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[1996-08-06-NJPW-G1 Climax] Riki Choshu vs Masa Chono


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  • 1 month later...

This match shows me how well-booked this tournament was. Chono knows his role well and continues to heel it up. Great past vs present dynamic with Chono dominating and Choshu selling most of the way. I love Fujinami at ringside slapping Choshu around to try to get him back into it, with the crowd loudly chanting his name. Choshu locks on the scorpion, which no one buys as the finish, probably because Choshu had taken so much punishment and Chono had taken so little. The second time he does, he gets a little more heat than before, as he gives him a great lariat first, but the finish still seems anti-climatic because it was unexpected. Still, great ending to a good tournament.

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  • 3 years later...

Earlier in the card Chono had gone through a 25m war whereas Choshu was coming in fresh. Because of Chono's exceptional G-1 record and better conditioning it was well set up for the final though. He beat on the veteran for a while which got the crowd going. When the counter attack came it was decisive, as Riki Lariato wins his only Climax. A highly popular decision it was too in a very well booked tournament. There were heated rivalries built up for the coming months, classic rivalries revisited, injuries being perfectly utilised for storyline purposes, as well as plenty of upsets and surprises. It was a huge commercial success too. These days not even Sumo can pack the Ryogoku Kokugikan 5 days in a row.

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  • 8 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Pretty beautiful pro wrestling match showing the old guard rising up one more time against the king of the G-1. Chono was dominant on top and really put Choshu against the odds. Fujinami slapping him around was a great moment and the eruption at the submission on the scorpion was highly rewarding. The last two matches really made the G-1 feel great overall. ***3/4

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  • 2 years later...

It's been one hell of a G1 and at this point I'm actually sucked into the gravitas of this being the final. As far as the work goes, I don't really think this was that good -- but it doesn't really matter, the atmosphere and crowd heat carry it. Fujinami firing Choshu up was one hell of a high spot and Choshu's comeback worked really well. Nice feel-good post-match celebration.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-08-06-NJPW-G1 Climax] Riki Choshu vs Masa Chono

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