Suzuki September – Minoru Suzuki vs. Kenta Kobashi (1.8.05) review

Suzuki September – Minoru Suzuki vs. Kenta Kobashi (1.8.05) review

Suzuki September N8


January 8 2005




GHC Championship

Kenta Kobashi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki

Despite being an avid NOAH fan during this time period this match somehow evaded me and I’ve not seen it to this very day. That all changes right now. Kobashi is at his absolute peak here, almost two years into a run as GHC Champion and carrying NOAH on his sizeable back. He was the Perfect Champion. 735 days of glory. This is his final successful defence before losing the belt to Takeshi Rikio (at the time considered to be quite the prospect) in March. Literally days after his two years as champion had been completed.


This is an interesting mesh of styles as Kobashi is more of a smashmouth wrestler, utilising strikes while Suzuki is the shoot wrestler. Kobashi is keen to shut that down and try to use his size to cut the ring off. Suzuki is merely amused by this approach.


It becomes apparent that Suzuki has come into this with a game plan. Frustrate the big man. Out manoeuvre him. Irritate him. And then go after those fucked up knees. Only he doesn’t figure two things out. 1. That Kobashi is not easily riled and doesn’t get worked up like Suzuki wants him to and 2. He’s no dummy when it comes to technical stuff and blocks a takedown with a very burly looking headlock. It’s an intriguing bout.


Kobashi is able to shut Suzuki down almost completely with a move as simplistic as a headlock because of his big power advantage.

Do NOT piss Kenta Kobashi off. Suzuki thinks he’s got Kobashi figured out a second time though, targeting the arms not the legs. This way he can eliminate those chops and not get fucked up in the corner again. It’s tactically sound. When he tries to take it back to the mat Kobashi stops him and is all NAAAAH, fight me bitch. Suzuki spends a nice chunk of the match torn between not wanting to back down and wanting to get to the mat where he can probably get a submission in time.


This match is so much fun. There are lots of head drops suplexes, because it’s NOAH in 2005, but it’s littered with Suzuki doing Suzuki stuff too. It’s a beautiful combination. Looking back I see Meltzer went 3.75 on this but he’s wrong, it’s way better than that. You could argue it’s a relatively tepid crowd that kills it but looking back it’s such a joy to see an almost modern version of Suzuki dropped in with one of wrestling’s legends. Plus they both go almost full out and are reckless as fuck. Maybe you can argue against praising it because some of what Kobashi does isn’t good but he more than compensates for a mis-timed clothesline with a series of brutal backdrop drivers. My favourite part of the match is Suzuki trying to fight back at the finish only to discover he’s got nothing left. Kobashi takes his head off with the Burning Lariat to retain. I fucking loved this.

Final Rating: ****1/4




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