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[1978-11-30-NJPW] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Ryuma Go


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Enjoyed this a shade more than their 7/27 match. Similar competitive touch-and-go matwork to open with neat takedowns and reversals, including Fujinami showing off his strength as he lifts Go while he’s still in the armbar to reach the ropes. After jockeying a bit for control, things heat up as they start throwing some heavy slaps. Go is persistent with his little side kicks to break up a leglock and a pissed off Fujinami busts him open with a hard smack to the face. The fans eat up that violence. Again, while Go isn’t quite as slick as Fujinami on the canvas, he more than holds his own and works an effectively aggressive style, never letting up on Fujinami, keeping him on the rocks. Loved his repeat elbow drops to the knee to set up the figure-four leglock, with some terrific selling from Fujinami during the struggle. Go also gets some nice elevation on those knee drops before he goes back to the leg, working in an Indian deathlock. It was if they were constructing a good narrative with their meticulous ground game, but then they had to finish it off mid-sentence with an exclamation point. They throw chops, slams, and suplexes, and after Go no sells a piledriver, Fujinami puts him away with the dragon suplex hold.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1978-11-30-NJPW] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Ryuma Go
  • 9 months later...

WWF Junior Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi Fujinami vs Ryuma GO - NJPW 11/30/78

I had heard of the Fujinami/Go series many years ago and I am finally getting around to watching it, but how come we never hear about Go before or after this? He is quite good. 

Ryuma Go came to wrestle in this match. In the last match, I thought Fujinami dominated. Here, Go wanted to get off to a hot start. I don't think the mat work here was as breath-taking as the previous match. This was much more gritty and deliberate, but in a good way. The first ten minutes was a stalemate. Go tried headscissors, deathlocks and armbars all targeting a different part of the body to try establish control, but nothing stuck. Fujinami was his usual wizard self, but mostly in the forms of counters. Go was doing a good job of stopping him convert defense into offense until the halfway point. Go went for a crossface and Fujinami grabbed a wicked toehold and wouldn't let go. Tempers flared. Slaps were flying and Fujinami was winning those exchanges. The crowd Ooooh and Aaaaah. Fujinami went for a Bombs Away kneedrop from the top, but MISSED! Go pounced attacking the leg and applying a figure-4. Great stretch here with Go relentless and Fujinami selling well. They tumble outside on an ab stretch.  The playing field is levelled for the finish stretch. Go throws Fujinami off the top and a suplex and a neckbreaker are his nearfalls. Fujinami holds the rope on a second neckbreaker. Fujinami wins in definitive fashion...piledriver...Dragon Suplex...TKO! The piledriver/Dragon Suplex finish was awesome! I slightly prefer the first match actually because I loved the pacing and Fujinami's work and the finish was still very good. This match does present Go as a more credible challenger. I am looking forward to the last match in the series. ****1/4

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  • 1 year later...

Young Fujinami is such a unsung gem from the early years of NJPW. This was two promising youngsters telling a story by trading some snug looking holds. Both Go and Fujinami are on similar skill levels, so a lot of the mat sequences end in a stalemate, with neither man gain any significant advantage.The excellent matwork builds up and they show more signs of frustration before they go all out on each other. The last five minutes are a total bombfest sprint, with Fujinami hitting some of the prettiest bridging suplexes you will ever see. 


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  • 8 months later...

The matwork is strong here, but when things get heated this match takes off. Go seemed like he really wanted to win when he went after Fujinami’s leg and applied the figure 4. The tumble outside on the abdominal stretch felt like a big spot and then they went to war first brawling on the outside and then with high impact moves with a great sense of urgency. I am really digging late-70s Fujinami and am curious to see where this pairing goes from here.

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