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KIMERA

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KIMERA

 

Following the dissolution of the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF), Akira Maeda decided to build a new promotion dedicated to pure shoot-style wrestling; however, before this could happen, he was approached by Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Bob Backlund to create something unique that would truly alter the landscape of professional wrestling in Japan. Thus, KIMERA was born, a promotion which fused traditional pro-wrestling, catch-as-catch-can, and the pure shoot-style that Maeda intended to adopt. Maeda, Fujiwara and Backlund, the founders and co-owners of KIMERA, devised three distinct sets of rules which would govern the wrestling matches: Strong, Catch, and Hybrid.

 

Match Rules

 

Strong Rules: Under traditional "pro-wres" rules, or Strong Rules, a match can be won by scoring a fall by pinning an opponent's shoulders to the mat for a count of three, a submission victory, a ten count knockout, or via countout (twenty count). A wrestler is given one warning for breaking the rules (yellow card) and repeat offenders will be disqualified (red card).

 

Catch Rules: Under Catch Rules, each match is given a ten minute time limit. No striking is allowed. Once again, a wrestler is given a warning for throwing an illegal strike (yellow card) and disqualified (red card) for a second. In addition, exiting the ring will result in an immediate disqualification. Between the two competitors, there are five rope breaks. The first wrestler to use three of these rope breaks, or the wrestler who has used the most rope breaks at the 10:00 mark is declared the loser. Suplex throws are allowed and a match can be won by ten count knockout, total knockout, or submission.

 

Hybrid Rules: Under shoot-style rules, or Hybrid Rules, a match can be won by a ten count knockout, total knockout, or submission only. Open handed strikes to the head are allowed; however, closed fist punches are prohibited. The use of a closed fist punch or illegal hold will result in a warning (yellow card), followed by disqualification (red card) for a second offense. Exiting the ring will result in a warning (yellow card) followed by disqualification (red card) if the wrestler re-exits the ring, or does not return to the ring after a ten count. Each wrestler is given a total of three ropes breaks. After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submissions under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.

 

Two titles were announced for the promotion: a heavyweight and light heavyweight title; however, openweight tag team titles are currently "under consideration". While the heavyweight title would be decided in the main event of the debut Tokyo Dome show ("CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO"), the light heavyweight title would be decided in a best two-out-of-three series of matches, with each match to be fought under a different set of rules.

 

 

Roster

 

Heavyweights

Bob Backlund

Hiroshi Hase

Yuki Ishikawa

Shiro Koshinaka

Gene Lydick

Akira Maeda

Yuji Nagata

Mitsuya Nagai

Osamu Nishimura

Kensuke Sasaki

Yoshihiro Takayama

Kiyoshi Tamura

Vader

Dick Leon-Vrij

Yoshihisa Yamamoto

Kazuo Yamazaki

Grom Zaza

 

Fujiwara-gumi

Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Masakatsu Funaki

Minoru Suzuki

 

Stars + Strikes

Dan Severn

Bart Vale

 

 

Light Heavyweights

Masanobu Fuchi

Masahito Kakihara

Jushin "Thunder" Liger

Tatsuo Nakano

Masayuki Naruse

Akira Nogami

Yoshinari Ogawa

Shinjiro Ohtani

Willie Peeters

 

Fujiwara-gumi

Yusuke Fuke

Kazuo Takahashi

 

Sudden Impact

Chris Jericho

Lance Storm

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... and I probably wanted the other ten percent.

 

Having three sets of rules has a clear upside and a clear downside:

 

- it makes your promotion unique

- it provides cool booking and storytelling opportunities, where wrestler A can dominate wrestler B in one type of match, but lose to him in another...

- allows for more stylistic variation up and down the cards

 

but

 

- it will require an educated and dedicated fan base

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Dear Wrestling Santa,

 

I have been very good this year. I would like to see Hiroshi Hase wrestle Kiyoshi Tamura in the style of the shooters. To reiterate - very good, Hase/Tamura.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lee Casebolt

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Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Bob Backlund, representing KIMERA, held a press conference from downtown Tokyo to formally announce the promotion's inaugural event, "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", to be held on December 31st at the Tokyo Dome. Maeda was the obvious spokesman for the trio and announced that the show would feature twelve bouts representing each rule of combat. First and foremost, Maeda confirmed that the KIMERA would be determining new openweight tag team champions in an eight team, single elimination tournament, which would take place over the next two months. The tournament matches will only be fought under "Strong Rules" or "Hybrid Rules". The first two tournament matches would take places at the 12/31 show, but Maeda revealed all eight teams set to be involved:

 

- Chris Jericho & Lance Storm

- Yoshihiro Takayama & Gene Lydick

- Akira Nogami & Shinjiro Ohtani

- Masahito Kakihara & Mitsuya Nagai

- Dan Severn & Bart Vale

- Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata

- Yusuke Fuke & Kazuo Takahashi

- Yoshihisa Yamamoto & Masayuki Naruse

 

Maeda then re-iterated that the promotion's Light Heavyweight Title would be decided over a series of three match, with each match being wrestling under a different set of rules. The first of these matches will take place on 12/31, between Jushin "Thunder" Liger and Masanobu Fuchi. Either Liger or Fuchi will represent the promotion as the first light heavyweight champion. Bob Backlund briefly spoke to announce that he would be representing "strong pro-wrestling" at the event, challenging Shiro Koshinaka to a match under the "Strong Rules". Likewise, Fujiwara issued a challenge under "Catch Rules" to none other than Hiroshi Hase.

 

In closing, Maeda confirmed that the promotion's first heavyweight champion would be decided on 12/31. Maeda himself would be involved in the match, of course, but before he could announce his opponent, Big Van Vader stormed the stage, wearing his mask and a business suit. He got in Maeda's face and said that he has returned to dominate Japan and KIMERA. He said that he would be the one to challenge Big Boss Maeda on 12/31 and then he leaned in, face-to-face with Maeda, declaring that he would beat Maeda under "HYBRID RULES!", which generated quite the buzz from those in attendance.

 

 

KIMERA "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", 12/31

Tokyo Dome

 

1. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Hybrid Rules: Dan Severn & Bart Vale vs. Yoshihiro Takayama & Gene Lydick

2. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Strong Rules: Chris Jericho & Lance Storm vs. Akira Nogami & Shinjiro Ohtani

3. KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title, 1st Match ~ Catch Rules: Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Masanobu Fuchi

4. Strong Rules: Bob Backlund vs. Shiro Koshinaka

5. Catch Rules: Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Hiroshi Hase

6. KIMERA Heavyweight Title ~ Hybrid Rules: Akira Maeda vs. Vader

 

 

PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

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Liger/Fuchi under catch rules would be amazing. I'm pretty sure anyone watching would be drooling for Liger to be able to hit Fuchi in under 5 minutes, but you're gonna have to wait until next match for that. :) The two final matches are both intriguing in their own way.

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In the weeks leading up to "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO" on December 31st, KIMERA held a number of small, intimate exhibitions, showcasing the different styles of the promotion. These events allowed fans to meet-and-greet with the likes of Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, and Bob Backlund. In addition, each representative of the style held a free seminar for young wrestlers, perhaps as a way to scout new talent but also as a way to generate interest.

 

Maeda was present at Hotel East 21, along with two young "hybrid" fighters in Yoshihisa Yamamoto and Masayuki Naruse, who participated in a match under "Hybrid Rules". During the even, Maeda announced another match for the big 12/31 show, featuring Kiyoshi Tamura against Masakatsu Funaki in a "Hybrid Rules" match. Maeda also promised to defeat Vader to become the promotion's first champion.

 

-Hybrid Rules- Yoshihisa Yamamoto beat Masayuki Naruse (11:27) by submission (jujigatame).

 

At the new KIMERA Dojo (formally the U.W.F. Dojo), Fujiwara was on hand to provide a submission seminar as well as to showcase a "Catch Rules" match between two of his young pupils, Kazuo Takahashi and Yusuke Fuke. Fujiwara continued to promote the 12/31 event and added another match to the already stacked card: a "Catch Rules" match featuring Georgian wrestler, Grom Zaza, against Minoru Suzuki!

 

-Catch Rules- Kazuo Takahashi beat Yusuke Fuke (8:56) by submission (heel hook).

 

Bob Backlund was at the Tokyo Prince Hotel along with young Canadian wrestlers, Chris Jericho and Lance Storm, to further promote the event. Backlund held a short training seminar and told some funny stories before Jericho and Storm wrestled a match under the "Strong Rules". Backlund announced another match to the 12/31 event, featuring Kensuke Sasaki against Yuji Nagata under "Strong Rules".

 

-Strong Rules- Lance Storm beat Chris Jericho (12:33) by submission (single leg crab hold).

 

 

Updated Card:

 

KIMERA "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", 12/31

Tokyo Dome

 

1. Strong Rules: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yuji Nagata

2. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Hybrid Rules: Dan Severn & Bart Vale vs. Yoshihiro Takayama & Gene Lydick

3. Catch Rules: Minoru Suzuki vs. Grom Zaza

4. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Strong Rules: Chris Jericho & Lance Storm vs. Akira Nogami & Shinjiro Ohtani

5. Hybrid Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Kiyoshi Tamura

6. KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title, 1st Match ~ Catch Rules: Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Masanobu Fuchi

7. Strong Rules: Bob Backlund vs. Shiro Koshinaka

8. Catch Rules: Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Hiroshi Hase

9. KIMERA Heavyweight Title ~ Hybrid Rules: Akira Maeda vs. Vader

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The final three matches have been confirmed for KIMERA's 12/31 debut at the Tokyo Dome. The matches were announced by Akira Maeda during an appearance on a morning variety show to promote "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", in which the full card was revealed. When asked about his match against Vader, Maeda said that he does not share the same intimidation that others have of Vader. He will rely on his technique to take Vader down to the ground and submit him to become the promotion's first heavyweight champion. When asked about the direction of the company following the new year, Maeda said they are planning to run events twice a month from Tokyo. He hinted at a "Hybrid Rules" tournament in the coming months.

 

 

Final Card

 

KIMERA "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", 12/31

Tokyo Dome

 

1. Hybrid Rules: Tatsuo Nakano vs. Willie Peeters

2. Catch Rules: Yuki Ishikawa vs. Osamu Nishimura

3. Strong Rules: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Yuji Nagata

4. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Hybrid Rules: Dan Severn & Bart Vale vs. Yoshihiro Takayama & Gene Lydick

5. Catch Rules: Minoru Suzuki vs. Grom Zaza

6. Hybrid Rules: Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Dick Leon-Vrij

7. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Strong Rules: Chris Jericho & Lance Storm vs. Akira Nogami & Shinjiro Ohtani

8. Hybrid Rules: Masakatsu Funaki vs. Kiyoshi Tamura

9. KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title, 1st Match ~ Catch Rules: Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Masanobu Fuchi

10. Strong Rules: Bob Backlund vs. Shiro Koshinaka

11. Catch Rules: Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Hiroshi Hase

12. KIMERA Heavyweight Title ~ Hybrid Rules: Akira Maeda vs. Vader

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On 12/31, KIMERA held its inaugural event, “CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO”, before a sold out crowd in the Tokyo Dome. The co-owners of the promotion, Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Bob Backlund, introduced the show and spoke about why each style is an important part of modern professional wrestling. All competitors then descended upon the rings wearing sweet red and white KIMERA t-shirts to a big ovation from the fans. In closing, Maeda thanks everyone for their support and told them to enjoy the event.

 

The opener saw Tatsuo Nakano defeat Willie Peeters in a scrappy “Hybrid Rules” fight. Both guys let their hot tempers get the best of them and there were plenty of hard open hands exchanged, one of which caught Nakano in the nose and busted him open. After dumping Peeters on his head with a German suplex, Nakano locked in the rear naked choke for the submission.

 

The first “Catch Rules” match-up of the night saw Osamu Nishimura defeat Yuki Ishikawa in a beautiful display of traditional catch-as-catch-can techniques and collar-and-elbow wrestling. At one point, Yuki Ishikawa had Osamu in the sleeper hold but Osamu was able to slip out of the hold and snag the left arm with a short-arm scissors.

 

In a “Strong Rules” contest, Kensuke Sasaki and Yuji Nagata brought a big, suplex-heavy bout that saw the fans rally behind the underdog, Nagata, as he tried to kick and knee his way to a comeback after Sasaki dominated early on. He got a nearfall after a nasty backdrop suplex but it wasn’t enough to down Sasaki and after a lariat, Kensuke put him away with the Northern Lights Bomb.

 

In the first round of the KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Stars + Strikes (Dan Severn & Bart Vale) defeated Yoshihiro Takayama and Gene Lydick after Severn submitted Lydick with the Beast Choker. Takayama and Lydick were in control early on, using a combination of knees, kicks, and suplexes to isolate Vale. Vale, however, was able to drop Lydick with a roundhouse for a nine count and when Severn was tagged in, he quickly put him away.

 

Minoru Suzuki and Grom Zaza wrestled under “Catch Rules” with Suzuki the clear favorite based on the name calling from the crowd. Zaza was able to get a few fireman’s carry takedowns and focused mostly on working Suzuki’s right leg but Suzuki’s speed advantage played a major factor in the outcome of the match. In an nod to his mentor, Suzuki was able to catch Zaza in the wakigatame for the submission victory. After the match, Suzuki thanked the fans and said that his goal is to be the best in all styles of pro-wrestling.

 

Big Dick Leon-Vrij defeated Kazuo Yamazaki in a “Hybrid Rules” contest after KO’ing him with a brutal high kick. Leon used his size to his advantage and did not let up on Yamazaki, constantly backing him into the corner or against the ropes with hard kicks and body shots. Yamazaki was able to connect with a few kicks of his own, and after a German suplex, he nearly submitted Vrij with a double wristlock before Vrij was able to make the ropes.

 

Sudden Impact (Chris Jericho & Lance Storm) were victorious over the team of Akira Nogami and Shinjiro Ohtani in a fast-paced junior heavyweight-style match fought under “Strong Rules”. Jericho was very charismatic throughout the match, playing to the fans and mocking his competitors, while Storm took a more…serious approach. At one point, Ohtani tried for the swan-dive spinning heel kick but Storm countered with a thrust kick to the jaw. After Ohtani survived a frankensteiner from the top rope, Jericho finally put him away with the Tiger Driver.

 

In one of the most competitive matches of the night, Masakatsu Funaki and Kiyoshi Tamura wrestled nearly 15:00 under “Hybird Rules”. While Funaki was mainly a threat on his feet, Tamura was the bigger threat on the mat and Funaki did his best to try and distance himself from Tamura’s takedowns with kicks. Tamura pulled off some beautiful takedowns, including a step-over armbar and a rolling kneebar, but Funaki was able to reach the ropes in both instances. At one point, he came at Funaki with a barrage of palm thrusts, catching him with a hard shot that left a deep cut above Funaki’s left eyebrow. This forced a halt in the action due to the ringside physician checking on Funaki but Funaki was able to continue and in the end, picked up the submission victory with a heel hook. Backstage, Funaki echoed Suzuki’s earlier statement and said that he will not be satisfied until he has mastered the rules.

 

In the first of three matches to determine the KIMERA Light Heavyweight Champion, Masanobu Fuchi defeated Jushin “Thunder” Liger under “Catch Rules”. Liger was more than able to hold his own against Fuchi, utilizing his speed and quick takedowns to capture Fuchi in some lucha-inspired submission attempts. Throughout the match, Fuchi kept trying to get Liger in an STF but Liger was able to counter out. A frustrated Fuchi earned himself a yellow card when he struck Liger with a body shot after a rope break. Liger teased hitting the shotei on Fuchi but Fuchi was able to hit the drop toehold into a cross-legged STF to submit Liger.

 

Bob Backlund and Shiro Koshinaka wrestled a semi-serious “Strong Rules” match but also injected their own unique styles of offense into the structure, which elicited some laughs from the crowd with Backlund’s “whoa whoa”-ing around the ring and Koshinaka using his hip attacks to overwhelm a confused Backlund. When Koshinaka tried for a powerbomb, Backlund was able to roll through with the pin attempt for a nearfall. In the end, he was able to score the pin with a backdrop hold. Backstage, Backlund said he wants a shot at the heavyweight title.

 

Under “Catch Rules” Hiroshi Hase and Yoshiaki Fujiwara wrestled the full ten minutes to a very receptive crowd. Of course, Fujiwara was one to necessarily play by the rules and earned himself a yellow card when he headbutted Hase in the corner. Hase, however, was able to stun Fujiwara with some hard takedowns and tried to quickly submit Hase before the wily Fujiwara could grab a limb. He excecuted a Northern Lights suplex hold and maneuvered into a cross armbreaker but Fujiwara was able to grab the ropes. Fujiwara nearly got Hase with his signature armbar but Hase was able to get to the ropes. With less than a minute remaining, Hase was able to place Fujiwara in an STF and while Fujiwara was able to use a ropebreak to escape, Hase was awarded the victory in the end, having only used one ropebreak.

 

The main event of the evening was H-O-T, with the crowd-favorite Maeda forced to overcome Big Van Vader under “Hybrid Rules”. Maeda’s strategy was obvious early on – keep Vader away with kicks and hack away at the left leg to try and fell the monster. With each collapse, Maeda was quick to secure the leg with a leglock and try to get the submission but Vader’s size was too much for him at times. When Maeda came at Vader with another series of middle kicks, Vader caught a leg and planted Maeda with his own signature capture suplex to a huge reaction from the crowd! Maeda survived the suplex and a big deadlift German that launched him half-way across the ring. Toward the end of the match, Vader charged him and Maeda leveled him with a big wheel kick that had Vader down for nine. As the crowd chanted “MA-E-DA!”, he tried to finish Vader off with more kicks but Vader swatted them away and began clobbering him with clubbing blows, including a brutal shot to the back of the head that Maeda was barely able to recover from. But it was too late for Maeda at this point in the match, and after a huge lariat, Maeda stayed down for the count and Vader was crowned the first KIMERA Heavyweight Champion to close the show.

 

 

KIMERA "CRYSTALIZED HEARTS IN TOKYO", 12/31

Tokyo Dome

65,000 Fans – Super No Vacancy Full House

 

1. Hybrid Rules: Tatsuo Nakano beat Willie Peeters (6:12) with a rear naked choke.

2. Catch Rules: Osamu Nishimura beat Yuki Ishikawa (7:23) with a short-arm scissors.

3. Strong Rules: Kensuke Sasaki beat Yuji Nagata (9:33) with the Northern Lights Bomb.

4. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Hybrid Rules: Dan Severn & Bart Vale beat Yoshihiro Takayama & Gene Lydick (10:42) when Severn used the Beast Choker on Lydick.

5. Catch Rules: Minoru Suzuki beat Grom Zaza (8:26) with the wakigatame.

6. Hybrid Rules: Dick Leon-Vrij beat Kazuo Yamazaki (10:28) by KO (high kick).

7. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Strong Rules: Chris Jericho & Lance Storm beat Akira Nogami & Shinjiro Ohtani (11:35) when Jericho used a Tiger Driver on Ohtani.

8. Hybrid Rules: Masakatsu Funaki beat Kiyoshi Tamura (14:56) with a heel hook.

9. KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title, 1st Match ~ Catch Rules: Masanobu Fuchi beat Jushin “Thunder” Liger (9:12) with a cross STF.

10. Strong Rules: Bob Backlund beat Shiro Koshinaka (12:34) with a backdrop hold.

11. Catch Rules: Hiroshi Hase beat Yoshiaki Fujiwara (10:00) by decision.

12. KIMERA Heavyweight Title ~ Hybrid Rules: Vader beat Akira Maeda (23:27) by KO (lariat) to become the first KIMERA Heavyweight Champion.

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A couple of minor points regarding typos or whatever:

 

You have Funaki submitting Tamura with a "heel kick"

 

You have Hase attempting to submit himself at one point.

 

It's interesting how "pro-wrestling-y" some of the finishes are on this card. Northern Lights Bombs and Lariats mixed in with Knockouts and Submissions.

 

I would definitely have been scrambling to trade for a VHS copy of this show. It sounds crazy entertaining.

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After a successful debut show at the Tokyo Dome, Akira Maeda made the announcement this afternoon at a small press conference that KIMERA would be holding its second event in Yokohama on 1/28. The event, coolly dubbed "CERULEAN BREEZE IN YOKOHAMA", will take place from the Yokohama Arena. A number of matches were revealed for the show, including two more matches in the KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, as well as the second match in the KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title series -- this time, under Hybrid Rules. In addition, Maeda announced that a new contender to the KIMERA Heavyweight Title would be decided at the show, in a Strong Rules match between Hiroshi Hase and Bob Backlund. The winner will receive a shot at the current champ, Vader, in February. Maeda himself said he would be wrestling who he sees as a future star of the promotion, Masakatsu Funaki, under Hybrid Rules, while Yoshiaki Fujiwara would face off with another young face in Minoru Suzuki. When asked about his loss to Vader, Maeda admitted that his technique had failed him because he underestimated Vader's size. When asked about a rematch, Maeda said he would have to get at the back of the line and work his way back to a title shot.

 

 

KIMERA "CERULEAN BREEZE IN YOKOHAMA", 1/28

Yokohama Arena

 

1. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Strong Rules: Kensuke Sasaki & Yuji Nagata vs. Kazuo Takahashi & Yusuke Fuke

2. KIMERA Openweight Tag Team Title Tournament, Round 1 ~ Hybrid Rules: Mitsuya Nagai & Masahito Kakihara vs. Masayuki Naruse & Yoshihisa Yamamoto

3. KIMERA Light Heavyweight Title, 2nd Match ~ Hybrid Rules: Jushin "Thunder" Liger vs. Masanobu Fuchi

4. Catch Rules: Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Minoru Suzuki

5. #1 Contendership - Strong Rules: Bob Backlund vs. Hiroshi Hase

6. Hybrid Rules: Akira Maeda vs. Masakatsu Funaki

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