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[1997-09-15-AJPW-Fan Appreciation Day] Maunakea Mossman vs Satoru Asako

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This doesn't have the complete build from the very start but from what's shown, there's some really solid sequences between the pair here; however this is mainly to show off Mossman's offence front and centre given he'd be moving up the rankings to the heavyweight division soon enough. Asako is able to take advantage with some quick transitions, like catching him with a inverted cradle for a near fall and then grabbing on to the leg after the kick out for a quick snappy submission, or catching his leg mid-strike weird inverted spin kick to his shins. It's not all amazingly performed but Asako's offence is quite innovative and definitely catches the crowd off guard at points when trying to work over Mossman's legs to weaken his main weapon in form of his kicks. He's definitely not the super worker he perhaps was showing signs of being at the start of the decade (like his stuff with Bobby Fulton or his Can-Am showings) but there was definitely potential still to be tapped into. 

The last few minutes are just these two throwing out some big bombs and moves to outperform the other: Asako goes for more agility based moves while Mossman uses more power based stuff, but each guy gets in their fair share and it never really feels imbalanced, which is good for a title match like this. Mossman finally gets the win after countering a Frankensteiner into a powerbomb that's then countered by Asako into a quick last dish rolling pin, but Mossman kicks out and finally nails his jumping DDT (which is super good by the way, never really seen someone do it quite as well as he has since) for the conclusive finishing spot. 

Really strong pace kept between the two: in some ways this was actually better than their rematch for the title a year later as it didn't need to stall things out with rest holds and just went into quick action right away: I'm not against rest holds but that in particular was shockingly bad stalling, literally minutes of just endless Asako sitting in a headlock. Here? No such thing, both men just go into Jr style sequences right away but also sell the effects of them later on. This is probably the best you were going to get in terms of Jr representation at this point and time in terms of importance and quality, as sadly Kings Road era AJPW was pretty poor at actually televising and giving importance to the Jr division. Definitely not the smoothest but I really liked this as a strong showcase of what both could do when given the time and space, really showing Mossman in a good light despite his carry-job by Ogawa a month prior. 


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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1997-09-15-AJPW-Fan Appreciation Day] Maunakea Mossman vs Satoru Asako

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