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Charles (Loss)

[1999-01-31-Toryumon] Magnum Tokyo & Dragon Kid & SAITO vs Shiima Nobunaga & Judo Suwa & Sumo Fuji (Elimination)

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This is an ambitious and admirable effort from guys who seem much better than their experience level. I give them credit for doing an exciting match that held the crowd's attention for over 35 minutes. I never got bored watching this, and I think that's a major accomplishment when this had the potential to fall apart. This would compare favorably to most junior multi-mans of the 90s except the very, very best Michinoku Pro matches. I don't have a ton to say about this, but I will give them credit for surpassing expectations and doing something really good. It probably ran a little long, but I'll forgive that. It was an elimination match after all.

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This was looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. I really didn't care for this. Some beginning stuff was cool and the first big dive train was nice but after that it sort of fell apart. They didn't do enough to differentiate different sections of the match so once they got out of the early stuff it start to feel really monotonous before too long. There's also some ugly mistimed spots that don't gel too well in a match that's all about good looking offense. I was really waiting for the match to be over by the first elimination. Some of the early end stuff with the last two guys was good to start off but even that went on too long. 45 minutes in total and it felt that way.

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I liked this more than you guys but yes it was really too long. First part of the match was real sloppy and lots of missed moves, especially from Dragon Kid. It got better towards the middle with Dragon Kid hitting his ranas and Cima playing a good heel. Cima and Magnum were the best guys here. I also liked Saito and his crazy handstand pin. Poor Cima gets hit right in the face with a Dragon Kid 450 that had to hurt. The final segment with Cima and Magnum went very long and felt like one of those mid 2000 epics with just moves and kicking out. Who was Cima's heel manager at ringside?

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I thought this was awesome and kept my attention up the entire time. Tons of good spots and the heels really working to make things fresh and interesting whenever they were on top. Magnum gives a good babyface performance and this was a rare elimination match for me where the drama increased as the numbers dwindled. ****

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This was an admirable effort and I don't want to shit too much on a match with 6 students in it, but MAN does this go completely off the rails at about the 2/3 mark. The opening is about as good as any '90s juniors 6-man you care to see. There are a few sloppy spots as you'd expect, and Crazy Max isn't quite Kaientai when they're not in the ring with 3 veterans like they were for our first glimpse at them a few weeks ago. Still, Shiima still does so many little things that are terrific and there are some great ideas for spots here even if they're not always executed 100%. SAITO offers some terrific matwork and innovative holds that had me itching for more.

 

Hoo boy...then we get to the portion where Shiima is down 2-on-1. Aside from being laid out rather backwards as Shiima suddenly starts working like a sympathetic underdog babyface, Dragon almost murders him with an ugly, UGLY 450 that splits his lip open and pretty clearly concusses him, and the next few moments where Shiima is clearly out of it and Dragon and Magnum are trying to stall/cover for it are intensely uncomfortable to watch. I wasn't far removed from that feeling watching the I Quit Match, saying in my head, JUST GO HOME ALREADY--END THE MATCH. At least he cheats to eliminate Dragon. Shiima manages to recover somewhat but the match doesn't, as the final portion of this feels like it's wrestled in slow motion in comparison to the first part and it's not "epic selling" either--these guys were just gassed and/or out of ideas. Shiima hits the Iconoclasm but takes about 7 minutes to climb to the turnbuckle in a really contrived set-up for Tokyo to get up and crotch him, and Tokyo finishes with a shooting star press that's almost as ugly as the 450. Again, a very admirable effort from 6 guys who are still wrestling beyond their years, but the flaws in this were gaping and impossible for me to ignore. To my own surprise, coming off that MPro match, for the most part the babyfaces outworked the heels.

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An awesome match, perfect main event to encapsulated the style and what direction they are going with. Magnum TOKYO with a great performance along with SHIIMA. I did think the match had some pacing flaws due to the length which may take away somewhat, but this was still a riot. ****

 

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