Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs David Starr
RPW Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship
York Hall, Bethnal Green, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 12/01/2018) Look, this ain’t great. I wouldn’t exactly describe it as bad, either, but due to the ever-diminishing returns of Ishii’s approach to matches and the way Starr’s willing to play into it, I can’t exactly get all that into this match as a whole. I do quite like Starr’s performance, though, and want to commend him for it. Through a combination of cowardice, cockiness, and cheating, he’s able to feel pretty well despicable, crafting a heel presence that has felt all too rare in Ishii’s matches of late. I particularly enjoy how small victories will puff Starr up to the point that he thinks he can just go blow for blow with the champ before Ishii cuts him down. It doesn’t grab me the way the dude’s matches from three, four, five years ago did, but Starr’s efforts here make this one of my favorite Ishii matches in years and that’s not nothing.