Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, July 03, 2010

New Japan 80s Top 30 Countdown! Match # 30

So the New Japan 80s set is over, and Texas is looming on the horizon, so we might as well try and countdown the top 30 finishers in 1980s NJ. I've tried to come up with a neat pun like Wattstoberfest or Wattumn, but the best I can do is Summer of Strong Style or Tatsumi Fujuly. I got nothing.

#30: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Riki Choshu, 6/24/88:

This is for the vacant IWGP title and I'm disappointed early as the match is scored with some awesome "Final Credits" stlye 1988 music...but then Riki hits a flying headscissors and WHO could be disappointed after that!? Riki works the neck and Fujinami cranks in a cravate, and even though you get the feeling they're just starting out small before the build, the crowd is still into it and both guys look focused while doing the holds. You don't get that "1000 yd. stare 5 minute Muta knee bar" face from these two. Riki fights out, Fujinami nails a great shoulderblock, and Riki follows with a knee to the stomach, then absolutely BURIES his shoulder into Fujinami's abdomen with a fucking awesome running powerslam.

For some reason Riki locks on an armbar for 1-6 minutes, then finally goes back to just stomping the shit out of Fujinami.Fujinami starts kicking at Riki's knee, so Riki retaliates with a nasty kneebreaker and an attempt at the Scorpion Deathlock. Choshu picks him up and they proceed to do a transition I got really sick of while watching this set: Riki puts Fujinami in a side headlock for no real reason other than making it easier for Fujinami to backdrop him. Fujinami back on offense with a dropkick and some dragon sleepers, but gets cocky and goes up top, only to be powerslammed off.

Awesome section next as Riki just says Fuck It and begins his string of Riki lariats. First one is blocked by a great dropkick, second one Fujinami tries to turn into a Fujiwara armbar, but Riki hip tosses him through the ropes and NAILS a lariat off the apron. Crowd is jacked at this point and chanting "Choshu!" Fujinami comes up bleeding and Riki is in the zone, but he has his blinders on and the only thing his brain seems to be saying at this point is "ONLY go for Riki lariats!" and this is kind of a bad strategy. Just like Chuck Liddell's brain only says "Go for the big right hand even though you have no chin whatsoever!!" (pro wres = MMA quota reached), Fujinami starts reversing with gusto. Dropkick reversal, backslide reversal. Riki's plan is eroding before our eyes and the tides are turning!

Either unable to think of a new strategy or too blinded to see that he might want to use other ways to beat Fujinami, this leads to Riki's downfall. Fujinami nails an enziguiri and gets the small package win.

This match really didn't have the amount of mindless matwork that people complained about, and most of it was white hot back and forth beat down that really had a HUGE main event feel that most main events are unable to capture. Awesome match.

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