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[2017-03-12-AJPW] Keisuke Ishii vs Koji Iwamoto


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It's quite frustrating to watch something like this, because this could have and should have been a great match. It was structured well-had the classic start with some chain wrestling, teases and whatnot, then come some striking where Iwamoto really shined, his short dash elbow was beautiful, it's like a straight jab, such a neat spot. Eventually Ishii hit a sick Neckbreaker on the guardrail, which led into the neckwork portion, and Ishii's work on top was really tight, his knee drops in particular were just brutal. Iwamoto countered a Neckbreaker on the apron into a Osoto Gari, which, like his other judo offence (his Harai Goshi is a work of art) looks magnificent, and that led into the finishing stretch. Iwamoto has great offence in general, he hit a neat Lariat which damn near beheaded Ishii. Ishii's offence was more akin to the stuff you'd expect from an All Japan Junior, but if there was ever a man who can concince you a backflip knee is a viable and good pro wrestling move it's him. The match was exciting, lasted about as long as it should've, they followed the internal logic of the match well (in building up moves or countering the previously established ones at the right time). If only they stopped using the phantom rope running almost exclusively as a transition, they could have great matches. But every time they run the ropes and then get hit with a move I'm reminded of how stupid wrestling is, why I don't want to be when I'm watching wrestling, and it feels really silly to have them work on *everything else* so the rope running remains as a barrier preventing them from having excellent instead of great matches when they could improve so much if they fixed one thing and just used more than one transition, or just had running offence that would make me buy into those counters like All Japan wrestlers used to have. ***3/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-03-12-AJPW] Keisuke Ishii vs Koji Iwamoto

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