A couple years ago I found out that my fiancé's college friend (who lives in Japan) was a wrestling fan and regularly goes to shows in Tokyo. Awesome! After talking, it turns out he's good buddies with Kotaro Suzuki. Holy crap, really!? Being the awesome nice guy that he is (both our friend & Kotaro), I received a signed poster and tee shirt in the mail a few weeks later. My mind is still blown
I've become a big fan ever since. So, I'd like to repay his kindness in the best way that a wrestle dork with a blog can...Here's a spotlight on some of my favorite Kotaro Suzuki matches:
Makoto Hashi vs Kotaro Suzuki (NOAH 06/06/03): A really fun opener for a fantastic show. This match would be great for an American TV match albeit stiffer. Recommended match.
Tiger Emperor (Suzuki) vs Ricky Marvin - Mask vs Hair (NOAH 04/02/05): An excellent display of athleticism, speed, and execution. These guys work so well together. I'm really surprised these guys were never brought into ROH at the time. The wager didn't really matter too much to me but, it was amazing lucharesu. Highly recommended.
Takuma Sano vs Mushiking Terry (Suzuki) (NOAH 11/05/05): What started out as just a fun match turned into something I would strongly recommend checking out. There was a neat story as it appeared Mushiking has Sano's rolling solebutt to the gut scouted. He's dodging it at every attempt. This is really smart because it has been shown to be equal to Misawa's elbow strike or Kobashi's chop. Not only strong, it is unpredictable. Sano is the master of this move along with the top rope double stomp. In combination, it usually spells the beginning of the end for his opponents.
Terry (Suzuki) uses speed and craftiness against the the veteran. Smartly he works on weakening Takuma's legs with a variety of holds. This plan looks really good in pulling the upset. Sano's not out of it completely but, I'm buying a Mushiking win. It doesn't matter how much the kids are yelling for their superhero. He can only dodge that kick so many times. Really good match and two masked gimmicks in one year for Kotaro
Low Ki vs Kotaro Suzuki (NOAH 02/17/06): A fun Junior contest between two guys who are brilliant on offense. Their defense was less than developed although Low-Ki showed an avenue of genius. Still this was a fun, highly athletic and competitive bout. Ki was going to win because he out ranked Kotaro but, it was dramatic and exciting. Great match.
Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki vs Super Crazy & Ricky Marvin (NOAH 07/22/12): Well shit...they went right straight for crazy town here. I mean Super Crazy is in the match so, um I guess its to be expected...They were diving off, over, and through stuff in the first 3 minutes. The balance and timing these guys had was impeccable. There was a bit much in the end especially from Marvin who went full Chaquita Bananas with the finishers. If you enjoy the Young Bucks or the PWG style tag match, this is a highly recommended match. I won't say great but, its something Dave M. would probably give ****1/2 if it was in NJPW today.
Joe Doering vs Kotaro Suzuki (AJPW 08/17/13): An under 10 minute gem where a basic story was told with great execution, move selection, and energy. Highly Recommended.
Shuji Ishikawa & Daichi Kazato vs Go Shiozaki & Kotaro Suzuki (08/30/15 Union Pro): Nice tag team dynamics at work here. Kotaro was clearly the lowest man on the totem pole but, he impressed me. My favorite pairing was he & Kazato. Their junior offense was really entertaining. Go and Ishikawa were the destroyers so, it gave the bout a sense of urgency whenever the heavyweights were in with the juniors. Highly recommended match.
I had a few other under the radar recommendations/reviews for Kotaro in a notebook but, its lost in the boxes of junk from my last move. Kotaro became a freelancer after AJPW and was in Wrestle-1 where he had a really awesome title match at the beginning of 2016 (03/13/16) with Minoru Tanaka. Then, another good match with AKIRA in June 2016. I believe he was then doing a lot of work with Zero-1 and is regularly working for AJPW again according to Cagematch. Looks like some really fun stuff went down in the later part of 2017 so, hopefully I'll be able to track some down and share my take on it in the coming weeks.