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[1992-06-28-UWFi-Sekai Gannen: Hakata Live] Yoshihiro Takayama vs Hiromitsu Kanehara

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Yoshihiro Takayama's pro-wrestling debut and it's exactly the big aggressive debut you'd expect from Takayama. He immediately open hands the hell out of Kanehara and gets in plenty of giant knees and slaps. Kanehara is obviously trying to get him down to the mat for a submission but he's having a hard time doing it. He gets in a few good shots at Takayama and finally lets him have it, backdropping Takayama to set up the submission. Really fun debut from Takayama. 

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Takayama came out on fire, throwing slaps and knees.  Kanehara showed his experience as he was able to take Takayama down and work for the submission.  This was the story of the match, Kanehara weathering the storm and using technique to gain control.  This was Takayama's first match and the crowd was already chanting for him.  Kanehara eventually was able to get the 6'7" Takayama down far enough away from the ropes to get the submission.  Good match, a little surreal seeing a young Takayama.

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I remember watching this for my UWF-I Taka deep dive and thinking it was fine enough, but definitely a carryjob by Kanehara. Taka tends to be kinda clumsy and stumbles over himself a few times, with his most strongest feature being how he uses his size to loom over the smaller guy and hammer him with slaps and brute strength; a attitude Taka would master in the early 2000's to become the peak monster that every company wanted. The match itself also tends to kinda keep going back in on itself with the same formula of Taka getting wrestled down, attempts at submissions and lots of rope breaks, with no real increase in tension or change in tactics. It's not a bad match per se but Kanehara was definitely the one that kept control and managed to make Taka look better than he actually was, a luxury that he wouldn't have often. His strikes also need a LOT of work, some of his kicks were downright horrible.

I would suggest watching their 28.08.1992 and 20.12.1992 matches above this one, mainly because you can tell how much of a marked improvement both men have just looking at the sheer difference in quality between those matches and this. It's a good start to their multi-year rivalry but like with many starts of feuds, the best is yet to come.

 

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