Minoru Suzuki is a better wrestler than you, and I’m going to explain why using a throw away show opening match as an example. Sure, an easy go-to to show one how great Suzuki is would be his recent Match of the Year candidate with AJ Styles from the 2014 G1, which you really should watch if you haven’t already, and watch again if you have. Instead, I’d rather show you a match that doesn’t even come close to a Match of the Year contender. It was an ordinary, non-PPV show opener. A simple 8-man tag match which kickstarted the second day of the 2014 World Tag League. There were no stakes, just a simple, 10+ minute match to open the show. The participants were New Japan’s resident Young Lions: The wonderful Yohei Komatsu and the very good Sho Tanaka, teaming with veterans Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan, against Suzukigun members El Desperado, No Pants Taichi, Takashi Iizuka and of course, Minoru Suzuki.
With the Young Lions involved, it’s not to hard to figure out what to expect from this kind of match. The Young Lions will fight valiantly. They will get beat down, but they’ll keep on fighting. They will probably even get some nearfalls, and have you believe they might actually score a win against some established opponents, but in the end they’ll lose. The veterans involved in the match will probably do their usual spots, but nobody expects them to steal the show. Having said that, it’s still a show opener, so it’s not going to be boring either.
Now, being a match which involves Iizuka, a lot of the action does take place out of the ring, and considering the number of men involved, Suzuki only gets a very small amount of time in the ring. But the time he does get, he makes count.
First of all, when it’s Suzuki’s turn to get in the ring, he self tags in, because Minoru Suzuki simply doesn’t have the for legal tags. Once in, he immediately tries to break Tenzan’s arm, because Minoru Suzuki doesn’t have the time to wear his opponent down today. Tanaka tries to break it up and ends up caught in a submission with Tenzan. Next, Kojima come in and delivers his rapid chops, only to be no sold by an angry Suzuki. Kojima finally gets a shot in and is about to go up for the big elbow, but Suzuki boots his head off in the corner like he’s Sammi Zayn. And then the magic happens: Suzuki gives Kojima a snap mare. While Kojima is sitting, Suzuki give shim a hard running kick. When Suzuki goes to pick up Kojima, Kojima does the Undertaker sit up. Suzuki’s reaction is absolutely brilliant. The way he looks at his hands like, “Huh? Where is he?” is so, so good. He tries another kick and goes to pick up Kojima again, but Kojima does another Undertaker sit up. On the third attempt, Kojima catches Suzuki’s leg and drops him with an Ace Crusher. Kojima pulls off his elbow pad as he is wont to do, but before he finish off Suzuki, all the Suzukigun members come in and team up on Kojima. What follows is one of those little things, those small attentions to detail that make Suzuki so good. While the teaming up is happening, Suzuki puts on Kojima’s elbow pad. The Suzukiguns take turns doing running attacks on Kojima in the corner. When it’s Suzuki’s turn, he runs, stops suddenly in front of Kojima, mimics Kojima’s elbow pad spot, and delivers a mean slap across his face. In one small spot, Suzuki has shown his knack for doing the small things that get a big reaction from the crowd, while also reminding us that he’s a dirty, no good heel.
Suzuki spent less than 3 minutes in the ring in this match, yet he made every second count, and got some of the best reactions from the crowd without even breaking a sweat or doing any high spots. The next time he gets in the ring is to all so casually break up a pinning attempt from Komatsu. He’s then quickly ejected to the outside, where he remains until the match is over, with Desperado pinning Komatsu.
Now comes my favourite part. The match is over, the bell has rung, Suzuki’s team got the victory. Instead of getting into the ring and celebrating, which eventually does, he continues beating the hell out of Kojima on the outside, throwing him into the guard rails. While Desperado and Taichi are in the ring enjoying their moment in the spotlight, you can find Suzuki in the background putting the boots to one of his already beaten opponents. Once he’s had enough stomping his opponent into the floor, he proceeds to wail on him with a steel chair, because enough is never enough for Suzuki Minoru. This guy is unf###ingbelievable. If that sight doesn’t instantly make you fall in love with Minoru Suzuki, then that’s too bad for you.
- Minoru Suzuki does not give a f###.
Match is over, he’s beating the hell out of dudes on the outside.
- Minoru Suzuki is tough as nails!
Kojima is chopping him to death, it only makes Suzuki mad.
- It’s the little things.
Kojima’s elbow pad, his reactions to Kojima sitting up, his casual pin break ups.
I implore you to watch this match, simply for the three or so minutes of Minoru Suzuki brilliance. If his performance here doesn’t win you over and you need a bit more convincing, then go watch his match with AJ Styles. Even though it’s been praised as a MOTY contender, when asked, Suzuki said that it was just a normal match.
This f###ing guy!