Best Team in the World

I can't think of a hotter tag team than Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls. Nasty as they can be--known for raking their fingernails down the backs of opponents and double-teaming every chance they get (triple-teaming, given the opportunity)--they nevertheless appear to be Japanese pro wrestling's gaijin of choice for the past year. Who's sexier, Shane or Mikey? I'd say Shane, by a hair, though every time I see Mikey chop an opponent to the mat, my opinion swings over to his side. 

Mikey, 6'1", 227#, seems to share traits of U.S. wrestlers Mike Bennett, Eddie Edwards, and old-school Ole Anderson. And, as I believe I've mentioned elsewhere, Shane, 6'1", 220#, manages to smolder in spite of the white-bread wholesomeness of his good looks. Beyond the smokin' bods, Shane and Mikey have faces that barely contain the mischief bubbling out of their bent-up brains. The combination of schoolboy looks, meanness, and devil-may-care recklessness is too much for me to resist.

You can watch them in action here in a Pro Wrestling NOAH contest from last month, facing Takashi Sugiura, 5'10", 229#, and Akitoshi Saito, 5'10", 231#. Sugiura is about the toughest looking wrestler at NOAH these days. The man sweats menace from his pores and radiates the quiet deadpan menace of actor-director Takeshi Kitano. In 2011, he ranked #5 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated's list of the top 500 wrestlers. I'm half-convinced that Sugiura could trounce both Aussies singlehandedly, so as the match begins, I'm dubious about my boys' chances of landing this one.

I shouldn't worry. Not only don't the mighty kneel, TMDK vindicates its claim to being "best team in the world" again and again. A double reversal at 18:00 - 18:30, as Haste and Nicholls double-team the seemingly impervious Sugiura, is classic squared-circle showmanship on the part of all three wrestlers in the ring.


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