Thursday, February 13, 2020
Select Match Reviews: Welcome to the Universe
Matches from Pro Wrestling NOAH Global Junior League 01/30:
1.GJL Semi: Harada vs Ohara ***3/4
2.GJL Semi: Togo vs Ogawa ***
3.Kongoh (Kenou,Masa,Inamura,Nio,Hao) vs Marufuji, Kenou, Minoru, Kumano, Junta ***1/2
4.Sugiura-gun (Sugiura,Hideki,Fujita) vs AXIZ, Shuhei ***1/4
5.GJL Final: Harada vs Togo ****
NOAH joining, basically, the DDT Universe is awesome news. I love both promotions and they are different enough that they don't really rival that much. It should simply be beneficial for both parties and I'm eager to see in a few years how much both benefited.
This show is available on DDT Universe right now, here.
I pulled over half of the show, for the record. I just love NOAH's product and the card looked stacked.
Up first, the two semi-final matches. Harada is one of my favorite juniors in all of Japan and he put on a hell of a show here. This was great stuff, full of hard hits and passion and the pacing was perfect for the situation.
The other semi saw more of a veterans affair. It should come as no surprise, considering that talent, but this was far more grounded and featured a heavy dose of mat work. It was good stuff, honestly, but not quite recommendation levels on quality alone.
I've heard someone describe NOAH's junior division as being an enjoyable group but subpar in comparison to that of NJPW's. I'd argue that such a contrast isn't necessarily a fair one as the styles are fairly different. It also does a disservice to NOAH's juniors by essentially writing them off as off-brand, which I feel they deserve far better a treatment.
In ten-man action, Kaito and Marufuji tried their best to punk out the heel unit but Kenou's boys were just too much. This was borderline great and the various encounters throughout ensured it was worth seeing. Very fun.
The Sugiura-gun/AXIZ six-man was enjoyable as well. Naka dicking with Hideki was one of my favorite moments but Go and Fujita had some fire burning, too. Shuhei was a bit rough, though.
Go's neck was fucked.
The challenges after were nice. Fujita wants a shot at Go's gold. Suzuki wants Nakajima. Oh, and Kaito wants the National Championship! I'm excited.
Over to the main event, which started with fire and kept it burning throughout. Dick Togo and Harada killed it here and the entire thing was truly fantastic, climaxing the tournament nicely. The limb work was an added bonus. MOTN, for sure, and I love the outcome!
Remember, don't sleep on NOAH!
New Japan or W1 content is likely to be next, for those who care but not until tomorrow. Tonight, I'm playing some games on my SNES Classic and having a beer.
Thanks for reading!