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[1997-12-08-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi vs Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki

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Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi vs Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki - NJPW Super Grade Tag League '97


Shinya Hashimoto won the '96 Tag League with Scott Norton. It is weird he is teaming with Nakanishi because Nakanishi & Kojima (Bull Powers) were a fresh-faced babyface power team that team regularly throughout the year and won the Tag Titles in '97. Sasaki is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion coming into this match. He & Yamazaki won the tag titles from the Bull Powers in August of '97 before dropping them to the current champs the NWO Japan superteam of Mutoh & Chono. These two teams tied in the round robin and the winner faces the Tag Champs Mutoh & Chono in the Finals.


JIP about 7 minutes into the match. Hashimoto is working over the knee of Sasaki and tags in the young powerhouse, Nakanishi, who delivers some of the lamest kicks to a knee you will ever see. He torture racks just the leg of Sasaki. I really enjoy the Torture Rack so I am glad Nakanishi brought it back. Sasaki is selling really well. Does jelly legs really well. He slaps the taste out of Nakanishi''s mouth three times and tags out to Yamazaki who dropkicks the young buck in the knee, dragon leg screw and then figure-4. A message to Mutoh? :P In what is the story of the match, Hashimoto bails Nakanishi out with a elbow drop. Is there anyone better at doing a simple standing elbow drop than Hashimoto. I liked Nakanishi powering out of the armbar takedown with a sidewalk slam. TORTURE RACK! Hashimoto holding Sasaki back. Yamazaki gets a cross armbreaker out of this and Hashimoto saves again diving on Yamazaki. Yamazaki wisely tags out to the IWGP Champ. Lariat and then the Scorpion Deathlock. Nakanishi makes the ropes. Nakanishi gets a back body drop to tag in Hashimoto. Add being an awesome hot tag to Hashimoto's resume! Kicks galore and a DDT get two. I love Sasaki's sell of the DDT of being stunned in place. Yamazaki saves on this one. Third DDT and Yamazaki saves again. Cmon Nakanishi you gotta get in there and get your hands dirty! Don't be shy! Here comes Hashimoto's favorite spot. Stand in the middle and take lariats. Sasaki has a good lariat so it is fun. Sasaki tags out to Yamazaki. Hashimoto catches Yamzaki's foot and STRIKES HIM DOWN WITH THE HAND OF HASHIMOTO! Yamazaki blocks chop and goes for the armbar takedown. He wont go down. Sasaki Bulldogs him down in the armbar. Nakanishi breaks it up. Great Sequence! Yamazaki kicks the bad arm and Hashimoto lets out that loud hiss of pain. Armbar takedown NO kneelifts and DDT on Yamazaki! Hash is thinking brainbuster, but switches quickly to an armbar takedown and Yamazaki taps so quickly that Sasaki cant save.


Love the finish, after dropping the title to Sasaki, Hashimoto was put in "MMA" matches on the big shows and beating these guys nobody has ever heard of in a round system. The quick submission gets him over as an MMA player and also explains why Sasaki cant get in there in time. We are missing half the match (15 minute match). So I am not going to rate, but everything after Hashimoto's hot tag is gold.

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  • Loss changed the title to [1997-12-08-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi vs Kensuke Sasaki & Kazuo Yamazaki

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