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[1990-04-15-UWF-Fighting Area] Akira Maeda vs Tatsuo Nakano

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Nakano was totally awesome in this match, the crowd is going apeshit chanting his name and he is cheap shotting the fuck out of Meada, hedbutting him on the break, constantly kicking and kneeing him in the back of his head, totally leaving it in the ring against the king of the mountain. But man fuck a Maeda, he completely sleepwalks through this, Nakano is working his ass off, but Maeda never really sold, never really seemed to get angry when he got cheap shotted, never seemed to worry when he was knocked down. Totally sandbagged the match, which is two shows in a row, he worked Funaki and Suzuki in the next two shows, those are going to be tough to swallow unless Maeda woke up.

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Agreed with Phil. I liked this match, but Maeda being game could have taken it to another level. I wish they had gone a few more minutes and that Maeda was willing to go with the match the crowd was wanting to see. Instead, he sort of sleepwalked through this.

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Hah! I'm just going to be the shootstyle maverick forever and ever.

 

I think one of many issues I have with the UWF is the perception that the top guys are all interchangeable in terms of push and star power--it makes every match more or less inconsequential and the equivalent to a die roll, because I don't get any sense of anyone being elevated or not. Well, now we have a match where a top guy is facing someone clearly underneath him, and Mr. Underneath is going all out fighting for his life. Love the headbutts from Nakano and loved how behind him the crowd was. Maeda wins relatively quickly...but he SHOULD win quickly. He's the Top Guy, not Nakano. Great sense of impending dread as Nakano is about to go up for the capture suplex, and he's done after that. Fun way to get the bad Japanese indy taste out of my mouth.

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I had no problem with Maeda's performance. Wouldn't you expect him to think he was above Nakano? Granted, he was no Tenryu when it came to being a dismissive prick and selling a little at the same time. But I thought he played a fine ace, and his flurries of kicks came off as pretty vicious. Nakano also did well with his more glamorous role of doomed, feisty underdog. I agree with Pete; I'm good with this kind of match, where the energy is there for the upset attempt even though it's never treated as a conceivable reality.

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Watching the matches in the context of the shows gives you more of an idea how UWF was booked. Maeda was the top dog in 1990. The rest of the workers traded wins under the pretense that it was real competition though Fujiwara was protected as was Takada to a lesser extent. When Funaki returns from injury he gets a big push and ends up challenging Maeda by year's end.

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Pretty good underdog style match that was fine for the placement on the card. In going 8 minutes, Maeda gave Nakano enough offense and hope sections to rile up the crowd but never made it look like a 50/50 affair.

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Some of those knees looked painful. Both guys exchange a couple headbutts. Nakano has some good fire but seems outmatched on strikes. Crowd is into Nakano. Maeda with a German suplex while holding the bridge. Nakano gets off some kicks but it was Maeda playing him into the capture suplex and ankle submission. Fun spirited match.

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This was as pro wrestling as anything I've seen out of UWF so far on this set, and I loved it. Nakano was great as this short, pudgy, kinda shitty guy, throwing everything he can to try to sneak out the upset against the legend, but in the end Maeda was just better. One of the best squash matches you'll ever see.

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I admired Takano's pluckiness and aggression, and those headbutts looked nasty. Maeda gets the quick submission with the anklelock, though.

 

It seemed like there were too many potential knockdowns and rope breaks that weren't called. I know this is a work like all pro wrestling, but wouldn't more scoring of points before the finish increase the excitement for the fans?

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I liked Maeda working lazy. He came off arrogant and like he didn't have to try because he was better than Nakano. But Nakano gets in a lot of cheap offense an scrappy shots that all of sudden the audience feels like Maeda had underestimated him, but nope! Maeda still wins easily.

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I got the impression that every time Nakano got real scrappy with Maeda, he was gonna get pummeled for being such an ambitious peasant in the ring with the king. And usually he did. Fun match, but something was missing for me.

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Big megastar vs. Pudgy short jobber. Nakano doesn't care though and uses Maeda as his punching bag with awesome kicks, punches and headbutts. The first minute or so is slow but this quickly picks up with brawling. Maeda looked pretty badass putting the little fucker away too.

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