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[1978-04-21-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Seiji Sakaguchi


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Just a pure wrestling match. Still finding their work very interesting. Something like the section where Sakaguchi has Inoki in the crucifix position and tries to do an arm slicer and pin him out of it is very cool. Sakaguchi gets some big offense (loved the running knee!) and dominates most of the match, Inoki slows him down a couple of times but is almost always very overwhelmed and ends the match escaping the manjigatame just a bit before the time limit draw. A remarkably flat finish, but they restart the match! This second match is also very technical, with both wrestlers struggling to defend from the double underhook position. Inoki does a belly-to-belly suplex outside the ring and takes control from there. He tries to put away Sakaguchi with different holds (including a calf slicer, which he did a lot during this match.) but fails. Sakaguchi gets a brief comeback, but he still ends up tied up in a figure four. They reach the time limit again before Sakaguchi submits.

A thing that's struck me about NJ's style at this time is how they don't sell big impactful throws and strikes too much (or at all, sometimes), but their selling for submissions is usually very good.

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1978-04-21-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Seiji Sakaguchi
  • 2 years later...

Out of all 70s Puro Wrestlers, Sakaguchi is probably a personal favourite of mine. His big lanky frame and legit skill makes for a great match always. Inoki was game for it, rounding this out to be an excellent match - a purist dream. Inoki keeps going for the legs but switches gears when Sakaguchi defends against it, turning into a chess match that leads to three stale mates. Two time limit draws and a double count out. The pop when it was announced that 10 minute minutes was being added was huge. Quality bout with outstanding submission wrestling. ****1/4

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