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Jun Akiyama vs Masao Inoue (NOAH Spring Navigation 04/23/06)

NOAH April 23 2006 BOJ 2000s Budokan Hall Jun Akiyama Masao Inoue

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#1 Loss

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:45 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Graham Crackers

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:33 PM

This is for the people who enjoyed the 2004 Dark Agents tags. It's basically the singles equivalent with Inoue putting in his best effort against the champ. I prefer the tag againt Misawa/Ogawa and it's broader cast of characters but Inoue without Saito is still a charmingly delightful loser.



#3 Microstatistics

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 03:39 PM

I might be nuts but I think this is a legit MOTDC. Just classic character work and storytelling with tons of nifty moments. Structured and paced really well too. Not to mention insanely entertaining. A match that defines pro wrestling for me. **** 3/4



#4 Microstatistics

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:11 PM

Actually, as crazy as it might sound, right now this is my pick for 2000-2009 MOTD.



#5 fxnj

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 10:07 PM

Would love to see a more detailed review making the case for that. This is definitely one of the lesser discussed prime NOAH big matches.



#6 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 10:11 PM

My interest has been piqued. I have seen a grand total of one Masao Inoue match and didn't think much of it. I have been on a heavy 2010s puro kick and may work this one in.



#7 Microstatistics

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 11:24 PM

For me it is the storytelling and uniqueness factor that puts it over the top rather any technical brilliance. Though like I said before the pacing is really good, it has no dull moments, no excess and it is the perfect length. They kept it simple and it worked perfectly.

 

Inoue is the slimy scumbag who has to use every cheap trick in the book to overcome the far superior champion. But the crowd still supports Inoue and whenever Akiyama does any retaliatory spots, he gets booed heavily. This annoys Akiyama who begins taunting them and starts destroying Inoue out of spite. As the match goes on, Inoue becomes less the cheater and more the defiant underdog trying to survive and eek out a victory.

 

I found many of the individual sequences/spots to be ingenious. They incorporated some great comedy too. One of the fun matches ever for sure. Not the "greatest/best" match ever (though it would make my all time Top 50 and like I said MOTD), it might be my favorite. **** 3/4



#8 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 11:15 PM

I started a countdown of the best matches to take place in Japan between 2003-2007 so based on Microstatistics' review, I checked this out before beginning the countdown to make sure I didn't miss anything. I thought the first half of this was very fun, but the last half was standard, blasé NOAH finish run that did not fit this match at all.

 

GHC Heavyweight Champion Jun Akiyama vs Masao Inoue - NOAH  4/23/06

 

Based on the Dark Agents tag match, I decided to skip this, but due to a reviewer calling this the match of the decade, my interest was piqued I decided to check it out. Reading more about Inoue I came to realize his appeal was that he is a loveable loser. I could now see that in this match. I thought the first half of this match was incredible. Something really unique and quite entertaining, a perfect blend of light-heartendness and rousing inspiration. Inoue knowing he was totally outgun before he even stepped in the ring tried every trick to keep up with Akiyama. He jumped him before the bell. Getting a nearfall with a lariat and a sleeper suplex. He goes for a Torture Rack but because he is not good Akiyama has no problem grabbing a headlock out of it. Akiyama looks to make short work of his opponent hitting an exploder and going for a sliding knee, but Inoue powders. In a humorous sequence, Akiyama keeps throwing Inoue in, but he keeps logrolling out. Akiyama is beside himself. Inoue is way in over his head. I am quite entertained.

 

Inoue's next strategy is to rake Akyiama's eyes with everything, fingers, forearms ropes, boot, even the apron! Akiyama gives him a receipt for the forearm rakes and gets booed! Inoue is an underdog like Rat Boy and seems to be getting over. Akiyama is taken a back by the boos. Akiyama loses a suplex struggle on ramp to some applause! Figure-4 on ramp. The count is on and Inoue hobbles quickly in to beat count and Akiyama desperatle lunges in at 19. This is pretty funny. Inoue applies figure-4 in the ring and gets some claps going, but Akiyama has no problem reversing even does pushups to boos. Inoue comes off middle rope to eat a knee.

 

The Akiyama heat segment is good. The usual good stuff and great selling by Inoue on the floor. Akiyama hits a DDT on exposed floor get goes into ring to play to the crowd to get booed. Even gives himself the thumbs down. Love it! Then pilesdrives him on the floor. Glorious. Akiyama goes to get him, but thrown back into the railing. Tease countout finish.

 

I loved the dynamic they had set up with Inoue as the loveable loser just barely hanging on and Akiyama toying with him but occasionally almost getting caught. It felt like a funnier version of Kobashi/Ogawa. The finish stretch really disappointed me. It was just like any NOAH finish stretch you see all the time. It did not play to the unique characters. It felt very rote and felt forced because they were obligated to have this finish stretch. Inoue worked a finish stretch, but his character did not need that should have stuck with cradles which felt more natural (were used). The finish stretch by Akiyama would have been overwrought against friggin Kobashi nevermind Inoue. Holy shit all those shitty looking knees, I never thought this would end. He kicked out of so much stuff when he was a jabroni. Even the knee to the back of head, guillotine choke and Exploder. A friggin Wrist Clutch Exploder was needed to win. Gimme a break.

 

Excellent, unique and funny first half. Then a dreadfully dull, unnecessary and banal finish. Recommended because beginning is worth it! ****



#9 Bierschwale

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:27 AM

Phil had this as his #2 or #3 for the real-time SC best of '06.



#10 Microstatistics

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:27 AM


 

Excellent, unique and funny first half. Then a dreadfully dull, unnecessary and banal finish. Recommended because beginning is worth it! ****

 

Glad you liked it. While I'll agree the first half was definitely better, I'll say I think the second half was earned given how the match unfolded.

 

Initially, Inoue used his heel antics to gain the advantage but after they failed him, he still had the determination and guts to continue fighting traditionally even though he realistically had no chance. I thought the cradles were actually great false finishes to get across the point that the arrogant Akiyama might get caught out. I also liked Inoue popping up repeatedly out of defiance and essentially demanding to put down as a equal. Atleast that's how I interpreted it.



#11 superkix

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 08:06 AM

A polarizing match but one of my favorites for sure, as  Inoue truly excels at making the most of his in-ring limitations, putting in the underdog heel performance of the year – yeah, he’s a blatantly classic heel but the crowd favorite against Akiyama. Before the streamers can even fly, Inoue lariats Akiyama and immediately dumps his ass with a cobra clutch suplex! Of course, Akiyama quickly gets the situation under control, wearing Inoue down with a front necklock for an Exploder but Inoue bails before Akiyama can hit what would be the first of…well, many, many knees. When Jun rolls him back in, Inoue promptly rolls back out to avoid him, remaining patient on the outside until he finds an opening to attack and he does so in the shittiest (I say that with love) way possible, scouring Jun’s face with taped wrists and forearms, running it along the ropes, then along the apron. This pisses off Akiyama, who in turn, dirty rubs his forearms across Inoue’s face…and gets booed for it! Loved how sloppy Inoue’s figure-four on the rampway is but the purpose behind it more than makes up for the execution, as he’s trying to get Jun counted out. When Akiyama finally puts Inoue in his place, calf branding him from the apron into the guardrail and piledriving him onto the floor, the fans continue to shit on him, which is awesome, as Inoue’s clearly the sympathetic dirty dog here. Inoue tries to build a little momentum, trying a couple of flash pin attempts, but when he goes up top, Jun cuts him off with a super Exploder…and the look on Inoue’s face is incredible. Inoue manages a few last gasps, including the torture rack and a powerbomb, but Akiyama slips out of the backslide and hits the first successful running knee. After an Exploder, the knee party really kicks off, but Masao’s not going down, not rolling over, stiff-legged. After ten knees (the number of completion), Akiyama delivers another Exploder for a big nearfall but the wrist-clutch variant is the final nail in the coffin for Inoue. Terrifc match.


#12 Matt D

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 05:53 AM

I do see the parallels to Ogawa vs Kobashi. This seemed like a slightly more unfocused version. I didn't get the same desperation to win out of Inoue. Instead, it felt a little more like a cry for attention. That's not a value judgment, necessarily, just a point of comparison. He certainly got Akiyama's attention, and the fans' as well. Where I feel Ogawa really makes the Kobashi match, here it was Akiyama's reactions which will stick with me here. I loved his frustration after the fans wouldn't condone him stooping to Inoue's level with the revenge eyerake, for instance. The back half still works for me, even with the slight excess. If you want to elevate someone in 2006 NOAH, this is as good a way as any: plucky sympathy early on, dogged survival in the stretch. The excess is acceptable because you get the idea that Akiyama could have put him away earlier. There was no harm Inoue getting up again and again to show his spirit when the narrative responsibility was on Akiyama simply choosing not to finish him. I will say that the figure four stuff felt a little out of place and threatened to make the match feel more like a series of thought experiments ("How far can we get with just eyerakes?") than a cohesive whole. The match probably would have been better without it. In general, though, the match is an excellent little piece of story and reaction.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NOAH, April 23, 2006, BOJ 2000s, Budokan Hall, Jun Akiyama, Masao Inoue

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