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Superstar Sleeze

[2015-06-07-NJPW-Best of the Super Juniors] KUSHIDA vs Kyle O'Reilly

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KUSHIDA vs Kyle O'Reilly - NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Final 6/7/2015

Kyle O'Reilly first appeared on my radar when I was reviewing AJ Styles stellar 2014 campaign in 2015. I saw their ROH match and he made an immediate impression. There has been so much going on I don't actively seek his stuff out when I do see him live or on NXT l'll pay extra close attention because he wrestles that hybrid-shoot style I love. KUSHIDA is someone I have seen live I feel like twice I know I saw him at ROH's War of the Worlds in 2014, but cant think of the other time. This should be a great striker/grappler vs speedster match but don't sleep on KUSHIDA's mat prowess. 

The opening package is important as it reminds me that KUSHIDA's go to submission is the double wristlock (aka Chicken Wing Armlock as Josh Barnett corrected me on Twitter) so I will be on the lookout for that. The first five minutes is really great grappling on the mat. It is intense and tight as they jockey for position. KUSHIDA goes for the double wristlock but O'Reilly slips out into an STF, but that is avoided too. The Time Splitter lets O'Reilly know that a split second earlier he could have taken O'Reilly head off with a missed kick. KUSHIDA comes out ahead in the first athletic sequence with a dropkick to head. I like that he follows up the advantage with a Short Arm Scissors for two reasons one it wears down the arm for the Chickenwing Armlock and it lets him consolidate his advantage. Once they return to stand up, O'Reilly unleashes a furious strike combination that reminds me why I love him. He does a great Hammerlock DDT with leg sweep (way better than Andrade's). KUSHIDA's elbow is taped and this becomes a target for O'Reilly it leads to solid, but brief control segment. I really liked his use of the Butterfly. The Butterfly is a very painful hold and to lift KUSHIDA in it three times and throw him must hurt like hell. KUSHIDA ends up snapping O'Reilly arm across the top rope leading to the some dueling arm psychology. KUSHIDA is looking for the Chickenwing Armlock, but O'Reilly evades. KUSHIDA goes for the double wristlock but O'Reilly springs out into a cross-armbreaker only for KUSHIDA to counter but this leads to an O'Reilly guillotine choke, which KUSHIDA breaks his grasp into a Chickenwing Armlock and rolls back for better leverage, but he cant hold it.  O'Reilly hits a nasty Hammerlock DDT from the top where it looks like he lands with his body on KUSHIDA's head and good shoulder. OW! O'Reilly gets a Nagata-style Fujiwara Armbar, but just releases it. Why? KUSHIDA uses this respite to unleash a German and Dragon suplex in quick succession, but O'Reilly grabs a sleeper to slow him down. 

I thought the next five minutes or so was the best part of the match. KUSHIDA strings together a great combination of moves to assert himself. It starts with a rolling Kappo Kick to head that catches O'Reilly unawares and sends him out of the ring. He follows it up with a Swandive from the top turnbuckle onto O'Reilly and then when O'Reilly tries to get back into the ring as he sticks his head in KUSHIDA dropkicks him in the head. This was great! My favorite spot is that KUSHIDA thinks he has this in the bag and goes for the moonsault and instead O'Reilly catches him in a Triangle Choke! Holy shit! Impressive! I have seen that spot attempted a couple times but that was the best execution. O'Reilly hits a Super Back Suplex and a Human Capture Suplex each for two. I thought if they finished here or so it would have been great but they went another ten minutes. The action was not bad, but they kinda had already peaked and they couldnt sustain the momentum. I really liked O'Reilly Brainbuster into a Cross Armbreaker and then into a Fujiwara Armbar only for KUSHIDA to get to the ropes. KUSHIDA gets the Brainbuster on the apron. They tease the countout and you can tell the end is nigh. Even though O'Reilly is the one who took the Brainbuster will ultimately lose the match, he still gets another nearfall off a Roaring Elbow. It is like why? He already got his big nearfalls with the Fujiwara Armbar. KUSHIDA catches him charging with the Seth Rollins headsnap into the turnbuckles. KUSHIDA whiffs on his big full twist/layout move from the top rope. Chickenwing Armlock, O'Reilly almost gets the ropes, I am screaming "ROLL!" to end the match and KUSHIDA rolls into the center and cranks it for the win. 

I really enjoyed the first twenty minutes and then it turned into a slog of excess. These two can definitely go and they do a great mixing aerial, ground, strikes and throws into their matches. The dueling arm psychology was a good home base for them to return to in time. They just needed an editor shave off 5 minutes and makes those moves mean a little more and this could have been a match of the year contender. Still plenty of action and smart work to say this safely great. ****

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