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Charles (Loss)

[1999-02-07-Toryumon-King of Dragon] Great Sasuke vs Magnum Tokyo

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The matwork in the opening minutes of this is absolutely fantastic - as good pro-style matwork as you're likely to see anywhere in wrestling at this point. The match takes a turn I don't expect when blood starts spewing on the white section of Sasuke's mask from his nose, but I'm willing to see what they do with that, as a sportsman's wrestling match just took a violent turn. Then Sasuke puts Tokyo on a table and I expect to really hate the spot and for the match to nosedive, but it doesn't, because first, the struggle to get Tokyo in position for that table spot is so drawn out and dramatic that the end justifies the means and second, because the table doesn't break, which makes it a unique move within the context of the time. I'm not saying I'm crazy about them doing that spot, but if they were going to do it, they executed it in just about the best way they possibly could. From there, the match escalates into a series of bombs dropped and falls attempted and I expect to not like that because it feels like a sudden sharp turn from the type of match they were building, but I do and it works. I love this match because I feel like they're fucking with me. They teeter on the edge of falling apart for the entire match and never cross the line. But in a weird way, they have a better or at least more interesting match by pushing that idea as far as it can go. Tokyo wrestling as Sasuke's equal right out of the gate feels like a missed opportunity to create a long-term rivalry, but that doesn't seem to be something they are pursuing anyway. This isn't a MOTYC for me but it was a hell of a rollercoaster.

 

Someone should explain the post-match angle involving Crazy Max and Sasuke to me, but they are laughing in his face about something before attacking him. The beatdown looks great. Taka Michinoku shows up in street clothes and makes the save. I'm guessing the mic work is about Taka telling Sasuke he'll see him later and will be challenging for the belt, but I may be off on that. Ultimo comes in to celebrate Sasuke's title victory and he and Tokyo have a sportsman-like post-match celebration. They hoist Tokyo on their shoulders like he's the one who won the match. Wow, early Toryumon is interesting stuff.

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Wow, this much exceeded my expectations. This is really a great juniors match. Opening mat stuff was good. Nothing to blow you away but definitely a step or two above the obligatory mat work you often get in the opening of juniors matches. Then we had a quick transition with a big dope from Magnum followed by a huge asai moonsault. Then a series of really great looking and unique table spots. Then they finished it up with an awesome home stretch full of big bombs. Never got ridiculous, just really good big spots. Ending was cool with Magnum connecting with a shooting star but selling he landed badly and hurt his back, so Sasuke followed it up with a senton to the back and a powerbomb for the win. Not many better juniors singles matches have happened since.

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The match really picked up when the table was introduced and Sasuke takes his usual big bumps on it. Probably the least of the Toryumon matches so far but still good. What's the deal with Taka showing up. I thought he was only working WWF at the time and ECW?

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I liked this better on the mat I believe as it was engaging and nothing was relinquished without a fight. Tokyo was able to potray his personality and show some flash without overly complicating things. As the match advanced, I still was engaged but less so and didn't think the way they pulled over the magnitude of what TOkyo winning. Very good but honestly below most of the Mich Pro and Toryumon stuff for the year. ***1/2

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I thought this blew away the elimination tag--Tokyo wrestles like a man well beyond his years here. Sasuke, for once, isn't wrestling as an underdog in a big promotion, so we don't get him having a body part taken away from him so he can blow it off later--he's in the dominant position and, to my amazement, holds this match together really well. This was another ambitious effort, but this time, the reach doesn't exceed the grasp. A low-level MOTYC.

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