I've been watching some wrestling on youtube lately because I've been working on creating a playlist for one of my friends who needs to be exposed to not WWE wrestling. One of the matches I watched today was fucking awesome and I wanted to talk about it, so this could be a thing I'm doing more often on this blog. The match I'm going to talk about is KENTA vs. Naomichi Marafuji from NOAH (10-20-2006) and you can watch it at the link below. Afterward I'm going to give some of my thoughts so you should watch the match first if you don't want stuff spoiled.
KENTA vs. Marafuji
The combination of KENTA and Marafuji as a tag team is what got me into Japanese wrestling to start with and their matches against each other are awesome as well. It's always a little weird to watch some Puro after a break from it because of how different the style is from American wrestling, either the WWE style or Indy wrestling. The basics are similar, but the nuances are different in the styles and allow wrestlers to do stuff different and the displays of fighting spirit are always cool to see in puro matches and this match is no exception.
This was one of the later matches between the two and they tease a couple of moves that they'd done before, and just trademark moves in general that are countered because of how well the two wrestlers know each other and it is cool to watch. They do a spot on the apron where KENTA teases a German suplex to the outside, but Marafuji holds the ropes to counter. It's a spot I've seen in lots of matches, but I don't think I've ever seen it succeed. If anybody can show me when a German suplex has been hit from that setup I'd like to see it. Of course after a bunch of teases for apron spots at that segment they finally hit a move which is KENTA delivering a picture perfect falcon arrow from the apron to the floor and it sounds and looks brutal, and Marafuji sells it like a boss. The follow up springboard double stomp was pretty sweet as well.
That was a jump forward in time, but it was a nice slow build up between the two with submissions and nice counters and escapes between the two. Marafuji demonstrates how not to perform an asai moonsault at one point where he manages to knee KENTA in the face, busting him open, and draping himself chest first over the guardrail. It looked bad all around, but worked well in the match, and KENTA's bloody face looked intense. The presence of the elevated walkway to the ring is awesome, and they use it in the match. First with KENTA countering a shiranui by throwing Marafuji over the ropes and kind of onto the walkway and the ground which looked brutal. The two get on there and tease some suplexes before KENTA germans Marafuji off, but he kind of lands on his feet and nails a nice superkick.
The pace really picks up from this point and KENTA gets to demonstrate his love of kicking people really hard. They exchange finishers and near falls for a bit and then we get the display of fighting spirit which features a backdrop driver and german suplex for each man, before KENTA flips over on a German and delivers a spinning lariat that staggers Marafuji enough to allow him to deliver a superkick that puts both men down. The end sees Marafuji take control of the match and hit all of his trademark moves that KENTA kicks out of until he hits a cross leg fisherman michinoku driver. That's a complicated description for the move, but it looks good and is an awesome finish. Definitely a match worth checking out as are all of the KENTA vs. Marafuji matches.