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Charles (Loss)

[2001-02-03-NJPW-Fighting Spirit] Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs Dr Wagner Jr & Silver King

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Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs Dr. Wagner Jr & Silver King, IWGP junior tag titles, New Japan February 3rd 2001

 

Background: With WCW behind him, Silver King joined real-life brother as a regular part of New Japan's foreign contingent. Wagner is a former junior tag champion, and it stands to reason he would do even better with King as his partner now.

 

Why I think it's underrated: Another year, another under-the-radar match that Stuart put a spotlight on. This is carried by the luchadores. Their teamwork and interaction make the body of the match enjoyable, and a good finishing run is to be expected with the combined level of talent at work here.

 

What it deserves: Top 100 consideration / on the bubble. The crowd could be better, and there are several superior junior tags, but it's on the list for a reason.

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Looked like the point of the match was to get Wagner and Silver King over both as wrestlers and as threats to win a major title. And it did do that, because right towards the end the crowd really got into their bigger nearfalls. It probably won't get a vote, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do. Can't have big title defenses without opponents that the crowd thinks can win the titles off the champs.

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This was okay. It was definitely laid out to make Silver King and Wagner look strong but not in a way that created any real jeopardy surrounding Kanemoto and Tanaka's titles. Not that I would care if Kanemoto and Tanaka's title reign was in jeopardy, but you never know. Sometimes you get suckered in. 

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