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[1992-06-26-NJPW-Masters of Wrestling] Big Van Vader & Bam Bam Bigelow vs Rick & Scott Steiner

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I liked things about this match, but was expecting more. Vader played pinball to the extreme early on, to a point where it turned me off a little. Bigelow looks better than ever here. I didn't care for the finish at all, but this was a fun match.

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I haven't watched it recently but always thought this was vastly overrated and incredibly disappointing, especially since I really dug the Bigelow and Vader vs Muto and Hase tag as well as Steiners vs Vader and Hughes.

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This is kinda dissapointing considering the talent level. The Steiners take a beating here. Scott in particular. Bigelow looked like he gained more weight, but didn't hamper his work.

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Crowd was really into it. Took me a while to notice they were in Bodukan. They light the place up for New Japan compared to All Japan. Vader getting thrown around is still something I'm not entirely accepting off and it happens quite a bit here. Scott gets all jacked up at one point and falls off the top rope. Vader gets dropped on his head with the Frankensteiner. Didn't really like the finish either. Wouldn't call it a disappointment as I enjoyed good portion of it but yeah I can see how one would expect more with those involved.

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Bigelow works well here, using his athleticism and the Steiners as as a base to show off at a level he wasn't always up to back in the states. Its really something how over the Steiners are. Vader took the frankensteiner like a real pro. Not as good as some of the Steiners other matches this year, but still solid, especially given the Liger & Hase/Sassaki matches. Hell of a show that night.

 

***1/4

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I don't think this quite lives up to its initial rep and the finish sucks on a few different levels, but it's a hell of a match. I have less of a problem with Vader and Bigelow being thrown all over the place because they're simply not expected to work as brick walls in Japan. Plus they dish out quite the beating to both Scott and Rick and keep this structured--Bam Bam catching Rick off the turnbuckle and hitting a stungun is a great cut-off to extend things after the ostensible hot tag. Is 91-92 New Japan Bam Bam's peak as a worker? I would think it'd have to be. The '86 Memphis stuff is a promising but raw talent being carried to great matches and the '93 WWF is more of the "decent stuff" variety. Here he looks like a standout worker with the talent, charisma, and drive to be at least a fringe contender for the IWGP Title or Triple Crown.

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This was good, as expected with the four of them, but it just didn't click at the level I'd have expected them to. The finish with the ref bump is stupid, it seems more suitable for WCW than New Japan.

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I really, really liked this. Mike's right; it felt more like a WCW match than a New Japan match, and that's part of the reason why it was so good. The Steiners played foreigners-In-peril perfectly, and that allowed Vader and Bammer to dhow off offensively a bit, particularly in terms of suplexes (the one we saw from Vader is in my top ten of all time, considering who delivered it). Ref bumps are rare in Japan, of course, but I think this one worked to the match's advantage, as an overconfident Bammer had things going his way until he stopped to try to revive the ref, which allowed Rick the opening he needed to hit the winning belly-to-belly.

 

Vader got thrown around a bit too much for my taste early on, but considering what the finish was I'll live with it. Rick and Scotty needed to establish their ability to lift Vader and Bammer so their win didn't come off as a total fluke. I'd have had a problem if they'd suplexed Vader off the top or something like that, but they didn't.

 

I'm guessing it's a standard spot now for Vader to ditch the mask when it comes down to crunch time, much like Lawler drops the strap,

 

Now we know for sure that Watts was talking about the IWGP titles when he mentioned the belts Rick and Scotty won in Japan. I wonder if he was okay with them hugging Vader after the bout when he'd tried to cripple their friend Sting and the Great American Bash was just two weeks away. I don't think he expected NJPW to follow WCW's storyline, but that may be one reason why the win was acknowledged but the match wasn't shown, assuming that they'd thought about it..

 

I would have loved to have seen a stateside rematch, even with Harley in Vader and Bammer's corner. I think the American fans would have gotten into those two more than they did Doc and Gordy.

 

I couldn't tell from the ting announcements; were the WCW belts on the line here?

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Didn't like Vader bumping that much either.  I did enjoy the structure a lot and thought Scott did really well in peril for a while.  The finish was out of nowhere for sure, which I suppose is good to keep the illusion that it can happen more often than it does.

I think garretta hit on the reason Vader/Bam Bam never came to WCW as a team.  Doc/Gordy were the headliners.

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