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[1985-01-07-UWF] Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Kazuo Yamazaki

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Fujiwara was once again ruled in this match match with his great veteran prowess, time and again forcing Yamazaki back to the ropes as he zeroes in on Kazuo’s arm. Seriously, those ropes became Yamazaki’s second home. When Yamazaki realizes that taking the grap action down to the canvas is a bad idea against Fujiwara, he starts snapping off kicks. It works to an extent but it also serves to further piss off Fujiwara. The build to the arm submission finish was teased throughout, with Fujiwara briefly switching things up to the legs as a way to weaken some of Yamazaki’s kick. Yamazaki's kicks were on point, especially that solebutt, and he puts a little extra spicy mustard behind some of them toward the end of the match. Yamazaki’s able to deliver a low-bridging German suplex but Fujiwara responds with the piledriver, transitioning right into the kimura. Yamazaki again makes it to the ropes but after Fujiwara stuns him with a big slap, he’s back on the arm and quickly submits Yamazaki. An great little "Take Your Kid to Work Day" match.

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Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Kazuo Yamazaki - UWF 1/7/85

 

Welcome to the Yoshiaki Fujiwara Show, Kazuo Yamazaki! Fujiwara is just so compelling. He has the explosiveness to make shoot style work that Maeda lacks. He really rips Yamazkai over on these takedowns. He is so committed to everything he does. When he is transition to a wristlock or applying a figure-4 on a limb he does it so decisively. He is a man who knows exactly what he wants and he gets what wants. On top of that Fujiwara complements his excellent offensive repertoire with dramatic pro style selling. The way he collapses when Yamazaki is able to nail a desperation kick to the head or how he sends himself flying across the ring on a roundhouse kick to the chest is just awesome. He is a badass but knows how to show vulnerability. The way he controls Yamazaki with those forceful takedowns and gripping submission work is great. Loved the finish with Yamazaki getting one nearfall with the German (oh now pinfalls count!) before Fujiwara hits a monster piledriver and then double wristlock for win. It was short but sweet.

 

In a lot of ways this was a poor man's Fujiwara/Super Tiger. Yamazaki used home run kicks to the head to create in-roads. Unlike Tiger, in both a kayfabe and artistic sense, his kicks just arent as good so Fujiwara was able to respond and always regain the advantage. Yamazaki lacked the killer instinct of Tiger in the 12/05/84 match. Fujiwara was just too overwhelming for him, but God was Fujiwara just incredible to watch in this. Super Tiger has been a joy to watch, but Fujiwara is the undisputed best worker in this promotion. There is no shame in being the poor man's version of one of the greatest series of all time! Recommendation to watch just to see what Fujiwara can do as it is breath-taking. ****

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