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Charles (Loss)

[2007-07-16-ROH-Live in Tokyo] Bryan Danielson vs Go Shiozaki

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First twenty minutes were pretty good. Shiozaki has the clear advantage early, mauling Danielson with big chops. Danielson goes to work on the right arm to neutralize that advantage. Shozaki switches to lefty and it's more even. Then they go into a NOAH style suplex trading contest for some nearfalls, probably because they are in Tokyo. Haven't seen enough ROH to know if that's the standard way of finishing matches there, but it is suspiciously like a NOAH match. Finish makes sense with the early and mid match, just wish they hadn't inserted the completely unnecessary suplex nearfalls in between the two. Could have done with less Shiozaki no-selling, but it wasn't overly bad. I like both of these guys and they have a great match in them. That was not it though.

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Bryan Danielson vs Go Shiozaki - ROH In Tokyo 7/16/07

The poll is Best In Japan in the 00s, thus any match that took place in Japan qualifies not necessarily taking place in a puroresu card. That being said, Ring Of Honor had a very similar style to Pro Wrestling NOAH. Occasionally this happens to me, I acknowledge I am watching an interesting, well-worked match and it just does not hold my attention. Unfortunately for this bout, I felt that way. I loved Danielson's pacing in this match. He was not flying around and blowing off selling. The beginning of the match showcases Danielson at his best making submission holds look innovative and like they hurt. It is something that is bereft in both WWE and Japan in the 00s. They establish they are equal babyfaces even ending a dropkick simultaneously. Shiozaki takes over with chops and general power, but Danielson catches a break when Shiozaki goes flying into the railing. Again, I loved Danielson's arm work, which effectively used strikes and holds to destroy the arm. When Shiozaki starts to mount his comeback and is still selling might be when I realize what is wrong. Shiozaki is just really bland. He is just a generic, cookie-cutter NOAH wrestler. He is not bringing anything to the table. He is doing the right things, but is nothing special and unique.

 

Danielson goes flying into the crowd on top of Shiozaki and this triggers Danielson's big spots ending with a crossface chickenwing that ends up in the ropes. Shiozaki was able to crotch Danielson on the top rope and hits a weird slam. Here comes the BOOM! Bombs galore. Shiozaki goes for the kill with a moonsault misses and Danielson immediately applies Cattle Mutilation. Shiozaki is able to fight out, but then end is nigh and Shiozaki succumbs to a second Cattle Mutilation.

Danielson was really demonstrating why he was one of the best in the world at the time. He paced himself well. He is an amazing offensive wrestler (ground, working body part, bombs) and this really showcased his talents. Shiozaki just feels so mediocre in this match and I just could not bring myself to care. Thus I felt like I was watching a Danielson exhibition. ***1/2

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Go Shiozaki is such a boring, robotic, soulless wrestler. Here Danielson gives him the match of his life. He tells the story excellently throughout the match starting w/ his awesome selling of Shiozaki's offensive onslaught on him in the early stages - Go had Dragon in trouble, until he made one mistake outside the ring & gave the man an opening. Bryan targets his arm in vicious & very focused fashion - that neutralized Go's biggest weapon; his chops. Once they are back in the ring, Go tries to go back to chopping the chest of Danielson, but it has no effect because of the damage his arm had taken at that point. Great stuff. Eventually the match becomes a complete bombfest, and it's pretty exciting & a great time. Danielson's counters to Go's stuff in it were very good, the way he got him to the Cattle Mutilation was very nice. Great match, a Bryan Danielson show in many ways, but I also gotta say that Go played his part well. Especially in those early stages where he completely overwhelmed Danielson. ****1/4

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On 3/28/2018 at 3:30 AM, ShittyLittleBoots said:

Go Shiozaki is such a boring, robotic, soulless wrestler.

I wouldn't go so far as to say this. Very mechanically sound was Go but I do agree that the differential in charisma was off the charts. Even as a stoic fiery babyface, Go didn't quite catch the crowd the way Dragon did with his smug character work on top. Loved the arm work and how it all played into the finishing stretch and I didn't mind all the bombs being thrown because it makes sense that Go would go to the well that has worked for him in the past (I assume, might be filling that blank in for myself). Great match. 

****1/4

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