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[1997-10-10-Michinoku Pro] Taka Michinoku vs Great Sasuke

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Sunny is here! And Victor Quinones is Taka's manager! Sunny is the most traveled wrestling personality of 1997 -- WWF, ECW, USWA and now Michinoku Pro. Part of me wants to say this reminds of Eddy vs Rey from Smackdown in 2005 -- two guys more known for their highspots getting more time than usual to deliver a match, and going for a more basic approach with more psychology and playing to the crowd. There isn't as much flash here as there usually is when these two lock up, but I think the match improves for it. Taka is a great heel and even steals the ringpost sharpshooter spot from Bret. The problem with this is that there's no heat. It's awesomely worked, but the crowd just doesn't take to it. I suspect that Taka was trying to demonstrate his grasp of American style psychology. I loved it, but the crowd didn't really connect with it. Cool to see Taka and Sasuke go over a half hour.

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I suspect that Taka was trying to demonstrate his grasp of American style psychology.

Would make sense as Taker was working this show. Probably TAKA thought it was a good idea to make a good impression on him.

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Sunny’s music is playing and there she in the ring! She continues her streak of not doing much as she just does the introductions. Japanese crowds have been tough this year. MPro wasn't using the comedy much later in the year which is something I do miss about them. A bigger crowd response would have helped me as was long match. WWF Light Heavyweight division ranks were so small for Taka though.

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A match I would throw up as the audience was wrong. They went out and crafted a well worked match. It is amazing to think about how young Taka still is given his presence and composure during all aspects of this match. I liked the work that he did where he seemed to be dodgy and shady but also resilient. Finish was built to strongly. One of the more under-heralded matches of 1997 and a match that for sure will be in my top 100 year end.

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A funny thing happening during the introduction: Sunny stumpled a bit in the ring which lead the ref (the small fat one, I think the one who died a couple of years back) looking shocked at Sunny's ridiculous high heels and apparently asking her if she even can walk in these things which lead to a hand gesture by her indicating "not really".

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What a surreal group of people gathered in here at the start of this. Everything about this was well-done as we take a left turn from the usual Michinoku style match for what's essentially a heavyweight contest with a few dives. I just didn't find myself being grabbed by it--I don't know if I let the crowd get to me or if this whole thing felt like an inevitability because we all knew TAKA was leaving.

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