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Charles (Loss)

[1996-04-05-NJPW-Breaking Away Dream Battle] Jushin Liger & El Samurai & Gran Hamada vs Shinjiro Otani & Koji Kanemoto & Taka Michinoku

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This is great! I didn't know if I should expect a Michinoku Pro-style match, which this isn't. It's way more of a typical NJ juniors-style tag, which isn't a bad thing. Otani's team seems focused on taking out Liger's knee, and there are some Liger/Taka interactions in the midst of all that that really make you want a singles match between those two. Liger's team is more focused on taking out Otani's arm, which is taped up going into this match as it is. Otani and Samurai continue what for me so far is the feud of the year, as every match that has had them on opposite sides has been outstanding.

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Really liked this match thanks to Otani and Kanemoto. They were a great tag team and remind me of a Japanese PG-13. All the guys were good in the match and it was nice to see Taka get a win over the New Japan guys.

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Yeah, this was really great stuff. I've been kind of apathetic towards a lot of the juniors stuff so far, but I dug this a good deal. Lots of piss and vinegar and the M-Pro guys were great additions.

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Really good match that contrasts nicely with the more standard Michinoku Pro 6-mans. I only wish Hamada had done more, but he was the one guy who stayed anonymous through this. TAKA gets tortured by the Horsemen side, but Liger gets paid back with his knee getting destroyed, only for the Horsemen team to pay *that* back by taking apart Otani's bad shoulder. But the rudo side seems more cohesive and has more saves in their holster, and TAKA gets an upset pin on Samurai.

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Awesome stuff as old vs. new plays heavily. I liked the way Otani worked as a team leader here helping out when need be and directing traffic. I am all in on him for 1996 and hope/expect him to keep this level up. Liger looks strong here and Samurai showed good fire but I agree Hamada was lacking in building the hate to make this an exceptional six man. Still the NJ junior crew is rocking right now for me and helped save the first quarter of 1996. *** 3/4

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What a match! Each team takes turns working over a guy for an extended period of time for awhile; TAKA getting worked over in the beginning is a highlight, all the bigger guys hitting huge offense on him, and he stages a great firey comeback. The control segments start to feel more and more nasty as times goes on, each being very good and the transitions between them very good. The ending stretch is high-end MPro level wild while still feeling competitive and not going overboard. Tons of awesome spots -- there's this great sandwich dropkick from Kanemoto and Otani where Otani comes into the frame at the last minute. Wild action and nearfalls ends with TAKA hitting two Michinoku Drivers in a row on Samurai for the pin. One of my favorite matches of the year so far.

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