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Jetlag posted a topic in November 2002This match was lovely to see as the crowd is CRAZY CRAZY HOT for Shiga & Rikio and they beat the snot out of each other. We also get Kawabata trying to stand up to Kobashi. I imagine if 90s crowbar Kawabata had shown up this match would've been really great, unfortunately Kawabata was merely solid here. Kobashi when not working a 30 minute long epic is really fun though and we get some quality exchanges between him and Rikio. Not mindblowing greatness here by any stretch of imagination, but you'll feel good having watched this.
Arakawa/Kawabata was also unexpectedly great as it was that classic japanese material of two tubby guys trading big fucking beatings. Arakawa is known as a comedy worker and while there are some laughs and exaggerated body language this is competitive. Starts great with Kawabata slapping him and Arakawa dumping him with a huge german suplex. Lots of hurty looking slaps and Arakawa punches ensue. We also get some fun Arakawa matwork aswell as a dive tease. This was the most inspired I've seen Kawabata look as he would really lay into Arakawa with kicks and palms and ram him like a bull. What does it say about Kawabata that his most inspired performance is some fancam undercard match against a comedy wrestler from some long forgotten offshoot company?
This is probably right on that line between being a fun match and a skippable one, but I'm all about the WAR and there was enough randomness here that you probably should be too. Nagasaki is 53 at this point and he is flat out determined to skelp someone with a chair. Doesn't even matter who, he'll hit anyone. Hamaguchi is 47 but he drops elbows like a man two decades younger. They were great elbows, really quick and impactful. Tenryu took a bit of a backseat in this to let the others have the spotlight - as was his unselfish wont - and so Kitahara stepped into the role of guy kicking everyone in the face really hard. Kawabata was kicked many times in the face. Miyake was kicked many, many times in the face. Nagasaki was kicked once in the face and he went directly for that chair. Never for a second did you doubt the finish. This is the Wrestle and the Romance.