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[1999-10-11-NJPW-Final Dome] Keiji Mutoh vs Manabu Nakanishi


Superstar Sleeze
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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Keiji Mutoh vs Manabu Nakanishi - NJPW FINAL DOME 10/11/99

 

FINAL DOME is still the best name ever!

 

Keiji Flair vs Lex Nakanishi! Figure-4 vs Torture Rack! Well they ruin that when Mutoh abandons the leg attack and goes for the arm, but I came up with the joke mid-match and I am sticking with it. Nakanishi was in the midst of the run of his life besides in 2009 when he won the IWGP Championship. He forced IWGP Champion Mutoh to submit in the '99 G-1 Climax en route to winning the 1999 G-1 Climax. He is the biggest underachiever of the most underachieving generation in puroresu with his cohorts of Tenzan and Kojima. Nakanishi is a power wrestler through and through with not much in the way of charisma or selling. Between him and Mutoh, there is not much in the way of selling. Beginning is typical NJPW fare, I thought Muoth acquitted himself well on the mat very organic and clever way to get into an abdominal stretch and good quash of a takedown. They show off Nakanishi's power with the short arm scissors pickup and then the bearhug. Mutoh attacks the leg in standard 2001 Mutoh fashion unfortunately this gets dropped. I think it might have been because Nakanishi refused to sell. Credit where credit is due Mutoh actually did create some doubt in the outcome of the match. The first 3/4s Mutoh was in control, but after a Nakanishi spear, Mutoh gave most of the match to Nakanishi save for a few hope spots (I liked the out of nowhere Frakensteiner by Mutoh). Nakanishi went for the Torture Rack five times and the commentators inform us this is what Mutoh submitted to in the G-1 Climax. On top of this there was an onslaught of spears, suplexes and a plancha to the outside, the big man was feeling it. Mutoh wriggled free one too many times and got a double wristlock takedown into a cross armbreaker for a submission victory.

 

The biggest problem as Nakanishi's Torture Rack looked like shit and he was just carrying Mutoh on his shoulder. More unimpressive was the ease with which Mutoh broke the hold time and time again. If they stuck with the leg psychology they could have protected Nakanishi and his finish, also creating drama can Nakanishi hold him? what else can Nakanishi do now that Mutoh has taken away his biggest weapon? Feels more like a missed opportunity than a great match. ***

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