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Charles (Loss)

[2005-03-04-NJPW-Big Fight Series] Gedo & Jado vs Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue

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Jado & Gedo vs Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue, New Japan March 4th 2005

 

Background: Wataru Inoue, who struggled to progress from the 'young lion' phase of his career without becoming a jobber, is given an opportunity to go for the junior tag titles in the main event at Korakuen Hall. This is a rematch from the previous July, when Jado and Gedo narrowly retained.

 

Why I think it's underrated: Jado and Gedo have this weird on/off switch with the quality of their wrestling. Either it's lazy choking and filler, or high-end Southern-style heel aggression. This features "good" Jado and Gedo. More importantly, this is given extra time because it's the main event, and they use that time to build a big-match structure. Kanemoto is effective as the Big Man On Campus, and Inoue is effective in the Ricky Morton role. Top it off with a hot crowd and you get something memorable.

 

What it deserves: Top 100, and maybe even top 50. I really think this is something any wrestling fan can appreciate, and with Inoue having retired this is almost certainly his best match in the New Japan ring.

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You know, the first 20-25 minutes of this were top 20 caliber. It looks pretty even, then Jado and Gedo start going to town on Inoue. They do just the right amount of heel tactics, beatdown and being cocky for it to be really, really entertaining. I loved when Jado smeared some of Inoue's blood (he bled a lot) on his chest and walked over towards Koji just to rub it in. Then, just as this part of the match is getting stale, Koji comes in, cleans house and drags Inoue most of the way back to the corner. Wouldn't you know it, though, Koji gets knocked off the apron just in time. Not big on the move Inoue uses to finally get the hot tag (CROWD!!!). Koji comes in and dishes out his offense while selling the earlier beating he took. Then we go to the finishing sequence and things really get bogged down. Jado doing his crossface thingy about 6 times really doesn't help matters. A lot of it is good, with the chaos and selling like they are dead that should be there. Finish is good given the story of the match, but I really wish they had built a little better to it instead of Jado doing a bunch of crossfaces. I can see this in between 50 and 75. Inoue was all kinds of incredible in this. I'd watch this again just for his heat segment and the parts of the finishing run he was involved in. Jado/gedo were awesome up until the ending sequence. Koji did a good job of staying out of the match and letting the other guys have the spotlight when he wasn't needed. I kinda wish he'd been a little more visible towards the end though.

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Gedo & Jado vs Koji Kanemoto & Wataru Inoue - NJPW 3/4/05

Weirdly enough, the only Gedo & Jado match I have ever seen was live at ROH this past May. I actually enjoyed that match as I believe the opener (may have been second on). I read some reviews for this one and Gedo/Jado are famous enough that I ought to watch some more to get a feel for their work. I know their rep as Southern-style workers in Japan that sometimes suck out loud, but then can always flip a switch and rip it up.


That being said, I do not think Gedo & Jado are not the critical drivers that will determine your feelings for the match. That will rest with Wataru Inoue. I remember Wataru Inoue as the young punk badass from the first Liger/NOAH tag match, but this match almost seems like retrogression as he young boy victim for the brutality and violence of Gedo and Jado. This is easily one of my favorite styles of Japanes wrestling: Veteran & Young Boy versus the brutal heels. I did not think this one really superseded some of the better ones I had seen (Miyamoto and Shiga). The strong point of the match was also the weak point. They lived and died by that heat segment. Inoue getting blasted by that chair and tapping a gusher was great, but then he just died. I need some hope spots. Otherwise, it is really no different than finish run overkill. Hope spots can be generated from Kanemoto, who only interfered once. Inoue deadweighting and then kicking out was just not sitting well with me. It was all there for them to knock this one out of the park. It is one of those things where too much of a good thing (babyface selling) did them in. The transition to get Inoue out of there was pretty lame. He basically just hits a flip lariat after Kanemoto had some interference and they ran a tease spot. Don't get me wrong, it gets a huge pop. There was just not much struggle, it was abrupt and it was a just generally lame move.

As for the rest of the match, the beginning was boring as all hell, just fast forward to the chair shot. Kanemoto is a pretty good house of fire because his facewashes are a great crowd-pleasing spot, but he seems to be looking for the tag too quick. The double heel hook was a great visual. I liked Kanemoto saving Wataru from the crossface and the superbomb, but he needed to do that earlier. Jado reminds us it is 2005 with rolling Germans and a barrage of Crippler's Crossfaces. Wataru goes for flash finishes with a cradle and then gets a submission does not even hurt. He literally has the arm bent in a way it should go. This was sillier looking than the Cena STFU (let me squeeze my biceps together). The match has a ton of potential, but suffers from too many problem for me to consider this in my Top 100. It is entertaining with a hot hook and a great crowd. I recommend it for a watch, everybody else seems to like it more than me, but I think mileage may vary based on how much you liked that heat segment. ***

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There really is a lot to like here but this is just way too long. This is the most okay Wataru has ever looked outside of the first NOAH vs NJPW junior tag and that Ishii match. Kanemoto would probably be an easy pick for junior heavyweight of the last decade were it not for a lack of interesting opponents. This is a feather in his cap and may help someone get a sense of him for the GWE project but it's not a MOTYC or something that'll factor into this project.

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How is this a feather in Kanemoto's cap? It is the Wataru show through and through. Kanemoto is a weird wrestler for me. He just does nothing for me. I can think of some great matches like Fujita 09, NOAH vs NJ match and the 2000 junior tags, but too often he leaves me cold. He is not very good at sustaining his selling. He will blow it off rather readily. Even someone like KENTA who blows off selling constantly is better at the actual selling portion of the match. I would actually prefer to watch KENTA to Kanemoto more often than not. Minoru Tanaka should have been the junior of the year, but it is all moot because he never built on his greatness at the early part of the decade. I would probably argue for Nakajima or Fujita Hayato even if they came on at the latter part of the decade.

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