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[1993-01-04-NJPW-Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome] Rick & Scott Steiner vs Hell Raisers

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The Steiners and the Road Warriors always work well together because their styles mesh well, and this was no exception. There are lots of fun power spots. Hawk was actually pretty good in the ring. I've always thought the Road Warriors were better in the ring than they were given credit for. Hawk and Sasaki do a Doomsday Device on Scott Steiner on the arena floor where he bumps off the guardrail, which is a ridiculous spot to even try. They go to a double-countout, a rarity in Japan by this time. Fun match!

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Fuck yeah this was fun. Scott Steiner bumping like a beast, that guard rail spot was insane. Great power move tag team wrestling here.

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That Doomsday Device across the guardrail spot was ridiculous. Looked like Hawk might've cracked a rib or four.

 

I liked this a lot. Just four big dudes that like to throw bombs throwing bombs.

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Just a fun power move match. Reminded me of the Steiner's series with Doom. All the suplexes were off the charts. We got some sick bumps from Scotty. Fun stuff.

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Really fun bomb-throwing heavyweight tag match. Nothing too complex, just two teams who are superhero tandems in Japan beating the shit out of each other. I loved Scott's amateur throws at the start, with Hawk responding by press slamming him over the top rope to the floor. A spectacle, which is perfect for the Dome setting.

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Steiners always seem to step up in the Dome shows. The usual suplexes all over the place and Scott not attempting pinfalls after hitting power moves. The Doomsday Device at the end was crazy. Hawk who delivered it took the biggest bump of all over the railing.

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Even with Sasaki swapped in for Animal, this really does feel like a dream match from the start, and even with Sasaki there you really have no idea who could possibly lose (the Hell Raisers had been pushed to the moon since forming in the fall, squashing teams left and right in 5 minutes--this wasn't some deal where you had Gordy & Doc facing Jumbo & Ogawa). The stuff with Hawk and Scott at the open are great fun, with Hawk having the strength and agility to shrug off everything Scott tries. So the Steiners have to isolate Sasaki, and pretty much brutalize him but can't stop Hawk from making saves. CRAZY Doomsday Device to the floor, but it appears Hawk and Scott were the legal men so while Sasaki and Rick take it to the ring, Tiger Hattori counts both teams out. Yeah, I guess I should have seen the bullshit finish coming, even in 1993 Japan. Not only was this full of great spots, these four lummoxes put together a more psychologically sound match than either of the first two!

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This was solid but it didn't live up to what I remembered as an awesome dream match. Lots of big power moves as you'd expect with these four, particularly Scott wrecking Hawk with a tiger driver and piledriver early, but he took as much later on including the big Doomsday Device on the floor, which was awesome. I was as much a fan of the finish as the Tokyo Dome crowd. The Steiners are one act that is not holding up well at all upon rewatching 1992 and 1993. There are definitely bright spots but they just come across as bigger and stronger than many other teams and not really better.

 

***

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I am not a Steiners guy and I thought they have had plenty of better spotsfests with other opponents. This is really turning out to be the weird show overall as I am having opposite reactions than most of the previous commenters. It was a lot of fun power stuff but I'm not sure the match was good and it had a cop out finish to boot. (**3/4)

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This reminded me a lot of the Steiners' match from Superbrawl I against Sting and Luger: lots of great-looking power moves, but nothing substantive. It was more of a power move exhibition than an actual match, which was fine under the circumstances.

 

Sasaki didn't look like a Road Warrior, but he sure wrestled like one. Too bad Johnny Ace was set for life with AJPW; he'd have been a natural choice to take over for his big brother Animal.

 

The craziest thing of all about that Doomsday Device on the outside was that Hawk looked like he already had bruised or broken ribs. To take a bump like he did under those circumstances, you have to be both courageous and crazy as a bedbug.

 

The Steiners are almost solely a power team by now, which is kind of sad. I liked them better when they could actually wrestle on the mat for a while during a match, because it made tem different from most teams who did power spots.

 

I missed the first part of it, but what I caught of the trash talking between Rick and Hawk was fun. Of course, everyone was friends again after the match.

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IWGP Tag Team Champions The Hellraisers vs The Steiner Brothers - 1/4/93

 

The Steiners lost the IWGP Tag Belts to Scott Norton & Tony Halme who were transitional champs to the newly formed superteam of Hawk & Kensuke Sasaki. The Hellraisers were the main focal point of the New Japan tag team scene throughout 1993 & 1994. Kensuke Sasaki was rebranded as Power Warrior complete with Road Warrior face paint and spiked shoulderpads. I think this was a great idea for Sasaki. Sasaki was younger than the Three Musketeers and instead of getting lost in the shuffle as those three were trying to make a name for themselves he was protected by being a Tag Team Champion for two years. Excellent booking of a young commodity. Plus they are able to utilize Hawk without Animal. This is the natural major tag team match for the Tokyo Dome as the Steiners are the ultimate Dome wrestlers and the Steiners/Road Warriors is a dream match.

 

I thought this was the usual great Steiner bombfest. I thought Hawk was a little clunky at times. I don't think he is as good at the Press Slam in 1993 as he once was, but it was a smart spot against Scotty Steiner's amateur background. Also I had English commentary for this match that was neither WWF nor WCW, WSW?, it was pretty annoying and they dubbed over the Japanese audio track including the sound effects so I didn't get to hear the impact of the moves, which took away for some of this. Scotty hitting a Tiger Driver and then a piledriver and Hawk popping up was just Hawk being Hawk. I think Rick Steiner and Kensuke Sasaki match up really well. They trade powerslam and belly to belly suplexes. Again, I thought Sasaki outworked his partner and did a great job going bomb for bomb with the Steiners. I just watched the match and already I forget most of the spots I just know there were a ton of sick suplexes and that Sasaki was isolated. Oh yes, Sasaki took the Steiner Bulldog, which was awesome. Then it broke down into a fracas. The spot of the match by far was Scotty Steiner taking the Doomsday Device on the FLOOR, wow, I think Hawk took the brunt of it flying over the railing. Insane spot and bump by both Scotty Steiner and Hawk. Double countout, which makes sense. Hawk & Sasaki were basically the champs for the next two years, but the Steiners were a big deal and they weren't about to job out. I think that was a big enough spot to close out the match. Big, dumb fun, I have seen better Steiner spotfests, but this is a good one. ***1/4

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