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Charles (Loss)

[1995-05-19-PWFG] Daisuke Ikeda & Katsumi Usuda vs Yuki Ishikawa & Shoichi Funaki

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This was a really fun match. It was laid out in a really smart way, as Ikeda/Ishikawa is really obviously the pairing you want to see, and they make you wait for it. The general shittiness of the Funaki/Usuda stuff at the beginning will make you appreciate Ikeda/Ishikawa even more when it finally does happen too. As the match progresses, it continues to get better. The Ikeda/Ishikawa stuff with tempers flaring, slapping, kicks, punches and brawling made the match suddenly feel like both were out to prove a point and that something real was at stake. I wish this could have gone longer, because it ended when it was starting to heat up.

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Man oh man, Ikeda was a revelation here. He immediately sets the tone with a big kneel kick and just beats the living shit out of Ishikawa on the ground. One lousy match and one awesome match makes for a thoroughly mediocre but very entertaining one. I need more Ikeda in my life now.

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Funaki working in a shoot-style environment is just about as awkward as you’d expect it to be. While he’s not quite the striker, he does manage some decent takedowns and works the mat well enough. But he’s mostly a punching bag for Ikeda and Usuda here, which is fine, too. Usuda snaps off kicks and throws out some nasty open hands, while Ikeda’s a little more gritty with his stomps and kidney punches. Poor Funaki gets dumped with a German suplex and that’s the last we see of him before Ikeda and Ishikawa shut it down like you’d expect. Plenty of snug shots and grunty matwork, with Ikeda wrenching at his face and choking him out for the win. Fun tag.

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