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[2000-04-09-Michinoku Pro-Super J Cup] Great Sasuke vs Naoki Sano


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This was a weird match for me in that I thought I would like it tremendously based on the competitors and the structure and while what they did here was fine for the most part, something didn’t click. Sano is really established strongly utilizing a basic but effective ground game to neutralize Sasuke and his flash. Sasuke is able to get glimpses of that momentum, but they are not sustained. The ending plays into this when he can’t answer the bell at last. A big win for Sano. **3/4

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I thought this was very good at times, but it didn't really deliver on its promise. It is definitely a match that requires patience, as more than the first half of this is just about building a foundation, and they take their time and you start to wonder why they are doing such a lethargic match. Sasuke and Sano have good will with me, so I bit, and while the match wasn't bad, it was very disappointing. I get that the goal was to really make Sano's victory seem hard fought since it was an upset, and I thought they accomplished that with all of the selling, whereas if they had just done a typical juniors match, I don't know that a Sano upset carries the same weight. It felt like a match that knew its finish sucked (why not put Sano over more convincingly to make a moment?) and tried to overcome the booking through the work in the ring. This never quite got where it was trying to go, but it was still an interesting watch.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought the work was technically good and just did not reach a very gripping level. I do appreciate Sano cutting off Sasuke and keeping things from escalating, and that being a strategy that pays dividends for him here. I also really liked the finish and think it served both guys well at this stage in the tournament. Pretty forgettable but serviceable match.



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  • 2 months later...

I liked the first half of the match with Sano dominating on the mat, but it faltered when they reached the fast middle section. They were going faster than they could handle, leading to Sasuke's messy jump over the ropes that Sano had to sell as hurting him even though it didn't get near him. The knockout was interesting finish that doesn't get used often. Somewhat of a disappointment, but still a fun match.

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  • 4 months later...
  • GSR changed the title to [2000-04-09-Michinoku Pro-Super J Cup] Great Sasuke vs Naoki Sano

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