Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

There is no Faculty of the Human Soul so Persistent and Universal as that of Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akira Maeda NJ 2/5/86- EPIC

Maeda may be Fujiwara’s best opponent ever and this may be their best match against each other. It is a match broken up into two sections, the first part is worked mostly on the mat, it is Fujiwara’s domain, and there are a lot of cool little transfers and exchanges. For example the way he drives his elbow into the ankle bone, nothing was fancy, but it was all great looking. Fujiwara does this neat thing where he tries to grab kicks being thrown at him, but still sells the impact. There is a point where Maeda is laying into him and Fujiwara catches the kick, just to be rocked by an enzigiri. The first part ends with both guys rolling out to the floor while locking each other in leglocks.

If it ended with a count out there it would be a hell of match, however they do a restart, and it moves to the next level. It gets chippy right after with both guys popping each other with bodyshots while doing some nice Greco pummeling. Fujiwara comes after Maeda trying to lock on the Fujiwara armbar viciously from a bunch of different angles. I have seen Fujiwara go for that armbar quite a few times throughout this project, and this was the most furious. Then damn was that a finish, Fujiwara is grasping the ankle like a dying pit bull while Maeda is choking him out, Fujiwara starts drooling but Maeda can’t hold out, and he submits right before Fujiwara passes out. Spectacular stuff, and this match is a contender for the top spot of my NJ 80’s ballot.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Osamu Kido/Nobuhiko Takada/Kazuo Yamazaki/Akira Maeda v. Antonio Inoki/Tatsumi Fujinami/Kengo Kimura/Umanosuke Ueda/Kantaro Hoshino NJ 3/26/86-EPIC

One of the most famous matches in Japanese history this is the first major collision in the New Japan v. UWF feud. It is an elimination tag with to the floor eliminations allowed Tremendous match, great performances by everyone involved. Our man Fujiwara was great, his section vs. Fujinami was yet another cocktease for the 80’s singles match which never happened, and I loved how he and Hoshino would pot shot each other. Inoki is so over, and comes off like a huge star, any time he tags in the crowd goes bananas, same with Maeda, sort of criminal we never got a big singles between those two as well. Most of the eliminations were really great, including Fujiwara and Fujinami just tearing it up until they both going tumbling over the top. We then get one of my favorite spots in wrestling history as Ueda (who is an ex-garbage guy who barely wrestles at this point) tags in to square off with Maeda, Ueda hadn’t been in the match much at all, and was playing the role of the outclassed older legend. He locks up with Maeda, eats a kick or two, realizes he is out of his league and tackles Maeda to the floor eliminating them both. Just such a cool moment, with Ueda sacrificing himself for New Japan. I could totally see Eddie Marlin in the same role in a big Memphis v. Knoxville 10 man. Finish is the only down part, as Inoki is left with Kido and Takada and I don't really buy him in any trouble, even down 2 to 1.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Volk Han RINGS 8/11/01- GREAT

This was an exhibition on an otherwise all shoot card, and is Han’s last wrestling match. This is a battle between the two greatest non lucha matworkers of all time, and is as slick and tricky as you would expect it to be. You have counter after counter, with both guys finding answers and escapes. At one point Han got this sort of shoot figure four, which Fujiwara slipped into a kneebar. Very cool character moment where after a series of moves turned into a stalemate, Fujiwara offered his hand. Han took it, and Fujiwara shot straight for a takedown which was awesome. This was clipped a bit, and was a bit short and exhibitiony, still so cool that these two maestros got a chance to hook up.



Blogger Eddie said...

The Fujiwara vs Volk Han exhibition is great and that Fujiwara kneebar counter you mentioned is so awesome. But Volk Han had one more pro wrestling exhibition a few months later with Andrei Kopylov on the RINGS farewell card on 2/15/02.

6:10 PM  

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