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ShittyLittleBoots

[2017-02-11-NJPW-New Beginning in Osaka] Tetsuya Naito vs Michael Elgin

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Typical New Japan main event 'epic'. The first half was completely forgettable, the work Naito did on Elgin's leg was sold pretty badly by Big Mike. The match only got interesting once they kicked into the finishing gear w/ them just throwing big bombs at each other, but even then, it wasn't very interesting. *

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This very much played off their big match from September, with the added twist of the eye injury which Naito used to typically then transition to the knee. Naito doesn't do as much with the knee in the second half of the match, to that point Elgin sells very well - even during bridges and while on offense, including having to use the top rope to set up the power bomb because he doesn't have the strength to get Naito up. Subtle (missed by the english announcers) and really good psychology.

 

Elgin's first kickout of Destino is the segue from their prior tilt and now he moves into the Burning Hammer stuff, a callback to New Year's Dash. Naito just takes a beating here. Literally the only time Elgin doesn't sell the knee in the match is after the power bomb into the rail near the very end - his huge adrenaline finish when he races him back in to finally hit the spinning powerbomb for the big kickout. I was pretty convinced he had him beat there. He then drives Naito into the buckle and on his head. More play off the Hammer and Naito hits two more finishers to come out on top. Perhaps a touch excessive in the 2H, but boy this was a worthy main event. ****3/4

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2/11/17 NJPW Naito vs Michael Elgin 4 3/4*



Damn I really loved this match. We get a really strong shine getting Elgin's strength over. Naito just working the leg. Elgin was great at selling the leg. We got some great hope spots mixed in. Elgin going after the back . I thought the match layout was great. The crowd was incredible 100% behind Elgin. I loved Naito going after the eye . A really great heat spot. We got some great nearfalls on to the finish.

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