Today, while researching some of the best sub-10 minute matches of all time, stumbled upon a match I’d never seen before. In fact I’d never heard of one of the competitors before. That match was KENTA vs Ricky Marvin, in a match that clocks in at just under two minutes.
I’m aware of KENTA. I had never seen him before he signed for NXT, and wasn’t overly impressed when he did. However, since he release and debut in NJPW, I’ve become a huge fan of KENTA. Before this match, I watched KENTA beating Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship, and I love it.
However, the match has garnered rave reviews on Cagematch, gaining a 8.29 rating on the site. The comments rave about the match, about how they managed to condense a great match into just 1 minute and 59 seconds.
So, I had to see this match for myself. Could it live up to the hype? Is two minutes enough to tell a great story in the ring, or put on a match that is even worth watching?
The WWE divas in the early 2010s certainly couldn’t. Although, having seen enough KENTA matches, I can tell he may be slightly better than the likes of Aksana and Cameron (of the Funkadactyls).
There may be context to this match. These two may be two of the fiercest rivals in Pro Wrestling NOAH. Ricky Marvin could be the second coming of Misawa and Shawn Michaels combined.
I have no clue though. I’ve not heard of Ricky Marvin before this match. Looking at his Wikipedia page, he never became a huge star in wrestling.
But in this match, he looks amazing.
The match hasn’t begun before he risks his life. KENTA is still walking to the ring, when Marvin launches himself through the ropes, headfirst towards him. Using his own face as a battering ram, he launches right into KENTA’s head, knocking the future Hideo Itami down.
Ricky Marvin vs KENTA finally starts when the pair get back into the ring. Marvin waits for KENTA to get back to his feet, before hitting an absolutely disgusting running dropkick on KENTA. He launches the Japanese wrestler into the corner, and it looked bloody painful.
Marvin then grabs KENTA and powerbombs him in the centre of the ring. He stacks him up for the pin, but KENTA kicks out at two. He gets up, and proceeds to hit a beautiful, brutal looking superkick on KENTA. I don’t know if Marvin is really good at wrestling, or is just kicking KENTA really hard in the face at this point.
Marvin then dodges a clothesline from KENTA, with a jump down/kip up combo that is like something out of the matric. However, KENTA then retaliates with a beautiful discuss clothesline, getting the upper hand for the first time in this (incredibly short) match.
KENTA then hits a pair of dropkicks into Marvin in the corner, and lifts him onto his shoulders for the Go to Sleep. However, as he goes to hit it, Marvin reverses the GTS into a hurricanrana, a reversal I have never seen before. It’s executed beautifully, as is the small package pin afterwards, but KENTA manages to kick out of both.
KENTA goes for the GTS (invented by KENTA and stolen by CM Punk) again, but Ricky Marvin reverses. However, KENTA sees this coming, and reverses the hurricanrana into a powerbomb. Marvin kicks out at two, before the pair trade near fall pins.
Marvin tries to roll up KENTA for a complicated pin, but KENTA stops him in his tracts. He reverses it, getting Marvin up on his shoulders, and hits the GTS finally. It is sold like death from Ricky Marvin, he slumps to the floor like he’d been knocked out.
KENTA then takes a run, and kicks Marvin right in his head. Right in the noggin. If he wasn’t knocked out before, he was now. KENTA covers him for the one-two-three, and takes the win in 1 minute and 59 seconds.
As two minute long matches go, it is excellent. All the moves were executed beautifully, and the story of Marvin trying to reverse the GTS was entertaining as it was perfect.
Both men look excellent in defeat. In the end, Marvin got caught out by KENTA, but in a potentially rematch I can see either men picking up the win.
KENTA vs Ricky Marvin is an excellent match. If they could go ten minutes, it could get the full five stars if they carried on like this.
But on this occasion, I’ll award it four stars out of five.
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Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.