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We chose as our first champ

El Hijo Del Santo/Negro Casas v. Scorpio Jr./Bestia Salvaje CMLL 3/19/99

SC Review

 

Nominate some contenders, discuss the match ect. below

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The only thing I would argue that would be better than that would be Ikeda/Ishikawa

99 had the Hardyz/Serial Thrillaz and the Hardyz/Edge and Christian Ladder Match - but the match you picked is better.

Oh - Honma/Yamakawa vs. Winger and Shadow WX was also 99

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Dammit - I am an idiot.

LCO vs. KAORU/Yamada was from 1999 too and that is one of my all time favorite matches so I might lean for that over your pick AND Ikeda/Ishikawa

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MIsawa/Kobashi may be the boring Meltzer-approved choice, but I'm hard-pressed to think of a match from that year that's unequivocally better. The finishing run is a bit excessive, but other than that, it's pretty close to perfect.

I also have a soft spot for Ikeda/Otsuka. I'm not sure how great it is from a technical standpoint, but it's the kind of match that leaves an impression because there's nothing else quite like it.

 

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Kiyoshi Tamura vs Yoshihisa Yamamoto-RINGS 24.6.1999. is the one.

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I need to re-watch the Burning tags, but these were the first two I thought of. Vader was the hero AJ needed in the late 90s as the big 4 could still go, but the big matches had become too big for their own good. A guy that was limited to sub-20 minute matches and could make the most dominant guys in Japan believable underdogs again was a perfect way to freshen things up.

In the Kobashi match, Vader is definitely the king hoss, but Kobashi is big enough that he's not gonna be completely outclassed. The result is a fun mix of slugfests and stretches of Kobashi having to work more craftily and with lots of fighting spirit. It also has the nice bonus of teasing that Inoki-killing high-angle German at the start and letting that tension of Vader being able to wrap it up any moment hang over the match until they pay it off at the end. The exhaustion finishing spot is pretty great too.

The Misawa match takes a different approach. Here, after a 2 minute standoff, Vader hits 3 nasty head drops in a row that immediately instills a sense of urgency in the match. Misawa is pretty much fighting for his life the whole way, and the match is basically your usual AJ finishing stretch starting at the 2 minute mark. It's just 10 minutes of bombs and the match feels like it could end at almost any point. Such a refreshing contrast to bloated 30+ minute affairs with pointless mat work and limb work that you know isn't going anywhere.

 

 

 

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