Ricochet vs. Hiromu Takahashi from NJPW 2017

This was for Hiromu’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

This was fine. The best part about it was how they played off Hiromu’s two minute defeat of KUSHIDA last time by having Ricoche go nuts at the start in an attempt to finish Hiromu immediately.

While that was the peak of the match, they did manage to tell a compelling story for a while after that as well. Hiromu was trying to control the pace of the match, and he had to constantly do some big stuff to halt Ricochet’s momentum.

After a brief control period from Hiromu, Ricochet fought back. So Hiromu gave him a DVD on the apron. Ricochet responded in kind with a brainbuster on the floor. The crazy tone of the match established by this point in the match was delightful.

From there, the match lost almost all of its momentum. They did not bring the same energy to the match, and they went too long for that kind of finish to a match. If they followed up the apron DVD and floor brainbuster with a sudden minute or two of desperate attempts at finishers in the ring or something similar, it would have been a much more satisfying finish. (Ricochet’s embarrassing attempt at TJP’s Detonation Kick also did not help). Hiromu finally won via Time Bomb. (**3/4)

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