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Found 24 results

  1. Uuh what to you think happens in this match. Two thickly built japanese dudes have a tea party or something? No they beat the hell out of eachother. Hara starts this match working like Kurisu, trying to take the match to the outside and brain Saito with chairs. Meanwhile Saito just tries to cave Haras chest in with kicks. I've no idea why no japanese promotion (besides W*ING for a brief moment) has tried to do more with Saito in the 90s because he was a perfectly good b-side Hashimoto and the crowd loved him here. Lots of nasty kicks and lariats, Hara takes bigger bumps than you'd expect from a thick old dude, and they keep it short and sweet.
  2. This was pretty much a BattlARTS style match. Saito represents karate but he is a pretty versatile worker, he can do stuff on the mat and he hits a huge suplex on Ishikawa. This was mostly Ishikawa outclassing his opponent on the mat and getting brutalized in return which is a match formula that works perfectly fine. And this was a nice showing from Saito too who was pretty underutilized in the 90s, he could've made a great addition to the BattlARTS roster or secondary guy in some big WAR/NJ tags.
  3. Tanaka still looks like FMW Tanaka here. Saito has blonde hair. So when they face off, it looks like Tanaka is workintg against an uncool looking erzatz of Mr. Gannosuke. Odd. Also odd to see Tanaka be a dick, as he always was a perenial babyface. He does it quite well though, as he should since the first half of the match is mostly him and Ohtani, who's used to being a dick and loves to slap people around, doing heelish stuff like they are the Fabulous Ones or something. They do get heat although the home team is also a bunch of dicks. Akiyama does no sell a ton at first, like "I'm not selling that second rate promotion weak shit", and he doesn't make a lot of effort to put the opposition over. Honestly, I'd go so far to say he was the worst of the four here, as Saito is getting used to get his ass kicked now and does it well. It's like Akiyama was a bit disinterested to make this compelling honestly. There's a ludicrous no-selling exchange with him and Ohtani early which doesn't look very good, but apart from that he was still at least (and at best) *good*. Maybe the fact he didn't work on top kinda took its toll on his motivation. Anyway, after an okay "let's heel up" period, the finishing stretch finaly gets things going and Tanaka finally shines doing what he does. Heavyweight Ohtani still can deliver a terrific top rope dropkick on the back of your head too. NOAH's booking really was putting emphasis on Saito, as he's the one who gets to shine at the end. Very good match in the end.
  4. Otani's invasions of Noah were always great and produced some quality matches. This is no exception. He gets a ton of love from the Korakuen fans which are pretty lively during this and his exchanges with Akiyama are great as they both dish it out on each other with some quality strikes and some big throws. His exchanges with him bullying Kanemaru are quality too. Unfortunately the exchanges with Saito are way too short. That finishing stretch, namely the stuff with Kanemaru and Asako I thought was really great.
  5. Typical fun energetic mutli man tag Noah Korakuen Hall match. One of the things I've come to appreciate of Noah re-watching all these older matches is the diversity of the midcarders and undercarders -- i.e.; Akitoshi Saito, Jun Izumida, Makoto Hashi, Kentaro Shiga, Takuma Sano, etc. and Saito is the standout here for me hitting Ikeda with some vicious kicks and hitting some great looking body punches on Rikio. Some of the other cool moments feature Akiyama goading Ikeda and Rikio into the ring and then running out of the ring so they can get ambushed from behind by Saito and Hashi, Ikeda bringing the heat and the post match chaos with Honda coming out to make the save. Really fun stuff.
  6. You look at this match up and you go „Well, these are two guys who are not afraid to kick somebody in the face“. And that's what happens in this match. It's also NJPW vs. WAR (or Seishinkaikan vs. WAR?), so it had the kinda heat those matches have. These guys were just crushing eachother, Saito was hitting some really devastating mid kicks aswell as knees to face, and Kitahara in return kicked him in his face and bald head a bunch. Kitahara pouncing on Saito with mount punches, leaving Saito to come out with a big red spot of blood on his bald head is something that only happens in 93. The referee blew the finish a little on this one but for two mean asskickers stepping up and kicking the shit out of eachother this delivered.
  7. Another really fun big man tag with Sugiura being an alternate as he was still a Jr. then. Akiyama and Saito do a great job of cutting the ring in half and isolating the smaller Sugiura and even though we don't get the nasty knee to head manjigatame Akiyama has been using, we get an ugly spine bending double crab on Sugiura. Sugiura's comeback is smartly kept short to a spear and then the hot tag to Omori, who unleashes and we get a wild hot, hot finishing stretch starting from there. Sugiura dead lifting people and throwing heavyweights around is a pretty awesome visual here too.
  8. Not a MOTYC or a great match by any chance, but a fun big man match. Not a bomb fest and they actually work in more brutal strikes and bring a bit of hate towards each other and the entire post match shenanigans just elevates that here. Fun stuff.
  9. Fujiwara looks like such a badass here. This is a match built as a battle of Saito’s striking and kicking and Fujiwara’s submissions, and Fujiwara just overwhelms Saito with his badassery. Early on as they’re making their first moves he checks Saito’s kicks and then just explodes with brutal chokes, making great use of Saito’s gi and surely making whoever his judo coach was proud with sweet collar chokes. Saito takes the gi off but Fujiwara then just uses the belt to choke him even more violently, really the whole match is just a sweet Fujiwara showcase, Saito has really nice kicks and body blows, and he busts Fujiwara open with punches to the forehead, which just results in Fujiwara rising up like a vampire and headbutting the hell out of him, as well as often just brushing off Saito’s kicks. Fujiwara also basically no-sells Saito when he goes to argue with his second instead of paying attention to Saito and totally super rekts him when he fakes being stunned by body shots to lure Saito in, and Saito takes the bait like a faithless fool. A little bit too one sided to reach “greatness” but a great time to be had watching it. What are ratings anyway? ***3/4
  10. Nothing groundbreaking here, a very solid traditional heavyweight tag match. I dislike Goto and don't care much for Kea but Saito and Makabe were good enough to keep them from doing anything stupid, and having this be a ten minute match instead of an epic in which Kea's and Goto's performances have often choked helped things, doesn't take a magician to do some nice brawling for a bit before going home. Kea's quasi-Tornado DDT is probably the single counter spot I've fallen for the biggest number of times since I always forget it's a thing he does and don't watch his stuff often. It looks good every time I watch him, maybe it would wear off if I ever binge watched 2005 All Japan. ***
  11. Grimmas

    Akitoshi Saito

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