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[2005-12-04-NOAH-Winter Navigation] Akira Taue vs Takeshi Morishima

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This was pretty damn good. Taue gets his ass handed to him early by Morishima in convincing fashion. The comeback is great and the match never loses it's sense of struggle. One thing I miss about the 2000s is a nice, slow build with more building block type moves in the first half than bombs. This match definitely falls in the former category. I do wish Morishima hadn't done 3 pinfall attempts in a row twice during the finishing run. It made it more of a "my bomb, your bomb" style match. Morishima's offense is better than Rikio's, and Taue sells it great. One thing I liked about these matches is Taue putting over the younger generation while still winning. The finish was pretty cool given the trouble Taue has had lifting Morishima. I'd put this just above the Rikio match.

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GHC Heavyweight Champion Akira Taue vs Takeshi Morishima - NOAH 12/04/05

 

THE CHAMP IS HERE!!! This is the polar opposite of the Rikio match. There was no crowd heat, but liked the work quite a bit more, but not enough to say it really exceeds very good. It is surprising that I liked Rikio and Marufuji matches more than Morishima match even though Morishima is my favorite of three. Morishima knows how to through his weight around and is a great offensive wrestler even at this point, but his transitions and selling need a lot work to take his matches to the next level. Taue was on his A game making Morishima look like a million bucks and the future of the company. There were two times Morishima steamrolled Taue and Taue took ridiculous bumps for him. All of Taue's counters had a sense of desperation to them. The first as Morishima perched on the top rope and Taue nailed him with a Dynamic Kick causing him to crash the floor. The next was an out of nowhere Nodowa on the floor. The most crucial was on what would have been Morishima second Back Drop Driver. Taue counterweighted him and just sold how much that counter meant to him because he was sucking air and looked in a bad way. He hit a Dynamic Kick to consolidate, but was in rough shape after numerous head drops and lariats. Backdrop Nodowa, but does not get a good cover. Taue knows he needs something big and goes to apron. Morishima big boot, but Taue NAILS him with a roundhouse kick to the head. NODOWA FROM APRON!!! After being teased in the past couple matches, I finally see one of my favorite spots in wrestling. Morishima is fucked. He makes one of last stand, but a knee to head and a hair pull nodowa finishes it for the Champ!

 

Taue makes this match worth watching selling and bumping for Morishima. There are some boring patches early, but the finish run is pretty exciting even if the crowd does not care. A borderline top 100 match, but worth watching for Taue keeping someone strong in a loss and just generally being a badass. ***1/2

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