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Charles (Loss)

[2005-10-02-ROH-Unforgettable] Samoa Joe & Low Ki vs Kenta Kobashi & Homicide

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Low Ki & Samoa Joe vs. Homicide & Kenta Kobashi

Here's my lone nitpick of this instant classic: the crowd didn't pop that loudly when Kobashi finished Ki off with a lariat.
Joe's history with the Rottweilers is being set aside as all three independent stars are aware that being in a tag match with Kobashi is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I did like the underlying tension still between Joe and Homicide before the match though, with Kobashi giving his partner a simple look to convince Homicide to half-heartedly follow the Code of Honor.
This was simply an excellent tag team main event. Every single matchup in this was just awesome. Joe and Kobashi did a great job in following up their singles match, with both men exchanging teases of not giving each other clean breaks when the match begins. Of course, they would have the chop exchanges and Joe taking the stupid sleeper suplex too. Ki would get tagged in early, using his quickness to manipulate Kobashi into getting a submission locked in. Much later in the match, Joe would go back to work with submissions on that same left arm.
Homicide & Kobashi did a great job of temporarily working on Joe as the weak link, and would go on to do the same thing to Ki. Kobashi even stepped in illegally and trolled Joe into also stepping in illegally to draw the ref's attention with a simple glare. Ki then suffered two brutal chops to the chest as his friend Homicide held him captive.
Earlier in the match, Ki was also thrown outside the ring so that Kobashi could brutalize him with a DDT on the steel entrance ramp and throwing him into a barricade. He then stared at Joe, drawing the two men to tease an abrupt collision right there on the floor. Little things like this are what make these matches have a major league presentation despite being in a tiny rinky-dink armory.
I must mention that the only time Ki and Homicide locked horns in an ROH ring, it was one spectacular fucking doozy. A shame their planned match a couple years earlier didn't end up happening.
What also stood out is that in the last 10 minutes or so of incredible nonstop action, Kobashi's HOF influence showed because fall attempts were only counted for those who were legal. And not once did that ruin the dramatic pace of this match or kill the red-hot crowd.
I also liked that moves weren't buried in this match. When something devastating was used as a near-fall, the reason it wouldn't finish is because the pinfall or submission would be broken up, which kept the match going (while still remaining hot of course) but also putting over the severity of the move being done if nobody made the save. There were also two or three tremendous cutoff segments when one guy would get an advantage on another.
One of the best spots of the entire match was Kobashi getting his signature rapid fire chops on Joe, only for Ki to attempt a cutoff, getting thrown in front of Joe, and getting the rapid fire chops for his trouble. Yet another moment that only these men and very few others could pull off the right way.
This was simply an incredible tag match, and along with Gibson's farewell, gave this show its appropriate "Unforgettable" name. Post-match, Kobashi is given the proper respect by the crowd and other participants. I cannot thank Kenta Kobashi enough for what he did with just two nights in ROH. I will be forever grateful that he came to America and put forth matches that were so fucking good they could have plausibly headlined an event at the Tokyo Dome or now-named AT&T Stadium.
Kudos of course to Joe for sucking it up after the brutal singles match against Kobashi, Homicide for sucking it up with an injured left shoulder, and Ki for telling his jet lag to fuck off after working for 1PW on the other side of the Atlantic the day before. I am aware that I'm not the easiest wrestling fan to please, but I definitely appreciate and grasp the toll these four men put their bodies through for my entertainment.
Rating: ****3/4

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I did not think it was as good a match mainly because it wasn't intense enough for my liking. This was Joe's chance to split the difference with Kobashi, this was Low Ki's chance to prove himself against the legend, and 'cide's opportunity to be a worthy partner to him. Those points were not really conveyed. Instead it was a 'one time only' stiff as shit exhibition match. This makes sense considering ROH's show the night previous. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend checking this match out since it gets overshadowed by the singles match and is a worthy follow-up. ****+ seems about right...

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