WAR Super J Cup 1995
Date: December 13th, 1995
This event was originally reviewed on February 13th, 2004 and was my first ever wrestling show review, and also the first full puroresu show I had ever watched. When I originally reviewed it, I had seen some puroresu matches but it was my first full show and I didn't know who 75% of the wrestlers were. Looking back on it, I didn't think it was a bad review, but I could tell it was before I had my style down as it was a little rough around the edges. Also it was clear my puroresu knowledge was limited even though I had done a fair amount of research. So I am completely re-writing it, after all these years, and while my general opinion of the matches didn't change I hope it will be a little more refined this time around.
The second annual Super J Cup was held in Tokyo, Japan. A super tournament that saw wrestlers from five different promotions in 3 different countries, the first Super J Cup in 1994 was such a success that another was quickly held. This one was sponsored by WAR, which explains the number of WAR wrestlers (Gedo and Ultimo Dragon as regulars, with Dos Caras and Mochizuki Freelancing there). The event was a sell out, a rare feat for an all Jr. Heavyweight card. The entire tournament was on one night, and there was only one non-tournament match which was held before the finals to give the wrestlers a breather. You can click on any of the names listed below to go to their profile, results aren't spoiled just in case you want to be surprised as you read along. The participants in the 1995 Super Jr Cup are:
Single elimination, Pegasus and Liger get first round byes for being so damn awesome. Let's get the tournament started!
Hulk Hogan impersonations to start the match, with Naniwa getting the most cheers. Naniwa slaps Damien's hand, chop to the chest by Damien and he yells out "Choshu!" before hitting a lariat. Scorpion Deathlock by Damien but Naniwa quickly makes it to the ropes. Damien gives Naniwa some Kawada kicks to the head, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Damien, he yells out Koshinaka's name and delivers a hip attack. A second hip attack by Damien, cover, but it gets a two count. Damien applies a reverse chinlock, Irish whip from the corner, reversed, but Damien goes over Naniwa's back. They do the Michinoku Hop, run back to the other corner and Damien delivers a flying headscissors. Damien grabs Naniwa's arm, yells out Shinzaki's name and does a Praying Rope Walk into an armdrag. Naniwa falls out of the ring, Damien goes off the far ropes and sails out onto him with a tope suicida. Damien gets back in the ring first, Naniwa gets up on the apron and sunset flips his way back into the ring for a two count. Damien is up first, Irish whip to the corner, reversed, Damien puts Naniwa onto the top turnbuckle but Damien pulls him down by his hair. Bulldog by Naniwa, Irish whip by Damien, leapfrog by Naniwa and he kicks Damien in the chest. Damien goes off the ropes but Naniwa drops him out to the floor. Naniwa then gets onto the top turnbuckle and flies out onto Damien with a plancha suicida. Naniwa gets back in the ring first and celebrates, but Damien eventually follows. Naniwa grabs Damien, but Damien calls out "Misawa!" and delivers a series of elbows following by a running Elbow Smash. Cover, but it gets a two count. Scoop slam by Damien, and he calls out "Mutoh!" before going to the top turnbuckle. Damien goes for a moonsault but Naniwa rolls out of the way, he snaps off a quick Frankensteiner and picks up the three count! Your winner: Gran Naniwa
Match Thoughts: Funny note, the first time I reviewed this I didn't know who any of the wrestlers were that he was calling out except for Shinzaki and Mutoh. Times have changed. For a opening comedy match it was fine, obviously going in you knew you weren't getting a technical match but the crowd stayed amused throughout and they ended it before the gimmickry got old. A little sad that Damien 666 didn't get to show off any of his actual wrestling skills which he does have, but he still left a favorable impression. Good opening match to warm up the crowd, since they are in store for a long night of Jr. Heavyweight action it was a good idea to warm them up first with something a little different. Score: 6.0
Ah, a young Mochizuki. Mochizuki delivers a heel kick to start the match and knees Otani down in the corner. Mochizuki waits for Otani to get up and delivers a back leg sweep before applying a heel lock, but Otani applies a heel lock of his own and Mochizuki grabs the ropes to break the hold. Back up, kicks to the chest by Mochizuki but Otani kicks him in the leg. They trade blows, but Otani nails a back kick. Kicks to the let by Otani and he puts pressure onto Mochizuki's knee. Otani jumps down onto Mochizuki's leg, snapmare, and he goes back to the leg of Mochizuki. Otani applies a cross kneelock but Mochizuki makes it to the ropes. Otani picks up Mochizuki and goes for a suplex, but Mochizuki gets out of it and delivers a German suplex hold for a two count. Kicks by Mochizuki to a downed Otani and he knees Otani in the head. Punches by Mochizuki but Otani catches one and applies the Fujiwara Armbar. Mochizuki makes it to the ropes after a moment and Otani is forced to break the hold. Heel kick by Mochizuki and he nails a double rebound kick out of the corner for a two count cover. Mochizuki waits for Otani to get up and hits a scissors kick, but Otani dropkicks Mochizuki in the knee. Otani goes up on the turnbuckle and delivers another dropkick to the knee before re-applying the knee lock. Mochizuki fights for a second but has no choice but to submit! Your winner: Shinjiro Otani
Match Thoughts: The thing that really struck me about this match is that Mochizuki was acting like the cocky heel even though Otani had been wrestling longer and was clearly at a higher level. This lead to an interesting dynamic, as both were playing the role of dickhead heel. Otani did well focusing on the leg, then ended the match with a leg submission which justified the time spent weakening it. A really good exhibition for Mochizuki at his chance on a bigger stage, yes he lost in short order but he held his own against a New Japan wrestler and never backed down. Score: 5.5
Crowd appears to be solidly behind Funaki as the match begins, but then the "Dragon" chants start up showing it is a bit more even then it originally seemed. Drop toehold by Ultimo and he runs down Funaki's back before delivering a rebound crossbody out of the corner. Ultimo goes off the ropes, they jockey for position but Funaki slaps on a heel hook. Ultimo quickly gets to the ropes to break it up and he rolls out of the ring. In the ring, Funaki fakes a dive and then sails out onto Ultimo with a pescado. Funaki gets back in the ring with Ultimo slowly following, and Funaki goes back to the ankle of Ultimo. Ultimo gets out of it, snapmare, and he kicks Funaki in the back. Funaki quickly returns to his feet and delivers a side headlock takedown, but Ultimo reverses it into an attempted cross armbreaker. Funaki reverses that back into a leg submission, and Ultimo slaps Funaki in the face before kicking him in the head. Funaki puts some extra torque into his submission hold and he switches to the knee. Funaki releases the hold for a second but immediately goes back to the leg, applying a knee lock. Funaki picks up Ultimo, Irish whip, reversed, and Ultimo delivers a headscissors. Ultimo goes off the ropes and delivers a quebrada, cover, but it gets a two count. Another Irish whip by Ultimo but Funaki rolls him up for a two count and quickly applies a heel submission. Ultimo gets to the ropes, Funaki picks him up and hits a backdrop suplex for a two count. Fisherman Buster by Funaki, but again it gets a two. Funaki drags Ultimo up, Irish whip, but Ultimo clubs Funaki in the back and hits a Fisherman Buster of his own. Ultimo picks up Funaki, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a lariat. Ultimo puts Funaki onto the top turnbuckle and nails the Frankensteiner followed by a DDT. Ultimo goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a moonsault, La Magistral by Ultimo and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Ultimo Dragon
Match Thoughts: Certainly my least favorite match so far, even though I like both wrestlers. At first the plan seemed solid, with Funaki grounding Ultimo Dragon by keeping him on the mat with submission holds. But the plan fell apart, maybe because of the time length restriction, as Funaki transitioned to trying to put Ultimo Dragon away too quickly and Ultimo was able to just whip off his string of moves and win the match with no ill effects from the submission work. I think too much of these wrestlers to think that before the match they said "ok, waste time for five minutes, then we will go to the final stretch," but that is what it seemed like. Ultimo is smooth as can be and at first I thought Funaki had a great plan to try to beat Ultimo Dragon, but in the end it just fell really flat. Score: 4.0
Tie-up to start, side headlock by Motegi, Gedo Irish whips out of it but Motegi shoulderblocks him down. Side headlock by Gedo, this time Motegi Irish whips out of it but he gets shoulderblocked down as well. Gedo goes off the ropes, leapfrog by Motegi, Motegi kicks Gedo in the stomach and delivers a belly to belly suplex. Motegi dropkicks Gedo out of the ring, he goes off the far ropes and sails out onto Gedo with a tope suicida. He then hits him in the shoulder with a belt before picking him up and throwing Gedo into the ring post. Motegi slams Gedo's arm into the post before getting back into the ring, with Gedo rolling in behind him. Kicks by Motegi, he picks up Gedo and delivers an armbreaker. Snapmare by Motegi and he kicks Gedo in the back. Motegi applies a cross armbreaker and rolls Gedo around the ring by his arm. Gedo gets the better of things and stomps on Motegi before elbowing him back down to the mat. Gedo picks up Motegi and gives him a few headbutts, but Motegi elbows him and wraps his arm over the top rope, twisting it backwards. Armbreaker by Motegi and he dropkicks Gedo in the arm. Motegi yanks on Gedo's arm, snapmare by Motegi and he delivers a hiptoss. Irish whip by Motegi, reversed, Motegi ducks a Gedo lariat and delivers a headscissors. Gedo falls out of the ring and Motegi jumps down onto him with a pescado. Motegi gets back in with Gedo climbing onto the apron, and Motegi suplexes him back into the ring. Motegi goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a missile dropkick, cover, but it gets a two count. Motegi picks up Gedo and drops him with a brainbuster, cover, but Gedo barely gets a shoulder up. Motegi picks Gedo back up and pushes him into the corner, Irish whip, but Gedo kicks Motegi when he charges in and hits a missile dropkick of his own. Gedo goes up to the top turnbuckle but Motegi rolls out of the way of the diving headbutt. German Suplex Trio by Motegi with the last one being a hold, but Gedo kicks out. Tombstone Piledriver by Motegi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Gedo avoids the diving headbutt. Motegi goes for a headscissors but Gedo blocks it. Grounded Double Chickenwing by Gedo, Motegi tries to get to the ropes but he can't make it and he submits! Your winner: Gedo
Match Thoughts: This match seemed longer then it really was. On paper Motegi vs. Gedo sounds awful, but honestly it wasn't bad. People (including myself) have bitched about Gedo doing well but this tournament was booked by WAR, Gedo was their young star, so it makes sense they would give him a rub. Here, my issue was more the structure. Motegi was doing really solid arm work, using weapons, the ring post, the ropes, and everything in between. Now in a 25 minute match, if the first five minutes of limb work is blown off, no problem. But in a six minute match, if 5 minutes of that is blown off, then it makes a very large percentage of the match meaningless. Motegi was going for things like diving headbutts and piledrivers to put Gedo away, when he should have been going for a cross armbreaker or whatever submission move he uses on the arm. Also, the the double chickenwing hadn't been built to in any way, and while I know they were trying to continue putting the move over as a match ender, some type of buildup for a submission finish is appreciated. Anyway, it wasn't dreck and Motegi looked pretty good here, but overall it wasn't good even though they tried. Score: 5.0
I am going to make no attempt to get the correct name for Caras's submission holds, I am not a Lucha guy. They will be numbered. Caras pushes El Samurai into the ropes to start the match but he gives a clean break. Drop toehold by Caras and he applies Lucha Submission #1. El Samurai inches to the ropes to force a break, back up, arm wringer by Caras but El Samurai reverses it. They trade holds until Caras arm drags El Samurai to the mat, Irish whip by Caras and he nails a diving chop. Cover, but El Samurai kicks out. Lucha Submission #2 by Caras, but El Samurai gets out of it. Stomps by El Samurai, he picks by Caras and delivers a vertical suplex. Back up, takedown by Caras and he applies Lucha Submission #3. Again El Samurai makes it to the ropes, Caras trips El Samurai and applies a Mexican Surfboard (I know the name of that one). El Samurai quickly grabs the ropes and gets out of the ring to regroup. He returns after a moment, kicks by El Samurai and he stomps Caras in the back. Irish whip by Caras, shoulderblock by El Samurai, he goes off the ropes but Caras catches him with another diving chop. Dropkick by Caras, and El Samurai falls out of the ring. Caras then goes off the far ropes and flies out onto El Samurai with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Caras trips El Samurai and applies Lucha Submission #4. El Samurai elbows out of it and hits a leg drop. El Samurai picks up Caras and delivers a piledriver (thought those were deadly in Mexico), cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by El Samurai, but Caras sneaks in a backslide for a two count. Lucha roll-up by Caras, but that gets a two count as well. El Samurai goes off the ropes and kicks Caras before nailing the Samurai Bomb for a two count. El Samurai picks up Caras and rams him into the corner, Irish whip, and El Samurai hits a dropkick. El Samurai puts Caras up on the top turnbuckle and delivers the Frankensteiner, cover, but it gets a two count. Scoop slam by El Samurai, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Caras avoids the diving headbutt. Caras now goes up tot the top turnbuckle and nails the diving crossbody, picking up the three count. Your winner: Dos Caras
Match Thoughts: Well that was different. I enjoy some current day Lucha Libre when it is fast paced, but the old school "twist you in a pretzel, let you up, twist you in a new pretzel" style is a bit too boring for my taste. Poor Samurai was a bit out of his element, but he still looked good. There didn't appear to be any miscommunications and some of the submissions were interesting looking, but I admit I was just kinda waiting for it to end since it is not my cup of tea. Score: 4.0
Tie-up, waistlock by Nakajima, they trade holds with neither wrestler getting the better of it. Tie-up, waistlock by Jericho and he takes Nakajima down to the mat. Delayed vertical suplex by Jericho but Nakajima fights back and delivers a kick to the stomach. Nakajima applies a heel hold but Jericho quickly gets to the ropes. Irish whip by Jericho from the corner and he hits a lariat. Jericho picks up Nakajima, Irish whip, reversed, but Nakajima hits a hip toss followed by a rolling senton. Quebrada by Nakajima, cover, but it gets a two count. Nakajima runs into the corner, does a headstand on the turnbuckle, and hits a headscissors. Jericho comes back with a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Chop by Jericho, he picks up Nakajima and hits a jumping back kick. Jericho picks up Nakajima again, Irish whip, Nakajima ducks a Jericho lariat and hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Kicks to the let by Nakajima and he knocks Jericho over the top rope to the floor. Baseball slide by Nakajima, he goes off the far ropes and sails out onto Jericho with a plancha suicida. Nakajima rolls back into the ring with Jericho slowly following, vertical suplex by Nakajima and he goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Jericho joins him and dropkicks Nakajima off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Jericho then goes off the side ropes and jumps down onto Nakajima with a plancha suicida. Jericho gets back in with Nakajima slowly climbing through the ropes, Irish whip by Jericho, reversed, drop toehold by Nakajima and he rolls up Jericho for a two count. Nakajima goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a crossbody, but Jericho rolls through it for a two count. Jericho picks up Nakajima and hits a Fisherman Buster followed by a Lionsault. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Chris Jericho
Match Thoughts: Simple, but fine. These first round matches have all just kinda been there, but wrestling multiple times in one night it is expected for them to take it a little easy to start off. Both wrestlers look good and there wasn't any wasted time, they pretty much went at it from bell to bell. This is the only Nakajima match I think I have seen from the 90s but he is a decent albeit not memorable wrestler. But they hit their highspots well, the Fisherman Buster appears to be the move of the night but overall there was nothing noticeably wrong with the match, it was just pretty short and pedestrian. Score: 5.5
Onward to the Quarter Finals!
Naniwa dropkicks Liger as poses on the top turnbuckle before the match starts, then quickly sends Liger to the mat with a Frankensteiner. Liger rolls out of the ring but Naniwa, still wearing his robe, goes to the top turnbuckle and sails out onto him with a plancha suicida. Naniwa throws Liger back in the ring and delivers a missile dropkick to the back, he picks up Liger and drops him with a sit-down powerbomb for a two count. Naniwa applies a modified Octopus Hold, backbreaker, Naniwa goes for his Crab Walk Elbow Drop, Liger rolls out of the way so Naniwa keeps going down the rope, but when he finally jumps Liger avoids the attack. Stomps by Liger, but Naniwa whips off a hurricanrana for a two count. Naniwa goes for a second one but Liger catches him with a powerbomb before mimicking Naniwa's trademark celebration. Liger picks up Naniwa and flings him over his head with a German suplex. Romero Special by Liger but Naniwa gets out of it and puts the Romero Special on Liger, much to the crowd's delight. Liger gets out of it and applies a stretch hold to Naniwa before applying a Camel Clutch. Liger releases the hold, punches by Naniwa but Liger levels him with a shotei. Naniwa fights back and slaps Liger back into the corner, Irish whip, and Naniwa delivers a lariat. DDT by Naniwa, cover, but it gets a two count. Naniwa applies a headscissors, but Liger reverses it into a side headlock. Naniwa Irish whips out of it and drops Liger with a lariat, followed by a dropkick. Liger falls out of the ring, Naniwa goes out to the apron and hits a rolling senton. Back in the ring, scoop slam by Naniwa and he goes up to the top turnbuckle before nailing a diving body press for a two count. Naniwa drags Liger to his feet, he puts Liger up on the top turnbuckle and hits a second Frankensteiner. Cover, but Liger gets a shoulder up. Naniwa Bomb by Naniwa, but Liger still gets a shoulder up. Back up, Naniwa goes for a second one but Liger gets out of it and delivers a Koppou Kick. Liger chops Naniwa into the corner, Irish whip, and Liger nails a second Koppou Kick. Naniwa falls out of the ring, Liger goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Naniwa recovers and joins him up there. Liger knocks Naniwa back into the ring, diving elbow drop by Naniwa, cover, but it gets a two count. Liger picks up Naniwa and goes for a Liger Bomb, but Naniwa reverses it with a hurricanrana for a two count. Kick to the stomach by Liger, and he drops Naniwa with a Fisherman Buster. Cover, and Liger picks up the three count. Your winner: Jushin Thunder Liger
Post Match: Liger helps Naniwa up, shakes his hand, and does a little crab sign with his hands as the crowd roars its appreciation for both wrestlers. Liger leaves first and Naniwa eventually follows after bowing to the crowd as they chant his name.
Match Thoughts: I frequently refer to Liger as one of the greatest wrestlers of our generation, and this is one of the reasons why. Liger can not only make anyone else look good, but look like they are on his level and have a chance at beating him. This is not an isolated performance, he does this on a regular basis. Take this match, when I first saw it five years ago I thought that Naniwa was on Liger's level or close to it. Of course, in reality Naniwa was a mid-card mostly comedy wrestler for a promotion that wasn't in the Top 5 in terms of popularity. I wish you could hear the crowd, they were more into this then any other match on the card thus far. Anyway, in the match Naniwa was always within one big move from losing, and he realized this as he threw everything he had at Liger and reversed his bigger moves whenever he could. Similar to Hayabusa in the 1994 version, it was the story of the younger hungry wrestler getting the chance on a big stage to beat a wrestler considered one of the best Jr. Heavyweights in Japan. Liger did ultimately win, but that wasn't the story here as the match was very exciting, compelling, and kept the crowd into it every step of the way. Liger = the master. Score: 8.0
Jericho and Pegasus circle each other to start, tie-up, arm drag by Pegasus and both men are back on their feet. Tie-up again, this time Jericho with an arm drag as he yells to Pegasus "Come on, mother fucker!" Hammerlock by Pegasus but Jericho gets to the ropes, and the two trade slaps. Reverse chinlock by Pegasus and he drives his knee into Jericho's back. Jericho reverses positions with him but Pegasus returns to his feet. Tie-up, Pegasus pushes Jericho to the mat but Jericho gets out of it and hits a sunset flip. Pegasus regains the advantage but gets up, also allowing Jericho to return to his feet. Delayed vertical suplex by Jericho, cover, but it gets a two count. Chinlock by Jericho, scoop slam, he goes out to the apron and delivers a slingshot splash for a two count. Jericho applies a chinlock to Pegasus, Pegasus gets back to his feet and hits a backdrop suplex to get out of it. Pegasus picks up Jericho and delivers a snap suplex, cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Pegasus and he nails a lariat, cover, but again it gets two. Pegasus picks up Jericho and hits a backbreaker, and then stretches Jericho over his knee. Pegasus applies the Lion Tamer to Jericho (before Jericho used it no doubt), but releases it after a moment. Irish whip by Pegasus, but Jericho holds onto the ropes to avoids the dropkick and hits a senton. Cover, but it gets a two count. Jericho picks up Pegasus, Irish whip, and Jericho delivers a lariat. Jericho picks up Pegasus, Irish whip to the corner and Jericho hits a dropkick. Chops by Jericho to the chest but Pegasus lariats Jericho back into the corner. Irish whip by Pegasus, Jericho rebounds out of the corner with a quebrada but Pegasus moves out of the way. Knee to the stomach by Pegasus and he drops Jericho stomach-first onto the top rope. Jericho drops down to the apron, punches by Pegasus and he suplexes Jericho back into the ring, but Jericho lands on his feet.
Back kick by Jericho, and now he puts Pegasus out onto the apron. Jericho then runs to the side ropes, rebounds off them and dropkicks Pegasus from the apron to the floor. As Pegasus gets up, Jericho runs to the side ropes again and this time hits a quebrada over the top rope to the floor. Jericho returns to the ring with Pegasus slowly following, but Pegasus kicks Jericho as he gets on the apron. Pegasus goes to the top turnbuckle but Jericho joins him. He goes for a suplex but Pegasus lands on top of him for a two count cover. Vicious powerbomb by Pegasus that the crowd loves, cover, but Jericho barely gets a shoulder up. Pegasus picks up Jericho, they trade suplex attempts and then pin attempts, but neither can get the three count. Dragon suplex hold by Pegasus, but Jericho kicks out. Scoop slam by Pegasus, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Jericho rolls out of the way of the diving headbutt. Cover by Jericho but it gets two. Jericho picks up Pegasus and hits a Tiger Driver, but Pegasus kicks out. Jericho goes for a suplex but Pegasus slides down his back and lands on the apron. Pegasus then grabs Jericho while standing on the apron and suplexes Jericho all the way down to the floor. With Jericho getting up, Pegasus goes off the far ropes and sails out onto Jericho with a tope suicida. Pegasus calls for the powerbomb but Jericho gets out of it and delivers a dragon suplex hold for a two count. Vertical suplex by Jericho, Pegasus rolls out of the way of the Lionsault but Jericho lands on his feet and hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Back up, kick but Jericho and he hits a Lionsault to Pegasus's back, Japanese leg roll clutch hold by Jericho but Pegasus kicks out. Jericho picks up Pegasus and puts him up on the top turnbuckle, Jericho joins him but Pegasus grabs Jericho around the waist and hits a sloppy tombstone piledriver to the mat for the three count cover. Your winner: Wild Pegasus
Match Thoughts: I didn't love this quite as much as last time since it was a bit sloppy at times, but overall it was still a very entertaining match. It is great for me to go back and watch Jericho and Benoit back when they were younger, they just go all out here and the crowd stayed very vocal throughout. Some of the moves made me cringe but that is par for the course with these two in the mid-90s, and it was fun seeing them pull out moves that I don't remember them ever doing. I liked they skipped the submission mat-based portion as there is no need to do it if it will have no overall effect on the match and during this time period both were more power-based Jr. Heavyweights then submission specialist (Benoit didn't really use the Crippler Crossface in Japan, and Jericho hadn't started using the Lion Tamer). Overall it was fun, the ending spot looking rough didn't help matters any but it didn't stop the fact that the rest of the match was really gripping up to that point. Score: 7.0
The jockey for position to start, Irish whip by Otani but Ultimo Dragon shoulderblocks him down. Irish whip again by Otani but Ultimo Dragon flips out of the backdrop suplex and kicks Otani out of the ring. Ultimo Dragon goes for a pescado onto Otani but Otani moves out of the way. Missile dropkick by Otani from the apron while Ultimo Dragon is on the floor, Otani rolls back into the ring and delivers a springboard plancha. Otani throws Ultimo Dragon out of the ring, and Otani nails a swan dive kneel kick to the back of Ultimo Dragon's head. Scoop slam by Otani, he goes up to the turnbuckles but Ultimo Dragon hits a dropkick off the side ropes to send Otani to the floor. Asai Moonsault by Ultimo Dragon and he rolls Otani back into the ring. Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon and he delivers a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Headscissors by Ultimo Dragon but Otani gets out of it and applies a crossface hold. They trade positions as they grapple on the mat, Otani goes for the cross armbreaker but Ultimo Dragon blocks it and applies a knee lock. Otani regains the advantage, Irish whip by Otani and he hits a dropkick for a two count. Snapmare by Otani and he applies a reverse chinlock. Otani goes for the crossface chickenwing but can't get it locked in, he manages to lock in a cross armbreaker but Ultimo Dragon gets out of it and kicks Otani in the back. Kick to the chest by Ultimo Dragon and he goes for the leg again, but Otani takes him down and applies a heel hook. Ultimo Dragon makes it to the ropes and both wrestlers return to their feet, stomps by Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip from the corner and Ultimo Dragon delivers a lariat. Camel Clutch by Ultimo Dragon, but after a moment he releases the hold. Ultimo Dragon goes for a suplex by Otani reverses it into a suplex of his own for a two count. Back kick by Otani, he picks up Ultimo Dragon and nails a tombstone piledriver. Ultimo Dragon pops up however and hits a tombstone piledriver of his own, but Otani absorbs the blow and hits a second tombstone piledriver. Ultimo Dragon returns to his feet and hits his second tombstone piledriver, but Otani is back up.
Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon to the corner, Otani rebounds out but Ultimo Dragon dropkicks him in the chest. Ultimo Dragon picks up Otani, he puts Otani up on the top turnbuckle and delivers a Frankensteiner. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ultimo Dragon picks up Otani and goes for a powerbomb, but Otani reverses it with a hurricanrana for a two count. Otani picks up Ultimo Dragon, he puts him up on the top turnbuckle and joins him, hitting a Frankensteiner of his own for a two count. Back up, Ultimo Dragon goes for a suplex but Otani pushes him into the ropes. Ultimo Dragon drops Otani over the top rope but Otani lands on the apron. Otani goes for a swan dive missile dropkick, but Ultimo Dragon moves out of the way. La Magistral by Ultimo Dragon, but it only gets a two count. Ultimo Dragon picks up Otani and throws him into the corner, Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon but Otani drops him with a back kick. Otani goes out to the apron and delivers a swan dive dropkick to the back of the head, dragon suplex hold by Otani but it gets a two count. Otani picks up Ultimo Dragon and goes for a second one, but Ultimo Dragon grabs the ropes to block it. Irish whip by Otani but Ultimo Dragon clubs Otani in the back and nails a Dragon Bomb for a two count. Ultimo Dragon calls for the end, he lets Otani up and delivers a Fisherman Buster. Cover, but Otani gets a shoulder up. Both wrestlers go for diving kicks but miss each other, Ultimo Dragon goes up tot he top turnbuckle and goes for the Dragon Tornado but whiffs. Ultimo Dragon quickly applies La Magistral, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Ultimo Dragon
Match Thoughts: I liked this match much better the first time, perhaps because in the mean time I have seen much better from these two. It started strong with the fast start, and I don't mind the submission feeling-out process, but it went downhill from there. They really were just taking turns taking moves with sometimes the wrestler that got hit by a big move being the first one up, which tends to annoy me as it is just a really lazy transition. The tombstone piledriver no-sell spot, done not once but twice, was ridiculous as that is just one of those moves that shouldn't be no sold unless you are Rick Steiner or Road Warrior Hawk. Finally, as with the last match the ending was completely botched as Ultimo Dragon completely and utterly missed with the Dragon Tornado. While he very quickly recovered, which good wrestlers do, its hard to ignore a messed up ending. There were parts I liked and the bulk of the action was crisp, but the layout and ending really brought it down. Score: 5.0
Submission move names re-set, so they aren't necessarily the same moves as in Caras' last match review. Tie-up, side headlock by Caras, headscissors by Gedo but Caras gets out of it. Arm wringer by Caras and he goes for Gedo's wrist. Snapmare by Gedo and he applies a reverse chinlock, but Caras gets out of it and applies a hammerlock. They get back up, and we get Lucha Submission #1 from Caras which is a modified surfboard if you wanted some type of visual. Eye rake by Gedo, Irish whip by Caras and he delivers a diving chop. Irish whip again by Caras and he hits a back bodydrop. Lucha Submission #2 by Caras but Gedo makes it to the ropes. Lucha Submission #3 is next, but Gedo makes it to the ropes. Snapmare by Caras and yep, Lucha Submission #4, which looks particularly not very fun. He lets it go after a second, he picks up Gedo and slams him to the mat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Dropkick to the knee by Gedo and he goes for Caras's mask, but Caras gets a foot on the ropes. Gedo keeps going for Caras's mask anyway, Irish whip by Caras and he delivers a diving chop to the chest, and Caras dropkicks Gedo out of the ring. Pescado by Caras, they roll back into the ring, and Caras delivers a powerbomb for a two count. Elbow to the back by Caras, and he hits a double underhook backbreaker for a two count cover. Another elbow to the back by Caras, chops in the corner, Irish whip, but Gedo dropkicks him back. Caras catches Gedo with a spinning backbreaker however, Caras goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody for a two count. Caras knocks Gedo back into the corner and tries a series of mounted punches, but Gedo hits him low and puts him in the Gedo Clutch to pick up the three count! Your winner: Gedo
Match Thoughts: This was borderline horrible. Caras tried to hold it together but it was just not well constructed. Caras had 95% of the offense, with Gedo only taking time to go for Caras's mask which made no sense as it wasn't helping him win (or leading to anything) and he was the crowd favorite anyway. Caras did a great job targeting the back, but Gedo never sold it and it had no impact on the match whatsoever. Just not a good match, Gedo had looked better in his last match, not sure what went wrong here. Score: 3.0
Test of Strength to start the match, Liger pushes Ultimo Dragon to the mat but Ultimo Dragon gets back up, spinning headscissors by Liger but Ultimo Dragon gets out of it and applies a side headlock. Liger in turn gets out of that and applies a stretch hold, but Ultimo Dragon kicks out of it and both men are back to their feet. Takedown by Ultimo Dragon and he applies a knee lock, but Liger reverses it into wrist lock. Back up, takedown by Liger and he applies a headscissors, but Ultimo Dragon quickly flips out of it and they return to their feet. Takedown by Liger and he applies a stretch hold, Ultimo Dragon returns to this feet, Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon and he delivers a spinning backbreaker. Irish whip again, reversed by Liger and this time he hits the spinning backbreaker. Back to the headscissors by Liger and he applies a stretch hold, but Ultimo Dragon gets back to his feet. They trade slaps, Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon and he goes for the Octopus Hold but Liger gets out of it and applies a side headlock. Back up, Irish whip by Liger but Ultimo Dragon rolls out of the back bodydrop attempt. Ultimo Dragon goes off the ropes, they trade moves but neither can get an advantage and they face off again in the middle of the ring. Irish whip by Liger and he dropkicks Ultimo Dragon in the knee. Another dropkick to the knee by Liger, he goes off the ropes and dropkicks him a third time. Liger hits a release German suplex and applies a figure four leg lock. Bow and arrow hold by Liger, but Ultimo Dragon gets out of it and applies a single leg crab hold. Ultimo Dragon reverts that to a Muta Lock, he lets go of the hold and throws Liger into the corner. Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon and he delivers a cartwheel elbow strike. Fisherman Suplex by Ultimo Dragon but Liger breaks out of it, but Liger quickly applies a figure four leg lock. Liger makes it to the ropes, they go off the ropes but Ultimo Dragon knocks Liger out of the ring.
Ultimo Dragon goes to do a dive, Liger walks towards the corner, so Ultimo Dragon changes directions and hits a tope suicida near the turnbuckle. Ultimo Dragon then quickly gets back in the ring, goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers a somersault senton. Back in the ring, powerbomb by Ultimo Dragon but it gets a two count. Ultimo Dragon hits a Tiger Suplex hold, but it gets a two count as well. Ultimo Dragon picks up Liger and he applies the cobra twist, Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon but Liger hangs onto the ropes to avoids the dropkick and he slingshots Ultimo Dragon over the top rope to the floor. Liger then gets onto the apron and sails out onto Ultimo Dragon with a cannonball. They get back in the ring, powerbomb by Liger but it gets a two count. Liger nails a brainbuster, cover, but Ultimo Dragon barely gets a shoulder up. Liger picks up Ultimo Dragon and drops him with a tombstone, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving headbutt. Cover, but again it gets a two count. Irish whip by Liger but Ultimo Dragon kicks him and goes for a roll-up, but Liger reverses the roll-up into one of his own for a two count. Ultimo Dragon grabs Liger and hits a Northern Lights Suplex, but it gets a two. Irish whip by Liger to the corner and he nails the Koppou Kick, Liger picks up Ultimo Dragon and puts him onto the top turnbuckle. Liger joins him and he goes for a Fisherman Buster, but Ultimo Dragon blocks it and applies La Magistral for a two count. Ultimo Dragon goes off the ropes and hits a quebrada, he picks up Liger, body slam, he goes up tot he top turnbuckle but Liger rolls out of the way of the moonsault attempt. Liger picks up Ultimo Dragon and nails the Liger Bomb, cover, but Ultimo Dragon barely kicks out. Liger goes off the ropes but Ultimo Dragon trips him up, Ultimo Dragon goes for La Magistral again but Liger blocks it and holds Ultimo Dragon down for the three count! Your winner: Jushin Thunder Liger
Match Thoughts: This really should have been the finals and probably wasn't simply because Ultimo Dragon was booking the tournament and wanted to put his young star in the Finals instead of himself. But this was a great match, these two are the masters and in 1995 were at the peaks of their in-ring careers. The submissions were sold the appropriate amount of time, they hit their high spots perfectly and the crowd stayed into it. It was also smart with the ending, as Ultimo Dragon had become too dependant on La Magistral to win matches and Liger caught him the second time to win the match. Overall just really entertaining, the best match of the tournament. Score: 8.5
They circle each other to start, Irish whip by Pegasus and he delivers a vicious elbow. Backdrop suplex by Pegasus, cover, but it gets a two count. Pegasus picks up Gedo and chops him down to the mat, leg drop by Pegasus and he hits a snap suplex. Pegasus picks up Gedo and levels him with a lariat. Body slam by Pegasus and he applies the Lion Tamer, he picks up Gedo and he chops him into the corner. More chops by Pegasus and he applies a stretch hold on the mat. German suplex hold by Pegasus, but it gets a two count. Pegasus applies a modified crossface, he picks up Gedo and puts him up onto the top turnbuckle. Superplex by Pegasus, cover, but it gets a two count. Pegasus picks up Gedo, another German suplex hold, but again it gets a two. Gedo quickly applies the Grounded Double Chickenwing but Pegasus gets out of it with a jawbreaker. Stomp by Gedo, he puts Pegasus in the corner, Irish whip, but Pegasus reverses it. Gedo kicks Pegasus and delivers a headscissors, sending Pegasus out of the ring. Gedo then gets a running start and sails out onto Pegasus with a tope suicida. Pegasus is up first and suplexes him onto a table at ringside. Pegasus throws Gedo back into the ring, Pegasus puts Gedo up on the top turnbuckle and delivers a Frankensteiner. Cover, but it gets a two count. Pegasus picks up Gedo and hits a third German suplex hold, and he rolls it into a second one for another two count. Pegasus goes for a tombstone but Gedo reverses it into one of his own. Gedo goes up onto the top turnbuckle, Pegasus goes to join him but Gedo pushes him off. Gedo goes for a body press, but Pegasus gets his knees up. Lariat by Pegasus, cover, but it gets a two count. Folding powerbomb by Pegasus, but again Gedo gets a shoulder up. Dragon suplex hold by Pegasus, but that only gets a two count as well. Pegasus picks up Gedo and slams him to the mat, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Gedo moves out of the way of the diving headbutt. Pegasus is up first and goes for another powerbomb, but Gedo reverses it with a hurricanrana for a two count. Pegasus goes for a suplex but Gedo lands on his feet and delivers a brainbuster. Gedo goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a diving headbutt, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Gedo
Match Thoughts: Boooo. I understand that Gedo was the home promotion "young star," but even though Gedo is really good now and has been for about a decade, he wasn't that good in 1995. And here he took everything Benoit had... the German suplexes, Frankensteiner, dragon suplex, etc. and all he did to Benoit was give him a brainbuster and a diving headbutt. I'd rather Gedo won with a flash pin or something like the Gedo Clutch, but he pinned him clean in the middle of the ring after inflicting significantly less damage. It just came across as cheap, Gedo didn't look good or strong enough to put away a former IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion so easily after taking so much abuse. Score: 4.0
The next match is a non-tournament match to give Gedo a breather before the final.
They circle each other to start, tie-up, drop toehold by Psicosis and they jockey for position on the mat. Hammerlock by Psicosis but Misterio gets out of it and applies a leg lock. Irish whip by Psicosis, reversed, and Misterio delivers a spinning backbreaker. Another spinning backbreaker by Misterio, he applies an arm wringer but Psicosis reverses it. Irish whip by Psicosis to the corner and he hits a jumping kick. Arm wringer by Psicosis and he applies a hammerlock, but Misterio snapmares out of it. Psicosis goes off the ropes but Misterio kicks him in the legs. Body scissors into a bulldog by Misterio, he goes off the ropes and hurricanranas Psicosis over the top rope to the floor. Misterio then gets a running start in the ring, jumps off the side ropes and nails Psicosis with a somersault seated senton. Back in the ring, Psicosis goes off the ropes and he dropkicks Misterio in the leg. Irish whip by Psicosis but Misterio grabs the ropes, then Misterio does a cartwheel, lands on Psicosis's shoulders and delivers a Misteriorana. Psicosis back bodydrops Misterio out onto the apron and joins him, they trade kicks, but Misterio catapults Psicosis into the ring post and he falls to the floor. Misterio then goes up to the top turnbuckle and sails out onto Psicosis with a hurricanrana. Psicosis manages to get back in the ring with Misterio following, Psicosis tries to suplex Misterio back in the ring but he lands on his feet. Misterio goes off the ropes but Psicosis hits a spinning heel kick, sending Misterio out of the ring. Psicosis then goes off the far ropes and jumps out onto Misterio with a tope suicida. Psicosis rolls back into the ring as Misterio gets onto the apron, and Misterio delivers a swan dive dropkick to the back of the head. This sends Psicosis out of the ring, and Misterio goes to the ropes and delivers a swan dive somersault seated senton. Psicosis gets back in the ring, Misterio goes to the apron and nails a swan dive hurricanrana for a two count. Psicosis goes off the ropes but Misterio kicks him in the leg as he runs by. Crossbody by Misterio to send Psicosis out of the ring, and then Misterio hits an Asai Moonsault to the floor. They get back in the ring, Misterio goes off the ropes but Psicosis catches him with a powerslam. Powerbomb by Psicosis, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the guillotine leg drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Psicosis hits another powerbomb, he goes to the top turnbuckle again but Misterio rolls out of the way of the corkscrew moonsault. Heel kick by Misterio, and he kicks Psicosis onto the top turnbuckle. Misterio joins him but Psicosis pushes him off when he goes for a Frankensteiner. Misterio quickly recovers and jumps back up to hit one anyway, another hurricanrana by Misterio and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Rey Misterio Jr.
Match Thoughts: This delivered exactly what it was supposed to, a fun spot fest. I don't know of many other wrestling pairs that worked together as well as these two in the mid-90s. From Mexico to Japan to ECW to WCW I don't even know if they know how many times they fought. They were always on the same page and both played their roles so well. Misterio is just amazing to watch. Just a spot fest, but a very entertaining one. People might watch this today and complain about the utter lack of long term selling (which is true), but the match was just supposed to keep the crowd hot while Gedo caught his breath and it definitely accomplished that goal. Score: 7.5
Tie-up, waistlock by Gedo but Liger reverses it into a hammerlock. Liger locks in an arm submission hold on the mat and stomps down onto Gedo's arm. Hammerlock by Liger and he applies a seated armbar. Knees to the arm by Liger and he goes back to the armbar. More knees to the arm by Liger and he applies a keylock. Gedo gets a foot on the ropes but Liger dropkicks him in the head. Fujiwara armbar by Liger and he applies an armbreaker. Dropkick to the arm by Liger, he picks up Gedo and he hits a second armbreaker. Stomp to the arm by Liger and he yanks on Gedo's arm. Armbreaker by Liger and he applies the crossface chickenwing. Gedo makes it to the ropes but Liger pulls him out and applies a cross armbreaker. Gedo gets a foot on the ropes but Liger kicks him into the corner. Dropkick to the arm by Liger, he picks up Gedo and hits a tombstone piledriver. Liger applies a crossface chickenwing but Gedo hits a low blow to get out of it. High kick by Gedo and he delivers an elbow, sending Liger out of the ring. Gedo then goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a moonsault down onto Liger on the floor. Gedo rolls back into the ring with Liger slowly following, and Gedo delivers a powerbomb. Gedo goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving headbutt, cover, but Liger gets a shoulder up. Ground Double Chickenwing by Gedo but Liger manages to get a foot on the ropes. Gedo picks up Liger, Irish whip from the corner, reversed, and Liger nails a Koppou Kick. He then straddles Gedo onto the second rope and hits a second Koppou Kick. Dropkick to the downed Gedo by Liger, and Gedo falls out of the ring. Liger goes for a plancha off the top turnbuckle but Gedo dropkicks him in the stomach on the way down. Both wrestlers slowly get back into the ring, and Liger hits an armbreaker, Irish whip by Gedo and both wrestlers lariat each other. Liger goes for a suplex but Gedo lands on his feet and snaps off a hurricanrana for a two count. Roll-up by Gedo, but that gets a two count as well. Fisherman Buster by Liger, cover, but it gets a two count. Liger Bomb by Liger, but it only gets another two count. Liger goes up to the top turnbuckle but Gedo joins him. Liger pushes Gedo off however, but when Liger dives off Gedo knocks him to the mat. Brainbuster by Gedo and he applies the Gedo Clutch for a two count. Gedo picks up Liger and goes for a brainbuster, but Liger reverses it into a snap suplex for a two count cover. Liger goes up to the top turnbuckle but Gedo recovers and throws him off. Now it is Gedo that goes up top, but Liger quickly joins him and nails an Avalanche Fisherman Buster. Cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner of the match and the 1995 Super J Cup: Jushin Thunder Liger
Match Thoughts: I will say one thing, Gedo's last two kinda cheap wins really set up this match well, as even though Liger stayed in control the crowd knew that Gedo could win at any point since he didn't need clever things like weakening his opponent or strong looking moves to pick up the pinfall. This match was better then Gedo's other matches on the night, but still not up to the level you'd expect from the main event. I must emphasis that Gedo became a very solid wrestler, but in 1995 he was an average wrestler. There is nothing wrong with being an average wrestler early in his career, but at this point in his career him having four matches in one night was just too much. He didn't have the skill or stamina. In this match Liger did a good job on the arm for five minutes, but it was quickly forgotten. The hope spots by Gedo were good, and Liger won convincingly with a move variant he hadn't used thus far in the tournament which put a good exclamation point on the event. Not a bad match, but there were much better matches in the tournament and it is a shame that the tournament final was only "good." Score: 6.0
Best Match: Which Liger match to choose... I'll go with Jushin Liger vs. Gran Naniwa. Liger/Ultimo Dragon was technically slightly better, but in his match with Naniwa, Liger both put on a great match and brought someone else up with him. Ultimo Dragon didn't need any help getting to Liger's level, but for Liger to convince the crowd that Naniwa was his equal made it quite the spectacle. One of the best matches of Naniwa's career.
MVP: Jushin Thunder Liger. Often times in tournament matches another wrestler can shine more so then the winner of the tournament. Not in this case, Liger had the best matches and also made his opponents look as good as possible in the process. He was the best in the tournament and he won the tournament, can't knock him for that. Gedo would be the MVP as he probably had the most "growth," but his matches were too sub par to be the MVP.
Overall: While not at the level of the 1994 version, you still had some of the best Jr. Heavyweights in Japan present in this tournament. I miss old school one day tournaments, it was a real test for the wrestlers to keep the crowd into it and also a test to their stamina and conditioning. The 1995 version of Gedo didn't help overall, I know it is the common complaint about this tournament but there is a good reason, he wasn't a bad wrestler but with a line-up like this tournament having him be the only one with four matches was going to effect the overall quality. Still a great tournament, and highly recommended.