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[2001-02-24-ECWA-Super 8] Low Ki vs American Dragon

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Low-Ki vs American Dragon - ECWA Super 8 Finals '01

 

Daniel Bryan in red karate pants coming out to Offspring is quite the sight. Short, but action-packed match. Felt a bit compressed and they were putting very thing together quickly like the tests of strength into a strike exchange into a dive happened really fast. Bryan's leg work on Low-Ki was awesome and during that stretch Ki sold it well. Even this early on, Bryan had really good offense that was varied on the mat and with strikes. I really like all of Low-Ki's karate kicks to the back of the head and thought he still sold the leg well. The Phoenix Splash to the outside was HOLY SHIT AWESOME! Pretty much after that they just threw a bunch of bombs for four minutes, but both have great offense. Dragon catching Ki when he went for Tidal Wave into a Dragon Suplex and then into Cattle Mutilation was a sickkkk sequence. Dragon actually looks like he has this won after winning a strike exchange with some vicious elbows, but Ki catches him with a knee on a Roaring Elbow attempt, quickly hoists him into the Ki Krusher and the Dragon Clutch gets quick tapout.

 

Really enjoyed this, thought it had a little bit of everything. Loved the urgency down the stretch. Especially Ki wasting no time to hit Ki Krusher and then Dragon Clutch. Love that quick bursts. Little all over the place and definitely tried to squeeze as much as they could in like 10-12 minutes. Tons of fun, both were already awesome wrestlers at this point. ***3/4

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It's so crazy to see how great both of these guys were already in early 2001. The intensity they execute EVERYTHING with is fantastic - the sense of urgency was off the charts; you really get the feeling that they wanted to finish each other as quick as possible w/ the big bombs & all. The offense of both men looked so goddamn amazing already at this point. A fantastic match & truly must see for anyone who's a fan of Bryan or/and Ki. ****1/2

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Time to check in on Low Ki again. I've been trying to find recommended Low Ki matches in these folders but it seems like he hasn't done anything to match the Homicide feud in a while. These two are obviously going to be important players throughout the rest of the decade so it's an interesting match to watch. Nothing revolutionary but they match up fairly well. Early Danielson reminds me a bit of early Owen Hart. A ton of athleticism but the character work isn't there yet. Low Ki wasn't as agro in this as he has been in other matches but I guess this was less spiteful and more about indy work rate. 

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A backstage promo airs on the video screen for everyone in the building.  It’s all very cordial, Ki saying “may the best man win,” Dragon saying how he came here to win at any cost and this will be the stiffest match he’s ever had. 

Hat Guy in attendance.  There’s some early testing of the waters as they exchange kicks to the thigh.  Dragon with a double leg takedown, they interlace fingers and Ki with a neck bridge.  He fights to his feet but Dragon throws some headbutts to the side of Ki’s head to take him back down.  Ki is to is feet again, this time he breaks the grip and then stuns Dragon with a koppu kick.  He’s backdropped onto the apron where a Mafia kick sends him sprawling to the outside.  Elbow suicida.  Back inside there is more hard chops being thrown before Ki connects on the Tidal Crush.  Ki is measuring his kicks, however Dragon catches one and rips his knee with a reverse Dragon screw.  Just as he targeted Spanky’s arm in the opener, he’s targeting Ki’s leg in here, as a bad leg should limit both his kicks and his flying.  Inverted Deathlock.  Shinbreaker into a combination kneebar/toe hold, Dragon using his other foot to keep Ki at bay.  The submissions continue, grapevining the leg and applying a Butterfly stretch at the same time.  Ki throws strikes from the bottom whilst trapped in the heel hook, when they don’t work he resorts to a seated enzuigiri to free himself from the hold.  Dragon gets backdropped onto the apron and a Ki kick to the side of the head sends him falling to ringside.  Ki struggles to climb the turnbuckles with that bad leg, Dragon probably standing there waiting a tad too long for him to do so, however then connects on a death defying Phoenix splash to the floor.  On returning to the ring Dragon is looking for the Dragon suplex but can’t land it.  Ki with the Ki Krusher, although he is unable to immediately follow up, the additional seconds allowing Dragon to kick out of the eventual cover.  Dragon snatches him on the handspring and finally lands the Dragon suplex for a near fall.  Without missing a beat straight into the Cattle Mutilation, the hold that has won him both matches tonight.  Ki doesn’t tap and Dragon gives up on the hold rather than wearing himself out trying to for the submission. Roaring elbow by Dragon, Ki getting a shoulder up in the nick of time.  He removes his elbow pad, throwing it away, it’s going to be bone on bone this time.  Ki blocks the shot, Ki Krusher, Dragon clutch and Dragon taps.  The rest of the participants in the tournament are out to congratulate the wrestlers while the fans give them a standing ovation.  The fans take it in turn to chant Ki and Dragon’s name, the two finalists embracing in the middle, each knowing that they’ve been in a real battle here.

I was surprised at how short this was, only about ten minutes or so I’d estimate.  It was everything promised in the pre-match interviews though, stiff strikes, lots of bombs being thrown.  Dragon working a body part is a thing to behold, here mixing in a bunch of MMA submissions with traditional pro wrestling ones.  Nice story of taking out Ki’s leg so he wouldn’t be able to kick and fly, with Ki doing a cracking sell job, maybe too well with how long he took to climb the turnbuckles and Dragon having to stand there and wait for the Phoenix splash.  Loved Dragon catching him on the handspring and hitting the Dragon suplex, then Ki being the one person all night who the Cattle Mutilation wasn’t quite enough for.  Great match and comfortably the match of the tournament, a tournament which has been some showcase for Dragon.

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