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[2019-09-01-DDT-OSAKA OCTOPUS 2019] Konosuke Takeshita vs Shinya Aoki

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Great stuff. Takeshita working barefoot sets the stage and Aoki goes in hard after the left arm, which Takeshita does a good job selling the effects. Subtle touches like him keeping it behind his back as he goes in for a single arm lock up, or Takeshita trying for the octopus hold and Aoki seizing on the opportunity to snag the arm and keep working it. A very real sense of struggle throughout. I like that Takeshita clobbers him with the big elbow to buy some time, and then Aoki taunting Takeshita outside of the ring only for Takeshita to bite and get caught in a Fujiwara armbar on the floor. Some neat counters, including Takeshita countering the front necklock with the Northern Lights suplex, and the only real big impact moves were a couple German suplexes and a brainbuster. I like that it takes Takeshita a bit to get the crab hold fully locked in on account of the bum left arm but when he really cranks it, it's a convincingly strong finish. Simple but effective and smartly worked. My kind of match structure. 

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Aoki continues to be extremely interesting but his opening matwork feels more like "opening matwork" now. The fact that his approach to an armwork match was so much stomping on it and slamming it against shit rather than pure submissions is disappointing on some level. Those are nitpicks though, he still pulls out pinfall attempts and submissions literally out of thin air (and there's an upside to him becoming more prowres-like, which is his increased willingness to take bumps). I thought Takeshita was too over-the-top in his first singles match with Aoki but he's very convincing with the arm in this one. He also moves at a crazy pace here, like when they struggle to get an octopus hold and then Aoki tries to do a Gotch piledriver, which would be a throwaway sequence in most matches, but there's a ton of urgency to Takeshita's movement.  Obviously the same is true for the sequence where he gets caught in the Fujiwara armbar, which is fucking insane by the way. I don't think this is Aoki's best DDT match, which seems to be the consensus, but it was great regardless.

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