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[1986-12-11-NJPW] Antonio Inoki & Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido

Superstar Sleeze

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Antonio Inoki & Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido - NJPW 12/11/86 IWGP Tag League

I believe this is the 1986 IWGP Tag League Finals as these two teams wrestled the night before where Inoki got counted out after nailing the ringpost with an Enziguiri. Looking to get to bed by 10pm so lets do this stream of consciousness style:

Fujiwara and Kido to start. Greco-Roman Knucklock. Fujiawara into a hammerlock and sits down into the Fujiwar armbar but Kido keeps arm at angle. The cool Fujiwara Boston Crab counter happens again!  Love that spot! Kido drop toehold into a crossface. Fujiwara hiptoss. Kido tags out. Maeda vs Fujiwara! Fujiwara/Inoki conferences is badass. Inoki tags in. Here we go...Inoki vs Maeda! Maeda leg kick and Inoki shots in and Maeda gets the front chancery. Some chaining and they square off. Maeda tries to out-Inoki Inoki by kicking the shins and it works as Inoki collapses. Meada gets the straight kneebar. Inoki is not selling this well. They are just sitting in it. Inoki rolls into the ropes. Maeda big kicks. Belly to belly suplex! Maeda into cross-armbreaker! Inoki flips out and gets side control into his own cross-armbreaker but Maeda blocks. Maeda into a leg lace and tags out. Underwhelming segment. Kido loves his punt kicks and he gats caught nd back heel trip. Here comes Fujiwara to light Kido's ass up! Fujiwara is the fucking man! Body punches and head shots. Fujiwara armbar out of a reverse waistlock is always over in my house. Fujiwara works hard to get the double underhook. Nice Buttefly suplex. Kido works a tight headscissors. Fujiwara snapmare into a chinlock. Fujiwara heavy breathing is the best. Kido picks the ankle into a toehold. but he rides high and Fujiwara gets an armbar. Basic but effective stuff here as Kido tags out. Waiting for this match to kick into high gear. Maeda backs Fujiwara into a corner two nice kicks and then drags him down into a Crossface Chickenwing. Fujiwara bucks him off. Maeda's missing his two front teeth when the fuck did that happen? Anybody know? Fujiwara wrestles him into his eponymous Armbar. Maeda gets Fujiwara's back and works a hammerlock. Maeda tags out. 

Kido back to punt kicks. Fujiwara lures him into Inoki's corner. Inoki throws Kido to outside. Inoki is still selling his leg after the shin kicks and straight kneebar. Inoki side headlock and they work some tight chaining. Kido tags out and Inoki POUNCES ON Maeda as he enters. They grapple on the ropes as the crowd COMES ALIVE. Inoki PUNCHES Maeda! Maeda has his fist cocked. Inoki lures him in. Fujiwara comes in with BODY SHOTS AND HEADBUTTS! HELL YEAH! Maeda stomps a mudhole in the corner great Fujiwara selling. German by Maeda gets two! Kido tagged in and he tries to literally kick Fujiwara out of the ring. He pelting Fujiwara's leg with kicks as Fujiwara seeks refuge in the corner and finally he just hauls off and PUNCHES HIM. Tags out to Inoki. ENZIGUIRI! Vertical Suplex gets two! Butterfly Suplex tag out. Inoki dropkick misses! Maeda's does not! Maeda loses control PUMMELING Inoki with kicks along bottom rope. Maeda wants the Dragon Suplex BUT NO...OCTOPUS STRETCH! Kido saves! Kido Saito Suplex! 1-2-NO! Kido tags out! Maeda misses the Spinning Heel Kick! Inoki Octopus Stretch as Fujiwara peels around the ring to impede Maeda from saving!       

The first ten minutes looks like a rolling session from New Japan Dojo that is entertaining for someone like me that likes grappling but it is all execution thats interesting. It is missing progression, narrative and character work. The last five minutes starting with that INTENSE Inoki & Maeda interaction kick the match into overdrive! Fujiwara coming in like house afire with body shots only for Maeda to quash that with a barrage of kicks! Kido was a great pest. You know he didnt belong with the other three in terms of star power. He was trying to keep Maeda in it long enough so Maeda could hit the home run to win for their team but when Maeda whiffed on the  Rainbow Spinning Heel Kick, you knew the end was nigh! Great finish run! A hotter beginning and this was an all-timer. ***3/4



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