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[2012-09-23-AJPW] Masakatsu Funaki vs SUWAMA

Superstar Sleeze

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All Japan Triple Crown Champion Masakatsu Funaki vs SUWAMA - AJPW 9/23/12

These two have great chemistry together. It is the perfect pro style vs shoot style because SUWAMA has a distinct power based style that is credible against Funaki in this context. In a mildly famous match, Funaki defeated Akiyama for the Triple Crown in a 5 minute sprint that is electric. I highly recommend it. This is his first defense. 

The first half of this is great, so much struggle. Great stand-up Greco-Roman grappling. Funaki is using kicks and holds to control. It is SUWAMA's power game that is the great equalizer. Dumping Funaki out on the triangle choke. After some kicks, just throwing Funaki around at will with devastating suplexes. He grabs Funaki's ankle and wrenches it down. The next five minutes is really strong leg work.Standing on the knee, wrenching it against the apron, heel hook from the top rope, single leg crab. Really strong. I loved the KneeCrusher/Capture Suplex Combination. This was a really great showing from SUWAMA on top. As we get to the 15 minute mark, Funaki is writhing in pain in a SUWAMA ankle lock.

I like how Funaki’s comeback is so gradual. The enziguiri and Koppou Kick graze SUWAMA’s head and there is not much on them. It is only a Fujiwara Armbar takedown on a suplex attempt that gets him back in it. They are committed to doing a Kurt Angle style trade of submissions in their matches, they did it in 2010. It is the weakest part of their matches. Funaki wins that exchange and gets a long heel hook. Still it is not enough as Suwama catches a slap and turns into the most badass double underhook suplex. That was tremendous. SUWAMA has had enough of playing around and is ready to throw FUNAKI DOWN with the Last Ride, BUT Funaki pulls a rabbit out of his ass with a Guillotine Choke. This saps SUWAMA of his energy. SUWAMA gets a second wind and HURLS HIM TO THE MAT WITH A POWERBOMB! AWESOME! Great levelling the playing field spot. It is anybody’s ball game.

SUWAMA hits a MONSTER Dropkick that would make Davey Boy Smith proud. Watch how he compresses his body and then SPRING OUT at the point of impact for full power. Awesome stuff! Then they just let it fucking fly! It is not quite as good as their 2010 Strike Exchange, but they give each other Holy Hell! They fucking kick each other’s ass. Funaki overwhelms SUWAMA and collapses himself from the asskicking. Funaki innovated a new Tombstone Piledriver as his finish, BUT SUWAMA Converts it OKLAHOMA SLAM! BACK DROP DRIVER! DEMOLITION DERBY! 1-2-NO! WOW! Funaki comes back with strikes! Funaki nails a HEAD KICK! SECOND HEAD KICK! WOW! SUWAMA is on jelly legs…TIMBAHHH! Tombstone it is over.

Not quite as good as 2010, few matches are, but this was still badass as hell. I liked SUWAMA’s control segment, just solid pro wrestling. The Guillotine Choke was perfect to get Funaki back in after he was in quite the hole. That last 5 minutes was electric. These two rock against each other. It is 1-1 and the rubber match is in 2013, cant wait! ****1/4


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