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Found 56 results

  1. Good tag title match made cool by young Shiro Koshinaka putting on a gutsy performance against the overwhelming force of Choshu & Saito and a blazing hot finish sequence with Fujinami bleeding and Choshu hitting a massive lariat. Could've used slightly more efficient structure but the level of work was good, Shiro kept played his "underdog who will slap your shit" role to the max and the blood on Fujinami made this quite epic for a few moments. This is why it's worth going through the NJ handhelds.
  2. This is the infamous match where Choshu gets shoot kicked in the face. Aside from questionable morals, it‘s a really hot match with the crowd being absolutely white hot for all the Choshu/Maeda exchanges. Maeda kicking the hell out of Choshu is fun, but Maeda outgrappling Choshu may be even funner. I wonder if that is what caused Maeda to snap because Choshu seemed not ready for Maeda to actually wrestle him and just wanted to do his usual spiel. The initial moments after the kick are some of the most intense you‘ll ever see in a wrestling ring, with Maeda egging Choshu on further and Masa Saito tackling the big guy. Really a thrill to check out, pity the kick was real because this would‘ve set up an amazing singles match.
  3. Great intense grappling with the crowd popping for everything, pretty much. I thought it built pretty damn well to the finishing stretch. ****
  4. Man, I love this matchup. Young Punk Choshu was the best. You can say what you want about Inoki, but he was great at portraying himself as an untouchable badass. You look at some of the stuff Inoki does here and it's no wonder people thought he was a genius. He also always has these crazy facial expressions. I think the first 15 minutes or so of this didn't even have a bump but still ended up mesmerizing pro wrestling. This was worked like a technical battle of megastars so that was really cool. Both guys struggled hard and every movement could possibly lead to a finish which is exactly what you want from a match with really high stakes. Choshu was aggressive and really putting Inoki through the wringer, not just when he throw punches and stomps, but also in his grappling, butting heads when looking up and uncorking a super tight front headlock roll. Inoki came across as calm and cool headed so exactly the perfect counterpart to Choshu's rage. His selling was really strong too, at the beginning of the match he was dominating on the ground, but after Choshu really put the torque on him with the Scorpion Deathlock he was limping and stalling. Seeing the cool headed Inoki getting into desperation mode when Choshu tried the move again was great too. A limping Inoki punching Choshu in the face from the knees was epic and so was Choshu trying to bulldoze the legend with lariats and suplexes. I think if they had continued in that vein the match would've cruised into my all time top 10-20, but instead they slowed down again and went back to the holds. It was still really strong work and they delivered a great, clean finish. For a clash of the titans type match in front of a super hot 80s crowd that was mostly built around matwork this pretty much delivered all you can ask for.
  5. Typical Choshu match with all that entails. You get Choshu slapping the shit out of Chono, and Chono bleeding and trying to take the megastar down. Pretty rough around the edges in terms of layout and Chono isn't very compelling (though I loved his full speed yakuza kick to Choshus face) but the big moments of the match felt brutal.
  6. The most impressive thing about this match is that in 90 minutes there is literally no downtime at all. Even the Inoki vs. Choshu matwork was compelling. The crowd heat is insane and the fact that that level of heat was consistently maintained for 90 minutes is even more insane. I would say Fujinami was the MVP with Animal as a close second but everyone was great in it. Incredible match to say the least but one I have had trouble rating because it is difficult to distinguish the individual pairings from the overall story.
  7. I wasn't expecting this one to actually GROW on me on a rewatch since I thought it was pretty great the first time I saw it but here we are. Fujiwara jumps Choshu at the bell and dominates the opening with neat punches and headbutts. What really stands out is how much Choshu protecting his image of a badass adds to the match-he's always looking for a way, either with body blows or kicks. Fujiwara dismisses Choshu's comeback attempts initially but quickly resorts to choking once he realises he is in serious peril. And Choshu doesn't let Fujiwara just choke the life out of him either-he grabs Fujiwara by the face, to which Fujiwara reacts by grabbing that arm and Armbaring Choshu. It is a reactionary match. When Fujiwara spends too much time untying the corner post Choshu goes after him and Fujiwara knocks him down. When Choshu tries to counter the Wakigatame Fujiwara changes it into another armlock. The first Wakigatame counter was brilliant-Choshu went for a big move too early and got dropped with a "shooty" counter. Similarly Fujiwara's choke was an excellent way to feed Choshu the Backdrop Suplex counter and the move itself looked amazing. Choshu's arm selling was pretty great-it isn't that it was the focus of the match, but not everything has to (or can) be. It doesn't excuse filling time with nothing as a good idea or mean selling that plays a bigger part in how the match turns out is inherently better-in fact often it's just the opposite. Fujiwara's wobbly selling after Choshu bloodies him up is as great as you'd expect it to be and Choshu modifies his Lariats here by just hitting Fujiwara straight in the face with them, absolutely brutal stuff. Choshu stomping Fujiwara after the match was already over was just icing on the cake. ****3/4
  8. Why doesn't this get brought up among „passing the torch“ type matches more often? It's quite the epic destruction of Inoki.Choshu immediately catches Inoki in a nasty headscissor and almost cranks his neck. Now Inoki wants a fight, throwing fists and all, but Choshu immediately nukes him with suplexes. A lariat should finish the job, but Inoki narrowly escapes and hangs on by a thread. Choshu is totally the dominant force in this though. Inoki hits some fast enzuigiris and they trade awesome punches and headbutts and this is great. Choshu ain't selling crap from this fossil though and another back suplex later he starts hitting the lariats. Choshu is like an airplane flying around Inoki now and just dropping him again and again. After like 20 lariats even Inoki has had enough. If you wonder why Inoki worshipper Yuki Ishikawa wrestles the way he does check out this match. Inoki's time had come, and Choshu was the cold blooded killer to put the old gunslinger down.
  9. 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
  10. Another really fun multi man tag building towards Choshu vs. Tenryu. We get the addition of some quality players here though -- namely Yatsu and Jumbo. Again they do a perfect job by keeping the Choshu and Tenryu exchanges to a minimum here and the crowd erupts whenever they come within inches of each other. Joe Higuchi has throw the match as he loses control with a riot almost breaking out with everyone brawling on the outside and Rusher Kimura and Goro Tsurumi even getting into the mix of things.
  11. This takes place in front a red hot Korakuen Hall crowd. This is kept short and is far from a great match, but it serves it's purpose which is setting up the Choshu and Tenryu feud. We get some brief interactions between both Choshu and Tenryu which are pretty great and Animal Hamaguchi getting all bloodied up is just a bonus. Fun, short match.
  12. This is from around the time Shibata decided it was best for him to part ways with New Japan and become a freelance and journey around Japan working for various organizations. This was also years before he ventured full time into MMA. This has somewhat a sense of a big fight. Shibata knows he has to take every advantage he can to put the old man away, so he attacks him from the get go and we have a fight between these two filled with Shibata punting the old man and the old man constantly hitting brutal lariats on him. Not a MOTYC by any chance, but well worth a watch. Really fun stuff.
  13. Cagematch has Choshu's partner listed as Masahito Kitahara, but it's not -- it's Koki Kitahara. He's clearly brought in to eat the fall, but in the process he puts on a fiery, gutsy performance and he goes toe-to-toe with Tenryu as they trade some nasty slaps and punches to the mouth. He also eats some nasty chops from Tenryu straight to the throat. We get some instances and teases of the Choshu vs. Tenryu and Fujinami feuds from the 80's, but they're just flash moments and never really escalate to much. This isn't a MOTYC or anything, but it's worth watching just to see Tenryu and Kitara go at it.
  14. Tenryu's back and we get the addition of Masa Saito to the mix, but yet again we get another underwhelming match. Despite my liking of Masa Saito, his selling and facials were pretty bad. Killer Khan however did throw some mean looking stomps namely at Tenryu which are one of the highlights of this, along with Joe Higuchi losing control of the match again and it ending in utter chaos with Tenryu and Choshu just endlessly going at each other. The post match stuff is awesome. After the entire Tenryu and Choshu brawl, Rusher Kimura cuts a promo and on the opposite side of the ring there's Tiger Mask brawling with a bunch of guys and then Choshu and Tenryu go back it and fists are just flying everywhere. Crazy stuff despite the this being an underwhelming match.
  15. Apparently Tenryu had injured his leg and was in the ring pre-match with crutches, so he can't physically participate in the match, but he can stick around ringside and do commentary. Choshu hates him and has no sympathy for him and mouths off at him once he makes it to the ring. Due to this injury, we get some fresh faces thrown into these matches -- Killer Khan and Masanobu Fuchi which are fantastic additions to this rivalry. This is easily the worse of all the matches in the rivalry. We got more Choshu here bullying Ishikawa and Fuchi here than in the previous matches, but Tenryu's absence in the match is noticeable -- the crowd interaction and intensity are much less than when Tenryu is involved. The Choshu and Jumbo interactions were alright, but I don't feel there was much else noteworthy going on here as no one excelled at anything particularly here. Take away the post match scuffle between Choshu slapping the headset off Tenryu at the commentary table and this is skippable.
  16. Man Choshu is sick of doing hold for hold wrestling. Anytime he gets the chance he is stomping Inoki's ass. Inoki is not having it and... removes the turnbuckle pad? Choshu also agrees to remove 1 turnbuckle pad and this is now an Onita deathmatch with the exploding barbedwire boards replaced by exposed turnbuckles! They do some cool phone booth fighting throwing punches and trying to be the first to smash the other guy into the corner. Inoki dominates for a bit, but Choshu finally catches him and... breaks his own hand doing a backdrop. Choshu bloodies Inoki and works over him with nice punches but they are forced to do a quick finish with Inoki choking Choshu in the ropes and getting DQ'd. This was looking good until the unfortunate finish. Admittedly a bloody Inoki was really crazy looking, his face was turning very pale and he did these creepy groans and growls. When all the jumpsuit trainees jump on him and he erupts it looked like something from a 60s horror schlock movie.
  17. A sprint! Inoki stalls to begin with, then tries a leg trip to the outside and Choshu is fighting for dear life against that damn leg trip. Earth to wrestlers: this is how you tell your audience why your moves are important – by creating STRUGGLE. Choshu immediately blitzes Inoki and just tries to run him over basically, but Inoki takes it to the ground and dominates him there for a while, also hitting some great enzuigiris and Ali kicks. Inoki seems to have the upper hand for a few exchanges, but then Choshu clocks him with a lariat out of nowhere! Inoki is seeing stars and narrowly avoids another one, but Choshu connects another to the back of the skull and that's it. Choshu does the impossible in less than 10 minutes! Ferocious stuff and the equivalent to something like Dundee/Rich. Two guys doing what they do best, sticking to their roles and putting eachother over.
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