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Charles (Loss)

[1994-07-08-NJPW-Summer Struggle] Jushin Liger vs Great Sasuke

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Another classic match, only one that isn't as talked about as much as the J Cup, which obviously happened on a much memorable show. For me, this was every bit as good (possibly better - it's worth some thought anyway) but it is worked differently. It's more of an even and action-packed match. Sasuke does a few out of this world dives. Liger spends a big part of the match selling and they do some amazing highspots and nearfalls down the stretch. This is more like Sasuke/Shinzaki than the first Liger/Sasuke. Liger pins Sasuke after a top rope brainbuster, but it's still like Sasuke won, because he dominated most of the match and Liger happened to get lucky with a big move. This is a match that feels like it should be talked about as one of Liger's best matches.

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Big dive by Sasuke within 30 seconds of the match starting. He ends up in the front frow after another dive attempt on to Liger. Sasuke continues to dominate with the arial moves. Liger has his moments but cannot remain in control of the match. Sasuke is more control of this match compared to the J-Cup one. Liger begins to take over but Sasuke does well to cut him off when he takes control. Back and forth towards the end with Liger finally pulling out the victory. I still prefer the J-Cup match to this but this was good as far as being more even.

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Im thinking this was the one that got ***** at the time, while the other one got ****3/4 or something like that. The other one is talked about because of the J Cup being one of the traditional gateway drugs to puroresu.

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This was excellent. I might prefer the J Cup to this but I'm not positive and it's close. Sasuke immediately jumps Liger after the introductions and does a tremendous dive not a minute into the match. I loved the armwork and battling for the cross armbreaker. Great stuff. There were some more awesome dives from Sasuke later too. The finishing stretch was really terrific as well. Yeah, I liked this a lot.

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This was my favorite junior match of the year. They immediately show that his will be different from the J Cup match with Sasuke jumping Liger and killing him for the first portion of the match. The mat work mixed in with Liger flashes of comebacks getting grounded by another gorgeous flying spot by Sasuke was clever. The ending built well and we didn't have a ton of useless nearfalls and it ended in an appropriate big move. Great match.

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I think I liked the J-Cup match a bit better, just because it's hard to top that finish--*that* as opposed to some of NJPW's upsets-for-upset's-sake was magnificently done in a way that really elevated Sasuke and led to great other matches. This time Sasuke goes balls-out from the start in an effort to prove that J-Cup wasn't a fluke, and the action never lets up from there. Sasuke does a little fighting from underneath at times but controls most of this, before Liger convincingly drops him with a super fisherman buster.

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Didn't care much for this, Sasuke jumping Liger at the bell was great but they quickly gave in to filler limbwork which accomplished nothing and completely lost me, Sasuke's big dives were great but I didn't care much for this once it turned into them doing a bunch of big moves and nearfalls (which didn't look convincing). Fine workrate much but nothing noteworthy.

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The matwork section had Sasuke working over the arm. It consisted mainly of cross armbreaker attempts. Over and over again. He was probably wondering why the fans weren't going crazy over them because it was a powerful move, right? Don't let this guy construct the match Jushin. The rest of the time was spots all the way with some pretty crazy moves. The execution was sound. I felt no emotional connection to it, but can appreciate where other fans would find entertainment value.

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Didn't care much for this, Sasuke jumping Liger at the bell was great but they quickly gave in to filler limbwork which accomplished nothing and completely lost me, Sasuke's big dives were great but I didn't care much for this once it turned into them doing a bunch of big moves and nearfalls (which didn't look convincing). Fine workrate much but nothing noteworthy.

 

No way is this a workrate match. They play of the J Cup 94 perfectly with Sasuke determined to prove his win last time wasn't him just getting lucky. They flip the dynamic with Sasuke dominating the majority of the match and Liger teasing/making comebacks and barely managing to win. Superb match and a worthy sequel. **** 1/4

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http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-50-1/

 

#37

 

This was definitely entertaining, and had lots of the spots looked great. Tons action, but like Zenjo I didn't feel a HUGE emotional connection to it. That said, I was still sucked in to all that was going on and really enjoyed the finishing stretch. ****1/4ish for me? I want to come back to this one in a more linear fashion.

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This is definitely a workrate match, but it is a BANGER of a workrate match! I would say outside Flair/Steamboat Chi-Town Rumble, the best extended sprint of all time. Everything feels huge and important! 

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs Great Sasuke - NJPW 7/8/94

Absolute BANGER! Sasuke dropkicks Liger in the middle of Liger's introduction and the match never lets up from there. This is the best extended sprint of all time. Sasuke was just hurling his body at Liger with reckless abandon trying to prove that the Super J Cup was not a fluke. The dive over the top looks so out of control. Liger is totally overwhelmed. What makes this match so much better than Super J Cup is that this is not a squash-banana peel match. It is an organic match where both men are fighting back. Even though Sasuke is in control of the majority of the match, he has to earn his offense. Liger is still throwing out Shotei and Kappo Kicks. It is not a ragdoll match where Liger is just letting himself get thrown around. I really liked that they replaced the opening New Japan matwork with Sasuke trying pugnaciously to go for the cross armbreaker. I do wish they stuck with it a little longer because it was a good touchstone, but the match did not suffer. Liger sold the arm for a while and then it gradually got better. The Lucharesu sequences came off incredible in this match. A lot of the time they feel rote or artificial. Like it is stage blocking in a musical. Here things came out of nowhere. Sasuke was going for a fancy move and Liger would just nail him with a Kappo Kick and then follow it up with Somersault Plancha. Sasuke's back handspring elbow comes off as sudden because it was Liger that set it up and the Asai Moonsault looked great. If you define workrate as the spots per minute, then this match has a very high workrate. Normally, I would decrying that, but like I said what makes this match work is that the spots are sudden, set up organically and there a lot of counters and missed moves. Sasuke BIG classic dive to outside looked great and the missile dropkick was a great nearfall and the Crucifix Powerbomb was even better. Strong escalation from the mat to dives to the outside, to bombs in the ring. Sasuke misses the top rope reverse sidesault. It is important to me that there are missed moves. I really liked that Sasuke still initiated the next sequence going for the victory roll, but it was Liger that tossed him off and led to a massive Liger release German to reassert himself. I loved that sequence. Liger really felt like a power wrestler in this match against a flyer with the big strikes and throws. It is the Tiger Mask combo (Tombstone/Diving Headbutt), but thats only two. Top Rope Frankensteiner, but it is a cocky cover and that almost costs Liger again as Sasuke sunset flips him . It was hubris that cost him the Super J match. Will his ego be his downfall again? Liger eats knees on the splash and Sasuke gets an inside cradle. This is a great play off the Super J Cup finish with lots of roll ups that make Sasuke look like he can steal one as Liger as established himself on top. Sasuke wants to go upstairs, but Liger meets him and punches him in the gut. AVALANCHE BRAINBUSTER! Liger keeps both hands on Sasuke's arm during the lateral press and does not count along to get the 1-2-3! Notice in the two pinfall covers before Liger took one hand off to count along with the ref. That's ego. Liger was getting worried and he made sure to keep his hands down to take no chances. Details like that make Liger the Juniors GOAT. 

I said all I needed to right at the beginning. THIS IS A BANGER! It is full throttle, pedal to the metal pro wrestling. However, it has meaningful momentum shifts, the moves have consequence and there was a narrative. Yeah it was that damn good. *****

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