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[2019-03-10-NOAH-Great Voyage In Yokohama] Kaito Kiyomiya vs Naomichi Marufuji


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Easily Kaito's best defense yet and probably his best singles match to date. Marufuji too was on another level here as he worked Kaito's limbs with awesome looking precision. The story wasn't about surpassing the veterans here, this was about Kaito trying to prove his dominance, and it was amazing. His limb selling is already leagues ahead (for the most part) of someone like Kento or even Okada, and his athleticism has perfect timing in almost every move. If NOAH's aesthetic change wasn't apparent enough, Kaito is taking this promotion in a new direction, and I am 100% behind it, ****3/4.

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The story of Kiyomita having to prove himself was a good one to tell. Him battling thought the onslaught of Marufuji's limb work, strikes, and defensive cutoffs was great in presenting him as a fighting champion. Hoping this performance will take the next level in him conveying himself as a huge star in NOAH.

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  • 1 month later...

This match is rock solid from start to finish, but the crowd being borderline dead didn't help it at all. And of course with it being a NOAH main event, it goes on for waaaaaay too long too & ends up dragging a lot by the end, but there's plenty of Marufuji-punishing-this-young-boy -goodness in it, so I thought it was pretty good overall. Loved how he still treated Kiyomiya as the same young lad he was in 2017, dominating him with his awesome veteran work, with great smug facial expressions to boot. Kiyomiya's selling was pretty good too, but I admittedly didn't care for his comebacks much at all. I came here to watch Marufuji be the cocky veteran, and there was plenty of that indeed, so while the match had it's issues (the crowd, the length), it was pretty enjoyable. **3/4

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