Chad's Emerald Rewatch

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:50 pm

soup23 wrote:Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue vs Burning (Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama) - NOAH Debut Show 8/5/00 2 Out Of 3 Falls

I am appreciative of the difference NOAH exemplified right out of the gate. The ramp is there, Akiyama has an all white look, the lasers are out in full force and they even get some pyro coming from the ring posts in their introductions. This match being 2/3 falls also felt like a departure that was sort of a weird callback to the 2/3 fall structure of All Japan from yesteryear. Akiyama and Misawa start but it only takes a minute for Kobashi to insert himself with a stiff lariat to Taue that makes a crackling sound and a suplex to Misawa. Akiyama locks on a choke and that is the first fall right then and there in shocking fashion. Akiyama got pinned in 9 seconds by Omori and Taue lost to Akiyama in four minutes in 1997 but we had never seen Misawa dominated like that where he gives up a fall in two minutes. The crowd seems shocked. Kobashi has some purple creeping into his orange tights that is a nice bit of foreshadowing. Misawa needs to grind the match down and his trusty elbow gives him some space that is followed up with his butterfly arm submission. He gives way to Taue to continue working over Jun. I am usually weary of heaping META praise onto a singular match given that it is impossible to know the true purpose but it did feel like watching this second fall that some of Misawa/Taue’s offense was purposely less flashy to put more emphasis on Akiyama. This was a match with the purpose of getting Jun over instead of just being the next great entry involving these four men as a holdover from the 90’s. That is progressive foresight from Misawa as he knew the status quo needed to change here. He is the booker and new face of the promotion and in this match, the third most important figure. The second fall does heat up once Taue gets the Nodowa on the ramp to Jun followed by just slinging him back into the ring like a grumpy dad that was roughhousing with his kid but now has said that enough is enough. Jun doesn’t get worked over much before he makes the tag to Kobashi and we enter the home stretch again showing a difference that this match overall will be tighter and more condensed even in the 2/3 stipulation than a typical AJ big tag match. Kobashi/Misawa have a more heated sequence with each other and Taue gives a nice big running boot from the apron to the floor against Akiyama. Kobashi is suplexing fools including sending Misawa with a powerbomb into the corner and a lariat for Taue. However, he gets caught with the Flowsion from Misawa. This feels like a big neutralizer but Akiyama is ALIVE! Two Exploders to Misawa and one to Taue gains Akiyama the pin on Taue and Burning wins in two straight falls in impressive manner. Afterwards, to put the cherry on top of the sundae, Akiyama turns on Kobashi and just like that, we have the beginning of the feud that will help define Noah throughout the decade. As a storyline advancement vehicle, this match was a success all around even though it won’t end up on any MOTY lists for 2000. ***3/4
Is this the most important match in NOAH history?

A great piece of booking that never seems to come up in those conversations.

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soup23
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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:
soup23 wrote:Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue vs Burning (Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama) - NOAH Debut Show 8/5/00 2 Out Of 3 Falls

I am appreciative of the difference NOAH exemplified right out of the gate. The ramp is there, Akiyama has an all white look, the lasers are out in full force and they even get some pyro coming from the ring posts in their introductions. This match being 2/3 falls also felt like a departure that was sort of a weird callback to the 2/3 fall structure of All Japan from yesteryear. Akiyama and Misawa start but it only takes a minute for Kobashi to insert himself with a stiff lariat to Taue that makes a crackling sound and a suplex to Misawa. Akiyama locks on a choke and that is the first fall right then and there in shocking fashion. Akiyama got pinned in 9 seconds by Omori and Taue lost to Akiyama in four minutes in 1997 but we had never seen Misawa dominated like that where he gives up a fall in two minutes. The crowd seems shocked. Kobashi has some purple creeping into his orange tights that is a nice bit of foreshadowing. Misawa needs to grind the match down and his trusty elbow gives him some space that is followed up with his butterfly arm submission. He gives way to Taue to continue working over Jun. I am usually weary of heaping META praise onto a singular match given that it is impossible to know the true purpose but it did feel like watching this second fall that some of Misawa/Taue’s offense was purposely less flashy to put more emphasis on Akiyama. This was a match with the purpose of getting Jun over instead of just being the next great entry involving these four men as a holdover from the 90’s. That is progressive foresight from Misawa as he knew the status quo needed to change here. He is the booker and new face of the promotion and in this match, the third most important figure. The second fall does heat up once Taue gets the Nodowa on the ramp to Jun followed by just slinging him back into the ring like a grumpy dad that was roughhousing with his kid but now has said that enough is enough. Jun doesn’t get worked over much before he makes the tag to Kobashi and we enter the home stretch again showing a difference that this match overall will be tighter and more condensed even in the 2/3 stipulation than a typical AJ big tag match. Kobashi/Misawa have a more heated sequence with each other and Taue gives a nice big running boot from the apron to the floor against Akiyama. Kobashi is suplexing fools including sending Misawa with a powerbomb into the corner and a lariat for Taue. However, he gets caught with the Flowsion from Misawa. This feels like a big neutralizer but Akiyama is ALIVE! Two Exploders to Misawa and one to Taue gains Akiyama the pin on Taue and Burning wins in two straight falls in impressive manner. Afterwards, to put the cherry on top of the sundae, Akiyama turns on Kobashi and just like that, we have the beginning of the feud that will help define Noah throughout the decade. As a storyline advancement vehicle, this match was a success all around even though it won’t end up on any MOTY lists for 2000. ***3/4
Is this the most important match in NOAH history?

A great piece of booking that never seems to come up in those conversations.
I think this was a great way to make NOAH something different and feel new right away but also important. I am looking forward to chronicling the 2000's and getting to Zero One opening but it never struck me right away as a player for the top Japanese promotion from both in ring and at the gate. Even though this is only Differ, the workrate is there already but it feels different from the traditional Kings Road style with 2/3 falls booking, the flash submission and overall elevation of Akiyama. I think if NOAH would have just been built on AJPW 2.0 a lot of the fans that got into tape trading in the 90's would have fallen off even more drastically. NOAH was the rare case of both promotions (NOAH and AJPW) having to try new things and both being beneficial and refreshed.

The only two matches I would put up there with this one from an overall importance and booking stand point is the 3/1/03 change to Kobashi and the 7/04 Dome main. The former was one of those rare passing of the torch moments where I really feel like Misawa convinced himself at that moment he would never be the man again and only reluctantly came back to regain the GHC when things went south and he didn't show enough patience. I firmly hold that 3/1/03 is the best match in NOAH history and a crowning achievement of my favorite series of matches ever.

7/04 really helped from the long standing build of Akiyama vs Kobashi that had been done since 12/00 and showed the coronation of the long building feud creating box office dividends. It took a good bit of rehab to build Akiyama back up and Kobashi firmly established himself as the ace. I remember being a huge NOAH fan getting stuff from Golden Boy Tapes and the like at the time and couldn't wait to watch that match no knowing what the result would be.

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:09 pm

Kenta Kobayashi vs Satoru Asako (NOAH Departure II 08/06/00)

I have no issue calling this a good match. Asako has traded in his all white gear from the night before for some shiny black motif. Kenta shows a lot of fire but also shows promise in being able to put together a match that progresses from matwork to a shift on the outside and then leading to a finishing stretch. The slam on the outside to the unprotected area of the floor was a well done highspot. In 2000, we have seen the potential of Danielson, Punk, Styles, etc and now you can add Kenta to that list with performances like this five months into his career. ***

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:17 pm

Naomichi Marufuji & Takeshi Rikio vs Takeshi Morishima & Masao Inoue (NOAH Departure II 08/06/00)

Morishima is so skinny here. It is neat to see him and Rikio be developed right out of the gate for NOAH as someone worth following. Otherwise, this was just a match more than anything else form the first two NOAH shows. The action doesn’t really have a linear story for most of the first portion and the work over Marufuji is extremely halfhearted. I know Inoue has a rep for being shitty but in his first two matches, he hasn’t shown even glimpses of being entertaining. The last 3-4 minutes finally bring some juice into the proceedings 20 minutes into the match with Rikio and Marufuji going through more strikes and their flashier offense. Inoue regains control in these final moments and to show how boring he is, his near fall finishers involve a back breaker and side Russian leg sweep. He actually gets the tap out from Marufuji here with the torture rack in just under 20 minutes. Again, kudos to NOAH for allowing these young guys to stretch out their legs in substantial tags time wise but this was WAYYYY too long. **

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by InYourCase » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:28 am

Alan4L wrote:Chad, I watched that Akiyama vs Nakajima match myself the other day and I was a big fan too. Jun was fantastic in it.

If I can make a recommendation, I think you'll really enjoy this. Maybe the most un-NOAH match that's a really great match (ok aside from KENTA vs SUWA which I forgot about as I typed).

Taue, Mushiking Terry, Ishimori & Aoki vs SUWA, TARU, Kondo & Yasshi, 12/10/06.
Ditch has it here: http://theditch.com/SUWA-VMvsTeamTaue12-10-06.avi

SUWA and Taue had basically been beefing so they book a Budokan match where SUWA calls in the only other heels in Japan as detestable as him, and Taue assembles a hodge podge team of what appears to be the first lads he saw standing around the locker room! But boy oh boy do the three youngsters bring the fight for their leader. I love this match.
This was INCREDIBLE. I can't believe I didn't know this match existed. Thanks for sharing, Alan

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:27 pm

Yoshihiro Takayama & Takao Omori vs Akira Taue & Jun Izumida (NOAH Departure II 08/06/00)

This wasn’t as bad as the tag before it but it also didn’t have a lot of teeth within in. Omori is clearly not a priority in NOAH like he was in later day AJPW and Takayama and Taue had some decent but disappointing for them sequences with each other. The main purpose of this match was to raise the profile of Izumida overall. I have always thought Izumida was fine as a lumpy lieutenant but am unsure if he will crack my list of top 50 workers in the promotion. He was pretty baseline here until the finish where he does show more fire and gets a big pop when he wins with a headbutt. Life comes at you fast if you are Omori. **1/2

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Daisuke Ikeda & Kentaro Shiga (NOAH Departure II 08/06/00)

NOAH has mixed in some different guys getting big wins and the style of the matches so far but this is the first match on paper that more than likely would have zero chance of getting booked for AJPW. Shiga was still doing essentially young boy duty and Ikeda was buried in multi man matches when he would drift from BattlARTS. The only way this match would have happened would have been in the RWTL and it would have been an 8 minute win for Ogawa/Misawa. Instead, this is worked in a brilliant way of giving Shiga and Ikeda enough highlights by still establishing Ogawa and Misawa as main event level within the promotion. The double armbreaker on Ogawa was fun to see and I liked how stoic Misawa gets a bit annoyed and just pastes Shiga with a flurry of elbows when he creeps one to many times to the apron. From there, Ikeda and Shiga get brutalized in the final moments and just have to hope to hang on as best as they can. Overall, a really good semi-main that made everyone competing in it look strong. I know Ikeda has a rep of not clicking in NOAH, but I enjoyed his performance here. ***1/4

Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama (NOAH Departure II 08/06/2000)

First ten minutes of this are dominated by Kobashi. It is mainly mat work but he really varies it up and cranks in everything for maximum punishment. His abdominal stretch and crossface lock in particular are nasty. Kobashi going for and gaining the full nerlson took me by surprise but was cool to see. I thought this did a really strong job conveying a hate that Kobashi has with Akiyama now from getting turned on but Kobashi is more mature as a wrestler now and keeps his emotions in check by being more vicious on the ground and in his attack. Akiyama seizes an opportunity to go after the leg of Kobashi. That is a welcome callback to the focal point of their amazing 7/98 Triple Crown match centered around Kobashi’s selling. Akiyama locks in a Sharpshooter, STF and ankle lock in quick succession to really torque the limb of Kobashi. This is good work by Akiyama in leveling the playing field and Kobashi was game to sell the damage. He has to result to the big power guns now with the floatover suplex and powerbomb but his leg is to weak to perform the bridge so Akiyama floats over for a quick pin. Akiyama is able to hit a German but Kobashi grabs an arm on the pinfall attempt and locks on a Fujiwara armbar with Jun really having to struggle to reach the ropes. The submission heavy style of this match has been greatly appreciated as a change of pace from the AJPW style. Akiyama is able to weaken the lariat arm just enough to not have maximum damage done as we enter the home stretch. Jun fires off three flash Exploders and Kenta gets his big kickout. One more Exploder is hit and then Jun locks on that sleeper and Kobashi is out giving Jun the victory. Wow. That was sort of abrupt but that plays into just how deadly the move is becoming. Rikio kicks off Jun after the match so maybe that is going to be Jun’s next step. The first great NOAH match. ****1/4

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:51 pm

Kenta Kobayashi vs Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/16/00)

I just wish NJPW had this much faith in their young lions. I can’t think of the last time they let them bust out this much and this successful of a polished match at this young an age. The work early on looked tight and the reversals were excellent. Then the match goes into a 5-6 minute extended stretch with Marufuji busting out all sorts of great stuff and Kenta kicking out until Marufuji is finally able to put him away. A strong opening match and really easy to see that these two were worthy of being blue chip prospects in the eyes of the promotion. ***1/4

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:13 pm

soup23 wrote:Kenta Kobayashi vs Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/16/00)

I just wish NJPW had this much faith in their young lions. I can’t think of the last time they let them bust out this much and this successful of a polished match at this young an age. The work early on looked tight and the reversals were excellent. Then the match goes into a 5-6 minute extended stretch with Marufuji busting out all sorts of great stuff and Kenta kicking out until Marufuji is finally able to put him away. A strong opening match and really easy to see that these two were worthy of being blue chip prospects in the eyes of the promotion. ***1/4
I wonder if KENTA's trial series is available on tape. That would be really fun to watch with 2017 eyes.

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:58 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:
soup23 wrote:Kenta Kobayashi vs Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/16/00)

I just wish NJPW had this much faith in their young lions. I can’t think of the last time they let them bust out this much and this successful of a polished match at this young an age. The work early on looked tight and the reversals were excellent. Then the match goes into a 5-6 minute extended stretch with Marufuji busting out all sorts of great stuff and Kenta kicking out until Marufuji is finally able to put him away. A strong opening match and really easy to see that these two were worthy of being blue chip prospects in the eyes of the promotion. ***1/4
I wonder if KENTA's trial series is available on tape. That would be really fun to watch with 2017 eyes.

Looks like it all made tape. I know that the Takayama match is fucking awesome.

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:03 pm

Kenta Kobashi, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Takeshi Rikio vs Jun Akiyama, Yoshihiro Takayama & Yoshinobu Kanemura (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/15/00)

Kikuchi starts this off cheapshotting everyone and gaining the early advantage with others giving a WTF reaction. That gets the crowd lit and was an awesome moment. Rikio also has some pep in his step going toe to toe with Takayama and holding his own. Akiyama gets the tag and throws Rikio to the corner begging for Kobashi to tag in. What a prick. Kobashi gets the tag in and him and Jun tee off on each other. Big chop on the outside sends Akiyama over the rail. Back inside, Takayama tries to bully Kikuchi and he again has none of that. Kenta and Taka now fire up and Kenta gets the best of a chop exchange. I love seeing the face team not backing down an inch here. Really impressive long vertical suplex by Kobashi onto Takayama. Match settles in a bit now but it isn’t awful work between Kanemaru and Kikuchi/Rikio, just less than the fever pitch the match was at before. Kikuchi becomes the FIP and they work him over with some vicious and prickish work. Kobashi gets the tag and is a complete house of fire. In a great bit of resourcefulness, Akiyama is able to go after the leg of Kobashi and they regain the advantage with Takayama kicking away. Rikio helps out by stomping away and having a fun offensive flurry at the 20 minute mark. Finishing run happens now and it looks like Kikuchi is in deep shit against both Taka and Jun but he ducks and Taka hits Jun. Kikuchi takes out Taka and then hits two Germans and a powerbomb on Kanemaru to gain the win to a huge pop. Great match. ****


Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Akira Taue & Masao Inoue (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/15/00)

A good match but below the Kobashi and Akiyama affair and there is much more heat on that feud right now as the #1 main thing in NOAH. Misawa and Taue felt pretty motivated here and Ogawa added some nice touches but Inoue is a slog and not compelling underneath so that hurt the offense that Misawa/Ogawa threw his way. He also projected much less credibility than even Rikio in the previous six man. Finishing run doesn’t have much drama and Ogawa puts Inoue away. A ho hum tag match much like the January 2nd pair of matches from All Japan that we saw. This confirms that Misawa can still go in the big moments but for 2000 only, Kobashi and Akiyama have passed him on a night to night basis. **3/4

Akira Taue vs Daisuke Ikeda (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/16/00)

I was intrigued to see how these two matched up and this was about what I expected. A good big man clunky match. They had some brawling on the outside and Taue looked pretty spry with his kicks. Taue even bangs out the DVD which was nice to see. Ikeda didn’t give a chance to do a ton but he was effective in his strikes when given the chance. Finishing run by Taue was well done and he puts Ikeda away with the Nodowa. ***

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Takao Omori & Satoru Asako (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/16/00)

Omori is coming off an upset loss to Izumida so his stock is currently plummeting in the eyes of NOAH brass. This was an important match for him and he gave possibly his best performance of the year besides the Carnival final. His kicks had a lot of purpose and he bumped really well off of the big Misawa elbow in the finishing stretch. They tease some dissension between Asako and Omori in the waning moments of the match and the camera actually misses the finishing move of Misawa doing a running forearm smash to Asako. ***1/4

Jun Akiyama & Yoshihiro Takayama vs Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (NOAH Exceeding Our Dreams 09/16/00)

Kobashi vs Akiyama rivalry is freaking sweet so far. Jun jumps Kenta on the ramp to start things off heavy here and the fight is on as a carryover from the night before. This match was worked with a lot of urgency and overall it was extremely enjoyable even if it didn’t reach the absolute peaks of the six man the night before. With Kikuchi securing the big win the previous night, the come down was bound to happen but he puts forth a valiant effort getting bloodied up in the mouth and dishing it back out at Kobashi and Akiyama. Kobashi and Akiyama in the finishing stretch are again fantastic and they are making a big push for feud of the year from August onward. Both of them are also making a push to be in consideration for my WOTY. ***1/2

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:08 pm

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Akira Taue & Takeshi Morishima 9/25/00

Besides the debut show main event, this was Misawa’s most showcase performance in NOAH so far as he has some nice exchanges with old rival Taue and really mixes it up with Morishima. Morishima for his part does really well first facing off against Misawa and then really working over Ogawa. Ogawa was in trouble for most of the match and I liked the momentum shifts on the outside with guard rail tosses. Morishima ends up being defeated which is no surprise but overall this felt like an elevation for him and was a very good tag match. ***1/2



Jun Akiyama, Yoshihiro Takayama & Kentaro Shiga vs Kenta Kobashi, Takeshi Rikio & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 9/22/00

Rikio steps up to Akiyama to start out and the crowd is living for it. Kobashi then gets in and interacts with his two best 2000 opponents: Akiyama and Takayama. Nothing groundbreaking but a good time. NOAH has already established Takayama as a bigger deal than Omori and rightfully so. Shiga challenges Kobashi and Kobashi snickers at that by giving him some blistering chops that echo around the building. Kikuchi of course gives no shit how big and bad anyone is as he challenges Akiyama and Takayama. He actually gains the advantage on Jun and tags out to young bull, Takeshi. Jun mocks his strikes by taking them and then putting Rikio on his ass with a knee. Tag to Takayama and holy shit does he deliver two kicks to the back that were loud as hell. These guys are beating the piss out of each other. Kikuchi is worked over again as we enter the final moments. Kikuchi fights free and tags in Kobashi to a huge pop and the fight is on. Half Nelson suplex to Akiyama and both men are down. After some more back and forth, Takayama and Rikio find themselves front and center and Takayama takes it out on Rikio again with some knee strikes to the stomach for the pin. I may be going a little bonkers for these six mans but I love them and they have such variety with everyone getting a chance to shine. ****

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Re: Chad's Emerald Rewatch

Post by soup23 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:15 pm

Kenta Kobashi & Takao Omori vs Jun Akiyama & Yoshihiro Takayama (NOAH 10/08/00)

Burning and No Fear are all exploding in one match. Akiyama and Kobashi start off and Jun backdrops Kobashi 10 seconds in. The young punk has learned from his mistakes the night before. They stare each other down and get violent as the crowd erupts again. No Fear then gets a go and while it is a step down from the previous encounter, it is still pretty damn great with Omori winding up with his uppercuts and Takayama not holding back at all on his kicks. After an extended feeling out process from there with a nasty test of strength and Takayama and Kobashi having a go, Sterness takes over and goes to work on Kenta. Running knees for both members in the corner and sending Kobashi into the guardrails. Kobashi is able to reverse the guardrail attempts and hits chops to show he is pissed off. Omori is also worked over for an extended amount of time. This wasn’t at the tip top level of the tags we saw in AJPW in the 90’s but to me it was only a step behind and is actually comparable to something like the Burning vs Ogawa/Misawa tag from October 1999. Ending run is really heated and this is where some people may be divisive. Omori pleads with Kobashi to go for the Burning Lariat and then he takes it out on Kobashi. One Takayama German later and Takayama has pinned Kenta and No Fear is reunited. We get a backstage promo hopefully explaining Omori’s reasoning but it was pretty suspect. Either way, this leads to a great scene of a pissed off Taue coming out and having to be restrained from taking Omori’s head off. Backstage, Taue throws a trashcan at Omori and Kobashi is stomping around all pissed too. This aint ya mommys Kings Road. ****

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