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[2017-01-21-NOAH] Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya

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Kaito Kiyomiya is quickly becoming one of my favorite young guns. He brings a lot of fire and unbridled confidence to his matches, sells really well, and when paired with a chippy old ace like Naomichi Marufuji, you can't help to root for him. Marufuji's great with his doom chops, hitting him so hard, he's hurting his own hand, or he's sneaking around with his superkicks from all sides. Kiyomiya does a good job of rallying the crowd to his cause during his comebacks and I loved when goes crazy on Marufuji in the corner with elbows. The finish was absolutely brutal and awesome. Simple, effective, emotional, hard-hitting. Great little match.

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This match was brought to my attention today & because I had nothing to do I watched it immediately. And I do not regret that decision one bit, because my goodness, this was an absolute hoot. First time seeing the young lion, Kaito Kiyomiya, and he had one helluva performance here - great fire, loved him going after Marufuji right away w/ aggression, which lead to Marufuji being grumpy as hell & just punishing the poor young Kiyomiya. Marufuji just chopped the shit out of him in very compelling fashion - he has to have the best chops in wrestling now. So brutal. Kiyomiya got some hope spots in, which were then quickly cut off by Marufuji. Awesome stuff. Then the ending with Marufuji just completely DESTROYING Kiyomiya, goddamn. What a match. ****1/4

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Interesting match. I've only seen one outer Marufuji match in my life, being one from 10 years or so earlier against Taue, and this was a wildly different experience (short story: in this match, he's the Taue).

 

I agree with the posters above that Kiyomiya brought a lot to the table. He had a ton of energy from the get go in how he bounded to the ring and how he was just hyperactively moving about and bouncing while waiting for Marufji to enter the ring. He was just potential energy and youth raring to go, and go he did with the initial assault and then the gutsy performance from underneath throughout. There's a moment mid match where he hits a missile drop kick and just slides across the ring to go for a pin attempt and it's a little bit of enthusiastic movement I'm not sure I've ever seen before. It was well appreciated.

 

I thought they nailed a lot of small things, which really mattered. For instance, in the initial bit of rope running, Marufiji stayed in the center of the ring and it was on Kiyomiya to duck one move after the next before hitting his forearm. Then, when Marufuji really took over, it was a repeat of that sequence but with him running as well, making Kiyomiya reverse course and get nailed. There was a strong sense of everything feeling earned too. Marufuji didn't just take stuff placidly. He tried to get a shot back in. It was the same with Kiyomiya, even as he was getting killed with chops or beaten down on the outside. He tried to get a shot in from underneath. It just didn't matter.

 

Like I said, what did matter was the detail work, because it provided an underpinning to the overall beating of the match. It gave it a foundation that made it more than just Kiyomiya getting his chest reddened and constantly coming back for more. There was a little too much bouncing back after a bit shot (superkick, etc.) but that's the nature of the style and it worked with the crowd. They went to enough effort to have Kiyomiya sell (spoiler: he was probably really hurting so much that he had to) and for Marufuji to show bemusement that I'm not going to fault it, especially because the moment of Kiyomiya shouting through the pain to finally fight his way back mattered all the more for it. There was a split second after the no-assistance German suplex where he locked Marufuji into a Tiger Suplex position where time seemed to stop and there was that pro wrestling magic of Belief in the air. It didn't work out for the kid but I bet it helped him get over.

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