Jushin 'Thunder' Liger vs. Great Sasuke (Super J Cup 1994)
Jushin 'Thunder' Liger vs. Great Sasuke (Super J Cup 1994)
Been in a Liger mood lately. He's one of my favourites and this match was one of the first matches of his I checked out years ago, think one of the Sano matches was the other one, and I was instantly hooked. This match is one of his best and one of the greatest of it's kind. It's been too long since I have last seen it, so decided to dig it out. This whole event is one of the greatest of all time. With a wonderful Sasuke/El Samurai match, then the utterly fantastic finals between Sasuke/Benoit.
They square off first as the ref gets the rules going.
You can already sense this is going to be great. It's one of those matches that you only have to look at the two and you already know you want to see it.
They start off slowly, as they square up to each other and Sasuke starts moving around and circling Liger. They finally lock up and they both fight to try and gain control, both trying to lock in submissions and takedowns. Eventually, they both escape and it's back to a stand off. Liger puts on a reverse surfboard but Sasuke grabs the arm to escape and keeps Liger in an armbar. They quickly both trade mat submissions as Liger tries to hook the leg and Sasuke tries to keep at the arm. Liger puts on a sort of half surfboard as Sasuke screams in agony as Liger attempts to get him fully in the move. Which after a brief struggle, he does.
I do love a surfboard
Liger hasn't only got a normal surfboard on though, he also cranks that up even more by keeping Sasuke in the hold and hooking a dragon sleeper on top of it.
OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCH. It's fucking wonderful, though.
Liger then picks Sasuke up, whips him off the ropes and plants him with a viscous spinning backbreaker, goes for immediately the cover and gets the first two count of the match. Liger is already punishing Sasuke, as he puts him into a camel clutch to really crank the pressure up. Liger just yanks back at his neck and back and really sticks it to Sasuke. He releases the hold and just drops a big elbow, right onto the back of Sasuke. As soon as Sasuke stands back up, Liger hits him with a rolling Liger kick straight to the head.
Sasuke in real trouble already here as he's flat on his back on the mat as the ref is checking if he's still, well alive TBH. Sasuke is down for a bit here, either he is legit hurt or he's selling fantastically. Liger wastes no time in pounding him with a big right hand the second Sasuke is even half back to his feet.
Liger is starting to go into full on fucking dick heel mode, here.
Again, Sasuke is flat on the mat as the ref again checks if he's still on this planet. Sasuke is once again barely back to his damn feet and Liger just nails him with a jumping tombstone.
Does Liger go for a pin, here? No he does not, he puts Sasuke in a nasty cross face chicken wing. Liger is fucking bending Sasuke backwards here and really punishing him and not holding back as he cranks that fucker in further. He eventually releases the hold as Sasuke is left writhing in agony as his arm is torn to shreds. Liger though doesn't really give a shit, as he grabs that arm and starts working on it. He gives Sasuke TWO painful arm breakers. Liger just goes again straight for the arm and rolls Sasuke over into an armbar, and seemingly tries to RIP HIS FUCKING ARM OFF by the looks of it.
I'm surprised Sasuke's arm is still connected at this point. Liger just won't let go of that arm as he continues to punish poor Sasuke. Liger then plants both his legs over Sasuke's arm and just starts pulling at it, IT'S STILL IN IT'S SOCKET SOMEHOW. Sasuke's arm hanging off by a fucking shred here. Liger does let up...........for about one second, as he gets Sasuke up, twists him arm loose and delivers a heavy back suplex.
Sasuke is fucking dead here and Liger goes over and gives him a very sarcastic slap to the face. Jushin really is a dick, here.
He lifts Sasuke up and plants him back down with a powerslam, before climbing up to the top turnbuckle. He jumps off the ropes with a dropkick, but Sasuke somehow manages to get up, and also hits one at the exact same time.
Finally, some rest bite and relief for Sasuke.
Liger rolls out the ring as Sasuke gets on the apron, gives him a kick, and hits him with a
MASSIVE ASAI MOONSAULT
Crowd popped big for this.
After all the shit Liger has done to him so far, this may finally be the time Sssuke gets some of his own shit in.
Both on the floor in agony now, esp Sasuke, who is obviously still clutching at his arm. Sasuke gets back in the ring first, as Liger struggles to get back onto the ring apron. As he does, Sasuke goes straight over and attempts to suplex Liger back into the ring. But this is blocked and they both struggle to suplex each other. In the end, Sasuke says 'fuck this', and sends Liger's head into the ringpost. Sasuke follows this up with a
BEAUTIFUL SOMERSAULT PLANCHA
Now Liger is the one that is just flat dead on his face. Sasuke is also feeling the effects of this and starts grabbing his hip. Sasuke gets back into the ring first again, as Liger just about rolls back in himself. As he does, Sasuke starts hitting him with some big jumping knees. He sends Liger off the ropes and hits him with a spinning wheel kick. He covers Liger, but only gets a 2 count. He plants Liger back down with a piledriver for another 2 count. He picks Liger up and delivers a great 'Razors Edge' type powerbomb and gets a VERY CLOSE 2 COUNT NEARFALL.
I just love Liger's selling of this. He's flat on his face on the mat and looks to be having some sort of attack. Visually, it's something.
Sasuke is now caring even less as he plants Liger with a double leg drop right on the back of his head. He hits Liger with another piledriver and climbs up to the top turnbuckle. He misses with a Senton attempt, runs straight off the ropes, tries to hit Liger with a clothesline, who ducks and hits Sasuke with one of his own. A quite brilliant transition.
Liger goes straight for the cover but only gets a 2. He picks Sasuke up and hits with a
HUGE ASS LIGER BOMB
This gets another VERY CLOSE 2 COUNT NEARFALL. Crowd are really lapping this up.
Liger sits Sasuke on top of the turnbuckle and hits him with a Rana for a close 2 count but Sasuke immediately reverses this into a nearfall of his own. Just another wonderful transition spot.
Liger starts giving the ref some stick about his own pin count. The now pissed off Liger as he sends Sasuke across the ring with a release german suplex and goes for another cover.
1,2.....................................2.9/ Sasuke again finds the resiliency to kick out.
Liger throws Sasuke off the ropes, kicks him in the gut, and hits with a Fisherman's Buster.
1,2.......................................2.9 again!!!!!!! this gets a big pop from the crowd.
Liger then picks Sasuke up, drags him over to the ropes, and suplexes him straight onto the outside. He gets onto the top turnbuckle and follows it up with a cross body splash onto Sasuke. Liger gets back in the ring and as soon as Sasuke gets himself back on the apron, is hit with another rolling Liger kick. Liger then gives a hand signal to suggest “That is it”.
Sasuke then jumps onto the top rope........................but botches a springboard dropkick
But Liger's reaction to this is FUCKING PRICELESS
THAT IS IMPROVISATION AT IT'S BEST. Some may have just stood there and wondered 'duh, what do I do now' but he turned it into an awesome spot.
Liger starts showing off to the crowd but is suddenly hit with a Rana from Sasuke, straight into a pin.
1,2...................................3 SASUKE GETS THE WIN
Crowd go fucking NUTS.
A million to Sasuke
Think I need a lie down after this. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Liger very graciously congratulates Sasuke on a monumental effort, survival and win. There's even a bloke in the crowd, crying
As Taka Michinoku helps Sasuke down the isle.
No idea where to even start with this FUCKING MASTERPEICE OF WRESTLING. Liger was esp off the walls great. His targeting offense was perfect and he acted as a dickish heel throughout in taking Sasuke apart. Sasuke deserves so much credit too. He got the living shit beat out of him, but no matter what Liger hit him with, and he hit hi with almost everything, he kept kicking out and coming back and the crowd were right behind him.
The botch at the end was very unfortunate and was pretty much the only glitch of the match, but you know what? Liger turned that right around and into a positive with his wonderful Improvised mocking of Sasuke. I mean if it was more subtle, the botch could have been made into a deliberate act it was covered up that well by Liger and the finish was still a very satisfying one with Sasuke getting the win after all the shit he took in this match.
Sasuke came out of this looking like the epitome of an underdog and was put over so superbly by Liger and was a great way to for him to win and go onto the final. Liger just destroyed Sasuke's arm and went straight into heel mode, making sure to get Sasuke over as the biggest sympathetic babyface he could and it worked like a charm.
Seriously, I cannot recommend this match highly enough. It's as near of a perfect wrestling match as you are going to get. I don't give a shit about the botched finish TBH, as they made it work and didn't make the match any less great.
WATCH THIS SHIT NOW
Thanks for reading.