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Charles (Loss)

[2009-06-19-Michinoku Pro] Fujita Jr Hayato vs Great Sasuke

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I think this is easily one of the two or three best junior heavyweight singles matches to come out of Japan in the last decade. Great offense, great selling, and huge spots. They make tremendous use of the length of this match and it rightfully feels like an epic main event.

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The finish wasn't too overdone and the work wasn't bad. Sasuke brings the ridiculous dives and crash-and-burns. It didn't impress me overmuch, but Sasuke's attempts to kill himself always come out entertaining.

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2009 could have been the year of the juniors if KENTA just treated Nakajima with some respect. KENTA absolutely hit out of the park with Kotaro Suzuki in my current 2009 MOTY. Then this match just killed pretty much any non-KENTA/Danielson juniors match. Love seeing the juniors stepping their game up.

 

Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Champion Fujita Jr Hayato vs Great Sasuke - Michinoku Pro 6/19/09

 

Great Sasuke is truly one of the greatest junior heavyweights of all time and it really shines here. He is partying like it is 1994 out there with his crazy bumps, but always consistently selling and working an angle to win a match never just to pop the crowd. If he pops the crowd so be it, but he is here to win and that is what I want out of my wrestling. The whole match from the get-go to ending feels like Sasuke trying to prove to himself, the world and most importantly this punk, Hayato he can still hang with the best of them. He bullrushes with a dropkick, but Fujita side-steps. The matwork in the early part of the match is fierce and heated. Sasuke scores an early victory with an Ultimo Dragon like baseball slide and Hayato wipes out a bunch of chairs. Ultimo Dragon is looking on and rooting for Sasuke. Back to the matwork, Hayato comes out of the fracas with a heel hook that bothers Sasuke, but is not enough to fuck him up yet. Sasuke hits a T-Bone off a criss-cross and Hayato powders. Sasuke looks for the Asai Moonsault (lots of Dragon influence) but on the all important back kick to set it up, Hayato catches the foot and yanks him to the ground, which now really messes up his leg. Hayaot sends Sasuke through the chairs in a fashion that has to be seen and takes a chair to his leg. Hayato works the leg well, but the key in this type of early leg work is always on the seller and Sasuke really makes you believe with how he is writhing. Sasuke meets Hayato on the top rope with great shots to the midscetion, he looks to regain the advantage with an elbow drop, but eats apron. OW! Hayato sees his opportunity and seizes it by the throat literally. Twice he applies the guillotine choke and on the second time Sasuke powers out and drops him on his head. Sasuke heads up top to press his newfound advantage, but misses the swandive and sells the back by taking a walk. Hayato follows and Sasuke catches and sends him into the post. This sets up the big Sasuke dives to the outside, the swandive and dropkick that show he has not lost a step since 1994. He looks to end it with a painful looking chickenwing crossface, but before he could really cinch it in Hayato makes the ropes. Sasuke starts looking for chairs and makes a big pile of them. He suplexes Hayato onto them and then decides a high speed swandive is what he needs to be done to finish him off. Hayato moves and OOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Hayato realizes to beat this sick fuck he is going to have cave his head in with strikes. In my favorite moment, when Hayato starts going off with strikes, Sasuke actually moves closer to shorten the distance and move into the clinch. Perfect. He throws him with a double underhook. Sasuke is feeling it dives onto Hayato's bad arm and then a big powerbomb, but nada. He goes up top, but Hayato kicks his head off. Sasuke tries to retreat, but Hayato hits a plancha. Back in the ring, Hayato hits a big German and then obliterates him with big knees. A valiant effort by Sasuke to hang with Hayato, but Hayato is not just the future he is clearly the present after that performance.

 

I would say the second best juniors match of the decade behind only the heated brawl between KENTA/Kotaro Suzuki. Sasuke was amazing in every facet of the game: offense, selling and huge bumps. He was just pouring so much effort into this match. Unlike the Dragon 2007 match, he had an opponent trying just as hard as him. I loved smooth transitions of the match. The early heel hook was not capitalized on until Asai Moonsault, the power out of the choke did not lead to Sasuke full recovery until the posting, Sasuke crashing into a bunch of chairs did not end his run until Hayato kicked him off the top rope. Abrupt transitions can be very powerful tools, but can also be lazy and weak. This match showed how dynamic Hayato could be working well on top and from underneath with equal proficiency. What makes it extra compelling was the emotional connection with Sasuke wanting to see the old time pull off the upset one last time, but falling short in a great effort. ****1/2

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