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  1. This is a big battle between generations, Devil debuted in 1978 and Kyoko in 1988. Kyoko gives a sincere bow of respect at the start. Devil controls the majority of this, cutting a slower pace than you'd normally see in a Kyoko Inoue match and making it feel like Kyoko has to dig deeper than normal to keep herself in this. There's a good few moments where Kyoko attempts her usual offense but gets cut off by Devil's size, or needs to really struggle to pull it off. Her Giant Swing looked pretty precarious! I'm watching this thinking Devil has one of the best lariats in Joshi when Kyoko eventually fires back with one of her own and takes her down to a wooooooah from the crowd. She earned that momentum shift. Finish was a cool surprise and Devil had a great facial reaction like "that kid f***ing boomed me". ****1/4
  2. This was an opening round match from some tag tournament and much better than you'd expect from an odd matchup placed like this on the card. Pretty much shootstyle throughout with the PWFG boys wearing wrestling shoes and representing PWFG. Dean looks very good rolling with Ishikawa, him showing that he trained with Joe and Carl is much better than 2 count rollup fest Dean Malenko. Ishizawa looks a total stud super explosive like he should've been the next Minoru Suzuki and not... well you know. Really intense exchanges when he decides to stomp on Funakis head and trade shotais with Ishikawa. Malenko and some awesome slick dropkicks, but he also didn't seem to know how to sell a kneebar. I also blame him for the underwhelming finish.
  3. I really enjoyed this and thought it was a showcase for Dustin Rhodes and how much he still has to contribute. He looked smooth and everything he did mattered. Guevara seems like a great foil for Rhodes and Page and clearly is going to be the Inner Circle guy who's there to take murderous bumps. I thought the finish with Hager's interference was a little wonky but loved the beatdown at the end, including the MJF tease and little moments like an already pummeled Dustin on his hands and knees trying to help his brother.
  4. Damn, I didn't expect to enjoy this so much. In his prime Lou Thesz would cheapshot Rikidozan and stall, but here, he's going after Inoki like a killer, including dropping him with one of the most vicious backdrops ever seen. His holds look so vicious, and the match was both pretty slick and high resistance, which made the super basic holds here very rewarding. Thesz isn't exactly Negro Navarro, but his reversal into the STF attempt was one of the most graceful moves I've ever seen. Also, his bumping was still damn good - take note how he would whip himself into the mat each time Inoki sweeped him. Then you also get Thesz punching Inoki in the mid section a bunch and both guys using nasty back elbows on the ground. Hence, the match did at no point look like an exhibition. Inoki was along for the ride, but a good enough foil for the old fox. Really enjoyable maestro's match with a cool opening and finish.
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