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Found 16 results

  1. Daichi did absolutely nothing for me when he was on the offense, but Hideki's performance was absolutely masterful & carried the match to greatness. His selling of Daichi's offense was fabulous & the way he targeted Daichi's neck was so awesome - laser focused & super compelling to watch. ****
  2. Why couldn't we get THIS Daichi for his title match against Suzuki?? As always with the Strong BJ division, the story for this is pretty damn simple: the two young guys show a fuck ton of heart and go all out to get the W against the champ and his outsider buddy. At first we get Daichi trying to prove a point and one up Hideki, but he pays his disrespect dearly as Suzuki fucking destroys his leg in quick fashion. From then on it's all about Kamitani holding the fort and Hashimoto doing an outstanding job at selling and showing babyface fire when needed - fucking LOVED how it looked like it hurt his soul every time he used his damaged leg - I can't get enough of how this division forces people to earn every single thing they do, and this match had plenty of that. Finishing sequence wasn't flashy but it made sense in the context of the story they were telling. Still, even with all the praise I just gave it, this isn't a home run of a match, but it was a really good tag that's worth a look. Post match was great with Daichi wanting to kill the champ for the damage he caused, Kamitani asking for another title shot and Hideki being pissed and throwing the middle finger. It looked like Kamitani will get the shot anyways, I think the young bull has a very good chance at getting the belt back.
  3. Really cool seven minutes. Funaki was the heir to Inoki and Suzuki is a 2010s Billy Robinson, so you knew you'd get some neat matwork, and while it didn't last very long it most certainly was neat. Funaki is more than a decade Suzuki's senior but you couldn't tell from how he moves. He's still super quick in the scramble, rolling through and grabbing armbars like it was 1996. The last couple minutes were just great. They burst into a frantic race to either score the submission or drop the other with a bug suplex and the slickness with which they were reversing and countering was pretty impressive. Wish it were longer, but you take what you can get.
  4. This match was totally badass. Hideki Suzuki is a Billy Robinson trainee and someone I always love to see make tape and Ishikawa is one half of my favourite modern tag team and has also grown into a really strong singles worker in the last few years. I liked the matwork here a lot, you have Suzuki using his skill by applying cravates, leglocks, wrenching on Ishikawa's fingers, doing neat takedowns and transitions, Ishikawa can't really compete with him in that so he'll put him in an Iron Claw and grab him and just throw him off himself to combat Suzuki's superior ability. Some really great stuff happens outside of the ring as Ishikawa replies to Suzuki lowering the middle rope and asking him to come back to the ring by sitting in a chair and challenging Suzuki back, they proceed to just insanely stiff each other with elbows and it looks much more like the finish of that one Black Terry/Hechicero match than modern puro elbow exchanges. Ishikawa drops Suzuki on the apron in a absolutely disturbing and disgusting manner, I think Roderick Strong did something like that to like Mike Bailey last year in PWG, imagine that spot but even more violent looking. They get back into the ring and continue to produce greatness, Suzuki throws some beautiful suplexes and Ishikawa is just uberviolent, they do a great job of teasing comebacks only to cut them off in satisfying and unexpected ways and while they sometimes do the puro pop-up after being hit with a move they always sell the imact of the move once the sequence finishes and they never temporarily "no-sell" anything huge. Finish is something I've seen botched so many times I thought they were just going to screw it up differently here or it wasn't going to be the finish but IT WAS! And it was done right! And it looked really great and totally caught me off guard. ***3/4
  5. I LOVE PRO WRESTLING. If you're looking for transcendent violence and WAR-esque matches filled with actual hate instead of just lame and tired tropes that have clouded modern japanese wrestling this is your best bet. Just an amazing match with Hideki Suzuki and Nakanoue murdering each other and unleashing shoot headbutts and Futen head kicks and stomps on each other. The match gets thrown out and then restarted, Suzuki'spartner tries to hold him back and then Suzuki loses him temper and beats the hell out of him and all the young boys.......honestly if you like violence in pro wrestling I cannot imagine you not loving this match. The only complaint I could see is that it wasn't long enough but it didn't feel like it was lacking in any way. I'm tracking down every tag with Suzuki-Nakanoue interactions now. ****1/2
  6. Hama has good fat man offence and can be fun against someone who knows how to pinball for him like Uto but this was all about Hideki Suzuki mauling Nakanoue, and it's not just that they vary their strikes and throw awesome shoot headbutts, kicks and slaps instead of just standing there looking at each other like idiots and exchanging chops and weak elbows for five minutes, they also do the awesome lock ups, shoving, knocking each other off the apron etc. you'll see in older matches too. ***3/4
  7. SHOOT STYLE LIVES! Kinda sort of. This was pretty shooty-pretty much a Battlarts/Futen match with pinfalls, and it was more HC than a lot of those. Loved Suzuki in control, he'd do these awesome details like hook Nomura's leg to remain in control and do the greatest small package in history (not really from the standpoint of milking it out from drama but the sheer proficiency in its execution), if there was ever a small package I would show to someone to convince them you could do it in a real fight it was here. There's also awesome stuff like Nomura attempting the Sakuraba stomps on Suzuki only for Suzuki to catch his leg, Suzuki Kneebarring Nomura and Nomura tring to slap his way out of it, the match in general is very fluid and they do a greatjob of transitioning form one point to another naturally so you have Nomura pin Suzuki>Suzuki kicks out>Nomura immediately grabs the arm and goes for an Armbar and similar sequences that achieve that effect. ***1/4 Hideki Suzuki always works how I'd want Minoru Suzuki to work all the time and if his run lasts long enough I see him becoming an all timer for me.
  8. As much as I love Rush and LA PARK I don't see them keeping up with the insane shit Hideki Suzuki and Nakanoue do to win the prestigious price of the coveted "best wrestling feud of 2016" in the coveted GOTNW awards™. Man. Why can't this be the norm in modern japanese wrestling? Guys start beating the shit out of each other as soon as they enter the ring and continue hating on each other and throwing shoot headbutts even after the match ends. So much happens here-Daichi puts on his best performance yet, he does this insane ninja kicks early on while they're brawling outside that's just insane, up there with this: in terms of powerful kicking images. And he keeps it up during the match too-unloading with kicking combinations and even doing the Murakami flurry in the corner! That's a sure fire way to get me to praise you. I also really like Nakanoue and Uto as the de facto heel team. Hideki Suzuki is the unquestionable star of the match though. He manages to break Uto's nose, stretches everyone into oblivion and brings back the HEAD STOMPING. And Uto and Nakanoue keep up with him, make Suzuki, as dangerous as he is already, fight for everything, grabbing his limbs when he strikes at them, pushing him off etc. I brough up the escalation of violence in my last review-and Suzuki and Nakanoue absolutely *get it*. It's like you're watching 1993 WAR, you get the lock up, some teases of strikes, some slaps are thrown while fighitng for it but just enough to keep you on the edge of your toes but not enough to really turn into a full on brawl and when they go through with just smacking each to hell the crowd completely loses it. ****1/4
  9. WAR tag matches fucking rule and I'm glad to see the Suzuki-Nakanoue feud bring them back, this wasn't as good as the 5/30 tag but few things in life are as good as PRIDE stomps to the head and that match had those. This one wasn't that crazy, but it was still the kind of japanese wrestling I fell in love with and continue to love, no bullshit "uwaaaa who has better weak looking forearm strikes between the two of us" everything here is very rough, you have guys pushing each other into corners, taking each other down, knocking each other off the apron, it's neat and the escalation of the violence is done extremely well too. Suzuki's takedowns are a thing of beauty in particular, he makes an arm winger takedown look like art. I really liked everyone's performances in this one, Nomura continues to wrestle like the shooty kicker I'd want him to, desperately attempting leglocks and armbars, Nakanoue matches Suzuki in violence and really lays his stuff in as does Uto who brough an interesting flair to this match, everything he does is pro style but he does some really creative moves that aren't creative for creativeness sake, pretty much everything he invents includes brutally cranking his opponent's neck and that is the type of stuff I love to see. ****
  10. Not the awesome all out brawl this would've been if Suzuki was around for Big Mouth Loud but still a fun time. Murakami might not do much these days but he's absolutely hilarious and I loved the way he and Wada played off each other here. T-Hash wrestling in an Iverson jersey may not even have been the most random outfit of anyone in the arena as I'm pretty sure I saw fans with ECW, IGF and Slayer shirts in the front row. An entertaining comedy match. ***
  11. This isn't the best Hideki Suzuki match of 2016 but it might be the one that would be the best to recommend someone not familiar with him in order for them to understand what makes him a special performer. Shinobu differs from other modern japanese juniors due to his ability to sell but he is still a modern japanese junior and will take too much if you don't reel him in like Suzuki did here. His submissions are great, he does awesome stuff like knee someone in the head while holding them in a cravate and his finishes seem to have a lot of variety while being gratifying and fitting the goal of the match. ***1/2
  12. I think I can now safely add Uto to the list of BJW regulars better than Sekimoto, he put on a really strong selling performance here. Of course for the match to work Suzuki had to deliver on offence too-and boy did he ever. He rocked Uto with brutal shots and delivered top notch choking and stretching, the kind of stuff you want Minoru Suzuki to do but he only does it two times a year. I also loved the way they played up the tired use of rope running for cheap transitions and used it to build to original and superior transitions. I'm starting to toy with the idea Suzuki may be the best wrestler in Japan right now. ***1/4
  13. Whenever a fat guy like Hama or Akebono shows signs of being good you'll get marks claiming they are these great performers (think Dylan saying Hama carried Okabayashi and similar nonsense). This match is a perfect example of why statements like those are so ridiculous. Hideki Suzuki is a better wrestler than Okabayashi yet couldn't get nearly as good of a match out of Hama as Okabayashi did. Maybe, just maybe, it could have something to do with Okabayashi's very good performance in his match vs. Hama. Hama is still the same wrestler. The reason this match doesn't work is they chose the wrong layout, one that showcased Hama's very apparent flaws. Him in control could work-him outright dominating Hideki without much resistance like here doesn't. His Vader cosplay strikes aren't even as good as Makabe's and, quite frankly, he isn't really mobile enough for them to work either. Things get better when he's just squashing Suzuki with his body, but there still isn't anything particularly memorable. The finish with the quick tap was about the only thing I thought was really good about the match. **1/2
  14. THE BIGGEST POP FOR THIS MATCH LADS. Not exactly the "Hideki Suzuki" match I wanted but I was pretty happy with what I got. This was a smart and efficient match, especially in context of the Strong Climb Tournament. Kamitani jumping Hideki before the bell made for an interesting dynamic, the big strike exchange was awesome and showcased how much better it is to sell during them instead of acting like a bulletproof robot, Hideki's jab headbutt was especially great. I'm not the biggest fan of the brawling around the ring but it was very well done here with Kamitani continuing to fight back after Suzuki would attack him instead of just laying there for twenty seconds, the ringpost and chair shots were surprisingly brutal and they set the stage for the awesome 80s throwback finish. ***-***1/4
  15. Hideki brings a unique flair to each of his matches, usually matwork and chain wrestling in Sekimoto matches serve no purpose other than to fill time but here Hideki makes everything spectacular, from a Headscissors to a Hammerlock, and the struggle over holds which he brings feels novel in the modern puro. Yuto is an actual young boy and him going after Sekimoto in strike exchanges is a lot more interesting than a regular Sekimoto strike exchange due to the difference in their status forcing Uto to sell every one of Sekimoto's blow like death and also making every time Sekimoto sells for Uto mean more. Sanada looks solid here, and he displayed some nice chain wrestling in the beginning. I could've done with one fighting spirit no sell exchange less but it didn't even particularly bother me honestly.
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