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Heads up Battle 1990 Onita/Goto v. Kurisu/Nagasaki V. Saito v. Kandori


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The joshi match immediately piqued my interest. I've been a Kandori advocate for a while now, but I don't think I've ever seen a Saito match before. And I didn't know that she had died until a few weeks ago.

Anyway, this match is presented as a straightforward styles clash. Kandori controls the mat while Saito has the advantage in the standup and striking portions. It feels like one of those early UFC events before everyone started cross-training or Ryu vs. Zangief in Street Fighter. There's a double pinfall a little more than 15 minutes in which leads to a restart, and they kind of lose me from that point as it becomes a bit nearfall-heavy for my tastes. But the finish redeems it, as Kandori comes dangerously close to inventing the Tiger Driver 91 a year early.

To be honest, it feels like the germ of an all-time great match that isn't quite fully realized. Still worth checking out, though.

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