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[1987-08-19-NJPW] Akira Maeda & Kengo Kimura & Riki Choshu & Super Strong Machine & Tatsumi Fujinami vs Antonio Inoki & Kantaro Hoshino & Keiji Muto & Seiji Sakaguchi & Yoshiaki Fujiwara

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It's a multi man tag between the old generation and the new one. Strangely, Muto, who was really young at the time, is with the old guard. Like in others New Japan tag matches from that time, you can eliminate your opponent by removing him from the ring. At the end, Fujinami and Choshu on one side, Muto on the other, are the only ones remaining. It's a really surprising and interesting booking because the less experienced of the match, the underdog is the last survivor of his team. It's pretty obvious he will be annihilated. But he's not. Yes, he lost but did well, showed offense and resistance. The crowd supported him. I believe the bookers already intended at this point of time to push him. Anyway, it was a really enjoyable match without down periods. I'm currently watching all the matches that have made the NJ DVDVR set and as far as i'm concerned, it's the best match of 87 so far. Higly recommended.

 

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This was all kinds of brilliance with a pace that never lets up. Think Canadian Stampede 10 man tag on crack. Everyone makes quick tags and thus the action never gets a chance to stagnate. Inoki looks like the dog's bollocks, Maeda effortlessly plays the dickhead and Mutoh is the rookie with a lot of heart. The way they got rid of Maeda and Inoki made them both look strong and left me clamouring to see them go at it again down. In the end it's down to Mutoh to try and win once the rest of his team is eliminated. With the molten crowd roaring for him, It's a star making moment for the young Mutoh.

★★★★¾

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Antonio Inoki, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Seiji Sakaguchi, Kantaro Hoshino & Keiji Mutoh vs Tatsumi Fujinami, Riki Coshu, Akira Maeda, Kengo Kimura, Super Strong Machine - NJPW 8/19/87

As was covered in a couple other reviews, on Jericho's podcast when discussing the Island Death Match and from KinchStalker, this is when New Japan suddenly switched gears to an intergenerational feud. Fujinami, Choshu & Maeda is such a strange trio. Typically they would each lead their own army so it is strange for them to be together. It also pits longtime allies Choshu and Masa Saito against each other and forces Saito and Inoki to team. Masa Saito must have not been available as there is a strange wrinkle that Mutoh the super rookie of the Three Musketeers is with the ol fuddy duddies. Ill have no chance to keep up with all the action so stream of consciousness it is...

First Elimination: On paper the New Generation team is stacked! Dont count out Inoki and Fujiwara, methinks! The crowd loves Inoki, if there was ever any question of anyone in the New Generation supplanting him, it was not happening in 1987. Mutoh starts off red hot with a dropkick and Bridging German on Fujinami for two. That was cool. Mutoh goes for the Scorpion Deathlock but tags out to Hoshino. FUCKING FIREFIGHT! INOKI COACHING ON THE OUTSIDE! FUJIANMI ROARING BACK! DROPKICK! BODYSLAM! Big Match Riki! Sakaguchi tags in. Sakaguchi is a big muthA trucker and he throws around Big Match Riki. Fujiwara in and grounds Riki. Riki tags out to Maeda, big reaction. Maeda unloads with an onslaught of kicks. Maeda more than Fujinami and Choshu by my estimation. Nice suplex throws by Maeda for two. Tries to throw Fujiwara out that count as an elimination. Maeda is at his best throwing kicks. Here comes SSM. The one I know the least about, suplex on Fujiwara. FUJIWARA ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Go Fujiwara! SSM tries headbutting FUJIWARA, dumbass! Fujiwara no sells and headbutts him into oblivion! Hoshino in but he gets trapped in the wrong part of town. Kimura in and now all of the new Gen has been in. Kimura throws Hoshino into the old guard and that was dumb as shit! Sakaguchi takes the challenge and pelts with kicks to the hamstring. The juniors come flying at Kimura. He tags out to Choshu and Mutoh tags out to Inoki. INOKI VS CHOSHU~! Interesting Choshu gets the first crack at Inoki. Inoki ends up tagging out (not much of a crack). Mutoh gets dragged towards new guard corner as Choshu tries for Scorpion Deathlock and tags in SSM. SSM applies the Boston Crab to Mutoh. FUJIWARA HEADBUTT BREAKS IT UP! Maeda Spinning Heel Kick on Mutoh and then a Bridging German! Mutoh takes a gnarly kick to the chin. Kimura flying knee on Mutoh. RUNNING LEG LARIAT BY KIMURA! that his big highspot. Single crab, wicked one but too close to the old guys. Fujiwara in and slapping the piss out of Kimura who roars back. FUJIWARA CRACKS HIM! Fujiwara came to play! Fujiwara gets a reverse Triangle. Sakaguchi tags in. Sakaguchi puts Fujinami on top rope, slaps the shit out of him and press slam. Fujinami punt kicks Sakaguchi repeatedly Sakaguchi dumps Fujinami on his ass. Fujianami gets the go heading to tag in Choshu. Choshu beats on him in corner. Chosh returns the favor and pelts Sakaguchis leg with kicks in the corner and now turns him over for the Scorpion Deathlokck. He tags out to Maeda who misses Rainbow Spin Heel kick. INOKI VS MAEDA~! CROWD IS MOLTEN! Inoki tries his famous Ali leg dive kicks but Maeda backs off. They grapple to the mat. Maeda wins control but it is stalemate. Inoki gets headlock and forearms. Inoki retreats from a big kick. Maeda kangaroo kick. Inoki vs Kimura and Inoki headbutts his way out of trouble. Hoshino beats up Kimura and then Sakaguchi dominates Kimura into a Single Leg Crab. Kimura looks wriggle free. Fujinami tags in. Sakaguchi THROWS Fujinami halfway across the ring. Fujinami Enziguiri. Fujinami holds Sakaguchi MACK TRUCK LARIAT! 1-2-3! WICKED HOT FIRST FALL! Characters and the different combinations what make this. Sakaguchi because of his size has a unique presence, disappointed he is gone early but had a good showing. Fujiwara has looked the best for the old guard. Kimura seems to have the most time for the New Guard but Maeda has made the biggest impact thus far and is the most over of the new guard. New Generation 5-4

Second Elimination: Choshu leg drags Mutoh into their corner, Choshu is talking shit as SSM stomps a mudhole in Mutoh. Nice dropkick by Mutoh on SSM. Suplex for two by Mutoh. Mutoh is able wrestle him over to Fujiwara. Fujiwara body punches! Fujiwara tags him good. Bodyslam into the Inoki Bombs Away Kneedrop. Octopus Stretch on SSM, no one is saving him...should be over...SSM MADE THE ROPES! WOW! Enizguiri, second Octopus Stretch, easy submission. SSM was my least favorite of the ten so I was hoping he'd be gone early. Tied 4-4. 

Third Elimination: Fujiwara headbutts Kimura, who bullies him into the New Gen corner. Maeda slugs Fujiwara and tries to throw him out, but Fujiwara hangs out for dear life! Maeda capture Suplex for two! Maeda's Capture Suplex is so nasty. Kimura back in. Piledriver! A really good one. Kimura tagging Fujiwara, FUJIWARA ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Kimura gets the ropes. Nice selling but Kimura. Kimura atomic stomp but the nifty Boston Crab reversal by Fujiwara into an awesome drop toehold into a kneebar submission. I am enjoying this a lot more than 1988 Elimination Tag. We are down to the big three of the New Generation. I figure Mutoh & Hoshino are not long for this world, but after that I am really intrigued who if any eats an elimination from New Gen. Old Guard 4-3.

Fourth Elimination. Choshu stomps the hell out of Fujiwara as he goes full court press as they are down 4-3. Fujiwara Armbar Takedown on the suplex attempt but he doesnt have perfect postioning. Choshu gets the ropes but he is dangerously closed of being eliminated via the floor. Fujiwara is trying to kick him out. Headbutt! Shoulder butt. More kicks. Big headbutt. Lunging headbutt. Chosh slugs him with a closed fit. Fujiwara tags out to Mutoh. MAREDA CREAMS MUTOH WITH THE SPINNGINg HEEL KICK! BRUTAL! He throws Mutoh to Inoki! BOLD MOVE! Inoki leg kicks misses Enziguiri and Maeda missed Spinning heel kick. Inoki headsicssors, MAEDA AND INOKI BOTH TUMBLE OVER THE TOP ROPE AND ARE ELIMINATED! I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING! WOW! Nice Swerve! Big reaction! Maeda celebrates this as big victory. Old Guard 3-2.

Sixth Elimination: Fujinami vs Hoshino! Without Inoki, I think the New Gen have this easily even down a man. Fujinami enziguiri and tags out to Riki Choshu. Hoshino great punches on Choshu. Hoshino is a punch machine. Was his excursion in Memphis? Serious question. Fujiwara ends up in the wrong part of town. Fujinami tries to eliminate Fujiwara via the ropes. He smashes Fujiwara head into exposed steel. That make a nasty sounds. Fujiwara's labored breathing was awesome all match forgot to mention that. Fujinami backslide pin of Fujiwara was anti-climatic, first anti-climatic part of the match. Tied 2-2. Old Guard is fucked. 

Seventh Elimination: Mutoh vs Choshu. Mutoh tags out to Piston Punching Hoshino. Choshu shoulder tackle and then a powerslam. MACK TRUCK LARIAT! 1-2-3! New Generation 2-1! Awesome the Old Guard team comes to down the Supernova Rookie Keiji Mutoh. Inoki gets on the apron to give him a pep talk. 

Eighth Elimination: Choshu vs Mutoh. Choshu kneelift. Snapmare tag to Fujinami. That is a weird sentence to type. Fujinami Scorpion Deathlock. Mutoh starts power out and tag to Choshu. Choshu goes right back to the Scorpion Deathlock. Mutoh Enziguiri! Choshu sells like his bell has been rung. mounted punches in the corner. Back Handspring Elbow! BACKBREAKER! MOONSAULT LANDS ON FEET! DECAPITATION LARIAT! Fujinami tells mutoh to get up as Choshu talks trash to Inoki. Brawl on outside among eliminated members. Fujinami German Suplex for three. New Genrations wins some huge ass trophies. 

Match petered out in my opinion once the Inoki & Maeda double elimination. I think they could have down more with Fujiwara, Hoshino and/or Mutoh being more valiant. I dont think you need to do all three, but one making insane last stand would have put the match over the hump into classic territory. The 1988 version had the more memorable finish, but this has the better body. ****1/4

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Great match. The booking of having young Muto as the last man puts him over huge while making the elders of the other team, Choshu and Fujianmi in this case, look even stronger in victory. Maeda took charge when it came to Inoki which is typical Maeda. But the best thing about his method is that it was the same way that Ueda eliminated him in a previous Team Inoki vs Team UWF Match. All the other wrestlers added great performances and heat to the match. That and the molent hot crowd made this one hell o a match. ****1/4

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