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Yuji Nagata vs Kazunari Murakami (NJPW Triathlon Survivor 12/12/02)

NJPW Osaka December 12 BOJ 2000s Yuji Nagata Kazunari Murakami

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#1 Loss

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:22 PM

Talk about it here.


#2 Graham Crackers

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 05:51 PM

This is a fun match that does a decent job of combining Inoki-ism and sports entertainment schtick. Murakami mugging, blood, and a big atmosphere help this.

#3 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:40 AM

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Yuji Nagata vs Kazunari Murakami - NJPW 12/12/02


This, my friends, is why you watch all the matches. On paper this looks innocuous with boring Nagata against the wild card Murakami, but they produce an absolutely crazy, hate-filled brawl. Have this right neck and neck with Takayama/Ogawa for 2002 MOTY and with the 2007 Togi Makabe as Yuji Nagata's best match of his career. The best match to compare this to is Kawada/Naoya Ogawa, but Murakami brings an even crazier energy to this match. Murkami just has that face that looks like he is a total mean asshole. He wrestles like an out of control shoot fighter. I have only seen three of his matches, but much like Naoya Ogawa he just has this undeniable presence. Right from the get go he makes Nagata wrestle a totally different style match. Murakami brullrushes him and just starts stepping and stomping on him like a maniac. Nagata to his credit never looked out of place and really did well with a sprint shoot-style beginning. The matches goes from interesting to great once Murakami won't let go of a cross armbreaker when Nagata is in the ropes. Nagata powders, but is pummeled outside by Murakami's entourage and is left battered and bloodied trying to respond to ref's count. Murakami is perfect mixture of cocky and mean that is so instantly unlikeable. Murakami focuses on the arm applying a cross armbreaker and crippler's crossface with the blood really oozing. Murakami licks Nagata's blood off his forearm. I think to forgot to say he is BATSHIT INSANE~! Nagata kicks Murakami's lariat arm and knees to the head and the crowd is rocking. I liked Nagata going for the "arm for an arm" route it i just he sat in the armbar a bit too long to call this a match of the decade contender. Nagat gets distracted by Murakami sleezy manager and Murakami gets a rear naked choke, which was a great last gasp for Murakami. Nagata turn Murakami's STO into a crazy suplex and then rains down knees. He does not hit one, not two, but three wrist clutch exploders!!!

Crazy hot start, badass hook, Murakami excellent heel heat, Nagata's comeback, last Murakami gasp and then a finish run that showcased Nagata did not just want to win a match he wanted to punish and destroy Murakami. No lazy strike exchanges, no nearfalls, just hot, non-stop action. Everybody needs to watch this! ****1/2 

#4 tim

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 05:24 PM

Cool to see someone else loving this match.  I'd never heard of it before and this is one that really jumped out at me when I did my bulk watch for this.  Hell of a spectacle, Murakami was just out of control.

#5 dawho5

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 11:24 AM

This is good, but I didn't find it mind-blowing.  Murakami tries his damnedest to get Nagata out of his comfort zone, but Nagata's offense is cookie cutter Nagata.  I'm not saying it's no good at all, because Murakami really delivers here.  But Nagata could have done a little more than what he did leading up to the finish.  Definitely right up there with the best Nagata matches I've seen.  Still not up to the Taue match or the Tanahashi match from 07 for me.

#6 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 05:31 PM

If we were giving an award for Overachieving Match of the Decade, this has to be lock to win. Total exceeds the expectations from the names on the paper.


Honestly thought I had overrated this, but nope totally held up on second watch. This is exactly what I love about pro wrestling in about 15 beautifully violent minutes. Murakami turns in the best second heel performance of the year just being most unlikeable douchebag ever in a wrestling ring. The clapping and goading at the beginning after he literally stepped on Nagata was just incredibly annoying to me in a good way. I want to see this prick dropped on his head. Yes, he sits in the armbar a little long, but fuck I loved that head drop out one of Murakami's attempted rips. Just classic babyface champion versus heel asshole brawling with a bit of shoot-style flavor to it. Should be in the teens somewhere. ****3/4

#7 superkix

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 06:45 PM

One of the more interesting aspects of any Murakami match is watching how his opponents manage his rabid dog-style in the ring, and for the most part, the strategy is predictable: let the dog tire himself out and then sink in a submission hold. Nagata uses the same approach here, absorbing Murakami's wild swings and stomps before taking control of the situation with a suplex and finding some leverage on the ground. Blood is also a common theme in most Murakami's matches and we get it here, complete with Murakami licking it off his forearm. I thought Nagata's knees looked good and the stuff with the arm, breaking it down in between holds with the armbreakers and stripping off the elbow pad to stomp at it. I was kind of hoping this would end via submission but instead, Nagata uses three wrist-clutch Exploders. It does the trick. This was pretty great. 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NJPW, Osaka, December 12, BOJ 2000s, Yuji Nagata, Kazunari Murakami

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