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[2001-05-07-WWF-Raw Dark] Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Sho Funaki


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A pretty sizeable ovation for Tajiri in this dark match, getting both “E-C-W” and “Tajiri” chants.  Funaki has Taka Michinoku with him and they do the dubbed interview with some lame comedy about how Tajiri is not Japanese and is in fact from New Jersey, because if he was Japanese he would be like Kaientai and would be “evil”.  Funaki gets backdropped out onto the apron where Tajiri kills him with this awesome kick, Taka selling that too by holding his face.  Nice spinning heel kick followed by a standing moonsault.  The crowd are “Ooh-ing” after everything Tajiri does at the moment.  Funaki catches him with a pretty shoddy looking reverse crossbody off the middle.  Tajiri with the handspring elbow after being whipped into the ropes.  He ties Funaki in the Tree of Woe, getting a loud response from the crowd as he encourages them, and then nails him with a baseball slide, leading to more “E-C-W” chants.  Rude Awakening neckbreaker for a near fall.  Seated abdominal stretch, Tajiri smacking Funaki on the ass, the ‘making fun of the opponent’ spot that always went down so well in ECW for him.  The two trade chops in the middle and no need to say who came out on top there.  Funaki ducks a clothesline and dumps Tajiri with a belly to back.  He comes in for a double axe handle although leaves himself wide open for a kick to the chest followed by another to the side of the head.  Tajiri sits him upstairs but Funaki blocks his shot and hits an inverted tornado DDT for the win.

“Gotta show those ECW boys that what they did there means nothing when they get here to the big leagues.”  Tajiri took the vast majority of the match here and I thought looked real good in doing so, even if maybe he did tone things down slightly from what he would do in ECW.  No Tarantula though.

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