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Charles (Loss)

[1998-01-04-NJPW-Final Power Hall in Tokyo Dome] Naoya Ogawa vs Don Frye

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We cut to where the match resembles a shoot in no form or fashion with Ogawa back suplexing Frye. We do get a few judo throws from Ogawa and this is looking like a squash showing his dominance. All of a sudden, Frye gets a nut shot and starts pounding away on Ogawa and he ends up choking him out and winning the match. Very odd and sloppy looking and the crowd reacted with a general sense of HUH?. The nut shot in particular looked awful but maybe that was just because I have watched a lot of lucha lately with some of the best low blows of all time. This really felt like a transition for New Japan and them thrusting the shoot style stuff up to the very top of the card for a TOkyo Dome show. I'm interested at some point to watch the Muto/Sasaki match that main events this show.

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I hate this and at the thought of what I am probably going to have endure through for future NJPW matches on yearbooks. As wrestling match it sucks. Ogawa is just tossing Frye around. Frye looks totally spent. Maybe legit gassed. Then Frye counters with some punches and gets a choke in.

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Don Frey isn't a guy I've watched a ton of but I was intrigued by his gimmick of being a fake shooter who will throw in cheapshots. So it sounded promising on paper. This clip suggests it wasn't so much in practice, but at least we get Frye looking strong to get up his match with Inoki (Inoki's retirement match) in another dome show coming a few months down the line.

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Just the finish, though the action we get is decent. Frye's circa-1978 Major League Baseball relief pitcher look isn't all that flattering, but he gets in two nut shots in Ogawa, which aren't sold or put over that well on top of the weak execution, and chokes him out for an upset victory, thus officially avenging his runner-up finish to Ogawa in my '97 Rookie of the Year ballot.

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This struck me as what a WWE-produced MMA company would look like. Nothing really more to say.

 

Rating: Added to provide context to Frye/Inoki I imagine. Nothing I would want to see in full.

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