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[2012-11-23-NOAH] KENTA vs Takahashi Sugiura

Superstar Sleeze

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KENTA vs Takahashi Sugiura - NOAH 11/23/12

I wanted to watch this match two reasons: 1. I want to watch at least one match from each of the major Puroresu promotions a year for 2010-2014. It is such a sad state of affairs in NOAH by this point that almost no match from 2012 got any fanfare. This was the highest rated match on Cagematch. I think Morishima is such a bland wrestler and he seemed to really tank it as a champion at least from a match quality perspective. 2. KENTA vs Sugiura from 2013 was a fucking banger and just a total asskicker of a match. This match unfortunately is a pretty big step down from that. 

They start off in the most inauspicious way. They just stand and start throwing elbows in the most gentlemanly way possible. Wait to receive one and throw another. I hate these Fighting Spirit exchanges. Fucking go ham on each other! Lose your mind! Go wild! Chaos! It is my least favorite spot in wrestling. They just start abruptly like this. I'll be honest it took them a good 15 minutes to win me back over because everything felt to meaningless and I was zoning out. They were just throwing spots out. Sugiura would take over and here comes KENTA vice versa. KENTA was the one mostly in command. I was surprised he nailed his Double Stomp so early. He was just running through his shit. Sugiura just chucked him into the corner witha  wicked German and then Bucklebomb. This woke me up. At least it was delivered with some zip. Sugiura goes for the Olympic Slam. Then they do some Kurt Angle wrestling trading submissions Anklelocks and STFs. Eye-roll. KENTA hits his Running Knee. Sugiura responds with a  German/Dragon combo. Olympic Slam nope. I bet KENTA takes over. GO 2 SLEEP out of nowhere?!? I totally didnt see that coming. Eye roll. 

I will say the last five minutes they do ratchet up the heat. They stand & bang and there's a lot more heat on these strikes. At one point, KENTA knocks Sugiura into next week with a vicious punch combo to the jaw. That was wicked. All the kicks to the head and the Go 2 Sleeps were brutal. Much better ending. It has been like 4-5 months since I saw their 2013 classic. That was a raucous brawl. This was just your standard 21st Century trade dangerous high spots match with some strike exchanges. The ending sort of salvages the match, but this is pretty skippable. ***1/4 


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