Quebrada Pro Wrestling, Puroresu, & Mixed Martial Arts Reviews by Mike Lorefice

NOAH NOAH's ark 10/25/03 Navigation, Against The Current '03
taped 10/15/03 Chiba Port Arena

Juventud Guerrera & Ricky Marvin vs. Naomichi Marufuji & Kotaro Suzuki 13:25. High energy junior action from start to finish. Better than expected efforts, probably due to it being one of the series of dry runs for Guerrera & Marvin’s 11/1/03 GHC Junior Tag Title shot at Marufuji & KENTA. The offense was crisp and precisely executed with Marvin pushing the high flying to a surprising extent given they were wrestling in a gym before six rows of fans. Suzuki, the youngest and least experienced of the four, was actually the one most likely to slow things down with a rest hold, though I think it’s mostly due to possessing a far shallower move set. Suzuki is very promising, but was generally outclassed with Marvin making the match with his hard work and spectacular offense. Marufuji looked good when he was in, but generally gave Suzuki the experience. Suzuki, was, of course, pinned since he’s the one not in the title match. Marfuji got together with KENTA in the locker room only to be jumped by Juventud, who tried to further intimidate the champs. ***1/4

Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Mohammed Yone & Kishin Kawabata 12:16. The work ethic was pretty good, but aside from Yone the match generally consisted of simplistic brawling. Kawabata traded strikes with Wild II the entire match despite it being a losing proposition. Yone was the change of pace, showing the only decent offense, but he might as well have balanced his checkbook while waiting to enter. **

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Takuma Sano & Masao Inoue 10:47. Akiyama & Sano shouldn’t be involved in the worst match, but it was short and rather lazily structured. The bout started promisingly with Sano & Inoue launching a consistent attack on Akiyama’s knee, which unfortunately was totally scrapped as soon as Akiyama made the hot tag. Much of the problem was the match was too short to legitimately tell any story. I mean, once Saito got back in it was time for the finishing sequence, which he made look a bit awkward. Akiyama thus had to quickly return healthy to get his spots in, closing Inoue out with his exploder. *3/4

Akira Taue & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Yoshihiro Takayama & Takashi Sugiura 11:18. Taue straddled the line between making the spots difficult to successfully execute and simply doing nothing. Ikeda worked a fast pace to balance Taue’s snail pace, delivering a big house show performance that single-handedly made the match. Ikeda largely worked with Sugiura, who proved carryable. **

Captain's Fall Elimination Match: Yoshinari Ogawa (c) & Mitsuharu Misawa & Scorpio & Richard Slinger vs. Kenta Kobashi (c) & Tamon Honda & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & KENTA 45:05. An impressive match on all fronts, not only successfully building to Ogawa’s 11/1/03 GHC Title Match against Kobashi, but also being one of Misawa’s most consistently entertaining house show matches in years. They did the good sort of long match, though they weren’t going to bring their top draw material for 45 minutes, they kept it lean and made sure there were no real dips in quality. There was no great psychology, but the structuring and the utilization of the 8 performers were very intelligent. Kobashi & Ogawa started to heat up the rivalry for the big match, but they rotated everyone in and out quickly for the first 17 minutes. KENTA was the early standout, having a particularly nice kick exchange that Slinger surprisingly stole with his spinning leg sweep. Scorpio really began to shine after 17 when they finally made an effort to eliminate someone, shifting to the first finishing sequence. Scorpio’s diversity was very much apparent as he worked the most fluid sequences, taking big bumps and major stiffness depending upon his opponent’s strengths, and of course delivering some spectacular aerial offense. After several saves, Scorpio scored the first pin, squashing Kikuchi with his 450 splash, but the fast paced spot oriented action continued until a little after Honda took Slinger out with rolling Olympic hell at 22:10. Misawa isn’t going to log a lot of ring time in the big tags, but he gave an excellent effort when he was in, pushing the pace and delivering his most exciting wrestling. Kobashi always wants to work at least as long and hard as anyone, but though certainly good, he wasn’t as effective in a format where everyone was spotted. Kobashi can build a match around his chops, but if that’s all he’s going to do, KENTA is more likely to make a bigger impression with his athleticism and lightning quickness. Until the final minutes, Kobashi’s best segment was clearly with Scorpio, who taunted Kobashi after each of his best shots, eventually allowing Kobashi to no sell and show him how blistering shots are done. Ogawa eventually resorted to attacking Kobashi’s knee, with Scorpio coming in and screaming “MORE (pressure)” when Ogawa was working the ½ crab, and throwing in a few knee stomps for good measure. With his team down 3-2, Kobashi came on big after the 40-minute mark, dragging out his suplexes to clean house. However, sneaky Ogawa turned Kobashi’s half-nelson suplex into an outside cradle for the flash pin. Ogawa took the title belt and alerted Kobashi it would soon be his, dropping it at Kenta’s feet after offering to kindly return it. Scorpio then clipped Kobashi’s knee and Ogawa put the boots to it until Misawa held Ogawa in the corner and calmed him down. ***3/4


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