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

NOAH NOAH's voyage #157 5/12/08 Navigation for Evolution '05
taped 3/5/05 Tokyo Nippon Budokan

Scorpio & Doug Williams vs. Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue 17:03 of 17:20. The Dark Agents presented Scorpio & Williams with funeral tablets before the match, which didn’t please the tag champs once the ref informed them of their meaning. Unfortunately, this was about Saito & Inoue’s only contribution to the match. To his credit, Inoue was more than a willing seller, but if one wrestler is going to deliver all the offense for the team, it would help if they actually had some semblance of a moveset. Scorpio was able to make an early Saito kicking sequence entertaining by bobbing, weaving, and breakdancing his way out of trouble, but generally Scorpio & Williams getting the vast majority of the offense is what kept the match entertaining. They utilized a peculiar neck attack on Inoue, isolating him and working him over with various chokes as well as Scorpio’s array of somersault leg drops. In a sense, the match was better than expected due to the interesting team dominating, but on the other hand it was too one-sided to have any real drama. **1/2

GHC Heavyweight Title Match: Kenta Kobashi vs. Takeshi Rikio 26:26 of 27:11. A huge step up from their 3/6/04 match due to Rikio being more comfortable and confident. With another year under his belt, and an increased push that included being the only one to pin the champion in the final of the 2 Day Tag Tournament on 11/28/04, Rikio was able to emphatically take it to Kobashi. Even the opening segment was far more heated and intense than any portion of last year’s title bout. A not so overmatched Rikio was able to follow through on a back injury Kobashi sustained from a powerbomb on the ramp, which was much more suited to an offense built around the lame muso, rather than once again having to kill the gimps knees to have a prayer. Rikio tried several subsequent powerbombs, but Kobashi always saved his back by coming up with an answer. Rikio’s increased credibility allowed Kobashi to treat him as more or less an equal, and thus put his all into the match. Since Kobashi was jobbing, he was on offense a lot more, pulling out the superplex, DDT on the ramp, pescado, shouldblock off the apron, burning sword from the turnbuckle, and moonsault. It wasn’t a wild spotfest by any means, all the big moves were well spaced out, adequately sold, and seemed necessary due to Rikio refusing to give up or back down. Rikio’s offense is very far from big match level, he seems to not even be able to concoct more dangerous variations of his usual slop, but this time he executed everything well, getting his girth behind everything. They left the back story for a long time because Rikio couldn’t get any offense in, but went back to it when Kobashi’s half nelson suplex on the ramp failed and Rikio came back with a suplex of his own then finally got the powerbomb in. Overall, the back aspect was far more effective in shaping Rikio’s offense than in making the audience believe Rikio was breaking Kobashi down, but there was enough big match aura and atmosphere that the match itself was getting over well simply by progressing in a natural, unforced manner. Rikio’s muso is an extremely weak finisher for this level, not even approaching the impact of the old spinebuster or sidewalk slam, but it was arguably half credible as tonight’s finisher if only because a person can only be dropped on their back so many times. It’s disappointing to see Kobashi finally lose the title because he easily provides the best opportunity for a top flight match of anyone in the title picture, and that much more so given Rikio provides about the worst opportunity for top flight matches, but I guess we must take solace in the fact that Kobashi found one more memorable performance in his broken body on the way out. ****

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

* Puroresu Review Copyright 2008 Quebrada *