Well I’m a role with these puro reviews ain’t I? I have decided that I indeed will go on and do the other 3 volumes of AJPW Best matches of the 90’s as the feedback for Volume 1 was very positive. I think I’ll space them out though so I decided that seeing as I’m here on Inside Pulse I might as well earn my stripes and keep these reviews coming. I had a free Saturday so I had to choose whether to do WWF No Way Out 1998 or this NOAH show. I decided that I’d like to see the main event for this show again so it won the honour of an Inside Pulse review.
You will notice that a lot of the guys from the AJPW review wrestle for NOAH these days. For those who you who don’t know why I’ll try to explain. In 2000 a group of wrestlers, led by Misawa, were unhappy with the way AJPW was being run so they all jumped off the ship and started NOAH. Hence there are similarities between NOAH and the old AJPW
This show was from the 8th January this year.
Haruka Eigen Vs Mitsuo Momota
And we kick things off with a comedy match from the old guys. Lots of grunting will no doubt happen here. They feel each othr out to start with Momota getting some open hand slaps on Eigen. Eigen gets a wrist lock and they fight over that. Eigen head butts Momota outside but doesn’t follow. Eigen takes an open hand slap to the chest and the force causes him to spit so Momota does it so he spits on the crowd to get a laugh. People are holding up newspapers to stop Eigen’s saliva. Eigen goes to the leg and puts on an Indian Leg Lock after stalling. Into the bow and arrow to a pop from the crowd. They love this stuff in Japan. Eigen stays on the leg and gets a giant swing and holds him up for about 20 seconds and that gets a good reaction from the crowd. Head butt sends both men down and Momota gets an Inside Cradle for two. Eigen gets a back slide for two. Eigen gets the abdominal stretch into a pin
WINNER – EIGEN
*1/2 – Just something to get the crowd going and give them something to chuckle about.
Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue and Takashi Suigura Vs Jun Izumida, Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Kishin Kawabata
Inoue and Kawabata start. Kawabata gets a side headlock and they work from that. After a nice sequence we have a stand off. In comes Suigura and he goes to the arm. Izumida comes in Suigura goes to his eyes and hits some forearms. Kikuchi and Izumida double team Suigura and argue when something goes wrong. Suigura gives them a noggin knocker but they no sell and ask him to do it again. Saito comes in and has a shoulder block competetion with Izumida that neither wins. Kikuchi comes in and hammers away but a brain buster is reversed into a hanging sling shot suplex. Kikuchi gets beaten down by Inoue but makes a tag to Kawabata. Triple choke in the corner on Inoue. Kawabata gets worked over in the oppositions corner for a while. Saito gives Kawabata some stiff kicks but Kawabata fires back with forearms. They have a big striking contest with some really stiff shots and Saito floors Kawabata with a BIG kick to the chin. He gets the running knee in the corner for two. Kawabata gets a lariat and tags in both partners. Kikuchi and Izumida start hitting each other as they both think they’re legal. Kikuchi breaks up an Izumida pin attempt and goes for the pin himself. Izumida throws him out but takes a spin kick from Saito. Suigura comes in a gets chokeslammed. Kawabata gets a missile dropkick for two. Kawabata gets a torture rack into a proto plex for two. Suigura gets a German Suplex and tags in Inoue. Kawabata Power Slam gets two. A lariat gets two but Kawabata takes the Hart Attack and his partners save. The match degenerates into Inoue and Kawabata fighting inside while the other four fight outside. Kawabata gets two from a roll up but gets lariated by Inoue for two. Inoue gets a Torture Rack and Kawabata taps
WINNER – SAITO, INOUE AND SUGIURA
** – Decent 6 man.
Yoshinari Ogawa, SUWA and Ricky Marvin Vs Mohammed Yone, KENTA and Kotaro Suzuki
Suzuki and Marvin start. They fight over the arm to start and do a quick paced sequence that ends with a stand off. Ogawa and KENTA come in. Ogawa slaps KENTA in the face and goes to the arm. KENTA gets his own slap in but takes an enziguri and in comes SUWA, for a nice sequence with KENTA, which ends with him getting a sneaky low blow in. KENTA gets his own low blow in and tags out to Yone who gets a body slam but misses a leg drop and takes a NASTY drop kick to the face from SUWA. Yone gets a nice looking lariat and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki gets jumped 3 on 1 and takes a double sling shot suplex and a Marvin baseball slide. The ramp goes up to the ring apron on this show which allows for them to do stuff like that. Yone and KENTA save and get some triple teaming in on SUWA. Everyone starts hitting highspots and Suzuki gets a 619 on SUWA but gets triple teamed and given an underhook driver. That’s all SUWA needs for the win
WINNERS – SUWA, OGAWA AND MARVIN
**1/4 – Another fun match
Akira Taue and Takuma Sano Vs Tamon Honda and Go Shiosaki
Go is a rookie so his job is to get the shit beaten out of him by the veterans. That’s the way they treat the young guys in Japan, to make sure they are cut out for the job. Honda and Sano start. Honda puts on a leg lock but Sano reverses it into one of his own. Sano gets come kicks to the legs and tags in Taue and Honda tags in Go. Go comes in and gets a forearm on Taue that Taue no sells. Into the headlock and Go sends Taue outside and gets a suicide dive. Honda and Go get a double team. Go goes for a chokeslam but Taue gives him one and then some rough stomps. Sano comes in and locks in a Boston Crab but Go makes the ropes. Go gets pounded on for a while by Taue and Sano. Taue gives him some painful look slaps and drops his throat on the top rope. Go is sent outside where Sano sends him into the guardrail and back in for Taue to nearly rip his head off with his bare hands. Go is taking some choice punishment in this one. Go gets a suplex but is stopped from making the tag by Sano. Go continues to be destroyed and takes a Taue kick to the face. A dropkick allows Go to tag out. Honda gets Taue in a submission move but Sano saves. Taue kicks away Honda from a spinning toe hold and gets a DDT. Sano gets a double stomp from the second rope for two. Honda gets the bulldog and tags in Go who hits a beauty of a missile dropkick. Fishermans Suplex manages two for Go. Go channels Lex Luger with a running forearm for two but takes a brutal German Suplex which gets two. Taue chokeslams Go and Sano gets the double stomp from the top rope and Honda saves at two. All 4 guys are in and Taue takes a double team. Go makes an attempt to fight Sano but takes a Powerbomb and just kicks out. Snow Plow gets the three soon after
WINNERS – TAUE AND SANO
** – Good tag match. Go took his beating like a man and I think he could be a big NOAH name in the future.
Takeshi Morishima and Naomichi Marafuji Vs Jun Akiyama and Makato Hashi
This is Morishima’s return match from injury. Morishima and Akiyama start. Morishima gets the upper hand with a big shoulder block and we go into the test of strength. Morishima gets come LOUD chops and an elbow to floor Akiyama. In comes Marafuji with a beautiful running flying elbow. Hashi comes in and hangs Marafuji up in the corner and gets some stomps. They trade chops and Hashi gains the advantage. Marafuji takes a beating but tags Morishima who hammers on the mid section of Hashi. Abdominal Stretch on Hashi from Morishima. Hashi gets worked over and hit with some great stuff from Marafuji. A nasty DDT from Hashi lets him get a tag to Akiyama who throws Marafuji outside. Hashi gets four headbutts off the apron on a fallen Marafuji on the outside. Walls of Akiyama inside but Marafuji makes the ropes. Hot tag to Morishima and Akiyama takes poetry in motion. Sliced break #2 on Akiyama by Marafuji but he fights out of a Morishima T-Bone. Akiyama gets a sit down arm bar on Morishima and bend sthe arms in nasty ways but Marafuji saves. Hashi comes in and targets the arm with a big brace on it but he can’t get a suplex but gets it on the third attempt. He gets the top rope head butt for two. Two lariats fail to fell Morishima and he gets one of his own for two. Morishima gets two side walk slams but Akiyama saves. Marafuji and Akiyama fight outside while Morishima gets a back drop on Hashi for the win
WINNERS – MARAFUJI AND MORISHIMA
**1/2 – Another fun match in a series of them on this show.
GHC Junior Heavyweight Title
(C) Yoshinobu Kanemaru Vs Tatshuhito Takaiwa
Takaiwa wrestles for Zero One Max and does one of the coolest moves ever in that he hits about 3 Powerbombs then moves the guy into the DVD without putting him down. That’s just awesome that someone is strong enough to do that. They waste no time striking the shit out of one another and Takaiwa goes straight for the Powerbomb DVD move hitting two Powerbombs but Kanemaru reverses the DVD into one of his own for a two count. They fight outside with Takaiwa getting sent into the guardrails a couple of times. Kanemaru locks a camel clutch on inside. He targets the head with a head scissors hold. They fight over a head lock which Kanemaru keeps locked on tightly. Takaiwa goes to a sleeper and takes Kanemaru down to the mat. Kanemaru goes up top but is stopped and superplexed from the top rope. Takaiwa gets some chops in but runs into a boot. Kanemaru is given a modified screwdriver and rolls outside. Takaiwa follows him out and sends him into the guardrail and removes the mats at ringside slamming Kanemaru on the concrete with a sickening thud. Back inside Takiwa locks in a half boston crab and really leans back on it. Kanemaru makes the ropes to break the hold. They share some stiff chops and Takaiwa stays in control with a chin lock. He turns that into a head scissors but Kanemaru makes the ropes to break it. Takaiwa goes for a Powerbomb but Kanemaru gets out of it and dropkicks Takaiwa in the leg. Takaiwa catches a cross body and turns it into the DVD. He gets five Powerbombs and tells the ref to count Kanemaru down. Why not just pin him?
Kanemaru is up at 8 and gets a brain buster and follows that with a Frog Splash for two. Takaiwa Powerbombs him into the corner and gets a top rope sit out brain buster but Kanemaru gets his foot on the ropes. Kanemaru reverses a Powerbomb into a roll up for two. Takaiwa gets a top rope DVD and a lariat but it only gets two. He goes for a top rope Razors Edge but Kanemaru turns it into a top rope DDT. Both guys are down but Kanemaru gets to his feet first and gets a moonsault for two. Kanemaru gets three brain busters in a row but Takaiwa gets up with a lariat for one. Kanemaru gets two more brain busters but Takaiwa kicks out at two. Up to the top again and Kanemaru gets top rope brain buster and that’s enough for three
WINNER – KANEMARU
*** – Good match with some tight near falls. After the match we have a handshake.
Mitsuharu Misawa and Takeshi Rikio Vs Genichiro Tenryu (making his NOAH debut!) and Shiro Koshinaka
Tenryu gets a great reaction from the fans. I’m a big mark for Tenryu I love how he always looks so pissed off and sour faced. Rikio convinces Misawa to let him start out. Tenryu and Koshinaka want to start with Misawa. Rikio and Koshinaka start the match with Koshinaka getting the advantage. Rikio tags in Misawa who dropkicks Koshinaka outside and follows with a suicide dive. Outside Tenryu gives him a suplex. Back inside Misawa and Tenryu have a striking contest with Tenryu chopping and Misawa doing forearms. After a while they both fall to their knees and Misawa’s chest is raw meat. Misawa lays in with some stiff forearms in the corner. Tenryu tags out and Koshinaka gets some butt hits in before Misawa tags in Rikio who locks in a chin lock. Koshinaka locks in one of his own. Rikio gets double teamed but fights back against Tenryu. Tenryu gives him some big chops so he fires back with slaps. Rikio knocks Tenryu down with a shoulder barge and tags in Misawa who goes to a chin lock. Misawa gets worked over for a while but fires back with slaps and tags in Rikio who takes a rough enziguri from Tenryu followed by some kicks while he’s on the ground. Rikio mounts an offensive flurry but Koshinaka jumps him from behind to stop that. Rikio gets beaten down with some stiff shots to his face. Tenryu gets the top rope elbow drop and an ugly looking brain buster. Koshinaka gets some butt bumps to the face. Rikio tags out and Misawa comes in with a Tiger Driver on Koshinaka but Tenryu saves. Tenryu and Misawa go at it again and Tenryu takes a roaring elbow and a top rope splash from Rikio. Rikio takes a double suplex and Total Elimination. Miswa fights with Tenryu outside while Rikio gets two from a lariat. Koshinaka rolls Rikio up for a couple near falls. Misawa comes in with the Emerald Frozion on Koshinaka and goes out to deal with Tenryu. Rikio gets his finishing move (a sort of modified T-Bone Suplex) for the three count
WINNERS – MISAWA AND RIKIO
**1/2 – Man another good match. This show is doing well.
GHC Heavyweight Title
(C) Kenta Kobashi Vs Minoru Suzuki
Yoshihiro Takayama is doing commentary here. Suzuki goes for a take down and dodges Kobashi to start. Suzuki ducks Kobashi’s chops and slaps him in the face to taunt him. They go for a test of strength, but Suzuki goes for the arm bar, but Kobashi fights out of it and we have a stand off. Suzuki is a shoot fighter so Kobashi is a little out of his element. He gets Suzuki in a head lock and fights off his attempts to break it. Suzuki tries everything to get out of the hold but Kobashi has it in tight. Suzuki makes the ropes but takes a knee to the gut. Kobashi knocks him outside and sends him spine first into the guardrail and puts on the head lock outside, and the crowd instead od chanting boring actually apllaud it. With the head lock on they fight on the apron and Kobashi never lets go. Suzuki was all cocky to start but now Kobashi has found a way to weaken him without expanding much energy himself. That’s sound psychology. Kobashi sets him up in the corner and unloads with chops. You see Suzuki was too weak to protect himself because he expanded a lot of energy fighting the head lock. Brilliant. Kobashi goes to chop him on the top rope but Suzuki cataches the arm and puts on an arm lock using the ropes for added leverage. That’s the right arm too that Kobashi uses for most of his moves. Suzuki targets the arm with kicks and goes to the fujiwara but Kobashi locks his hands and makes the ropes.
Suzuki stays on the arm with kicks and dodges Kobashi’s attempts to strike. We have a slap off and Suzuki gets the sit down arm breaker. He puts on a version of the rings of Saturn except with the knees in the shoulders thus it actually looks painful. He keeps on the arm but mugs for the camera and takes a sleeper suplex! What a move! They fight on the ramp with Kobashi going for a half nelson suplex but that gets reversed into a sleeper and they both slide off the ramp. Back in Suzuki gets some punches and kicks in. He gets a Cradle Piledriver and stands on Kobashi’s neck. The referee counts Kobashi but he’s up at 6. Kobashi gets the half nelson suplex but Suzuki no sells and hits a back drop which Kobashi no sells. Suzuki locks in the Royal Octopus Hold and Kobashi makes the ropes. Suzuki locks on a choke but Kobashi makes the ropes again. Kobashi gets a lariat from no where for two.
Kobashi gets the roll through Powerbomb but Suzuki rolls through and locks in the arm bar and won’t let go. Kobashi uses the ropes to break. Kobashi uses his good arm for a lariat on Suzuki and then gets back drop. Suzuki fights up with some slaps so Kobashi lariats him. He picks him up and gets another back drop and ANOTHER. Then just to make sure he gets the job done he gives Suzuki another back drop and struggles to pick the corpse up. Kobashi picks Suzuki up and Suzuki gets some weak slaps in and takes one more lariat for the road and that’s the three count
WINNER – KENTA KOBASHI
***1/2 – That was a war of attrition, it was just a case of who could take the most punishment and Kobashi came out the winner. Still for most of that Suzuki had his number.
The Inside Pulse
Well that was a solid show. Pretty much everything was ** or above and nothing sucked. Not any blow away matches but the main event was stellar as were the two semi mains.