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

NJPW World Pro Wrestling Immortal Fighting Spirit Tradition #166 9/12/06
taped 3/21/91 & 3/91

3/91

Riki Choshu & Masahiro Chono & Keiji Muto vs. Scott Norton & Wild Samoan & Great Kokina. Overachieving match. Chono & Muto came to work, and there was a lot of heat on Norton (especially vs. Muto) and Kokina. They did the smart match, with Muto & Chono using their speed to try to counteract Norton & Kokina’s power, but the sheer mass of the gaijins stifled them even on some of the most basic maneuvers such as the snapmare. Muto dove out of the way of Norton’s football tackle, and busted him open on the floor. Norton had something to prove here, and was at his most entertaining. Choshu was a non-factor, but Norton pinning him in his powerslam was huge for the world’s slowest Flash. Norton then attacked Muto on the floor twice to further promote their singles match. Samoan is the best worker on his team, but also played only a minor role. The match was short, but that’s a good thing because, knowing that, Norton & Kokina were able to “sprint”. **1/2

Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Masa Saito & Kuniaki Kobayashi 13:21. Hase is wrestling at a level or more above the opposition in each and every match this year. Kobayashi was good here, slick and precise, but for the most part it was Hase who singlehandedly made the match good. Sasaki is still trying to find himself. He’s competent, but doesn’t know what sort of wrestler he wants to be, and Hase tends to take 60-75% of the match and let him have a few brief bursts of offense, unless Sasaki is in a long time because he’s selling consistently (not the case here). The surprise of this contest for me was how much Saito was selling, very willingly playing the underdog for Hase. ***

Negro Casas vs. Pegasus Kid 11:52. A much different match than Casas had with Jushin Thunder Liger on the previous SKY-A classics, this time playing more a technico role. Not that there was much cheating from either, but Pegasus did start laying into Casas and took it to the floor after Casas suggested a congratulatory handshake. Pegasus seemed much more comfortable doing Lucha than Liger did, so the match was more proficient in that aspect, yet there was little in the way of running sequences, so the level of difficulty was rather disappointing. It was one of those matches where they delved in a lot of different areas and kept changing things up, but none of it seemed to add up and they never gained any momentum. It was all entertaining and competent, but it felt rather incomplete. It seemed as though they were searching throughout, so I was rather shocked that they went home so soon without ever really sticking to anything or particularly picking the action up. ***1/4

Osamu Kido vs. Masahiro Chono 9:51. Kido is the sort of opponent who brings out the worst in Chono, happy to do as dated a match with as few highspots as possible. I don’t mind that it was 70’s style technical wrestling with no moves, but that it felt totally uninspired. They didn’t make me believe in anything they did; it had no intensity and seemed meaningless. The wrestling was as competent as could be, but none of it seemed to be doing particular damage or leading anywhere. It didn’t seem to be done with any particular aim, or have any special importance, and then it fittingly just ended with them rolling back and forth after a sunset flip. *1/4

4/28/91 Omiya Skate Center: Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Super Strong Machine & Hiro Saito 18:45. I was disappointed enough by their 3/6/91 tag title match, but at least they made some effort there. Tonight they just phoned it in. It was the worst Hase & Sasaki match thusfar in 1991. They sold almost the entire match for opponents who were only concerned with stalling. Machine & Saito used one submission after the other, with no real attempt to make us believe in any of them. It was totally, obviously, just a ploy to sit in a Boston crab or stand in a sleeper for a minute at a time. Hase was still the best in the match, but this time he wasn’t doing much either, and didn’t find the willpower to try to save it. Everyone finally showed up for the final two minutes, but it was too little too late. I figured Blond Outlaws were going over to avenge their loss in the title match, but after a performance that cemented them in last place in my unofficial ’91 NJ tag rankings, I was more than normally excited to see Sasaki pull out his avalanche style powerslam for the win. *1/2


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