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KUSHIDA vs. SHO (NJPW Best of the Super Jr. XXV 05/27/18)

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#1 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 09:49 AM

It's such a shame that this ended up happening on a single-cam show, because I feel like w/ multiple camera angles to capture the action & emotion of the match, this EASILY could've hit that ****+ mark. Such a lovely match - very similar to KUSHIDA's matches vs. Kyle O'Reilly in that it was all about both guys just looking to destroy each other's limbs by kicking the crap out of them & stretching them w/ submissions. Enjoyed it big time - a really good match that I, indeed feel like I would have liked even more w/ normal NJPW production instead of single-cam. ***3/4

#2 nivvad

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Posted 28 May 2018 - 02:53 PM

Another very impressive showing from SHO, pun intended. Seriously though, SHO is super versatile as a wrestler managing to have different matches with any opponent, and he managed to show off his technical skills this time against the very technical KUSHIDA. In a way this match reminded me of the KOR/KUSHIDA wars from a few years ago, but not exactly on that level either. SHO isn't on the same level as Kyle, not yet at least. Still a very intricate match with lots of submission work, strikes and hardly any moves. Also very cool to see the only pin in the match is the one that ended the match, ****1/4. 

#3 superkix

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

I liked this quite a bit more than anything else from the tournament so far, except maybe Hiromu/Desperado. KUSHIDA is so good at controlling the flow of the match, so slick in his movements and counters. He's easily my favorite junior in NJPW and I can't wait to see him move up to heavyweight. SHO got to show off his technical side and while it isn't on KUSHIDA's level, he's still pretty good, although some of his offense can become too flashy that it loses its effectiveness. I liked when KUSHIDA trapped the leg when SHO's trying to boot out of a leglock in order to send him reaching for the ropes. He just keeps on after SHO's arm and SHO has to power out when he can -- he hits a cool gutwrench slam counter to the hanging armbar. SHO gets off some big offense toward the end but KUSHIDA goes back to the arm and ultimately pins him with his small package driver. 

#4 Boss Rock

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Posted 29 May 2018 - 10:30 PM

Really liked that this match used a different formula than so much of what we've seen. Technical wrestling isn't my favorite style, but they did a great job working the mat for arguably the entire first half of the match with SHO proving he could hang with KUSHIDA. As much as I've loved the more action-packed matches such as Hiromu-Desperado and Hiromu-Lee, I loved the escalation this match gave us. The matwork did a great job building tension and gradually reaching a crescendo with back-and-forth bomb-throwing.



#5 CapitalTTruth

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:58 PM

Man. I loved this one. The early grappling elevating as the match goes along anchored a wonderful little story that was executed really well. Kushida's doggedly going for the kimura was awesome. I also really liked Sho working for distance and using it the best he could when he got it. It added a lot of suspense to the match. I loved this as a change of pace, but something that really stands out not just in this tournament, but on the year. ****1/4

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