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Charles (Loss)

[1996-08-18-Michinoku Pro] Jushin Liger & Gran Hamada & Gran Naniwa vs Dick Togo & Taka Michinoku & Shoichi Funaki

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Really fun match! There are better M-Pro matches, but this has lots of good stuff, and Liger adapts to the style really well. These fans LOVE Liger, and Liger seems thrilled beyond belief to be there, doing all the taunting he did in the Togo match in June times 100, even doing a Rick Rude hip swivel! I didn't realize his time away for surgery was so short, because he returned on 9/23, and removing a brain tumor seems like it might require more time off. Anyone know when his last match was?

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We have heels and faces. Really appreciative crowd in the gymnasium today. They were pumped to see superstar Liger, who was clearly enjoying himself. Breakneck action all the way with plenty of fun moments. They actually tried to pack too much in. A few sloppy moves and it felt rushed. They could've definitely done with a few more minutes to play with.

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This was a blast. Liger did seem to be enjoying himself as much as you can tell whether a guy in a mask and body suit is enjoying himself. Taka was awesome in this, and I dug his showdown with Naniwa at the end even if they kind of blew a nearfall. I'm glad I watched this as it added to the fun of 1996 Michinoku Pro. Naniwa's koppu kick off the apron was a "whoah!" moment.

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Liger's little shimmy brings to mind Mr. Wrestling Ii--maybe the first time that comparison has ever been made. Really fun match that's not at the level of the truly great MPro matches, but shows just how strong an "average" match of this type could be. This could well have gone longer--Hamada didn't really get a chance to do much.

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This match was a blast to watch with LIger mixing in well and clowning it up to tremendous results. I like how Kaeintai have really gelled as a team and feel like a huge unit that is to be reckoned with and doesn't have any glaring flaws. ***3/4

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This match was such a blast. Liger was awesome and the crowd loved him. Really, really good MPro style match with a super hot crowd, a great heel/face dynamic, a big dive section and Liger feeling like a super star. This was great.

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Jushin Thunder Liger, Gran Hamada & Gran Naniwa vs Kaientai DX (Taka Michinoku, Dick Togo, Sho Funaki) - Michinoku Pro 8/16/96

 

I need to read more about Michinoku Pro's history, but it looks like Kaientai is officially in full swing now. Liger was tremendous in this! Charisma was just oozing out. This was right before his surgery to have his brain tumor removed. He did not look like a guy who was staring a major surgery in the face. He was loose as a goose. Having tons of fun: Hulk Hogan ear cup, Hogan posedown, Mr. Wrestling II booty shaking! He had it all! He was having a ball out there. Taka Michinoku is awesome. It is too bad he went to the WWF and then never recovered. He is special. Not just as an aerial artist, I love the he bows up to Naniwa and puffs out his chest. He hits hard and is good on the mat. It is interesting how pretty much everyone does dives now, but still few are as pretty and visually stunning as Taka's Springboard, Top Rope, Flip Asai Moonsault. Absolutely breath-taking. This is how a spotfest should be. Just tons of fun and with big, big spots. I liked the shine a lot. My favorite sequence was Kaientai does a sequence of charges into Hamada in the corner. Then babyfaces respond by doing the same thing to Taka Michinoku in their corner. I would have liked a ballshot there. Also, I liked how Kaientai had to use the numbers game to get one up on Liger or Hamada to get heat. Big Dive train that's where the aforementioned Taka Springboard Top Rope Asai Moonsault takes place. Dick Togo hits a powerbomb then a Senton on Liger for two! Naniwa breaks it up. Unfortunately, Naniwa vs Taka Michinoku is sloppy down the stretch. Naniwa pinning Michinoku with a Michinoku Driver then Blue Thunder Bomb did not feel that climatic. Disappointing finish aside this was super fun. ***1/2

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