Match Review: Takuya Nomura vs. Fuminori Abe
January 17 2018
We’re in Tokyo, Japan at Shin Kiba 1st Ring. This was the main event of Big Japan’s version of NXT. These have become increasingly popular in Japan since DDT started running the DNA shows to great success. New Japan jumped on the bandwagon with their Lions Gate shows and if the talent is out there, why not feature it?
Fuminori Abe vs. Takuya Nomura
For time now I’ve been pimping Nomura as the next big thing in Japan. He’s a scrappy little junior heavyweight but his intensity and timing are way beyond his level of experience. Abe has similar levels of experience but he’s wrestled all over the place already (DDT, All Japan, Zero1, Wrestle-1, HEAT UP etc). Similar size, similar experience, similar style. It makes for an intriguing contest. They’re both very mat savvy but they also both have a tendency to explode into violent offence. It plays out like a shoot. Takuya is starting to bulk up a bit, which is the BJW way. You start scrawny, put some muscle on, then add meat to the frame and end up looking like Yuji Okabayashi and eating 17 courses with every meal. Abe is still skin and bones but he’s so fast he’s sudden. And he’s not flipping or any of that bullshit, he kicking and slapping on submissions. He’s the speedy wrestler you didn’t know you wanted. One that used his speed to kill, rather than to entertain. The shoot-style allows big strikes to actually mean something. So when Nomura lands a combination it feels more important. Especially as his hands are so quick and heavy. There are a few issues. They keep going for high kicks and they don’t look right when they miss and Nomura’s staggering around like a drunk man selling doesn’t entirely work for me. Also the finish can’t live up to those striking duels with Abe coming out on top with an Octopus Stretch. All in all this was a great demonstration of two keen, hungry young wrestlers working the rarely seen ‘shoot-esque’ style that was so popular in NJPW during the “dark days”. If they’d wrestled like this it might not have been such a disaster.
Final Rating: ***3/4