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Charles (Loss)

[1994-04-29-Michinoku Pro] Great Sasuke vs Jinsei Shinzaki

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This is a really great match! It's weird because it has a reputation, but also doesn't really have a reputation at all. Dave Scherer discovered it on a random commercial tape years ago and sent it to Dave Meltzer because he was so impressed by it. Both agreed it was a ***** match. Scherer noted this on the liner notes on one of his old RSPW tapes. And that's why it's on the yearbook. Beyond that, it has never really been talked up too much at all that I am aware of.

 

Sasuke gets in a cheapshot during intros. They brawl in their ring jackets, with Sasuke even doing a somersault plancha to the floor in his jacket! How often do you see that in Japan? Sasuke's overzealousness allows him to take an early advantage, but as soon as Shinzaki regroups, he's the one in control for the next few minutes, as they work some pretty fun mat stuff.

 

Sasuke's comeback is built around his footwork. They dabble in UWFI a little, teasing the possibility of Shinzaki getting knocked out. The kicks are clearly worked, but they look great, and Shinzaki's dazed selling of them is fantastic. Shinzaki's desperation dropkick is a great moment that gets over big.

 

From there, they go into the standard juniors stretch of big moves and nearfalls, and it's one that is done exceptionally well, especially because Sasuke hits all of his highspots so beautifully. Highlights include the Space Flying Tiger Drop, which leads to him trying it a second time. This time though, Shinzaki is ready for him and Sasuke doesn't hit the move, and gets powerbombed on the floor to boot.

 

Shinzaki rolls him back in and hits him with three diving headbutts and gets a surprise win. Outstanding match! I'm curious if anyone else agres that it's better than anything from the J Cup, and something that needs to be seen and talked about more.

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The dives to start off with them still wearing their entrance gear was cool. This has to be the best Shinzaki match I've seen. I knew nothing about this match going in so it was a surprisingly great match with Shinzaki being involved. Lots of big dives between the two. Shinzaki stepped it up here. This is a really good end sequence to the match. Shinzaki busts out the flying headbutts to win. I still like Lyger/Sasuke and Benoit/Sasuke from the J Cup over this but was very good and would have been interesting if this match had been apart of the J Cup.

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This got better as it went along. By the end I thought it was an excellent match. The pacing and structure was really well done and the finish was very defiant. Great outing by these guys.

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Good match that there is no way I would watch without it being in a yearbook setting. I still liked all the J cup stuff better though.

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I just checked this out and really enjoyed it. I was an MPRO superfan back in the day, so I am surprised this slipped by me. I loved the Sasuke dive with his robe, he looked like Batman jumping on a thief. Shinzaki has a tendency to slow things down in his singles match to a snails pace, but this kept rocking pretty fast. Probably Shinzaki's career match, and one of Sasuke's better singles.

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Yes, I remain a mark for brawling in entrance gear. Throw in entrance-gear brawling AND crazy dives, and I'm in wrestling heaven. This is easily on the level of the J-Cup matches, as Shinzaki adds a different dynamic to the usual juniors fare. He can match guys dive for dive, but he's still a heavyweight and that adds another layer of sympathy to Sasuke and his brethren. Excellent bout in one of the better months for in-ring action of any year so far.

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Great Sasuke vs Jinsei Shinzaki - M-PRO 4/29/94

Echoing what many others have said about this match, the beginning totally rules. Sasuke looks like he is going to do the standard throw your fist in the air with his robe during the intro but instead lariats Shinzaki! It is on! Then Sasuke does his trademark swandive splash from the top turnbuckle still in his robe. Awesome visual. I thought he brained himself again because that was a bad landing. Not quite as bad as the time he literally cracked his skull during the J-Crown match against Ultimo Dragon. Sasuke grabs a deep armbar similar to Nagata's version or the Disarmor. Shinzaki powders and retaliates with arm work of his own and then a choke. Sasuke tries to speed up the tempo but gets caught in a military press slam and then a Vaderbomb by Shinzaki for two. Shinzaki stupidly Irish Whips Sasuke and this gives Sasuke the space to create offense and a dropkick causes Shinzaki to powder. Shinzaki gets the hell out of Dodge before Sasuke can dive on him. Sasuke is lying in wait, but Shinzaki catches him and walks the ropes in his signature spot. I thought the match dragged here where all of sudden they were trying to KO each other, but the strikes were not that convincing and there was no much escalation or transitions. Sasuke had some crazy whiffs, but some kicks did connect.

Shinzaki catches one of the spinning heel kicks with a slam. Sasuke ends up hitting an Asai moonsault as the match gets back on track as a speed vs power match. The springboard dropkick from a spent Sasuke gets two. The match transitions into the finish stretch. The moves were good but it felt very unearned. Sasuke ran through his standard moveset finish offense: German Suplex nice bridge, the Quebrada into a cover and the Crucifix Powerbomb. There was at least some struggle on the Crucifix Powerbomb. It just felt like bomb-bomb-bomb rather than a fight.I did like Shinzaki getting a rana into a pin on the second powerbomb attempt. The transition to Shinzaki is really good. Sasuke hits a FLYING SPACE TIGER DROP~! Which I am a mark for, but then he tries it again, but comes up short and whacks the back of his head on the floor. Shinzaki throws him down on the powerbomb. Then Shinzaki throws it back in his face with an Asai Moonsault and then hits three diving headbutts from three different corners to win the match in very definitive fashion. 

The beginning is definitely the best part as it feels totally out of control. Then they settle into a good juniors match. Sasuke has to wait a little, but eventually he is able to unleash his spectacular lucharesu offense. I really liked the transition at the end and Shinzaki's finish stretch was short, sweet and impactful. Thought the middle was not that great and it could have felt more urgent/earned down the stretch, but still this is a great match and Sasuke is definitely one of the great junior wrestlers of all time. ****

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