Yuji Okabayashi vs Shinobu
Ikkitousen Strong Climb 2016 Block B Match
Osaka City Nishi Ward Community Center, Osaka, Japan
(reviewed 01/18/2017) It took a little while to get going and it lacked the sort of heat it would have on another day in another venue, but this is a fine little underdog vs champion. An interesting thing happened as I was watching this, though, as I was under the impression that Shinobu actually won this match, finally defeating his rival after years and years of attempts. As the match wore on and things heated up, this made for an exciting viewing experience, as I was curious to see how exactly he defeated his hulking opponent, leading to me biting for nearfalls pretty hard until Okabayashi won with the Golem Splash. In misleading myself in regards to the outcome, I actually found myself buying into the match more and more, which I certainly don’t think has happened to me before, or at least not quite in a situation like this. In any case, solid match here, the usual assortment of hard-hitting Strong Division action with an added twist due to Shinobu’s involvement.