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Found 8 results

  1. It’s topical as I’m writing this, given just this week Kendo Kashin has been rather randomly named as a trainer at the WWE Performance Centre. Indeed, this is a battle of PC trainers, although not sure there’s much in this match that those down in NXT need to study too hard to learn from… Brookside had been a heel and member of the Old School stable that had been feuding with the younger FWA guys in the company’s main storyline for most of 2001 and 2002, but after clashing with Drew McDonald had been kicked out of the group and had now turned face. Kashin at this time was the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Champion, although the title is not on the line. He was an All Japan regular at this time and indeed he and Brookside would go on to team up for that summer’s Real World Junior Tag league. This is a solid technical match, as you would imagine from these guys, but as was the case for a lot of Brookside’s FWA matches, he just didn’t seem to fit in with the new indy style that the company’s fans were gravitating towards, particularly not as a face. I enjoyed the mat work and some of the classic World of Sport exchanges, but there’s not much to get your teeth into, and at just under 9 mins, at the stage when it looked like the match was just starting to build into something with potential, it ends rather abruptly. Kashin works the arm, trying to set up his armbar finisher, while Brookside in turn works on the leg. I enjoyed Kashin going back to the arm whenever Brookside was mounting offence as a way of regaining control, and that’s how he is able to block the Iconclasm first time around, although Brookside is able to hit it on the second attempt for the win. Technically proficient, but little excitement to this one (**)
  2. This match is famous because of the clip where Inoki gets in the ring and punches Nakamura. There was nothing exciting about the match itself; I mean this would've been fine as a midcard tag, but as a Dome main event...? There are some solid exchanges and a brutal soccer kick finish but that's it pretty much. Kashin adds nothing (shocker!) and the potential fun matchups don't deliver their potential. Nakamura was pretty mediocre here so I guess he deserved to get punched. He was working like a US indy guy in the opening portions and that's a real disgrace. He also put up very little fight against Fujita during the finish. There is a little bit of Fujita and Nakanishi crowbarring eachother, and Nakanishi manhandling Kashin, but not enough really. Worst of all is they never really engaged the crowd.
  3. 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.
  4. Fun match, hard to rate it due how clipped the only footage of it I could find is. You could make a case for post-modernism in japanese pro wrestling being present as early as those 70s All Japan tags but here it goes even further as it's even more clear this is nothing more than a freak show for laughs while PRIDe is the real deal. Sakuraba uses a few of his trademark spots like the mongolian punches in the full mount and spinning someone when he gets in their guard, but the way he milked the double wristlock escape and his punches remind you what a lost talent he was. Top rope wristlock as a finish was cool and I appreciated them building up to it instead of just altering the stuff before it in a manner to get it in regardless of whether it made sense or not.
  5. Aoyagi was almost a non factor here as the match is a total showcase for Kashin's shtick, and it's really good shtick. I cannotf help but love classic spots like the face falling for the heel's handshake and the heel pulling the face's hair to maintain control of a side headlock but Kashin also does really intruiging stuff like take a breather by sitting next to a fan before attacking the fan and pulling the ref into an Aoyagi crossbody. And he does a pretty Armbar. **3/4
  6. Your mileage may vary here depending on how much you like house show shenanigans as the entire match was built around the referee having double standards and Aoki and the crowd protesting about it as well as them screwing around with each other's merch. I found it fun, it didn't overstay its welcome and the finish was creative and fitting to what they established in the match earlier. **3/4
  7. I heard this was a horrible trainwreck so I was hyped beyond words for this. But actually it was just a really good match. What I loathed about Suwama is his tendency to venture into dumb as fuck modern puro nonsense, his matches vs. Sekimoto a few years ago were some of the most disappointing pimped matches I've ever watched, they'd have like 15 yes votes on the DVDVR voting threads but weren't any good at all, just two guys standing in the middle of the ring making dumb faces, exchangis weak chops with some bad looking long boston crab spots thrown in there. Kashin kind of negates all of that and brings actual psychology into the match. Before the match even starts he's acting like the awesome goofy heel he is, offering handshakes to the ref, stealing and breaking Suwama's banner and so on. The match builds logically, starting with lock-ups and basic spots before Kashin picks apart Suwama's ankle/heel/whatever that he injured in January. Suwama's comebacks/hope spots/control segments are him overpowing Kashin with strikes and slams. Simple, logical, effective, and Kashin sells it well. Kashin does this really cool selling of Suwama's Ankle Lock where he he convincingly teases tapping and then looses his laces so his shoe would fall off next time Suwama tries an Ankle Lock. Kashin incorporates that spot into the match smartly and desperately attacks Suwama with cradles after catching him off guard. Suwama, being the stronger and better wrestler, survies that, cuts him off and goes over with the dreaded Ankle Lock after really letting the evil Kashin feel the pain. I don't get it. What's bad about this? Psychologically and philosophically it's pretty much a shorter and less ambitious version of Kobashi-Ogawa. Are modern puro fans incapable of enjoying matches that aren't worked evenly with twenty minutes of stupid strike exchanges and no selling German Suplexes? It was refreshing to see this type of match worked in Japan in 2016 and it's stuff like this that keeps me going back to japanese wrestling and wrestling in general. ***-***1/4
  8. This is all about the crowd heat as the crowd explodes when Kashin shows up to challenge for the IWGP Jr. Title unmasked. Match is fine-Naruse hits Kashin with a couple of solid shots where he visibly held back, Kashin catches him in a Flying Armbar for the flash finish and that's all she wrote. Might not sound like much on paper but it is a very enjoyable and unique experience to watch one of these weird matches only Inoki could book, and also to see someone like Kendo Kashin better reactions than most of today's heavyweights ever will.
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