Tatsumi Fujinami (c) VS Big Van Vader - NJPW IWGP Heavyweight Championship 6/26/1988
CJD: I have a Vader/Fujinami match I want to play for your from the '90s when we can hang out again in person someday, but this will do nicely to set the table until then. This match requires a bit of an intro itself, as it's a rematch from a month prior where Fujinami won the vacant IWGP title. Vader ran roughshod and got disqualified for slamming the ref. Fujinami is going into his first defense with something to prove after winning the championship in a less than definitive manner. This has that classic Vader VS athletic, fiery, whitemeat, not too big not too small but juuust right babyface vibe that works so well. You gave me so many great options to pick from with your last match that it was hard to decide which direction to go in. This might not be the most dynamic response but I was thoroughly satisfied watching it. Curious to hear your thoughts.
JJZ: Why in the holy hell haven't you shown this to me back on one of those nights we stay up way too late watching wrestling?! This was fantastic. Right off the bat I must say that I know Vader has a bad rap for being stiffer than a teenage boy on prom night, but damn he bumped his ass off these last two matches. That crossbody that took both guys over the top was crazy. I think this match was worked in a way that made both wrestlers look better afterwards. Vader was such a monster while Fujinami kept the pass and worked to his strengths, selling for Vader so his offense looks even more devastating. Great pick.