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[1996-04-29-NJPW-Battle Formation] Great Muta vs Jinsei Shinzaki


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  • 3 weeks later...

One of those matches that people tended to feel very strongly about when it happened ... in both directions. To me, between the spectacle of it all, the piledriver on the ringside table, the weapons, the blood and the Space Flying Tiger Drop (which isn't an ECW move, but it's the type of move ECW fans would love), this felt like an ECW match that happened to take place on a New Japan show. So I think ECW fans would love and probably did love this match, while people who aren't huge fans of ECW probably wouldn't care for this at all. I felt like this had to go on because it always seemed like a match people were pretty vocal about either way. I remember the RF Video highlight reel at the end of all of their videos having a clip of this, and seeing this show as a result of that, and loving the match at the time, then watching it a few years later and hating it, so I've been in both places. Today, I guess I'm too objective for my own good, which kinda sucks. But I do remember this having way more heat than it actually had, it turns out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This felt like a Wrestlemania match to me, with the two of them building to a handful of big, theatrical moments rather than cramming it full of stuff. I liked the goofy subplot of Muta stealing Shinzaki's stick, goring him with it and then painting it with Shinzaki's blood. Kudos to Shinzaki for that crazy fucking bump over the rail and for selling the shit out of Muta's beatdown before finally staging his rally. Nifty finish too, with Shinzaki ducking the first misting only to eat the second after lifting Muta for a power bomb. I wouldn't call the match a classic, but it absolutely worked on its own terms.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 years later...

I've been higher on '95-'96 ECW than others and I still didn't much care for this. There were a few cool moments that would have had more impact in another more familiar setting, like Muta writing on Shinzaki's stick on Jinsei's blood, and misting his way out of the power bomb. But this was mostly Shitty Muto and that tended to overshadow things even when Shinzaki was working hard.

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  • 1 month later...

Fun spectacle type match. It got a little long in the tooth but the visuals will stay with me for a long time as both Shinzaki and Muta delivered some stuff that really played well on a big stage like this. Good match and a memorable one making it a success for what they were trying to accomplish. ***1/ 4

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  • 2 years later...

I was pretty bored by this outside of the big spots. Shinzaki's bump from the apron across the guardrail was awesome though. Muta writing on the board in Shinzaki's blood was a cool spot too, and judging by the crowd reaction it probably comes across even better if you can read it.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-04-29-NJPW-Battle Formation] Great Muta vs Jinsei Shinzaki

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