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Found 11 results

  1. I think a pro shot version of this is out there, but the handheld is good enough for me. Really simplistic, effective match. Pretty much two karate guys laying into eachother with punches and kicks. Aoyagi sells a shoulder injury and he is really compelling at doing that, really protecting his shoulder and barely getting in offense because he is hurting. Matsunaga – who was already Mr. W*ING and with the blonde hair at this point – doesn't do any garbage brawling, but he does pull Aoyagis jacket over his head at one point making him unable to defend himself. Aoyagi gets some pretty brutal brief offensive rushes, including one where he lands this nasty running punt before really stomping Matsunaga, and another where he hits these awesome low angle spin kicks. These short simple Aoyagi matches are pretty consistently a highlight on early 90s NJPW cards and this is another nifty one in the resume.
  2. No sane person will look at this matchup and expect any oustanding wrestling exchanges. However, as a spectacle this was insanely effective and super entertaining. This mostly stays in the ring, Matsunaga is in his gi and anytime he's throwing crazy kicks it's great. But of course, this is about heatmongering and the BattlARTS dudes doing their best to come across as slimy pricks, so the biggest pop for the crowd is when the Big Japan guys finally get them outside the ring and get to bowl them into the chairs. I also liked Yamakawa as the worlds bravest white belt trying to roll with Usuda, right at the go he goes for a feeble takedown and ends up eating a bunch of stiff knees and high kicks in a moment that mirrored real life fighting. Him struggling to lock in a basic Figure 4 when he finally got the advantage was the icing on the cake. Some effective nearfalls at the end, Matsunaga bringing in a baseball bat (leading to some amusing attempted disarming), and of course Matsunaga punching a bloody Ishikawa in the face. No #1 babyface Matsunaga coming to save the day swinging weapons and fists may be almost as good as evil psycho Matsunaga.
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