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Masa Fuchi

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I started Fuchi Fridays over at Segunda Caida, so he is guy I am excited to revisit. You have to remember he was part of a couple of great Memphis matches along with his great All Japan 80's and 90s stuff along with fun later super grumpy old man stuff. I could see him higher on my list then some of the more highly esteemed All Japan guys

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The AJPW 1980s set had three matches built around bloody ears. Two of them had Terry Funk blading his ear and selling like he was getting killed. The other one had Masa Fuchi selling a bloody ear and cribbing Terry Funk's trademark selling and it was the better match!

 

I'm willing to listen to someone arguing that Fuchi was the best All Japan worker from 1990 to 1991. He was definitely instrumental in making Misawa and his pals look good.

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Fuchi was done a disservice by AJPW's total lack of emphasis on jr. heavyweight wrestling, because we don't have a good record of his singles work. There are some very good matches, but not a ton of matches period. On the other hand, we know he was an all-time great trios worker. The early '90s stuff, when he was Kobashi's chief torturer, is the best known. But there's a trios from '89 I love where he just went totally nuts defending Baba against Team Tenryu. It was like this beautiful manifestation of a company man's passion. He was just an expressive guy in general and also a solid mat worker. I imagine Fuchi will find a place on the lower end of my list, even if his singles resume is slight in this company.

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Fuchi was done a disservice by AJPW's total lack of emphasis on jr. heavyweight wrestling, because we don't have a good record of his singles work. There are some very good matches, but not a ton of matches period. On the other hand, we know he was an all-time great trios worker.

 

This is my conundrum. He was vital to the 6 man classics from that era, but I'm not sure how you build a case for him individually on the back of those matches. Also one of the best examples of a junior heavyweight who rose above that stigma without actually graduating from that class.

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Take a look at Fuchi/Tenryu vs. Kawada/Araya from 6/30/01 for just a great little tag match. Fuchi and Kawada add as much as the Tenryu vs. Araya matchup, which is saying a lot. Fuchi/Kawada vs. Nagata/Iizuka 12/14/00 is not as good a match, but you could make the argument that Kawada and Fuchi have to do more to make it as good as it is.

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I can see leaving Fuchi off if you don't put much stock in '90s All Japan. But man, if you like that period, no way should Fuchi be left out. Too many great performances, too much consistency from the mid '80s through the mid '90s, plus the post-split resurgence.

 

FUCHI~

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People don't really like the 12/14/00 match

Literally every review I've seen has been positive, most saying it's a MOTYC, so I have no idea where that is coming from.

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I remember reading on DVDVR during the 2000 voting and a couple other places that the match wasn't really regarded as "great" and I guess that's where I took that from. Should have avoided the sweeping generalization there, but I always felt it was as good a tag match that was wrestled in the 2000s.

 

Probably should have said that instead of what I said in the first place...

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It won the DVDVR vote, and 2000 is easily the most stacked year from a top 5 of the 2000s standpoint (in Japan), so that's huge. I personally described the match as 20 minutes of 4-star material followed by 10 minutes of 5-star material, which in the 2000s is pretty damn strong praise. And a testament to Fuchi, who is the most compelling aspect of the match.

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I can see leaving Fuchi off if you don't put much stock in '90s All Japan. But man, if you like that period, no way should Fuchi be left out. Too many great performances, too much consistency from the mid '80s through the mid '90s, plus the post-split resurgence.

 

FUCHI~

 

Yep. The best looking-like-nothing worker ever. He looked old even when he was younger. Not really old but… never young. But yeah, delivered the goods for so long.

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Fuchi was done a disservice by AJPW's total lack of emphasis on jr. heavyweight wrestling, because we don't have a good record of his singles work. There are some very good matches, but not a ton of matches period. On the other hand, we know he was an all-time great trios worker.

 

This is my conundrum. He was vital to the 6 man classics from that era, but I'm not sure how you build a case for him individually on the back of those matches. Also one of the best examples of a junior heavyweight who rose above that stigma without actually graduating from that class.

 

 

This is me too. If there was such a thing as a "Guys Who Were The Best Non-Singles Workers" list, he'd be pretty high. As it is, I'm deciding just how far his work in all of those tags and trios gets him. I don't think I'm ranking that many guys whose whole case is in tag work. He's a bubble guy at the moment.

 

Having said that, he sure was great in all of those tags. He's a great dickhead.

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In 2016 I ranked Fuchi 98th. Fuchi is someone I've always liked and thought was great but always felt like I needed to see more of him. He's awesome in those early 90s Jumbo & Co vs Misawa & Co matches and made it on the strength of that and the few matches that made the 80s set. In those 90s matches he's everything I could want out of an angry veteran motherfucker of a wrestler. I don't have as clear a picture in my head of his 80s stuff and would want to revisit it. HIs 90s run is hurt by AJPW's lack of interest in its midcard. Fuchi had a style that seems like he couldve done forever. I would love recommendations outside of the famous tags & 6 men matches and the one Kikuchi match from the 90s (excluding that one 12/00 tag taht everyone knows about already).  

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Agreed that Fuchi is great in those trios matches. Very much an unsung player. I've seen very little of the rest of his career, but the 8/20/2000 match with Kawada is great and sort of a callback to early 90's King's Road. Someone I'd love to see more of.

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I just watched a match against Masa Chono from 9/2/00 and it is very good and an excellent Fuchi performance specifically. Whether its his offense or his selling, Fuchi really over delivers. I probably enjoy Chono more than most, but its not like he's a great opponent for anybody by this point. Fuchi really does a great job of making it an interesting match. 

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46 minutes ago, elliott said:

In 2016 I ranked Fuchi 98th. Fuchi is someone I've always liked and thought was great but always felt like I needed to see more of him. He's awesome in those early 90s Jumbo & Co vs Misawa & Co matches and made it on the strength of that and the few matches that made the 80s set. In those 90s matches he's everything I could want out of an angry veteran motherfucker of a wrestler. I don't have as clear a picture in my head of his 80s stuff and would want to revisit it. HIs 90s run is hurt by AJPW's lack of interest in its midcard. Fuchi had a style that seems like he couldve done forever. I would love recommendations outside of the famous tags & 6 men matches and the one Kikuchi match from the 90s (excluding that one 12/00 tag taht everyone knows about already).   

He was involved in a pretty wild brawl against Hiro Saito on 6/12/86. It consists largely of Saito punching Fuchi's bloody ear, so it should be right up your alley. And his 3/28/89 match against Mitsuo Momota is probably the best junior title match in All Japan history.

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^ Thank you @BohsJohnny for this recommendation. I really liked this match. Its going along at first and they're having just a really nice little match and then about midway Fuchi hits that first low dropkick to the knee and then takes Misawa down to the torture chamber and stretches the fuck out of him. Terrific job selling the leg from Misawa who keeps it up through his comeback. Just an excellent match I'd recommend to anyone to watch if they want to check out Fuchi. 

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Even without his pre-split work, Fuchi was tremendous working against New Japan guys through 2000-01 and is currently the best active comedy wrestler doing the only good version of comedy wrestling, old man who illegally punches people then convinces the referee that he didn't. He is still able to rise to the occasion once every few years when asked to (like in the jr. title match against Aoki in 2014) and even if the matches aren't exceptional, his performances are consistently impressive given his age.

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The earliest Fuchi rec that comes to mind (though of course everyone should see the Concession Stand Brawl once) is the 1983.08.31 junior title match against Chavo, which I enjoyed more than anything from the '82 Onita/Chavo series.

Also seconding the praise for his work in the 2000-1 run. I thought Fuchi/Liger was the best match on the 2001.01.28 Dome show.

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Ah yes, I thought about that one too. One does not simply forget two luchadors dressed as Threepio and Artoo entering the AJPW ring to the Alan Parsons Project.

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