Dick Togo v HARASHIMA (DDT, 2/27/11)
Thought this was pretty badass, even if it did have its problems. Dick Togo was not one of those problems, however. Dick Togo is king and this was another really good Togo show. HARASHIMA winds up kicking the ring post early on and Dick goes to work on the leg, and I was surprised at how much I dug HARASHIMA's selling of it. He jumps over the top rope onto the apron to do a springboard, but as he lands on the apron he grabs the knee like it's still bothering him, and there's another spot where he whips Togo into the corner and does some corner running junior heavyweight stock spot, but he makes sure to slow the "run" down and at least sell the idea that the leg is giving him bother. He doesn't run a million miles an hour like there's nothing wrong and then start clutching his leg like he's just been shot directly afterwards. I hate it when guys do that. He gets his spots in, but he's at least selling the leg fairly well while doing it. But then he does some thing where he knees Togo in the head with the bad knee and that's pretty much the end of him winning me over with the selling. They eventually move past the leg work (which I don't really mind, because Togo working it over in the first place felt like a "seizing the opportunity" thing rather than blatant time-killing) and build towards the finish. There's some really nifty shit down the stretch, like Togo snatching HARASHIMA straight out the air into the crossface. Togo is really awesome at constantly going back to the crossface; he's like a Doberman that refuses to let go of a piece of steak, and the spinning headscissors directly into the crossface spot was fucking SWANK. HARASHIMA's "choked out" face at the end got him back on my good side, too (since I'm sure he was bothered about being on some drunken idiot's shit list). Not on the level of the Honda match, but it's another really good Togo performance (and match).
Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi v Ryoto Hama & Manabu Soya (BJW, 4/28/11)
Well shit, I was SHOCKED at how much I liked this. I mean, I had seen enough guys whose opinions I actually take seriously pimping it, so I expected to enjoy it going in...but not as much as I did. HAMA! God damn he was awesome in this. Dude must weigh about 900 pounds and he looks like Taylor Wiley (aka Teila Tuli of "Gerard Gordeau punted my face through my head at UFC 1" fame) if Taylor Wily had a diet consisting entirely of gravy-coated livermush. He is FAT. He's also an All Japan invader so he's booed mercilessly, and he just soaks it up and continues to use his ginormous girth to crush livers and punch people in the head. If a morbidly obese guy walking around flattening a couple of roid heads and glowing with self-satisfaction while a crowd boo him silly isn't your thing, you can go eat sandpaper because we will never be friends. He does a rolling senton, sits on Sekimoto's chest to counter a sunset flip (which looked as chest-crushing as that spot should when a fat guy is doing it), busts out a Vader Bomb that I totally bit on as the finish, throws big Vader-like soup bones in the corner, and best of all stands and laughs when someone tries to shoulderblock him. There's a great spot where Okabayashi comes in off the hot tag and Hama just creams him in 2 seconds flat. If there's a better Ryoto Hama performance out there then I really need to see it. Everybody else was good too, though. Sekimoto has bulked up even more since I last saw him and almost has no neck. His deadlift German suplex still looks kind of slow (although it's an impressive power spot, no doubt) and he has one strike exchange with Soya at the start that was goofy and stupid and pointless, but otherwise I thought he was pretty great. The initial strike exchange was suitably erased from my memory thanks to the fat guy and a later strike exchange that was waaaay better, anyway. Soya probably could've assholed it up a bit more, but he was good too, and Okabayashi was right there with Sekimoto from the home team. His top rope splash looked AWESOME, there's a great spot where he comes out of nowhere to spear Soya and allow Sekimoto to powerbomb Hama from the middle rope (which was as cool as it sounds), and his exchanges with the fat guy were always a ton of fun (he tries to put him in a torture rack at one point!). Finishing stretch was loaded with nearfalls, but I don't think they overdone it thanks to how well they paced everything. Just a Hell of a match that I honestly fucking loved.