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Jetlag

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  4. Uhm... it's these guys fighting eachother for 25 minutes in 2010 FUTEN. We get lot of really good exchanges throughout and an incredibly violent finishing run. The broken down version of Ishikawa/Ikeda is a pretty great matchup in itself, as all their exchanges have this continually exhausted Lawler/Mantell feel. Ishikawa was the far superior grappler by this point and would catch in Ikeda in all kinds of neat submissions, while Ikeda would come through with something incredibly stiff once in a while. It's a testament to Ikedas selling ability that even knowing he can take absolutely insane punishment he can make you believe he was seeing stars after a simple sleeper hold. Ikeda would also keep the grappling violent by just fishhooking Ishikawa repeatedly. Ono was incredible here and may have been the best guy in the match (and the world) at this point. He came across as this super dangerous striker early on (even in a match that has Daisuke Ikeda in it), pounding dudes really violently, flying stomps on the ground. The finishing run is between him and Usuda and it's just this amazing dangerous striker vs. Counter specialist matchup. The cool thing is Ono was avoiding all of Usudas signature spots but Usuda would still catch him, all while fighting for his life. Ono would go for a full force stomp that would likely cave Usudas face in only for Usuda to slip and lock in a submission. Increasingly violent saves were pretty gnarly with Usuda and Ono taking some sick headbutts and kicks while entangled in leglocks. Also, Onos lightning fast submissions were amazing.
  5. Another really good match built around Hashi as a dangerous monster. For a junior he does that remarkably well. Largely strike based match, which as not a bad thing as these guys aren't pussies when it comes to striking. Lots of nice palm strike flurries, and they build the match pretty well. Hara is initially able to avoid the big Hashi strikes but Hashi grabs him and drops him with a big Ki Crusher which is a spot that kind of rules in the middle of a shootstyle strike exchange. Really good ultra stiff Mantell/Lawler exchanges for the finish, with the headbutts being of course insane.
  6. Huigaji looked awesome in the first Futen match that we saw, but everything else was far away from that performance for some reason. This felt a lot like Mashimo leading him along and that you could've told any other indy guy to stop pulling strikes and put him into this match and it would've been fine. Mashimo carries Hiugaji through some shootstyle mat exchanges fine before he starts giving him the business with brutal kicks and slaps. Hiugaji is able to catch Mashimos leg and is basically able to hang on through that while occasionally catching Mashimo with a big punch or stomp. Fun layout and together with the stiffness dialed up makes a really really fun match.
  7. Okubo sure has put on weight since U-Style. He is still smaller than Nagai. FUTEN crowbar Nagai is really the best use of him post-RINGS. They don't go for matwork and just blast eachother with mean kicks and elbows. Basically just a short basic indy undercard match with Okubo selling fired up youngster taking a beating and Nagai working on his arm, but Futen stiffness elevates everything to at minimum a fun match.
  8. 6 minute Futen opening match which means you are going to get a dose of fun violence in a short amount of time. This feels a bit like wrestler vs. MMA figher, with Nohashi trying some takedowns and sticking to headbutts and dropkicks otherwise while NARITA throws punches from mount. Narita has some really nice punches and a cool rolling Octopus Hold for a nice nearfall, but Nohashi soon headbutts him into oblivion, full on with a bloody mouth and welts on his head.
  9. Controversial match, but I thought this was a stroke of genius as far as pro wrestling booking can go. Sometimes keeping a promotion fresh and unpredictable is more important than having the biggest and most credible guy on the roster be champion. And the match is really good too because they do a tremendous job messing with the audiences expectations. Working cutoffs in such a way has become a lost art, I'm afraid.
  10. Not one of the better Akiyama sprints, but it sure drives the point home. Shigas massive opening barrage of offense trying to put Akiyama away was really entertaining, but the conclusion was just not that interesting. Matches like this were very important in NOAHs booking as they conditioned audiences that the opening of a match was important, so I appreciate them.
  11. Hashi may have been outworking everyone else in NOAH at this point. This was a typical rookie/veteran match with Akiyama mostly blowing off Hashis offense except when he was using that iron skull. Akiyamas „I'm so tough“ bullshit biting him in the ass was a nice touch and literally everything Hashi did was extremely well done. He would try different approaches to cut Akiyama down headbutting him in every different body part and at one point he just headbutted him like 30 times in one go. Akiyama beats and stretches Hashi good with some especially nasty facelocks but overall I was lukewarm on his performance here. If he had sold the head trauma Hashi was giving him on a larger scale the match could've been pretty great.
  12. Man I love NOAH. Even a minor lead-in tag like this will have a unique, unpredictable structure, everyone playing their role and guys unloading on eachother with stiff shots. Great opening which gets the crowd by the balls immediately. Marufuji putting Hashi in the tree of woe so he and Ogawa can double team Akiyama is something we all did in WWF No Mercy. I like Akiyama a lot but I thought he was outshone by Hashi here, who was just way stiffer, more intense, etc. I thought Akiyama could've done a better job giving Ogawa & Marufuji receipts for their rat boy tactics. Ogawa looked great as usual outsmarting his opponents. Marufuji didn't do anything stupid, even showing some viciousness dropkicking Hashis skull repeatedly. Loved the finish.
  13. Two big guys maul each other for 5 minutes. Primitive match, but I prefer them doing this over some drawn out 10 minute affair. Morishima looked like he could've been great if he had worked more Otto Wanz style matches. He certainly looked up there slugging it out with Vader in the corner.
  14. Man it's crazy people used to take matches like this for granted. Everyone knows their role and gets to look good, and the match tells a fine STORY~! Where you genuinely can't predict the exact payoff. Honda and Hashi try to crack eachothers skull before slapping eachother silly! Hashi is really GETTING IT and elicits great crowd responds! Taue boots people in the face when they least want to have it! Saito... hits hard! Shiga does all these nifty submissions, which are still over at this point! Inoue isn't useless! Now this isn't GREAT stuff, but there still enough nifty details to keep this entertaining, such as Honda teasing the Dead End or Hashi struggling to get in position for a double team move. Also, cool submission finish! This gets the full NOAH point.
  15. Fun interpromotional juniors match in front of a molten hot crowd. To be honest I thought the match had too much filler work and not enough hate filled exchanges, but Kikuchi stepping up to maul opponents was indeed awesome and Liger was a sufficient prick. Inoue got to look strong for a rookie in black trunks and Kanemaru was able to not kill the match. Him kicking Liger in the balls may have been the highlight of the match, which feels stupid considering it's a juniors match that has brainbusters and whatnot, but it was an insanely well timed moment that the crowd ate up.
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