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Charles (Loss)

[2010-03-13-EVOLVE 2] Chris Hero vs Ikuto Hidaka

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Heh, remember when Hero was in shape?

 

The first EVOLVE show was main evented by a Davey Richards/Ibushi match which had some of the crassest, dumbest overkill I've ever seen in a wrestling match. Davey who was supposed to be the poster boy of EVOLVE turned his back on Gabe and we get this matchup as a random main event for EVOLVE 2 which was crass in the opposite direction. The first half of this was fantastic and the best US indy match I've ever seen. Just super matwork, hard fought and gritty, with every movement making sense, and every hold having a direction. Hero towers over Hidaka so he gets a chance to work dominant for large portions of the match while Hidaka gives a great underdog performance. Minor details such as Hidaka's leg twist or Hero stomping his arm came across as important and the arm work vs. leg work story was really well executed and added to the match. Hidaka's arm selling was probably close to on par to the greatest selling performances in the japanese wrestling catalogue. Hero was punishing him with his trademark elbows and some mean sentons and dropkicks, while Hidaka was always fighting from underneath with nice looking body shots (while selling his arm!), headbutts and low kicks to chop Hero down. Hero throws a wad of elbows and at this point had figured out a bunch of different variations to clock his opponent. Some may be irked by how many elbows he hit (weird to have a smaller guy like Hidaka absorb a ton of punishment) but I thought it was done in such a way so the match felt like Hero could possibly KO his opponent anytime. Hidaka finally cutting him down with a cool looking combo was impressive too. This could've benefitted from having 1 or 2 pots less in it but it's probably a career performance from either guy and the best indy match a couple years in either direction AFAIC. Should admit that Hero trying to speak japanese was kind of cring though.

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This was a very good match. I think the match went a bit too long, had a few no-selly moments at the end but mostly a well worked technical battle. They incorporated each other’s size differences well with Hero getting most of the leverage, using strength to get certain holds while Hidaka had to find holes in Hero’s game and work it to his advantage. Hero’s work on Hidaka’s arm was the main focus, and there was some good work done. Hidaka sold it nicely as well. A better finish, a better match but this was still pretty great. ****

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