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Charles (Loss)

[1996-03-01-NJPW vs UWFi-High Tension] Nobuhiko Takada vs Shiro Koshinaka

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Excellent match in front of a super-hot crowd that really digs Koshinaka's deliberate pro wrestling counters to Takada's more shooty moves. I do eventually want to do a full review of matches like this, and I'll eventually come back to it, but this was very good. While it aired on NJ TV, it appears to have taken place on a UWFI show.

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The match was fine but I was more interested in the aftermath. What's the deal with Takada getting 9 trophies? What did they represent? Was it like the J Crown?

Wrestlers tend to get one from the promotion for winning the match, and others tend to come from sponsors and/or the media.

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I couldn't really get into this, but I'll probably re-watch it at some point since I liked the idea of Koshinaka being a pro-wrestler in a shoot style world. This is a match-up I don't much care for in general (didn't particularly like any of their matches on the New Japan 80s set), but I came around to Koshinaka again when he was potatoing people in the WAR feud.

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Coming off watching the yearbooks from early 90's this match seems bizarre with being treated like a wrestling match and not mixed martial arts. Referee counts pinfalls and Koshinaka is doing his hip attacks.

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Y'know, there are times when it's rewarding to stop analysing, sit back and just enjoy. This was held on a UWFI show. As it was at a big venue (Da Budokan) however there were a lot of NJ followers and more casual fans in attendance. This wouldn't have gone over half as well in front of just the hardcores as it was pro style all the way. Takada let Kosh take the lead and do his thing. It was slightly ludicrous seeing this in a UWFI ring but I was happy to go with it this one time. The crowd were going nuts, the action was exciting, and at 11m it didn't outstay its welcome.

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I don't hate Koshinaka the way I once did but this is a revival of an '80s series that made the NJPW '80s set a real chore to sit through at points. Here, the burial of UWFI continues as now even on a UWFI show they can't use actual UWFI rules or the style, as Kosh fills this with pin attempts, ass attacks, and rope-running. He drops Takada with a brainbuster and stands there while Takada's out, but no ten-count follows. Meanwhile Takada spends the majority of this match laying around trying to exert himself as little as possible. He does make a fired-up comeback and drops Koshinaka with a bunch of kicks and...oh, now we're doing ten-counts. Yay consistency. Takada slaps on a cross armbreaker and Koshinaka does the worst sell-job of the move I have ever seen, making absolutely no effort to get out, go to the ropes, or even act like he's in pain. He literally just lies there as though Takada's got a chinlock on him on a WWF house show undercard match. Eventually he submits, but he completely kills the hold in the process, which for all I know was exactly what he was told to do.

 

I don't know what I was watching in comparison to everyone else, including the live crowd, but I thought this was total fucking horseshit. I've liked '90s Koshinaka as a guy who can bring hate and energy and make mid-card matches feel "big," but crowd reactions aside he does nothing like that here. Takada turns in a performance that actually manages to top the Mutoh matches for sheer laziness and lack of effort. I don't know if he was demoralized about the state of the promotion or what but it sure didn't make for entertaining viewing. Objectively I don't see how Warrior vs. Goldust or the Doomsday Cage Match can be topped for Worst Match of the Year, but this is absolutely a legitimate candidate for that honor--bad matches with good (or decent) workers are worse than bad matches with shitty workers. Throw in the continued spiteful, self-defeating booking and this makes for possibly the most overrated feud of the decade.

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Wow, I don't have the hate Pete does but I also didn't see the praise either. Agree that Kosh was never one of my favorites and it resulted in this match being good in my eyes but missing something. I also failed to think Kosh had any chance in hell of prevailing here. I assume I was in the minority as the crowd was hot, and I will give Kosh credit as the butt based offense was toned down. Overall, not a bad middling title defense but nothing that retains a sense of being memorable to me. ***

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Terrific short match. Exactly what the Mutoh match should have been but wasn't.

 

And once again, sorry I have to do that but...

 

Here, the burial of UWFI continues as now even on a UWFI show they can't use actual UWFI rules or the style, as Kosh fills this with pin attempts, ass attacks, and rope-running.

 

Yeah. That's kinda the point. Shoot-style vs pro-style, ya know. And that's how every match on the card was contested. The UWF-I matches with two guys from the promotion (which at this time was only two undercard matches) were contested under UWF-I rules, with the points and KO system. All the other UWF-I vs NJ matches were contested under NJ rules. UWF-I was dead anyway, as clearly the audience was totally NJ.

 

He drops Takada with a brainbuster and stands there while Takada's out, but no ten-count follows. Meanwhile Takada spends the majority of this match laying around trying to exert himself as little as possible. He does make a fired-up comeback and drops Koshinaka with a bunch of kicks and...oh, now we're doing ten-counts. Yay consistency.

 

Yay, consistency actually. First off, Kosh never got up and waited for a ten count after the brainbuster. He slowly turned around and covered Takada, who was selling. He's a pro-style worker, he goes for the pin. Makes sense. Then when Takada does his fired-up comeback and kicks Kosh into oblivion, he turns his back and goes to his corner expecting a ten count, because that's what a UWF-I guy would naturally do. Yay, consistency and actually psychology too. And then when Kosh gets up, here he goes again but this time won't take the ten count and chooses to get Kosh back up and go straight into a submission. More on that later.

 

I'll pass on the idea that Takada is spending the whole match laying on the mat, because it's just ridiculous, anyone actually watching the match without blinders can see it. Actually, Takada gets some quite badass moments, as when Kosh dropkicks him toward the corner and Takada immediately turns around after registering the shot and punts Kosh right in the face, like "WTF was that weak pro-wrestling shit ?", which people would gush for if anyone else but Takada was doing it (if Fujiwara or even Maeda did the exact same spot, people around here would collectively cum all over the board)

 

Takada slaps on a cross armbreaker and Koshinaka does the worst sell-job of the move I have ever seen, making absolutely no effort to get out, go to the ropes, or even act like he's in pain. He literally just lies there as though Takada's got a chinlock on him on a WWF house show undercard match. Eventually he submits, but he completely kills the hold in the process, which for all I know was exactly what he was told to do.

 

Indeed, Kosh wasn't exacty running for the ropes that time around. However, the very first time Takada applies the same hold earlier in the match, Kosh reverses it by going to his feet with much urgency. Likewise, when Takada applies a leg hold at one point, Kosh sells like like death and jumps to the ropes like Ohtani or any good UWF-I guys would. So, what about that last time ? Well, it's good to mention that just before being put into the hold, Kosh was basically KOed by Takada, as showed by the straight bump he took from the kick, then Takada only puts him into the armbar to put the cherry on the cake. Did he took too long to tap out ? Might say yes, but really at this point the "credibility" of the shoot-style has been killed by Takada submitting to a figure four and Choshu no-selling everything by Anjoh then Kakihara at both Dome shows. It's not like Kosh did any damage to that hold, like I said he was KOed just before plus he submitted anyway and sold the arm as he sat up afterward.

 

So yeah, terrific short match, and really cool to see these two old rivals get at it once again (likewise Sano vs Liger).

 

As far as dogshit performance, Mutoh delivers one for the ages on the same show. Absolutely hilarious at points. I don't think anyone stayed longer in a heel hold while not selling it nor going to the ropes. Then selling it for two seconds on his feet then not selling it at all again. Then winning with the figure four *again* against poor Sano who worked his ass off and could have gotten a better match than Takada because his style suits the dynamic of the match better, but Mutoh was so hilariously bad here that it was just impossible to save this debacle.

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I defended Takada for most of the NJPW '80s set, including that Cobra match that practically everyone shit on except me. I didn't like the Koshinaka series but I thought at the time that that was more on Shiro. This wasn't a case of me coming in with an agenda against him, just me seeing the common criticisms full-bore (though the first piercing in his armor as a great worker were the Albright matches, which were good matches but I thought Gary was outworking him).

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Good match, I thought it was shoot style until the suplex and pin attempt. Really hot crowd. Koshinaka gets a good run of offense with dragon suplexes. This match didn't feel all pro-style but definitely wasn't shoot style, and not any kind of mixed-shoot style either. Just a pro match with vaguely shoot style elements. Takada picks up the decisive win and looks strong.

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Nobuhiko Takada vs Shiro Koshinaka - UWFi 3/1/96

 

Takada defends his newly won IWGP Championship against Koshinaka. Koshinaka is on a run of a lifetime two IWGP title challenges inside of a month. This is a time where I would have loved to seen Takada vs Hase. Had Hase already left New Japan?

 

Let me say this the crowd was super into Koshinaka. I wasn't. I think they had the right match for this audience, but I just don't find Koshinaka credible at all. I liked his slap at the beginning to Takada on the ropes. Nice, dick thing to do to say Here I am. The ass attacks were well cheeky. Takada was picking his spots waiting for Koshinaka to ride too high on a toehold on a cross armbreaker. Did you see Takada sell that vertical suplex (weakest brainbuster ever)? He sold throughout the rest of the match. While Koshinaka just didn't give a fuck. Takada just ragdolled for this clown. The Dragon Suplexes and Texas Cloverleaf was wicked over. Takada just lights Koshinaka up with kicks and is all right with the world. Takada does a great job continuing to sell but once he starts the head kicks you know he is in control. Cross armbreaker gets him in the submissions. Koshinaka was playing by pro style rules and Takada tried his best to keep the integrity of shoot style by selling a lot, but at the same time just caved and let Koshinaka hit his offense. At least the finish was done right. I love seeing Takada kick people in the head. ***

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