MATCH : KENTA v Takashi Sugiura

PROMOTION : Pro Wrestling NOAH

EVENT : Northern Navigation Day 12

VENUE : Sapporo, Hokkaido

DATE : 4th June 2006

CHAMPIONSHIP : GHC Junior Heavyweight Title

BACKGROUND : KENTA was the reigning GHC Junior Heavyweight champion going into this match having held the title for almost an entire year but at Northern Navigation he would be defending the strap against a former Junior champion in Takashi Sugiura. Sugiura and KENTA had both started wrestling in 2000 and their careers had been very similar going into this match with both men having held the GHC Junior Heavyweight and GHC Junior Tag Titles in the early part of their career. In 2006 wrestling fans watching this match would be forgiven for thinking that they were witnessing the future of Pro Wrestling NOAH, so which of these men would get the edge and be victorious in this match?

MATCH REVIEW : This match is over 25 minutes over pure intensity and great technical ability. It is matches like this one that really put NOAH on the map and solidify it as one of wrestling's biggest companies of the modern era. People were right in the predictions of these two men as both would go on to become legendary in NOAH and in the sport generally. Following on from this match KENTA would go up a division and start challenging for the GHC Heavyweight Title which he would never successfully capture unlike Sugiura who would follow KENTA into the hunt for the Heavyweight Title. This match received a lot of praise in 2006 and was certainly one of the best matches of the year.