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[2017-09-24-DDT] HARASHIMA vs KUDO


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This ruled, reminding me a lot of HARASHIMA’s 2010 match against Hikaru Sato. There was a blatant and endearing familiarity between these two that pervaded the match from the initial lock-up to the grinning snug exchanges. HARASHIMA was being quite nasty here, especially with his stompy legwork, which is never fancy, but always looks excruciating, whether it's uppercutting into a leg crank or just wrenching the ankle into precarious angles. When KUDO resists the suplex lift, HARASHIMA slapping that bad leg in order to hit the Falcon Arrow -- very cool touch. I guess if I had one minor quibble, it's that KUDO's selling could've been a little more profound but his in-the-moment stuff is pretty great and at times, he would just throw himself at HARASHIMA. But the legwork didn't do enough to deter KUDO from using his stiff kick-and-knee-based offense. Loved his duck>slap>smile strategy against HARASHIMA and HARASHIMA's lunging headbutt to answer. The escalation into the finishing stretch was terrific, with both guys bumping like crazy and throwing some nasty slaps. Hell of a performance from both guys (both in their 40s), and they managed to do a lot with the time allowed, creating an "epic" in under 20:00.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-09-24-DDT] HARASHIMA vs KUDO
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I liked how many of their big moves fail to hit, HARASHIMA's legdrop to the outisde, KUDO's diving knee drop. That's a simple but effective way to play off the famliarity they have with each other. KUDO slowly gaining the striking advantage during an exchange with tight uppercuts and hooks and then HARASHIMA throwing all his body into a headbutt out of nowhere is one of the best moments in all their matches (they have a bunch, most of them are very good). KUDO's selling fading away in the last third does hurt the match. Nevertheless, they put together a pretty good finishing stretch.

KUDO does Masa Takanashi's nose thing right before the finish, which is on par with Takeshita doing Honda's elbow thing as far as emotional DDT comedy move stealing goes. I liked it. Shit, maybe Keisuke Ishii is gonna beat HARASHIMA with the danshoku piledriver at some point?

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