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SmartMark15

[2019-07-15-DDT-Wrestle Peter Pan] Tetsuya Endo vs Konosuke Takeshita

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This match was awesome, all the offense looked awesome and they kept a fantastic pace. Even to open, trading off the various pinfall counters, helped to create a sense of big time urgency that shows they really wanted to get the win here. Endo showed off some heeling tactics like having the turnbuckles removed and it was nice to see him get the comeuppance of being crashed into it. Despite this, Endo became incredibly sympathetic after he took that leg wrap German onto the apron. Following that up with the suplex into the edge of the apron made me and the crowd really want to see him pull out the win. They really sold the effects of the match down the edge, their exhaustion shining through even as they grasped at bursts of energy to pull out big offense. Tense, exciting, and felt like a huge deal. I say this who knows literally zero about these two. 

****1/2

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Oh boy! This was absolutely tremendous. I was worried at first because the first few minutes made me think that this would be a slow burner where they'd do 15 minutes of mat work and then 5 minutes of the finishing stretch after a 7 hour show, which would've been so moronic and tone deaf BUT they didn't do that, thankfully. Instead that had a great match which was built around Takeshita working over Endo's back, Endo selling, gaining sympathy and making sensational comebacks. The pacing was tremendous too. The first few minutes were the breaking in periods but from then on, this had a very competitive pace to it. Building and building to the finish. Takeshita destroying Endo's back, in some cases, just throwing him with zero regard to the outside. Even suplexing him on the edge of the apron. Endo's selling was great. He was still getting his usual offence in but you could clearly see the damage and fatigue that the match had on him. The way Endo would have his little spurts of hope before Takeshita hit a massive move was so good. The atmosphere wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be - mostly attributed to Endo was his fantastic babyface performance in this match. ****3/4

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Kind of scatterbrained but with the underlying theme of Takeshita working the neck/back, which Endo sold relatively well at points - the failed torture rack was a nice touch and he bumps like hell. Takeshita is just so good - so crisp, so innovative. Every time I see him, he incorporates new things into the match. Simple things, like the way he hooks the leg off a leg scissors kip up. And he has one of the best modern leg lariats I've seen, the way he hooks it on Endo's neck as he continues working it over. Endo on offense is whatever - he doesn't bring a whole lot that draws me in. But Takeshita's Blue Thunder backbreaker to put him back in the driver's seat was very cool. We get some nasty apron spots and I liked Takeshita opting not to kick Endo's face in the corner but instead, grabs him and piledrives him. In the final minutes, Endo's got the crowd behind him and Takeshita's surviving everything he's dishing out. It definitely shifted into overkill territory with all the Canadian Destroyers but Takeshita tapping him with the Liontamer was the perfect way to payoff all that backwork. I think I liked parts of the match more than the match itself but it was still one of the better EPIC-style match-ups I've seen this year. 

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I saw a lot of praise for this match, but knowing the length and the result I honestly expected to be underwhelmed by it. I was not, this is very good! This is just the match where everything comes together for what this rivalry is supposed to be. I love that Takeshita's always kind of trying to target the back, even when Endo blocks his moves. And Takeshita hits his moves hard as fuck, which has always been something great about him. Doing that backbreaker and the leg wrap german out the ring back to back was insane. Endo's selling has always been very effective in getting sympathy for me, even if he can be inconsistent with it. I think it's great here. I liked the finish a lot, Takeshita uses the boston crab about five times in the match and Endo just tapping out after all the shit he took was unexpected in the best way.

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Pretty excellent match. Takeshita may very well have the best offense of any wrestler and that was on full display here. The first few minutes were a bit slow given the 31 minute run time, but they picked things up rather quickly. Really enjoyed the limb work and the payoff of the exposed turnbuckle was great. Whereas NJPW can get a bit heavy on finisher reversals, there wasn't really a whole lot of that in this and I think it was better for it.

Highly recommended. ****1/2

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