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

[2009-03-01-NOAH-Second Navigation] KENTA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima

Recommended Posts

Finishing sequence was really well-done. Good work between the falls, they paid off on three things that happened in the match 2 weeks earlier, and it didn't last forever with way too many nearfalls. Only problem is that Nakajima chose to work the leg early and throughout. And if I've learned anything about KENTA in my 2000-2009 watchings, it's that he wrestles one way regardless of the circumstance. So even after legwork, let's sprint across the ring three times in quick succession and then use a springboard move with no slowdown. What a waste of a perfectly good finish.

 

edit:

 

For clarity, I'm gonna lay out my reasons for not liking this. Opening is good, lots of kicks and rope-running like you'd expect. Then Nakajima works the leg over and KENTA sticks to the original gameplan. Nakajima sort of comes back to that, but also works the leg over some more. At this point, they aren't wrestling the same match. Then finish starts and they sync up to put together a really good one. If I'm putting this together, I tell Nakajima to just run around and trade kicks/elbows/high flying with KENTA for the first 15. That goes perfectly well into the finish they did. Much better than the actual first 15 minutes of the match.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion Katsuhiko Nakajima vs KENTA - Budokan 3/1/2009

 

Fuck you, KENTA! This is not a very apt comparison for everybody (ok, nobody, but me), but this match reminded me of Hogan/Savage Nitro match from 1998. As a child, I was a huge Macho Man fan and begged my parents to buy Spring Stampede 1998 because he would be challenging Sting for the Championship, which was my first PPV. Savage wins albeit with interference, but I don't care because he is the World Champion, BABY! Next night, he has to defend the title against Hogan. I can still remember Tony exclaiming "Savage can only get flurries of offense in". It was so damn frustrating. How come Savage could not string together any offense? He never made a comeback. He just friggin' lost. Flash forward 18 years, I still watch wrestling and my main man Katsuhiko Nakajima has won the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship and has to defend against KENTA. Fucking KENTA just absolutely blows off any of Nakajima's offense constantly cutting him off and not letting him tell his story. It was so damn frustrating. Again, the fuckhead won the championship instead of the better wrestler.

 

This match is up there for one of the most bizarre matches I have ever seen. They were even reading the same book nevermind being on the same page. It was almost like KENTA was saying we did it YOUR way on the Kensuke Office, this is NOAH we are doing it MY way now. Nakajima was just stubbornly pressing on while KENTA was ignoring him. KENTA starts the match off hot and uptempo to set up his usual chinlocks early. It is a solid strategy to kick ass and then sap the energy of the opponent. Nakajima looks pretty overwhelmed to start, but needs to weather the storm. Nakajima catches a kick and dragon leg screw. Immediately, I am thinking this is risky business. I hope Nakajima talked to KENTA before building an entire match around KENTA selling the knee. What followed was just fucking bizarre. Nakajima would work the leg and KENTA would just fly around like nothing happened and this was the entirety of the first 15 minutes. Neither was responding to the other. It was a huge clusterfuck. Even once Nakajima drops the knee work and starts spiking KENTA on his head with tombstones and brainbusters. KENTA is like FUCK YOU! He just starts cutting him off again. Nakajima's response seemed to be I don't playing that game and I am going to kick your ass, but that only made it worse. Nakajima was going to lose so you would think KENTA would want to make the final comeback, but he seemed pretty intent on squashing Nakajima, but Nakajima would not let him. Good for him! Way to stand up for yourself! This is all predicated that I believe Japanese matches are still called in the ring. If this was planned out WWE style, this is fucking awful. As bad as the first 95% of match was, the finish was incredibly awesome and played off the first match so well.

 

So KENTA goes for Go 2 Sleep, but Nakajima rana'd out last time so KENTA is prepared and Powerbombs his ass, but for two. He goes for G2S again, but this time Nakajima pulls out a victory roll counter. The surprise of this allows him to his rainbow spinwheel kick that I don't like, but did win him the title for two. KENTA G2S gets two and then kicks to head for two. Nakajima roars back and tags him with some great superkicks. KENTA catches one kick in from a wicked awkward position hoists him up for G2S for the victory.

 

The finish is really good, but fuck what a clusterfuck. What is funny is when I watched these in 2009, I absolutely loved them. Thats why I became a Nakajima fan. I went to ROH in Detroit specifically to see Nakajima and I loved it. Watching these Nakajima matches I had not seen, I felt totally validated in my fandom. Between memory and what I have seen from Nakajima, I projected at least one KENTA/Nakajima match making the top ten. Instead, there was fabulously infuriating match and a giant clusterfuck. Memories ruined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, you guys should have seen the controversy on DVDVR's purotopia board when this match happened. Just seeing this thread is giving me flashbacks. There was an awful thread with people on both sides arguing he same points over and over again but never convincing each other of anything. And it just went on for pages and pages and pages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen this match numerous times and always thought it was obviously a deliberate part of the story they were telling to have KENTA blow off the leg work to play mind games with Nakajima. KENTA wasn't squashing Nakajima so much as offering the fans a decisive end to their year-long feud and I think the guys deserve some credit for having the balls to do that instead of relying on dodgy booking to protect Nakajima as a rising star. It's fine if that's not a story you can get into but viewing the leg selling as arising from miscommunication (no way even half those exchanges weren't preplanned) or just these guys with 15 years experience between them not understanding basic storytelling strikes me as ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This match is so frustrating to watch, because it had all the potential in the world to be a classic. Nakajima was so great in it, but then KENTA strikes. He completely no sells the work Nakajima had done to his leg, and ultimately that is what ruins the match. *

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  

×