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[1992-01-25-RINGS] Mitsuya Nagai vs Koichiro Kimura


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Scrappy underdogs are a staple of Japanese pro-wrestling and when you throw them into a shoot-style setting -- like Masahito Kakihara, for example – you often get more heart and hunger than actual skill. Even if they aren’t landing half of their strikes, they’re constantly snapping off kicks and attempting little flourishes. On the tails, you’ve got the persevering, more methodical grappler, who absorbs the blows and waits until his opponent tires himself out to strike on the mat. Nagai is the wild scrapper to Kimura’s cool submission specialist. Kimura waiting to catch that one stray kick, get the takedown, and score the submission. His counterwork and transitions are solid – there’s a point where he goes from a neck crank to an armbar to a nasty front guillotine. But Nagai keeps throwing kicks and knees, slapping Kimura in the face when he catches a foot to prevent the takedown. The match is a slog at times, and had five or so minutes been cut, this would’ve been even better. By the end of it, Kimura’s cooked and helpless against Nagai, who keeps swatting at him with big open hands and landing knees against the ropes. I liked the dueling headbutts toward the end as a desperate means to end the match but ultimately, the scrapper Nagai wins out.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1992-01-25-RINGS] Mitsuya Nagai vs Koichiro Kimura

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