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[2011-03-05-NOAH-Great Voyage] Kotaro Suzuki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima

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Awesome match with some really great striking by both. Nakajima mostly though. The section where Nakajima dominating Suzuki in the early parts of the match was awesome as was his comeback. The last few minutes where they were throwing bombs at each other was amazing. Few scary moments though. ****1/2

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GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion Kotaro Suzuki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima - NOAH 3/5/11

Big Nakajima fan as early as 2008 went to an ROH show in Detroit specifically to see him in 2009/2010. I think I saw him against Kenny Omega actually. Weird, who became the bigger star. I am always excited when I see a pimped Nakajima match as this made Ditch's Top Ten for 2011. Suzuki has always been pretty bland to me except for his awesome scummy, cheating 100% rudo performance against KENTA in 2009. Nakajima is rocking some Sabu-style pants. Cant say I am digging it for Nakajima who I think is best suited for traditional trunks or tights.

I hate when I hear a time call and all of sudden a wrestler wakes up and says it is my turn. First ten minutes, Nakajima dominates Suzuki and basically plays with his food. Unfortunately, Suzuki decides to play this match straight, which is a poor strategy both in kayfabe (Nakajima is a much better ass-kicker and overwhelms him) and non-Kayfabe (he is quite generic). The first ten minutes is fun to watch Nakajima kick ass. I could watch Nakajima throw kicks all day. Suzuki is not much of a seller and does not put up much of a struggle. Nakajima is being aggressive and intense but not enough to make up for Suzuki's milquetoast performance Time call and look at that, Suzuki is alive and kickin'! He is ducking shit and hitting moves. Bleh. The moves he hit are those 21st century modified suplex/slams, yuck. Suzuki misses a 619 and Nakajima hits his own version that is pretty cool. Nakajima lights shit up with missile dropkicks and suplexes. Best spot of the match thus far: Nakajima hits his trademark rainbow kick to the head as Suzuki is perched on top. He wants the superplex, but it is converted into a reverse suplex by Suzuki now that is a nearfall. The action is great, but no character work and a basic, generic story make this match forgettable thus far. 

Now I see why this match is heralded the last 7 minutes or so are grand. It is a great Juniors workrate bombfest including a breath-taking cradle reversal sequence that is really well done. The Tombstone reversal sequence is always over in my house. NAKAJIMA SWEEPS THE LEG~! One of the best leg sweeps in pro wrestling history. Check it out! Nakajima looks like he almost takes Suzuki's head off with a wicked roundhous kick. HOLY SHIT THIS IS HOW YOU THROW SUPERKICKS!!! Every modern wrestler with a shitty superkick take note. Nakajima looked like he was ready to KO Suzuki. So is Suzuki doing a mini Misawa tribute gimmick with all the Roaring Elbows and the Tiger Driver? I know he teamed with Misawa at one point so is he carrying the torch for Misawa?  The Northern Lights Bomb Nakajima hits is pretty wicked. Nakajima missing his rainbow kick leaving him open for an elbow to the back of the head and then a Tiger Driver is a great finish. 

The home stretch is too little, too late to call this great. Not enough character work, story or struggle to really hook you in. Then they go balls to the wall with the spots which at least excites even if it does not do much to move me. I will forget about this, but it is a shame as Nakajima has all the tools to be one of the greats. Dat Leg Sweep DOE~! ***1/2

 

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