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Best of ROH General Pimping Thread~!

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I think the match between Red and Ki is the one that opens with that super choreographed counter segment which was done at lightning speed and looked like something out of a kung fu movie. I remember loving it at the time, but I would bet I would find it a little eye rolling watching it now. 


I do want to go back and watch the Ki/Styles match from Night of Appreciation, which I think was the first ROH match I saw that was really eye opening for me. 

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How did we get that entire list without mention Danielson/London 2/3 falls anywhere?


Also since my review retrospect isn't working the way I want do to dumb friends messing with my DVD's forever ago, I'll just toss some shit out there as well.


Second City Saints vs. Briscoes Death Before Dishonor 2 Night 1

Samoa Joe vs. Colt Cabana: Death Before Dishonor 2 Night 2

Second City Saints vs. Maff and Whiter: Death Before Dishonor 2 Night 2

Low-Ki vs. Jay Lethal: Midnight Express Reunion

Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe: Midnight Express Reunion

Samoa Joe vs. Rocky Romero: Gold

I Quit Match: Alex Shelley vs. Jimmy Jacobs: Joe vs. Punk 2

Low-Ki vs. Chad Collyer: Weekend of Thunder Night 1

Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide: All Star Extravganza 2

Steve Corino vs. Roderick Strong: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 1

Steel Cage Match: Austin Aries vs. Colt Cabana: Third Anniversrey Celebration Part 1

Dan Maff & BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 2

Colt Cabana vs. Nigel McGuinness: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 2

James Gibson vs. Spanky: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 2

Samoa Joe & Bryan Danielson vs. Austin Aries and Jack Evans: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 2

AJ Styles vs. Jimmy Rave: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 2

Alex Shelley vs. Jack Evans: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 3

Bryan Danielson vs. Homicide: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 3

Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe: Third Anniversery Celebration Part 3

Homicide vs. Roderick Strong: Back to Basics

James Gibson vs. Rocky Romero: Back to Basics

Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal vs. CM Punk & Spanky: Back to Basics

Bryan Danielson vs. Spanky: Best of American Super Juniors

James Gibson vs. Roderick Strong: Best of American Super Juniors

Austin Aries vs. Homicide: Best of American Super Juniors

Whitmer and Jacobs vs. Strong and Evans: Manhatten Mayhem

Samoa Joe vs. Jay Lethal: Manhatten Mayhem

Jimmy Rave vs. CM Punk: Manhatten Mayhem

Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley: Manhatten Mayhem

Low-Ki and Homicide vs. Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal: Manhatten Mayhem

Alex Shelley vs. Roderick Strong: The Final Showdown

Austin Aries vs. James Gibson: The Final Showdown

Homicide vs. Bryan Danielson: The Final Showdown

Roderick Strong and Jack Evans vs. Alex Shelley and Delirious: Nowhere to Run

CM Punk vs. Jimmy Rave: Nowhere to Run

Roderick Strong vs. Alex Shelley: New Frontiers

Samoa Joe vs. James Gibson: New Frontiers

Austin Aries vs. Spanky: New Frontiers

Homicide vs. James Gibson: The Future is Now

CM Punk vs. Roderick Strong: The Future is Now

Samoa Joe vs. Nigel McGuinness: The Future is Now

Low-Ki vs. Austin Aries: The Future is Now

CM Punk vs. Austin Aries: Death Before Dishonor 3

Samoa Joe vs. Austin Aries: Escape From New York

CM Punk vs. Roderick Strong: Escape From New York

AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong: Fate of an Angel

Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk vs. James Gibson vs. Christopher Daniels: Redemption

Samoe Joe & Jay Lethal vs. Homicide and Low-Ki: Punk: The Final Chapter

Roderick Strong vs. Matt Hardy: Punk: The Final Chapter

Colt Cabana vs. CM Punk: Punk: The Final Chapter



aaand thats all I can remember of my head, of recollecting matches.

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While I'm cleaning and categorizing my DVD/Blu collection, I'm going to try to piece together all the shows and sets I have for ROH and compile a list.  I'm down for this project.

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I was only mentioning stuff from reborn to reborn since I thought that's what we were only talking about so a warning to all I love me some Xavier ROH title reign. Red vs. Low Ki was from Road to the title which the DVD had no chapters so you could only fast forward. Four matches Danielson vs. Ki with Shamrock as ref, The 1 hour Iron man match for the ROH title, Briscoe vs. Briscoe from Honor invades Boston and Shane vs. London from Unscripted. If anyone wants to know what show a particular match is from in the early years I can pretty much tell you if need be.

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The entire Generation Next vs. The Embassy feud is tremendous.

To get the whole scope of that storyline you gotta go back to when Shelley was kicked out of Gen Next and was kind of a "man without a country" so to speak.

Shelley tries to atone for all of the bad things he did as a member of Gen Next and he gets shunned by the rest of the locker room at every turn. This propels him to join up with Nana and the Embassy who, other than the Rotweillers, were the biggest heels in the company.

Jimmy Rave was always one of my favorites. He understood how to get heat and he wasn't afraid to look like a stooge or take an absolute beating. Rave using Jade Chung as a step-stool to get in the ring got him some big-time heat.

From there the feud kicked into high gear and there were a bunch of great matches. Steel Cage Warfare is the blowoff and probably the best match of the series.

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Ohhhhhhhhhh Jade Chung........

So Hot and was hot as hell on the indies a key part in the Gen Next vs. Embassy and the valet for the Dynasty on PWG around the same time. She also Valet some on IWA-MS shows I remember Punk's commentary on Something to Prove (Necro vs. Joe) Is she a Squirrel? because she's hiding nuts in her mouth.

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I think the match between Red and Ki is the one that opens with that super choreographed counter segment which was done at lightning speed and looked like something out of a kung fu movie. I remember loving it at the time, but I would bet I would find it a little eye rolling watching it now. 


I do want to go back and watch the Ki/Styles match from Night of Appreciation, which I think was the first ROH match I saw that was really eye opening for me. 


Their ROH match was from the world title tournament and they had pretty much the same match (or the same opening sequence with the same finisher) in TNA and a few other indies around the same time.


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I think the match between Red and Ki is the one that opens with that super choreographed counter segment which was done at lightning speed and looked like something out of a kung fu movie. I remember loving it at the time, but I would bet I would find it a little eye rolling watching it now. 


I do want to go back and watch the Ki/Styles match from Night of Appreciation, which I think was the first ROH match I saw that was really eye opening for me. 

Their match at Road to the Title was ridiculous for someone like me who was just discovering indy wrestling at the end of '03 and LOVED the flippy indy style. Was I the only one that thought it looked sped up on DVD? I think part of what made it seem awesome was how in the middle of their sprint, the crowd just loses their shit.


I really liked the London/Xavier matches.


Did anyone mention the London/Michael Shane match from Unscripted? That was the first time I ever heard a "Please Don't Die" chant.

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Back-in-the-day when Paul London and ROH were both 'new', this was one of the first matches on a "Best of Paul London" tape I watched. I believe Pete is right in that this is the first time the "Please Don't Die" chants were chanted un-ironically. Let's see how it holds up in a 2014 re-watch:

This is a Fight Without Honor. It’s good this match didn't start up with a lock-up/feeling-out process/wrist locks, but it does not start off with Paul London being Paul London by hitting a dropsault, back-flip, and a spinning heel kick within the first minute. Both guys continue at a pretty face pace with London throwing very suspect elbows while Michael Shane throws some of the weakest punches I've seen amongst his contemporaries (foreshadowing things to come). London tries to skin-the-cat and gets dropped kicked for his efforts and takes a nasty SPLAT~! ON THE FLOOR. Michael Shane follows up with super-soft elbows and then tosses London into the chicken-wire barricade. I am not sure ROH's budget in 2002, but fuck! ROH couldn't even afford standard guardrails. Standard guardrails are at every school/rec center/every place ROH would have ran shows in 2002. I have some theories to way the rails in question were used: ROH didn't have the money, the local marching band needed it for the parade happening the same day, or someone in the ROH offices (Rob~! ) pissed the holder of the guardrails off so much that ROH staff had to call Jay Lethal's mom to whip up something quick for the ROH event.

With a twinkle in his eye and Juicy Fruit in his mouth, Michael Shane begins talking shit to a fallen Paul London. MICHAEL SHANE sets up a table and tries to put Paul through it but Paul fights back and rolls MICHAEL SHANE into the ring. Paul grabs a chair from under the ring and begins holding the chair like Brittany Palmer for some reason which leads to a Michael Shane paying tribute to stupid WCW 2000 spots by doing a over-the-top rope senton onto the chair Paul is hold. This of course causes both men to spend some time on the floor. Shane is now in control, rolls London into the ring, and just tosses the steel chair at London's head. Reviewing old ROH will be a bit hard in seeing the way steel chairs are used. Knowing what we know now about concussions (and the concussions suffered during some of these shows), I wonder how that will impact some of the match ratings- if at all? Michael Shane soon continues to show why he will turn out to be a shitty wrestler by slapping on a headlock on London near the center of the ring. This of course happens while the commentators tell us that this match is NHB and that this is a blood feud.

After setting up a chair in the corner, Michael Shane and Paul London begin a chop exchange that would make the slaps between Jenna Morsca and Sharmell seem like Kenta Kobashi and Samoa Joe trading blows. Paul at least has a striking game that works for his size and style, MICHAEL SHANE couldn't give a shit. MICHAEL SHANE is soon tossed into the ladder by London and is busted wide open. MICHAEL SHANE goes to the outside to regroup and grabs a ladder from under-the-ring. In a JCVD/RVD type move London, ducks under the ladder, jumps onto the ring apron, and hits Shane with a spinning back kick. Both men get back into the ring and MICHAEL SHANE continues to put a beating on London which includes a release suplex into the ladder. MICHAEL SHANE follows this up with HBK circa 2004 style chops (just the finger tips) to London while London sells death. Michael Shane is hell-bent on bringing this match to a crawl and then OUT-OF-NOWHERE Paul London hits a head scissors on Michael Shane that sends Michael Shane through the table on the outside. That was pretty damn sweet and if you happened to miss it (because you were taking a sip of your Coke Zero- like I was), ROH has a replay ready. Now London goes for his own ladder.


There are now TWO ladders in the ring. Paul London has the 'Jeff Hardy' sized ladder and sets it up in the corner. He back-body drops MICHAEL SHANE into the ladder and then London uses the ladder as a launching pad to do a senton drive to the bloody Michael Shane who is outside the ring. The smack heard on the land may in part be contributed to London's skull. Some time passes and these guys are just in another gear. Both have something to prove. London kicks out of MICHAEL SHANE's finisher and MICHAEL SHANE kicks out of the SSP. Paul begins to climb up the ladder (facing away from Michael Shane), but Shane counters and puts London on his back. MICHAEL SHANE with an elbow from the top of the 'Jeff Hardy' ladder only gets a 'two'. Shane tries again but London jumps on the second rope and hits a moonsault with his feet catching Shane in the face. Amazing. PLEASE DON'T DIE! PLEASE DON'T DIE!  This is what the fans are chanting as Paul London climbs the wobbly ladder. London hits a SSP off the 12 foot ladder and that's it! The crowd is jacked and there are some people chanting '5 star match' and then it breaks out into a 'Match of the Year!' chant.

This match is definitely exciting and if you put aside some of the puzzling things done by Michael Shane and the gruesome unprotected shots to the head, it can be really enjoyable. This is one of the matches that got me into London, ROH, and had me thinking Michael Shane was the future. It's worth a watch. It’s worth being on this list. This match holds up in the car-wreck-both-guys-out-to-prove-something kind of way.

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The best ROH match I called play-by-play for was Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe at the first Glory By Honor. I watched it recently, and it still holds up. I tried to stop talking during the periods where they just stood toe-to-toe, blasting each other as hard as possible. 


As far as ring announcing, the best match from my time there was the first Punk-Joe match at World Title Classic. Danielson was kind enough to lend me his watch so I could time the 60 minutes.


The "unsung classic" was the 6-Man War between the Prophecy and the Second City Saints at The Battle Lines Are Drawn. I spent the second half of the match trying to steer clear of the chaos at ringside. The end was like a fireworks show, with ref Paul Turner getting smoked by a huge chairshot, then Whitmer killing poor Lucy with a wrist-clutch exploder, and finally Punk putting Chris Daniels out of the company with the Pepsi Plunge through a table.  

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I don't think the London/Shane streetfight holds up as a match per se, but as a daredevil spectacle, it still has the ability to make you hold your breath, 10 years later. Which is crazy considering how the ladder stunt game continued to escalate for years afterwards, and how Shelton Benjamin later swiped most of the big spots for MITB matches. But everything London does looks dangerous to this very day. Like, somewhere in the back of your mind you're thinking this might be the time that rickety ladder gives way on ROH's old, awkward turnbuckle setup and London just DIES facefirst into the concrete.

The gods must've decided London was going to be a big star, because there are only 2 possible outcomes to that performance: you either die or become the biggest star in the company.

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What was it that derailed London?  Both TNA and WWE seemed to like him at different times, but the most he got was a few Tag Title reigns in WWE back when the tag belts didn't matter that much.  You'd think ROH or other indies would use him more, but I don't see his name much nowadays.

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Totally agree. The car-wreck spots are truly heart-stopping. I didn't like the main event MITB 2014 match because of all the stupid risks Rollins and some of the other guys took (and the overall structure of the match was another problem- but there is another thread for those gripes). This match serves as a great explanation to some as to why/how ROH became relevant as WWE differently wasn't doing it. I know for a fact this match will not crack my top 25, but its somewhere (at the tail end) of my top 100 purely based off the We-Don't-Give-A-Fuck spectacle.


Re: London


He really lives the gimmick and is a travler. He does indy shows when he wants to but really wants to do acting. Him and ROH linked back-up together after some time apart and I believe he recently no-showed one or several shows and  is now in the ROH dog-house. London is very come-and-go so I am not sure what's his next move. London in WWE didn't work out mainly due to his height and his 'attitude'. London smiling at Vince before Vince got blown up really pissed off McMahon.

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CM Punk vs. AJ Styles - Pure Title Tournament Finals -  Second Anniversary Show - Braintree, MA 2/14/04


The Pure title. A very interesting title in concept and execution, but its mere existence shows how much the ROH guys backstage were marking for their own product. Post ECW, ROH was meta before meta drew money. A quick recap of Pure title rules via Wikipedia:


Matches for the ROH Pure Championship were conducted under Pure Wrestling Rules. The three Pure Wrestling Rules are:

  1. Each wrestler has three rope breaks to stop submission holds and pinfalls during the match. After a wrestler exhausts his rope breaks, submission and pin attempts under the ropes by the opponent are considered legal.
  2. There are no closed-fist punches to the face allowed in a Pure match, only open-handed slaps or chops to the face are allowed. Punches to other parts of the body (save for low-blows) are permitted. The first use of a closed fist will get a warning, and the second will cause the wrestler to be penalized a rope break. If he is already out of rope breaks, he will be disqualified.
  3. A wrestler is subject to a twenty count by the referee if the wrestler goes to the floor.

While not a rule itself, it is worth noting that unlike other championships, the ROH Pure Championship could change hands on a disqualification or count out.


and with that said...



The match begins with a staredown. Both guys jaw-jacking each other. The commentators spend nearly the first two minutes to explain the rules. Styles soon finds himself in a good position to hit The Styles Clash, but Punk is able to grab AJ's right leg and slide out of it. The action spills to the floor and soon both guys find themselves in a tie up position that makes Shawn Jordan and Cheick Kongo's 149 exchange look like a TSA pat down. Both guys soon realize that the ref is at 13 (they have until 20) and scurry back into the ring to the delight of the fans. Some Ultimate Warrior/Hogan Hulk ring rope cross happens until AJ decides he is done with the tomfoolery and slides out-of-the-ring. Traci Brooks is outside the ring and AJ begins to choke her in order to 'neutralize' her. Now I am all for heels getting what is coming to them regardless of sex, race, religion, etc. but this seemed a tag excessive. CM Punk follows up with a tope and takes control. A failed Irish whip is stopped by Punk and AJ hits a DROP KICK and lands on the concrete knees first.


Both men get back to their feet and Punk whips AJ into the guard rail, but Styles jumps over-the-rail to avoid contact. Punk follows up with a dive into the blackness. This isn't a Star Trek reference or anything racist, ROH's production values were so bad back then that is literally looks like Punk jumped into a black hole never to be seen again. The wrestlers are soon back in the ring and Punk takes control. The commentators are doing a DAMN GOOD JOB in making sure everyone is still up-to-snuff with the rules. Pure Rules are a lot to take in and these guys are making sure Joe Dumbass sitting at home watching his DVD is able to follow this with no issue. 2015 WWE commentators have problems doing this, so its definitely worth pointing out and giving kudos when/where kudos are deserved.


Nearly 10 minutes into the match, AJ Styles has run out of rope breaks and his knees are really acting up. AJ manages to rally back and now Punk has used his last rope break. The guys exchange moves and finally head to the top rope where Styles is able to reversal a suplex attempt and plant Punk's face into the mat. Styles continues to gain momentum which leads to a HARD discus clothesline that is similar to the one that broke Jimmy Rave's jaw. That move produces a loud POP from Punk's jaw. Punk sells this life death and is somehow able to roll into the ring and break the count at 14. Punk is able to quickly get himself together to his a Shining Wizard to win the match-- but only gets a 2 count.


The guys exchange a few more moves until Punk is ready to finish Styles off with another Shining Wizard, but this time it misses and Styles is able to turn it into a Styles Clash. The Styles Clash is only able to get a 2 count. Styles rallies for another discus lariat and misses as Punk is able to turn that opportunity into an unprotected DDT. Punk tosses AJ into the corner and sets him up for The Pepsi Plunge, but Styles is able to fight him off, hit a pele kick out-of-nowhere, and then head to the second corner rope to put the Styles Clash on a dangling Punk. Styles hits it and becomes the first ROH Pure Champion.



I can't put this in the top 25 for me. For historical reasons (first ROH Pure title) and based off who these guys would become- its definitely worth a watch and a position in the top 100 mainly for those two reasons and not really the match itself. Which brings up a question: How much of this list should consist of historical occurrences? Are we going PURELY off of workrate or are we factoring back-story, historical significance, and other factors? The Cage of Death match at Death before Dishonor IV positioning should be interesting.

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Here are just a few of my favorite ROH matches that are in my top 25:


McGuinness vs. Morishima: Undeniable 10/6/07


McGuinness vs. Aries: Rising Above 12/29/07


McGuinness vs. Danielson: Rising Above  11/22/08


McGuinness vs. Morishima 7/16/07


Briscoes vs. Generico/Steen Man UP 9/15/07


Morishima vs. Daniels Man Up 9/15/07


Danielson vs. McGuiness Driven 6/23/07


Generico vs. Steen Ladder War IV  Final Battle 2012


I use to love the Strong/Aries tag team so I need to track some of their stuff down. The Kenta/Davey Richards Team was okay for about 2 shows (not sure if they did more after that) but I quickly soured on Davey's "Kenta's Protege" gimmick. How many times does Davey Richards break into the top 20 of the DVDVR BEST OF ROH LIST~!  Surely Davey has to be in the top 50 for at least 5 matches? We shall see...

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I would put Davey in there for NRC & Matt Sydal vs. The Resilience & Delirious from DBD V night 2 on my list.

Others matches on my list thus far:

Austin Aries vs. Alex Shelley- Manhattan Mayhem

Cage of Death- Death Before Dishonor IV

Generation Next vs. The Embassy- Steel Cage Warfare

Jay Briscoe vs. Brian Danielson- Final Battle 2003

Alex Shelley vs. Claudio Castagnoli- This Means War

Roderick Strong vs. Nigel McGuinness- Death Before Dishonor IV

El Generico vs. Claudio Castagnoli- Race to the Top Tournament Night 2

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Here is a list of Meltzer's ROH matches that he rated over 4 stars:


2/23/02 Low Ki vs. Christopher Daniels vs. American Dragon (4.5)

4/27/02 Low Ki vs. AJ Styles (4.5)

10/16/04 ROH Champion Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk (5)

6/18/05 ROH Champion Austin Aries vs. CM Punk (4.5)

10/1/05 Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi (5)

12/17/05 GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion KENTA vs. Low Ki (4.5)

3/31/06 Blood Generation (Cima, Naruki Doi & Masato Yoshino) vs. Do Fixer (Genki Horiguchi, Ryo Saito & Dragon Kid) (5)

8/12/06 Unification Match: ROH Champion Bryan Danielson vs. Pure Champion Nigel McGuinness (4.75)

9/16/06 ROH Champion Bryan Danielson vs. KENTA (4.75)

2/16/07 Samoa Joe vs. Takeshi Morishima (4.5)

6/9/07 Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson (4.5)

8/25/07 ROH Champion Takeshi Morishima vs. Bryan Danielson (4.75)

12/29/07 ROH Champion Nigel McGuinness vs. Austin Aries (4.75)

3/16/08 ROH Champion Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black (4.5)

7/26/08 Bryan Danielson vs. Tyler Black (4.5)

11/22/08 ROH Champion Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson (4.5)

9/11/09 The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) (4.5)

4/3/10 Tag Team Champions The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli w/ Shane Hagadorn) (not far behind 4.5)

4/3/10 Elimination Match: ROH Champion Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong (in the 4.5 range)

6/19/10 ROH Champion Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards (probably in the 4.75 range)

6/26/11 Davey Richards vs. ROH Champion Eddie Edwards (4.75)

3/31/12 ROH Champion Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin (w/ Truth Martini) (5)

10/13/12 Jay Lethal vs. Davey Richards (4.5)

10/13/12 ROH Champion Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin (4.5)

4/5/13 Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. The American Wolves (Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards) (4.5)

5/10/14 IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) vs. The Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) (4.5)

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