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[1997-12-08-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Keiji Muto & Masa Chono vs Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi

Superstar Sleeze

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NWO Japan (Keiji Mutoh & Masa Chono) vs Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi - NJPW Super Grade Tag League Finals '97


The NWO Superteam came together in May-June of 1997. Mutoh was originally leading the resistance against the NWO, but later figured if you cant beat them join them and formed this superteam with Chono. They are reigning Tag Team Champions having defeated Sasaki & Yamazaki on the NWO Typhoon Tour in the fall. They main evented Fukuokoa Dome against Tenryu & Fujinami. Funny thinking of how Tenryu & Fujinami were battling the NWO and so were Flair & Sting at this time.


I have never seen anything from their era Mutoh. JIP to about ten minutes in. Chono tags in a bearded Mutoh who looks badass. Dropkicks the knee of Nakanishi and slaps Hashimoto on the apron. He is working the knee so it is definitely Mutoh. Chono grabs a toehold into an STF, but can hear Hashimoto's footsteps. Mutoh springboard elbow that looks awesome! Mutoh scissors the leg. NWO Sting at these New Japan matches cracks me up. Hashimoto delivers the elbow to break that up. Back to Chono's STF. They are just guzzling the young buck. Nakanishi makes the ropes. Kick to the head and Nakanishi tries to power up, kick to the knee stops that. Chono goes to the top but ends up getting thrown off. Here comes HASHIMOTO! KICK GALORE! Chono and Mutoh get killed. Mutoh eats the Yakuza Kick on a miscommunication. Spinning back chop! DDT on Chono! BIG DDT NOW! Cross armbreaker that is shittly sold. Should be a quick submission or a lot more fight. Mutoh gets HUGE elevation on his elbow drop. Mutoh looks fucking good. Tag out to Nakanishi. I don't know about that strategy. A couple lariats take Chono down. Nakanishi lariats both NWO Japan down. This is the most American thing ever. Torture Rack on Chono, but lets him down, doesn't have a good hold. Chono rakes the eyes which is the best way to get out of it. CHONO BALLSHOT! Yakuza kick. Tag to Mutoh, Tag To Hashimoto. MUTOH IS A HOUSE OF FIRE! WOW! HE LOOKED GOOD! Springboard dropkick from Mutoh on Hashimoto and then Hashimoto takes the flying shouldertackle from Chono. Hashimoto feeding and bumping like a madman. Another springboard missile dropkick from Mutoh and then another flying shouldertackle. Hashimoto kicks out. Great sequence from the Three Musketeers right there.


Nakanishi holds Chono. Mutoh misses the back handspring elbow. Hashimoto goes for the brainbuster and Chono breaks free to Yakuza Kick the knee of Hashimoto who goes down like a ton of bricks. Mutoh moonsault while Chono holds. What the hell! That is just blatant cheating. Yakuza kick, dragon leg whip and Figure-4! Chono stands watch. Chono STF on Nakanishi. Ill be surprised if Hashimoto taps out given his current push. WOW! He tapped out.


Again missing over the half of the match so I wont rate, but this was a barrel of fun. Chono & Mutoh wrestle like the greatest American heel tag team. Taunting, double teams, Miscommunication spots, bumping for a hot tag, eye rakes, ballshots. It was great. At the end of the day, Hashimoto has been proven to be better than Mutoh & Chono, BUT when Mutoh & Chono unite Hashimoto cant overcome those odds. This was a great Chono & Mutoh isolate Hashimoto and make him submit. Really enjoyable. Mutoh looked really spry. I want to see more of him in this era.

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  • Loss changed the title to [1997-12-08-NJPW-Super Grade Tag League] Keiji Muto & Masa Chono vs Shinya Hashimoto & Manabu Nakanishi

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