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Found 21 results

  1. This was really underwhelming given the sides involved. Quiet crowd and the action isn't as fun as the other multi man tag Noah matches. There was an FIP segment here with Kenta, but I would've preferred if Kikuchi was the one in the role as he's more polished at this point and a much better guy in that role than Kenta. The highlights of this for me were Kenta getting tossed out of the ring by Kanemaru and hiding going under the ring before Akiyama gets his hands on him and then hiding behind Kobashi and Rikio squashing everyone except Akiyama when he got the change to. Skippable match.
  2. Nifty little big man tag team battle in which everyone looks good in. We get some crowd brawling and big dudes whaling at each other. Fools engaging in slap battles with Rikio is one of my favorite things of 2001.
  3. Typical fun energetic mutli man tag Noah Korakuen Hall match. One of the things I've come to appreciate of Noah re-watching all these older matches is the diversity of the midcarders and undercarders -- i.e.; Akitoshi Saito, Jun Izumida, Makoto Hashi, Kentaro Shiga, Takuma Sano, etc. and Saito is the standout here for me hitting Ikeda with some vicious kicks and hitting some great looking body punches on Rikio. Some of the other cool moments feature Akiyama goading Ikeda and Rikio into the ring and then running out of the ring so they can get ambushed from behind by Saito and Hashi, Ikeda bringing the heat and the post match chaos with Honda coming out to make the save. Really fun stuff.
  4. The venue seems like a venue Toryumon JAPAN would've run around that time. Man, does this match rule. It's not a MOTYC or anything, but it's a really fun midcard Noah house show match. Hashi is north of the 100 kg weight limit for the Jr. division here, so they get to work a little more even. Hashi's main offense is his Samoan-esque hard head and he uses that to his advantage here and there's one of the most gruesome headbutt exchanges I have ever seen. There's particularly a close up of it and you can hear the thud clearly as their heads collide. Hashi also uses his head to ground Rikio by working over his arm with headbutts. However, Rikio playing the role of the bigger bully, just cuts Hashi off with some brutal slaps that bust up his mouth and Hashi just drapes the mat from his bloody mouth. The finishing run is pretty awesome as Hashi gets to kick out of some big moves before falling to a big powerbomb.
  5. Not a MOTYC or a great match by any chance, but a fun big man match. Not a bomb fest and they actually work in more brutal strikes and bring a bit of hate towards each other and the entire post match shenanigans just elevates that here. Fun stuff.
  6. This is boatloads of fun. This kicks off with a pretty brutal slap fest between the Takeshi's. After there's a pretty awesome moment with Ogawa getting tagged in and goading Akiyama who then comes in and Ogawa gets him to turn his back on Marufuji and Rikio who then jump in the ring and jump him from behind. This then breaks down into a southern-esque six man tag with Marufuji working from underneath as the FIP and he takes a brutal beatdown including some nasty body slams and getting put into some nasty manjigatames, namely from Morishima who tries to break the dude's spin in half. His comeback was not bad, as he kept it short and tagged out as soon as he could and smartly jumped off the ring apron and stayed on the floor to put over the beating he had taken before instead of jumping back on the ring apron and waiting to get tagged back in immediately. This breaks down and there's this cool spot where Marufuji tries his flying corner elbow on Akiyama, but Jun catches him in midair and hits him with a gut buster, sucks he doesn't really put that over much and is back to hitting highspots seconds later including an extremely weak looking dropkicks on Morishima. There's also this sweet looking double team spot here between Morishima and Akiyama on Marufuji where Morishima picks him up in front the turnbuckle and Akiyama dropkicks Marufuji from behind and he goes neck first into the turnbuckle. The guy who shines the most to me in this match is Shiga, who continues to look great in multi man tags. He hits some smooth looking submission attempts on Marufuji including a manjigatame during the beatdown and some slick armlocks in the finishing stretch one which he catches Marufuji in off a flipping dive from the top rope. Really fun match.
  7. This is Sugiura's debut and this match is way better than it had any right to be. Sugiura looked like a natural throwing Shiga around and the Morishima and Rikio exchanges were the highlights for me. Fun multi man tag match.
  8. Remember when NOAH was really fun for a minute there? I thought Tenryu was pretty exceptional in this, in a subtle, low key sort of way. It was a match largely built around strike exchanges, but it was Tenryu's reactions to them that stood out (insert point here about those exchanges not just being rote "you hit me, I'll hit you" affairs, that they sold the strikes in interesting ways, that they injected personality into them, etc). Tenryu was 55 by the time he got to NOAH (this is his first appearance there, actually). He's a big name and still has pretty good mobility for a 55 year old who's been wrestling for nearly three decades. He can still go and he'll hit super hard (evident by Misawa's welted chest after a couple minutes), but he's breaking down and can't hang with the very top dogs like he used to. So he gets even more belligerent! And acts like an even bigger shithouse! There were a bunch of great moments in this where he'd be laying it in with chops, then later potato punches, and he'd be at least even in the exchanges...but then age would creep up on him and he'd be left in a heap somewhere. I love how he'd sell Misawa's elbows like molars had been knocked out, or Rikio's slaps like they'd scrambled his brains. It also led to him ramping up the cheapshots, like the knees and kicks from the apron, the short punts to the face, the casual interference. It could only get him to far, but he still had gas in the tank and he wasn't ready to accept that it might be time to step aside. Misawa was mostly elbows in this but good grief did they have some meat behind them. He hit one combo that even Tenryu's relatives felt, and later when he had Tenryu in a chinlock he took the time to measure one nasty little elbow to the bridge of the nose. Rikio and Koshinaka were fun understudies and for the eighty seventh time I'll reiterate how much more enjoyable I find old man Koshinaka compared to prime Koshinaka. I haven't seen the Tenryu/Misawa singles match in about a decade, but I'm wondering if it's as disappointing as it was thought to be at the time. It certainly shouldn't have been based on this.
  9. A very good 20 minute match that could've been a great 10-15 minute match. Akebono is the focal point of the match-whenever he's in the ring the match is on track. The crowd is livid at the idea of him facing off with Kobashi, and the early sequences clash Kobashi's tenacity with Akebono's sheer size, and it ends up with Akebono running over Kobashi. Unfortunately the Akebono-less pairings deliver nothing for most of the match, you'd think Kobashi was Go Shiozaki by the reactions his offence was getting and his insistance on doing shitty downward chops. The action picks up once Rikio fires up, no-sells Kobashi's pedestrian offence and corners him with sumo palm strikes. From there on Akebono stops playing the invicible monster and embodies a more vulnerable, Vader-esque monster, peaking with Kobashi relentlessly chopping him down in the corner and getting both his payback and moral victory in the clash of the titans. Akebono's slaps and slams are brutal enough that he doesn't lose credibiltiy even if Izumida was beating him up moments beforehand, and him and Rikio come up with neat ways to sandwich their opponents and put their weight to use. A neat glimpse into an alternative universe where a more mobile and better booked Akebono was a great wrestler. ***1/4
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