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[2000-05-27-NJPW] Koji Kanemoto vs Tatsuhito Takaiwa


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The commercial version for these matches is part frustrating with the clipping but also endearing with the interviews and clips interspersed to give us a bit of context. We get to see most of this and I really enjoyed the way it was worked. Taikawa gets his leg worked over for a big portion and he continues to sell the damage even performing some of his high impact moves. This also had some stiff action on the outside with the clotheslines into the guard rail. Finishing stretch has Taikawa looking like things are firmly in control until Kanemoto is able to kick the leg and trip him again. Kanemoto is able to roll through from a middle rope move and lock in the ankle lock making the leg work pay off with a victory in the match. Really good match. ***1/2

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  • 4 months later...

I really liked the leg attack by Kanemoto. Him adding little things like a backhand slap to Takaiwa's face while holding him in a leglock is really great. Takaiwa perseveres through the leg pain to put together a really nice stretch run of moves that look like they will be enough to do the job but Kanemoto gets an opportunistic win in a very solid match.



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  • 2 months later...

This ruled. Stiff strikes, focused legwork from Kanemoto with some uncharacteristically great selling from Takaiwa, neat little nuances here and there, and a few bombs for good measure. Even with a couple of minutes missing, we got the complete story. Kanemoto promptly shotguns him with a kick to the left leg and Takaiwa sells hard for it, before he starts trying to clobber his way to the driver's seat. The lariats into the guardrail were great but then he gets caught with the overhead suplex on the floor and Kanemoto goes to town on the leg. Fun stuff like Takaiwa grabbing the ref's shirt while in the figure-four or Kanemoto backhanding him in the face after he drops down with the spinning toehold. I love that when Takaiwa tries for his own figure-four, it's immediate reversed and he's put on the rocks. Then Kanemoto pulls off the knee pad and starts punching the bandaged knee. Takaiwa is able to work around the bum knee and throw some bombs, including a sweet Death Valley Bomb hold off a tiger suplex attempt. His double powerbomb is obviously weakened because of the leg and he knows it so he pulls Kanemoto up instead of pinning him and clubs him with a lariat. The finish was cool, too, with Kanemoto rolling through the frankensteiner into an ankle hold to submit Takaiwa. I'm probably the high man on this match but this is everything I want out of a sub-15:00 junior heavyweight match.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2000-05-27-NJPW] Koji Kanemoto vs Tatsuhito Takaiwa

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