Ogawa wins Tokyo Dome showdown
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
NWA World Heavyweight champion Naoya Ogawa.
NWA World Heavyweight champion Naoya Ogawa defeated Shinya Hashimoto in
the main of event of New Japan Pro Wrestling's "Dome Impact" show at the
Tokyo Egg Dome today.
Ogawa scored the win in just over 15 minutes via KO with
his STO finisher. Japanese legends Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi
were at ringside for the match. Due to a pre-match stipulation,
Hashimoto must now retire from wrestling. It's expected that Hashimoto
will in fact not retire and that the stipulation was just part of an
Kensuke Sasaki successfully defended his IWGP World
Heavyweight title defeating IWGP World Junior Heavyweight champion
Jushin "Thunder" Liger. Sasaki used his signature Northern Lights Bomb
to score the pinfall.
The Sasaki-Liger contest was just one of several matches
pitting a heavyweight against a junior heavyweight. Former WCW star
Yuji Nagata forced 1999 Top of the Super Juniors tournament winner Kendo
Ka Shin to submit to his patent Nagata Leg-lock. Heavyweight Don Frye
disposed of junior heavyweight Koji Kanemoto by submission in ten
minutes. Satoshi Kojima defeated Shinjiro Otani, scoring a pinfall
after executing his lariat clothesline.
In a special grudge match, Masa Chono defeated The Great
Muta by DQ after Muta sprayed the referee with his fog mist.
In a press conference prior to the show, WCW official Paul
Orndorff signed Muta to a WCW contract, setting up the upcoming WCW
invasion angle in New Japan. The angle will see WCW send several of
their Power Plant wrestlers to New Japan, working as part of a clique
headed by Muta. The angle will see a disenfranchised Muta declare war
on New Japan and lead a WCW invasion on the company. Muta was
accompanied to ringside for his match by WCW valet Mona.
Last year's G1 Climax tournament champion Manabu
Nakanishi, better known as Kurosawa to WCW fans, defeated Scott "Flash"
Norton by submission.
In other action, Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Yutaka Yoshie
by pinfall and Takashi Iizuka defeated Kazunari Murakami by submission.
Part of the show was broadcast live in Japan over the
TV-Asahi national network. The card failed to sellout the Dome, drawing
a disappointing crowd of 40,000 fans.
-- With files from Shootangle