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[2005-08-04-WRESTLE-1] Jun Akiyama vs Katsuyori Shibata

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I'd seen clips of this before and I was pleasantly surprised this lived up to the promise of those clips. I like Akiyama against lower ranking opponents and this is one of the best of those matches because Akiyama seems more pissed off than usual after Shibata busts him open with a kick. This has more of a fight atmosphere than most of Akiyama's matches against similar opponents.

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This was great. This match cements Shibata as the GOAT soccer kicker or second best behind Kazuyuki Fujita. He just full blown blasts Akiyama early in the match and that visually pisses off Akiyama to the point where he goes all out stiffing Shibata back and that pretty much sets the pace for the remainder of the match as they just blasts each other endlessly. Just a great, hate filled brawl all over the place.

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Really fun brawl. Akiyama tossing chairs at Shibata several times is all kinds of great. Not sure if Akiyama was legit pissed or just acting it very, very well. Then again, I don't think Akiyama has the acting chops to pull it off, so he was pissed. Some of those running knees were just vicious. Finishing run wasn't exactly gold, but I have this sneaking suspicion that there was not 100% cooperation going on in this match. I'll give it points for being a chaotic brawl that you just have no idea what's coming next, and you have to wonder if the wrestlers in the ring might have felt the same way at times.

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Jun Akiyama vs Katsuyori Shibata - WRESTLE-1 08/04/05

 

To my understanding, WRESTLE-1 was just another strange manifestation of Keiji Mutoh's Pro-Wrestling Love Campaign, which involved more outsiders and some shoot fighters. Hey at least it brought us this badass match. What is with 00s Japanese starting off absolutely great and then just going off the rails. These had a really nasty street fight brawl goign and then they do a pretty standard finish run. They had something really special going for about 10 minutes there.

 

Shibata jumps Akiyama early and stuns him with a back drop driver. He nails him in the head twice with a pair of wicked kicks that busts Akiyama open hardway. Akiyama pissed off absolutely tears into Shibata and goes bezerk with non-foldable chairs. The way he was throwing those chairs just seemed vicious and dangerous. Akiyama loses control when Shibata holds onto a Back Drop Driver into a choke. Shibata works his ribs with kicks and knees sending him to the floor. I love how the ref really contested Shibatat going after him gave it that really uncontrol feel and that Akiyama was hurt. Shibata ends up kicking the post full on. Akiyama throws him onto the announce table where of course Takayama is announcing. Besides his own matches are there any matches in the 2000s he did not commentate on? Akiyama piledrives him on exposed concrete and hits pretty full on in the back of the head with a chair. Just a vicious street fight. When Shibata makes it into the ring, Akiyama is right on him with a knee and hits a back drop driver and applies his guillotine choke. I am absolutely loving this match. Shibata ina desperation bid for self-preservation just starts throwing his body parts (fists, elbows, knees and kicks)and is able to daze Akiyama in the corner for a pretty flush dropkick to the head. Shibata whiffs on a kick to the head and here comes the suplex->pop-up barrage that ends with a Shibata kick and both men are out. It really felt like at that moment it departed from that crazy street fight brawl into a standard 00s puro match. Akiyama hits an exploder and locks in a Crippler Crossface, which I have never seen him use. Shibata shows the usual fighting spirit at the end in midst of a barrage of knees before succumbing to a head-drop wrist-clutch exploder.

They had something really special in the first 10 minutes before they settled into a standard finishing pattern with pop-ups and young lion fighting spirit. I don't mind that fomrula, but did not think it fit the street fight they had in the beginning. Could have had something really special, but still a very strong match. ***3/4

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Forgot the date on this. In short, this is an awesome pissing contest. Shibata's one of the best brawlers in Japan today and a pissed off Akiyama is always a joy tow atch. I loved the ref trying to do everything he can to stop Shibata from going after Jun. Akiyama's desperate strikes were really good, literraly throwing himself at Shibata, and I liked the neck stuff building to the finish. I didn't have a problem with the toukon rush. I thought it fit well here and I liked that Shibata was working in such an adrenaline-frenzied way that it takes a couple of head-drop Exploders to really faze him.

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This match is incredible. Starts off super hot with Shibata busting Akiyama open w/ a couple of brutal looking (& sounding) kicks - that pisses Akiyama off greatly, and he proceeds to beat the crap out of young Shibata for that, including throwing a dozen chairs on top of him. GREAT GODDAMN STUFF. The match remains intense & brutal till the end, and it's such a joy to watch. ****1/2

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I love this match. Akiyama hands Shibata maybe the single worst ass kicking of his career after Shibata busts him open with a kick. They really don't let up from the opening bell and I honestly can't think of how someone could look at the names involved and come away from this match disappointed. These two really brought the goods. ****

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This was great. This match cements Shibata as the GOAT soccer kicker or second best behind Kazuyuki Fujita. He just full blown blasts Akiyama early in the match and that visually pisses off Akiyama to the point where he goes all out stiffing Shibata back and that pretty much sets the pace for the remainder of the match as they just blasts each other endlessly. Just a great, hate filled brawl all over the place.

Almost four years later from the original post and almost 13 years since this took place and it's still awesome. Shibata dropping Akiyama on his head and then punting him into oblivion and busting his head in the process only to piss Akiyama off and have him go crazy on Shibata was the perfect way to start this match.

 

Akiyama continues to reck havoc with a chair, brutal looking knees and Shibata continues punting Akiyama whenever given a chance.

 

Honestly this is great. Just a hate filed, brutal brawl.

 

Rewatching all the Noah stuff from the early 2000's and this have made me realize that Akiyama is one of my favorites of all-time.

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