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Masakatsu Funaki vs Shinya Aoki (NEW 6/2/2017)

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The first shoot style match of the show! This was something like a RINGS match with a more focused narrative-some nice matwork at the start before Funaki catches Aoki with a HUGE leg kick, after which Aoki's leg becomes a target and Funaki uses it both for direct attacks and feints. Funaki's dominance lasts until he goes for one his more pro-style moves (the Penalty Kick) which Aoki uses for a counter and they end up in a whirlpool of lightning fast hold counters. It really is saying of both man's talents (but especially Funaki's-since he's the one that's done them regularly for many years) that a mostly methodical short match can be this good. ***1/4

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