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  1. You look at this matchup, taking place in MUGA, and you think „this sounds like a lot of matwork“. And you'd be correct. Pretty much a purist's dream match with all four guys hitting the mat hard. Perfect blend of shootstyle, 80s NJPW and MUGA psychology. Ishikawa fits like a glove here and looks great. Aside from all the great arm whips, headscissors and armbars and slick grappling they knew how to make basic holds meaningful and spice things up with struggle. Really liked the young guys getting the advantage and old guy Fujinami busting out a huge kneedrop off the top to break up a submission nearfall. Also Nishimura looks awesome and as good as he was in the 2000s. Match is a little short (17 minutes) but as good as it looks on paper.
  2. About 12 of 21 minutes shown. Too bad because this looked like some of the best junior action of the year. The lucha vs. Shootstyle matwork they did was just beautiful – so smooth and Tajiri knew exactly to go into desperation mode whenever Hidaka locked in a hold. These are of course two guys with high end movesets and spectacular spots galore, but everything made sense and they never got overly cute.
  3. Thanks GOTNW. This was phenomenal and one of the best pure skill vs. pure rage matches I've ever seen. Fujinami wants to open this MUGA style, but Hash blitzes him with a DDT and follows up with a huge barrage of kicks, setting the tone for the rest of the match: Hashimoto demolishing the old man, and wily Fujinami trying to catch the beast. No one kicks a man when he's down like Hashimoto, and he lays an all time epic beating on Fujinami including one of the most gorgeous high kicks I've ever seen. Fujinami is great withstanding the beating, selling his leg and making comebacks, and the psychology is top notch: In isolation, Hashimoto's leg sweep is a cool enough spot, but integrated into the match like this as a "fuck you" to Fujinami's leg screws and Figure 4s it becomes something entirely different. It all builds to some of the best submission nearfalls (and breakups) I've seen, Fujinami teasing the Dragon Suplex, a glassy eyed Hashimoto refusing to go down, a big "Dragon" chant breaking out etc. Great match.
  4. Fukuda enters the BOSJ and pushes the legend to the limit! Liger goes out of his way to make this indy nobody look great! It's hard not to love Fukuda here with how he withstands Liger's stiff shotais and busts out a bunch of great throws and holds. Opening matwork was pretty rockin' and better than the usual Liger trademark surfboards. Fukuda's sleeper variations were pretty choice and him getting control over Liger was done nicely. They do a pretty great section where they exchange pitbull headbutts on their knees to mix up the bomb throwing. The crowd gets hugely into the possible upset too. Sweet match.
  5. Truly amazing Ohtani performance as the dismissive prick higher ranked junior vs. an indie nobody. Great offense, top notch facial expressions and acting ranging self-satisfied smirking to pure panic and worry as he almost gets caught out a bunch of times. Yasuraoka was good as the resilient underdog but this was the Ohtani show. Excellent stuff overall. ****
  6. Way better than the crap that was their July match. Essentially Kanemoto makes Liger his woman in this one. Kanemoto is great as a violent bully and he just kicks the snot out of Liger from start to finish. Unfortunately Liger lacked his usual fire. Add a pissed off Liger comeback to this and you'd have a minor classic on your hands. They went to the usual bomb throwing in the last 3rd, altough it wasn't egregious.
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