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superkix

[2016-09-25-DDT] Shuji Ishikawa vs Kazusada Higuchi

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Structurally, this match was pretty messy. The pacing felt disjointed and I think it went a little long past its expiration date, but that only meant we got a great finishing strike-a-thon with a ridiculous Rainmaker headbutt from Ishikawa and a hard-hitting slap fight. I like Higuchi. He’s definitely got all the pieces to make a big superstar but his offensive execution leaves something to be desired. Ishikawa is a strong WOTY candidate and he was great here, in that you get the sense he can’t be bothered by Higuchi. He doesn’t hold back with his shots and I love that he’s smiling through the face slaps in the end. He looked like a true champion, never really letting Higuchi get out of control on offense. I’d like to see a rematch between the two with some of the fat trimmed.

 

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Not a whole lot to add to Superkix's comments. Ishikawa is a tremendous world champion and his strengths along with excellent pacing and timing more than made up for Higuchi's limitations. Really good match. ****

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Really enjoyed this due to the intensity and violence they both brought. Everything feels really visceral from the go, and Higuchi really throws himself into Ishikawa's offense and viceversa. Ishikawa throws a lot of truly hideous headbutts, culminating with the rainmaker headbutt. Higuchi's sloppiness in high risk moves added a lot to the match for me, as the wild rookie trying to overcome Ishikawa by any means necessary and trying shit like a crossbody dive to the outside and a splash from the top rope, both of which he really never does. Ishikawa's screaming and mugging as he tries to put Higuchi away on the latter half of the match was just great. One of Ishikawa's best matches in what was a ridiculously strong year.

The post-match is cute. Ishikawa tries to congratulate Higuchi, but Daisuke Sasaki cheap-shots him, takes the mic and insults Higuchi. Higuchi flips Sasaki off as he's being helped to the back, to the crowd's delight. Then, the crowd sings happy birthday for Shuji Ishikawa after Sasaki reluctantly congratulates him. I'm very entertained by the dynamic of Ishikawa as a face in DDT's pure heel stable.

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