Talk about it here.
Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:34 PM
First 20-25 minutes had so much promise. KENTA gets the best of the early going, but you can see that it's a war of attrition that he's going to eventualy lose. And he does, with Akiyama bringing his great, focused offense and KENTA playing an excellent face-in-peril. KENTA's comebacks are short and bursty, with Akiyama continually going back to the neck to being us to the finishing sequence. First part is great, with KENTA having to fight through Akiyama's lower end big offense to hit his own. Crowd isn't buying into KENTA's chances at this point, but there isn't any reason they should. Akiyama hits a super nasty backdrop off the top that KENTA kicks out of to...claps. I think that's the sign that you've conditioned your fans to look for way too many big nearfalls. More Akiyama nearfalls past the point of reason, then we get to the big KENTA teases, which work well enough, and finally the Akiyama lead-up to the sternness dust thingamabob. This match will probably get a vote for how great the first part was. I just wish NOAH hadn't been so obver the top with their finishes for so many years that it became necessary to tack them on to matches like this.
Posted 01 November 2014 - 09:07 AM
I had very similar thoughts about this one, and the sad thing was that as much as they did, the crowd seemed flat for most of it. I will probably list this as well, but it was a great 20-25-minute match stretched over 35, or whatever it ended up being. One big KENTA comeback was all they needed.
Posted 13 December 2014 - 08:53 PM
GHC Heavyweight Champion Jun Akiyama vs GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion KENTA - NOAH 5/17/09
This is not Hashimoto vs Liger, but it is still a pretty good match with Akiyama looking his sharpest since the 2006 Taue match. Funny how he started the decade with an excellent match working on Misawa's neck and he will end the decade with another solid effort working over the neck of KENTA. KENTA's logical progression to the top of the NOAH mountain as he gets a big Heavyweight title match against one of the Five Pillars. Challenging Marufuji at the Budokan was a big deal and could have been a watershed moment for Pro Wrestling NOAH, but Misawa decided to reset with himself on top for a year. Here in 2009, KENTA gets another crack and will eventually become the champion in 2013 for approximately a year. For as much grief as I do give KENTA, credit where credit is due when he is game for a great match, the dude can flat out deliver. I am not blaming him for the match losing fizz at the end, but that's more of a layout problem than an individual performance issue.
The beginning was really well done with KENTA only be able to gain the advantage through big head shots. The strike exchanges early on make more sense to me than strike exchanges in the middle because you are still jockeying for position, It makes more sense to me, KENTA is undersized and needs to go for these home runs to just maintain control. My big problem becomes very apparent early and often. KENTA never presses his advantage. KENTA, this is the time to go a million miles per hour and you don't, for shame. There was just no urgency in the match. They were building drama by taking their sweet time and just was not doing much for me. KENTA gets nailed with a brainbuster and that's the end of his dominance. Akiyama tortures KENTA's neck and this maybe KENTA's all-time greatest selling performance. The way he screamed and contorted his face during every Akiyama head yank was amazing. Akiyama is the God King of neck work and this was by far the best of the match and if they went home earlier this would be MOTYC for 2009.
You know what bothers me and it is not just KENTA so I don't mean to single him out, but it is when you are perched on top and you just wait for the guy to get up to hit your flying clothesline. It is just makes Akiyama look stupid and it is pretty business-exposing. Why would you want your opponent to get in a more advantageous position than prone lying on the mat. Also KENTA should have been making covers on the those early head kicks. Wrestlers trying to win matches is what will get over.
I loved Akiyama's back elbow to cutoff KENTA and then nearly takes his head off with a lariat. The sequence after this has to be seen as Akiyama absolutely murders KENTA with just about every way you could think to drop him on his neck and then applies his Guillotine Choke. That should have been the finish. Then upcoming KENTA finish run should have been slotted before that amazing stretch of offense by Akiyama. KENTA's first big comeback was fine, but really felt superfluous again I loved the Akiyama cutoff of a quick knee during the G2S hoist. Akiyama looked awesome here. Akiyama still has more cool neck related offense, super Back Drop Driver and a lifted Double Arm DDT. He is just the gift that keeps on giving.
The moment of the match is that KENTA is trying to pick himself up using the ropes after being destroyed and he is almost standing and Akiyama comes over and nails him with a knee to the chin. Awesome! KENTA hits Go 2 Sleep out of a Akiyama choke attempt, which is his big false finish. KENTA's kicks to the head were awful and he whiffed on two. Akiyama hits the jumping knee as KENTA went for his knee and Akiyama polishes him off with his Exploders.
They just ran out of steam. I love Akiyama destroying someone's neck as much as the next person, but this just went on too long. There was not that urgency that would have created more drama. Trimming back 10 minutes and moving shit around could have been this an all-time great match, but I still think is an amazing KENTA selling performance and Akiyama showcases how vast his offensive arsenal is. ****
Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:17 AM
This was just an outstanding war of attrition. Loved KENTA dominating the early portions, Akiyama coming back to things w/ fantastic work over KENTA's neck was lovely. KENTA's selling of this was great & I loved how every time he got some comebacks in, Akiyama answered with a brutal shot to that neck. Great, great stuff. As far as Jr. Heavyweight vs. Heavyweight battles in Japan go, there ain't many, if any, better than this one. ****3/4
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NOAH, May 17, 2009, Tokyo, KENTA, Jun Akiyama, BOJ 2000s
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