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  • #46
    Yeah, Nakamura as "King of Strong Style" is pretty much just a gimmick. Doesn't really bear any resemblance to reality.

    Yup, Taue is a major legend of the 90s, one of the four pillars of All Japan. Really glad you liked the tag match!

    The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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    • #47
      Pretty sure I’ve made it quite clear that I love me some KENTA, so anything with him in it is gonna pique my interest. Quick question, though... was he normally a heel? I don’t understand the commentators, nor do I know any of the back story to these matches, but from the crowd responses... it seemed like he was the heel in this match. (And I’m trying to remember the matches against Marufuji from back in the day, but it seems like Marufuji was the face in those matches, as well.)

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      • #48
        I'm actually not sure, I believe he was on the heel side of the Taue match from the way he was going after the legend so viciously, but I don't know off the top of my head if he was usually on that side of the equation.

        The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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        • #49
          The other day I spotted a huge ad in one of the more crowded subway stations here in Osaka promoting the finals of Noah's N-1 Victory tournament, which will be held here. I'd never seen such a large ad for any pro wrestling show here, which was interesting. Seems like they're going all out on this event because just yesterday they announced a special match, where the GHC Heavyweight Champion Kaito Kiyomiya will team up with All Japan's Jun Akiyama and Wrestle-1's Keiji Mutoh on a 3-on-3 match (the other team is TBD). I bought a ticket to the show because I've never seen Mutoh wrestle live so this will be one of those rare chances to do so since he mostly seems to wrestle only in big shows in Tokyo, never in Osaka.

          I also checked out the N-1 Victory tournament bracket. Despite having just ten competitors total (two blocks of 5) it does look a bit interesting. They have a few people from other promotions participating.

          A Block:

          - Naomichi Marufuji
          - Takashi Sugiura
          - Go Shiozaki
          - Masa Kitamiya
          - Alex Hammerstone (MLW)

          B Block:

          - Katsuhiko Nakajima
          - Shuhei Taniguchi
          - Kenoh
          - Masaaki Mochizuki (Dragon Gate)
          - El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. (MLW)

          I haven't been following Noah at all, but on paper it seems that they're really struggling since they've had to bring in outside help to fill a lot of gaps for the tournament and special attraction matches. I know other companies do this as well but for a ten-man tournament you would think they'd have enough talent on the roster to fill things out.

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          • #50
            Deg, please come back and tell us how that show is!! Sounds like you'll get to see some really cool stuff. I have heard very little about NOAH this year so I suspect they aren't doing great but they do have the occasional highly acclaimed match still.

            The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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            • #51
              I just got back from the Noah show that I mentioned about a month ago. It was fun for the most part. Like I mentioned, the main reason why I went to the show was because Keiji Mutoh would be wrestling and it would probably be the only chance ever I could see him performing in the ring. He was part of a six man team along with GHC Heavyweight Champion Kaito Kiyomiya and Jun Akiyama, and they faced the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Shuhei Taniguchi, and Dragon Gate's Masaaki Mochizuki. It was my favorite match of the night.

              Mutoh wasn't in the ring a whole lot, which is to be expected considering he recently just had knee surgery I believe and is almost 60 years old. But he did manage to do surprisingly well, pulling off some of his array of moves like dragon screws, his quick-twitch flash elbow, and even a few Shining Wizards. But he looks to be in rather rough shape, having some difficulty even walking to the back when the match was over. His knees and back look shot, kind of like Hulk Hogan moves around these days. Everyone did really well in the match, with one of the subplots being Akiyama and Taniguchi always beating each other up like they held a deep grudge for some reason. The ending of the match saw Akiyama hit Taniguchi with the Exploder Suplex, followed by Mutoh's Shining Wizard, followed by Kiyomiya's suplex finisher (however it's called) for the pin.

              One surprise I wasn't expecting was seeing former GHC heavyweight champs Kenta Kobashi and Takeshi Rikio come out to do commentary for the second half of the show. It was cool seeing Kobashi in person, and he sat to do commentary just a few feet in front of me. I will always mark out over moments like that.

              The rest of the show was decent. The first half of the show was passable, at best. Lots of tags, and since I hadn't watched a Noah show in years I really didn't know anyone so I wasn't really that invested in it. One thing I liked was seeing Rhino wrestling here, which I didn't expect, although it's not surprising given their current relationship with Impact Wrestling (they also promoted Impact's Bound For Glory match between Marufuji and Michael Elgin). The second half was solid. Besides the six man match I mentioned, there was a GHC Jr. Heavyweight match that was pretty good, and the main event to determine the winner of the N-1 tournament was also solid (won by Kenoh).

              My overall observation of Noah is kind of mixed, though. I liked the show, enjoyed a lot of the talent, and had fun overall. But it's kind of like they have no identity right now, nothing to distinguish them from other big companies. New Japan is the top dog now by far in every aspect. All Japan still has that old-school wrestling vibe. Dragon Gate's mix of styles makes them stand out. DDT's comedic side is one of their main distinguishing features. Noah has nothing like that, from what I saw tonight. Their talent is good but nothing that makes them stand out, to be honest. I don't know if it's because I really don't follow them, but I just felt like it was just an normal wrestling show, nothing I would go out of my way to seek.

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              • #52
                Yeah, at the moment NOAH seems to be a less successful version of AJPW, which is doing somewhat better but is nowhere near their peak either. Still, you can expect a fun show and it sounds like you got just that. Awesome that you saw Kobashi, that's incredibly cool!!

                The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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                • #53
                  One thing I did forget to mention about the Osaka show is that it was held in the main floor of Edion Arena, the same place where New Japan does most of their big shows here (like New Beginning, their G-1 tournament stops, and Power Struggle). For some reason I thought it was going to take place in the smaller floor downstairs. Surprisingly, the show seemed to have drawn well enough. They did do a lot of local advertising so it looked like it helped. After all, that was how I discovered the fact they were holding that show, by seeing a huge banner ad at a train station near Edion Arena.

                  The second floor seats looked at least 70% full from where I was sitting, which was better than I would have expected. The first floor arena seats were also about 70-80% full in my estimation, but they used less than half of the available floor space for seating so the capacity was far less than any New Japan show. I was trying to find attendance stats but couldn't find any. I'm guessing they drew something similar to what All Japan did last year for their big summer show which was about 2500 people.

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                  • #54
                    Hey, that's actually not too bad! Glad they drew ok, always rooting for a wrestling company to succeed. I saw they also had something going on with MLW, which is interesting in and of itself.

                    The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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                    • #55
                      Wonder what my guy MissouriDragon would think about Mutoh beating Go Shiozaki for the GHC Heavyweight title in 2021
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                      • #56
                        Jesus, I do miss Missou. Does anybody know what happened to him?

                        The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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                        • #57
                          Last i spoke to him he was really sick. That was a long time ago tho. 2013 i think.
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                          • #58
                            I hate to hear that. Hope he came out ok. If ancient Muta can be a top champion, and Goldberg and Sting suck up all the oxygen on TV every week at their age, Missou damn sure should still be with us.

                            The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!

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