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[1993-06-14-NJPW-Explosion Tour] Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Osamu Kido

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This is the best Fujiwara match on a yearbook so far. He and Kido are a great match-up and the exchanges are really fluid. Fujiwara's selling is fun to watch because it fits the style and isn't overstated, especially when he's back at a standing position after Kido's legwork. Speaking of Kido and the legwork, it's really well done. And I love Fujiwara trying to get out of the headscissors. But as much as I hate to say it, I just don't see what other people see in the guy, at least not at the level at which he's rated these days. He's a great mat worker yes, but so are lots of guys, and I haven't come across anything yet that makes him stand out from guys like Ikeda and Ishikawa, or even someone like a Dean Malenko.

 

Good wrestling is about momentum to me. Wrestler X takes control for an extended period of time, either due his own opening or a mistake from Wrestler Y. I think what is keeping Fujiwara from really standing out to me is that no matter what happens in his matches, both guys are having another standoff a few minutes later and are right back where they started. So as a result, you get nice exhibition stuff, but it doesn't feel like a match. Everything is sold and executed well, but there doesn't seem to be much consequence when either guy gets in a good shot.

 

Kido, on the other hand, was super impressive. He mixed in pro style moves like the neckbreaker and belly-to-back suplex. The finish was also really well-executed.

 

I don't anyone to take this as me being down on Fujiwara. I'm definitely not. I see the appeal. I just don't see why he's quite as highly regarded as he is based on his '93 stuff so far. It's a small sampling, so that may be the only issue.

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This is far from a great match but I wouldn't exactly call it an exhibition. It's a fairly competitive bout. What's wrong with restarting from a standing position? It's a hell of a lot more realistic than feeding holds.

 

Anyway, I disagree with Ditch completely. I'd rather watch the Malenko match over cartoony pro-style Fujiwara any day of the week. Fujiwara was great at pro-style but I want to see him wrestle. 1993 into 1994 was pretty much the tail end of Fujiwara's run as the best worker in Japan and I don't think this or the Hase match are anything special but the Hashimoto match from '94 is incredible.

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Restarting from a standing position often feels like they're starting the match over too if it's done too many times. And that everything that happened before that is no longer important.

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May I ask what Fujiwara matches aren't him vs a technician?

Phil's Complete and Accurate list is here:

http://segundacaida.blogspot.com/2009/08/c...-of-all-of.html

 

 

Fujiwara v Kido is always neat because they do work as equals, but that makes it unusual and not the norm. Majority of his matches v technicicans aren't worked as though both guys are equal.

 

The majority of the matches that Phil lists as EPIC tend to be Fujiwara v a striker.

 

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Super Tiger UWF 9/7/84-EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Super Tiger UWF 9/11/85- EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akira Maeda NJ 1/10/86 - EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akira Maeda NJ 2/5/86- EPIC (this is more techniciany)

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Riki Choshu NJ 6/9/87- EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Kazuo Yamazaki UWF 7/24/89 - EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Nobuhiko Takada UWF 2/27/90- EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Masakatsu Funaki PWFG 7/26/91-EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Minoru Suzuki PWFG 11/3/91-EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Yusuke Fuke PWFG 2/24/92-EPIC

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Shinya Hashimoto NJ 6/1/94 -EPIC

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Certainly that Choshu match stands out.

 

By 'Technician' I mean more a Joe Malenko or Kido, someone who is overwhelmingly matwork. Guys like Takada and Maeda have the striking element.

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There are more matworkish Maeda or Takada v Fujiwara matches than the ones I listed, Those are worked again less back and forthish than the Kido/Malenko match. Those are worked with one guy having more strength or fire or something else (guy from above v below): not evenly. The matches I pulled out of Phil's list are ones where opponent does less matwork than you get in average Akiyama match.

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This was a blast, really fun matwork. Kido has been a pleasant suprise in his appearances in the yearbook, I have enjoyed him every time out. Loved the out of nowhere finish, it has been mentioned that Fujiwara is the master of flash finishes and this is a pretty swank one. Not a MOTYC, but fun and recommended viewing.

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A UWF reunion and wrestled in that style. They did a bit of rope running near the end that felt tacked on. Watchable enough but nothing standout.

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Fun ending--I actually rather liked the switch to total pro-style when they begin trading wrasslin'-style punches (the old "going toe to toe" spot). Fujiwara's constant attempts at going for the wakigatame are an effective way of putting Kido over as a real threat.

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Some more Fujiwara showcase wrestling. I thought this was some great grappling built around escapes and was worked snuggly and effectively. The problem I had at times was the lack of desperation and escalation within the match. Kido was fairly limited in this setting to me which also hampered things overall. A nice showcase if nothing else. ***

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This was neither fish nor fowl to me. It seemed like they were trying to work a shoot-style exhibition on a normal pro-style card until the final few minuted when we saw a couple of Irish whips and a couple of nice reverse neckbreakers. Overall, this was really tough for me to get into; they should have either worked a total shoot-style match or a total pro-style match. It may be possible to mix the two, but not in the way they did it here.

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