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[2010-11-28-DDT-God Bless DDT] Dick Togo vs Hikaru Sato

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Dick Togo vs Hikaru Sato - DDT 11/28/10

 

Dick Togo's selling was other worldly in this match. Togo's selling was so good that it actually kind of hurt the match because when he would blow it off it was much more noticeable than if he was to have sold a little less. I can see why this match was really praised because there were a lot of amazing individual moments of Togo selling awesomeness, but as a match I thought this was very good but nothing truly remarkable. It was Togo controlling early but his opponent saw an opening for a flash submission and applied a Triangle. This rendered Togo weak enough for Sato to hit a kneecrusher on apron. Thought the leg work was decent but the selling far outstripped the work. The transitions were a real weak spot. Togo just started to hit clotheslines and then hit a DDT on the floor. This was his opening to start working the neck, which he did with a chinlock. This is a personal hang up, but I am just so over the chinlock and then three elbows to the gut sequence. We get a spinwheel kick by Sato but he makes the bad move to slap Togo, which fires him up that was a better transition. Some really great jelly leg selling from Togo. Punch by Sato levels Togo! Awesome, awesome deadweight selling by Togo, he looks knocked the fuck out. Togo bucks him off to the floor. The suplex struggle was really lame and went nowhere and just ended up with them giving up. Sato grapevines leg in ropes and then goes back to suplex, but Togo gets Hangmans DDT, that should have been the finis. Now Sato has a single leg crab. Transitions blow in this. Togo's backslide into a Pedigree and then a Sato German level the playing field.

 

Pretty straightforward so far Wrestler A control->Wrestler B control -> Two finishers to level playing field and reset. Only decent transition was triangle choke. Togo's selling was great. After this is a pretty routine finish run: strike exchange, submission exchange (Sato cross armbreaker -> Togo Crossface). Togo wants his Pedigree, but Sato goes with a dropkick to knee, that's good. Togo clotheslines and Pedigree, but Senton eats knees. Here comes Sato's finish run anklelock which gets pulled into a backdrop driver, pretty legit cool spot. German kickout and back to anklelock. You know what this does remind me a lot of a Kurt Angle match where it is a lot of spots but zero transitions. Togo big boot and back drop over top. Awesome flip splash to the floor and he hits Pedigree on floor. I thought your knee was hurt. Senton wins.

 

So many times Togo's knee all of sudden didn't hurt. Love the knee selling but if you are going to go big then you got to commit. He lacked commitment. Sato was fine. Like I said a Kurt Angle match where individual spots were good, it did not feel cohesive. I think the knee work was supposed to be the constant thread, but Sato's work on knee was average and Togo sold too big at times that hurt when he needed knee. All the pieces for a great match, but they just did not put them together. ***3/4

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I think the TV show version clips some early matwork out, which is a shame because I thought the early exchanges were amazing. Really enjoyed Sato's knee work, the takedown into a calf slicer that gets reversed into a pin, as well as the kneebar he applies shortly afterwards are really cool. Perhaps some of the strikes are not stiff enough, but it didn't bother me too much. Loved Togo's selling for it. This has a similar focus to HARASHIMA/Sato with the dueling limbwork, the other one was more coherently structured but I loved the execution of most moves in this match. Everything is pretty great technically, Sato's trip takedowns, Togo's armdrags, every submission is tight enough, etc. The finish was kind of whatever, but it was a very good title bout overall.

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