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[2012-05-03-NJPW-Wrestling Dontaku] Kazuchika Okada vs Hirooki Goto


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A very good match, but also one where you get the impression that in the worker's head, they think the match is great and it never came all the way together for me in that regard. We have seen a good bit of limb and body control work from Okada in this run now and this was the weakest of those narratives. Goto doesn't do many compelling things on top and Okada's facials and overall demeanor isn't as strong as it was in the Naito match. Goto works the neck of Okada as well and does have short bursts like the running clotheslines that look effective but their isn't much follow up. Okada continues to have a system that he employs into his singles matches the more you watch such as gaining the advantage by hitting a dropkick with his opponent sitting on the top rope. The finish has a good many kick outs of all the big moves of both men minus the RainMaker. The RainMaker gets hit and again is enough on the first try for Okada to win. ***1/2

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I liked Okada's performance here a good bit. The first eight minutes or so here are pretty dull with Goto on top, but I liked how after being dumped outside Okada quickly tried to go into the crowd with Goto - an advantage he used to transition in both the Tanahashi and Naito matches prior. It doesn't work here, so it's more Goto working him over. The work is by no means light, it's just pretty plodding and I do think Okada sells and bumps really well for Goto. The transition that does work is the top rope drop kick (again) and then it's Okada on the neck and, what I presume is Red Ink - his submission (from what I could gather). He hits a great dropkick to a charging Goto also in this match. Couple other Okada notes: he (also again) uses his tombstone as a cutoff move and transition right into Heavy Rain. They flub a Rain Maker sequence, but he never waivers and gets Goto into a different position to then do the spot. Okada doesn't get a ton of suplex heavy work in the rest of the way; he takes all of Goto's power moves and they feel much more in place here than when Naito ran through his against Okada. Top rope finisher was cringe inducing and man that look like it stung Okada (so much so that the kickout seemed like a no brainer the way he was curled up). Late in this match Okada has transitioned into exclusively looking for his home run, which is reversed into a headbutt that the crowd cannot believe. Okada kicks Goto's forearm, then ducks another lariat (with said forearm) and then counters him into the Rain Maker for the win. Interesting how this felt much more like a survival than the Tanashi/Naito contests. ***1/2

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  • GSR changed the title to [2012-05-03-NJPW-Wrestling Dontaku] Kazuchika Okada vs Hirooki Goto
  • 1 year later...

IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs Hirooki Goto - NJPW 5/3/2012

Hirooki Goto is also the IWGP Intercontinental Champion at this point. How Goto does not get tangled or trip over his ridiculous pantaloons, I do not know.

I wish Choshu, Hashimoto or Sasaki was still around but we are stuck with Goto. Goto runs over Okada and sends him packing with a lariat over the top. Okada is left lying in his own money was a good visual. Okada decides to try a tour of the arena this ends very anti-climatically with Goto just running him into a post. Goto gets a neckbreaker and starts working over the neck. It was very ok. Okada hits his trademark dropkick from the mat to his opponent sitting on the top rope that he always hits. It is a great transition. He whips Goto hard into the railing and comes charging in and steamrolls Goto with a big boot. Goto takes a nasty spill onto the concrete. Okada cranks the neck in between the railing. Good shit. Okada was fully into his cocky douche role. He attacks the neck. He hits his running boot into the neck. He puts one foot on the chest of Goto and Red Shoes refuses to count! I love it! Theres a great moment where Okada playfully slaps Goto so Goto revs up and tries to pulverize Okada, but Okada evades him and nails his dropkick! A cocky douche is bad its even worse when he can back it up. Goto hits a lariat after shortly after this. Kicks and the big Hashimoto rainbow kick in the corner. Goto does have good kicks. Saito Suplex for two and zero heat. Okada reverses a move into a DDT pretty lame transition. He had been working the neck so it makes sense from that perspective. Okada goes into a lucha neck crank. After Goto makes the ropes, it is the Okada finish stretch...top rope elbow...Rainmaker Pose...No Go Wide Out...Flapjack...Tombstone...Weird modified slams...it was good stuff. For a second I didnt think Goto would get a nearfall stretch. They fuck up a Rainmaker counter so they go back to it Goto hits that FU into a knee that I dont care for. Smokes him with a lariat. It a cool move Okada tries to elbow out of a Saito Suplex so Goto traps the arm and then hits it for two. Heat was tremendous this time. Much better. He hits the Super version of the FU into the Knee for two. That definitely feels like it is over for Goto. It should have been Rainmaker right away but they futz around a little bit before RAINMAKER~!

This got some votes in WON MOTY dont know why. Okada was just three months into his reign and this was a great match for him. He got to run through all his moves, he dominated the match and crushed Goto with a Rainmaker to win. Goto looked good in that two minute stretch at the end when he needed to make people believe he could pull this out. If you love Okada and want to see his Greatest Hits, watch this otherwise dont worry about it, just routine. ***

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