Yesss.....that is what I remember. Was it still a JCP product at that point, or had WCW bought out WCW by then? I don't remember, I was young, and didn't know any of the backstage shit back then...kayfabe was great...
edit: I guess the WCW sheet in the background of the photo should be a clue...h ah aha
REVIEW ; ZENK ALWAYS IMPRESSES
WCW/NJPW Rumble In The Rising Sun 1991
Segment 2 - NJPW: (Team Shiny Jackets!) Shiro Koshinaka, Kuniaki Kobayashi, and Takayuki Iizuka vs. WCW: (Team Mullet Power!) Tim Horner, Brian Pillman, and Tom Zenk.
Vice: Vice needs to see more Brian Pillman and Z-Man. This much is obvious. Tim Horner and the Japanese folk.. not so much.
Fun opening match. Japan wins. That’s basically it.
Okay, so this is the 90s. All the Americans have huge, fluffy mullets, and all of the Japanese guys have ridiculously high pants and shiny jackets. Also good to remember, is that this is probably the first time that an American audience was in any way exposed to Japanese wrestlers to this extent, and certainly to the Japanese fanbase. JR has to make a point of telling the audience that the fans aren’t bored, but are instead maintaining a respectful silence. I’m actually blown away, initially, by how amazing Ross and Schiavone are working together as an announcing team. They complement each other incredibly well, and Ross especially is just fantastic to listen to. Seeing this really does drive home how much of a shell of himself he’s become these days. Depressing, really.
The match itself was hard to get used to at first, because we as wrestling fans have gotten used to some truly incredibly displays of high flying, and exciting opening match wrestling in the past 18 years, and to see this, I wasn’t even conscious, at first, that that’s what they were going for. As the match unfolded, though, it became more clear, and I actually found myself impressed, not with Pillman or the Japanese guys, and certainly not with Horner, but instead with Tom Zenk. What the shit happened to Tom Zenk? The guy had an amazing look for the early 90s, and his offense was actually really fun to watch. To say nothing of how fluid a team he and Pillman were. I was really getting into the guy, and it’s a good thing, because I just finished watching the match twelve seconds ago, and I couldn’t tell you anything about the Japanese guys, aside from the old one with the Harley Race sideburns. They were basically just there, and seemed like complete cannon fodder for the Americans.
Which, of course, made it even weirder when the young one (Kobayashi I think?) ran in and hit a Dragon Suplex on Horner to get the win. Seemed completely contrary to the match altogether, but it was probably booked by arrangement between the two companies anyway, so I guess I can see how it would work out that way.
Interesting opener. Not great. Not bad. Interesting.
65 out of 100.