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[2004-06-18-FWA-Carpe Diem] Low Ki vs James Tighe

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This is Low Ki’s return to the FWA after first appearing at the FWA/ROH show Frontiers of Honor around a year before this. He’s matched up here with James Tighe who was the break through wrestler of the year in the FWA in 2003, culminating in him main eventing British Uprising II for the FWA Title. Following that unsuccessful challenge he’d been in a slump and on a losing streak.


This match feels very much like a Low Ki/Bryan Danielson match at times, but whereas those matches were much more even, Low Ki is able to dominate much more, especially in the opening stretches. There is some great counter wrestling at the beginning, with everything looking like a real struggle and several times Tighe is just able to escape Ki’s submissions by getting to the ropes, including a hanging Dragon Clutch that is applied over the top rope. As ever, Low Ki brings a real intensity to everything he does, and his kicks and chops are really vicious. Anytime that it looks like Tighe is getting the advantage, Ki’s striking ability is what can get him out of a hole – they are weapons that Tighe doesn’t have.


Tighe does though have the slight power advantage, and he is able to catch Ki coming off the ropes into a great looking German Suplex before hitting a double underhook into a power bomb for a nearfall that the crowd really seemed to bite on. Once again though it’s Ki’s striking that is decisive; when Tighe, sensing he has the momentum goes for his Tighetanic finisher Ki hits some nasty looking knees to escape before hitting a rolling koppu kick to the back of the head. From there he transitions to the Dragon Clutch and the ref calls for the bell with Tighe passing out.


This is an excellent match, almost on a par with the match that Tighe had with Doug Williams, which at this point in company history I think is the best match the FWA has had. This doesn’t have the nuances of that match, but the early grappling into the progression of high impact moves – without it ever becoming spot, spot, spot – means this is excellent. At a couple of moments, particularly when the match is starting to escalate that Tighe goes back to a chin lock that is slightly jarring, but that is nit picking. Tighe continued his losing streak, but looked anything but weak in this one, going toe to toe with one of the best on the independent scene at that time. (****)

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