Thursday, March 17, 2011

NOAH 9/11/10

11.9.2010 Tokyo Differ Ariake
1,800 Fans - Super No Vacancy

1. Takashi Sugiura & Ricky Marvin vs. Takeshi Morishima & Masao Inoue - 3
2. Yoshinari Ogawa 25th Anniversary Match: Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Shuhei Taniguchi - 2
3. Takuma Sano vs. KENTA - 6
4. Go Shiozaki vs. Kotaro Suzuki - 5
5. Mohammed Yone 15th Anniversary Match: Akitoshi Saito vs. Mohammed Yone - 4
6. Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taiji Ishimori - 5
7. Atsushi Aoki vs. Genba Hirayanagi - 6

I've got lots of '10 NOAH but something about this card always baffled me and I had no idea if the booker just called in sick that day or ate a lot of psychedelic mushrooms before he crafted this in a Jesse Pinkman-like drugged stupor. The show opens with an explanation. Bare with me, they did some sort of goofy raffle, then around ringside a bunch of fans each wearing lanyards with cartoon caricature portraits of NOAH wrestlers on them stood around. In the center of the ring was a tarpaulin covering a bunch of ropes (sort of like a big, stupid elaborate game of shortest straw) that the fans wearing garish illustrated necklaces grabbed and depending who had the other end of your rope determined who the wrestler on your makeshift necklace was working that night. I don't know who thought this wacky shit up but kudos.

My fear is that this'll be an excuse to work lax since much of this won't really fit into the NOAH continuity canon but I could be wrong. Opener doesn't do much to quell my rising concern. Inoue was in far too much of this for my tastes. He did some goofy shtick with the referee and it's way too early into the evening to start with that. The smaller guys are generally booked so weak against the heavies that Marvin looked practically effeminate against Morishima. Next match took a toll on me. Granted, it was late at night, I'm recovering from a cold, but this was droll and needlessly long and the cheap finish just further irked me. Taniguchi has failed to impress me and here his selling of Ogawa's leg work was as stirring and believable as the acting in the Christmas pageant at your local church. (Okay, the next morning I re-watched this and while it was sort of directionless it's definitely not as bad as my initial response. Still, I never hand over, nor do I alter any scores once they've been dealt so they're stuck with an embarrassing score.)

Sano is my favorite wrestler in NOAH and here I feared he'd be feed to their superstar KENTA. Boy was I wrong! KENTA blasted Takuma in the face only to be savagely slaughtered like a calf by a lion. This is the textbook way to do a story of someone biting off more than they can chew. Sano just stood there and out-stuck KENTA on their feet and what gave this a bonus point was the unbelievable spinning back kick Sano used to take KENTA's head off for the finish. Kotaro looks like Naruki Doi but is vastly superior to him in the ring. Suzuki and Shiozaki in large part had the house show standard which, while most people are down on, I found supremely satisfying. The final stanza did pick up as they both broke out their best stuff in effort of putting the other away in a quality final stretch with plenty of good nearfalls and excitement.

Saito and Yone looked like two black bears fighting over Amie Huguenard. The first act was all about the kicks. Each guy threw big leg kicks at the other and we all grimaced not unlike finding a nude picture of your sister when she accidentally left her e-mail open on the family PC. My favorite sell of the entire show came when Mohammed was spiked with a German suplex and he just set up with a stunned bewilderment as if he just woke up and looked at the morning newspaper and its date read "February 12, 1945".

Kanemaru may be the best junior NOAH has ever had (save for Scorpio). This was a nice change of pace. Forget Yoshino as Ishimori is the true fastest man in the ring. Yoshinobu dishes things to the floor and beats Taiji up some out there. The finish was slick and showed Kanemaru the craftier of the two. I may be slightly overrating the main but felt in the unlikely situation these guys delivered a good bout. Genba is not just a clown, although his playfulness is one of his most key virtues, including sneaking in an occasional kiss here, he's also devious, and used that to his advantage. Aoki ate stuff mostly well, he's no standout in the personality department, if this were Skins he'd be Abbud but he's certainly not a Tony. Atsushi did stick diligently to working at Genba's arm, though, and that was his gameplan. Being a main they event broke out an entrance ramp spot. My favorite moment was when Aoki was on the floor Hiyayanagi, perched on the apron, grabbed him by the skull, planted his foot in the base of his Aoki's neck, and just shoved him full-force into the metal rail. Atsushi didn't give up on that arm and that's what got him the victory in the end.


Geo said...

I was quite interested in seeing how you'd review KENTA/Sano after our discussion about the match. I enjoy you're comment on biting off more than you can chew -- an interesting story. How were the nearfalls? Were they overdone at all?

Brian said...

the cool thing is there are no nearfalls.. once KENTA awakes the sleeping beast Sano just whups his ass and finishes him ruthlessly.. it's glorious

Jessie said...

very cool structure....Sano still whipping ass after nearly 20 years is amazing....poor Amy....the image of her last day alive still haunts me