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[2000-06-26-Toryumon] CIMA & Sumo Fuji & Stalker Ichikawa vs Masaaki Mochizuki & Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda

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This was a strong match in really showcasing the feud of M2K vs Crazy Max that will carry the company for the foreseeable future. It also was interesting seeing how the rudo/tecnico roles shifted immediately with M2K being the skateboard punks and Crazy Max becoming defacto faces. It was done a lot more organically than I would have imagined. I think having someone like Stalker on your side is an easy way to generate sympathy. Ditto for Fujii wearing the comedic wig to get a pop from the crowd when his nearly bald head was exposed. CIMA seemed enthusiastic to be a face as when he gets the hot tag off of a great sequence, he comes firing in and is jumping up and down all excitedly. The finishing run was strong too with Stalker getting some hope pinfalls before being defeated. Really strong opening chapter to this feud overall. ***3/4 (7.6)

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This was a fun match in a small ass ring. The only real problem for me from a personal standpoint is that I don't really know the personalities of the M2K faction. They kept fronting Crazy Max and it was clear that they had an attitude and were made of tougher stuff than the guys Crazy Max had been running roughshod over but I didn't get a feel for the individual personalities the way up do with the rudos. Perhaps that will come in time.

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Yeah, this was pretty awesome. Stalker is mostly a comedy worker, but he's been coming full circle is these multi man matches he's been involved in and his comedy here was well timed. Fuji also brought some comedy wearing a wig early in this, but it was well timed and didn't make this drag one bit. That finishing stretch was pretty great and even Stalker got the crowd buying into an upset. Very good stuff.

 

***3/4

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The shift in face/heel dynamic feels on the fly, but it's executed well and it certainly helps to have Stalker on your side to ease the transition. Fuji plays the face-in-peril, and M2K are compelling enough on top -- showcasing their coordination and tag team combos. CIMA is as good a face as he is a heel. Stalker is turned into a Chekhov's gun when he takes an intermission after being unmasked, and they pull the trigger in the final sequence of false finishes to a massive pop from the crowd when he returns to rally Crazy MAX. (They lose, but they are winners in my heart.)

***1/2

 

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