Koji Kanemoto VS Gran Naniwa - NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors 5/25/1997
CJD: I know you're not feeling those epics right now. And even if this wasn't JIP, with the missing 5 or so minutes you can tell this is still very straight forward. One of my favorite personal themes for PIF is crossing matches off my bucket list, and we've got another one this week. I've known this match was a big part of the build to the BOSJ '97 finals which is an all-time classic, and Naniwa is a personal favorite so I've always wanted to watch it. I wish we had the full thing but I'll take what I can get, and what we get is a match with a lot of emotion and big fun moments. Mask ripping always makes for a good time but I don't think I've ever seen a match that incorporates it quite like this.
JJZ: Naniwa starting off early with the crab walk! Well Kanemoto was just a huge piece of shit in this tournament. I've said to you personally that I thought the 2019 BOSJ was the best tournament/league I've ever watched. But 1997 has an energy about it that feels special. Would love to watch it in its entirety. Naniwa's mask is just off. Like totally off. This is crazy and a little weird but in a good way. He plays a fantastic babyface to such a fantastic dickhead in Kanemoto. God dammit I wanted more match but what we got was sweet and to the point. Very nice baby cakes.