Home > Uncategorized > Pro Wrestling NOAH DVD Review (brief) – “Great Voyage 2006”

Pro Wrestling NOAH DVD Review (brief) – “Great Voyage 2006”

And now, to show just how boring and pathetic my social life has become, I present to you my third LJ post of the evening – a brief review of a Pro Wrestling NOAH DVD.

Pro Wrestling NOAH – Great Voyage 2006
December 10th, 2006
Nippon Budokan

Kentaro Shiga, Kishin Kawabata & Mitsuo Momota vs. Tamon Honda, Junji Izumida & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi (**) Mostly a comedy match, with Izumida & Kikuchi doing some sort of “Greasers” gimmick that the crowd loves. Tamon Honda is fuckin’ old.

Yoshinari Ogawa & Ricky Marvin vs. Masao Inoue & Daisuke Ikeda (***) Decent tag match. I haven’t seen much of his lucha stuff, but Ricky Marvin’s awesome working the Japanese style.

Takeshi Morsihima vs. Go Shiozaki (**) About four minutes, and a total squash match. What a waste of Shiozaki, of whom I’ve seen a handful of matches and he’s fantastic.

Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi vs. Akitoshi Saito & Shuhei Taniguchi (***) Very weird match. They did this gimmick where Akiyama was yelling at Hashi the entire time. At one point in the match, Hashi is in the corner being double-teamed by the opposition. Akiyama gets in the ring, runs to the corner, and kicks his own partner in the face. Hashi gets the pin, and Akiyama kicks him again. No explanation was given by the poor excuse for commentators they use (Wally Yamaguchi and some other Japanese dude who is perfectly fluent in English but doesn’t seem to know what the Hell’s going on at any time).

Akira Taue, Mushi-King Terry, Taiji Ishimori & Atsushi Aoki vs. SUWA, TARU, Shijji Kondo & “Brother” Yasshi (***) Taue’s built like Baba now, except without the ridiculous height. A really entertaining and fun match, and the Voodoo Murderers (SUWA, TARU, Kondo & Yasshi) are incredible heels.

GHC Jr. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Takashi Sugiura & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) vs. Nosawa Rongai & Mazada (***1/2) The match is well put together and picks up greatly at the end. Sugiura is such a fucking mark for Kurt Angle it’s ridiculous. The last five minutes of the match, every single move Sugiura hit was straight out of Kurt Angle’s offense. You know, it’s a shame that Angle’s wrestling dates for New Japan instead of NOAH. Man, what a meeting that would be…would be…would be…

Suguira: “Oh my Got! Kuht Ankle!”
Angle: “Hey there buddy! I hear you’re a big fan!”
Sugiura: “Oh my Got Kuht Ankle. Big fan. You great gaijin. I base career on you.”
Angle: “That’s great! Hey, you should come into TNA and we can have a match. You know, I want to start writing there. We could bring you in with the story that you’re a crazy Japanese guy who conks his head and thinks he’s me, you can come up wearing the American flag and doing my entrance and even trying to talk like me. And you can even feud with Samoa Joe. Man, I like working with this kid, I hope he becomes a huge star. When TNA goes to two hours, one of the things I want to do is have a match with him that spans the entire two hours with no commercial breaks. The other day I called him Soma Joe by accident. I had a good laugh at it, because people think I have a drug problem when really I don’t. Well I did, but not anymore. I had to take 50 painkillers just to take a dump. But I’ve cleaned up, and what I did see is I tricked WWE into thinking I had a drug problem. I even had a drug addict piss into a cup and gave that as a urine sample. Yeah, I tricked them, so they would release me out of nowhere, and then I acted crazy and upset at the meeting and stormed out. It was all part of my brilliant master plan. Hey, know what’d be great? You should change your last name to Sugangle when you try to pretend to be me. Man, that’d be brilliant, and I think it’d be the spark that would encourage Spike to give us two hours instead of just one. Until then, I think it’s important that guys like Eric Young get ten minutes to tell his story. I also have an idea for Christopher Daniels where he’d fall out of the sky and not remember who he was, except that he was a Fallen Angel of some sorts. Jesus Christ, where can I get some Vicodin in this country?”
Sugiura: “…you fuckin’ crazy Kuht Ankle.” *goes out and wrestles like Chris Benoit*

Muhammad Yone, Takeshi Rikioh & KENTA vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Minoru Suzuki & Takuma Sano (***1/2) The story of the match was primarily the heel team stiffing the shit out of KENTA and him taking every last shot and giving it back. It was a strong style match in the purest sense. Suzuki is just such an awesome heel. I still think they made the wrong Jr. Heavyweight the first one to win the GHC Heavyweight Title, because the crowd fucking loves KENTA (especially the ladies).

GHC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Mitsuhara Misawa (***1/2) This is the match that ended the “Jr. Heavyweight as Heavyweight Champion” experiment. Misawa did a fine job for a guy his age here, and that being said should not be wrestling. To say he doesn’t move around half as well as he did five years ago would be an understatement. American audiences would see the wrestler/owner of a promotion going over to win the title and roll their eyes, but Misawa bumped everywhere for Marufuji and made him look like a million bucks. There are two bumps in particular that were absolutely SICK and made me cringe. Anyone taking those bumps is unnecessarily dangerous, but for a guy as rundown as Misawa is at this stage in his career, it’s unfathomable. Still, good little match that was made better by the fact that the live crowd loved Misawa to fucking death.

DVD BONUS MATCH: KENTA vs. Bryan Danielson (12/2/06 in Yokohama) (****3/4) For those who were fans of the ROH Title Match these two had at “Glory By Honor V” last September, this match blew it away. Critics of Danielson who don’t realize that every single thing he does in the ring and the manner in which he does it is completely intentional and in keeping with the character he portrays in Ring of Honor MUST see this match. Danielson’s so good it’s ridiculous, and this match is…wow. Just wow.

OVERALL: The presentation was done well, and having a graphic showing the match result, who pinned who, the match duration, and the maneuver that finished the match was great. Two major gripes, however. Firstly, they cut out all the entrances save the main event (Misawa/Marufuji). I’m sure we’re not missing a grand entrance a la BxB Hulk in Dragon Gate, but it would certainly help American fans (such as myself) who aren’t familiar with Pro Wrestling NOAH identify exactly who is who. Cutting into a match right before the bell rings with just text showing who each competitor is (especially in the tag matches which are abundant on this DVD) is confusing, and you spend half the match trying to figure out which guy’s in the ring. The other gripe is the commentary, which is awful. Wally Yamaguchi and the other guy (I can’t remember his name for the life of me) are terrible. Most of the time it’s dead air, with other guy – who is supposed to be play by play but spends half the time asking Yamaguchi what the most basic of moves are and acting like a total mark – is particularly atrocious. He even said he wasn’t familiar with Nosawa! Fuck, I know who Nosawa is for Christ’s sake! The production of these DVDs are fine, but it’s a shame that NOAH doesn’t work out something with The Fight Network in Canada on these releases. See, The Fight Network airs Pro Wrestling NOAH shows as part of their programming with Mauro Ranallo (Pride Fighting Championships; EXC) providing the English commentary. I can just imagine how great that is, especially with his voice and genuine love for professional wrestling. Still, it’s recommended and a huge breath of fresh air.

More later…

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