Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Loss

[1991-07-26-PWFG-One For All and All For One] Naoki Sano vs Minoru Suzuki

Recommended Posts

Man am I steamed Sano only worked three matches for PWFG as he is fucking gold again. This goes to a draw which keeps it a little below the sublime Sano v. Shamrock match on the second show, but it was incredible. The counters in this were faster then in the Shamrock match, but it was paced similar. Suzuki was the one brining the pro wrestling here, as he breaks out a nasty piledriver and even tries a dropkick. The dropkick spot was great as he threw it and Sano steps away contemptuously, Suzuki lands bounces up and hit a brutal jumping spin kick into Sano's grill. Suzuki was great here, as he is awesome as a fired up babyface, there is a point where is trying to get a cross armbreaker and he is just chopping at Sano's arm and kicking him in the head in a frenzy to try to get Sano to break his grip. There is a great spot where Sano has on a choke, and Suzuki is slapping his own face to keep himself awake. I loved the draw finish too, as both guys have kneebars on each other and are just twisting the ankles in desperation to try to get the submission before the bell. I clearly need to get more UWFI Sano, as he is truly brilliant in all of his PWFG matches, and I want more shootstyle Sano.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This 30 minutes flew by! Every PWFG match so far has been outstanding. The streak continues here. It's worked similarly to Shamrock/Sano, with Suzuki coming up with bursts of offense before Sano re-takes control, but with Suzuki possibly even outworking Shamrock. He worked a dropkick and an incredible roundhouse kick into the match at one point and it didn't look out of place at all. I also thought Sano did a great job of putting Suzuki over as a really credible guy in this environment. I think Phil's review of this is spot on, so there's not really much I would add to it, except that this promotion seems to have really mastered all aspects of this style - both the small details and the big drama.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had previously thought the Sano-Shamrock match was better, but that might have been because Shamrock's performance was such a surprise. I preferred this one on second viewing. They brought such speed and intensity to the early mat exchanges. Suzuki, especially, attacked with incredible vigor. Sano was a great seller in a shoot context; he really conveyed the feeling of weathering a storm. Phil touched on a lot of the best spots. I loved the way they took the match down to second gear every so often, only for Suzuki to unleash another wild attack. One of his suplex nearfalls in the last few minutes was just sublime. And the draw didn't feel like a cheat because both guys seemed so desperate to win. It's hard to keep the tension alive for 30 minutes in this style, but they did it. One of the best shootstyle matches ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A fucking piledriver and dropkick in PWFG! This is about as broad and theatrical as this style will ever get--the shootstyle version of a big bomb-throwing fest a la All-Japan, with killer suplexes and mat counters in place of power bombs and headdrops. As soon as I see Sano in a bloody brawl he'll have possibly matched El Dandy when it comes to mastering multiple disparate styles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suzuki looks more like a pro wrestler from here than he would look from what I saw from mid 00 period. Sano is his usual strong performer for this setting in this match but I was enjoying Suzuki more. He’s relentless is trying to get the armbar but will bust out a couple pro wrestling moves like a piledriver and dropkick. Also some good suplexes from both guys. Agreed that for a 30 minute match of this type it did fly by. Excellent crowd that was into the action too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bloody hell I wasn't expecting that! PWFG hasn't impressed me much on the yearbooks, I much prefer UWFI and Rings. This was an interpromotional encounter and had an incredible atmosphere. The fans were rabid from start to finish and helped the 30m just fly by. The wrestling was such high quality with technique, variety and flair. It never got repetitive or dull. No shortfall in the stiffness department either with an intense rivalry. Both men worked their asses off and made it through on adrenalin. There were times when they were struggling physically but kept on bringing it back. Afterwards the combatants realised that they'd been part of something special. One of my favourite matches of 1991 and a shoot style classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to say that Shamrock vs. Sano is better on first watch through but this coming right after the lifeless mat work of the AJPW tag this was really impressive in how it kept my attention. Like Phil mentions, the flourishes of pro wrestling Suzuji added only enhanced the match for me. Great stuff and the crowd was molten at the ending stretch before the draw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but I didn't see a classic; I saw (by my unofficial scorecard) a rather one-sided bout in favor of Sano that Suzuki was clearly outclassed in. I base that on numbers of rope breaks and knockdowns, which is my personal scoring system since PWFG refuses to put theirs on screen. I really don't see any other way to judge shoot-style, which otherwise is two guys trapping each other's arms and legs, lying on the mat and grunting a lot. By the way, my score at the bell was Sano 3 1/3, Suzuki 2.

 

I noticed that the piledriver and dropkick by Suzuki were pretty much blown off by Sano, which I guess is PWFG's way of saying that moves such as these cut no ice in this type of match.

 

The crowd was hot for the finish, but I really can't figure out why; Sano and Suzuki were just laying around with their legs tied up, like they had for most of the match, not even selling very well. Give me an anklelock or a half-crab if you want to give me a hot submission finish in a match like this. Better yet, tell me who's winning throughout the match so I can make some kind of sense out of what these guys are doing. Holds in and of themselves don't cut it with me, no matter how painful they may appear. (This only applies to PWFG; I'm able to follow UWFI and Rings very well.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought Suzuki was more active through the second half of the bout by far and Sano was blown up. If that's him selling then kudos, because he looked like a guy who was out of breath.

 

Not a knock on Sano or the match. It was well-worked for a 30 minute draw shootstyle match. Suzuki did a great job of carrying the later portions and giving Sano the time he needed to recover. Sano, to his credit, put the effort forth when it was needed. It just looked to me like he was gassed. It actually added to the match in a lot of ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pace these two work throughout is pretty incredible, even when they're blown up 15-20 minutes in. Right from the get-go, they scramble around with the crowd buzzing, trying to get something locked in long enough without getting thrown off. Suzuki keeps going for the armbar but Sano isn't give him an inch. He'll slap at Sano's thigh, trying to break open the arm -- I loved his slap to the face>fireman's carry takeover into the armbar attempt. The stand-up striking felt very heated at times, and some of the open hands and palms exchanged look/sound real nasty. At one point, Sano has Suzuki in a rear naked choke and Suzuki is slapping himself to stay coherent, it's great. Finally, Suzuki says "enough with the armbar" and grabs a single leg crab, but he can't maintain it and the time limit expires with them fighting over a leglock. Pretty great draw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whereas some people see two guys blown up at the end of the match. I see either 1) an all time selling performance from both men or 2) two guys who are as tired as they would be if they were legit grappling... in either case I think its a force multiplier in this match. This started out being a very good, grittly grappling match with a nice dynamic and wound up being an absolute war between the two. Suzuki looking so often for the kimura and the straight ankle lock was great. Sano firing those desperation strikes added some fire to the match right when it needed it. I also really liked how Sano balanced lifeless-I'm-almost-dead selling with his fire and comebacks. Sano hitting himself in the face to get energy to get out of the rear naked later was a really fun touch.  They threw a fucking pile driver in for good measure. This is an all timer. It felt as much like a real grappling match as any shoot match I have ever seen. Easy *****

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Naoki Sano vs Minoru Suzuki - PWFG 7/26/91

Because sometimes in life you need a break from rope running!

Never seen this before, this rocked! If Pancrase doesnt happen and Minoru Suzuki ends up in New Japan in the Mid-90s, he would be a contender for Greatest Wrestler Ever. He was already superb in 1991. Suzuki vs Hase would be insanely good and of course Suzuki vs Hashimoto in the Dome would have been bonkers!

I liked the story of this match a lot. The younger punk Suzuki comes out of the gate hot full of piss 'n' vinegar and is looking to prove his mettle against the veteran New Japan star Naoki Sano. Suzuki gets a crazy legbar takedown at the start and then catches Sano in a guillotine choke when Sano fails to muscle Suzuki around. Liked how this showed the younger Suzuki as flashier and more offensive-minded. The flip side to this is that it shows that Sano is the true experienced veteran because he counters all these holds and shows he is the better the wrestler. Sano does a get a tight rear naked choke in and Suzuki tries the usual counters such as crossing the ankles and pulling a toe hold and eventually Sano releases. Two things that were great throughout this match were the crossfaces and the Greco-Roman wrestling. We dont see much in the way of Greco-Roman wrestling in Pro Wrestling, but these two were body on body a lot and there were a lot of crazy double underhook takedowns. My favorite takedown even though I think it would be a Freestyle takedown is that Suzuki goes for a Greco-Roman takedown cant negotiate it, so he palm strikes Sano and then drops down and Fireman Carrys him. Excellent! Suzuki does seem to be winning the early portion of the match and even gets a piledriver, but I like how Sano worked right for the Boston Crab. I thought around the 20 minute mark it was clear they were working for the draw and not because they were exhausted, but because they were going for finishes that should have been finishes but instead they became rope breaks. It is was essentially the 2010s equivalent to too many nearfalls. Now I enjoy this style a lot more so I didnt mind it, but I need to call a spade, a spade and thats why it felt like the match ran out of steam. 

Some really good spots from the ending sequence was the fire fight that breaks out after the piledriver. Suzuki starts it, but boy does Sano finish it. He cracks Sano real good and the ref is left counting him down. It looks like Suzuki maybe bleeding from the nose. I think the next exchange Suzuki sells it by deadweighting on the throw. However, I think shortly after this, Suzuki just explodes with a second wind. He throws a MONSTER BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! He goes for a Cross-Armbreaker and then BEZERK trying to break the clasp of Sano. That was electric! I really liked that sequence. I really liked how Suzuki got an organic German Suplex. Sano definitely controlled the ending with a combination of palm strikes and chokes. Suzuki just starting going for broke with a missed dropkick but hits a flying spinning round kick. Nice! They end the draw in my least favorite spot of all time, the bundle of leg locks. Lame!

I actually liked this more than the Shamrock match. The Shamrock match is a blur of catch wrestling virtuosity. As a casual grappling fan, it was hard to follow the narrative and get the beat of the match. You can just see these two are technical masters. Suzuki blends in more pro style and you can get the beat of the match. Suzuki is the young kid who wants to bring the fight to Sano and prove himself. Sano is letting the kid come at him and always has a counter. I thought the stand up here both in terms of the strikes and especially the grappling takedowns were phenomenal. Dont sleep on this match! ****1/2     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

30 minutes of great submissions, strikes, and takedowns. Great sense of urgency and they were both enervated by the end. ****1/2
  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×