Puro Flashback: A Fairly Long Shujji Kondo Match

by Daniel Johnson

Shuji Kondo vs. Hiroshi Yamato

If your only experience with puro is through this website then you may recall that Shuji Kondo can have great brief matches, like those written about here and here, and not much else about him. However, if your only experience with puro is through here then what the heck is wrong with you? There is a whole big world of puro out there! This concise history of AJPW from Puroresu Central is a good way to get started before you watch enough Japanese wrestling to make your eyes bleed. But yeah, anyways Shuji Kondo can have great short matches, but as this clip shows is beyond decent in fairly long bouts too.

Kondo and Hiroshi Yamato start off by just slugging each other in the face, which Kondo stops by going after Yamato’s left leg. Kondo needs to take a brief break as after all those slugs he looks dazed. One has to wonder whether he is selling or honestly just trying to gather his wits. From there Kondo narrows in on that leg from smashing it against the guardrail to torturing Yamato with a Boston crab to relentlessly kicking it. However, the tables turn on Kondo when Yamato hits a missile dropkick and suicide dive. Yamato does some great selling for his part as no matter how in control of the match he gets he always reminds viewers of his leg injury.

Kondo nearly get back in the driver’s seat of this match when Yamato misses a spear into one corner and Kondo taunts him. Yet, Yamato rules the ring in this one, not Bill Goldberg,and Kondo pays for his hubris by being hit with Yamato’s second spear attempt. Yamato follows this up with a lovely overhead belly-to-belly suplex and a top rope cross body. Yet, Kondo still wants to rule the ring himself and soon the two are trading strikes and then each hit a belly-to-back suplex. Kondo comes within a hair of winning first when he folds Yamato’s legs up like a pretzel then when he hits a huge lariat. Yamato comes back and hits a German suplex and a weaker, but still impressive lariat. Yamato caps the match off and hits his cross-arm suplex finisher for a victory.

In other puro news Tetsuya Naito just won the G1 Climax in NJPW. Whether or not Naito winning was the best choice may be debatable, but at least the victor wasn’t Katsuyori Shibata.



Categories: Wrestling Clips

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