Claudio Castagnoli vs. KUDO from Son of the International Invasion of the International Invaders – 1st Stage 2005


Reading, PA

This match is on the Best of 2005 DVD, which is available for purchase at Smart Mark Video.  For a more informed opinion on this match, check out Kevin Ford’s review.

Recap from TJ Hawke:

This was KUDO’s second of six trips to America for Chikara. I wonder how many full-time Japanese performers have that beat.

Claudio got control when he started to go after KUDO’s left leg. Claudio worked over the leg for a while. KUDO came back and hit a buzzsaw kick for a nearfall. Claudio avoided a diving knee stomp and then right back back to work on the now even more injured left leg. KUDO avoided a lariat and came back with some kicks. He was not selling the leg. He hit the diving knee stomp, but Claudio blocked Bryce’s arm from making the third count. Claudio caught him with Swiss Death and then a rolling uppercut. He was knocked out…Bryce called for the bell!

This was a solid match. However, I am always frustrated by matches that are primarily based on working a limb but then do not pay off that work during the closing sequence. Yes, it’s possible to win a real fight by KO after going for a leg submission all match. This is not a real fight though. This is art. If you’re going to attempt to tell a story, give a conclusion to that story. If you want to just out there do movez for ten minutes, that is fine, too. In fact, it’s preferable if you’re not going to complete the story you told for the first two thirds of the match.

Match Rating: ***


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