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Charles (Loss)

[1992-08-12-NJPW-G1 Climax] Jushin Liger vs Wild Pegasus

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Terrific match! From an action standpoint only, this is one of the best matches on the set. As far as juniors matches go, I like the February match better just because it has such tremendous selling from Liger and action almost as good. But as an all action sprint, this is on another level. It's a bit emptier than some of the best NJ juniors matches and even feels a bit like a tour version of their match if they were to take it to other territories. But it's still really great, and they are the two best at this style at this stage. Benoit takes the win with a gutwrench into a powerbomb off the top rope.

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I've brought this match up elsewhere at times, but I was surprised watching this just how much it's Benoit doing the work; I wouldn't say he's "leading Liger by the hand" or anything, but he's clearly dictating and controlling this and just looks great. The likelihood is he had been for a little while before this, but this is my signpost as where Benoit became the best junior in the world and a great, great fucking wrestler.

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Really good match. I dig Liger's fake dive to the outside and then following it up with a baseball slide dropkick. Liger looked like he had Benoit on the ropes until the finish. The top rope powerbomb was pretty sweet.

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The matwork passed the time but failed to inspire. All about the bonzo gonzo which was good and featured an amazing top rope gutwrench jumping powerbomb. Shallow Junior fun.

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Between these and the Samurai matches, Liger's record of quality on the year holds up against just about anyone. Can't ask for much more out of an extended sprint between these two, with awesome power moves a cut above juniors anywhere else in the world. Benoit really looked like as much of a monster / powerhouse in the division as was possible here. Awesome finishing stretch with reversals on big moves including a tombstone and near falls before the awesome power bomb off the top for the finish.

 

****1/4

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That finish was something else, no question. And Liger's baseball slide was about the stiffest version of that move I've ever seen. But it says something for the greatness of the work of Atlantis/Charles that even this comes off as somewhat mechanical by comparison. The action is good and well-executed but I guess I was somewhat spoiled by the more organic nature of the previous bout that I'm starting to like more and more as time (all 15 minutes of it or so) goes by. Maybe the best of the Liger/Pegasus Kid matches but not really something that's going to eclipse the best Liger stuff. Relative ambivalence toward this match aside, Jushin is still my Best in the World at this point.

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The matwork passed the time but failed to inspire. All about the bonzo gonzo which was good and featured an amazing top rope gutwrench jumping powerbomb. Shallow Junior fun.

 

Pretty much. It's funny, 13 years ago when I was watching entire years of New Japan, I realized that I connected less with this style of match than with Choshu's big main events. And watching tis today, I feel pretty much the same way. Yes, Liger is great. Yes, Benoit's execution is terrific. But there's still something lacking to me, to the point I'm not sure I would call it a great match. Shallow is the right word. Bomb throwing junior matches just lacks something when you've seen all the spots in the world and then some. (I was more a fan of Liger's matches with Honaga back then, which were a lot less workrate based)

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Rude's DDT certainly has company in the "most devastating move ever from the top rope" contest after what I just saw. What made it more impressive is that Benoit did it off a superplex try from Liger, not only blocking that move, but hitting a more devastating one in its place. Absolutely phenomenal.

 

Second-best spot of the match goes to Liger's wicked baseball slide, which I actually wish Benoit would have sold for a little longer. I've never seen that move snap the back of someone's head off the railing before.

 

If you cut this match in half and make it two separate bouts, the first half would be extremely disappointing and the second half would be in the top ten for Match of the Year. I know that New Japan juniors matches usually start slow with the matwork, but it usually feels more energetic than that. Luckily, they turned it up several hundred notches in the last eight minutes or so. Maybe they didn't want to accidentally outshine the G-1 final, which don't forget was for the NWA World title this year.

 

I'm not sure if Benoit's the best wrestler in the world at this point, but he's improved by leaps and bounds this year, and I'm starting to see why he'd be regarded as such a stellar worker in the not-too distant future. Nice to see him get a clean win over Liger, which I think he's only done once or twice before.

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#172 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-200-151/2/

 

I thought the match was alright until about 4 minutes to go, then it really kicked in. Through my eyes, I would credit that largely to Liger's performance. He kicks it into the next gear with some great spots. More of a really good match than great for me. Great finishing stretch and epic finish. ***3/4

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Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs Wild Pegasus - NJPW 8/12/92

Wild Pegasus is actually a great name for a pro wrestler; I dont know if I ever mentioned that before. Anyways, this is the same night as the famous Rick Rude vs Masa Chono match which I have seen once before 5 years ago and have very vague recollections of. No title on the line here as El Samurai beat Liger for the title in June, just a whole lotta of pride. 

I thought this was a pretty great power vs guile story. I know I am on an island in that I enjoy the perfunctory matwork in New Japan (sometimes people say it like only the juniors did it, but the heavies do it too). I like that it gives me a chance to settle into the match. I liked Benoit shoving Liger down twice on the lockup and then telling him to bring it. So Liger bowls him over with a tackle and says "You bring it, brutha". I love Liger's character work theres another great example of that later. The strength of this match lies in its transitions. They establish Benoit can win this match with straight ahead brute force. He is able to break a deathlock by applying a butterfly stretch and from that position hit a butterfly suplex. Another example is that later when Liger regains control, Benoit is able to hit an electric chair drop from being in a headscissors to gain the advantage back. When Benot is in control, it is all slams and suplexes with great execution and force. I forgot how good of a legdrop he used to have. Now Liger has one thing on his side and that is guile. He hits a weird kick that he never tried again that rocks Benoit. When Benoit is on the floor, Liger feigns a dive and Benoit thinks he has evaded only for Liger to hit a VICIOUS baseball slide that sends Benoit hard into the railing. Liger's celebratory fist pump is a great moment of character work. This is when that electric chair drop I mentioned earlier happens. Benoit takes people over with such force, great great suplexes. He is not quite the march forward asskicker he would become by the late 90s but all the tools are there he just has not put the attitude behind it yet.  Liger throws in some hope spots but Benoit quashes him with a wicked lariat and then just slamming him face first into the mat. Then Benoit breaks the cardinal rule of wrestling he turns his back to his opponent and Liger hits him with an Electric Chair Drop from the top. Liger hits another dive this time a somersault plancha to the floor. Liger was a wild child back in the day. He really threw himself into it. It was super en vogue to hit crazy suplexes from the top rope. Top Rope Belly To Belly Suplex By Liger To Benoit! The finish stretch is red hot! Liger misses a top rope diving headbutt. Benoit pounces with a bridging German Suplex then a bridging Dragon Suplex. Benoit tries to put a nail in the coffin with a Tombstone, but Liger does the WCW reversal and hits his own. 1-2-NO! I LOVED Liger going for the desperation Shotei but getting caught in a backslide. I popped for that. KAPPO KICK! Thats Liger setup move. He gets two and you know he is thinking Top Rope Brainbuster, but Benoit reverses into a Holy Shit TOP ROPE POWERBOMB! I LOVE POWERBOMBS!

Great power vs guile story and then a red hot finish run. Benoit shows he has tricks up his sleeve especially on that backslide on Shotei. I thought they shared the finish run well and had good transitions set up by missed moves and legitimate reversals it was NOT just everyone hit their spots some spots didnt hit. I really liked the finish, but I wish Benoit did whack Liger a couple times before he hit the move as he was the one in peril at the moment, a nit pick. For me this is the best match I have seen these two, but I have not seen the February match between them. ****1/4

 

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