This 13 June 2008 battle for Pro Wrestling NOAH (here and here) works on several levels, but really it's hard to put my finger on what makes it crazy exciting for me. KENTA, 5'8", 180#, as a ring presence, defies explanation--he works on a visceral level, transcending every attempt at classification, quietly smoldering yet technically dazzling, sinister yet heroic. He and Katsuhiko Nakajima, 5'9", 180#, are well matched, two adversaries who throw themselves body and soul into the task of each other's demolition, yet with respect for the other's prowess and integrity. The fight is a tightly choreographed work of art that crescendoes in a rapid series of near pins and frustrated finishers, till, finally, with great effort and at great personal cost, KENTA annihilates Katsuhiko. From beginning to end, the match is breathlessly paced, yet intimate and sensuous, an unforgettable realization of manly vigor and violent struggle. The two wrestlers would meet again, in singles and team competition, always with unpredictable results.


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