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[2008-06-28-AJPW Crossover '08] Osamu Nishimura vs Suwama

Ma Stump Puller

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This is during Suwama very mixed first reign with the Triple Crown, but I felt like this was one of his better bouts: it was clear the intent with this match was to get him over, and Nishimura is obviously the perfect man for the job there. First 10 minutes are basically just rest holds and grappling, with Suwama not being able to really do much against the far more accomplished technical worker, through he's able to transition out of Nishimura's holds rather well and is shown at least to be able to hold his own defensively, with some ring work in using his elbows and knees to dig in to Nishimura's joints during sequences, alongside his size to really keep things from getting too hairy. Suwama throws some strikes, but Nishimura answers with some great Euro uppercuts, but ends up flying to the corner after a big double chop and a big sell. Suwama tries for a top rope splash but Nishimura nails him with a flying kick, then plays dirty by smacking him with his own title belt on the leg and stomping on it. There's a solid figure four spot where both men battle for control, with Suwama having to reach the ropes through this doesn't stop Nishimura from grabbing on the hold as much as possible. I'll bring this up now, but I particularly love Nishimura's uncharacteristic heel work: he's not overtly going over the edge, but like a Bret-style performance, you can tell he's desperate to get the win and will most definitely bend the rules to do so. He failed once against Kawada four years ago, and that frustration at never getting the big one in all of his prior title matches is very much felt here.

Suwama starts to use more of his bombs to get past his bad leg, nailing a great delayed backdrop by carrying his opponent from the ropes to the ring, as well as targeting the leg to even the score. There's great selling from Nishimura throughout as he braves the pain and barely is able to stay standing after a huge lariat, stumbling over himself. He teases pinning Suwama in the same way he did a few weeks back via a backslide counter but gets a big near fall, and a O'Connor roll gets the same result. He manages to grab on a Cobra Twist but Suwama powers out to the ropes. Nishimura plays to the crowd for a second one and they pop big, but Suwama gets another backdrop out. Nishimura counters a brainbuster into a small package for another near fall and then grabs on a sleeper after jumping like mad for Suwama's big bombs. Nishimura gets a final Cobra Twist on but Suwama counters it by rolling down into a front toe hold into ankle lock, then converting it to a big German suplex in a awesome transition. Suwama hits another backdrop into a Last Ride for the pin.

Nishimura doesn't necessary "carry" Suwama into a great match (namely because Suwama was honestly already pretty good, just not being booked great with long matches, something he always struggled doing) but he definitely adds the suspense here in comparison to his opponent, selling for his stuff hard and making Suwama look like a unstoppable force when he's struggling through his submission attempts and leading into his bombs. I was a bit bugged by Suwama not selling the leg after the belt shot and latter limb work but I felt like he didn't make such a thing too obvious. This definitely felt like a match where Nishimura went out of his way to make the new champ look legitimate rather than a back and forth thing, and I would say that was accomplished here, at least for the moment. Solid stuff, one of Nishimura's all-out stronger main event showings, namely because it's a 35+ minute match that feels like 20 at best. 


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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [2008-06-28-AJPW Crossover '08] Osamu Nishimura vs Suwama

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