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[2009-02-11-Kensuke Office] KENTA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima


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GHC Jr Heavyweight Champion KENTA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima - Kensuke Office 02/11/09


Disappointing. For about 30 minutes, they had something truly special. I would say with ease they were on pace to have the best junior heavyweight in Japan of the 00s and a strong match of the decade contender. Then they pissed it all the way in the last 15 minutes. Nakajima matches are so well-layered. You had the obvious ribs versus neck psychology. You had the conservative, counterwrestling of Nakajima against the offensive dynamo of KENTA. You had the veteran, established presence of KENTA against the rising star Nakajima trying to prove himself. Then on top of all that they interwine a one upmanship dynamic to establish Nakajima as his equal. These layers were 90s All Japan-esque. Then POOF we get faceless strike exchanges, barrage of pop-up suplexes, senseless spots and an overkill finish.God I hate the 00s.


KENTA tries to rev the match up early at the tempo he loves, but Nakajima counters with a Go 2 Sleep that hits the ribs, which shakes up KENTA who has to retreat to the outside. Nakajima presses with knees to the ribs and great headlock work. He knows that KENTA loves that uptempo pace and he just content to grind on the headlock. However, KENTA suckers him into a game of one upmanship with kicks and that is a game KENTA will win. KENTA goes for his usual guillotine DDT, springboard combo, but Nakajima has it scouted and counters. He suffocates KENTA with strikes and once KENTA powders. Nakajima takes a breather then goes back to work where he hits a DDT on the floor that causes KENTA to bleed from the mouth hardway and make KENTA's neck an issue. Nakajima has successfully implemented a counterwrestling strategy using KENTA's offense against him and hurt his neck. This time when KENTA makes ropes on a headscissors Nakajima can control with elbows to the neck showing he has made headway. However, Nakajima knows he will have to start to escalate his offense. Nakajima is not the only one who can counterwrestle as KENTA picks him out of the sky with a kick. KENTA takes a breather follows him to outside and consolidates his advantage with a drop toehold to railing and then Go 2 Sleep on railing. Now Nakajima's ribs are badly hurt and Nakajima shows KENTA how to sell as he really milks it. KENTA is great working over the ribs especially a double stomp from the apron to floor and then from top rope to the floor!!!! That's the kind of high spot that is awesome. Now you get the sense the veteran has one upped the upstart, but Nakajima has some fight and is able to counter into a Tombstone that spikes KENTA on his bad neck. EXCELLENT!!!!! KENTA getting desperate tries to speed up, but Nakajima traps in heel hook. KENTA makes ropes and speeds up again with more success gets STF. Nakajima gets heel hook then KENTA gets STF continuing trend of one upmanship. You get the sense KENTA underestimated Nakajima is getting a bit desperate after Nakajima did not go away from the ribwork. NAKAJIMA BRAINBUSTER~! KENTA has to escape to the floor and the neck is now really in a bad way. Nakajima tries plancha, but ribs eat a kick and he sells like a million bucks. More one upmanship. I am loving this symmetry. KENTA goes all 2013 Daniel Bryan, but in 2009 with high speed dropkicks and a powerbomb. KENTA is relying more on bombs. They tease a superplex to the floor, but settle for a KENTA driver off apron to floor. They milk it. Nakajima prevents KENTA from getting back in with a wicked German on the floor. The match ends in a double countout. If KENTA sold a bit better, this is 5 stars, but I am going ****3/4. This was like the Tenryu/Mutoh of the juniors or a better version of Nakajima/Kondo....wait the match did not end. They got back in the ring. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Kick exchanges that anyone could have. Pop-up suplexes. Nakajima setting up KENTA on the top rope to do a spinwheel kick. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! KENTA kicks out of the German Suplex! Nakajima kicks out of the Go 2 Sleep! KENTA kicks Nakajima in the head brutally, but picks him up. Nakajima counters second Go 2 Sleep. A shitty spinwheel kick wins the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title for my boy, Nakajima. The finish was just overkill. There was just no believeable way that could win that match after all that punishment. It does not make him look resilient it makes KENTA look weak or just plain takes you out of the match. This is so damn hard. I absolutely love the beginning, but the finish sucks. Yes, the spots looked fine, but they just were such a departure from the match. I'll give it **** and hope that the real classic is the rematch.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2009-02-11-Kensuke Office] KENTA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima

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