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[1998-08-01-NJPW-G1 Climax] Shiro Koshinaka vs Masa Chono


Loss
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  • 2 months later...

This is a very poor man's version of Kobashi-Akiyama a week earlier, with Chono focused on Koshinaka's knee and taking the majority of the offense in this match. This is fine, but it's not particularly inspiring or exciting stuff. I am usually pretty quick to praise any match with focused limb work, but this is just two guys going through the motions and not wrestling up to the occasion of the G-1. The crowd finally gets into it when Koshinaka does a top rope German and starts railing off the big moves, but this didn't do much for me at all. I always love a good backslide nearfall and Chono is reliable for a good low blow in every match from 1995 on, but those are the only high points. Solid, but that's it.

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  • 1 month later...

I liked this a good deal more than Loss which surprises me since Kosh and Chono are usually my least favorite big name New Japan guys and their feud as a whole is one I have seen praised but I have always been cold on it. This felt like a really good rudimentary match with Koshinaka taking the opening stanza until Chono takes over going after the leg. The leg work Chono did was well done to me and I especially liked him clipping Kosh on the Butt Butt attempt. I do wish the finish would have played more into the layout of the match but this felt like a good submission victory for Chono. (***1/4)

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I'm more with you, Chad. I thought this was good, especially for two guys who were fairly shot physically. Kosh got things off to a hot start, Chono showed some real focus in slowing him down and then they picked it back up for a hot finish. I'm not saying it's anything I'll remember in a month. But it was better than I expected from the match-up.

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  • 1 month later...

You got the three essential G1 '98 matches on the set. And then there's this. It was actually quite an achievement to quieten this crowd down. Mediocre for the most part before falling apart at the end. There were no end of low blows and Koshinaka's choice of move was terrible on numerous occasions. It was such stupid wrestling.

 

Chono did have a surprisingly good match against Nakanishi in round 1. The semi final with Hash vs Kojima is also well worth checking out. It gives backstory to the knee injury in the final, and Hash carries a young Kozy expertly.

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  • 1 year later...

Yeah, I'm with Chad and Childs, too. This was a good solid match and Koshinaka is one of my all-time least favorite wrestlers who has a generally good reputation, so I had no expectations going into this. I don't get where the crowd was quieted--after Koshinaka hits the two power bombs and Chono kicks out, they're pretty molten. This isn't an all-timer or anything but it was heated and dramatic and had me guessing down the stretch, plus had some clever spots that I liked, particularly Koshinaka shoving the referee into the ropes in order to crotch Chono on the turnbuckle. My only tangible complaint is how loosely Chono's Butterfly Lock was applied--like 1995-Backlund-crossface-chickenwing levels--and that can fly in the WWF but not NJPW.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1998-08-01-NJPW-G1 Climax] Shiro Koshinaka vs Masa Chono
  • 3 years later...

Another good match between these two, it always click quite well but never gets to that level of greatness. It’s interesting how they built Chono here, he is no longer always cheating dirty heel but more of a fan favorite trying not to yield to cheating but failing at that on desperation. Chono escaped a german suplex position from back elbows, but after the couple of big bombs from Koshinaka, he escapes the dragon suplex position with a low blow. The crowd reaction is great on that one btw and overall the atmosphere is special right from the entrances. Chono is also built like THE man in G1, having won 3 of the first 4, but none of the last three with the idea that he gets there thanks to his in ring style mat wrestling, not too much damage, orientated. He gets plenty of damage here and sells it really well afterwards toward the end of that match.

Anyway cool match, like bottom of NJPW top 25 for ’98 or close to it, not great but worth my time. 3.5*

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