Another banger in the Yuki Ueno & Friend vs. Eruption rivalry. Yoshimura’s out with an injury so Ueno brings along MAO here for the ride. MAO’s been a bit of a disappointment for me since coming back from excursion. I’d heard tell of his pre-UK run and how much potential he seemed to have but outside of the Masato Tanaka title match last year, he’s done little of note for me.
MAO’s on best behavior here. The silliness is at a minimum and he mostly just moves the match along at a decent pace while working on the British-style trickery that he’s been using a lot of. Even then, he’s easily the weakest part of the equation here. He gets the big win at the end but it’s that segment that really drags this down from the heights it could have reached.
The real highlight here is the blossoming rivalry between Ueno and Sakaguchi. Ueno still harbors ill will from getting choked out last year and those two have some real scrappy exchanges here built around stiff strikes. Really promising stuff especially as a singles match between them is already on the horizon. Higuchi is his usual reliable self. Excellent in little ways, fundamentally sound and a great base for the smaller guys.
A fun DDT tag. A little too long than it probably should be but filled with good nonetheless.