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[2000-10-09-NJPW-Do Judge] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Shinya Hashimoto


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Where the hell did this match come from? I thought Hashimoto was pretty much done in NJPW after 4/7/2000. First half is slow but very compelling as Fujinami uses his technique to keep Hashimoto in check while the latter wants to turn this into a violent slugfest. Obviously that's just a containment strategy rather than one of control and the match devolves into them exchanging nasty shots in extremely intense and heated sequences. Fujinami holds his own but you can guess how it ends. There seemed to be a really involved story going on as Fujinami goes at Hashimoto head on and treats him with what is almost disdain while Hashimoto is absolutely incensed the whole way throughout to the point of actually spitting at Fujinami (who shrugs it off dismissively). Hashimoto's mannerisms and body language in that context were amazing. Brutal finish and emotional postmatch with another classic Hashimoto moment. I doubt anyone else will like it this much but I thought this was low-end MOTYC level. ****

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone have any insight as to why this was the opening match. Hashimoto is sporting his short Summer haircut and its weird how inactive and in the waning days of his NJPW we are getting to. Hashimoto also seems slimmed down. This starts with about 10 minutes of grappling. That feels like a lost art in a way so I enjoyed watching it in this atmosphere and the work was compelling enough to keep me hooked. Things really open up with a big strike exchange and some closed punches with both men teeing off on each other bringing Tokyo alive. Hash is able to get a big kick and Fujinami is bloodied up. Hash looks for the brainbuster but settles for the DDT and then locks on a Fujiwara armbar to gain the submission victory. This had old Fujinami and disgruntled Hash in it but they were too stubborn to not have an enjoyable match with each other. ***1/2 (7.2)

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  • 1 month later...

Slower strong style bout that got very stiff near the close and ended awkwardly. I think what happened here was something more political than wrestling. Hashimoto was released from NJ & started Zero One not much after this I believe so, it's no wonder it's not the best one could hope for.

 

Still, they were punching the shit out of each other though & that was pretty cool stuff. Fujinami was legit hurt for sure. This brought a real sense of violence. Certainly 4 stars.

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  • 3 months later...
Slow but effective build to these two just beating the hell out of each other. Fujinami's just trying to contain Hashimoto until he starts slapping Hash silly, then it breaks out into a slap-punch fight, with a pissed Hash spitting at Fujinami. Moment of the match for sure. Then Hash lays into him with big heavy kicks, Fujinami answering back with snug elbows and punches. That high kick/possible KO was either sold terrifically by Fujinami or really knocked him loopy as the finish seemed improvised.
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  • 4 weeks later...

This was Hashimoto's comeback match after he retired following his loss to Ogawa. Initially, he was supposed to wrestle in black trunks with no entrance music but I guess that went by the wayside. It's speculation but I think the original idea behind Zero-1 was that it was a supposed to be a Hashimoto led faction/promotion that invaded New Japan, but for whatever reason Hashimoto was fired and Zero-1 became an indy instead.

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Watched this again. It was a bit slow in parts but the stand-up portions were awesome. Loved Hashimoto taking out his frustrations on the New Japan president by busting his mouth open. Fujinami had shoulder much of the blame for Hashimoto's loss to Ogawa for booking the match in the first place and that is partly the reason why Hashimoto is so aggressive with him. Fujinami supposedly lifted his ban on the Dragon Suplex for this match but he didn't come close to applying it. I like Fujinami's strikes in this and I thought he looked pretty spry. The match could have been a bit better but I guess they were being deliberately uncooperative,

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  • 1 month later...

In the hands of lesser wrestlers this would have been a slog.  But the testament is their way to emote through the grappling struggles, the strike exchanges, the real simple fight they put on, elevating it to a big deal.  Solid and unspectacular but a testament to both guys' talents.

 

***1/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-10-09-NJPW-Do Judge] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Shinya Hashimoto

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