Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Charles (Loss)

[2009-08-15-NJPW-G1 Climax] Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Masato Tanaka

Recommended Posts

This...well, let's say every other Tanahashi match I've seen is better. New Japan head referee is useless as ever as Tanaka's second continually interferes or draws him away, allowing Tanaka to use a kendo stick. Tanaka is all over the place as usual. They try to work Tanaahashi as underdog due to all the interference and cheating, but it really doesn't play for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worse than Tanaka dragging Tanahashi down, Tanahashi also got injured from I believe the second kendo stick shot and missed three months. He was forced to relinquish the belt. This was good news for Nakamura and his new character though.

 

 

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Masato Tanaka - G-1 Climax 2009 Finals

 

There a couple checkboxes that Tanahashi still needs to check off on his resume a big time match where he works underneath and a blood feud match. We know he can work a great championship match and heel vs powerhouse. This was his chance to knock both off "To Do List". The invading Tanaka brought his friends Gedo & Jado from Zero-One and was not above using underhanded tactics to gain control. The kendo stick shot set up by Gedo distraction in the middle of the match put Tanahashi at quite the disadvantage after controlling early with his standard knee work. Tanahashi's head was rattled and would never really recover as Tanaka would blast it with a Back Drop Driver out of a Sling Blade or a lariat. The story was that Tanaka could never really fully take control because his knee was fucked so it made for a logical cutoff for Tanahashi to return on offense. Tanahashi was perfectly serviceable selling and working from underneath scrapping for that victory. However, he did not show the fire that you really want to see. It was not Nakamura level apathy, but it was not exactly the big Misawa or Hogan comeback that really gets the crowd going. Tanaka did not really fully commit to being violent or a coward. He sold the knee well, but his character work left a lot to be desired. So that when Tanahashi did fire up the investment was solely in seeing Tanahashi win not wanting to see Tanahashi kill this muthafucka. I have seen some great heel performances like Suzuki or Ogawa. This was just a dude that happened to rely on a kendo stick or his friends to get ahead. As much as I liked the table spot because it was unique in Japan, it really was not that violent. I just was not feeling the violence from Tanaka. Tanahashi was definitely trying, but it is a two way street and Tanaka just was not adding the extra oomph. This is also one of the few Tanahashi matches that I do feel goes overboard in the finish insofar that Tanahashi took way too many big spots (suplexes, another kendo stick shot, frogsplashes and forearms to head) and was still kicking out. It hurts Tanaka more than helps Tanahashi because the credibility is not really there. Then when Tanahashi does go back on offense like with the Cloverleaf and the finish run he is really just no-selling Tanaka's work rather than working through the pain. I did like Tanahashi nearfall barrage at the end, but I think positioning that early would have been to better effect. Tanahashi's usual finish run (two suplexes, Sling Blade and two High Fly Flows) is great and fine, but the urgency here hurt it because he should have been groggier. This is still a good Tanahashi performance because for the first 3/4s he really did well to create a good ebb and flow with Tanaka without seeming "my turn, your turn". The problem was that in the finish, he was just taking too much and it just was not that credible. It is still a fun match with Tanahashi overcoming the outside intereference to win the 2009 G-1 Climax. Unfortunately, it was Pyrrhic victory as his eye was injured during the match and he was forced to relinquish the title. ***1/2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tanaka has always came off as a very robotic performer to me, and that opinion didn't change after watching this match - his selling was shitty & he did a very boring job being the one dominating once the match transitioned more into Tanahashi being the underdog fighting from underneath. He definitely didn't impress me - and honestly, the same goes for Tanahashi, his performance was, well, basically like every Tanahashi big match performance ever in nutshell. He used the same moves as always, did his limb work (which, for most of the time is very fun to watch btw) that went nowhere due to his opponent no selling it - you name it. Not a good one. *

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, one star...for real!?

I don't watch NJ all of the time, let alone Tanahashi matches. I pretty much actively dislike he and Okada so, any match of their's is an uphill battle. That is to say, they need to convince me that they can have a strong puro contest.

I've spent the better part of the day watching 6 and 8 man  single camera  house show tags from this period. Tanahashi was in 95% of them and he was pretty damn good in all of them. A couple, he was fantastic. Now, if anyone wants to speak of repetitive then, multi-man house shows is your first place to look. However, he and the other guys were mixing it up and adding wrinkles and twists. Sometimes, taking fun matches up to great matches (**** range).

So, yes Tanahashi's big matches can be repetitive and look alike and gosh does he go to the leg attack too much but, this really isn't that match. Perhaps he's like Bret Hart, having fantastic house show matches and then having his one big show match for years. Ha, I'm defending Tanahashi :D But, watching the day to day match then going to this makes me appreciate the extent to which he ups his game here. Both really...If we're only looking at major matches then, perhaps everyone is right. I suppose if I watched only singles matches or Tanahashi singles matches instead then, I'd probably agree. But, I did not :)

This was an amazing match where they beat the shit out of each other. Tanaka went all out & Tanahashi did too. I gotta give him his props. Classic G1 stuff, classic NJ stuff to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×