Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
Kazuchika Okada vs Tetsuya Naito - IWGP Heavyweight Championship - NJPW 04.03.2012
Incredible match. I was worried about it going too long and dragging in the middle and maybe that these two weren't experienced enough to work a big singles main event together without a Tanahashi to guide them through. Fuck I was wrong about all of that. Easily career performances for both men and such a well worked match too. Didn't feel like 25 minutes in the slightest and the transition into the finish was so effortlessly seamless. Sequence leading to the finish was beautiful. Both men got to the point when they went for their big stuff and it lead to the end of the match. Simple. Okada going for his lariat but Naito dodging and then Okada's resilience to hit it paying off was sweet. I'll take a super finishing sequence like this over a choreographed finishing stretch that has it's own identity to the rest of the match every single time. Rest of the match was on that level too. The contrasting limb work was brilliant and the selling was even better. I hate a Tombstone Piledriver just being a transition spot but I guess these days you just have to live with it and accept it as just another move. Once you do that you have one hell of a transition spot here and the crowd reaction to it showed why. I thought Okada looked nervous and uncertain at times in the Tanahashi match but he worked with it here. There still was them moments but played it off as cockyness and it was super how he'd take his time when he was in control and just play with Naito. Bunch of swanky looking submissions from both men too, especially Okada. Really loved some of the submissions they busted out. Okada's leg selling was awesome too. He didn't overdo it and that made me like it even more. Fantastic match. #1 right now and it's gonna be an amazing year if this drops out of my top 10.
Juventud Guerrera vs Zema Ion - X Project 19.02.2012
Not quite a MOTYC but almost there. Probably would have been if it didn't have fucking Sami Callihan doing a run in for the finish. Juvi looks as super as ever and his offence is incredible. It's a handheld recording and Juvi does a dive and lands right by the guy recording it which was super. Some sweet spots in the crowd on the chairs. Ion looks decent and has some flashy moves that he hits well. Match cuts here and there but I'm certain you never miss anything of note. Not quite great but really fucking good and well worth watching for 10 minutes.