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[1994-10-18-NJPW-Super Grade Jr Heavyweight Tag League] Great Sasuke & Black Tiger vs Wild Pegasus & Shinjiro Otani

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Ohtani is taking a beating from the very beginning. He finally gets momentum and hits a big dive to the outside on Guerrero. Benoit in but he takes a cheap blow from Guerrero. It is not the smoothest exchange between Ohtani and Sasuke but they are going pretty fast. Lots of guys coming in and interrupting pinfall attempts which is making everyone testy.

 

Dragon suplex but Sasuke kicks out. Sasuke fakes one dive but connects on the other. Dragon suplex on Guerrero and he kicks out. Always thought that was on of those moves you do not kick out of. Sasuke tries a dive to outside and Benoit just steps aside. Benoit gets Guerrero up on his shoulders but Ohtani cannot cleanly hurricarana him in the air. High dregree of difficulty on that and would have made for great finish. This time a Dragon suplex works though as Ohtani gets the victory.

 

Excellent match as they were going all out for pretty much the whole thing.

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Fantastic match, in the top handful of New Japan matches for the year. Eddy isn't as stoic as he normally is in the Black Tiger outfit. He does all the stuff you'd hope he would and is a total heel, which is great. Everyone is excellent in this, but Eddy was the glue. There is a pretty badly blown double team spot from Benoit and Otani right before the finish, but it wasn't enough to take too much from this. Otani's dazed, glassy eyed selling is always awesome.

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Eddie was tremendous in this. I mean he was fucking phenomenal. He was the highlight of this match. I forget how goddamn good his offense was. And his heeling is awesome. Everyone does their part in this though. I loved the camera angle where Sasuke goes for his patented springboard moonsault and Benoit just side steps and Sasuke vanishes. The finish was gloriously botched but it was covered up well by the end. This was a fantastic showcase match and one of the better New Japan matches all year.

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Great match but I may not be as high on it as everyone else due to the botched finish and I thought at times this resulted too much into my move, your move at the end. FInish felt like a big moment for Ohtani.

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Agreed with everyone about Eddy being the star of this match. I literally laughed out loud when he walked into the ring to give Benoit a Three Stooges-style eye poke. Overall, though, this was pretty exhausting to watch. Toward the end, there were tons of big moves and nearfalls in rapid succession without much in the way of long-term selling. I didn't hate it or anything, but it's easy to see how the style would end up going off the rails.

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Fantastic bout, with some spectacular moves but also some hate and fire and velocity behind those moves. Maybe not a psychological masterpiece but Ohtani makes for a tremendous FIP, Eddy an even better bastard heel, and the execution is pretty spot-on. Oh, until that finish, when Ohtani and Benoit attempt a move so ridiculous (a jumping huracanrana from the turnbuckle off Eddy being held on Benoit's shoulders) that it was better left on the drawing board. Ohtani quickly puts Eddy away later with a dragon suplex. Loads of fun and an indication that the NJPW juniors will be just fine with Liger on the DL at this point.

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Great Sasuke & Black Tiger vs Wild Pegasus & Shinjiro Ohtani - NJPW 10/18/94

 

Fantastic spotfest. A lot of people use "spotfest" as a pejorative, but if were more spotfests were like this one I don't think there would be as much hate. No NJPW perfunctory feeling out process (personally I am not opposed to the "ceremonial" opening matwork as much as one), this was just balls to the wall action. The spots were hit with such ferocity that you couldn't help, but be enthralled. Eddie Guerrero was definitely the star of the matach as he was showing 1997 charisma levels here just being an absolute dick throughout the match to Ohtani. This kinda had the feel of veteran/young boy (Benoit/Ohtani) against dick heel team, but Ohtani was definitely more advanced and felt like his coming out party. Benoit was a total asskicker. Sasuke had some huge dives and big bumps (the suplex over the top rope to the floor was crazy). I really enjoyed the couple beatings Ohtani took (loved opening the match with chairshots). Ohtani sold really well, but almost too well where he was dying and then was springing back too fast when he could have been using the asskicking machine Benoit as a way to transition the match and allow him to sell more. Sasuke was at fault also for his team, but he did not sell as much so it was not as egregious. By the end of the match, it was a total bomb-throwing spectacle. Great pace, awesome, awesome bombs and great execution albeit the finish was botched (Otani did get the big win after getting his ass kicked). Needed more consistent selling and a more clear narrative to take it to the next level, but as a spotfest hard to beat. ****1/4

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This ruled from before the opening bell as there was badd blood coming in. The earlier group phase match between these teams is a must see. Action packed throughout with some spectacular offence on display. It's a shame there wasn't more of an emphasis on junior tags before the late 90's, when they formed the IWGP Junior Tag Titles. The lack of formula is certainly refreshing.

 

Sasuke held his end up in a secondary role. Ohtani brought his wrestling prowess and his burgeoning character to the fore. Benoit was really sharp and had a keen rivalry with his fellow foreigner. Eddy was incredible, his best ever performance in Japan. Full of rudo charm and dickishness. Pretty much everything he did was awesome.

 

By all rights the fans should've been going crazy throughout. They certainly won them over, but didn't get the heat level that they deserved. Ending was botched, but wasn't all that important. One of the highlights of the NJ year.

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#128 - placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-150-101/

 

Agreed that Eddy is the glue. He was really entertaining in this. Fun match with lots of cool spots. There just wasn't anything that really grabbed me or sucked me in to feeling like this was great or a classic. However, a really really good watch. There was something about the ending that although it was botched, it felt a little abrupt to me as well... ***3/4

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This is hurt by the spotty feel and lack of selling at times which prevent it from being a strong MOTYC but the overall product is still sensational. Everyone has already said it but Eddie was outrageously great here, one of the finest heel performances ever. Loved all the hate and animosity and intensity of attacks from both teams. Sasuke's bump at the end is insane while Ohtani's post match selling is something special. **** 1/4

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