Friday, April 16, 2010

Takashi Okita/Kento Miyahara/Kensuke Sasaki/Katsuhiko Nakajima v. Atsushi Aoki/KENTA/Akihiko Ito/Kenta Kobashi - 5 (Kensuke Office, 08/17/2008)

This was a match where each squad had 4 guys but it was run as a tag match the whole time, so 2 vs. 2 and when one man was pinned, the next guy from that team would join the match until the final 4 (wonder who those were) were in for the tag portion. 1st section was Aoki/ KENTA v. Okita/ Miyahara, which was worked as a juniors style Japanese tag. It was filled with all your usual slap fests, power ups from being crushed with a finisher and strong style no selling that's been accustomed. It's gotten better but 2008 and the year before were filled with these exact type of matches done on every undercard on most every Japanese show. Aoki was still seasoning at this point, looking much more aware and skilled in the Juniors 09 tourney but was good for a perfunctory player. Liked the use of submissions as nearfalls though throughout the whole heat section. Ito takes the fall.

Kensuke comes in to join Miyahara and for some reason he gets his ass kicked immediately by the NOAH boys for the first 5 minutes of the bout in a really strange bit of match psych. Miyahara starts shining here as a backup for Sasaki's heavy offense and doles out some of his own. Aoki goes down to a badly worked crab submission as Ito joins the fray but doesn't last long at all, not enough to give much of an effort and the legend himself, Kenta Kobashi comes in. He exudes a presence just standing in the ring and there's meaning to almost everything he does while he's performing which is at a much slower and deliberate pace than half of what the other guys were doing in the beginning, although i question why his 2nd move of the match is a top rope superplex to Miyahara?

A note on KENTA: I hate proving all those forum Internet wrestling stooges right to boost their already inflated (but astoundingly lonley) egos, but KENTA's selling was as emoting as a dead horse. You can see him take a Samoan drop and instead of acknowledging what just happened to his body, you can see him thinking aloud in his head, as if he's going through his next spot, balancing his checking account or trying to figure out where that extra condom went from his nightstand drawer after his girlfriend "got angry" and left abruptly before their Friday night date. Worst thing was he was involved in the match for the whole 70 minutes it went on. Kobashi also got Miyahara out with a submission he rarely ever uses in poor planning of a spot. And in comes our final entrant: Nakajima, the KENTA clone and rival, I think they're working a Jacob-Man in Black angle that is going over the heads of even the most harcore Lost fans.

One thing I like is the feud those two guys keep up everytime they get in the ring together though; they always show this dire hatred against each other and despite the lack of selling, pour everything they have into breaking each other down with terrible slaps and furious kicking. This round consists of the bulk of the match, over 35 minutes dedicated to the top 4 guys invovled. Sasaki and Kobashi ring each other's ears several times but nothing captures the level of magic they had in their singles match in 2005. As fun as Kobashi is to watch, his mobility is deteriorating before our eyes during this match, even though I still liked the various head dropping suplexes they would try on each other as their partners would kick them in the face inadvertantly. As for the majority of the offense, it got a little repetitive, Just a lot of kicking and big suplexes galore, it all became sort of a sour mash I just couldn't stomach to eat anymore even though there was a lot of high level athleticism being displayed. Couldn't help but compare this to nearly the same match but with Go in Kobashi's place and that one worked better than this. KENTA was not only selling throughout most of the last 20 minutes but could hardly throw a potent strike or kick he was so winded, and I wanted to see some of his cumulative damage take it's toll because he had been dropped on his head at least a half dozen times by Kensuke.

As I stated, run time was an hour and 10 minutes in this and the crowd was worked into a frenzy through the whole ending portion but it felt retread and tired and very self-gratifying from most of the guys in the match. Unique concept but overall i couldn't really recommend this over a lot more Puro stuff that's out right now.

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