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Jetlag

[1993-06-25-NJPW] Ashura Hara vs Akitoshi Saito

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Uuh what to you think happens in this match. Two thickly built japanese dudes have a tea party or something? No they beat the hell out of eachother. Hara starts this match working like Kurisu, trying to take the match to the outside and brain Saito with chairs. Meanwhile Saito just tries to cave Haras chest in with kicks. I've no idea why no japanese promotion (besides W*ING for a brief moment) has tried to do more with Saito in the 90s because he was a perfectly good b-side Hashimoto and the crowd loved him here. Lots of nasty kicks and lariats, Hara takes bigger bumps than you'd expect from a thick old dude, and they keep it short and sweet.

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The greatest feud of them all delivers yet another midcard banger. A sprinkle of inter-promotional hatred makes everything in wrestling that much better and this was quite the little slobberknocker. Hara was pretty much the richest poor man's Tenryu you could get, starting out surly and smashing chairs over Saito's head. Saito responds by absolutely walloping him senseless with kicks to the chest and spleen, and it always sort of amazes me how these WAR crowds are ten thousand percent behind the non-WAR guys kicking the living shit out of the hometowners (Tenryu aside). You'd think the fans in attendance would rally behind their own, but instead they lose their mind for guys like Koshinaka driving his hip bone into a WAR guy's orbital bone. Both guys threw a hundred potatoes in this. At one point Saito was blasting away at Hara's midsection and Hara would try to stand up to it in defiance, too proud to show weakness, too hurt to properly mount any sort of comeback. Then he'd spot an opening and tee off and there was one lariat across the bridge of Saito's nose that was just putrid. This really is WAR v New Japan in all its grimy, brutal glory. The very greatest of them all.

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