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[2000-02-04-NJPW] Koji Kanemoto & Masakazu Fukuda vs Takashi Iizuka & El Samurai


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A really good card from New Japan and we haven’t gotten until the real big Inoki era of worked shoot style stuff. However, there are leanings mainly in that the stiffness has been ramped up. This was mainly used by me to check out Fukuda who unfortunately will pass away two months from now. He looked really solid here and complimented Koji well within the team. Samurai seemed to be taking the blunt of the beating during this match and ends up taking the loss. ***

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Iizuka has become the utility player that can go wherever he is needed on the card, similar to the role Hiroshi Hase used to have in the company. It's a role that I think is often underappreciated and can be hugely valuable. Fukuda works the bulk of the match for his team and does an admirable job, but I suspect Kanemoto being in the ring more would have resulted in a hotter crowd. The work was good here, but it just wasn't that exciting. I didn't realize Fukuda passed away shortly after this match.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Man Kanemoto is showing some awesome heel charisma here. Even when Fukuda is dominating in the ring it's Kanemoto egging him on from the apron. And this match is fine if a little blah. There is some good grappling, some nice strikes particularly from Koji and a sense of struggle between the two sides. Just nothing pulling it all together. Really enjoying Kanemoto in these situations though.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • GSR changed the title to [2000-02-04-NJPW] Koji Kanemoto & Masakazu Fukuda vs Takashi Iizuka & El Samurai

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