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[2009-10-12-NJPW] Shinjiro Otani vs Shinsuke Nakamura


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  • 5 months later...

This was really good. Nakamura comes in as the champ and has to defend against outsider (but former NJPW guy) Ohtani. They work a nice legwork sequence that ultimately means nothing. Nakamura goes to the arm as well as beating the crap out of Ohtani with knees to the body. Then they turn normal psychology on it's head and end up making Ohtani the face with Nakamura being the dickish heel. Crowd squarely in Ohtani's corner, he makes a fiery comeback that is really fun to watch. The finishing run is not overdone, but one spot in it loses me and I hate that. Ohtani wants a superplex and has to get up off the mat after being elbowed off the top 3 times to get it. big slap and some Ohtani elbows finally net him the superplex! And he pops up immediately for the pin. I get that was supposed to be a big nearfall, but sell what you had to do to get it at least for a little bit. This should show up somehwre on the lower half of my ballot, but that superplex spot really kills the match for me.

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  • 3 months later...

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs Shinjiro Ohtani - NJPW 10/12/09


Oh so THIS is the Shinsuke Nakamura everybody knows and loves. I get it now. I will say in addition to being way cooler and more interesting, he actually broke a sweat in this match showing he actually tried in this match. I will always appreciate effort. To me apathy and complacency are two of the greatest ills that plague mankind in all facets of life so when I see it in a wrestling match, I immediately become annoyed. Nakamura putting forth effort here has won me over for the time being. I will curious to see how he holds up in 2010 and beyond.


Nakamura won the vacant IWGP Championship from brawling brute, Togi Makabe and is now defending against Z1 invader, Shinjiro Ohtani before the return of Tanahashi next month. Even though Ohtani is the outsider, he is a respected New Japan legend and Nakamura's new persona does not endear him to the crowd. Thus you have the "We want the old timer to pull of the upset" dynamic while the cocky young champion looks to dash these hopes and rub it in everyone's faces. Ohtani gets those hopes up early scoring a big German suplex early that has Nakamura regrouping on the outside. I appreciate New Japan starting all their matches with matwork because it is good place to start a match from even if it is not very impressive matwork. In this match, he finally get matwork that actually has a sense of struggle to it and leads to the story of the match. Nakamura targets Ohtani's arm with a double wristlock, but cannot get the cross armbreaker. From there, he just violently picks Ohtani apart with knees to the arm and midsection. Nakamura conveys such arrogance and anger with each knee. This is really night and day from earlier in the year. Ohtani is the perfect face for this. He has those great facial expressions, he will sell the arm and he is such a sympathetic figure for the crowd. Everyone is just hooked at this point in the match. Nakamura throws a nasty little headbutt that busts Ohtani open. Ohtani scores a leg lariat and then has the whole place rocking as he goes for the crowd favorite facewash not once, but twice. Ohtani looks to consolidate with a Dragon Suplex, but Nakamura backs him into the corner. In this pivotal point of the match, each is jockeying position and Ohtani SWEEPS THE LEG!!! The announcers go crazy with Hashimoto references and the crowd pops huge. Dragon Suplex -> 1-> 2. Damnit! Nakamura flash submission hold! Breaks hand clasp with an elbow and cross armbreaker, but Ohtani gets ropes. Ohtani stupidly places Nakamura on top. Why would you give your opponent the high ground? Ohtani has to assault the mountain three times before he can break through Nakamura's defense. Ohtani is absolutely amazing selling this struggle. Ohtani gets the superplex and now a missile dropkick to the back. He raises his hand to the heavens. The announcers go crazy with more Hashimoto references. The Ohtani attacks with Hashimoto's overhand chops and a spinning powerbomb only gets two. Cue Ohtani histronics. Nakamura whips his head back on a dragon suplex attempt. Nakamura goes for the choke out, but Ohtani has one last gasp with an overhand chop. They punch each other at the same time. Nakamura punch and two Boma Ye knees gives Nakamura the victory in an excellent match.


I am a sucker for the old timer has one last shot at greatness and all that stands in his way is the arrogant jerk current champion. Ohtani took on a ride and easily his best match as a heavyweight I have ever seen. Nakamura more than held up his end with great offense early and then really selling it like Ohtani had a chance to take the title. I loved the violence of the finish. It was a short and sweet strike exchange that Nakamura got the better of and just launched two knees to the head. He does need to learn from Hayato how to really throw that Boma Ye Knee. Ohtani just did not have enough. It is amazing Nakamura has had two excellent matches in 2009 and Tanahashi is still struggling for that home run. ****1/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2009-10-12-NJPW] Shinjiro Otani vs Shinsuke Nakamura

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