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[1988-04-27-NJPW] Akira Nogami, Tatsutoshi Goto, Keiichi Yamada, Kantaro Hoshino & Shiro Koshinaka vs Kuniaki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Hase, Hiro Saito, Norio Honaga & Kensuke Sasaki

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Akira Nogami, Tatsutoshi Goto, Keiichi Yamada, Kantaro Hoshino & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Hase, Hiro Saito, Norio Honaga & Kensuke Sasaki - NJPW 4/27/88 Elimination Match

Thankfully Team Choshu are all wearing their black & gold track suits so that I know what sides are. This is a Junior Heavyweight 10-Man Elimination tag pitting Team Choshu led by Hase against Team New Japan for a lack of better term led by Koshinaka. This will be my first time seeing Yamada pre-Liger. The only person I dont think I have seen otherwise is Goto. I saw AKIRA enough that I did distinguish him from Goto. Kobayashi was a little tough without his red bellbottoms, but one you see him kick you know it is him. Saito I knew was a stocky dude and his bad bleach dye job helps. Honaga I recognized from the '91 Liger series. Then of course BABY KENSUKE~!

First Elimination: Everybody gets a little time to shine. It is cool seeing Kensuke do all his standard stuff this young. He is wrenching people over his patented over the top armdrag and catching people mid-air with powerslams. Same with Yamada he is using the Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a Mexican Surfboard. He is definitely someone that benefitted from being under a mask if you catch my drift. Otherwise only Hoshino and Kobayashi stuck out. Hoshino for his killer punch combinations and Kobayashi from his big kicks and good movement. It is a lot of workrate that doesnt really stick with you. AKIRA hits a crossbody for two for a nearfall and then Honaga hits the Baba-style neckbreaker drop for the first elimination. 

Going to do this the rest stream of consciousness style.

Second Elimination: Koshinaka wastes no time bumrushing Honaga and hits a Saito Suplex for two. He tags in Goto who hits a cool bridging vertical suplex. Suplex struggle Honaga wins and suplexes him to heel corner and tags in Saito. Oh I forgot Hase got busted open. I think it was AKIRA who snapped in the midst of the first fall and just started beating the forehead and clawing at Hase until he bled. It was too much workrate that even that was not sticky. Goto breaks free with a dropkick. Yamada and Kobayashi tag in. Liger hits missile dropkick and sets him up top and Superplex! Yamada tags out to Koshinaka and he misses a dropkick b/c Kobayashi holds onto the ropes. Spinning Heel Kick, a beauty->Fisherman Suplex! Hoshino saves! Koshinaka calls that Rear View, muthafucka! Koshinaka tags out to Goto. Kobayashi tags out to Saito. Spinebuster by the stocky Saito. Saito suplex by Goto on Saito. Another one but Saito shifts his weight for two! Saito scores the elimination with a backslide on Goto. Team Choshu 5-3. Those were the expected first two eliminations from the Regular New Japan Squad, I am expecting Sasaki to go soon to give the babyfaces some hope. 

Third Elimination: Koshinaka wastes no time but Saito bullies him into the Choshu corner. Nice Sasaki powerslam into a Bostonn Crab but Kosh powers out. Honaga tags in. They beat Kosh in the Choshu corner. Hase/Kobayashi double team move on Kosh. Kobayahsi German on Kosh but Hoshino saves. Kosh hits a German Suplex bridge on Honaga for the elimination. Damn, Honaga was my next guess! Team Choshu 4-3. 

Fourth Elimination. Hoshino tags in and he is gonna punish the bloody Hase. Piston punches to the wound! Hoshino rules! I see why he got over because of this set! Hoshino is supe rover with the crowd. Yamada bites the cut! Yamada rakes Hase face across the ropes. This is the best part thus far! Hoshino headbutt to the cut. Things look bleak for Hase. Koshinaka throwing closed fists at Hase and Dragon Suplex! Hase collapses into the ropes! Hase Russian Legsweep tags in Hiro Saito. Saito back body drop. Dropkick by the chubbah wubbah. Tags in Hase who winds for the kick. Meat Windup Lariat! Kosh no sells and looks to throw Hase over the top, I get the distinct impression that would count as an elimination based on how the announcer and Hase' partners reacted. Hase tags out and double suplex on Koshinaka. Saito, Koshinaka Calls that the REAR VIEW~! Second rear view and Saito tries to throw him out, but he falls to the floor. Koshinaka falls too. I think that was a double elimination. I am not sure. Will update you as I learn more. Team Choshu 3-2. 

Sixth Elimination: Hoshino vs Hase, BABY! The best pairing thus far! Great punch drunk selling by Hase as Hoshino tees off! Hoshino back drops Hase over the top. HE TORPEDOS HIM OFF THE APRON AND HASE IS ELIMINATED! I have confirmation that Koshinaka and Saito were eliminated! Wow surprising final four of Yamada/Hoshino vs Kobayashi/Sasaki. Surprised Koshinaka and Hase already eliminated. 

Seventh Elimination: Hoshino vs Kobayashi has also been a great pairing. Kobayashi pins Hoshino! Flash rollup what the hell! Yamada vs Kobayashi & Sasaki!

Eighth Elimination: Yamada piledrives him for two. Octopus Stretch! Nothing says New Japan like the Octopus Stretch! Tombstone by Yamada! Sasaki pushes him off the top rope which could have been an elimination. Kobayashi stomps at Yamada on the apron trying to eliminate him via the floor. Spike Piledriver on Yamada! Kensuke dropkick. Sasaki elbows Kobayashi. TWO ROLLING KOPPOU KICKS BY LIGER NAILS SASAKI! 1-2-3! It all comes down to this! First one really wiped out Sasaki.

Ninth Elimination: Liger pounces with another Koppou Kick to Kobayashi! Fisherman Suplex for two! Liger pouring it on! Liger and Kobayashi tussle over a reverse waistlock of course leads to an O'Connor Roll, Liger two, but Kobayashi reverses and arches back to get three!

Total workrate match! I like a more character work, narrative or stiffness/heat, but for those who love workrate and slam bang action this is for you. Hoshino, Hase, Yamada and Kobayashi make this worth watch and BABY KENSUKE~! was cool to see! ****  

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1988-04-27-NJPW] Akira Nogami, Tatsutoshi Goto, Keiichi Yamada, Kantaro Hoshino & Shiro Koshinaka vs Kuniaki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Hase, Hiro Saito, Norio Honaga & Kensuke Sasaki

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