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donsem43

[2016-09-03-Stardom] Io Shirai vs Kairi Hojo

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This is another match between the top two women in Stardom, the third in 17 months. To be honest, I feel that this is the best match that these two have had so far, although I haven't been that high on their other matches. The main story of the match is Hojo working over Io's back like her other opponents had in earlier matches. Io decides to fire back with some big time offense, including the infamous piledriver/powerbomb to the floor. Hojo's strategy ends up working in the end as she hits all of her big moves while targeting Io's back, finishing her off with a cross-legged crab hold for the win. ****

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You know what was nice in here? The pin sequences. So many matches where they do them are just copy-pasting the Eddie Guerrero-Dean Malenko ones that haven't been impressive nor made sense in twenty years, here they really mixed it up and did stuff like combine a La Casita and a Bridging O'Connor Roll into a single hold, neat stuff all aroun. This was in the Dragon Lee/Kamaitachi vein of a match primarily built around big spots but without losing perception of what makes the spots work (proper set-ups, selling them instead of transitioning to the next . It was far from ideal though, as the contstant countering they indulged in became too elaborate to feel as gritty as you'd want a match that has this level of violence to. Honestly I didn't even notice Hojo's backwork that much, even though there had been spots where she'd specifically targeted the back in her offence like the sliding elbow Shirai didn't sell it as big as you'd want to for it to become a big threat. I like finishes varying and being built up to logically but it didn't feel as befitting as it could've. Still a very fun match. ***1/4

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My god this was great. Blink & you'll miss - this was an absolute action packed sprint of a match, with hard hitting, violent action from start to finish. I loved the fact that Kairi Hojo did work over Io Shirai's back throughout the match, and in the end she just murders her with those 2 beautiful looking elbow drops to the back. Fantastic match. ****1/2

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