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[2001-06-14-NJPW-Best of the Super Juniors] Jushin Liger vs Minoru Tanaka

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Could this have been any more boring if they'd tried? This was the Best of the Super Juniors yusho between the reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion and the Juniors legend who had skipped the previous year's tournament and was undefeated in his return tournament. It should have been off the charts. Instead, it was a borefest. And I'm not just talking about the part they'd usually clip. The entire thing was boring. This has to go down as one of the biggest disappointments of 2001 thus far. 

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  • GSR changed the title to [2001-06-14-NJPW-Best of the Super Juniors] Jushin Liger vs Minoru Tanaka
  • 10 months later...

I liked this more than OJ but agree it was disappointing. I really enjoyed their matches in 2001 and was expecting close to MOTYC level here.  Tanaka has been rising up my ranks of WOTY and with a breakout performance he could have been nearing the top three.  Looking at the rest of the year, this feels like the peak so we will see how far he will fall.  THe match had some great setup with the matwork that felt focused and purposeful but then it never escalated to something more.  The final moments had some exciting execution and nearfalls but again felt disconnected from the previous 10-12 minutes.  Overall, I can't really fault why this match didn't really click as all the elements were there and the technical acumen was good, it just didn't all come together. ***3/4 

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