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[1995-04-16-NJPW-Battle Rush] Shinya Hashimoto vs Steven Regal

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When I got my Hashimoto box set years ago, I remember this was one of the first few matches I watched. I know both guys aren't afraid to take their shots but I wasn't really expecting the sheer level of brutality that is on display here. Regal just opens up a can on Hashimoto. I would say this is on the level of the Regal/Finlay matches in terms of pure violence. Great match. The only minor negative thing I could say is that I'd like to have seen Hash dish out more of an ass whooping in return before closing it out.

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Regal just pummels Hashimoto, and it makes for some amazing visuals. But I do agree that what this needed to go over the top was Hashimoto getting in more of his own shots too. Regal doesn't feel like a guy in for one tour -- he feels like a regular rival for Hashimoto, which is a good thing, and can be credited to Hash giving him so much of the match. And I know they had another match in '96, but had they really had the chance to play out a rivalry over time, I think we would have seen quite the series, and we probably would have had Regal taking his lumps too. I really enjoyed everything about this, but it feels like the star of some great matches instead of a defining great match on its own. A shame we don't have a half-dozen matches between these two.

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Watched this the other night prepping for the upcoming Schneider comp and I was happy with the way the match developed and ended. Another exhibit in the Regal was fucking awesome files. Here are Schneider's thoughts from Segunda Caida...

 

Holy hell what a war! Regal takes it to Hashimoto and beats the shit out of him worse then anyone this side of Tenryu. Especially early he just overwhelms Hash, breaking his nose with a palm thrust and painfully wrenching his limbs. Hash fires back a little bit, but Regal has a bunch of nifty cut offs, stepping on the inside of his knee or catching him with a knuckle to his eye. There is a great moment where Hashimoto goes for a kimura and Regal breaks it by driving his forearm into Hash's broken nose, then on the way up he gives Hashimoto a short little kick to the eye. When Hash finally gets the advantage he lands huge, with a huge jumping kick and some shoulder separating chops. They go back and forth with Regal pounding at the smashed nose, and Hash unloading with kicks. Regal is a really underrated in ring bumper, he just gets spiked by Hash's DDT (after previously reversing twice), before going down to a cross armbar. Crossing the line potato shot Regal is probably my favorite iteration of Regal, and this was as violent as the nastiest moments of the Finlay feud. Just a treat.

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Watched this a while back and adored it. Thought it was about as good a match as I've seen from either guy, and I *might* call this the best non-All Japan singles of '95 I've seen. Thought it was at least as good as any Benoit/Finlay/Regal combo match as well.

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What a war. Regal grinds his forearm over Hash's nose, which bloodies him up, and Hash pays him back with some awesome stand-up kick-and-forearm shots. It's odd because he's so known for his forearms and uppercuts, but I don't think of Regal as being a standout in doing back-and-forth strike exchanges. But you sure wouldn't think that watching this. Both guys push each other into something pretty special here.

 

Fun fact: Regal got this title shot (and payday) as a reward for putting Inoki over at the Clash the previous year.

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One of my personal favorites. Regal is just relentless in working over the broken nose, adding all kinds of cool and violent touches. Hashimoto was able to balance sympathetic selling and ability to maul someone at any given moment better than almost anyone. **** 1/4 though I could easily go higher.

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-400-351/2/

 

#356

 

This was brilliant. I loved they way they built the match. The pacing, submissions, and striking. I like the little things Regal does when working submissions. Here, loved him placing his boot and weight on the hand of Hash while working to gain the advantage in a hold. There's plenty I haven't seen, but this is probably my favorite Hash match to date.

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An enjoyably different type of title bout. It was a very stiff and spiky encounter where things got heated between the wrestlers. Regal really worked over the champions face, busting his nose early. Hash fired back with vicious kicks and could compete with anyone on the deck. The matwork emphasis along with the breaks and resets gave it a Muga type of feel. With added potatoes. Aside from a few nice holds it sure wasn't pretty. But it sure was brutal and captivating. They also met on 9/21/96 but it wasn't as strong as this.

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An absolutely lovely, hard hitting, gritty war between two of the best ever to do it. Hash gets busted open in like the first minute of the match, and after that, Regal is like a shark smelling blood. He attacks Hashimoto's busted nose brutally w/ stiff strikes to it. Amazing stuff. Regal gives Hash such an amazing beating overall. Hash of course sells it super well & everytime he was on the offense, he absolutely matched Regal's intensity w/ his own, amazing strikes. I think the ending is a little anti-climatic, but I still dig it. The post-match is also absolutely fantastic with them shaking hands, showing each other respect & then Regal blasting Hash w/ an Elbow, only for Hash to return the favor by striking him back was absolutely wonderful. An all-time classic right here. ****3/4

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I agree with the sentiment of so many above I was waiting for Hashimoto to unleash HELL on Regal and it never really came. Bummer.

 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinya Hashimoto vs Lord Steven Regal - NJPW 4/16/95

 

A lot has changed since June of 94, Hashimoto has defeated three of his four peers (Sasaki (twice), Chono, & Hase) along with young upstart Tenzan and resident gaijin monster Scott Norton. So he was on quite the tear. Bringing in Regal made a lot of sense to bring some variety to Hashimoto opponents as he pretty much went over everybody save for the person he would lose it to (Mutoh) and that Regal fit the New Japan style so well. From in ring style standpoint, I don't think there was a major promotion in the world where Regal's gritty technical work would have been better on display than in New Japan (BattlArts, yes). Regal has that mat-based grit, strong suplex game and barrage of strikes that would fit New Japan so well.

 

Regal takes down Hashimoto early by stepping on the back of his knee and then gets a tight smother. You can hear Hashimoto's labored breathing and the bone of the forearm is grinding against Hashimoto's nose. Hashimoto is susceptible to bloody noses so it is not a surprise that within the first minute we have blood. At first Regal seems to want to attack the left arm and Hashimoto does a good job defending his arm. He gets a nice inside trip, but rides high on the toehold and Regal pops a couple time in the busted nose. This serves to anger Hashimoto upon stand-up. But Hashimoto does not follow up instead Regal continues to blast him in the face or grab tight facelocks and grind his forearm bone against the injured nose. Hashimoto even has to take a breather after a severely brutal beating. This was definitely Regal/Finlay, BattlArts level violence from Regal. I think what dragged this down from a classic to a great match is that Hashimoto never really returned in kind. He had his moments, but there was never that one shot or one flurry that was on the level of Regal's brutality. Hashimoto's enziguiri was the first major salvo of his comeback forcing Regal to outside. Then he started to lay in with the kicks. Some nice overhand chops by Hashimoto as Regal fired back with his own strikes. One of my favorite spots was Regal's counter to the DDT with an armwringer than a pop to the face. Nasty. Hashimoto powers out of the Butterfly suplex. I love Hashimoto's sweep the leg as a transition. His big rainbow spin wheel kick. I didn't like Regal getting the Regal Stretch right after that. Need a transition. Hashimoto then gets out of the Regal Stretch no problem goes for DDT and Regal backdrops him out. They are losing me down the stretch. They come back with Regal violently attacking the face again, this has been a great offensive Regal performance. I liked the armwringer->DDT->quick submission with the cross armbreaker. A quick submission to a cross armbreaker? Is someone preparing for a Shoot-Style Invasion?

 

Regal's brutal strikes and facelocks against the bloody nose of Hashimoto was totally engrossing. Unfortunately, you are waiting for Shinya Hashimoto The Destroyer to UNLEASH HELL on Regal, but it never really comes. Great stuff that could have been classic. ****

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When I saw this match, I wasn't expecting Regal to brutalize Hashimoto the way he did.

But he did... and it was amazing. Such a joy to watch two of the best ever to just kick each other's asses for nearly 20 minutes. Regal is such a dick, going after Hash's nose at every single opportunity, even in lock-ups. He unleashes hell onto Hash like no other, such a joy.

However, I thought that while Regal excelled in assholishness, Hash's strikes were noticeably stronger, which compensated for the lack of a proper beatdown, for me. Crowd was very much into the nearfalls. Hash has so many moves that can believably finish a match, that everytime the match reaches even the 10 minute mark, the suspense kicks in.

Great stuff. Five italian chef kisses.

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Incredible match. Two greats of the business that are always underrated by the masses. Both men have two completely different styles but they made it work and turned it into a fantastic match. Regal going after the right arm of Hashimoto was just nasty at times (although not the primary focus). Hashimoto was great as well, there was one moment when he rolled to the outside after being completely outclassed by Regal's ground game. One thing I want to point out is the way Regal going after the injured nose of Hashimoto too. I won't sell Hashimoto short either, he was awesome. He made some fiery comeback and brought a raw energy to the match. Excellent match ****1/2

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I re-watched this recently and probably came away liking it less than ever. What stuck out this time was how much Regal just guzzled Hash in this. He controlled most of the match, basically didn't show any hesitation or regard for any of Hash's offense, routinely didn't sell Hash's moves for long and would often beat Hash to the attack even after Hashimoto had been the one just hitting a move. It was like watching a blue blood gimmicked Hansen. 

It's still an interesting match but it's strange how they worked this. I'm not going to say it killed Hash's aura but he did look weak. It's one thing for Hash to go up against gimmicked guys like Norton or Power Warrior where he's "outgunned," but Regal?  

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