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DVD #3: Nobuhiko Takada vs Hiroshi Hase


Loss
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  • 3 weeks later...

Pretty slow going early on, but the final 6-8 minutes is fantastic. This doesn't follow the stereotype of quiet and polite Japanese crowds, as they're into everything over the final few minutes. There are better juniors matches, but I wouldn't be afraid to show this to an American fan who had never seen puro as an example of what to expect from Japanese wrestling.

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I liked this match way less than I did when I first saw it a few years ago. Still a lot of good stuff in it though - one thing that always stood out for me, as small as it was, was how exaggerated Takada's reversal of the Irish whip was on his initial comeback, just made it seem like a much bigger deal and was a great comeback visual. Also the slaps.

 

Too much laying around in the submissions without really working them, though. The crowd was super hot and the reversals were exciting, I loved the building of the Norther lights, and the one to end it looked great, Takada looking like he was legitimately trapped in it as he tried to kick out. But, I dunno, the bulk of the match, although certainly good and being received by a hot crowd, just didn't do it for me for some reason. Maybe I need to rewatch it.

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The first time I have seen these two guys work. How can I begin to describe how much fun it was? Nasty jujitsu-looking submissions -- I thought I was watching BattlArts a few times. Wicked power moves. Hase's "miss" of Takada over the top ropes, taking him all the way to the floor. Even the confrontation after the match was great. Tops for me was the ref getting knocked out. Takada pins Hase, the CROWD counts to three, and Takada jumps up like he's just won the match. You just can't script it when the crowd is involved -- beautiful, beautiful segment.

 

I chuckled to myself because they even look like faces/heels. Compare Takada's Nippon "all-American boy" look to Hase's greasy 'stache and mullet -- he looks like a member of Chosin's gang in KARATE KID 2.

 

When I get paid on Monday, I am more than ever committed to getting in on New Japan after watching this stellar 80's match. I only have 2 more matches to go on this comp, but I already believe it's one of the greatest I have ever watched. :P

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  • 3 months later...

Watched this today.

 

I was not blown away, which I was anticipating, mostly due to the praise it has gotten (Loss' star rating). I was initially confused why Takada was so damaged early on from two simple non-Hansen lariats. Hase performed well, nothing extraordinary though, just well. I liked Takada countering most of what Hase attempted straight to the armbar, but Hase neglected to sell the damage. Hase took a lot of damage in 1988 standards, those kicks would be ending matches or damn near close today (Nagata). Takada sold falling from a third floor balcony, which was weird at first, but he continued this effort throughout the match, which was nice. The finish killed it for me, obviously blown.

4/5

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