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[1983-07-07-NJPW] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Riki Choshu

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Having grown accustomed to one another’s style and offense, the fourth match in their series feels more like a game of strategy. There are little things that occur to add depth to the bigger story, like Fujinami now hooking his leg to prevent Choshu’s habitual backdrop counter, or the way Choshu is able to slip out of the bow-and-arrow attempt. While Choshu wrestles seemingly off the cuff, Fujinami primarily targets Choshu’s leg with the figure-four leglock and rolling legbars. Fujinami goes all out here to regain his title, suplexing Choshu from the top rope and even utilizing Riki’s own signature offense. When he hits that lariat and puts on the sasori-gatame, the crowd goes bananas but Fujinami’s ego won’t let up, even after Choshu has made it to the ropes. Fujinami’s attitude costs him the match as the referee disqualifies him but he’s still not releasing Choshu’s hold. Meanwhile, all hell breaks loose in the ring around them as shirts come off and lion cubs get mauled.

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This is the least good of their matches so far. There's a sense of caution when they grapple each other, like they are already familiar with each other's holds and how to get caught in them. But there's also a lot of sitting around in restholds, every hold still looks really good but the grappling is just less interesting. It was pretty surprising seeing a superplex out of the blue in this. Fujinami just gets more heated as the match goes on, and him putting on the sasori-gatame and then the DQ/post-match brawl is extremely cool.

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