(02/08) Takeshi Morishima (c) vs. Yuji Nagata

Korauken Hall (Tokyo, Japan)
GHC Heavyweight Championship

When writing about Morishima’s fun title defense versus Shane Haste, I noted that Morishima as a super heel champion with a stable constantly interfering on his behalf seemed to be working. As noted then, I didn’t think it had a long shelf life, but figured it could get NOAH well into April before they came up with something else. It turns out the run was cutoff way before reaching the springtime. Perhaps it was KENTA’s decision to stay with the promotion that changed plans, but the entire sequence of events to switch the title Nagata – this match included – felt rushed and unsatisfying.

The idea behind Morishima and company running rampant should have led to either KENTA – as the ace of the promotion – ending the madness eventually or a new face stepping up to put an end to it after at least a couple months of Morishima running roughshod over the entire promotion. An outsider like Nagata putting an end to the reign just a month into it didn’t feel right.

The match itself was also completely unremarkable. The first ten minutes were bland and it doesn’t pick up until the interference kicked in. Morishima and his stable mates were getting the constant-interference thing down to the point where I could envision a big time reaction when someone finally stopped them months down the line. When TMDK came out here to do that – which allowed Nagata to gain the victory – it felt like it was too early in the title run for it to have any real meaning or impact.

Nagata’s reign might be over before it begins as he defends against KENTA in a couple of days. I get the reason for getting the title back on their most marketable and popular wrestler, but it feels like it would have meant more for KENTA to put a stop to Morishima’s reign of terror in a month or two rather than using Nagata as a transitional champion at this stage.

Japan Heavyweight | Pass | Title Match

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