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Found 19 results

  1. Without further ado, let's take a look at Night #2 of wXw's 2011 16 Carat Gold Tournament! Axeman vs Rico Bushido vs Tommy End vs Bad Bones - Hard hitting wXw guys doing a fun spot match. Jay Skillet vs Jon Ryan - I like Ryan from his match with Davey but, you can skip this match. It wasn't bad. It's nothing special to me though. Colt Cabana vs Marty Scurll - Another outright comedy match. Marty is much better at this than Zack just because he's more vocal and outgoing. Fun stuff Carnage vs 2-Face - This was OK. They probably didn't need to hit as hard for this kind of match. Post match stuff had storyline stuff so, this was a vehicle for that. Poor use of Carnage IMO. Mark Haskins vs Big Van Walter - A simple David vs Goliath match with Haskins showing a ton of heart. He didn't have the cleanest execution but, it looked natural when going up against the juggernaut of Walter. Good match and best thus far. Day 2 is OK thus far but we're only half way through. Let's see what part 2 has to offer...It should get better. El Generico & Emil Sitoci vs Future Shock (Cole & O'Reilly) - I was really glad they took their time in setting up heel vs face dynamics here. Sitoci made a great first impression. He reminded me of Paul London. That's interesting because London and Generico had a nice tag team in PWG in 2010. So, that dynamic was here against the cocky upstart team of Future Shock. This was an exciting match with nice offense and fake-out spots. Best match of the show thus far. Great stuff! Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki - Man, this looks promising! Sami really looks like he's got a screw loose! He brings so much intensity and bravado to the ring that, I'm invested before the bell rings. A handshake to start the match means Sasaki and Sami are going to be rough. And good gravy, this is violent wonderful wrestling and a near classic bout. This really puts the night back on track by topping the tag match. Go Shiozaki vs Kotaro Suzuki - NOAH match in Germany! This was a very good match but, felt it was lethargic compared to the previous couple matches. Also, the fan cam on the ground wasn't in the best position. So, we could see the action OK but, we were mainly seeing their backs. They were in a different venue and the hard cam and the floor cam were coming from the same side of the ring for this match. These things don't bother me too much but, I felt that because we couldn't see the impact as well as could be expected, we were missing some of the action. The crowd also seemed tired and I could only say it was very good at best. Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr. - I understand the pacing and card placement with the NOAH match now. They wanted to give the crowd a cool down for this battle. The pacing was aggressive from bell to bell and Holy crap, they just beat the slop outta each other! This has grappling, strikes, nice counters & escapes. Up & coming ZSJ vs top tier Richards provided a classic encounter without a doubt. If you're a fan of either guy, you should see this for sure. Daisuke Sekimoto vs Johnny Moss - Match for the wXw belt. This was a good ***1/2 bout to close the night out. There was no way they were going to top the previous match so, they gave the fans a nice hard hitting simple title fight. Overall, Night 2 was a great show but, really one of two parts. Part one was nothing special although the 4 Way opener and the Haskins/Walter matches were worthwhile. Your best bet is to watch those two and skip to the 2nd half where stuff really picks up with a 3 amazing matches. Davey vs ZSJ is the best bout thus far. Thankfully, the 2011 tourney is sold as a set so, if you're looking to buy this DVD or that DVD, you don't have to choose one night over another What's even better is that we've still got Night 3! Thanks for reading!
  2. I have been meaning to watch this tournament for awhile now. I bought this along with the 2010 tournament so, this has been a long time coming. The box art of the DVD set features all of the participants in this year's event. It is pretty damn stacked even compared to the previous year. We have stars from ROH, Big Japan, NOAH, Independent US talent as well as European wrestlers. This 16 Carat Gold event may be the most diverse and globally representative tournament assembled in recent memory. Enough fluff! Let's get to the wrestling! Kyle O'Reilly vs Karsten Beck vs Marty Scurll vs Axeman: This 4 man match will determine who will be an alternate for the tournament. Nice to have some incentive for the guys...they surely fought like they meant it. Axeman was a nice surprise. He and Kyle have a similar style. Fast paced fun opening match. Yoshihito Sasaki vs Carnage: Sasaki is a guy who's name I've seen here and there the past decade but, never knew how he flew under my radar. I mean, I have Fire Pro Returns and don't recall seeing him. Ha! I was wrong. He's listed under the Zero-1 promotion as a low ranking wrestler. That was 2004 in Japan and in 2011 he's made his way in the world. And I have to say, damn! I was missing out. He's got a no nonsense hard hitting style that I appreciate.His opponent Carnage does as well. I remember him from 2010's shows. Very good match here and a proper way to start the tourney. Two matches in and this feels better than 2010. Zack Sabre Jr. vs Colt Cabana: Is Colt NWA champ here!? This was funny at times but, took too long to really go anywhere. This was a popcorn match to me. You'll be OK fast forwarding to the last five minutes or skipping altogether. Much like the other World of Sport style matches (not that this was exactly but, it had that feel and style) of 2010, this feels out of place next to 2010 puro style bouts. Adam Cole vs Mark Haskins: Both dudes have come a long way from here. This was a very scatterbrained Indy wrestling match. Stuff was done with little rhyme or reason. Unlike the ZSJ/Cabana match, this was relatively short and an OK watch. Go Shiozaki vs Johnny Moss: Thank goodness they got the show back on track. Fans started out pretty much behind Moss but, Go won them over with his hard hitting never say quit attitude...kinda like how Rocky won over the Russian crowd in Rocky IV. This was a very good match and the ending portion was that stuff you want from NOAH's top dog. This was another very good pairing. Big Van Walter vs Rico Bushido: Never heard of Bushido but, he reminds me of how I imagine Ricky Reyes fought and looked like in the Rottweiler days of ROH. That's probably all wrong but, I'm cool with that assumption. He was all martial art kicks and Walter put him down after a few power moves. Short and unoffensive match. I have nothing against so-so matches but, at least make them short like this match. Davey Richards vs Jon Ryan: Ryan has no chance in hell beating Davey...just by the looks of him. But to Davey's credit he gave a lot to J.R. He got some heel moves in and was able to fight Richards and be a credible opponent. So, don't let his cheesy ring gear and physique fool you! I really thought an upset might happen. Another very good match. Sami Callihan vs Tommy End: This was an intense, fast, hate filled match. These guys were wXw regulars and this must have had some back story to it. You don't need to know it though. These dudes were aiming to maul each other. Tommy End is much improved since 2010 and Sami has gotten even better. The best bout so far! Great match with a fantastically aggressive submission finish. Yes! Kotaro Suzuki vs El Generico: This is a pretty high profile match for 2011. It's like an unofficial Best of the Super Jrs. match. It had lots of good action that kept the excitement and drama going. Who would win? Generico is a mega star in indy wrestling and Kotaro is GHC Jr. champ...every nearfall felt like the one that would do it. They both have so many tricks in the bag so, the end was always in doubt. Great match. As good or better than the previous bout for sure. A sweet way to end day one!! Wait...that wasn't the main event? Daisuke Sekimoto vs Bad Bones (wXw Hvywt. Championship match): This is like the cherry on top of a sundae. It starts of slow but, gets action packed as the match progresses. The last few minutes made a big difference as this was scratching at great match territory. Reminded me of the Hayabusa/Tanaka era FMW matches. Very good match overall...like ***3/4 territory. Then we get a very enjoyable post match with Bones and Johnny Moss comes out to challenge Daisuke. Very psyched to see Night 2! This was a heck of night of wrestling. This was much better than I remember the 2010 Night #1 being. Each match that I enjoyed delivered the excitement and entertainment that I was hoping for. Not one wrestler in those matches dogged it and in many cases they went above and beyond to have the best match they could. If they can keep it up then, this might be one helluva ride. Thank you for reading!
  3. I find that early NOAH ages extremely well. For some reason, even undercarders understood how to mix up match formulas to keep things interesting. Why even a guy like Donovan Morgan can have interesting matches here but nowhere else I don't know, maybe there was some Pat Patterson genius laying out these matches for NOAH. This was a fun junior opener, with Morgan & Modest immediately isolating young Kotaro and working cutoffs to get the crowd amped for Kanemaru, which lead to Kanemarus sections actually being fun. Kotaro is still a rookie, but he gets to look good thanks to the stooging of the gaijins. The finish was memorable to with Modest hitting his finisher on Kanemaru on the floor and then him & Morgan going to town on him with chairs before Kikuchi runs in making the safe like the worlds most pissed off Steve Austin.
  4. Here's my take on some semi-recent NOAH stuff: Doug Williams vs Yoshinari Ogawa (12/16/18): Gosh remember 2018? Man, where has the time gone? Seriously, I know a lot happened last year but, we're a quarter of the way thru 2019 and I'm still trying to get used to that, aren't you? In the same vein, Williams and Ogawa let you know that the past is present. This was like a 1988 AJPW Jr. title match with holds, counters, and good old fashion wrestling. Hey it might be slow for some but, damn this was a fun match!! What a breath of fresh air in this smoggy decade's end! This Decemeber 16th show was a big one for NOAH but, man- I wasn't feeling it...although there was one other match that caught my attention: Kotaro Suzuki vs Daisuke Harada. This match was good but, the last 5 minutes were especially enjoyable. Then we get some post match madness and I always dig that!! The follow up is: Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & YO-HEY vs Daisuke Harada, HAYATA & Tadasuke (01/06/19): This is Korakuen Hall six man action and damn it is very good! NOAH still knows how to do this 17 minutes of excitement that cuts out all of the slow extemporaneous bits of of the Kotaro vs Harada match out. This had heat and the tandem moves most notable Ogawa and Kotaro (Misawa's other protege besides Marufuji) doing Untouchables moves - Oh man! so cool to see 20 years later! This was just a great follow up to the above match in more ways than one. SO then I decided to back track: Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki (10/30/18): There was a Halloween in 2018?! When the hell was that!? Oh wait I remember sitting in my house with the lights off until 8pm...occasionally glancing out the window making sure no teenagers were fucking up my shrubbery. Ahem...anyhow...We get a much better match than their Jan 2019 encounter. This baby has intensity, the fans were into this, and maybe the moves came across better. I dunno but, this was some very good stuff! I liked this! Trick and treat perhaps? Ehh, that doesn't work in March but, dammit if I'd been on the ball a 5 months ago, that joke would have been spot on! Spot on, I say!!! Hahaha! So, my ever-so-often check up on NOAH was fun. I totally avoided the Go Shiozaki & Nakajima matches since they are the same damn chop-kick matches for the past 10 years. But, I found some fun stuff with Ogawa, Kotaro, and Daisuke Harada and his gang. It's a very Indy feel over on the Ark but, it's fun. I'll be sure to check it out some more this year and maybe you will too! Peace!
  5. In true Mixed up Monday fashion, I'm going to do a whole show review which is all mixed up since, I usually just toss a couple random fun match reviews up. I bought the official NOAH DVD from Highspots. Its got English commentary. Its not very good commentary but, its not awful either. Its laughable that at every (yes, every kickout), the lead commentator asks, "Did he kickout!?" Does he mean that he literally cannot see the kickout or is that a dramatic phrase? I wonder even as I write this. It doesn't step on the matches and well, damn that's good enough. On to the show! A. Ito & I. Ota vs Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards: This is how you do a tag match- bring some hate, desire to win, desire to inflict pain or embarassment...something right? You've got to have some energy! 8 minutes of great shit beats 21 minutes of blech. Marvin & Edwards were flipping awesome here. Ito & Otis looked good too but, mainly vehicles to put Rick & Ed over. Fun stuff so, I'd recommend going outta your way to watch this as it's under 10 minutes. Akira Taue & Mohammed Yone vs Takuma Sano & Yoshi Takayama: Stiff as a drink. Yone channels his BattlArts days. Taue's still got it in '08. Fun match. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa, Takashi Sugiura vs Jun Akiyama, Takeshi Rikioh, Atsuhi Aoki: Good mix of styles here. They keep is interesting without going move crazy. Haven't seen Misawa (RIP) in awhile (at the time of this viewing). Ogawa is awesome as Rat Boy here. All action inside and out of the ring, double teams, triple teams- Fast and simple 6 man where everyone looks great. Highly recommended. Naomichi Marufuji & Kento Miyahara vs Bryan Danielson & Davey Richards: NOAH is where Bryan & Davey belong...damn. Marufuji is in a goofy mood tonight but, it's all good, the gaijin team are being especially brutal. Oh shoot! That's Akira Hokuto, yay! Highly recommended? Recommended? Just a fun match? Kinda an extedned squash but, it's a blast to see Danielson & Davey in NOAH. Under 10 minutes. The Briscoe Brothers vs Katsu Nakajima & Kota Ibushi: Prematch worry: Let's see if Ibushi gets wacky. Match starts and they are pretty evenly matched. The Briscoes look fantastic with their rough house brawling. They do well in taking the Japanese team's offense...I say that considering the range in offense of their opponents. Really, both teams are leaving it all in the ring - I'm really impressed! This is 100% bananas. 16 minutes of insanity. If you're gonna do a Jr. sprint match, this is it! Classic, classic match in this style. As the kids say, OMFG! Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs KENTA & Taiji Ishimori: I don't know how anyone can follow that. It is a bit slower but, still exciting. I appreciate Kanemaru & Kotaro acting as straight heels with their second causing mayhem and cheating like a M.F. 20 minutes and it's a great match. So, I failed to mention that there's a Jr. Tag tournament and this was the last match but, both teams are tied OR they are #1 & #2 and they need to have the final TONIGHT! Either way, we get a second match. I feel this 2nd bout diminished the awesomeness of the first but, still paid off and was pretty good as a whole. If you wanna take a break between matches, that might be a good idea. In total it was 31 minutes. I tend to side toward brevity nowadays but, I enjoyed the heck out of this nonetheless. I felt KENTA was subdued here so, that could be taken as a plus or minus depending on your preference. Highly recommended stuff but, again the first was my favorite. Takeshi Morishima vs Kensuke Sasaki GHC Title Match: Stiff clubbering wrestling. Oh so many club shots and clotheslines! I wouldn't say this is a classic title match but, on a super Jr. heavy show, this was a nice change of pace & an awesome way to close out the show. You got tons of speed, fancy manuevers, and nearfalls and now...Here's the tried and true NOAH beatdown title match. Two battleships facing off for the belt. It's that intense Choshu main event style so, if done right it's an easy 4 star match for those keeping score. Great match. The 09/06/08 NOAH Shiny Navigation was an outstanding show that offered alot of fantastic matchups that really paid off. If a full show DVD is available still and you're into that kinda thing, I say go buy it. This is especially true if you were digging ROH back in the day. Lots of cross pollination at the time between the two companies and very much the style they were going for at the time. Highest Recommendation on this show.
  6. G. Badger

    Spotlight: Kotaro Suzuki

    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.
  7. This Liger vs NOAH stuff never ceased to be awesome. This is all about planting the seeds of the upcoming Jr. tag title match, as Liger is now teaming with the awesome Osaka Pro ass-kicker Takehiro Murahama. Marvin is an unmasked luchador was kinda was the talk of the day back then, while Suzuki is still a rookie, mostly, but shows very good potential. But really, as KENTA and Murahama trade great kicks, the crux of the match is Liger & Marufuji not respecting each other. And damn, this is awesome. Maru blocking Liger's shotei and holding his hand while badmouthing him, Liger deviating Maru's superkick and slapping him in the mouth. Meanwhile, Murahama and KENTA are kicking each other again, really hard. Excellent six-men match in front of the hot Korakuen crowd, with tons of purpose and heat, foreshadowing the big match to come.
  8. Grimmas

    Kotaro Suzuki

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