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

NOAH NOAH'S voyage #154 4/21/08
GREAT VOYAGE '05 taped 1/8/05 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Yoshinari Ogawa & SUWA & Ricky Marvin vs. Mohammed Yone & KENTA & Kotaro Suzuki 6:59. Hot action and a lot better overall effort than I expected. Quick tags kept the pace high and double and triple teams added a few ripples. Marvin & SUWA make a nice combo because since SUWA is as solid as they come in the junior division and Marvin is so spectacular. Marvin’s best stuff came against Suzuki, who gave a nice athletic performance, starting with their excellent athletic opening. Good action, but really too short to amount to anything. **3/4

Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue & Takashi Sugiura vs. Jun Izumida & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kishin Kawabata 6:24 of 14:51. NJPW style six man hoping to mask the lack of skill and athleticism with stiffness and quick tags combined with an American style dissention angle. Izumida & Kikuchi both wanted the hot tag, so they came in and double teamed Saito then exchanged elbows with each other. The jealousy snowballed with the egotistical teammates actually making saves for the opposition because they wanted to be the one to score the pinfall. Eventually Kikuchi refused to accept Izumida’s tag. This made for an okay distraction, but there was no meat to the match. Sugiura was the only wrestler in the match, with Inoue chipping in a few quality minutes. *1/2

Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio vs. Genichiru Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka 15:51. Tenryu’s NOAH debut didn’t look that great on paper, but one should never underestimate what Tenryu & Misawa can bring when they have big show impetus. Steeped with intensity, the smart, rough, and effective match got off on the right foot with a long heated Tenryu vs. Misawa sequence where they just blasted away with chops and elbows. Misawa tried an early tope on Koshinaka, but Tenryu jumped him with a suplex on the floor before he could get up. The story subtly shifted from the exciting Misawa vs. Tenryu meeting to Rikio proving he belonged with the veterans. Even at his peak, Rikio will never approach what these old men can still do, but they were nonetheless successful in promoting him. Rikio will never be known for his skill, but Tenryu is one of the masters of the over the generation match, and much of that is built around a disdain for the opponent who doesn’t belong. In this sort of attitude match where showing the elder statesman no respect would get serious mileage, Rikio was at his most effective. Tenryu & Rikio had a big strike exchange that Tenryu was finally winning, so Rikio just bulled him over. Tenryu isn’t the codger you want to mess with though, as he’s made a career of putting much better up and comers such as Shinya Hashimoto & Satoshi Kojima, Tiger Mask Misawa for that matter, in their place. Koshinaka was the change of pace in this match, utilizing his speed while the others relied upon big time stiffness and impact, but while Koshinaka is thought of as a guy with light offense, he’s always at his nastiest when Tenryu is around. They busted Rikio’s forehead open, and were trying to break his nose, which recalls their treatment of Kojima in a better brutal match in NJPW on 4/14/98. Once Rikio had been injured, everything from Tenryu’s reverse diving elbow to Koshinaka’s hip attack was directed at the wound. Koshinaka even kicked Rikio in the nose to break up a cover. While the match started extremely impressively, they had a hard time sustaining the high quality. Not only can nothing with Rikio can match the excellent quality of Misawa & Tenryu going at it full bore, but they also lacked a third act. There was a lot of back and forth rather than Rikio simply being trapped in the ring, but the match was essentially Rikio getting beat up to set up his triumphant pin over Koshinaka with his musou, which followed Misawa’s lethal emerald flowsion so Shiro could save face. ***3/4

GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa 15:57 of 18:21. Exciting but clumsily worked headdropfest devoid of everything but killer moves. The setup and transitions were a bit awkward; they didn’t so much incorporate the moves as simply decide what position Takaiwa wanted to drop Kanemaru on his head from next then begin climbing or jumping off the ropes. Takaiwa’s power moves were wildly impressive, but he killed the moves rather than his opponent. They opened hot with Takaiwa no selling Kanemaru’s dropkick and bowling him over, leading right into his signature turning powerslam and powerbomb. However, Kanemaru countered the Death Valley bomb and did his own hot near fall before they began the mat segment. Once they got off the canvas, Kanemaru would set Takaiwa up for his big spots by trying flying moves, allowing Takaiwa to catch him in the air and plant him. Takaiwa powerbombed Kanemaru into the turnbuckle then pulled out both his top rope Michinoku driver II and Death Valley bomb, but even his big follow up lariat wasn’t enough to get the job done and he eventually succumbed to a mere superplex. ***1/4

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* Puroresu Review Copyright 2008 Quebrada *