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Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Joe Malenko (PWFG Shinsei 06/01/93)

PWFG June 1 1993 Yoshiaki Fujiwara Joe Malenko Korakuen Hall 3.25*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:54 AM

Talk about it here.

#2 Graham Crackers

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:35 PM

Fujiwara stepped out of the spotlight for the majority of his time in PWFG but by the time 1993 came along he had lost a number of his students when they left to form Pancrase. Joe Malenko was already well established in the company's hierarchy at this point but in 1993 he was looking like a star attraction (at least from where I'm standing). In a lot of ways this match showcases Malenko's position in the company and allows him to demonstrate just how incredible his mat assault could be. Of course Fujiwara is no slouch and there is some incredible struggle in here but Malenko still feels like the aggressor. If you love high end mat wrestling there is a lot to love here and a lot of detail to observe.

#3 Loss

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 07:37 PM

I don't have much to add to what Graham Crackers said. I thought this match was really good, but never quite kicked in to the next gear. It felt a little more like an exhibition than a match.

#4 Phil Schneider

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:09 PM

This was so much fun, just a pair of true maestros pulling pushing and twisting each other until someone gives. This wasn't an exchange of holds, it was a constant battle by both men to find some advantage or defense. This was really a Malenko show, as he controlled with great takedowns, and constant attacking, with Fujiwara really focused on defense. Of course Fujiwara is the greatest defensive pro-wrestler of all time, so the defense stuff ruled.

#5 KB8

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:58 AM

I liked this a lot. Really felt like two guys on the mat just poking and prodding to see if there's a weakness worth exploiting. There's moments where they'll both have a hold of a wrist or ankle and start twisting to see who releases or forces the break first. Fujiwara sprawling out with his head resting on his elbow while he has Malenko in a kneebar was also great, and a Fujiwara spot I always love.

#6 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 08:03 PM

Fujiwara does the best AJPW type delayed selling after winning a match and then doing the collapsing back down to mat from exhaustion thing. Here's he got the biggest shit grin on his face and then just promptly lies down face first on the match and doesn't move.

#7 PeteF3

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:09 PM

Good takedowns by Malenko, but PWFG is really coming off as a dying promotion while UWFI and RINGS look much hotter.

#8 soup23

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 10:07 PM

This was more my speed although again the heat wasnt great. Malenko dominated this until he got caught with the armbar securing the win for Fujiwara. Tons of intricate detail and reversals. This was a treat to watch and observe intently. ***1/2

#9 garretta

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 07:53 PM

This dragged for me. I prefer my shootstyle with more strikes and scoring; this felt like watching a high school match. I appreciate the effort, but it simply wasn't my cup of tea.

#10 fxnj

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 05:49 AM

I'm surprised no one has noted the awesomeness of Fujiwara arrogantly resting with his head on his hand while going for an armbar. This is a match I've seen numerous and have never really gotten tired of as there's just so much cool shit to watch for and this is so different from anything else out there. Joe has had only a few PWFG matches at this point and this is by far his biggest opportunity yet, so he's seems eager to prove himself by pressing the action. Malenko has more of a background in pro-style matwork than in shoot-style matwork, but he does an excellent job adapting to the setting and even bringing in adaptions of pro-style moves. Watch for him to go for stuff like a hammerlock takedown, an armdrag, and a crossface. Even though he's the aggressor, it's mostly Fujiwara who ends up controlling the early action on the mat and getting his opponent in real danger. After making Malenko use up two rope breaks, Fujiwara gets a bit cocky with the aforementioned moment of arrogance and ends up having to use a rope break himself. The camera unfortunately doesn't catch exactly what Malenko did to make Fujiwara use up a rope break, but I love Fujiwara's selling of disbelief in the aftermath. Following that, the match settles into a size vs. technique dynamic with Malenko trying to use his larger frame to repeatedly takedown Fujiwara and keep him grounded while Fujiwara fights back with some slick counters. I really appreciated the constant movement and struggle from both guys throughout all of it. Thought the crowd was great with them quietly watching the match and then rewarding the guys with a loud applause whenever a break happened. Finish comes when Malenko gets a bit too cute by doing a front chancery and Fujiwara sinks in a classic flash armbar. Great look of smugness on Fujiwara immediately after the victory. One of my favorite mat-based matches overall and I think this smokes a lot of highly pimped lucha stuff like Dandy/Azteca.

#11 Jetlag

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 06:28 AM

I'm a Joe Malenko fan. Largely because he's a great grappler, and, well.. that's it. This is largely worked as two expert carny grapplers twisting eachother where they can and find out breaks first. Parts of it came across as high end pro style matwork, altough that only added to my enjoyment. There is working "stiff", as in hitting eachother hard, and there is working "stiff" as in making your body stiff to prevent movement and put restraint against the other guys attacks, and there was a ton of that here aswell as lots of low end blocking and high end countering going on. They basically start working on the ankles with a bunch of twisting and knee grinding before moving up the body to arm attacks until Malenko finally gets the grovit on Fujiwara's head in the climax of the match. Subtle bout, not much to it really, but one of my favourite fights ever.

#12 superkix

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 10:38 AM

This was great. No striking, very few throws or takedowns, but tons of excellent matwork -- in particular, the opening scramble was really good, with Joe showing off his responsiveness to Fujiwara, maintaining control of the leg even as Fujiwara is trying to roll out. The build to the Fujiwara armbar was done well, with Yoshiaki scooting down to the mat in various attempts. But in classic Fujiwara fashion, he takes a moment to boredly rest his chin on his hand while he's trying to snag an armbar. I also really liked how he used the knee on Malenko's chin to escape his control. Sure, there were lulls in the action but the attention to detail, the slick counters and reversals, and the tension built through submission attempts create a technically sweet mat-based encounter. 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: PWFG, June 1, 1993, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Joe Malenko, Korakuen Hall, 3.25*

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