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Charles (Loss)

[2000-03-25-NJPW] Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Masa Chono & AKIRA & Super J vs Jushin Liger & Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Yutaka Yoshie (Elimination)

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New Japan has always done these 10-man elimination matches well and this is no exception. On TV, they showed 19 minutes of a 34 minute match, in highlight form instead of JIP so we were able to see a good chunk of what led to every elimination. The big things that stood out were:

 

- Chono still had it when I think going into 2000, I didn't expect him to have it anymore

- People really want to see Sasaki vs Chono. Really, really, really ...

- Obviously the bookers didn't want Liger to win this and they didn't want him beating a heavyweight either, but they also wanted to protect him and make him look good, so they were stuck in neutral

- Nakanishi was being pushed really hard, just as he has been in every match, but he just doesn't have the goods

 

Taken on its own terms, this was a terrific match. The booking issues are really the only issue with it, as the match itself is super heated and action-packed, with pairings you don't often see, just as the 10-mans usually are. Each elimination was built to in a way that made sense and with each guy pinned going down fighting. There's lots to love here. I just wish they'd decide for sure where they want Liger instead of trying to have it both ways, and that they'd face the truth with Nakanishi. ***3/4

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Always enjoy these elimination style matches and this was no exception. The build to Chono vs Sasaki has been fantastic and the crowd gives them an electric reaction when they enter in. This was booked in a way to make Team 2000 look strong but also help the other side between Sasaki having to be double teamed,Nakanishi and Nagata hanging in and Liger being the lone survivor going against the big team. ***1/2

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Pretty generic match. Lots of boofy meatheads in this one. Nakanishi is awful. Match lost a lot of steam after Sasaki was eliminated. He injured his finger midway through the bout and kept checking on it. That was a bit distracting as it clearly wasn't part of the script. Chono and his cronies didn't hold much appeal for me and Liger's major contribution was a nutshot. Nakanishi is like the lovechild of Bill Goldberg and Lex Luger, the inbred product of serial steroid abusers. The worst guy getting a push in 2000 thus far.

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It's difficult to tell how good this match was with the clipping but it looked fun. NJPW is consistently entertaining through these first three months. The no selling got a bit extreme here but I respect the effort you get out of every NJPW heavyweight.

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