NOAH Grand Voyage 2004 on 1/10/04
review by PdW2kX
Juventud Guerra vs. Kotaro Suzuki
The match begins with some basic junior offense by both men, although some parts are actually a bit sloppy. Juvi does nail a nice dropkick, though, for a fast two count. What follows is pretty much more of the same, except slightly sloppier. Even a nice run-around spot is killed with a severely sloppy headscissors by Juvi, one which barely catches Suzuki's head. Suzuki shortly returns the favor with a twisting splash to the outside, which also barely connects. Ouch. And not the good ouch. The match rebounds a bit with a nice top-rope dropkick that gets 2. A cringe-inducing "pin by one guy leads into other guy countering into a pin of his own" spot is followed by a slight redeemer: a backdrop by Kotaro that sends Juvi up and over, landing almost completely on his jaw. This is followed by another halfway-decent spot that gets two. Juvi nails a surprisingly fluid Asai DDT for 2½. Kotaro then drills Juvi with an Asai DDT-like move of his own, which also gets 2½. Perhaps the match can still redeem itself? Hell no- the next move is a 619 by Juvi aimed at Kotaro's back, which barely clips him on his side. Damn. Suzuki then responds with a far better 619 (don't know the non-WWE name of that move, if anyone does, let me know) that cleanly hits Juvi's face for 2¾. Some decent near-falls leads into a sick (but sick as in good) kick to the side of Suzuki's head by Juvi that gets 2¾. After a Shining Wizard by Juvi that gets two, Juvi follows it up with the Juvi Driver at 13:14 to get the win.
Analysis: Damn, this match sucked. And, to make matters worse, the crowd, and myself personally, really, really wanted to get into this match. If either man had given anything remotely close to everything they had, I can see this match getting three stars easily. Maybe even four if they really went all out. I have no idea what held these men back- maybe Suzuki was having an off night. Maybe Juvi was being his usual lazy self. Maybe they were too busy trying to excite the fans and failing miserably that they weren't able to catch their breath. But I do know one thing- every time this match tried to redeem itself, another botched move or sloppy segment soon followed. This is a bad match in the worst possible way: you know these two men can be great if they gave a damn, you can tell the crowd was really anxious to get into the match, and you know that there is no excuse for such a bad showing from both of these usually good (well, at least decent) performers. I'm strongly, strongly tempted to classify this as a DUD, but it had some very brief good points, and the finish slightly made up for it. ¾*
Masashi Aoyagi and Mitsuo Momota vs. Donovan Morgan and Richard Slinger
Although Slinger and Aoyagi start, their offense on each other can best be classified as filler. In a good moment, after Slinger and Aoyagi tag out, Morgan gets stiff slapped by Momota near the ropes, so he turns and clutches the ropes, only for Momota to stiff slap his back. Morgan then nails that cool double-knee-into-the-back move, and then teams up with Slinger to work over Momota, culminating in a great front dropkick to the back of Momota's skull. Aoyagi tags in after a bit more filler, and nails a quick kick combo for two, followed by a very nice spinning heel kick to the side of Slinger's head, but the follow-up pin attempt is broken up by Morgan. Slinger then nails a running boot, leading into some double-team offense until Morgan nails a twisting Pedigree, which is broken up by Momota. After a small cluster-**** spot, Morgan gets the win at 8:37 with a slightly impressive twisting fisherman suplex.
Analysis: This…well…it felt pretty boring and generic. Unlike the first match, which was disappointing, this match simply wasn't needed at all, even though it ultimately wasn't horrible. A bit less filler would've pushed it up to the two-star mark, but the odor of blandness stinks hard in this match and really drags it down. *½
Daisuke Ikeda, Kishin Kawabata, and Mohammed Yone vs. IZU, Scorpio, and Bison Smith
Scorpio and Yone start off with a stiff shot exchange that includes elbows, chops, and boots, then both tag out, bringing in Kawabata and Bison Smith. Ikeda tags in after Smith points to him and yells "I want you, you little ****". Weird. Ikeda does tag in, though, and lays into Bison with a barrage of kicks. Bison eventually nails a nice double iron claw to Ikeda and Yone, then a double suplex to both men. IZU then gets in but is subjected to some triple-team offense, including a cool triple foot choke. Scorpio and Kawabata then battle it out which leads to Scorpio planting Kawabata with a backdrop-into-slam move for 2¼. Scorpio tags out yet tags back in relatively quick and executes a good twisting Frog Splash, but one that gets broken up by Ikeda. Yone nails a second-rope legdrop a bit later for 2½. Ikeda eventually nails a nice S.T.O. and then tags in Kawabata. Kawabata nails a nice senton, but Bison Smith breaks up the pin attempt. Kawabata then nails a somewhat-sloppy top-rope dropkick for 2. Bison then tags in after some varied offense by a few people, but is taken out with a nice double-team spot by Yone and Ikeda, leading into a lariat by Kawabata that Bison kicks out of at two. Smith fires back with an iron claw chokeslam that gets broken up by his teammates. Bison Smith follows that move up with a Styles Clash (!!) to Kawabata to get the win at 13:30.
Analysis: Although it didn't suffer as much as the match before it, this match still had a aura of blandness to it at times. Yet some nice spots, decent fluidity, and basic psychology helped make it seem at least a bit more unique. The finish helped immensely, too- I was very impressed when Bison nailed a perfect Clash on Kawabata, mainly because both men could be classified as big, especially Smith himself. Even though all three men still weren't putting out their A-game, the match did turn out o.k. Just o.k., though- nothing more. **¼
Masao Inoue vs. Naoki Sano
Your basic submission affair starts the match. Inoue uses some dirty tactics to gain the lead, but Sano synchs in a headlock and keeps it locked in for a good while. Inoue tries for a backdrop, but Sano lands on his feet quite athletically and responds with a dropkick followed by a very fluid dive between the ropes to Inoue on the outside. Sano works over Inoue's legs with a few submissions, while Inoue does a good job selling it. Inoue fires back after some more punishment with a lariat and cradle, both of which get two. Sano then nails a nasty German Suplex that drops Inoue right on his neck and follows it up with a very impactful dropkick off the top rope, both of which get 2½. Sano then follows it up with a great powerbomb and a massive double foot-stomp off the top rope right to Inoue's chest, which gets 2¾. Sano then finishes Inoue with two rolling kicks. Inoue is unable to get up before the dreaded ten count, so Naoki Sano wins it at 12:55 by knockout.
Analysis: A good hoss match that, gratefully, seemed very unique. Although it had some broken psychology at times, there was some very painful-looking spots and some good selling by both men. All in all, it was a mildly entertaining match that had an o.k. beginning, was decent most of the time, and had a nice ending. **½
Tamon Honda, Akitoshi Saito, and Sugiura vs. Kanemaru, Yoshihiro Takayama, and Akira Taue
In a nice opening moment, Taue accidentally gives Takayama a boot when aiming for Sugiura. Both men sell it pretty well- Taue looks shocked and apologetic; Takayama shakes his head, rubs his chin, and looks slightly pissed off. Taue tags out and, when both men are back on the apron, Taue bows to Takayama. Saito and Takayama then go kick-for-kick in a very nice, very stiff spot that ends with a nice spinning kick by Saito. Takayama immediately gets back up and knees Saito's gut before falling down to a knee. Nice bit of delayed selling there. In another funny segment, Saito is pulled into Takayama's corner, then Takayama tags in Kanemaru. Thing is, right at the time when the first tag took place, Akira Taue tagged himself in. Taue gets into the ring only for Takayama to point to Kanemaru and yell something to Taue. Taue then gets back outside the ring and shrugs his shoulders. It was very funny if only because it was so clearly unintentional. Saito isn't laughing, though, as he is subjected to a little double-teaming that ends with a double suplex that sends him to the mat almost entirely ass-first. Taue then nails a nice Enzugiri on Honda after both men tag in and exchange some brief back-and-forth shots. Kanemaru then nails a twisting splash for 2, but gets drilled with a twisting backdrop shortly after. Saito nails a long stalling suplex, but Taue breaks up the pin attempt. After a low-blow followed by a dropkick, Kanemaru nails the "hot tag" to Takayama. After being worked over, Honda nails some slightly desperate offense and tags in Saito. After a bit, Honda and Sugiura nail a nice double spear on Kanemaru that gets 2¾. A quite-nasty bridging German Suplex also gets broken up by Taue. The finish comes when Sugiura gets hit with a big boot by Takayama, a chokeslam by Taue, and a moonsault by Kanemaru, which does him in at 14:48.
Analysis: A nice match that definitely had its moments. Although nothing really detracted from it, nothing really made it great. The pace was at a good level: not too slow and not too frantic, the two comedy spots were very funny the first time I saw them, the big spots were pretty big and noteworthy, and it did give off a decent-enough feeling of equality- for a good while it looked like everyone evenly had a chance to win this match. But, just like the previous six-man tag before this match, I can't help but feel that everyone involved didn't really try hard enough and, while they did do some good moves a few times, were pretty much going through the motions most of the time. Even though I did expect a bit more, all six men did indeed put on a good amount of effort (just not their best) and pulled together an entertaining six-man tag. ***
Jun Akiyama, Kikuchi, and Takeshi Morishima vs. Makoto Hashi, Kenta Kobashi, and Takeshi Rikio
Another six-man tag? Then again, given all the big names involved, I'm not exactly displeased. The match comes out in a big way, too, with a great spot that involves Hashi slapping Akiyama only for Akiyama to tilt his chin, begging for Hashi to do it again. Hashi nails at least ten slaps and all he gets is a very pissed off Akiyama who puts Hashi into the corner and makes him his ***** with some of the stiffest slaps I've seen in a long, long while. Akiyama then walks to his corner arrogantly and tags in Kikuchi. Hashi then gains the advantage and knocks Kikuchi down. He then tries to take out Akiyama, who just walks out of the way. Hashi then tags in Kobashi and Kobashi goes to work with some chops, then a few kicks to the guy, then finally a Russian leg sweep, although Akiyama and Morishima break up Kobashi's pin attempt. Kobashi and Rikio then nail a double shoulder block. Kikuchi then gains a momentary advantage, but Rikio simply overpowers Kikuchi. Rikio then gets a bit of a beatdown by Morishima and later Akiyama, until Rikio gets Akiyama into a bearhug and turns it into an impressive stalling suplex. Kobashi then tags in and nails a very impressive, and very long, stalling suplex of his own- he probably had Akiyama up in the air for twenty seconds, at least. Kobashi then gets some more offense in until Akiyama nails a jumping knee. Morishima and Kobashi then exchange some very stiff shots, but of course Kobashi gets the final shot to knock the big man down. Kikuchi nails a good triple suplex combo (with the last one being a fisherman suplex) shortly thereafter for 2½. Akiyama and Hashi then get into a very hard-headed headbutt exchange. Kikuchi then gives Hashi a headbutt outside the ring as Akiyama holds a microphone near both men so everyone can hear the impact.
Hashi then nails a desperation lariat after quite a beating and tags in Rikio while Kikuchi tags in Morishima. Both men exchange some nice power moves until Morishima nails a lariat that is kicked out of at two, only for Rikio to respond with an extremely powerful slap, even more powerful than Akiyama's slaps early on and maybe even Kobashi's chops. Very, very ouch. Speaking of Kobashi, he soon tags in and nails his machine gun chops in the corner, only to have his knees broken down by Akiyama. In one of the highlights of the match, Kobashi grabs Akiyama's hand, holds him, and nails a barrage of knife-edged chops to both sides of Akiyama's head, finishing with a spinning chop and two absolutely brutal Half Nelson Suplexes! Morishima then breaks up the pin and nearly freakin' kills Kobashi with a sick-as-**** backdrop that plants Kobashi almost completely on the crown of his head. Damn. Rikio makes the save and lays waste to Morishima, only for Kikuchi to take care of Rikio. Kobashi then tags in Hashi, who finally gets a good amount of revenge as he fires away with headbutts, chops, a lariat, and a sort of wrist-clutch suplex that gets 2. Akiyama is then severely brutalized with some awesome triple-team moves, but Kikuchi and Morishima eventually make the save, leading to a bit of a cluster-****. In a cool moment, Hashi actually tries to give Jun the Wrist-Clutch Exploder, but Akiyama battles out of it and gets Hashi down with some knees and finally an Exploder that drivers Hashi upper-shoulder-first into the mat, only for his partners to now make the save. The finish comes when Kikuchi and Morishima hold Kobashi and Rikio at bay while Akiyama puts Hashi into a Boston Crab in various ways/positions. Hashi doesn't give up and ends up passing out, so the ref calls for the bell at 21:48. Post-match, Akiyama actually walks on Hashi's back before leaving, adding a lot of insult to a lot of injury. Hashi eventually gets up, nothing wounded except his pride and most of his entire body, but Kobashi and Rikio still shake his hand.
Analysis: Quite easily Match of the Night so far. Then again, consider everyone involved. This match should be a blueprint for all six man tags- everyone came out looking stronger than when they went in, no one in the audience and definitely not me had any clue who was going to win it, the finish actually helped both teams, and everyone involved put their best foot forward and kicked many kinds of ass. Although there were a few problems- the match could've benefited from just a bit more story, just a bit more fluidity, an ounce more of psychology, etc.- this would all pretty much be sprinkles on a cake that already has icing on it. All considered, a very good, very impressive match that didn't feel bland at all, and rather felt very entertaining at times and jaw-droppingly good at others. ***½
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match: KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji (c) vs. Wataru Inoue & El Samurai
There's a lot of pre-match animosity going on here. Looks a lot like both teams may legit hate each other. That or they're probably just good actors- I'd believe either one. KENTA and Wataru Inoue exchange some stiffness, with KENTA utilizing his kicks to come out the winner. They are some very brutal kicks, too- it's easily apparent that KENTA isn't holding back at all. Some more junior-infused stiffness until Naomichi tags in, who continues the basic offense. Basic yet good, really- you can tell how fired up everyone is and know everything has its purpose. Some more athletic junior stuff until El Samurai nails a great dive between the ropes into Marufuji while Inoue nails a flying knee off the apron to KENTA. Marufuji then gets beaten up by his two opponents in a few ways, including a double foot choke. Marufuji looks to be in a lot of trouble until he nails his signature roll-kip up-flip-flip spot and then a dropkick, followed by a quick tag to KENTA. Inoue is then put into a tree-of-woe position and subjected to some double-team moves. Inoue continues to take one hell of a pummeling until he tags in El Samurai, who nails a brutal Piledriver for 2¼. Samurai then continues to beat down his adversaries, but KENTA is able to kick out of two separate pin attempts. In a very unique moment, Inoue gets KENTA in a Boston Crab, and Samurai goes up top, launching off and nailing a knee drop to the back of KENTA's head. A cocky pin attempt is broken up by Marufuji, and KENTA nails some quick offense and gets the tag to his partner, who nails a nice leg scissors/hurricanrana-type move after a brief battle with Inoue on the top rope and follows it up with a beautiful top-rope dropkick. Samurai tags in after a bit and nails a Spiked and Inverted DDT, then a lariat, all of which get 2½. Marufuji then climbs to the top rope and executes a dropkick right to Samurai's head (Samurai was kneeling at that point). In a huge highlight of the match, Marufuji attempts an Avalanche Shirunai, only for El Samurai to battle out of it and hit a top-rope Inverted DDT! Holy ****ing ouch! After KENTA breaks up the pin attempt, Marufuji nails a superkick and then the Shirunai! Both Marufuji and Samurai crawl/roll to their corners and tag out, but KENTA completely dominates Inoue, although a German suplex only gets 2½. Inoue then synchs in what looks to be either a finishing or signature submission, but KENTA kicks out at 2¼ when Inoue turns it into a quick pin attempt. Marufuji tries to help out, but gets a brainbuster and a diving headbutt for his trouble. KENTA then gets a combo move- a top-rope dropkick pushing him back into a German suplex. A cool segment, but KENTA kicks out at 2½. Both KENTA and Marufuji are then put into some very painful submissions, but KENTA crawls to the ropes. KENTA mounts an offense until Inoue drills him with a cross-legged brainbuster. Marufuji manages to break up the pin, but gets pummeled soon afterward.
KENTA doges a lariat so Marufuji can clock Inoue with a surprise superkick, but Samurai quickly hits Marufuji with a lariat of his own. A good spot is when Samurai accidentally lariats his partner, but then lariats KENTA anyway, then Inoue and El Samurai hit a massive double Lifting Inverted DDT that sends KENTA neck-first into the mat. KENTA kicks out of the subsequent pin attempt at the last second, and he also kicks out of a sick powerbomb, although Samurai quickly turns it into a submission. Marufuji once again saves his partner from impending doom, leading to a lightning-fast exchange of very powerful moves that leads into an excellent Shining Wizard to El Samurai, but one that is kicked out of at 2¾. KENTA almost nails the Busaiku Knee, but Samurai turns it into a rollup and follows it up with a schoolboy, only for both pin attempts to get 2¾. After three stiff-as-all-hell kicks to El Samurai's head, KENTA nails the Busaiku Knee!!! KENTA pins El Samurai, and KENTA wins it for his team at 28:01! Post-match, the two men are rightfully handed their titles and pose for the crowd and the cameras after such a hard defense.
Analysis: An insane amount of back-and-forth action made this match one to remember. Going into the "home stretch", it honestly felt like anybody could win this match at any time. It was fantastically unpredictable in the best sense of the term. Everything was good, nothing dragged out, and a lot of the spots were very unique and memorable. If you're into this sort of thing, I'm tempted to classify it as a must-see, but not really a must-see-or-die. Personally? I liked pretty much all of it and felt it was on par with the previous match, which is no easy feat. ***½
G.H.C. Tag Team Title Match: Yuji Nagata and Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Mitsuharu Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa
I can simply feel the animosity and passion in the air. The story behind this match was, at the time, that Yuji Nagata and Hiroshi Tanahashi weren't NOAH stars- both "belonged" to NJPW. So, of course, a New Japan team winning a NOAH tag belt led to a lot of hate, seen when the champs come in and are roundly booed. To their credit, they both eat it up pretty well- Nagata ignores it and Tanahashi playfully puts his fingers in his ears. This match was special because it was NOAH's chance to bring those belts back home where they belonged and put them on the waists of one of NOAH's biggest prospects (storyline-wise) and Misawa, the living legend who created NOAH. Even before the match starts it has an incredibly amount of history on its side. Ogawa comes out to a bigger reaction then I would have thought, and is actually handed a bouquet of roses by a fan. Misawa comes out to some of the biggest "Mi-Sa-Wa" chants I've heard in a long while. The match starts with Ogawa and Nagata, and the fans show their support for Ogawa by actually chanting his name quite loudly right as the bell starts.
A bit of quick offense and pins by Ogawa start the match off, and Ogawa then follows it up with a nice enzugiri. Ogawa then throws Yuji into Tanahashi, tosses Yuji outside, and poses. He even does Hogan's cupped-hand-to-ear thing. Tanahashi tags in and moves pretty fast for a guy his size as he and Ogawa do a bit of chain wrestling. Impressive, to an extent. Pretty much more of the same decently-impressive chain wrestling by both men until Misawa tags in. Both men exchange some shots until both tag out. In a classic heel moment, Nagata nails a low blow when the ref's back is turned. In a surprisingly hysterical moment, the ref refuses to count a pin for Nagata since Nagata had been choking Ogawa before going for the pin attempt. Nagata shoves the referee, and the referee, who is several times smaller in muscle mass (he's pretty much your standard Japanese referee) than Nagata, actually shoves back. When Nagata balls up his fist, the ref threatens to hit Nagata too. After a hilarious punk-out by a referee he could've murdered easily, Nagata tags in Tanahashi. In another classic heel moment, Ogawa looks to be gaining an advantage until the dastardly Yuji Nagata stops his momentum cold, using a choke over the ropes. When the ref threatens him, Yuji simply lets go and shrugs it off. He even does a bit more double-teaming until Misawa chases him out of the ring, tags in, and motions for Nagata to do the same, which he does. Misawa immediately goes to work on Nagata, who responds with a kick, leading into an elbow exchange, which Misawa wins. Misawa even nails a flying lariat and a standing senton for good measure. Yuji kicks out of Misawa's pin at only one and then works him over with kicks and knees before tagging in Tanahashi, who continues the punishment. Misawa hits a spinning elbow and a quick tag to Ogawa, who immediately nails two standing double foot stomps and then a tag to Misawa after he beats up Tanahashi for a little bit. Misawa and Ogawa then nail a great double back elbow, and then a elbow drop/double foot stomp combo. Tanahashi eventually regains the advantage after Ogawa tags in.
Nagata tags in and continues to level Ogawa with those incredibly stiff kicks of his. Later, Ogawa botches a spear-into-the-ringpost spot. Even though he stopped and then used the ropes to fling himself into the corner, instead of the regular spot of, you know, not stopping, it wasn't a match killer, and it did happen fast enough that many could eventually forget it. But it did happen. Nagata and Tanahashi then break down Ogawa's back and utterly destroy him with some incredibly powerful moves, including an exploder suplex, but Ogawa kicks out at 2½. Ogawa nails a desperate suplex and almost gets the tag until Tanahashi runs in and clubs Misawa, knocking him off the apron. Ogawa nails a dropkick and tries for the tag again, but Nagata holds him back. Tanahashi tries to knock Misawa off the apron again, but instead tastes a very stiff elbow.
Ogawa nails a DDT and finally makes the tag to Misawa, who cleans house. A German suplex gets 2, but Nagata responds with an Exploder suplex and tags in Tanahashi. Misawa then tags in Ogawa after going on the offensive, which leads to a cluster-**** spot, which Misawa and Ogawa dominate. Tanahashi and Ogawa then fall into a series of pinfalls-into-pinfalls, and it should be noted that, even though Tanahashi is the pudgiest of the four (I might consider him even a bit pudgier then Misawa), this series is leagues better than Guerra/Suzuki- both Ogawa and Tanahashi are incredibly crisp in this segment. Both men then gets some offense in, which leads to both being down and both tagging out. Misawa then nails the Tiger Driver, but Nagata kicks out at 2½. Misawa then goes up top after an elbow that almost gets the win, only to collide face-first with Nagata's knees in a very brutal spot. Nagata then nails the exploder suplex, a high knee, and a very, very sick backdrop for 2¾. After that, Nagata nails an absurdly stiff kick (on par with some of the stiffest I've ever seen) that is so fierce it's easily audible. Nasty, nasty, nasty. Misawa should have a concussion or something, that's how brutal it was. Ogawa manages to break up the pin attempt. Nagata then synchs in a submission, but Ogawa makes the save once again. Ogawa keeps trying to come to the rescue of his partner, but is eventually killed with a brutal double kick- one to the front of his head, one to the back of his head, at the same time. Misawa is then equally murdered with the same move. Tanahashi then nails a German suplex, rolls over, stands up, and hits a Dragon Suplex! Again, Ogawa saves his partner and friend. Both Ogawa and Misawa are put into submissions, but eventually regain the lead and do a little double-team work on Tanahashi, including a fierce elbow that doesn't quite do him in just yet. In a huge highlight of the match, Ogawa and Misawa grab one of Tanahashi's arms each and drills him with a double-team Tiger Driver '91! Holy ouch! Tanahashi barely kicks out at the last possible second. After a double elbow shot, Misawa nails the Emerald Frosion!!! Misawa gets the pin! The fans celebrate as Misawa gets the win and brings the Tag Team belts back where they belong at 29:41. Post-match, both men are handed their new titles and pose. They leave to the backstage area, which leads to an impromptu press conference of sorts that always happens when a new champion/champions is/are christened. They then share the traditional beer with a few wrestlers in the background, only for Scorpio to dump his beer on Misawa's head while Richard Slinger dumps his beer on Ogawa's head. Both men laugh and are congratulated one last time as the show comes to a close.
Analysis: Simply an awesome match. As much as I dislike Ogawa, he still gave one hell of a performance in this match. Tanahashi amazed me with how crisp he was at times, while Nagata and Misawa…well, they were simply classic Misawa and Nagata- they wrestled the same way and style that made you fall in love with them in the first place. This match had great flow, smart psychology, and a lot of very impressive back-and-forth action, not to mention the big, big, big atmosphere of the match. This was classic booking at its peak: two dastardly heels steal the belts away from their rightful home, two much-loved faces overcome incredible odds and fight back with everything they have to win the belts and bring them back where they belong. This was only helped by everyone really playing their characters well: Nagata and Tanahashi were the perfect examples of the bad guys you know can still kick your ass, but you still want them to get creamed. Misawa played a great babyface-in-peril, while Ogawa really hit home the fact that, while he wanted to win the titles, he'd also do anything to protect and save his friend, even if it means getting pummeled by two men. Say what you want about any of them- Misawa is over the hill, Tanahashi is just a hoss, Ogawa sucks, Nagata is generic. I don't care, and I don't share that opinion. For one shining moment, all was right in the world when Misawa and Ogawa won these titles. Even though it did suffer from feeling a tad bit cheap at times, this was an incredibly strong showing from all men involved. ****
Final Thoughts: Do yourself a favor and pretend Guerra/Suzuki never happened. It was a travesty, a disappointment, and a disaster of epic proportions. The second, third, and fourth matches were all passable in various ways, but the card hit its stride in the fifth match. The second half of this card is simply phenomenal, in every sense of the word. The sixth match was the epitome of a good, not decent, but a good six-man tag. The Junior Tag Team Title match was great. Ogawa/Misawa vs. Nagata/Tanahashi can only be describe as wonderfully emotional and amazingly good. If the first half of the card simply hadn't happened, I'd give my highest possible recommendations to this D.V.D. But the first match was, as mentioned before, a complete flop, while the second, third, and fourth match seemed little more than o.k. filler. But the second half of the card was strong enough to completely wash away the sins of the first half, even Guerra/Suzuki.
So, even with a lackluster first four matches, Pro Wrestling NOAH's "Great Voyage '04" event ended up strong enough to warrant a very sincere ***½.
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