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Found 55 results

  1. This felt like a match worked for the magazines. Not much substance but the visuals were pretty big and amazing. You had big time blood and both guys threw huge, high angle suplexes. Hase has a bandaged leg and Koshinaka spends a good amount of time kicking the crap out of it. It doesn't amount to anything as Hase soon starts braining Koshinaka recklessly with chairs. The bloody beatdown on Koshinaka with him fighting back valiently was pretty damn gnarly. Soon Hase is DQ'd for excessive brutality. This had the makings of a potential classic but was dragged down by the pointless legwork and Hase making a comeback that looked way too easy. However, we get Hase & Hiro Saito beating on Koshinaka post match with Saito hitting his brutal crowbar senton on a bleeding Koshinaka and that's just badass. The photographers def. got their moneys worth here.
  2. I wish MUGA had been a full time promotion at this time. This was mostly on the mat, which is where everyone here looks good. This was certainly a good use of Hase whose amateur style stuff still looks very powerful. He and Nishimura with his awesome briding where the standouts here early on. Mutoh just did his usual spiel for the finish, altough Fujinami hitting a flying knee on him was really fun and Nishimuras selling made it look better than usual.
  3. Entertaining 5 vs. 5 Elimination Match. Not Peak WAR vs. Other Promotion material, though there are some good smacks and thuds here. Problem with the match is the booking, as they get rid of the spry guys first and soon you are stuck with an old, broken down Steve Williams, Arashi and Mutoh here. Williams can still throw a nice punch and not do much else at this point. Match has it's moments especially thanks to Orihara and Tenryu, while Shinzaki was working hard to get something cool out of Williams. Overall this match is symptomatic of the depleted roster AJPW was dealing with at this stage however.
  4. This time period in puro is one of my absolute favorites and, due to lack of availability or my cheapness, NJ in 1990 is a little bit of a blind spot. Hell, a bunch of NJ in the early 90's is a blind spot! Regardless, I've come across some stuff recently that I wanted to share. Now, some of this is on the Match Discussion Archives for 1990 when the the Yearbooks project was underway. So, if you want some second & third opinions, I recommend you go there as well. On to the fights! Riki Choshu, Koshinaka, Hoshino, Sasaki & Kobayashi vs Super Strong Machine, Hamaguchi, Kurisu, Tatsu Goto & Hiro Saito (06/26/90 2/3 Falls): This is listed as Sekigun vs Blonde Outlaws and I'm making the distinction that it's Tatsu Goto (not Tarzan- see 1990 FMW footy and it'll be apparent) and Hiro Saito (not Masa). Okay, with that clarification, we are on our way to an under-appreciated NJ 10 man match. And what a match! 26 minutes of chaos (not to be confused with CHAOS). This is fast and frenetic as all get-out! There are so many participants and match-ups that really everyone shines. I will say Kensuke Sasaki gets the biggest boost from his performance here. Early and late career Kensuke is a damn enjoyable wrestler. Um, what else without blathering on about specifics?? I thought Falls 1 & 3 were the best but, hey isn't that usually the way? It's just great wrestling and perhaps a classic match at that. It should be in the conversation concerning the legendary NJ multiman matches of the '80-90's. It is really that great- time well spent! Riki Choshu & Shiro Koshinaka vs Animal Hamaguchi & Masanobu Kurisu (07/19/90): A follow up to the above match. This started out really great but, ended up being just good (***1/2 range). Still K-Man swinging furniture and generally going apeshit on Koshinaka is worth your time. Eventually Animal turns on Kurisu (too much chair?) and then Blonde Outlaws/Raging Staff (see above Super Strong Machine team) jumps Masanobu. But he's as tough as two day old dog shit in the sun, and talks smack on them after the mobbing. Hells yes Curly Sue!! Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki vs Shiro Koshinaka & Takashi Iizuka (12/13/90): I've been waiting to see this match for like 8 years. It's probably been on the 'tube before now but, my internet was really slow & I was waaayy more into buying DVDs then (probably because of the slow internet!). Anyhow, I finally watch this match and yes! It lived up to my expectations. The action was fantastic and on-par with the AJPW guys at the time. Simple but, rich sequences and cut-offs. Hase was masterful in garnering heat even though he & Kensuke were an underdog team as well. It was that dynamic that made this so special. Hase & Sasaki won the belts by upset a couple months earlier. Were they too going to be upset? Oh man, Iizuka & Koshinaka were so good as the babyfaces. It certainly did not hurt that Iizuka was brutalized by his opponents. Well, I suppose that it HURT him but, you know what I mean! The fans were eating this up and who can blame them? It was so well paced and well built to the climactic final segment that only the most jaded fans would not be rooting for someone. This was a classic tag match and one that does indeed deserve the praise it'd gotten decades ago. I really do wish I had this on DVD afterall, it's got some of my favorite wrestlers of my favorite era putting on a damn fine tag match. If you're one of those people who enjoy the simpler style of late 80's and very early 90's, you really owe it to yourself to watch this match. You may not love it as much as me but, I know you'll have fun. **BONUS** Shinya Hashimoto vs Masanobu Kurisu (NJ Handheld Date 90-92?): I'm going on the dates that I've seen Kurisu in NJ as well as a ranking conventions. Kurisu had quite a bit of juice in 1990 due to his acclaimed bouts in FMW with Onita earlier in the year. Also, Hashimoto was on the rise but, not to the point where someone like Kurisu wouldn't be a challenge especially if he started brawling. This is just an idea and it's not a tag match but, I'm going to add it on here at the end. So, K-Man is looking to sneak attack Hash from the outset. The Big Man is too smart or tough for that jazz though (also the view is obscured by a fan's head/back). The two then start wailing away on each other but, man Shinya is driving kicks in like he's up against Kensuke. It's almost TOO much but, Curly Sue is a notoriously tough mamma-jamma. The Strong Style-Graceland disciple knows he's gotta go 100%. The fans are really digging this and I am as well. I cannot believe how hard these dudes are going for an under 10-minute match-but I guess that sorta makes sense right? What a good match! A big thanks to the folks that put these up on the 'tube & thank you all for reading
  5. I would have to think that Tenryu's WAR promotion has the most love themed name. Wrestle and Romance...ah yes, that is passion!! I feel like they were also Wrestle and Roses too. I could have made that up, I dunno. I love it anyhow! Other Valentine appropriate wrestling names in my opinion are the AJW tag teams Tokyo Sweethearts, Crush Gals (crush like a school boy not as in skulls) & Honey Wings. That was just an aside. Here are some of my favorite Romance matches: Tenryu, Kitahara & Masao Orihara vs Koshinaka, Kengo Kimura Aoyagi from 10/21/92 War vs NJ. Orihara's awesome opening...hell Orihara's awesome performance overall. The dude made the match. All of the Tenryu vs Koshinaka interactions...straight up windpipe chops. I love both of these guys' enthusiasm/hatred. Kitahara vs Aoyagi kicking the crap outta each other is good. Would like me to see more...The violent chaotic finish...I mean Kimura is eating chops to the face...how is that not fantastic!? Women are crying, men are shouting, Ishikawa comes out, streamers...oh yeah!! The main event to WAR's 02/14/93 show: Tenryu & Ishikawa vs Fujinami & Hase. This was a dream match for me. Marky Mark for all four wrestlers but, this wasn't some exhibition or feud transition match. This was fiery and exciting as heck! All four guys were quick and on point all match with that WAR gang rumble pace. Everybody really impressed me...this was a great match. Then when Hashimoto came out after the bell, it sealed the deal. This whole segment, or whatever you wanna call it in today's terms, was classic! WAR 05/05/97 Tenryu, Kitahara & Jun Kikuchi vs. Abdullah The Butcher & Tarzan Goto & Ryo Miyake Cage Match. Pandemonium from the get go with the heel team waiting with chairs by the WAR team's entrance. Tenryu nearly falls thru the cage at one point, he & Abby have a nifty strike exchange, Goto brings glass into the mix, Kitahara is rocking camo pants and ups his manliness quotient by 10% (like he needed it), and this is random awesomeness.
  6. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Hiroshi Hase

    Hiroshi Hase: Hase is probably the most overlooked great in-ring worker of Japan's 1990's golden era. His abilities and athleticism have been compared to Kobashi in the past. However, he was not regarded as such within NJ. First he was considered an excellent Jr. until Liger and contemporaries changed the style. He was a heavyweight but, would only see tag teams success. That seems very good but, compare that to the successes of his peers in NJ and even AJ at the time. Its clear that he wasn't used to his full potential as a singles star. His political career surely had an effect especially later in the 90's but, this could be a chicken or egg situation. If we look back through time, we see he was very adaptable to whatever division or style was in vogue. He could do the traditional NJ Choshu style against UWF guys ('88 classic with Takada), tag teamer (early 90s matches against Steiners) as well as do the evolution of Strong style (the brilliant '94 IWGP match vs. Hashimoto). In addition to this, he helped put the Muta character on the map in Japan. It was no small feat and Hase's skills helped frame the legendary villain in an era where the over the top heels were being phased out. Its unfortunate that he has not been lauded as an all time NJ great. I think his work in AJPW, although brief, is fantastic and a direct line to what the Hashimoto title match showed. His limitations were not in skill but, in booking. He's one of my personal favorites. Charismatic, talented storyteller and a hell of a wrestler. Here is a sampling of the good stuff: Hiroshi Hase vs. Keichi Yamada (02/04/88 NJPW): A fun, smart, well wrestled match. Each man picked his opponent apart as best they could. Of course Yamada had his moves from the top rope but, Hase surprised me with some of his maneuvers. He was pretty brutal as he was still a protégé of Riki Chosu. This of course wasnt the classic one would hope for but, it was pretty good stuff. I just wish it could have gone on longer as it was just starting to pick up when it ended. Thats really the only knock on this match but, this tendency to go-home around 10 minutes is an 80s Jrs. thing. Nobuhiko Takada vs Hiroshi Hase (03/11/88 NJPW): I was expecting a mat wrestling clinic but um...we didn't get that. That's OK though since both guys brought their A game and Takada wasn't stalling here and Hase was his great self albeit a bit of a heel/Choshu mode which was very cool because Takada seemed quite vulnerable. Just an awesome match with great performances by both men and a match that goes on their highlight reel. Takada was really getting in a rut in the summer of '87 save a couple matches. This is an awesome match and shows Takada really wanting to go out of NJPW with a bang. Another piece of evidence that the UWF guys or Takada at least was best against NJPW guys. It allowed him to fluff off their "fake wrestling" offence, allowed them to really put over the holds as near-finishes since they weren't experienced "shooters." It provided unorthodox sequences and rope running scenarios and they made so much out of the "fake" offence when it did connect. No one's style was discredited as they were simply different points on the same continuum. Classic match here... Keiji Mutoh & Hiroshi Hase vs Bam Bam Bigelow & Vader (03/01/92 NJPW): I read that people say this match isnt very good but, shit! I thought it was fantastic. The timing and near finishes were just awesome. You knew the hope spots were going to be there but, wow! This was just an awesome match that should be on every one of these guys Best Of comps. The stand-outs were Hase and Vader. The segments they had were just great stuff and very stiff. Vader was just punishing throughout and Bigelow and Mutoh were the charismatic ones who put the flashy bits in. Everything was hitting just right. Like I said maybe this is a case of low expectations and being surprised but I really enjoyed this. Another classic. Shinya Hashimoto vs. Hiroshi Hase (12/13/94 NJPW): Now, this really is the match I was hoping it would be. It could probably be up there with 6/12/86 and 8/8/88 as the bench marks of Strong Style. This was the modern version so, it wasn't as pure or as outright compelling as those two but, WCW Japan (NJPW) was no longer neck and neck with AJPW in terms of match quality. I would put this next to Chono vs Mutoh at the innagural G1 Climax final. It's really that good. Hash has no problem being brutal as I've come to see but, here it escalates and transitions with drama. Each guy really is giving it his all. It's also clear how good a wrestler Hase. Hash may have many qualities but, he lacks something that really shoots this match into perfect all time must see 5 star territory. So, this might be a continuation of Hashimoto Strong Style but for all intents and purposes this was about as "halcyon King's Road" as I've seen NJ get in both work & length. That's confusing but, whatever it was a classic bout! Steiner Brothers vs. Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase (01/04/95 NJPW): The best of their matches that I've seen. I could tell from the get go that the Steiners were taking this one seriously. Mutoh was awesome here as the fire plug MF'er that we wish he always could've been. The basic strikes were never the Steiners strong suit (either too soft or near legit) but, if you can get past that it's an awesome tag match. If they were reasonably stiff then this would be a near classic but as it is I'll call it great. A great pay-off & totally unexpected finish. Hiroshi Hase vs Kenta Kobashi (8/26/97 AJPW): This was such an awesome match. Hase was in top form here. He instilled the direction and psychology of the bout. Knowing that Kobashi is at the top of the food chain in All Japan, Hase set on out-wrestling and disabling Kobashi's legs. The Orange Crush could only really react to Hases offense. This in a sense gave Hase the credibility he needed to challenge Kenta but, in another sense kept this from being a 5 star match. Kobashi did not have a game plan and he got out of his depth as the former Olympian was wrestling circles around him. This may be the in-match story and it certainly deserves a re-watch with this in mind. With all of that being said, this was a fantastic match. It was an older style, very competitive mat based match with perfect pacing and execution. Although Kobashi was excellent, his selling of the leg damage could have been better. Hase was absolutely superb though. He showed vulnerability yet strength in overcoming the pain and fatigue. This is completely what I had hoped for and more. I'd like to dig deeper into Hase in '88 as well as '99-'02 AJPW stuff. I've got a lot of projects already lined up but, I'm sure I'll make time
  7. Cool trios match which had some matwork and for once, ended without a gazillion bajillion nearfalls. The highlight was obviously Hase working the mat against he shooter cats. Though, the goal of the match was to put the UWFi crew over strong, I thought that considering AJPW always gets praised for it's psychological brilliance, they could've done a better job. I'm not sure I by Hase easily taking down and dominating Albright on the mat. It made him look like a fat dude with nice suplexes rather than an unstoppable beast. And Kobashi was taking some really stiff knees from Takayama, but was fine a minute later. Johnny Ace was fired up but kind of threated everyone like a jobber. Ah, to nitpick forever! It was a fun match and that's what counts.