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Charles (Loss)

[2009-01-25-NOAH-First Navigation] KENTA vs Kotaro Suzuki

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GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion KENTA vs Kotaro Suzuki - NOAH 1/25/09

 

Kotaro Suzuki was made for fighting KENTA and KENTA was made for fighting Kotaro Suzuki. Do do do do do do.

 

The more I watch of KENTA the more you can see how influenced he is by 2000s Kobashi. They have the same flaws (they love to be ass-kickers and they love getting their shit in), but they tend to be magnified with KENTA because Kobashi definitely has a better sense of psychology even in his bomb throwing contest. They are similar also in that they are at their absolute best against a pure heel. When Kobashi is fighting that "Rat Boy" Ogawa or that big bully Takayama, his natural babyface charisma takes you on a fantastic ride. You can't wait for him to pulverize this putz. Similarly when KENTA goes up against that pure heel like SUWA or Kotaro Suzuki, you know the ending is going to be sweet, sweet, well-deserved violence towards this asshole. With KENTA's role in this masterpiece understood, how does Kotaro Suzuki play into this. Suzuki, a Misawa protege, has only shown up once in a disappointing tag match with Misawa against Ohtani & Takaiwa. Overall, I get the impression he has underwhelmed his entire career save for this one shining, standout performance where he goes balls to the wall heel. Think of every underhanded tactic, Suzuki tries it at least once if not twice in this match. It is very reminiscent of excellent heel performance of Austin at Bash at the Beach '94 against Steamboat. Except ratchet this cowardly heeling up to 11 and then instead of Steamboat you get supreme asskicker KENTA and it takes this match to the promised land as my current 2009 MOTY (still plenty of big hitting matches from NJPW and NOAH heavies left though).

 

Kotaro Suzuki comes off as the world's biggest cheating asshole. He knows he has absolutely no fucking chance against KENTA. His entire strategy is how can I fucking break the rules to not only survive, but win the match. This match embodies pro wrestling. The heel cheats like muthafucka gains the unfair advantage, you are pissed at the injustice and then go crazy for the comeback when the babyface kicks major league ass. It does not matter if you are in Europe, Asia, North America, 2014, 2009, 1979, or 1905, this match is going to get over. KENTA is whupping Suzuki to establish that Suzuki is totally outmatched and overwhelmed. Suzuki's first tactic is to pull the ref in front of him and when KENTA and ref collide, he punts KENTA in the nuts. It was love at first ballshot. I am going to like this match a lot. Suzuki takes the time to sell as if he was the one in the nuts or I am going to like this a lot. Suzuki is so frigging inept that KENTA retakes control and is just pummeling Suzuki's midsection. KENTA gets tired of kicking this loser's ass in the ring so he takes him outside the ring. In a tense moment, Suzuki backdrops out of a powerbomb and send KENTA onto chairs. The ref keeps Suzuki from hitting KENTA with a chair. Back in, again Suzuki pulls the ref in front of him and in the commotion grabs a briefcase. He jaws with Joe Higuchi, which really gets the crowd fucking going. KENTA exploding knee. Out of nowhere, the game changes drop toehold onto the railing. Suzuki grabs a spike and carves KENTA up. In the moment that solidifies this as a MOTYC, he parades a bloody KENTA around the outside of the ring to all the fans. GLORIOUS!

A moment of silence is necessary for how amazing that heeling is.

 

Back in Suzuki is working the cut and licking the blood, but at the end of the day he is still Kotaro Suzuki so KENTA starts to fire up. Eye-poke. All Hail Kotaro Suzuki. KENTA goes for a springboard dropkick, but gets dropkicked. KENTA finally on outside gets a back drop to buy some time to recuperate. In a weird moment, one of Suzuki's buddies (Kanemaru?) throws a chair in. Suzuki breaks the chair and covers himself in red paint ostensibly to draw a DQ. What I don't get was that he was in command so why not press your advantage. You can't win the title by DQ in Japan, I don't think. This is a spot that would make more sense either in the beginning or end when he is getting his ass kicked not when he is in control. Joe Higuchi points out to the ref it is paint. In the hullabaloo, KENTA has recovered and he sees red. KENTA unloads with kicks and knees to Suzuki. The Korakuen and me are rocking as this asskicking. Suzuki is able to shake the ropes and crotch KENTA on the top rope. He gets a pair of suplexes, but can't put KENTA away. He goes for the 619, but KENTA catches and puts on the octopus stretch (Black Widow). Kanemaru causes a distraction. Suzuki goes for the spike, but KENTA kicks him in the head before he can use. KENTA has no need for a spike when his feet are lethal weapons. KENTA hits a wicked double powerbomb and the a big G2S tease ends with a Suzuki STO. The finish run is great Suzuki gets his nearfall off of a Widow's Peak and then goes for Miracle Ecstasy Bomb, but KENTA victory rolls out. Huge corner powerbomb by KENTA and then KENTA hits a knee on a sitting Suzuki that sends him flying like 3 feet backwards. What a motherfucking knee! Go 2 Sleep through contested elbows 1-2-Suzuki catches the ref's hand. MIND BLOWN! KENTA kicks Suzuki's head off and Go 2 Sleep to win! Crowd goes wild!

 

From the opening ballshot to catching the ref's hand as it falls for three and climaxing with parading around a bloody KENTA, this will go down as one of the all-time great heel performances. Yes there were some misfires as I mentioned and the finish sequence was a bit longer than it needed to be. Overall, Suzuki crushed it and KENTA did his part killing Suzuki on the comeback. Easy Top 20 match of the decade and Best KENTA Match EVER! ****1/2

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I liked the dynamic of Suzuki trying to win through extreme heeling. My favorite bit was probably his use of fake blood in an attempt to frame KENTA to the ref. That said, this match went on for fucking ever. It was like they did a did a nifty 15 minutes and then KENTA had to jam a regular KENTA match on top of that. I did love the last spot of Suzuki grabbing the ref's arm to prevent the three count. But they'd kind of lost me by then. This felt like a bloated, lesser version of KENTA-SUWA. That match will do super well for me; this one might sneak in the bottom 10-15.

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Weird I thought this was an even better version of the SUWA match because Suzuki really goes the extra mile with the heeling and you really, really want to see KENTA kick his ass. I agree KENTA just kicking ass and winning would be great, but I thought Suzuki continuing to cheat and prevent a KENTA victory was actually fun way to keep the match going.

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Kotaro Suzuki with an all-time great heel performance. He was so, so, so good here; constantly with those heel tricks of his. That fake blood bit was tremendous. KENTA was great as the no-nonsense asskicker giving the dick what he deserves too, but this was for the most part a total Kotaro Suzuki show. What a goddamn show at that. ****1/2

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This was a good albeit too long match. This was worked with Suzuki doing every trick he could think of to beat KENTA such as interference from Genba and Kanemaru, low blows, ref bumps and fake blood and the Eddie chairshot spot to draw a DQ. It was KENTA’s job to fight back through this and kick his ass like everybody knew he could in a fair fight.

This story and the antics of Suzuki worked well enough, However there are two issues, 1. is that this felt like a lesser version of KENTA vs SUWA for the jr title from 2005 there were some similar moments such as the Joe Higuchi involvement and that match also had a far hotter crowd. The SUWA match also had one thing going for it that ties in with the second problem with this match. The SUWA match was 15 minutes bell to bell this was 32. The opening of the match was very meandering and didn’t seem to have much point to it in parts until the interference started they also seemed quite off on a few spots.

Once KENTA got cut open it got good and after the fake blood spot it got really great as it transitioned into the fast, stiff and angry action of a KENTA finish run with all the impressive spots and counters and some nasty strikes that you expect. But a good deal of the match was meandering and served no real purpose it was as childs said a bloated version of KENTA vs SUWA

It is still a match that i would recommend but not one that is a great match as it could well have been as there was great stuff in there. ***1/2

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