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

NJPW World Pro Wrestling Immortal Fighting Spirit Tradition #165 9/3/06
taped 3/21/91 & 3/91

3/21/91 Tokyo Dome

Greatest 18 Club No Time Limit No Referee: Riki Choshu vs. Tiger Jeet Singh 11:07. Any match with Singh is a worst match of the year candidate, unless the inclusion of Singh simply disqualifies it from counting as actual wrestling. The only highlight of his latest abortion was Choshu bending Singh’s toy sword into a bow shape, which had me laughing long enough to spare me from some of the torture. Choshu tried his best to take this seriously, but as Singh may not even understand wrestling, he was mostly forced to just play along with the aimless brawling. Singh began by attacking the timekeeper for interrupting his endless traipsing about by ringing the bell, and busted Choshu open almost immediately. Singh bled heavily as well, so between the novelty of a double juice brawl and the audience’s frustration with Singh beating up wimpy officials and using weapons on their beloved Choshu, they took their anger out on Singh in the manner the wrestlers hoped rather than laughing this circus crap out of the building. Choshu actually used his signature moves at the finish, not that Singh can even take a lariat decently. The crowd went nuts when Choshu put Singh in an armbar after the match. -*

NWA Heavyweight & IWGP Heavyweight Double Title Match: Tatsumi Fujinami (IWGP champ) vs. Ric Flair (NWA champ) 23:06. These two wrestled their age, and then some. Flair’s lack of subtlety was so out of place. The harder he tried to get a reaction by overdoing every mannerism, the more he was greeted with utter silence. Flair looked a lot older than Fujinami, but Fujinami was suddenly lazy, doing one rest or submission hold after another in the first half. Flair began wrestling, and it was decent, but still flat. They just seemed to lack motivation, or at least they were unable to convey any semblance of intensity, emotion or enthusiasm that would get the crowd into it. They had some good chop exchanges, but nobody cared. Fujinami busting Flair open by repeatedly ramming his head into the guard rail helped a little. The match actually seemed to be gaining a little momentum when there was a ref bump of all things, on Bill Alfonso of all referees to be officiating a Tokyo Dome main event. Fujinami pinned Flair, but Alfonso was no where to be found. Flair kicked out of a second pin in time, not that it mattered, and Fujinami wound up “accidentally” back body dropping Flair to the floor. Alfonso still missed this, but when Fujinami went for another pin a Japanese official came in and counted the fall. As it was Fujinami who scored the victory, the finish didn’t go over too poorly. Overall though, it just seemed the wrong version of each wrestler doing the wrong match for the wrong crowd. It wasn’t bad, but it was a match that was simply hard to care about, which is exactly what a Tokyo Dome main is not supposed to be. **

3/91

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Negro Casas 6:52. The Liger vs. Casas series was immensely disappointing because the sum of the parts never came close to adding up to the whole. Even though they could do each other’s style, they didn’t have the timing, chemistry, and proficiency to do it at the level of overall lesser wrestlers doing their most comfortable style. Today’s match leaned more toward Casas doing the Japanese junior style, wrestling stiffer and on a move for move or brief sequence basis. He alternated athletic holds with rudo cheapshots. I loved the general malevolence of the match, particularly the sequence where Casas dove off the top to the floor with a chair then tried a tope, but Liger avenged by stopping it with the chair. They did Lucha sequences here and there, but as they didn’t have a great feel for one another or because of the communication barrier, it was rather easy to tell what they were setting up. Though I’m cutting the match up to some extent because a few sequences and counters were surprisingly deliberate, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was one of the more offensively interesting Liger matches of the era. Liger actually didn’t have that much offense, but Casas pulled out a bunch of moves you don’t see in Japan. I always had a particular affinity for Casas’ boomerang headscissors. Though it does no particular damage, it's about as graceful a flying move as you'll see. The match could have been notable if they did even a normal length match, but for some reason they had Casas use the ropes for a cheap flash pin, which was kind of bizarre in that Casas had dominated the match up to that point, which would lead you to believe he’d either lose or at least win after Liger had a big run. ***

Tatsumi Fujinami & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Super Strong Machine & Hiro Saito 12:12. Koshinaka kept everyone moving, resulting in the most motivated Blond Outlaws performance so far in 1991. The intensity was there, so even though there was very little offense of interest before the finishing sequence, there was something to all the punching and stomping that made you feel as though they meant it. It wasn’t complex or pretty, but it was effective enough. **1/2


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