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Charles (Loss)

[1998-01-04-NJPW-Final Power Hall in Tokyo Dome] Riki Choshu Retirement

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This was a really cool overview of Choshu's career interspersing his feuds and huge matches throughout the years. We see him battling Inoki, Fujinami, UWF vs. New Japan feud, and later battles with Chono and Hashimoto. We get a classy sendoff with him greeting what I assume are his kids in the ring and the 10 bell salute. Classy "retirement" for a great wrestler for the company.

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This was an understated but very well done tribute video. Touched on all of the highlights of Choshu's New Japan career including his 1983 turn on New Japan and the 1991 G1 climax where he put over Chono and Hashimoto. Production wise, nothing beats WWE videos but New Japan has long had a good handle on understated highlight videos that tell a coherent story, which this certainly was.

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This was a fitting tribute to one of my favorite wrestlers ever and the guy who I still think is the best booker of all time. Awesome to hear my favorite entrance music in a dome one last time. I wish a bigger deal was made of the retirement of big stars in the U.S. Flair got the deluxe treatment, but Hogan, Austin, Piper, Steamboat, Dusty and most others sure didn't.

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I like a good retirement ceremony as well, but it's hard to watch them with any sense of finality. Choshu, for example, was back in 2000. Still a cool clip.

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A nice highlight package. Not that they could do any kind of justice to his great career in so short a period of time. Of course he would consummate his retirement with the nearly inevitable comeback. It's the wrestling way.

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Clips of the Ishin Gundan feud, of Choshu ruining the Hogan/Inoki IWGP final, of Choshu pinning Inoki (twice!--didn't realize he did it two times), of the Hashimoto rivalry, and much more. Also clips of various other in-ring tributes leading to his "official" retirement here, including the surreal sight of AKIRA MAEDA, not only reappearing in a NJPW ring again but shaking Choshu's hand. Choshu is introduced one last time (for whatever that's worth in wrestling) to the Dome crowd for a ten-bell salute and sendoff. Classy stuff, and I appreciate how Japan does these sorts of ceremonies for pretty much all of its retiring wrestlers.

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I agree with Kevin as the video package made me want to see more Choshu. Haven't really followed NJPW closely in the past so the moments included really didn't have an emotional connection to me although the feel of the video itself was emotional.

 

Rating: Important moment in 1998.

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