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Found 15 results

  1. This ends up being the de facto block final, and it is very hype. I love a battle of two big guys where one is slightly bigger and slightly higher rated and they actively play into that. The striking towards the end here actually feels like a slugfest - two brawlers trying to win a fight, not just trading shots to see who has the most fighting spirit or whatever. I might be the biggest Higuchi fan around, but his selling ability and athleticism are always impressive as the big man in a match, and in a rare opportunity as the smaller man they really shine. This is my favorite match in the excellent group stage of this tournament. ****1/2
  2. This was always one of my favourite Toyota matches. If you're not a Toyota fan then there's not much appeal, and even if you like Joshi it's not really a great match per se, but what I like about it is the competitiveness. In most inter-promotional matches, Toyota would play the Queen Bee while the other girl was a second class citizen. Here she treated Fukuoka as though she were an All Japan girl. It wasn't until deep in the stretch run that she really took over, but even there Fukuoka earned a fair amount of cred for kicking out. I've mentioned before how much I enjoy these smaller league matches compared to a lot of Toyota's more high profile work. This one was like vs. like, which is seldom the best recipe for a match, so it wasn't quite the match-up that say Toyota vs. Ito was. It covered a lot of ground that I've been seeing on a daily basis from Toyota (same spots, same sequences), but again Toyota could have brushed Fukuoka off and no-one would have bat an eyelid. Hikari didn't really have the experience or confidence to stamp her mark on the bout, and the subtext of her being more than just a Toyota clone should have been more overt, but I liked this a lot. There may have been some sloppiness and dropped selling, but I don't get too hung up on those things.