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[2004-10-09-NJPW] Kazuyuki Fujita vs Kensuke Sasaki


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The promo video for the match is great-they show Kensuke playing with his sons, and him and Hokuto talk about his role in the family, Fujita as a pro wrestler/MMA fighter, being a monster champion, the risks of facing him and so on. The match lasts for only two and a half minutes, as Fujita pins himself in a sleeper to lose the belt. They exchanged some nice shots while the match lasted but the angle itself is so much more fascinating. Kensuke is pissed, not happy he won that way whatsoever, as Fujita seemingly threw the match. That is more of a result of all the backsta politicking that was taking place at the time than a result of some geniously planned angle, but it does make one wonder how something like that could be used for storyline purposes. Divorced from all the emotion and rage fans at the time experienced my observation was that it was fun and unique, though obviously not a good business model. ***

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  • GSR changed the title to [2004-10-09-NJPW] Kazuyuki Fujita vs Kensuke Sasaki
  • 4 years later...

IWGP Champion Kazuyuki Fujita vs Kensuke Sasaki - NJPW 10/9/04

One of the most bizarre world title changed in history. Look I get it, Fujita is a legit successful MMA fighter so getting him to drop the title will always be challenging. Until GOTNW brought it up, I never thought that was Fujita throwing the match early at 2:30 to avoid a more decisive loss because that could make sense. Fujita comes out gets a Head-Arm Triangle which he switches to a standing choke, Sasaki falls back and he is forces to the relinquish the hooks to kick out. In This short time, they manage to do a strike exchange, Sasaki steams rolls him with a lariat. Northern Lights Bomb, I knew it’d be short so I thought that was the finish but Fujita kicks out. Ok. Weird. They re-do Head-Arm Triangle spot with Sasaki falling back and this time winning with the pin.

I get the logic here a long match with a decisive finish is worse loss for Fujita than slipping on banana peel but at the very least just job clean to the flash bomb. The 1-2 punch of Sasaki lariat and Northern Lights Bomb is a good compromise. Instead he kicks out of Sasaki’s finish and Sasaki wins like a chump. Either bad booking or a shitty double cross. 

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