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Found 6 results

  1. So here is the drill, put Ogawa in a NJPW ring around this time and I am all in. This had a great atmosphere like usual and the Egg team of Nagata and Nakanishi were strong as being the flag bearers for NJPW. Nagata blasts Murakami with a kick and wants a piece of Ogawa. After some jockeying, he succummbs to an STO with Ogawa giving a look of "is that the best you got." I have been a Nakanishi fan in 2000 but I thought he was the weak link here and was unable to match the hatred and intensity of the others. He showed more fire in the post match presser. We have a masked man who apparently was Inoki choke him out on the apron which gets big heat and a quick finish with Murakami taking the loss. It really feels like we could have had 3-5 more minutes of heated action. After the match, Riki Choshu is wanting to get involved and him and Choshu go after each other. ***3/4
  2. Either they worked the time-limit draw or a couple of minutes were shaved at some point, but we still got 28 minutes of action. I was really excited for this because it's kind of impossible to have a match with these four guys and mess it up. This is kind of a veterans vs young athletic guys dynamic that gets played to the hilt. Sano in particular is more resourceful than someone who tries to go hold for hold, but in the process, he makes a really good showing and finds his way back from peril, even when Murakami and Otsuka completely overwhelm him a few times athletically. There was a Murdoch-Nightmare thing going on near the finish with Murakami sort of pushing the boundaries and testing both guys from the beginning when they are trying to wrestle a sportsman's match, only to finally get a secret low blow at the end as a payoff. This had the great mat exchanges you'd expect from these four, but there was also some really cool character work to make it compelling, and a match layout to pull it all together. Every pairing possible gets plenty of time, and it's definitely a match made both by great offense *and* great selling -- without either one, the match wouldn't have worked as well as it did. ****1/4
  3. More Murakami vs Ishikawa? Yes, please. The contrast of the opening to this match with everyone being more calculated was neat compared to the Sept match. September was all about proving yourself to each other by just going out there and throwing the hardest strikes you can. Now, the feud is personal and you just want to assert domination. Murakami sees a quick opening and unleashes a flurry. Later, he essentially holds Malenko hostage for Ishikawa to come back in. After another exchange that Ishikawa gets the best of, Yuki gives a wry smile that exudes “yeah motherfucker, I am better than you.” I don’t want to totally ignore the Malenko vs Nagai stuff as it was perfectly good but the real story that is woven throughout the match is about Ishikawa vs Murakami and when they are in the ring together and not in the ring together. They seem destined for a singles showdown and this match was the perfect appetizer. To play off the previous match, Malenko locks in some submissions that could be finishers on Nagai and this time, Murakami does enter the ring to save his partner by kicking Malenko. Nagai mounts a comeback and gets an awesome flying kick on Carl and then a brutal powerbomb. Now it is Ishikawa’s turn to break up a submission attempt. Carl is groggy and Murakami delivers another huge roundhouse to put him on his ass and then yells at him to get up. Once Carl does, the wrath of Kazunari is unleashed as he just goes ape with a flurry until the bell is called. That sets Yuki off and we have another intense pull apart and challenges issued after the match. In a year of great feuds, this is one of the best and I can’t wait for the singles match. ***3/4 (7.6)
  4. What a fucking awesome match. Murakami and Ishikawa have a death stare at the onset and that sets the tone for the match overall. The match completely breaks down mid way through with Ishikawa and Murakami fighting to the outside and flying through the chairs at ringside and people fleeing. Murakami throws his mouthguard at Ishikawa. Beyond that, Malenko and Taira also add a ton of neat stuff. I am really on board with Taira as here he throws in his kicks and also is in great position for his submissions. Malenko of course has some tricked out arm work and the ending submission looked awesome and stretched Taira’s arm to a near 90 degree angle. Overall, a ton of hate and one of the better shoot style tag matches I have ever seen. ****1/4 (8.4)
  5. Murakami is awesome. I can’t help but think of Charles’ description of him being a snot throughout this match. He is able to bring a frantic and insane pace in the match to Ilzuka and the crowd reacts really well. The tension and transitions really made this match for me. I thought Murakami might take the match overall but it is to no avail as he succumbs to a huge pop. ***3/4
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