Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Let Your Hair Down Shinya Hashimoto, Shake it Free and Do The Dixieland Rock With Me

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Tony Halme NJPW 2/5/91 - EPIC

ER: Man I loved this. Handheld 1991 Tony Halme was 100% Brock Lesnar. You could fool almost anybody by telling them that. Same size, same shape, same big meaty fists in MMA gloves, same flat top crew. And this is such a wonderful 1991 post-Rocky III proto-Street Fighter II vision of professional wrestler versus hulking boxer. Hashimoto gets lifted off his feet by thundering body blows, spins himself into the mat on haymakers, really every time Hashimoto gets knocked down by a Halme shot it looks awesome. Halme will double him over, then hook him with a big uppercut to the belly, and Hash comes up with a bunch of great ways to hit the mat. Halme throws these great exaggerated blows that explode right when they should, and Hash plays them up big to the back row. Hash fights back in cool ways, getting Halme on his back and pounding, throwing liver kicks, backing him into the ropes at one point with kicks (and the ropes looked looser than normal, giving it a real fight feel), Halme weary and leaning way back on the ropes. Hashimoto attacks with snapping low right leg kicks, and when Halme buckles for one Hash immediately greets him with a high left that floors him. I loved how Halme stood up panicking and threw a WAY too aggressive hook, Hash easily ducking him and throwing him with a tough belly to belly. Hash smells blood but gets way too cocky, throwing a big left kick that Halme absorbs, and just smashes Hash in the face with a short left. We get a final Hash desperation tactic after he gets up, as he runs at Halme and tries to smother his arms, but Halme easily breaks free and clubbers him into the TKO. Hashimoto was so great at feeding Halme, doing some of the absolute best knee buckling wobble selling, really letting Halme know with body language when he should be throwing bigger blows, really cementing himself as the best opponent for monsters.

PAS: Man alive was this awesome. There have been wrestlers that have done boxing gimmicks well, but they are always fast hand technicians, Jose Lothario, Rocky Johnson have all shown off hand speed and craft, Halme in this match was Ernie Shaves or Ike Ibeabuchi a brutal powerpuncher ready to waste Hashimoto with every shot. Those bodyshots he was landing on Hashimoto looked like the kind of thing that would liquify livers and calcify kidneys. I think a lot of that has got to be on Hash's selling, as I doubt Halme was throwing full force windup body shots. I loved all the counter work, with Hash throwing this great belly to belly suplex on the hook counter. The spot where Halme catches the body kick and lands a Joe Frazier hook is one of the favorite wrestling spots I have seen in forever. I also loved his KO shiver elbow. The Ogawa series gets a lot of press, but on first glance this might be as good. I can't wait to watch the rematch.


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