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[1992-02-10-NJPW-Fighting Spirit] Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase vs Scott Norton & Brad Armstrong


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  • 4 weeks later...

I was hoping Armstrong would get to show more than he did here. Maybe that's a good thing since the other three are regulars, but it seems like a missed opportunity. He did sell well and take a hell of a beating, to a point where he starts looking pretty sympathetic after a while. And still, the story of the match was executed really well. I'm impressed that they built big to a Norton hot tag, and Norton does an AWESOME double vertical suplex on both guys. The comeback at the end is a lot of fun and more than many big Japan matches, both teams really worked as a team in the final stretch. I enjoyed this, but was hoping Armstrong would get to show all this offense we didn't get to see from him in the U.S. but I'll take what I got and be happy.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought Armstrong and Norton reminded me of a more talented Hart Foundation. This was great. Armstrong took such a beating, and was so compelling in his selling that he got the audience to get behind him and rally for his comeback which says a lot seeing Hase and Muto are huge stars in Japan. Norton was great in his roll. The finishing sequence was great. I loved how we got a southern tag/mixed in with some fighting spirit.

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  • 10 months later...

Wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. Armstrong was great selling the leg, and Norton's headlock looked really over. I think Muto was yelling while trapped in it at first and I thought that was a really great way to get a headlock over from a guy with massive arms that I don't remember seeing before.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Brad Armstong talks about this match in his ROH Shoot interview, and how much it impressed Hase that the crowd got behind him as much as they did. The Hase/Brad exchanges are definitely the highlight for me, with Hase stiffing Brad with slaps and damn near trying to amputate his leg. This was a fun match, with a really good finishing stretch. Mutoh and Hase wind up looking more lucky when they toss Norton to the floor and quickly finish off Brad.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 4 months later...

The Yearbook gives me joy as a fan who has yet to experience much of pre-2000 stuff. Watched it as a kid but that was still like the tail end of the 90s. This makes it so most of the stuff I go in with no expectations such as this match. I have never seen Scott Norton or Brad Armstrong actually wrestle. I've played as Norton in Fire Pro Returns and pushed Armstrong in Total Extreme Warfare 2010 but that's as close as I've gotten. Norton looked like a tank and Armstrong sold his beating well working that face in peril. Hase always delights me it seems. Mutoh is Mutoh. Armstrong's offense consisted of mostly of headlocks but he was the star on the defensive. Particularly like when he was in the corner with Mutoh trying to fight his way out. Loved when Armstrong got taken down too close to where Norton was on the apron he ran over with a clothesline. Popped a little for that.

 

Real fun match that I thought made the gaijins look great.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This had a sllllooow start that had me ready to tune out, highlighted mainly by Hase delivering some really stiff shots to Armstrong. Right when the natives do the AJPW "knee drop onto the table" spot on Armstrong, this picks up in a hurry. The idea of Muto and Hase working as heels with Brad as sympathetic babyface in Japan and Norton acting all sportsmanlike in not making the save seems completely back-asswards and counterintuitive, but they make it work and Brad actually gets the crowd completely behind him. Great turning point as Hase gets all dizzy after doing the giant swing, and Norton finally asserts himself on the outside by leveling him with a clothesline to set up the hot tag. Norton as babyface house afire works just as surprisingly as everything else, and we get some great double-teams before the rather inevitable finish. Full credit to all these guys for digging themselves out of what was shaping up to be a disappointment.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I want to echo everything that PeteF3 said. I want to add that while I enjoyed the match, I didn't like how quickly Armstrong recovered after the FIP segment. All that selling meant nothing after he got the hot tag to Norton. Norton was really limited her so I think that probably factored into Armstrong being so involved and no-selling, as I don't think Norton could have made his hot tag offense as compelling on his own. I also have to disagree with Loss on the double vertical suplex. The idea was great but the execution was botched and it didn't look very good at all.

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  • 1 year later...

This match had its good points and its bad points. I thought Muto and Hase worked together really well, especially when they were doing a number on Brad's leg. They seem to fit together quite well as a team. Norton and Brad did all right, and some of their doubleteams during the finishing run looked impressive. This leads me to my top sticking point with the match.

 

As I just said Hase and Muto did great work on Brad's leg, and Brad sold it very well too. Eventually he tagged Norton, who went through some of his power moves competently, then tagged Brad back in. Immediately, Brad was flying around the ring as if the last fifteen minutes of work on his leg had never happened. I'm not one who penalizes guys for not accurately selling at all times, particularly during finishing stretches, but seeing Brad throw dropkicks and propel himself over the ropes like a luchadore is a little much even for me. DR brings up the fact that Brad might have been covering up Norton's limitations as a worker, but if Scott was that limited, he wouldn't have been in this spot to start with. This didn't ruin the match for me, especially since Muto and Hase went over in the end anyway, but it took away from it quite a bit

 

Save of the Night: Right at the beginning of the match, Norton shoots Hase off of a headlock, and Hase has to scramble to avoid going out through the middle ropes. I've never seen that before, accidental or otherwise.

 

What was the chant Hase led the crowd in after the bout? Was it a simple "one-two-three" or was there something more to it than that?

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  • 2 years later...

I loved what they did here. Armstrong works the early part of the match like a young guy would be expected to. Really basic. Then ends up playing FIP and doing it so well the crowd that was chanting Mutoh's name gets behind Armstrong. Norton looks awesome on the hot tag and it's a win for everybody involved. Armstrong could have done better selling after being tagged back in for sure, but this is still really good for me due to the structure and Armstrong's great FIP.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1992-02-10-NJPW-Fighting Spirit] Keiji Muto & Hiroshi Hase vs Scott Norton & Brad Armstrong

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