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[2016-12-24-NOAH] Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Masa Kitamiya


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The children of Kensuke Sasaki are keeping the tradition of meathead battles alive. I am so glad that in this age of flash and GIFs someone is doing a Masa Saito tribute gimmick, Kitamiya may not be able to do the Omaga/Okada feats of athleticism and do Moonsaults over the guardrail but he has really good basics. So many wrestlers these days don't know how to stomp, kick a lag or throw a bodyslam, all things Kitamiya is great at. Even his legwork was badass. They built a smart match with a beginning, middle and end and a clear trajectory. If there was a criticism I could point at the match it's that shaving a couple of minutes would've made it even better, because it seemed they could produce something REALLY special and making it more concise would've certainly helped. These two put in great effort, keeping their offence varied and also keeping the viewer on his toes, constantly modifying sequences you thought you'd already know how they'd end. When Kitamiya way about to shoot Nakajima off the ropes Nakajima would pull him back in a Headlock and start really wrenching it, when it seemed Kitamiya was gonna Shoulder Block Nakajima Nakajima kicked him in the head and they built to a shoulder block, making everything feel earned. Kitamiya feels so refreshing, here's a guy who turns a Samoan Drop into a holy shit spot and has all these awesome hulk ups and knows how to get the crowd riled up. It comes as a given they worked incredibly stiff. Nakajima's biggest stregnth may be how great his cut-offs are-he really knows how to time and adapt a kicking variation to best match the moment. ***1/2

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Well, this was very good. Nakajima looked badass with his deadly strikes, and Kitamiya shined as the underdog trying to pull off the upset. His leg work was solid, it didn't end up getting sold by Nakajima sadly, but it really didn't hurt the match at all - what did hurt it though is that it simply went on for too long, but even with that, they still managed to put on a really good match. Definitely one of the highlights for NOAH in 2016. ***1/2

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  • GSR changed the title to [2016-12-24-NOAH] Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Masa Kitamiya

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