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Bas Rutten vs. Koji Kanemoto (NJPW, 10/26/02)

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#1 superkix

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 11:27 AM

Bas Rutten wrestled a total of 6 matches in NJPW, two of which I've seen, and his last match in NJPW was against Koji Kanemoto for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title. Not to my surprise, he plays pro-wrestler quite well. Sure, he's got some goofy...uh, dropkicks...but he knows how to work the fans and he sells Kanemoto's legwork well. He's able to use his raw strength to muscle Kanemoto into predicaments or escape them, like his awesome powerbomb counter to the triangle. At one point, he just starts slamming Kanemoto's head into the canvas. And of course, we get some slick matwork from Bas. Kanemoto's clearly overshadowed here, and while he'll get in some mounted tantrum slaps or go back to the leg to set-up the finish, Rutten really makes this match an interesting spectacle of sorts. After he hits Shining Wizard!!, Bas doesn't go for the pin but instead, plays to the crowd, like "hey, I can do this too", but it ultimately costs him the match. Pretty good match and from what I've seen, Rutten's best pro-wrestling performance. 

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