August Match of the Month Contender: Shuji Kondo & Kotaro Suzuki vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker
August 9 2018
We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Shinkiba 1st Ring. The show is on AJPW.TV
It’s called Growin’ Up Vol 14 and isn’t even 2 hours long. I’m only here for one match though;
Shuji Kondo & Kotaro Suzuki vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker
This starts around the hour mark. It is abundantly clear that Mochizuki and Kondo hate each other. So they’re left on the apron while Kotaro and Shun do crowd pleasing flips. As soon as Mochizuki tags in the match completely changes. His first order of business is to kick Kondo off the apron and then stand around waiting for him to recover and get tagged in! The best aspect of this match is how fired up the crowd is. They barely have to do anything and the crowd erupt. It’s all because of how Mochizuki and Kondo are pre-match. That hate is palpable.
Kondo makes a point of torturing Shun, while eyeballing Mochi on the apron. The match becomes an elaborate storyline involving all four men. The hate simmering in the background while Shun suffers a neck problem. The ring positioning fascinates me in this, with Shun continually trying to manipulate action towards his own corner while the more confident Kondo doesn’t give a shit where he is. The match does lend itself to a Kondo/Mochi showdown and they’re very careful not to overdo it but rather build to a conflagration. Meanwhile Shun and Kotaro fill in the blanks with some exceptionally slick wrestling. Skywalker’s flash pins in particular are super thrilling. They seem to come out of nowhere. The false finishes are so hot. Kotaro’s jumping Tombstone looks to be it but they carry on and the Tiger Driver finishes.
The hype I heard for this focused in on the Kondo/Mochi relationship but the Suzuki/Shun interactions absolutely killed it. Kotaro turning back the clock. The 40 year old flying around the ring like he was at his peak, circa 2005 in NOAH. Outstanding wrestling with a backbone of hate. I’ll take that any day of the week.
Final Rating: ****
Another match I watched to see if it was in contention for match of the month. It’s very good but I wouldn’t go that far. Worth a peak if you get a chance. It’s sub 20 minutes.