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[2017-04-29-NJPW] EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi


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Tanahashi has a lot of aggression at the start jumping Evil and sending him around on a tour of the ringside area. Evil responds well to that onslaught and takes over when he horse collars a chair to Tana’s neck and then hits that chair with another one. Back inside, Evil slows the match down with neck focused submissions. The biggest critique I have of this match is that the comebacks came too easy for Tanahashi. I know Evil beat Tana in the NJ Cup but this is a different story. That was kind of the point as Evil is just a Gatekeeper for LIJ to get to the big boss of Naito but as a stand alone match, it lacked much drama because it felt like Evil couldn’t sustain any type of threatening offensive maneuvers to pull off the win. Evil has some good looking clotheslines and the lariat to send Tana over the guard rail as well as the weird directional lariat from the corner provided his overall highlights for the match. The ending is groan inducing with LIJ interference from SANADA and BUSHI. We already have too much of this from Suzuki Gun and this just felt tacked on and really unnecessary. Taguchi at least comes out to help his buddy and he single handily escorts the LIJ members to the back. Tanahshi hits a dragon suplex for a 10 count but Red Shoes is still hurt. High Fly Flow but Evil gets the knees up. A sloppy looking final sequence culminates in an awkward hip toss. Two HFF and Tana wins. **3/4

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Tanahashi looking super majestic w/ that epic jacket of his & all while attacking EVIL before the bell was a great start. I love this vulnerable best-days-behind-him ace version of Tanahashi - we have got it pre-G1 few years now & we sure got it right here in this match. His selling of EVIL's awesome work on top was dramatic in a very positive way, absolutely loved it. All of his comebacks were great too. A super simple, fun match with well executed storytelling. Tana is the man. ***3/4

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • GSR changed the title to [2017-04-29-NJPW] EVIL vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

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