Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Who Is NOAH??

JJZ: I still fucking hate that Nakajima changed his music. I truly loved his last song. Also didn't know this was Go's big return from surgery. I know this is a little off topic but I got a question for you. With NOAH and NJPW working together again who would you want to wrestle Okada? Personally I'd kill for Nakajima to work him. They have the whole angle with Kensuke built in already. Back to the match. So from watching recent NOAH and recent NJPW I feel like NOAH has had a better crowd through the pandemic. I understand they are both under the same restrictions but the NOAH crowd has had far better energy imo. More than any fans I know me and you have this special attraction to NOAH. I remember the first NOAH match I've ever seen was when you showed me Misawa vs Kobashi when Kobashi won the GHC title. I've been in love ever since. That green apron held a special meaning. Sharing NOAH matches with you means more than any promotion to me. So let's talk about Nak's kicks. I mean does anyone even come close at this point? I think not. The sound better than when my karate teacher is laying into the heavy bag. Fucking damage is being done. Loved the ramp spots. Some 2000s NOAH call backs. This match was a master class in a striking based match. Just two men going shot for shot to see who is tougher. The spots are hit well and timely to accent the aggression in the match. It did not overstay its welcome and had me on a couple falsies. Great selling by both guys. And personally I like this one more than their other recent jawn.

CJD: So first of all, thank you for working behind the scenes with me to get to this match. I was dying to see it. Their 2020 jawn was one of my favorites of the year and on first watch I agree that this might have been even better. I also agree that NOAH crowds are really committed to their product despite the pandemic restrictions. It's the only current Japanese wrestling I get excited to watch. As for the match. There's just something about the way these two match up that works so well. I'm honestly kind of sick of "shot for shot" wrestling as you called it, at least when it's lacking in selling, emotion, and drama. This match wasn't lacking in any of these areas. The story of AXIZ torn apart still adds so much but even without that layer just Go's return after his historic title reign, coming back for his title, drives the story of this match so much. Shiozaki wrestles like he has a new lease on life. Nakajima wrestles like he trained to prepare for whatever Go would throw at him. Like you said the build is pitch perfect and the selling makes everything feel so high stakes by the end. I loved the actual finish and the symbolism of it. I also loved your comments about our bond watching mid 2000s NOAH together! That's something I appreciate that NOAH retains to this day, that feeling handed down from Baba's booking that hooked us, that wins against the top guys matter so much. When you saw Baba, Jumbo, and then eventually Misawa, Kobashi take a L, even in a tag setting, you knew you were seeing something special. That's how I feel about how they've built Go at this point, and that's why I wanted to see this match spoiler-free. I didn't expect him to win the title back, but I definitely wasn't ruling it out, because I know his losses at this point matter. This match delivered on the expectations of that standard of booking that we've fallen in love with over the decades. As well as those holy shit moments that came along with those early emerald green ring classics.

Oh and to answer your question, I'd book Okada VS Kaito!

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