Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I Whet My Glittering Sword and Mine Take Hold of Yoshiaki Fujiwara

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Akira Maeda NJ 1/10/86 - EPIC

This was at the beginning of the UWF invasion of New Japan and served as an into to the style, and what an intro it was. They start out with some really nasty tight grappling on the mat, with Maeda looking more comfortable and active then he ever does against anyone else. Maeda was presented very strongly here, he absolutely lays into Fujiwara with nasty brutal kicks. Fujiwara does the awesome spot where he attempt to catch Maeda's kicks, but still gets cracked. No one in wrestling history is better at taking a beating then Yoshiaki Fujiwara, his selling, facial expressions and body movements can total engage you in even a one sided match. The finish was tremendous, with Fujiwara surviving a big beating but in classic fashion he was able to grab the back elbow flash Fujiwara armbar for the tap. I just love when he pulls out these miracle finishes, and this is one of the best.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara/Osamu Kido/Akira Maeda/Kazuo Yamazaki/Nobohiko Takada v. Seiji Sakaguchi/Tatsumi Fujinami/Keiichi Yamada/Kengo Kimura/Shiro Koshinaka NJ 5/1/86 -EPIC

This is a 5 v. 5 gauntlet challenge, following the spectacular 5 v. 5 elimination tag the previous month. Truly a classic match, with only a couple of down spots keeping it from reaching the heights of the 1984 gauntlet. The match starts out with Takada and Yamada and I enjoyed this juniors shootstyle more then I can ever remember enjoying the more heralded Takada v. Yamazaki match up. Yamada is super fast on the mat and worked around Takada well. We then get three really fun Sakaguchi matches with him chucking around Takada and Yamazaki and getting caught by Kido. Kido showed some great fire in his Sakaguchi match landing a nasty kick to the face, the other two matches left a bit to be desired, even for a Kido fanboy like me.

Of course the match picks the fuck up when Fujiwara hits town, Kimura jumps him at the bell and they have a great little toe to toe brawl with Kimura busting him open and working the cut. There was a great escape with Fujiwara using a headstand while blood dripped onto the mat. Fujiwara sinks in a super nasty armbar for the win. He is cranking it about as badly as he can. Then we get Fujiwara v. Fujinami which is the closest we ever got to an epic singles match between the two. Fujinami is really working a choke sleeper here, cranking it and pulling at Fujiwara's neck. You rarely see Fujiwara dominated on the mat, but Fujinami's strength and Fujiwara's blood loss gave Tatsumi the advantage. So Fujiwara says fuck it, and takes Fujinami to the floor smacking his head into the ringpost and spiking him with a piledriver. Fujinami is leaking now, and Fujiwara switches into killer mode. I loved how he didn't even give a fuck when Fujinami got the flash backslide. He just got up and punched him in the head. Maeda comes in and finishes off Fujinami who ends up losing on a perfectly reasonable blood stoppage. Blood stoppages are one of my favorite wrestling finishes as long as the bleeder is bleeding, and Fujinami has a face full of Heinz.

Yoshiaki Fujiwara v. Murakami PWFG 11/15/95- SKIPPABLE

PAS: Murakami is a Karate guy who mauled Usuda on an earlier show to set this up. This is joined in progress too, which sucks, because one of the things that makes these kind of matches great is the slow build to blow up, and this was joined mid blow up. There is a DQ finish with Fujiwara jumping Murakami at the start of the round and getting a mount and raining down punches which is apparently illegal in this style. They have kind of a fun pull apart between dojo's, but this match felt like a missed opportunity.

TKG: Yeah I was stoked at the potential for this match up and really you fuck it up by having it jip'd. Post pull apart Fujiwara throws his own students out of ring so he can be a man and shake his opponents hand while still pissed at himself for fucking up. He's bitter but he needs to shake and then raise his opponents arm to be true to himself and the sport. ROH! ROH!




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