JJZ: I had a really good KENTA VS Rocky Romero match lined up to play forward but I knew I had this to watch still. And I know we both have a super soft spot for mid 2000s NOAH. One thing i hate about Japanese wrestling today is that 6 man matches with top talent are a night off basically. I loved that 2000s NOAH there were no nights off. Now, I really have no fucking clue what happened with SUWA turning on his team. My guess is he was feuding with KENTA at the time and just wanted to get the pin on him and said fuck these guys I want to get the W. Yes Chris this match is a little weird. But damn it was entertaining. I wasn't even mad when SUWA went rogue. I literally laughed out loud. Shit was stiff and even had some gaga. Hope you're not disappointed by this one. My take away was that even in a match like this all 6 guys were laying shit in.
CJD: SUWA's retirement match! I love this match! You did too when I played it for you decades back! So yeah that's the reason for SUWA's ultimate "die on your shield" moment to close things out. It's honestly beautiful for such a heel like him, the perfect way to say fuck the world and go out doing what you love. I was honestly surprised by how small this match felt watching it back all these years later otherwise for such a big moment. But SUWA was one of those guys that never fit in perfectly anywhere and would probably have the twice as prolific of a career now than he did in his era. And I get your point about NOAH 6 man matches, they were a vibe, and no natter how bland they looked on paper you had to watch in case Naoki Sano or someone described to just flip out. Speaking of which I fully expected to be pleasantly surprised by Rikio in this, as I often am when I go back and rewatch him these days, but this was not one of those relevatory performances. This was very much the Rikio that made us livid he ended one of the great title reigns of all-time. But everyone came to play and gave my main man Judo Suwa the send off he deserved. I was more than happy to revisit this one.