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Yoshihiro Tajiri

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26 minutes ago, elliott said:

I ranked Tajiri 92nd in 2016 and I'd be really surprised if he made it again. Looking at the 2016 results, Tajiri was 81st and I have to believe that's not gonna happen again, right? He's really consistent and dynamic but I don't think he hits the peaks I need to make a top 100. I'd welcome recommendations on post-WWE stuff though, because I'm definitely a fan of the guy.

The Finlay match in Smash FUCKING RULES!!!

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18 minutes ago, Kadaveri said:

By post-WWE do you mean post-2005 or have you seen his 2016-17 run?

 

Post 2005. Looking at cagematch there's lots of like 10-20+ minute long matches against a bunch of folks I've never heard of. Just pulling from 2013 from Wrestle New Classic, a promotion I've never heard of theres stuff against people I've never heard of like Yo-Hey, Koji Doi, Akira Shinose. His last 15 years is prolific from the looks of it so I'll take any and all recs. I could be swayed that he's actually like a top 50 guy. 

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I agree about Tajiri not having a lot of high-end matches, but at the same time, I fucking love Tajiri. He is so so awesome. I think Dylan once made an argument that Tajiri's 2000 run trumps HHH's 2000 run, and I am totally on board with that

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31 minutes ago, elliott said:

 

Post 2005. Looking at cagematch there's lots of like 10-20+ minute long matches against a bunch of folks I've never heard of. Just pulling from 2013 from Wrestle New Classic, a promotion I've never heard of theres stuff against people I've never heard of like Yo-Hey, Koji Doi, Akira Shinose. His last 15 years is prolific from the looks of it so I'll take any and all recs. I could be swayed that he's actually like a top 50 guy. 

He had some really good matches in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic in 2016 that are worth checking out. You'll get a good idea of what he's been like the last 15 years or so. You are right that his peaks aren't very high for a Top 100 candidate, his case depends how much you value him being a Master Of The 3.5 Star Match for a good 20 years now.

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23 minutes ago, SegundaCuerda said:

Tajiri vs Taka in 2013 is pretty awesome

They had another really great match in 2018.

 

1 hour ago, elliott said:

 

Post 2005. Looking at cagematch there's lots of like 10-20+ minute long matches against a bunch of folks I've never heard of. Just pulling from 2013 from Wrestle New Classic, a promotion I've never heard of theres stuff against people I've never heard of like Yo-Hey, Koji Doi, Akira Shinose. His last 15 years is prolific from the looks of it so I'll take any and all recs. I could be swayed that he's actually like a top 50 guy. 

 

That Doi match is a really good carryjob. He also had a really good match against Nishimura in WNC.

 

Tajiri may actually be one of the best wrestlers of the last decade. He doesn't have a huge resume of "OMG Superclassics!!" but tons lots of crafty good little matches against guys who were otherwise largely useless. Remarkable consistency in his old age. He was also in the cruiserweight classic, even.

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Tajiri was my number 74 in 2016 and he almost certainly won't land that high again, but I'd like to keep him on somewhere. The ECW run is tremendous as he morphs from a super slick kickpad junior doing amazing extended sequences with Super Crazy into a deranged psychopath trying to pull his teeth out with pliers. Really can't think of another wrestler who came across as such a dangerous maniac despite having no size whatsoever. Gets ten thousand bonus points for being able to make indie parity/standoff exchanges not feel cliche, and he's also the master of the low blow. Seriously, there are about ten matches in the ECW run where he blasts someone in the balls in different and vicious ways. The WWE run has more fun or good than truly great, but the short-lived tag team with Eddie was brilliant and their match with Haas and Benjamin is one of my favourite WWF/E tag matches ever. I feel like there's way more stuff from the last ten years that I should watch because the match with Finlay was the bomb. 

 

TAJIRI YOU SHOULD WATCH:

v Shinjiro Ohtani (New Japan, 5/20/97)

v Super Crazy (ECW on TNN, 1/15/00)

v Steve Corino (ECW Hardcore Heaven, 5/14/00)

w/Eddie Guerrero v World's Greatest Tag Team (WWE Smackdown!, 5/22/03)

v Finlay (SMASH, 2/19/12)

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With Tajiri his candidacy is better if you look at the performer and not the great matches, imo. What always strikes me about Tajiri is his ability to A: Always be more over then his push, which tells you he excels at connecting with a crowd well and B: can play genuinely any role with a company and not feel out of place to any degree. He was one main event run in a major promotion away from being a lock for basically everyone, but I don’t need to see it to know he could have been that guy too. Probably the guy who got the most done in the US without speaking English on camera without a regular manager to cover for him( even though he apparently knew English the entire time, which is also hilarious)

 

I was his high voter in 2016. There is no way I don’t vote for him again. Name a style of wrestling I’m pretty sure he’d be fucking great at it, whether it’s a fast paced Junior match or working a Finlay style hard hitting match. I will always value versatility, and he’s basically a Swiss Army knife to me.

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