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Found 93 results

  1. Yes, it‘s Kandori taking on 5 girls in a row. It may sound preposterous on paper, but it ends up totally working in practise. You can talk about how this may have buried half the LLPW roster, but realistically only Saito and Handa have a chance of lasting longer than 5 minutes against Kandori here, and both are smartly placed at the beginning and end of the match. This first match up is Kandori vs. Saito. I was worried about this, thinking Kandori might squish Saito, but they had a fierce competitive match. Both went for the kill right out of the gate and it was intense stuff. Saito belted Kandori with her signature hard kicks and Kandori fired back with her stiff offense and flash submissions. It was reminiscent of their classic 1990 encounter, not quite on that level, but it was damn good shit. Saito ends up pushing Kandori to the limit and Kandori wins on a fluke. Pretty interesting way to start the match. Instead of a power start Kandori just went through a fierce 18 minute match against Saito and she looks pretty beaten up already. Nagashima comes in next. She‘s a rookie at this point so she does rookie stuff. She flies right at Kandori with a big dropkick and gets in some hip attacks, but Kandori snatches a half crab and almost rips her in half for the tap after about 1 minute. So now everyone remembers Kandoris submissions are really dangerous, and in retrospect Saito looks tougher for surviving them. GAMI comes in next. It looks like Kandori wants to be nice to her and challenges her to a grappling match. They do about a minute of cool grappling before GAMI decides to stomp on Kandoris face and hit a pretty nasty knee slide. Big mistake as Kandori flips out and beats the shit out of her. GAMI lasts a bit longer and can get in some offense on Kandori – making you respect her – but falls to a nasty powerbomb pretty fast. Leo Kitamura is #4. And Kandori is looking pretty spent now. I don‘t think Kitamura has ever looked threatening in a match, but damn she looks threatening now. She has the night of her life taking it to Kandori, trying to roll her up and hitting nasty looking elbows. Kandori catches her in a sleeper and she‘s fighting for dear life, and – the bell rings? Oh, this match had a 30 minute time limit? Kandori says she‘s done here, call it draw, but Leo is pissed off. Kandori seems to leave, but Kitamura gets on the mic and says something that causes her to come back. The match is restarted and Kitamura is going even harder at Kandori now, but Kandori keeps surviving until she‘s able to lock in a nasty chickenwing that fucks up Kitamuras shoulder. You did your best, Leo Kitamura, but Kandori was in beast mode that night. The last one in the match is Miki Handa, and she goes for the kill out the gate dropping Kandori fat missile dropkicks and germans. Kandori looks done, but Handa misses an elbow. Now Kandori is all hitting crazy Fujiwara armbars from angles and just working like a wounded beast trying to tear someones shoulder out. Handa isn‘t much special but she can drop bombs and sell desperation. 44 minutes in and Handa ends up losing on a technicality and Kandori just walks away not giving a fuck while Handa looks on the verge of tears. Post match Hokuto and her crew come in to wreak havoc, and we get a face off between her and Saito. This match was pretty unique and honestly great, if you can stomach watching something different. But Kandori looked like an absolute monster here destroying people left and right hich is what you want to see, and while she looked beastly she had to work hard for her wins, so you end up respecting everyone coming out of this.
  2. I wish MUGA had been a full time promotion at this time. This was mostly on the mat, which is where everyone here looks good. This was certainly a good use of Hase whose amateur style stuff still looks very powerful. He and Nishimura with his awesome briding where the standouts here early on. Mutoh just did his usual spiel for the finish, altough Fujinami hitting a flying knee on him was really fun and Nishimuras selling made it look better than usual.
  3. Murakami and his BattlARTS pal shake things up in New Japan. Tanahashi & Kenzo actually step up here, working shootstyle and look good. Tanahashi's matwork is especially way better than pretty much anything he did from 2006 onward. Kenzo throwing big crowbar suplexes is certainly way better than whatever he did later also. This was basically an Ishikawa section followed by a Murakami section with both guys bringing their signature stuff. Ishikawa doing cool matwork and Murakami punching dudes in the face. Good shit but you come out of this match wanting to see a singles match.
  4. Somebody got a haircut! In addition to that big news, this is Choshu's return from a nasty injury. I don't think he was 100% yet but I guess he didn't want to miss the big Dome show (or lose any power with a prolonged absence...) This isn't a high-end match in the rivalry, nor was it consequential enough to go on a Yearbook when so much other, bigger stuff from this show made it. But it's a fun stiff-fest between two guys who know how to get the most out of the least. At the very least you have the compelling contrast of Choshu's lariat vs. Fujiwara's finisher which is basically an ideal counter to the Lariat. Finish is something I feel like I've seen between these two before, with Choshu just repeatedly Lariating Fujiwara until he drops.
  5. It's late and I don't have a ton to say about it, but I thought this was another great match on this show. I really liked the way this built like a world title match with the slow crescendo to the string of big moves and nearfalls at the end, and once again, it didn't seem bloated or anything. I know that's not a rave review, but I'm tired.
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