Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
Kazuchika Okada vs Karl Anderson - NJPW 08.10.2012
Really good match. The improvement from Okada in just 10 months is incredible. Start of the year he looked like a great wrestler who could be lead to a great match with the right guy. Now he looks like a legit individual star in his own right. Thing I've been most impressed with him recently is how great of a worker in control of a match he is which is something that lets so many of the better wrestlers down. Just love how calm and collected he is when the match is going his way. Adored him just patiently waiting in the ring to see if Anderson can make the 20 count. If he doesn't then he's got the win, if not then cool, he's still got the match where he wants it. He's just as great when the tide changes too and he has to work from behind. Loved them doing the same sequence with the rail almost move for move but reversed. Sweet revenge spot and both the DDT and the Neckbreaker looked great. With New Japan finishing stretches you just know they wont let you down and almost always elevate the match to another tier. These are two of the better finishing guys so it's no surprise the last few minutes rocked with terrific drama, reversals and finisher teases. Anderson teasing the Rainmaker Lariat being reversed by Okada teasing the Ace Crusher was bossy as hell.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki - IWGP Heavyweight Championship - NJPW 08.10.2012
I fell pretty comfortable calling this a carear Suzuki performance by some margin. Incredible showing from Suzuki and Tanahashi's the most reliable guy going in the world for putting in a main event showing when it matters. Air guitar spot set the tone for the match absolutely perfectly. Really put Suzuki into game mode and from then the match was just a wonderful main event battle. Limb work was great by both men. Dragon screw on Suzuki to set up the injured leg angle looked nasty as hell and was a perfect spot to set the leg work up. Leg work itself was magnificent and a huge step up from the usual leg work in New Japan main events where it can sometimes just be filler in the middle. Suzuki does as good of a sell job as you'll see all year. Absolutely adored him hobbling on one leg trying to run the ropes and then just launching himself with a dropkick. Lengthy submission holds would normally take me out of the match for a breather but these weren't rest holds and did a super job of really working the hold and continuing to build the drama up to it's peak. Goes 30 minutes but it barely felt like 20 and it was so great they didn't need to rely on big near falls to get to 30. Mentioned this about Naito/Okada II and it's worth a mention again here, I just love how they build the drama at the end from who's gonna hit their finisher and not is the finisher gonna be enough to win the match. There's a group of like 5-8 matches now that are all really close at the top of my MOTYC list and I'm not confident calling any of them my MOTY right now. Don't think I'll go that high with this but it's right up there. Still sticking with Okada/Naito I but maybe that has a lot to do with it being the pace setter for the rest of the year. AWESOME.