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[2018-08-18-NOAH-Kawasaki Festival] Takashi Sugiura vs Go Shiozaki


nivvad
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This match completely lives up to the hype if you are familiar with the NOAH main event style and wrestlers. Shiozaki and Sugiura are two guys who have a large history together in the company. Their most recent outings against each other were tainted by Suzuki-gun, so this was their chance to have the epic match everyone knew they could have. It's physical, it's emotional, but at no point does it get boring. Shiozaki gives his literal everything in this match, putting on a performance that you rarely see from him. This is easily the best "pure" NOAH match in years, ****3/4.

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Now this is probably going to be a hit and miss for some. Some may like it, some may not. It depends on how you feel about the style. Me, I can watch a 40 minute match where there is hardly anything but striking but others may find it boring. Whilst there was other thing like Shiozaki moving around like a Junior, hitting running planchas and moonsault, there was A LOT of striking. A match built around Go Shiozaki chopping Sugiura's chest until it's raw and Sugiura trying to break Go's jaw with his elbows/forearms, and I absolutely loved it. Incredible match I thought. The only criticism I really have is the lack of high impact moves, a bit more of them and this could've been so much better but nevertheless, this was amazing. ****3/4

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These guys like to hit each other hard and do it for half an hour. Shiozaki is underrated and really could've benefited from the NJPW feud that never happened but he gives his all here and Sugiura dishes it out. Sugiura throws some of the best-looking elbows anywhere and he delivers some real nasty ones here, especially when Shiozaki's down in the corner. If anything, this match benefited from a lack of crazy big spots and an overkill finish. Shiozaki's picturesque moonsault and Sugiura's running knee in the corner>deadlift superplex combo was plenty big for this kind of a match. Sugiura proves that he can still go hard in the paint for his age and Shiozaki bumps big and sells hard for him throughout. I really liked him trying to withstand the punishment toward the finish before Sugiura resorts to the headbutts. Probably the best NOAH match of the year? At least, from what I've seen, which hasn't been much. 

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When is saw the match length for this is was apprehensive, anything going 30+ in modern wrestling has a hard road ahead of it. But i was proven wrong, Shiozaki and Sugiura put one an outstanding match that was built around stiff strikes and sheer force of will. The stiffness was incredible chops vs elbows and knees the sound of them was amongst the nastiest I have heard in some time. They also managed to do this without resorting to your turn my turn rubbish, no selling and one counts. The way they built the violence was great but they never felt that they were going long for the sake of going long for 34 mins they felt like they were trying to win unlike many rubbish modern njpw matches where they feel like they are just doing stuff to make the match go long because apparently world title matches need to go 35 mins and only the last 5 mins matter. Here there was none of that garbage but just sheer violence. Sugiura was great as he has been this whole title run but Go Shiozaki looked the best i have seen him in years a masterful performance and this was one of the few occasions he looked like he could be something close to his mentor. In an ideal world it would have been a little shorter to tighten it up in places but it was still a great match and top five of the year level. ****1/2

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