August 26, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

Bret Hart vs. Tiger Mask II – (Tokyo Dome, 4/13/90)
Josh Matthews & Matt Striker on commentary

More from the WWF/AJPW Wrestling Summit show. And yes, Tiger Mask II is Mitsuharu Misawa towards the end of his tenure as an incarnation of the Tiger Mask character. Seems like it would be a pretty rare thing to have any gaijin (in this case, Bret) to have wrestled both Tiger Mask I and Tiger Mask II. Early on, Tiger Mask works the arm a lot. Bret slips out of an armbar, but takes a dropkick to the floor. The crowd thinks it is time for a suicide dive from Tiger Mask, but he totally fakes them out and lands on the apron. Back to the arm for Tiger Mask. During this segment of the match, Striker actually mentions how Misawa went on to create his own wrestling company known as Pro Wrestling NOAH! WHAT! Not only that, but he encourages people to CHECK OUT Mitsuharu Misawa on the internet! Such blasphemy! Bret backs Tiger Mask into the corner. Tiger Mask tries a crossbody out of the corner, but Bret rolls through for a two-count. Bret gets a chance to grab a chinlock. Tiger Mask escapes a headlock and makes Bret whiff a dropkick. He follows up with a catapult in the corner, but then chills out with a wristlock. Tiger Mask wants a crucifix, but Bret puts a stop to it and falls back on him. Tiger Mask escapes another chinlock and sends Bret to the floor to him with a plancha! Back in the ring, Tiger Mask grabs a cross armbreaker. Bret makes the ropes, but gets stuck in the armbar again. Bret feigns a knee injury off a leapfrog and then runs Tiger Mask over with a clothesline. Backbreaker gets two. Bret continues to knock Tiger Mask around before dumping him out to the floor so he can pose without interruption. Back inside, Bret hits a Russian Legsweep for two. Back to the chinlock. Tiger Mask comes back with a quick slam, but then Bret gives him a NASTY atomic drop. Suplex gets two. Another chinlock by Bret. When that doesn’t get the submission Bret wants, he changes over to an abdominal stretch. Tiger Mask reverses, but Bret takes him over with a hiptoss. Tiger Mask runs into a boot, but avoids a flying elbow drop from Bret. Tiger Mask climbs up top and hits a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! The sternum-first bump earns Tiger Mask another nearfall as the time limit expires. (20:15) This one had a slow build, but never really picked up to anything all that special like it should have. It had the feel of a short time-limit draw. Still, we got some interesting commentary to make the match more interesting than it was. **¾

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