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Charles (Loss)

[2000-12-14-NJPW-2nd Judgment] Jushin Liger & Minoru Tanaka & Shinya Makabe vs Super Delphin & Takehiro Murahama & Tsubasa

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New Japan (Jushin Liger, Minoru Tanaka, Shinya Makabe) vs

Osaka Pro (Super Delfin, Takehiro Murhama, Tsubasa) - NJ PPV 12/14/00


On the same show where All Japan invaded and had a classic, Osaka Pro invades to take on the best of New Japan's juniors division. Liger is rocking the EVIL~! all black outfit again and is ready to best some Osaka pro ass. Super Delfin has crew dressed up as ridiculously as usually as they are in matching rainbow outfits. I could not really get into this match. It was not a bad match. It was a match that was just there. I did not think it had that much heat, which is strange because it had an awfully chippy start. My interest piqued at the prospect of a Minoru/Murahama shoot-style match that was teased at the beginning. There were some nice spots, but I did not think it built too much. I liked the symmetry where Tsubasa showed off with some gymnastics after sending Liger to the floor so when Minoru clears the ring he does the same as an FU to the Osaka team. Minoru plays FIP early taking a Hart Attack dropkick-style and then being put in a Boston Crab. Murahama plays a great watchdog while this is going on. In the spot of the match, Minoru jumps over an Osaka guy, ducks under an Osaka leapfrog only to run into a Murahama palm strike. Minoru creates separation (Vintage Cole!) with a dropkick and tags Liger. Tilt-a-whirl backbreakers for everyone, but whiffs on a palm strike. The dive train onto Liger was my second favorite spot.


Murahama works over Liger's arm, but he able to hit a desperation powerbomb and tag out to Makabe because he is too injured to follow up. Is Delfin mocking Liger by using the palm strike or is that one of his moves? I did not care for Tsubasa offense late in this match felt bush league and weak. The finish sees Minoru dropkick Tsubasa as he comes off the top to give Minoru command of the match. He hits a missile dropkick to the back of the head and a Northern Lights, but broken up by Delfin. Liger detains Delfin and Minoru hits another Northern Lights and gets the submission with his cross armbreaker. The massive push of Minoru Tanaka continues and I would say he was the star of the match. I am excited that him and Murahama ended up having a match in 2001. It is a serviceable match, but nothing to write home about. ***

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This has a decent shot to make my ballot. Good action, good heat, and it sets up something for down the road. Not the best Makabe match of the year, though, which hurts.

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As 6 mans go, this was pretty stellar. Most of your 6-man matches don't really do much besides set things up (unless you're in Mexico, MPro or Toryumon), so that's all they really needed to do. Murahama vs. Tanaka was all kinds of fun. Delfin getting cocky after outsmarting Makabe on a few moves then running into a spear was pretty nice. The dive train on Liger and subsequent face-in-peril segment was really good. Liger knocking Delfin out of the shotei pin was basically a fun way of saying, "If anybody gets a 3 off of that it's gonna be me." Tsubasa's confusion kills finishing run a bit, but match will probably still be lower half of the ballot for me.

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Yeah, M-Pro style it is. I think this may be one of the last really great Super Delfin superstar performances. I dug that the Osaka Pro team was all in rainbow tights. Tremendous heat, characters that play each other off well (Tanaka and Murahama, Liger and Tsubasa), and the first half is exciting because the underdogs get the better of the established NJ stars in believable fashion. Could've used something a little more to really push it over the edge, like a pissed off comeback from the NJPW talent after being embarassed, Liger and Delfin doing a face off, or just pissed off Liger manhandling the tiny guys a little - I mean Liger was great here as he usually is in interpromotional matches, but I wanted him to dish it out a little more. The juniorish finale was very solid though.

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Love some interpromotional juniors. Makabe didn't get much ring time here but made the most of it as the Goliath of the match. Loved the NJPW team working quick tags while the Osaka crew would look for a numbers edge and then working submissions late. Good stuff throughout here, but they weren't about to blow things out given the main event. Not enough Makabe, but would've liked to see more matches between these squads.

 

***1/4

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This was fun. The opening exchange between Minoru and Murahama was what you'd expect and want, and they keep it up throughout the match. Minoru was good, Murahama was especially fiery, Liger was pumped up and got some good spots in. Even big dumb junior Makabe got some nice rolling German suplexes in but that was about it. Tsubasa got to fly around a bit and do his thing, mixing it up with Liger. Nothing blow away but a solid and perfectly fun interpromotional six-man.

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Looks like this is the only time we'll see the Osaka Pro guys in December which is a bummer. It's a bit boring watching them plug into a New Japan juniors match. I'd rather watch them in their own setting. The action was okay but watching my boys fed to the new Golden Boy was hard to swallow. And he's not even a homegrown Golden Boy either. Liger has been painfully average all year. He did some decent things here but was straddling that fine line between taking a back seat and being the Ace of the entire division. Delfin also took a backseat and they seemed to deliberately avoid any sort of serious throwdown between the two. Murahama was feisty. Match could have used some Kanemoto, or Ohtani if he were still a junior. The juniors division hasn't been the same since Ohtani left. The finishing sequence between Tanaka and designated jobber Tsubasa was fun. Not bad but not really Osaka Pro-ish either. 

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I had a blast watching it. It wasn’t the more experimental style of Osaka Pro on display but reminded me of a indie band getting a chance to open for a bigger act or having a festival set. They knew what would garner a positive reaction and hopefully gain some new fans. The rainbow gear was boos and Murahama and Tanaka had some great interactions. Liger was fine in this but actually didn’t show as much fire as I would have hoped given how spunky he is in the NOAH series. Tanaka continues to get the big push picking up the win here. ***3/4 (7.5)

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