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[1991-02-05-NJPW] Shinya Hashimoto vs Tony Halme

Superstar Sleeze

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Shinya Hashimoto vs Tony Halme - NJPW 2/5/91 Different Style Fight


Tony Halme, better known as Ludvig Borga, is a Finnish tough man with some boxing experience. He was brought in by UWF as The Viking, as a sort of big, burly blond brute. New Japan picked him up in 1990 and put him over Shinya Hashimoto in a Different Style Fight on 12/26/90. A big victory over the up and coming Shinya Hashimoto. A Different Style Fight is code for a worked shoot match. It is supposed to be an MMA match before MMA. Obviously, Inoki who made his career on the back of these is a big fan. Hashimoto more than any of the other Musketeers was treated as a legitimate tough guy. I would hesitate to call Hashimoto a shooter, but he was presented as more legitimate and more of a shooter than his contemporaries. I was surprised to find New Japan promoting "Different Style Fights" as early as 1991, I thought that was more of an innovation in the late 90s with Naoya Ogawa, the rise of PRIDE FC and Inokiism.


I watched this match while in a boring meeting, shhhhhh don't tell my boss. I finally shelled out for NJPW World. I will say Halme has great presence. He looks like Brock Lesnar. He has boxing gloves on. Hashimoto is in normal wrestling attire. So this is being treated as Wrestler vs Boxer and it is a three round fight. Halme punches don't look great. Big and loopy. He is not putting his hips behind them. Like I said he is menacing but not convincing as a shooter. Hashimoto takes him down and gets a cross armbreaker. God, I hate how this is sold. Jesus even in a Different Style Fight they don't respect the cross armbreaker. Halme starts landing body shots. Hashimoto does a great job selling these body shots. Coughing and looking like the wind is knocked out of him. Hashimoto gets a side mount and a double wristlock. Again poor selling in holds. Halme lands more big shots. In the last round, Hashimoto gets a big throw, which looks awesome but doesn't do much. Halme catches a kick throws a wild haymaker and clips Hashimoto. Draws an eight count. Halme hits a big right forearm shiver way better than his punches. Halme whiffs on a punch but that's the KO blow.


Halme goes over Hashimoto again and KOs him. Hashimoto would not wrestle again until May 31st after this match, which I believe was a way to further put over Halme that he put Hashimoto on the shelf for almost four months. It adds some serious drama to their rematch. I like it. This is obviously building to Hashimoto getting his big win back. It was interesting, but it felt more like Brawl for All rather than high level shoot style.

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