Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomoaki Honma from NJPW 2014

Osaka, Japan
August 3, 2014

Originally reviewed here.

Katsuyori Shibata [8 Points] vs. Tomoaki Honma [0 Points]
My expectations are sky high for this one.

They spilled to the floor early, and Shibata hit a yakuza. That’s another Shibata that I’m growing tired of. Honma came back and sent Shibata into the crowd with a lariat. Shibata got back in the ring and won a forearm battle. Honma avoided the corner dropkick twice. Shibata then avoided the falling headbutt for a second time. The third attempt was successful however. Shibata came back and hit the Corner Dropkick of Doom & Destruction. Shibata hit the backfist, but Honma hit a Superman headbutt! Brainbuster from Honma: 1…2…NO! Shibata came back with a sleeper. Honma fought until he got to the ropes. Shibata went for the PK, but Honma caught it and nailed Shibata with a slap. Pillar Crash from Honma: 1…2…NO! Honma went for the diving headbutt, but Shibata got his feet up. Shibata went for the PK, but Honma hit a big lariat. Backfist from Shibata! Honma tried to avoid the GTS, but he eventually fell victim to that and then the Penalty Kick: 1…2…3!

This reminded me a lot of the Honma/Ishii match from earlier in the tournament. Both guys worked exactly how you thought they would, and it made for an awesome spectacle. The key to their style is that they do not let their matches go too long. In fact, I think the match would have been even better if they shaved off a minute. This is a valuable lesson for everyone in America: quality comes from content not from length.
Match Rating: ****1/4

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