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So, below is the final match from the AJ 11/26/11 show which I highlighted last week. Also let's take a look at a couple GHC title defenses from 2017 NOAH. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs SUWAMA & Takumi Soya (11/26/11 AJPW): Strong BJW have the tag belts but, this is a non title fight. It's a RWTL match-up. So here we go- Takumi smartly WRESTLES Okabayashi...fuck...do NOT get into a power battle with him. Daisuke wants SUWAMA. 'WAMA is a beast eating chops for lunch. Takumi gets back in (at some point) and wrestling smartly but, gets sucked into trading hits and early one his chest is a cherry tomato. BJW is stretching him out like a fat lady in a pair of stirrup pants. Quick tags and repeated hard slams only rub it in. Soya is in trouble. Slam, cover, 2 count, kickout, tag, repeat. SUWAMA's waiting... This match was built brilliantly and paid off in a perfect manner. It starts out being like a ***3/4 match then, a great match like a firm ****+ but, damn this just kept getting better and better. So, I'd call this a classic match. I can't give a number or anything like that but, whew! This did it for me! Awesome closer to an awesome night of wrestling. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Go Shiozaki - GHC Title (03/12/17 NOAH): I've enjoyed Nakajima and Shiozaki matches in the past. I think their November 2005 match with their mentors is fantastic yet, I just could not get into this... It's a case of the sons paying for the sins of their (wrestling) fathers. Imagine an entire match based on the 07/18/05 Kobashi/Sasaki chop battle. I think it was fitting that they wanted to do this in theory but, boy it did not work for me. The upped the strength of their attacks and did it for much longer but, really so have a lot of other folks in the past 12 years. Make no mistake, this had some bone shaking blows but, matches like this make me want to crawl back into my old hermit hovel. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Eddie Edwards - GHC Title (08/26/17 NOAH): Ok so, I wanted to chalk up the badness of the March match to Shiozaki. I've not been impressed with his couple post AJ run NOAH matches that I've seen. I really liked him while he was in ROH so, I've tried be a fan of his when I can although post Misawa NOAH isn't the most welcoming style for me in my 30's. I don't always have the time for 30+ epic fights. I'm off track but, I wanted to give this a shot because Katsu and Eddie, I like. I may have watched this immediately after the above match based on my write-up. First thing I wrote after the names and dates was: "Already better than the Shiozaki match." Hahaha! That must have been like 30 seconds in!! Ok here's the rest of my take: The pace is quicker. The intensity and the drive to win for Edwards is much more apparent. Whoa! he almost crippled Naka' on that tope! Ed's working the back...very nice. The strikes are there but, there are a variety of them as well as actual moves. At least 3 Evel Knievel suplexes. This feels like NOAH from a decade ago! A minute or 2 could have been shaved but, this was a great match. This restored my sense of regard for Nakajima as a true puro talent as well as strengthened that sentiment for Eddie. Like Meatloaf sang, Two outta three ain't bad...
OK so, I've finished Day #1 of wXw's 16 Carat Gold tournament for 2010. Its been a pretty good day or evening for wrestling. Unlike PWG's BOLA the guys pace themselves and the card actually builds to the main event. I'm going to put everything for day #1 in this post. Ares vs Matt Jackson: Fun 8 minute match with a bit of comedy from Ares. Munenori Sawa vs Paul Tracey: I'm not familiar with Tracey. Sawa looked good and Tracey was OK. 7 minutes and better than the first bout. Yuji Okabayashi vs Martin Stone: Best match so far. Very good to see grappling here in this setting. Simple but, effective stuff. Stone gets the upset with a DDT. Recommended first round match. Claudio Castignoli vs Johnny Kidd: Slower & more cerebral than any match thus far. Wrestled the traditional British style. 13 minutes of light hearted fun. Kagetora vs Nick Jackson vs Tommy End: Kagetora looks the best to me. Nick did his thing which was exciting but, Tommy was still young here...more like Tommy Beginning. I would have been OK with a Nick vs Kagetora match. 9:30 time and worst match so far. WXW DAY 1, DISC 2 Adam Polak vs Erick Stevens: Shazam! I haven't heard or seen of Erick Stevens in a while. I liked him as a really solid upper midcarder. Polak reminds me of Moby or perhaps Billy Corgan in a sparkly unitard...Yeah this was pretty fun. They're fighting on the outside. Stevens was charismatic as heck baby face here. Polak whom I've never seen before did well. Nice finishing stretch and probably the 2nd best match thus far in the night. Switchblade Conspiracy (Jon Moxley & Sami Callihan) vs Up In Smoke: Mox & Sami are tag champs. I'm liking this as I'm watching. It's clear they've got chemistry and experience working together. High energy but Switchblades slow the pace and take control. Hot tag happens but the Knifeboys retake the reigns. Sam's heel work is very good. The babies do all kinds of fun moves which is a shit ton of fun. Highly recommended match. 10 minutes of well worked exciting stuff. Best match of the night so far! Big Van Walter vs Daisuke Sekimoto: Psyched for this one. 15 minutes of hard clubbering action. I got into this one, I'll be honest. Daisuke, as jacked as he is, is dwarfed by the Big One. It was hard not to get behind Sekimoto when Walter is challenging the Japanese star to give him his best shot and the Austrian isn't even phased. Highly recommended match right here. Chris Hero vs Bad Bones: Ok, here we are. The closer to night one. Bad Bones brings an axe to the ring. The fans are pumped for Hero. I am as well but, Bad Bones cannot match him in the energy department. So, in my view, it was clear that Hero was coming out on top. This got pretty good in the end and I certainly want to see more of Metropolis' own and perhaps Bad Bones in a tag scenario in the nights to come. Pretty good wrestling and I'm sure a blast for the live crowd. I'll say I was disappointed by the main event but, I'm liking the potential for Night 2. Those should be some really good match-ups. Not only the tourney matches but, the matches with the losers as well. I think Night #2 will be better than the first.