Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Loss

[1996-02-03-NJPW-Fighting Spirit] Masahito Kakihara & Hiromitsu Kanehara & Kennichi Yamamoto & Kazushi Sakuraba vs Yuji Nagata & Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Shinjiro Otani & Tokimitsu Ishizawa

Recommended Posts

Good action that bordered on great action at times, but too long without any momentum shifts that actually had any consequence, which made it feel like an exhibition. Also not a fan of the WWE-style even Stephen booking where New Japan took the first fall and UWFI took the last two. Had it been a one fall match, New Japan would have won, but because it wasn't, UWFI won. This match is still worth seeing in spite of all that because it's a good capture of the style, but I bet it's one that looked better in edited form on weekly TV than complete on Classics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The way they worked it would have been better if they had done a normal 2 vs. 2 tag team match (Nagata & Ohtani vs. Kakihara & Sakuraba, for example). Some guys like Ka Shin were hardly in anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love shoot style. That said, I'm not sure that it's a style that lends itself to 8-man tags? The realism is lost when the new japan guys throw pro rasslin moves and when everyone gets to tag in. Plus in focusing on the grapps side, you lose some of that build to big dramatic spots or reversals. And of course, you also lose the wearing down the opponent that you see in a one on one submission match like Ot/Sam.

 

None of which prevented me from enjoying the heck out of the match. I feel like the new japan guys worked better as a team, which makes sense given their wrestling style. And there's a great moment when Ohtani- tired of being beat on - says "fuck it" and picks up his opponent (Sakuraba?) to carry back to his team mates. That bit made me smile. I read Loss feeling the back and forth was too even, but I am thinking that fits the model. And it's going to be a symptom of the problem I described at the beginning.

 

The third fall is a bit of a mess, and I ought to watch this one again before long. But I definitely liked it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I legit cringed at some of the open hand slaps. I liked this match and really liked watching the quick as lightning amateur leg shoots, but I agree with the majority that it didn't work as well in an 8 man tag setting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Kronos -- the occasional traditional wrestling action seemed to kill all the cool shoot style stuff this match had going on. At the beginning I was wondering if the guy on each team who wasn't wearing black trunks was like the team captain, but I guess they just didn't get the memo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not recognizing everyone in this match. The shoot style stuff felt overdone at times. I’m curious the impact this was have on more on Japanese groups on the later yearbooks. The NJPW tag match from February 93 blew this away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The youngsters brought plenty of interpromotional dislike. No shortfall in intensity or stiffness. It felt like things could get out of hand if someone got caught with a particularly nasty shot, but that didn't happen. A consistent quality level throughout as they meshed quite well. I liked Nagata stepping it up as the team captain. Ohtani actually took a back seat here. I've mentioned before how in shoot style tags the momentum doesn't fully get carried forward after a man tags out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds horrible but I had real trouble remembering and keeping track of who was whom. That said, this never really got into second gear--it seemed like Nagata and to a lesser extent Kakihara were the only guys bringing some hate and intensity to this. There are UWFI tag matches that work very well, but adding in more guys past that tends to be asking for trouble, though this throws in a few double teams and saves that you wouldn't see in a pure UWFI setting. It was worth it to see the mid-carders from both promotions work against each other but there were a multitude of NJPW-WAR mid-card bouts that were more enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked this well enough but it was aimless at times and I thought the UWFi guys were pretty outmatched minus Sakaruba. I was especially disappointed in Kakihara as I have liked what he has done later on in the decade. On the low side of the spectrum for multiman matches in New Japan history. ***1/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This match went too long but I really liked a lot of it. There were some really cool big spots, some nice shooty suplexes and intense moments. The ending of the first fall was particularly good. A shorter, more compact match and this could have been really awesome. As it was I enjoyed it but my attention really waned at times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They lit the furnace under the ring and boy, oh boy, did they let loose on each other here, with Takaiwa slangin’ elbows and a maskless Kendo Kashin being an especially dirty ditty, swelling up Kanehara’s eye real good with a headbutt. Being a 2/3 Falls match, the falls felt unpredictable, the first occurring early on after Takaiwa plants Sakuraba with a Death Valley Bomb and submits him with the crab hold. I thought Nagata was the standout here, as he brought awesome intensity to his interactions, dumping Yammamoto and Kakihara with suplexes and blasting Sakuraba with a sweet rolling heel kick in the corner. But as much momentum as Yuji builds, Kaki’s able to snag him with the kneebar out of nowhere to submit him and even the score…but they continue heating it up well into the third fall. Yammamoto, who looked a little rough around the edges throughout, finishes the match in beautiful fashion, delivering a perdy German suplex hold before using a kneebar takedown to submit Takaiwa. Not a very cohesive match on a whole but plenty of fiery exchanges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×