I just watched this match on DVD earlier today, and HOLY CRAP you guys need to see this.

There’s a little bit of set-up to this match. First, it was the semi-final in the J-Crown 1996 tournament, a tournament in which junior heavyweight champions from promotions all over the world gathered to determine the best junior in the world. The buy-in for the tournament was for each champion to put up his title belt, with the winner of each match gaining his opponent’s accumulated titles (which is why both Dragon and Otani both have two belts during their entrances).

In the first round, Dragon beat Jushin “Thunder” Liger in probably the best two minute match I’ve ever seen, with a magistral cradle. That’s important to know because Dragon and Otani reference that part of the Liger match quite a bit. Otani defeated Negro Casas in a much longer but also good match.

J-Crown 1996 is available on DVD or download from RudoReels, which is where I got it from.