Saturday, November 25, 2023

THE TOKYO DOME! Home of Japanese Pro Wrestling History!

The Tokyo Dome. Photo by Brett Homenick.

Last night, I had a few hours to kill from the time I finished work until the subtitled version of Godzilla Minus One (2023) screened in Hibiya, so I thought I could popeye down to Tsuburaya Convention 2023 to take a look-see at what it had to offer. What I found was a massive line still waiting to get in (that showed very few signs of moving) and no obvious area from which to buy tickets, so I quickly abandoned that idea.

Thankfully, though, the con was being held in the shadow of the Tokyo Dome, so I decided to take a few photos of it instead. I'm not a baseball fan, but I'm familiar with it due to its history with pro wrestling -- World Championship Wrestling, in particular. For example, while I've never seen the full match, this is the venue where Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Ric Flair in March 1991 to become the new WCW champion ... or did he? 

It was my first exposure to a Dusty finish, so the decision was quickly reversed. But the angle instantly hooked me, and it made Fujinami an immediate threat to Flair's championship reign. I really wanted to see their return encounter at the inaugural SuperBrawl in May, but it was on Pay-Per-View, so that wasn't happening. WCW television showed the highlights of the Tokyo Dome match at the time, and it was even covered in the Apter mags, so it was one of the bigger developments in wrestling that year. It was pretty fun for me to see where it all happened. 

In 1992, I did see the Pay-Per-View entitled WCW Japan Supershow II, which was co-promoted with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but I remember very little about it. (I mean, it's been more than 30 years.) It also took place at the Tokyo Dome, though WCW announcers and commentators would always refer to it as the Egg Dome, which made it sound pretty silly to my ear. The Tokyo Dome is a much more respectable name, of course. Who wants to say that he just won a championship at something called the Egg Dome?

This, naturally, just scratches the surface of pro wrestling history at the Tokyo Dome, but I just wanted to share some of my personal memories of it.  

No comments:

Post a Comment