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[2017-07-07-NEW] Kazunari Murakami & Kohei Sato vs Akira Jo & Keisuke Okuda


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Jo and Okuda cut a classic "we're not done with each other yet, but we're teaming up to face the invaders" promo before the match and proceed to absolutely deliver. A great coming out performance for them, and a wild, chaotic tag team brawl I'd expect more from WWC of whatever indy decides to book LA Park, but it is back in Korauken and suddenly the days of Tarzan Goto blasting people don't feel so long ago. The key here is the modern puro strike exchange-usually a dreadful sight as two people exchange strikes for x amount of time. There are several differences here which make it work. There's a hierarchy-Jo and Okuda are severely outclassed. Murakami and Sato take their shots, but they can't afford to take shots back. The stubborness and agression in Jo and Okuda's performances really shakes things up-they keep getting up as fast as they can, desperately striking away, blindsighting and double teaming Sato and Murakami every chance they get. The consistency and dedication in their performances successfully creates the illusion that, once they do go down, it's not because it's "what you're supposed to do after losing a strike exchange", but because they really have been terribly overwhelmed. Sato and Murakami deliver the beating you'd want from this type of match-Murakami might as well have time traveled back in 2001, he looke like the best wrestler in the world here, just throwing ungodly punching combinations, wicked uppercuts, nearly killing people by hitting reckless Harai Goshis. Sato's forearms, headbutts and knees were on point as well, and the suit and giant tatoos make them look like a convincing yakuza pair. ****1/4

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, this was the business. I don't follow wrestling as it's happening the way I used to, but there are things I'll still make a point of watching every year and Murakami rolling into somebody's town to wreak havoc is one such thing. That he's now rocking the suit like a crazed looking hitman only adds to the allure. He was a total bastard in this -- the hooks, the short elbows, the uppercuts, the kicks, more or less every strike he threw. And we got the full range of facial expressions, from contemptuous sneers to disgust at his opponents to almost shock when either of them manage to actually hurt him. Jo really can't strike for shit and in a match that's basically 95% strikes that would normally be a red flag straight away, but I thought it actively added to the story of this. The gulf in hitting power between Jo and both Murakami and Sato is astronomical and the piddly strikes only reinforced that. Murakami and Sato reacted to those shots with either indifference or scorn - as they should have - and when they did sell big it was because the strikes looked like they actually warranted it. Murakami never went flying across the ring for a fluffed elbow, but he hit the deck quick enough for Jo's best punch combo of the match. Sato was playing more enforcer than front and centre asshole like Murakami, but he threw his knees and chopped guys to ribbons and at one point he told the crowd to quiet down so they could hear the thump off a headbutt. I will now endeavour to watch everything else Murakami does in 2017. Prolly.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-07-07-NEW] Kazunari Murakami & Kohei Sato vs Akira Jo & Keisuke Okuda

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