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Thread: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

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    Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Note: The start of this was me discovering a bunch of old Top 100 matches lists I had made from 1990-2005. I thought 100, while a nice round number was too big at times to the point where some years the depth simply wasn't there to where every match was truly standout. (Hard to believe these days with so much wrestling I could likely make a top 100 list through April and have every match be highly rated) I think with 50 we accomplish lists where every match is truly worth watching with so much great wrestling over the years and separates my lists from Ed's. Cutting the workload in half helps me as well admittedly. Also I rewatched some stuff and made some changes to my original lists so we aren't going totally blind or anything like that and the blurbs are all completely freshly written to flesh things out more. (In the originals it was a simple list. Hopefully everything is still online though there may be one or two that I highly rated and can't be found anymore on some of the older lists.

    1990: The year where there was a lot happening that was important in different ways. In Japan we saw the changing of the guard across multiple companies including arguably one of the most important matches of all time in the country taking place. In México things were going business as usual with behind the scenes turmoil starting to bubble up leading to a company splitting from itself in a couple of years. In the USA we were at the tail end of the boom period and dark times were on the horizon. Somewhat literally as the best storyline of the year took place in Memphis with perhaps the first (arguably only) tasteful take on a race-based angle involving Jerry "The King" Lawler and a black wrestler named The Snowman in some amazing tv drama involved from a shoot turned work turned shoot again. (Highly rec the promo battles and angles between Lawler and Snowman and how awesome Memphis was at match buildup) Meanwhile in the national NWA you had a race angle of their own with the Horsemen bullying Rocky King and Arn Anderson calling guys sticks of licorice. Then again, with WCW's long history of bad booking, even on this list it's probably best to just write it off as Ole Anderson and the future WCW being completely incompetent and stupid as usual. On top of that WWF's WrestleMania that year featured "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in half blackface against Bad News Brown. ...Let's just leave the racial tension to Memphis. In the WWF their main moment saw the Ultimate Warrior crowned the new WWF Champion over Hulk Hogan in one of the better and most memorable singular moments of the year and you better believe when Kid Zero first was watching WrestleMania 6 on VHS...actually it wasn't as memorable to me of the earlier WrestleManias as Warrior was basically gone from tv by the time I started watching so my connection wasn't great with him, but I thought it was pretty cool somebody else was able to become champion besides Hogan at the time.

    Besides all that, here's a list of my top 50 matches from the year 1990, the first in a long, likely very long series of threads going through until we get through to modern times. This will be similar to Ed's top 100 matches of the year threads, perhaps we will catch up with him before the year's over and he'll have a little competition. I plan to do these in a series of 5 matches at a time as to not only not overload me writing the blurbs or trying to get too ambitious with almost 30 years to catch up on, as well as to not overload potential discussion of these classic matches or sometimes hidden gems. Check out my trek into the 90s and beyond in the world of pro wrestling.

    Feel free to post your predictions, personal picks, recs, and so on and so forth for the next day or so while I prepare for the first batch, 50-45. Hopefully everyone gets a kick out of things, checks out some new matches and enjoys my list and personal insights.

    The 1990 List:

    Spoiler:

    50. Midnight Express vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich - NWA Halloween Havoc, October 27th

    49. Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara - UWF Fighting Area, April 16th

    48. Manami Toyota vs. Bull Nakano - AJW Kokuto Main Event, July 21st

    47. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Randy Savage - WWF/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit, April 13th

    46. Stan Hansen vs. Hulk Hogan - WWF/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit, April 13th

    45. Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana - WWF Saturday Night's Main Event, July 28th

    44. Negro Casas vs. Yoshinari Asai - Hamada's UWF Super Estrella, June 7th

    43. The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton) vs. Joe Malenko & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi - AJPW Summer Action Series II, September 1st

    42. Stan Hansen vs. "Dr. Death" Steve Williams - AJPW Super Power Series, June 5th

    41. Riki Choshu vs. Keiji Muto - NJPW Crush the Super Heavy, May 24th

    40. Roddy Piper vs. Mr. Perfect - WWF Madison Square Garden Network, December 28th

    39. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) vs. The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs) - NWA Halloween Havoc, October 27th

    38. Barry Windham & Arn Anderson vs. Doom (Butch Reed & Ron Simmons) (Street Fight) - NWA Starrcade, December 16th

    37. Kyoko Inoue & Manami Toyota vs. The Marine Wolves (Akira Hokuto & Suzuka Minami) (WWWA Tag Team Titles, 2/3 Falls Special Referee) - AJW Wrestlemarinapad, November 14th

    36. Hijo del Santo, Yoshinari Asai, & Gran Hamada vs. Negro Casas, Blue Panther, & Fuerza Guerrera (WWA Trios Tournament Final) - WWA on Fox en Español, March

    35. Masanobu Fuchi vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (AJPW Jr. Heavyweight Title) - AJPW Summer Action Series: Brody Memorial, July 12th

    34. Riki Choshu, Kuniaki Kobayashi, Kantaro Hoshino, Shiro Koshinaka, & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Tatsutoshi Goto, Hiro Saito, Super Strong Machine, Animal Horiguchi, & Masanobu Kurisu (2/3 Falls Match) - NJPW at Ryogoku Kokugikan, June 26th

    33. El Dandy vs. El Satánico (Super Libre) - EMLL Super Viernes, October 26th

    32. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) vs. The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian & The Warlord) - WWF at Madison Square Garden, January 15th

    31. Bobby Eaton vs. Ric Flair - NWA Main Event, January 7th

    30. Akira Maeda vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara - UWF With '90, February 9th

    29. Ricky Morton vs. Ric Flair - NWA Worldwide, March 24th

    28. Hiroshi Hase vs. The Great Muta - NJPW Explosion, September 14th

    27. Super Generation Army (Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada) vs. Tsuruta-gun (Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue) - AJPW Real World Tag League Final Show, December 7th

    26. Jerry Estrada vs. El Satánico (Hair vs. Hair 2/3 Falls Match) - EMLL Super Viernes, March 23rd

    25. Akira Maeda vs. Masakatsu Funaki - UWF Atlantis, October 25th

    24. Tatsuo Nakano vs. Minoru Suzuki - UWF Road, February 27th

    23. Naoki Sano vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title) - NJPW Spring Gold, January 31st

    22. Akira Maeda vs. Nobuhiko Takada - UWF Idea, June 21st

    21. Manami Toyota vs. Yumiko Hotta (Japan Grand Prix Final) - AJW Japan Grand Prix Final, June 17th

    20. Stan Hansen vs. (c) Vader (IWGP Heavyweight Title) - NJPW Super Fight in Tokyo Dome, February 10th

    19. Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras (Mask vs. Mask Best 2/3 Falls) - EMLL 57th Anniversary Show, September 21st

    18. Jungle Jack (Aja Kong & Bison Kimura) vs. Bull Nakano & Grizzly Iwamoto (No DQ) - AJW Survival Shout in Korakuen, August 19th

    17. Manami Toyota vs. Akira Hokuto - AJW Survival Shout in Korakuen, August 19th

    16. Pirata Morgan vs. El Faraon (Hair vs. Hair Best 2/3 Falls) - EMLL Super Viernes, November 16th

    15. Mitsuharu Misawa, Akira Taue, & Kenta Kobashi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, The Great Kabuki, & Masanobu Fuchi - AJPW Super Power Series, May 26th

    14. Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki vs. Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono (IWGP World Heavyweight Tag Titles) - NJPW Dream Tour, November 11th

    13. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong) vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) (NWA United States Tag Titles) - NWA Great American Bash, July 7th

    12. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) vs. The Rock n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) - NWA WrestleWar, February 25th

    11. Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs. Nobuhiko Takada - UWF Atlantis, October 25th

    10. El Satánico vs. El Dandy (Hair vs. Hair) - EMLL Juicio Final, December 14th

    9. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue, & Masanobu Fuchi - AJPW Summer Action Series II, August 18th

    8. Aja Kong, Bison Kimura, Madusa Miceli, La Diabolica del Caribe, & Xochitl Hamada vs. Manami Toyota, Mariko Yoshida, Kaoru Maeda, Mika Takahashi, & Esther Moreno (Elimination Tag Match) - Hamada's UWF Super Estrellas, November 17th

    7. Mitsuharu Misawa, Toshiaki Kawada, & Kenta Kobashi vs. Jumbo Tsuruta, Akira Taue, & Masanobu Fuchi - AJPW October Giant Series, October 19th

    6. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair (NWA World Heavyweight Title) - NWA WrestleWar, February 25th

    5. Tsuruta-gun (Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue) vs. The Super Generation Army (Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada) - AJPW October Giant Series, September 30th

    4. Aja Kong vs. Bull Nakano (Steel Cage, WWWA World Title) - AJW Wrestlemarinapad II, November 14th

    3. El Dandy vs. Ángel Azteca (2/3 Falls, NWA World Middleweight Title) - EMLL Super Viernes, June 1st

    2. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta (Triple Crown #1 Contender's Match) - AJPW Summer Action Series II, September 1st

    1. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta - AJPW Super Power Series, June 8th


    List Stats & Awards: 1990

    Spoiler:



    Number of appearances in the top 50 for each wrestler:

    Spoiler:

    Jumbo Tsuruta: 7
    Mitsuharu Misawa: 7
    Akira Taue: 5
    Manami Toyota: 5
    Toshiaki Kawada: 4
    Masanobu Fuchi: 4
    Bobby Eaton: 4
    El Dandy: 3
    Bull Nakano: 3
    Aja Kong: 3
    Ric Flair: 3
    Tsuyoshi Kikuchi: 3
    El Satánico: 3
    Yoshiaki Fujiwara: 3
    Ricky Morton: 3
    Stan Lane: 3
    Keiji Muto/Great Muta: 3
    Akira Maeda: 3
    Kenta Kobashi: 2
    Bison Kimura: 2
    Nobuhiko Takada: 2
    Hiroshi Hase: 2
    Kensuke Sasaki: 2
    Akira Hokuto: 2
    Stan Hansen: 2
    Riki Choshu: 2
    Negro Casas: 2
    Yoshinari Asai: 2
    Mr. Perfect: 2
    Angel Azteca: 1
    Lex Luger: 1
    Mariko Yoshida: 1
    Esther Moreno: 1
    Xochitl Hamada: 1
    Madusa: 1
    Kaoru Maeda: 1
    La Diabolica del Caribe: 1
    Mika Takahashi: 1
    Robert Gibson: 1
    Tracy Smothers: 1
    Steve Armstrong: 1
    Masahiro Chono: 1
    The Great Kabuki: 1
    El Faraon: 1
    Pirata Morgan: 1
    Grizzly Iwamoto: 1
    Cien Caras: 1
    Rayo de Jalisco Jr.: 1
    Vader: 1
    Yumiko Hotta: 1
    Jushin "Thunder" Liger: 1
    Naoki Sano: 1
    Minoru Suzuki: 1
    Tatsuo Nakano: 1
    Masakatsu Funaki: 1
    Jerry Estrada: 1
    Shawn Michaels: 1
    Marty Jannetty: 1
    The Barbarian: 1
    The Warlord: 1
    Kuniaki Kobayashi: 1
    Kantaro Hoshino: 1
    Shiro Koshinaka: 1
    Tatsutoshi Goto: 1
    Animal Horiguchi: 1
    Super Strong Machine: 1
    Hiro Saito: 1
    Masanobu Kurisu: 1
    Blue Panther: 1
    Hijo del Santo: 1
    Fuerza Guerrera: 1
    Gran Hamada: 1
    Kyoko Inoue: 1
    Suzuka Minami: 1
    Arn Anderson: 1
    Barry Windham: 1
    Ron Simmons: 1
    Butch Reed: 1
    Scott Steiner: 1
    Rick Steiner: 1
    Jerry Sags: 1
    Brian Knobbs: 1
    Roddy Piper: 1
    Steve Williams: 1
    Joe Malenko: 1
    Tommy Rogers: 1
    Bobby Fulton: 1
    Tito Santana: 1
    Hulk Hogan: 1
    Genichiro Tenryu: 1
    Randy Savage: 1
    Kazuo Yamazaki: 1
    Tommy Rich: 1


    Matches by Promotion:

    Spoiler:

    AJPW: 12
    NWA: 8
    NJPW: 8
    EMLL: 6
    AJW: 6
    UWF: 6
    WWF: 5
    Hamada's UWF: 2
    WWA: 1


    Matches by Month:
    Spoiler:


    January: 3
    February: 5
    March: 3
    April: 3
    May: 2
    June: 7
    July: 4
    August: 3
    September: 5
    October: 6
    November: 5
    December: 4

    Number of ***** Matches: 3


    Awards:

    Wrestler of the Year:
    1. Jumbo Tsuruta
    2. Bull Nakano
    3. Akira Maeda

    In real life, Ric Flair took home the crown from the WON voters but to me what Jumbo did not just in the ring but the way business improved and how well he elevated no fewer than 5 other people...this had to be one of the best singular years in wrestling history. I thought Maeda & Bull meant so much to their promotions that Flair, through no fault of his due to NWA being a disaster, just couldn't match. I think Lawler was a legit MVP candidate & there's always Hogan, but their work wasn't as good as The Nature Boy's in his last transcendent year but even then Flair also had to be involved in the Black Scorpion angle which makes him DQ'd in my book automatically.

    Jumbo should have won this.

    -

    Most Outstanding Wrestler:
    1. Jumbo Tsuruta
    2. El Dandy
    3. Manami Toyota

    To me this was a real strange decision as Liger won in real life and to me he lacked the volume & the peak to take this over the AJPW guys. I don't think that holds up in hindsight. Jumbo was CLEARLY the best in-ring performer of this year in my opinion, even in the ring with 5 other great wrestlers it was always Jumbo's ring. Dandy I thought had a great variety regardless of opponent, and even outside my top 50 had a lot of great Trios performances. Toyota is a controversial choice especially at this stage & over Misawa, but despite all of Misawa's great matches I never came away thinking he touched Jumbo & even in on his own teams you can argue others were able to stand out more. Toyota was a revelation in 1990 & like Dandy provided great variety on a per-match basis. Really had a tremendous year.

    Best Babyface:
    1. Mitsuharu Misawa
    2. Lex Luger
    3. Ricky Morton

    The WON gave this one to the Hulkster, & I guess if you count box office that's fair but even then his buildup with Warrior was insufferable & flopped hard. His angle on the Brother Love show setting up him & Earthquake was whack even though that led to a strong SummerSlam. I just thought Luger's babyface turn was awesome & very realistic when he saved Sting. NOBODY was a better in-ring babyface than Morton but Misawa was pushed higher & once the mask came off he electrified the crowds, being the catalyst of the entire company so it had to be him at #1 for me.

    Best Heel:
    1. Jerry Lawler
    2. Ted DiBiase
    3. Ric Flair

    Flair won this in real life which is obviously totally fair but I had go slide him below the King, who whether burying opponents comedically or touching serious topics in wrestling's best race angle in history he was sensational. Flair was awesome too but I honestly would have preferred him babyface for longer because of how effective and different it was. The Million Dollar Man this year bought a man's wife off AND beat the crap out of his son. That's a heel. He was just great.

    Feud of the Year:

    1. Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
    2. Aja Kong vs. Bull Nakano
    3. El Satánico vs. El Dandy

    The voters got it right!

    Tag Team of the Year:
    1. The Midnight Express
    2. The Rock n' Roll Express
    3. The Rockers

    The Steiners won this in real life & they were pretty awesome but you can't beat the classics. I went with The Rockers as my #3 since they had the WWF's MOTY...against the Powers of Pain. Great tag team all around and continued that in 1990.

    Most Improved:
    1. Mitsuharu Misawa
    2. Kenta Kobashi
    3. Manami Toyota

    In real life the voters went with Kobashi & he's a fine choice but I can't imagine seeing the HUGE difference between Tiger Mask II & Misawa at the end of 1990 alone and picking anyone but him.

    Most Unimproved:

    1. Kerry Von Erich
    2. Yoshiaki Yatsu
    3. Ole Anderson

    I'm looking at this as a Fall From Grace type of award. Sting won this in real life. He did kind of bomb as a champ but he was in the Black Scorpion angle. Kerry actually was a good worker at one point, but Texas Tornado was a shell of himself. Yatsu was great in tags in the 80s and died a death in quality in SWS. Ole...just no.

    Most Obnoxious:

    1. The Ultimate Warrior
    2. Hulk Hogan
    3. Atsushi Onita

    This award was seemingly made for Warrior & Hogan, which makes it a tad confusing how Vince McMahon actually took this home. Have never been a fan of that egomaniac Onita ripping off Terry Funk.

    Best on Interviews:

    1. Jerry Lawler
    2. Ric Flair
    3. Arn Anderson

    Arn actually beat Flair for this in real life but nobody touches Lawler to me.

    Most Charismatic:
    1. The Ultimate Warrior
    2. Hulk Hogan
    3. Jerry Lawler

    As goofy as I find Warrior & Hogan, I have to give em their due. These two had a ton of charisma that counteracted their awful and often nonsensical promos. Lawler was awesome, but in terms of pure charisma I give the WWF's guys a slight nod. Hogan won in real life.

    Best Technical Wrestler:
    1. Yoshiaki Fujiwara
    2. Angel Azteca
    3. El Dandy

    Give the mat guys their props. The WON voters didn't since they voted for Liger. Only God knows why. *facepalm*

    Bruiser Brody Best Brawler Award:
    1. Stan Hansen
    2. Jerry Lawler
    3. Bull Nakano

    Hansen won with the WON voters & he wins here, in large part due to popping a man's eye out & then continuing to stiff the hell out of him. NOBODY POTATOES HIM.

    Best Flying Wrestler:

    1. Yoshinari Asai
    2. Jushin Liger
    3. Manami Toyota

    Liger won in real life which was a fine choice if he hadn't have also won Best Technical. To me Asai was the one who stood out in terms of being a pure flyer, Liger was much better all around at this point but as a pure flyer you could tell Dragon was gonna change the game at some point even here. Toyota was far from her apex as a flyer.

    Most Overrated:

    1. Ultimate Warrior
    2. Texas Tornado
    3. Tugboat

    Warrior was a Box Office Bomb for all the reasons everyone already knows, and really was pushed way too soon to that #1 spot. I wasn't a fan of Kerry at all at this point & there was a ton of guys that would have been better served for that IC Title spot especially considering what the title symbolized for all those years. I also think Tugboat got really good when he turned into Typhoon, but Tugboat was just the wrong gimmick for a Hogan pal and de facto #3 babyface at the time.

    Most Underrated:

    1. Bobby Eaton
    2. Ricky Morton
    3. Blue Panther

    The readers got it right. Eaton (along with Morton but especially Eaton this year) had everything it took to be a star and a great one at that if they would have given him a stronger push.

    Best Promotion:
    1. AJPW
    2. EMLL
    3. AJW

    The WON readers got it right. AJPW was the best fed this year.

    Rookie of the Year: Steve Austin
    I can't possibly answer this with the bumbling of the criteria, but just wanted to praise Steve Austin for debuting in NWA this year & winning the award.

    Best TV Announcer:

    1. Dave Brown
    2. Lance Russell
    3. Kenji Wakabayashi

    JR won it in real life but he had moments even then of being a bit too schtick-y. I loved his team with Funk, & I would have loved Lance Russell to get a bigger placement. But since he didn't my main man Dave Brown gets it for some phenomenal work in angles & on the call. As well Wakabayashi did an amazing job at putting over the excitement of AJPW although his successor, Fukuzawa, took it a tad too far & put in too much gratuitous English for my tastes.


    Class B Awards:

    Best Major Card: The AJPW/NJPW/WWF show won it in the WON and that's a fair pick. I think in terms of both peak, consistency, & uniqueness, along with being big, I would vote for AJW WrestleMarinapad II.

    Worst Major Card: NWA's Clash of the Champions XII, main evented by Sting vs. the "Black Scorpion" played by Al Perez. I believe it.

    Best Wrestling Manuever: The Frankensteiner! Hey, seeing him do it was awesome but we were a year away from a gamechanger move.

    Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic: Atsushi Onita/Invader I stabbing angle won & it was a pretty easy vote I imagine. That said the Horsemen/Rocky King stuff was pretty gross. Onita sucks.

    Readers' Favorite Wrestler was Ric Flair. My pick would be Bull Nakano. Her per appearance "awesome moment"-ometer had to be 100% and at a higher level than even the top tier wrestlers of the 90s.

    Least Favorite Wrestler was: Ultimate Warrior. Fair pick but the Mania main event was really good & a legit great moment. I think I'd probably pick Michael Wallstreet. Nobody liked him & that was with Alexandra York.

    Worst Wrestler was JYD. There were a couple of Memphis guys that were up there let me tell you.

    Worst Tag Team was Baba/Andre, why? They were just a big guy superteam, but the Master Blasters were a real team! Come on.

    Sid vs The Nightstalker was WON Worst Match of the Year & I ain't arguing.

    Worst on Interviews was Warrior. They got it right for sure.

    Best Booker & Promoter was both Baba in the WON which I definitely agree as a Booker, but in terms of Promoter NJPW was doing extremely strong business by the end of 1990. I have to give the edge and some rare props to the insane Inoki.

    Best Gimmick was The Undertaker which was clearly the right choice.

    Worst Gimmick was by far the biggest fail by the voters when they picked the Gobbledy Gooker. Now yes that was horrible, but it didn't tank as the cornerstone of the company & ruin two of your top stars the way the Black Scorpion did. That was the worst gimmick by far.

    Dusty won Most Embarrassing Wrestler which to me would be a much better spot for the Gooker.


    The Andre the Giant Panda Award Winner for 1990: Ultimate Warrior vs. Phil Collins

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmRD4L_1vH0
    Last edited by Zero; 05-06-2018 at 12:22 PM.
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    Brick Shithouse

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Woohoo, sounds great. Can't wait!

    Jumbo Vs Misawa would be my prediction for number 1. Misawa most represented wrestler for me too.

    For US matches nothing jumps out immediately except Flair Vs Luger or maybe Hogan Vs Warrior. But it's not a great year for US wrestling compared to Japan.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

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    Sky Blue Hyper Technican

    MC 16's Avatar

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Personally, I hope that you have some Lucha in this list. Been meaning to watch some old school Lucha Libre, but don't know where to start. Maybe this list will give me some direction. Can't wait!
    Spoiler:


    Milano Forever!

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    Crotchety Old SMOD

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Midnights vs. Southern Boys from the Bash should hopefully feature pretty high.


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  5. #5
    Brick Shithouse

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    Midnights vs. Southern Boys from the Bash should hopefully feature pretty high.
    What a match, that is probably my favourite US match from that year.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

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    YES! YES! YES!

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Good to see this project rolled out.

    I should be familiar with the high stuff from this year given the ill fated Crocker 1990 match list project which he refused to publish even after some of us submitted ballots. But moving onto '91 I'll be mostly a noob. Like MC 16, it's probably the high profile Lucha stuff I'll be most interested to check out as it's a massive blind spot in my knowledge and viewing.

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    Crotchety Old SMOD

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    What a match, that is probably my favourite US match from that year.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
    It's always been a personal fave and I'd agree on it being tops for the US in 1990. The only other ones I can think of off the top of my head would be the Luger/Flair one you mentioned, Midnights/Rock N Roll's from the same show and Doom vs. Windham/Anderson at Starrcade. Hogan/Warrior is great but it's always been more of a spectacle match to me plus I can't really rate it since I was there live and my opinion will always be skewed by that.

    I wonder where Fantastics vs. Malenko/Kikuchi will rank?


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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    My boy Zero doing a project, take me to heaven my friend. I wonder how much Joshi Wrestling will you have to show people her hmm

    Nakano vs Kong in the Cage for the WWWA Title is one of the Matches that come to mind.

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    [Rock Me Amadeus]
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    I'll likely have seen nothing mentioned, but I'll definitely be reading along


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    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Thank you all for such positive feedback. I can assure you that every style of wrestling is represented in the top 50 and will be for every year. Even in the down years there was a ton of great wrestling represented from somewhere, and there were some great takes on best US match, so let's go ahead and get right to it with the opening act of the top 50 for today.

    50. Midnight Express vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich - NWA Halloween Havoc, October 27th

    For old times sake, the Top 50 for 1990 starts with the last ride for the Midnights and Ricky Morton! The setup to this being Rich instead was that Gibson had been taken out by the Freebirds. But he didn't matter much until the end. For all intents and purposes this was almost like a handicap match with Morton rightfully getting all of the ring time. The segments between Eaton & Morton were just incredible, way ahead of their time and they might still be ahead of their time as wrestlers in 2018 with how they were working in this match. They bump hard, the offense was crisp and innovative, the timing was perfect. Just everything about It rocked. Lane was more or less making sure the crowd stayed hot with some of his antics and he showed and lot of charisma and added to the match. Hearing JR & Heyman on commentary here was pretty awesome to see them in their younger days by the way. The finish was completely stupid admittedly and drags this whole thing down. NWA/WCW showing their usual colors were so stupid that in the final chapter of the Midnight/RNR feud Tommy Rich gets the winning pin!? Still, a hoot and something well worth watching.

    Availability? : Check your Network!

    49. Kazuo Yamazaki vs. Yoshiaki Fujiwara - UWF Fighting Area, April 16th

    Shoot style, but not quite the same as rules specifically built around grappling like you'll see with RINGS so perhaps worth a watch as UWF-i was kind of like "real" pro wrestling and this was a direct predecessor to that. (There's a German Suplex hit here & actually a pretty gosh darn incredible one at that, immediately hitting the excitement factor of this above the previous UWF offering on this year) This also told a great story of an underdog getting a huge upset. Fujiwara comes across like a bitter old bastard here, grappling his way while Kaz looks towards the strikes & a styles clash story is here too. Give it a chance though your mileage on Fujiwara may vary.

    Availability?: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6f2bpt or on Ditch's archive for download

    48. Manama Toyota vs. Bull Nakano (WWWA Title) - All Japan Women Kakuto Main Event, July 21st

    This match was a big surprise at the time. Nakano at the time was 8 months in to her WWWA World Champion and the Ace of the company, despite being heel. The young Toyota was different than her Ace run a few years later in her ring style, with a bit more focus than the "Go go go" style she would be labeled as in the future. Toyota was coming off of a shock victory in the Japan Grand Prix, AJW's big tournament of the year. (Of note after a rather famous legit injury to Akira Hokuto in the Hokuto/Toyota first round match caused the plans to change on the fly. Many people, myself included thought Hokuto was originally written to win) Toyota wasn't even supposed to be here. BUT a major theme of 1990 in Japan was that times were a changin' & new stars were taking over. And a month after Jumbo's shock defeat in AJPW, maybe it was time for AJW to pass the torch to the popular and attractive young star of their own...

    NO. This is a completely one sided affair between the ruthless vet with a huge power advantage over the young starlet. This was as realistic as this match could have gone with Toyota trying everything she can think of to do damage from her usual speedy flurry to trying to out technical-wrestle Bull, to rethinking everything and the match becomes less about the win and if Toyota can just do SOMETHING to get ANY damage at all to Bull. It all of course comes quickly unraveled & Bull puts Toyota through some serious pain. The finishing stretch seemed to be Bull attempting to put Toyota out of existence with a sickening Lariat that Toyota sells amazingly for. Then just for giggles she continues in a true sadistic show of dominance. The crowd really rallied behind Toyota despite Bull being such a strong & dominant champion. This won't win any awards for best number of moves. It was a simple match executed brilliantly. One of my favorite sub-10 minute matches ever.

    Availability?: Ditch or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na978JCyquE

    47. Genichiro Tenryu vs. Randy Savage - WWF/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit, April 13th

    One of the most fun matches comes from a highly unlikely show. A WWF & AJPW co-promote! Savage & Sherri are the same here as usual in contrast to his biggest rival who pulls a switcharoo of style, and for Savage just being Mach works in Japan. Tenryu is almost a WWF-ied version of himself which is pretty awesome in his own right. A nifty match worth watching & that everyone can enjoy with some antics from both men and even Sherri was completely great here. Everything about this was awesome and again in direct contrast with what you would think an American wrestler has to do to get open in Japan.

    Availability?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4NlQbUmyJA

    46. Stan Hansen vs. Hulk Hogan - WWF/AJPW/NJPW Wrestling Summit, April 13th

    Hulk Hogan's best singles match of the year took place in April in front of a huge and emotional crowd that went on to leave a legacy to many fans online and we saw it at...the Tokyo Dome? That's right. This took place at the Tokyo Dome in a special joint NJPW/AJPW/WWF show. The backstory of the match is interesting as it was originally supposed to be Hogan vs. Terry Gordy for the WWF Title. There are two versions I've read. Meltzer has stated that after Hogan dropped the title Baba (The AJPW booker) was furious & through chaos Stan Hansen convinced Gordy to back out of the match, only to immediately get inserted into the match against Hogan himself. In Hansen's book Stan said Gordy backed out one day before the show due to not wanting to job & Baba called Hansen's dad to get Hansen's number, as he was with his wife in Japan at the time, and Stan was happy to face Hogan instead.

    As for the match itself, I always tell people to watch Hogan in Japan and how different he is than US Hogan and it was on full display here, with actual wrestling sequences & some very strong brawling from two opponents with surprising chemistry. Hansen brought the goods as he always does, but Hogan puts in one of his performances where he works his hardest I can ever recall and by the end both guys have been bloodied, leading to a potentially surprising ending if you're unfamiliar with the time. Strong stuff.

    Availability?: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2kb3m
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  11. #11
    Brick Shithouse

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Those two WWF/AJPW show matches are great fun and I'm glad to see them listed. Dunno if I'd call it Hogan's best match of the year as I really do think the Warrior match is legitimately awesome, but it's still one of Hogan's best.

    I just watched that Bull Nakano vs Manami Toyota match as I had never seen it before and I had ten minutes to kill, and wow that match was amazing. It's a great example of no-selling being fantastic in the right places. Loved Bull getting fed up with Toyota and just kicking the shit out of her.

  12. #12
    Crotchety Old SMOD

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    I'll probably watch it again because of how short it is but I just wanted to pop in and quickly say how much I love watching Bull Nakano beat the fucking piss out of Manami Toyota.

    That Midnights/Morton & Rich match was apparently supposed to get even wackier at the end with the whole Southern Boys interference bit. I'm pretty sure Cornette ranted on about it one time and it involved a lot of shit with pumpkins and piledrivers and the like. It's still a fun match but nowhere near the top quality of three of the four guys involved. It may however be one of Tommy Rich's best matches ever.


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  13. #13
    YES! YES! YES!

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Watched the Toyota/Nakano match which was so frantic it felt like it was on fast-forward, great speed Vs power match. I wish the finish would of been the sick lariat that turned Toyota inside out.

    I've seen the two matches from the WWF/AJPW show before and I can't think of many Hogan matches I prefer to Hansen/Hogan.

  14. #14
    Sky Blue Hyper Technican

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Midnight Express vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich was really fun to watch. Everything was smooth and crisp. Had some good tag team wrestling. Ending wasn't great.

    Kazuo Yamazaki vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara was awesome. Really enjoyable. Good storytelling. That ending was awesome, when Yamazaki hit that head kick, you knew it was over and the crowd went mental for it.

    Manama Toyota vs. Bull Nakano was a good 10 minute match. Loved Nakano just dominates Toyota for a long time and Toyota sells all the damage really well and pull of a great babyface performance.
    Spoiler:


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  15. #15
    I Want It All!
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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Interesting I talked about that very Nakano/Toyota Match in my own thread many months ago and no one cared to check it out, and now everyone wants to talk about it. Zero you are the man brother and yeah when I saw the Match for the first time I thought for sure Toyota's Soul came outta her body after the Latriat Nakano gave her in that Match. I might need to see those WWE/AJPW Shows to see what's going down in that Match maybe later.

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    I suppose I don't really know your tastes in wrestling, but I'm pretty surprised to see MX vs Morton/Rich on this list. It is a good match and I remember enjoying it, but I felt it was only the third best match on Halloween Havoc.

  17. #17
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Those two WWF/AJPW show matches are great fun and I'm glad to see them listed. Dunno if I'd call it Hogan's best match of the year as I really do think the Warrior match is legitimately awesome, but it's still one of Hogan's best.

    I just watched that Bull Nakano vs Manami Toyota match as I had never seen it before and I had ten minutes to kill, and wow that match was amazing. It's a great example of no-selling being fantastic in the right places. Loved Bull getting fed up with Toyota and just kicking the shit out of her.
    I like Hogan/Warrior but for this list I had it as a fringe candidate and went with the sentimental favorite of the last ride for Ricky & Bobby for me, but have no problem with putting it in there. I definitely thought Hogan/Hansen was better though as a match. My favorite part of both however was the hug between Hogan/Warrior afterwards though.

    Loved it too. I think if Brock had more of that same style in his matches as Bull did in these kinds of matches which I think was a lot of what they want to go for I'd be way more on board with him rather than the drawn out and deliberate Suplex-fest. But also of note that Toyota was top notch in her role here and considering she was essentially an injury replacement and in over head this was the best possible match they could have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuji Vice View Post
    I'll probably watch it again because of how short it is but I just wanted to pop in and quickly say how much I love watching Bull Nakano beat the fucking piss out of Manami Toyota.

    That Midnights/Morton & Rich match was apparently supposed to get even wackier at the end with the whole Southern Boys interference bit. I'm pretty sure Cornette ranted on about it one time and it involved a lot of shit with pumpkins and piledrivers and the like. It's still a fun match but nowhere near the top quality of three of the four guys involved. It may however be one of Tommy Rich's best matches ever.
    They're both awesome but Bull was just perfect.

    Oh my God. I hate WCW. That was more a sentimental pick for what it represents as the last time we saw Ricky & Bobby. I really thought what they did when they were in there was incredible. The finish annoyed me so much I guess I should be thankful they didn't get their way with pumpkins and all that. I just can't believe they gave Rich the pin after all that crap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Watched the Toyota/Nakano match which was so frantic it felt like it was on fast-forward, great speed Vs power match. I wish the finish would of been the sick lariat that turned Toyota inside out.

    I've seen the two matches from the WWF/AJPW show before and I can't think of many Hogan matches I prefer to Hansen/Hogan.
    I think the Lariat should have been the finish too, that was just a great moment. How could anyone kick out of that?

    I'd have to think about it but I'm kind of inclined to agree with you. It wasn't a carry job either, Hogan busted his ass out there, though I'm pretty sure it's impossible to "take it easy" against Hansen with how he worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    Midnight Express vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich was really fun to watch. Everything was smooth and crisp. Had some good tag team wrestling. Ending wasn't great.

    Kazuo Yamazaki vs Yoshiaki Fujiwara was awesome. Really enjoyable. Good storytelling. That ending was awesome, when Yamazaki hit that head kick, you knew it was over and the crowd went mental for it.

    Manama Toyota vs. Bull Nakano was a good 10 minute match. Loved Nakano just dominates Toyota for a long time and Toyota sells all the damage really well and pull of a great babyface performance.
    Yeah, the ending totally sucked. When in doubt always blame WCW even when it's NWA. And considering who's in charge at this time you can definitely blame him.

    Thanks for watching the UWF match! I anticipated the shoot style matches to get slept on when doing these a bit but there is a lot of great stuff this year including this which had the great moment of the upset victory that nobody saw coming but just like you said it was a hell of reaction from the crowd when it connected. Yamazaki is a criminally underrated wrestler historically and I'm very happy to give him some love on here. Fujiwara was great in a different way but I think has less cross appeal than Yamazaki who I think a lot of people would grow to think is pretty awesome.

    Agreed on all points just like I said above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kairi HoHo View Post
    Interesting I talked about that very Nakano/Toyota Match in my own thread many months ago and no one cared to check it out, and now everyone wants to talk about it. Zero you are the man brother and yeah when I saw the Match for the first time I thought for sure Toyota's Soul came outta her body after the Latriat Nakano gave her in that Match. I might need to see those WWE/AJPW Shows to see what's going down in that Match maybe later.
    Sorry for stealing your thunder, brother HoHo. I looked up your review and appreciated that you watched it and enjoyed It just like everyone did. If anyone is looking for an alternative perspective here's a link to HoHo's post about it: ( http://wrestlingclique.com/showthrea...post2103851394 ) There's plenty more Joshi to come tho.

    Let everyone know what you think of the WWF/AJPW matches when/if you get around to watching them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I suppose I don't really know your tastes in wrestling
    Ricky Morton is legit one of my heroes and greatest inspirations in wrestling and meeting him was one of the highlights of my entire life. Eaton is also criminally underrated historically due to being primarily a tag worker.

    but I'm pretty surprised to see MX vs Morton/Rich on this list. It is a good match and I remember enjoying it, but I felt it was only the third best match on Halloween Havoc.
    There's another match from Halloween Havoc to come and when we can get to it let's hear what the other match was you thought was better. I fully admit that pick was as much sentimental as in-ring and the finish dragged it way down. HH is one of my favorite shows of 1990 overall too so I probably liked it.
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    Sky Blue Hyper Technican

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    I love watching of UWF match. It's a niche that I find really enjoyable and something, when I'm bored or want something different, that I'm always able to sit down and watch. Most of the matches I watch involve Akira Maeda though, so it's nice to watch others doing the shoot style. Fujiwara is really interesting because he has an aura around him. When he is in the ring, there is sense of danger and you don't know what's going to happen. He isn't the most flashiest of people so he won't catch anyone's eye at the first glance but is someone who is fun to watch.
    Spoiler:


    Milano Forever!

  19. #19
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    I love watching of UWF match. It's a niche that I find really enjoyable and something, when I'm bored or want something different, that I'm always able to sit down and watch. Most of the matches I watch involve Akira Maeda though, so it's nice to watch others doing the shoot style. Fujiwara is really interesting because he has an aura around him. When he is in the ring, there is sense of danger and you don't know what's going to happen. He isn't the most flashiest of people so he won't catch anyone's eye at the first glance but is someone who is fun to watch.
    Well get ready because Maeda is one of my personal favorite wrestlers of all time! ...but he's not in today's five though.

    45. Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana - WWF Saturday Night's Main Event, July 28th

    The list gets off to a truly "Perfect" start today with one of the best TV matches of the year with the bump machine taking on a game vet in Tito who has always been a favorite of mine & I know Jim's as well. Honestly this was a really strong and again, ahead of it's time in that they go to a lot of false finishes but unlike today's tired formula not all of the big moves were finishers were used, rather more organically built nearfalls I thought, & if you've seen a lot of matches where Perfect goes over in the WWF you'll know a finish where a guy looks for a Back Drop then Perfect stops & hits the Perfect-Plex, & Tito even had a unique spin on it that I appreciated while these guys were putting the finishing touches on a damn fine match. One of the better WWF matches of the year & pardon the pun but really a perfect SNME match. Bonus points to Bobby Heenan for being awesome throughout.

    Availability?: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x32ciq6

    44. Negro Casas vs. Yoshinari Asai - Hamada's UWF Super Estrellas, June 7th

    More UWF! Wait, not shoot style but...Lucha? Gran Hamada was one of the most innovative Luchadores of all time with tons of influence throughout the history of wrestling, not the least of which was having a hand in training the future Ultimo Dragon. Negro Casas was a bit more experienced by this point, still young especially compared to now but much further ahead than Asai here who was very fresh, obviously since this was before his big gimmick. A great match between two young guys who would both go on to become legends. Casas in particular impresses with his grasp of working Japanese style. I don't think I've ever seen anyone work so fast in the ring as the future Ultimo in his early days, watching him is absolutely fantastic and a pleasure. It was technique vs speed in the other UWF and a huge win to top it off that saw this crowd pumped by the end. A very quality performance and somewhat intriguing match to watch just because of who's in it. But it definitely delivers on it's own.

    Availability?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK2T0vEKUEE

    43. The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton) vs. Joe Malenko & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi - AJPW Summer Action Series II, September 1st

    The Fantastics bring a Fantastic performance here against the makeshift team of awesome technician Joe Malenko & awesome fiery babyface Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. The Fantastics ranked #9 on my Top 25 Greatest Tag Teams ever list between The Rockers & Manami Toyota/Toshiyo Yamada and both Malenko & Kikuchi are big time personal favorites of mine so I definitely came in with big expectations. I've seen people call this a spotfest, and in a way it's somewhat true, but I feel like these two teams really brought a lot of heart to it as well. There was some sloppiness from everyone except Malenko at some point, mostly from Kikuchi, who seems to wrestle like he has some kind of career deathwish. But even on a blown spot that sees Kikuchi splat on the outside, Tommy Rogers had a super smooth cover that basically made it not matter at all. Malenko has great shoot style interactions that brought out a different side of the Fantastics. The crowd was into things big time (particularly Kikuchi) in this one. Really cutting edge stuff.

    Availability?: Ditch for Download or - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flj-qp2cdeA

    42. Stan Hansen vs. "Dr. Death" Steve Williams (Triple Crown #1 Contender's Match) - AJPW Super Power Series, June 5th

    I think knowing these two guys, it's not some kind of big surprise what kind of match this is. It was a total war between two dudes who absolutely refused to yield to each other. I really appreciate Hansen's style of brawling as there wasn't a lot of wandering around, crowd brawling stuff that was played out even in 1990, instead choosing to bring the fight to Doc. With this having a Triple Crown title shot on the line you know things got real, quick. Doc brings it here better than I can ever remember him doing before and this could easily be in my top 5-10 singles match of his career and you know you have to be a legit badass to make Hansen play Ricky Morton and that's exactly what you saw here. (And Hansen's selling was GREAT btw! The crowd was all in on this sympathetic version of this old SOB) Some ferocious strikes, especially with the knees and between these two we might have the manliest match on the countdown.

    Let me run an impromptu poll real quick. Who's Lariat was more devastating? Bull's on Toyota or Hansen's on Doc? There definitely may be a "Best Lariat" Award given out at the end of the countdown.

    Availability?: Ditch for Download or - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoShdodiq1U

    41. Riki Choshu vs. Keiji Muto - NJPW Crush the Super Heavy, May 24th

    This was Muto's return from the US to Jaoan! And the winner of this match advances in a series to determine the #1 contender for Vader and his IWGP Heavyweight Title. I've never really been a huge Muto fan in ring, but I thought his return to Japan went super well, and it's no surprise with one of the best in there in Choshu who is a huge star and another of those guys that were super influential and actually really was arguably the catalyst for changing the entire Japanese style for the better in the 80s, and who breaks out a plancha of all things early in this match which leads to Muto totally schooling brother Choshu later on with a great dive of his own. This had a bit of everything. Flying, physicality, matwork, a great finishing run, & a well done attempt at putting over a new star. His success in the US was a big deal & this match felt like a big deal to the fans. There was a good amount of matwork in here and the holds were well worked by both men, and by the time this was over I'm definitely interested in seeing more of Muto in this year and this decade. Choshu was pretty much phenomenal as usual here and also as usual was incredibly giving in putting the new generation over (in 1990) and doing his best for the company. Really great match for the first NJPW match on the list and we'll worth checking out, especially if you're unfamiliar with Muto.

    Availability?: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x125d3s
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  20. #20

    Re: Zero's Top 50 Matches of 1990

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    45. Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana - WWF Saturday Night's Main Event, July 28th[/B]

    The list gets off to a truly "Perfect" start today with one of the best TV matches of the year with the bump machine taking on a game vet in Tito who has always been a favorite of mine & I know Jim's as well. Honestly this was a really strong and again, ahead of it's time in that they go to a lot of false finishes but unlike today's tired formula not all of the big moves were finishers were used, rather more organically built nearfalls I thought, & if you've seen a lot of matches where Perfect goes over in the WWF you'll know a finish where a guy looks for a Back Drop then Perfect stops & hits the Perfect-Plex, & Tito even had a unique spin on it that I appreciated while these guys were putting the finishing touches on a damn fine match. One of the better WWF matches of the year & pardon the pun but really a perfect SNME match. Bonus points to Bobby Heenan for being awesome throughout.

    Availability?: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x32ciq6
    This match is also on the WWE Network if you want a little better quality.

    While SNME isn't known for having great matches, this was one of the better matches from SNME. It's a battle between this and HBK/Bulldog SNME 31 for the best SNME match from the 1990's. It's the last time Santana felt like he really mattered, even with his slight push the following year with the El Matador gimmick change. It is a testament to the quality of the match that they were able to make Santana look as if he was a worthy opponent for Perfect when Santana's standing in the company had dropped a ton since WM 5.

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