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[2008-06-14-NOAH-Great Voyage] Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kenta Kobashi & KENTA

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Starts off good with KENTA vs. Nakajima. Kobashi and Sasaki have one of their awful pissing contests that go nowhere. Then they hit each other's big head drop (half nelson and northern lights bomb) on each other. That was kinda cool. Each junior gets a heat segment, KENTA's going a bit longer. Kobashi and Sasaki chop each other while the juniors counter finishers into rollups and try to toll the other up before time limit. Draw. Match wasn't too bad, but a lot of this Kobashi vs. Sasaki nonsense goes too far. Juniors are the highlight here, but it's not enough to get a vote. Also, a little too much no-selling towards the end.

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Burning (Kenta Kobashi & KENTA) vs Kensuke Office (Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) - NOAH 6/14/08

 

The end of the decade NOAH matches definitely wear on you. Taking a break from the style definitely helps digest these "epics". As I enjoyed this match more on a second go around then the first time when I could not even bring myself to write a review. I actually thought this was superbly laid out and well-timed up until the finish. Everytime, I thought this needs a hope spot or a transition, it was there for me. I thought the Nakajima transition to the Sasaki hot tag was perfect. Nakajima had been getting his ass handed to him and selling really, but they were on the verge of going too long and they worked this great struggle where Nakajima had to three counters to finally get the hot tag. What a hot tag it was! The best part of the match was just Sasaki exploding out of the gate and destroying KENTA. It was the only time the match really felt like it had a sense of urgency, which is crazy since the match went to a draw so you would think that at least the last two minutes would be urgent. Coming off the amazing New Japan vs All Japan 2000 tag, that was a match where those two teams earned a time limit draw. This was the type of time limit draw where you roll your eyes. Too much of the match just felt mechanical and like they were going through the motions. I love Kobashi, but he just did not bring it here at all. He was trying to fire up, but he could not get to the level of emotion that he can achieve. He wrestled so well in the earlier tags of his comebacks, but it was not here for him on this night. I thought Sasaki was really good against KENTA, but Kobashi/Sasaki was pretty brutal anytime they were paired up. KENTA/Nakajima had a pretty fun finish run that featured a lot of cool mirror spots to put over how equal they were to build to their series of singles matches that really should have been the Junior's Matches of the Decade, but they were disappointing. Again, it was fun stuff, but there was not enough struggle or that will to win. It is funny, it felt like a long 30 minutes, but going over my notes, it does not feel like a whole lot happened. It was pretty entertaining because I enjoy Sasaki's offense and Nakajima as a total package. The layout was there to have a great match, but not enough heat and Kobashi looking rundown killed it for them. Sasaki destroying KENTA was the highlight, but nothing to watch again. ***1/2

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Fun opening in KENTA vs. Nakajima, which was followed by awesome stuff in Kensuke vs. Kobashi. Every Kensuke vs. Kobashi interaction in this match was so BEEFY. Awesome. Loved the Kensuke vs. KENTA interactions too, those were truly awesome. KENTA was a tremendous FIP in his 2 FIP segments. Kobashi was a really good hot tag - loved him just chopping Nakajima around, which lead to a fantastic FIP segment w/ him. And holy shit, was Kensuke's hot tag tremendous or what? ! Seriously one of the best ones I've seen. He just destroyed KENTA there. LOVED Kobashi coming to help KENTA when Kensuke had him in a submission hold. I also thought it was pretty funny how Kensuke German'd his own partner in Nakajima when he was trying to German KENTA lol. Great spot. The little drama in the end w/ Kensuke's arm was wonderful. The finishing stretch between KENTA & Nakajima was a terrific way to close out a fantastic match. Overall this was an outstanding, classic 30 minute draw. Clicked with me big time. ****3/4

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