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[1996-10-25-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Keiji Muto & Rick Steiner vs Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima


Loss
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  • 2 months later...

This was one of the matches I wanted to watch most on the set, just because Dave giving a Rick Steiner match ****1/2 as late as 1996 stood out to me. And he still looks good enough that I think WCW could have gotten some mileage out of him had he been motivated and given some clear direction. That said, this match is just kinda there until a semi-hot finishing stretch. This is definitely one of those matches from New Japan that you can tell is worked for TV and looks better JIP. Steiner coming in to break up Nakanishi's torture rack twice felt like the exact same sequence repeated twice in a row. Nowhere near a ****1/2 and only really a solid match, even with a heated finishing stretch.

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I was surprised when reading Loss' ****1/2 comment, because I barely remember this match. The ****1/2ish rating from Dave that I recall for a Mutoh-Rick without Scott match was the 11/91 Mutoh & Hase vs Rick & Norton for the IWGP Tag back when Scott was injured.

 

John

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

The winning team had a bit of canine chemistry. In the early stages it was mainly low intensity matwork, which passed the time pleasantly enough. The pace picked up dramatically near the end, presumably because it was JIP for TV. Nice little match. Nakanishi was a straight up, developing midcarder at this stage. The goofy stuff would come in later years.

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  • 10 months later...

Decent enough little bout with Nakanishi being the second straight guy to show charisma and fire that he didn't offer up in WCW. Muto fully filling in for Scott Steiner was pretty fun and he embraced the role completely. ****1/2 is nuts, but there is definitely some stuff here that I can see Dave marking for. I don't know what to feel about the spot where Muto tricks Kojima and Nakanishi into clotheslining each other--it's something that Wile E. Coyote probably wouldn't fall for, but on the other hand it was a novel and fun little twist to the match.

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  • 2 years later...

Surprised by the rating even if it is just **** because this has a lot more shoot style and gritty matwork that Dave has a tendency to underrate at points ala 1/4/00 tag. The opening with Steiner and Nak on the mat was really intriguing. The match lost its way for me at multiple points and it felt more like a series of sequences than a fully formed tag with a structure. Kojima looked ok but not as good as Nagata in the junior match. **3/4

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  • 8 months later...

I do love matches that look weird on paper. This was slow going for a while but ended up really delivering once Rick started busting out nasty suplexes. Nakanishi hits a great German of his own. Fun home stretch ending in a ridiculous Doomsday DDT. Worth it for Mutoh rubbing Rick's head while both are barking alone.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1996-10-25-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Keiji Muto & Rick Steiner vs Manabu Nakanishi & Satoshi Kojima

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