The NJ vs NOAH feud was pretty well regarded in what was considered a down year for puro. This talk was over 5 years ago so, its something I think most people, especially those not hip to pre-Kobashi GHC title run NOAH, may have missed.
Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Jushin Liger & Wataru Inoue (02/17/02): This is one of the earliest in the feud and its full of stiff shots and heat. Its getting hot in here! Like Nelly! Remember him? Not Nelly Furtadoshe was cute though. No the rapper-esque guy with the bandages on his cheek and gold fronts. Yeah, now you remember unfortunately. I was more a Ludacris fan. And I didnt really care for him either. Where was I? Oh! Wrestling!! This was a fun fire building match especially when you pick a side. I picked NOAH. I like Liger but, most of the NJPW roster at this point in time is unremarkable. Inoue is a good example of that. Anywho...It was great seeing Kikuchi of yore. I mean this dude stood toe-to-toe with the likes of Jumbo and Kawada in the early 90s. He brings what remains of that of part of his intestine with him to this match. Kanemaru is fun but certainly needs that surly old goat to help him out against the likes of Liger and Watery Inoue.
Jushin Liger & Minoru Tanaka vs Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (04/07/02): God what happened to Liger!? Why is he such a jerk-ass heel!? Man does he punk the hell out of old Kikuchi and fancy pants Kanemaru. This was pretty good but, the NOAH team was out classed and outmatched. That doesn't stop them from laying in some shots. I'm a bit of a Minoru fan so, this was a fun one. He was such a dick here! This isn't so much a puro-style match as a fun American heel-babyface type tag match.
KENTA vs Wataru Inoue (08/29/02): This is wrestled like you typical early 2000s junior match. Theres a lot of stiff elbows to no real effect, theres fun spots but, the match isnt awesome or anything. It's a quick small show match with two youngsters. I love me some KENTA and if youre a fan then you'll like this one. He bleeds from his mouth and he wouldn't want it any other way. Its pretty good for two rookies. Solid but, unremarkable. By the way the cross-arm bar and the mounted elbows are really big in 2002 it seems. I think this is from the influence of PRIDE Fighting or Takayama or something.
Koji Kanemoto vs Makoto Hashi (08/29/02): Hashi goes up against king prick Koji! The thing is that Koji thinks hes tough shit but, Hashi is from NOAH- the hardest hitting, biggest bomb dropping-est (what?) promotion in the world. Thats good for Hashi since Koji figures hell practice his kicks on young Makotos lumpy head. Makoto remembers he eats kicks for breakfast - Kid tested mother approved. In turn, he chops and head butts the piss out of Kanemoto. I mean Hashi brings his A game to take out the then IWGP Jr. champ. I'm always rooting against that smirking bastard! I love to hate him. The Noah Doughboy does me proud. Now that I think about it this match reminds me of the early 90s NJ vs. WAR feud. Its good stuff.