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[2006-07-02-Big Mouth Loud] Kensuke Sasaki vs Katsuyori Shibata

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A good match, but unfortunately not much more than that. They couldn't find a fitting format the channel the violence-I don't mind that the much was based on so many strike exchanges, it's that they really didn't have an idea on what it would be. Shibata attacked Kensuke at the bell, but the match lacked the urgency of an all out hate filled shorter brawl. There were probably instances in the strike exchanges where they sold too much-or, to be more accurate, randomly sold after an x amount of moves instead of building a striking exchange and then delivering a final strike that would differentiate from the previous ones and register with the viewer as something that would knock them down. It's not like that's the only way to go-one type of strike hit for the seventh time finally knocking them down could work too, but the point is to build the repetition, or the peril of the strike, or SOMETHING, and they didn't. It's a good match to watch if you have 1~15 minutes to kill and just want to see some nice violence, Kensuke really knows how to put weight into his strikes, watching him and someone today throw a chop is like night and day, and it's not just the chops, his Lariats are amazing and he'll just clob people in the neck and the back or side of the head. I appreciate that in the strike exchanges they didn't just spam one strike all the time but would constantly change things up until something worked. Props to Shibata for kicking away manically when Kensuke got him up for the Northern Lights Bomb, most wrestlers just doing nothing when they're picked up in the mair makes that an especially resonating image, though I can't fathom why it's not used more often, such a simple way to build drama and suspense. Kensuke bumping for Shibata's mocking stomps/punts was silly. ***1/4

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I liked this a little bit more but, it is more about watching Kensuke assault skinny Shibata.

 

Sasaki pulled out a couple special moves here so, he really treated Shibata as a threat and I think is why he bumped for the face kicks when he was kneeling. I think he treated them like Chono's Kenka kicks.

 

I was wholly pleased with the match but, Shibata-bata really needs something more than middle kicks in his arsenal. It got rather repetitive... I was waiting for it to be Kensuke's turn to lay the smack down. All in all it was exactly what I wanted as rank dictated the outcome even before the bell rang...especially since Shibata opted for a brawn over brains approach. Highly recommended despite it's flaws.

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For the most part, I liked the story of Shibata trying to take down big boss Kensuke. I thought the legwork was a smart approach, even if it didn't feel like a real threat, but I liked how it came about with Sasaki powerbombing his way out of an armbar, showing off, and Shibata quickly snatching the leg for the takedown and heel hook. Shibata kicking the leg before dragging Sasaki back to the middle and re-applying was great. Sasaki's selling was okay at best but he no sold a lot of Shibata's strikes. At one point, he hulks through probably 15 hard kicks from Shibata before finally succumbing to the damage. After blowing off the legwork, Sasaki hits a bunch of lariats and hurts himself finishing off Shibata with the Northern Lights Bomb. Not a barn burner but the crowd was into it and I thought Shibata playing the underdog was fun.

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