I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who found this lacking. I understand that New Japan likes its matches to begin with matwork, but I'd like to see it actually mean something to the rest of the match instead of being thrown in just because it's traditional, and here it doesn't.
Rick actually biting Muta's butt is something he wouldn't even try in the U.S. where the "Dogface Gremlin" stuff is actually understood, and it looked ridiculous here.
Thise who vall for the screwdriver to be a no-ifs-ands-or-buts finisher have it exactly right. It's one of those moves that exposes the business otherwise, as in "No way he's getting up from that if wrestling was real".
Rick couldn't execute the suplex off the top correctly either time he tried it, and it's only because he's so strong and Muta and Hase each took a big bump for it that it looked even halfway decent. I can see what most people mean about Rick getting sloppy by now, and it's a damn shame that Scotty chose to follow him down the same path a few years later.
Hase's running clothesline looked nice, but he took so long to get to Rick that Rick looked like an idiot for not dropping down. That's two moves in this match that non-fans looking to prove a point would ridicule mercilessly.
I think the crowd here was much more into Inoki-Tenryu for obvious reasons, but I still would have expected more heat for this. Maybe the Japanese were getting tired of the Steiners by now, since most of their matches in Japan have been basically the same since they started coming over. I know you can say that about most guys, but Rick and Scotty don't seem to have as much oomph, for lack of a better word, as they used to. I can see it in their American matches as well, although they looked really good against Bret and Owen earlier in the month.
Am I the only one who wonders how the third match of this unofficial round robin (Harts vs Muta/Hase) would have turned out? I guess it would depend on whether the match was held in America or Japan. In Japan, it could have been a classic. In America, Muta and Hase would most likely have come out with Fuji and been reduced to chops, nerveholds, and salt throwing (although Vince may have let Muta use the handspring elbow and moonsault).