Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #98 The Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada and Masato Yakushiji vs bWo Japan (Take Michinoku, Terry Boy & Dick Togo) (ECW Barely Legal 1997)

(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31538707/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=barely_legal )

Along with WCW, ECW is another wrestling promotion with which I am not terribly familiar. WWE’s DVD ‘The Rise and Fall of ECW’ is a personal favourite of mine, but a two hour documentary can only tell you so much. I’ve probably seen more ECW matches than WCW matches, but even so, my knowledge of ECW is limited. However, this is not a typical ECW match. No chairs, no tables, no blood, no ‘ultra violence,’ just two teams beating the stuffing out of each other.

Your typical Japanese wrestling match makes most WWE matches look tame. Forget how Japanese wrestlers are usually presented in the WWE. Be prepared for stiff forearms and kicks, wince-inducing suplexes, necks that suffer unimaginable amounts of punishment…This six-man tag team match brought an authentic Japanese match to US soil, and the imported Japanese wrestlers were eager to bring what seemed like an unwilling crowd into the action. Multiple dives outside occur within the first five minutes. Triple team moves are witnessed here that I have never seen before. The bWo aren’t a collection of three wrestlers that fight alongside each other without literally fighting together. Forget The Shield; this was true six man tag team action

.

ecw_barely_legal_six_man
98 The Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada & Masato Yakushiji vs. bWo Japan

It is a highly entertaining encounter, let down only by the fact that is turns into a series of spots, not really connected by anything. For example, one wrestler takes an atomic drop from the top rope, but flips up less than a minute later. The wrestlers are so eager to please the crowd that they work overtime, putting their bodies at risk by throwing themselves outside, taking dangerous moves (the finishing move combination is vicious), and pretty much doing anything to get a reaction. What they forget is to tell a story in the ring. But, as an example of Japanese wrestling, it is perfect to draw people into puroresu.

VERDICT: 8/10 Very much deserving of being in the 100 Best Matches…List, to give a flavour of Japanese wrestling.

Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches To See Before You Die? Leave your comments below!

Click here for #99 Goldberg (c) vs DDP (WCW Championship Match, WCW Halloween Havoc 1998)

Click here to view my list of reviews of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die

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4 thoughts on “Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #98 The Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada and Masato Yakushiji vs bWo Japan (Take Michinoku, Terry Boy & Dick Togo) (ECW Barely Legal 1997)

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