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Charles (Loss)

[1996-12-09-Michinoku Pro] Great Sasuke & Gran Hamada & Super Delphin & Gran Naniwa & Tiger Mask IV vs Dick Togo & Mens Teoh & Taka Michinoku & Shiryu & Shoichi Funaki (Elimination)

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This is definitely worth watching, but I don't like it as much as other MPro matches on the set because I'm not a huge fan of elimination matches generally. And if they are good, they work much better for teams of individual wrestlers than an actual stable.

 

Usually, these matches last about 30 minutes before either team is victorious. And because of the gimmick, the wrestlers are kind of handicapped into doing quicker decisions than make sense. Funaki tapped out immediately like 7 minutes into the match. It's just a stretch to buy that, that if this was a one-fall match it would already be over.

 

The other reason is that Michinoku Pro matches aren't about the individuals as much as the teams. You lose guys, you lose what they bring to the match when they're gone. The heat also isn't quite at the level of most M-Pro matches.

 

Really good match, but not one of my personal favorites for those reasons. That said, this is about as good as an elimination match can be.

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The combination of clipping and terrible studio commentary meant I could never get into this. M-Pro was all about the 10 man tags. Only the Dick survives.

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This was another fun match. It didn't have the charm of the These Days match but the elimination rules imposed a bit more structure to the bout. Having said that, Kaientai will never be confused with being the Infernales when it comes to double teaming spots and the eliminations weren't as spectacular as they might have been. A point of comparison might be the CMLL ciberneticos from the following year and there is no comparison really. I did like Naniwa's stand at the end though. He was the perfect guy to go it alone against the remaining heels.

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I do think there are some diminishing returns with these MPro multi-mans, because like all the Dangerous Alliance 6-mans in WCW there's no sense of an overarching, long-term story. The babyfaces do their shine spots, Kaientai do their 5-on-1 beatdowns and poses, and then the stretch run. Here, they attempt to shake things up by adding an elimination stip, and this also has the old '80s NJPW rules where throwing a guy to the floor is an elimination. That somewhat mitigates the rather cheap and sudden finishes that Loss talks about--we do get a few quickie eliminations in that standard WWF Survivor Series way, but a few guys get tossed out which thins the numbers more realistically, even if it's a somewhat cheap way for certain guys not to do jobs. All that to say that while this isn't as good as the best of this promotion, it's worth watching because things do feel different down the stretch--particularly when Sasuke is eliminated and Delfin and Naniwa have to try to fight to survive on their own. The closing stretch is probably the best Naniwa has ever looked, actually.

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I thought this was pretty ho hum but maybe the distance from when I watched the earlier multi mans and this one helped it overall. The finishing stretch involving Delphin and Naniwa was awesome. Delphin is really starting to become of my most underappreciated wrestlers in history as I think some just look at the gimmick as goofy and dismiss his skills overall. He is someone that honestly would be knocking on the door for me for consideration if I did the GWE right now. Kaientai DX was fun as usual bullying around the face brigade especially Mens Teioh in this match. **** (7.9)

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Really fun match, especially once it gets down to Delphin and Naniwa mounting their comeback, which makes for a really dramatic and exciting ending portion. Beginning was really good too with quick action and some nice dives. Sasuke's elimination was really cool. In general the eliminations were well done. Naniwa and Delfin fighting back provided more real drama than you often get in MPro matches which makes this really stand out among MPro matches, though it's not exactly one of the classics.

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Great Sasuke, Super Delphin, Gran Hamada, Gran Naniwa & Tiger Mask IV vs Kaientai DX - Michinoku Pro 12/9/96 Elimination Rules

 

The wrinkle in this match is elimination rules. I am going to miss Yakushiji. I want to echo what others have said about this feeling like all the great Dangerous Alliance six-mans of '92 as they are all fun but there is not sense of progression from match to match and they all seem to end with Dick Togo falling from the sky and hitting a Senton similar to Bobby Eaton's Alabama Jam ending many Dangerous Alliance contests.

 

First elimination: My version has three minutes cut from the first ten minutes. I really enjoyed the opening lots of babyface shine. Usually these openings are much more even here we get TM IV overcoming the 5-on-1 hitting a suicide dive. Sasuke with an Asai moonsault, Hamada and Togo rolling to the outside in a stiff exchange, Naniwa and Taka teasing elimination. Really hot opening. I like the babyfaces giving Kaientai a taste of their own medicine by everyone grabbing a Funaki limb and cranking. Funaki submits to a Hamada single leg crab. Awesome opening fall! M-Pro Sekigun 5-4.

 

Second Elimination: Shiryu gets trapped in a single leg crab by Sasuke. You think Kaientai would save since this is how Funaki just got eliminated. They tease throwing Shiryu over the top rope which would count for an elimination. Kaientai saves. Mens Teioh teases throwing TM IV out. TM IV wants an reverse crossbody but hesitates on the ropes and gets shoves out on his ass to be eliminated. Quick & dirty I like it. Tied 4-4.

 

Third Elimination: They are flying now. Togo saves Shiryu from a Hamada cross armbreaker, but Hamada gets a pin off a hurricanarana on Shiryu. Kaientai is down to its Big Three. Hamada is killing it for his team. The heavy hitters Sasuke & Delphin have not had to do much yet. MPro Sekigun 4-3

 

Fourth Elimination: This is a biggie for Kaientai. Hamada had both eliminations for his team. Teioh is able to throw Hamada into Taka kneedrop. Taka hits not one but TWO Michinoku Drivers. Teioh & Togo run coverage as Taka pins Hamada. Big victory for Kaientai to even the odds. Tied 3-3.

 

Fifth Elimination: Great 5-6 minute stretch of pro wrestling here. I loved Taka catching that back kick Sasuke uses to set up his Asai Moonsault and yank him down onto the apron. Then Taka hits an insane inside out springboard top rope Asai Moonsault to the floor, which does not count as an elimination. Glorious heat segment on Sasuke follows with everything targeting the head. Just beautiful heel work from Kaientai. Piledrivers, DDTs, brainbusters, the Kaientai pose and dropkick to the head. I bit on the Spike Piledriver hard especially since Kaientai knocked Delphin & Nainwa off the apron, but Sasuke kicked. Shieldbomb, but babyfaces save. Sasuke mounts a comeback! Quebrada on Taka! He has Kaientai reeling. Instead of tagging out, he goes for his back handspring crossbody, Dick Togo catches and uses the momentum to throw him over the top rope!!!! Love, love, love that! Kaientai goes up for the first time in the match and they take out the Ace of the Babyface Team. Kaientai 3-2.

 

Sixth Elimination: Kaientai executes another great heat segment this time on Naniwa. Teioh plays Funaki in the Taka/Funaki double team sequence. Togo hits a massive German on Naniwa. Taka hits a Michinoku Driver and everytime Delfin saves. Delfin's hot tag is electric. He is definitely the best of the babyfaces at igniting a crowd. He eliminates Taka Michinoku with a Tiger Suplex! Huge! All knotted up. Delphin & Naniwa vs Dick Togo & MENS Teioh. Tied 2-2.

 

Seventh Elimination: Babyfaces start off hot with dives to the outside. MENS Teioh almost catches Delphin by rolling through a top rope crossbody. Naniwa saves Delphin from certain doom by attacking Togo before he could hit the senton. Delphin looks ready to put away Teioh when Teioh hits with a low blow. Chokeslam 1-2-3! I think this seals the win for Kaientai as Naniwa is down 2-1. Kaientai 2-1.

 

Eighth Elimination: DOOMSDAY DEVICE~! ON Naniwa! Wow! Togo picks up. Cardinal sin. Teioh hits Togo by accident. Blue Thunder Bomb by Naniwa on Teioh 1-2-3! Oh shit! Dick Togo vs Gran Naniwa. Tied 1-1.

 

Ninth, Final Elimination: Naniwa gets a nearfall off the Blue Thunder Bomb, but this ends as you would expect Dick Togo Powerbomb, Dick Togo SENTON! 1-2-3!

 

Kaientai Rules! I loved the elimination format helped give this match structure and sense of progression. ****1/4

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