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[2000-05-05-FMW] Mr Gannosuke vs Sabu

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Man, I thought this was great and it totally took me by surprise. Maybe its just a reaction to how bad Sabu looked in the Devine match but I am really wanting to hear other opinions because the review I found on this show from Loerfice hated this match. The striking in the early going was spot on and I got a sense of escalation throughout the match where in the beginning it was just another match but by the end, it was personal between these two. Sabu uses the spike diligently playing up the Sheik gimmick and he hits all of his triple jump moves on the first try. In the most brutal spot of the match, Gannosake is able to hit his Fire Thunder Driver from the apron through a table on the floor. Sabu gets drilled right on top of his head on that one. I am a fireball mark and both looked excellent here with Gannosuke in particular maybe being one of the best looking fireballs in wrestling history. The camera angle really added to it as it was a surprise for the viewer at home much in the same way it was for Sabu. This was as good a Sabu match as you could hope for in 2000. ****

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This was wonderfully violent with a few moments that really took me by surprise. Sabu was on top of his game here, but I think the biggest reason this worked was that Gannosuke was worlds better than his usual opposition. I wouldn't go as far to say he carried this, but I would say that he understood how to pace the match in a way where there wasn't much extended setup time. I also liked that this was a rare case of Sabu getting just as well as he gave, between the Fire Thunder Driver through the table and the receipt fireball, which totally caught me off guard. You could probably draw a straight line from All Japan's famous 1977 tag league match to this and in the process watch the growth of garbage style. ***1/2

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I didn't like this at a super high level but I did enjoy it. Sabu's offense at the start I thought looked very soft and weak and for awhile it just felt like filler strikes and transitions to just set up nice spots. They work some blood and guts stuff but this picked up big time when they tear through a very stiff back and forth that ends with Sabu leg dropping Gannosuke face down through a table in the corner. The Fire Thunder Driver off the apron was brutal and really starts to add to that sense of escalation. There is that sense of danger, chaos, and animosity here. Sabu's fireball was certainly unexpected but Gannosuke's was even more and this ends at about as high a point that it could end.

 

**3/4

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Besides the Fire Thunder Driver and the fireballs, I thought this was pretty bad . Sabu seemed to be going through his greatest hits and not that successfully. Gannosuke was alright but he's not the most exciting guy. The crowd was dead thoughout. Sabu's fireball was nice but then Gannosuke topped it by doing a picudo style fire spot. That was a good finish. Bad match.

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While the match never seemed heated between the two, there was some nice violence displayed. I liked Gannosuke using the spike on Sabu's forehead and then dragging his face across the ropes. The jumping piledriver off the apron through the table was a cool spot. I wasn't expecting the fireball from Gannosuke at the end. Fun match.

 

**3/4

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I've always been fascinated with Mr. Gannosuke. I've read guys like Loss, Chad and Jerome talk about him but never taken the plunge. I'm guessing a match against Sabu isn't the best gateway to more Gannosuke since it was pretty generic and didn't give him much chance to show off his offense or character. But we'll see what other stuff he does in the early 00s. 

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While this had its moments, I was mostly whelmed by this as it felt like two guys haphazardly stringing together hardcore spots in front of a rather heatless crowd. I dug the dual fireball finish, though.

Rating: **¾

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