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  1. This is the best thing to ever happen in wrestling. We are in the heart of the interpromotional wars and Hokuto has beat Kandori, so here we are in the Grand Prix with Kandori's LLPW teammate Yasha Kurenai is out to prove something. We start with Kurenai walking up to Hokuto and spitting into her face with the hugest spit ever. Hokuto has 0 reaction. The crowd realizes what is about to happen and starts chanting for Hokuto. Kurenai then gets to the middle of the ring and does her pose, Hokuto just has a seat and stares at her. Kurenai then gets a kendo stick and starts attacking Hokuto's leg and then proceeds to do 3 lame choke slams, which Hokuto no sells with Kurenai getting angrier and angrier. Hokuto gets tossed a kendo stick which she immediately throws back, because she doesn't need that shit. A moment later Hokuto hits one of the most vicious Northern Lights Bomb ever for the win. She then yells a lot on the mic and this is the best. 9/10. Wrestling is amazing!
  2. Kandori's entire persona is that of someone in a huge hurry who's stuck in a line at Subway behind a person taking 5 minutes to decide what type of cheese they want--just a perpetual grump. It makes for a great contrast with the eternally bubbly Kyoko. This is a marvelously well-built match, with Inoue really working outside of her comfort zone. There are some fantastic reversals and counters, like a more intense version of the Kawada/Taue CC match. After a few heart-rendering near-falls, we got a finish that I actually really liked, and was built to just as well as the rest of the match. Some of the most dramatic rope escapes you'll ever see, which sets up the winning submission pretty spectacularly. Kandori may have been involved in the two best joshi singles matches of the year.
  3. Yes, it‘s Kandori taking on 5 girls in a row. It may sound preposterous on paper, but it ends up totally working in practise. You can talk about how this may have buried half the LLPW roster, but realistically only Saito and Handa have a chance of lasting longer than 5 minutes against Kandori here, and both are smartly placed at the beginning and end of the match. This first match up is Kandori vs. Saito. I was worried about this, thinking Kandori might squish Saito, but they had a fierce competitive match. Both went for the kill right out of the gate and it was intense stuff. Saito belted Kandori with her signature hard kicks and Kandori fired back with her stiff offense and flash submissions. It was reminiscent of their classic 1990 encounter, not quite on that level, but it was damn good shit. Saito ends up pushing Kandori to the limit and Kandori wins on a fluke. Pretty interesting way to start the match. Instead of a power start Kandori just went through a fierce 18 minute match against Saito and she looks pretty beaten up already. Nagashima comes in next. She‘s a rookie at this point so she does rookie stuff. She flies right at Kandori with a big dropkick and gets in some hip attacks, but Kandori snatches a half crab and almost rips her in half for the tap after about 1 minute. So now everyone remembers Kandoris submissions are really dangerous, and in retrospect Saito looks tougher for surviving them. GAMI comes in next. It looks like Kandori wants to be nice to her and challenges her to a grappling match. They do about a minute of cool grappling before GAMI decides to stomp on Kandoris face and hit a pretty nasty knee slide. Big mistake as Kandori flips out and beats the shit out of her. GAMI lasts a bit longer and can get in some offense on Kandori – making you respect her – but falls to a nasty powerbomb pretty fast. Leo Kitamura is #4. And Kandori is looking pretty spent now. I don‘t think Kitamura has ever looked threatening in a match, but damn she looks threatening now. She has the night of her life taking it to Kandori, trying to roll her up and hitting nasty looking elbows. Kandori catches her in a sleeper and she‘s fighting for dear life, and – the bell rings? Oh, this match had a 30 minute time limit? Kandori says she‘s done here, call it draw, but Leo is pissed off. Kandori seems to leave, but Kitamura gets on the mic and says something that causes her to come back. The match is restarted and Kitamura is going even harder at Kandori now, but Kandori keeps surviving until she‘s able to lock in a nasty chickenwing that fucks up Kitamuras shoulder. You did your best, Leo Kitamura, but Kandori was in beast mode that night. The last one in the match is Miki Handa, and she goes for the kill out the gate dropping Kandori fat missile dropkicks and germans. Kandori looks done, but Handa misses an elbow. Now Kandori is all hitting crazy Fujiwara armbars from angles and just working like a wounded beast trying to tear someones shoulder out. Handa isn‘t much special but she can drop bombs and sell desperation. 44 minutes in and Handa ends up losing on a technicality and Kandori just walks away not giving a fuck while Handa looks on the verge of tears. Post match Hokuto and her crew come in to wreak havoc, and we get a face off between her and Saito. This match was pretty unique and honestly great, if you can stomach watching something different. But Kandori looked like an absolute monster here destroying people left and right hich is what you want to see, and while she looked beastly she had to work hard for her wins, so you end up respecting everyone coming out of this.
  4. This was one of those matches that had a lot of good moments which didn't really fit together. I can see people liking a lot of them, but at the end of the day you have an apuestas match in which things started off almost gentlemanly, Sangre Chicana threw away a fall for no real reason, and Fiera won with a fluky and botched rollup while not looking like a conquering hero. Even in the prematch video package, included to make this feel like a bigtime event, something felt off, as you could see that it wasn't even Chicana who turned on Fiera first. And the bottle shot made no sense. It was a cool image and everything, but it's not like Fiera had been making a comeback or done anything to piss Chicana off. Why wantonly pick a moment in the second fall to take all that anger out on him? I guess you could argue that it fit with Chicana taking random breaks from the fighting to talk to members of the audience, but it's still the weakest way possible for a tecnico to even things up. On a positive note, Fiera's selling really was outstanding, and I liked how committed they were to those ribs. I'd have preferred wild violence to working over a body part, but if you decide to go the latter route then at least make it mean something. Less than the sum of its parts match.
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