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[1998-05-28-NJPW-Best of the Super Juniors] Jushin Liger vs Shinjiro Otani

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This feud has grown into something epic by this point, but this match is too short to hit the same level. It's kind of the equivalent of a Misawa-Kawada Carnival match - really good and worth seeing, but a step below their title matches. We get about 12 minutes of 20:37, in which they go all out, busting out all their big moves and doing lots of nearfalls. This doesn't feel complete (and it's not), so I'm hesitant to rank this without the full match being available out there. Too bad it's not because what we see is definitely hot. But it's something that starts hot and stays at the same level, so it's hard to see how they got there in the first place. This is the second Liger-Otani match of the year (and not the last, by the way) that is clipped and looks tremendous where we don't have the entire thing because it has never been released in full. :(

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This was weird because they clipped the middle of the match, so you could surmise how Liger and Ohtani got from opening to finish but couldn't tell how successfully they did it. The finishing run featured the usual excellent work from these two, though it felt similar to their previous go-rounds and less dramatic than their best. Ohtani still resides in that Kobashi space where he's great but it's not clear if he's grown as a wrestler or not.

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I am glad we at least got more than half of this and it looks great. I understand some of the criticism of Otani not growing but like Kawada going back to the well against Misawa I can appreciate that same approach that has brought the individuals so much success before. Nadal doesn't drastically change his strategy just because he is up against Federer. Anyway, we need this in full but it looked spectacular again and for sure a great match with what we saw.

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I don't understand the Federer-Nadal analogy at all.

 

Not quite as annoying as February but this still looked sweet. For sure it would be making my MOTY list were it not for 9m being chopped out the middle. This is sadly the period between where they stopped the NJ Classics run and the start of the complete edition era. Some excellent body part selling from both men and drama down the stretch. Sigh.

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Another match we need to find complete, somehow. Unfortunately this one's not on the Asahi special like the February match. Looks great, though, and super-heated.

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