Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Hashimoto v Choshu!

Shinya Hashimoto v Riki Choshu (New Japan, 8/10/91)

Man, I don't know if it's just the grainy handheld footage, but this might be the most badass Hashimoto has ever looked. The goatee, the headband, the fur shoulder cloak; he looked every bit the shogun of yore. This was a story of pride and how even possessing mountains of it can't fend off the ravages of time. Choshu comes out the blocks flying with a lariat, then follows up with a dropkick like he knows he needs to put this to bed early. Except he's not the big dog anymore while the other guy is pretty close to being just that. Choshu winds up for the second lariat...and Hash cuts him off and never looks back. Hash just kicks Choshu half to death for the next few minutes and Choshu's selling was so great. He sold the shoulder, the arm, the ribs, everywhere he took a kick, but he refused to stay down. He didn't know how to and kept coming, with greater and greater degrees of difficulty, intransigent till the end. The spot where Hash fucking decapitates him with a roundhouse about had me off my seat. And I loved someone throwing in the towel only for Choshu to throw it right back, determined to stand up and face his demise head on. He knew what was coming, but he'd take the warrior's death. This was the kind of match both these guys were the very best at and I'd absolutely throw it in the pile as 'best sub-ten minute match ever' candidate.

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