NJPW: Kensuke Sasaki vs. Shinya Hashimoto (January 4, 1995)

I want to try to review all the Wrestle Kingdom main events while they’re free on New Japan World.

Sasaki looking to reboot the New Breed with that hair.

This is a slow one. It’s a little tense at the beginning, especially when Sasaki staggers Hashimoto but the ref keeps him from following him into the corner, and Hashimoto uses that to come back with his trademark kicks. Similarly, The ref breaks Hashimoto away from Sasaki in the corner, and Sasaki takes advantage with a lariat. From there, it’s a lot of kicking and going for leg locks and sleepers. I kind of zoned out and missed which strike causes Hashimoto to bleed from the mouth.

The crowd comes alive when Sasaki puts on the Strangle Hold Gamma deep into the match. Then Hashimoto plants him on his shoulder with the most dangerous-looking side belly-to-belly I’ve seen in some time. Sasaki pays him back later by dropping him on his head with a sloppy arm drag. But after that, Hashimoto hits him with a few moves and eventually gets the pin with a fisherman’s buster.

Winner – Shinya Hashimoto

Rating – OK

This one was kind of a slog. The finish was like, do a move, lie there, do a move, lie there, do a move, win. A lot of the stuff before was in the same vein. I know both guys are considered legends, but I don’t think I’d be interested in seeing this again.

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