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Charles (Loss)

[2006-03-31-ROH-Supercard Of Honor] Dragon Kid & Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito vs CIMA & Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino

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Dragon Gate Rules

CIMA & Speed Muscle vs. Dragon Kid, Ryo Saito, & Genki Horiguchi
I can say for sure now that I regret not booking a flight to Chicago for WrestleMania 22 weekend.
Both trios units come to ringside and get respectful ovations, even some streamers, but it’s obvious that most of the fans in attendance are not familiar with these Dragon Gate superstars.
Referee Todd Sinclair had difficulty completely enforcing the rules, but he was obviously put in a situation in which he was still becoming familiar with these guys, and the heelish Blood Generation took advantage like the night before. That’s something I can appreciate after the antics of Generation Next in 2004.
I would not have booked Naruki Doi to take the fall in this one, since he would be teaming with CIMA the next day to challenge Aries & Roderick Strong for the Tag Titles. But with that said, this match is another one of the rare magical occasions that fans get to have the privilege and pleasure of experiencing. To deem this match to be a show-stealer would not be doing it justice.
The match was paced incredibly well, getting more intense with each minute passing by. Guys came in and out as they pleased, but unlike so many of the geeks that plague the independent scene, there was a grace, timing, and fluidity to this spotfest. These guys had such an impressive professionalism to their movements as they delivered the nonstop action for the last 10 minutes or so.
This match also had another ingredient that it didn’t require to have been voted as the 2006 Match of the Year by the readers of the Wrestling Observer. That would be SELLING. Deep into this match, CIMA went to work on Horiguchi’s back, and this came into play later during the extended action-packed third act. Horiguchi dropped a member of Blood Generation with a modified piledriver-type move, and then sold his back that had been worked on. This delayed him from going for the cover, causing a nearfall that got a red-hot reaction. Horiguchi would continue to sell the back throughout the rest of this instant, timeless classic.
Speaking of red-hot nearfalls, the third act was dripping with them. The match would look to be over, but a kickout would occur or someone would make the save. This only increased the crowd’s red-hot enthusiasm, which became white-hot, and the commentators eventually said “this action speaks for itself,” which was the right call to make. When Dragon Kid hit the second hurricanrana pin on Doi, it brought the emotionally satisfying end to this work of art.
This match was simply magical, on par with numerous other magical moments involving CM Punk, Kenta Kobashi, Eddie Guerrero, Jushin Liger, AJ Styles, Low Ki, Paul London, Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, KENTA, and Generation Next. It was a much different flavor of magic, and I so badly wished I had made the trip just to see this match. These are the days I miss in independent wrestling.
Is this the best match of ROH in 2006, let alone the company’s best match ever? I can’t really say at this point about 2006, but I’d have it just a notch below the London vs. Danielson 2/3 falls match at The Epic Encounter. This is DEFINITELY a top ten match in ROH’s history, no doubt about it for me. Get yourself a copy of this or the Japan’s Finest compilation if you’ve yet to witness this.
Rating: *****

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Incredibly fun spotfest spectacle that brought the crowd to their feet and absolutely drove the fans wild. They deserve a lot of credit for that. Everything was spectacular and it just felt like some really good potato chips--not that substantial but you can't quite quit it. I will say though that this match is not nearly as deaf to pacing as some other heralded ROH tag classics (I'm looking at you MCMG-Briscoes) and there is a great sense of escalation that's only added to by the silence on commentary and the sight of the entire crowd just up on their feet.

 

****1/4

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