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[1981-04-23-NJPW] Tiger Mask vs Dynamite Kid

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My first exposure to this series, and I wasn't aware until after watching it that this was literally Sayama's debut as the Tiger Mask character in NJPW.

Great, easy to follow story. Dynamite is wary of the fast paced kicks of Tiger Mask, and even when he's able to catch one, Tiger Mask still turns it into an enziguri. Dynamite tries to match Tiger Mask move for move, until switching game plans and going more aggressive. He clamps on some holds and eventually tries to tear off the titular mask. He lays in some clubbering blows, but Tiger Mask is always able to bounce back. Dug the nice selling of Mask's knee after getting out of a leg hold.

A couple mistimed spots, but that's easy to forgive considering this must have been Sayama's first time under the mask, as well as against Dynamite. The ending sequence is spiffy, with Dynamite missing the headbutt, Mask throws him outside, Dynamite takes control and tries to bring Mask back in with a suplex which is reversed into one of the better German's I've ever seen. Mask gets the win, but Dynamite recovers and throws another kick. Mask responds in kind before the ref breaks it up and declares Mask the winner.

Left me wanting more, especially to see if and how their feud evolves. A good taster of what was to come I imagine. Will especially be interested to see if Dynamite becomes more and more aggressive as he becomes more familiar with Tiger Mask.

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