A second installment. This time five pimped matches from 2010~! Scores will obviously be on the higher end seeing as it's all stuff people have pissed their pants over in excitement.
Shinuske Nakamura vs. Hiroki Goto 4.4.10 - NJPW -7
Bring on the hate! The long-legged Boma-yeing Nakamura takes on the tank Goto in a hard-hitting match! I mean, you can talk about stiffness, you can talk about selling, psych, and storytelling, but this match was just a war. So much stiffness combined with great selling. Nakamura's Boma-Ye's were particularly sick. You could see Goto's head whip back after being on the receiving end of said Boma-Ye's. Goto returned the favor, oh yes, he returned the favor with a stiff right hand and then a lariatoooooo! Great nearfalls, but not overkill. Just awesome.
Tenyru vs. Tiger Mask I - RJPW - 3/28/10 - 3
Two old school legends going at in Real Japs as it is so affectionately called. I was very, very pleased to see that there was a pivotal element of stiffness maintained throughout this match, which is important considering its Real Japan. Both men looked to be selling decently, but honestly, you'd probably have to consider their advanced age when taking that into consideration. Finish came out of nowhere when Tenyru tapped out to what looked like a hybrid chickenwing/sleeper. Tenyru doesn't tap out to that crap! Come on!
Masato Tanaka & Mochizuki vs. Sawa & Hidaka - Z1 - 3/2/10 - 6
Was expecting going into this some hard hitting action and I'm pleased to confirm my inklings were indeed correct. Sawa always strikes me as the kind of guy who always goes the extra mile to make sure that everything he does means something in the ring. For example, if he locks in a Fujiwara armbar, then he'll really crank back on it as opposed to simply pull the arm. I've always dug Moch and was happy to see him still tearing it up. Tanaka seemed to be the one in control of the match with the pacing. You'd be able to equate him to a teacher in a room of students, being Sawa and Hidaka despite their tenured status as wrestlers. Tanaka did a good job of pacing as the match slowly built with mat wrestling and striking games coming out more and more fierce as the match progressed. I really enjoyed the intensity of all men, but Sawa was definitely the standout. Match got a little to rushed and cluster-f*cky at the end, but it was indeed fun.
Hidaka & Sawa vs. Usuda & Yoshikawa - BattlArts - 2/7/10 - 6
This match was too legit to quit. The team of Hidaka and Sawa is quite badass because it brings to the table an element that other teams tend to lack: youth + stiffness. Most tag teams will feature one power wrestler and one high flyer, but the team of Hidaka & Sawa offers both quickness and a hell of a stiff striking game combined with some great mat skills. Usuda and Yosh were tearing it up on the mat, hitting great variations and interesting combinations of leglocks, juje gatame's, Fujwaras, and triangle chokes. Stiff strikes and a great set of mat skills by both teams makes a really good match.
Billy Ken Kid vs. Dick Togo - Osaka Pro - 2/11/10 - 5
A lot of people were really going nuts over this match and I agree that it was good, but even the best of things can be looked down upon when they are overdone. I felt like there was just too much stuff going on in this match that it was hard to pay attention to what was happening between BKK & Togo. There were about a half dozen or more guys outside the ring running amuck and causing debauchery. Togo brought the hate to BKK though, ripping off his mask and displaying it proudly on the turnbuckle post like the victim of a brutal war. The false finishes were also done well. I do feel, however, that the match went about 10 minutes too long. Some of the crowd brawling was unnecessary and could've been done without. In the end, I feel like it was a solid match between two guys who know their stuff.