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Found 21 results

  1. I've seen the love this has gotten, and I watched it and thought it was good, but nowhere near at the level I have seen others describe it, but I couldn't really articulate why. I rewatched it and I think it comes down to the way everything was sold. I'm all for a good strike or chop exchange in a big match, as I think it's a great way to create drama. However, I didn't like the way they worked the chop exchange here, nor the forearms. The Flair-Steamboat route of selling each chop individually works much better, and considering how good the strikes looked, they could have done that for 20 minutes and it wouldn't get old at all. Tenryu and Hashimoto worked a few matches in that same vein in the late 90s but every single strike was sold. When they aren't sold individually, it feels like two guys just performing instead of fighting to win a match, no matter how stiff the shots are. The cumulative selling was absolutely there, but they didn't give all of the offense meaning in an individual way. That said, I do think they did a lot right -- far more than I thought they did wrong. I loved the collar-and-elbow tie-up to start - not just they did it, but that they worked it with conviction. It's a staple of wrestling that I wish was part of the regular style again in most places and hasn't been for some time. It's a great way to set the tone for the entire match, and I thought they did a particularly good one here. I also really like Ishii as a throwback to some of the 80s All Japan and 90s WAR types like Ishikawa and Hara. He seems like he'd fit right in with that group, and I could see him having a hell of a match with Tenryu ten years ago even. I also really liked Honma's underdog character. He was really in tune with who he was and it was awesome to see the crowd invested in him as much as they were. There were some terrific nearfalls that play even better than they might normally because of his character, and I really got the sense that both guys had an understanding of who they are as performers that's so precise that it's almost rare. There was a classic match dying to get out. I probably would call this my MOTY and give it ****1/2 or higher if the selling hadn't thrown me off. There was so much about this I really liked, but that was enough of a downer to take it to just slightly below great match status. ***3/4
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