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[1995-12-11-NJPW-Battle Final] Shinya Hashimoto & Junji Hirata vs Masa Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

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Third time Double-H has to defend against TenChono, and the fourth match between the teams in six months. Kinda repetitive to do that but hey, if the end result is a quality match who are we to complain? It's not like the AJ tag scene was less monotonous in '95. This is the last time these teams faced each other (...like the RWTL final). Anyways, I really enjoyed the finishing run, and the finish really feels meaningful (as opposed to the RWTL final). It really helped that all these IWGP tags weren't overlong. 15-20 minutes is a very good length for a match to be fully fleshed-out while avoiding too much downtime, unless you've got superworkers. Hirata is likeable but NOT a superworker.

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Hash treating Tenzan with such disgust is great. I also like Chono trying to do sneak attacks behind the referee. This is a really good match that I think nicely shows off everything great about Hashimoto. Everyone contributes to this in their own way, but he stands out the most in the reaction he gets and how he times everything he does so well. Chono is such an asshole, sneaking in a low blow at the most unexpected time. I love it. Great finishing sequence, with Tenzan accidentally clotheslining Chono, making him prone to a Hirata pin. 1995 has been a fun year for New Japan.

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Saito going nuts on Hash was pretty cool. This was a good match. Not much to say about it that hasn't already been said. How come Hirata isn't talked about more like Tenzan, and other 90's stars are?

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Another awesome Southern tag involving TenChono. We get a FIP heat segment, some interference, some cheating, a hot tag and house afire sequence by Hashimoto, and even a heel miscommunication spot leading to the pin. Hirata pins Chono! Probably didn't do a ton for Hirata's career but it sure exposes the RWTL finish even more.

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A tag bout with an unusual and clearly defined structure. It began with a Tenzan FIP segment. Okay he was a heel, but you know what I mean. Once he tagged out Hirata was then the face in peril for a while. Then they moved onto the stretch. It would've benefitted from a hotter crowd as the action was really solid. In a surprise finish Hirata downed Chono. It was done in a way that made the pinfall seem just right.

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