MATCH 7: “THE BLUE SAMURAI” JORSH HORNET v. FLASH “THE HOWL BEAST” BURTON
Now that we’ve shattered gender barriers, what’s next for the Briefcase Cup? What’s that? You want us to settle the age-old debate between arm wrestlers and mixed martial artists? I thought you’d never ask! It just so happens that our next two entrants feel the same way. Get ready to go OVER THE TOP as the Blue Samurai takes on the Howl Beast in a no-rules, no-love lost death match – RIGHT NOW.
I really don’t know how they got away with this; it’s like they weren’t even trying. Personally, if I was stealing the likeness of Josh Barnett, one of the most talented mixed martial artists of all time, I would have done a little more than change his name to “Jorsh.” With that lame last name, he’s just a goatee and an eyepatch away from flat out being “bizarro” Barnett.
As Jorsh’s MMA gloves suggest, Barnett was (and is) an established mixed martial artist. In 2002, at the age of 24, Barnett became the youngest man of all time to capture the UFC Heavyweight Title. Without ever losing that title, Barnett took his talents to Japan, where he began competing in unscripted (read: legit) mixed martial arts bouts on cards promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling. Within a year, he’d capture the Pancrase Openweight Championship, a title which he defended twice before its discontinuation. Barnett then went on to compete in Pride Fighting Championship, which, at the time, was the world’s preeminent mixed martial arts organization. This is all before FPWR was released. He’s still an active competitor to this day. He is a very bad dude.
Contemporaneously with his move to Japan, Barnett became an active competitor in “worked” matches for New Japan Pro Wrestling. While this confused the hell out of the American MMA press, it lead to some fantastic bouts, like the one with Ken Shamrock featured in the video below. If you take a look, you’ll see that Barnett’s bouts were often worked to appear as “legitimate” as possible.
Jorsh utilizes a capture suplex, which is a move you’ll see more than a few times in the highlight below. If you’ve got a knowledge of global MMA, you’ll also note that it wasn’t uncommon for wrestling promoters to pit Barnett against other MMA stars:
So he was BIG IN JAPAN; he managed the incomparable feat of maintaining simultaneous pro-wrestling and MMA careers, thriving at both. In fact, it was not uncommon for Josh to claim “Pro Wrestling” as his fighting style, a sentiment he’s echoed numerous times in recent years.
So who will feel the sting of the Hornet? This poor sap better have some thick skin.
Oh, him? Yeah, he’ll do. This mountain of muscle is Flash Burton. I’m 99% sure he’s supposed to be Scott “Flash” Norton. The last name rhymes, and the nickname has gone Christian, but I’m pretty sure this checks out. Flash works for View Japan, FPWR’s alternate universe version of New Japan, which is precisely where Scott worked at the time of the game’s release. If that wasn’t enough, Flash’s birthday is roughly one month off from Scott’s. We’re pretty sure this is the guy.
Scott Norton got his start as an arm wrestler (a fact confirmed by this fantastic feature at WWE.com; he was even in Over the Top). The nickname “Flash,” which seems out of place for a musclebound fireplug of a pro wrestler, makes perfect sense for an arm wrestler known for finishing his opponents within the blink of an eye. While he was known for his strength in the ring (see video above), this only lends credence to FPWR‘s proclomation that Flash “possesses relentless super powers.” The “Wild Bomb Whip” that Burton uses as a finisher is variant of the power bomb, which you’ll see cataloged in the video above.
Longtime American wrestling fans may remember Scott Norton as a member of WCW’s uber-faction, the NWO. Indeed, it wasn’t hard to find Norton on your TV during the late 90s. In fact, Norton was a long-time fixture on WCW, often teaming with NWO stablemate, Buff Bagwell, as part of the tag team Vicious and Delicious. That being said, Norton got his start in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where his “relentless superpowers” strength made him a perennial favorite:
While Norton never won a tile during his tenure in WCW, fans may yet remember him walking around on Nitro with a championship belt of his own. That’s because during his time in WCW, Norton continued to wrestle in New Japan, where he captured the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. That’s right: Scott Norton was so BIG IN JAPAN that the good folks at New Japan let him cart their title all over the globe like some kind of overgrown ring prop. Norton still wrestles occasionally in Japan to this day. Here he is destroying former world champion Kensuke Sasaki in just under six minutes:
Also of note, Scott Norton may have the coolest Twitter bio ever:
Loves kicking ass, loves his wife. We should all strive for such things.
During the FPWR era, Norton was working part time in New Japan as a gatekeeper of sorts. You had to get through him if you wanted to be a star. As such, Burton should be the perfect roadblock for the Hornet hype train. Hornet, I hope you ate your Wheaties; this’ll be a tough one.
Brutal! While Burton was able to rifle off just about every power move in his arsenal, it seemed like Hornet had a triangle choke waiting at the end of of every power bomb. Norton just couldn’t keep up, and Hornet was able to deliver a “Flash” KO at the 9:03 mark.
This match really showcases FPWR‘s AI. Note how Hornet fights like a reasonable approximation of an MMA fighter, neutralizing Burton’s brute force attack with low kicks, clinch work and submission attempts. It’s nothing fancy, but a little attention to detail goes a long way.