re: The 2013 MOTYC Thread
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 7: Evolution
Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki
Great match with Suzuki wearing Nagata down with submissions and strikes. By the time Nagata was in the sleeper and had passed out, it really felt like a great match and then they went into the strike exchange, and for me it actually elevated the match and made it feel like a mini ‘epic‘ with the two exchanging trash talk throughout etc. The struggle for the piledriver was great, that has to be the most protected move in wrestling right now. Nagata going back to the arm he went after briefly at the start was nice to see, even if it didn’t play into the finish, but it didn’t really need to. Nagata eventually got the better of MiSu in the strike department and was able to hit that final blow that Suzuki wasn’t able to hit.
Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Short(ish) but incredibly sweet. Loved the structure of this and it had two great performances. Shibata being the cocky outsider who’s always had the advantage over Makabe, and Makabe as the home company baby face fighting for the pride of not only himself but the company. Loved the start, had a big fight feel and they really lay it in. Shibata in control is great and Makabe sells the beating really well. Loved his brief comeback spots only for Shibata to put him on his ass again. Crowd being solidly behind Makabe obviously helped it, but his comeback was great and like any good Makabe match, it’s his lariats that are the turning point. Table spot was an ace redemption spot, like everything in the angle had been leading to that spot and the final minutes of this match. Great stuff, and proof that sometimes simpler is much better.
IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
This was amazing. Kind of trying to collect my thoughts on this still as I’m writing this, but man, can’t remember the last time I was properly on the edge of my seat with my heart racing watching wrestling, not even MITB in ’11. SHINSKAY SWAG turned up to 11, and I NEED a gif of him dancing on his entrance. Awesome. Anyway, the wrestling for the first portion of the match was great and un-co operational looking. Nakamura’s clean breaks were so good, just strutting away cockily and then on the third or so break slapping Sakuraba only for Sakuraba to beat the piss out of him. Seriously, some of the shit in this was so stiff. At one point he literally tries to JUMP ON HIS HEAD! Like, with both feet he just jumps onto his face. I was the one saying that Sakuraba didn’t look like he could hang in a singles match, but give him this style of match and yeah, he can. Nakamura getting battered had me seriously kind of stunned at one point. He takes all sorts of palm strikes to the face, and a couple look like they legit smack him in the eye and head and you hear the noise and everything. Nasty stuff. Nakamura getting his comebacks in had me on the edge of my seat and SO behind him. The tease of the Bome-Ye was great because you really want to see him hit it and win this one for the company and so he can get the hell out of dodge. The struggles for the submissions were genuinely incredible towards the end, and Nakamura breaking out of it and kneeing Sakuraba in the CHIN was disgusting and I almost jumped out of my seat, oh man that had me marking out like nothing you’ve seen. The finish was amazingly satisfying too. Absolutely loved this match. Nakamura’s performance was amazing, probably his best ever, from trying to fend for himself against this brutal bastard, to his amazing drunken, wobbling around selling. The crowd being so behind him was ace and they were molten by the end of this, probably all down to his performance. I was almost in awe of this at times similar to the Brock/Cena match last year, and I probably liked it even more than that match. Wow.
IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada
Another brilliant match. Whereas the previous match was completely unpredictable, you know what you’re getting with these two, and they didn’t disappoint at all. Although at times it felt a little long winded, it felt epic too. Wasn’t that into the chain wrestling at the start which went a tad too long, but once Okada had control it got great, and Tanahashi in return had a great control segment. Love Okada’s submissions, and his dropkicks are still amazing. He’s great in control and I really like how he shows desperation even in control of a match. Tanahashi does his usual leg work and Okada does his usual great selling, but it’s the finishing run that sets this apart from their other matches. Okada kicking out of the HFF was an amazing moment, can’t remember the last time that happened. Some great transitions and counters and struggles as you’d expect from a NJ main event, but the way they REALLY sold the fatigue and effects of the match was great and something we’ve not seen from the two before. I’d agree that there wasn’t a big moment to tease Okada winning which was strange, in-fact the final minutes were pretty much dominated by Tanahashi. I didn’t mind it, because it got me really behind Okada, and my heart was in my mouth when he was in that Cloverleaf, I really thought that was it. Of course I would have rather Okada win, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the match itself. Really great stuff with tons of drama (despite the lack of a big Okada near fall), great transitions and structuring. Not quite on the level of the previous match on the show or the previous match these two had together, but that was a hard act to follow on both accounts.
Btw, if Nakamura/Sakuraba falls out of my top 5 for the year, it'll be an amazing year. Seriously liked that more than anything from last year too.
Last edited by Bubz; 01-05-2013 at 07:37 PM.