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[2000-05-27-IWO-Rumble in the River] Low Ki vs Homicide

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This is a match where the importance can’t be understated. I feel like we have given a good look at the indy stuff from the late 90’s on and it is tough to pinpoint when we reach our first true classic of the indies that wouldn’t look out of place at all in the ROH indy era. Mayhem vs Ki is usually slotted as that match but I think it is for sure this one. The match included brutal stiffness that was unmatched at points and reminded me of Necro and Samoa Joe’s best outings. The matwork was intense and brutal including the opening lock up that showed this wasn’t just going to be a run to the mill match. There were some flubs including a diving headbutt from Ki that whiffed but they recovered nicely with Homicide selling the arm that did get a glancing hit. The crowd seems unsure how to take this but does put their support behind Homicide. The finish is shitty with the match breaking down but the clotheslines that Homicide delivers right before the action spills to the outside is some of the nastiness ones I have seen. Outside, Homicide gives Ki a suplex onto a table with no give and he throws Ki through an entire row of chairs. Another suplex onto the hard table and the hate is really coming through the screen. What a war. ****1/4

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Both guys approached this like serious business and went about things like a real war. Intense matwork, extremely stiff strikes, and they are telling the story that they want to tell on their own terms. Homicide goes after the leg a little and has some disgusting lariats and throws as well as some really nice matwork. Ki busts out his hard kicks and real explosive offense too. They cover pretty well for the top rope headbutt spot and trade some big moves down the home stretch before the messy finish.

 

I can definitely see this as a groundwork for ROH style and both guys seemed perfectly comfortable here, particularly Homicide. A really good piece of history.

 

***3/4

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I watched a lot of Low Ki back in the day but don't think I've ever seen this one before. These two together is one of my favorite matchups.

 

Love the collar and elbow into pin attempts to start. They keep it simple in the beginning, but they stand out with the intensity with which they do these moves. The side headlock isn't a rest hold - you feel it. The brutality of the strikes is really eye popping. And that's part of what would set this group apart, and you can see the contrast between this match and Da Hit Squad having to slow things down to work a couple of old school indy guys.

 

Loved every bit of this. Much better example of where the style was going at the high end than Ki v. Mayhem. Other than some of the dives that Ki would excise from his moves later and the finisher kickouts, this was close to on par to their matches over the next few years. The double countout finish is a real bummer, though.

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My Low Ki exploration continues... This was an excellent bout. Great intensity to everything they did. Those collar and elbow pin attempts at the beginning were fantastic. How often do you see two workers put much effort into a standard tie up? That set the bar high but they never let up. What followed was one intense spot after another. There was some awkwardness at times but they kept battering each other. It was a testament to the bout that the "Good Gawd Almighty" spots truly felt like "Good Gawd Almighty" spots. The finish was fitting as well. One of the few times a match broke down and I thought "Well, that makes sense." I'm looking forward to exploring more of this stuff.

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It's funny to see these two guys have a heated brawl when they are partners in another indie. Good stuff here especially from Ki. Homicide brings the violence by throwing chairs and I liked the brawl at the end for the finish.

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I thought this was very good match and probably the indie MOTY at this point. Just an all out war with both guys going all out. The one thing I really enjoyed in this match was the way they worked the near falls with both guys hitting their finishing moves. They still protected their finishers by selling exhaustion and taking their time before going for the pinfall. That is something that a lot of guys are not effectively doing today.

 

It's really surprising how good both guys are at this point. In fact, I would say that Homicide looks better here in 2000, than he does today after TNA seems to have blown his motivation.

 

****1/4

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This was a manly match. That collar and elbow tie up is an example of what it should look like. Both guys followed by bringing the brutality and working with intensity. Those strike exchanges before the Ki Cutter and the series of lariats were great. The finish sucked, but the post match chaos added to the brutality of this, so it made up for the horrible finish.

 

****1/4

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This is a tough one for me. Reading through the thread and even listening to the commentary I could tell this was an important match in historical terms but I really had trouble enjoying this. US indie wrestling to me is a lot like lucha for some people in that I have a very hard time getting into it and generally dont get it. I think I have a hard time with the context of what indie wrestling really is. This came off very sloppy and crude to me, but not in a good way. It felt really spotty in that there didnt seem to be much connective tissue between one thing to the next, and even the strikes, although very stiff and impressive, didnt feel natural to me. I fully acknowledge that Im out of my element here though, and any help understanding this is appreciated. Im wondering if its a matter of me needing to overlook the shortcomings of the presentation and the unpolished nature of the work?

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This is a title match for Low Ki’s IWO Jr Heavyweight championship. Great collar and elbow tie up; this looks like a real battle with both men trying to gain an early advantage. As Homicide looks to escape an armbar, Ki trips him up and then throws some palm strikes forcing Cide to take to the outside for a breather. Test of strength and Homicide with a drop toe hold before retaliating with some cross faces. Ki gets the better of a shoulder tackle and a side headlock takedown where you can really see him cinching it in. A trio of kicks to the head followed by a single leg dropkick off the top for two. Homicide avoids the handspring elbow, whips Ki to the opposite corner and levels him with a running forearm smash. Dragon sleeper by Ki and Homicide frees himself after some knees to the forehead. ‘Brain buster’ for another two count. Ki returns to boxing Homicide’s ears with those kicks, however he goes to the well once too often as Cide catches the leg and tears at his knee with a dragon screw. STF, but Ki is able to inch his way over to the ropes for the break. He continues to target that leg, draping it over the ropes and then raining blows on it. Ki with an elbow to the side of the head, though Homicide blocks the attempted tornado DDT and a dragon screw off the middle. He peppers him with jabs and a splash from the second turnbuckle for a near fall. Rear chinlock which he quickly gives up on in order to land a few more cross faces across the chops. Double axe handle, but Ki nails him with a perfectly timed koppo kick. Diving headbutt misses its target and both men are down. After Homicide fails when trying to shatter Ki’s ankle between a chair and the ring post, the two go at it on the outside and Ki reverses a Cide whip, sending him crashing into that same post. Huge plancha off the top turnbuckle to the floor. Frog splash by Ki, but he hurts his ribs on landing and the slight delay in making the cover gives Cide the extra few seconds he needs to recover and he’s able to kick out of the eventual pin. Homicide ducks under a big boot and then plants Ki with a chokeslam. Another STF, but just like last time Ki is able to scramble to the ropes. Homicide picks him up for a powerbomb, however releases Ki backwards overhead, sending him flying head first into the turnbuckles. ‘Cop Killa’, but that takes as much out of Homicide as it does Low Ki. Desperation chops to the neck from Ki, ‘Ki Krusher’ and both men are down again, exhausted by this fight they’re in. Ki makes the cover and Cide just about rolls a shoulder. Super stiff lariats to the front and back by Homicide, with the last one folding Ki up like an accordion. He tosses him through the ropes and the two are brawling at ringside. They fail to beat the count but the action continues anyway. Ki launches Homicide into the chairs and a powerdrive elbow off the stage onto the wooden floor. Cide with a suplex onto an unbreakable table, before giving Ki a dose of his own medicine and whipping him into the chairs. He tries to suplex him through another table, but with the same result. Homicide had had enough and heads backstage, and after getting to his feet, Low Ki heads off after him.

 

Is it a coincidence that they have open with such a great collar & elbow tie up only a couple of days after the Pillman Memorial show where Regal and Benoit did the same (admittedly not at the level here), or was someone at the show and they decided to incorporate that into their match? Just like that match this felt like a fight; high intensity levels, stiff strikes, they were cranking on the submissions and both ended up showing the signs of exhaustion. It wasn’t as tight as the aforementioned and I wasn’t enamoured with the finish which puts it below that for the month. Still one absolutely worth checking out and yet another great outing for Ki in 2000.

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That kuppo-kick counter from Ki was insane. I doubt that if they repeated the spot 100 times that they would hit it as well as they done there more than 5 times at most.

 

There were couple of minor issues with this match: there was some sloppy stuff, for example the mentioned flying headbutt or kicks missing by a mile and Ki threw too many big bombs too early in the match which lead to a lack of escalation of offense from his side until the Ki Crusher. But this is definitely a match that would have gotten over great in 2002 ROH (though Low Ki was definitely better in 02 than he was here, Homicide I am not so sure).

 

Homicide is a guy I have often problems watching as in-ring he too often wrestles way too sloppy and does not seem to care that some of his stuff does not look very good, so you have no problems believing that he started out as a backyarder. But here he is spot-on. Except maybe a mafia kick that missed by a lost most of the sloppy stuff here was done by Low Ki.

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