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Random Match Review

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Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiozaki vs. Jun Akiyama & Genichiro Tenryu (4/24/05)


This was the semi-main to NOAH's horrible 4/24/05 show. The card had so far seen a couple of DUD-level six-mans, an early, screwjob finish and a couple of average-slightly decent matches. So now we have Japan's strongest wrestler, along with his young protege, vs. a surly old legend along with the younger, but just as cantankerous Akiyama. Does it save the card? Depends on one's standards I suppose.


It was clear right off the bat, that Tenryu wanted at Kobashi, as he attacked Kobashi before the bell had even rang. This was followed with Tenryu throwing a table at Kobashi, and a while later, throwing a bottle of water at him. This built great anticipation for the eventual meeting between the two. Unfortunately for Tenryu, Kobashi was greatly angered, and when the two did eventually meet, Tenryu was absolutely brutalized with chops, ending with his chest being beet red, to go along with a stream of blood.


As the match went on, the general story was clear. Tenryu was destroying Shiozaki in order to taunt and anger Kobashi. This was evident when Tenryu kept drilling Shiozaki with stiff lariats, stuff punches and stiff chops, and then giving Kobashi a look of contempt after each sequence. It worked perfectly, because Tenryu plays the old bastard character so well, and Shiozaki took the beating like a champ.


As the match winded down, it was clear that Kobashi and Shiozaki were well behind. They did have a feint glimmer of hope when Kobashi helped Shiozaki gain the upper hand on Tenryu, while he (Kobashi) took care of Akiyama on the outside. Shiozaki ended up showing his immaturity, by going for a moonsault much too early. This lead to a great, momentum-changing nearfall when Tenryu pulled Shiozaki off the top and then hit a monster lariat. At this point, Akiyama had turned the tables on the outside and was able to keep Kobashi out, while Tenryu hit a powerbomb on Shiozaki to take the victory.


They didn't do much, if anything wrong here, but they didn't really go all out either. It was a good story being told in the right context, which didn't lend itself to being a classic wrestling match. Still, this was pretty good, and I'm sure if it had happened in certain other promotions, you'd have people calling it a low-end MOTYC. ***1/4

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