re: Official Puro Match/DVD Discussion Thread (NO SPOILERS)
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Kensuke Sasaki (1/4/01):****
This was just one hell of a match. To be completely honest I don’t watch a ton of puro and pretty much none of the much heralded stuff from the 90s so I know of Kawada and Sasaki but much in the same way I know of guys like Babe Ruth, Jim Brown, and Wilt Chamberlain. Kawada goes straight after Sasaki from the get go and pretty much sets the pace for the rest of the match. When less than 3 minutes into the match you have Kawada kicking Sasaki’s face off and you have Sasaki coming right back at Kawada trying to take his head off with lariats things are going to be intense. This match was also only about 10 minutes long so it short, sweet, and to a brutal point.
Yuji Nagata vs. Keiji Muto (8/12/01):****3/4
I was really debating whether I thought this was a ****1/2 or ***** match but in the end I just couldn’t give it the full five but decided to split it and give it ****3/4. It was a classic in every sense of the word though. Such a technical display put on by these two it was a complete treat to watch. Nagata took whatever submission was given to him. First he was working the arm, then at another point he was taken down but Muto left his head exposed so a guillotine choke it was, then Nagata came after the leg of Muto. Muto tried ripping off the leg of Nagata with dragon screws and break it with multiple figure-fours. And did I mention the dropkicks. SO many dropkicks to the leg of Nagata I thought the man was going to have trouble walking. The coolest thing though that I saw that made the crowd roar was when Nagata is getting ready for the exploder, the crowd is about to blow the roof off the place, he hits it, Muto no-sells it then hits the Shining Wizard and both men are down. The roof was officially off at that point. Watch this match, you won’t regret it.
NWA/UPW/ZERO-ONE International Jr. Heavyweight Champion Low Ki vs. AJ Styles (1/5/03):***3/4
Think if you would of an X-Division match in Japan and that’s how it felt to me. Still really fun and awesome spots but not the best match you’ll ever see since it is mostly cool stuff without much, IMO, to latch on to. This was back from the time where it Low Ki seemed to care and didn’t think he was the greatest so he didn’t have to try. That being said Low Ki wasn’t going to pull back to make it any less than 95% real. AJ got dropped on his head quite a bit and got his lip busted open by what I guess would have been one of Ki’s insanely stiff kicks. All I could think about during this was how I wish the X-Division could go back to this sort of match based heavily on athletic ability but no, we get Kenny King and Zioma Ion.
Kaz Hayashi & Jimmy Yang vs. Fuego (Amazing Red) & Super Dragon (1/13/03):***3/4
A junior tag match just how I like it. This match starts with Fuego and Dragon kicking Kaz and Yang out of the ring and hitting duel tope con hilos. Next thing you know Yang is getting an insane amount of air and flying to the outside. So that’s all types of fun. The only thing I was a little disappointed in was that Super Dragon to go boss on Yang and beat him senseless. Instead he was actually the guy getting worked over. This match looked like this match was going well but nothing special until Yang and Kaz hitting some ridiculous double team moves that if they had led to the finish would have made the match even a little better in my eyes.