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

NJPW World Pro Wrestling Immortal Fighting Spirit Tradition #145 3/9/06
taped 5/28/90 & 6/12/90

5/28/90 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan

IWGP Tag Title Match: Keiji Muto & Masa Chono vs. Hiroshi Hase & Shiro Koshinaka 21:01. A nice combination of Chono and Hase's old school technical style with Muto & Koshinaka's fast paced junior match, getting excellent contributions across the board. The match built slowly, with Chono & Hase being the driving forces in the scientific early stages. The scientific wrestling was very well executed, but generally meandered as it lacked story or focus to either give it meaning or make us believe in the moves as finishers. The match would pick up when Muto & Koshinaka came in, but they saved most of the spots for the later portion. In stages, they picked up the pace and incorporated more spots until they were generally sprinting in the final minutes, apart from an attempt at a legit submission finisher such as Chono's STF. The fans were into it all the way, not showing any particular allegiance, but rather supporting whoever was losing or exciting them at that particular moment. ***3/4

Shinya Hashimoto vs. Riki Choshu 13:34. Although a bit on the short side, this is my favorite of the Hashimoto/Choshu matches I've seen. Their matches are always brutal fights, wars really, so the offense is more or less the same, but I like how they structured this one, and it resulted in awesome reactions to every notable event. Though Choshu is the legend and previous IWGP Heavyweight Champion whereas Hashimoto is more than 3 years away from his first title run, Hashimoto did defeat Choshu at the Tokyo Dome on 4/24/89, and they use that and his generally overwhelming toughness to play the match as though he's the favorite and Choshu is the underdog. Choshu was fine when he could tie Hashimoto up, though that doesn't provide any offense of interest, but lost every toe to toe battle because his headbutts were no match for Hashimoto's kicks and chops. He basically had to concede this fact, and figure out a surprise attack in order to go on a run. Choshu finally scored, catching a charging Hashimoto by laying him out with a wicked elbow. The good news for Choshu is he was able to bully Hashimoto once he seized an advantage. However, once Hashimoto countered with a DDT, he effortlessly resumed devouring Choshu. Choshu again had to pull something out of the hat, countering a charging Hashimoto, this time with his Riki lariat. Choshu totally unloaded on Hashimoto, using multiple Riki lariats, the diving kneedrop, sasorigatame, all his mainstays and anything he can think up. Hashimoto again had trouble regaining the momentum once Choshu was rolling, but could take everything Choshu can throw at him, and was simply too brutal and powerful for Choshu to handle. The result was another upset that went a long way toward solidifying Hashimoto's upper card status because at no time did the match ever feel like an upset, it instead felt like an inevitability, and that's really to Choshu's credit, as unlike the fluke during the IWGP Heavyweight Title Tournament, he put Hashimoto all the way over in this one. ***3/4

6/12/90 Fukuoka Sports Center: Keiji Muto vs. Masahiro Chono 26:26. A Chono style technical match of the slowest and dullest variety, the match quite simply dragged and was ultimately about as soporific as Muto vs. white Chono can get. Supposedly built around parity, it often seemed to have the motto "I can do nothing just as well as you." It was several steps down from what Chono was doing with Hase on 5/28/90, which is surprising even given how much better than Hase is on the mat than Muto. Thought Muto can be counted on to work a knee, the sort of continuity that was missing in the 5/28/90 tag, he is also at least as willing as Chono to lay around and do next to nothing, whereas Hase has a much better sense of when to move on to a different hold or leave the mat entirely. Chono eventually took Muto's knee, primarily with figure 4's, but most of this was getting little to no reaction as the activity level was generally very low. When they finally stood up, they did stereo dropkicks but Muto's elbow defeated Chono's jumping elbow and he put him away with the moonsault. **


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