Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Charles (Loss)

[2007-07-01-AJPW] Minoru Suzuki vs Keiji Muto

Recommended Posts

Really enjoyed this. They don't do anything more than you'd expect from them but the storytelling is there and the charisma and facial expressions add alot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This match was really, really good. Mutoh works over the leg, Suzuki works over the arm. Both have odd offenses and let their personalities come out in the wrestling, which works to the advantage of the match. They do this great sleeper -> counter -> sleeper sequence that really works well. Everything is absolutely great up until the multiple shining wizard nearfalls. I know that it usually takes more than one, but three in quick succession before the first nearfall seems overdone. Mutoh hurts his knee on the moonsault and pauses to sell it before the cover, makes the nearfall work really well. Suzuki does his best to take advantage of this, but can he put Mutoh away before he falls to the shining wizard? With the exception of Suzuki not selling the leg for a little while and the excessive SWs, this was a well-wrestled match where neither did more than they needed to in order to get the story across. I can see this around the mid-30s to 40s range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AJPW Triple Crown Champion Minoru Suzuki vs Keiji Mutoh - AJPW 07/01/07

 

I wonder how Minoru Suzuki feels about Miley Cryus stealing his gimmick. How bitchin would it be if she stole his hairstyle too? I would become a Miley fan over night.

 

I would say what I am most surprised about is the lack of love for Minoru Suzuki in this Best of the 00s poll. He has been having a kickass 10s so I just presumed we would see more of him in this decade. Mutoh is a polarizing figure no matter what decade he is competing in. I definitely lean towards the pro-Mutoh side in the 2000s with his barrage of dragon leg screws, basement dropkicks, figure-4s and Shining Wizards. It is really effective work, but it requires the opponent to add something. The maniacal Suzuki does a great job selling and coming off like a total lunatic at the same time.

 

The opening matwork is a little boring, but it is well-worked. The one thing the New Japan boys had over the All Japan boys was they were more well-versed in matwork so Mutoh does not seem out of place going up against a legitimate shooter even if his double wristlock is shit. Suzuki gets a deep double wristlock and applies the cross armbreaker and we have our first major turning point of the match. Mutoh bails and Suzuki is right on him attacking the arm using railings and the ropes at will. He does get a little cocky and while he is stepping through the ropes Mutoh catches the foot and everybody say it with me: DRAGON LEG SCREW!!! My favorite spot variation on the usual Mutoh work is the dropkick from the timekeeper's table to Suzuki's knee. I dig Mutoh's leg work and Suzuki was great at selling it. What really got my goat in this match was Suzuki worked a short cutoff getting a cross armbreaker and Mutoh totally no sold it by lying there and then just popping out into a figure-4. That really pissed me off because it really ruined what could have been interesting dual psychology and I hate when the cross armbreaker is disrespected.

 

Suzuki gets an ab stretch while Mutoh is on top and that is the trigger to Suzuki taking over. Suzuki does a great job showing how he is fighting through the pain to kick Mutoh's arm not that Mutoh is really selling it well. Suzuki hits his piledriver and goes back to the abdominal stretch. Suzuki goes to his bread and butter the sleeper. Mutoh is a bit taller than Suzuki so he has a leverage advantage in being able to whip him off and also not feel the full effect, but once Suzuki is able to get him on his back that all disappears and so when Mutoh tried to roll through a second time it almost cost him the match. After a pinfall attempt, Mutoh rattles off 4 Shining Wizards and no pin! Backbreaker, Moonsault, but Mutoh comes down hard on the knee and cant make the pinfall right away. Kick out! Oh so you will sell when your own move hurts you, but not your opponent's moves. I see you, Keiji. He hits a Shining Wizard but uses the hurt knee and again hesitates to make the cover. He looks to hit the backbreaker, but Suzuki rolls into a heel hook. Mutoh makes the ropes. Suzuki mocks Mutoh and gives him a taste of his won medicine with a Dragon Leg Screw, but goes to the well once too many and Mutoh hits a Shining Wizard. Suzuki is rocked and Mutoh goes for the Shining Wizard and Suzuki catches it into a heel hook to retain the Triple Crown.

 

I was really bothered by Mutoh's selling. He dropped the arm selling even though Suzuki kept going back to it and Mutoh slightly sold for the sleepers, but once he hit his knee on his own move then he starts selling that smacks of egotism. Suzuki was phenomenal in this. He is dangerous and he knows it, but is not afraid to sell. He had a near one year reign as Triple Crown Champion and I think I will go back and watch some of his matches after I finish up everything here. The finish stretch here is one of the better ones of the 00s and really liked the Shining Wizard counter to a dragon leg screw only to have the Shining Wizard countered into a heel hook. It is a not match of year contender, but still a great match. ****1/4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suzuki showed up with his topknot bleached and a white trunks-boots ensemble that made him look like a demonic baby. They started on the mat, with some decent work that was hurt only by the incongruity of a 44-year-old Mutoh wrestling evenly with a former world-class grappler. Suzuki took the match to the outside, where Mutoh gained the first real advantage with a dragon screw on the apron. As old-man highspots go, I liked Mutoh's dropkick from the timekeeper's table onto Suzuki's leg.

 

Suzuki did a nice job selling Mutoh's legwork, alternating between mocking tongue wags and real expressions of agony. Nifty transition spot where he caught Mutoh with an octopus on the top turnbuckle. Then he continued to sell on offense, hobbling around and using his left leg for kicks instead of his damaged right. Mutoh shook off Suzuki's sleeper a little too easily and transitioned directly to a series of ugly shining wizards. God, he had lost quite a bit athletically, even from 2001. He could barely get his knee to Suzuki's head. Another nifty counter by Suzuki as he squirmed out of an attempted backbreaker directly into a heel hook. Suzuki approached this match kind of like one of his mentors, Fujiwara--working defensively against the bigger striker while probing for openings to throw on one one of his deadly submissions.

 

I loved Suzuki's mocking dragon screw after Mutoh reached the ropes to break the heel hook. Then we got a strong finishing sequence, with Mutoh hitting a desperation dragon screw only to get caught back in the heel hook when he tried another one. And he tapped. That's what you want in a finish--tight, suspenseful, played perfectly off the key notes of the match.

 

Mutoh's physical limitations and spotty selling kept this from being an upper-half selection for the '00s. It lacked the intensity of an elite match. But Suzuki delivered an excellent performance as champion, with expressive selling and creative submission work.

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  

×