Ricky Marvin & Eddie Edwards VS Akihiko Ito & Ippei Ota
This was a great opener, and a good way to warm up the crowd for the show. Both teams looked really good here, and the way they went at it, you’d think the junior titles were on the line or something! Also didn’t hurt that the match was a sprint and didn’t go too long. Marvin & Edwards work well together and showed a few great tandem moves, like the springboard Shining Impact and the old Orient Express superkick/German suplex finisher. Ota showed a lot more fire here than I can remember from any of his previous matches, which is a good thing, and I can’t wait for Ito to break out as he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.Match Rating: **1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yxPg6-glvI
Kishin Kawabata, Kentaro Shiga & Genba Hirayanagi VS Junji Izumuda, Makoto Hashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
Hirayanagi stole Shiga’s sunglasses and came out with them! Shiga snatched them back though. There was a funny spot where everyone in the match gave Genba an atomic wedgie! Finish was Kikuchi fighting off all 3 men and scoring a flash pin on Genba with a school boy.Match Rating: 1/2*
NTV Cup Jr. Tag League: Bryan Danielson & Davey Richards VS Naomichi Marufuji & Kento Miyahara
Story of the match was young lion Miyahara trying to step up with his veteran partner Marufuji against the ROH team. I really didn’t see anything from Miyahara that stood out, other than taking a page from Marufuji and using the superkick a lot. He still fell to Richards and his double-arm brainbuster finisher.
Good work from all 4 men making it a fun match still.Match Rating: **
Kenta Kobashi & Tamon Honda VS Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue
The highlight of this match was the comedic antics of Inoue whenever he was in there with Kobashi. The poor guy got chopped all over the ring from just about every angle! But the crowd was clearly behind him though. There were also some hot exchanges between Honda and Saito, giving off a hint of a mini-feud, but unfortunately didn’t really go anywhere. Honda wins with the Dead End on Inoue.Match Rating: **
Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Takashi Sugiura VS Jun Akiyama, Takeshi Rikioh & Atsushi Aoki
Hage Akiyama starts the assault by attacking Misawa’s team as they are making the ring introductions, but it takes ONE elbow shot from Misawa to break their momentum! Back and forth action for a bit as the heavyweights take turns beating up the juniors of the other team, with some good time given to Sugiura and Aoki. They had some good exchanges against each other, and I love the spot where Sugiura boosts Aoki up and spins him in mid-air to catch him with a German suplex! Aoki kicks out, but falls to the Olympic Slam. There wasn’t really much of note from the others in the match, but it was still watchable.Match Rating: **
Akira Taue & Mohammed Yone VS Yoshihiro Takayama & Takuma Sano
It was Akiyama in the previous match, and now it’s Yone here making a preemptive strike by attacking Takayama & Sano during the ring introductions! Another fun tag match with the added surprise of Yone getting the win over Sano with the Muscle Buster.Match Rating: **
NTV Cup Jr. Tag League: Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kota Ibushi VS Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe
Considering who was involved in the match, it’s not surprising that it broke down into a big spot fest, which was a lot of fun to watch! One fun spot was Ibushi hitting a moonsault to the outside on Jay, also taking out the camera crew on the process! The live crowd was really into the match and you could feel the dread in them when the Briscoes went for their springboard Doomsday Device and hit it for the win on Kota.Match Rating: ***1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjpwPABqe64
NTV Cup Jr. Tag League: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki
Genba comes out to distract the defending tag league champions, leading to the third surprise attack during the introductions of the night! It was really something different watching Genba constantly interfere to help Kanemaru & Suzuki, though it was not as bad as the levels usually done by the likes of Dragon Gate. But KENTA & Ishimori were able to weather the storm and Ishimori steals the win from Suzuki with a modified cradle to tie up the score, forcing an immediate tie-breaker to determine a winner!Match Rating: ***1/2
NTV Cup Jr. Tag League Decision Match: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki
The heels pulled out all the stops to try and topple KENTA & Ishimori, Kanemaru giving KENTA a brainbuster out on the ramp way early to keep him out of the match, and when that didn’t work, Genba tried interference again and even brought a chair in when the referee got bumped! He didn’t get a chance to use it though, as KENTA intercepted him and took him out of the match for good with the Go2Sleep shortly before taking out Kanemaru with one to win the match and take the NTV Cup for the second year straight!Match Rating: ***1/2
See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcHyB_fm-M
GHC Heavyweight Championship: Takeshi Morishima [C] VS Kensuke Sasaki
A hard hitting match as expected, and both men pulled moves out of their hat that you wouldn’t normally see, like Sasaki doing a top rope hurricanrana, and Morishima going for the moonsault! At one point Sasaki even hit four consecutive backdrops on Morishima’s huge frame! Morishima kicked out of the Northern Lights Bomb, and Sasaki kicked out of the backdrop, but it was a second Northern Lights Bomb after a barrage of lariats that finally put away Morishima, making Sasaki the first man to win the heavyweight title of all 3 major promotions in Japan.Match Rating: ***1/2See Match Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtJ7iWB9K2EOverall:
Honestly, from top to bottom, this was a very watchable and entertaining show, mostly thanks to all the junior heavyweight tag matches I guess. Highly recommended watching.
Labels: DDT, Kensuke Office, NOAH
Akihiko Ito VS Takashi Okita
A good showing for both youngsters. Okita looks a lot like Tomohiro Ishii, and he has a nice spear tackle and a Jackhammer which he should be finishing people off with soon. He'll definitely be a good heavyweight prospect after a few years of work. I'm also still a big fan of Ito and love seeing his progression.
I thought it was a nice touch by the referee to not count the 3 when Okita didn't land properly from Ito's full-nelson suplex, and Ito had to do the move again to get it right for the 3 count.Match Rating: *1/2Masao Inoue & Genba Hirayanagi VS Mitsuo Momota & Masashi Aoyagi
Momota is wearing red tonight, matching Aoyagi. The usual comedy antics and slapfests ensue, and Inoue pulls out the win with a very weak looking pin on Momota. Would have been better if they gave Genba the rub of scoring the pin.Match Rating: 1/2*Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Aoki VS Yoshihiro Takayama, Takuma Sano & Takashi Sugiura
Standard six-man warfare, with emphasis on Aoki getting to show what he's got. I liked the spot where Takayama blocked Ogawa's eye-poke and gave him one of his own! Everybody now seems weary to avoid Sano sobat kick, and Misawa didn't do much in this one. There was a good pop for Aoki when he kicked out of a big powerbomb by Sano, but fell to the Northern Lights Bomb seconds later.Match Rating: *Akira Taue & Akitoshi Saito VS Jun Akiyama & Takeshi Rikioh
This was an entertaining match, with good work from all four men, but I thought Taue deserved better the way Rikioh pinned him with a rather sloppy Muso.Match Rating: **1/2Takeshi Morishima VS Katsuhiko Nakajima
The match only went nine minutes, but I still feel Morishima gave Nakajima too much offense here. Sure Nakajima was smaller and faster, but even he shouldn't be recovering so quickly from a DDT on the concrete floor to take back control! Seeing Nakajima German suplex Morishima is always impressive though. Two big lariats and a backdrop suplex later, and Morishima gets the win.Match Rating: **2/3 Falls: KENTA & Taiji Ishimori VS Naomichi Marufuji & Ricky Marvin
Marufuji & KENTA did the more high-impact stuff, while Marvin & Ishimori did the speedy flippy stuff. It was surprising that Marufuji scored the first fall over KENTA, followed by KENTA scoring the second fall over Marufuji. And the final fall was Ishimori going over Marvin with a modified cradle.
I liked Marvin heeling the crowd of fangirls was cheering for the pretty boys in the match. Definitely a few missed spots in this one, but all 4 men put in good work here for an entertaining match.Match Rating: ***GHC Jr. Tag Team Titles: Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki [C] VS Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito
Yujiro & Naito look like heavyweights compared to the NOAH champions! They weren't even treated as heel outsiders as there was a loud group of fangirls cheering for them throughout the match! Too bad Kanemaru or Suzuki didn't heel it up a bit by yelling at the fangirls like Marvin did in the 2/3 falls match. Having the champions be the face team against an outsider team that was getting cheered more than them just didn't work.
With that said, I actually had a hard time watching this match. For some reason NO LIMIT just weren't as interesting to watch here compared to seeing them in NJPW. I guess it didn't help that they didn't do anything to stand out and be considered a threat to the champions. Being the outsider team, even they didn't try to heel things up to get some heat. Things picked up by the end, with the champions retaining after Kanemaru pinned Naito with the Touch Out, but overall I didn't think the match was anything special.Match Rating: ***GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kensuke Sasaki [C] VS Mohammed Yone
Give them credit for starting this off different from other title matches, as Yone attacked Sasaki backstage and dragged him out to the arena! Sasaki was able to regain control though, and it took a while to convince Joe Higuchi to start the match without the official title match declaration and introductions!
One of the major complaints I have about this match was that they went overkill having Kensuke kick out of TWO Muscle Busters! And this was after Yone had already given him one out on the floor earlier in the match! Sure it might have built up a big hope spot for Yone, but kicking out of the move twice just cheapens the effectiveness of the finisher, like what they do all the time in Dragon Gate. Yone also seemed to have lousy facial expressions to sell the shock of Sasaki kicking out of his finisher, and some points he even did a lousy job of selling Sasaki's lariats! Heck, Sasaki did a better version of the Muscle Buster than Yone, making it look more like a fisherman's brainbuster before putting him away with the Northern Lights Bomb to retain.
Yone put up a good fight, but he looked nowhere near being a main event challenger. The overkill of his finisher not working didn't help either.Match Rating: **1/2
Labels: Kensuke Office, NJPW, NOAH