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superkix

[2001-07-13-ZERO-ONE] Shinjiro Ohtani vs Masato Tanaka

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These two dudes seemingly had a whole slew of matches together in ZERO-ONE, many of which were, at the very least, GOOD matches. This one is a personal favorite because it's compact and simple yet smartly worked without overstaying its welcome. Tanaka is a pudgy little house of fire to open, putting Ohtani on the rocks until Ohtani dropkicks the knee and starts working the holds. When Ohtani ties the leg up in the ropes, the fans let him have it and he basks in their boos. Tanaka's selling is terrific throughout the match, as he tries to boot and slap his way out of a leglock to no avail. When Tanaka starts to build some momentum, Ohtani ducks an elbow and hits a German suplex hold for two. And then he goes back to attacking that knee, keeping his holds locked in even after a rope break. Loved Tanaka hobbling over on one foot, trying to cut Ohtani off on the top rope before eventually superplexing him off, which sets the stage for the bomb-heavy finishing stretch. Tanaka goes on an offensive run, trying to finish Ohtani off with the Diamond Dust but Ohtani survives, dumping Masato with a couple of release dragon suplexes before putting him away with the Spiral Bomb. Good stuff!

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