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[2013-08-11-NJPW-G1 Climax] Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Katsuyori Shibata


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Shibata's last match before he left New Japan in 2006 was against Tanahashi. This was their first meeting since Shibata's return to the company in 2012. Love how, as they are about to lock up, Shibata just SLAPS Tanahashi, showing right away what he is all about. The match is actually quite similar in it's structure as their 2006 Dome meeting - Shibata is the offense for most of it, he does a tremendous job just kicking Tana's ass & Tana is really good selling it. All of Tana's comebacks were really good too & I loved the finish; that was a great way of telling that Tana just BARELY survived, just BARELY escaped the asskicking Shibata's was giving him, as he got that flash counter roll up to the GTS he was about to receive. Great stuff. ****1/4

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  • GSR changed the title to [2013-08-11-NJPW-G1 Climax] Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Katsuyori Shibata
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This was fucking awesome. None of that useless meandering to open, just a huge slap and then we're off to the races. Shibata is so fantastic at creating a sense of danger and even in loss, he always seems unbeatable. It's the stiff strikes, the measured selling, those gruesome headbutts (hard to watch in retrospect). Tanahashi gives him all the selling he needs and is even able to stand up to the strikes on occasion with some sick palm strikes of his own. The finish is just absolutely pitch perfect brilliance to make both guys look amazing. Love this, more of this stuff in New Japan now will be a much needed shot in the arm.


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