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Shinya Hashimoto vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara (NJPW 06/01/94)

NJPW June 1 1994 Sendai Shinya Hashimoto Yoshiaki Fujiwara

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#1 Loss

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:38 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Phil Schneider

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 08:32 PM

Despite being the first ever New Japan trainee, this was Fujiwara’s only IWGP title match. This is a match up of two of my favorite wrestlers of all time, I saw Hashimoto maul Dylan Knight live in a tiny gym in Pennsylvania and caught his bandana when it was thrown to the crowd. I still have the bandana hanging in the hall of my apartment. I could see a lot of Puro nerds not caring for this match. This isn’t smooth and dramatic like a classic All Japan match from the 1990’s, this was rough and awkward. Both guys would try attacks, which would get countered and then there would be pauses and restarts in action. It was very weirdly paced, in a way I really liked and could see other people hating. Fujiwara really dominates the opening, working on Hashimoto’s shoulder and attempting to really lock in the Fujiwara armbar. The first pause and shift in momentum comes, when Hash bulls Fujiwara into the corner and wraps his bad knee in the ropes. Hash then points to his shoulder in a real “eye for an eye” kind of way. Nothing was hit really cleanly here, Fujiwara kept trying to catch all of Hash’s kicks. Some he would succeed in blunting, but a lot would go through. The more that landed the less he was able to block, in a way that you could tell he was being worn down. All the blocking and awkwardness was the really the opposite of the big strike exchanges most main event Puro matches have. Everything was a struggle. There is a long fight for the first DDT, with Fujiwara trying a bunch of counter attempts, and Hash laying in the knees. When it finally hits Fujiwara takes an almost Kobashish bump on it . Hash pins him off a second DDT which really was sold the way a tough boxer sells a meaningless second knockdown. The first KO was really enough to win the match, but his heart won’t let him go down. Still there was no fight left in him. I loved this match, it really felt more shootstyle then Hash’s match against Takada. This didn’t have the drama of that match, but it had the rough edges and awkwardness, which really made it look like a fight.

#3 Frankensteiner

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:25 AM

So what's the deal here? I haven't seen any of the lead-up to this but is Hash have an injured shoulder going into the match and that's why he responds by going after Fujiwara's injured knee? Or is Hash just a dick by going after Fujiwara's injured knee unprompted?

#4 Loss

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 06:23 PM

"Rough around the edges" is the best way to describe this. I don't think I loved it quite as much as Phil just because I didn't care for all the restarts in the match at all. I'm in general not a big fan of that. But I do thing the exchanges were good, and the details were done really well. I like how Fujiwara is still selling Hashimoto's onslaught even as he applies the cross armbreaker. The finish seemed botched. I had to rewind it a few times to realize it wasn't. I'll come back to this at some point. I had trouble getting into it.

#5 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:18 PM

This match was so great. Really cements Fujiwara as the best worker in Japan from 1990-94.

#6 Ditch

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:25 PM

"Rough around the edges" is the best way to describe this. I don't think I loved it quite as much as Phil just because I didn't care for all the restarts in the match at all. I'm in general not a big fan of that. But I do thing the exchanges were good, and the details were done really well. I like how Fujiwara is still selling Hashimoto's onslaught even as he applies the cross armbreaker. The finish seemed botched. I had to rewind it a few times to realize it wasn't. I'll come back to this at some point. I had trouble getting into it.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who felt this way. I've seen it several times, and even though I'm now a big fan of both of them it just doesn't grab me at all.

#7 Loss

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 05:01 AM

I'm still waiting on that great Fujiwara performance that makes me get it. I don't want to give up on him, but it just hasn't happened yet.

#8 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:25 AM

I don't think it's going to happen. The closest Fujiwara got to the type of wrestling you seem to like was his 80s New Japan run. Have you seen the match he had with Choshu in '87? I didn't like it because I have funny ideas about Japanese pro-wrestling but everybody else did.

#9 Loss

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:27 AM

I don't think it's going to happen. The closest Fujiwara got to the type of wrestling you seem to like was his 80s New Japan run. Have you seen the match he had with Choshu in '87? I didn't like it because I have funny ideas about Japanese pro-wrestling but everybody else did.


I saw it a while back and loved it, but I don't really remember much about it. I look forward to watching it again. It's not really a style thing, as I like plenty of mat guys. In the 90s, though, everything that people say about Dory Funk Jr. seems like it could also apply to Fujiwara. I hate saying that, because people who like Fujiwara are usually guys that recommend things I like. He's a blind spot for me for whatever reason.

#10 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:31 AM

Can't really see the Dory Funk comparison as Fujiwara has Terry Funk charisma in my eyes, but perhaps 1990 will be the make or break set.

#11 Loss

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:33 AM

Can't really see the Dory Funk comparison as Fujiwara has Terry Funk charisma in my eyes, but perhaps 1990 will be the make or break set.


That's what I'm hoping. He'll be well represented.

I did really like the PWFG match from Florida in '92 and the one with Taka in '95, but both seemed like outliers.

#12 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:49 AM

Weren't those closer to pro-style matches?

#13 Loss

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 06:58 AM

They probably were, but I don't really know where the dividing line is. It's all worked, it's all pro wrestling, so it's hard for me to make that distinction.

#14 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 07:11 AM

One has half an hour of defensive matwork and the other has pro-wrestling spots, I guess. I noticed Fujiwara/Fuke was in your top 50 for 1992. 1990 has matches more along those lines rather than something like Fujiwara/Malenko.

#15 Childs

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:39 AM

I love 90s Fujiwara, but if I were introducing him to a skeptic, I'd start with the 80s stuff. Not just the New Japan but the brilliant UWF stuff against Sayama, Yamazaki and Maeda. I've never seen anyone better at building great matches around somewhat limited strikers. You will get a taste of that in 1990.

#16 MJH

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:55 AM

I'm much less into Fujiwara than a lot of people - I recall not liking this much at all a few years ago, nor am I too keen on the Choshu match - but, yes, I loved those Sayama matches in particular.

#17 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:20 PM

Alright to me. Not every match needs to be completely smooth in execution. Fujiwara isn't one of my favorites but I also haven't seen enough of him to really get him. He does good stuff like showing the difficulty in putting the arm bar on Hash. Seemed like he kicked out before the three count but I guess the referee it saying his shoulders were still down which is hard to tell from the camera angle view.

#18 Exposer

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:07 PM

This is an interesting match. I liked what I saw but that was it. It was a shootstyle fight and I enjoyed the struggles for holds and the effort put in every move. I love details like that. I found it to be too short and the finish seemed abrupt and possibly botched. It was good but nothing that I thought blew me away.

#19 soup23

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:25 AM

Yeah I am airing on the ok/good match side of this. The struggling of the holds was nice but it was so contested on every single hold that it was kind of tough to get into. Finish seemed really abrupt on first watch. This may be something I have to revisit at the end of the year one I know what to go in expecting.

#20 PeteF3

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 11:01 AM

I'm closer to Loss on Fujiwara than the general PWO/DVDVR consensus, and the idea of a shootstyle match with a ton of resets sounds like my own private wrestling hell. But I liked this quite a bit. It didn't quite reach that NJPW/WAR, Lawler/Snowman "out of control for real" level of intensity, but this was a pretty vicious fight. I thought the finish was blown and even Hash's reaction seemed to be one of surprise, but maybe that was just part of the booking. Not one of the blowaway Fujiwara performances but a good one, and a very interesting side note to his career. Hash ends up going over pretty strong, which he needed after the IWGP title turnaround with Fujinami that I still don't understand the purpose of.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NJPW, June 1, 1994, Sendai, Shinya Hashimoto, Yoshiaki Fujiwara

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