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[2016-02-14-NJPW-New Beginning in Niigata] KUSHIDA vs BUSHI

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KUSHIDA looked like an absolute star in this and I imagine NJPW will continue to build the Jr. division around him. Minus the few occasion when both guys looked a tad awkward and didn't look too sure what to do next, this was a fantastic match that the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands. The interactions with the ref and the interference were both handled smartly and didn't retract from the quality of the match. ★★★¾

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What I really like about KUSHIDA's matwork is that it's flashy while keeping the illusion it's out flashy out of necessity. Didn't like BUSHI's apron DDT, I could do without them usng so many gimimcked DDTs as transitional spots and here it didn't even look good. I liked BUSHI grabbing KUSHIDA's hair to get him in the STF and then working over his nose but them quickly moving out of it made it pretty insignificant. KUSHIDA half no-selling/half countering BUSHI's Codebreaker with a Double Wristlock was great and BUSHI's Suicide Dive was beautiful but they were also buried in the sea of average junior sequences and redundant interference. Finish was very exciting and saved the match, they did a much better job of varying their strikes than most of the heavyweights do, I always pop for KUSHIDA's punch and the interference actually added to the finish with everyone dramatically fighting Log Ingobernables De Japon off. ***

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