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ShittyLittleBoots

[2017-05-10-WWE-NXT] Hideo Itami vs Roderick Strong

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This was an outstanding, physical violent battle w/ a great sense of competition. Both guys were fantastic in their control segments w/ their terrific looking offense. The transitions were great. I watched their ROH match from 2006 recently & this was on the same level as that one in my eyes. ****1/2

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Some very solid grappling at the start! This is a weird match-it feels like the restrictions here are more damning because of the nature of the layout than anything they're *allowed* to do. Usually in a match like this the strongest parts would revolve around stiffness, it't not like it wasn't present here, I like the Jumbo-esque Forearms to the body Itami's added, but they're more "Chris Jericho does a chop or two before an irish whip and moving on with the action" then they are the sequences you'd want from these two. There are some glimpses of it when they start exchanging blows in the corner and even in the middle of the ring-but if you think about it more those spots aren't anything more but an extension of what you'd see in a Cena vs Punk or a Rock vs Austin match, just with the better quality of striking masking the origins of the spots at first. Sure, Strong countering Itami's corner kick with a backbreaker is an amazing spot-but nothing in the match really goes beyond "hey, that looks cool". In fact, they end up relying on cliched transitions (running into a kick into a corner, chinlock>jawbreaker and so on) and kinda just getting their stuff in at the end with lots of 2 counts. ***

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