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[2018-10-08-NJPW-King of Pro Wrestling] Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Jay White

paul sosnowski

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  • GSR changed the title to [2018-10-08-NJPW-King of Pro Wrestling] Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Jay White

Jay is finally finding his stride and I'm finally here for it. I was a big Jay fan when he returned, I dug his aesthetic and move set, but crowd connection was missing. Along comes the G1, and he throws away having a good enough match for the sake of gaining heat which drastically turned me off. Following Kobe though, he's finally putting all the pieces together, and this match with Tanahashi proves it. He kicked old man Tana's ass for most of the match, and Gedo's presence also added a lot to Tanahashi's comebacks. Thankfully Jay wasn't beaten too definitively because it would've killed his momentum. Not to mention the after match shenanigans is great booking, ****1/2.

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From lame indie geek being edgy to my favorite act on the show. Jay White, ladies and gentlemen. He was already showing his mettle as an old school style heel during his US Title match with Juice and his G1 run but now with Gedo as an old school heel manager? Money. It just feels so different from everything else going on in the show that I can't help but be drawn in. The cheating makes for some great false finishes and spots too. Probably my favorite being that I was certain Tanahashi was going to get the finish with the High Fly Flow onto Jay on the chair. When Jay rolled out of the way, I actually thought White might win. Awesome stuff, can't wait to see what's next for White in 2019.


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White has become a great heel that the crowd absolutely loves to hate.  I also thought Gedo's performance here was terrific and look forward to more from him in the stooging, smarmy heel manager role. This wasn't the the dramatic classic that you might find (if you're a NJPW fan) in Tanahashi's big matches, but it was a strong and effective outing that furthered a couple interesting storylines.  As opposed to the main event.  A bit surprised we're not getting a Tana/Okada tag at Power Struggle as that seemed to be the tease, but I can't complain with Wrestle Kingdom looking like it'll have at worst 4 and maybe 5 singles matches with incredible intrigue and potential.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to imagine the conversation between Tanahashi and Jay going into this match was "Hey, let's do the WK match again except, y'know, good." From a lame Bray Wyatt imitator who had no clue how to work his gimmick to a conniving, power-hungry heel who will do anything to win, the last few months have been quite the turnaround for Jay. The leg work here was much more focused than it was at WK and Jay and Gedo's cheating came off as clever and purposeful as opposed to the drawn-out bullshit you see in so many Taichi and Suzuki-Gun matches. Speaking of Gedo, why did he ever think being a face manager for Okada was a good idea? This man was born to be a heel and his presence and interference really gives even more legitimacy to Jay's run as a top heel. Tanahashi more than held up his end of the bargain as well with a strong face performance that continues to prove he's not slowing down nearly as much as we think.


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