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

NJPW Tadakai No Wonderland ~Chosenshi Gekiko Hen~ #535 7/20/99
taped 8/12/92 Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan

Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Pegasus Kid 14:29. Two of the best wrestlers on the planet, at the very top of their game, delivering a classic despite the relative brevity. Pegasus was actually better than Liger here, though both were outstanding. This was Benoit at his peak, wrestling with the stiffness associated with his later career but without sacrificing his move set in the process. There was no real weardown, as he mixed good moves in with his brutality from the outset. Liger sold during the early stages, so his offense was mostly hot moves in the second half. The last 6 minutes provided some of the best work they've ever done together, and the fans were totally into it. The finish was great with Liger trying to set up a nadare shiki move, but getting powerbombed off the top rope! Definitely superior to their '93 G1 match, but what keeps it from being their best match is they didn't get much going in the first 8 minutes. It's longer than their 11/1/90 match, but the extra time wasn't really utilized for development, so their brevity of the earlier encounter is actually a slight advantage due to putting them into high gear almost from the get go. While there were many great moves here, the overall quality of the work wasn't quite as good as 11/1/90 or even 8/19/90, as this was more a heavyweight set up the killer move match than their earlier more strictly Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid ones which relied more upon quick sequences, counters, and transitions. ****1/2

Tatsumi Fujinami & Osamu Kido vs. Riki Choshu & Takayuki Iizuka 11:13. A pleasant surprise because all the veterans showed up. Iizuka was still the standout, but Kido was working on a higher level than expected and Fujinami & Choshu were very smart, particularly when it came to understanding how to pop the crowd. Short, but the sort of good heated action motivated Choshu can provide. ***

Keiji Muto & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner 15:32. This is the kind of match that shows what a great talent Muto was, and thus how far he went downhill by the end of the decade. In the early 90's, he'd make a match like this on his own when he didn't have to, while in the later 90's he'd come closer to sabotaging it for no reason beyond being too lazy to put in the effort. I never realized just how weak a seller Scott was, probably because who can remember him actually trying? He would overact that he was taking a blow before it even hit him, and he managed to screw up his opponent's backdrop, of all things. It turned into a good match with Steiners doing what they do well, providing hot, suplex-laden offense. Muto made the match, bumping for Scott even though he was the big star of the match (unless you asked Scott). The match certainly had its flaws, but there was enough exciting and high quality work down the stretch to make up for it. ***1/4

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