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[2000-02-05-NJPW] Shinya Hashimoto & Takashi Iizuka vs Masa Chono & AKIRA


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We cut to AKIRA getting choked out and having to recover out on the floor. I really enjoyed the Hash vs. Chono mat sequence that happened next and it was really intense. Ilzuka gets in there and holds his own too. I don’t know when he will fall off in the decade but he has been a welcome addition to everything so far. AKIRA has recovered for five minutes and he comes in and dropkicks both opponents and then just goes at it with Hash on the outside. Once the tag is made to Hashimoto he decides this is enough and taps out AKIRA. Really spirited work continues in New Japan. **3/4


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A terrific 8 minutes of wrestling. The shooty elements are here without being overdone, and this is a really fun, physical match. Chono has been really good in 2000 so far, really holding his own with Hashimoto, and I wouldn't mind seeing them lock up one more time in a big match. Iizuka has also been strong so far, and seems to be a quiet but consistent contributor to a lot of really good matches, almost like he's the Naoki Sano of the 2000s (unless Naoki Sano turns out to be the Naoki Sano of the 2000s). Hashimoto gets another tapout win to keep building momentum and I enjoyed every second of this. ***1/4

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Man, I'm with Loss; I thought this was a fantastic little chunk of wrestling. It's pretty much exactly what I like out of my TV wrestling. A hard-hitting, energetic match with hard work and strong performances. I loved just about everything Iizuka gave out here as he just steamrolled around the place, choking guys and getting them in holds. It was a little thing but him pulling Chono's arm back and forth during the armbar was a little touch that made a basic move look so much more violent. I could watch Hash attack dudes all day but his sequence with Chono at the start was a really well put together one. Once more, NJPW are finding the balance of shoot style and their own in which both are aiding each other.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-02-05-NJPW] Shinya Hashimoto & Takashi Iizuka vs Masa Chono & AKIRA

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