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Charles (Loss)

[1993-03-21-NJPW-Hyper Battle] Jushin Liger vs Dean Malenko

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Yeah it was watchable but they could definately do better than this. The kind of match you've forgotten already by the next day.

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Kind of an interesting story with Malenko constantly going to the anklelock, and his screaming "GET UP!" at Liger was amusing in hindsight considering Dean's subsequent persona. But this is definitely not going to finish high on a list of All-Time IWGP Jr. Title matches.

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Man was this ever underwhelming. Lots of trading moves and clumsy countering by Malenko. Just feels like they'll hit a spot then pause and regroup for the next one. Even Liger seems less engaged than usual as I can't pin this all on Malenko. Liger catches Malenko coming out of the corner in a frankensteiner for the pin out of nowhere. On to the next one.

 

**1/2

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A ho hum match that was good overall but feels really dry and bland in this setting compared to all the high-end stuff we have seen this year. Liger overall has been interesting so far. Nothing bad at all with his three matches to this point, but they also were with opponents that you could foreseeable see something great come out of them, so it still left a slight bit of disappointment. ***

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The psychology for this one was a mess. Both guys did great legwork in the first part, but then they realized that Liger still had to do some flying spots, so he was up on his feet in no time as if Dean had never worked his leg at all. Even the finish was a mess; Liger's just had the anklelock put on him twice, seemed inches away from having the bone snap like a twig, and then springs up and catches Dean with a Frankensteiner into a pin? Maybe in the moment I would have bought it, but now it just seems like they had the wrong kind of layout for what they wanted to accomplish here. Or maybe Liger's just an unprofessional no-selling bastard. Pay your money and take your choice.

 

Hopefully we see a rematch where these two put on the classic we know they're capable of, because this certainly wasn't it.

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