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[2004-09-10-NOAH-Navigation Over The Date Line] Low Ki vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru

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I went in with the expectation of lots of slick spots with no psychology. Low Ki worked over the arm after a big dive hit Kanemaru in the shoulder for a good long while AND Kanemaru sold it. So there was a smidgeon of psychology in there after all. Not voting for it, but it surprised me.

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GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Low Ki - Budokan 9/10/04

 

Low Ki is one of my favorite 00s American Indy workers so I thought I would give this one a look see. It was an entertaining affair with Ki carrying Kanemaru, one of my least favorite junior workers, to a very good match. This is one match where I thought a lot of the cute spots worked really well in a logical fashion to progress the match. Whether it was early on when Ki went for the kill with a springboard double stomp while Kanemaru was hanging on the railing or catching Kanemaru with a rolling kappo kick or utilzing the Tidal Wave better than Cody Rhodes ever has. In addition, to well-integrated "innovative" spots, Ki kept basic early with great arm work and anytime Kanemaru looked to rally he applies the Dragon Clutch from all sort of locations. I thought the missed double stomp outside was a great transition. I did not care for Kanemaru jump, catch, DDT off apron because it is one of those moves you can't tell who takes the damage. Credit to both of them because Kanemaru sold the arm and Ki sold the head the rest of the match. He did a great job milking the count until 19 and then being a bit foggy the rest of the match. I will say this followed more of an All Japan juniors template with lots of selling in between moves, but still executing a lot of moves. It is a weird hybrid that could rub someone the wrong way. I thought they stayed on the right side of things for the most part. Even though I think Kanemaru's offense is pretty much dogshit (has a split legged moonsault ever looked good) I thought his camel clutch, fishhook move was great and that stayed on the head. Once Ki was back on offense whilst selling the head things were more interesting I loved his elbows and that Tidal wave and I am a sucker for the double stomp. Both seemed intent on hitting their finishes: moonsualt vs Ki Krusher. Each got it and kicked out, which is a sign of times, but not something enamores me to the match. I liked Ki's strength spot on the ramp with Kanemaru in the muscle buster I especially liked the presentation of trying to each side of the crowd so they could see. It shows he really understands the showmanship aspect of pro wrestling. Then he impressed me by chucking Kanemaru back into the ring. He hits the Tidal Crush and then blows me away with his splash. You want to impress me add flips and spins to your splashes don't hit modified suplexes those just look stupid. Unfortunately, Kanemaru kicks out and counters the Ki Krusher. He hits a barrage of brainbusters to win. I thought this was a great Low Ki performance, but Kanemaru really did not add much. The match was a bit busy were the transitions made sense from segement to segment, but overall the story was lost, Styles/Ki was the better Japanese Ki performance, but still an entertaining match. ***1/2

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Kanemaru vs. Low Ki - September 10, 2004

Yep, why not see Ki's first GHC Jr. Title shot to go with this Final Battle 2005 preparation?

Damn good match, arguably great. Ki worked on Kanemaru's arm, and it seemed Kanemaru wasn't completely familiar with his opponent on this night. Every time Kanemaru stalled, Ki would have an answer. My favorite of those spots was Kanemaru jumping from the top rope and Ki landing a rolling kick perfectly on Kanemaru's already damaged arm. Tremendous psychology.

Another great moment was Ki teasing to drop Kanemaru with a Ki Crusher on the entrance apron, then RUNNING with a 200+ pound man across that entrance apron and tossing Kanemaru into the ring Death Valley Driver style. Keep in mind that Ki pulled off this feat about 15 minutes into this match. An incredible athlete. He also got over huge with the NOAH crowd when he pulled out the Phoenix Splash and Tidal Crush, but in the end he could not measure up to the more successful Kanemaru's multiple brainbusters. ****

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