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[1989-05-25-NJPW] Big Van Vader vs Salman Hashimikov

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IWGP Heavyweight Champion Vader vs Salman Hashimikov - NJPW 5/25/1989

Nothing like seeing dying days USA VS USSR feud play out in Japan. :p

Inoki, after a couple years of wrestling traditional heels such as Masa Saito, Riki Choshu and Vader, is going back to a well he is familiar with SHOOTERS, specifically SOVIET SHOOTERS! He was embroiled in a feud with Shota Chochishvilli, a Georgian gold medalist in Judo. I was watching the Olympics this year and the World's Strongest Man is from Georgia. Forget Gabel Steveson, somebody needs to hire that big muthafuck ASAP. He was pressing insane weight over his head. He would be a killer monster heel. Hashimikov is a Chechen who is a four-time World Freestyle champion in the heavyweight division between 1979-1983. 

I am sorry to report Hashimikov is no Volk Han. He is not some great lost Soviet Shooter. He was pretty bland. He didnt seem to fully understand how to leverage his credentials into being a great pro wrestling. The did some Greco-Roman pummeling, he had some nice takedowns. Great belly to belly throw. He upended him with a single leg and then into a crossarmbreaker. He was crazy strong. He hoisted Vader up onto his shoulder and fucking threw him backwards for the win. It just lacked that je ne sais quoi. Just no charisma or fire. Vader was Vader. He rocked. He fucked Hashimikov's shit up after the first takedown. He rocked him with some wicked shots. Pressed him above his head and threw him down like a sack of potatoes. Hashimikov had to powder. Vader could only do so much. He threw some good shots. Nice JYD style powerslam got two, but that was his nearfall. 

Another letdown but again not Vader's fault, just in there with two dudes with no charisma. 

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Lasha would be awesome, like 6'6 and insanely strong, think of the spots he could do. Problem is he looks like a nice young man even if he's a fridge of a human. No menace to him.

Continuing my little Vader kick. I though I'd seen Hashimikov before but no, that was Zangiev I'm thinking of.  I liked Zangiev a lot more. Hashimikov took his Vader ass kicking okay. Actually either Vader eased up on him compared to my more recently watched matches of Hashimikov is really leagues behind. Shoving Vader in the gut as offense is more awkward than interesting but he can throw a good suplex. Not sure why that leg lock isn't a pin of Vader but that's on the ref. Crud ending. Sub-** match. Hashimikov doesn't have it. Vader did his best with what little work he could get in but Hashimikov seems so green. Crowd's going nuts though so what do I know.

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13 hours ago, Steenalized said:

Lasha would be awesome, like 6'6 and insanely strong, think of the spots he could do. Problem is he looks like a nice young man even if he's a fridge of a human. No menace to him.

Continuing my little Vader kick. I though I'd seen Hashimikov before but no, that was Zangiev I'm thinking of.  I liked Zangiev a lot more. Hashimikov took his Vader ass kicking okay. Actually either Vader eased up on him compared to my more recently watched matches of Hashimikov is really leagues behind. Shoving Vader in the gut as offense is more awkward than interesting but he can throw a good suplex. Not sure why that leg lock isn't a pin of Vader but that's on the ref. Crud ending. Sub-** match. Hashimikov doesn't have it. Vader did his best with what little work he could get in but Hashimikov seems so green. Crowd's going nuts though so what do I know.

Dont be discouraged on Hashimikov! He put it together against Vader in July 1989. He was insanely over and it was like pro wrestling just clicked for him. You have to remember he was a legit Soviet sambo shooter and I think this was like second pro wrestling match ever. Definitely give the July match a shot, he gets himself over huge!

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I'll give it a shot if I can track it down. I actually watched with the sound off (often do at this point, wife's witching TV, I'm watching on the computer) and that can warp perceptions. I turned the sound back on for a moment at the end and had to rewatch a couple times to figure out if there even was a three count - the camera angle cuts out the "one" and Vader does the "kick out at 3.0001" thing so I thought it was a near fall at first. That flattened the finish. But with the sound on I did catch the crowd pop.

In my initial notes I did think Salman looked like he could be a good wrestler if he had some more seasoning. The athleticism is there, he doesn't look like a total putz except for when he's pushing on Vader's belly. The throws are good. But as of this match, he didn't get it. Now I'll have to see what a difference a few months can make.

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