IWA Japan Shin-FMW Tarzan Goto in Bathhouse Wrestling (August 21, 1995)

IWA Japan Bathhouse

Between my quest to watch every episode of WWE’s short lived show for kids, Saturday Morning Slam and my biweekly forays into WCW Nitro from the year 2000, I’ve watched a lot of ridiculous shit as of late, but it’s been a hot minute since I’ve reviewed any Japanese garbage wrestling from the mid-90s so I think I should probably rectify that. Today we’re looking at a tape from IWA Japan featuring the infamous bathhouse deathmatches. Yes deathmatches…there are more than one.

Before we go any further I should probably warn you that this review might have some GIFs with tits in them due to the nature of this match. Consider the page break deal your NSFW tag. Don’t read more if you don’t want to see boobs or butts. You’ve been warned.

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ECW Hardcore Heaven ’95 (July 1, 1995)

ECW Hardcore Heaven '95

This is a show I’d heard a lot about back in the day when I was into real sleazy garbage wrestling and shit like that because of the Taipei Deathmatch but I’d never actually seen it until I got the WWE Network and watched it, which automatically makes it 90% less sleazy than it would have been if I’d traded a 3rd generation tape of the Big Japan Supermarket Deathmatch for a dubbed copy of this, but whatever. Let’s get extreme!

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BJW (July 1, 1995)

BJW Logo 1995

Back in the early days of the internet, before YouTube was a thing, wrestling fans use to trade VHS tapes of wrestling shows with one another since often times there was no other way to see certain promotions. One of the earliest tapes I acquired in the 90s was a tape of deathmatches from Japan including the event we’re going to look at today: Big Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Grocery Store Deathmatch!

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ECW Hardcore TV (February 7, 1995)

ECW_Logo

We start things off with the Public Enemy making their way out to the ring for their Tag Team Title match against the challengers of Sabu and The Tazmaniac. This footage is from Double Tables, but because I’m watching it on the WWE Network instead of a VHS cassette, “Here Comes the Hotstepper,” has been replaced by some generic hip-hop beat. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind though and dutifully puts their hands in the air and waves them as if they just don’t care all the same.

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WCW Monday Nitro (September 4, 1995)

WCW_Monday_Nitro_TNT_Logo

This is the very first episode of Monday Nitro and the opening salvo of what would become the “Monday Night Wars.” We are at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota for some reason and our hosts for the evening are apparently Eric Bischoff and Steve “Mongo” McMichael.

This is Mongo’s first show with WCW and Bischoff tells him, “You made it to the big leagues, buddy,” which is a reference to Mongo’s brief stint in the WWF during the feud between Lawrence Taylor and Bam Bam Bigelow. I guess, then, that this is the first shot Bischoff would take at the WWF during an episode of Nitro.

They bring out Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in an effort to make the commentary team not completely awful. Heenan offers Mongo a handshake and then yells out in pain because Mongo has a joy buzzer or something.

With all that out of the way we head down to the ring (which appears to have been set up in the middle of the food court) for action!

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WWF Monday Night Raw (October 30, 1995)

MondayNightRaw1993

It’s All Hallow’s Eve…uh Eve 1995 and the WWF are kicking off Raw right with a Monday Night Raw jack o’lantern! This quickly goes from pretty cool to decidedly uncool when Todd Pettengill shows up dressed as a Dracula. He gives us a brief rundown of the recent events transpiring in the WWE in a voice that’s more The Count from Sesame Street than Bela Lugosi. From there we get the opening before heading to a civic center somewhere in Manitoba, Canada to get the show underway, and oh what a show it is!

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Yumi Fukawa vs. Nobue Endo (AJW July 27, 1995)

This is bizarre. After a hype package for Yumi Fukawa talking about how she’s a master of fighting in any environment we head to a water slide park.

Nobue Endo comes down a water slide and the proceeds to beat up Yumi Fukawa poolside. Fukawa chucks Endo off some bridge thing into a pool to turn the tables. There’s an underwater figure four leg lock applied and a ref shows up and the match gets underway in earnest.

They wrestle on a couple gym mats that have been set up at poolside while visitors to the water slide park look on. There are dropkicks and armbars and stuff before Fukawa picks up the win with a backslide.

After the match Miss Hong Kong, who was apparently at the water park, expresses her appreciation for the match stating she’d never seen women wrestle before and thought it was sexy.

WWF In Your House 4: Great White North (October 22, 1995)

WWF - In Your House 4 Cover

Pre-Show Saturday Night Slam
Todd Pettengill is at home I guess. He has cardboard cutouts of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in his living room that he greets when he sees them. His life seems the saddest. He has a giant pizza and sacks of snacks and a million cans of Coke to watch a mid-90s In Your House PPV alone.

A pair of women with lesbian haircuts who clearly hate Pettengill join him later as he highlights the most important matches of the upcoming show. This is actually pretty helpful if like me you are randomly watching an In Your House PPV from 1995 in 2017 completely devoid of context aside from some vague recollection of stuff you’d might have seen on TV 22 years ago. If it was 1995 and you’d been watching it as it happened and had been following WWF from week to week the only thing of any importance that happens here is Gorilla Monsoon talking about how Shawn Michaels had been attacked by a gang in Syracuse several weeks early and might not be able to compete but assured us an Intercontinental Championship match would take place. Oh shit this is that PPV?

Todd Pettengill wraps things up by shoving pizza in the face of a little girl who randomly appeared and the show gets underway.

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