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[2012-08-12-NJPW-G1 Climax] Kazuchika Okada vs Karl Anderson


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This started out with a real traditional base. A lot of hammerlock and headlock exchanges. Nothing was awful about this exchange but it wasn't high end either. We do get a nice tease of the finishers early on which isn't as played out in 2012 as it is now. This also helps give gravity to the situation based on the fact that 1 RainMaker has been a KO blow so far. The action escalates on the apron and Anderson gains the advantage going after the arm of Okada. I was excited at the prospect of this as we havent seen that strategy utilized so far. Anderson does some good stuff on top wrenching the arm but Okada fires back. Okada focuses on the neck and does the guardrail spot again which is played out by this point. He does add a nice implant DDT to vary things up. From there, the match goes into an extended finishing run and I thought Okada used his right arm that was worked over way too much. I sort of see the theory that this match is again the latest example of NJ saying that Okada is the guy NOW, not necessarily the future, but it was excessive. A couple of neat wrinkles within the match included Anderson doing a spinebuster as a counter action to the flapjack. The finishing stretch again shows Okada's dominance and the crowd is chanting his name as he avoid the cutter and delivers the 1-2-3 combo of a back of the head dropkick, tombstone and RainMaker to secure his first G-1 Victory. I have seen ratings as high as ****3/4 for this and I can see that to a degree but the arm work really took me out of the match here and the finish was never much in doubt. ***3/4

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  • 3 weeks later...

I liked this a good bit, and Chad has laid out similar critiques that I have. I thought the arm vs. neck stuff early was good - the DDT off the apron was new for Okada. Transitions here were smooth also. After the second attempted Rainmaker, when Anderson chopped the arm, I thought they really were going to build to this being a big thing down the stretch. It wasn't, but i do think both guys - and Okada especially - did staggered selling pretty well. This wasn't Okada brushing the match off at times, he was much more consistent than usual. A lot of good counters here, i especially liked the couple times they'd do double counters in unusual spots. Like Okada would charge the turnbuckle and miss, and you'd typically see Anderson take over, but HE misses and then Okada is back in control. They do something similar around the eventual powerbomb by Anderson and it popped me. I thought the trading and extended finish was really well executed (although the blocking of the cutters looked a bit wonky, Okada would go down but never lose his base - it was certainly different than the two push-off counters they had already done). I thought the desperation dropkick by Okada led to a warranted slug-out on their knees before the big finish of dropkick to the back of the head > tombstone > Rainmaker. This was very good. ****

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Very good match and like the first Tanahashi and Naito matches, a bit of foreshadowing of what Okada was capable of. You could see the wheels spinning a bit too much in Okada's head when he did the guardrail spot, went back in the ring, and THEN hit the apron drape DDT, but other than that he didn't telegraph anything else. Anderson arguably put on a career performance here and was fantastic in the finishing stretch. They went the normal story route that they do with a lot of Okada matches where he's in trouble, but all he needs is one good dropkick and BAM! Tide immediately changes and it's a tombstone and Rainmaker for the win.


These guys always had great chemistry and this was no different. A bit slow in the beginning, but the last 15 minutes or so were very good. ****

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  • GSR changed the title to [2012-08-12-NJPW-G1 Climax] Kazuchika Okada vs Karl Anderson

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