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[2005-02-20-NJPW-New Year Gold Series] Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Satoshi Kojima

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Did not know this was going 60 before I started watching it, did not really want to watch a match that long tonight, but it went pretty quickly:
- The stiff chop battle trope that I feel was so prevalent in 2005 makes another appearance in the early stages of this match, and they chop HARD
- The crowd seem pretty flat throughout nearly all of this
- Some of the work seemed fairly bland, although every time I began to lose interest they would drop someone on their head and bring me back in

- Tenzan's anaconda vice was way overused, Kojima was locked in it about 5 times for what felt like 10 minutes

-I was going to see they paced this so well, it was consistent all the way through. And that they both sold exhaustion very well and naturally, unlike the convoluted nature of Omega/Okada. But then...

-Nothing I've read confirms anything about what actually happened in the finish. I imagine someone here will know if you can help. The general consensus is that Tenzan legitimately collapsed from exhaustion/dehydration, so the ref had to legit count him out when they were meant to go to a draw. It was a weird ending.

 

I feel these notes may be a bit harsh. It was pretty great. Not the best 60 min match I've ever seen, but far from the worst. Not that they really needed to go that long anyway. I don't think anyone would call it the MOTY, but to say its top 10 would be a fair opinion. It may end up on mine. **** 1/4

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