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December 7, 2005 / TJ Hawke

KENTA vs. Low Ki from Ring of Honor’s Final Battle 2005

Recap from TJ Hawke:

They were trading some BRUTAL chops very early in the match. KENTA got the first advantage. Ki put a stop to that with a koppou kick and then a double-jump plancha. Ki worked him over for a while. This was Low Ki at his best. Working with fire and emphasizing excitement rather misguided notions of “realism.” KENTA finally made a comeback after a snap powerslam. Ki came back with an awesome double stomp. Ki did the Kobashi chops. KENTA fired back and seemingly set up for the Busaiku Knee, but Ki caught him with a perfectly-timed Tidal Wave. That was a thing of beauty. KENTA came back with a Super Falcon Arrow: 1…2…NO! KENTA then won a lightning-fast slap exchange that I swear was on fast-forward. Ki somehow reversed a Busaiku Knee into a Ki Krusher: 1…2…NO! TIDAL CRUSH! KENTA avoided another Ki Krusher and hit a bridging tiger suplex for a nearfall. KENTA went for the strike series, but Ki hit a shotgun dropkick! GHETTO FUCKING STOMP: 1…2…NO! LAWD! KENTA avoided the Phoenix Splash and then hit the Go-2-Sleep! The crowd reacted huge to that. BUSAIKU KNEE: 1…2…3!

I mean, goddamn. You really can forget how hot ROH was if you don’t sporadically go back and watch some of their peak stuff. This match was everything you could possibly want from a Ring of Honor main event. It emphasized athleticism and excitement. You felt like you were watching two of the best wrestlers in the world. They nearly peaked at the exact right time (probably could have shaved a minute or two off the end). They even had a nice and simple in-ring story (KENTA going for the Busaiku Knee) to loosely keep the match together. Bravo.

Match Rating: ****1/2

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