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Charles (Loss)

[1990-06-26-NJPW] Riki Choshu & Kantaro Hoshino & Kuniaki Kobayashi & Kensuke Sasaki & Shiro Koshinaka vs Animal Hamaguchi & Super Strong Machine & Tarzan Goto & Hiro Saito & Masanobu Kurisu

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Hoshinoooo! A beloved "discovery" from the '80s project makes his yearbook debut and does not disappoint. New Japan 10-mans are among my favorite things in wrestling, and this was a great one. The crowd was batshit, the hatred palpable, the action wild and unstinting. This was 2/3 falls instead of elimination but no matter. Everybody in the match got a moment to shine, from Koshinaka as the face in peril to Kurisu as a badass invading wild man. The sequence outside the ring with Kurisu fighting Choshu's whole team was particularly great as was the moment when Hoshino played king of the mountain, continually dropkicking opponents off the apron and into the guard rail. Ultimately, these matches were the perfect vehicle for Choshu, because he could wrestle in explosive bursts, which he did as well as anyone ever. He came off as about the biggest star in the world here, and there was no doubt he could regulate whenever he chose. I had a grin on my face for the duration of this, and I can't see it falling out of my top 10 for the year. I had to stop watching wrestling for the evening, because I knew anything else would be a letdown.

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So much to love here! I could have watched these guys go twice as long under elimination rules and loved every second of it, but I'll take what I got, which was a fantastic, high-octane match that's typical of the great NJ tags of the 80s. Saito was on a suicide mission with some of those bumps to the floor in the first fall. Koshinaka as the whipping boy is lots of fun. I love the retaliatory clubberin' spot that leads to the finish in the second fall. Kurisu vs The World was incredible. Great match, and I agree with Childs that this will likely be in the top 10 for the year.

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Top 10 MOTYC easily. All ten guys brought something to the table, and I loved Goto's presence here in every respect. The crowd absolutely despised him, which is always a treat to see a native get that kind of reaction, and he really came off as an outsider with stuff like bringing chairs into the match. He even heels it up in the post-match. Hoshino works some awesome house-afire stuff. Sasaki is a big bundle of energy who seems to have been studying Rick Steiner at times. Saito takes some absurd bumps to the floor and his sentons are as great as usual. I hate Koshinaka and he's a lot of fun here, working maybe the longest sequence of anyone in the match. Hamaguchi throws everything he has into every move he does and maybe has the best regular elbowdrop in wrestling history. SSM brings some nice chunky offense. I've never seen Kurisu before but he worked a little mini-match with Koshinaka that was nice. Choshu was Choshu. Yeah, there's nothing not to love about this.

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How well known is this match? I had literally never heard of it to watching it here and it is fantastic and includes many of the elements I really love about pro wrestling. Taking someone I have never heard of (Kurisu) and making me look for more because of how awesome he was. Taking someone I usually hate (koshinaka) and making him likeable. Giving us another glimpse of Hoshino. Choshu and Animal doing there thing. Tarzan looking like a bastard. I could go on and on but part of the beauty of this match was watching the sequences develop.

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Holy mother of God was this amazing. Everyone had a moment to shine. I loved the 5 on 1 spots. The pacing here is off the charts. The crowd is going nuts here. I loved all 3 finishes. Just a great chaotic wrestling match.

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Yeah, great match. Working my way through the NJPW 80's set I've come to really enjoy these big tag matches. Thought the two out of three falls worked perfectly. Going in I felt that maybe the teams were a bit one sided but was impressed with Animal's team. There was some crazy bumping by Goto just throwing his body against the railing on three consecutive moves. Great crowd. One of NJPW best efforts so far in 1990.

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Not in the same ball park as the 80's 10 man classics. Just looking at the line ups beforehand there's a huge imbalance of talent. None of the heel team are anyone I want to see in singles matches. Still the format does a great job of protecting wrestlers weaknesses as they don't have to be in the ring for long at a time. This meant that only Hiro Saito sucked ass in this one. What an awful worker he was throughout his wretched 3 decades in New Japan. A big beneficiary of the old Japanese jobs for life culture.

 

Fortunately on the other side you had superstar Rikki Lariato, it would've just been a midcard match without him. And then there's 10 man specialist Kantaro Hoshino. What a spunky little scrapper he was. Plus a strong face/heel dynamic and a hot crowd. Some inevitably ropey moments but goodness also.

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For those who hadn't figured it out yet, that's not Tarzan Goto in this match. It's Tatsutoshi Goto, who was one of the Blond Outlaws (along with Hiro Saito and Norio Honaga).

 

Surprisingly, Hiro Saito was the man of the match, in my opinion. He worked really hard and those bumps into the guardrail were crazy.

 

A lot of the 1980s NJPW elimination matches were better than this match. Still, this match was fun.

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Re-watched this yesterday. Besides Choshu, the other nine wrestlers were mid card wrestlers at best, some washed up, others just never better than okay, yet everything in this match works and works really well. This is a prime example of why I can't and don't buy into the hype of modern New Japan "classics."

 

The best New Japan matches of the modern era don't come close to the heat generated by this match. I acknowledge it is a different time period but I also know that these weren't the 10 most over guys in the company, none the less the best workers who by pure force could get a good to great crowd reaction for almost every big spot.

 

The match is 2/3 falls and since it is Choshu who is running things, it is done sprint style. I'd be willing to argue that this match was worked at a faster pace than most modern day tag matches, which is something that bothers me about today's matches. Here, the fast paced is used to do a quick rope running sequence and then quick tags in and out by both teams. They use an average set of moves for 1990. Nothing particularly high end, although if you like regulars sentons you will be happy, but nothing that reeks of "these guys are still stuck in the 70's."

 

It's the little things here that really make the match. Kurisu is the old man outsider and his first move is a stomp to the chest of Choshu (or one of his team mates). He gets boo'ed instantly. It may be a product of its time, great booking, attentive crowd, or a mix of all of those but he retains that heat throughout. This also has an aura that is missing today. There are two to three times the match looks like it is going to get out of control and then things are reigned back in organically and the match continues. It was a riveting 25 minutes with heat and story that is missing from 2014 New Japan.

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This reminded me of the kind of multi-man tags that Vince would run at the Spectrum every once in a while just prior to Hogan coming in. A few of them made it to Coliseum Video back in the day, and their express purpose was to make sure that the fans saw as many different combinations of wrestlers in the ring as possible, which would most likely explain why they weren't elimination matches. They were "a whole card in one match", according to the hype, and most of them featured Andre, who would squash one of the unlucky heels like a grape to take the final fall and send the fans home happy, kind of like Choshu did to Kurisu here. The only difference is that this match was two out of three falls, while the Spectrum matches were mostly three out of five.

 

One added twist in this match was the scrum spot, where all ten guys would brawl in one corner. I never saw that in the Spectrum matches, mostly because Andre cleaned house on everyone. There was also fighting outside the ring in this one, complete with chair throwing by Kurisu, which also never happened in Philly. Finally, it seemed at times as though the ref in this match completely forgot who the legal men were supposed to be; two guys would be fighting, then be replaced by two totally different guys after some type of distraction spot. I liked the five-on-one sequences we saw from both sides as well. (Neither of the above spots happened at the Spectrum.)

 

Overall, I'd say this bout was more action-packed, as it actually featured moves rather than just a brawl followed by Andre taking out the garbage. But as nice as seeing Choshu lariat Kurisu out of his boots was, nothing compares to seeing Andre squash Mr. Fuji or one of the Samoans flatter than a pancake. So this match does well in comparison to the other matches on this set, but loses to the rosy nostalgia of Coliseum Video in my mind. Where was the Giant when we needed him? :D

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Kantaro Hoshino was a really underrated part of the uwf vs njpw feud, and into the generational feud after that. He never played a huge role, but he always stuck out to me. He sticks out here too with some great fired up offense. I had never heard of this match before and too bad because this was great. There's so much to dig into here. I love the retaliation spots, like the Kurisu chair stuff, whole teams retaliating back and forth. Koshinaka as a face in peril, and not hitting a hip attack until deep in the match to a big pop really worked well. I didn't read the thread beforehand and was pretty disappointed thinking the match ended after the first fall, but nope! Great match, one of my favorites of the year.

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Thing for me about this match was that everyone looked really limited with a few exceptions. But they worked the 10 man tag aspect of ti well enough that you never got too much of the limitations. Everybody got to really play to their strengths and to me it was one of those "sum > parts" kinds of matches because of how it was worked.

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