The WWF Affair
Writer:Noririn(<--link to profile this writer)
It's not my fault in any means, but a big confusion ran out from my prompt report at Kansenki.net to the www about the WWF smack down tour at Yokohama Arena 2002/03/01.
I think I'd better to write the house show report in English and wipe out the confusion completely. Excuse me if you feel my English is strange. This is not my native language.
The house was fully crowded with the audience coming from all over the Japan. As for me, I came from a town 700 km away from Yokohama to see the show by air. Lots fans could not get the tickets and were left out side. The merchadise booths were also very very clouded. I heard that it took 1 hour to buy T shirts and programs. But it was partly because the staffs were very dull.
The audience was the mixture of "American-prowrestling" fans including those who began to see WWF on Skyperfect-TV in these 1-2 years, deep puroresu fans who wanted to be a witness of the WWF tour and intermediate fans. About 3% seemed to be foreigners, incl NAVY and so on. The tickets were sold out in the first 15 min, and not papered at all. There were no (or almost no) uninterested invited audiences.
The show kicked off by Michael Cole's opening remark. Cole was welcomed by tremendous cheer. I must say it is too much credit for him.
Next Shane's music hit the Arena. We were surprised because his appearance was not announced. The most audience was at a loss to boo at or to cheer him. He began to make a speech as a WWF vice-president in clear English. So we decided to cheer him. However, a small Japanese, Wally Yamaguchi, beside him began to translate Shane's speech to Japanese word for word. It totally destructed WWF atomosphere. Some fans began to boo at Wally. Actually I was the first one of the fans that agitated booing. The booing grew Yamaguchi's word by word. Suddenly really smart Shane stopped Wally and dispelled him from the ring. The scene symbolized the show. The fans there wanted WWF as it is, though they do not understand Shane's speech well, but they hated the Japanese translated version of WWF (which Wally Yamaguchi represented for).
Perhaps Shane realized it, hopefully.
I summarized the sequence as: Shane defeated Wally Yamaguchi by KO.
This is the origin of the false report.
1: WWF intercontinental title match
William Regal defeated Edge at 14:41.
This was too long and too much adapted to Japanese style. Perhaps Regal insisted to do Japanese style match because he was in New Japan tours several times. But every WWF staff might have forgotten the very fact that Regal had never got hug pop in Japan.
Most of the audience were in too much uproar. Regal was booed even for his classical wrestling moves as well as heel moves. It was somewhat stupid. The fans were too much enthusiastic to behave as an American prowrestling fan like a monkey.
So the mutual over consideration result in a tedious match with hard work and too noisy audience.
2:Lita defeated Mighty Molly
Actually I have never seen a good women match in WWF recently. So this should be the time to go to buy Stone Cold What? T shirt and TheRock's Just bring it T shirts. But the booth was still crowded, and both T shirts were sold out already. Shit !
But this was not a baaad thing, but a goooood thing. I did not have to see the match.
3: DDP defeated Haku by diamond cutter at 5:37
Not all the things went good. I was back to the seat on time for this match. This was not a good thing. We wanted to hear all the DDP's optimist promo but Haku interrupted it. DDP dodged Haku's elbow and assaulted with a diamond cutter to pinfall. The match was as expected.
4: Sho Funaki with Taka Michinoku defeated The Hurricane at 9:00
The WWF staffs expected that Funaki would be welcomed as a baby face. But the fans booed at Funaki and cheer for The Hurricane.
Actually Funaki and Taka did heel moves. But Funaki and Taka received cheering at the passageway to the dressing room. The match was good.
5: WWF tag team title match Billy and Chuck defended the title against HardyBoyz at 9:20
I did not know Billy and Chuck were champions, because the broadcasting in Japan is delayed for 3 weeks to US. Billy and Chuck gimmick totally killed the Billy Gunn's character. I could not distinguish them from my stand seat. Hardyz could not satisfy PURORESU fans. Perhaps their days have gone. The match was so so. But the Arena was satisfied to see Hardyz.live
6: TAJIRI pinned Kidman with stick kick at 11:38
TAJIRI got tremendous rooting. TAJIRI showed favorite moves, kick, tarantura, body sprash etc etcc.But he did not spit out GREEN MIST in front of Great Muta on the TV commentary booth, though all the audience wanted to see. The match was good. But Kidman was below the expectation.
7: " Flair defeated Choshu"
Then, g Also Sprach Zarathustrah told us the unannounced appearance of Ric Flair. He gave his greeting to the audience. He showed the respects to the great tradition of Japanese prowrestling, and said that it was his great honor that he was involved in the history for 30 years.
He gave his remarks for his opponents in Japan, Jumbo Tsuruta, Tenryu, Brody, Stan Hansen, Terry Funk, Harley Race, Inoki, Choshu, Giant Baba, Fujinami and the Great Muta. (Flair did not fight against Inoki in Japan but in Pyongyang as you know, but it is OK),
The audience shouted Yeah! for each wrestler, but obviously Choshu got the smallest cheer.
Deep puroresu fans never shout Year for Choshu as they know what Choshu is
(though they know what he was in his old days).
Some gAmerican-prowrestlingh fans do not care what Choshu was, some don't like Choshu, and some simply do not know who Choshu is.
This meaned that n the arena, both fans frankly denied what Choshu represented for in New Japan, if they were aware of it or not.
That was the conclusion of the night.
Then Regal appeared and said something to Flair. Suddenly Flair got angry and captured him in Figure 4 leg lock.
Regal limp wearily along the passageway but then finally he got cheer from the fans.
8: Kane & Big Show defeated Duddleyz 11:08
Duddleyz were very good. Recently Japan has lost the best tag team Ten-Koji (Tenzan-Kojima). Ten-Koji owed much to Duddleyz.
Duddleyz sold a lot to show clearly how strong BigShow and Kane were, and switched to the offensive quite naturally.
Kane and BigShow were of course very big. Very impressive for the fans to see them live for the first time. Especially BigShow's rope work was quite powerful. Stacy was very erotic (as you know). Every sports newspaper reported in a color photos that BigShow spanked Stacy's red T-back panty. So this was the best match of the night.
Kane and Bigshow captured Duddleyz in choke slam simultaneously, and Kane pinned Buba.
8: World undisputed title match
Chris Jericho pinned TheRock by school boy at 20:53.
The match was ordinary one. At the middle of the match, Duddleyz ran-in after ref-bump. It was the first run-in of the night. The Rock dispelled Duddleyz out from the ring. But Y2J managed to pin the Rock in Quick by school boy to defend the title.
That's not important at all.
All the audience was not much concerned with the finish.
They worried about whether they can hear the Rock's catchphrases or not. Actually, there was some booing when the Rock began the match without speaking any word.
9: Main event
Main event was microphone promo between The Rock and Jericho. Perhaps this would be a typical bonus track of the house show with
disappointing ending in USA. Basically it was the same play which was done between Austin and Rock in the RAW before Judgement Day. At first they scrambled for a microphone and disturbed their catchphrases each other. Suddenly TheRock became friendly and asked Y2J if he would go to Roppongi to eat Japanese Pie.
Jericho was irritated, saying that he did not like Japanese Pie English Pie, German Pie or USA Pie. Rock asked in a scared matter if Y2J was OKAMA as Y2J did not like Japanese Pie. He taught that basically OKAMA means gay. Then the fans began to chant gY2-Gayhfor Y2J.
At the end of the 30 min of battle talk, Rock and Y2J shook hands, then Rock screwed Y2J to rock-bottom him. Finally people's elbow was completed in Japan for the first time ever.
TheRock concluded the show, saying gIf you smeeee~~~~~lululu what theRock is cooking.h
TheRock brought up the Stars and Stripes and Hinomaru, Japanese National flag. He put both in his shoulders, and then shook hands with The Great Muta at the commentary booth.
Well, this was not a simple show.
This was the Affair in the Japanese prowrestling history.
American prowrestling has completely took root in the Japanese prowrestling market. I am not sure whether WWF can be successful or not when they hold regular shows in Japan. But it is not important. In the show, not a small number of Japanese could enjoy American prowrestling as it is. Moreover, they can enjoy 30 min of microphone performance without any translation. Language barrier was supposed to be the biggest obstacle for American prowrestling in Japan, but it was not.
This show will not destroy Japanese promotions because of 10,000 km distance from USA, but it will give strong influences.
this report is copyright by KANSENKI.NET & WRITER