Sasaki retains belt in Fukuoka
By JOHN F. MOLINARO -- SLAM! Wrestling
IWGP World Heavyweight champion Kensuke Sasaki retained his title defeating The Great Muta today as part of New Japan Pro Wrestling's special "Wrestling Dontaku" at the Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka, Japan.
A disapointing crowd of 35,000 fans saw Sasaki, wrestling under his old Power Warrior gimmick from his days of tagging with Road Warrior Hawk, scored the pinfall in 12:14 with a lariat clothesline.
In the main event, IWGP World Tag team champions Manabu Nakanishi (formerly Kurosawa in WCW) and Yuji Nagata defeated NWA World Heavyweight champion Naoya Ogawa and Kazunari Murakami to hold onto the belts. Ogawa ended up working the show, despite rumours circulating prior to the event that he would be replaced by Shinya Hashimoto because of an injury.
Masahiro Chono defeated Tatsumi Fujinami with his finisher, the yakuza kick, in six minutes. Yutaka Yoshie pulled off a surprise victory defeating Satoshi Kojima in 15 minutes. Hiroyoshi Tenzan pinned Takashi Iizuka with his diving head butt in 13 minutes.
In a thrilling 8-man junior heavyweight tag match, the New Japan squad of Koji Kanemoto, Shinjiro Otani, Kendo Ka Shin and Tatsuhito Takaiwa defeated the mixed New Japan/Toryumon tem of IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Minoru Tanaka, CIMA and Sumo "Dandy" Fuji.
In other action: Shiro Koshinaka, Junji Hirata and Tadao Yasuda teamed up to defeat Team 2000 (Hiro Saito, Tatsutoshi Goto and Kenzo Suzuki); Kenzo Suzuki defeated Shinya Makabe in the finals of the New Japan Young Lions Cup.