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Yuji Nagata vs Kazunari Murakami (NJPW 1/4/2006)

yuji nagata kazunari murakami NJPW 2006

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 06:47 PM

This would've been a great match if Nagata was as good as Murakami. The opening was sketchy as that was where Nagata had his shine, and it had him do weird slap-claps on Murakami's back, bad looking worked spots and just generally offence that would look bad for a house show tag, let alone a big Dome match, and his timing in general seemed off. Then we get to the meat of the match, which is Murakami's beatdown, and it rules every bit as much as you'd hope, he beats the hell out of Nagata with all sorts of awesome punching and kicking variations, awesome throws and so on. May not be the best one he's ever done, but still totally badass. Then it's time for Nagata's revenge and he amps up the violence, laying in some nice kicks, but it's clear his ideas on how to project violence without actually hitting someone aren't nearly as good as Murakami's, he can throw a good kick, and he can even throw a good knee once in a while, but when he's forced to rely on them too much he wasn't able to maintain that level of believability for long,  when he was on the outside throwing knees that Murakami bladed for they looked quite good, but by the time he went for them again in the ring they'd already started looking head scratching. His headbutts were just disappointing, the idea of him throwing headbutts so the blood spills from Murakami's forehead to his was cool, but the actual headbutts weren't very good looking, someone like Akiyama can make headbutting his own hand look way more violent than Nagata does actually connecting with the move (maybe that's the problem-if you connect you need to go all the way ala Ikeda/Ono while working allows more room for misdirecting the viewer). I did like the finish a lot-Murakami continuing to get up despite beating to a pulp was something resembling a movie more than a wrestling match, maybe it's just that his facial expressions are so big and memorable that one can't help think he'd make a great villain, it was quite well done, Murakami's last flurry of throwing desperation shots looked exactly like he was gassed/spent, and when he went for a throw Nagata easily countered it with a Backdrop. I also enjoyed how the crowd bit on the penalty kick as a nearfall because they'd teased it in the beginning and they were conditioned to matches ending at any time because of Inoki's insanity, and the post-match brawl was lovely, I almost expected them to shake hands or show some kind of respect when they kneeled in front of each other but instead they just slapped the taste out of each other's mouths and it turned into a gang war. Not on the level of their 2002 classic but still very much worth watching. ***3/4

#2 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 01:42 AM

I will try to check this out soon. I loved their 2002 match so, so much! Didn't know they had rematches.

#3 superkix

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 08:12 AM

This didn't quite hit the same highs as their 2002 match, but it was still fun for the most part, especially in the back half. It's kind of a mess to start as they scramble around until Nagata's able to fire off an Exploder after dodging a penalty kick. Nagata's kicks and knees look good, and he's able to bust Murakami's mouth with a knee on the outside...but on the flip, some of his strikes look weak as hell. Of course, it wouldn't be a Murakami match without blood and the image of it dripping out of his mouth is rather frightening. Nagata unloads on him in the final few minutes, hitting a brainbuster and a head kick. Murakami's gassed at this point, desperately swinging for the fences and missing, which allows Nagata to hit a nasty backdrop, followed by the backdrop hold for the pinfall.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: yuji nagata, kazunari murakami, NJPW, 2006

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