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Charles (Loss)

[1998-11-08-WCW-Michinoku Pro] Super Delphin & Gran Naniwa vs Naohiro Hoshikawa & Masato Yakushiji

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This was a great tag match, reminiscent of the November tags from the previous year's league. It has a nice slow build that escalates to a really hot finishing stretch at the end. This is hurt in some ways by the crowd volume being turned down for the sake of the announcers, but I thought this was terrific overall. Delphin and Naniwa are the early aggressors before Hoshikawa and Yakushiji manage a comeback, leaving a final few minutes where this is anybody's to win. They may have overreached by doing such a long finishing stretch, but the work itself was outstanding and this was one of the best surprises of the year. A nice example of Michinoku Pro doing something really good even after their peak of 1996-1997 was behind them.

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Great tag match. I have become impressed with Delphin as almost every time out, he at least gives an inspired performance. Him and Naniwa worked well together as a team and dominated the front half before the back half was all chaos. The finishing stretch was great with cohesive break ups of the pins and not too much needless stuff being thrown out. Yakushifji ends up getting a flash roll up to a huge pop. Great find. ****

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Really awesome stuff here, and against all odds MPro actually feels a bit freshened up with Kaientai out of the picture--at least in isolation. I thought both of the babyfaces were pretty much done by this point, so to see them turn up here and still working seemingly as good as ever was one of the most pleasant surprises of the Yearbook. There are a hell of a lot of kickouts here but I never found this overindulgent--they knew when to have the big kickout and when to make it clear that Yakushiji was dead if not for a save. One of the best markout-worthy finishes of the Yearbook as well, as this had you thinking the underdog had a slim chance, then thinking this was going to be yet another youngster pushing the veteran to the limit before losing, before the youngster actually pulls a win out of his ass. Just about a perfectly-paced juniors tag match.

 

Evil cigar-chomping Sasuke makes a cameo at the end.

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