Pro Wrestling NOAH is celebrating 20 years as a company, and have been thriving as of late. They had a major show planned for March 29th, and it went on in a modified format. The card was cut down to just four title matches, and it would be in an empty Korakuen Hall. The undercard featured some fantastic bouts like Takashi Sugiura vs. Minoru Tanaka over the GHC National Championship, showing that NOAH can deliver on the same level as NJPW when needed, but the main event is what drew attention. It would see current GHC Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki face former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and shoot fighting legend, Kazuyuki Fujita.
Action Started Very Slowly In This Match
For the first thirty minutes of this match, there was no wrestling, but the battle was happening. It was a battle of patience as Fujita has been testing Go both physically and mentally heading into this match. However, now with the chance to take the fight to the champion and potentially win it, he just waited. Shiozaki did the same, but positioned himself on the logo of Pro Wrestling NOAH, as if to defend it against ‘The Last Successor Of Inoki-Ism’. He would not stand down or be intimidated, instead standing tall for NOAH. This is the type of match that would absolutely have not worked with a live audience, but in an empty arena this was honestly riveting and unlike anything else seen in wrestling before. It won’t be for everyone, but this was quietly a master class in wrestling, without the need of even movement. They just stood there, and fans watching loved it.
Go Shiozaki Won Once Things Got Physical
Go Shiozaki won twice in this match. He won the mental battle, as Fujita would snap and take Shiozaki down with a double leg takedown, and start stomping his head in. Action would pick up in a weird way from that point, with Fujita trying to shove Shiozaki in an elevator and eating hand sanitizer. Shiozaki would fire up, and proceed to destroy the 49 year old with a series of lariats, and in the end retain his championship.
We might see many great matches in 2020, but nothing will stand out as unique more than this match. It was a perfect use of unique circumstances, and a masterclass in storytelling. Have you watched this match? Let us know what you think of it in the comments section down below.
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