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[2019-07-27-NOAH-Global Jr. League 2019] Hideki Suzuki vs Go Shiozaki


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Random time limit draws are hard to pull off but somewhere in here is a great 15:00 or 20:00 match. I like Shiozaki a lot but I don't know if he was the right guy to have a 30:00 draw with Hideki Suzuki. That being said, Hideki worked this match very differently than previous draws against guys like Daisuke Sekimoto. One of the biggest criticisms I've seen of Hideki is his lack of selling but here, especially in the final minutes with him taking all those elbow shots to the dead, his selling was phenomenal. The match was a series of cool moments but the bigger match was slow and clunky, with a lot of start-stop momentum. While I love Hideki picking apart a limb, it dragged things out. The apron spot looked bad, the outside brawling was whatever, and the actual draw was very flat. 

BUT, like I said, there were a lot of cool moments. Suzuki holding onto the cravate on the sloop slam, him going nuts on Shiozaki's arm at one point, the chops in the corner and Shiozaki chopping him in the fucking face. And the final few minutes leading up to the draw were very good. The way Hideki would cheapshot a previously targeted limb to catch a breath. His sick backdrop hold. The way he sells Go's elbows and tries to retaliate with this limp, collapsing elbow was so good. I loved the dragon suplex counter to the rolling elbow. That nearfall would have been the perfect way to end the match on a draw. But then we get another slow down with the sleeper and a botched armbar spot and then it just ends. A shorter rematch would be ideal. 

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  • GSR changed the title to [2019-07-27-NOAH-Global Jr. League 2019] Hideki Suzuki vs Go Shiozaki

As soon as I heard about this match, it excited me big time. Hideki Suzuki can be controversial depending on your stylistic preference but I think he is different enough to give NOAH that much needed variety that they lacked in both the undercards and in matches. 

It was interesting seeing Go try and muck it up on the mat with Hideki. Go isn’t exactly renowned for his grappling skills, he is more of a hard hitting striker if anything but I think he did solid enough. I think he was better on the defensive side of things more than offensively but he was a good match for Hideki. Hideki was his usual self. Hideki holding on the cravate whilst Go tried to slam him, flipping Go over onto the crowd was a cool little spot. Hideki locked on some gnarly submissions too, like what sort of looks like an inverted version of an armbar. Hideki does some good extended work on the arm throughout the match which does occasionally perk up the crowd into buying a submission win. Go sells the desperation of him wanting to get out of the hold well, too. One thing that I did love in the match is how occasionally they would pepper each other up with some stuff strikes like Hideki’s brutal kick in the corner that came out of nowhere. The match got a great bursts of energy and intensity once Go started making a comeback in the middle of the match. His chops looked and sounded horrible to take w/ Hideki adding the little touch of trying to block them only for Go to chop him in the head instead. Only flaw with that was that Go did it with the arm that was worked on by Hideki. Which leads to another flaw of the match. They decide to switch up the targeted limb which is fine but its forgotten entirely with Hideki never really going back to the arm and Go not selling it all that well. The match then ends in a draw which, whilst flat, was also a shock to me, you don’t really see draws outside of Round Robin Tournaments these days but I think it was a good booking choice.  Keeps one of your big names and one half of your tag champs protected in Go and keeps Hideki protected for any future feud he may have with Kiyomiya, Nakakima, etc. 

A very good match overall. Definitely could’ve worked the switching of the targeted limb by Hideki better and I would’ve preferred a better run to the draw rather than it just ending like it did. But it was a good, stiff battle that combined both guys strengths well. ***3/4

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