Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Official Indy DVD Help Thread
Black Tiger v Wild Pegasus (New Japan Best of the Super Juniors Tournament, 6/11/96)
Holy... motherfucking... shit! This is legit one of the best matches I've ever seen. I had previously only seen the 9 minute clipped version, but upon watching the full 22 minute version, I've came to the conclusion that this is both men's career match (bare in mind that I'm not terribly high on Benoit/Angle from the 2003 Royal Rumble).
Not quite sure how I'd sum this up without verbally gushing over it, but I'll start off by saying that absolutely everything they did was executed flawlessly. Very rarely do I watch a match and think "damn, that's some flawless execution", because it's generally impossible for any two guys to pull off, and expecting that from any wrestler would be absurd. But as this went on, I kept thinking "man, the shit these guys are doing is fucking insanely crisp", and they never let up. Not once.
Aside from that, the story is simple enough, but different enough that it stands out waaaay more than a match built around a headlock probably should in the New Japan junior division circa 1996 (mainly because the NJPW juniors were busting out matches filled with such high-end offense and, y'know, a match based heavily around a "resthold" not in the early 80s isn't something one tends to expect from a juniors match). Benoit just rocks it like a FIEND, constantly going back to it every time Eddie so much as stands up, basically because Eddie's a tricky sumbitch and he will fuck you up if you give him a chance. I love how Benoit gets tired of the headlock for a minute and just annihilates Eddie with a powerbomb, before going right back to the headlock. The crowd pick up on it half way through, and they start to get way behind Eddie, just willing him to make the ropes every time Benoit slaps it on. It's also the best use of a headlock as a heat grabbing hold I've ever seen, and the crowd start to hate him for it. Not in a smarky, workrate based Indy promotion way, like "Oh for God's sake, headlocks are RESTHOLDZ~. More MOVEZ!", but in a "God damn, this guy is literally squeezing Tiger's head to mush. We want Eddie to win, but he's not gonna be able to if he can't get up -- let's boo that Benoit prick!", which is exactly the way it should be, dammit!
Finishing stretch is as epic as you'd expect given the build over the last 15 minutes, and Eddie is just fantastic at selling the damage from the headlock by stopping to shake the cobwebs, staggering at points so to get the "Dude just crushed my skull for 10 minutes, the blood ain't flowin' quite right yet" point across, and just generally being a freaking king as usual. The nearfall off of the tombstone was awesome since half the people probably believed that a tombstone + vice-like headlock = death, and Benoit's attempted murder death kill second rope tombstone (the move he destroyed Eddie with at the previous year's tourney) had the crowd batshit crazy. Of course, Eddie doesn't forget and manages to escape and hit a super hurricanrana off the top before straight murdering Benoit with a nasty as Hell top rope brainbuster, and Eddie's on his way to the final to face that Liger guy.
Soooo much awesomeness. Much thanks to GP Punk for hooking me up with the full version of this too, btw. And no, that rating isn't a typo.