Re: Official Puro Match/DVD Discussion Thread (NO SPOILERS)
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Kazuyuki Fujita 6/5/04
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Shinsuke Nakamura 12/10/06
Watched both of these today. Unless I’m forgetting something these are the first two Tanahashi matches I’ve ever watched, and, well, I don’t know. I mean seriously, I don’t know. No, no, no, I’m fucking serious. I genuinely almost do not know whether I liked them or not. I think I did…..?
I saw ‘Tanahashi vs Fujita’ and thought it was Hayato, so seeing this big bald dude randomly was surprising to me. He was a pretty good big asskicker, but his selling left a little to be desired. Tanahashi hits a tope on him and he kind of just shrugged it off (almost literally- wiping his chest and shit). He works over Tanahashi as sort of a sub-heel. Tanahashi is the fan favourite, but he didn’t really, IDK, come back, at all. He had ‘hope spots’, sort of, but they didn’t feel like hope spots. They felt more like a guy swapping between offense and selling (other than the sleeper reversal, that was really cool). Usually a guy swapping between offense and defense is totally crappy and feels out of place, but it kind of didn’t here. I mean it wasn’t getting me invested, but it wasn’t turning me away, either.
Nakamura match was totally weird. I’m stuck for words on how to describe it. Tanahashi’s ‘swapping offense and defense’ continues, but Nakamura didn’t feel like a heel at all and wasn’t really working Hiroshi over. The action was typically good; solid looking offense, the pace was ok, they weren’t annoying me, the short term selling was fine, and they were long term selling as if they were getting more and tired. Theses two by all means looked like capable workers. I had no idea what the finishers of either guy were, so I guessed practically everything they threw was a finisher. And shit, if they can throw that many finishers (in my head) and not make it look like spammy finisher trade without making it feel like ‘fighting spirit strong style’ and all of that weaboo bullshit, then, well, good on them. It’s just…nothing stood out. It just felt like two guys wrestling. I don’t want to call this ‘average’ because that sounds derogatory, but, hell, it just fucking felt like two fucking guys fucking wrestling. Nothing terribly good, nothing terribly bad. You know that ‘feeling out’ period in a wrestling match’s opening where the action is solid but unspectacular? Yeah, it felt like an entire match of that. If I was forced to watch this again I’d be totally OK; it was, in fact, perfectly fine wrestling. On the other hand it never jetted past ‘OK’. ‘OK’ means I’m complacent with what was happening, and I totally was. It was an utterly ‘OK’ match. I’m at a loss for words. Really, I can’t say much about this without sounding like I liked it more than I did, or I disliked it more than I did. Maybe I thought it was a little structurally weird and had trouble getting too involved. But….well, I was relatively involved. It was fine. Fuck, I am at a total loss for words. Well, I'm at a total loss for a way to properly describe what I was feeling watching this.
If I had to pick between like and dislike, I’d definitely choose like, but, I didn’t LIKE them, like them. They didn’t leave much of an impression on me. It’s bizarre. If anything though it has me interested in seeing more Tanahashi. He feels like an odd but competent worker and I wonder if that trend continues.