Friday, 21 July 2017

Hideki Suzuki of the Day #14

Hideki Suzuki & Takuya Nomura v Yasafumi Nakanoue & Yoshihisa Uto (Big Japan, 7/24/16)

The feud that keeps on giving, this time with a neat new wrinkle. Suzuki and Nomura were a fun match-up, but they might be even more fun as a unit. This is now the fourth Nomura match I've seen and I'm definitely becoming a fan. He was really awesome in this with how he'd throw super fast hands and leap all over people trying to twist them into armbars. That he made his debut a mere three months prior to this means his strike exchanges carry some weight, how he'll try and hang with the established guys even though he's obviously the underdog. You want him to come out of those exchanges on top and you feel sympathy for him when he doesn't. I mean it's hard not to feel sympathy for him when Nakanoue and Uto are clobbering his face in, but his selling was pretty great as well. Suzuki was tremendous yet again. He was Nomura's burly big brother, content enough to let Nomura fight his own battles yet willing to step in when necessary. He approached his initial exchanges with a sort of condescending indifference, where Nakanoue would elbow him in the face (stiffly) and he wouldn't even dignify it with retaliation. It was intended to insult and Nakanoue knew it. Then he lost his marbles like everybody knew he would and he just murdered Nakanoue. That initial moment in a Suzuki match where his temper erupts is so great. It's truly Tenryu-esque. And these matches are all very derivative of WAR, the way the violence escalates and how there's always that sense of things being on the cusp of breaking down into a street brawl. Also loved the finish, with Nomura earning his stripes by holding off Nakanoue long enough for Suzuki to end things. Post-match Suzuki helps Uto back to his feet and shakes his hand in a show of respect. Nakanoue he leaves in a heap on the floor.

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