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July 18, 2004 / TJ Hawke

Toshiaki Kawada vs. Takao Omori from AJPW 2004

Post by TJ Hawke:

This match was for Kawada’s Triple Crown Championship.

For the first ten minutes, this match was fucking everything. Kawada was proving to be a bit better, but Omori’s work on Kawada’s right knee gave him the opening he needed. Kawada was still kicking Omori with the injured even though the knee was giving out on him right after. The way he was selling it though made he clear he needed a new strategy. The leg was not going to hold up. It genuinely looked like we were heading towards a classic title match at that point. Then Kawada decided his knee no longer hurt. He used it as a weapon a few times and did power moves as if he was in no pain. It must have been an adrenaline rush!

Kawada managed to even things up with a leaping gamengiri on the apron, and then it became your standard back-and-forth closing stretch. I love the idea of Kawada needing a big move to get back into the match. I just wish he didn’t drop the leg story afterwards, and that Omori did not stop going after it. Was the execution and selling of exhaustion down the stretch great? Of course. Abandoning a wonderful story started in the first half of the match though was just too much of a disappointment for me. This was a good match that should have been great. Kawada finally finished it after hitting Dangerous Kick (great name). (***)

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