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[2008-11-03-AJPW] Naomichi Marufuji vs Shuji Kondo

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First twenty minutes or so were good. Marufuji is figuring out how to build a match without flipping all over the place and Kondo seems like his early match is usually pretty good. Neither is great at it, but they are better than passable. Then we get to the finishing run. Kondo has this repertoire of power moves that is ridiculously big, and they all look like finishing moves. Which is a problem because 95% of them are only used as nearfalls. Marufuji seems to have developed some big nearfalls and near-submissions that can be used in a finishing run without looking too overdone. Then he starts hitting all his flippy shit and kills that train of thought. Not the worst match by far in this project, but probably not getting a vote.

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This match holds up pretty much exactly as I remembered it. It’s all about escalation. Big spectacular spots that just keep topping the prior one. Not a huge story to it past both guys fighting through these bombs until finally one got outlasted. With the length they go, and with the style of match this was, it’s amazing that it doesn’t ever drag (maybe it does for some but it didn’t for me). I probably didn’t like it quite as much as I did in 2008 – but not far off. At the time, I remember a lot of the stuff they did here was super innovative and new.

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AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion Naomichi Marufuji vs Shuji Kondo - AJPW 11/03/08

 

I have a biger problem with the bomb throwing fests where I run though my moves for a bit and then you run through yours especially in this context because it does not treat the wrestlers as unique entities. Marufuji and Kondo have enough stylistic differences that they should be responding to each other rather than working as if they were against a generic create-a-wrestler. I understand the viewpoint that I should judge the match I got not the match I think I should have got, but I think when the match I get effaces character of the wrestler I don't think it is a very good match. The beginning of the match was easily the best part because you got to see those stylistic differences in action. Marufuji was outwrestling and using his quickness to stay in control. Then he went for a sunset flip powerbomb off the apron and Kondo just stepped on his face. Kondo used his power to attack Marufuji. Then as soon as Marufuji busted out that weak ass transition where the opponent literally carries him over into the ring so Marufuji can suplex him the match just plummeted him for me. It was a blinding barrage of suplexes, superkicks and lariats then just kept on going and going and going. I loved how they did "we are too exhausted to really hit each other" strike exchange about 8 minutes before the actual finish. I was just like fuck both of these asshole and I actually like Kondo. Kondo runs a bunch of his impressive power spots, but when he goes for Splash Mountain it is countered. Now Marufuji hits Spanish Fly, lariats and a Michinoku Driver for the victory. It was not even really that entertaining of a bomb fest. It was just really long, meandering and aimless.

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If you're a fan of Marufuji's matches vs. KENTA, check this one out, because it was quite similar. To put it simply, it was an overly long, bad spotfest. It actually could've been okay had they kept it shorter, but it going almost 40 minutes is an absolute overkill. They just basically threw bombs at each other and then shrug it off after they got their big spot in. Not my kind of pro graps. *

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