Shingo Takagi vs. El Desperado (NJPW Sengoku Lord in Nagoya 7/25/20)

Match Reviews

Shingo Takagi becoming the default secondary champion in the company because of the unified IWGP Titles is absolutely something that I can get behind. And yet again, he pulls out the match of the night for a company progressively digging themselves into a hole with bad booking. Oh my dear Shingo, you will buy this company so much leeway that they no longer deserve.

The champ comes out swinging early to punish Despy for his belt stealing ways. It’s a delightful babyface shine to see Shingo own Despy so hard. The transition into the heat was well handled with Despy showing how outmatched he was by having to cheat with the belt and with a chair–continuing themes in the match. Despy employs the same tactic he used against Ishii by going for Shingo’s leg.

Shingo puts in a fantastic selling performance here–again. The leg is a constant problem for Shingo here that he has to actively fight through instead of merely ignoring it then gripping it to pay lip service to the psychology. He definitely goes out of his way to keep it in our minds that the knee is a constant problem and it makes his explosive comebacks overcoming that problem so much more satisfying as a result.

This isn’t as rich as the SHO match but that’s because Despy’s a little chickenshit heel working in a situation that doesn’t allow him to get the heat he needs. He does a decent job staying on Shingo’s knee but his style isn’t conducive to the circumstances. Luckily he’s in there with the best wrestler in the company and problems like that matter just a little less. Great match, long live our lord Shingo.

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