Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Sunday, March 26, 2017

All Time MOTY List Head to Head Ikeda v. Ishikawa v. KENTA v. Ki

KENTA v. Low-Ki ROH 12/17/05

PAS: I was a little worried that this wouldn't age well, juniors wrestling is a style which I have soured on the most as a fan, so much of current wrestling is infected by crossfit juniors style, that stuff which looked great back in the day, tends to really show it seams now. I hated the Tiger Mask stuff on the NJ DVDVR set, really didn't like Ultimo Dragon WAR matches, thought Liger v. Pillman sucked last time I watched it. However, while this match was clearly in the Sayama to Okada lineage, Low-Ki will kick a match into my heart.

The hellacious assbeatings laid in on this match really separated it my eyes, Ki and KENTA both unloaded on every shot and Ki especially did a great job of selling concussive force, I loved his selling of the final Go 2 Sleep, he just crumpled in a ball. The nastiness of the shots really helped the momentum shifts, if a guy needs to go on offense one of those face kicks will really do it. Ki was also such an explosive athlete in 2005, watching him leap to the top rope for a Spaceman plancha or elevate for a double stomp is like watching MVP season Derrick Rose. I also really loved all of the slap exchanges, trading slaps is the one of the most played out things in wrestling, but man do both guys throw fast and hard shots, and they also don't just exchange, but perry, block and counter.

ER: I'm with Phil, I was not expecting this to age very well, but it turns out I can get behind a couple of guys stiffing the hell out of each other. I really liked that end run slap exchange, it felt far more FUTEN than New Japan as it had that immediacy to it. The NJPW slap or forearm exchanges always feel so mechanical, so forced, performed with the energy level of a Chevy's employee forced to sing Happy Birthday to a table full of teenagers, none of whom were born on that day, none of whom will be giving them any kind of tip. Here Ki and KENTA throw off balance and don't really take turns, block, and throw any number of shots that would lay me on my butt. I still love modern day Low-Ki, but he's like Negro Casas in that you can watch decade old (or two or three decade old with Casas) matches and see how they moved differently, occasionally did moves differently, and were generally different wrestlers that you loved differently. It's Finaly in Germany vs. Finlay in WCW vs. Finlay in WWE: They're all great, and all slightly different. And Ki now is still violent, but slightly slower. Here he's fast, violent, and seemingly indestructible. He comes off like a pro wrestling cyborg, the way he snags KENTA's arm and yanks over the top rope with his weight, his body jutting out at this extreme horizontal angle as if he were a Cirque du Soleil acrobat doing an armbar. Later he does a double stomp to KENTA that then sends his own body quickly tumbling to the floor, and it comes off like he just thinks about damaging his opponent, with no regard to damaging his own body.

The kicks from both men end with a real snap and thud and we build to some pretty big nearfalls. I think they went a couple nearfalls too long, but the kickouts get a mammoth reaction, and it lead to big moments like KENTA's crazy falcon arrow off the top, and Ki's scrambly Ki Krusher. I also love Ki's great attention to little things, plausibly getting KENTA to wait in the tree of woe by stomping on his knee, focusing KENTA's own attention on getting Ki's boot off his knee, while Ki then double stomps the hell out of him. Crazy match that went long, but never felt like they were wasting their time, and the overkill felt earned. Great stuff that exceeded expectations.

Ikeda v. Ishikawa review

Verdict:

PAS: This was closer then I thought it would be, KENTA v. Ki is awesome stuff and easily an EPIC on the C+A Low-Ki, but it was a match built around stiffness and violence, and you can't step to Ishikawa v. Ikeda with that as your attribute. FUTEN reigns supreme.

ER: Great match, a match-up I thought was going to be a total blowout but actually felt like a legit challenger. Ishikawa/Ikeda is arguably the most violent match I've ever seen, and while this match was helped out by a molten hot crowd, the violence and struggle was never quite as real as it was in that FUTEN classic. A hard fought, but decided FUTEN victory.

Complete and Accurate Low-Ki

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