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[2019-06-05-NJPW-Best of the Super Juniors: Night Fifteen] Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay

paul sosnowski

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I feel like I saw this exact same match at least 3 or more times in this damn tournament & I didn't even watch like half of the matches. It's the same old generic, dull & overly long bombfest stuff. I usually don't find it interesting in the slightest, and that certainly did not change here. I came away from it with absolutely nothing. *

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9 minutes ago, paul sosnowski said:

I have not had the chance to watch this today, but I have seen many people reviewing it at 5 stars or better

Basically a less offensive version of the Cole-Gargano match from NXT. All bombs, nothing else, way too long, wrong winner. I didn't hate this match but it certainly lost me after 10 minutes or so. The boost flip back bump was cool though. Deserves to be in a better match than this.


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I had high expectations for this one and they delivered hugely. I loved everything about this, from Shingo nearly messing up knee doing a dive to Ospreay beautifully countering the Jumping Bomber with a Liger Bomb. This match served it's purpose in elevating both men as they ascend to heavyweight. 

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Gave some stream of consciousness notes on this.


Critiques of Shingo vs Ospreay

1. too much outside brawling in first 5-10 minutes. White/Tana and Juice/Mox both had intense feuds that predicated that. This match did not.
2. Ospreay facials
3. Ospreay kicking out of nearfall after first sliding clothesline too soon
4. inconsistent selling with sequenes
5. announcers wanting to call the match off  after top rope DVD and Ospreay is doing multiple springboards 1 minute later
6. neck work was  largely forgotten
7. Count out tease was pointless
8. 630 with point of impact being the neck was dumb
9. Ospreay winning strike exchange leading to finishing run doesn't fit the personas

Pluses of Shingo vs Ospreay

1. Shingo played his role as dominant bully really well
2. Most of Ospreays dynamic offense sparkled including the Liger bomb
3. They waited to pull out some special moves for this match like Made in Japan
4. Os Cutter was a nice equalizer on the edge of the ring after Shingo had been on top for a while
5. Ospreay pounces right after count out tease
6. Shingo kick out of Os Cutter was well timed and amped the match up to the finishing run
7. pace was fine in that the match was 33 minutes but it didn't feel as long as other NJPW main events
8. Ospreay pumping bomber kick out was well timed and contrast to surprise he had when Shingo kicked out of Os Cutter
9. I liked finish with Ospreay hitting the Hidden Blade, knowing the match is at hand and him delivering the KO shot with the top rope Os Cutter and Storm Breaker.


Ended up at ***3/4 overall on the back of overarching story and athleticism. 

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This match in a lot of ways felt similar to Kenny-Tanahashi from WK 13. Very long but worked a more urgent pace than most NJPW main events. Lots and lots of cool stuff but for the first half of the match it felt more like a "really good" match as opposed to a "Oh my God this is incredible!" match. The finishing stretch however was pretty fantastic. As many bombs as they threw in the first 20 minutes,  the last 13 cranked everything up to about 11. The Oscutter on the apron. The 630 to Shingo still standing (incredibly dumb and dangerous but still impressive). Shingo's final comeback. I feel like Ospreay winning this match was a mistake but considering how much Shingo took before the final pin, it was as good as you could get in terms of giving him his first loss.

Not perfect, but still an outstanding match that might be the best this year. ****3/4

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These maximalist matches come down to a simple formula for me: Are the booking, physicality and creativity enough to sweep away my urge to nit pick? That was absolutely the case here, so I'm happy to call it a great match, even though I might find parts of it frustrating upon more careful examination. It was a high-end summer action movie, and I was happy just to go with it.

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46 minutes ago, Childs said:

These maximalist matches come down to a simple formula for me: Are the booking, physicality and creativity enough to sweep away my urge to nit pick?

A great criteria. This one fell apart under further scrutiny for me though. Maybe a revisit at the end of the year.

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