Segunda Caida

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Japan 80s Top 30 Countdown! Match #28

#28: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Kengo Kimura, 9/25/80:

THIS is how you do an awesome junior parity match. Could you imagine indy wrestling today if Meltzer was pimping THIS in the 80s instead of TM/DK? No rehearsed loosely-applied matwork ending with a mutual stand off that the crowd mechanically applauds, no your-move-my-move finishing runs, actual emotion and hate standing parallel with respect and one-upsmanship. How different would all indy dream matches be if this was the juniors gold standard?

This match should be the blueprint of modern juniors wrestling. Fujinami and Kimura were regular partners who were able to put friendship aside and issue the occasional challenge and act all sportsmanlike...but you can only act sportsmanlike for so long in a competitive setting.

You knew this was going to be different, as the matwork right from the beginning had some extra OOMPH to it. Juniors matwork to start a match today usually means "fuck, we're going long for an indy broadway", but this is two guys showing their skills, fighting for advantage, wrenching in holds, working tests of strength, squeezing in the headscissors, really struggling.

Things start to get unprofessional as Fujinami applies a headscissors, Kimura pops out, and Fujinami slaps him before putting him back in the 'scissors. First strike of the match, and here we go.

The matwork gets totally great from here, as both guys start looking really uncooperative, with Fujinami going for upkicks while Kimura is going for the ankle, so Kimura starts kicking at Fujinami on his back, with Fujinami kicking from his back. It doesn't totally devolve at this point, as they still go to it on the mat, but the clean breaks are out the fucking window.

Fujinami does a great octopus into an indian deathlock transition, Kimura flips into a pin, grabs the headscissors, and Fujinami slickly shows Kimura how he should've escaped the headscissors earlier, and then FUCK this matwork, cuz we're sprinting baby! "Fuck you for showing me escapes like I'm a first year fucking pro, I'm going for some crazy ass flipping senton off the ropes asshole!" They do the most natural looking double-missed dropkick I've ever seen and these guys are equals but man they don't seem like they like or respect each other right now.

We hit some fast rope running and a snug roll up, and Fujinami gets pissed and tries to deadlift Kimura into a piledriver. Kimura sandbags him and backdrops out, then lifts Fujinami and delivers the most badass piledriver YOU'VE ever seen, the craziest sloppiest ganso bombiest piledriver around. Fujinami rolls to the floor looking loopy as can be, and Kimura pounces him at his weakest.

On the floor Fujinami suckers Kimura into posting himself, drags him into the ring and tries to eeeeek out a pin, and when that doesn't work he kicks his ass the the floor and hits a wild dive on him. Both guys are bleeding, neither man is going to allow himself to be pinned and the match ends where it should, with both guys getting counted down and out, and then trying to kick each others' ass after the match while young boys in 3/4 sleeve baseball tees keep them apart. But fuck. Friends are friends, partners are partners, and brothers argue with each other the most. They shake and do a single pat hug. Yeah, they lost their cool and let their emotions get the better of them, but they'll team again.

This was great.

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Anonymous tigertooth said...

"really struggling."

Word. What wrestling today needs more than anything is the beautiful struggle.

But for real. Holds mean so much more if the guy had to work his ass off to get his opponent into the hold. If putting on a hold is easy as pie, why should I care about it?

Seriously: struggling. Wrestling needs way more struggling.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I barely remember this match from watching it last year, but the one thing that sticks out to me is


6:19 AM  

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