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KENTA vs SUWA (NOAH 2nd Great Voyage 09/18/05)

NOAH September 18 2005 BOJ 2000s Budokan Hall KENTA SUWA

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#1 Loss

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 02:52 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 dawho5

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 06:02 PM

SUWA heels it from the pre-match, ripping up the paper that the old guy reads off of pre-match.  That actually plays into the match, with KENTA getting the elderly (I'm assuming former pro wrestler himself) gentleman to the point where he gets up out of his chair and starts taking off his jacket like HE is gonna fight SUWA.  KENTA can't get anything going because SUWA is such a dick heel he has a cheapshot answer to everything.  So when he does it's freaking huge.  Nearfall sequence is really intelligently worked.  Somebody laid this out nice for them and it's pretty easily a top 20 match.

#3 Ditch

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 07:40 PM

The old guy is former AJ ref Joe Higuchi, who was also a legit badass (i.e. trained soldiers in hand-to-hand combat). Joe was their figurehead commissioner.

#4 dawho5

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 07:47 PM

Yeah, read that somewhere else on here.  Joe was Stan Hansen's nemesis referee in late 80s early 90s AJPW also.  Really wish Higuchi had started going off on SUWA. :)

#5 MikeCampbell


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Posted 15 July 2014 - 01:14 AM

For the longest time, I thought KENTA was legitimately the best in the world. Then, I saw this match. It's the best KENTA match I've ever seen, but it's all SUWA.

#6 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 02:51 PM

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion KENTA vs SUWA - Budokan 09/18/05


Some things transcend language and cultural barriers, one of those things is old men ready to put a snot-nosed punk in their place as the Budokan roared when Joe Higuchi almost came to blows with the ultra-prick,  SUWA. SUWA just owns this match and gives a career performance as a total unlikeable dick. You know that boring proceeding before every NOAH title match where the old dude (Joe Higuchi) reads off a scroll. SUWA spices that up and rips the scroll out of his hands and tears it up. My hero! KENTA gives him a kick in retaliation and is ready to kick some ass. The Japanese announcer lets us know that the Champ Is Here!!! So not only did CM Punk and Daniel Bryan rip off KENTA, but Cena too! 


The backpeddling SUWA grabs the ring bell and blasts KENTA with it. SUWA uses a briefcase to batter KENTA in plain view of the ref, who has no choice but to disqualify him to a chorus of boos. SUWA revels in his DQ loss knowing he beat up the champ. Some dude at ringside just decides to restart the match and KENTA runs the down the ramp to go attack that asshole, SUWA. SUWA proves too much for him and he is just getting everyone hot. Joe Higuchi is ready to take off suit and trade hands with him. He takes off the turnbuckle pad and hits the ref with it. The ring crew and young boys are hot at him. SUWA just openly punts KENTA in the nuts and then rams him testicles first into the post. A man with no cares is a dangerous man and SUWA is a dangerous man. KENTA is struggling and trying to fight back, but SUWA always seems to have a closed fist waiting for him. Finally, KENTA hits a springboard clothesline to turn the tide. SUWA's answer for this a big suicide dive through ropes and KENTA whacks his back on the railing. This is the big countout tease of the match. I am not usually one for an elaborate sequence, but once we are back in the ring they do a nice sequence that looks they actually to hit each other only for SUWA to hit his big blowaway dropkick which KENTA takes the Dragon Kid bump for. SUWA goes for he Pedigree, but KENTA counters into a Go 2 Sleep. I love how they have a closed fist exchange instead of a chop or elbow. It really sells the intensity and hatred. You know the kicks to the head that Daniel Bryan always whiffs on well KENTA actually hits those here. He hits three and they look nasty as fuck. An exploding knee later and he retains his title over that jerkface SUWA!

KENTA when not moving a million miles an hour and being forced into working underneath is one of the best workers in the world. Takayama, SUWA and Danielson all had KENTA's best matches by forcing KENTA to work underneath, hit hope spots and make a compelling finishing run. They reign him in and don't let him fall prey to his worst habits. KENTA is no Kenta Kobashi, but stops this from becoming a Kobashi/Ogawa or Kobashi/Takayama classic is that KENTA is too stoic on his comeback. Yes he hits him hard and yes he has urgency, but does not seem all that much different than he is wrestling Marufuji. Kobashi is more expressive and I would have loved to seen more anger from KENTA. SUWA just ripped it up in there with a total master's class in heeling. KENTA is not as easy opponent, you have to suffocate him or he will get away from you and make you wrestle his match. If KENTA found that extra gear in the finish stretch, I would say this is the 2005 MOTY, but it falls just short. ****1/2 

#7 Graham Crackers

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 06:47 PM

I liked this match but I feel like I like it less than everyone else who has ever posted about this on the internet. SUWA's cheating and mugging is entertaining as hell and it's great to see him get his comeuppance but he does a lot of blatant cheating in front of the ref when he is the challenger in a title match. I guess he doesn't care about titles, just trolling. This is a good match that may end up on the back end of my ballot but I'm just not as high on this as many other people are.

#8 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 01:24 PM

I rewatched specifically because I thought the Suzuki match was so good and I remember SUWA's violent heel performance being amazing, but I remember the match not sticking with me as much as Suzuki's chickenshit heel performance. Upon rewatch, I have a newfound appreciation for the match because I missed the real key of the story. At the beginning, SUWA pisses KENTA off by disrespecting Higuchi. In his fury KENTA leaves himself vulnerable to a ring bell shot and then SUWA attacks KENTA with his steel box. Now the ref lets one of these shots go and my reasoning is not because he is a bad ref. It is because SUWA wants to be disqualified. He wants to beat KENTA up and embarrass him by leaving him laying. Yes, KENTA will win the match, but he will leave the battlefield able to walk. On the second shot, the ref is hand is forced and he has to disqualify SUWA. SUWA celebrates a loss and this gets the crowd riled up as KENTA is writhing in pain. Here is the key to the whole match. It is NOT KENTA that demands the match be restarted. It is the ref. The ref is pissed about SUWA's behavior and he wants to see SUWA's ass handed to him. He restarts the match because he believes in KENTA so much to put SUWA in his place even if this puts KENTA's title at risk. SUWA realizes this and knows he has carte blanche. The ref won't disqualify him again because the ref, the people, Higuchi and KENTA want to kill him. SUWA pulls out all the heel stops with my favorite being probably punting KENTA right in the balls in front of the ref. The ref is totally powerless. SUWA even spanks the ref with the turnbuckle pad and and throws it Higuchi. He has free reign is taking advantage of it all. However, the ref's confidence is paid off as KENTA delivers one helluva asswhupping to SUWA. I just watched KENTA/Akiyama before this and KENTA whiffed on pretty much every head kick. In this match, I really don't know how SUWA's head stayed on his body because KENTA was nailing him with those kicks. The Holy Shit Go 2 Sleep out of that position and a barrage of knees to the head were amazing. The rewatch definitely took this match to next level for me. The referee dynamic and SUWA going all out on his heel antics takes this above the Suzuki match as the best singles KENTA match of all time. I would put this right below the Murakami performance. What separates the two is really I think Murakami is a psychotic, violent bully in real life and he just had this crazy energy. I love revenge matches though so this will do really well. I will have this in the teens. ****1/2

#9 Tim Cooke

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 01:33 PM

Terrific performance from SUWA.  I wish it was Rey Jr. or Eddy in as the face because that would made for the better wrestling portion of the match.  After the awesome opening with the initial schtick, the middle slows until SUWA picks it back up to get the crowd into the near fall stretch.  SUWA is one of those "what if's" of the 2000's.  

#10 supersonic

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 11:23 PM

KENTA vs. SUWA - September 18, 2005

SUWA grabs the GHC Championship script from Joe Higuchi prior to the match and tears it up, stunning the crowd and pissing KENTA off. They brawl for a minute before the match is thrown out after SUWA uses a ringbell. The match is allowed to continue, with KENTA running to beat the shit out of SUWA at the stage curtain, and dragging the challenger back to ringside, throwing him over the top rope into the ring.

For about 15 minutes, SUWA was the jabroni of all cunts. Getting in Higuchi's face. Blatant low blows, including one in front of the referee. Fucking with dojo students at ringside. Using wrist-tape to choke KENTA out of the referee's view. Taking a turnbuckle pad off and throwing it in Higuchi's direction. But KENTA, through sheer determination, hatred, anger, and crowd support, was able to stay alive, even shrugging off the effects of a shotgun dropkick about 15 minutes into this storytelling greatness, preventing what appeared to be a package piledriver attempt and lifting SUWA for a beautiful G2S.

If this was meant to be the final rung of the ladder in terms of making KENTA one of the premier babyfaces in the company, mission accomplished. ****

#11 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 04:47 PM

Oh man this was so good. SUWA delivers an all-time great heel performance; the man just was being the biggest asshole possible to KENTA & everyone, really. Throughout the match he weakens KENTA by using those full on heel tactics - KENTA was brilliant trying to keep things in control only for SUWA to bust something out. KENTA answering to SUWA being a complete dick by beating the crap out of him with those strikes of his was terrific, and the ending with him just absolutely destroying SUWA was really the perfect ending for this match. An all-time classic. ****3/4

#12 G. Badger

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 10:08 AM

This lived up to expectations but, I didn't think it was a MOTY contender. It was a great match with a different feel (much like Kobashi vs Ogawa '03) but didn't kick into overdrive at the end like I would have liked. Still the match & finish are great just not a classic to me.

#13 Matt D

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 08:02 AM

I came into this blind. I think I've seen one KENTA match in the 00s (a heel performance with Shibata vs a Taue tag). I'm not convinced I've ever seen SUWA; actually I'm pretty sure I never have. You can count the NOAH matches I've seen, in general, on two hands. I really liked this though. It was a testament to consistency of character and the malleability and possibilities of pro wrestling, as well as the transcendent power of escalation and symbolic meaning. Yeah, it was all that, mainly through a dickish performance by one wrestler and the way another chose to respond. 


SUWA was great from the start, dipping under the ring to drop off his Money in the Bank case, threatening the ref, ripping up the scroll, making obscene gestures, and then, ultimately, after KENTA gets the best of the initial strike exchange, trying to take a powder. I kind of wish they had stalled just a little more there, but 1) it would have extended an already long and eventful match, 2) the fact that KENTA chased right after him helped to establish his credibility, and 3) it set up, in a wild fashion, the bell shot and the immediate briefcase shot that followed. KENTA got the DQ win, including a graphic on screen, SUWA clapped and laughed his way down the ramp. This needed blood. Two big shots to the head from foreign objects. It needed blood. That's ok though. I didn't get a sense of KENTA demanding they restart the match, but restart it they did, with KENTA recovered enough (maybe more believable because of the lack of blood?) to dash down the ramp and assault SUWA, kick him, suplex him on the ramp, and proceed to toss him back in. The next couple of minutes are a lot of fun, as KENTA doesn't get outright bloody vengeance (again, maybe blood would have prevented this?). Instead, he humiliated SUWA with offense, sliding in and out of the ring to mess with him, draping him over the top rope and kicking and slapping him but at his own leisure, hitting a flashy dropkick. It fit the characters and the match but wasn't at all conventional.


Unfortunately, the big transition to SUWA taking back over came from KENTA locking in a chinlock for no reason, basically letting him up, and SUWA hitting a sloppy Regal Cutter. I have no idea why any of that happened. Part of pulling off a match like this is total commitment and that felt like a slip. 


Thankfully, SUWA more than made up for it when he was in control, starting by undoing his taped fists and choking KENTA with them, then going to the turnbuckle and trying to get it off, which never really does pay off in the match, but does allow him to arguing and threaten (and even try to kick) almost everyone in the arena including Higuchi. SUWA's body language here was just off the charts. When he tried to kick the guys fixing the turnbuckle the place came unglued. It felt so wild and natural and immersive. It's like this. If doing one dickish thing was good, doing three in a row was excellent. KENTA, to me, came off as absolutely credible and dangerous. I don't think people should overlook his performance here. He felt like he could come back at any moment, but still sold heavily and appropriately. When SUWA started on the back, KENTA would build in a bit of sell into his comebacks. SUWA kept going to cheapshots and eyerakes to cut him off (though KENTA doing a full back bump on one eyerake was pretty ridiculous). The best cutoff was SUWA shoving the ref into the ropes to break up a springboard. I had to rewind it twice to figure out what happened. Brilliant stuff, probably dangerous to execute, that you just don't see all that often. It was, to a degree the folly of each man in the match. SUWA wouldn't stay on the back, wanting to create distance to do big jerk attacks (which sometimes worked, like the corner dropkick, and ultimately didn't, which I'll get to in a moment). KENTA's instinct in fighting back was to create distance to hit something aerial when he should have just stuck to the strikes. It's pretty much the only reading that makes the transition into a comeback (so much as there was one) work, as it was pretty much just SUWA running into KENTA's feet in the corner a couple of times. It didn't really transition into a finishing stretch and the match got a little amorphous at that point, so I could have used something a little more definitive maybe. Just a small thing (one of a few that I've mentioned). 


The escalation was just right for the match in general. When SUWA hits a tope ~18 minutes in (hard to say with the pre-match stuff), the crowd goes big for it because it did feel like a big moment in the match up until then, which is telling considering that they had done a lot of STUFF up until then. It just was appropriate for the period they were doing it. The ultimate finishing stretch was enjoyable, with what I thought was equally appropriate selling even on a strike exchange. That's where the escalation really paid off. The big moment on the back end was SUWA going for repeated low blows and KENTA powering out of a double underhook into the Go 2 Sleep. It wasn't the finish, which also sort of felt right due to the fact SUWA controlled so much of the match up til that point (even if he had just eaten a Tiger Suplex) but it was such a definitive moment where SUWA's cheating ended up not mattering in the face of the sheer force of KENTA's will and moral superiority. At that point, barring some sort of escalation (like another box shot), there was nothing SUWA could do. Fate was against him and he was outmatched and there was ultimately a sense of surprisingly satisfying anti-climax was KENTA finished him off with the running strikes. 


There were a few things I was iffy on, but ultimately this was a unique match with a couple of great performances in front of a great crowd who was totally into it. I'm glad I watched it.

#14 superkix

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Posted 22 April 2018 - 01:38 PM

SUWA putting in the bad dude performance of a lifetime managed to bring perhaps the very best out of KENTA. The lost art of being heel. He wants in and out of this match pronto, so he attacks KENTA with the timekeeper’s bell and an equipment case, cheering himself on as he thinks he’s somehow done it but the match is ruled a no contest and restarted as he’s heading up the rampway. Pissed with this decision, SUWA gets in Joe Higuchi’s old man face but Higuchi ain’t no stooge and he’s ready to fight, stripping off the sports coat. Back in the ring, he chokes KENTA with tape, smacks the referee with the turnbuckle pad before hucking it at Higuchi – love Higuchi point at him like “watch it, punk!”. As KENTA starts building momentum, SUWA deliberately shoves the ref into the ropes as KENTA attempts to springboard off the ropes, causing him to crash and burn. Awesome. They fire on all cylinders heading into the back half of the match, flip-flopping on offense, with KENTA taking out some that brimming aggression in the corner with his stomps. They dive, throw bombs, KENTA counters the FFF with the Go 2 Sleep, and then he just annihilates SUWA with back-to-back-to-back head kicks and high kicks and the running knee to finish him off. Great stuff.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NOAH, September 18, 2005, BOJ 2000s, Budokan Hall, KENTA, SUWA

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