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[1996-10-25-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Jushin Liger & El Samurai vs Shinjiro Otani & Yuji Nagata


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  • 2 months later...

Give Samurai credit for taking three consecutive top rope double stomps. This is a really fun match that kind of breaks the juniors formula of the time, with Liger and Otani in particular showing lots of personality in their interactions. I love animated Liger, and it's great seeing him opposite someone like Otani who has just as much physical charisma. The dive train rocked, especially because Liger seemed to be joining just because everyone else had. Also, Samurai isn't on the level of Liger and Otani. He just isn't. But he's excellent in his own right, and he's a guy whose rep (while it was always really good) has improved with me with this set.

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  • 3 years later...
  • 10 months later...

Nagata holds his own nicely here, and shows way more fire and energy than he seemed to in WCW in months to come. Liger's "na na boo boo" taunt of Otani may win Best Maneuver Award on my Observer ballot. Otani is incredible again--unless there's another Dandy or Casas match that blows me away in the next 2 months, the Most Outstanding Wrestler award is his to lose. The suplex exchanges with both Liger (climaxing with Otani rolling through a German, taunting Liger, only to run into a shotei that he sells like death) and Samurai are just sublime. Otani looks dead and buried but manages to make a comeback and score the win practically all on his own. Finish may have been a tad on the sudden side but hey, the "right" match length is often a tricky endeavor. Really fun stuff.

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  • 2 years later...

I am always a sucker for when Otani picked up a win around this time so I dug that. This also seemed to set the table nicely for the stuff that happened between Liger and Otani in singles in 1997 as that is really not that far away now and Otani needed to be elevated to a degree to feel like a player in that role. Nagata and Samurai are the least two emphasized workers here but they knew their role and provided entertainment when called upon. Nagata in particular looked really nice and hungry vs. Liger and Sammy. A house show match but one that was done really well. ***1/2

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-10-25-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Jushin Liger & El Samurai vs Shinjiro Otani & Yuji Nagata

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