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[2011-06-19-AJPW] SUWAMA vs Yuji Nagata

Superstar Sleeze

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AJPW Triple Crown Champion SUWAMA vs Yuji Nagata - AJPW 6/19/11

Lets continue the SUWAMA PARTY! Nagata won the Champions Carnival in April and he is the big, bad invader. The awesome classic SUWAMA match of 2011 is the Jun Akiyama match later in the year, but this one is still pretty good. 

I liked the beginning the most. There is an EPIC, TITANIC Struggle Over a Belly-2-Belly Suplex unlike anything I have ever seen before. It devolves into hair pulling and eye-gouging and WADA has to put Nagata in a headlock to break it up. I didn't know Wada was still the ref in 2011! Wow! 

That is the best example but I thought the whole beginning dripped with struggle and manliness. Really good grappling especially stand-up and how they were stuffing takedowns. SUWAMA hits a vertical suplex and he works a general pummeling control segment which is fine. Nagata catches charging with a knee. Business picks up here. Nagata targets the arm. SUWAMA sells really well and is trying to hulk up but Nagata is peppering the arm with big kicks and armbreakers. They are both in their wheel house. Nagata does well throwing kicks and setting up the armbar and SUWAMA sells well. Nagata is looking to set up the Armbar. SUWAMA uses his throws to break Nagata's rhythm. 

There's a weird section of the match where they start trading submissions specifically the Anklelock which I have a borderline irrational aversion to thanks to Kurt Angle. I did like SUWAMA's counter to the Crossface by using a toehold that was cool. Nagata returns to offense and starts dropping SUWAMA on his head. Again SUWAMA sells really well. There is an Exploder off the Top that really looked like it spiked SUWAMA! Again it is SUWAMA catching him with Suplexes that helps him gain in-roads. 

In the highlight package preceding the match, it seemed Nagata was polishing his opponents off with the BackDrop Driver/SaitoSuplex. This is a move SUWAMA uses also. SUWAMA goes for this move but Nagata blocks and Fujiwara Armbar into the eyeroll Armbar Nagata does. Nagata gets his big nearfall with the Saito Suplex. The end is nigh says I. 

SUWAMA catches Nagata on the step-up Shining Wizard in the corner (Nagata had already hit that move once) and LAST RIDE~! Not as good as the Funaki. Honestly this match is a big step down from the Funaki match. SUWAMA runs through his finish stretch offense. Nagata gets a surprise Shining Wizard as a last gasp nearfall. SUWAMA slaps the shit out of him, OBLITERATES HIM with his Canon Lariat and the Saito Suplex pins Nagata. 

It is a very good match because both men are great offensive wrestlers and in the case of SUWAMA also a great seller. After the excellent opening, this was just two men playing ragdoll for the other and just running through their Greatest Hits. Nagata went first and then SUWAMA had a little run then Nagata has his big 1-2 punch and then SUWAMA cruised for the win besides the Shining Wizard hiccup. It makes sense since Nagata was going back to New Japan so there were no rematches. So just do the Greatest Hits match everyone goes home happy and I they played off the Saito Suplex well. Nagata hit it. SUWAMA survives, hits his own twice to win. It was a nice little story there. Nothing that will change your world but if you like big bomb throwing matches hard to go wrong with this one. ***3/4


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  • GSR changed the title to [2011-06-19-AJPW] SUWAMA vs Yuji Nagata
  • 3 years later...

I remember being a big fan of this match in 2011 (I think I had it #2 or #3 for the year), so watching the entire show last night, I was very interested to see how I felt about this 12 years later. Turns out, I still loved this shit. Nagata's outsider gimmick of "I'm gonna smirk at the fans and then immediately fuck up the top guy's arm" rules. Nagata gets a lot out of everything he does here, and it's always interesting to see Suwama, especially in this era, showing a little bit of vulnerability. He sells very well for all of the arm work and it's such a contrast to New Japan main events of this era because it doesn't feel pointless. Suwama doesn't do a whole lot of offense using that arm until the very end of the match. I liked that struggle over the front suplex Sleeze describes in his review. It's such a weird and unique spot and it works given both guys' amateur backgrounds. It does get a little bomb-y towards the end, but that's what I want from these two in this promotion in 2011. A lot of people at the time slept on All Japan for whatever stupid reason and I think it's lead to Suwama not getting his due as a legitimately great worker and a great All Japan ace. He's tremendous here, he more than holds up his end against Nagata. Still probably in my top 3 for 2011. ****1/2

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