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Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Katsuyori Shibata (NJPW Destruction in Kobe 09/21/14)

katsuyori shibata hiroshi tanahashi

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#1 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 01:18 PM

Tanahashi & Shibata have an excellent chemistry with each other & this is their best match. It really felt like it was the culmination of their whole story - all their previous matches, Dome '06 (& even their matches before that), G1 '13 & '14 lead to this. There's just this great feeling of importance throughout the whole thing. It's amazing. The storytelling is top notch & the performances of both men are perfect. Shibata, as usual, smacks the crap out of Tana & Tana sells it brilliantly while busting out some really great looking offense himself. Overall it's just terrific stuff from start to finish. One of my favorite NJPW matches of all-time. ****3/4

#2 BigVanCrush

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:01 AM

I thought this was a bad match in 2014 and nothing's really changed. By 2014 I was sick of the Tanahashi big match formula and never really thought Shibata would have worked well within the confines of said formula...and it turns out he doesn't. The 1/4/06 and 7/26/14 matches had a lot of intensity and violence and hate which made them a joy to watch and on top of that, they felt like Shibata's match which is always going to click with me regardless of who he works. There really isn't anything here that puts it over any of the previous matches for me. I disagree that there's a feeling of importance around this match. There really wasn't. It was just a that only happened so Tanahashi could get his win back and go into the AJ title match the next month with some more momentum. The post-match handshake bugged me then and still does now because that should have been the end of Shibata having to 'prove' himself to those fuckers. Instead he eats another year's worth of shit before they even attempt to give him an actual singles title reign. Shibata deserved better than that and frankly, deserved better than this match. At least Tanahashi got another win over Shibata, I guess.

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