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GOTNW

[2017-01-09-NOAH] Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kenou

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I thought about watching 2000 All Japan next but saw this was the next match on the show, and thought you know what, it doesn't even matter if it's good or not, I've already seen most of the All Japan matches anyway and have pretty much made up my mind on all the workers there, this is a match I would've lost my shit for in 2011, let's see how it turned out. And-it turns out it was good, and when you have a good match even a 2017 NOAH crowd will react. Some gauging at the start, one of those quick sequences where wrestlers counter each other's signature moves and then about 16 minutes of strike/kick exchanges, mirror spots and everything that made me love this genre 5 or so years ago. There are holds and selling in there too but they're only in there because they have to be, and they don't go weak holds or stay in them too long or do dumb selling that obviously sets up spots and weak brawling around the arena, they just lay in it kick away at each other. There was a bit too much pinfall attempts for my taste and a dragon suplex no-sell that was what it was, but other than that this was a nice change of pace in being a mostly bullshit-free celebratition of dumb stiffness in wrestling. Kenou had some really nice and quick combinations and I loved how he'd incorporate his Ankle Lock in them grabbing it out of nowhere without becoming too realiant on it in filling time or teasing a near submission that wasn't going to happen. ***1/4

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