T-Hawk vs Takehiro Yamamura
taped 04/07/2017, aired 04/24/2017
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 09/11/2017) Like with the Big R match before it, Yamamura throws me another curve ball with his hyped singles match. Especially due to the way these two interacted back in the headhunting match, I expected this to be hot and heavy all the way through. It certainly starts that way but then backs off into something more slow-moving and… I think the best way to describe it is “mean”. It’s just a fucking mean-spirited match of two guys belting the shit out of each other in a methodical and vengeful way. Top tier chops, great kicks, slams that feel big, it’s all here and it all builds to one of the best finishing stretches in a DG singles match I’ve seen in years. Great stuff. Shame this is only fourth on a Korakuen show, but even then it’s sort of perfect like that, because if this was given more time in a main event or semi-main event setting on a bigger show, I’m not sure if it’d work so well. You lose a lot of structural safety with more space to work in, and especially for a guy less than two years in and a guy who manages to have really boring main event singles matches, that can be real daunting and detrimental. So while I think this could be bigger and I think will eventually become a bigger match on a bigger stage in a few years, this is a match that knows its place and fleshes out that space in a terribly compelling way instead of aiming higher and achieving less. And I love that. I hope you can love it too.