Mutoh) just didn't deliver on a consistent enough basis, dragging the "era" down.

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NiGHTS
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by NiGHTS » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:33 pm

InYourCase wrote:
Love the heavyweight scene from this time period, with a few exceptions. I don't get Mutoh. Besides his G1 Final with Chono and his 1992 match with Hase, I don't understand the guy or his praise. Chono, besides that G1 Final with Mutoh and the 1992 Final with Rude, does absolutely nothing for me.
Alot of his appeal is from his subtle, lowkey "LUNATIC FRINGE" mannerisms. Adds some layers to the usual stoic ace deal.

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cejuett
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by cejuett » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:10 pm

i agree with alan the big tags were awesome...my favorite like most are probably

Mutoh/Chono vs. Hase/Sasaki New Japan 11/1/90 -its on njpw world- freaking awesome big tag match...that beat the crap out of each other.

Hase/Sasaki vs. the Steiner Brothers New Japan 3/21/91- this match made me a fan of Japanese wrestling...i thought when i saw this when i was 9 i told my friends that the Japanese guys were better then all then all the wwf guys.

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Chismo
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Chismo » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:46 pm

New Japan's heavyweight scene was much more versatile than All Japan's in the 90s. New Japan as a whole was more versatile period. You had Tenryu and Takada invading with their groups, 'nuff said. Even the early BJW. New Japan had awesome sidekicks: Hase, Kensuke, Koshinaka, veterans like Choshu and Fujinami were still hanging around, even Fujiwara for while, Inoki still had some killer matches, remember the early 90s with Vader, there were various gaijin, even their tag team scene got overlooked and they had way more quality duos than AJPW throughout the decade. People complain about Chono, but he wasn't even pushed that hard, he didn't get his first and only (!) title reign until 1998 (!). And dude was a HOT fire throughout the early 90s, but then became some sort of a sidekick via teaming with Tenzan and whole nWo thing. Chono suddenly became more of a colorful character than ultra serious singles competitor. Do people really resent Muto and Chono evolving their game and abandoning workrate style in favor of less-is-more strategic style? It's quite sad, but I can't say I'm surprised.

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GOTNW
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by GOTNW » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:04 pm

Mutoh and Chono were about as strategic as Randy Orton.

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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:47 pm

I don't watch wrestling because the guys are strategic in how they save their bodies. I don't care. Not my body. Entertain me. That's what I want. Those guys (again, I'm bigger on them than most) didn't entertain me enough to give the era high praise.

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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by saviorofstrongstyle » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:44 am

What I really like about this era of New Japan is the vibe and atmosphere.... it has a feeling of... I don't know how to describe it... That things feel volatile and dangerous?
Dangerous in a way that the matches a lot of the time felt like they could end at any moment or implode or something, versus the All Japan matches that focused on long build ups to finishing stretches?

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