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[1987-01-14-NJPW] Tatsumi Fujinami vs Kengo Kimura

Superstar Sleeze

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Tatsumi Fujinami vs Kengo Kimura - NJPW 01/14/87 SGR: Umanosuke Ueda

I believe according to what I read from KinchStalker this is the No DQ Blowoff. Kinchstalker added an important note to the 01/02/87 match that Kimura won after his running leg lariat but it was discovered that he loaded his kneepad and so the match was ruled a no contest. Thats how we ended up here. Two former tag partners in a big feud. 

This match is ranked significantly lower than January 2nd match and I agree with the DVDVR consensus that the January match is the more memorable and more heated match. I really felt if they had Choshu either lay this out or do a similar feud with Kimura this would have felt bigger. They did a lot of great grappling early but it was not sticky and it was not heated. Fujinami tags Kimura pretty good when they both went into a stand up boxing stance. Kimura came back and fired off some wicked punches. I was like alright thats more like it. Fujinami came roaring back and then worked a cross-armbreaker then into a short arm scissors. From there Fujinami got a leg whip tries the Scorpion Deathlock settled for a toehold and Kimura took over with a cross armbreaker. Kimura took over here. Massive piledriver! More big heavy blows from the hands, more arm work, and I am pretty sure I remember he got the Scorpion Deathlock. Where I felt let down is he finally nails the running Leg Lariat. It just feels like another move. The move was the crux of the feud and just wasnt well-built. He threw some more hands afterwards and it diluted the nearfall. He threw another when Fujinami was on the top rope and they both came crashing down. Thats when the Choshu thought popped in me head. It was not the moves per se it was how they were built to that was lacking. Choshu would have taken this match elevated it. Fujinami does the spot I knew that would happen he catches the Leg Lariat and turns into a Scorpion Deathlock. When that doesnt work Boston Crab and finally a Single Leg Crab.

All the crazy punches, the running Leg Lariat and the big Fujinami finish, they had all the pieces they just couldnt get to the next level. It is just bubbling under great. ***3/4 


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  • 1 month later...

This kind of swung between decent enough and balls out awesome. On the one hand that's a little disappointing because you can't help but want the balls out awesome to be the constant, but on the other hand pretty decent is pretty decent, you know? How loudly can we really complain? I think this feud only lasted about a month and that was definitely nine months too short. I actually thought the best parts of this were even better than the best parts of the January 2nd match, though they were rooted in the same idea (or PHILOSOPHY, if you will). Kimura still has serious ill will for Fujinami and this time Fujinami is less forgiving when his old partner blatantly punches him in the jaw. Fujinami wrestles like someone who'd rather do that - wrestle - than have a fist fight, but he won't give Kimura the same leeway he did before. The early grappling had a nice intensity to it and I loved that they both decided to put that to the side so they could have a stand up exchange in full boxing stance. Moments like that happened throughout, where one or both - though most often it was Kimura - would let their tempers boil over and someone would get cracked in the mouth. The first slap Fujinami threw landed flush and Kimura shot him this look of "I really hate you, you know that?" When Kimura next backed him into the corner everyone knew what was coming, and I love that Fujinami just stood there and braced himself, daring Kimura to throw his best shot and get it over with. It was almost derisory, like even leaving himself open so Kimura could hit him unimpeded wouldn't matter in the long run, confident as he was that he was still The Ace and Kimura never would be. I'm sure that sat brilliantly with Kimura. I'm also sure it added a little mustard to every closed fist he threw at Fujinami after the fact, and he threw a good fucking few of them let me tell you. There was one punch flurry in particular that was incredible and I guess Kengo Kimura is super underrated as a puncher? The leg lariat plays a part again, but I'm with Sleeze in wishing they played up the first one that connected a little more. I thought it came off like a bit of an afterthought, which is strange considering it was a huge part of the feud up until now. That might be nitpicky though, because I did really like how Kimura never seemed to be satisfied and would lift Fujinami's shoulders on a few pin attempts (like after the leg lariat). Either he was messing with Fujinami because he knew he wasn't beaten yet anyway or he was messing with him because he thought he was VERY beaten, but as soon as he did it you got the sense he was wrong one way or the other. When Fujinami countered the third leg lariat and put him in the Scorpion you pretty much knew Kimura had fucked up. He held on as long as he could and nearly made it to the ropes, but in the end Fujinami is The Ace and Kimura is not. 

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