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[2013-03-17-AJPW] Masakatsu Funaki vs SUWAMA


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AJPW Triple Crown Champion Masakatsu Funaki vs SUWAMA - AJPW 3/17/13

This is the rubber match. SUWAMA won the first and Funaki the second. It has only been 6 months since Funaki successfully defended his Triple Crown. SUWAMA joined forces with the gaijin Joe Doering and Masa Chono in Last Revolution, which seems heelish, but there is no heeling in this match. I definitely want to go shopping for sunglasses with Masa Chono at some point in my life. Unfortunately this is the least of their trilogy, it is still a very good match but there is not as much pep in their step. There is a lot of ragdolling for the other. 

My favorite moment in the match is towards the beginning. Funaki has SUWAMA in full guard and gains double wrist control. He basically treats SUWAMA with a child. SUWAMA try as he might cant reach Funaki because he controls his wrists. It reminds me of when my Dad would stiff arm me and my arms would just windmill and I couldnt touch. Or whenever my best friend, who was an amateur wrestler in high school would just tool on me with wrist control. Funaki reverses position and then slaps the shit out of SUWAMA. 

SUWAMA is coming with a bandage on on his upper back and Funaki has his elbow bandaged. Funaki beats on this point and SUWAMA is unable to get his powerbomb. Deep King's Road sit there, but his back is bothering him too much. Funaki dumps him out and knee from apron to bad back. Then this is where the match is just not as exciting as their previous bouts. Funaki just does a lot of triangle choke variations. It is not just in this portion of the match, it is throughout the match. SUWAMA dumps him out and starts working the arm. It ends up going nowhere, but it is good work. When SUWAMA busts out the Short Arm Scissors, the announcer says "KEYLOCK?!?" like he is in shock that big, dumb powerhouse SUWAMA knows that move. SUWAMA does a great job varying his attack on the arm. Here comes the Kurt Angle tribute part of their match. At least Funaki stomps SUWAMA's injured back after he releases the heel hook. 

They abandon their body part psychology and go back to their old standby of shoot style vs pro style. Funaki focuses more on trying to choke SUWAMA out which is not as entertaining as trying to kick his head off. SUWAMA works his power based game lots of big throws especially some nice German Suplexes . With 5 minutes to go, they finally let it fly with their epic strike exchange and they just start wailing on each other. Funaki kicks the Lariat arm and I love when SUWAMA goozles him that's so heated. Funaki ROCKS him with a kick to the head! They tease the knockout. FUNAKI SMOKES HIM WITH A KICK TO THE HEAD AND THEN ANOTHER WHEN HE WAS ON HIS KNEES! WOW! 1-2-NO! That was wicked! Funaki goes for his big finish the Tombstone which put out SUWAMA and all his other challengers. SUWAMA resists and introduces Funaki to the Family with Sister Sledge! Funaki avoids the Last Ride and Funaki is determined to choke SUWAMA out with a standing choke this time. They do another arm drop spot which is the second of the match. SUWAMA gets a sudden burst of energy and DEMOLISHES HIM WITH A SAITO SUPLEX! LAST RIDE~! 1-2-NO! SUWAMA hits a big Back Drop Driver with a great bridge for the win!

They have electric finishes but I thought the body of this match was decidedly more boring and aimless than their previous matches. There were nice flashes of power and strikes. The last ten minutes or so was awesome! Definitely check out their 2010 and 2012 matches! ***3/4

 

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