I'm trying to inspire myself to write more so I write more. Phil and I discuss internet NOAH that I had avoided watching for too long.
TKG: I dug Akiyama vs. Marafuji more than Phil did as I think it took him too long to get into it. Outside of the Hashi match and his match against Misawa in 97, Akiyama isn't really very good at working juniors. And damn the Akiyama pirouette missed clothesline is one of the unintentionally funniest things that I've seen in a long time. Akiyama does the world's shittiest seated abdominal stretch thing which really made me appreciate Marafuji as he twists and contorts and engages the audience in an effort to try to save this shitty submission. Marafuji for a guy who I've never been very hot on is a guy who actually works well in the Shiga role. Marafuji eats stuff well, knows how to engage the audience in his face in peril stuff and his pussyish skinny guy offense is more credible than Shiga's ever was. I really dug the finish.
PAS: I had no desire to see Akiyama v. Marifuji and was kind of shitting on it early for no good reason, but this was actually good. Some sloppiness by Akyama, but a fine story with Marifuji being good at taking a beating. The Shirunai on the apron was super nasty, and they really should have had the countout come after that, but I have no beef with a countout finish.
TKG: Hey its SUWA. AWESOME!! I normally really don't look forward to these KENTA/Marafuji tag matches. they always go long and neither really knows what to do with all that time..normally the matches start really great and then have super hot finishes but completely fall apart in the middle where it always feels like they aren't moving toward the finish but just killing time directionlessly. But its SUWA and Ricky Marvin who I both like..but still never eager to see a NOAH juniors tag title match. SUWA comes in with his "I don't like pretty boys" gimmick and wow does he look out of place next to the other three pretty boys in here. If these 4 went to WWE, SUWA would be the only one who wouldn't get his ass soaped down by Bradshaw. This match didn't fall apart and really moved from body to finish well. It only fell apart for about one minute where Marafuji was on offense and stuff got blown but then SUWA and Marvin took some giant bumps to get the crowd back in. I still don't like the KENTA/ Marvin kick exchange section, although this time KENTA sells NJ style while Marvin sells like he's being beaten on. The early Marafuji/Marvin quick exchange stand offs were really fun as well I hate indy standoffs but this was almost a full on lucha quick exchange standoffs. Marvin eats the firemans carry into knee like he was shot out of a cannon. I had forgotten how fun SUWA is as surly guy angry and damn he is fun here. And damn the SUWA/KENTA brawling sections were great. Yep.
PAS: I can't remember a KENTA/Marifuji match I have enjoyed this much, SUWA has always been the carmel peanut in the pile of Horshit, and it is great to watch him wrestle hairless pretty boys who don't actually suck ass. SUWA was fucking awesome in this, there is a section where Marvin does an insane tornillo dive into the second row, and that still isn't as awesome as the punch which SUWA throws right afterward. He is also great as a pissed off guy on the outside when Marvin is getting beaten on. KENTA and SUWA work really well together too, as they just beat the shit out of each other with strikes, and KENTA bumps really well for all of SUWA's stuff, including just flying across the ring on the SUWA dropkick. I hope SUWA sticks around, as he could be an awesome member of Dark Agents.
What Didn't Work
PAS: Trios match was really listless, Gladiator hit his big tope and superfly splash in the first 2 minutes, so he was all out of things to do. Most of the match was guys getting heat on KENTA, and KENTA is a shitty face in peril as he does nothing to engage anyone in the match, Honda is the best guy in this, but he isn't in much, and has to job to Bison Smith.
TKG: The announcer keeps on referring to Mike Awesome as the Graduator. It was really distracting as I was thinking they were gonna call his finisher the Degree Mill or something. Was the announcer taking a shot at Awesome's bad job pleasuring Mrs. Baba? Kobashi of all people sandbags on a hiptoss. Bison Smith is no A-Train, really not on the level of Rodney Mack either... but he looked fine in his stuff with KENTA here...not as good as Hugh Morrus worked with Psychosis but still. Marvin and Kenta exchange kicks and it really felt forced like indy guys trying to ape New Japan heavyweight dueling lariats. Honda's first reversal of claw was nice. This built to nothing.
TKG: Wow Suzuki was in this match alot. I mean the bulk of this match was built around him. And well he stinks. Koshinaka, Saito, Sugiara all looked nice showing off their offense and taking his comebacks..but it doesn't matter since well Suzuki stinks as FIP. Ogawa and Misawa didn't do much to help Suzuki's cause as they kind of just layed against the ropes on the apron never selling concern for Suzuki or desire to tag in or anything. Misawa can't even be bothered to reach to extend to get hot tag ...he just lays his arm out. Ogawa doesn't even do that. Best part of this was the Ogawa vs. Koshinaka sections as they really need to run that as singles. Both are really great at selling the others offense.
PAS: I have no idea how Suzuki isn't on that FUSION show in Jersey as he is clearly a guy who grew up idolizing the Maximos. He really isn't as smooth as Jose or Joel, offense doesn't look as good and he doesn't bump as well. He really is more like a pretty faced Japanese Chris Devine. Everything that wasn't Suzuki based was pretty good, but he was the focus here.
Call me crazy, but didn't Flair pin Savage for the title in this one as the main event? I normally wouldn't interject, but I can't go on letting the good Wieners actually believe that One Man Gang headlined a Starrcade.