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ShittyLittleBoots

[2014-06-21-NJPW-Dominion] Meiyu Tag (Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata) vs Tomoaki Honma & Yuji Nagata

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This was FANTASTIC. Honma went after Shibata right away, that was awesome & then Nagata tagged in - goddamn Shibata trying to fight both Honma & Nagata at the same time on their corner was badass. That was shut down pretty quickly though, as the numbers advantage was too much for Shibata. Nagata throws one hellacious looking kick to Shibata on the corner. Eventually Shibata gets the control back, and we get a great Honma FIP segment. Meiyu Tag's work over him was terrific & Honma's eventual comeback w/ those slaps & a Lariat was amazing. Nagata's hot tag was amazing as well - damn his kicks looked DEADLY in this match. The match essentially kicked off into it's finishing stretch after Nagata's awesome hot tag, and it's great. Honmania run wild; Meiyu Tag looked to be in real trouble until Honma missed that big top rope Kokeshi. Fantastic stuff. All 4 men played their roles perfectly. A bona fide tag team classic. ****1/2

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No-nonsense tag sprint featuring four guys who aren't afraid to take or dish out boatloads of punishment. The match is centered around Meiyu Tag working over Honma, and his selling is off the charts. In particular, he sells a sucker punch from Shibata like a blow from a baseball bat. I also loved Shibata setting up the PK only to boot Nagata off the apron, followed by Nagata kicking the guardrail in frustration. Honma reversing the shouten into a small package was a great nearfall late in the match. They keep the fighting spirit nonsense to a minimum and deliver 11 minutes of hard-hitting action without overstaying their welcome. If New Japan has produced a better tag match this decade, I haven't seen it.

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I could have sworn I made a post. I missed the boat with this one. I will re-watch. I am pretty shocked that I rated it so low. So yes will definitely get a re-watch soon. But here is the original review:

 

Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto vs Yuji Nagata & Tomomaki Honma - 6/21/14

 

Picked this match to watch for two reasons: I wanted to watch a modern New Japan tag match and I love the "underdog face paired with a vet face against a bruising heel duo" genre. It looks like the only underperforming part of New Japan is the tag division, which produced pretty much no match of the year contenders. This was the only New Japan heavyweight tag match to even make Voices of Wrestling Top 120 of 2014 countdown. Add in the fact this type of tag match is my favorite type of tags this was a slam dunk to watch. Unfortunately, I was bit disappointed. You think beating the piss out of Honma and a hot finish run would be hard to fuck, but I just didn't think the drama was there. I liked Honma jumpstarting the match. You can't help but be infected by his energy. You want that dude to win a match. He takes it to Shibata early and Nagata/Honma overwhelm Shibata. Shibata finally gets his wits about him and levels Honma with a right elbow and wisely tags out. This is what I am waiting for the beatdown on Honma and it did not last long enough. Goto is just as lame as ever. Shibata was a good dick, but he is no Tenryu. I liked him shoving his boot into Honma's face. Only one knock Nagata off the apron spot? Honma is already making his comeback. Nagata, who is GHC Champ at this point, does feel electric as the vet face bursting on the scene. Shibata tags out and he immediately grabs his armbar. Honma wants in and kicks some Goto ass, which gets me and the crowd rocking. Nagata is a great cheerleader for all this. Honma misses diving headbutt and Goto hits his finishes while Shibata detains Nagata to win the match.

 

It felt really abbreviated and WWE-esque. Like this is one of the better WWE tags of 2014, but happened in NJPW. Where was the usual chipiness and constant shots to the apron guy or holding someone back or the constant saves. It was nice little character piece for Honma, Nagata was a good cheerleader, Shibata is a good dick and Goto is whatever. Honma is entertaining, but not at the level of heat I expect from puro tags. ***

 

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I am man enough to admit when I am wrong and boy oh boy was I wrong about this one. Thanks to Nintendo for pushing this through on Greatest Match Ever means I gave it a re-watch. Brutally stiff, electric and urgent. Loved it! This is the best Nagata looked in the 2010s. Awesome exchanges with Shibata that were badass. 2013-2014 was peak Honma and he was great here. Shibata slugs him in the chest and he just crumples. I greatly prefer Shibata to Goto and the match is much better when Shibata is in it. I LOVED the misdirect on the PK into Running Boot to Nagata's face. Honma's Hot Tag is super fun and loved the missed top rope headbutt as the transition to the finish. Goto does drag this down a bit. He is just so bland. Honma is the babyface everyone wants. He gets more over by losing and he was the underdog everyone was pulling for but comes up short again. I agree this is definitely the best New Japan tag team match of 2010-2014, but thats a short list and this was a great sprint. ****1/4

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