Re: The 2013 MOTYC Thread
NJPW The New Beginning
Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki
Really liked this match but that isn't surprising, look at the two names involved. This wasn't amazing since they clearly weren't going for 'epic' here, this was to build the feud up, but it was pretty damn great anyway. Good comebacks from Okada helped this, but the real backbone of the match was MiSu's strikes being clearly superior and the real deal breaker. loved the simple but effective finishing stretch, almost felt similar to the '05 (?) Kobashi/MiSu finishing run but obviously toned down a lot and with Suzuki in the Kobashi/veteran role. Okada gradually fading and weakening due to the strikes but still trying to fight was great and could be something really good if they play up on that in their eventual re-match/matches. Really enjoyed this, falls just short of being a proper MOTYC for me, but well worth everyone's time for sure. Okada fans will also mark for how fucking over he is. Proof that this guy needs to be the 'ace' someday because the crowd eat out of his hand and he comes across once again as a proper superstar. That's taking nothing away from MiSu who was also great and has another great match under his belt with this one.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Karl Anderson
Thought this was great, I have quite a few problems with it, but there was enough greatness in there for this to be considered a MOTYC imo. That greatness mostly came from Anderson, but it was mentioned earlier in another review that Tana's leg work does indeed work as a way to create a weakness he can use to gain advantage of a match with when he's in trouble. I've been fine with it for ages now and I never see it as the problem with Tana's matches anymore like I used to. It's even better when the other guy sells the leg work so that it looks more effective and important when he does go for that weakness, and Anderson's selling was great. In-fact absolutely everything Anderson did was great in this match, he looked like he belonged in the main event spot for sure. Favourite part of the match was Anderson's control segment in the middle because he made everything seem important and subtly sold his leg at the same time throughout. That kick on the apron was SICK. The crowd was great in this, Anderson is so over it's crazy and it's all down to him. I was almost begging him to win here, especially after that video package before the match. He had some brilliant nearfalls and I honestly bought him winning off the second super powerbomb move he hit. But at the same time that's where my problem was. To me Tana was really bad in the finishing run, like, really terrible. He kicked out of three of Anderson's finishers, THREE! It was ridiculous and it really did feel to me like overkill, especially after the move I just mentioned. It was worse than the Okada match imo. But that wasn't enough to take that much away from everything else that came before it and a very good finishing run despite Tana deciding not to sell anything and being super-duper Tanahashi. If it had ended after the second nearfall and then had Tana's comeback it would have been fine for me. Overall it's a really great match though with a big time feel, and Anderson is absolutely superb.