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[1987-09-01-NJPW] Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki


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This is a good companion piece to the May tag match, with the same intensity and hot exchanges. I loved Fujiwara in this -- his ability to take a beating from the opposition is one of his hallmarks but he does his fair share of dishing out the revenge slaps and headbutts. I thought Maeda looked really good here, especially in his interactions with Yamazaki, whether its catching a kick and dropping down into a leglock, snapping off a belly-to-belly suplex or sweeping the leg in a beautiful counter. At one point, he hits what looks like a capture buster! In the final minutes of the match, Takada is blasting Yamazaki with some nasty kicks, landing a few to the head and face, but when he tries for a big rolling solebutt and can't hit all of it, Yamazaki scores the pinfall with a quick German suplex hold. Loved this.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1987-09-01-NJPW] Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki
  • 2 months later...

IWGP Tag Team Champions Akira Maeda & Nobuhiko Takada vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Kazuo Yamazaki - NJPW 9/1/87

Sort of a swan song for the UWF boys as Maeda would be out of New Japan by November of '87 and Takada & Yamazaki would not be far behind. I always thought Maeda was a cheapshot artist, but I finally watched the Maeda/Choshu incident. He blasts Choshu with a kick that swells his eye shut while Choshu had his back turned and was applying the Scorpion Deathlock. Fuck Maeda. 

Not as good as the May tag, but few matches are, but this is still fun & fast paced. Maeda & Takada took quite the ass whupping in this. Yamazaki & Fujiwara were definitely the better tag team in negotiating their opponents into their corner and doing quick tags. Fujiwara was first bullying Maeda into the corner tagging out Yamazaki with a quicky flurry of kicks. While Maeda was able to tag out rather quickly, the song remained the same as Yamazaki blitzed Takada. Again it was all about getting that tag to Fujiwara before Takada could tag out. When Maeda was in the ring, Fujiwara was focusing on kneebars as he got  submission victory over Maeda three days prior in a singles match via kneebar. It was Maeda who changed the complexion of the match first with a legsweep and deep double wristlock on Yamazaki and then with a human capture suplex that spiked Yamazaki on this head. This allowed for Takada to hit his own suplex and work in some submissions. Yamazaki tags out in a deep single leg crab, good selling from him. Fujiwara cracks Takada hard with a slap and then a stomp. Takada does a great job selling having his bell rung. He tags out and Maeda comes in bruising against Fujiwara and does a great job forcing him to tag out to Yamazaki which has to be seen as a victory for his team. Yamazaki gets an amazing flying cross amrbreaker on Maeda before Maeda hits a spinning heel kick to tag out. Takada and Yamazaki proceed to have an amazing stand up exchange centered around some of the best kicks to the head you will ever see. They were blasting each other. Takada looks poised to knockout Yamazaki as he has all the momentum scoring knockdown after knockdown. He goes for a big finishing kick but gets more of a glancing blow to the chest. Yamazaki is standing and Takada is off balance. GERMAN SUPLEX! 1-2-3! For the surprise pin everyone including Yamazaki is shocked that it was a three count. Fujiwara embraces him as they win the tag championships. This match does not feel as sticky as the first one in sense that I feel like I am going to forget what happened in this one after a while. The finish will stick with me and there is a lot of great work but there is almost too much action and not enough narrative. ****

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