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Found 42 results

  1. I've avoided NOAH like the plague since KENTA plague-the only time I ever think about them is when I wonder what exactly went wrong with the style. One of the theories I remember is that the AJ/NOAH guys took the style too far and nothing the new guys did could make the crowd care-but after seeing Zack Sabre Jr. get his matches hugely over in Differ Ariake I came to the conclusion the newer guys just have no clue how to build a match. This wasn't even the best example of that as most NOAH main events are structured worse than this one was-Sugiura vs. Shiozaki or Marufuji is just 30 minutes of repeating the same strike exchanges. Here you actually have something resembling a heat section-Sugiura has really great, reckless offence and Nakajima has improved tremednously at garnering sympathy. And they at times they really *do* get that heat from the remaining two thousand NOAH fans. But overall....the match lacks direction, and more than anything it lacks urgency. You get a spot, then a bunch of down time where nothing happens and so on, and it shows they really don't know what to do to fill so much time. The match created a lot of strong visuals and could be edited into a great highlight video-Nakajima being busted open with an unprotected chairshot in particular was something else. NOAH really does need a proper change. You can what you want about all the Sugiura and KENTA 2010-2013 main events but at least they had an identity. I have no idea whom this style is supposed to cater to. It's moving the style closer to New Japan's but just by taking away some of the tools the workers used to fill the time yet insist on the workers filling the same amount of time. Either slice 10-15 minutes off these matches or let them Dragon Suplex each other for ten minutes like they used to. There was at least a natural progression and structure in the style that required 4 finishers for a big match victory. **3/4
  2. Interesting opening-Elgin overwhelms Nakajima with power, Nakajima had to use the dreaded Dean Ambrose rope pull and drop toe holds to get back in control, first attacks the arm and then when Elgin fights back goes for the legs. Nakajima's armwork and legwork is pretty inconsequential-triple limbwork would've been interesting but Nakajima's kicks were pretty enough that I'll just take that segment for what it was. I find it really hard to care about Elgin's control segments when all he does is spam spots, and his spots aren't really that special. Nakajima's selling carried the strike exchanges-Elgin nailed a couple of good elbows but also did stupid sound effect enzuigiris. There was stuff like Elgin's triple suplex attempt where you could tell they were just setting up the next spot and the finishing stretch was classic 2.99 spam/hit a big move>if the next one is reversed its damage is instantly nullified. A good showing for Nakajima who managed to make me enjoy an Elgin match about as much as I am gonna in 2016. **3/4
  3. Opening was kinda boring as they quickly dropped the matwork to do boring armwork and irish whips into the guardrail, because that's what the people REALLY want to see Match was fine once they transitioned to hitting each other hard-Nakajima's technique and Shibata's brutality never cease to impress me. Still the match was filled with lazy mirror spots and had a stupid suplex sequence, so a couple of minutes of nice violence will only get you so far. ***
  4. Back in 2012 Kenny Omega was an invading junior champion in All Japan. His shtick consisted of shitting on Mutoh and doing about 15 Dragon Suplexes per match, and not I am not throwing that number around as a hyperbole. That's about as many as he'd do. In the first minute of this match they exchanged about five control segments and did a Dragon Suplex on the floor. And-you know what-I'd rather they start that way than do the usual New Japan BS. Match wasn't much early on-there was some semblance of neckwork but it was more about Nakajima's (solid) selling than Omega doing anything interesting-his neck attacks consisted of weak kesagiri chops and kicks. You'd think if there's a bodypart you can easily work over in engaging fashion it's the neck, that's what the majority of wrestling moves target. Then we moved onto MOVES, and, well, I enjoy Dragon Suplex spamming and Nakajima has pretty kicks, so this was a pretty easy watch, but I don't reward mediocrity and creatively that's what this match was. Also Omega kicking Nakajima's knee/shin/whatever to set up his jumping bulldog looked silly. **3/4
  5. LOVED THIS. So much great stuff in this one. Early on MiSu goes for a fake clean break and just as he is about to chest slap Nakajima he reverses the position and clean breaks Suzuki. That really set the tone for this match of Nakajima being too old for Suzuki's shit. Suzuki selling Nakajima as a threat by recuperating fit perfectly into this and him fixing his hair was awesome. I've come to really dislike Suzuki's Rope Hung Armbar because of its contrived set up but luckily here the set up was modified and it came off much better. Nakajima continuing to hit Suzuki with his injured arm even when it was obvious it was causing almost no damage and actually hurting him more than Suzuki is the kind of thing that may seem idiotic it first but worked and really added to the match for me because it is exactly the kind of mentality I'd expect to see from a japanese fighter/superhero/wrestler/whatever, and to his credit Nakajima sold really well. ***3/4
  6. Talk about it here. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1abkcp_katsuhiko-nakajima-vs-xtra-large-noah_sport
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