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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Sunday, April 08, 2007

 

NOAH “Autumn Navigation ’06 ~ European Catch” 10/13/2006

Kentaro Shiga, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Tsutomu Hirayanagi VS Tamon Honda, Makoto Hashi & Shuhei Taniguchi
Rookie Hirayanagi takes a beating getting slammed out on the floor several times, but he did manage to get in some stand-out offense like a missile dropkick, fisherman’s suplex-hold and a swinging DDT. Kanemaru showed a lot of animosity towards his ex-Sterness partner Hashi, and I think they botched a spot where Hashi tried to front suplex Kanemaru off the top and I think Kanemaru was supposed to counter it into Deep Impact, but they just fell awkwardly and Hashi had to sell the spot. Honda went wild with Dead Ends near the end and Hashi scored the win over Hirayanagi with the Gori-Thunder (Blue Thunder). Good opener.
Match Rating: *

Masao Inoue, Kishin Kawabata & Masahi Aoyagi VS Scorpio, Ares & Murat Bosporus

I find myself really enjoying watching Murat Bosporus. He looks like a midget in there, but he makes up for it with his explosiveness and Taz-like arsenal of suplexes, as well as a great frog-splash. Murat plays the serious guy off Ares’ more comical persona and the two mesh well. I don’t get why Scorpio is wearing the lucha-mask though. He won it for his team with a big 450’ splash on Aoyagi.
Match Rating: *

Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Ippei Ota VS Takashi Sugiura, Ricky Marvin & Atsushi Aoki

Great junior six-man tag action (Ogawa is a free-weight, remember?), and I like the short exchange between Ogawa and Sugiura. Marvin and Suzuki never fail to entertain when they are in there against each other, and the rookies looked good too. I think this is the first time Aoki did his Mysterio-rana into an arm-breaker perfectly. Suzuki spiked Aoki with a tombstone piledriver for the win.
Match Rating: **

A quick look back to earlier in the day where Tamon Honda had to surrender the GHC tag titles, followed by the contract signing and Q&A session for the GHC heavyweight title match on 10/29/2006 at the Budokan between the champion Naomichi Marufuji and challenger KENTA.

Jun Akiyama VS Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
One of those rare moments where Kikuchi shows the potential for greatness in him instead of just being the comedic grumpy veteran who keeps getting pinned in tag matches. Kikuchi started off strong with a barrage of elbow strikes and triple-rolling Germans, but Blue Thunder Akiyama bounced back and pummeled Kikuchi with a big Exploder out on the floor and a barrage of running knee strikes, but the old veteran wouldn’t go down easily. Akiyama had to drop him on his head with a big Exploder to finally put him out, but Kikuchi still fired him up with an elbow-strike to the face when Akiyama offered him a handshake after the match!
Match Rating: ***

Takeshi Morishima & Mohammed Yone VS Naomichi Marufuji & Go Shiozaki
Morishima and Yone really had to work hard to earn this one! Despite his size, GHC heavyweight champion Marufuji used his quickness to counter the size and power advantage of his opponents, and Shiozaki is still as exciting and explosive to watch as ever. I don’t know what it is about Shiozaki that he can make a move like a German suplex so exciting to watch, and it’s a scary thought that he almost pinned Yone with it if Morishima hadn’t made the save! The rookie showed a lot of fight before finally being put down by Yone’s Muscle Buster.
Match Rating: ***

Mitsuharu Misawa VS Kazunari Murakami
Well this was a big disappointment! It’s bad enough Murakami had to hold his punches back, but Misawa just didn’t really sell anything for the guy! Even when Murakami was trying to hit him right in the face, Misawa didn’t flinch! The only thing of note was Misawa’s lousy attempt at a pair of rolling Germans, and finally getting stiff with his elbow shots before finishing off Murakami (who did a small blade job) with his trademark (and anti-climatic) running elbow bunt.
Match Rating: *

GHC Tag Titles Decision Tournament – Round 1: Akira Taue & SUWA VS Doug Williams & Nigel McGuinness
A standard tag match which I didn’t feel built up to much. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but McGuinness needs to lay off the comedy since this was a big match to go for the tag titles. Williams played up the senior role for his team so we at least got to see him doing something in there and not clown around. The odd pairing of SUWA and Taue advance in the tournament after Taue pins the ROH Pure Champion with the I AM TAUE.
Match Rating: *1/2

GHC Tag Titles Decision Tournament – Round 1: Yoshihiro Takayama & Takuma Sano VS Akitoshi Saito & KENTA
Now this was just an all out tag war! Takayama may have been the biggest man in the match, but I’m surprised at how much punishment he took in there, especially some stiff shots to the head. He made KENTA look like a million bucks too, and it was good of KENTA to return the favor when Takayama was in charge. The only minor complaint I had was probably that the match was mostly just KENTA and Takayama in there, with Sano and Saito playing supporting roles even if they did get some spots in like Saito’s near falls on Takayama with some of his big moves. Saito appealed to be KENTA’s partner in this tournament, but KENTA came out looking a whole lot stronger since when it came down to it, it didn’t take much for Takayama to do away with Saito, using the Everest German suplex-hold to advance in the tournament.
Match Rating: ****

Overall: I like the ramp set up they had for this show in a rather big looking Osaka arena, but overall a lot of the matches just felt by the numbers, with only the big tag main event really standing out from everything else.

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