Quebrada Pro Wrestling, Puroresu, & Mixed Martial Arts Reviews by Mike Lorefice

NJPW Tadakai no Wonderland ~Showa Hen~ #45
2/6/02 taped 8/13/78 & 10/6/78

8/13/78 Mexico City Palacio de los Deportes, 2/3 Falls WWWF Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Rey Mendoza 8:59, 3:31, 5:22. It was weird seeing Fujinami doing moves such as the flying headscissors and enzuigiri. He worked a more Lucha oriented style, but ultimately it was more his match than Mendoza's. A good, highly technical match where both men did a good job of working in and out of the holds that was much more interesting to me than mid 90's and beyond Fujinami. They started out using a simple hold such as an armbar as the basis of a series, working some athleticism in through their counters. Fujinami took the first fall, but Mendoza’s persistent stretching began to break the champion down. Fujinami’s left leg was injured in the second, a hobbling title holder giving the crowd some real hope their boy could outlast him. Mendoza worked the injury, setting up his Mendoza special (kind of a standing figure 4 where he splits his legs and squats forward) to take the second fall. Mendoza continued his leg attack in the third, but they inexplicably scrapped the injury when Fujinami came back with his Dragon missile (tope). The action was quite good from this point forward, but the failure to transition from Mendoza’s legwork to Fujinami’s finishing sequence in a remotely believable manner was a glaring liability. Fujinami crashed the turnbuckle trying a jumping tackle when Mendoza reentered, but although Mendoza had dominated the last fall and a half, the suplex this set up was his final hope spot with Fujinami running around as though his leg were fine during the finishing segment. The moves were nothing special by today's standards, and I felt let them down during the fast-paced running segments though that’s more a product of the times than a specific liability of the particular wrestlers whose offense was certainly above average. More importantly, they got pretty good mileage out of the moves and the leg injury greatly added to the drama and fan interest before they dropped the ball in scrapping it. ***1/2

10/6/78 Niigata Shi Taiikukan: Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Tony Rocco 13:02. This match aged pretty well because Rocco's offense was crisp and believable. Even if the moves themselves weren't that interesting, a side suplex was one of the big highlights from Rocco, he at least made me believe they did some damage. They played the leverage game early, but although Fujinami began hobbling after escaping the Romero special, they never really developed any sort of storyline or body. The hold and counter hold was solid, and the finish was energetic with several dropkicks from Fujinami, but the match didn't really build and wasn't very dramatic. ***


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