Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yamato vs Kondo

At the beginning of last year, Hiroshi Yamato, 5'10", 180#, put his All Japan World Junior Heavyweight belt on the line to fight challenger Shuji Kondo, 5'8", 220#, at the time AJPW All-Asia Tag Team Champion. The crowd adores Yamato, all the more so after he survives Kondo's dastardly DDT on the hardwood floor surrounding the ring (at the 11:30 point in this video). Even with assistance, Yamato is barely able to get back in the ring. The ref tries to hold Kondo back, to give Yamato a second to shake the cobwebs out of his head, but the skunk-haired man-boulder contemptuously shoves the ref aside and goes in for the kill. Even dazed, however, Yamato is stronger and more resilient than Kondo thinks, making him harder to put down than expected. Later, a slug-out atop the corner ropes might lead you to suspect that Kondo won't be satisfied with anything less than Yamato's decapitation in another brutal attempt at defeating and destroying the champ. Crowd energy intensifies dramatically in the final five minutes of this eighteen-minute battle. An epic finish leaves both wrestlers on their backs in complete exhaustion, as the sound system blares the heart-racing roar of taiko drums.

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