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Maciej

[2018-01-07-DDT-D-King Grand Prix 2018] Konosuke Takeshita vs Tetsuya Endo

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Takeshita has really grown from beautiful wrestling prodigy into a bully role seamlessly, and he decides early on to try and destroy Endo's brain. His STF is really great too. Tetsuya works pretty much pure babyface, which, though he's historically great at being a dick, is obviously a great use of his athleticism. If I had to criticize, there's a point this gets to where Endo is selling his brain damage so well, that returning to kind of a traditional big move-trading structure for the last part of the match seems a little wasteful, but that's just nitpicking. This is well worth everyone's time. ****1/4

 

That's three Takeshita matches I have at 4 plus stars in 5 days. DDT rules.

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I was not a fan of their last time limit draw and while they definitely improved upon that mess here, I feel like they don't quite have the chemistry to keep pulling these kind of matches off. It was a good match, and I liked Takeshita showing off more of his mean side after brainbustering Endo on the floor and continuing the attack on Endo's neck. Endo's never really been the best seller and it was competent here - hard in the moment, not so much afterward when it comes time to hit the flash. I think his best showing was against HARASHIMA in last year's King of DDT final but that was a much more grounded match than what this turned into. Lots of back-and-forths and reversals, and some fun little fighting spirit rushes before they both start dumping signatures and bombs to try and get the pinfall before the time expires. A perfectly fine match and a more aggressive side of Takeshita.

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I think Endo's short term selling might be his strong suit. He makes everything look like it hurts. He does stop that to hit his big moves at some point in his matches, even in that HARASHIMA one, which is his best singles match. Taking that into consideration, building the last two matches of the feud around Takeshita working Endo's neck is probably not the best choice. Nevertheless, I've enjoyed most bouts in this series despite my nitpicks. Takeshita hits a couple big new counters every time, which I almost always like. And he also gets to be an asshole, which is when he's most fun. Takeshita's neck work is good, and for the most part him targetting it when you think Endo has finally regained control is consistent through most of this. I enjoyed the finishing stretch for how stiff it was. Endo's kimura was very deep and Takeshita kills him with a knee. But it does, to a degree, devolve into the same dumb finisher-stealing run of the Korakuen draw. I really don't know why that's the one thing that bothers me the most in these matches. Maybe it just puts how much they want all of these matches to be epic main events into sharp focus.

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