TAPE 731

Quality: EX (Master Convert)

Length: 2.5 hrs (DVD)

RINGS MEGA BATTLE 1ST - 1/25/92 (Another not-great show from the early days of RINGS, except this time we get a match that turns into a shoot and a piledriver. Fun stuff! I've got a master convert so VQ is EX.)
Herman Renting vs Strom Koba Mitsuya Nagai vs Koichiro Kimura (Another Kimura match that goes waaaaay too long, this one going over 28 minutes.) Willie Peeters vs Bert Kopps Jr (Peeters hits a piledriver! He hits it, then looks at his corner and laughs, not believing he pulled it off!) Nobuaki Kakuta vs Rob Kaman (Kakuta gets a legit busted nose) Willie Wilhelm vs Igor Kolmikov Gerard Gourdeau vs Masaaki Satake (If you ever want to see the difference between a work and a shoot very clearly delineated, watch this match. Everything is progressing nice and smooth in this one until Satake hits Gourdeau with a legal kick when his back is turned. It's a legit kick but a little cheap as it was after a break but also after the match had re-started. Anyway, Gourdeau is LIVID and this turns into a shoot in a hurry. He goes nuts on Satake and starts laying in the legit punches to the face and lands several knees too. The difference in intensity and power in his strikes is very stark and shows just how different a work and a shoot are.) Akira Maeda vs Dick Vrij (Cuz these two squaring off 2 times in the first 3 or 4 RINGS shows wasn't enough, we have to get another matchup here...)