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[2016-05-03-NJPW-Wrestling Dontaku] Jushin Liger vs KUSHIDA


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I absolutely loved this. The 2016, 74 year old Liger can still bring the Thunder. He wrecked Kushida's knee with dropkicks before dropping it on the railing and posting it. If you need Kushida to sell it every step of the way you'll be disappointed, but I thought it was very solid and was even ripping at Liger's gear while trapped in a hold that I thought was a great touch. What's more, I loved that there were clear strategies on both sides here. Kushida was going after the arm from the early stages to set up the Hoverboard Lock, while Liger worked the leg like a killer and pulled out all of his traditional big spots. They did such a great job building Liger's challenge until absolutely faking out the crowd on a near fall. A title change here probably doesn't make any sense at all, and I don't know how often Liger can pull off this kind of performance (or how many other opponents could get this out of him) but they had you dying for another Liger title win. Very interested to see if we get Kushida in the G-1 this year, but think he'll be mixed in at that level eventually.


An easy **** and I could probably talk myself higher.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This was ok. I liked the early junior matwork well enough but then they transitioned into the double limbwork and kind of lost me. I've seen Akiyama do all the legwork spots Liger did here better and I saw Misawa and Kobashi sell them a lot better than KUSHIDA did, nothing they did really carried a sense of peril or ever gave me a reason to be invested. I like Liger's Brainbuster on the floor as a spot against young lions in the BOSJ when he's beating the shit out of them but I don't really think it fit in here. Liger did all of his signature moves he had no chance of winning the match with. They didn't even bother milking out any of the submission spots, I'm not even asking these guys to go all Minoru Suzuki and just stretch the shit ouf of each other and get great heat out of that but even Tanahashi and Naito get plenty of heat out of their Cloverleaf and Koji Clutch they never win with. I absolutely loved the way they teased Liger getting a rope break on the Hoverboard Lock and how KUSHIDA cut him off and stretched him, so **3/4 for that.

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  • 7 months later...

I believe the actual date for this is 5/3/16. I had heard some saying this was the the last great Liger match to date. So, I finally got around to checking this one out tonight. I loved Liger's work on the left leg throughout and KUSHIDA's selling of it. Liked him barely making the 20-count in the early going. His armbar on Liger looked super painful. It was a little shorter than I expected, or it just flew by. Sure, it's not perfect. But, it's still really good. ***3/4-ish.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2016-05-03-NJPW-Wrestling Dontaku] Jushin Liger vs KUSHIDA

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