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[2018-01-04-NJPW-Wrestle Kingdom XII] Minoru Suzuki vs Hirooki Goto


ShittyLittleBoots
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Goto brought the goods here. I was lower on the Shibata match last year because while I thought Goto's strikes were fine, I didn't think he brought any compelling character traits. His selling here was sublime from the choke out hanging spot to the eyes rolling in the back of his head. Kudos for not bailing out on any of those open hand strikes throughout. I'm sure he is sore as hell right now. Suzuki for his part proved that when he gives a shit and with Suzuki Gun interference held at bay, he can still be a majestic worker. His timing was excellent and his strikes were sharp. Overall, a great slugfest and a substantial feeling win for Goto giving the onslaught he had to endure. ****1/4

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This had that big Dome match aura to it. Intense and violent from the get go and it did not let up. Never overstaying it's welcome, Goto & Suzuki put on a brilliant wager match.

 

I'm glad this only had one drawn out back and forth elbow exchange and that led to the story of the match. I pop into to watch NJ once in a while and the NEVER belt stuff always seems to be what I'm looking for. I was hoping for something like this for the Jericho/Omega match but, I'm not sure they could have topped it. This felt like a Dome main event from the 90s or 2000s perhaps. Great match

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This was my match of the night, and the best match of 2018 (so far). Incredible performances from both men in a stiff, no-nonsense contest that really played to their individual strengths. Minoru was at his most callous without the Suzuki-goons bringing him down, and Goto did such a fantastic job of selling that classic Suzuki sadism. In a night that was mostly about trying to outdo the overdone, this was simple, brutal, and under twenty minutes -- my kind of my match. Immediately, they stagger each other with hard slaps to the face before Suzuki grabs the sleeper and hangs Goto from the turnbuckle with it -- the visual of Goto's body going limp in the corner and lying motionless on the mat was unbelievable. Suzuki doesn't let up on the outside, and when Goto's trying to fight back in the ring, Suzuki only cackles at him and levels him with a hard elbow. I loved how the sleeper > piledriver set-up played into the match, and Suzuki connects with one of the most awesome dropkicks I've seen in quite some time. The way he unloads on poor Goto with that never-ending combination of slaps and jabs, busting open his lip...so so good.

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This was really good. Suzuki still has it, and while he is slowing down every year his aura and charisma and unique style keep him a believable top end star. Goto can be boring in random matches but always delivers on the big shows, and he does here as well, drawing tons of sympathy and a great fight back. Great crowd heat as they get fully behind Goto and a really satisfying finish and post match.

 

***3/4

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  • 1 month later...

Holy shit I loved this match. Hard hitting and intense, great selling from Goto and great facial expressions and such by both guys. The story told was tremendous, with Suzuki being as vicious a heel as possible, but his hubris regarding the Gotch piledriver being his downfall. Suzuki then returning on his own to fulfill the hair stip was a perfect close to this. MOTYC for sure.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2018-01-04-NJPW-Wrestle Kingdom XII] Minoru Suzuki vs Hirooki Goto

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