1) Kaz Hayashi v. Taka Michinoku (01/10) - 8
2) Milano Collection AT v. Ryo Saito (01/14)- 5
3) Osamu Matsuda (El Samurai) v. Shinsuke Nakamura (01/29)- 5
4) Takashi Iizuka v. Yutaka Yoshie (01/29)- 4
5) Mistico v. Averno (01/30)- 7
I believe this is the best Kaz Hayashi I've ever seen. His slow, patient and calculating dismantle of Taka's leg was like watching a ninja sneak up on his prey and disembowl him. High spots were still there, as token with the style that made them famous but this was fought like a big match main event and both men brought everything they had to the table. Taka's desperate cries of pain were as dramatic as anything Leo has ever done on the silver screen; I really found myself drawn into his struggle against Kaz's attack. And Taka showed a lot of conscious selling even when on offense. Another thing I liked was teasing moves, really well done, we didn't see half ass attempts at putting a move on then getting out of it, like everywhere else, they were literally going down on the move when the other one would reverse. I dug the hell out of this match. Milano's lanky frame just reminds me of a human grasshopper for some reason. This match was fine, had a good control section by Milano, although I question his ground work. Had your usual Dragon Gate sprint to the end where every finisher known to man was used, and all your 2.9 counts; more close calls than a faulty pregnancy test from Bigg's supermarket. Saito didn't sway me one way or the other, facially and expressively he's years away from having the tools while Milano has down the cocky character and mean streak, but his selling is pretty poor. Our next 2 combantants are personally 2 of my favorite performers in New Japan history which was basically the match I bought this disc for. They were having a match with 3 minute rounds. The technical aspect of both men's games could not be questioned after this because they were like the MacGuyver's of ground wrestling, just situating and moving body parts here and there to lock on different holds. Really fun to watch this stuff; reminded me of some of that old 60's shit where all the hookers used to roll on the ground. Nakamura busts out that phat armbar for the tapout; Samurai unmasked looked like an aging Rat Fink. Next match was also contested in rounds, but I wasn't that into it. Far less technical skill shown but the bout was longer and attempted as much ground stuff as the previous. Yoshie was a goofy Manga drawing brought to life, but the big guy worked hard, I give him that. Most of the power wrestling moves came off well, but they were sucking enough wind they could have powered a Wind turbine next to the ring. Final match was a Lucha offering and a breath of fresh air. Mistico is the 2nd coming in Mexico and it's easy to tell why, breathtaking moves, basically he's a stunt show without the wires. You could tell he knew Averno inside and out, their styles meshed perfectly, like turkey and lettuce on a sandwhich. And the pace was what really kicked this up a notch; sometimes you see a lackluster 2 falls in Lucha matches but they spaced everything accordingly and Mistico showed how to execute a babyface comeback for all future young boys to learn from. Bravo, muchachos!