Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Japan 80s Top 30 Countdown! Match #23

Match #23: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Dynamite Kid, 2/5/80

Dynamite's stock has fallen a bunch in recent years, as DVDs have made having every single match ever in existence easier than ever before, and people can finally go back and reevaluate "classic" matches. Dynamite's main supporters used to give him and Tiger Mask ridiculous credit for their "innovative" offense. Hindsight shows that all they innovated was current indie main event dream match style, replete with pointless/endless move counters/pinfalls/big moves, horrible pacing, no selling, etc. Dynamite was one of the best examples of a .gif wrestler. Somebody having him taking a massive bump to the floor as their avatar or crushing somebody's face with a kneedrop would only be telling 6 seconds of Dynamite's story, and that story would look amazing. Within the context of one of his juniors matches, though, that crushing kneedrop would lead absolutely nowhere and it would probably result in his opponent just transitioning right back to offense.

But this match. THIS match RIGHT HERE is the finest example of all the things people like about Dynamite, all rolled into one awesome match. The Tiger Mask series looks horribly dated through 2010 eyes, but this is the kind of match that I can see looking better and better as the years go by.

Dynamite is at his hate-filled, prickish best here, starting with some nice European uppercuts and really slamming Fujinami on a bodyslam. He goes to a smarmy, mocking octopus hold like 1 minute in and chooses to gain leverage in a test of strength by headbutting his way out of it. Forget silly flipping knucklelock counters, I'm just gonna bang my head against yours while tying up your hands! A couple more headbutts and some kicks to the stomach, followed by a nasty clubbing forearm to the back has Fujinami fighting from the bottom right out of the gate.

DK throws two punches right at a bandaid on Fujinami's forehead, and Tatsumi is already checking to see if it opened up on him. He rattles off a couple armdrags and locks in DK's arm to try and slow down the beating, but DK merely stands up and throws some sick elbows to the face, then boots him right in the head. He goes to the octopus again, but Fujinami bails through the ropes.

DK forces him to the mat and starts lacing into him with some great knees to the ribs and forearms to the chest, the type of things you normally do not see when juniors work the mat. DK tries to break Fujinami's bridge by coming down full weight on top of him, and Tatsumi catches him in an awesome body scissors on the way down. DK just grabs Fujinami by the hair and throws some non-pulled punches right at that same cut, which soon after opens right up.

DK goes right back to working that cut, throwing in succession: a punch, an elbow, a kick, a stomp, and two kneedrops, followed by one fucking BOSS fistdrop (and I'm a man who luuuuuuvs his fistdrops!!). This clearly isn't graphic enough, so he just starts BITING the fucking cut!

Fujinami gets a flash roll up for a nearfall and the fans get way into it, and it was really nicely done. It was fast enough and snug enough that you bought that DK could be held down for the three count. Instead, though, DK kicks out, elbows him to the mat and stomps his face from the middle rope!! Good lord!

Fujinami is still trying to use his speed to counter, but it's failing miserably because Dynamite is equaling him in speed. They rope run and Fujinami goes for a dropkick, but falls to the mat as DK does the manliest fucking saunter right out of the way. Does it blow the physics of all the other rope running he does? Of course it does, nerd, but fuck YOU for being such a geek for pointing something out like that. Wrestling needs more Lucy's pulling the football out from under Charlie Brown.

DK heads to the top and puts every one of Chris Benoit's diving headbutts to shame. That wimp just turned his head to the side and aimed for the shoulder! DK decides "What's the WORST that could happen if I just do a shoot headbutt here? What could possibly go wrong over the next 25 years? How bad could the effects REALLY be? Who will be foolish enough to use ME as their life's example?" And then he just lands forehead to forehead with Fujinami. I want you to go back and pause the match during the moment when DK goes for the pinfall. The smile spread across his face is one of sheer madness (and this sequence really would actually make a great fucking animated .gif).

We continue with more elbows right to the face, and Fujinami gets a feeble sunset flip that nobody believes. The dude is barely hanging on at this point. DK has controlled about 98% of this thing and Fujinami is a mess. DK slams him and heads up for headbutt #2...and Dynamite does the most INSANE faceplant that I've ever seen a man PURPOSELY do.

I love missed moves in wrestling. It's something that doesn't get talked up that much, but it's something I always look for. I love it when somebody is supposed to miss a clothesline, and they REALLY make their opponent duck under that clothesline. They throw it as if they were gonna take somebody's head off, but it missed. I hate when a guy is supposed to miss a clothesline, and instead of throwing it like normal, he throws it as if he's throwing a fastball. People, you need to throw your missed clotheslines like Dan Quisenberry, not like Nolan Ryan. More Kent Tekulve, less Roger Clemens. A missed move should look like it would look any other time you try it, but some moves are much more insane to miss on purpose.

To miss this headbutt, DK plummeted to the mat and broke HIS OWN NOSE by choosing to go face first. He knew he was missing it! And he CHOSE to go FACE FIRST into the mat. I can't really endorse it, but I would be lying if I said I did not rewind it 7 times.

This is the PERFECT time for Fujinami to transition into offense (really his first offense of the whole match), and he unleashes on Dynamite, sending him to the floor. Fujinami has him reeling, so FLINGS his body over the ropes to the floor...only for Dynamite to casually saunter away again, sending Fujinami face first into the floor with limbs flying every which way. Two of the greatest intentional missed moves I've ever seen, 45 seconds apart from each other. Fujinami's miss was so spectacular that for all I know it was supposed to hit DK square in the face.

We go back inside and Fujinami takes far too long to just roll up DK for the finish. Well, that was a poor finish. BUT I can't stay mad at this match. Would it have been infinitely better if DK had just dickishly rolled back into the ring, leaned against the ropes smiling like a huge cock and gotten the count out victory? Yes, yes, god yes. This was one of the few times I was rooting for a count out finish. but Fujinami goes over with his least "out of nowhere" roll up of the match, and that's that.

I did end on that flat note, but it also had 15 minutes of severe ass beating preceeding it, so what more could you want? This is the ultimate Dynamite Kid showcase match. Maybe it's better that most indie workers decided to emulate the DK/TM series instead of this one, as we already have seen what happens when a nutbar emulates THIS Dynamite Kid. But holy cow, this match was awesome. Fujinami took an insane beating, and DK was game to keep dishing it out. So, so awesome.

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