i) Yuji Nagata vs. Kazunari Murakami (2012.12.12)

This is fought in credible shoot style until some silliness on a rope break. There’s also interference, but taken much more seriously than you’re used to. Murakami is a surprisingly good character wrestling, with great expressions, but still, the story here is little more than both men hitting each other very hard. An enjoyable 14 minutes in an unusual style. ***1/2

ii) El Hijo del Santo vs. Negro Casas (1987.07.18)
If you’ve ever watched ’80s lucha, this feels very ’80s lucha. Casas looks so young, and his bumping is big. A much-forgotten move, the rocking horse, appears out of nowhere. There’s an unbelievable rebound bump in the second fall, and a nice snap on everything. There’s a moment that makes you question if there was an enormous botch, but that’s part of the bout’s charm. ****1/2

iii) Misawa & Akiyama vs. Nagata & Hashimoto (2001.03.02)

The big-time feel for this match, the main event of the first Zero-1 card, is stunning. The action is actually quite tentative, though, until Akiyama takes a big belly-to-back suplex. At this stage, Hashimoto may be the only man in wrestling who kicks harder than Yuji Nagata. Everyone challenges each other in more than a working way, and only a disappointingly abrupt finish drags this bout down. ***3/4

iv) Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Masahiro Chono (1998.06.05)
The action here starts out simply enough, but there’s good hate bubbling. A Chono rail bump puts him out for Tenzan to take a beating. A stellar showing from these veterans at this stage of the game. ****1/4